The Hard Truth About MLM

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As we come to a close of another year, I thought I'd share some truths about succeeding in MLM.  

While network marketing is an amazing profession to be involved in, one where you certainly CAN earn a tremendous amount of money and create a very free lifestyle for yourself, it's hard, hard work.  

Not news for some of you reading this, but definitely news for a lot of people.  

For the past 25 years, I've managed to survive in this profession.  I say survive…because I do believe that I am a survivor, being able to stand the test of time and consistently maintain a level of success that has provided me the option of not having to work for someone else.  I didn't get lucky one time, make a bunch of money and not be able to ever re-create that success ever again.  I've been able to do it now in 7 companies over the past 25 years. 

I guess the idea of finding a company, working it hard for 3 to 5 years and then retiring has gone out the window…at least for me it has.  Not saying it can't be done, but I haven't seen too many network marketers find their success in one deal and live a lavish lifestyle well into retirement from the earnings of the first company they ever built.  

The harsh reality is again, that network marketing takes hard work.  It's not easy.  Not everyone can do it, nor is everyone cut out for it.  Becoming successful in this profession requires a long-term commitment, one that most aren't willing to endure.  Those that do, reap rewards.  Those that don't, either bail out or continue to look for their answer to success in another company.  

Since I mentioned I've been with 7 companies, I thought I'd back up my previous sentence.  I won't go into detail on why I've been with 7 companies other than to say I had to move for legitimate reasons:  one company went out of business, one product sucked, one owner had an ego so big that he destroyed the company in a single leadership seminar.  I would have loved to only worked one company.  It just didn't work out that way for me.  

The biggest, brightest and the best have their rear ends handed to them.  It's whether or not they can recover from whatever dropped them to their knees.  Companies like Herbalife, Amway and Nu Skin have been able to survive monumental downturns to go on to become some of the biggest and most successful companies in our profession. 

Every few years a company comes along that gets the attention of every eyeball in the profession.  Those companies skyrocket and have massive growth, hundreds of people earning mega money and a migration of thousands of people chasing that NEW dream.  

I can't tell you how many times I've seen it.  Over and over again.  What I find interesting is people running to those companies, with the feverish excitement taking place, and leave what in many cases WAS working for them, although maybe not as fast as they'd like to see it happen for them…only to have them find out that what “appeared” to be better, was in all reality, the same thing.  

All companies have issues and challenges.  The challenge to succeed is just that…a challenge.  The solution typically isn't somewhere else…although in some cases it may be.  Mostly not though.  The solution lies within.  Do you have what it takes to stay long enough to make  success a reality for you?  Only you know that.  Time will tell.  

To move to another company and then find out that what you went to wasn't exactly what you “thought” it was can be frustrating.  I've had a number of conversations over the past month with disgruntled reps from different companies stating how disappointed or frustrated they were with their move.  

One person I had a conversation with said “Todd, but I just don't know if company X is a place where they average person can replace their income in 6 to 12 months.”  My reply was, “Who ever told you that this was a business where anyone, let alone the average person could replace a full-time salary with 6 to 12 months of part time effort?”  

I'm an average person.  But…I'm an average person that's willing to work hard, work on my skills and stay long enough for success to accumulate.  Average people can get into network marketing and make some very nice extra money on a part-time basis.  Above average people can make above average money with above average effort.  An average person (like me) can make exceptional money by maintaining focus over an extended period of time.  

I don't really think that network marketing is or was designed to be a “full-time” business for anyone out of the shoot.  Why?  Look at your first 6 to 12 months earnings and there is your answer.  Network Marketing was designed to be a part-time business that someone could do on the side, supplement their income in the short-term and over a longer period of time, replace their earnings in their job…and then at that point, the individual can make their own decision as to jump in full time or not.  

Too many people promote our profession as get in and make easy money.  It's hard.  It ain't easy.  The rewards are there…and those rewards CAN be big, but it certainly isn't easy.  And…if as a profession we continue to promote it as easy money, I think we are making a big mistake. 

My suggestion is you tell people the truth.  Let people know the REALITY of what they will expect in the marketplace.  Too often, people end up under-delivering and over-promising on their own expectations of making money, only to be let down.  I know I did.  Nobody told me I'd be making 10 grand a month in 90 days, but that's what I thought.  So…I quit my job and ended up moving home to live in the bunk beds in my parent's house to financially recover.  

Let's be responsible marketers here.  Tell people the truth.  Tell yourself the truth…or at least begin to accept the fact that your answer likely doesn't lie in another product or another comp plan, but within…and through time.  

MLM rocks.  Network Marketing is an amazing profession.  Network Marketing contains the mechanics of wealth:  leverage.  But…who ever told you that getting rich was easy?  If it was, everybody be doing it.  

Wanna make big money in this profession.  Work hard.  Be smart.  Stick to your plan.  If your company is a dog, sweat it out for awhile before you make a move you're going to regret.  Don't screw people.  The people you see when you're climbing up the ladder are the same people you'll see when you're backing down that ladder.  Screwing people for your personal gain is short-term, no gain thinking.  It might seem like a good idea, but it never is.  Be nice.  Care for people.  Make good decisions.  Think before you act.  In fact, think twice before you act.  Work hard.  Did I say that already?  I know I did.  Understand that success takes time.  Nothing was built in a day, not even Rome.  

Acquire skills.  Work on yourself.  Be a person of integrity.  Do the best you can with all you've got and keep striving to be even better.  

That's the truth…and I'm sticking to it.  

Have an amazing 2013.  Make it your best year ever!


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