Are network marketers socially depleted?

I spoke to a major leads company owner today who attends many MLM conventions and meetings every year…We were discussing what’s hot and what’s not…then he said:

“You know Kim, so many of the speakers have come from where many in the audience are now: They were addicts, homeless or near homeless, broken people.

I didn’t need a twelve step program and I was never on welfare…That makes it harder to relate…But certain trainers and leads people who come from where that audience is, can totally relate and make major money from that audience.

The on-the-mend people in the audience spend thousands on training programs to bring them to the point where they even CAN do the business. No one in the room makes money except the trainers. Very different kinds of people in the audience now than even 10 years ago.”

Wow. Maybe I need to get out more.

Does this jive with what you are seeing out there? If so, do we need to think of ourselves more as “healers” first – for broken, attitudinally crippled people? And perhaps second, as a place for entrepreneurs who are ready for a business of their own?

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About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Let me be the very first to say to an extent some of this is true, but it isn’t everyone. I went through a process of enlightening myself several years ago. As I followed some leaders and mentors and started a journey of personal development, things began shifting for me. It can be true that some people need help to be lifted up to a place where they can honestly believe in themselves. That can come from many places and it just so happens many people see transformation after being exposed to certain trainers or teachers. One thing I can say is when the truth hits you upside the head, if you embrace it, life and business will never be the same.

  • I’m actually seeing the opposite in our company meetings. In fact, I’ve been amazed at the number of business professionals in our meetings. For some crazy reason, we are attracting a LOT of realtors, but also office workers, financial planners, and also stay-at-home moms, etc.

    This is the first business where I’ve used no leads at all. Just worked warm market and referrals and satisfied customers.

    Certified Referring Travel Agent

  • No way should we be healers first and entrepeneurs second.

    The beauty of this business is that we can choose our business partners by seeking and attracting like minded people. These are potentially business partners for life and your new friends.

    I don’t want to be someones healer, that is not my responsibility as their sponsor. My role is to guide their training and develpoment as direct seller and/or network marketer. I am happy however, to guide them in the right direction to personal developement resources.

    When asked what are the ideal qualities of a Rep you’d want to sponsor, essentially you describe yourself (and some extra bits probably) i.e. Disciplined, confident, passionate, good time management, well presented, well spoken etc etc.

    Do we honestly want people who need serious healing? If you have come from that place yourself, sure you have empathy with that audience, but if you haven’t why go there? Whether or not empathy is available, these are an emotionally draining and energy zapping relationships to be in. In contrast I want to be energised by the autonomy and responsibility of this business model.

    As a health professional I am given permission to fix/rehabilitate things and I am paid to do it. As a woman I can’t help but go into ‘fix it ‘ mode to help family life run smoothly, but I do draw the line at doing it in my NM business.

    I hope you are trying to wind us up Kim!!
    Entrenpeneurs first!

  • Huh? This is the first I’ve ever heard anything like this! Although, when we buy leads, a percentage of the people who have responded to the lead generation company’s ads are on disability or are down and out. So if a lot of people are building businesses by buying leads then this may be true for that reason. I prefer to contact ‘free’ leads who are professionals and if on occasion I do pay for leads, I cross out the people with financial problems and no resources immediately. Of course I do have a profile on Network Marketing Central and that always provides high quality contacts.

  • Whaaaaat? I find the exact opposite in NM. When I first started this business, I worked with my ‘warm market’ who (I thought) NEEDED an opportunity like NM. Women who couldn’t find jobs, people I thought NEEDED help financially. What I found is that these people are in the state they’re in because for the most part they seem to enjoy complaining about their misfortune. I had become the Mother Theresa of NM and was trying to ‘drag’ people over the finish line.

    After hearing Kim’s Mother Theresa Syndrom I stopped (OK … she pops out on occassion). Once I started contacting business people, entrepreneurs, and generally a higher class of people, my business began taking off. So, I totally disagree with this perception of the industry.

    Kim knows better than us … of all the successful trainers in NM, John Fogg, Tim Sales, Michael Oliver, Mark Yarnell, and even Kim Klaver herself to name a few … how many fit that profile before they became NMers?

    What I’d really like to know is when is this “people spend thousands of dollars to learn NM” going to stop.

    I’d like to know one profession on this planet that is ‘free.’ In order to make any kind of decent money as a professional in today’s world you have to have at minimum a college degree and in most cases a Master’s. Is that education free?

    How many real estate agents spend thousands of dollars only to ‘drop out’ of that industry?

    In my humble opinion, yes, it takes money to ‘learn’ to do this business. Few are those special people who can JUST DO IT without training … or who have a sponsor or upline who trains them properly. Maybe if we ‘New Schoolers’ begin setting the example of what it really takes to be successful in this business, the industry will be seen in a different light in the generations to come.

    Maybe we could attribute the 95% drop out rate to ‘lack of training’ … or even attracting the wrong people … think?


  • I don’t think we need to be healers but I do think our industry attracts those who are seeking growth of some kind. I’ve heard it said before that MLM is a ‘life long personal development seminar’ disguised as a business.

    If this is true (I find it to be true), then it stands to reason it might attract those who are seeking growth.

    There are those who have SO MUCH growing to do, they would be better served to do that first.

    Then there are those who are more ‘in the process’ already and I find those people to be much better candidates for NM.

    It is my experience that individuals who have zero interest in personal growth/development tend to not last long. I’m certain there are exceptions..but in general, that has been what I’ve observed.

  • I would like to add that I do not see myself in a position of “healing” broken people, however, I know how to point them to the proper training that will benefit different people depending on what their needs are.

  • This jives with exactly what I’m seeing out there. My mentor always says:

    Network marketing is a personal development program with a compensation plan attached.

    I insist that anyone wanting to join my company go through a 30 day mental cleanse. That way, people come out the other side so much more successful and have a much better chance to succeed when they BELIEVE they deserve success.

    There are many, many network marketers out there that will claim they are doing great, but in reality, they are barely making enough to cover their product purchases. After all, this is what uplines have always taught us to do.

    I am amazed at the number of people who have been with a company for years and are making less than $500/month.

    There’s an easy way to tell if you will be successful in your business.


    What I mean by that is this – When you hear success stories of people sponsoring lots of people and/or reaching new levels in the payplan – how do you feel? Does it make you feel jealous? Are you upset that the people who have reached certain levels get “perks” and are privy to certain information? Do you resent the fact that Suzie Q sponsored 10 people this month and is being gushed over?

    Guess what? YOU will NEVER reach those levels until you get those feelings in check. You will never be successful until you figure out what is causing those feelings and work through it.

    I know this because this was me 2 years ago. After a 30 day mental cleanse, I realized that I deserve success and it snowballed on me.


  • The majority of the people in any given meeting are desperate, scared AND are being sold false hope by smooth talkers who are using them. They never should have been prospected to begin with. But you already knew that…the five things we, as Klaver students, never say are the mainstay of most pitches. It’s repulsive to ethical people, and that’s a major source of the poor image of the industry.

  • I’m looking for somone wanting to change the quality of their life who leaves their options open to earning extra money outside of what they’re already doing in their current job, someone who wants to be an entrepreneur and have their own business.

    Yes this can change the quality of our life, and it takes asking ourselves some hard questions like, “Why do I want to be an entrepreuner and own my own business?” “What can I do differently to get where I want to be?” “How much time, effort & am I willing come up with the money to build my own business?”

    Someone with a desire to use Network Marketing as the vehicle to create these changes in their life and are willing to put in the time and energy… sounds rare & unique but we’re out there and NMC is proof of that.


  • Hi Kim and all,

    People far wiser than me have pointed out that NO one is “broken” . . . and yet all of us are on healing journeys. Some of the most amazing healers I know have come through experiences of addiction and other kinds of abuse.

    We all are ‘healers’, of ourselves and sometimes of others. When we come authentically into relationship with each other, it can be a healing space. Sometimes it can be very healing to say to someone, “No, this business is not for you. It will not offer the immediate income you want, will not become your ‘family'” etc.

    Because many of us are estranged from our biological families, network marketing companies in some cases do end up serving as surrogates — so do gangs and cults! This can be exploited, of course.

    The issue might be in how active a part of the ‘healing’ relationship one wants responsibility for, in one’s business. Ideally, we attract people who are taking care of their own health and healing, and can participate effectively in building an entrepreneurial business. If they haven’t asked us to be their doctor, therapist, or minister, we have no business inserting ourselves in these roles. And then if they should ask us as business partners to serve in such roles, we have every responsibility NOT to do it — and instead to gracefully suggest the services of qualified others whose relationship with the person will not mix business and therapy roles, as ours would.

    Just some thoughts,

  • Kim you ask such thoughtful and insightful questions! This was one of the best yet: “Are NM socially depleted?” Asking, are we healers, is that a role we are supposed to assume, starts a great internal and external dialogue. Here is what one of my mentors notes, “To be successful in NM, we just have to do what we were taught in kindergarten, share and be nice to the other kids.” If we’re doing that consistently, to a lot of people, isn’t it logical we will find some who find that behavior healing? Isn’t that a healthy way of being, even for ourselves?

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