How to predict your success in NM

Do this:

Ask yourself (or anyone else): What’s your biggest reason for doing this business?

Prediction: if the #1 reason is the potential income, you will not last a year. Perhaps not even 6 months.

Why? Because in the first year or two in MLM, almost no one earns more than they spend on it – product, training programs, events, travel, etc.

This unpleasant reality comes as a big surprise to those who came in believing the initial promises of an “exploding business” – and they leave. Why not? They didn’t get what they were promised.

But some people stay with it, even though they don’t earn what was held out there.

And that’s the question of the day:

For readers not making the money you had hoped to make: why do you stay in the business?

If you have other reasons, please comment below.

Results so far here.

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About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Since I earn a recurring income that is enough to support us, I guess I keep going because it is fun and challenging.

    greg cryns

  • When I joined my first MLM company I was one of the many who bought into the ‘big money’ promises and quickly found out they left parts of the whole story when they tell you that story.

    Initially I struggled and at times I considered quitting. But in the end I decided to keep at it because I realized two things:

    1: The income potential is real
    2: The Lessons learned to this point were creating far reaching results in all areas of my life.

    I recognized it for what it is–a journey. We all have to go through a shift in mindset from the ‘instant money’ mindset to one of recognizing that we are growing a business.

    The best part of it is that we grow along with it.

    So, to answer your question (even tho I am making money at it right now) I kept at it because I knew in my heart I could do it and because it created a paradigm shift within me and helped me to become the person I knew I could be.

    Network Marketing Journey

  • Prediction: if the #1 reason is the potential income, you will not last a year. Perhaps not even 6 months.

    Not a fair prediction in my book. If you want to earn money (potential, big money), you have to value money, you have to not be afraid of having money and you need to know what you would spend it on.

    There is nothing wrong with having potential income as your #1 reason for being in the business. It’s unashamably mine. However, how you qualify this reason is another story. How will it change your life, how does it help you achieve your vision, your dream, your WHY?

    Once you have written your goals, objectives and plan of action, everything comes back to money. The THING I want to do the most is to have a baby, but I need money so I don’t have to work a mainstream job and raise a child. I want an eco-house and sustainable garden on 5 acres, I need money for that. I want to give to charity and invest in the stockmarket and travel, I need money for that too.

    If its the product keeping you in the business without making any money that motivates you, well you may as well just be a customer.

    We have to love our product, that goes without saying. The love of the product and the love of the people are the petrol but the dream is the driver. You just need a new school satnav to guide you….

  • Over the last 2 years of business ownership I have asked myself this question. I stay because I believe in me. I believe that I can learn this process of connecting with people, learning what they need and informing them about possible solutions. I realize I still haven’t employed the “hardness” of drive to “get in front” of others. My style is one of gentle connection and not pushing. I allow the relationship to unfold and that takes weeks and weeks.
    I expressed to a person that I feel like I am intruding when I ask people if they are earning what they would like to be. She suggested an approach of: I’m building my business and looking for dependable people who want additional income from some part-time work. That’s my life at the moment: one action, a slight correction. Another action, another modification.
    Sometimes this process gets me down, AND wow, do I keep growing. Now real excitement will be when my bank account grows as fast as I am. :-))

  • I’ve been with my company for seven years. It took me six months to get my first check. After two years I got to a point where I was breaking even every month. Then it all fell apart on me and I’m now trying to rebuild. So why am I still in it after all this time? I could give a number of reasons, I love the product, I believe strongly in the business model. But the main reason why I’m still in it is because I refuse to quit.

    Joe Washburn

  • I’m not making the money I had hoped yet, but this time, I am on my way quickly.

    I “got in” for the money I was told I could make, then found out the hoops I had to jump through in that company and was devastated.

    However, I “stayed in” for the people. Some of my best friends are friends I met in network marketing. The lady who sposored me into my 2nd company is still, to this day, someone I would trust with my life. I can call her on a whim and chat for HOURS. We’ve never even met in person.

    My upline drove from FL to NY, loaded us up into his 27′ enclosed trailer and hauled our whole housefull of belongings to KY. Along the way, we stopped at another sideline team members house in OH and stayed the night there.

    I’ve been in network marketing for about 10 years total and just within the last year or so started to see a profit. That’s because before then, I was working the “old school” way with sizzle calls and calling leads. I haven’t bought leads in over a year. Don’t need to anymore. I have learned how to generate my own leads. I’ve learned how to “get my name out there” via a number of different avenues.

    When I started with my current company, my husband said to me “Honey – please try not to lose us too much money this time”.

    When I broke the $1,000/mo. mark, he figured he better believe me when I tell him it’s different this time.

    So – in conclusion – I got in for the money, stayed for the relationships and am sticking around now for the rest of my life for the money AND relationships. It doesn’t get much better than that.

    ~Roxanne Green~

  • I continue to do network marketing because of the intrinsic value of working the business.

    Network marketing has taught me how to network better, how to position a product, how to keep in touch with people, how to be a leader, how to write better blogs, how to market on-line, and how to work consistently (even when I don’t want to).

    In other words, I love what network marketing is helping me become.

    I believe that if you work the activities and try to be a little better every day (i.e., the Slight Edge), the money will come naturally.

    Walter Reade (from Wisconsin)

  • Hi Kristine: You write: “There is nothing wrong with having potential income as your #1 reason for being in the business.”

    Nothing wrong at all. It was mine the first time, too. I’ve always been interested in “big” money and have earned (and spent) quite a bit of it in my ventures.

    But if that’s your only goal and you don’t get it as soon as you had hoped, you will either quit, massage your goals or change them.

    Your reasons for wanting money are what’s meaningful and will probably help you stay with it longer than just the potential income with nothing meaningful and concrete attached – e.g. raising your baby at home, having an eco-house and a sustainable 5 acre garden.

    Those things take money yes, but they’re concrete pictures and most people don’t have that – so keeping those pictures and figuring out how many customers (and recruits) you’ll need to get them will help you stay with it.

    Very big difference between your very specific goals and someone who wants to sign up to “explode” their business with likely neither 1)genuine belief, 2)previous income experience nor 3)anything concrete attached that is meaningful enough for them to stay with it.

    I really like your eco house idea and your 5 acre sustainable garden. Romantic and good for the earth. I want that, too.

  • My mother owns a small family restaurant ( that seats roughly eighty people. This upcoming February will make one year since she has been in business.

    Mom works 10 to 12 hour days, six days a week. She ended up borrowing ninety-thousand dollars to get started, with no guarantee of success.

    So far, she has managed to pay her monthly bills, her loans, her employees, her taxes and other miscellaneous expenses. She does NOT pay herself a paycheck. She is out on the floor all the time and people do leave her tips. That is what she is living off of right now, her tip money.

    Roughly eight percent of Americans are self employed. What that means is 92 percent of the rest of the work force has a job. These people are used to getting a paycheck every week or two. In other words, they have been trained to be almost immediately rewarded for the work they have done.

    Because of the low barrier to entry, these people with a job go into business for themselves in network marketing. They usually get started for the wrong reasons (hype) and without the proper business skills necessary in order to be successful.

    Then after a few weeks or months they drop out. Why? It’s not easy. The rejection is tough. They don’t understand business. Most of all, they’re not making any money and so all of this work and hassle just ain’t worth it. Besides, they only lost a few hundred bucks, maybe a thousand dollars or so if they’re lucky. Their job is so much easier compared to being in business for themselves.

    In poker, a player that has an insufficient amount of remaining money bets the remainder of his stake and declares himself all in. They’ll either win big or lose it all. My mother stands to lose EVERYTHING if she doesn’t succeed. She’s all in. She HAS to make her business work.

    What would happen in the network marketing industry if more people were “all in”?

    Paul Eilers

  • Paul: You write: “What would happen in the network marketing industry if more people were “all in”?”

    So long as it’s sold the way it is by both recruiters and Internet promoters, “Anyone can do it, explode your business, all you have to do is buy OUR training program and sell your friends THAT, and you’ll be rich, etc.” why would anyone expect they have to be “all in” to make it?

    And so they buy into the quick riches, over and over and over again.

    Then they quit or realize they need to commit to something for the long haul and experience the learning curve. For that, they have to come in for a lot more than “quick money” and “exploding your business” reasons.

    I’d bet your Mom didn’t expect to explode her restaurant business.

  • When I first started with network marketing I was so excited to get started and earn some serious money. I saw the circles and 4 x 4 as money. I did very well, at turning everyone off. My initial excitement died fast when I got no results. I almost quit because I didn’t know what to do beyond the info my company furnished and that didn’t work for me.

    I needed to learn how to do network marketing without being a hypey salesperson. It wasn’t easy but I started learning how to talk with people and keep it real. I built a small (about 30) customer base in a few months. My upline started pressuring me to call my customers and get them to sell. When she told me I had to attend a $450 company sponsored Boot Camp if I ever expected to grow, I politely told her I wasn’t a fit for this organization. If I had been making lots of money fast my sponsor would not have tried the pressure tactics and I might still be active with her. It turned out that her push for money made me quit, with her organization.

    Second and third network marketing companies (still active with both)
    I joined one company because I loved the product and could see fresher ways to market it. Joining the other company was not planned but I knew and loved the people involved with it and was already using the product. I didn’t join either company because of the money.

    I’m not close to replacing my kennel income but I’ll keep going and working towards making a difference (healthy pets and their people.)

    My journey started with money being my reason.
    Now 18 months later it’s a draw between the product and people. Both are amazing for me. Both have given me opportunities to make a difference.


  • Hi all,

    The survey did not include what for me is the main reason to continue with a company: its mission.

    For me to engage fully over time, a company needs an overarching mission that benefits others or fills an unmet community need — and this needs to match a mission of mine. Plans of action and ways of executing these plans evolve from this mission; it defines where the company will gravitate with time.

    For me to stick with it, the mission needs to be more than to be the preeminent company selling something or dominating a market. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be these things, but being #1 in sales is not what grabs me personally. Hopefully the mission develops more fully over time, in a way that integrates its associates’ passion with their willingness to stick with inevitable glitches that come with company growth.

    I did not last in some companies that had excellent products but poor business standards, even though I was making some money with them.

    I also had friends in a couple of companies whose marketing tactics bothered me — I did not last with those either.

    I am still involved with 2 companies, both with missions that mesh well with mine. One includes wonderful people I enjoy; the other has people I hardly know. With both companies, the money is slower coming than some other opportunities promise, but should be more solid in the long run. Like anyone else, I certainly enjoy money and can do a lot towards my mission with it — but money alone does not sustain my interest. Obviously, associating with particular people doesn’t do that for me either.

    I had a funny thought when reading this question, and hope people won’t mind a chuckle. Doing something for ‘the money’, ‘the people’, or ‘the product’ describes so many professions . . . including mankind’s oldest profession. I’m betting most of us want more out of life (and our companies) than to join that one. 🙂

    Happy holidays to all,

  • Can’t agree with this one, young lady.

    I am an entrepreneur and I’m in business to make a profit. I don’t build Network Marketing because I need a better social life or because I want to find the best products for my personal use. I’m in business to make money, provide a great lifestyle for my family and give more money to causes that I believe in.

    Great products and relationships are a wonderful byproduct of our industry.

    Part 2 here is…Why in the world would someone leave the Network Marketing industry after 1 year?

    That’s just stupid. You can’t become a true professional in any industry in 1 year. I know many Network Marketers that make as much or more than Doctors, yet a to become a Dr., you must go to College for 12 years! I was no overnight success, in fact, it took me 10 years to make a six-figure income. (I started in Network Marketing near my 22nd birthday)

  • Hi Ty:

    You write: “Why in the world would someone leave the Network Marketing industry after 1 year?”

    Duh. Touche. I didn’t leave in a year; you didn’t leave in a year.

    But 95% do, but NOT because they are like dumb as dirt. But because they were either in need, gullible, or just wishing for that quick fix, and BOUGHT INTO the hype of “exploding your business (or income)” in short order.

    When that didn’t happen, they realized they could do something else that costs zip, e.g. work at Macy’s or something else that guarantees income and requires no out of pocket or the ridicule of friends and family.

    My point is – as always – the same: if we stop selling it as quick and easy income the way recruiters do, there would be fewer people coming in hoping and dreaming that, and then promptly dropping out.



  • Hi Kim,

    Great thought provoking questions. My involvement in network marketing spans over 35 years, but not non stop.

    In my 20’s it was probably the enthusiasm that attracted me because I sure didn’t understand the compensation they were all running around so excited about. Back then it was products I wanted at wholesale.
    Twelve years ago I really caught the concept of leveraged income. I joined a young nutrition company with a great mission and vision. If it were just the products that held me for all this time, I could resign my distributorship and become a wholesale customer only at the same purchase price I pay now.

    I was taught years ago by many trainers that all one needs is 3 to 5 go-getters in your downline and you are set for life. So the promise of the big money has held my interest.

    Also, with so much blood, sweat, and tears vested in a venture, it is hard to turn and walk away. Don’t many of us believe that the exclusivity of our beloved product is going to catch on and become the rage of the age? We hope that our positioning will permit us to ride the wave of momentum to ridiculous income levels.

    I believe the fundamental core values of network marketing are both noble and addictive. Once you ‘get’ the concept, it wiggles its way into your mind so deeply that it is hard to root it out. It only gets extracted by a lot of bitterness. That bitterness manifests itself on the internet in the writings of the disgruntled associates that try to poison the minds of the unwary public against network marketing. Were it not for the skepticism and cynicism abounding toward our industry, people would be much more open to the business model and more willing to become involved without old school hype and overselling. Think about those times when you presented to a “virgin” and they were very excited until their close associates shot down their dream.

    Life is a learning adventure and it is no different for network marketing. Sometimes we do hitch our wagon to the wrong horse and need to make a change. One of my former business associates had a tag line I just loved. “People that say it can’t be done should stay out of the way of those that are doing it”.

    Addicted still,
    Tom Doiron

  • I was already in sales when I was first exposed to network marketing. I was immediately attracted and knew it was a fantastic concept, but the product commissions were just too small.

    My sales manager, my girlfriend, and me liked what we saw, but we weren’t interested in working a second job because we knew that NM could not support us like our full-time full commission direct sales jobs.

    So my initial attraction was to the idea of a residual walk-away income, but I just couldn’t figure out how to make the transition smoothly.

    Then I was introduced to a company that had a network marketing compensation plan with long term residual income *and* a primary product that paid a big commission. The kicker was that I found that company by reading about their service, and I was absolutely 100% sold on what they did before I knew anything about the comp plan.

    Most sales people are a little messianic about their product or service. Even things we think are ordinary and not worth getting excited about are being marketed by people who think its the greatest thing since apple pie, whether its paper clips or potato chip bags or some other mundane item.

    Don’t believe me? Just attend a general sales convention. You will be shocked by the number of people making very good money at things most of us take for granted. And the passion with which these same people sell these “ordinary” things is rather extraordinary.

    When I was exposed to the company with the big commissions and residual income, I immediately bought in 100%. I immediately became a crusader. I knew I was part of something that was far bigger than myself, that was about to change the face of what was then the largest industry in the world.

    I was very passionate about what I originally sold as a direct salesperson, but with this new concept I knew that even in the deepest darkest hours that what I was doing was not only good, but right.

    Nonetheless, if the company had said they weren’t going to pay us I wouldn’t have shown up. I was messianic about my product but I wanted to make big money too. In fact I wanted to override an army!

    Thus I joined NM so I could make a difference, and unashamedly make a huge income while making that difference.

    But the foundational reason was so that I could fund the lifestyle I wanted to live and the calling I wanted to follow. My calling is not financially lucrative, so NM has become a way for me to fund that calling w/o compromising my preferred lifestyle.

    In a nutshell, I wanted to be completely financially independent (and I define that as having enough money to maintain your preferred lifestyle without working), so I could do the things in life that I really wanted to do.

    So to slightly paraphrase what Ty said earlier:

    I am an entrepreneur and I’m in business to make a profit. I don’t build Network Marketing because I need a better social life or because I want to find the best products for my personal use. I’m in business to make money while making a difference in the lives of others, provide a great lifestyle for my family (which is a matter of subjective taste from family to family) and to fund the calling that I believe I was placed here on this earth to do, which is where I will make the *ultimate* difference before my time on this earth is finished.


  • Hi Kim,

    Thanks for you comments about my post. I totally agree with you, hence my comment about qualifying why you want ‘the money’ in the first place.

    Thanks for liking my little dream…the next step is a retreat that will encourage the presentation of environmental education, personal and business development…maybe you can come to Australia and be my guest one day? If I can build a room big enough!!

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