Low achiever’s club?

Got an email from an old friend (my first NM hero-19 years ago) today, and I had to pause. Maybe she’s right?

“I wanted to note that most of the comments on your blog I find depressing. It feels like a low achievers club where people go to commiserate with each other as to why they aren’t successful. It must be the industry, their sponsor or just the way it is in NM that they are not successful or not making 100K/year.

“Kim I crossed 50K/ month in 11 months with this chocolate company. Now everyone will say, well that’s you but I started NM as a regular, low confident person at one time too and it took me 4 years of wanting to quit before I made it. And the biggest lesson I learned was that it was not the company, my sponsor, etc. It was within me. If I really wanted it, it was all within me, everything I needed to persevere. I could easily have made excuses for my lack of success and that would have been easier but it would not have been true. I have seen people in the worst circumstances make it and people in the best, not.”

She adds:

“The best part is that today, in this company, I have people also making money so people can stop saying it is just me. I have people making 1000, 3000, 5000, 10000, 20000 and 30000/ month. I would not want them to read the blog because I am afraid they might believe someone’s sorry reason why people can’t make it.” -Your buddy, PaulaP

This is not a good thing.

I will take a break from writing posts here for a bit until I can figure out how to change this perception.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Ms Stud:

    Paula success does not in any way proves that 95% of the new distributors quit or do nothing. Paula is a trainer and she was taught by very succesful distributors in Amway on how to prospect.
    Not all of us have mentors like Paula. When I first started network marketing, nobody told me that I need to learn how to talk to people, how to retail and how to built an organization.
    You are the only in the industry who is willing to tell us the percentage and that it takes more hard work to make it in network marketing.
    I would like to know how many distributor Paula has in her organization and what percentage of those distributors are making that kind of money. Probably the 5% that you keep telling us.


  • There was a network marketing trainer I used to listen to who said “You will NOT be successful unless you come to one of my seminars”. LOL. I quit listening to her and almost immediately my sponsoring started up again.

    I visit this blog when I happen to notice in my reader that there are new posts or comments, however, I am far enough along in my personal growth that I can hear negative now and not let it affect me personally.

    Kim, a lot of people here are not to that point in their lives. A lot of people believe whatever they are told. The industry standard is that 95% aren’t successful, so they feel they will be part of that 95% who aren’t successful.

    I am (and I believe most of your readers are) part of the 5% who will be successful. So let’s move on from here and help people get moving so they can be that 5% that they deserve to be.


    If everyone is focused on not being successful, no one will be.

    Kim, every time I say I’m successful, you admonish me for it because there are different views of success. But…if I feel I’m successful, that’s all that matters, right?? Success for one person may be an extra couple hundred per month and success for others may be $10,000/mo. I’m not saying I’m at the income level I want to be at, however, I am still successful. I am making more than most in NM because I have the belief that it’s possible. You must believe that it’s possible in order to achieve success.

    My husband knows how important belief is. He bought me a hand blown glass piece with Believe written in cursive in hand blown glass. It sits on my desk right where I can see it every day because whatever I believe I can do – I can do.


  • Kim I know before I even write this that I should think about it for a while but I have to say what I feel right now.

    I found NMC through Paula. I have some of her training material and can say she believes in duplication, going out of your comfort zone, and using the FORM for networking. These aren’t bad things if it’s a fit for everyone. It’s not a fit for me so I didn’t gain much from her training. She’s a wonderful network marketing person, with some old school thoughts.

    Kim why are you putting so much into what one person says when you never have before? Do you know how much you are helping your loyal readers? The ones Paula is calling low achievers. Have you given up on us because of one person with 19 years experience telling how her team is successful? Come on Kim, you know most of us are still eager novices. In 19 plus years we will be where Paula and her team are but we need the new school training.

    Do the readers here know that Paula wasn’t as sucessful as she hoped to be for the first 15 months in the business. She is very driven, it’s do or die for her. She wants lots of gangster money and will let this be her motivation. Not everyone doing network marketing seek the same things.

    Please Kim and Paula give us some credit for wanting to learn a new way to do the business. Read our comments and if you feel that depressed about our sorry reasons why we aren’t making it, post your own comment, help us instead of calling NMC the Low Achievers Club.

    Paula now I know more than ever before why I’ve stayed with Kim’s training. Your training isn’t bad, but wasn’t a fit for me.
    Best to you Paula, I know you and your team will have much continued success.

    Robin, not a low achiever. I’m work in progress.

  • Kim
    You take the position in your latest recruiting mp3s to “not try to convert your upline or to explain what you are doing. Just go your own way, without fanfare, and get it done” (paraphrased). That doesn’t sound like loser talk to me. Some of the posts from strugglers probably are depressing, but they are also the reality that the 95% are up against. One thing Paula has going for her is she can create the culture where she is, she’s not fighting an established old school philosophy. Not an excuse for any of us to whine, but the truth is the truth.
    All the best,

  • I have found more people in agreement here with the New School approach and believe we edify each other. The truth doesn’t change that the drop out rate is horrible – mostly because of the hype and “big money” promises made to those who don’t know it takes work. No company makes it without work. It takes a lot to achieve and succeed.

    It seems when big money starts to be made, distributors forget where and how they started. Such a shame. I refuse to tell someone how much I am making for two reasons. For some, my amount is too low (Is that all you make?) – For others, it’s too high (Wow, that’s a lot.). Also, success is not just about the money.

    Paula – Congratulations on your accomplishments. Shame on you for referring to us as a low achievers club. I’m sure some of those in your very own down line could use some of the principles taught here. How many people in your down line are just purchasing the product and not actively working it as a business? How many would “do the business” if they weren’t pushed to find only distributors. I’m equally sure without customers, you would not survive (nor would any of us.) Don’t hold on to “my way or the highway” by not letting your people decide for themselves if this is a good source of information or not. I hope since you and Kim are friends, you took equal time to give some recommendations on how to make the blog better.

    Kim – I know you are extremely busy and will be reducing the amount of post you make to this blog. I think the majority are blessed to reflect and comment here. Please continue the blog (at least weekly).

  • To a large extent I agree with your former mentor, that succeeding in network marketing (or anything else) is “within me”.

    It is within me to consider whether I want to do this or not, with whom and how I want to do it, what sorts of products I can support, and also, what I am willing to put into it (time, energy, learning, money, potential mistakes, etc.)

    Paula’s chocolate products are indeed excellent; someone else gave me some, as a potential customer, though. Their web site also seems less ‘screamy’ than others, so that on the surface it seems like the company must be cognizant of some of the things you have pointed out about the network marketing industry in general. It is wonderful to hear that she is financially successful and has helped others as well.

    To me it’s healthy to have many different companies doing things in many different ways, so that people can select what resonates best with them. Personally, I have not found your blogs negative, just realistic. Rather than tell people not to do network marketing at all, you have helped us to think about what’s involved and what things in our own personalities might help or hinder our success.

    The first company I experienced told me that I didn’t need to understand the comp plan or how anything worked — all I needed to do was recruit. It was impossible for me to do this well when I didn’t understand how to support others. Unfortunately my upline vanished one by one, as they found more lucrative opportunities elsewhere. The big lesson for me was to not blame others, but review my own responsibility for outcome. So, even from a painful outcome, important lessons came.

    The funny thing is, had I met and started learning from you before 2000, I would never have joined that particular company at all. I would have known better what I needed in order to work well and become successful. So I’m saying thank you, and Blog On, Kim, Blog On. You definitely get people participating, even if their dander flies at times too. 🙂

    Just my thoughts,

  • just reading some of the comments from the people who know Paula P., sounds like she is a Red personality to me.

    I am guessing that “no” has no effect on her, the phone weighs nothing, and her skin is thick.

    I too would like to know what percentage of her people succeed in her organization and what percentage are lying on the side of the road.

    She may not be a “red”, but she sure sounds that way….

  • Kim,

    I would like ask you how to add my pic to the site. I saw it one time and can’t find it again…

    and… really, why do you feel that people here are under achievers?? I think people are enjoying learning, conversing and growing. I think your friend has experienced some massive success in a short amount of time and her head is getting big.

    It is very unattractive and doesn’t make me really want to be her neighbor in any manner.

  • Kim,
    Interviewer in 2004: Will Network Marketing ever gain the respect of the traditional business world? If so, how?

    -Your buddy, PaulaP: I think it can but I think companies are going to have to play a larger role in setting the example. Just like traditional business is being brought under the microscope to be more principle driven and ethnically sound, network marketing companies will need to do the same. The companies that last are going to have to lead with integrity and focus on developing people, not just recruiting them in the front door and hoping they grab some product as they fall out the back door. Companies need to focus on leadership development
    At first I thought PP was a true friend of yours, but now I am not sure of the motives behind her email to you. She is an obvious sponsor monster and maybe she thought she could sponsor you.

    I feel, in a way, that our entire community here has been insulted and not just you.

    I would never pick a PP as a mentor. She talks about how important relationships are in this business, but I see a dark heart. She is a user not an edifier. She even suggest that a good mentor has to have been successful in more than one deal, so you know it wasn’t just luck.

    Kim you are one of my mentors. My other is a crusader like you. Interestingly, he doesn’t have to spend as much time boasting of his accomplishments as PP does. He spends a lot of his efforts doing something to improve the PR of our industry.

    Some people are glory grabbers and recognition addicts. Some people are genuine lovers and helpers. Russell taught me years ago that a man can say anything with his mouth, but it’s what he carries in his heart that makes him good or bad.

    Kim you have played the devil’s advocate to many posts on your blog to awaken us to the old school programming we carry with us unwittingly. PP couldn’t be more old school if she wanted to be. Naturally, our threads will be negative to her.


    Tom Doiron

  • I think Paula’s comments were taken the wrong way. The way I read it is that Kim is focusing on the negative, therefore, so are the commenters.

    Let’s all focus on how to help each other be successful instead of focusing on the drop out rate.

    You’ve got to admit the posts as of late have been focusing on the negative side of network marketing and what’s wrong with it. How about we focus on what DOES work, what’s right with it and move forward?

    Just my opinion.


  • The reality is… that overall, NM is a ‘low achiever’s club’.

    Long-term stats show the real deal: most fail… and will continue to fail until this business undergoes a radical transformation – which cannot be done without an open and earnest appraisal of the background, current situation and likely future.

    The recent Godin extracts represent a line of thought alien to NM – where too many people want to preserve the ‘see, hear, speak no evil’ status quo and pretend everything’s hunky-dory – when clearly it’s not.

    Most published NM material is suited to that ‘easy & fast & wonderful’ illusion which runs throughout much of the business.

    Those few of good conscience don’t do that. And instead, deliver something which better addresses the challenges of this business (it’s a lot tougher than many will admit), with a tone of ‘you’ll need to work at this and it’ll take longer than you were told’.

    Although much-needed and highly worthy, it’s so radically out-of-whack with the usual ‘second verse, same as the first’ doing-really-great, keep-it-up masturbatory feelgood nonsense that many folk cannot and will not accept it – and so hence criticize it as negative… which of course it’s not.

    For NM to step out of the crap and genuinely achieve its stated aim of ‘enabling ordinary people to earn extraordinary income’ and thereby become objectively respected requires a very different approach – a pre-requsite of which is ‘tough conversations and confronting the truth – however unwelcome it may be’.

    Much of the currently-pubblished material does NM participants a dis-service, through blowing smoke up their ass, it instills the recipient with a false sense of pride and illusory hope which is soon dispelled by the harsh reality of day-to-day NM.

    In overstating the case for NM, it hinders the efforts of the sensible folk trying to build decent businesses, because ‘the others’ continue to think everything’s a-ok and that those who don’t get it are simply wrong.

    The central function of a leader is to engineer intelligent, spirited conversations that provide the basis for high levels of alignment, collaboration and partnership at all levels throughout an organization and the healthier performance that goes with it.

    Coaching requires us to engage in the ‘dangerous conversation’ – dangerous because the conversation confronts questions that need to be asked and the issues that make even the best of us uncomfortable.

    We respected the other person enough to tell him the truth, and we cared enough about his success to take the risk and to be uncomfortable for his benefit.

    Simply: ‘would you rather I told you it was ok, knowing that it isn’t – or coach you to achieve better?

    It’s a process for which the clip below may be appropriate:


    If it ain’t broke… break it! Unconventional wisdom for the changing world of Network Marketing.

    New times call for new thinking…

    In these rapidly changing times, outmoded ideas can lead you to obsolescence and failure. Today, those wanting to succeed in Network Marketing have to turn the old rules inside out, upside down and backwards – not only to succeed, but to survive!

    Old beliefs, practices and processes which have been shown to be ineffective and often commercially damaging… why do so many in this business cling to their established ways as if their lives depended on them?

    In an era of unprecedented change, the things they refuse to give up will block their path to success.

    [We] describe this business’s most common mis-beliefs and why they should be changed. ‘Sacred cows make the best burgers’ it’s time for a little slaughter.

    Tackling difficult issues, [we] explore the problems and discover solutions… just why the ‘that’s how we do it’ business-as-usual is almost always unsuccessful for many.

    More importantly, ‘don’t be afraid of the dark’ [we] suggest how to explore new & different paths… to step clear of outdated thinking (and assist others to join you), apply adventurous-and-innovative principles & practices to your own enterprise and enjoy profitable advantages.


    But that’s just my view. Any takers?

    And bringing it back to a focus… K, you can choose to be ‘dis-suaded by others, or continue with a path you know is just’.


  • To all you good posters:

    Thanks for the feedback.

    And thanks for the many private emails as well.

    I will ponder how to take the challenge of writing about one of the most difficult professions, made to look easy, to a higher and better level.

    Thank you for your reactions. 🙂

  • Well, Kim, I think it’s an unkind thing your ‘buddy’ did, to make you doubt YOURSELF and what you stand for — the New School methods of network marketing.

    Naturally, followers of new school methods will build their businesses slower than old schoolers because we are focusing on *gaining customers* rather than recruit, recruit, recruit — and leaving many carcasses in our wake.

    Naturally your ‘buddy’, Miss PP, has an aversion to what we say and do on this blog because she is CLEARLY old school, based on her comments. Naturally she doesn’t want any of her ‘people’ to read your blog or our comments because they might start to question HER methods and SLOW DOWN on all the recruiting they’re doing. I can understand that. Even my upline doesn’t want me to run my biz using new school methods because they’re not making as much money off of me. Do I care about that? No, I don’t. This is MY biz and I’m going to run it the way I see fit.

    Maybe you’re feeling kind of low today, Kim, or maybe you’re ‘running on empty’ — because it seems out of character for you to buy into what this ‘NM hero’/friend of yours is saying. And to title this post ‘Low achiever’s club’ as well as tell us that you’re taking a break from writing posts for a while is out of character for you, too.

    Maybe you need a big hug from someone that loves and admires you and can tell you just how much you are appreciated by so MANY people. And maybe you need to take a few days off to regroup your positive energies.

    It is my humble opinion that you need to tell your friend that you both can agree to disagree and that she doesn’t need to rain on your parade or anyone else’s for that matter.

    She needs to keep her put-downs and insults to herself, thank you very much.

    Achiever Karen

  • Hello New Schoolers,

    Low achievers, high achievers, no achievers, no matter; I am proud to be associated with everyone of you. You want to do it right. You want to treat people like they have unique inherant value, not as things.

    It pleased me much to see the rally of responses to this blog. And like Achiever Karen said, we all noticed our teacher was not herself.

    You all are honor students in my book.

    Whose got the apple?
    Tom Doiron

  • Kim,

    I can’t believe you would stop posting on your blog because of ONE PERSON’S perception of how your views were coming across. For God’s sake, that’s one person out of thousands and you think SHE has got it nailed?

    Kim, I’ve been in the business for over ten years. I buy a lot of training materials from everyone because I believe it’s crucial to keep yourself updated with different techniques, strategies and viewpoints. And yes, I’ve purchased most of your stuff and I love it!

    I also, like many others, subscribe to many MLM newsletters and blogs. And I can to tell you NOW that your blog and views is the one I really look forward to daily. The fact is, Paula’s view is shaped by her being a top income earner who has ‘made it’. Her attitude is obviously ‘there are no excuses’ and that’s great that she’s reached that level of thinking. For those of us still climbing the ladder, we NEED your guidance and observations.

    Don’t stop Kim…we need you…EVERY DAY.

    With Respect and Passion,

    Faouzi Daghistani
    Agel Director
    Melbourne, Australia

  • Here’s the irony:

    In this company, I have people making money so people can stop saying it is just me.

    This suggests that, in previous companies, PP had a downline of low achievers. No?

    Walter Reade (from Wisconsin)

    P.S. I’ve been participating on this blog for almost two years. It is my favorite place on the web to meet other wonderful networkers. Period.

  • Kim,

    I understand Paula’s comments. The blog posts can be discouraging. They focus so much on the difficulty of the business that they neglect the benefits of the business.

    I love the New School concepts and would never want you to sugar-coat anything or change what you teach. You bring valuable insight to this industry, and it’s wonderful to have someone “tell it like it is.” But I would like to feel a little encouragement, too. You know . . . tell me how hard it is but then add a “you can do it!” at the end.

    My penny for the pot.

  • Loser club? I think not! Unless, I am the world’s biggest loser: I look forward to this blog and read it daily, and I am not even active in my NM company any more. I don’t come here to look for validation as to why I did not “make it”. I don’t blame my upline, downline, sideline or crossline. My reason for not “making it” is simple: I did not get enough customers to sustain me before my marketing money ran out. I decided to focus on my core non-MLM busniness that I had built over many years, and which helped finance my foray into NM. When I found out about the 95% failure rate, it inspired me, it did not discourage me at all. I was so sure I would be a 5%er! And, maybe I will give it a go again someday, maybe that’s why I come, to know it’s possible. Truth happens in this hype free environment. I come for the intelligent comments and fresh ideas by Roxanne, Tom, Walter and of course Kim herself. Kim, I know it’s hard not to give your respected mentor’s comments your attention, but thank you so much for being different!

  • Ditto to Kathleen’s comments. I don’t blame anyone or anything for the way my business has moved.

    I have said many times I came to NMC because I didn’t know how to do networking marketing and could not find a fit.

    I do understand where Paula was coming from but we are not all trying to be the top dog with our company. Like Paul said, “Some people see the glass half empty, while others see the glass as half full.” So no worrys, we can all do what fits us.

    Short and simple I’m here to stay because we are a group of like minded people.


  • I am soooo happy to hear that all NMCers feel like I do.

    Who IS this Paula woman … or should I ask who does she THINK she is?

    NM has a 95% dropout rate. It was about time somebody (namely Kim) decided to find out WHY. Leaving the ‘dead bodies behind’ is what has given this industry the bad name. It’s about time we find out what to look for and only recruit those “for whom it’s the right thing to be doing now.” The only way to know this is to look at the reasons why people drop out. If that’s Paula’s so called ‘negativity’ then so be it. Before something can be ‘fixed’ the problem has to be addressed.

    You know, Kim, Jesus walked among the so called ‘low achievers.’ Keep up the good work. Although we all know there’s always room for improvement no matter how good we think we are (LOL), keep the blog the way it is … you have loyal followers.


  • In rallying to the defense of Ms. Stud we have turned on PP.

    I’m not a low achiever and have never thought of myself as such. I’ve believed for many years that my choosing to be a Network Marketer meant I was cut from a different cloth.

    I stepped out on belief, faith and a lot of hope that I could make a positive improvement in my life and others through my participation in the NM industry.

    “I will persist until I succeed.”

    I’m sure there are many others who share that motto.

    Kim keep on keeping on.

  • I’m curious how many people here believe that success is completely independent of your sponsor and your company?

    Mark Yarnell has said a similar thing. (“You could parachute me in the middle of a small town in the US with nothing but my underpants and an Amway distributorship, and within 6 months I’d be making $10,000 a month.”)

    I personally don’t believe this, at least for most people.

    If there is one thing that has been pounded into my thick skull by my upline, it is “success comes from having a large group of people doing a few simple things over a long period of time.”

    If you are an expert in network marketing, you might be able to make a lot of money marketing just about anything. But you’ll probably leave a lot of “dead bodies” behind of people who don’t have the polished talent needed to bring people in.

    Through experience, I’ve learned that what works best for me are products that can be easily shared and that the potential customer can decide quickly if the product is right for them. (The healthy chocolate Paula refers to fits into this category, IMO.)

    The more expensive the product, or the more science that has to be explained, or the harder for the customer to see the results, then the harder it is for the average person to market.

    At least that’s my experience.

    Do others disagree?

    Is success independent of the company?

    Walter Reade (from Wisconsin)

    I no longer worry if I stay up late!

  • It’s kinda funny that we keep referring to the 95% failure rate in Network Marketing.

    Traditional Businesses have an equally high failure rate.

    The low-cost entry of most Network marketing companies makes it easier to enter and leave the industry as compare to traditional businesses.

    So 95% of 5 million sounds a lot worse than 95% of a thousand.

    If you’ve only invested a $100 to start a NM business, it’s not a big deal to quit 3 months later: you didn’t invest that much in it to begin with.

    But it’s another story, when you took a second mortgage on your house to finance your Subway franchise. Quitting is simply not an option in that case.

    I for one am glad I stumbled onto your material,Kim.
    I appreciate your sense of humor and no-nonsense attitude.

    There is a movement to restore this industry’s image, and you’re one of its leaders,Kim.
    So, rest if you must,
    but don’t you dare quit!
    You are very much needed.

    One thing though, If Paula doesn’t like our company, why does she even bother having a profile on NMC?

    Thanks for all you do

  • Walter,

    To answer your question:

    I believe success is within me. I won’t be successful or unsuccessful because of anyone else.

    With that being said, it takes TEAMWORK to make it work. I could not have hit the levels I did in my company without my team. They are awesome.

    When I got on stage to accept my award, I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I cried tears of joy and thanked all of my wonderful team members and half of them cried with me.

    The support and belief of my upline also helped. I have three of the most brilliant network marketers in history (in my opinion) in my upline. They believed in me and let me borrow their belief in me until I believed in myself.

    So I guess the answer is a mix of both. Success is in me, however, I didn’t know that at first. My upline believed in me until I believed in myself. That makes a lot of difference.

    In my other companies, I got little to no upline support. It’s totally different when someone tells you often that they believe in you. I give that back to my team. I believe in every one of them and I tell them that often.

    And, being in a company that actually pays me very well to sell my product helps.


  • Wow…lots of great comments! I especially iike what Roxanne and Robin had to say toward the top of the comment list.

    I consider myself a high achiever who was not getting the results I desired before I discovered Kim and her teaching. Now I am totall comfortable in talking with others about what I do and why I do it. If it’s not for them, great! I have found it IS for lots of other folks and I focus on them instead. By not endlessly pursuing those for whom my product or business is not a fit, I find I still have lots of friends and make more every day!

    Kim – I think you are doing us Network Marketers a huge service and I hope you will continue. It is a real gift for someone to be able to teach others a skill in which the teacher is “unconsciously competent.”

    Blog on, sister!


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