MLM: Art or industry?

Everyone talks about the ‘industry’ (and some the ‘profession’).

How come nobody talks about the “Art” of network marketing?

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About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Kim,

    I can understand ‘profession’ better than ‘industry’. That noun always puzzled me. Never did hear how that name, industry, came to be commonly used.

    As for “The Art of Network Marketing”……that sounds like the title of a painting to me. A skilled craftsman is sometimes referred to as an artisan. However it is more popular with things like weaving or pottery than trades like carpentry or painting.

    My vote would be either profession or art before industry.

    Tom DoironWhere’s my brush,

  • If we call it an “art” many people will automatically think they can’t do it. Like dancing, ainting, etc… It requires special skills. However, most people don’t do an “art” for money.

    I prefer profession because that is what more people need to start treating it as. People looking to make money are looking for a profession, not an “art”.

    This is my profession.

    I am a professional network marketer and proud of it.


  • Ekatarina:

    What of the industry is “duplicatable”?

    Tom –

    I was referring to the distinction of the business or industry versus the art of network marketing. The craft of learning how to talk to people, how to write copy that pulls the right ones, etc.

    Perhaps because people in the business say it’s easy and anyone can do it, there’s no belief that any art or skill needs to be developed.

    Since 95% fail, that might be a wrong assumption.


    Walter – I might write that. It’s a lot harder than people think, judging by the failure rate. Part of the reason I think is that the business is just referred to as an industry or profession where people just “duplicate”. And they all just about drop out. Definitely something wrong with that picture.

    John Rockefeller once said that people skills were the most important of all the skills he sought out in others. I agree. People skills (and sales skills) are definitely an art, and something that can be developed.

    But maybe the industry doesn’t think there’s anything to develop, since it easy and anyone can do it. Hehe.

  • Hi all,

    Maybe it helps to look at a dictionary before taking entrenched stands on what words appropriately apply to network marketing.

    From (results abbreviated by me):


    1. a vocation requiring knowledge of some department of learning or science: the profession of teaching.

    2. any vocation or business.

    3. the body of persons engaged in an occupation or calling: to be respected by the medical profession.

    4. the act of professing; avowal; a declaration, whether true or false: professions of dedication.

    5. the declaration of belief in or acceptance of religion or a faith: the profession of Christianity.


    1. the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

    2. the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an art collection.

    3. a field, genre, or category of art: Dance is an art.

    5. any field using the skills or techniques of art: advertising art; industrial art.

    7. the principles or methods governing any craft or branch of learning: the art of baking; the art of selling.

    8. the craft or trade using these principles or methods.

    9. skill in conducting any human activity: a master at the art of conversation.


    1. the aggregate of manufacturing or technically productive enterprises in a particular field, often named after its principal product: the automobile industry; the steel industry.

    2. any general business activity; commercial enterprise: the Italian tourist industry.

    3. trade or manufacture in general: the rise of industry in Africa.

    5. systematic work or labor.

    6. energetic, devoted activity at any work or task; diligence: Her teacher praised her industry.

    7. the aggregate of work, scholarship, and ancillary activity in a particular field, often named after its principal subject: the Mozart industry.

    From this, it seems “Network Marketing” is an art, profession, AND an industry. It’s probably a lot of other things too.

    The goal of making money from something, does not make that thing a profession. Becoming facile with several arts may be necessary for success in one’s profession, if used in the sense of definition #1.

    “Industry” (#6) in one’s network marketing profession is probably what every business builder hopes to find in his/her downline! 🙂

    Best wishes, everyone,

  • When I hear anyone can do it, I hear anyone who doesn’t have a college degree or some esoteric knowledge like doing brain surgery, or writing codes.
    You don’t have to have a PHD in electronics like the founders of googles to make it in network marketing, or have an IQ of 200, or go to an Ivy League School.
    The top two distributors in my company are:a stay-home mom and a carpet layer.
    The five steps on finding out what is important to a person is duplicatable:Tim Sales’s approach.

  • I someho agree with Kim that MLM is an art as there are many skills that I need to master.

    The question is do anyone has a complete list of what to master and if one learn all the skills, is there anyway to be assured of success

  • Thanks, all. you write: “The question is do anyone has a complete list of what to master and if one learn all the skills, is there anyway to be assured of success”

    1. There’s no way to be assured of success in any business venture. Most people don’t make it in any business of their own, and this is perhaps the hardest, judging by the 95% drop out rate. Or perhaps people are the least prepared for NM.

    2. The way to see what skill sets you need is to GO OUT and try and market your product. See what the bumps are and where you get stuck or stop. Those will be the skills you need to learn. Marketing is getting customers and some reps. Lots of things go into the mix, but going out and doing it online or off, will tell you where you need help.

    Remember it’s all a big experiment. Try stuff, there is nothing that works for someone that is guaranteed to work for you. If we were all so smart, we’d all be making big money.

    So believe nothing. Go DO IT and you will soon discover where you need help. Different for everyone.

    You might not be shy, but maybe you don’t know what to say. The only way is to start doing it…get some customers. Heck, get ONE. OK?

  • Michael:

    And Donald Trump called his first blockbuster, “The Art of the Deal.”

    It really depends on how you look at yourself – as part of an “industry” or “profession” or as a person who has to get really really good at something they do for a living. That assumes of course, there is something to get good “at” – something denied by those who say it’s easy and anyone can do it. Think?

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