Obituary for old school network marketing?

Part I of III parts.


“Start with the end in mind,” says motivational guru Steve Covey in his best seller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It can be the end of your life, or the end of an effort like your network marketing business.

In Network Marketing, the #1 “end” that has always been held out by its promoters has been the money. (Second, “be your own boss.”)

Recruiters everywhere lead with the money or what money can buy – the Gucci belts with the fancy buckles, the shiny cars, and the big mansions on the hill.

Who doesn’t need more money? From God to the panhandlers, everyone is looking for more. So no, it’s not hard to see why everyone responds to the call for money.

But we know from the 95 of every 100 who drop out, that this “end” does not materialize for most folks. And the promise of money doesn’t keep them in.

Now, what about those who stay in? Most of them aren’t making money, either.

What’s their story?

They told me on a conference call last week that they stick because they’ve replaced the old pitched end, money, with an end that’s much more meaningful to them, and which keeps them going even when they’re not making much.

If we knew what kept people in even when they’re not making money yet, wouldn’t that be useful information?

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • In no way being unnecessarily disrespectful… a lot of folk remain in the hope and expectation of money – and just say there’s other reasons.

  • I agree that there is the hope and expectation of money along with some uplines positive, uplifting behavior that makes people feel they are part of a team. People want to be included or part of something that may help fill some voids in their lives.
    Just my 2 cents worth.


  • One may never know what to believe when others are talking.

    However, if you can imagine someone 45-50, who has worked for 20-30 years and kept at it primarily to pay the bills, then it’s quite natural to expect her to want that second life with something where the order is reversed: Something she likes and can get really behind and excited about first, and that pays, second. Versus repeating the previous 20 years where the job’s job was to pay the bills.

    The search for meaning become much more important as people hit middle age and beyond. And I suspect that’s what lies behind the 2/3 of Americans saying they want something of their own, but something they can love first. Money second.

  • Absolutely Kim, I think it’s not only important for middle aged people nowadays (to have something of their own)but younger people even fresh out of school that have that entrepreneur mindset. Network Marketing could be the answer for many people as long as they have a product they love and use and enjoy having their own business. Maybe instead of calling it a business (sounds too corporate) people will adopt a term such as
    “my marketing adventure” or “I am a product referral expert” “Gifter”
    Hmmm,one of these could be the heading for a new blog!

  • “If we knew what kept people in even when they’re not making money yet, wouldn’t that be useful information?”

    Money is part of it. But it’s also “ownership” in a broader sense, or recognition. The promise of those things — or the potential — gets people up in the morning, in my view.

  • Another part of it for me, I am realising, is that I can continue this way beyond the age when, in the old days, I should be “retiring”.

    I’ve been pondering my motivation, and recognise that rebelling against the perceived wisdom that we move out of commercial life at a certain age is a big part of my joining an industry where there is no concept of retirement.

    It is the idea of continuing and increasing income that so attracts me. And knowing that I will have a useful role to play in developing that income for the rest of my natural life, not just what society deems should be my working life, is very attractive.

    We all need to be needed!

  • Yes right on. Another delightful perspective.

    What if you were to start asking for women just like yourself?

  • A lot of times I stick with companies out of loyalty. Not loyalty to the company, loyalty to my enroller. In fact, I have a hard time saying “No” to my friends or people that I respect. The next thing I know, two years later I’m still paying for an autoship that maybe I could live without, but I can’t bring myself to cancel because I don’t want to disappoint my friend.

Leave a Comment