Riddle: We sell the money, yes. Big money.

So how come almost no networker you ask can tell you in regular language, in 2-3 sentences max, how someone might earn $500/mo or $1,000/mo?

If you can’t tell someone that without stuttering and using gibberish like “duplication” or empty phrases like “we have a proven system” how in the world do we expect anyone to believe we know how to make BIG money?

This has been a riddle to me for 15 years. In every class where I ask that question How do you make $500/mo? (hundreds to date), everyone stops cold, then there’s soft laughter, and then the guessing starts. “Uh, duplication? Recruiting? Sell product, right?”

Can anyone enlighten me? Shouldn’t every single person selling someone on the idea of making extra income with their business, be able to tell the person in plain and simple English how, exactly, they can make $500 or $1,000/mo?

P.S. $100 challenge: You ask say, any twenty commenters on the ABC post, all frantically trying to sell readers their ‘best opportunity’, and I’ll bet that except for Erin , whom I know knows, not one will be able tell you what you have to do to make $500 or $1,000 per month. Vague language like that above, or “my upline will tell you” doesn’t do it. If you take a job, you know just what to do to earn $500 or whatever it is each month, yes? How come networkers can’t tell anyone that? Prove me wrong! I’ll post responses you get from them.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Anon: Do you have to sell 10 or 20 each month to make your money each month?

    P.S for the $100 challenge, you 1)cannot be anonymous 2) you have to ask at least 20 of the commenters on the ABC post how they make the money in the Challenge, and see if anyone knows.

  • If you want to make $500 a month you must have either 84 dental memberships on the books which cost the consumer $20 a month, or, have 27 deluxe health plans @$60/mo. There is no other monthly requirement except to be a plan member yourself.

    How do you like your dental plan?

  • Easy. I know how to make a set amount with my company.

    Start out 6 business builder’s with the Fast start pack- $500/commission.


    Sell 50 candles


    Host approx. 3 parties


    Set up 2 small- medium fund raisers.

    It always amazes me that people don’t know this stuff.

    Maureen Kellis 🙂

  • Jennifer – it’s clear what needs doing for you. Good. That will help you bring in new reps. Did you ask anyone who posted on the ABC story?

    Maureen: More specific is better. What do you earn on a BB who pays in $500?

    How much does the consumer/whomever pay for the candles?

    How does setting up “2 small- medium fund raisers.” make anyone income? doesn’t someone have to buy stuff to make money? How much?

    You likely know, but no new person to your business will have a clear idea, like me, what needs to happen specifically to earn that money.

  • Kim,
    In a couple of your post (Sept 22 and Sept 24) and in your classes, we had to do the exercise to explain in 3rd grade English how to make $500.00 a month. It was an incredible learning experience for me and not as easy as it first sounded. I personally have it down now using your formula of: The average order is $____/mo. They pay us $XX to $YY on each order. So to earn $500/mo, we need to get X customers (or X customers/reps).

    I have participated in all your contest and challenges to date but will have to pass on this one because (1) I don’t want to get 20 responses from people who don’t really know or can’t explain how they get paid (2) I don’t want them to try to cross recruit me and (3) I was taught to never take a bet or challenge I knew I would loose. I have read most of the ABC 219 responses and believe your $100.00 is safe. I will definitely pass on this one.

    I have a theory in a class that I teach called the “match principle”– “If you light a match and can’t explain your compensation plan before the match goes out – it’s too complicated.”

  • Hey Kim,

    I just wanted to let you know that I also posted a comment to the GMA site. Like Mr. Anon Y. Mous, the only way I think I will be making a consistant $500/month is to sell about 34 breast self exam kits each and every month and that excludes any shipping charges.

    In light of the worldwide awareness about breast cancer and the fact that we had about 5000 people passionate enough about the cause locally to participate in the rain in our ‘Run for the Cure’ yesterday, I’ve still only sold about a dozen units or so. As mentioned in the article, I’m giving more away than anything, hoping that someone might just see them as something good for the employees, family or even their downline. I still have a long way to go to sell 34 units per month, but with it being Breast Cancer Awareness month, maybe I’ll have a bit more success with the CEO’s of the companies I am targeting. If only I could get them to request a unit so they could experience the ‘demo’ as it is a product whereby you can see the potential benefit without any ‘hocus-pocus’.

    Ed MacDonald

  • Hi Kim,
    Here’s the replies I’ve received so far. Most of them have been pretty concise. A few were very wordy.

    Tastefully simple:
    The average sales for a party is $400 to 600 which would give you a profit of $100 to $150. Roughly 26% retail profit. 10% goes to the host for host products. To earn $500 it is suggested to have 4 to 6 parties.

    Wine shop:
    In order to make $500 in this business, you would need to host 7 Wine Tastings (you make an average of $100 a tasting). This will not only create your $500 commission, but will also pay back the cost of start-up. I am being “safe” with this estimate as I often make more than this

    She sent a whole page of info with this at the bottom:
    Basically, it is based on sales, but not only your sales, but the sales of other Arbonne Consultants that you sign up to sell also…their sales become your sales. I strongly urge you to watch the “Sizzle Now” presentation and the “Opportunity Presentation”

    Private Quarters:
    if you are interested in making $500 a month with Private Quarters that would mean about 2 shows, although I have made that in one show if it is a large show. The average new consultant makes about $200 each night, based on an average $800 volume show. It varies, sometimes more, sometimes less and when you have 3 active recruits you go from 20% income to 40% income.

    Discovery Toys:
    1 party/ week! It is that simple! This time of year, an average party
    (in home or catalog show) is about $500 and new consultants make $125 in
    commission! As you build your business, you make more.
    To make $500 a month as a rep you would hold 5-6 tastings a month…about 1 a week.
    Reps earn between 25-29% commission and Team Leaders earn 40%.

    Go Green!
    Get a free sample at:

  • This explains why I got that question submitted to me through my website 🙂 I knew it had something to do with Kim Klaver 🙂

  • Hi Kim,
    I think this is the most confusing reply I’ve received so far:

    Global Success Mentor:

    What you are looking at to make $500 via the comp plan. would be having 4800 BV balanced through your group (this is equivalent to 10 cycles)

    Each time you have 240BV on both sides of your group that would trigger a check

    in order to qualify for $50 checks, you would want to start with a 240BV order $267-$325 package

    additionally you will want to sponsor one active dealer on each side that comes in with a 40BV order

  • I scrolled and just clicked on one, asked “how do I make $1,000 a month with your company?”

    Here’s the reply:

    “We get paid when we refer individuals and they purchase a membership with Financial Destination. The memberships are paid monthly. We are paid every time a member makes their payments (residual).

    If you refer 20 first class members, you will make $3400 upfront and $925 in monthly residuals. $300 of the $925 is a $300 car allowance.

    With the economy the way it is, our company is exploding. People need financial help. It is good to get paid by helping people. Let me know if
    you want to hear my story.”

  • I do believe it’s important to be able to answer this question (of how to make $500 or $100 a month in simple language), BUT, in four years of being in MLM and recruiting via advertising, I have never been asked such a question. In fact, once I have recruited Reps, I ask them how much they want to earn in the short, medium and long term, and rarely can they answer that question. I am ready to answer them, however they can’t even give me a figure to work with!!

    As a side note Cheryl, that repsonse you noted down was a shocker!! Good luck to them…NOT!!

  • Yep, sure would be to someone who hadn’t actually been looking at our business. I didn’t realize this was a question coming from someone who wasn’t already looking at our business model. Now of course I did say I could explain it much easier by phone, and I can.

    When I sent that message I thought for sure that it was coming from someone who was actually already looking at our websites 🙂

    I have explained how this works to people and they have immediately ordered right after we talked and put what I told them into practice.

  • I sent out 21 requests for info last night, and so far have received a variety of answers:

    Body Shop at Home
    You make 25% commission from your sales the very night you do a party! To make $500/month as a new consultant, all it takes is two parties a week…To make more than $500/month without having to do more parties, you simply share your passion for the product by helping other women get started in the business and building yourself a team.

    Purse Party
    When you are a consultant with our company you get paid 30-40% commission and aggressive commissions on your downline. If you have $1500 in sales that would get you $600 for that month, plus if you decide to sponsor and sign people up that is additional income.

    There is no limit to how much you can earn in your Melaleuca business. It’s all up to you-your efforts, your time commitment, your ability to learn and duplicate proven methods, and your dedication to success. The faster you build your business and the more people who join your organization, the more success you will enjoy.

    Discovery Toys
    By doing 1 party/ week. Our average party sales during the fall season
    is $500. A new consultant makes $125 at a $500 show and by doing 4 a month, will make $500/ month…As you build a team, you make more money.

    Tastefully Simple
    Tastefully Simple products basically sells itself….The average sales for a party is $400 to 600 which would give you a profit of $100 to $150. Roughly 26% retail profit. 10% goes to the host for host products. To earn $500 it is suggested to have 4 to 6 parties. BUT I do have to tell you when you have $800 to $1000 parties you can earn more!

    There are many things you can do to make an extra income with this opportunity. Go to and click on presentation. The presentation video is the very best way to explain to you all the benefits of very part time work.

    Financial Destination
    We get paid when we refer individuals and they purchase a membership with Financial Destination. The memberships are paid monthly. We are paid every time a member makes their payments (residual). (Example)If you refer 20 first class members, you will make $3400 upfront and $925 in monthly residuals. $300 of the $925 is a car allowance.

    Private Quarters
    The average new consultant can make $500 per month by holding 3 or more shows. Starting out, you would make @ $200 profit each night, plus there is a bonus check at the end of the period. That is @ %20 profit…but the best way to make more, faster is what I train my team to do…get into leadership and be a Group Leader. So instead of working for 20%, you are working for %40 for the same amount of work.

    A Mentoring for Free rep who didn’t reveal his company
    We get paid fast starts and on volume thats generated for building groups
    With a group of 25 people you could get a minimium of 500.00 per month with a group of
    50 people about 1,000 per month working part-time.

    $500 per month: Distributing 2000 points worth of product (this can be you doing it alone or have some helpers) for the month earns approx $320 bonus fee + approx $200 for the difference between your purchase and selling price of the products.
    $1000 per month: Distribute 3000 points worth of product (yours alone or recruit some helpers) for approx $720 + approx $300 difference between your purchase and selling price of the products.

    So far, the Shaklee reply was closest to what I was hoping for. Now all I have to do is find out is how many points their products are worth.


  • Hi Kim,

    It is great that you are asking us these questions that we don’t usually have to answer. Again like Sheri said we usually ask our prospect what they want to make and then we show them the way. We do use that it’s a system and need to get down to the nuts and bolts with the $ so that the new people understand how to get there. I now can answer that question and I am ready for it. Thanks for putting us up for this challenge. Would love to get some more tests like this one to make us better at what we do.

  • How do you make $500/month?
    That’s a simple question. 25
    customers = $500/month 50
    customers = $1000/month minimum.

  • If one customer buys one case of our E3 energy drink, I make 14.70. If 10 customers spend that same $80 on whatever they want, you would make 147.00; 100 customers earn you $1470.00. Does that sound like something you could get excited about?

  • In Fortune Hi Tech Marketing:

    $500: 5 new reps in downline with 3 points each
    (1 point=any product or service from brand name companies, i.e. dish network,AT&T,Verizon,Travelocity,etc).

    $1000:6 new reps in downline with 3 Points each.

  • Although I have read all the comments on the “How to Make $500,” this is my first comment.

    Kim, at the risk of sounding like a complete ‘know-it-all-twit’ every single compensation plan I’ve seen or heard is complicated. PVs, BP, etc., etc., (the first time I saw the compensation plan from the first NM company I joined, I went home with a headache). I think most companies make the comp plans complicated so we ‘think’ the respective NM companies are paying us when, in fact, we’re direct selling (so to speak) which is OK if you’re in to retailing.

    Retailing is the money that we’re making on our own (the money WE’RE making for the company), and so many of us confuse the retail part with the residual part (what our respective companies ‘pay’ us to promote their products).

    Could your simple equation be misleading to a newbie? I only have ‘studied’ the comp plans of five different NM companies, all of which have prerequisites for ‘receiving bonuses’ … like initial kits, or minimum group volume, etc., etc., before you get paid the bonus. Are there companies out there with no prerequisites to receive bonuses?

    In my humble opinion, nothing is simple, thus the confusion.

    For example, Craig says, it’s simple, 50 customers = $500 and 100 customers = $1,000. So, if I were a ‘newbie’ I’m thinking, so, I don’t have to spend any money and I ‘just have to’ go get customers. What is the ‘start up’ cost of your company? How much do these customers have to spend for you to make this money and how much do you have to spend to get paid the bonus? Is this residual or is it retail?

    WITHOUT retail … just compensation from finding customers, in my company the equation goes as follows:

    The minimum order is $50.
    They pay us from $3.57 to $12.87 on each order.
    So to earn $500/mo we need to get 39 customers. (If you’re at the $12,87 level).

    What I’m leaving out here are the prerequisites to get to the $12.87 level.

    Of the 5 compensation plans I studied before deciding to go with FLP (whose plan was the least confusing to me), they all had prerequisites, and minimum group volumes.

    My question … is there really a NM company out there with a simple ‘all you have to do’ plan or are we misleading the newbies with this simple equation?


  • First of all, why just $500/$1000 a month. Why not make some serious money, i.e. TEAM NATIONAL!! IMD’s sell benefits packages, (standard package=1 points & premium package=3 points). Everytime you get 10 points on each side the company will send you a check for $1500, which can happen as often as weekly. The best part is points go down and not wide, which is good for the the entire organization.

  • Hi Kim,
    I sent 20 requests with your question and have received different answers:

    Jockey Person to Person
    Please check out the website, it can explain it, far better than I…

    Mary Kay
    …to make $1000 amonth, you would need to sell $250 in product per week, this is easy, you’ll be making more than that. It just depends on your efforts…

    Delivering on the Promise
    …this totally depend on how many new customers you sign up for health care benefits, a much much needed service.
    These have been very good , keep in mind though, these are not get rich quick schemes, you’ll only get out of them what you put in. Having your own business is work, there’s no one to tell you what to do, your success totally depends on how much work you are willing to do…

    Apple Patch Diet
    …I got my self inshape for my new careers with (Apple Patch Diet)
    another great product…

    ITV Ventures
    …There are 16 different ways people can get paid and those who do the work are being successful. One of the unique ways people are earning $500/mo to $1,000/mo is by taking orders from live incoming calls generated by televsion infomercials for natural products that positively impact people.
    Earnings are made both on the initial sale and on repeat purchases of the consumable products. In addition the business owner receives commissions on the sales of others in their organization who are also taking orders from incoming call from the winning infomercials…

    Unknown company
    Very simple….spend a little time each day doing something. Talk to 3 people about your company and things will happen.

    Melaleuca manufactures quality products, sells them at reasonable prices, and gives customers the opportunity to share in the profits. There is no limit to how much you can earn in your Melaleuca business. It’s all up to you-your efforts, your time commitment, your ability to learn and duplicate proven methods, and your dedication to success. The faster you build your business and the more people who join your organization, the more success you will enjoy.

    Gano Excel
    …When people duplicate the goal of $500 to $1000 is very doable. We have many members of our team (with no Network Marketing experience) that have done this in their first or second month. Does everybody…. Of course not…

    Financial Destination
    If you refer 20 1st class members to our company, you will earn $3400 up front and $925 in monthly residuals which includes a $300 monthly CAR Allowance…

    Tastefully Simple
    …There are 3 ways you can make $500 to $1000 a month: Party sales, reorders and leadership.
    The average sales for a party is $400 to 600 which would give you a profit of $100 to $150. Roughly 26% retail profit. 10% goes to the host for host products. To earn $500 it is suggested to have 4 to 6 parties. BUT I do have to tell you when you have $800 to $1000 parties you can earn more! …

    National Capital Wellness
    In our company we make money two ways, on personal customers and an over ride on the sales of business builders who build a sales team. On customers, we earn $25-41 for every $100 worth of product sold. On the sales of the team we earn $2-18 for every $100 sold. So to make $500 sell $1200-2000 personally. To make $500 on the sales of your team, at 2% they would have to do $25000 and at 18% they would have to do $3000.

  • Kim,
    I am NEW here to your site because I was a VICTIM of your $100 challenge. I genuinely love what I sell and how I can do it at home taking care of my young children. I think your site has a lot of useful, ethical ways to do business and I enjoyed your latest manifesto. I’ve always been a genuine person and I’ve always done this business by just being myself, so some of your thoughts aren’t really that new to me. I think this challenge was “unethical”, however. I believe it’s deceptive to encourage your fellow readers to “pretend” to be a lead to see what kind of response they get. For busy stay-at-home Moms like me, I think it’s just plain mean to encourage people to waste our time with a false lead. I get really excited when someone asks me about my business and I love to talk about it. My email response was wordy because of this, not because I can’t explain my compensation plan. It comes from my heart. I really do like your site and I like your business values, but I really think you need to re-evaluate challenges like this one. I felt your reader accused me of being deceptive because I didn’t answer in one sentence that said “do this, make this”. Anyone in Direct Sales knows it’s not that simple, and wouldn’t giving a simple answer that doesn’t explain much to a new recruit be deceptive?

  • Vernetta:

    the point of this exercise is that many NWM have been duped into the BIG MONEY $$$$$ and can’t even answer the simple question :How do you make $500 per month residual income with your company?

    As for your critique of my previous post I am not misleading anyone nor is my company. Our start-up cost is a one-time $39.95
    fee for your website, e-mail,and initial training kit to get you started. With the quick-start training from our group you can make sales the day you sign-up. The beauty of NWM is that you don’t need alot of money to get started. In traditional business you buy a product at wholesale and sell it for retail. In NWM you can sell product(s) or services and make money right out of the gate. If your company has expensive enroller fees or some sort of ” Big Bannana” package in order to get started then you may want to look for another company.

    To Your Success

  • Interesting, after all the comments on this post, I feel I stepped up to the challenge, yet my previous post seems to be ignored, why? There is no hype or complexity to it, but all the focus is on the comments that are hypish or complex or imcomplete. Have we as networkers become so skeptical of our own industry, that a straight forward answer is an anomaly, therefore discarded? For a mathematical question to be posed, why is there so much prose and little numbers?

  • Hernando, you explained it better than many were able to – perhaps that's why your post seemed to be ignored.

    Having said that, would you get paid without having to do anything else? With many companies you have to do a certain dollar amount (personal use) before you get paid. Are there any monthly charges for websites etc.?

    Nearly everyone has attempted to provide an answer based on the profit from product/services they sell. What about the commission/compensation from other people in your downline?

    The true value of network marketing is the $'s you make from other people doing the same (or better) than you. This "leverage" is the exciting part of the business! Is anyone really going to get excited about making a few percent profit from each sale?

    If we want to be taken seriously as a "real" business we have to act like real business people. What's our total outgoings each month – website, brochures, product bought to keep our PV where it needs to be to earn a check etc. What value do you put on your time? i.e. how many hours of work does it take to make the $500 a month? What needs to happen? If the plan is to make $100,000 a year, you need to know exactly what this looks like: x $'s of product sold, x in downline doing x $'s etc.

    Good luck to everyone!

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