fail in network marketing imageI was on the phone with a prospect one day, when he spurted out, “I read online that most people fail in Network Marketing, what chance do I have?”

The good news for this guy is that he was doing his homework — in fact, it's been estimated that as many as 95% of Network Marketers don't make significant money in MLM and quit.

The sad news is that he has no idea why this is true and why, based on his initial question, he's unlikely to be part of the 5% that succeed.

Welcome to Truthful Thursdays!

Every Thursday, I take on one supposed “truth” in Network Marketing, strip it down and expose it for what it really is.  Some are misunderstood “half truths”;  others are downright lies.  If you have a “Network Marketing” truth you want me to discuss, give me a shout out!

 “Most People Fail in Network Marketing” — The Real Truth

I'm always a bit surprised when people are shocked by the realization that most people fail in Network Marketing.  Of course they do!

The reality is that most people fail in anything that is difficult in life.

Consider these examples:

  • A very small percentage of college baseball players ever make it to the major leagues
  • Most medical students never become doctors
  • Most pre-law majors never see the inside of a courtroom (at least as a lawyer!)
  • Most owners of brick and mortar businesses fail within 3-5 years
  • Very few have ever reached the summit of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.


Because it's hard!

That's one of my biggest beefs with some Network Marketers.  They lead their prospects to believe that MLM is easy and anyone can do it.

Not true.

Is it impossible to become a top earner in MLM and change your life in incredible ways?

Obviously not.   Others have done it.

But it's hard and requires consistent effort, strong dedication and an intense desire to succeed no matter what.

Does this mean you shouldn't try?  Of course not.

But it means you should go into it with eyes wide open.

My Top 5 Reasons Why Most People Fail in Network Marketing

1.  Unrealistic Expectations

Most people start their Network Marketing business based on emotion and are totally unprepared to face the facts.

They're excited to change their life for the better, but are blindsided by the amount of time, effort and skills it will take for them to succeed in MLM.

When the results aren't what they expect, they feel disillusioned, get discouraged and quit.

2.  Failure to Understand the True Product They're Selling

Most people make a huge deal about finding just the right MLM with the best products that everyone will want.

Of course, you do want to represent an MLM company whose products are top quality and in demand, but that's not really the point. Nor does having the best comp plan around factor into your success at the end of the day.

That's because YOU are the product, not your MLM.

There's an old saying in business…. “People buy YOU, not your product.”

Most people never get this distinction… these same people fail in Network Marketing and become a statistic.

3.  Failure to Develop a Business Mentality

I've heard top earners in MLM tell their team, “Stop treating your business like a hobby.”

The problem is, most people don't know how to do this.  They don't know what's required to run a business.

They don't know about developing a strong business plan, an effective marketing strategy, or how to hire the right outsourcer.

You don't need to be a business whiz kid to succeed in MLM, but you do need to know the basics.

Most people don't and it contributes to their failure.

4.  Unwilling/Unable to Invest in Their Business

I believe that most new Network Marketers have no clue how much money they'll need to invest in their business to truly succeed.

Most think that simply by paying a small start up cost and their monthly autoships or membership costs that the profits will start rolling in.

What they don't understand is that there are other costs involved — MANY costs — and they will need to invest in their business if they want to succeed.  And at the top of this list is investing in YOURSELF (remember, YOU are your product!).

Here, business sense comes into play again.  No business owner in their right mind would believe that your first investment in your business is your last.  In fact, most small business owners don't come into profit for at least the first 2 years of their enterprise (if not more).

For some reason, most Network Marketers seem surprised at this concept and quit when they find out that more money will be needed.

5.  Most People are Lazy

Think this is a bold statement?  I don't.

In fact, I believe that most of us are lazy to some extent.  Most of us would take the easy way out if we're given the option.

Look at how many millions of people play the lottery each day.  That's millions, folks!

Why?  Because they're looking for easy money.

An easy way out of their present circumstances.

And Network Marketers are no different.

They're lazy, looking for some easy money and don't like it when they realize that hard work is required.

They quit, and blame the industry.

Now It's Your Turn

These are my top reasons why most people fail in Network Marketing, but there are dozens more if you think about it.

Let's add to the list — leave a COMMENT and contribute to the discussion.

    77 replies to "“Most People Fail in Network Marketing!” | Truthful Thursdays"

    • Steph

      Honestly I get weary of people trying to sell me on some new MLM business. Not because I don’t think it’s profitable of course I do…but a lot of people wanting to build a “team” just want someone to pay in. They don’t care about the health of their team or whether or not the individuals are the right kind of people to go around hustling to make sales and new conversions.

      • Bob Clarke

        Good point Steph. Too many are desperate to have someone join their team; they don’t stop to consider anything else.

    • JosephJYoung

      Hi Bob,
      I know it has been a little time since you wrote this but am fixing to address the same issue in a similar way. Oliver touched on it as well as you. I am definitely convinced there is a need for a Network Marketing prerequisite that conditions people for the industry, more on that later.

      THarv Eker said it like this, “What is within creates what is without.” If mediocrity is within, how can anyone expect anything but that even when “that” joins network marketing?


      • Bob

        Sounds interesting, Joe… keep me updated, would love to see what you have up your sleeve!


    • Kayla

      Hm, I’m surprised as well that most people fail at network marketing- have they ever looked up network marketing blogs? There are a million of them! Doesn’t mean people shouldn’t start their own or think they don’t have a chance, but realistically the odds are they’re going to fail- ALL the online network marketing blogs can’t succeed! Even if the market wasn’t over saturated it still seems like it wouldn’t be the easiest thing to be successful at. Just from the blogs I’ve read it seems like it’s a LOT of work.

    • Terry

      Good day to be excellent
      I am an affiliate for maybe 20 products. Over 3 months or more I have not sold anything. I have an auto blogger that is called push button cash site and it has not made a dime. I really do not know what to do next. I am jobless and cannot buy links or any more programs that claim this or that. I have tried several other things that claim instant income and all I got was an email account ful of garbage.
      Crazy game this is. Click Bank as well has been futile, passe website?
      ANyway, peace.

      • Bob

        I can feel your frustration, Terry… the truth is that nothing is fast and simple and nothing will result in push button cash. It’s a process, just like anything else in life.

        My advice is to keep learning, move forward consistently and be persistent in your efforts. If affiliate marketing is not working then you need to ask why. Are you building a relationship with the people on your site, or are you just trying to monetize them? If its the latter, you won’t see much success in my experience.

        People have many options to buy nowadays… you need to become a trusted confidante if you expect the sales.

        Just my 2 cents, Terry. Keep us posted on your progress!

    • Mark

      I really like your examples of others that fail… I’ve never used the example of a professional athlete… it’s perfect! I will definitely use that in the future.

      • Bob

        Glad you found these examples useful.

    • Roy Valance

      Hi Bob. The five reasons you provided why people fail at network marketing is dead on in my opinion.
      Before starting my current side business, I invested significant time and money into a network marketing venture.

      During that experience I observed everything you mention that impedes marketers from becoming successful. Unfortunately, many individuals are enticed into this business by the false perception that they will “get rich quick” while putting in minimal effort in their spare time. As you point out, this could not be farther from the truth.

      It also bears mentioning that, as others have pointed out, some of the programs that people join prey upon this perception and take advantage of members. I saw this first hand where the organization promised the stars to new marketers, but offered very little in the way of support after getting their money.

      At any rate, I enjoy your blog and look forward to reading your future posts!

      • Bob

        Hi Roy,

        I have found many so called “gurus” who prey upon the get rich quick mentality of others, just to pad their own pocket. It’s sad but true. And the people who are looking for a quick buck or shortcuts to riches are just as much to blame. I find it hard to feel sorry for them, but it still is hard to watch.

        Thanks for the comment, Roy.

        Tell us more about your side business…. what is it?

    • Kevin Marshall

      This is a great post.

      MLM business, like any business, is all about relationships. The person that knows the most people has the most success in MLM.

      Most people get swept up in MLM because they are sold on the idea of passive income and recruiting other people under you. They see the success stories of people who are making six figures while sipping a pina colada on the beach. The truth is that the people who do that figured out how to run a successful business that could be outsourced as it grew.

      Most people are gullable and will believe anything that comes with a good sales pitch.

      MLM is similar to most businesses in that it takes awhile for it to make a good income on autopilot. If you are willing to work hard for a little while, you will have success with MLM.

    • Rico

      These reasons apply for any entrepreneurial venture, not just MLM. The reason #1 is a problem is largely because of the initial presentation. Since people are lazy they like things quick, fast, and easy, as a result that’s how the MLM/entrepreneurial world is depicted. The average person who is attracted to it, enters with the “lottery mentality.” They think that winning the lottery is the only way they’ll ever get rich and they approach the venture with the same work ethic. A part of me is frustrated because I’ve dealt with the same hurdles, and a part of me is excited because it’s relatively easy to rise to the top five percent after a lot of persistence.

      • Bob

        I agree Rico… when you present your opportunity as “easy” you tend to attract those that are looking for easy and quick money.

        Congrats on having the fortitude and persistence to move forward even through your frustration. You’re right – most give up, so moving up can go quickly if you continue!

        Continue on, Rico!

    • Mavis Nong

      Hey Dr Clarke,

      Truthful Thursdays! I love that – let’s bring the truth to the table 🙂

      The other reason that I can think of is that people give up very quickly and fail to follow through their goals.

      Yes, network marketing is hard. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right? Hard work, persistence, determination and hunger for success are all what it takes.

      Thanks for sharing your insights.

      All the best,

      • Bob

        True enough, Mavis… people do quit rather easily in general, possibly even more so in MLM or home businesses.

        Why? I don’t know, except that it may be related to overzealous sponsors telling prospects how EASY it will be. Hmmmm… setting them up for a reality check, maybe?

        Thanks for the insights, Mavis… appreciate you taking the time to comment!

    • I am quit surprise with your post. So is that true that most people fail in network marketing? If that is the case your tips will be served as kind of challenge to those network marketers. And maybe it is also helpful for them if you can contribute ideas about what actions to do in order to succeed in doing online business.

      • Bob

        Hi Julius,

        The fact that most people fail in MLM is not surprising, as this is true with many other business models. To succeed, one needs to find a product they are passionate about, find a sponsor who will show them the way, and then work their butt off until success comes their way. It’s not a difficult or complicated recipe, but it does take time and hard work. Unfortunately, that’s not something that many marketer want to hear.

        • Hi bob! Thanks for adding me in your post!! Yeah!that’s true sometimes other marketers are lack of patience, it seems that they wanted instant success. And, all indeed like that.he3..Nice sharing of ideas with you bob.

    • Rowena Bolo

      Hi Bob,

      I am just so glad to finally write my comment here. I loved this post and I share it on twitter, FB, but I sadly wasn’t able to leave a comment . Alright, glad to be here now 🙂

      The five reasons you listed are without question the major reasons why most people fail in network marketing. I did an old post where I mentioned top 3 reasons why most entrepreneurs fail, and this is entrepreneurship in general. But I believe that these reasons are very much applicable to network marketing. First, people live in the past. Second, people have low self-esteem. Three, people don’t listen to people who have the lives that they desire.

      Now, I got to read Janet’s comment, and I must say that the facts she presented is so enlightening. It is powerful that she showed those stats! I would like to also 100% agree with her, that one major reason people fail is because they’re not coachable. Most people who try network marketing are coming from corporate , with employee mindset. There are lots of new things to learn, and especially new programming has to be done, that only coachable people are willing to acknowledge.

      Thank you Bob. I learned a lot from this post.


      • Bob

        Hi Rowena, thanks for sharing this post!

        I truly believe that the reasons I gave in this article for why people feel in NM are truly applicable to all business ventures. And I also agree with Janet — being coachable is so important to finding success sooner rather than later and you now how we all are — we want success ASAP!

        It’s interesting that you bring up the employee and entrepreneurial mindset shift. It’s a tough one to make but one that must be done if you want to succeed in your own business. Otherwise, you are stuck in the mentality of trading time for dollars and looking for others to make crucial decisions.

        Thanks so much for visiting again, Rowena. Wonderful to see you here again!

    • Dennis Edell

      Thanks Bob, I appreciator that. 😉

      • Bob

        No problem, Dennis!

    • Jon R. Patrick

      Nice post – tell it like it is. So many people, even with the best of intentions, still have a ‘get rich quick’ mentality.
      As is oft said, people don’t come into MLM with the skills and mentality to succeed – like any new career there’s a learning curve – and far too often people give up without taking it seriously.

      • Bob

        Hi Jon,
        You’re so right — NM IS a career, and like any other career you need to develop certain skills and mindsets to succeed. I wish more people understood this concept.

        Appreciate your insights, Jon!

    • I agree wholeheartedly. It always puzzles me why some of the simplest things are so hard for people. Many sign up and expect things to happen by osmosis. I have been with my company for 14 years. I have seen many come in and fall out because of inactivity. They are missing so much. I have even seen distributors fall out when they had decent sized downlines.

      Having a good sponsor or upline surely helps but you can build a business without that. People must remember that YOU are the CEO of your own business. When I got started in my company, we didn’t have nice glossy brochures. We had photocopies that had been copied and recopied to the point they were barely readable. I redid all of the marketing materials for my team so we would have more professional flyers and other tools. Today we have all kinds of fancy tools.

      If I had waited for the ideal conditions or my upline to take care of it, I would not have the freedom I have today.

      That good upline one always gets me riled up. I have had many call me and interview me to see if I would be good enough upline. Every one of those people who grilled me are gone. Not one ever did a thing. One woman called me recently and wanted to know if I would be building under her so she wouldn’t have to work. She actually asked me that.

      Sorry. I guess I am venting a bit. 😉

      • Bob

        Hi Melodie,

        Great rant! I love it!
        I love it when people interview you to see if you’re “worthy” of being their upline. Really? I’ve now turned it around and no longer take those calls. Rather, I screen people to see if they’re worthy of being on my team.
        It’s such a powerful transformation and very rewarding.

        Some say its being arrogant. I disagree. Like you, I have seen so many cases of people who never do anything, and honestly they cost me far more than any money I make on their joining upfront.
        I’ve come to understand just how valuable my time is!

        Thanks for your great insights, Melodie. Wow — 14 years! I bet you have some other really great stories!

        Appreciate the comment.

    • Theuns

      Hi Bob

      Great Great post I fully agree with you ,

      I one did more or less the same post

      One thing people dont tell there new Down line
      is that you will get more No’s than Yes’s in the MLM
      road to Success, i think a question a person must ask
      a new person is , :”Are you willing to get more no’s than yes
      answers from people and how many no’s will you take before
      you Quite ?” if it is less than 100 then you can tell him it is not for you.

      Do you agree on this one ?


    • Hollie

      Interesting article and I like the title of it 🙂 I think you’re right about individuals not “doing their homework”. It’s easy to get caught up in our own individual lives to think about how exactly successful people got to where they did and what they did to get there. I love your honesty in this article and we do get lazy!!

    • Heilagr

      I think you hit the nail right on the head. Network marketing is difficult and virtually every network marketer who’s tried to convince me to join his system has told me that it was easy. Being an early member of Amway, well early as in 1990, I found out pretty quick that network marketing was not for me at that point in my life.

      I was young, insecure, and didn’t even really know what I wanted to do with my life yet. And I found myself overwhelmed by what it took to succeed in Amway. I never made that mistake again. In fact the experience sort of soured me on network marketing.

      In my opinion if you’re the type of person who will succeed as a car salesman then you have at least a decent chance of succeeding with network marketing. If you’re like me a blogger than any network marketing program that you get into that requires you to interact with people may not be the best thing for you. You can do it online hey that’s great. But back in the 90s when I was approached by Amway the Internet as we know it today did not even exist.

      The reason I commented on this article is because the same things you mentioned that will help you succeed in network marketing will help you succeed in blogging. Persistence, determination, and tenacity. You’re also the face rejection is a blogger. I faced a huge rejection from a reader about a month ago who wanted to trash me over my standpoint against digital piracy. I will repeat what the person said to me here but let’s just say it was pretty difficult to swallow for someone who’s done his best to create a free e-books section as an alternative to e-book piracy.

      • Bob

        Hi Hellagr,

        You bring up so many great points:
        1. You may not be ready to try NM depending on your life stage.
        2. Previous selling experience certainly helps.
        3. Failure on NM and failure in blogging (and probably any home business) have similar roots
        4. Fear of rejection is prevalent among all, and can stop you cold if you let it.

        Wow, these are all great insights, Hellagr. Thanks for the great comment!

    • Linda Thomas

      Hi Bob,
      I see this is a popular post! I think that the biggest reason most people fail in network marketing is because they do not understand what they need to do, and in most cases do not have the training that they need. I have noticed that many people just are not motivated. I cannot understand that one, but I talk with tons of people that just have no ambition. And if they even think that it is anything about sales, forget it–they are not into selling.
      I think that even those with a great attitude can get overwhelmed with figuring out a process and then overcoming the fear to fully utilize their process. Out of 100 people that you talk to, and possibly recruit, only one of them will develop into a leader.
      Look for the Entrepreneurs, and fly like an eagle!

      • Bob

        Hi Linda,

        Lack of ambition, lack of training, and overwhelm — all great additions to our list of things that cause NM newbies to fail.
        This is turning into one incredibly comprehensive list!

        Thanks for your insights, Linda. Appreciate the comment!

    • Rick Lelchuk


      Great post. Your points are right on target.

      The one the rings the loudest for me is not treating you business like a business. You can’t make it in the big time without a rock solid business plan and execution.

      I think to tie the whole thing together you need to add persistence, dogged determination and tenacity. Networkers are going to get hammered, rejected, overwhelmed and dejected. It’s natural in any business. Those who bounce back time and time again are the ones who have a chance a success.

      Best regards,

      • Bob

        I love it Rick…. “Networkers are going to get hammered, rejected, overwhelmed and dejected.”

        Doesn’t sound as easy as most sponsors make it sound, right? I think your additions to the list are absolutely spot on.

        Thanks for your insights, Rick!

    • Dennis Edell

      “Having a great mentor or sponsor does help for sure, Dennis. But most will fail even with the right guidance, because it’s too much work.”

      True enough Bob. Truthfully speaking though, the largest reason I do what I do now is due to lousy to non-existent company training.

      • Bob

        That’s fair, Dennis… training can vary from excellent to mediocre to non-existant. I’ve experienced all 3, unfortunately.

        You provide a great resource for your readers, Dennis. I admire what you do!

    • Kristina L.

      Hey, dr Bob,
      I so enjoy seeing your posts, as I always know they are different than the ones from the other blogs….they are somehow more concrete, and they, as you say, strip down the truth and reveal it…in its full glory. I think people are most likely to fail in network marketing because they have unrealistic expectations about it…as it gets time consuming, many give up and retreat in front of the obstacles. Also, when you have high expectations right from the start, you get dissapointed more quickly when you notice things are not becoming better over night, ast they require dedication and persistance.

      • Bob

        Hi Kristina, great to see you here again!

        You’re right — unrealistic expectations is a huge reason why many quit. I think the blame here is partly on the new distributor and partly on the sponsor, who all makes it sound so easy. It’s a recipe for disaster.

        Thanks for your insightful comment, Kristina!

    • Janet

      Bob, aloha. Yes, it amazes me that people are surprised by that failure rate when it makes perfect sense if you (1) look at people and (2) look at business history. Here are a few more statistics for you.

      1. Real Estate Agents (independent contractor salespersons): They spend about $1,000 to go to school. They spend $250-500 to get their license. 60% drop out without ever selling a house. Easy research here, talk to anyone in the real estate business!

      2. Life Insurance Agents (independent contractor salespersons): Spend several months in on-the-job training, and in many states have to take an exam. 60% or more only sell one life insurance policy, and that is to themselves.

      3. Mortgage Loan Officers (often independent contractor salespersons): Three mortgage brokers that employ these loan officers told me that after months of study, on the job training and taking the test, that my 60% drop out comparison is too low. They said 70-80%.

      4. Door to door sales agents (independent contractor salespersons): A friend of mine ran a Kirby vacuum sales crew. The drop out rate was 90% in the first two weeks after training.

      5. Car Salespersons: No obscure research here, 80-90% of new salespersons here drop out. Call your local car dealer!

      In just about any direct contact sales field 60% – 70% drop out. You know what’s interesting about that, Bob? Just about the same number of people drop out of college in their freshman year (after spending $5-10K of mom and dad’s money)! A friend of afriend of mine sent his daughter to medical transcription school for $2500 and 3 months of her life. She transcribed 10 tapes and quit. ”

      Here are the 4 reasons I believe people fail in our industry:

      1. They choose the wrong company. Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how many times you run around the decks of the Titanic.; the ship’s going down and you’re going with it.

      2. They either aren’t coachable or they don’t have access to a coach.

      3. They’re inconsistent or they don’t treat their business like a business. A NWM business can be built full time or part time, however, it canNOT be built Some time.

      4. They Quit. No Activity = No Results.

      Bob, best wishes to you and Rosemary for a wonderful weekend. Aloha. Janet

      • Bob

        What a great comment, Janet!

        I totally agree with your college analogy. The drop out rate the first year is huge. But being a Dad with a college freshman, I think its worse to have your kid change majors every other year… that can run into a lot more money. Let’s hope my daughter sticks to her original interests!

        I also agree with your 4 reasons people fail in NM. They are all valid, although I like #2 best. Some people just aren’t coachable — they think they know it all. I find this prevalent among working professionals, who are used to running things and not asking for help.

        Thanks for your insights, Janet!

    • Siddarth Rajsekar

      Nice post Bob. You really covered all the reasons why people fail in this business. Kudos and keep posting! Thanks for the value.. 😉

      • Bob

        Glad you enjoyed the post, Siddarth!

    • Lynn Jones

      Hi Bob, These are excellent reasons why people fail in Network Marketing. I might add that most of those people don’t actually fail, they quit before they have had a chance to fail.
      One thing I want to also add as a reason for not making it in this Industry is not having the Power of a Master Mind team. There is so much more power and potential in using the brains of many than in just your one brain. Others encourage, inspire and help you develop your plan for achieving our success.
      I love this article and I look forward to more from you.

      • Bob

        Hi Lynn!

        Someone once said (I forget who): The only way you can fail is not to try in the first place. Maybe that also applies to quitting.

        I love mastermind groups! I have been part of masterminds for years now and they always amaze me. You get help and feedback and meet some amazing people in the process. This is an excellent insight, Lynn.

        Thanks for your comment.

    • Natasha

      Even though “Truthful Thursdays” does have a nice ring to it, I really like coming to your blog because all of your entries seem to be very truthful and insightful about the world of marketing. It is refreshing to see someone who lays everything out there without sugarcoating everything – so thank you for that!

      • Bob

        Hi Natasha,

        Thanks for your kind words… I am so glad that you find our blog posts useful.

        I’ve always found it’s best to be honest… people respond well to it and it is the first step towards trust.

        Appreciate the comment, Natasha!

    • Adrienne

      I agree with everyone Bob, you nailed this. I was thinking of writing a post on this same subject because I get so tired of hearing people’s objections. I’ve already got the headline written. 🙂

      No one will ever succeed in life without having the right attitude. That’s the most important first step. Working on yourself will lead you to wanting to be better. With that comes stepping outside your comfort zone but if you want something bad enough, you’ll go for it. It’s those who don’t want it bad enough and are full of excuses is who are the failures in both life and business. Pretty harsh, I know. I just don’t choose to be one of those people, that’s all.

      Great post and you definitely were truthful here.


      • Bob

        Hi Adrienne… glad you like this post.

        You are so right… success in MLM or anything else is 95% between the ears… your attitude is paramount to success. I’m glad that this post pushed you to writing your own on the subject… can’t wait to read it!

        As always, thanks for your insightful comment, Adrienne…. and thanks for stopping by!

    • Catarina

      Seems like a great read for anyone considering getting into MLM. However if only 5% of people getting into MLM succeed that means the odds are actually smaller than graduating from medical school, becoming a lawyer and so forth. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

      People listening to your suggestions and follow your lead are likely to be amongst the 5% that succeed. If not, they will be amongst the 95% that fail. Simple choice, I would think?

      • Bob

        Hi Catarina,

        I think if people come into MLM understanding that success is a process and there is a need for delayed gratification and hard work, they are likely to succeed, at least to some extent. But most are not informed, get discouraged and quit.

        Thanks for your insights, Catarina!

    • Bob

      Wow, this post was awesome. You are very upfront and I can’t knock you for it because I completely agree. Most people are simply lazy and want money handed out to them instead of working for it. So why do most people fail? LAZINESS! lol

      • Bob

        Hi Bob,

        Welcome! I’m glad you found this information useful.

        Thanks for stopping by!

    • Lou Barba

      Hi Bob,

      I think a lot of times, people go into networking marketing obliviously because the person who recruited them mad sure they were oblivious, appealling to their “laziness”. The flim flam man said “you can never sucker an honest man” and I think a lot of people recruited are flim-flammed. I think it would be rare for a recruiter to tell their prospect that they would have to invest a LOT of money beyond their startup and autoship in order to succeed. There probably should be some special disclosure rules for recruiters. If there were, the percentage of failures would probably drop like a rock.


      • Bob

        I agree, Lou…. there certainly is a case to be made for some rules for disclosure, at least before someone joins an opportunity. Many distributors do not reveal what the new recruit will find once they join…. they figure that the strong will move forward and the “weak” will not. I don’t know, that just feels wrong to me.

        I would much rather tell people up front what the deal is and let them decide if they want to pursue their dreams in this way.

        Thanks for the comment, Lou!

    • Elmar Sandyck

      Hi Bob!

      I would like to add “being inconsistent” and “lacking the drive to pursue the business” but I believe these two fall under the category “most people are lazy.”

      Some network marketers just fail to realize that money doesn’t just grow on trees; whatever is earned is earned through hard work. Hard work doesn’t really mean toiling day and night for it, it just means that you should be exerting efforts if you want to get your desired results. You should be consistent and should persevere.

      • Bob

        Hi Elmar,

        Consistency is definitely key, no doubt. Persistence in the face of failure is another. And I would say that smart work, rather than hard work is crucial. I know of many who have worked hard and failed. I have yet to meet someone who works smarts and doesn’t succeed.

        Thanks for your insights, Elmar!

    • Rachael Slorach

      Hi Bob,
      I think success in Network Marketing is a process. Too many people look to the top and think they should get there in a matter of months. It takes time to learn the mistakes, to find out what does and does not work for YOU and how to get the right mindset.

      I have been with my company for two years, tried many strategies that have not worked for me but I keep going with the same amount of determination because I can visualize myself with a successful, VALUABLE, business and I can’t stop until I get there!

      Yes, you have to invest in yourself and learn, learn, LEARN! Thanks for a great blog site – I have been following for a few months now and have learnt alot from you. Although I am currently on maternity leave from my ‘day’ job I feel I am a part-time networker because babies suck your time!!

      • Bob

        Hi Rachael,
        Success is definitely a process! I remember after I’d been with my MLM for about a year and had seen limited success. This guy and his wife joined and immediately grabbed top spots on the leader board. I couldn’t believe it! Then I found out that this couple had paid their dues and had been networking for a dozen years or so. They may have been new to our company but not to the Industry. You hit the nail on the head, Rachael…. it’s a process.

        Congrats on keeping consistent in your efforts… it will pay off in the end.

        Congrats on your baby!

    • Jayne Kopp

      Well Bob… hmmm I think you nailed it. You’ve heard me rant before so you know I agree with the ‘most people are lazy part’…

      I also agree that many people get caught up in the hype and join ventures based on emotion… often because their ‘recruiter’ does not tell them that it takes work.

      Funnily enough, my post for today covers that point. You will see what I mean when you read it.

      I think it is very encouraging for those who are strong enough to handle the truth that many businesses take two years to make any profit. Very true.

      Sad… but true… and not so sad in some ways. It depends how you look at it. I think that if a person is working hard yet still seen no profit… knowing that it often takes two to three years is in a funny way an encouragement to keep on plugging.

      loved your Truthful Thursday!


      • Bob

        HI Jayne,

        In a way, the high failure rate is a plus for people who are willing to do the work and make the sacrifices…. less competition!

        Thanks for your insights, Jayne! Can’t wait to read your post!

    • Jeanine Byers Hoag

      Excellent explanation of why people fail in network marketing. Those are all good reasons and I would bet that most people have no idea what they are getting into and thus, are unprepared for what happens.

      I don’t think they’re lazy, though. Just unprepared!

      • Bob

        Hi Jeanine,

        It’s true, some are unprepared,some are misinformed. Either way, it’s a recipe for failing.

        Thanks for your comment, Jeanine. Great to see you again!

    • Rosie

      Love the picture up there – I have to admit, I do feel like that guy from time to time: defeated, and drowning in a sea of crumpled up paper balls. Do you think a possible #6 on your list could be that, deep down, some people don’t really WANT to succeed? I feel like when I hear many people complain about their lives, it is more because they want a sympathetic response than because they actually want to do something about it.

      • Bob

        Hey Rosie,

        We always hear of a fear of failure, but I absolutely agree that some are also afraid to succeed. That’s very true of some Part Time Marketers, who might be worried about having the time to lead a successful team of marketers. But many times it’s as you say — they’re just looking for a sympathetic ear.

        Thanks for the great comment, Rosie!

    • marquita herald

      Hi Bob, great article and you’ve done an excellent job of hitting the key notes on issues that result in failure to succeed in Network Marketing – though they certainly apply to direct sales or any number of other small business opportunities. With all due respect to the other commenter … while it certainly can make getting started in the business easier and more pleasant if you have a good upline, I don’t believe that alone translates into failure because if someone is expecting their upline to make them a success, then they’re setting themselves up to be victims rather than taking charge of their own destiny.

      • Bob

        Hey Marty,

        There are a lot of things that can factor into failing in Network Marketing or any other business model, for sure. I will say that life is certainly simpler with a terrific sponsor or mentor, but I’ve also seen many within a great sponsor’s team who fail. In fact, they will tell you that they are always looking for the very few standouts who will be the backbone of their residuals.

        Thanks for the comment, Marty!

    • Dennis Edell

      Unfortunately a big fail component is a lousy upline and or company to begin with; these folks never had a chance from the get-go.

      • Bob

        Having a great mentor or sponsor does help for sure, Dennis. But most will fail even with the right guidance, because it’s too much work.

        Thanks for your comment!

    • Nella

      You are probably right Bob, most of the people give up too soon and they love blaming someone else or the “industry” :). The biggest problem nowadays is that a lot of people is looking for easy money, they think that they don’t have to contribute with anything, or work at all and still cash would float in on their account.

      Personally I know that money just doesn’t grow on a magical tree without working hard for it, but I am aware of Network Marketing is being tough and needs you to be persistent and not all of us can do it. I am not so sure about myself either :).

      • Bob

        Hey Nella,

        NM is hard but with the right work ethic and finding a great mentor, it can be amazingly rewarding. And I believe you’re right — many people are looking for easy money. Just look at all the people buying lottery tickets, or the criminals who steal credit card information. They are just looking for something for nothing.

        Thanks for your comment, Nella.

    • Oliver Tausend

      Hi Bob,

      I love this: Truthful Thursday…

      Did someone say that the truth hurts sometimes ?

      I don’t think so, it’s the separation pain of the untruth that hurts…

      When I look at my network marketing career there are definitely two areas I struggled with:

      1. The way I conditioned myself regarding work, based on observations and incidents in my childhood and youth and their interpretation or rather mis-interpretation.

      Let’s face it: Building a network marketing business – alone the goal of creating residual income – hurts the core values of most people who are conditioned the school-work-die way.

      Am I alone here or are others affected by that pest as well ?

      2. That implies that we can’t count much on the support of friends and family. Most people can be happy when they are not being criticized openly, even by their spouse. They are constantly surrounded by naysayers, critics and permanent temptations not to do the business or even to quit.

      Let’s face it: Or friends and relatives don’t wish us success necessarily if it goes against their core values and their conception or misconception of life.

      With that being said, I couldn’t agree more with you that “You are the product” – you have to fix you in order to become successful in this business, that means it’s about the personal development and learning the skills.

      To me it seems that network marketing is the simplest business in the world and yet the most difficult.

      You mention it:”But it’s hard and requires consistent effort, strong dedication and an intense desire to succeed no matter what.”

      Thanks for sharing your insights about a topic that goes dear to my heart. Great job !

      Take care


      • Bob

        Hi Oliver,

        You’ve made some great points here. I agree with you regarding our preconceived notions about work. In fact, I do believe that’s yet another reason so many NM fail.

        It’s such a major shift in work belief to move from a “trading time for dollars” structure of compensation to the entrepreneurial viewpoint of work and compensation. Many find it hard to make that switch in their minds.

        Thanks as always for your insights and contributions, Oliver!

    • Shannon

      Hi Dr. Bob,

      What I have observed with most network marketing people is that they are focused more on recruiting members than promoting their products (I am talking about the pyramid structure or model of networking). While it is great to recruit more members to join the company, they should also understand that they should also sell their product rather than encourage their prospects how much they will earn if they join and recruit more people.

      • Bob

        I agree Shannon, but that’s mostly because of the emphasis placed on the “wonders of residual income” stressed by the company recruiters.

        What they don’t seem to understand is that the best distributors of their products are the ones that use them and love them.

        Thanks for the great comment, Shannon!

    • Martin

      Good post Bob, I wrote an eBook on this same subject as well. I just haven’t launched it yet. ; P

      Anyway, you hit the nail on the head in many areas.
      Great work.

      Martin Dale- your friend in business

      • Bob

        Cool, Martin. I’d love to get my hands on your ebook. Let us know how we can get it!

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