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Do Most People Fail In Network Marketing MLM? (Reality Check About Quitting)

Someone said to me recently that they were not interested in a home network marketing business because they heard that 80% or more of all people fail.

First of all…

Yes… it’s absolutely TRUE! …but before we get into this, I want to make an important distinction… most people fail in network marketing, simply because they quit.

Here’s what I have to say about that…

80% of people who start a network marketing business, quit… and the percentage is probably a bit higher than that.

…Just like 80% of people who start a workout… quit.

…Just like 80% of people who try to be a real estate agent… quit.

…Just like 80% of people who try to be a mortgage broker… quit.

…Just like 80% of people who start a new diet…. quit.

…Just like 80% of people who start to read a book… quit.

This is not a home business statistic folks…

it’s a HUMAN statistic!

(…or you could even call it a universe statistic)

It’s referred to as the “80/20 RULE” or the “Pareto Principle” (…look it up).

Here’s what Wikipedia says…

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Management consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who, while at the University of Lausanne in 1896, published his first paper “Cours d’ economie politique.” Essentially, Pareto showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population; Pareto developed the principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.

It is a common rule of thumb in business; e.g., “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients”. Mathematically, the 80–20 rule is roughly followed by a power law distribution (also known as a Pareto distribution) for a particular set of parameters, and many natural phenomena have been shown empirically to exhibit such a distribution.

Here are a few more examples:

80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers.
80% of a company’s complaints come from 20% of its customers.
80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of the time its staff spend.
80% of a company’s sales come from 20% of its products.
80% of a company’s sales are made by 20% of its sales staff.

As you can see, this “rule” can be applied to pretty much everything… look around and you’ll find many more examples.

It’s also why the 80% never make any money at all in network marketing …They give up and quit at the first sign of an obstacle, and making money with that mode of operation is damn near impossible.

So… no matter what you’re personal goals and dreams are… just commit to achieving them, and don’t quit on that dream.

…That’s all it takes to be on the other side of the 80/20 equation.. the 20%.

If you want to know how to be in the top 1%… first be in the top 20%, keep working on YOU… and DON’T QUIT… No matter what!

So Is Everyone Who Quits Something… A “Quitter”?

This is a really important topic, because in the network marketing industry many people toss around the “Q” word as a derogatory term, and although in some cases that’s founded, it’s more often not.

If we’re talking about this from a mature business perspective…

Some People Really Should Quit!

…Quit what they are currently doing that is.

There are currently thousands of turn-key home businesses that you can start up today. All of them claim to have the best products, business model, system, pay plan, etc.

However, whether or not a specific home business, product, company or marketing strategy is a good match for you… depends entirely on…

what YOU want.

If you’re like most people, these are your most important 3 requirements…

3 Most Desired Home Business Requirements

1. The ability to work from home (or anywhere).

2. The ability to earn an above-average income.

3. The ability to create a time-freedom lifestyle (have a life, and enjoy it).

Pretty straight forward requirements, right?

The problem is that most people are trying to achieve those 3 things listed above, but are attempting to do it using a business model and marketing methods that take them in a whole different direction from what they really desire.

Most home business opportunities will sell you on the idea of working from home, but the majority of what they then teach you to do involves you going out “prospecting” people to join your business, doing home parties, and attending meetings. While that may certainly be “working out of your home”, it’s not working from home.

In pretty much every network marketing opportunity, you have the ability to earn a high income… but… it’s what you have to do to earn it that most people simply over look. It’s easy to get starry-eyed over car bonuses, vacation spiffs and other fancy incentives… but wouldn’t it make more sense to just get paid a lot more commissions per customer? …When you’re making a lot more, you can easily pay for your own vacations (and go on them when YOU want.)

Probably the most important requirement of all is the ability to create time-freedom. The age-old problem most have is that they either have money and no time, or lots of time, but no money. Every business opportunity in the network marketing space will preach “time-freedom”, but when you understand the model that nearly every one of them use… you quickly see that it doesn’t really create time-freedom.

Something to think about: Once you’re living that dream lifestyle, traveling, enjoying life… can you continue to do all those things you’re doing to build your business, and still have time to enjoy life? If you think that you’re going to build your business for a little while using traditional methods, then go enjoy life, kick back and watch your business grow… think again! The key is in having a leveraged business model that allows you to always be building your business… while enjoying your life from anywhere.

Before learning this stuff and really understanding this industry, I spent years trying to build a profitable business. In 2002 I was able to finally break into what most would consider a full-time income at around $6,000 per month, but what I had to do on a daily basis to achieve it was not only unsustainable… it was downright miserable work.

There’s a common phrase used in this industry, “Selling the dream, but living the nightmare.” There is a lot of truth to that phrase… and there are many living the nightmare.

I was spending so much time prospecting… recruiting… selling… trying to train and coach new people… doing presentations for others… doing 3-way calls… running booths… trying to keep people in the game and get them to take action… only to see the majority of them quit.

…and as we’ve already established above, no matter what your business, company, products, or pay-plan… the majority of people will quit, no matter what level of support, training and mentoring you provide… and no matter what inflated retention numbers you’ve been told by your upline or company.

“You just need to work hard in the beginning to find a couple good leaders, then you’ve got it made.”

I’m betting you’ve heard that before. The truth is, network marketing industry-wide statistics show that in network marketing if you don’t have a process of continually bringing in new people personally… your business WILL fail… and if you’re doing all those things like we were… you will eventually burn out just like we did.

In fact… in 2003, my wife and I walked away from that company, made a pact and swore we would never again allow the other to participate in a network marketing opportunity.

do most people fail in network marketing

Did that make us quitters?…

We absolutely quit what we were doing …but we did NOT quit on our dream of creating a freedom lifestyle with a home based business… and our goal of meeting all 3 of the requirements mentioned above.

We had to quit what we were doing quite a few times along the way in order to course-correct, and get realigned with what we really wanted.

Network marketing is by far the most powerful model for creating the income and lifestyle you want… but only if your business model and methods of marketing match your desired lifestyle.

My point to sharing this story with you is this…

In order to thrive in network marketing and realize those 3 requirements listed above (provided that’s what YOU want), you must learn how to attract people already interested in what you offer and have a system to follow up, qualify, educate, upsell and train them without your involvement. Having that in place, leaves you free to focus on what is most important…

Marketing, building personal relationships, mentoring leaders… and living and enjoying your life!

If you have to quit a few things along the way in order to stay true to your dream of creating a freedom lifestyle… so be it. Pretty much every highly successful home business entrepreneur I know has been involved in 2-4 opportunities before they figured out what they really wanted, understood the business model they needed, and discovered the right business for them.

In order to realize your dreams, you have to first get crystal clear on what they are.

Recognizing that your current business model or marketing methods are not inline with your goals and taking corrective actions… does not make you a “Quitter”… it’s just smart business. However, I would be remiss if I did not also mention that it is super important that you only quit doing something for valid reasons… dig into your model, understand your business metrics, make sure your business mentors actually have the lifestyle you’re aiming for.

Figure out what drives you.. the REAL reasons you want success… visualize it until you can taste it… then grab on and don’t let go. Success is a choice… and it’s ALL up to YOU!

If you’ve not gotten started yet, or you’re still muddling through the vast chasm of home business information online, here is a great place to start…

This is the home business I recommend if your goal is to achieve the 3 requirements listed above. It took me 20 years to gain what I’ve shared in this post, but only 28 months to create freedom once I aligned with this business model.

Click here and let’s get you going! – I’ll contact you on the other side and help you make 2015 your best year… that’s it, PERIOD 🙂

Disclaimer: The results shown are mine and they are not typical or a guarantee. As we’ve already established, the typical person quits at the first sign of an obstacle. Success in business requires a personal investment of both capital and time.


24 comments… add one
  • Great post Jon. I heard from the beginning that you cannot fail on the internet, that you can only quit. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Mark… that’s exactly right man. Bad results should serve only as feedback to take corrective actions. I think though that many people hear the phrase “never quit” and take it to mean that they need to keep doing what they’re doing forever, even when it’s not getting them results. “Never Quit” should be meant as “never quit on your achieving your dreams”… that allows more clearly for corrective actions which are required to stay on your path to success. 🙂

  • Great Blog post Jon, I always enjoy reading your posts as you give so many good tips and discuss many topics that need to be discussed.

    Please keep sharing.

    • Thanks Desmond… appreciate you as well. I love bringing up the stuff that others rarely talk about.. it’s what I wish I would have stumbled onto when I was struggling in this profession. 🙂

  • Great post Jon. You’re right that we have to find out WHAT we want in life because Network Marketing or any other business model is the ‘only’ thing that allows us to make money and achieve our goals.

    For me building business thanks to offline methods works but I prefer to do this online and like you wrote, the main thing is to figure out how to attract people who already look for something that we can offer.

    What I want to say is that “attraction marketing” is one of the best strategy to build Network Marketing business and blogging is pretty cool way to use this strategy 🙂

    • Right on Michael… and you’re very welcome. There are just so many people working their butts off in network marketing, but they don’t realize that the way in which they are doing things is not going to get them what they really want… and the whole reason they started in the first place. Hopefully this post will serve as an eye-opener for some. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  • Very good points Jon. I will have to quote you more often!

    • Thanks Peter, I appreciate that 🙂

  • Excellent explanation of the 80/20 rule that applies in every aspect of life, whether people realize it or not. Thank you so much for this post Jon. You are truly a leader who understands and appreciates people.

    • You are so welcome Helen.. appreciate your comments 🙂

  • Great post Jon, in fact I just had to explain all this to a guy this morning who had made a comment about people being weary of Network Marketing. Everything you explained was true to point and has been my experience during my short time in this industry… You gotta find what’s right for you and then stick with it..

    • Exactly right Chris… it all comes to down to knowing exactly what you want, then finding a business model that can actually deliver on that. In order to do that, it is necessary to really dig past the hype and excitement… and do the math! Thanks for your comment bro, I appreciate it 🙂

  • This was such a great post and a reality check. Just like you said, this is not a home based business statistic… it is a human statistics.

    • Thank you Tatia, I appreciate your comment. 🙂

  • Jon I agree with you completely. People give up without even trying and turn around and make the comment that MLM does not work. When you ask them ” how much time have you devoted to your business” they stutter. and the honest ones admit that they did not put in the time. an MLM is like any traditional business you must put in the time and effort.

    • That is exactly right Irma… you get out of it what you put into it, as long as you’re following proven strategies. 🙂

  • Great post…very true about sticking with something that’s not working just so you’re not labeled a quitter. “Not working” can mean many things and sometimes it means that the “opportunity” isn’t working for you or is different than what you signed up for. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Exactly Becky… I hear so much talk of “never, ever quit” and I think it sends the wrong message. With better than 90% of people engaged in business models and marketing strategies that are completely out-of-whack with their desired outcomes… they need to really evaluate what they’re doing and take corrective action to stay true to what they really want.

      It’s important to distinguish though, that just because a person may not gotten results yet, does not mean that what they’re doing is ineffective. They have to understand the model and the math in what they are doing… only then can they make an informed choice about whether or not it’s a fit for what they want to create.

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

  • Wow – what a great post. Once again you have written a powerful message that we all need to hear. You are such an inspiration to many. 🙂

    • LT.. so nice to see your comment here brother! Appreciate you 🙂

  • Great content Jon! I appreciate you sharing it and taking your time to perfect it. Keep it up!

    • Thanks Nico.. you’re very welcome man. 🙂

  • Excellent post Jon, thanks for putting into perspective that the 80/20 rule applies to many areas, not just network marketing. My logical mind appreciates how you explain things in a very rational way!

    • You’re so welcome Kristi!.. appreciate your comment 🙂


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