What Does It Take To Be Successful In Network Marketing?

In my last post, I wrote about some of the reasons anyone should consider Network Marketing but, I also mentioned some negative aspects related to one’s character, that everyone should consider before getting involved.  Even after one is engaged in the business, one should consider exactly how his or her character will effect his or her prospects of success in MLM.

Work Ethic

What kind of work ethic do you have? Do you arrive at work on time? Do you currently give your employer an honest days work?  Do you try to get along with others who grate on you in the work place, or is the difference in your personality so strong that you create a negative ethos in your workplace? Do you honestly appreciate and value the differences in others values and style? Are you honest? Are you willing to make sacrafices to see others succeed? Are you a team player or are you a rugged individualist? Are you competitive to the point of hurting others? If you have answered in a way that keeps the focus on “you”, and you are not “other directed”, then you have a choice to make. Change or fail!  Personal change of character can be the most challenging thing in life, but if you expect others to believe in you and follow your lead, in “any” endeavor, you must become a person of real integrity. You must become the person who has the characteristics of the people that you want to attract.

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.

Jim Rohn

“A critical mistake that I made as a young leader was that I used to think that charisma was the most important aspect of leadership. In the beginning, I focused on charisma because I know that leadership attracts, and leadership influences people. Therefore I thought, “Well, if I’m going to influence people I’ve got to develop charisma in my life.” I’ve been around enough boring leaders to say that is a desire that most of us should have! What I learned is that character is the most important aspect of leadership, not charisma. Charisma attracts, but character sustains. In fact, I think charisma, in the area of leadership, is overrated. Character embodies who you really are. It’s the inner fiber of your being. It is your inner self in action. It reveals what you are truly made of, it’s your substance. Character is, as D. L. Moody said, “What you are in the dark.”

If you have charisma without character, it’s only a matter of time before people find you out. Without character you cannot sustain meaningful relationships, and without relationships your ability to lead and influence others is anemic. So what is it about character that really makes a difference?

1. Character sets you apart.
There was a time when people who lacked integrity stood out from the crowd. Now the opposite is true–charisma can make people stand out for a moment, but character can set them apart for a lifetime.

2. Character creates trust.
Leadership functions only on the basis of trust. If you pull out trust, then you will lose your leadership foundation.

3. Character promotes excellence.
If you lead people, good character sets a standard for everyone who is following you. People will eventually become like their leader. If leaders compromise on their standards, cheat the company, or take shortcuts, so will their followers.

4. Character gives staying power.
During the tough times that all leaders face, character has the ability to carry you through, which is something that charisma can never do. When you are weary and inclined to quit, the self-discipline of character keeps you going.

5. Character extends influence.
Charisma, by its nature, doesn’t last long or extend very far. It’s like a flash of gunpowder. It produces a quick, blinding light, but then it’s gone. The only thing left is smoke. Character, on the other hand, is more like a bonfire. Its effects are long-lasting. It produces warmth and light, and as it continues to burn it gets hotter, giving fuel that burns brighter.

If you’re currently leading people, you probably have some measure of both charisma and character. The question is which one are you relying on to lead? The answer can be found in your response to this great question, “As time goes by, does it get easier or harder to lead?”

Without character, leadership becomes harder to sustain. You constantly have to perform to get people to notice you; but with character, as time goes by, leadership strengthens, builds, and continues to attract the people. And best of all, the ones who do come to enjoy your fire stay with you a lot longer than the ones who only want to see a show.”

— John Maxwell

In my past experience with a rapidly growing Network Marketing Company, I noticed some leaders who became increasingly  motivated by money.  They were thrust into an income level that caused them to lose sight of character.  They focused on only the people who would make their next commission check bigger and ignored those who were working hard and struggling to to grow their business, but weren’t producing numbers big enough to suit them. They became almost brutal in their style of training.  They made demands and forgot to inspire by their actions. Money changes people who lack character!

I was there long enough to see some of these same people lose much of their residual volume and income. These leaders, who had quit their full-time jobs, with a fanfare,  ended up having to return to their traditional full-time jobs. After all of their hype and fanfare, they ended up showing everyone that they were really shallow people who lacked wisdom and character. They had previously made announcements on social media sites that proclaimed that they had found the Holy Grail of income generation and now had the freedom to spend time with their families, travel the world, buy expensive cars and homes and generally do whatever they wanted with a minimum of effort. Imagine the impact on those who looked to them as leaders when these individuals had to sheepishly return to the workplace in shame. Now, with less credibility, where they continue to try and inspire “new” people to join their ranks. Why would anyone want to follow a loser?

You see, they lead with charisma and not with character. Somewhere, they lost track of integrity, they embellished the facts, they made false claims, they wanted people to do as they said, but forgot that people do as you do.

There Is No Shortcut To Success

It is amazing to me that many people who get involved in Network Marketing, think that they don’t have to work!  They are dazzled by the idea that everyone below them will have to do all the work and that they will get to reap all the rewards.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Success in MLM is completely dependent and equal to the amount of effort you invest in your business.  One must realize that there is “no” easier softer way This is because there is a spiritual principle involved, namely;

Genesis 3:19 KJV
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken : for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return .


Proverbs 14:23
All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Everyone only reaps the rewards of their own labor.  Of course in MLM, if one is invested (this requires time and hard work) in the lives and success of others, additional rewards can earned in tis way.  Remember that this still requires your hard work.  In this kind of work, you are working for others, for their benefit, for their success.  The trick is to be focused on the other and not on the reward. In this, it is important to not get the cart in front of the horse.

Helping others is a selfless act referred to as altruism. Although most people help others without themselves in mind, there are many benefits to the helper. You reap mental, physical and societal rewards when you assist and support people. Although true altruism does not ask for anything in return, it is reasonable to enjoy the rewards.  In other words, be nice and leave the rewards up to god. You will get rewarded for this kind of labor and focus.


It has been said about persistence that “nothing” will take its place.

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
– Calvin Coolidge

Persistence is the ability to maintain action regardless of your feelings. You press on even when you feel like quitting.

When you work on any big goal, your motivation will wax and wane like waves hitting the shore. Sometimes you’ll feel motivated; sometimes you won’t. But it’s not your motivation that will produce results — it’s your action. Persistence allows you to keep taking action even when you don’t feel motivated to do so, and therefore you keep accumulating results.

Persistence will ultimately provide its own motivation. If you simply keep taking action, you’ll eventually get results, and results can be very motivating.

Should you always persist and never give up? Certainly not. Sometimes giving up is clearly the best option.

Have you ever heard of a company called Traf-O-Data? What about Microsoft? Both companies were started by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Traf-O-Data was the first company they started, back in 1972.  Gates and Allen ran it for several years before throwing in the towel. They gave up. Of course they did a little better with Microsoft.

If they hadn’t given up on Traf-O-Data, then we wouldn’t have such rich collections of Microsoft and Bill Gates jokes today.

So how do you know when to press on vs. when to give up?

Is your plan still correct? If not, update the plan. Is your goal still correct? If not, update or abandon your goal. There’s no honor in clinging to a goal that no longer inspires you. Persistence is not stubbornness.

This was a particularly difficult lesson for me to learn. I had always believed one should never give up, that once you set a goal, you should hang on to the bitter end. The captain goes down with the ship and all that. If I ever failed to finish a project I started, I’d feel very guilty about it.

Eventually I figured out that this is just nonsense.

If you’re growing at all as a human being, then you’re going to be a different person each year than you were the previous year. And if you consciously pursue personal development, then the changes will often be dramatic and rapid. You can’t guarantee that the goals you set today will still be ones you’ll want to achieve a year from now.

But, once you start, don’t quit.

In my next post, I will talk more about why people fail in Network Marketing.  Please leave a comment and stay tuned.




1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Allison
    Aug 14, 2013 @ 14:14:07

    Love this post. I totally agree with everything. This is such good learning!


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