MLM Is A Real Business! (written November, 2002)

In my long career in MLM, I have been embarrassed somewhat to tell people what I do. Last weekend, my wife and I are sitting at a barbecue with other families celebrating the end of the Little League Season and one of the parents asks me, “What do you do for a living?” I responded, “I’m in sales”. Why don’t I want to tell them, “I’m in MLM sales?” We all know the reason. MLM is like the “butt-crack” of the business world. MLM has had more failures than The New Jersey Nets trying to make the playoffs. However you know I believe MLM is the greatest industry ever conceived. Let’s face it – I started with a few dollars in my pocket not too long ago it seems and today, I am worth a heck of a lot more. So I know MLM is the best. It got me away from working for an overbearing, no appreciation type of boss. It got me away from the 45-minute commute turning into a two-hour type of traffic each morning.  It has provided a comfortable living for my family. I thank the Lord everyday for MLM. But why then am I embarrassed to tell people I’m in MLM? Good question to start with.

I think the main reason I am embarrassed to tell people I’m involved in the MLM business is because of the failure rate. There is an extremely high failure rate within MLM. One main reason is because so many people get involved with the idea of treating it like a hobby instead of a business. Believe it or not, MLM is a real business. You need to invest money, time and effort into your MLM business. The reason I like MLM over traditional business is because you could start slow, invest a lot less money, a lot less time and a lot less effort and therefore build your business slowly and methodically during “off” business hours while you work a full time job. That is what I did. I worked a traditional business job from 8AM-5PM. Got home about 6PM, ate dinner and then around 7PM, I would start answering letters, making calls, creating offers. My day usually ended around 11PM and if need be, I got up early before I left for my full time work to finish something. If I had to contact somebody during the day, I called them during my lunch break or coffee break. Before I knew it, 3 years, two months later, I went full time and many years later, I can write this article with pride. MLM is a real business that requires effort, money and time. I believe that when you treat MLM like a real business and make a commitment like I did and have, you could be as successful as your dreams will take you. The MLM industry is one of the greatest in the world and is one of the easiest and least expensive to join, promote and maintain. It can be started slowly and be built into a full time income. You can control how much time, effort, commitment and dollars you want to put into your MLM. If you have never succeeded with an MLM or are new to the industry, here are a few rules you should follow:

#1) Go Slow. Read as much about MLM and the industry as you can. Take your time and learn about this industry. Most of the information out there on MLM is written by people like you and I. Small entrepreneurs who started slow and small and built it into a full time business. In fact, most MLMer’s who succeed are proud to share their stories, their techniques, their ideas, their successes with others and in turn, when you succeed, you’ll do likewise. Keep in mind that everything must be read with an “open mind” – including my material. Opinions will vary! One opinion I have may be completely different than another successful person, yet we both have succeeded and believe in our opinion. You have to take both opinions and adopt the ideas you like best for you and form your own ideology that will work best for you. It’s wise to stay open to ideas your entire MLM career.

#2) Be Patient. Give yourself time to succeed. All new endeavors take time. There is no “magic formula” to get you out of your current state. It took you a certain number of years to get to where you are, give yourself and your MLM time to get you out of it. Remember: you decide how much time you will put into your MLM. The MLM Companies almost always will guide you so use them as a source of knowledge also.

#3) You Will Have To Invest Money. Too many people I speak to tell me they have $75 to invest and that’s it. People! You have to invest money every month in your business and you may not get a return for a while. It you can’t commit to the fact that a business will cost you money, then you should not be in business. You need decide exactly what you can afford to comfortably spend each month; then decide how exactly you will spend it. My advice is to spend most of your monies into promotion. Let’s face it, if you are not promoting, you won’t recruit anybody, so pretty much, you are not in business.

Don’t fall for the “get rich quick” schemes because you will fail or have failed and then you will get discouraged. Don’t do that! Follow these simple rules and commit to MLM being a real business. Then a few years from now or so when there are millions upon millions of successful MLMers, then maybe I could tell people what I specifically do for a living!

The author of this article is Larry Costello, President of All-American Print & Mail, 2200 Wilson Blvd #102-57, Arlington, VA 22201.