Is success in MLM simply a matter of time?
When it comes to success in MLM on the part of the distributor, associate, marketer or whatever you want to call yourself, there seems to be two schools of thought.
On one side we have those that believe you either have it or you don’t. That’s not to say that if you don’t have it you’re a lost cause, just that you’re going to need a suitable amount of training and preparation to ‘get it’.
And even then, that’s not a guarantee of success.
Then on the otherside of the fence we have those that believe anyone can do it, if they put in enough time.
What works for one person is duplicatable for anyone and if someone fails, it’s just because they didn’t put in enough time to whatever opportunity they’re trying to succeed in.
Success, as they put it, is merely a personal choice.
One proponent of this is Polaris Global’s co-founder, Rachel Oliver.
In a blog post written a few months ago, Oliver shared a story about a conversation she claimed to have recently had;
It’s always so wonderful to hear how our products are having such a wonderful effective on shaping peoples lives for the better, but every now and again one comes through from a disgruntled person.
I received one such message today from someone who shared with me that they were scammed by Polaris Global.
They simply stated that they were scammed out of alot of money, the business did not work for them and that I should be ashamed with myself for earning so much money.
The person who contacted Oliver was light on details but that didn’t stop her from going ahead and reiterating the distinction between those that are successful in MLM business opportunities and those that aren’t;
What is the difference between one person creating success within a business such as Polaris Global and another not creating a result?
The one who gets the result worked within the business for a long enough period of time, the one who didn’t get the result, did not.
Simple as that.
Is it really as simple as that though?
From an individual standpoint, it’s easy to see how such thinking completely absolves a company and its members of any immediate responsibility for your results.
Regardless of whether or not you succeed, the fact of the matter is that you are being marketed and sold something prior to joining. How this opportunity is marketed to you very much contributes to what your expectations are and how you may choose to work your business – all of which contribute to either your ultimate success or failure in the business.
Then of course there’s also the inspiration to ‘keep going’. If you truly believe that success or failure in MLM is a mere time keeping exercise, you run the risk of forcing yourself to stay in the game – despite the fact that the time to cut your losses and move on may have well and truly arrived.
From a company perspective, the idea that MLM success is simply a matter of time is definitely attractive.
For starters, anyone who fails can simply be brushed off (as they are in Oliver’s article) as simply having either ‘not followed the system correctly’ or not ‘having put enough time into the business’.
This in effect creates the illusion that your business is infallible and subtlety implies guaranteed success, but only to those of course who stick at the business long enough.
However long that may be.
The other attraction in utilising this method of thinking is that whilst your members are trying to make it is that in doing so, they’re inadvertently injecting money into the company.
Conferences, training material, product purchases… these all put money into the hands of the companies telling you that it’s simply a matter of time before you’re successful.
A point I think sometimes overlooked by those who swallow the ‘you didn’t try hard or long enough’ mantra without question.
After illustrating that this particular disgruntled member’s dissatisfaction couldn’t possibly be the result of anything except the fact that they obviously didn’t spend enough time in Polaris, Oliver then goes on to share her own personal story – and this is where things start to get interesting.
Oliver admits that she came to Polaris (then Liberty League International) after ‘running another business for over 4 years‘. She then goes on to say that
When I first started with Polaris I started out as a distributor. I was afforded the exact same opportunity as the person who sent me this message that they were scammed. I purchased the same product they would have purchased. I listened to the same training calls. I had available to me the same compensation plan, the same advertising guidelines.
Yet I created unbelievable results and clearly they did not. What was the difference?
Well for starters, how about the fact that when you joined Liberty League International you did your best to bring with you as much of your existing downline as possible.
Even bringing a small existing downline with you from another opportunity lays to waste the idea that Oliver joined Liberty League on the same merit as someone starting from scratch.
Fast forward a few years and she started sleeping with the CEO, while he was married.
Now she’s the co-founder of the business.
Does that even remotely sound like someone who was offered ‘the exact same opportunity‘ as everybody else? It’s certainly a far cry from the vague explanation Oliver offers;
The reason that I’ve gone on and created incredible results this time round was because I was prepared to take personal responsibility for my results.
The good, the bad and the ugly.
As you can see, it’s quite convenient to simply dismiss your critics and those that fail in your business as simply not having spent enough time working the company.
It’s hard to prove otherwise, well at least without a whole bunch of ‘what ifs’.
At the end of the day some people will fail and others won’t, and let me tell you it’s got nothing to do with the amount of time one spends in a company.
Obviously the longer you spend working an opportunity the better (in theory) you’d get at it and coupled with training increase your chance for success – but remember that success is never guaranteed; regardless of how long you might spend promoting a particular opportunity.
Perhaps those who brought with them several advantages over regular distributors when joining a particular company would do well to remember that.