Blog   7 Factors In Going From Rags to Riches In MLM

Seven commonalities exist with entrepreneurs who had little or nothing and became successes.  These same seven factors, adhered to, will move anyone from rags to riches in MLM.   Am I stating an opinion?


No, it is not my opinion.  I came across this about seven years ago, a book written by Peter Han, [a Harvard grad], entitled “Nobodies to Somebodies.”  It’s the result of interviewing over 100 ‘Nobodies’ who became ‘Somebodies.’ It is a great piece of work for anyone who wants to know what it really takes.  My only regret?  He didn’t write it 10, 15 years earlier.   His observations would have shortened the path from rags to riches in MLM for us and a lota-lota teammates.


What is very cool is folks who understand leadership attributes seem to be better leaders.  I know that may sound like I am stating the obvious but the truth is too much of the time people rely on ‘ability’ or ‘ try to ‘copy’ other leaders…..thinking it is a good thing and, honestly, it may be, but… [pregnant pause],  it’s unlikely to be a great thing.

While there are some good books out there, nothing, [and I am sure you’d agree], is better than hearing from folks who went from rags to riches. Isn’t that why we get in? The hope of going from rags to MLM riches?  Peter Han’s book will gave me immense insight because it was more about real people; everything from entertainers to politicians.  Just a fabulous mix of personalities, just like any MLM team.  What was great about Han’s book was the care he gave to finding out what they all had in common.



Know this first, we improve what we measure.


We improve what we measure, [yes, I’m repeating myself because it is important, not cuz I’m old 🙂 ].   If you improve?   Nothing, no speeches from the heart, no banging on tables, no tears of emotion…NOTHING will inspire a teammate and a team like improvement in you.  Once I figured that out it all got really easy.  So take a little self discovery quiz.  I created it, used it for years… ever since I read the book as a matter of fact. I shared  with people who wanted to learn to lead.

Give yourself  a 0 [zero] … a 5 … or a 10 for each of these 7 commonalities.

o means you simply need to develop this, don’t judge, just improve now.

5 means you’ve begun to develop it and need to keep getting better at it

10 means you are spot on it….

Give yourself 30 points for investing in reading about leadership and scoring yourself honestly

So a 10 on each of the 7 things plus the 30 just for stepping up to the plate would give you a perfect score.   Don’t worry about that, focus on doing what great leaders do, rags to riches types… find areas of improvement.

Let us know how you did and get this to your leaders and newbies alike.

1. Strong Self Awareness.

rags to riches in MLM
The “Street Smart Diva”

They made decisions about their careers — with significant self-knowledge, stemming from instinct or introspection. Their understanding of their own likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses were particularly insightful.

The 100 Somebodies broke free from their initial ides about life and work, ideas that may have been instilled by parents or early childhood experiences.

Rather than relying automatically on advice and direction from others, they took that deep journey of self discovery….like the remarkable Julie Hoffman did with the Master Key System … they seem to break free from the “normal” idea of how life works.  Julie has done this and is sharing some of her “Street Smart” tips later this week for the first time… and how a self-taught, stay-at-home Mom of FIVE has moved millions in real estate.


2. Play Towards Strengths and Away from Weaknesses

rags to riches in MLM
Peter Han

Han’s key discovery here is that winners are honest about what they are not good at; they don’t blame, fib or cover up in anyway. They increase strength and leverage it into a huge advantage.

My 20 years has taught me one thing about most networkers…what’s that?  The one thing that kills them from realizing their dream is ego.  Really want to go from rags to riches in MLM?   Lose the ego here and, really, grade yourself tough.  If you’ve ever made an excuse about your performance, baby, that’s ego and puts you at 5 or zero.


3. Authenticity and Integrity

Authenticity is a character thing.  Integrity is a “do what you said you were going to do when you said you were going to do it.”

While short cuts by bending these 2 things is tempting to some people true leadership, the nobody-to-somebody types are never even tempted.

Despite what the ‘gurus’ tell you, networking is NOT a sprint.  Going from rags to riches in MLM, is, well… it’s a marathon and you are the genuine article or you are not.

Do you do what you say you are going to do with your team?

Do you do what you say you are going to do with yourself? AH…..that one is the biggie.


4. Pragmatic Decision-Making Processes

Rags-to-riches types are decisive and those decisions, for the most part, are not emotional ones.

Oh, they get emotionally involved AFTER…..but are detached while making decisions.  Marvelous woman, Mom of 5, from Salt Lake, that I met through the MasterKeyExperience, is so good at this, she now teaches it.  Marlo Andersen

rags to riches in mlm
Marlo Andersen

does succeed … be it a dance studio, MLM, or an online information product because she makes decisions unemotionally, pragmatically.

How about you?

Do you get off the phone with reps who just want to gab and make lots of calls to people not in the business or do you stay on the phone….gab for a while and then blame??

Do you ‘decide’ on a plan and execute <><><> or sort of let the day ‘flow’?

People that decide tend to make things happen…  Are you decisive?


5. Pay the Rent First, Conquer the World Later

This one is a back breaker for wannabes in MLM

While visions of sugar plums dance in our heads…we can mislead ourselves by believing if we “could just go full time” we’d “tear it up”…  I’m going to confess something to you here, right now…please learn from my early [huge] mistake

My Uncle Mo, my Godfather, taught me a long time ago…..’if it isn’t a good deal tomorrow, it ain’t a good deal today

It’s great advice.

Rule of thumb……make 150% of your income in networking before you walk.

Don’t get sucked in……pay the rent first, learn, grow and keep it fun.


6. Coping With Insecurities — and Using Them for Motivation

Insecure? It happens. Use it to inspire yourself

The 100 leaders did not sail through work and life without doubts…..and man did that make me feel better.

Many of the 100 shared stories of early uncertainty; anxiety before big meetingsand  self doubt.

Look, they knew what you know……the work is not hard, but it is hard getting it going, running a family and, really it’s lonely work.

It’s you and the phone.

What I’ve done over the years is decide that when I was “feeling” insecure I’d convince myself that “this is where others quit” and quitters never find out if success was possible.   All the these “Nobodies to Somebodies” dealt with it in a different way but THEY DEALT with it… embraced it and worked with it, leveraged it to their advantage.

The 100 rags to riches peeps seemed to find a way to ‘motivate’ themselves with these feelings, not be overcome by them.

How do you know?


If you are not making calls to prospects, 40 to 50 dials,  3x to 5x a week….you’ve quit and just not told yourself.

Sorry. It’s got to be said.  Anything less than 150 dials a week, minimum is a sure fire sign of someone who is being ruled by insecurity.


7. From Paying Rent to Conquering the World

Interestingly they did not, these 100, claim they were going to ‘blow the doors’ off whatever……they just mastered what they were doing, learning then replicating those skills and moving forward.  Not looking for secrets or shortcuts, somehow connected to the idea that each step moved them closer or taught them something that would move them closer later.

rags to riches in MLM
Hold the vision, do your very best with each action

In reading some of these interviews it’s pretty easy to see they would have gone for a ‘1 pin level’ at a time……and…..not limited themselves once they got to a new pin level.  They just never seemed to feel the pressure to rush and compare themselves to others.  Tortoise and hare thing, ya know?


So up to 70 on the questions and and then 30 for reading this and the courage to assess yourself.

Let us know how you did in the comments box……and how you deal with these 7 things….which ones are you great at?  What can you share about your stronger points to help others?   I’d sure love to know; I’ve still got some improving to do.


The difference between winners and losers is clear. Successful reps simply do the things unsuccessful reps make a decision not to do……and the folks that move steadily from ‘nobody to somebody’ look for ways to improve.

Bottom line?

What is more important, right now, than testing yourself with this little quiz and joining the conversation below?

Let us and others know where you need improvement and I believe you’ll get the help you need within 24 hours.  After all, the more we give, the more we get… so give a little help and you’ll get a little help



mark januszewski

world’s laziest networker

rags to riches in MLM
Mahalo for stopping by and sharing

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