Blog   If I Was Starting Over Today In MLM? Plan With Purpose, Temper With Common Sense


If your business is not producing the results you want, follow my Uncle Dan’s advice: “If you are in a hole, stop digging!”

Folks, hope and hype are not a way to measure your business…..your hope and earners’ and company’s hype about the product and the plan is deadly combination that leads to the same place for all of us…and it ain’t pretty.

Living our dream here is Kauai did not happen by accident….but it didn’t happen without pain, disillusionment and despair from time to time either.  All the tough stuff happened because I did not follow Uncle Dan’s advice….and, quite honestly, it all pretty much, could have been avoided.

Wifey, The Fabulous Davene, is adamant about common sense…..she never tires of saying, “as soon as people enroll in MLM, if they have any common sense, it vanishes.”

So if I was starting over, from scratch, I’d begin with those 2 thoughts first.

The “smart” thing to do is take inventory today to see where you really stand.


OK, let’s take our inventory.   MLMers love saying, [and so did I], “where can you start a business for $300 and run it for $150 a month and make a fortune?”

Inventory in MLM is not complicated.

1]What is your actual outgo and income? – big picture

2]What did you do with your time? – day to day inventory.

While the dollars out of pocket are around $200 a month after start up that is not the total cost.

If you are putting in 12 hours a week….and on a 2-3 year plan…..what is your real cost?

Sweat equity….while you may not be sinking bucks into your business you are investing your time.

If your regular job pays you $40,000 plus perks, you’ve got to see that as worth $55,000 minimum.

Let’s do some math and honor Uncle Dan’s, [BTW, an IRS agent his entire working life],  advice here….a see if you are in the hole.   No one will argue with the age old adage that “any business that doesn’t take inventory is not going to be in business very long.”

So our $40,000 per year earner, with perks, is earning a little over a grand a week…making his or her time worth about $25 bucks an hour….so to take the “big picture” inventory let’s add ‘er up.

12 hours x $25  x 4.3 weeks = $1290

That is the true cost of your “sweat equity”

Add autoship of, say, 175 including shipping and we are at $1465.  A month

$1465 x 12 months?  $17,580.

Be honest here….after all, it’s not a judgment, it’s an inventory….

You’ve got to add in what you are spending, if anything, monthly on websites and events…  Super Saturdays and National Events, CDs, etc…..

Let’s just round that up to $20,000 in dollars and time….

Now we simply look at what we got paid….and subtract.

In my case….in 1993, it was a hard pill to swallow…….I was down about $15,000 and would have been better off pumping gas more often [I was delivering seafood but also pumping gas a couple hours every AM to cover truck expenses]… Uncle Dan, [my dad died when I was 3 and he raised me] …..walks me through this process…..

Says, “Marco, this looks like your down around $15,000.  You are in the hole, stopping digging.”

“But this is a great business.”

If you are in a hole the first thing to do is STOP DIGGING
If you are in a hole the first thing to do is STOP DIGGING

“Stop digging.”  Not a man of many words.

“It’s my hope for the future.”

He smiles.

We sit silently for a long time.   A really long time.

“Why?” he asks.

“People are making great money, 10,000 a month….one woman is making over 10,000 a week!”

More silence.

He leans forward.

Puts his hand on my cheek.

“Then you must really be awful at it.”


He sees my pain…..says something in Italian…..tells me it means, sort of, “don’t get your undies in a bunch.”

Asks me to tell him about it, how it works……make a long story short……tells me in all his time at IRS he’s noticed something about businesses that succeed and fail.

“What’s that?”  I ask.


Every business has a couple key things that drive the economic engine……the winners in business seem to “know or learn” what those areas are….and develop the skills in the areas that will drive income he explains.

“You’ve got hope but successful businesses don’t use hope as a strategy.”

The he asks the million dollar question…..”what is the real objective of that business model.”

I rattle off a few things…..

He laughs.

“Why you laughing?”

“You’re full of shit.”

I get defensive.

AN honest inventory may get low grades but it's the only pathway to discovery
AN honest inventory may get low grades but it’s the only pathway to discovery

He laughs louder…..which was not a common thing…..

I explain a few more things…..

“Full of do-do nephew, you are filled with hope and you don’t know the objective of your own model.”

“What do I do?”

“First, stop digging…’re losing money.   Second, find out what the real objective is.   Once you know that the areas you need to master will be clear.  And stop listening to how great your deal is and start asking hard business questions.”

Stop Digging

You don’t need to quit, just quit doing what you are doing that is not driving income.

The Real Objective

Took me about 6 months to figure this out.   Let me save you some time.   The objective is to build teams that can build effective teams WITH OUT YOU.

This means of you are on a team that is about ‘sponsor-more, sponsor-more, sponsor-more’ you are going to have a very difficult time hitting the objective…..they do NOT know the objective….no worries, I had 4 uplines like that… just have to realize that you determine the culture on your team… either want to:

1] sponsor more or

2]get more people sponsoring…..

…..the second option takes a bit longer to get going but not only serves the objective….it makes a LOT MORE money for a LOT LESS work.

Driving the economic engine

If we are going to make some money, we need to talk to people.

Second inventory.

If you don’t know exactly how much time you put in, precisely, every week, celebrate and give yourself an “F” for failure.    What we do with our time is our weekly inventory….and same principle applies….no inventory, no business…..not for long anyway.

For every 10 hours, we MUST talk to people who are not in our business….8 hours.

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing…..80% of the time.

The traction points

There are 3 areas that drive income

1. Talking to people and getting them to agree to look

2. Getting those who agreed to look to show up and make a decision

3. Teaching people who enroll how to do the first two things on this list, hands on

That’s it… crush those 3 things by learning the skills in those areas and it’s game over, you win.

You don’t?  It’s game over.


1. Focus on the true objective….this means you must have a plan in place to this BEFORE you begin.   We developed and mastered this plan ….it’s called the 3-Deep Pattern

2. Keep my teammates and myself faithful 80% of their time and mine on talking to new people.  Set up a schedule with them and for yourself weekly…..goals won’t build a business…they are a reason to build a business but they won’t build a business….a good idea is worth about a buck……a plan to put that idea in play effectively?  Priceless… a priceless asset….to yourself and your teammates.  Tell them and do it yourself……time on Facebook, surfing the web, conference calls etc…..are all EXTRAS that they can play with if they want but only AFTER the 80% is taken care of.

3. Continue to master the skills in the 3 money making areas and not bother with anything else.   This distractions on the web today and the bottom-feeding blood suckers with leads and magic systems are there……deal with it by improving yourself and your team…..there is nothing you can do to the grifters and con artists out there trying to sell ‘Secrets” …..but there is something you can do about it for yourself and your team…..get better at the things that make them money.   We’ll be releasing a 3 part free video series on these 3 skills shortly…..

4. Help you team understand, by example, that duplication does not really exist … and of itself…’s a by-product of education and we’ve got a great little video that will help you and your teams understand that…..the very last thing you need to hit the objective is a team chatting mantras about “duplication”

That’s it……..

Over the next few weeks I’ll be doing 2  live webcasts……of course….and there will be nothing for sale on these webcasts…during these webcasts…..after these webcasts……nothing, nada, zip… share this with your teammates

I’d like to know what you’d like to know more about so we can build the webcasts out based on your needs… here’s a quick 3 question survey….you may need to scroll down a little inside the survey so you can hit the “done” button…go for it

I really love finding out what you think…..let me know below, mahalo!


mark j

world’s laziest networker

Mahalo For Stopping By and Sharing
Mahalo For Stopping By and Sharing


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