How to Stay Motivated When You Seem to be Failing.

For MLM’ers, or people in network marketing companies, receiving the supposedly motivational emails and call previews about how much success people are having can be more of a turn off than a turn on.

I know – they turned me off. They made me feel inadequate, frustrated and angry.

So how did I deal with that?

The first, and unquestionably the most important, step goes back to your own mindset.

If you’re really in this for the long haul, if failure is not an option for you, then adopting this as a mindset will give you the soundest base possible for dealing with this.

This is an absolute requirement. Without a mindset like this you will, sooner or later, pull out.

So, with that as my foundation, the next step, for me, was to start picking out the facts.

You have to be brutally honest with yourself here because this can very easily be confused with looking for excuses. For your own sake be brutally honest.

Here are some examples that I’ve been through where the facts explained some of the success that was being trumpeted and where the hype was exposed for exactly that.

Once you get to grips with this in your own business you’ll find it much easier to deal with those ‘motivational’ emails and calls.

If you can do that, and stick with it, you will hugely improve your chances of success.

I joined a new business about a year ago. All the hype at the time was how this person made $52K in their first month and how that person earned $10K a week.

Six weeks into the business I had made $0.

Still the emails kept coming, previewing calls where these mega earners, who had earned more in a month than they had in a year before joining this business, would be spilling their secrets etc, etc.

By this time I was feeling totally inadequate and ready to quit. I felt that I’d been misled, conned, scammed – I was angry.

Then, as I began talking to people in the business I came to understand why this person had made $52K in their first month or $10K in a week.

They had done it all before.

They had been in previous MLM or network marketing businesses, had a list of thousands of people who were interested in that type of business and had simply brought them across.

This could not have been more different from my situation – but it was never talked about.

I was new to this type of business. I had no pre-existing down-line I could bring across. No wonder these people were pulling in the big bucks while I was making nothing!

These were not excuses. They were (and are) the facts. And as soon as I understood them I began to understand what I had to do.

I also realised that these ‘success models’ had started where I was.

And that, in one case, it had taken them the best part of 20 years to develop a Rolodex that was big enough to pull in commissions of that order in the first month or so of a new business.

I also, quite by accident, discovered that these ‘motivational’ emails should not be taken at face value.

I received one such email that talked about how ‘independent, 3rd party sources’ had reviewed the business and found it to be the best business around.

When I checked out the ‘independent source’ I found it to be an affiliate – the polar opposite of an ‘independent’ source.

Far from being disheartened, grasping these realities turned me away from quitting.

They motivated me far more than all the hype. I began to look at my own business practices and to measure myself against my own yardstick.

I started setting short-term goals, and as long as I could see I was improving month-by-month, I was OK with things.

And improving didn’t just mean making more money each month. Although I’m making money now, and I’m qualified in the business, I’ve not earned more money each month. Some months it’s less. Last month it was $0 again.

Improving means I know more this month than I did last month.

I’m better at something now than I was last month.

I can do things now that I couldn’t do last month.

My knowledge of this business and what it takes to be successful is better now than it was last month.

I set myself targets to learn new things. To test new marketing techniques. To adopt new strategies.

These are not huge steps. They’re small steps. But as long as I’m making progress that I can measure, and as long as I keep on making that progress, I know I’ll get there in the end.

For me, failure is not an option. That mindset helps me to be dispassionate, objective and honest when I review my progress.

You have to be honest with yourself. If you’re not being honest with yourself then you will, eventually, pull out. And all your investment of money and time will have been wasted. Better, in that case, to pull out now and cut your losses.

Update 13 September, 2020:

This post was originally written in 2008, when I was doing Network Marketing.

I shifted my business model some time ago to affiliate marketing, but the message of this post is still completely valid and applies to whatever business model you’re using.


Martin Malden

Martin Malden
Owner – WealthyDragon

Website owner: Martin has been working online since 2006 and focuses on two areas: 1) affiliate marketing and 2) designing and building websites based on WordPress. He has his own WordPress agency, and serves clients in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK.