What Is MLM?

What is MLM?What is MLM? Most people have some vague idea while others have never heard of it.

Wikipedia defines  MLM as “Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of others they recruit, creating a downline of distributors and a hierarchy of multiple levels of compensation. Other terms for MLM include network marketing, direct selling, and referral marketing.”

It is now 65 years since the method of distribution began and it is still often misunderstood and treated with suspicion. You can read about the origins of MLM in my post Network Marketing Today.

What is MLM? Some people still think MLM is a pyramid scheme and I have been asked “is it one of those things?” It is not a pyramid scheme – they are illegal.   You can read how this perception came about in Network Marketing Today – 2

MLM or Network Marketing is a very fair method of distribution. It is a method of distributing products and services directly to the consumer. Rather than going through shops and retail outlets it uses a marketing network of self-employed people to find customers.

These self employed people are called a range of things including distributors, associates, consultants, independent business owners, members and representatives.

Apart from the Pyramid Scheme myth there are others that continue to surround the industry. These include:

Myth – only people at the top make money.  Fact – this is untrue. Modern compensation plans reward and compensate effort and results.

Myth – those things don’t work.  Fact – there are many people around the globe earning a very good living by working in the MLM industry. Paul Zane Pilzer, author and economist predicts 10 million new millionaires in the next decade and says the majority will come from the MLM industry.

Myth – they are get rich quick schemes.   Fact – they take time to build, consistent effort and hard work. The hard work includes working on yourself.

Myth – you have to sell to family and friends.   Fact– you can choose to talk to your family and friends, it is up to you. The internet has changed the way many people are building their business.

While the industry continues to have its critics some of the richest men in the world are advocating, starting or purchasing Network Marketing Companies. They’re the World’s Business Experts, Visionaries & Trendsetters and include Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, Richard Branson and Warren Buffet.

Robert Kiyosaki ~ Business of the 21st Century answers the question of What is MLM by saying ;
“By it’s very nature and design, network marketing is a strikingly fair, democratic and socially responsible system of generating wealth.
These may be economic hard times for the majority, but for the many entrepreneurs, these are times teeming with economic potential.”
“Not only is now the time to have your own business, but there has never been a better time than right now.”….

I share with you some of my reasons for choosing MLM in this video.


Some of the features I like about MLM include:

  • It is a growing exciting industry
  • Minimal Start-up capital
  • Uses your sweat equity
  • No asset risk (don’t have to borrow against your house to get started)
  • Virtually risk-free
  • Established systems and training
  • No employees, and all the expenses that go with that
  • You support and train independent business developers
  • Low overheads
  • No premises – work from home
  • No stock
  • No debtors
  • Flexibility in hours and lifestyle
  • And one of  my very favorites – I can build a global business on the internet
  • Residual Income

Please leave me your comments below. I love hearing what you have to say. And if you found it of value please share this post on What is MLM with your Twitter and FB friends by clicking on the share buttons. I appreciate you telling others.

44 thoughts on “What Is MLM?

  1. Oliver Tausend

    Hi Sue,

    thanks for sharing your insights.

    I have some good news and bad news about the fact that MLM is often regarded with suspicion.

    The good news is that it keeps away people that wouldn’t build the business away, so this prejudice is a filter.

    The bad news is that these “objections” often come up when we try to talk to the conscious mind of people instead of the subconscious mind, the instance that makes the decision anyway.

    Everybody knows that having two paychecks is better than one and that working a job alone won’t make us rich. Most people know also that it is smart to build a business to become rich.

    Inspiring video !

    Take care

    Oliver Tausend recently posted..MLM Prospecting Made Easy With Tom ‘Big Al’ SchreiterMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Hi Oliver
      I do agree with you re the people who would not build the business anyway.
      Now your second point re conscious and sub conscious mind is a whole topic on it’s own. I would like to understand more on what you mean.
      Thanks for your comment on the video. I am starting to enjoy doing them 🙂
      Have a great day

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    1. Sue Post author

      Linda every time I write or do a video on this topic I seem to get at a deeper level just how good the business model is. I think it will be great to see where we all go with our businesses.
      We missed you today.

  3. Don Enck


    More and more today Network Marketing/MLM is becoming more recognizable and understood by the general public. People are realizing that it is an effective business model and that it levels the playing field for everyone.

    Thanks for sharing the truth about our industry so that others may be enlightened.
    Don Enck recently posted..Secrets To Creating Engaging VideoMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Don I agree Network Marketing is becoming better understood but it still bugs me when people are totally closed to it.

      Funny isn’t it when we really get it how it is difficult to remember when we did not 🙂

      Have a good day


  4. Louise Steiner

    Thank you for this wonderful post Sue. You explain the MLM industry beautifully and dispel some of the old myths associated with it. I too was a big doubter. I was first introduced to network marketing by friend in London in the early 90s….and I’m embarrassed to say that I simply didn’t get it. Now I believe it to be the best business model around and when people like Warren Buffet, Richard Branson, Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki endorse it, you have to take note.
    Louise Steiner recently posted..Online Marketing – Web Page Copywriting In 5 Simple Steps – Part 1My Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Hey Louise I really don’t think most people do get NWM the first time they see it. I know in my company they often ask for a show of hands of the people who did not embrace it right away and had doubts. About 90% of people put up their hands and some of these are now top producers. So we should not beat ourselves up 🙂

      It is interesting to see the top business people embrace the industry. Great for us.

      Have a great day


  5. Darlene Davis

    You did a great job of debunking the myths of MLM companies. Your video is also compelling. You list all the best reasons for why we love our MLM’s.

    Paul Zane Pilzer is one of my favorite economists. Wasn’t it several years ago that he predicted more millionaires stemming from MLM? I saw him at a convention last year and he rocked the audience.
    Darlene Davis recently posted..Seat Belts and AngelsMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Darlene thanks for the comment. I am getting better as time goes on understanding the myths 🙂

      I too love Paul Zane Pilzer and yes he predicted 10 million new millionaires from MLM. Oh I would love to see him live. He spoke at my MLM International a few years ago in the US and I saw it on video. That is as close as I have ever got.

      Have an awesome weekend.


    1. Sue Post author

      Terry I think you are a perfect example of success in this industry. I agree everyone should watch your video. I have seen it many times but still get a bit teary watching it.
      Thanks Terry

      1. cate

        Hi Sue, it s good that ahve gone through this blog and seen that people have made successes. but am not in that list of succes coz have really tried so many times only to end up loosing my money instead of gaining, so I pose my quiz to you ” what is the secrete to success now have dropped twice in one MLM marketing and once in the other. so having tried two different MLM’s have got nothing to show and i think they only work to those who have alot of money around them”. Thank you for bringing this opportunity again before me so please talk to me and help me get there.

        1. Sue Price Post author

          Hi Cate,

          Thanks for your comment on my post. The post was written over 5 years ago so I had to re-read it to remember what I had written.

          I disagree with you that MLM only works for people who have a lot of money. I know many many people who started with nothing. Like anything or any other business MLM takes consistent daily work. It is never over night success. My opinion is the only way we fail at anything is if we quit.

          As I say the post is an older one but the principles are still the same. MLM is not for everyone but it can work when it is worked.

          Thanks for your comment Cate.


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    1. Sue Post author

      Andrew there is a lot of information online to help your learn about MLM. There are also many books on the topic.

      If you want to ask me any questions or have a chat just reach out to me.

      All the best


  7. Susane D

    Hi Sue,

    I think this is a very nicely put together MLM resource. I would like to learn more about this, although at the same time I struggle to learn more about blogging and online stuff, as there is so much ground to cover….

    But coming back to MLM, I think you are incredibly supportive from what I see above. Hope you won’t mind if I come back with some question after going through the materials.

    Susane D recently posted..Male Yeast Infection TreatmentMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Susanne I knew nothing about the online world when I came online just 18 months ago. I was also pretty much a technophobic so I had a long way to come. 🙂
      I was determined to learn though. You are right there is so much ground to cover but there are also some excellent teachers online.

      Please ask any questions you have to ask me.


  8. Pingback: What is MLM? – Part 6

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  10. Pingback: What is MLM? – Part 3

    1. Sue Post author

      Thanks for your comment and nice feedback Mesothelioma lawyer. I wish I knew your name 🙂


  11. dui attorney

    This is an extremely practical presentation that gives great examples of how to engage people in executing the plan. I found this very insightful. Well done and thank you.

  12. Wong Chang Sheng

    Dear Sue,

    “Myth – they are get rich quick schemes. Fact – they take time to build, consistent effort and hard work. The hard work includes working on yourself.”

    Yes, I fully agreed with this comment.

    To succeed in MLM, we need to be focused, take massive action and have a strong belief.

    1. Sue Post author

      Thanks for your comment Wong. I agree with what you have said here totally! I think many people actually do not have success in MLM because they are not willing to work on themselves.


    1. Sue Post author

      Thanks for your comment and feedback Eulalia. I am glad you are almost inspired to start your own blog 🙂

      Thanks again


  13. Sam Briggs

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      1. Sam Briggs

        Hi Sue, the UOIS as we call it has been around awhile now but I have been in it only a few weeks. It is really working out well for me.
        Michelangelo Lopez who runs it is awesome. If you follow the process thru the link in my comment you will see that you join the UOIS and get free things to help with your business. No matter which mlm it is this can help.

  14. Anastesia Roma

    Thanks Sue for sharing this post, like most people I had wrong perceptions about MLM. And now am into it myself; it is most exciting because am still awed by all it’s benefits and after reading the advantages of MLM – as i choose to call it – which you listed, am loving it more and more.
    Anastesia Roma recently posted..15 Young Tech Billionaires Under 40My Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Anastesia I think most of us had the wrong percepetion about MLM at some time. It is often because we do not understand it. It is an exciting model and offers so much opportunity for people.

  15. ISeenLab

    MLM marketing is best way to build business. but need proper idea and strategy to implement it. You explained myths and facts about MLM program are really helpful. This tips help me to get understand what the participant to this MLM program will think to work on it.

    Thanks for this great explanation about MLM Marketing Strategy myths and facts
    ISeenLab recently posted..kontent machine promo codeMy Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Thanks for your comment Ashoka and I agree you need the right strategy for MLM to work. You also need to work at it and give it time to work for you.

      Have a great day,


        1. Sue Price Post author

          That is great to hear Ashoka and I am sure the changes you make will be excellent. All the best.

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi SY Abuzar,

      A lot of people are joining MLM companies and I agree there is not a lot of risk if you compare the outlay to start to conventional businesses. To make it successful of course a person has to work it.

      Thanks for your comment.
      Sue Price recently posted..Kalatu Blog – ENv3My Profile