To make any business work a good work ethic is vital. Putting in the time and effort to establish your business, market it, build relationships and your reputation, learn the ropes and skills needed to make it work, review, reflect, rebuild and so on. All of this takes time and effort.

In Network Marketing / MLM the myth that it is ‘easy’ or ‘too good to be true’ can be readily overcome because of the consistent and persistent effort that is required to make it work.

Increasingly it seems though that an extreme work ethic is being given way more kudos than it deserves and undermining not enhancing the business model and it’s efficacy for most ‘normal’ human beings.

In a recent conversation I heard an established Network Marketer say to a team member that in order to build a business, the team member ‘just had to get on with it’ – which of course is true! – however the conversation continued and the Team Member explained that she understood this and that she wanted to move her business forward, however was suffering from anxiety (a phrase which suggested it was more than just feeling anxious occasionally) and therefore she had to manage her business activity around her illness. To which the established Networker Marketer said, “Well, I only get 3-4 hours sleep a night and if you want to make your business work like I have then you just have to do it….”

This is not at all the first time I have heard an established Network Marketers ‘boasting’ about their 24/7 work ethic. And that to achieve everything that they have achieved then you have to do the same….


So what happened to the ‘This is a business you can work around your other commitments’ and ‘This is a Lifestyle business where you you can put your personal values first’

Most people join Network Marketing as a way to enhance their lifestyle not kill it. It is a real concern that so many people who speak about their success appear to be quite unaware of the effect their words have on others, especially as they don’t seem to stop this 24/7 approach even after they have achieved considerable financial success…. Why? Surely the personal values, time and relationships you were working hard for have become the priority now that the finances are there to support this.

Anyone in self-employment will know that 9-5 goes out of the window. You work long hours, yes. But most people go into self-employment for much more than the money it’s the flexibility, the achievement, the independence and so on.

Working too hard too many hours for an extended period has a huge impact on all of those personal values and relationships that we generally go into business because of and also personal health. ‘Make your children your reason not your excuse’ is something else I’ve heard for many years – in Network Marketing a way to ‘encourage’ and ‘motivate’ you to work longer and harder than you really want to. This to me is unhelpful at best and manipulative at worst. If you are a parent the likelihood is that everything you do is for your children. They are your reason. To make your children a ‘guilty excuse’ for not working even harder in your business, seems quite abusive to me on the part of those who use the phrase. Time with your children is so important – while they are still children. Quality not quantity is key, yes, but that’s for you to decide not someone else. You can’t get that time back and parent’s have enough to feel guilty about.

Does having a 24-7  work ethic actually relate to ‘success’? In order to work effectively, there has to be a balance of work and relaxation. If you have to work 24-7 then something is wrong.

To achieve success in Network Marketing you don’t have to work 24/7 or put your personal values, relationships and health on the line. There are many ways to build your network marketing business which really do work with the time you have available.

More and more we hear of ‘burnout’ in network marketing… don’t make that you. If your upline wants to work 24-7 that’s their CHOICE. Remember why you started your business, stick to your values, keep your personal relationships strong and hold your health high – find a way that means you can build your business in a way that works for you. Yes you will have to work hard, but working smart is far more important.

Michelle Turner-Davidson is a speaker, trainer and mentor specialising in developing people and teams and taking the fear, hype and struggle out of network marketing. 

To find out how Michelle can help you, or if anything in this article resonates with you, do get in touch. You can fill out the comments below, email her at or connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter @MichTD,  Facebook  or check out the rest of this website 



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