3 Sad Ways MLM Ruins Friendships (And What To Do Instead)

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These days trying to get your warm market to join your mlm ruins friendships. Point. Blank. Period.

Just think. You ask to catch up with a friend or family member. And before long you start telling them how they can be a rock star in this business opportunity that you just joined. Or you’re trying to push products on them to buy…

Or you message them on social media and ask them to talk to you about “something” you’ve been working on. And then boom. You drop the hammer on them. Put yourself in their shoes.

Let’s face it…

MLM has been around for a long time. Everyone knows what it is. And for most, there’s a bad rap associated with it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not pointing fingers. In fact, I’m guilty of doing these exact same things.

Dropping off company booklets, flyers, house parties to my friends and family. Inviting them to opportunity meetings. You bet.

The problem with all of this is it’s just flat out the wrong way to go about growing any type of business. Just imagine, if you were called up by one of your friends or family members to join a company that you had no interest in joining. You might not even qualify.

Just about any legit job requires you to have a resume and have experience in the chosen field. That is, if we’re talking a serious full-time job. Network marketing and the mlm business model should be no different.

How MLM Ruin Friendships

In this day and age, everyone is looking to strike out on their own and make money. And for the few that do, it can be tempting to the rest. The social proof aspect of it. You see the MLM Instagram influencers driving around in nice cars. Going on lavish vacations. Then you want to do it.

The problem is you have to remember, not everyone has what it takes to make it. In fact, MOST people don’t have what it takes to really make it. If it were as easy as companies and people make it sound everyone would be millionaires in network marketing.

The truth is there are 3 damaging effects of pushing your mlm opportunity on friends and family…

1) False Promises Hurt In The Long Run

I’ve heard it before. “Fire your boss.” Or, “you can travel as much as you want and earn passive income.” “You can make more than you make in your 9-5.”

This can sound really tempting. And then when you ask the person recruiting you how long they’ve been in the business, they’ll tell you that they are just getting started. But they can point you to a superstar in the company who is killing it. I’m never surprised when I check in with that person months later and they’re on to the next thing.

The biggest problem though is there’s always the disappointment that comes along with trying the opportunity and feeling like you’ve been duped. When it’s at a friend or family member’s suggestion. Now I get it. We should all do our own due diligence. But it’s worse when it comes from someone you trust. I have seen relationships permanently damaged over this.

2) Preying on People Often Backfires

This is really not the way to go. Can people come up out of their current situation with an mlm opportunity? Sure. But the odds aren’t in their favor.

The truth is when someone is in a tough spot, they can come across as desperate and have the wrong energy that it takes more times than not. They’re probably better off getting a job. Here’s an interesting visual that I think definitely holds true…



So often, you’ll see tactics centered around recruiting people who are in a spot where they can really use a few dollars. Whether it be stay at home moms. People who have lost their job. Preying on people with an mlm opportunity is just wrong.

The numbers don’t lie. Very few people are successful in the mlm arena. To be one of the select few you need to have what very few have. It’s no different than any other business. More on this in a minute.

3) No Real Interest In Another Person Sends A Bad Message

Let’s be honest. If someone DMs you on social media. Or asks to meet up to “chat” only to pitch a business opportunity… it makes you question if they really have your best interests in mind. It makes you feel betrayed and used.

I’ve gotten these types of calls too many times to count. The one where the person has so much excitement in their voice. Telling you that they have the best thing since sliced bread. Sadly, I have friends like this who I only hear from when they join a new mlm opportunity.

And while I’m a veteran in this industry… it still doesn’t feel good. I can only imagine how an unsuspecting person would feel.

The Right Way To Build An MLM Business

As with anything, there’s a right and a wrong way to do things. And with mlm it’s no different. If you’re looking to get someone involved in a business… and that’s what this is. A business. You’ll want to approach it differently.

With a business, you’re looking for someone who can bring something to the table. You don’t want dead weight.

Not to call any human being “dead weight.” Because I strongly believe we all have unique talents, strengths and abilities. But when it comes to building a network marketing business, you need…

1) Someone With An Advanced Skill Set

Here’s what I mean by advanced skill set. First, let’s take the word multi-level marketing apart. Or even network marketing. The common theme here is the word marketing. To market, you need to have certain things handled. You need to know how to get your message out there to the masses. Many like to call marketing salesmanship in print.

With the average friend or family member, we’re not talking someone who knows marketing. To be successful in network marketing, you need to… NO you have to, know how to market. And market on the internet.

Then there’s the person who just has that natural knack for talking to anybody and everybody. The old 3-foot rule. Personally, I was never able to pull this off. I’m a total introvert and the idea of talking to strangers was a total turn off for me. But some people can make it work in network marketing because of this.

That brings me to the next point. Here is how you should think about any mlm business…

2) Qualified People Only

You want the right people in any business. Think about it. If you bought a franchise tomorrow and you wanted to run a top notch operation. Would you have all of your family and friends running it? Probably not. In fact, I purposely make it a habit to not mix my personal relationships with business. It’s just asking for trouble.

But let me take it one step further. Don’t you think you would be far more successful bringing in someone who actually had a clue about how to run a franchise successfully. Someone who had an idea about keeping the books. These kind of things  need to be thought out in any business.

The low barrier to entry is what seduces people. They think that they can be successful in an mlm business by getting a bunch of people to join who don’t have a clue what they’re doing.

When you know what you’re doing in marketing, you know that it’s all about working with qualified prospects. People who are out there actively looking for the solution that you offer. And with the internet, this is a reality as you can reach people from all around the globe and never run out of qualified people in a lifetime.


Trying to get your friends and family to join the latest and greatest mlm opportunity is never a good idea. It can damage those relationships and chances are months later you’ll be on to the next opportunity. Instead. I recommend that you look for qualified people only to join your business.

This is the right way to get it done. You never know. Maybe once you establish yourself as a leader you might be asked by a friend – what have you been doing? That’s a powerful place to come from. Then you can speak from a position of someone who has beat the odds. And maybe you have something to offer them if they want to take a look at your business.

My last piece of advice is to become an expert in marketing if you really want to chart your own course in the mlm industry. It’s not for everyone and there are definitely a lot of ups and downs. Trust me… I know. I’ve personally been involved in too many opportunities in the past two decades to count.

But if you’re still on my site right now. And reading this article…  you’re here because you found me.  I didn’t have to push anything on you. This is exactly how you want to attract people who are the right fit for your business…

I’ll leave you with this short, but powerful video that drives my point home below…


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