Because of the techniques taught by most MLM businesses, many MLM distributors feel some kind of a sense of obligation to do what their MLM upline tells them to do. This may be perpetuated by the whole ‘do 3-way calls with your upline’ concept (which is a bad idea, by the way). Sometimes MLM upline leaders feel empowered in some way over their recruits in ‘guiding’ them to their road to success.
Of course, while this is certainly based on the best of intentions, we also know the road to hell is paved with the same. This scenario is no exception. …especially when it comes to teaching MLM techniques that have a proven and documented 98% failure rate for over 40 years.
Nearly all of the people I personally work with express to me at some point the incredible stress they eventually start to experience because their MLM upline is doing everything they can to strong arm them into doing things they do not want to do, such as MLM home parties or making a list of everyone they know to have their MLM upline contact everyone on that list “for them.”
Most people don’t feel comfortable handing this information over to these so-called MLM leaders. And, rightfully, you should NEVER do this anyway, in my humble and professional opinion. Not only is it highly likely to not make you successful in your MLM business, it’s a great way to destroy close relationships with important people in your life. Simply don’t do it. Period.
The short truth is: This is literally a case of the blind leading the blind.
Most upline distributors haven’t been in the business much longer than you, and, even if they have, they don’t know much about true marketing principles.
Here is what I tell everyone:
This is YOUR business, and your business is YOUR business. You are not obligated or required to listen to your upline or do ANYTHING they tell you to do. As long as you are not violating the rules and regulations of your company, you are free to market your business any way you want and grow it as slow or fast as you wish. Your upline is NOT your boss and you do NOT work FOR them. You work for YOU.
This becomes especially prevalent when people purchase my program and they begin applying the proven techniques they learn. When their upline calls to try to get them to have a ‘home party’ or start doing some 3-way calls and my student tries to politely give them the ‘thanks, but no thanks’ rebuttal, many upline reps start to become upset and frustrated at them because “they’re not doing what they’re told.” The MLM upline feels un-empowered and they don’t like it.
These incidences create some awkward tension. I hear many stories where the upline distributor will say their company is giving them all the training they need and they don’t need to look anywhere else for training and then comment on how well it works because they’ve been in only 2 years and already have 30 or 40 people. (Yet, the REAL leaders are doing those numbers weekly.)
So, the bottom line here is: If your MLM upline leader is pressuring you to do things you don’t feel comfortable doing, for whatever reason (likely it’s because your gut is telling you it won’t actually work when they insist it will), you have ZERO obligation to do anything your upline tells you to do. When in doubt, contact the customer service department of your MLM company and verify your legal obligations.
Listen to your gut. You can be polite and cordial and still stand your ground.
While this advice certainly has the potential to make your relationship with your MLM upline rocky, it will re-establish the proper boundaries that, while you may be in business “together,” you are still separate. If they were really concerned with helping you grow your business, they’d be out there with you trying to figure out how the top leaders are consistently growing by 50-100+ people per week.
Your friends and family are not there to be marketed to. Don’t let your MLM upline ever tell you different.
Here’s to your success.
Have an excellent week!
Phoenix, AZ USA
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Mike Lewitz is a professional marketer and international speaker who has helped thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners across the globe create abundance in their business through practical, proven marketing techniques. Mike holds two Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Phoenix and is currently working on an MBA at Western International University.
This article may be freely distributed, copied and shared with acknowledgment.
3 Replies to “Your MLM Upline Is Not Your Boss”
Hey Mike great post. I feel a lot of people get suckered into an MLM due to a sweet talking up line, but as soon as they are in the company they never hear from the up line again… really sad but some networkers are only focused on the up front “fast start” money and nothing long term!! Keep up the great work buddy.
Wow, I keep hearing the same thing over and over and you are right, that is what the upline are saying, you call to ask a question and you get, You have to call the company, well my heart just falls, and they are making a lot of money , why not help the people under you and the upline still makes money but then the new business person will start to make money too!. I am ready to start but am not really sure how to go about getting things set up and what to look for. I do not think that I will have a problem speaking over the phone because I use the products and I really really am happing I started to shop at [MLM co]. From all the testimonials I have read from [MLM co], they all had someone to physically guide and coach them. I live in Ontario Canada and the upline lives in the States, how can you grow a business for yourself with so much distance between your upline and you? Is it a webpage you got help creating to help with your business and to help it grow, if you have any advice to give, please email me at [email removed] Thanking you in advance for any help or advice you may have. Sincerely, Rachelle Proulx
The last thing people who join our industry want is another boss. If anything you need to be accessible to your team. Have boundaries, but do your best to help training them and coach them.