The Good, The Bad, The Ugly – Stories From A True Network Marketer

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You all know I’m a network marketer. I make no secrets about it.

Most people try to say they are ‘not’ network marketers because there is a certain stigma attached to it.

One thing I want to be always clear about is that there is ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ in network marketing, just like there is in any other business.

But it is never the ‘business/network marketing company,’ it is the people that make or break their business.

Network marketing definitely gets a bad rap, but you’ve heard me continually talk about my success as a network marketer.

I’ve never been a millionaire (nowhere near it), but I’ve certainly made between $6,000 to $10,000 a month on a regular basis.

But it’s not always a bed of roses and more than once I’ve built strong, large teams that made money and then something went horribly wrong and had the team and the money dwindle down to nothing.

I’ve had to re-build from scratch and gain that success back twice.

I think anyone who wants to go into network marketing, needs to know this. It is a battle at times to stay ahead of the game and keep going.

This is the way of network marketing. Building a team is hard and managing, handling, building and teaching the team can be phenomenally challenging for many reasons.

I’m here today to talk about some of my experiences so you can know that even the successful have gone through ups and downs and if you don’t get back up again, we can become one of those people who ‘curse’ network marketing.

You’ve heard of one of my success teams in my post How to Build An International Network Marketing Team.   Definitely the good!  🙂  Now let me tell you some of the ugly. I call them learning experiences and just like ‘life’ it is sometimes very painful.

Learning Experience No. 1

A couple of years ago I went to a networking party, social get-to-gether after work. Usual Friday night get together of business people. I had just joined my company,
Ardyss by name.

I had a group of people around that were interested and by the end of the night I had sold about $300 worth of products and had one person very interested in the building.

This one recruit was an awesome young lady who went out and started working! She had personality, energy, enthusiasm, charisma and people flocked to her like wildfire.

Her first get-to-gether, she signed up 12 people and yep I was there – saw it with my own eyes!

Just the kind of person every MLM’er wants to find! And she rocked the business! She was a Master Recruiter and that line grew to 500 or so people in less than a year!

So What Happened?

Once she got where she wanted to be, I think she felt she was better than the leaders and wanted to go somewhere else, particularly with the other flashy, in your face kind of leaders. Attention getters.

I am not an attention getter.  I go quietly about doing my business.  Working steadily toward a goal.

I wasn’t flashy enough for her and she wanted that glory and such that went with the ‘upper echelon’ of the company. Problem was the company did not allow her to move to another team member within our own company so she gradually stopped working, stopped recruiting, and went to another company.

She took all of her team with her and left/stopped working!

I lost a whole team, almost down to nothing: team members and cash flow. I’m being honest here with you. Bottom line is I lost the team. But so did she.

Although she had success elsewhere, her team members did not and they all stopped working.  Why?

Because she wasn’t really a leader, just a Master Recruiter.

Never learned the comp plan sufficiently…never taught anyone else what to do…recruit’s were left high and dry and didn’t know where to go as I was no longer their upline. Very sad and everyone lost out.

I had to pick myself up and re-build from scratch and get another line up that would bring in the income I lost from that line! I had to go out and find another Master Recruiter and it took about 2 years to do so.

Point Of This Story:

I didn’t stop working my network marketing business. I hustled and kept it going, still recruiting because there were two things: great products that really helped people and a great comp plan which couldn’t be beat (even to this day!).

I never stopped hustling. See my story on How To Renew Your Business Like A Rampaging Zombie to understand what you need to do in business when things go wrong.

Learning Experience No 2.

Now some years later, I had another strong line. I started marketing online internationally and found two sisters in Papua New Guinea (near Australia) who were excited about Ardyss. Read their story here).

This story is a bit sensitive so I’ll try to keep it short but to get the point across. My PNG sisters put in a team of 200 people in 3 months. Unfortunately, they had signed up under someone else who ‘ripped’ them off.

They didn’t get their products, website, training, nothing.  The lady took their money and ran. They knew they weren’t signed up under this person so they came searching online for another recruiter and found me!

Shortly after we discovered this woman’s long history of criminal activity (taking thousands of recruit’s money and not signing them in the business.)

It was not a pretty scene and typical of what people thought of network marketing.

Long story short, the company found out about this woman’s criminal activity and kicked her out of the company but felt in all fairness to the criminal’s upline, they had to take the team I had built up and put them under the criminal’s upline since she first introduced the people to the company.  Bad decision!

Talk about pissed off!  I was !!!  OMG!!!  Yeah, it was unfair and horrendous and I had a beef with my company.

Down A Second Time

Http:// Photo by  jesadaphorn
Photo by jesadaphorn

Again, everything dried up.

That team stopped working and never got started up again because they had an upline who didn’t even know they were there in his line ‘somewhere and technically didn’t care.’

My source of income, as well as my team were gone due to a criminal network marketer taking people’s money.

A second time I had to restart. 🙁  But let me tell you something.

I have never stopped. It took me a time to get over my disappointment with my company’s decision, but I understood they were trying to be fair.

Sometimes it hard to be fair when you’re caught between a rock and a hard place.

Renew and Regenerate

After about 6 months, I started again.  I had to drag myself up out the depths of despair and I did it!

It’s about how hard you believe in your business and yourself.  I ultimately knew that it’s about how  you do your own business that counts.

How do you keep yourself going?  By the seat of your pants sometimes and then it becomes about the small successes that keep you encouraged to keep you going.

My company has great products,  a good great comp plan and I know how to do the business. I know how to build and train a team and keep them engaged and encouraged!

I am a good leader and know how to help people get what they want by guiding them toward their success goals.

Whether it is network marketing or another brick and mortar business, it’s about keeping your eyes on your goal.

Don’t let people stop you. Don’t let the opinion of network marketing stop you. Don’t let disappointment stop you.

Take the small successes and use that as encouragement. Take the large successes and enjoy them and expand on them. Take the disappointments and learn from them.

All of these things will make you a better network marketer. The bad experiences are learning experiences for the better.

We should walk away from every experience gaining insight into life.  I hope you’ve learned from sharing my experiences with you, my failures and my successes.

What are some of your experiences as a network marketer? Did you have any successes or failures and what did you learn from them?

I’d love to hear your own stories of success or failure.  We can all learn from them.

Cheers and Happy Networking!

Motivation and Inspiration For All
Motivation and Inspiration For All


  1. says

    Hi Barbara,

    Excellent post, my friend!

    As an ex-network marketer I can fully appreciate what you’re talking about here, and as a law of attraction coach I see other things 🙂

    First off there are network marketing companies that are going to dump people, so I would like to add that it’s not always the network marketer, at times it’s the darn bad network marketing company. I used to belong to one which ended up selling out and dumping every one that was in then, and I know of a few that never recovered from it because obviously they weren’t as good and tenacious as you are. I only wish they could read this post and get some inspiration.

    This woman who went after the glory and lost in the end doesn’t surprise me one bit and I could give her a coaching session explaining her why she failed any time 🙂

    As for you, you seem to be built for this business, girl. You’ve done terrific and I wish you all the success you deserve. If you wanted to (and I hope you do) you could go anywhere with this.

    Thanks for this post. My days as a network marketer are long gone but I really enjoyed this post 🙂
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…8 Steps Or 2260 Words To Help You Find High Paying Clients For Your Freelance Writing BusinessMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Sylviane,

      Yes you are so right. Network marketing companies can be disheartening. They may, in general, not be a good company. Everyone is trying to start one up nowadays and companies are coming out of the woodwork like ants to flower. I’ve seen a few bad ones…some good ones with some bad comp plans, some bad in general. Starting a network marketing company is the same as starting any other business. They may not have the resources, income, etc to make the business work. It’s hard though to recover from bad experiences. As you can see from my own experiences, it tok me a good 6 months to pull myself out of the despair that I felt based on a bad decision by my company. Even in trying to be fair, they lost both lines completely down to zero dollars and lost over $60,000 in sales each month. That was the company’s mistake.

      The girl who went for the glory is now going from one netowrk marketing company to another (8 my last count) and builds and then loses all over again. Maybe she does need a coaching session with you. 😉

      Thank you also Sylviane for your support. I’m not sure I’m built for this but I will continue until I can reach the goals I’ve set for myself and my goals revolve around security for my family. That’s all I can do, right?! 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the post. Our stories are our life and we can only share to help others. That too is my goal.

      God bless. Hope to talk to you soon.

  2. says

    That had to be devastating. I would be so frustrated. You’re such a strong woman and a great leader. I really put my heart and soul into network marketing and couldn’t recruit a soul. After reading your story, I realized it’s because I wasn’t successful, so how could I teach others to be successful. My upline made a lot of mistakes when I came on board, and when I approached her about things, she breathed flame out of her mouth. She could have very easily helped me build my team to make everyone a generous income, instead, she kept it all for herself. I still am in the MLM but no longer really work the business. I am in several others too; mostly for the discount. I wish you the best, I know you’ll be doing great in no time because you’re an awesome leader. Thanks for sharing your story. Lisa
    Lisa Magoulas recently posted…Eating Clean On A BudgetMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Lisa,

      Sorry you’ve had a bad experience. It is so common. But you see even though I’ve told the bad, I’ve also had some good leaders who taught me that self-development and self-improvement were key. They led by example so I followed and tried to do what they did. That was basically helping people get to success because they understood that only that way would they truly make it. People like your old leaders only wanted to help themselves. That is not what network marketing should be about. Yes your leader could have helped build your team and all have been successful, but she didn’t understand that herself. It has to be a legacy taught by each leader that should trickle down to help each other. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough of these leaders and it is really about hellping.

      I know you want to help people and that you are still in network marketing. You may have also spread yourself too thin. I found when I split my focus among many, it became too overwhelming so I focused on one. I know you have your desire to do right by people and share what you know with others. And you have a wealth of health information to share. If you’re still interested in this, lets chat for a minute one day soon, at your convenience, to see what to do to narrow your focus. Even if you’re not doing network marketing, it’s always good to have someone to bounce things off of.

      Thanks for stopping by. Let’s chat soon.
      Take care,

  3. says

    Hi Barbara,

    Wow, that’s amazing!! You are a hero Barbara!!

    You have gone through a lot but your belief in yourself and in the network marketing business have got you pushing through the brick walls and made you the great leader you are. I am so proud of you!!

    I have to agree with Sylviane though that sometimes the network marketing companies are the ones that dump people and never support them and so many of them restrict you to their old marketing methods that don’t work today. That was my experience.

    Thanks a lot Barbara for sharing your experience and I am so happy for your success with Network Marketing and I wish you more and more success. Enjoy the rest of your week.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat Tawadrous recently posted…Are Problems The Price We Pay For Progress?My Profile

    • says

      Hello Neamat,

      Aaah shucks girl…thank you but I’m no hero. We all have the drive within us and some things make it come out. I had to do it, but still have not quite recovered from the last fiasco, but still believing network marketing is still the way for many people to get out of the financial ruts they are in.

      I do understand that some of the network marketing companies do sometimes drop the ball but that’s why we evaluate them carefully. Somewhere in there is a story if they have not been honest and upright. But I think we’ve all hit on the ;leader’ syndrome is the biggest issue. People getting into network marketing have no clue how to be a leader so it’s almost not their fault. Leaders have to be taught and then have to teach. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen and therein lies the problem.

      I hope at some point someone will find that magic cure for network marketing blues. It can then be taken as it is without prejudice. I’m hoping that happens soon.

      God bless
      Barbara Charles recently posted…The Good, The Bad, The Ugly – Stories From A True Network MarketerMy Profile

  4. says

    Hey Barabara,

    Great stories about your experiences with network marketing and dealing with people. When I was in network marketing I believe I was just attracting the wrong people. Sad to say but I was doing most of the work. And to be honest with you as the years went on the more I got tired of dealing with people LOL. So I figuRe the best thing for me to do is go solo.

    I think that’s what your first recruit should do. If she’s wasn’t showing her team how to grown their own teams and make sales, then the best thing is for her to go solo.

    But I do have to commend you for being a soldier in this business model despite all of the set backs and obstacles. Not too many people wold keep going when all of this happens. You are definitely a true network marketer!

    Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…9 Online Marketing Automated Tools That Can Instantly Save You TimeMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Sherman,

      Thanks for your support. Believe me…there are days when I don’t know what direction to go in or if I should stop. I do feel that way. But when I think of the best way to make that money, it still comes down to my company. It’s strong with great products and can help many people. So when the bad comes up, it’s not really network marketing as a whole…it usually has something to do with people. As with other things in life. LOL! People are the problem, not the model.. I just wish we could teach everyone that it is a legitimate model. It’s kinda discouraging that many don’t believe in it anymore. Oh well…if I find something better, then I’ll go for it. Right now, it’s business as usual.

      You have a great week. Thanks for stopping by.
      Good luck with your own adventures. 🙂
      Barbara Charles recently posted…The Good, The Bad, The Ugly – Stories From A True Network MarketerMy Profile

  5. says

    Hi Barbara,

    I can remember when you were going through this. Despite this terrible experience, you rose up and jumped back on your feet again.

    You are a leader when it comes to Network Marketing. You train your people! I remember those 4:30 am phone calls lol. But through it all, you kept your stride, and that is an example of leadership.

    I had my toe in the water with Network Marketing, but my up-line was never available. I wanted to do video conference calls…ask questions…but kept it going for a while by myself. Eventually I walked away. There was no support at at all. And that is the key ingredient in Network Marketing..a go-to person when you start out.

    Yes, I did make money but it was all off line and I wanted to carry it online. It was too much for me. But, a blessing because I found my own way to business and marketing.

    Thanks for pointing out the “ugly” because these things do happen!

    donna merrill recently posted…Joint VenturesMy Profile

  6. says

    Hey Donna,
    Yes, you ladies were with me all the way, even down to the fallout and I always appreciate your support. Yep, 4:30 a.m. calls because of the time difference. LOL! It was a bit rough but paid off.

    I like what you said ‘you had your toe in the water of network marketing. LOL! Too funny. But unfortunately, the unfunny part was exactly the same story you had. No support which discourages people and causes things to fall apart.

    I am trying to make it online and it is rough because of the negativity of network marketing, but it has to get better soon.

    I’m also very glad you’ve found your way and are having great success. That’s so excellent.

    The good, the bad and the ugly is in any business I guess so we just push aside the bad and the ugly and keep our eyes on the prize which is the good.

    Thanks Donna for stopping by and for your continued support.
    Have a blessed week-end.
    Barbara Charles recently posted…The Good, The Bad, The Ugly – Stories From A True Network MarketerMy Profile

  7. says

    Hi Barbara,

    I remember you sharing with us your experience with PNG and what happened. It does as you say happen but there is stuff that happens in other businesses too. In our days having Financial Services company I saw a lot of similar activity. Not criminal though 🙂

    You are strong and you see the advantages of Network Marketing so you keep going and you will have success I am sure.

    As others have said it is not always the reps and often the company. I know so many people who joined companies that closed down or sold out. It happens.

    I think it is a great model and has so many pluses.

    Thanks for sharing your story about this Barbara.

    Sue Price recently posted…Have you Upgraded to iOS 8 on your iPhone?My Profile

    • says

      Hi Sue,

      Yes I remember when I shared with my mastermind group. I was so upset but have gathered myself back now. I was surprised by it all but I guess these types of things happen all the time. Thank God I have the support of good friends to help me get through it too. I still see the advantages of network marketing and will continue to go forward until I gain success again. I have been successful in building great teams so the model works and I’ll keep it going.

      Hope all is well with you. God bless,
      Barbara Charles recently posted…Best 3 Tools To Automate Your Tweets in TwitterMy Profile

  8. says

    Hello Barbara,

    I’ve never really been a network marketer so there are no experiences to share along that line. However, it was most interesting reading your thoughts and experiences.

    You see, all businesses (online/off) have a basic model from which every thing takes off. The model of trust, passion and continuity and your lessons implicate all three and how they interplayed nicely – or roughly.

    I’ve learnt a ton here, Barbara. When I decide to opt into network marketing, I’ll certainly remember and be extra vigilant.

    Do have a very great week ahead!

    Akaahan Terungwa recently posted…Can You Make Money Online Without Trust?My Profile

    • says

      Hi Akaahan,

      I thought everyone had a one time been in a network marketing company. 🙂 There’s a lot of positive and negative with network marketing. I hope this was not taken as negative. The reason I post this information is to help people make good decisions by learning of various experiences.

      You are so right about a basic model of trust. No matter the business. I like that and it starts with trust. So make sure you trust the person you decide to opt in with, but that you also go with your gut instincts as you will always know what is right and what is wrong from you.

      Glad you got something out of this. My goal is to educate and assist others.
      Having a great week.
      Thanks and same to you.

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