Who is your Network Marketing Mentor, where are they taking you?

The last couple of years on our MLM Success Podcast and Network Marketing Webinar Trainings I have talked more about finding a network marketing mentor than I have my entire entrepreneurial journey.

If you stay with me, and read every word of this article, I believe I can share some ideas on mentorship in general, and finding a network marketing mentor that can serve your well on your journey.

Mentorship is a subject that I know is not talked about enough and one that I wish I had shared more about through the years. If you listen to my content you know that I always try to give credit where credit is due. I quote so many personal development speakers because I learned how to get their wisdom of the ages from my head to my heart.

So during this down time with Coronavirus, I have been getting a lot done every single day. Dawn (my better half) is going through boxes of stuff we have stored away throughout the house like a mad women.

We have piles of stuff everywhere I look. I am just trying to stay our of her way and let her organize what needs to be organized and throw away what needs to be thrown away. (She had every single paper her kids ever brought home from school their entire life in over a dozen 30 gallon storage bins in our garage.) I know, I know but I am telling the truth, and in reality it’s just and indication of how much she loves them.

I said all of that to say this. She found this paper in one of my old briefcases.

This was the introduction I scratched out on a piece of paper at 4:25 AM in the morning on January 08, 2000. I was introducing Jim Rohn at 9:00 AM that morning.

Looking back on that time and day is very painful for me. I can tell you that I was probably in the midst of a nervous breakdown. Without question,
I was going through the most challenging time in my life. That is a story for another day (maybe). Many of you that will be reading this were with me during that time, and you might think you know, but you don’t.

My only point here is that a couple of years earlier I had the opportunity to introduce Jim for the first time to our organization. On the ride with him to take him to the airport, we had a very heart felt talk. With tears in his eyes, Mr. Rohn shared several things with me, and he told me that the introduction was the best introduction he had ever received in his long and lustrous speaking career.

Those of you that are members of our MLM Training Club or who own our Master Lead Generation course, have seen the introduction and the entire training Mr. Rohn gave from that first event. It is a bonus with both of these courses.

For those of you that haven’t seen it, I will share that first introduction with you here:

So having the opportunity to introduce him again was something I wanted to do well and make sure I communicated the kind of mentor he had been to me, and what real mentorship really means, especially in the network marketing business model.

So at 4:25 AM, in the middle of a personal emotional meltdown, knowing I had to introduce the legend Jim Rohn in less than five hours, I began to write:

This particular introduction was not recorded on video to my knowledge, and if it was I have never seen it. Honestly, if Dawn had not found my notes, I may have never thought about it again. But if it is ok with you I would like to share with you what I said the second time I had the opportunity to introduce Jim Rohn, because I think it speaks to what a REAL Mentor is.

In network marketing we call anyone with a title or has made a little bit of money or is popular on YouTube a mentor, but mentorship is much deeper than that. Here was my 2nd introduction of Jim Rohn.

We all know in our heart that we are in the leadership development business. Everything rises and falls because of leadership.

In network marketing, leadership moves products. I believe that leadership starts with mentorship.

I have heard many people describe Jim Rohn as being “the mentor to millions of people” or “the mentor to millionaires.”

We have all read the stories of Tony Robbins and many others who credit Mr. Rohn as their mentor. (Tony worked for Jim Rohn in his beginning days.) I have had the privilege of having 4 great mentors in my life; Jim Rohn was certainly one of the four.

For those reading this article, I didn’t say this in the intro, but people asked me a hundred times that weekend who the other three where so heres who they were:

1) Zig Ziglar: I don’t know where my life would have ended up if not for Zig’s See You at the Top audio program. Many of you have heard my “basement at IBM Story” so I won’t rehash it here.

2) Shaklee Master Coordinator Jim Burke: When I discovered Jim Burke, I stopped listening to every other network marketing teacher – I knew I had found my mentor. I only met him twice in my life and was around him for a total of less than 5 minutes in my life. But Jim taught me, network marketing is a leadership development business through his audio cassettes. (I have over 200 of them)

(3) My Dad, he has shown me what it means to lead by example. Work hard, and treat people the way you want to be treated. There is nobody in the world I love more than my dad Ben Calvert.

MLM Success Podcast

OK, let me continue with my 2nd Jim Rohn Introduction.

Just recently, a startling NEW REALITY has come to me. There are some financially successful people who have achieved their financial success without ever experiencing the relationship with a true mentor.

These people simply don’t know what if feels like to have a Jim Rohn in their life.

A mentor is not just someone whose trainings you enjoy listening to, or books you like reading. A mentor is someone you truly connect with on a deeper, emotional level. A mentor is someone that you form a very personal unique bond and relationship with, even though many times you have never met face-to-face.

A mentor is someone with true compassion, who touches your heart, your soul, and your life. Quite simply, a true mentor helps us create “POSITIVE CHANGE” in our life.

When we are touched, and believe enough to change, a bond and loyalty is created that cannot and will not be broken.

Therefore those people who choose not to grow, learn, develop and change, CAN NOT be mentored to. Some of these people want to be appreciated and looked upon as mentors themselves, however they have never allowed themselves to be mentored to. They have never allowed the “positive change” to occur in their own life.

So because of lack of personal change, they cannot truly understand the bond that exist in a mentoring relationship.

To be a good leader you must first be a great follower. To be a great teacher and trainer you must first be an excellent student. To become a true mentor you must first allow yourself to be mentored to.

It is common for people to achieve financial success in our industry without mentorship. Many 3%ers create success with the transferable skills they bring with them when they join the network marketing profession.

Sadly, when this occurs the two greatest benefits in our business model diminish. In the long run the personal development we experience and the strong relationships we develop mean much more than the financial success.

Where would millions of people around the world be today if, as a young man working at Sears Department Store, had not allowed himself to be mentored to by a gentleman named Earl Shoaff?

Where would people around the world be today if Jim Rohn had not made the decision to become a good student and a great follower?

If those decisions had not been made, would any of us know who Jim Rohn is? Maybe, but probably not, he may have just settled and become a career frustrated Sears manager.

Ladies and gentlemen it is my hope and prayer today that you will open up your heart and mind and allow yourself to be mentored to.

NII Family it is my pleasure and sincere honor to introduce the student who became the teacher, the follower who became the leader, that one that allowed himself to be mentored to and now “The Mentor to Millions.”

Please welcome back to the NII stage with a great New Image welcome, one of my mentors – Mr. Jim Rohn.


I hope by sharing this introduction of Jim Rohn it elevated your thoughts about what a real mentor really is, or needs to be for you.

Most people call someone their mentor if they are about their age, from their part of the country or the world, has funny YouTube videos, or other shallow reasons.

You have read this much of this article, so I would like to really get down to where the rubber meets the road and have a frank, serious, discussion on mentorship.

Do You Really Need a Network Marketing Mentor?

3% of the population have the ability to join a network marketing company and use the skillsets, mindsets, credibility, and work ethic they enter the network marketing business model with and get something started and moving forward.

70% of the population does not need to attempt to build a network marketing team. There are other business models that they are better suited for. I cannot tell you how many people I have told over the last twenty years that network marketing may not be the right business model for you.

Maybe you should spend your time, energy and effort with a different business model. Master flipping if all you are looking for is an extra $500 – $1,000 a month.

Network marketing “leaders” don’t like it when I express these feelings. They are afraid somebody might stop their auto ship. However, my loyalty is to people with entrepreneurial spirit not a particular business model. Everyone has an entrepreneurial path, my hope is that you find yours.

Yes, I believe the network marketing business model is the greatest in the world for giving average people with above average desire the opportunity to create financial independence. However, it is also the most challenging, because the real product is people.

Most people are weighed down with limited beliefs about themselves and their potential. It takes work to re-program your mind, and it is something than most are not willing to do. Pride and ego have stopped many would-be entrepreneurs dead in their tracks.

My focus has always been on what I coined years ago The 27%. Honest, hard working, value focused people that are career frustrated and looking for more out of life, a lot more.

Network marketing is the greatest opportunity in the world for people that want REAL residual income – who want to make money and have the time to enjoy it.

Network marketing is about the opportunity to create wealth and legacy income. If you want a few extra hundred dollars a month, it is not the business model I recommend.

Most network marketers are frustrated, confused and don’t have a clue what they are doing simply because they don’t have a mentor, or even worse, the wrong mentor.

I talked about this in detail in the booklet I wrote on this subject years ago. (the Masses Booklet)

So yes I believe in mentorship and I think all entrepreneurs in every business niche need coaches and mentors.

The right mentor can save years off your journey. The wrong mentor is a guaranteed recipe for wasted time, energy and money.

Over the years I have been involved with multiple business niches. My path, pattern, and process is always the same, to find a mentor.

If you follow them, I believe they will serve you well.

Before I share them with you, let me just ask you, what business /financial niches have you been involved in?

What mentors have you had?

How did you pick those mentors?

In today’s world, there are more opportunities than at any time in history to earn a full time income working basically from home. I recently wrote an extensive article on this subject Real Work at Home Jobs for 2020 and Beyond
so I am not going to rehash it all here.

So what niches have you been involved in, who was your mentor? Why did you choose them?

When I ask this question with private coaching clients I hear the same story over and over.

They jumped on somebody’s webinar.

They were introducing a new or unique business model (At least it sounded that way to them.)

They signed up for the course or master class.

Then they figured out it was going to be much more work and training than they thought, and they hang it up until the next master class webinar comes along and they repeat the same pattern over and over.

Does this sound familiar? If it does, this pattern needs to stop, and stop now.

Honestly, most network marketers don’t even put this much thought into choosing a network marketing mentoring program.

We will talk more about finding a network marketing mentor in a minute, but for the moment let’s really think through this process.

Let’s say that for whatever reason I find myself on a webinar about investing in Tax Lien Certificates. After the webinar whoever was presenting the master class was providing some kind of master class or whatever for $2,000.

I would never join if I hadn’t checked out the instructor or already done extensive research on the Tax Lien Investing niche. So lets say that I decided to possibly move into the Tax Lien Investing Niche. this is the step I would follow.


#1 Figure out who the REAL players are.

My goal is to go through every Youtube video I can watch and read every article I can find on (we will use the example) Tax Lien investing.

My goal is to eliminate potential mentors as soon as possible.

I don’t have to like the way they sound, the way they dress, or the way they talk. I just want to know if they really know what they are doing.

The truth is there are many people, especially on Youtube that are doing as many videos they can on various entrepreneurial niches trying to teach people how to do that which they have never done.

The sad part is many try to act like they do know what they are talking about and most of them are bad liars. A trained eye can sniff these fake gurus out in a minute.

They are trying to pick off people in one entrepreneurial niche and swing them over to the niche where they are selling their courses & training.

Most of these people who are trying to teach people how to do that which they have never done, have day jobs.

It is the same reason you have various gurus like real estate guru Grant Cardone starting a podcast on network marketing even though he has never built a team. His goal is to pick off network marketers and swing them over to his ludicrous real estate investment fund.

So the first step is to go through as much information as possible and try to figure out who the players are and eliminate as many people as you can during the process.

I can usually narrow it down to 3-4 potential mentors doing this process.

#2 Look Behind the Curtain

This is the most important part of the process. So in our example I have narrowed my choice to 3-4 potential mentors that I may want to plug into their courses, trainings and seminars.

(For the record I don’t know anybody in the world that has invested more in personal education than I have. Literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on books, tapes, courses, and private coaching. So yes I believe in mentorship and I have always practiced what I preach.)

So during this step I am going to do what I call “Look Behind the Curtain.”

I don’t give a flying flip how much she or he may have made doing what I am attempting to learn. What I want to know is how many people have they actually taught who have gotten results? What have their students done? Those are the people I want to talk to.

This step will easily eliminate at least 2 of the 4 potential mentors, and sometimes all four, if the business model is fairly new, which is usually what I am attracted to. I believe the trend is your friend.

When I went through this step when studying setting up Shopify e-commerce stores, I had 10 potential people left after round one.

After this, step two. Nine of them were eliminated, not because they didn’t necessarily know what they were doing, but because they had no documented track record of teaching others. Just because they have students (followers) is no guarantee they are learning anything.

Thank goodness for Ezra Firestone, who had the track record of teaching others I was looking for. No, I wouldn’t say in most circles Ezra is the most popular, or has the largest social media following, or has the largest crowds at his events, but the bottom line is – he had a proven track record of teaching others to operate profitable Shopify businesses.

This is a real clue, normally the best mentors do not have the largest followings.


There are multiple gurus in virtually every niche who have the larges followings on social media and at their live events.

However, many do not have the track record of teaching others, or systems that can be implemented and duplicated by other people.

It really comes down to a popularity contest in many cases. Gurus have learned not to challenge people. They have learned as long as they call EVERYBODY a rock star and tell them what they want to hear, they can sell them as much crap as they want to sell them.

Most people flock like sheep! When finding your mentor you need to understand this. However, most people have such a strong feeling built into their DNA to be part of the cool kids class, they end up with the wrong mentor and the wrong culture.

If there is anything that I have learned consulting and training for network marketing organizations and teams over the years, this is it. As a network marketing mentor and leader you have a choice. Inspire Greatness or Cater to Mediocrity.

Honestly, it is because of this experience and observation in network marketing, I am able to quickly identify who the players are in any niche, and who the best mentor to learn from is, does that make sense?

I believe in the network marketing business model – more than any other – that the person you choose to follow is probably even more important than the company you choose to align yourself with. You can recover from picking the wrong company but involvement with the wrong network marketing culture and mentor can cause damages few ever recover from.


I have been involved with the network marketing business model for many years. There is probably nothing that has hurt more good people and over time, run them out of the business, than getting involved with the wrong mentors, the wrong companies, and the wrong culture.

# 3: What is Your Potential Gurus ……..WHY?

Many entrepreneurs focus on making money instead of personal growth and providing real value. So that is the next thing I want to figure out when looking for a mentor; are they value focused or income focused, and quite frankly finding a value focused mentor is much harder than it once was.

Jim Rohn

“Your long term income is in direct proportion to the value you provide to the market that you serve”
Jim Rohn

Jim Burke

“Money is an elusive Rabbit. If you chase it, you will never catch it. You must stop and develop yourself first, and your leadership abilities and money will flow to you, it can’t be stopped. The world pays for leadership, it is the highest paid profession in the world.”
Jim Burke

There is a large segment of society and gurus who equate success with the size of their bank account. Their only focus is to make as much money as possible. They are willing to tell people what they want to hear so they can sell them what they want to sell them.

I am looking for a mentor who truly understands the success of their students is ultimately their success. Zig told us, and network marketers across the globe can quote it, but how many really live it?



When you look at the real qualities of a mentors as we have discussed to this point, and you ask yourself who are the real players as it relates to generic network marketing teachers, trainers, consultants who would be on your Top 5 list?

I always try to advise distributors to find their mentor in their upline. How do you do that? Find an upline leader that has proven systems for teaching and duplicating these 5 systems.

I talk about them in great detail here: The 5 Core Fundamentals of Success

1) Launching New Distributors

2) A customer acquisition and Retail to Recruit System

3) A two step Recruiting Process

4) A Retention System

5) Lead Generation Mastery

Honestly, there are very few “leaders” involved in the network marketing business model today that have a real grasp of what it takes to develop leaders on their team.

Leaders are developed sequentially and systematically. If you express that to most people in network marketing with leadership titles, this is the kind of look you will receive.

This sincerely is the lost Secret to Network Marketing Success.

So when you examine the Network Marketing Consultants and Trainers in the market who are the REAL Players?

We conducted a survey with some our MLM Help subscribers. Several thousand people who identified themselves as newbies in the profession. (Involved two years or less) We asked one question. Name the Top 5 generic mentors in network marketing.

The results were astounding, as it relates to real mentorship, but not as it relates to the sheep mentality. Let’s look at the results.

These were the results, and in no particular order from 5,689 respondents.

#1 was me, that is a wash and means very little because it was our MLM Help email list.

#2 Promotes himself as the MLM Pro. Those that have been around awhile know that a better description would be the MLM Brown Noser or The MLM Backpocket rider.

Many of us know the real back story.

The truth is, if not for Jeff Olson, nobody would know who he is. If he hadn’t had a video production company selling tools to network marketers, Jeff would have paid no attention to him. Most of the President’s Advisory council members (Top Leaders) in the company he started with, knew him as the annoying kid that hung out outside every time there was a closed door NMD meeting.

He would be there at the end of the closed door leadership meeting to see who he could brown nose with after the meeting was adjourned.

Anyway, to make a long boring story short, after getting kicked out of two network marketing companies in a row for cross recruiting, he found himself with no downline, no credibility and frankly no grinding work ethic or in the field skills to build a team. Just a head full of “book knowledge”.

So what did he do? He hired Gary Vaynerchuck to teach him how to be “the next Jim Rohn,” – his words, not mine.

He started doing a YouTube video a day, calling himself the network marketing pro, and eventually the sheep that didn’t know the back story, or bother to look behind the curtain, flocked together which drew more sheep that wanted to be in the cool kids click.

I find it funny and sad at the same time.

#3 Grant Cardone: As previously stated, he started a podcast for network marketers even though he had never been involved in network marketing. Designed to drawn them into his real estate investing world.

The fact that so many of our subscribers could list this dude as their network marketing mentor was shocking. Disturbing doesn’t even being to describe it.

#4 – A lady who has told an emotional compelling success story to network marketers for years, but her heart warming story has never been documented from anyone I have ever met in the last 35+ years supporting this profession.

She may be telling the truth, but if not, there is a special place in hell for her. She has milked a lot of money from a lot of newbies with heart warming stories. I have never personally met anyone who said they have ever been part of her team, honestly I have doubts if she ever even had a team. Yet the sheep follow her blindly as she teaches them how to blast social media pretending like something they are not.

#5 Is probably the most obvious scam artist to enter the profession in the last 20 years. I cannot remember ever hearing anyone in the profession with such a blatant, “I am going to tell you what I know you want to hear so I can max out your credit card” mentality.

He is another one that decided the answer to becoming a guru was a video a day to attract the sheep. Every day teaching them how to do something he had never done, and everyone who has been around awhile, knows he has never done it.

He then convinced the sheep they need to join an affiliate program to learn how to create leads, then convinced everyone that “if they wanted to be perceived to be a network marketing professional: they had to start a blog and blog every day” He did this for the affiliate commissions people. Any mentor in their right mind would not try to convince a network marketing newbie to blog every day!

I wrote an article on it in full detail here.

After enough sheep were gathered, the next move was to join a Gold deal which was a blatant ponzi scheme scam trying to disguise itself as a legit network marketing company. He attracted the quick money grab people and of course all the naive sheep with their blogs joined the heard. It was a small, dinky scammy company.

The word on the street is they were going to get raided and shut down by the FTC, so they quickly merged with a travel company. He sold his distributorship, and today never mentions the companies name, but can’t shut up about how he was the #1 distributor. Of course naive newbies simply don’t know the back story and all they hear is “I was the number 1 distributor for a network marketing company.”

Most recently someone sent me an audio clip from a webinar where I heard him say, and this is pretty much a direct quote:

“I am going to teach you how to become a high paid network marketing consultant, even if you have never sponsored your first distributor or acquired your first customer.”

Just unbelievable. It is scary the number of people that can support anyone whose clear message is “I am going to teach you how to act like something your not.”

However you see this in every niche. Guru mentors promising wealth, fortune, and fame with no skillset development, mindset development or work required.

Who would buy courses pitched this way? I do my best to repell these people, I don’t want them as clients or customers.

I heard a Forex scam artist say on the TV show American Greed, “These people are going to give their money to somebody that is promising them wealth without work. So I just figured I would take all it from them before someone else does.”

That statement may be true, but it doesn’t make it right. These people could have put their money into the flip economy, and got a good start on their entrepreneurial career instead of investing in a business model they had no business being in. As I said earlier, there is a special place in hell for some of these mentor gurus.

Back to the network marketing mentor sociopath. Every month he promotes the heck out of his network marketing mentoring program to newbies he adds to his email list. Every month it is closing up and this is your last chance to join.

The problem is it re-opens every month. Now don’t newbies see what he is doing? Don’t they realize they are constantly being told what they want to hear so he can sell them what he wants to sell them?

This is why finding the right network marketing mentor and the right culture is so important. When you associate yourself with the wrong mentor, the wrong culture, or the wrong company, it becomes harder and harder to separate yourself.

When people like myself and many others tend to speak out about the deceit, the sheep will defend their master even though they know they have let themselves be lead to the slaughter. It is like to accept the truth about the Shepherd they have to accept they are a sheep.

My message has always been, of course you’re a sheep, we are all sheep when we start with fight or flight built into our DNA every time we feel fear or out of line with the herd.

However, I am a living example that with wisdom of the ages skillset and mindset development and a strong work ethic you don’t have to stay a sheep. If you have the right mentor and the right systems that challenge your mediocrity you can achieve greatness. Everywhere you look you see the sheep in their natural, comfortable state. In the media, in corporate world, politics, and every entrepreneurial niche.

Just tell me I am going to be a millionaire, and I will let you sell me whatever you want to sell me as long as it requires no work , personal education, or expansion of my comfort zone in any way. Please keep telling me how easy your business model is and how all other gurus lied to me. (Or politicians, corporate manager,etc)

This seems to be the message most people want to hear. Sometimes it is easier to believe a lie than think for ourselves. I will tell you that yes, some of the most popular generic teachers/mentors in network marketing or any other niche are liars who are going to tell you what you want to hear, so they can sell you what they want to sell you.

I cannot stress how important it is to FIND the RIGHT Mentor. The only way I have personally found to do this is by eliminating as many people that you give your ear to as you can.

The way I do this is with the 3 step process described above.

As an entrepreneur, I believe you should have many personal development mentors that you connect with. Jim Rohn, Zig, Les Brown, Jordan Peterson, Robert Kiyosaki, figure out who gets you motivated.

I believe you need to have ONE network marketing mentor, or whatever business niche you are involved in. Have one mentor with proven PROVEN, UNIFIED, SEQUENTIAL SYSTEMS in place to take you from where you are to where you want to go, and have a PROVEN TRACK RECORD of helping others get there.


I think this is the exact formula for finding a network marketing mentor. Check out as much material from as many mentors as you can when you start, or whenever it occurs to you that you need a network marketing mentor. (Some people come to this conclusion after they have been hanging around the industry for 15 years or longer).

Then choose one and set out to master each system for building a business. Then and only then do you have a chance of duplicating. Systems duplicate, personality doesn’t.

The challenge in today’s society that didn’t exist for early entrepreneurs is that we all have access to far too much conflicting information. In network marketing we can no longer develop closed cultures. I could talk hours about the concept of closed cultures but I won’t here.

I did a double audio program called “The Success Principle the Internet has Stolen” where I get into detail about closed cultures, and how important mentorship is to success.

The reality is managers learn from professors, entrepreneurs learn from mentors.

If this is a topic you are serious about, and I think all entrepreneurs should be, we don’t even make this set available through our office, but you can pick it up on Amazon.

There are Great Mentors in the Network Marketing Profession

Network marketing is a business model that requires trust for individuals to be able to perform at their highest level.

If you lack trust in your company or your mentor, you will never reach your full upside potential.

People have accepted lack of trust in the profession as a normal state and for good reason. However it takes everyone doing their part. What is that quote. Something about ciaos breaks out when good people do nothing. If you are involved with the network marketing business model, you are either part of the problem, or part of the solution. Make no mistake, complacency is part of the problem.

If you are sincerely looking for the right network marketing mentor, I hope these deep insights have revealed to you exactly what you should be looking for. Look in your upline first for your mentor. If they aren’t there then find a generic consultant with a training system you can plug into.

There are good people out there who have very workable systems in place, but you need to find them. We have many graduates from the Network Marketing Training Club and members of The Network Marketing Leadership Development Academy in virtually every network marketing company, who would make great sponsors and mentors.

It is your responsibility to go out there, look behind the curtains and find them. Then plug in, and GO TO WORK!

As always, we will support you anyway we can and time allows.

Dale Calvert

PS Worth the Read from Forbes Magazine:

New Study Reveals Entrepreneurs Need More Mentoring

About MLMhelp.com

MLMHelp.com has been providing support and business content & training for Network Marketing Pro's through this website since 1995. Our office and shipping warehouse is located in Georgetown, Kentucky.

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We believe network marketing offers the average person with above average desire the opportunity to create financial independence, and a legacy income. Our goal is to support you at the highest level along your journey.

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