Ask Mike #3: Bullsh*t Upline Lies?

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"Tom" says he's tired of all the bull-shit lies from his upline and everyone else in this industry. Asks me what he should do first to really build a successful business. I pass on my best two pieces of advice...

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About the Author: Mike Dillard


What's This?

Member Since: 07/25/2007

I'm a Distributor For:: Magnetic Sponsoring

Industry: Marketing and Advertising

Primary Web Site:


We All Need To Take Personal Responsibility

Suggest this anonymous submission shows this person also lacks courage. Perhaps this person should also consider reading "The New Psycho-Cybernetics" by Maxwell Maltz to work from the inside out on personal development. In order to lead an empire you must hone your skills ongoing. Pay closer attention to the posts by members of this BN community.

Here's a clue: Magentic Sponsoring is a funded proposal. Research the value of a funded proposal when you have limited resources.

Eileen Burns — Thu, 05/07/2009 - 4:35pm

Excellent reply Eileen...

Excellent reply Eileen... That book is a MUST READ for EVERYONE.

Mike Dillard — Thu, 05/07/2009 - 5:29pm

Get Sold On YOU First

I can understand where "Tom" is coming from. It sounds like he isn't sold on himself yet. He still doesn't believe he can be successful from the tone of his email.

Selling is a key factor to success. We all sell something to someone every moment of the day. Tom you should read "Kick-Ass Copywriting In 10 Easy Steps" by Susan Gunelius. This will give you the exact steps to using psychology, emotional awareness of buyers and buyer behaviors.

Your upline isn't God...

You don't have to take everything they say to heart. I always listen attentively, take what I need and throw away what doesn't jive with me since obviously I didn't get it.

If you need some motivation and just want to sound off for a little send me an email. I've struggled like you and I've been where you are...lost, anxious to make progress, but pissed at my results.

Take Care, Take Responsibility, Take Your Time.

Lead the Way,
Jamaul Finley

Jamaul Finley — Thu, 05/07/2009 - 6:31pm

Been there heard that!

I have so been there and heard the same bullshit from my so called "upline". I think by the end of my MLM Career I was calling them my "Chumpline" because I found that once I got into my market, I knew more than they did because I could see every flaw in the comp plan and marketing systems, and genuinely tried to talk to them about making changes because I wanted to believe in them, and they always told me to "Stick with the system". What system? The one that does not work???

Anyway, great video Mike! I know that MANY people are starting to see the light here. I see MLM heading for a BIG disaster in the next couple of years and all the leaders who have denied that will then be looking to people like us for the answers!

David Foster

David Foster — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 1:07pm

Why rely on anyone .

I can't understand why people think that just because someone suggest it , it has to work. Common sense has to come in to play .

While You have never pointed me in the wrong direction , I still investigate suggestions. It's my ass in the sling in the end if the advice I follow doesn't pan out .

Troy Phillips

Troy Phillips — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 1:16pm

No Whiners allowed...

I love this vid, Mike.

4 very important suggestions I see.

1. Take responsibility
2. Read Dan Kennedy's stuff (Love book recommendations! and the fact that it wasn't YOUR stuff you're pushing makes it more believable)
3. Success is a logical progression. No step by step. Just "study, learn,, learn, apply"
4. Success,even for the (REAL LIFE) gurus out there, DOES NOT COME OVERNIGHT. Don't believe the hype.

THX, Mike.
We love you, man.

[email protected] — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 1:21pm

PLEASE post Toms reply to your video!

I can't wait for "Tom" to come back with a response to you. The epidemic in this country is not Wall Street corruption, (as real as that is) it's that we've trained Americans to believe in "bailouts" rather than personal responsibility and empowerment.

Sadly for these people whinning is a way of life, and when you meet them you see it in ALL aspects of what they do.

And telling them that THEY are actually responsible for what they have, (as you do so well Mike) is simply, to borrow a biblical phrase, like "casting pearls before swine"....

Scott York — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 1:22pm

A Book That Will Help

I have one thing to say read this book

"How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success In Selling"

By Frank Bettger

Jamiane Farrington

Jamin Farrington — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 1:25pm

Looking to blame others

Wow, this sure hit home ... I hear these same "Tom" excuses every day from people on how have "tried this" and "tried that" and complain of no support or upline help.

Even when you suggest a solution, the complain that it won't work.

Whend you dig deeper you often find the real story ... not taking responsibility for one's own actions or lack of action altogether.

Find a system that is working for others and follow it. Learn how to follow directions and learn to do what works. If your upline is not supporting you ... find someone who will.

Thanks Mike, for opening their eyes ... let's hope they "look, look and listen".

You are an inspiration to all online marketers!

Janet Legere

Learn My Simple List Building Strategies at:

Janet Legere — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 1:25pm

It's Called Life's Lessons

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Aka: If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten!

My Motto:
Find out what Everyone is Doing and Do Something Different - This is what will set You apart from the Herd (the problem with traditional MLM/NM - Yet a Fantastic Opportunity for YOU!)

Dave Rongey — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 1:26pm

"Responsibility for President!"

We don't need politicians or government to take care of us.

WE need them to protect our rights and freedoms(and leave everything else alone, especially our money...for those of us in higher tax brackets) so we can take care of ourselves.

[email protected] — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 1:31pm

Deceiving business?


You should be asking another question on the different businesses out there which are failing.
Banks are falling down hard in this market and mostly due to the deceiving mortgage business (At least 50% at fault). Bank of America asking for $34 billion more from the government just months ago. You begin to wonder what other "real" businesses out there will begin to fall in the coming years.

Still, you need to be cautious in whatever business you decide to get into. Same goes for some deceiving franchises (even the most popular ones).

Aside from that, the networking business is great business to be in because it tones and tweaks your personal development skills which can be applied to any Full-time salaried job, or any business. The bare fact of the matter is that, even though, you may not like it or be aware, you are always selling yourself in front of your friends, family, or coworkers. If your networking marketing is not working for you starting out with the people you know, maybe you said too much about your failures to these people and they just see your business as another flop in your life. There is much to be said about personal development, and THOSE who take advantage and find and correct their personal behavior, speech, vocabulary, presentable appearance, writing skills, sales approach, have a much better advantage in getting a job or at least starting a business. Very interesting stuff, and loving it! Just examine more closely those who are succeeding and those who are not in network marketing or any business. Make your own real case by case examination.

Best of luck!

Andres Garcia — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 1:33pm

Eileen book suggestion

I read this book doing my college days an excellent book to help get and keep you focused. I am going to read it again now that I can appreciate it better. Thanks

Eugene Carter — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 1:33pm

Tom Is Right!

You know Mike you must be one of those people like my brother-in-law feeling that you are responsible for everything that happens in your life. Well that is the biggest crock of bullshit I have ever heard. You honestly think there are not people out there lying to others to sucker them into marketing jobs they know will never be accomplished by these people. You need to take another look, or perhaps you are one of those MLMer's at the top of the chain feeding on everyone you can get in below you. My name is not Tom, it's Jim Roberts and I am no coward, I will tell you exactly where and how the bear shits in the woods. It is nearly impossible to win in any of these so called businesses. I have joined many and failed all and here's a news flash for you, It's not my fault, it is the screwed up people who either dont' give you all the information you need to be successful, or the liars in your upline who swindle you in and then drop you like a hot potato after they get you money! I think you owe Tom an apology and you are the one who either needs to learn how these bullshit schemes operate or come clean and honest and tell us that you are one of those who are ripping people like me and Tom who only wnat to be successful like other people.

Jim Roberts — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 1:35pm

hot air balloon effect

Many successful and would be successful internet marketers suffer badly from a superiority complex.
When you'd expect them to ignore criticism or choose simply to help or not help someone genuinely, they'd rather kick their heads while they lie on the ground. Truly successful people, genuinely successful people would hardly indulge in such attacks on those who are trying to learn, albeit finding people they don't know difficult to trust, for obvious reasons. Why be a school bully?

chris giles — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 1:35pm

Wow what a great answer Mike

I remember shortly after I got in my primary MlM business. I had the same feelings about my sponsor. I had a discussion with him about it and I remember him telling me that I had to build the business myself not rely on him to build the business under me. I am very thankful to my sponsor for telling me that
People in the world today have become a victim thinking world. We always have two choices about the decision we make. One is to be a victim thinking person which means feel sorry for one self. The other choice is to take responsibility and looking at your self and find the fault that is in you and choose to make change instead of complaining.

Like Mike said you can continue to have a pity party or you can choose to learn how to sell. It is totally up to all the Toms out there today. You make the choice not your up line or down line.

Another book that I would suggest that Tom to read is, “Thinking For a Change” by John Maxwell. You can buy the book at That book Tom could change your life if you allow to renew you mind to take responsibility for your actions.

Russ Falls — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 1:41pm passion is network marketing industry

...certified nutritional supplement distributor
"the whole plant best treats the whole man"
My passion is the network marketing industry as the only option for home business entrepreneurs to get ahead..outside the emplyee syndrome..who really wants to work for "the boss" all their lives..and even bosses are diminishing in our rapidly changing world. All generic training about what works and doesn't is always appreciated..thanks

AnneMarie Berukoff — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 2:04pm

Discovering you are 100% responsible is your first priority.

Awesome answer Mike. Most of us were trained from grade school how to do as little as possible, sit down and be guiet. Skills useful for being sheep and working for a union reading comic books. Whining is the current North American past time. MLM is never about an upline except if you think you have a job. MLM/networking is about being the best you, you can be first. You can find "Think and Grow Rich" for free on line somewhere. Read it, breathe it and invest your day in your mindset.... or get a job and be small.

Michael Eisbrener — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 2:04pm

Mike, You Rock!

You're one of the few Marketers that I pay 100% attention to, and not to mention,, one of the few that I trust completely.
Great Answer


Patti Hemmen — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 2:11pm

I had an entire response to Jim Roberts' comment written...

...but man, it is just not worth it.

Wow. Seriously, wow.

johnseiferth (not verified) — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 2:18pm

After You finish whining start to work!

In some way I understand this guy... we all had tough time and sometimes the only way to chill out a bit is to complain about everything!! but after you finish.. take responsibility and start to work! think about something else that you didn't thought
Thanks to mike there are so many way you can approve your business! my favorite is "Building On A Budget"

P.S I Dont Complain Any More :)

ayala nakache — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 2:20pm

It boils down to you

I have been in several different management jobs, owned a couple of physical businesses, and been in numerous self-employed situations, as well as in network marketing, and have discovered one truth.
It's all on me!
In almost every one of those situations, I was told that 'they would show me, train me, etc, and guess what? It was never enough. It became up to me, even when working for others, to figure most of it out for myself.

The key is then, to find the best information to go on. And this too comes down to doing it yourself. Sure there are systems and training. Do lots of reasearch, learn, do something, more research, learn, do something, more research . . . and never stop!

The main business I am doing now probably has the best system I have run across, but how much of why I feel this way is based on all that I have already learned myself before starting with it? Even the best system does not do it for you, you must get good at the system.

What I am getting at here is that just because you have an upline leader, or even a boss, you will never get the whole magic pill. Sure, some are better at training, know more and know how to teach - but you land where you land and you have a choice.

You can wollow in the situation, you can figure it out for yourself, or you can move on - and if you learned anything, you will ask better questions next time before committing.

Upline are just people, and they may not have dug in and really figured it out themselves.

And yes, constant personal growth and development is crucial if your are to become the kind of person that IS successful. There is a big difference between want and IS, and you grow into IS.

It's your life, choose to use it your way!


John Halderman — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 2:28pm

Dear "TOM" ...

Mike if I may ...
A great place to start would be to find something you are passionate about and study it. Ask yourself what it is about this certain (????) you like so much. For me it was makeup ... yeah I know but I'm a chick! It wasn't so much about selling for me and I'm not claiming to be any type of guru. It was about sharing something that I felt other people might want to learn. We live in an information based world that is hungry for more and more information which you could use as leverage. Don't do this if your trying to get rich fast because it's not that kind of business. Do it because you want to share your passion with others.

I've always been able to smell a "SALES PITCH" a mile away and I think people need to understand that we're offering the world our opinions, strategies, and experiences in exchange for money. So an "upline" would only have what they've experienced as a resource to teach others. You may not have those experiences so they might not know how to help.This is why I think Mike's books are so cool because he's giving you his experiences and what he's had to deal with in order for you to figure out and learn from where he's been. If you take the old fashion business model of referrals and referring people to services or products you have to understand that it takes time to develop relationships and trust. Would you trust someone if they had affiliate link after affiliate link on there site with no real content or pictures. If people can't get a sense of what you truly love what your talking or blogging about they're not going to take the next step to find out more about "YOU" and what you may have to offer.

Find something you love and share that with the world. It's working for me. I've had my little squeeze page up for 2 weeks now after reading Mike's stuff I have over 100 folks on my list and I'm not selling anything! Just giving away free information! It's fun ... but I know that as soon as I'm ready to create my own product my hungry little list will buy my stuff.

I've been in Corporate America for a while (not as a business owner but as a little worker bee) and I've heard people say the same things this "TOM" is saying and it's because they've got to much emphasis on making money right away or blindly following others without taking the time to learn what others have done and incorporating it into your own thing. That's why I'm telling you to study what you like and what interests you because in that process you'll learn to sell others with your own research. No one's going to buy anything from anyone they don't know or trust and your wasting time getting all stressed out for all the wrongs reasons. Hang in there! Anyway that's my 2 cents!

Mike thanks for putting yourself out there! It's very encouraging!

Sarah G. Schlott

Sarah Schlott — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 2:31pm

You can complain or you can make money, but you can't do both

Thanks for being straight-up Mike! I enrolled with my current company with someone who was my Diamond upline with another company. Then he quit 1 month after I joined his team.

But I don't hold a grudge. I'm grateful to him for telling me about this opportunity. And I will make him truly regret his decision. :-)

There's so many experts like Mike Dillard that are accessible to every network marketer, that nobody has the excuse that their upline mislead them.

Keep on learning and growing!


David Wilcoxson — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 2:31pm

Is it EVER NOT your fault?

Hi Mike and others,

I keep hearing/reading that statement, "Take personal responsibility"..."It's no one's fault but your own" and in SOME (not all) cases, that may be true. But...okay...

So, if a young child goes to school and the teacher is teaching all the wrong information - let's say s(he) is teaching the multiplication facts all wrong and is teaching that 2x2=8 and 2x3=9 - is it that CHILD'S fault if they are learning the wrong things or learning the wrong approach when that child looks to that teacher to teach them?

So, if someone is a newbie to Network Marketing...never been in it before and the upline sponsor comes along and tells them, "Oh yeah, I'm doing very well with this company and I can and will train you to be successful too!" and then goes on to teach them to make the "warm list" and then to buy leads and do cold calling and do meetings, etc. - if that was what you were taught by your upline and you knew nothing else about MLM marketing prior to that point, how is it your fault or that new person's fault?

What exactly is it that they are taking full responsibility for? For relying on the guidance of their upline and the company literature and trainings (that, again, all state to do those things I mentioned before with the warm market, etc.)? What makes it the person's fault for simply listening to them and mimicking what they are doing that they claim is what brought their success?

I don't quite understand why everyone seems to keep saying - "It's not your upline's fault or your company's fault, it's YOUR fault!"

When is it a parent's fault or responsibility for their child acting up and acting out in public?

When is it a teacher's fault that a child is not learning the proper material?

And again, when is it the upline's (or company's) fault that their downline is not succeeding ALTHOUGH (and I'm not talking about the lazy ones who expect it to just come by magic) they are doing everything their upline and the company trainings tell them to do?

When is it NOT the person's fault (and if you're going to say "never"...why)?



Cherie King — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 2:31pm

to be -> to do -> to get

Lots of people ask "what to do to achieve success"

The are completely wrong.

First, comes the OBSERVATION. A correct observation leads to correct ACTIONS in a natural way.

This guy will never do the correct things until he changes his mind, his point of view, his observation.

As a Business and Life Coach my three most used words with my customers are:


So don't focus on DOING, leverage on BEING.

Choose interpretations that give you POWER, and get off victim behavior. Everything will go better.

Good luck,

alejandroamo (not verified) — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 2:51pm

We All Go Through The Same Thing

All of us in this industry have went through the same old crap that is being rehashed here. Lots of MLM companies today are using the same "Old School" training in their organizations. Well guess still works and it always will work. Network Marketing is a relationship building business and that is where it all starts.

This is not to say that the material Mike teaches is wrong either as it is just another avenue and way to get your business opportunity in front of folks. When you get involved with MLM it is a horse of a different color and unlike anything you have ever seen or did before.

MLM is damn hard work but there have been more millionaires come from this industry than anything else on earth. You are in total control of your income, expenses, downline, training, motivation, inspiration and everything else that goes along with it. Well I'll be...that sounds like a business!

If people are going to whine or piss and moan about what they are involved in then just freaking quit and go get a stinking job! What your upline tells you will work (has for me) but what Mike teaches will work also. It is a different world out there and the W2 days are over's a 1099 world today so get used to it and move on.

I love MLM and will never look back because I can't stand some BOSS telling me that what he pays me is all that I am worth. Step up, work hard and never quit, like 95% of the rest of people do. Money don't grow on trees and anything worth having you will have to work for...period! I make great money in my company but guess what...I work at it, I work hard and I help my organization make money.

You really do have to take personal responsibility for your actions and your results. Your upline won't make you rich and they will not do everything for you either...nor should they. MLM is a business so you need to treat it a such because it can be a million dollar business with the right leaders in place.

Don Egnor
Diamond Elite Associate

Don Egnor — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 3:14pm

Warning, this is NOT a playground. People are seriously angry..

People on this post should be VERY careful to listen to those that want YOU and I to be responsible for THIER failure. People that will try to rationalize their pathological need to abdicate personal responsibility.

Everyone needs to pay attention to these people. It is this kind of fixation on self as victim, and the ability to believe the rest of the world is a fault that leads to increasingly dangerous and destructive thinking and behavior. It will be these people that attack, abuse, sue, and attempt in any way possible to make YOU pay for their failure.

See Jim Roberts attacks on Mike and the rest of the community as “screwed up people and liars”…

“It's not my fault, it is the screwed up people who either dont' give you all the information you need to be successful, or the liars in your upline who swindle you in and then drop you like a hot potato after they get you money!”

and here's the dangerous part, Jim actually give insight into his pathological fantasy that Mike and other people are out to harm him...

“and you are the one who either needs to learn how these bullshit schemes operate or come clean and honest and tell us that you are one of those who are ripping people like me and Tom”

This attack came because Mike had the audacity to tell Jim that he is responsible for himself.

But the one that totally sent me over the edge came from Cherie King, who actually tried to compare an “upline to downline” relationship with a “parent to child” relationship.

People, pay attention here... These adults literally wish you to assume the responsibility of their “Parent, and this is just one more expample.

This is not just wrong thinking about personal responsibility, it is full blown psychosis. It is the definition of “loss of contact with reality” that leads an adult to see themselves as “child” who need their upline to function as parent.

And it is why you will be attacked at some point by these people, just like Mike has been today.

So before you wander out with all your good intentions to engage these people, (and their number is many), be ready for them to turn their full attention to you as their mortal enemy. This is NOT the playground for the well wishing and inexperienced. You have to go in fully armored or you can get hurt...

"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, AND TURN ON YOU AND REND YOU."

Scott York — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 3:46pm

"Build it and they will come" - but they don't, and they haven't

I'll keep this short. I didn't get to open this email until today, and today is Saturday in Oz and that was good because I got to read everyone else's comments - and I agree with them ALL - the good, the bad and the ugly.

Right now I am feeling exactly how Tom is, and Mike's video advice has really helped me, in fact just about everything Mike does helps me it's just I get side-tracked easily. Gotta stop doing that.

My home-business career is like a roller coaster - one minute I'm up, next minute I'm down, next minute I'm in the corkscrew... Do others feel like that?

The only thing I am disappointed about (and yeah! I may have a little whine here - sorry) is the lack of advice from 'upliners' when you sign up for a business about how enormously vast the advertising opportunities are on the internet, and unless you have money to spend to get yourself noticed, and on the top of the page, you may as well forget it dude. It's like they say .. 'Build it and they will come' .. but they don't, and they haven't, so I totally empathize with Tom.

There are so many tens of thousands of people just like you (and me) trying to get our business noticed out there in the internet sea that we feel like a little sardine in a school of fish.

So 'Tom' I promise I'll keep swimming if you keep swimming - OK?

Noela Miller

Noela Miller — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 3:58pm

lol, I know exactly what you

lol, I know exactly what you mean bro... ;)

Mike Dillard — Fri, 05/08/2009 - 4:00pm

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