The 80/20 Rule in Network Marketing


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Coffee with Deb: Inspiring Tips for Women in Network Marketing

Where were you when you had your most important AHA! moment in business?

For me, it was in one of my very favorite places in the world – the Flying Star Café in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In fact, that’s where I shot this vlog about that fateful day:

While it might seem strange to you that the thunderbolt of insight hit me in a busy diner, it actually made perfect sense… because at the time the Flying Star was my “office.”

And Tuesday mornings were the day that I invited my network marketing team to join me in a cup of coffee with a heaping portion of free coaching advice.

This habit developed as I was transitioning my career from being a coach that shaped young minds on the basketball court to a business coach that brought all-star tips and techniques for recruitment, training and mentoring into the network and direct sales arena.

The good news was word about my services travelled quickly, and on the AHA! moment day, the line of people waiting to meet with me was literally out the door.

The better news (because there is no “bad news” – only opportunities for growth and learning) was that on this fateful morning, I took a minute to regroup before diving into the hours of coffee drinking I clearly had ahead of me. All of a sudden, a simple yet incredibly powerful rule that I had always relied on for topnotch results throughout my coaching career popped into my head and urged me to do a quick analysis of the crowd eagerly awaiting their turn to see me:

The 80/20 Rule, otherwise known as the Pareto Principle.

Vilfredo Pareto was a 20th Century Italian economist who discovered that approximately 80% of all effects are determined by just 20% of the causes.

This is an incredibly powerful rule of thumb to leverage in business. And when I applied it to my own growing company, I realized that I was doing the opposite of what one of the most effective analytic coaching tools dictates.

I was violating the 80/20 Rule of Network Marketing by spending way too much of my time coaching people who weren’t implementing the valuable knowledge I was sharing with them. The lion’s share of the people waiting for me were seeking my positive words of encouragement, which is certainly a part of the coaching mix BUT if that were all they got from sitting with me, then I wasn’t serving them.

And I most certainly wasn’t serving my own business, which grows consistently only as my clients achieve ever-increasing sales success.


The 80/20 Rule of Network Marketing says that 80% of your team will produce only about 20% of your results.

But 20% of your team – those high achievers that follow all your best practices and consistently implement successful recruiting, training, and coaching strategies – will actually bring in 80% of your profits and growth.

To be clear: I’m not saying that the 80%-ers don’t need your time, because they truly do. The best way serve them AND your own business is to work with them in a group setting. Take about 20% of your time and energy and put it into a group coaching session where you provide them the training and nurturing they need to move forward in their space and at their pace.

But for the 20% that really drive your business – your top producers and recruiters – spend 80% of your time focusing on them.

Once you do the math, you’ll find that adhering to the 80/20 Rule 100% of the time will allow you to boost your average and bring your business to the place it belongs – flying high!

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Deb Erickson

Deb Erickson

Deb Erickson is a Master Neuro Trainer, creator of the ICAN Neuro System, and founder of The ICAN Institute, helping direct sales entrepreneurs break their mental and emotional limiters and shift into consistent action and growth. Besides studying the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience, and creating fresh new tools and content, Deb’s joys include being a mom to two precious fur babies, traveling to beautiful beaches around the world, and enjoying a well crafted latte on her back porch.


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