Thinking of joining a MLM? Read the truth behind the ‘income opportunity’
**UPDATED FEB 28 2018 to reflect a historical change in the documentary I reference in this post.
Ok a few house keeping rules before I JUMP IN.
If you're reading this you probably know me and how I can be brutally honest. I don't "tip toe" to protect peoples feelings and I won't hold back today either. Next I am brain dumping my passion so there will be plenty of grammatical & spelling errors please don't bother telling me there are more important things to worry about in this world.
Let's get started!
For those of you who don't know me I'll give you a crash introduction. I started my life like everyone else I obtained a college degree (paid for with debt) and a JOB making $12/hr. At an early age I was laid off from my company due to down sizing, so I decided I didn't want to go through that again. So, I've been an entrepreneur for a decade full time. Meaning I haven't had a J-O-B for 10 years (since I was 25) I started a traditional business on my own and even though I had NO CLUE what I was doing and I was also the SHYEST person on earth. I also found out that 50% of new companies companies fail within the first 5 years and another 60% fail in the next 5 I didn't. I built my company to number 1 in my market place and generating great revenue. I'm the author of 3 published business books and over the past 3 years I decided to build an MLM company because of the rumours of what it offers (I hate the name MLM I prefer Direct Sales because that's what it TRULY is) alongside my award winning company. I wanted to see how it compared to traditional business and what it offered in direct comparison. I had nothing to lose I already had a successful company but Direct Sales says they offered something I didn't have....TIME. I was attracted to the having a business that allow's you to make good money (as much as I wanted to be honest) AND have time freedom. WOW, I had to find out if this is true or not because it really did sound "too good to be true" but I also learned long ago only broke people have that mindset so I was willing to explore.
In order to protect my award winning company and my PERSONAL reputation I did a lot of research into plenty of companies I chose one that lined up with my personal goals (I don't allow myself to be dazzled by stories, I wanted to see the compensation plan and when the numbers FINALLY made sense based on the effort required I joined the company) I won't tell you what company I chose as I don't want you to be based yourself if you're going to look into this industry DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH, write out some goals of what you want your business to OFFER you as a result of our efforts and find one that lines up. If you like, feel free to reach out to me and I'm happy to answer questions as to why I chose what I chose. You'll also find my personal results at the end of this educational article.
Ultimately this blog post is a DIRECT RESPONSE to an article I read written by some very uneducated people on the MLM industry based on them WATCHING a netflix video that didn't even tell the full story (I saw it circling Facebook world). I absolutely HATE one sided articles it's complete crap and leads the masses of lemmings off a cliff to their death of financial freedom. The article was written (and I WON'T share the link because I do not want it to gain more traction) by someone with a clear job mindset (and their hate for MLM upfront as they even have a NO MLM sticker on there page -how can you be objective if you're already made up your mind?).
As a successful entrepreneur of an award winning company in the traditional business industry it's glaringly obvious that they are biased in their article writings. I fully believe EDUCATION IS KEY and if anyone is looking to start a business in MLM or Direct Sales my advise first and foremost is DO YOUR RESEARCH ON THE COMPANY & THE LEADERS OF THE COMPANY! I personally would never be involved with a company that's been in business for less than 10 years because they haven't proven longevity by going through at least 1-2 recessions. In my book Make Life Happen I also have a check list of things you should evaluate BEFORE getting involved with a company based on your personal likes and dislikes / willingness to learn.
First and foremost building a TRADITIONAL BUSINESS, FRANCHISE BUSINESS, MICRO-FRANCHISE BUSINESS or MLM / DIRECT SALES BUSINESS REQUIRES THE SAME AMOUNT OF EFFORT AND SKILLS BUILDING (big shocker). I'm going to break down this lady's points found in that article that she made based on the Netflix video betting on ZERO a company that is in the MLM industry that the FTC is reviewing a company for accusations from Bill Ackman for being an "illegal pyramid". I have watched the video and was quite annoyed as they didn't tell the full story and it was portrayed VERY one sidedly. Long story short they had issues with there business model a long time ago, the FTC told them fix it they did and are fully compliant. (NOTE I AM NOT INVOLVED HERBALIFE SO I'M NOT BIASED)
UPDATE 2018: Bill Ackman (billionaire hedge fund manager) is finally OUT of his Herbalife short bet. He lost 100’s of millions betting against HLF. I find this wildly hilarious that this many was betting on herbalife failing and he ended up failing and looking like a moron making false claims and loosing millions.
Hilariously UNEDUCATED Article Point #1
"MLM is also known as pyramid selling" then goes on to list a few of the well known companies out there. Ok let's point out what a "Pyramid" is and I'm sure you've heard "The guy at the top makes all the money and everyone on the bottom get's screwed" right?
Well take a look at your JOB or the government, You have a position in your company let's say you are a MANAGER. As a manager will you ever make more than the CEO? NOPE and what about the team you manage, will they ever make more money than you? NOPE ok well issue solved you're working IN A PYRAMID. In MLM or direct sales you are paid based on your efforts. How do I know? Because I make more $ than some other people who've been in the business longer, because I got more customers. YOU DO NOTHING YOU GET NOTHING -this is NOT a government job you cant log 8hrs of work and expect to be paid if not revenue is acquired.
Hilariously UNEDUCATED Article Point #2
How do MLM's work? "In order to join MLM you usually need to buy products to sell often referred to a starter kit or similar. and then in order to remain a seller "
WHY: No kidding....you mean if you're going to sell something you need to be a product of your own business? What type of scam is that, I want to sell XXX yet buy my stuff from the grocery store. (CAN YOU SENSE MY SARCASM) no shit sherlock, you need to buy the product so you know how it works. If you don't like the product -DON'T JOIN THE COMPANY it's that simple.
"One of the biggest complaints we've heard about MLM's is that once someone joins they see every opportunity at a social interaction to make there sales. Resulting in ended friendships"
WHY: This one makes me laugh because they are kind-of right but it's NOT the industry's fault it's the individuals fault they are not looking at this with a BUSINESS MINDSET. You can't build a wildly successful business by talking to your 5 friends every week? NO KIDDING -building an MLM business is just as hard as a traditional business because OUTSIDE CUSTOMERS need to be acquired. If you opened a pizza joint do you think you'll never tell people about it? No you will, you just won't harass people to buy from you. SAME PRINCIPLES APPLY so if someone in MLM is harassing you to buy they are doing the business wrong and you need to politely tell them that you are not interested and would appreciate them to stop asking.
Hilariously UNEDUCATED Article Point #3
Why are MLM's so dangerous? (This one really makes me laugh at how uneducated this woman is)
Her point: You need to pay to join them (there for it's dangerous)
Hey Sherlock, what BUSINESS can you start without an initial investment? Of course there is an investment no one hands over a business FOR FREE! When I started my traditional business I had to invest over $5,000 into getting started for my webpage, business cards, business ID Etc. If you want a McDonalds franchise you have to pay over 1 Million for that opportunity. In MLM you have to pay $50-1000 BIG FREAKING WHOOPIE DO. I hate to point this out to you but there are TWO systems in life, you either INVEST into your own system or you are working IN someone else's INVESTMENT.
Hilariously UNEDUCATED Article Point #4
Her point: You need to uphold certain quota's
I believe this is for your safety, if you sell nothing you make nothing so the company is trying to inspire people to go out and work. If you HATE quota's find a company that doesn't have any. The company I chose doesn't have any quota's which is good and bad all at the same time, when someone in the business asks me "Why haven't I made any money yet" I always ask "How many customers did you help" they ALWAYS respond with "none yet".....we'll that's the point. I don't care what business model you choose if you do not get customers you can not get paid.
Hilariously UNEDUCATED Article Point #5
Her point: The products are often expensive & hard to sell
HARD TO SELL is a mindset and a lack of SKILL I believe. No on his born with "Sales Skills" it must be learned. If you are bad it's because you haven't learned how to sell that specific thing properly. LIFE IS SALES, when you're dating you're SELLING yourself to the prospective date. When you're looking for a job you're SELLING yourself to get the job. When you open a traditional business you're SELLING not only yourself but your company. LIFE IS SALES and if you're not good at it then it's because you need to commit to learning more about it and I strongly suggest reading "How to Win friends & influence people" by Dale Carnegie it really helps educate people that SALES IS DEAD and education is the new form of customer acquisition.
Products are often expensive: What is "expensive"? wouldn't you say this is subject to many factors? Take INGREDIENTS for example, natural elements tend to be pricier than chemical based items. Comparing price is one thing but you need to compare quality. PERSONALLY I'm a huge supporter of product based companies but I chose not to be involved for a few personal reasons. FYI if you're too BROKE to buy from your friends in MLM then you NEED your own mlm more than you know!!!
IF you absolutely HATE SALES then pick a direct sales company that doesn't require a "Sales attitude" and yes they exist I found it because I personally didn't want to be in a product based business. I chose a services based company, I don't sell them anything I just help them reduce there expenses in the home, it's really that simple.
Hilariously UNEDUCATED Article Point #6
Her point: You need to recruit to make any money
LOL: Yes I just laughed out loud. Why is "recruiting" so bad?? Guess what where YOU currently work they "recruited" you. All sports teams recruits great players. In my traditional business I had STAFF which means I recruited people to work for me where I TOLD THEM what they would make. In direct sales / mlm you're recruiting people that want to earn money and they make what THEY WANT because it's based on their own efforts not the other way around. I personally find that brilliant. No one dictating what your'e worth (imagine that).
In order to make ANY MONEY you must recruit: I'm sure some companies do have this requirement but the one I chose doesn't so if this is your fear then find one that doesn't have it as a requirement. I tell people who get involved if you don't recruit you can only build a small business and some are perfectly fine with that as they should be :)
In order to make BIG MONEY you need to recruit a BIG TEAM. Ok this is wealth principle 101, if you want to be wealthy you MUST have a large team you CAN NOT DO IT ALONE! Oprah, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, EVERY Shark in Sharks Tank or Dragon in Dragons DEN and every single multi millionaire has thousands upon thousands of people working for them. If you don't want to earn millions of dollars then don't recruit that's ok not everyone wants this type of income. However if you do want to be a millionaire you can not do it alone this I can promise you. YOU MUST earn money off of other people's efforts this is called LEVERAGE.
Hilariously UNEDUCATED Article Point #7
Her point: MLM's appear to prey on the weak and vulnerable with promises of wealth and an easier life.
I find this point highly offensive. The movie Betting on ZERO did admit they made promises they couldn't keep and lots of people lost money. However you CAN NOT LUMP the entire MLM / direct sales industry into the same category. That's like saying ALL Realtors / mortgage brokers are bad because you've had a bad experience, no there are great ones out there and their are bad ones! LIKE ALL INDUSTRIES AND BUSINESS there are assholes and there are viable opportunities to create your very own company within a proven system.
Anyone that operates with INTEGRITY will never promise what they can't guarantee. And guess what honey, NOTHING IN LIFE IS GUARANTEED except death & taxes. So if you think your going to "Get Rich Quick" check yourself because you're looking for something that doesn't EXIST. Since the average person in MLM that stays in the same company for 10 years ends up being a millionaire.......10 years that's not QUICK....but it is sooner than never.
Hilariously UNEDUCATED Article Point #8
Her point: Most MLM's aren't ethical because they sell the dream that anyone can be successful with their opportunity. They don't clear that only a small percentage off people will make any income.
WOW, This is a masssssive employee mindset here. ANYONE CAN BE SUCCESSFUL IN MLM IF THEY ARE WILLING TO LEARN HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL. A mentor of mine once told me "Success is the study of the obvious." if you want to become successful at something you MUST learn from someone that's succeeded in that specific area. Meaning if you WANT to be successful in MLM / Direct Sales you must follow and do what successful people in MLM do NOT follow what the unsuccessful people do. Success doesn't come by hope and wishing, it comes from learning, trying, and actually DOING the business. I even write about the FOUR STAGES OF COMPETENCY in my book Make Life Happen. We all have to go through these 4 stages and if we don't we'll NEVER master the skill. You went through these 4 stages when you walk, talk, get dressed, learn your job skills, learn sales, learn how to build a business, the operative word is LEARN. If you are NOT WILLING TO LEARN then DO NOT GET INTO MLM or direct sales or even a traditional business for that matter.
Then she lists a bunch of "Facts" that were probably run by the "Alternative Fact Committee" working for the current president and I don't know about you but how can you base YOUR SUCCESS on OTHER PEOPLES FAILURES??? This is like saying you'll be an amazing Doctor because XXX is an amazing Doctor. MLM is EASY to get into, and easy to get OUT OF. I personally wish MLM & direct sales started at $5k entry fee this would reduce the amount of "FAILURES" listed on the page because you bet your ASS if you invest 5k into your business you'll work much harder than if you invested $500! Just think about it, if you invested 1 million into a mc donalds would you show up early, stay late and promote the shit out of your company? OF COURSE YOU WILL, the sad FACT of why most people fail in MLM is because they don't treat it like a business they treat it like a hobby.
Hilariously UNEDUCATED Article Point #9
She also said that you probably won't make any money in MLM / Direct Sales. Well the fact of the matter is you GET NO CUSTOMERS you will NOT GET PAID. This is not a job, everyone is so used to working 8hrs a day and getting paid for 8hrs. In BUSINESS regardless of the structure you may work hundreds of hours for $0.00 but then on the 101hour you're paid 5k which is $50/hr which is much better than your JOB but the work comes UPFRONT!
FACTS about MLM & MONEY
IT'S THE BIGGEST INDUSTRY TO EARN MONEY IN!
NFL = 11 Billion $ industry
Music Industry = 15 Billion $ industry
Video Games = 46 Billion $ industry
Movie Industry = 88 Billion $ industry
Direct Sales = 188 Billion $ industry
SO what does that mean for people involved? YOUR MORE LIKELY TO MAKE MONEY IN DIRECT SALES THAN YOUR JOB OR ANY OTHER INDUSTRY OUT THERE. The PIE is massive, so you can determine how big YOUR slice will be.
FACT: Direct Sales creates more MILLIONAIRES than any other business in the world.
FACT: Direct Sales has created more FEMALE MILLIONAIRES than any other business in the world.
in 1995 the top distributers in the industry were making $100,000 / month.
In 2008 the top distributers in the industry were making $400,000 / month.
In 2015 the top distributers in the industry were making $1,000,000 / month.
VERSUS The traditional WORLD
Out of 100 people that start working at the age of 25, by the age of 65.
1 is wealthy
4 have enough money to RETIRE
3 will still be working
63 depend on social security or charity
29 are deceased.
COMPARE that to Direct Sales FACTS
1 of 5 people generate over $100,000 in sales annually
1 of 25 people generate over $1,000,000 in sales annually
These facts are INDUSTRY FACTS meaning THE PROOF OF SUCCESS IS THERE if you're willing to LEARN.
How is it NOT BLINDINGLY CLEAR that if you are dedicated to LEARNING how to succeed in this industry you can earn as much as you like. Horrible at sales? LEARN more. Horrible at communication? LEARN more. Horrible at leadership? LEARN more. Bottom line if you're willing to learn you can succeed, if you're NOT willing to LEARN then DO NOT GET INVOLVED.
Hilariously UNEDUCATED Article Point #10
Her point: MLM's are different from SMALL business & you're more likely to fail in MLM.
I'm excited about this point because I've got experience in BOTH (unlike the author of the original article) To be honest at first before I was in MLM I had the same attitude when someone in MLM / Direct Sales said "My Business xxxx" It would drive me batty and I would get so angry because I personally didn't believe they really HAD a business. They didn't have to do accounting, staffing, training, hands on work, business work, debt collections & accounts receivable, marketing, advertising, customer acquisition, team/ staff building etc. After building my company for 10 years I came to realize that direct sales has ALL the benefits of a small business without the BULLSHIT (which is accounting, debt recovery, expansion planning, accounting, staffing, ETC ETC) all you do in direct sales is GET CUSTOMERS & SHOW others interested in building how to GET CUSTOMERS. The company does the rest.
The point of you're more likely to fail in MLM is complete garbage because you can only fail if you QUIT. People are more likely to quit there $50-$1000 business then someone who forked over 1 Million for there mc Donalds. This is the only reason the stats are higher it's EASY to get in and it's EASY to get out. In FACT you're more likely to fail in a small business structure because beyond "getting customers" you will also have to figure out & DO the following; bookkeeping, accounting, system creation, marketing on and offline, staff training -hiring - firing, webpage creation & updating, designing of marketing materials, forecasting & analyzing, new service / product trials & launch, overhead as you grow, bla bla bla bla bla I can go on and on because I HAD do do this on my own so I know what it takes. In MLM the head office takes care of all that you just get customers & teach anyone who wants to do the business how to get customers......sounds so hard doesn't it!? 🤦🏼♀️
The AVERAGE traditional business costs $35,000 to START,
The AVERAGE Direct Sales investment is $500.00 to START,
The AVERAGE traditional business takes 3 years to be PROFITABLE.
The AVERAGE direct sales business takes 90 days. A new home based business started every 10 seconds world wide.
What are you willing to risk? 35k or $500 and the EFFORT REQUIRED IS THE SAME!
My Traditional business cost me OVER $150,000 a year to operate so if I didn't make more than that there were ZERO profits and I wouldn't be able to pay my bills.
My Direct Sales Business costs me only $4,000 a YEAR to operate and that's only because I commit to attending the 4 international training events held each year. I already understand that BUSINESS HAS EXPENSES and I'm happy to pay for my education by attending theses events. If you don't want to go to the events you don't have to, but don't expect to be any good at what you do.
MLM / direct sales success is like training to be a DOCTOR, if you're not willing to PAY for your education then don't expect to learn how to be a professional in your industry. It's that simple, I became # 1 in my traditional business because I attended EVERY SINGLE conference until I knew so much I WAS A FREQUENT SPEAKER at those events.
I built a wildly successful traditional business but I was a SLAVE to my company. I worked all the time and had zero life. I never saw my friends, I never saw my family, I had decent money but I had ZERO time and 10 years into my business it was getting exhausting. After 3 years of building my chosen Direct Sales company I made a decision to pursue it more and I'm so grateful that I did. I have more time than I've ever imagined, I've got ZERO stress where in my traditional business I was stressed majority of the time and earning passive income and working with a team of people that WANT to be business owners has been insanely powering. I love coaching and mentoring people to build their own business to suit their goals. From the stay at home mom that only wants to earn a couple hundred each month to the hustlers that want their own empire within a 188 billion dollar industry. I think it's beautiful when an industry is so large individuals can choose what they want to make within that company AND the best part is the industry overall is JUST GETTING STARTED! Were upon a massive paradigm shift where MLM / Direct sales will become the norm. 90% of us are already customers with one company or another, so why not find a company that you believe in and make your own business with in a business.
So bottom line if you're thinking of getting into MLM /Direct Sales. DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST and don't jump on the first company you see. Speak to the leaders in your market place, do they actually WORK with the new people or are they all talk? Narrow down your life goals, where do you want to be, how much do you want to make, do you believe in the product or service? How are you paid does it line up with your income goals? Is it commissioned sales or is it true residual income? (I added a great tip in my book to determine this ask this: "If myself and EVERYONE in my team stopped working today would I still get paid every single month on the work done thus far?" if the answer is NO -and it usually is in a product based business then it's usually a commissioned based business model which IS 100% FINE and can be VERY lucrative but if that's not what you're looking for then keep searching)
If you want to learn more about the journey from my JOB to where I am now in life with more time i've ever had before and how to actually properly build a business regardless of the business model and how to EVALUATE any business opportunity to see if it's viable or not then check out my book Make Life Happen: How to Go from Making a Living To Making a Life.
Not all companies are equal, not all compensation plans are the same, not all leadership is as hands on as they say they are. I'm happy to help you define your goals and point you in the direction that suits your style I have plenty of friends in this industry and they all are amazing at what they do in their company. And before you think this is a ploy to recruit people think again! I'm VERY VERY VERY selective with who I share my company with and who I personally work with. I do this to not only protect the company overall but also to ensure I'm working with the right people. There is nothing more toxic than the wrong person mixed in amongst the team.
SO WHAT IS THE TRUTH behind the MLM "Income Opportunity"
It's wildly underrated and brilliant. It's the ONLY industry that offers a Proven System, Reputable products / services, Brilliant compensation plan where YOU earn what YOU want based on YOUR efforts and not dictated by a boss, leadership & team building elements. Essentially you can build a business without the traditional "Bullshit" associated with all companies like debt collection, staffing issues, legal issues. Be sure to use my checklist at the back of my book to ensure you're researching the company properly this will save you so much TIME, MONEY & EFFORTS by nailing down a company that is suitable to you and your goals.
I'm disappointed that I ignored the industry for so long, yet I also understand that I needed to build a traditional business to understand what a GIFT this industry is to the average person who is scared of failure, nervous to go alone, broke so much they cant afford to get into a traditional or franchise business model. To be COMPLETELY HONEST, at first building this I didn't want to tell too many people because I was afraid of what people would think of me....the judgement....the automatic comments of how "stupid" I am to "jeprodize" an award winning company. Then one day I woke up and realized that EVERYONE has opinion, and they are like assholes they STINK! This was MY LIFE not theirs, I pay MY BILLS not them, I wake up every day knowing I'm helping people transform their life while majority of them go to work 9-5 hating there jobs, boss, and life. FUCK THE OPINION OF THE MASSES because THE MASSES ARE BROKE and I'm not. I don't say this to rub it in peoples faces but to hopefully WAKE PEOPLE UP! If you ever want anything in life you'll have to put up with the judgement of others and keep going forward. Oprah -was told she would NEVER make it in TV. Do you think she cares what people think?
I also TRULY & DEEPLY believe were are upon a MASSIVE PARADIGM SHIFT of understanding the invaluable properties that this industry offers people. Did you know the average bankruptcy could of been avoided by an additional $500 a month!? This could be easily obtained through a small home based business if you actually work it part time. What would it feel like if you had $1000-2000 coming in through TRUE passive income? would you pay off your debt faster? would you go on more trips? would you quit your job? would you take on less jobs? would you help out a family member? THAT'S the brilliant part the choice is yours all because a company set in place a proven system for the average person to build as much or as little as they like.
ULTIMATELY having a network marketing business alongside your current career is a great way to earn extra income part time to help fuel your goals from debt repayment, housing upgrades to even being able to purchase your first home or even upgrade to a different one. FIND ONE THAT YOU LOVE with proper leadership & offerings.
Author, Speaker, Mentor, Entrepreneur Scout.
Helping people create a better life for themselves. You're either building your dreams or building someone else. What do you choose?
(Canada, USA, Mexico, Europe, Asia)
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