How Multi Level Marketing is a great way to piss off your friends and ALWAYS leave you poor

Who wants to have MILLIONS of dollars coming in EACH MONTH without having to do ANYTHING? Raise your hand! Who wants to retire at 32 and watch the money pile up while enjoying a 6 month vacation? Raise Your Hand! All you need to do is pay $499 and make just 20 sales, and find 3 other people to do the same and help them find 3 other people to do the same, and anyway who cares about the specifics, it’s not so hard and you can make more money than you can DREAM about! Now who’s feeling that? RAISE YOUR HAND! That’s right, can I get a hell yeah? Guys, we’re talking about MILLIONS of dollars. Louder. I said can I get a HELL YEAH!!

The nicest thing I can do for friends that try to recruit me into a Multi Level Marketing business is to destroy their motivation and tell them to get the fuck out.

I know the drill so well at this point. Friend goes to meeting. Friend is asked to think of a real mover and a shaker, who can help grow his/her network. Friend thinks… Judd! Friend calls me about a vague opportunity, or a business meeting, or a social mixer. I ask, “this doesn’t have anything to do with Multi Level Marketing, does it?” Friend gets defensive, tells me just to come anyway, it will all be explained. Sigh. Massive respect is lost.

Multi Level Marketing (MLM), it’s a unique way to market products by recruiting sales people who earn commission on the sales of their recruited salespeople, and on the sales of their salespeople’s recruited salespeople, and so on endlessly. That approach has never worked well to generate significant sales. So how are MLM companies making money?

Independent analysis of over 350 of the most prominent MLMs leads to the conclusion that virtually all MLMs… are recruitment driven product-based pyramid schemes with a 99% loss rate.

Let’s get one thing straight; MLMs don’t make their money from selling products to the public, that is only incidental, to make things appear legitimate. They make their money by selling large signup fees to YOUR FRIENDS. Your friends are their target. Your job isn’t really to sell anything, it’s to recruit your friends, trick them if you have to, and let the speakers at the meetings lie about what your friends should expect. Then they encourage you to use the bond of your friendship to get your friends to write a check for a few hundred dollars and sign up as a salesperson. Soon your friends realize, selling product doesn’t pay the bills, in order for your friends to make their money back, they need to recruit their friends to sign up. Rinse and repeat and the MLM collects the signup fees. (The only thing that separates MLM from illegal Pyramid and Ponzi schemes and makes it legal is its weak association with selling a real product.)

Anyone who has ever earned any money in MLM has worked VERY hard for it. NO ONE, not one person in the world has ever experienced the smooth sailing experience pitched every week to the millions of recruits at the recruitment meetings. The speakers are inspiring. They energetically tell you just how easy it is to make so much money. It’s an abject lie. Everyone who has actually received cash doing MLM knows this. Proven by the fact that they’re busy desperately trying to recruit you for your signup fee, instead of enjoying their yacht.

But I would guess that most of them don’t realize they’re lying to you..

That’s because they’re lying to themselves. This is not an accident. People stereotype MLM groups as cult like. Well, it really does feel like that. Notice how everyone is so cheerful and full of enthusiasm. Wow, everyone here is just so positive! The opening paragraph to this article is accurate, not exaggerated, that’s how they talk at the recruitment meetings. If you’re going to sell delusions, you’ll need to compensate with enthusiasm to keep everyone delusional.

(Commercials For Herbalife that don’t mention Herbalife. Notice that the websites for these great career opportunities are now down.)

You are being sold bullshit. And your job is to sell bullshit to your friends, and then to help your friends sell bullshit to their friends. The only way not to feel bad about it is for everyone to cheer and constantly be full of enthusiasm. Critical observations, explicitly not allowed. Motivation and enthusiasm are just too important to be jeopardized by logic.

Unfortunately, the target market is desperate, weak, and ignorant people, who feel lucky to finally find the secret to easy wealth. MLMs don’t frequently pull in legitimate strong businessmen.

I know these things because I worked an MLM business when I was much younger. DO NOT think your MLM company is different. NO. All MLM companies are junk. Why? Because as an MLM Associate, you’re not actually offering anything of much value. You’re simply offering your friends an opportunity to scam their friends. This isn’t setting up a stable future. Simple calculations reveal that the great residual income you were promised is almost impossible. Not only is it always tiny, but it’s constantly dropping, as your customer base abandons your product. The only way to keep making money is to keep recruiting, and that is NOT residual income.

Since nearly all MLM participants lose money, it is not difficult to come up with a list of income opportunities that are likely to be a lot more profitable than MLM. Here are some examples:
-Walk the neighbor’s dog
-Mow lawns
-Deliver newspapers
-Use a metal detector to find coins in vacant lots
-Search garbage for aluminum cans to sell for recycling
-Sit on the sidewalk and beg

Even worse, the better you do the worse things become. Animosity from your social circle grows and you find a lot of your downline is unable or unwilling to bring in their friends, and thus they lose their signup fees.

Those who eventually do reach that great high level status that is supposed to guarantee amazing riches, they find that if they don’t keep recruiting, they have no significant money coming in. When they finally reach that high level they fought so hard for, instead of enjoying perpetual vacations and non stop cash, most give it all up and leave. It’s easy to find something better with their skills.

In the business world there is no stable shortcut to offering legitimate value.

The magic pill isn’t real.

If you find yourself tricked into going to an MLM recruitment meeting, remember to keep your eyes open, and that MLM is seriously fucking hard work, it’s not “working smarter”. If you are actually able to make decent money with it, you are certainly able to make a lot more elsewhere. And remember, if this really is as easy as they say it should be, why is your recruiter trying so desperately hard to get you in? Do you really want to be doing this with your friends?

If you have to pay anything up front before you start a job, you're a customer, not an employee


UPDATE: Ok, I’ve gotten heat from Multi Level Marketers that say they did in fact make some money from MLM. Good job guys! Here, I’ve got an idea for you to make even MORE MONEY!!! Send me $495, and for everyone else that you get to send me $495, I’m going to send you a check for $132. That’s even better than what ACN is paying you at about $90/recruit. I know, seriously, this opportunity is so exciting! The world is ours! Dude, we’re going to make so much money together!!!

ps. For an extremely exhaustive analysis of all the major MLM companies go to:

Some other interesting vids and links I found:

Twenty-Seven Unsuccessful stories from Herbalife Distributors

About Pre-Paid Legal

(ACN Investigation News Report)

(ACN Meeting. The speaker, who I admit is very good, is trying to upsell a room of people who already spent $499 each, and convince them to spend more.)