Network marketing or MLM is a total dumpster fire as a "business opportunity", ESPECIALLY if you’re trying to get your finances in order and pay down you debt. I NEVER recommend it, actually.
And the reason I never recommend it is because I spent 5 long and hard years in the industry and wasted tens of thousands of dollars holding on to the “hope” that I would defy the actual statistics that most people are just never successful and drop out quickly.
And besides that, I’ve seen so many of our most broke, most vulnerable, most financially destitute students over the years succumb to the false “dreams and promises” of wealth being “shilled'' by the MLM industry and I’ve grown to loathe the whole idea.
So today, I want to walk through a recent email I received from one of our students about her experience being recruited by an MLM and walk you through 5 reasons I hate MLMs and why I NEVER recommend them to anyone.
Let’s get into it...
So to give you a little background, this particular student reached out to me about her MLM “opportunity”, not to sell me on it but to get my thoughts and reflections. So, I sent her to one of my blog posts: The Truth About Network Marketing (MLM) about why I don’t recommend MLMs (link below), and this was her response.
“I read your article about MLM and found it very informative and insightful. I am having second thoughts about this business myself. I have only been doing it for two weeks and the amount of time I’ve put into it actually disturbs me.
I haven’t gotten one appointment with anyone and I have already put in countless hours of “recruiting”. I am following everything I have been taught from my coach who got me into it but I am failing!
Don’t get me wrong, so far I love the products, but like you shared they require you to buy (called “autoship”) so many products per month and I just can’t afford that right now when my money is tight and I’m trying to get out of debt.
My coach keeps telling me that once I make director I will get a nice check. But I look at all the money I have to spend to get there?”
So, in my 5 years of experience in MLM, the only people who actually “make it” in network marketing are the ones who drag their already entrenched “downline” from previous opportunities.
So, let’s talk more specifically about why I hate MLM.
First of all, let’s start with some TRUTH, with some ACTUAL statistics about who actually succeeds in MLM:
This comes from an article by “jobsmarketing.io”. I’ll leave the link below: https://jobsinmarketing.io/blog/mlm-statistics/. And keep in mind, for time’s sake I’m only sharing 3 of 19 truths here.
In my longest standing “try” at one MLM opportunity, 2.5 years, I wasted about $30,000 on product, marketing, events… nonsense. I did EVERYTHING my upline told me to do and allowed myself to be manipulated into just “holding on”.
Okay, let’s talk about my 5 specific reasons for hating MLM.
Want to destroy the relationships you’ve worked so hard to build over your… entire life?, Then MLM might just be the thing for you!
I mean really, when was the last time you heard ANYONE say ANYTHING positive about Herbalife or Amway? More on that specifically a little further down the list.
Again the TRUTH is that 99% of people lose money in MLM. But you’re never going to hear that from your leadership.
Why? Because they don’t care OR they may still be buzzing out on the sweet KoolAid themselves.. In many cases your direct sponsor may barely be succeeding OR may be losing even more money than you are.
Either way, the whole enterprise is set up to “sell hope” and to keep you “in”, even to the point of subtly insinuating nonsense like “winners never quit and quitters never win.” The gaslighting and mind control is both endless and legendary.
Now to be fair, I will say that many products in the MLM space are SUPER high quality, BUT you have to keep in mind that they ALSO have to inflate their prices to fund the commission structure.
If you like using the products and don’t mind paying their ridiculous prices… go for it! But please don’t be bamboozled into thinking you’re going to become a millionaire by making just “a little effort”.
This goes back to #1. While I personally received a lot of compliments from people in my network for not putting huge amounts of pressure on them to join my MLM during those 5 years, I KNOW that I destroyed my credibility with many of them just by being in one.
Our culture is BEYOND sick and tired of this industry. The simple fact is that your friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances simply do not want to be “relationally” marketed to by your overpriced and overhyped MLM products and opportunity.
You can try it, just be prepared for TONS of what I think is well-justified rejection.
Now, first of all I have to qualify this, your mindset and HOW you think about your life, your money, your economics is incredibly important. In fact, I teach A LOT about having a “growth mindset” and the benefits of “starting with why”.
BUT a problem arises (and I saw A TON of this in my MLM days) when you start promoting the false idea that “thoughts become things” and that you can “create your own reality” or that you can “manifest your dreams”, that’s really just a bunch of nonsense. And so many of the most vulnerable among us get swept up in this largely because they want the (apparent) success they see their leaders having.
But the only true “secret” in becoming successful as an ACTUAL entrepreneur is as simple (but not easy) as 1) finding a need in the market and 2) addressing that need in the marketplace that creates a win/win relationship between you and your customers for the long term. That’s it.
You can’t “genie in a bottle” that formula by “thinking positively” or by “manifesting” it as you’ll so fervently be lead to believe inside the MLM industrial complex.
No, actual entrepreneurship takes a well thought out strategy, hard AND smart work and TONS of trial and error, and NOT being convinced by some MLM that you’re a small business owner because you “joined” their cult and bought a bunch of their products to try and sell...
I think a GREAT video to watch to that humorously supports my point of view is Spencer Cornelia’s (satirical) commentary and I’ll leave a link for that below.
1. If you’re in debt, the first thing you need to do is get on a solid deb-elimination framework.
I recommend my free “8 Steps To Erase Debt” guide, link is in the description below.
This will give you a roadmap to: 1) organize and optimize your finances, get on a workable budget, track expenses diligently, start a solid debt-elimination plan AND THEN help you prepare for your post-debt savings and investing.
Essentially it's a blueprint for getting control of your money, getting out of debt and then moving on to financial independence.
2. You should also get into a community of like-minded, similarly postured people who share your goals and values of trying to get more control over you money.
For this I highly recommend my private Facebook Group ZeroDebt Tribe:
3. Next, you should try other means like side hustles and/or a new, higher paying job in alignment with your financial plan, which we cover how to do in the “8 Steps” guide as well.
And you may be wondering...
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2. Download one of our free personal finance guides. You’ll learn some of the exact strategies I teach my private coaching students on how to organize and optimize their finances, obliterate debt and move on to financial independence by starting and growing online businesses.
3. If you’re looking for a community of motivated and like-minded people, go ahead and get on the waitlist to join our private financial coaching community. We only open it for new students a couple of times a year, so make sure to get on the waitlist.
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All that said, let's keep on building your financial acumen and make this your best year yet!
Thanks so much for reading and we’ll see you in the next video post!