Having doubts about your MLM?

Are you or someone you know in an MLM? Having doubts?

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Is your business not going as well as you hoped it would? It is ok to wonder why this might be. It is ok to assess what you are doing and what is best for you. It is not ‘negative thinking’ to evaluate what is happening and move forward.

Successful people like Alan Sugar, Richard Branson etc do not just go with one idea and persevere. They have advisors and seek others’ opinions and adapt their strategies according to the evidence around them. Here are some things for you to think about, and links for further information, should you wish to find out more.

1. You may have been told that you can work your business around your family, using spare time or just working a few hours a week to earn great money. Pretty quickly you will find out that to get anywhere, you need to spend a vast amount of time tending to the business. It is not part time at all.

(Here is a short video highlighting the differences between what you are promised and reality )  Unfortunately this video was taken down by YouTube after Forever Living complained it breached copyright rules. The video was of Emma Cooper promising how easy it was to achieve an amazing income. In another video she was saying how hard it was. The two videos demonstrated how Emma was lying to everyone. Forever Living didn’t like that.

2. Even if you are spending a lot of time and effort on the business, you will still not be making money. This is for two reasons:

a) The odds are against you and the maths really doesn’t stack up at all. Statistically, MLMs never make the sellers any money. The maths is explained here.

b) Your expenses will be very high. Do you have to pay for samples, website, postage and packaging, event equipment (tablecloth, leaflets, posters), answering services, training days, mileage, babysitters, hotel costs, training manuals, stickers, bags, books etc etc? Have you been factoring in these costs when working out your earnings? Other industries would provide these sorts of things as expenses and you would certainly not pay for them yourself. You even have to pay for your own coffee at training events.

3. What’s with all the ‘mindset training”? People involved in many MLMs are sent on seminars, webinars and told to read books to help them achieve success. These trainings pretty much all say the same thing- keep on going. If it isn’t working, it’s because you aren’t trying hard enough or you don’t believe in yourself enough. It’s a form of victim blaming. It sells books and keeps people bringing in money to the MLMs a little bit longer. These courses and books cost money and you are just paying to be told it is all your fault. It is not your fault, you are not being lazy or not believing enough. The odds are just stacked against you, you will never make any money in an MLM.

Here is a snippet from Become a Network Marketing Superstar by Mary Christensen:

book quote

4. This leads on nicely to the concept of The Law of Attraction.  Have you been told about this?  The idea is that if you think positively and visualise good things, then good things will happen to you and you can achieve anything.  Seems harmless enough doesn’t it? This is why people go virtual house hunting and are encouraged to visualise their dreams. This is also why negative thoughts and people are discouraged, in case they bring on negativity and failure.

People who believe in The Law of Attraction believe that good things happen to positive people and bad things happen to negative people, because of the ‘frequency’ of these thoughts.  This is why people get caught up in wars, car accidents, illness, plane crashes.  They have brought it upon themselves, even if they don’t realise it. Does this really sound plausible?  Could it be a concept that just makes people keep their business going a bit longer, blaming their nagging doubts for lack of success?  Could it be making people lose contact with friends and family who are warning them against MLMs?  Could it be preventing people from voicing their concerns to other business owners or admitting them to themselves?  Could it be the case that going to all the mindset training where these ideas are encouraged is making some people a lot of money?

5. You may be finding that your friends and family are at best neutral, but more likely to be ‘negative’ towards you and the business. They are not being closed minded or jealous, they are concerned for you. You may be encouraged to remove these people from your life and surround yourself by like-minded people. This is not ok. Losing friends and family and becoming isolated is what happens to people in abusive relationships. Please do not write off people who you see as doubters, they care about you and will be happy to reconnect with you. They are not the evil, negative haters that you have been led to believe, they care about you.

6. Is the product you sell really that great? Is it a little overpriced? Are you encouraged to buy a lot of it yourself? Are you encouraged to get your downlines to buy it? Are you the real customer? Here is an interesting clip about the theory of ‘redirecting your spending’. https://youtu.be/T022sL3Negg

Without a product, the MLM would be a pyramid scheme. You buy the product, voila, the whole thing is legal.

7. But there are many successful people out there, claiming to be millionaires. They can retire after a few years and keep on being paid. Really? Have you met any people who have retired from an MLM? Have you seen ANY evidence of this? Have you heard of ‘fake it til you make it? People buy the person, not the product etc’. You may have been told to bend the truth about your own success to encourage others to join you.

They are ALL doing that. Fake holiday pictures, covering up bonus cheque amounts, renting expensive houses, pretending they bought them. Here is a tongue in cheek parody about MLMs and a post on faking it until you make it.

8.  But I’ve seen people at the global rally and the massive cheques! Yes, but how many people get those cheques? What have they sacrificed to get there? How much have they spent of their own money to get those cheques? Where are the people who were brandishing those cheques 20–30 years ago?

I hope that reading this document has given you something to think about. If you are worried about something that you are doing, or been asked to do and feel you are in too deep, speak to someone. There is support out there. Friends, family, other people who escaped MLMs. You will not be treated like you were stupid or you are a failure. Your friends and family will be glad to have you back.

If you want to chat to people who are concerned about MLMs and will welcome your thoughts, join us on Mumsnet where there is a series of lengthy ongoing discussions about it all. You can be anonymous and you will receive a supportive ear. Just jump in at the most recent thread, you don’t have to read it all, that would take weeks. There are a few ex MLM people on here and they discuss why they left and why there is concern for people who are still involved.

Spread the word!