Coalition: Linda is kindly sharing her experience with a personal care MLM. This is a cross-post from her blog. We’re putting it up in four parts over the next week, but you can head over to her blog if you want to read all of it right away!
Linda: I would like to stress before I continue that the views expressed in this blog are that of my own. These are my opinions, feelings and my own personal experience of a Multi-Level Marketing company. I have changed my uplines name in order to protect her identity. I have also changed the company name to “Company X” so as not to disclose the company’s name. I thought long and hard about writing this blog, especially as it will be open to view on my website – however I truly believe that this is a form of closure for me. I didn’t realise just how much this had indeed affected me, writing this blog will help me close this chapter of my life once and for all. I have also written this blog in order to help people who are perhaps thinking of joining an MLM, hoping that they are thoroughly researching and reading up on people’s experiences and not just basing their decision on the people who are recruiting them, as sadly I did.
My MLM experience was, thankfully, a relatively brief one. I was unhappy in my office job of almost four years and in November 2018, I was invited to my cousin’s house, where I met for the first time his step daughter (who for the sake of this blog, I will call) Danni. We hit it off immediately and although she was ten years my junior, she was very mature in her behaviour and we seemed to like the same things.
We began to follow each other on Instagram and her posts about “living life on her terms” and working from home, based around beauty and skincare intrigued me. I too loved anything skincare based and I was interested in knowing more about what she did. I had absolutely no idea what a Multi-Level Marking company was, nor did I know about Pyramid Schemes. All I knew was that this could be a way that I could get into the skincare industry and I was open minded when I went along to a local business briefing before Christmas and then to a second, much larger “Success Summit” in January based in London.
Both business briefing and Summit were totally and utterly geared towards positivity. The company hosting the summit and the people on stage were training you to think in a positive way, attracting like-minded people and although some of it was a little over the top – lots of punching the air, whooping, motivational speakers etc. (I felt totally out of my comfort zone, as I am a little more reserved) I embraced the positive mindset and I left feeling pleased and happy that collaborating with Company X would be a good decision, after all, Danni was doing it, she was sort of family and surely, I could trust her? She initially said when we first spoke about me signing up back in December that she would never recommend this business opportunity to anyone if she thought it would be bad for them, right?
I am wholeheartedly ashamed to say, I fell for the MLM scam, hook, line and sinker. I totally signed up to the whole positive mindset attitude, The Law of Attraction theory, the “surround yourself with like-minded people”, anyone who doesn’t support you is a “Hater” or a “Dream Stealer” a “Negative Nancy” who is jealous of your success and doesn’t want you to succeed. I quit my job in January 2019 and totally threw myself into building my “business” and to be fair no one told me to do this. I was lucky enough to have savings to enable me to do so, therefore I threw myself into my Company X business 100%. I sold a few products, only to one friend and some family members who no doubt felt sorry for me. Absolutely nobody on social media was interested and the three enquires I did receive came to an abrupt halt once I sent over the price of the products to my potential customers. People were just not willing to pay the ridiculously high prices for a brand they knew nothing about, without being able to properly test the product, or receive some sort of sample. I could of course supply samples of some products, however I would need to buy the full-size bottle, then purchase little sample pots, and the whole process would come from my pocket. Company X did not provide samples and now of course, I realise why. I was also a little deflated whenever I did receive a package as despite the cost of the products the package looked really cheap. I knew I would have to pull out all the stops to sell these products.
I ploughed away relentlessly, I paid for business cards, I created leaflets, I purchased products to promote on social media, I was always positive, even if things weren’t great, we were trained to never let this show, always promote positivity. What you think, you will receive. I improved my mindset – kept my thoughts on success. I called salons, mobile make-up artists, local businesses, business in London practically every day; only to have the phone put down on me once I explained the sign-up process, no one wanted to associate themselves with a pyramid scheme. I was advised by Danni to create a list of all the people I knew. People from the past, old colleagues, family, the people I knew who worked in shops, even the Hermes Delivery guy became a target. To my immense shame, I messaged/and or called everyone. I literally cringe when I think of the people who I contacted…it was so false…I would never have spoken to them again in any other situation…but this was all in aid of building my “business”, therefore I was willing to throw my dignity in the gutter.
What happens to Linda next? Read Part 2!
Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash