This topic is one that keeps popping up, one that nearly every single human in the world has an opinion on. It saddens me that many still think the MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) industry is all about pressure, targets, debt, bullying and upset. The attitude that anyone involved in a direct sales company is a bull-shitting idiot. To be fair I have been known to be an idiot, but I don’t do bull-shit…. mainly because, well, bull-shit doesn’t build stable businesses in any industry.
I’m gonna be honest, this blog post will require those negative nay-sayers reading it to, at some point, put some common sense into action. Now, I know there are many who don’t possess such an attribute and should you feel offended by that I’m sorry to say, it’s probably you!
Please ask a friend who has acquired this skill, to kindly and slowly read through this with you explaining any complicated paragraphs in a simple manner that you may understand.
While it’s sad that not everyone has a happy tale to tell I do wonder how an industry that is built on lies, debt and bullying still continues to grow bigger every single year. With some companies still trading after 60 years. Surely there are people who don’t feel like this? There must be some people out there who actually did well and do this for a living?
Well, of course, the answer to that is yes…… Myself being one of them!
Of course, many believe this is due to the fact that I somehow sit on my arse and companies pay me to pretend I’ve actually achieved something. Otherwise the alternative is that normal working class people have actually been successful at this??? I’ll let you decide.
*please insert standard eye roll emoji here*
But happy stories don’t generate massive publicity. The media, and society alike, like to encourage controversy & more often than not use their position not to give a fair discussion but to present a stirring pot of publicity. Exploiting anyone they can, portraying it as “public interest”. My hat goes off to them this year, I mean it’s no easy task to turn the entire population of the world against one religion! That takes a whole heap of manipulative talents.
Because let’s face it, that gets the till ringing right? … Oh the irony!
How do I know this? Because I have a brain, and every now and again I actually use it.
It’s a shame that an industry that has changed the live’s of so many people is being discredited so frequently by those who do it badly or don’t want to take the time to understand it. So I wanted to use this platform as an opportunity to show a different, often dismissed as dishonest, side to this increasingly attacked industry and a chance to give my opinion of a business that I have been proud to build since I started, back in June 2014.
So I want to let you know what my truth is. The attitudes, support, friendships, self-development and lifestyles that I have witnessed over those 3 years.
Is it all fake?
Is it as easy as it looks?
Do we really sacrifice small children whilst dressed in green scarves waving hashtag banners??
Are we all just lying money grabbing bastards prepared to take our great granny’s last piece of silverware in the name of Tupperware, Aloe Vera or Coffee!!….( I use the word “all” as I’m sure some probably are )… But should we all be tarred with the wanker brush?
Now I want everyone to be under no illusion as to the kind of person I was when I was first introduced to this. I wasn’t a business woman. I didn’t have a corporate career, a degree or a particularly great network.
Well, unless you call benefit cheats, alcoholics & the great unwashed of our society “a network”.
I didn’t know many people who could afford to buy health products, especially since the government whacked up the price on a packet of fags!!
Most of the people I knew would’ve had a tough daily struggle if I had expected them to buy my products…. £10 for a bag of weed? or £20 on a bottle of plant juice?
I called this “Battle of the plant” due to the constant discussions that started with the sentence “my plant is better than your plant”.
In fairness there is probably more money in the other plant, although those selling it don’t seem to get recognised so much for all the hard work they put in making money for the bloke “at the top” (hang on…can you see where I am going with this yet?), but anyway I digress.
Where was I?
Ahh yes, I was sceptical, I was far from “Happy Clappy” and had no desire at all to conform or do as I was told!
I speak my mind regardless of whether it is welcomed & I always have done, so far, these brainwashing techniques are also not working so well… Awkward!
So I didn’t consider myself to have been “vulnerable” by any means although it has been suggested, by a few critics, on several occasions that I was.
Don’t take my word for that. My family has, over the years, used many a varied word to describe me some of which I can’t even publish but vulnerable has never been one of them! When asked, if they believed me to be vulnerable when I joined, I was met with roaring laughter!…. I’m guessing that’s a NO then?
I was everything a direct seller should not be, if you were to believe the critics of course.
On paper I was the last person you would want to invite to take a look at an MLM opportunity. I HATED MLM, I had nothing nice to say about any company, any product or any person doing it.
I even hid regularly from the Avon lady and used to throw her crappy little book in the bin with no guilt whatsoever…. That’s how much I hated MLM! I BINNED THE AVON BOOK…. An actual national treasure.
She was fucking annoying! Knocking on my door every week asking me to buy her crap make up. Never picking up that brochure on the day she said she would. Always having a face like a smacked arse clearly due to the fact she probably didn’t make more than a fiver a month.
That was me, that was my perception. Sound familiar?
I don’t get angry with the negative opinions because I was the negative opinions! I understand why people think the way they do.
So how the hell did I end up here? Writing this?
Quite simply, I just didn’t ever understand it.
My mind was completely closed to anything bigger than delivering some brochures and making a few quid from the granny down the road.
Some of the common statements made against this industry can be a direct result of someone who never put the work in. Some are from people who had bad experiences. I hate that there are direct sellers who put money before people, but unfortunately in an industry where huge incomes can be generated there will always be an asshole somewhere getting greedier and greedier by the minute, losing the whole point of why they started. That goes for other industries too, that’s life.
So we may as well start with the elephant in the room…. the “FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT” attitude.
I’m gonna be honest and admit I absolutely did this! 100% hands up your honour, I was faking it more times a week than Anna Nicole Smith ever had to!
BUT…. Not about income or suggesting that after 3 sales of a lip balm I was now able to travel to Aldi quicker every Tuesday thanks to the private helicopter.
I’m talking about confidence, there’s times now I still do!.. It’s not deceptive, it’s a necessity to grow.
Unfortunately, that gets taken literally and before you know it you’ve got someone coaching a team of 3 day old newbies to post google images of Ferrari’s with the caption “Can’t decide what colour to get” #NewWheels.
STOP IT!! YOU SIR ARE AN IDIOT! If that’s what you think will grow you a good reputation and a stable income you are in the wrong business. Learn to do it properly or apply for a job where you never need to deal with people ever again!
It may surprise you to learn that I find the mocking, by the critics, absolutely hilarious…. Because its true!
We do go all “Boss babe” and “Hustle” happy! I had an amazing talent in this department, I managed to alienate the entire 9-5 work force in a week with my “If you go to work every day, you’re a twat” style quote pics & meme’s. I used to post at least 4 a day for good measure making sure I pissed off as many career groups as possible and covered the night shifts. I didn’t want to leave anyone out. …. And lets not forget the spam! OH Lordy Lord, the spam! I loved a bit of spam! (anyone else thinking of their nan’s grocery cupboard right now?)
*Note: When this post is copied, cut, edited, pasted by the MLM hate brigade it will of course just say “I’m gonna be honest, I fake it” …. (There you go, I’ve done it for you! You are welcome!)
Most people when they first start in network marketing are looking for a few hundred quid, they don’t for a minute think they will ever live a life really that different to the one they have. Even if they see the opportunity, the truth is we are all programmed to believe we “can’t”. Now, stay tuned for the science bit!
To go from a sceptical member of society with no self belief or confidence, to a six figure income earning network marketing professional you can almost certainly expect that you will need to start working on yourself before learning anything about plants! Some will, some won’t. You have the choice. But don’t expect the income of a professional if you aren’t prepared to become one.
How else would I get my friends & family to take me seriously? BY FAKING MY CONFIDENCE, the confidence I needed to be able to do the things I would need to do to become the person I needed to be.
The more I faked it, the more genuine it became. I didn’t want to speak on a stage, I didn’t want to hold a business presentation, I didn’t want to sit down and show someone the business incase they asked me a question I couldn’t answer.
The only way I could show people I was serious was to do it with confidence…but I didn’t have any, so I faked it! The more I did the things that scared me the more confident I became.
If I was wanting to show others how to do it I had to do it myself. Be under no illusion that whilst we don’t coach the hard sell we are indeed in a sales/retail industry, I was selling myself! (not in the old-fashioned way of course, far too much has gone south for that to be a lucrative business for me, although I would probably be judged less!)
People have to buy into you! I had the same box of products & the same opportunity as everyone else but I was the only one that was “me”. I knew I would have to deal with rejection, negative comments & failure somewhere down the line, I wasn’t confident at all that I could deal with that.
I spent many nights crying, questioning “were they right?” “is this real?”, I just trusted my instincts and kept going, after all, the only way I could guarantee I wouldn’t be successful was if I gave up! The more my confidence grew the less I cried. Two years on and the only thing I cry about now is my electric bill…. Hot tubs ain’t cheap to run you know.
Again this is all common sense, I showed my audience how hard I worked, I didn’t lie about the time I put in, I didn’t lie about the income I was getting, I didn’t lie about the fact that my days consisted of many cake and coffee meetings… they did, it’s the reason I got fat! I didn’t tell everyone they could earn a 6 figure income in a week! And if I had, don’t you think they would’ve been smart enough to work out that’s not actually possible??
I told people it was hard, but I showed them it was achievable and showed them my progress. I never once expected to achieve everything the company offered by doing a pamper party just one time ….. at band camp.
I worked solid, for 6 months, and then some, to achieve a £2,000 a month stable income. To a single mum who had never had more than a minimum wage, bottom of the pile job, that was a big deal…. to me anyway!
I was working alongside my best friend, neither of us would’ve been as successful if we hadn’t built our businesses on ethics. We couldn’t afford to be lazy or treat it like a hobby. So we didn’t!
Another misconception is that we get rid of all our friends and join a cult.
Have I lost friends?
Not really, my friendship group remains strong with those who have always been there, those who no longer stand with me were probably never friends to begin with. People are allowed to choose who they keep close, we move on, that’s life. When you’re life starts to go in a better direction than those around you, you will always outgrow your friendship to a certain degree. Thats a fact, it’s not just a network marketing thing.
Why would I want to spend my time surrounded by people who only complain about their circumstances rather than do something about it? No thanks, I’m off over there to spend time with positive and driven people who inspire me to be a better me…. See ya later Dave!
Jokes aside, here’s the serious bit.
I started in this industry with £17 in the bank. I had nothing except daily pain, declining health and a resignation acceptance from a job I loved in the care industry. I didn’t know if it would pay off, I didn’t know anything about health products or network marketing.
I had been given products to try and had life changing results. That may not be the case for everyone, but it was for me. Why wouldn’t I talk to everyone I knew that was suffering in the way I was? That’s not deceiving people, that’s wanting other people to know there’s an alternative to popping 18 painkillers a day!
I stand by that to this day and will always be grateful someone actually gave me that option. If you find yourself “hounded” by an over enthusiastic direct seller don’t just assume they are trying to con your last £1 out of you, maybe ask yourself if that person is merely offering you the chance to be as excited as they are about products they believe may help you. Be nice, it costs nothing.
How many times have you recommended a product that you love to one of your friends? The attitude towards this changes so much as soon as you know that person is being paid for that recommendation!
Look, I’m not naive enough to think that everyone has people’s best interests at heart but that also means not everyone is trying to squeeze your last penny from your pocket either.
On to “attraction marketing” then!
Do you know what, I have lost count of the amount of times I’ve been caught out by a clever marketing strategy in a high street store. I’ve often come home with numerous “goods” I didn’t need nor want, purely because I felt compelled to be polite or because I couldn’t resist trying the new “get skinny in 3 seconds” wonder product.
I’m still to this day drinking red bull in the hope it will in fact “give me wings”…. So far, not much happening!
Due to my common sense (that word again!) I don’t feel duped enough to gather the masses and demand the company deal with their lies…. It’s not their fault after all that as an adult I lack the intelligence to work out for myself that “gives you wings” is indeed a marketing slogan! It works well.
That catchy slogan has seen the company profits rocket for what is essentially the unhealthiest drink you could ever subject your body to!…. I see that as pure genius!
How many of you buy it? Do you think it’s overpriced? Some people will buy it, some people won’t but no one will start a hate campaign against it will they?
The reality is, this is nothing new! Everyone selling something, whether that be a product, a service, a business or a lifestyle essentially will use attraction marketing.
When you cook that meal you purchased from M&S I can almost guarantee you it will not look like it did on the telly, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t look like that, it just means you’re probably shit at cooking and not best suited to a career in catering.
So if I post a picture of myself, tenderly holding a nice cold gin & tonic from a sun bed whilst capturing the beautiful South African sunset in the background, then that is my reality at that time. That’s not to say there are not days I’m slogging my guts out in the office.
What do people think we do? Carry numerous backdrops in our cases and just hide out at a Premier Inn in Slough for a week?
On to medical claims. STOP MAKING THEM PEOPLE!!!! Ask your customers to seek advice from their GP and stop pretending you’re a bloody doctor! Don’t complain that people moan about us when you’re being a dick!
That said …. I have been witness to similar claims by the general public where cannabis is concerned.
Only yesterday, I was presented with the most hypocritical post ironically written by one of my critics.
The post was of course regarding the products I’ve sold, with a short write-up on her thoughts of how direct sellers conduct themselves. She may have been taken seriously, had it not been for the fact that underneath that post was her “cannabis cures cancer” brain fart!! …. Now call me stupid, but is THAT not what your problem is with medical claims??
I mean lets face it, when you buy cannabis you are also lining the pockets of someone? Probably a local dealer right?? Is it really just me that sees the cringe worthy irony here?
And while I’m on a roll, I feel we should address this issue that network marketing is the biggest problem in the world. It’s MLM that bleeds people dry, uses people, full of money minded greedy bastards with underhanded sales techniques and manipulative brain washing powers?
** NOTE: For those that have only just tuned in and started reading from the above paragraph, you may well be forgiven for thinking this blog post is about the media, national newspapers, large sales corporations, government, most politicians and the BBC **
The reality is it’s about the thousands of people casually going about their day recommending products they really like or a business model that may offer a solution to people they know or meet. As far as I’m aware nothing deserving of a full on crisis talk.
I am grateful I was shown this business. It’s completely changed my life and my family’s future. I will always share it with others with absolutely no shame at all. Who am I to judge who should know about it and who shouldn’t?
If you don’t want to look, politely say so.
If you don’t want to buy any products, politely say so. Its called manners! And the same for any reps out there… HAVE MANNERS!! Works both ways it doesn’t require 2 separate rule books.
From where I sit it seems quite glaringly obvious how this MLM controversy can be solved. This will be a revelation for many reading this, especially the ones who have never once switched the “common sense” button on.
So I want you all to brace yourselves, sit down and plump up a cushion… get comfy.
I am about to reveal the solution to one of the biggest controversial discussions of our generation.
IF you join a network marketing company of any kind, take note of the following: I speak from experience!
- Expect to work as hard as you want to earn. If you want to do 5 hours a week around the rug-rats do not expect a £10,000 bonus by day 12! THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN!
- If you join and hound all of your friends whilst continually spamming your Facebook with “JOIN MY TEAM” “BUY MY PRODUCT” posts you will not only alienate your entire support network but you will also piss off your MLM support network that have spent hours trying to show you how not to do it only for you to think you know best! Of course, on the flip side, if you join and are coached to do exactly that here’s an idea….. IGNORE IT, tell your sponsor they are an idiot and find someone else who actually acts like a professional to show you how to market your products. Trust me, it will be far more beneficial to your income & your reputation.
- DO NOT fall out or argue with friends or family who are not interested in either your product or business. They are not hating on you, they are more than likely concerned. Allow them their opinion and politely ask that they leave you to do what you feel is right for you. On the flip side, should you be one of those family members I understand that you may not want to watch your loved one fail and have to pick up the pieces however, you may also be eating your words in a year when they are paying for your luxury ski trip because you supported them.
- If you feel pressured to do anything and are not happy STOP, look at what YOU joined for, learn what you need to from the people doing it the right way and don’t feel bad for it! YOU are working for YOU not your up-line!
- DON’T spend more than your initial investment! If you want to do what I did and attend every training and event then use your RETAIL PROFIT and invest no more than 1/3. That way you are not ending up in debt learning everything only to walk away 4 months later £1,000 down because the financial stress got too much! No one can make you buy anything you don’t want to!! SELL your product to actual customers!
- DONT LIE about income! There are still many out there who don’t believe we earn well in this industry…. And do you know why that is? Because they have witnessed far too many people suggesting they are on the Forbes richest list since being given a blue ribbon.
- Grow a pair of balls! This is a tough business, you need a thick skin and a coat of steel. If you don’t have them be prepared for lots of wobbles, lots of tears and lots of self-doubt. If you already have these attributes you’re already halfway there!
- If you are a moaning negative nelly and you are obsessed about trying to save your neighbours kids mates aunts cousin from MLM understand it is NOT brainwashing that will make them discard you quicker than a hole-punch in a condom factory, it is the way you have just stamped all over the first happy excited feeling that person has probably had since the release of “who let the dogs out” ..why wouldn’t they want to ignore your opinions after you have disregarded theirs. There is a way to talk to people!! ( If you want some coaching on this I’d be happy to help!)
- If you meet someone with a face like a smacked arse, a bad attitude, less regard for people than a Tory MP & the work ethic of a Jeremy Kyle guest it’s probably a good idea NOT to sign them up…. Although saying that, they signed me and it worked out just fine. You can never judge who will or won’t make a success of it. That is up to the individual.
- Some people are already doing their dream job & loving it, respect that! Not everyone wants to be a network marketing professional and with 7 billion people in the world….. Thats ok.
- The way you behave reflects on us all, put the customer need before profit, do it honestly & be a professional. Have integrity, respect other direct sellers and don’t use trash talk about other companies to benefit your own. It’s highly unprofessional and only makes you look an arse.
- If you don’t want to do these things, Network Marketing is not for you!
I could really go on with this but I’m hoping by now you get the idea.
It all comes down to COMMON SENSE! Although, it seems it’s not that common at all.
There are good and bad in every industry, career, job, business, group of people. You can’t please every one and there is absolutely no point in trying. BUT you can educate, you can choose to build your business the right way, with ethics, with honesty and with passion. You don’t have to lose your sense of reality and become the most irritating person in the world to be around.
I have ultimately gone on to have a nice income. But that has come after 3 years of learning, reading, pushing myself, getting it wrong, getting it wrong again, picking myself up, working on myself, learning to be a better person, late nights, early mornings, emotional meltdowns and bloody hard work!
Have I always done it right? No of course not, it’s the reason I’m able to understand both sides of this debate.
But come on, give those newbies a break, hold your nasty sarcastic comments and your spiteful slander. Stop and think that sometimes you may be wrong. Don’t assume we are all in need of saving or that we all have a greedy nature. Don’t underestimate the power of self belief in someone. They may shock you in their abilities to achieve more than you ever thought possible.
Network marketing has given me choices, I have financial independence, I have a job I love, I have the same amazing friends I had before and some amazing new ones. I have a family that keep me grounded. I get to watch people grow in confidence and ability and help them achieve things they never believed they would.
I have confidence and self belief, I have time!
Time to pursue other things I am passionate about. I know my story is truth, I don’t need to prove that to an army of keyboard warriors or anyone else for that matter. I have been able to use my network to raise thousands for charity and I have been a part of some of the most humbling fundraising campaigns around the world.
I am proud to represent those that stand for values, ethics & integrity. We encourage others to be all these things by leading by example. Yes, they make mistakes along the way just like we do but give them a break!!
The MLM industry has delivered on every single promise…. and then some.
THAT is my reality & my truth.
You see, these little home based businesses CAN give you anything from a few hundred pounds to top up the holiday fund to a multiple 6 figure income, time freedom and life changing choices, but it depends on how hard you are prepared to work.
Huge success in any industry will be tough. This is no different. It has been the hardest road I’ve ever travelled.
Was it worth it and the best decision I’ve ever made?