I have this buddy who is deep into the Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) world. It feels like he keeps bouncing from the next big thing to the thing that is going to make the “next big thing” look horrible and scammy. He has attempted to recruit me to a few of these ventures and much to the surprise of no one, but him, I have always rejected. Every time, he contacts me about the next amazing opportunity I always have two thoughts about the very nature of MLMs and they are what makes the opportunity amazing for some and horrid to me at the exact same time.
Between make up, leggings, herbal supplements, water, etc., there is an MLM for everything and anything. They are all pretty much the same thing. Regardless of the product the underlying idea is almost always the same in the end. You sell a product (and some of the more heinous schemes just a dream) that person makes a commission…then they make a commission for every person they recruited who then also make a sale.
The only Good Thing about Some Multi-Level Marketing Opportunities
In my opinion most are terrible, but there is one good thing about some of them (a damn good portion of them are just ridiculously terrible) that has to be at least acknowledged. Multi-level marketing allows people a (hopefully) low cost entry into the idea that they may be able to start their their own business or side hustle. This self actualization comes at a cost which is discussed below, but nonetheless, that is a very valuable to so many people who may have thought that starting their own business or side hustle was not attainable.
Are they great businesses? Usually not. There isn’t much more than that – they just aren’t. Most of the time they are peddling something that is over-priced, but it is the consumer’s choice not to buy something because it is inherently overpriced. These products have to be overpriced, since you have to pay a down-line, the actual company and the seller him or herself. Most of the time you are spending a ton of time either online and/or at parties trying to promote your brand even if you claim it is passive. Notwithstanding, it is giving someone the opportunity to know what it is like to operate a semi-business and/or side hustle and that does provide some value.
The Worst Thing to Me About ALL Multi-Level Marketing Opportunities
As I stated/linked above, there are a ton of things to dislike about MLMs. Most have to do with the inherently overpriced items to provide for a top down compensation scheduule where most people do not make money. There is also the cult like mentality I have seen people take. Those selling the shakes really believe they are going change the world and it is fucking crazy. But to me, there is something worse than both those things when I look at it as a pure business opportunity…the recruiting.
The inspiration for this post was when that buddy came to me about a pyra…errr multi-level marketing wine delivery service. I thought to myself at that exact moment, I have zero interest in signing up other people to do what I am doing…and even if I did why would I create competitors?! If I am the best ever at selling a home wine delivery service why would I want to train someone who could be better than me? Sure, that makes sense if I own the business, but in a MLM you don’t own shit! Everything can be taken away from you by the home company. It is ridiculous.
The only reason you care about hiring and training your competitors is because you believe that one day you can sit on the beach and collect a check. This is such a ridiculous dream considering the guy selling you the dream is still working to recruit you!
Other Thoughts on MLMs
Again, there are a ton of other problems with MLMs, and I have a lot of other thoughts about the topic but they are no different than the other hundred thousand people who think 99.9% of MLMs are ridiculous so why go deeper? I just felt like recording my immediate 2 thoughts when someone comes to me with one of these ideas.