Probably no other type of business opportunity out there has more of a stigma attached to it than MLM marketing, also known as Multi-Level Marketing, or Network Marketing. In some cases the stigma or taboo attached to it is well-deserved, while in other cases it really boils down to uninformed speculation. One of the things that I have learned from my personal experience in Network Marketing (yes, I was an Amway distributor many moons ago, and then a Quixtar distributor a few moons after that) is that you never really will be able to speak from a position of knowledge unless you have personally joined and attempted to build a Multi-Level Marketing business. A true statement to keep in mind is the fact that nothing comes easy in this life, and if a business opportunity sounds too good to be true, it IS, bottom line. I think a lot of people fall for the latest and greatest MLM scheme because they’re desperate for money and are looking for a quick fix to their financial problems, but the truth be told, hardly anyone in the Network Marketing/MLM marketing industry comes into the business and “tears it up” within a few months of joining. Most people join with a ton of enthusiasm and impetus, but then as the reality of the massive work that lies ahead begins to sink in, and when they realize that their friends and family don’t want a doggone thing to do with it, they will withdraw from the business, close up shop, and end up selling all of their motivational tapes and books on eBay. As a person with a ton of experience in not just Amway or Quixtar but also other MLM companies out there, I can fully say that companies need to be more accountable as to their income claims, and really justify the validity of the claims of income potential. If a MLM company is not honest and realistic about how long it’s actually going to take for the average person to produce a significant secondary income from their business opportunity, it’s going to be a frustrating and disappointing ride for the majority of people who join the business. I guess the fault is on both sides, because on one hand, many companies are not forthcoming with real statistics on how many of their distributors actually make any kind of real money (i.e., at least $1,000 a month profit) and instead pump a “quick riches” scenario to the newcomers, while on the other hand, people in their own greed and desire to get rich quickly sometimes see things in a MLM opportunity that simply aren’t there.
MLM Marketing: The Cold Hard Truth
Most research statistics state that 98% of all people who are members/distributors of Network Marketing or MLM marketing companies make less than $500 a year. That’s a really sad statement, but the stats don’t lie. Why is this? Why such a high failure rate? Again, I believe it goes back to a lack of transparency from a lot of the companies that are promoting their opportunities, and not only that, but the person who is sponsoring someone new into the business a lot of times will mislead the prospect into thinking that it’s going to be easier than it actually is because they’re more concerned about showing their upline how well they can “reel in” the newcomers. Thus, what I have found overall is that greed and selfishness seem to permeate the MLM marketing or Network Marketing arena. This is very unfortunate, because most of the time, the actual business model is viable and makes perfect sense, and is an outstanding way to leverage your time and efforts. But, as many of us well know, people don’t always “behave” as we think they should, so the compensation plan model doesn’t always work out in real life how it looks on paper. I can honestly say that during my stint with Amway (and later Quixtar), the company itself is actually one heck of a company. They make great products that I believe are some of the best on the planet (especially their Nutrilite vitamin line). They have an excellent Dunn & Bradstreet credit rating, and are extremely financially sound. The only issue most of the time is dealing with the kooky “business teams” (i.e., your upline) that you have to join to be a part of the company, because the practices of these teams are not under the company’s control. This is the main area where I have had my “beef” with MLM marketing. I don’t even have the time to go into detail about what all happened and why those crazy practices left a bad taste in my mouth (maybe I’ll save it for another hub), but suffice it to say that I no longer am interested in any kind of MLM marketing or Network Marketing opportunity.
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