Did it just get cold in my inbox, or was it YOU SPAMMING ME!?
Alright, seriously, can we get it together, fellow MLM people? I’ve been in the field since 2012 – I have certainly made my fair share of tacky mistakes, but this is just out of hand. Let’s see a show of hands, how many of us have received an unsolicited message in our Facebook inbox? One of those “hey girl!” messages that makes you want to scream, with its inept attempt at “catching up” while actually disregarding how you’re actually doing, ignoring real, needs and real situations in yours, the “prospect’s” (not friend – friends want to be friends first and maybe sell later) life.
For those of you who don’t know, MLM stands for Multi Level Marketing. In general, it can be an excellent path in terms of flexibility and cash flow, even coming from someone like myself who has spent 1/3 of my MLM career at rock bottom of a company. Its a much-maligned industry. The lack of effective training and leadership is appalling and I’m not just referring to the person who recruited you – I’m talking about the soulless person who is the CEO. In the wrong company, you can get taken for a horrifying ride. (check out this article)
Let’s just get this on the table right now: cold messaging someone is NOT ok and completely ineffective! I know its touted as the “easiest,” “no-mess” way to quickly “qualify” “leads.” I put all these in quotes because its none of these. Any leader who “went places” because she did this method may have climbed a ladder quickly through sheer grit and consistency in her crappiness. (She sent 100 cold messages each day, consistently, and managed to recruit and sell every month, forging her way to the top ranks of the company; she probably also plummeted equally as fast when her people flaked, her sales were inconsistent, and she had to keep flogging her friends list to keep up the facade). Do yourself a favor and do not learn from this psuedo-leader. She went places by stepping on people, treating people solely based on their ability to buy or join her team, and gives the entire industry a horrible name.
MLM is not an easy industry by any stretch of the imagination. Being an independent business owner is even harder. In MLM, you have the benefit of having a product and someone paying you to sell said product, as well as paying you to find others to do the same. It still requires work, relationship building, charisma, a lot of patience, trial and error, and a long-term successful MLMer uses heaps of creativity daily. Throw in the questionable viability, necessity and longevity of a product, tack on huge markups on potentially inferior products; you’ve got a recipe for shit soup.
Do me a huge favor: objectively evaluate your product. Stop lying to yourself – if your gut says “this product is not helping me lose weight” or “my hair is not growing better or faster” or “this is a horrifying outfit” or “this product is shady,” IT PROBABLY IS. If people around you are consistently reminding you that they do not use your products, or that they don’t use sketchy proprietary blends, or they use a product with the same ingredients (or better) for a third of the cost… you might be involved in a smoke and mirror show. Look, like I’ve said, I’ve been in MLM for almost 7 years now, and I am proud that I support myself and my son largely via my hemp oil business! I’ve seen som real ugly in my time in the business and I’ve moved on from it! I know you’re not blind to the hanky-panky that goes on in these companies.
Sinking money into one of these businesses (even a “real” business requires an investment, so stop being an asshole to people who put a whopping $150 into starting one, thanks so much) is no reason to blindly support things. DO. RESEARCH. Oh, you’re releasing, say, a CBD oil? Awesome, where is it sourced? Who developed it? Is your company making the oil, or are you just redistributing for another company? What’s IN the oil? No, whats really in it. The label says “hemp oil” but only has 166mg of CBD in the entire 50ml bottle? Hmmm… something is not adding up. You sell a weight loss product but don’t know the first thing about truly being healthy, nor do you care. You don’t understand how weight directly impacts major health conditions like diabetes or PCOS, and vice versa? You have no business directing people in their health. And no, the power point slides you watched does not qualify you as a doctor, nutritionist or expert. It didn’t teach you how to appropriately and sensitively interact with people either, obviously. Cold messaging a fat person to sell them your miracle weight loss product is insensitive, ineffective and highly insulting, not to mention, you have ZERO clue where they’re at in their weight loss or gain journey. They could be 200lb down due to hard work and solid nutrition and you just insinuated they will forever be fat without your help! And to think, your petty butt just blocked someone for telling you exactly how rude you were to them! Get over your ego. Get to know people. Stop being rude, insulting, insult-ed when people tell you its definitely not for them. Referrals are business GOLD and your just cut off your nose to spite your face.
Stop for a second, and instead of just blindly seeing everyone and every product with giant dollar signs in your eyes, evaluate whats really happening. If you’re just a disgusting, black-hearted person who’s not really out to help anyone, you’re just lining your pockets, well then, feel free. Your karma will catch up in a hurry. But if you’re realizing that you might be fanatical about a company that has no moral compass, only a dollar vacuum, its time to roll out and stop harassing your friends, family, and especially people you don’t know.
Evaluate where you want to be financially. Mentally. Emotionally. This company may not be the vehicle for you. MLM may not even be the industry for you. Don’t ever take the time you’ve spent and double down, just because you’ve been there “so long” or “spent so much money.” Live and learn is the wisest thing I can say to anyone who is feeling stuck. And knock off the cold messaging, already. Yuck.
~ Live, Learn, & Do Better ~ Jess
I spent over 4 years with a leading romance company; I only advanced one level, had no clue what I was really getting into; I burnt myself out trying to cram enough parties, often at 2 hour drives each direction, into my schedule to make ends meet.
I spent over 2 years with a health and wellness company where I rank advanced several levels, earned money well beyond what I ever expected, helped countless people, learned more each day about fostering my team of about 40 people. I went on two company trips, went to several conferences, made dozens of lifelong friends – I don’t regret it for a second. It was sad to let it go! But when you go from earning 4 figures a month to $138, somethings gotta give.
And now, I will be celebrating my first anniversary with my hemp oil company in January (I can’t believe its almost been a year!). It hasn’t been an easy road, with a controversial product, learning about something totally new, understanding the CBD industry as a whole, and a very young company with lots of wrinkles to smooth. We don’t offer flashy trips and absurd bonuses – we offer hope and the ability to help more people every single day, with a wildly effective product, unlike anything else on the market.