A Fresh Perspective on Pyramid Schemes

First and foremost, I just want to say thank you for yesterday. The comments were so incredibly sweet, and I appreciated every single one of them. It's really cool to be transparent on a blog, and to find that sometimes that helps people to be able to relate to you more than anything. Moving on from that though, I thought you guys might find this interesting/controversial ;) 

I say pyramid scheme, but that scheme is illegal. I think we all know this, but I'm going to talk about what that is. The wiki definition states that it is a "business model that lures members via a promise of payments or services or enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying the real investment or sale of products or services to the public." I called this blog a pyramid scheme, but the companies that I'm referring to now refer to themselves as Multi-level Marketing which is by definition : "the sales force is compensated not only for sales they generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit."

I was thinking on the people that created these models. GENIUS quite honestly. The product itself isn't really all that matters, but of course you want to find one that you believe in and aligns with your lifestyle, but that EVERYONE can relate to money. Everyone wants to make a living, and the possibilities are endless with this type of marketing strategies. Humans love hope. Humans want to be the person at the top, and if you work hard enough, this model promises that over time, you can be that person at the top. The people at the top show the glamour of being at the top, and grow even more by people who want to be at the top. Believe me, I've been allured by this quite a few times. And personally, I would love to see a shift in everyone working from home. I think it's awesome and we all have something we can bring to the table.

Please, PLEASE, remember that I am here to give a fresh perspective on all of this. I know there are a lot of opinions surrounding this. There are a lot of my close friends that do multi-level marketing, and I want to explain in detail how I feel about it. I AM NOT AND WILL NOT BE TRASH TALKING ANYONE OR ANY COMPANY IN THIS BLOG.

Once upon at time, if you've been following me long enough, I was a beach body coach. I, myself, was lured in by the money, I liked fitness (not nearly as passionate as I am now), and so I thought I could make some money on the side. Over time, I realized that I am NOT a salesmen, I can't make everyone a project, and I didn't even really believe in the product enough. I was selling Shakeology to people, but I wasn't even buying it for myself because I thought it was way overpriced for what it is. I'm not trashing Shakeology right now. I actually think it's a great product, a multi vitamin in the form of a yummy shake, and if you place in your money in that area, that's TOTALLY your choice. I just am cheap, and knew I could get those nutrients elsewhere. Yes, it's cheaper than Starbucks but that's not a valid comparison because I don't buy Starbucks either ;) haha! 

As you can imagine, with the following that I have on the inter-webs, I get A LOT of emails and facebook messages from people that I even love dearly about starting with their company. I know that I would do well if I decided to go that route, and if you follow MShell on instagram, she is a prime example of someone who has made the big bucks from Advocare primarily because she already had a large following when she began. There are many companies that you can choose from: Advocare, Herbalife, It Works, Beachbody, Younique, Scentsy, Thirty-One, Mary-Kay, Jamberry Nails, Lularoe, Amway, Isogenix, and many more. No matter what you are interested in, there is a company for it and if you decide to go this route then I would suggest choosing one that aligns with the things that you enjoy. 

I was talking with someone at church one day about a salesmen that came to his door and asked if he could discuss with them about vaccums and how he let him in and talked to him. He didn’t slam the door in his face and say “Go away” and it wasn’t out of a Christian thing to do, but out of this reasoning that he said: “Everyone has to make a living. The man is just trying to provide for his family.”

WOW. That really hit home, and I was just kind of taken back like THAT IS SO TRUE! I don’t’ know why but that really struck a cord with me, and has stuck with me ever since he said that one sentence. Shoutout to Brandon Fitzmorris if he happens upon my blog post ;)

Most of the time, the people that are doing the multi-level marketing schemes are moms. This is not always the case of course, but this is the general population that is targeted. Why is that? They can stay home with their babies while also making an income. That’s incredible. That’s awesome, and the best part is: they don’t have to create a small business from the ground up. IT’s something that is already standing on it’s own and is somewhat well respected or it wouldn’t have made it this far. There are already products that are in place, and BOOM! You can call yourself a business owner in the click of a button and if you work it hard enough, you can stay at home and do this.

Everyone is just trying to make a living. Everyone is just trying to stay home with their babies. At the end of the day, why is everyone so up in arms about that? Why is everyone so hateful about that. There is absolutely no reason to be. If I am messaged about a pyramid scheme/multi-level marketing scheme, I politely tell them that my company actually stands on it’s own as an incorporation and I think that their products are great, but that I’m not interested in this time but maybe some time in the future! J I feel it’s the trend to really get SO PISSED OFF when they ask you to join. I feel it needs to be repeated: these people are just trying to make a living. 

So, here’s where the other side comes in and I totally can relate to that as well.

Why don’t they go get a normal job or create their own start up like the rest of us? Yes, that’s absolutely true but this world would not revolve without all kinds of people doing all kinds of different things. They have chosen to take a leap of faith and step out on a limb to do this thing most of the time. They have been promised by the glamour of those higher up that if they work hard enough, they can “make it” and so what person doesn’t want that?

Everyone becomes a project.

I think that we have to take people who are doing this as individuals and not as the stigma and sterotype as a whole. I have good friends who do this who have never once asked me and I know that they won’t. They know my business model, and they respect that and aren’t going to pressure me. I have other people that I know that aren’t even my friends that do it but have never approached me because they probably understand that my business stands on it’s own. If someone does approach me, it’s just simply because they don’t know this and that’s okay. I just explain it. If you are someone that is doing the pyramid scheme and every person that you meet becomes a project, then that’s a personality flaw and not a MLM business model flaw.

As in anything, BE FREAKIN GENUINE. This is where I’m flip flopping to the other side, and not defending the people who do this model. Please for the love of Jesus, do NOT try to sell me something that a) you do not use yourself or b) you are just tyring to make money off of me or c) you do not know the research and literature behind the product.

I think the most annoyance comes from the companies that are in the health and fitness industry. It’s really REALLY difficult for me because I feel as if I’m providing a product of actual nutrition and I’m competing with massive companies feeding off a society that wants a quick fix, quick results, starvation diets, and supplements. It’s a money gimmick, and that’s not just MLM business model. That’s all over the place in the health and fitness industry, but it’s rough. For example, many times companies will say that something works and in fine print “when also inclusive of a healthy diet”. COME ON PEOPLE! It’s not the supplement that they are charging you hundreds of dollars for. It’s the diet change. However, society is desperate therefore they are going to put the big bucks down.   But, I will always stand by this: No matter how much you trash talk another health and fitness company, that says NOTHING about your product. You don't need to do that. If your product/coaching is good, then it will stand on it's own. You don't need to put down others in order to build yourself up, and if you need to do that in order to gain business, then you need to re think your own business model. 

Lastly, when someone is trying to sell their product, that means that they have to be a salesman. I’m going to give you guys a social media tip. The more you post-BUY MY PRODUCT, the less people are going to buy it. People hate ads-so that’s just a freebie to all those that came to my blog that are doing a MLM marketing scheme! LOL! Social media is an AWESOME tool to be able to get the word out there for what you are doing, and it’s all from inside of your home, but the reason that people are getting annoyed is that you aren’t being creative. Share your life. Share your story. Share this all while using the product. The people come so much more naturally. Yes, you have to let people know what you offer-absolutely. But there’s a fine line. Also, don’t MAKE people see it. Have pages that they came opt in or out of. When someone forces me to be in something on social media, I’m not going to buy the product because I’m already mad that I’m forced into it.

If you are someone that does a MLM marketing scheme, then that’s great. I really hope and pray that you are one of those successful people that make it to the top. I think the ones at the top are actually the ones that have figured out some of the strategies that I mentioned before and that is NOT making everyone a project, not being a salesmen and just simply sharing life using the products.

If you are someone that gets messages all the time about pyramid schemes, just remember that you yourself are trying to make a living, and that kindness is never something that you should just forget to use. If you are someone that despises them, then I’m sure that my blog post didn’t change your mind but I hope that it helps you to see a side that you didn’t before from someone who doesn’t participate in this business model nor do I plan to ever do so.

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