Multi Level Marketing
Ever heard the saying; “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” This has never been truer then with Multi-Level-Marketing. The strange thing is, for some weird reason, the initials MLM have become a four-letter word in many peoples minds. There’s even groups on Facebook that pride themselves in boasting that they’re not involved in one. That is nothing short of tragic. To think of all these people who believe they are right, and are letting an opportunity of a lifetime pass them by because they are too ignorant or narrow minded to find out the truth before passing judgment. Sad. Some of the most successful companies in the world are based on multi level marketing so they were considered pyramids, therefore scams. You know of the soap company I mean or the vitamin company. What didn’t make sense to me about that claim was; a pyramid scam is illegal, but what I was doing back in 1990 had been around for 30 years, was affiliated with fortune 500 companies, highly accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and had a mountain of products.
That’s not a pyramid scam. That’s not even close to a pyramid scam. And, the true MLM opportunities on the internet today are NOWHERE NEAR pyramid scams. I quickly realized the majority of people don’t know what a “Pyramid Scam” really is, they just use it as a lazy metaphor. Often as an excuse when they don’t understand the opportunity that is being presented to them. The term “Pyramid Scam” (or scheme) originated in the 1970’s and initially had to do with bogus stocks on Wall Street. Today we refer to them as “Ponzi-Schemes” or “Bernie Madoff’s Retirement Plan” or for those of us in South Florida most recently, Scott Rothstein effected our entire community in some way, shape or form. This astonishes me, because a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke) is one of the biggest pyramids known to mankind! Think about it; you have the owner of a company at the very top of the pyramid and he makes the majority of the money. Then you have his/her front line managers who make the second most money in the company, then you have those who report to them who make less, then those below them, on and on, until it gets to the guy/gal who punches a clock and works for peanuts. Now THAT’S a pyramid! But it’s not a scam (the ones punching the clock may disagree). Why? One very simple element makes it legal.
All businesses must have one of two things; They must sell or offer a product or service in order to be a legitimate entity in the eyes of the Federal Trade Commission. Wikipedia defines it as such: “A pyramid scam is a non-sustainable business model that involves promising participant’s payment, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme or training them to take part, rather than supplying any investment or sale of products or services to the public.” So there you have it. Multi-Level-Marketing (as a whole) is not a swindle. It is a legitimate business structure when it has products and/or services, and is one of the single best ways for an “average person” to become successful in today’s marketplace. Look at “Herbalife” for example. It is a perfectly legitimate, and very profitable MLM structure, which has produced hundreds of millionaires since it’s conception in the late 1970’s. In the beginning, people scoffed at it’s marketing structure calling it a pyramid, and a silly little vitamin scheme. That silly little vitamin gig reported sales of 2.7 BILLION in sales in 2010! Not bad for a guy who started it by selling vitamins out of the trunk of his car! You just need to remember, when entering a MLM, you need to be diligent in your evaluation, and do your research, but by all means, DO NOT judge it by it’s cover. REMEMBER Profits are BETTER than wages. There are several MLM businesses online that look kind of cheesy, that are true moneymakers, and then, there are those that flash like a million bucks that I would not touch with a ten-foot pole! It can be rather tricky to know which concepts you shouldn’t become involved in, and which ones are the best investment of your time and money. Thankfully, there are ways to narrow down the gauntlet. The only challenge is; “which one do you choose?”. There are hundreds of them all over the Internet. Let’s dive into some techniques of weeding through these opportunities: Google it. Trust me; if there is something wrong with a business, somebody’s gotten mad enough to write about it. “Rip-Off Report” is one avenue where people vent their frustrations. Another way to investigate a company’s legitimacy is to punch it into Google (or any other search engine) search box and look it up. Others will even blog about their unfortunate tangle with the unscrupulous. But, even here you must take all things into consideration. If a company has been around for ten years, and two people didn’t like something that seems rather inconsequential, then chances are it’s not the company who’s in the wrong. Sometimes people are disappointed in an opportunity because of their own expectations, and nothing more. To me, a company is a scam if they don’t pay me what they promote, and if they keep my money and don’t refund it if I am unsatisfied. Also: Check to see if they have a rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and what it is. Naturally, the “A” listed ones are the best. If they are not accredited with the BBB, then check to see if they are registered with the DSA (Direct Selling Association). This organization is very thorough and has its fingers on the pulse of the industry. It is just as well to have a rating from the DSA, as it is with the BBB. Ask around online. Here you have to be careful. When I say ask around, I don’t mean ask your friend who thinks everyone online is on the take. Don’t ask the guy/gal who thinks all online opportunities are pyramid schemes. Remember, there are “ill”-informed people who think everything online is “ill”legitimate. They pay no attention to the fact that an opportunity has been positively featured on News programs, or in high end Magazines. Regardless of these truths, they think you are trying to “pick-pocket” their wallet via an internet connection. This is just the way it is. You can open their eyes, but it takes time. I remember I had one gentleman (actually, he wasn’t all that gentle) tell me point blank; because it was an online opportunity, it simply had to be illegal. How silly is that? That’s like saying; “Because I don’t like a certain food, it can’t taste good to anyone else.” That’s ridiculous! This guy was stuck on stupid! It wouldn’t have mattered if I was marketing Walmart Gift Cards; he would have balked at the very idea that it was an electronic promotion. Now, he is one of my top producing associates.
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