I notice a lot of healers joining MLM (multi-level marketing) companies.
It can seem like a supportive way through the challenges of trying to build a healing practice…. and there are often quality products that may be sold through an MLM that can compliment the work you do.
But there is a problem…
MLM’s promise a lot.
But there is something you must understand about this business model.
After listening to a great podcast on this topic (linked below), I’m re-inspired to share the facts about this business model, in the hopes of illuminating why MLMs do not work and are statistically stacked against your success.
First off, many MLMs **may** have a great product they offer and there is nothing wrong with that. When we offer a service or product that is needed & wanted, we create value in the marketplace.
The problem is that the whole model is designed so that you have to recruit other people. This is called your “down-line”. So, for example, you bring in 5 people to sell the product, and then those 5 people each bring in 5 people, and on it goes. You get a % of the sales your down-line generates. At just the second level of your down-line, you have 25 people selling the product and you make a commission from their sales.
However enticing this is, it’s an unsustainable model. At just 14 levels “down”… there are not enough people on the planet to recruit into the MLM.
The fact of the matter is that the data shows that more than 90% of people, and often more like 99% of people, who join an MLM will NOT be successful with this as a “business opportunity”. They will either lose money or break even.
This is not because 90 to 99% of those who join an MLM aren’t working hard or taking it seriously. It is because the business model is designed so that only those at the top of the pyramid – the people who get in first – have any chance of being successful.
What is particularly painful, is that MLMs go to great lengths to promote that they are offering a business opportunity where income generation and success is pretty much a “sure-thing”. The data shows that the exact **opposite** is true for 90+% of those who join.
Then, most MLMs have this whole other layer of “personal development” and “mindset” work that they teach you, furthering this idea that there is something wrong with YOU if you’re not successful, instead of the truth of the matter that the system is not designed for you to be successful unless you’re at the top of the pyramid.
While there isn’t a legal problem with members selling products directly to customers (because again, there is an exchange of value), it gets really legally and ethically dicey when you’re recruiting others to come in to also recruit other members… knowing that the pyramid is unsustainable and very few CAN be successful.
Plus, it’s painful because members are recruiting their friends & family members as their downline… not really understanding that they are recruiting their loved ones into something that they statistically will not be successful at, no matter how much they “work the system” they learn.
It’s actually fascinating that so many MLMs have been so successful at their recruitment processes, despite 95+% of the people who join *NOT* achieving ANY financial success.
You may make some $$ selling the product direct to customers, but 90+% of those who join will NOT create the income that MLMs promise by building your “downline”
On a personal note… My opinion is that most (not all) MLM products are way overpriced compared to similar products in the marketplace. I mean, is that protein powder or essential oil or ____fill in the blank____ truly so much better or unique than one you can find for a fraction of the price online or at the store?
Again, each consumer can make that decision for themselves and there isn’t anything illegal about selling a product directly to your customers. But in general, it’s a lot of hype… and some would even say deceptive marketing of these products.
There is a lot of research, data and facts about how this business model works and the lack of success the vast majority of those who participate will achieve.
Somehow, MLMs seem to skirt this problem… saying it’s not a pyramid scheme because they sell a product directly to consumers. Again, it’s not the selling of their product directly to consumers that is a problem. It’s the recruitment of a downline to generate income for those at the top that IS in fact a pyramid scheme.
I hope this helps if you are either considering an MLM as a viable income generating option OR if you’ve participated in MLMs and have been frustrated with your success. I also hope it helps if you’ve been the minority of MLM members who ARE successful because you’re at the top of the pyramid… hopefully you can see that your success is built off of the people in the “downline” who will NOT be successful, no matter their work ethic.
Here is a great podcast with more info on this if you’re considering an MLM.