MLM FOLLOW UP
So I promised this in last week’s blog. Here’s my take on MLMs. This is my personal opinion from personal experience. I’ve debated on whether to talk about this or not…for over a year! But it’s something I feel like I just need to get off my chest (which is pretty much what I get to do on my blog), and it’s time to share. I realize not everyone will agree with what I have to say. It may even make some people angry with me, but take it with a grain of salt.
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INTRO TO MLM
Multi Level Marketing or MLM for short was new to me seven years ago. In fact, when I signed up for it, I wasn’t even aware that I was signing up to be a part of one. It wasn’t hidden from me, but especially before the MLM boom it wasn’t really something that came up during conversation. They’ve been around for years: Mary Kay, Tupperware, Avon, and Amway just to name a few.
My reason for joining was simple. I wanted to get a discount on the products I was using to help me lose weight. Of course I was told if I wanted to “work” the business to help others that I could. It took me over a year and all my weight loss, but I decided I was ready to take the next step.
BEGINNING TO WORK THE BUSINESS
I started posting my post-workout selfies and asking people to join me or videos of me working out (which I still share because I still hope to inspire). I also started sharing sales and links to my products and talking about how amazing my shakes were (which was all genuine). But it never felt genuine. It never felt like “me”. I went on to get my personal training certification to help me validate myself in the world of fitness. Plus, I really wanted to know more about the body and how it worked and how and why the programs worked. It didn’t help drive up business. At. All.
MAKING YOUR MLM WORK
Most MLMs work based on you building a team. It’s how you get the most out of volume and you move up within the company. And in my experience, you didn’t matter to the company unless you were moving up. It didn’t matter about your transformation or how hard you worked to make yourself better and do all the right things. It just mattered if you were growing your business. You can make money by selling product, but when you only get paid 25% commission on products sold you have to deal in volume. Getting people to “buy in” to you is really hard, especially when you don’t feel like it’s authentic to who you are as a person. So needless to say, that was difficult. (This is why I now take my certifications and keep the money I charge. There was a lot of work to do for only being able to keep 25% of what the person paid. In fact, I helped lots of people who never even purchased from me.)
So if all these things weren’t frustrating enough, you’re told to buy gifts for challengers or offer incentives for those who purchase from you. So your already small 25% commission quickly dwindles. I spent lots of my (hard earned) money on gifts for challengers and coaches who did awesome work. I didn’t mind doing things for people, but in the end I didn’t up making a ton off any sale. Money wasn’t my main goal, but it’s super frustrating when you’re doing a ton of work, your upline is making money off your efforts and not really seeing a return.
I had the opportunity to go to summit once. (Though I wasted my money on a ticket on at least two other occasions I can recall.) Lots of energy. Getting to meet the celebrity trainers. Working out with them. Meeting people who have the same dreams and aspirations as you. It was exciting and fun! The top 10 coaches are there and run work shops. Seems easy enough…but they never give you a plan. Maybe it’s because not just one thing works for everyone. But I always assumed (and still do) that there’s a secret. Maybe not in the very beginning, but let me tell you, getting other coaches under you to a certain level is really difficult. Maybe I wasn’t motivating, but I did everything I could think of to make things work. They also run weekly corporate calls where top coaches share what’s made them successful, and honestly I wonder how many have to go in debt to get to that level. And to have the success of your business depend on the people under you and signing new people…well, it’s just exhausting!
DECIDING I WAS DONE
Year before last I was invited on the yearly Beachbody trip. You could earn the trip through success club points. (That’s anothrt thing: your successful business also revolved around success club points.) For a whole year I successful achieved Success Club 5 every month until, I believe, March or April of that year. Of course I was slightly distraught that I lost it so close to the end with all the benefits in sight. But they through us a line and said if we got a total of 20 points between April and May that we would be eligible for any prizes and/or benefits of achieving it. So I threw everything in to it. Everything! By the end of the month I had achieved 16 points. Added to my previous month it totaled the 20 I needed. Golden, right? Nope. Didn’t even hear anything. On top of this, for such a successful month (literally the best, numbers wise) I didn’t feel good about the month. I didn’t feel happy or like I had really achieved anything. So that was it for me.
THINKING ABOUT IT
The next month, I found out my daddy had cancer. I had already decided I was done with the MLM thing, but I can’t imagine trying to keep up the pace I had for the return I was getting at such a difficult time. Taking off for a year (other than working on my blog and training women in fitness and nutrition). I’ve had time to process things, and I thought now would be a good time to share. I felt it needed to be shared. And with all the crazy MLMs out there these days (some are horrible by the way) I thought I’d share my personal experience.
I will say this, while I don’t plan to join any MLMs soon, if I were to ever join one again it would be Rodan + Fields. Not only are their products ah-may-zing, but they really take care of their consultants. My cousin is one, and she’s been trying to get me to join forever. 😛 She’s a great consultant if you’re interested. (I know a lot more too.) Their set up seems be a lot better than the MLM I’ve personally worked with.
I still do fitness. Heck, I still use the programs that got me into the best shape of my life. They work, they’re fun, and I can get it done at home. (I highly recommend On Demand to people who are looking for an inexpensive way to get in shape at home.) But I’ve realized I don’t need to pay that much for supplements (especially with shipping considered) I’ve actually been able to purchase cheaper on Amazon. I still help and will continue to help my customers over the last six or so years, but I’ll also be working with clients on line either personal training or nutrition. I get to do what I love…including sharing my heart through writing.
If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer. I didn’t specifically mention names of companies (other than the one I mentioned positively) but I’m sure it’s not super hard to figure out. I’m still here to help mamas on their post baby journey.
Until next time….