MLM — More Loose Misrepresentations

With layoffs continuing and jobs difficult to find, a lot of people are signing up for direct selling opportunities as a way to create their own income. Mary Kay reported a 22 percent increase in its new sales force in the first quarter of 09. Avon reported a 51% increase in March in active representatives selling its products. Hundreds of companies promising beautiful skin, free legal advice, reversed aging, magical effects of tree bark, reduced mortgages and unique wealth systems are targeting those desperate for generating income.

As you know, I love entrepreneurial opportunities and am seeing thousands of people who saw their layoff as a wake-up call for releasing a long dormant dream. And there are legitimate options for starting your own business and being “recession-proof.”

But I get tired of the continued misrepresentations by so many of these MLM companies. Here are just a few snippets of recent questions:

Dan, do you have any information on this business? I have signed on as a consultant and I feel like it requires much more time than my upline will admit to.

Hey Dan, Would you check this out and let me know what you think about this? I would appreciate it. According to this guy, this is not something I would have to have meetings for or do any selling…..it’s all done through the Internet. He says that people that aren’t making money just simply don’t have the right leader.
Thanks,

Dan, I am selling make-up products from_____. I also am selling another line of products that I really like. Now they are telling me I can’t do that. I thought I was in business for myself.

These are common questions – and require more in the way of answers than space here allows. Just be very clear – MLM companies are notorious for misrepresenting what is really needed for success. Because there is so much pressure to recruit new distributors, they are very tempted to say it doesn’t really require any selling or much of your time. Neither could be farther from the truth.

If it could just be done on the Internet, why would they care about signing you on? They could just push a button and magically grow their business. But it doesn’t happen that way. It doesn’t matter how great the products are or how wonderful the company is — the bottom line is that it takes thousands of hours and thousands of people contacts.

Now I know many people are looking for ways to be more in control of their lives and time and MLM offers that. But just as there are a lot of mismatches in regular jobs, there are many mismatches in the MLM arena. And here’s the primary reason: Most multilevel marketing companies are promoting a fundamental falsehood, namely, that anyone can be a great salesperson; they just need the right tapes or coaching. That is absolutely false. Most people will never be good enough at selling to make a living at it, especially the nose-to-nose selling required in MLM. And no, don’t tell me now it can be done on the Internet. To succeed in MLM you need to be able to connect with people and have an ability to handle rejection. Most people don’t.

The success of the few comes at the expense of all the other people, the little people who waste their time and money pursuing a goal they can never reach. And that’s my problem with 99% of multilevel companies. You are encouraged to make money on your ability to use other people. Selling is an honorable profession. If you can sell you can provide a valuable service to your customers, taking advantage of no one in the process. Be cautious of companies that provide one solution to everyone’s dreams. Have you been interviewed as a reasonable candidate for what is required, or have you just been recruited as one more number in someone else’s “downline?” If you are building your own MLM business, would you hire Uncle Fred as a salesman if you had to pay him?

The median income for a direct salesperson is $2400 a year, with only 10% of sellers doing as a full-time job, according to their own Washington, D.C. based Direct Selling Association. Fewer than 1% of all MLM distributors who sign up ever recapture their original investment and earn a profit.

Do your research. Yes you can start your own business, but make sure it is something that “fits” you and where you have a reasonable chance for success. A home cleaning service or selling those great cheesecakes you make may be a perfect choice for you.

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66 Responses to “MLM — More Loose Misrepresentations”

  1. therealmotherlode Says:

    You said it, Dan. What’s really sad is how some people just don’t seem to get it. I’ve had friends through the years that when we saw them coming, we’d turn in the other direction fearing another unwelcome marketing blitz for their latest shiny MLM “opportunity”. (More Loose Representation….brilliant….just brilliant!)

  2. Roxanne Says:

    Dan,

    You’re so right. I got “taken” by so many people before I met my current MLM upline. I was told that it takes money, time and effort to build a network marketing business. My upline even went as far as to tell me that if I did not have an income to get by until I got the MLM up and running, he wouldn’t sponsor me. That is how I treat all of my potential business partners. I tell them up front that it will take time, effort and money before they will see a profit. If they aren’t ready for that, I don’t want them to join my business. Most MLMers don’t realize that you are much better off when you build your business on solid ground rather on sand. It works so much better when you are honest instead of spewing around the hype and false promises that are out there.

    Roxanne

  3. Lola Egido Says:

    I hope your article is read by everyone contemplating entering the MLM world. I wish I had known before signing up with Primerica Financial Services. I had no problem sitting for the exams and getting my licenses but when it came to selling to friends and acquaintances I simply couldn’t do it! My leader was too worried about his numbers to be honest and tell me that I was no good! My husband and I lost a lot of money and time. But the most painful loss was that of my self-confidence. It took me a long time to recover from that painful experience. Now, whenever anyone comes to me with a similar pitch, I can’t run fast enough!

  4. Joe Reinstadler Says:

    I’ve had experience with several MLM’s, both good and bad, and I am considdering getting involved with a new one I was recently introduced to. Are there any MLM’s that you recommend or that you believe are legitimate?

  5. Patrick Hogan Says:

    This question relates to the principle that you need to have interest and passion for the specific work you do.

    I once had some dealings with someone who is in the business of franchise ‘matchmaking’, to help you find one that is right for you. One of the principles in the reading material, though, insisted that you don’t need to care about what products or services the franchise delivers, as long as you are OK with the necessary investment of money, time, etc. to make it a success.

    Would you consider this a disagreement with the first principle above ? Or just that the franchisee’s interest and passion is simply in running the details of a business (any business) and thereby making a good income ?

  6. Mike Wilson Says:

    Dan,

    I agree with everything you said and all of it is true. I have been in and out of MLM for almost 15 years and I have experienced everything you discussed and more. MLM is selling, period. If a person can’t sell or isn’t willing to learn ethical sales techniques then MLM is not for them. But not all MLM businesses are bad and there are some reputable companies out there but you must do your homework first.

    I never had much success in MLM until I learned “attraction marketing” which is basically providing value to your prospects first without trying to sell them something upfront or pitch your “business opportunity.”

    I market my MLM business exclusively on the Internet and I never have to chase my family and friends because people come to me instead. It’s all about learning to give before you receive, so to speak. It seems to be working for me but it took me 15 years to get where I am today. I love MLM but it is not for everyone and you do have to put time and money into it before you can expect to see a profit. You have to do that with any business. There’s no such thing as get rich quick, every business requires hard work, time and dedication. All the best.

  7. Gloria Simmons Says:

    I suppose MLM is like the rest of life. You get out of it what you put into it. When I got involved, I was not misled by anyone. I was told it was like any other business – slow to build, but worth it if you stick with it. That has been true. I have stayed with it and the rewards have certainly been worth it. “Sales,” when done properly is nothing more than offering an appropriate solution for a problem that people want to solve. The best “sales training” involves learning effective communication, a skill that I have found beneficial in all aspects of my life. I suspect that the same person who can’t succeed in MLM sales would also find it difficult to sell their delicious cheesecakes, their cleaning services, their 48 Days seminars, or anything else. It’s not that most successful MLM business owners came into the business with the necessaray skills; they were simply willing to commit to a program to develop them. Shame on you, Dan, for speaking in such broad strokes. Last time I checked, my successes and my failures have been the result of my own efforts, including my due diligence in researching companies. Nothing more and nothing less. I’m disappointed in you, Dan.

  8. Kevin Miller Says:

    Great commentary! Didn’t ‘multi-level marketing’ and ‘network marketing’ begin by being called exactly what it is…DIRECT SELLING?! They should just go back to calling it that. And if you are desiring to pursue ‘direct selling’ then go for it.

  9. Rebecca Emerick Says:

    I completley agree with Gloria.Having been a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant for over 30 yrs., I know that people go into their own businesses in a down economy because they want more control over their lives and believe that they can count on themselves more than on an employer. But usually they haven’t been tested in a way that shows them what they are made of. In any business, whether MLM or not, ethics and honesty is needed, both from the recruiter and the recruit. And after watching scores of women over the years come into Mary Kay, the majority of them are not willing to make the effort to learn how to make the business work. mostly unwilling to go outside of their family and friends to find clientele. It takes character traits that are established or willing to be learned that a recruiter cannot always determine when talking to a potential recruit. The recruit and the recruiter usually learn together what is inside the recruit.

  10. Susan Strevens Says:

    It’s true that network marketing isn’t for everyone. It’s true some may get caught up in promotion and feel misrepresentations were made. The same can be said for starting a business baking cookies from home or some other business you desire to start. The truth is most startups fail in the first year regardless the venture. Of those businesses that celebrate the first year, they rarely make it past 3 or 5 years. Research the statistics and you will discover that businesses that make it, usually don’t make a profit during those first 3-5 years either. Starting and sustaining a business is flat out hard work, takes courage and faith. You manage the risks and anticipate reward somewhere down the line. If you buy a franchise, you get a loan and spend the next 15 to 20 years making _____dollars as you pay back the loan. If you buy a business, you have the same thing. The appeal of network marketing is the low barrier to get started and you buy products and services as you learn to build customer base and sales team of other business partners.

    Our educational system teaches us to go to school, get a good education and get a job. How is that working out? If you are like most grads, you have college loans and credit card debt that has accumulated over the 4-10 years of education. You look for a job and must work 10-15 years to pay off the debt, but guess what? The corporation doesn’t care. It cares about stock price and profit. So, the process is to cut expenses, and employees are the greatest expense. So, your benefits get cut, your pay gets cut, you get cut. And the same happens perhaps 3, 5, 10, years down the road. What a plan….and no accountability from the corporation for their poor decisions. Sounds like risky business doesn’t it?

    The truth, there are no guarantees. You do have opportunity and must take responsibility to make choices that make sense for you. it’s a learning process and there are tons of books written about success and even about failing forward.

    The good news, you are blessed to live in America where you have the choice to work for someone else, work for yourself and/or both. How awesome is that? Why not as you work all day helping someone else build their fortune, use your off hours to build your own wealth? There is nothing wrong with being an employee. You just need a strategy to build your own fortune. The agreement with the corporation is, you receive this much ________ pay for this much _______time as long as the corporation needs you. That’s the agreement. The employee trades time for dollars and there are no guarantees for how long unless the employee has a written contract with stipulated terms and conditions. That is just the way the system works. There is nothing wrong with it, as long as people understand it. Have you noticed that today more than ever, employees are becoming free agents, independent contractors, here today, gone tomorrow and responsible for your own healthcare costs, taxes, social security, etc. That’s just the way it is. So what are you going to do?

    People from other countries die for the opportunity to reach our shore for the opportunity to start their own business for example; nail salons, dry cleaners, hotels, lawncare services, the list goes on…

    Times are challenging no matter how you slice it. The good news. You still have opportunity and choices to start new every day. Even when you fail, it is a blessing because of the lessons learned which makes you more prepared to try again. Isn’t that what this blog is all about?

    Be grateful, strong and courageous and remember so blessed!

  11. Jeff Perry Says:

    I believe that the biggest reason people fail in network marketing is because they don’t approach the business as starting a business.

    People need business skills in order to succeed in business. Statistics show that most people who start a business fail not only network marketing businesses.

    I have joined with Brian Tracy, Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, Dr. John Gray, Bill Bartmann, Terri Murphy and many other world-renowned business authors, speakers and trainers to help increase the success rate of all business owners big and small.

    We offer hi-definition online videos in short eight-minute sessions, audiobooks and ebooks.

    Check out some education for free to help you be a better business person at: http://www.thefutureoflearning.tv

    Regards,

    Jeff

  12. HotRod Says:

    Wow, it sounds like a sacred cow must be getting skewered! It’s interesting how quickly the reaction has come.

    To those of you who have succeeded with MLM, congratulations for your hard work, I’m glad it has paid off for you, and for your initiative to do some ‘guerilla marketing’ here.

    But Dan’s point is valid, MLM is not a good option for MOST people and people should run from any ‘too good to be true’ promises that come from MOST MLM promoters. And Dan doesn’t recommend most franchise ‘opportunities’ either because of the ludicrous overhead, the comments have revealed a lack of knowledge of Dan’s philosophy which you would know if you have listened or read what he teaches.

    Keep telling the truth Dan! You know what is right, keep up the good work.

  13. Rob McQuillan Says:

    This post saddens me so much.

    We have come such a long way in MLM for the industry to be recognised as a viable model for business, we have told our people over and over again that it is a business they are pursuing – a business that requires time, effort, expenses, and skills just like any other – and no-one gets paid on wishful thinking or hyper-talk, you get paid for sales volume.

    We train long and hard in contemporary sales methods, ie. permission-based marketing – there are no foot-in-door salesmen (as per the not-so-subtly placed joke at the end of Dan’s newsletter). Our training includes pre-qualification and pre-selection guidelines as to who is a suitable for success in Direct Sales. We teach people to build their business on customer satisfaction and keep away from friends and family – you need real customers, not pity sales.

    I have personally seen people do well right from the starting gate, others build a solid business over 3 years (about the same length of time spent at tertiary education for any job), and others make every excuse under the sun as to why its (they’re) not working. It is as individual as – well, people!

    …and yet Dan feels comfortable slamming the whole industry.

    I have come to expect more from Dan – he generally is not the type to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Someone has got his goat up, as he would normally take the role of educator – exposing the methods of the % of MLMers who are, at best, ‘old-school’ and out of touch, or at worst, dodgy operators. He would then point out the pitfalls, etc, and explain how to find a good MLM company. There are GOOD operators out there! There are many people making exactly what they set out to do from MLM – either pocket money or full-time income.

    Dan, you already know that not everyone is the same in any industry. No industry is one size fits all. Gloria and Rebecca make good valid points. Would anyone say the real estate agents misrepresented property investing because people have gone backwards in the property market? And apparently the only way to magically grow a business on the internet is to write a book to sell push-button online, hmmm? (At least that is what you would think reading the posts on 48 Days.) But I digress… as it is not my intention to be critical about Dan Miller. I am just extremely disappointed.

    The thing is that there is some truth in the points Dan makes. SOME of the people who get into MLM go about the business in the wrong way and they need to be pulled in. There are regulatory bodies currently legislating Direct Selling Companies. But you just can’t stop leechs latching onto people’s financial vulnerability in any industry – such is the human condition.

    What upset me was the TONE in Dan’s post that slammed ALL of the industry. Very un-Dan like…

  14. Kent Julian Says:

    Dan,

    As always, you nailed this one on the head. I, too, have talked with several coaching clients about this. It’s not that MLM is bad, but as with any endeavor worth pursuing, the path requires commitment, passion, and drive. Why? B/C any path worth pursuing usually requires all three.

    I appreciate you buddy!
    Kent Julian
    (www.liveitforward.com)

  15. William Blaine Says:

    I have been in many different network marketing companies. I have also worked as a salesman for many different companies with business fronts.
    Both are hard work. What Dan says is true – most network marketing companies are out for the “headhunting” factor and don’t care about their people making the money. There are a few that do however. Mary Kay does – or else they would be like the rest of the MLMs – and disappear! Most of them don’t last for that very reason. Its headhunting and that’s it. The few that care about the products and services and actually have TRAINING in place – those are the companies that produce income earners. But they are still few and far between. It is like any other business or income venture – you have to be the right kind of person to do it! If you don’t like sales or the idea of sweating over your own business (hard work) – MLM just isn’t for you. Quite frankly neither is a sales floor position at any Department Store. Sales is a calling. Just like everything else. If its not yours – then don’t do it!

  16. Janie West Says:

    I must confess that I am also disappointed in Dan’s commentary. This is the last thing I would have expected from someone whose business promotes an entrepreneur mindset.

  17. Mike Westwood Says:

    Let me start with a disclaimer, I have 22 year experience doing MLM business with the same company and doing so full time since mid 2005. I agreed with many of the response comments made and take exception with Dan’s broad stroke of the MLM industry by grouping all companies as get rich quick plans. But one large fact has been not been mentioned. If the research had been done, Dan would have found that there are several companies that actually post the average earning for all levels of recognition and the average earnings for all companies distributors. There are several methods MLM companies use to display the earning of members. This earning schedule is supposed to be given to all prospects prior to signing. These companies want the prospect to know the risk, potential, and the fact that is takes work.

    This leads us to the second point which is that it is unprofessional MLM sale people that paint a picture of riches and get rich quickly. Here we find a common problem among small business and MLM reps in general, a lack of business and professional sale training. All too often MLM reps are told “just go do it” or just make of list of family and friends. These new MLM reps are not taught how to prospect for customers. Having started from the ground floor and sold a business that generated 1.5 million in annual sales I understand the value of training and personal development. I’ve studies several MLM companies looking for the golden nuggets of success. I’m also a member of several companies to use their products. I want to support the MLM industry that has been so good to me. Now back to my point of training. One only needs to look at YouTube or the internet in general to see everybody in there brother is attempting to sell you MLM training. I just wonder how many them have been successful MLM reps? As a MLM leader I follow proven sale trainers and leaders for my personal development. Then I make the best attempt possible to pass on the information to my partners (downline). I give new reps a suggested reading list. We develop a training plan to get them started. The hope is they will do the same thing when they sign a new rep.

    In summary I would like to pass on a few things I do to ensure prospects are viewing my business or opportunity with their eyes wide open: one, suggest they become a customer first to ensure they like the product(s); two, I tell them the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary (I explain the effort I had in getting my business off the ground); lastly, I explain in the beginning of most MLM business starts up you are overworked and underpaid so that later you can be underworked overpaid (if you put in the same effort as if you started a business on main street). My personal mission is to build relationships by adding value others, mentoring partners, having some fun, and doing so with a servant heart. So Dan please do not paint all MLM companies and reps as bad get rich quick gold diggers.

  18. Roxanne Says:

    In the course of my MLM mentoring and working for an MLM trainer, I see many people who are trying to build an MLM, but it’s not a fit for them. I believe that the point Dan is making here is that there are many – let’s face it folks – screaming, hypy slick salesman type MLMers out there telling people things like:

    It’s easy
    Anyone can do it
    The products “sell themselves”

    and all kinds of garbage spewing from their mouths. It’s NOT easy. NOT anyone can do it. The products do NOT sell themselves. I’ve never seen a product get up and walk to someone’s house and sell itself.

    And we’ve all seen and heard “sign up and let our automated system do the work for you”. DUH – why do they need you if they have an automated system to do it for you?? I believe that is what Dan is referring to.

    If you are honest, you will see that the majority of MLMers out there do spew this stuff and are hyping people.

    Now, are they deliberately trying to scam others? I don’t think so. They were just not taught the proper way to do business. They are doing what they were taught by someone else.

    What Dan is saying is that MLM is not a fit for everyone and when someone says “it’s easy, anyone can do it” don’t fall for it.

    Those of us here who are reading Dan’s blog are not like that, but face it folks, we are in the minority here. We can change the view of MLM one person at a time. But we can not do that by getting upset and angry when someone simply states what they see. ACTIONS speak louder than words.

    If you are truly successful in MLM, then it really doesn’t matter if someone has a bad view of it. It’s just not for them. I don’t think Dan slammed the whole industry. He simply pointed out that MLM is not for everyone. And he’s right. It’s NOT. Most people don’t care who they sponsor. Most MLMers do not interview their prospect to see if MLM is right for them. They just get them to sign up.

    Very few MLM companies focus on selling products to non MLMers. That’s an illegal pyramid scheme. Many MLM companies have gotten slammed by attorney generals because the only ones buying the products were the distributors. When you have to talk someone into joining the company as a distributor to “get the good price” and don’t sell your products to people who are not in your downline, you are in an illegal pyramid scheme.

  19. Mike Westwood Says:

    I don’t quite understand Roxanne’s last paragraph: “Very few MLM companies focus on selling products to non MLMers. That’s an illegal pyramid scheme. Many MLM companies have gotten slammed by attorney generals because the only ones buying the products were the distributors. When you have to talk someone into joining the company as a distributor to “get the good price” and don’t sell your products to people who are not in your downline, you are in an illegal pyramid scheme. “

    I have been selling my MLM products to non MLM members for 22 years. I refer to them as retail customer which allows me to make maximum profits. I wish I had more. In fact I have quite a trade in non MLM business builders buying products. So please explain what you mean by an “illegal pyramid scheme”. Please understand I’m not fussing, but rather attempting to understand your point of view. Roxanne, thanking you in advance for taking the time to read my comments and explaining your point of view so that we all understand much better.

  20. Michel Angelo Says:

    Roxanne, what you say is true enough (last paragraph notwithstanding), but by insinuating that MLM products are like snake oil, Dan IS slamming the whole industry. Don’t get me wrong, I like Dan and generally he makes a lot of sense, but I still felt offended by his statement: “Hundreds of companies promising beautiful skin, free legal advice, reversed aging, magical effects of tree bark, reduced mortgages and unique wealth systems are targeting those desperate for generating income.” Targeting MLM companies as unique in the marketplace for ‘promising beautiful skin’ has to be a joke.

    I spend a lot of time coaching MLMers and training them to market their business with integrity – I believe I fill a much-needed niche because of the wacky MLMers out there who need guidance. And sure there are MLM products that don’t perform as well as they are advertised (supermarket shelves are also full of them) but generally the successful MLM companies have spend millions on research and development of their products – and they have very good products priced well within their competitors range sold in the traditional marketplace. Companies don’t get listed on NYSE and recommended by Forbes, and they don’t last 25 years as leaders in their field, if their products don’t work…

    Tanning them all with the same brush was not professional, especially coming from someone seen as a guru in the home-business world.

  21. Roxanne Says:

    Mike & Michel,

    To clarify my last paragraph:

    Many companies have gotten shut down for this. One test of an MLM company is:

    Do you sell your products to retail customers? This means people who are not reps.

    Another is:

    Would you buy your product at retail price if there were no business opportunity involved? Retail, not the distributor price.

    When companies have a jacked up retail price and a lower distributor price and you tell people to “sign up and get the good prices” you then have no retail customers. If the attorney general comes in and looks at where your retail sales are and you have none, you are running an illegal pyramid scheme. I had many people tell me that the most recent company to be hit is a legal company because they are publicly traded. The California and Illinois attorney generals think otherwise. Being publicly traded does not mean a thing.

    MOST MLM companies have great products. The problems arise when they overcharge for those products at retail prices so everyone will join the company to get lower prices. If that’s not your company, that’s great.

    I’m not here to get into an MLM debate, I was simply pointing out that while MLM is a valid way to build a business, there are also a lot of companies / reps out there that give us a bad name. I believe they are the ones Dan was talking about. If you don’t fit into that category, then you have nothing to worry about. He wasn’t talking about you. ;-)

  22. Annie M Says:

    Unfortunately Dan(Miller), I think your comments about MLM, direct sales, or network marketing are a great disservice to the American people right now. I have been with a company for fifteen years. I am not any good at sales at all but I am great at caring about people and because of that my husband and I have been very successful. In 2002, after 9/11, my husband and I both lost our jobs. The economy had taken a nosedive just like it is right now and we took our part time efforts with this company and switched them over to full time efforts and were making a six figure income very shortly. That MLM saved our lives that year.

    I have to disagree with you also, that MLM means you must “use” other people. The only way I can make a dime in our business is if I help somebody else get what they want. All boats rise with the tide. I see corporate America as more of an environment where people are “used”.

    Again Dan Miller, I am deeply saddened by your misrepresentation of network marketing. I don’t even want to think about where I would be today without it. Americans need some hope right now. It is not for everyone but is a very viable solution.

    Don’t forget also that it is called netWORK marketing, not I don’t have to do anything and I’m gonna get paid.

    My hope Dan is that you will do a little better research on a topic before you write an article like that. I am proof that network marketing is a valid business and if you TRULY care about people, as in any business, you can be successful.

    I hope you’ll give this some consideration DAn.

  23. Pastor C Says:

    I have seen so many people get rooked by MLM. I have seen people want to become ‘members’ of the church to get a directory to serve as a prospect list. ALL sales have and end point of consumption, “distribution of goods and services” is code for scam. If the product is not sold to consumers the business is a farce. If you are in MLM take seriously Micah 6:8 and Proverbs 28:20, if you are thinking about getting into MLM look at Proverbs 23:4

  24. Wow Says:

    Roxanne and a few others…
    If Dan wasn’t slamming “MLM” show me where he pointed out the Good aspects of MLM? he didn’t.

    Last time i checked, if you don’t work your butt off, learn what the heck you are doing, and treat people right – you will fail in everything you do – EVERYTHING – Pastor C – you will fail in religion thumping your bible instead of encouraging people to do what is right… Pastor, you must have borrowed the same broad brush that Dan used…

    Dan, how many people could have grown the business you are in – the exact way you did it? How many people would have failed if they had tried to duplicate your efforts? Does this mean your business is a SCAM?

    Burns a bit, don’t it?

    Again, show me a Pastor, teacher, engineer, ball player, coach, fast food worker, keep filling in the blank – a ________ that does not put in a full effort to learn the skills neccessary to become successful, learn the technical knowledge to be successful in their field… learn to communicate and get along with others to be successful – and I will show you a person who will not succeed… and most likely blame the ‘industry’ for their failure…

    Dan, it seems based on the overwhelming number of Shysters that are defending MLM that i must conclude two things:

    1. You will lose a lot of business and goodwill as there seems to be many of them reading your blog

    2. You might be a Sham yourself if you have this many shamsters reading your blog… why would a bunch of high pressure, self-centered, money-grubbing leeches that don’t care a spit what happens to their people be reading your blog unless their is something about you that attracts them to you…

    PS. Gloria – right on!
    Mike Westwood – Right on!
    Rob McQullian – Right on!
    Jeff Perry – Right on!
    Rebecca Emerick – Right on!
    Mike Wilson – Right on!

  25. John Cowell Says:

    Dan,
    Wow, I have a friend in the MLM business here in Nashville that has bragged for years about how great you are… I never doubted her as I believe she is a person of integrity… she is really flummoxed, no, pissed off would be a better term for her reaction..

    I believe the Joe Girard’s ‘Rule of 250′ is kicking in for her… because i have never been to your blog and she shot me a quick message saying she was done with you and left a link to this blog…

    I must wonder if this is happening to others out their… when you do something really good for people they might tell 5-10 people about it… but when you do a disservice the message will eventually filter out to around 250 people – she tells 15 people they tell 5-10 and so on… (kinda like MLM;>)

    Maybe you should reconsider your position?

  26. Mike Westwood Says:

    Roxanne,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to response. I now understand your position and agree with you on these points:
    “Do you sell your products to retail customers? This means people who are not reps.
    Another is:
    Would you buy your product at retail price if there were no business opportunity involved? Retail, not the distributor price.”
    This is the test for: is this a good product for me.

    Annie M,
    I liked and agree with your comments.

    Dan Miller,
    I really like your work, but think the comments were to general and misleading. My first copy of 48 Days was a loose leaf binder and it made me decide that MLM was my passion. I have given your book or ask prospects to visit your web site and sign up for the newsletter before joining any MLM program. This article makes it impossible for me to continue to provide referrals. I would like to suggest that you visit the http://mlmwatchdog.com web site and contact the MLM Distributor Rights Association for information on good and bad MLM companies. Then write an update to “MLM – More Loose Misrepresentations”. The article must include as minimum: Choose the right product for you; Check out the MLM company to ensure it has integrity; and your sponsor (upline) must have integrity, provide training and support. An article like this could help many individuals save money and heart aches. I suggest that all prospects to my company or any MLM company check out the mlmwatchdog before joining a MLM opportunity.

  27. wow Says:

    Mike,
    you make an excellant point… i beleive that is what John was referring to about the Rule of 250…

    One thing you left out would be for Dan to include: ‘You must be willing to work very very hard, learn communications skills, learn sells skills, learn leadership skills.. these are all teachable, learnable skills… many people will not ‘want it’ bad enough to learn these skills but will enter the business with Misguided Expectations… this is where they go down in flames and then start pointing fingers at the industry, upline, products, companies etc…

    and oh yeah, for the folks who agree with Dan, sure there are bad seeds in MLM… but MLM just reflects life in general.. there are bad seeds in every industry… do we stop investing because of Bernie Madoff?

    You must do you homework and do like our active military do in Iraq and Afghanstan – “Embrace the Suck” – in other words, it is tough, it is not pleasant, it is not necessarily what I want to go through… but if I want to win… then ‘embrace the suck’ and get on with it…

    There is always the learning curve that dips into the crap of not being very good on the way to being decent on the way to being pretty good on the way to being great… but how many who could be great throw up theirs arms and drown in the ‘dip of crap’ of the beginning when we are all not at the top of the game?

  28. Gloria Simmons Says:

    LET’S NOT DRIVE MORE TRAFFIC TO THIS WEBSITE. It seems to me that by posting our thoughts here we are likely improving Dan’s traffic count for his website. Clearly, he believes in using the internet to sell his products – why does he then need his “48 Days coaches” to also help him. Such hypocrisy! It seems that maybe things are slowing down for Dan, so he’s decided to use the MASSIVE NUMBERS OF SUCCESSFUL MLM reps to drive traffic to his site. Perhaps he plans a sincere apology in order to endear us all to him – America loves repentant souls. I suggest that we ALL STOP POSTING HERE. UNSUBSCRIBE as quickly as you can. Above all, go back to your network of friends and fellow MLM supporters and tell them what a pitiful approach Dan appears to have taken. Encourage them not to go to his website . . . EVER AGAIN. Tell them NOT to sell their Dan Miller books – destroy or recycle (don’t reuse) them; we don’t want to be responsible for others falling for his nonsense. If you’ve ever referred Dan to anyone, call them and humbly apologize – tell them you did the best you knew at the time, but now you know better. Make sure that EVERYONE in your company is aware, but make sure you DO NOT INCREASE TRAFFIC. Don’t cut and paste his comments – that information is copyrighted, and we want to be fair to Dan . . . a courtesy he failed to show us. Continue your ethical behavior in our industry, and use his comments to fuel your crusade for rescuing people from corporate America. Make sure you point out how Dan thinks someone stands a better chance of selling cheesecakes than succeeding in your MLM. Challenge everyone to find their local cheesecake success story. By the way, I doubt the first cheesecake they ever made was their best work, but . . . they stuck with it and got better . . . hmmmm! In short, let’s stop giving Dan our assistance and our attention. We have businesses to build. No need to print a retraction or amendment for our sakes, Dan – we’ve stopped listening and reading, and we are UNSUBSCRIBING.

  29. Pam Byrd Says:

    I am so relieved to view the comments about this entry. I was very disappointed when I read Dan’s comments. As a women committed to my MLM business, I was amazed at the level of negativity that was indicated. Let’s talk about the way that corporate america has conditioned us to “not do the work” necessary to be successful. As many have indicated, success depends on each individual; how badly they want it and want are they willing to do to get there. At least with the “right” MLM, you have an opportunity to be just as successful as those that are mentoring you, unlike corporate america where your superiors are threatened by your ability to excel. Not to mention the serendipities of committing to a team of people of like mind set, who are working towards a goal vs. stabbing people in the back. You have to know what you want out of life, and understand that the status quo will never get you there. If you are looking to stay right where you are, then MLM’s are not for you. On the other hand, if you are looking to achieve more, stretch yourself and acquire a measure of success, measured only by you (and success is not always monetary), then finding the “right” MLM is something to look into.

  30. Roxanne Says:

    WOW – I’m an MLM trainer, professional network marketer and work for an MLM trainer and after reading all of the MLMers out here slamming Dan, I’m considering getting out of MLM.

    Well…not really…but you get the picture.

    Come on guys. You really aren’t showing MLMers in a good light here.

    Dan said:

    Selling is an honorable profession. If you can sell you can provide a valuable service to your customers, taking advantage of no one in the process. Be cautious of companies that provide one solution to everyone’s dreams.

    Take a breath, step back and re-read Dan’s post in the spirit in which it was meant. The majority of you here have agreed that many people do not work their MLMs properly. So, then you agree with Dan, however, you’re willing to jump ship and unsubscribe based on one post where he says the same thing we’re all saying?? HHHMMM…interesting.

    Be cautious of companies that provide one solution to everyone’s dreams.

    That is the best quote I’ve seen in a long time and should be everyone in MLM / network marketing’s motto. Be honest with yourself and the rest of the world. MLM is NOT for everyone. It’s not a fit for everyone. That’s OK. But the problem comes in when people in MLM try to make it fit for everyone. It happens more often than not. If you don’t do business that way, GREAT. This post wasn’t referring to you. ;-)

  31. anita Says:

    It has been interesting to read the comments and note the differing opinions based on a wide range of personal experience. “Network marketing” is a broad umbrella and I think these comments bear out the fact that network marketing is a mixed bag (not all good or all bad). There seems to be a lot of good advice here about what to check out when evaluating MLM opportunities, but it seems apparent that it is important to do the research.

  32. wow Says:

    Roxanne,
    I took your suggestion and reread Dan’s post… here is what sticks out:

    Starting with his title: “MLM — More Loose Misrepresentations”
    I guess if i had never really been exposed to MLM before i would get started off right out of the gate with ‘positive feelings’ – right?

    “targeting those desperate” – seems to infer that desparete people are targeted… where is the positive in this?

    “Just be very clear – MLM companies are notorious for misrepresenting what is really needed for success.
    makes me want to rush out and look for a possible company to go work with…

    “Most multilevel marketing companies are promoting a fundamental falsehood, namely, that anyone can be a great salesperson; they just need the right tapes or coaching. That is absolutely false.”
    Again, i am inspired to go check out this dynamic industry that relies on falsehoods… How many folks have we seen that had NO SALES experience and NO SALES ABILITY struggle through this phase to go on to towering heights and inspired others who never considered sales, commissions, and merit pay?

    “To succeed in MLM you need to be able to connect with people and have an ability to handle rejection. Most people don’t.
    hmmm, finally a bit of truth… but why blame MLM for these people’s shortcomings… The genius of MLM is that people don’t have to quit their job, spend all their money to find out later they aren’t willing to do it, don’t like doing it, aren’t willing to learn it and refuse to grow and progress – MLM allows folks with no committment to enter the industry without bankrupting their families…

    “The success of the few comes at the expense of all the other people, the little people who waste their time and money pursuing a goal they can never reach.” Makes me proud to be an American.. the little people who will never be successful… this is the biggest insult yet… I find it highly offensive to be characterized as someone who is just ‘using the little people’… I have had many people quit my team and come back later to tell me that even though they did not hang in and become successfully that they learned valuable skills and was inspired to go after challenges and goals they had never thought about before… in fact here is part of one of the emails i recently received:

    “As for life in general, we too are still looking for that outlet. The financial principles that you taught me all those years ago have stood us in good stead for the current economic climate.” this is from one of my team members in England where i moved on my own dime and spent 4 years hiring, training and leading folks toward a better future…

    back to Dan:

    “And that’s my problem with 99% of multilevel companies. You are encouraged to make money on your ability to use other people.”
    hmmm, again, with odds like that I would be encouraged to rush right in and get involved… Roxanne, I am starting to feel the Spirit of Dan’s post…

    “The median income for a direct salesperson is $2400 a year, with only 10% of sellers doing as a full-time job, according to their own Washington, D.C. based Direct Selling Association. Fewer than 1% of all MLM distributors who sign up ever recapture their original investment and earn a profit.”

    Roxanne,
    Again – I challenge you to show just One Compliment or encouraging word about MLM – not ‘sales skills’ of ‘entreprenuerial opportunites’ – this is general comments..

    You must have a different set of values if you felt good about that article… why don’t you put it on your overhead at the next opportunity meeting and see how many potential recruits are ready to submit their hiring papers… it could be the next big MLM breakthrough…

    Sorry to sound so surly but Dan’s tack is way off base and drips with venom…

    again Dan, thanks for that – I am so pumped up with the spirit now…
    by the way, would you mind documenting the stats for conventional small biz startups? How many of them after 1 year made their money back and actually stayed in biz… after 5 years? You know what these figures are… can’t be much better and I get the average loss is quite a bit more….

  33. Roxanne Says:

    Hi Wow. I wasn’t referring to you in the previous post by the way. Just using the word WOW. ;-)

    Anywho…I didn’t say that Dan said anything positive about MLM, however, he did use the words most and most and most and 99% and some and…

    I can’t and don’t disagree with him. Simple as that. I believe that MOST people in MLM are hypy screaming slick car salesman like people. (There I go slamming car salesman – before anyone jumps on me – NOT ALL car salesman are like that, but MOST that I have come in contact with are).

    I believe that MOST people in MLM sponsor people who aren’t right for MLM. I believe that MOST people do not succeed in MLM. MOST of MY group does because I screen them and build a relationship with them BEFORE they join my business. I coach them to do the same.

    If you are not part of the MOST that Dan refers to, why are you complaining??? Just curious.

    Have an awesome day!!!

  34. wow Says:

    Roxanne,
    your are missing the bigger picture… he didn’t say ANYTHING positive…if you were to substitue Christianity, or Boy Scouts or any other ‘industry’ or organization and read his post you would say that what ever he was speaking about was evil, run for your life, don’t give it a second thought…

    and if you are part of this industry you just got a back-handed (make that two back hands) compliment…

    Me, i don’t need or want compliments if they come in this flavor…

    he could have written about how great an opportunity MLM is as long as you follow these guidelines on choosing a company and product:

    1. There are great companies out there – choose one that has a long term track record like Avon… but he chose to slam avon because their sales are up ‘only because they targeted the desparate’

    It is verging on nuerosis to think you’d read this and say Hip Hip Hooray! thanks for the great article about my industry…

  35. azam01 Says:

    great, back link in http://iklanmediagratis. com

  36. Mike Westwood Says:

    I agree with WOW. When your industry gets ripped why would want to embrace the ripper?

  37. Mike Westwood Says:

    azam01 link is bad news don’t touch it.

  38. Roxanne Says:

    I debated whether I would even stoop to the level of some here and reply. I thought no, but my emotions got the best of me so here it is:

    OK – the private emails to me slamming me are not necessary. I should, but won’t, forward them to the government as spam. I’ve just deleted them. Fair warning – if any more come, I will be taking note of IP addresses and turning them over to the government. That is sad.

    This has turned from a discussion into a personal attack on me. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however, when I get called neurotic here and in private emails, there is a problem with the people doing the name calling.

    PLEASE do not email me privately to call me names and please do not call me names here. I have done none of that to any of you and do not deserve it. I have to wonder why all of a sudden those who were saying the same things Dan said and I said are now attacking me. MANY of you have said that there are a lot of MLMers who do not do business the right way. Some of you have agreed with me and then turned around and slammed me.

    I will not be replying again to any of the childish, nasty behavior on here. My point was that I am in this industry and successful and I do not take it personal when someone has something negative to say. I take it as an opportunity to educate. Some of you have resorted to mudslinging and nastiness. That is uncalled for.

    Those of you who have turned this into a personal, childish, nasty, mudslinging fest have proven Dan’s point. I’m disgusted and saddened to be part of it.

  39. Dan Miller Says:

    Hey I love the discussion going on here and consider it very healthy. I heard Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad) say one time that if you really want to say something meaningful you should expect 1/3 of the people to love you, 1/3 to hate you and 1/3 that really don’t care. It appears I’m right on track with this particular hot potato.

    • I happen to think very highly of both Mary Kay and Avon – the only two companies I mentioned by name.

    • I have been personally been involved in probably 8-10 MLM companies over the years and loved some of those companies, having great experiences and great income.

    • I have been impacted dramatically by many of the old timers in MLM as I was learning entrepreneurial success characteristics – Dexter Yeager, Rich Devos, Mark Yarnell and many, many others and have spent countless hours listening to their great audio presentations, and continue doing so today. MLM has some of the best business and success training programs available anywhere on the planet.

    • Joanne and I depend on some products that we use daily that are supplied only by MLM companies and consider them to be the reason for our exceptional health at our age.

    • Joanne is probably the best MLM party host in the world. At her last Pampered Chef party she invited 23 friends and all 23 showed up, knowing her parties are a blast. And yes, I think she has every Pampered Chef product ever made.

    • We recently went to a fabulous party at the house of a friend who I encouraged to join Arbonne cosmetics years ago. We were not allowed to park Joanne’s Jag close to the house, because the entire street was lined with white Mercedes belonging to the gals my friend has loved and coached over the years. I thought it was awesome!

    • I have very close friends who are making six-figure incomes in many different MLMs. I love and respect what they are doing and share the joy of their success.

    • I am asked repeatedly to speak at MLM conferences and conventions. I say the same thing there that I said here.

    That being said, I stand by what I did say in this original blog. Some of you asked about other industries. Absolutely, I could say much the same about real estate agents. It grieves me to see so many of them recruited into licensing and put on the street with little sales training. Many of them are “professional visitors,” but not salespeople by any stretch of the imagination. And I think it’s a disservice to them to lead them down that path of ultimate failure.

    If you are in the 1% category that I allowed, you love selling and you are doing business the right way – I commend you on the service you are obviously providing. Please continue – hold your head high as you invest in the lives and success of others.

  40. wow Says:

    Dan,
    If you had included all those comments in your post then a bit of balance wouldl have allowed a level headed person to come to the conclusion that MLM is not all bad… but I stand by my comments – you post was totally one sided and totally out of context..

    Roxanne,
    I don’t know about any private emails… however, I did not call you a name – i characterized the bahavior as ‘verging’ on (not quite there) if a person would think Dan’s comments could be taken as a compliment…

    Don’t take it personally, but you may be feeling what many are feeling when they felt they were being ‘attacked’ by Dan’s comments..

    i am betting the reason the comments are so charged is people who are in the industry know this is a mischaracterzation…

    it reminds me of the scene from ‘Animal House’ when the pledges were getting their butts spanked with a paddle… “thank you sir, may I have another’ – that’s kinda what the article made me feel – there was absolutley nothing in the article that I could ‘hang my hat on’

    Sure, you can always point out the landmines in any situation. but this was all landmines no glory…

    Dan, I am betting you wife could not hand a new recruit on her team in Pampered Chef and let them read it – with no explanation or follow up and not have them doubt their decision… try to imagine a new recruit reading that… really, what do you think thier reaction would be?

  41. Mike Westwood Says:

    Dan,
    Thank you for commenting, but it reminds me of when someone bashes a disadvantaged group then says but I have friends that are disadvantaged. I agree with WOW had these comments been included in the original article rather than damage control it would seem much more sincere and from the heart.

    Speaking from my heart I would rather have some Dan damage control then Dan being silence. So thank you again for speaking out on your position.

    Roxanne,
    I was sorry to hear about the private email. Some individuals just don’t have the courage to speak out and defend their positions. These people are weak and not worth the time it takes to read their email. Please do not allow the weak to discourage you, continue to express yourself. We are American with, thank God, the freedom to speak and express our opinions. I thank you for speaking out and being professional even if we disagree on Dan’s comments.

  42. W.L. Says:

    Dan,

    You either were playing games with your readers or just did not spend enough time on your article.

    I join those who are offended.

    I agree that you should have included much of your response to these emails in the original article.

    You are on probation. I will not recommend your site until I see more fairness and thorough writing.

  43. Roxanne Says:

    Mike,

    Thank you. I like a nice, healthy debate, but when it turns childish and nasty that’s where I draw the line.

    Dan,

    I appreciate you clearing up the other side of your comments. It takes a special person to be able to see both sides of an issue. Not many are gifted with that. There are, after all, always two sides to an issue. When someone is able to only see one side, they may need help seeing the other.

  44. Chris Anderson Says:

    This whole thing makes me nostalgic:

    “I did not have sex with that woman ——– Monica Lewinsky”
    Then, once proof is discovered:
    “I did have an inappropriate relationship ——— it was wrong.”

    At least Bill had the balls to admit he was wrong instead of standing by his story, albeit he too only did it only as damage control.

    And the fact that 1/3 love you, 1/3 hate you, and 1/3 don’t care is not proof that what you said was “meaningful.” Kind of like all Toyotas are vehicles, but not all vehicles are Toyotas. Interesting twist on that, Dan. You might even call it MORE LOOSE MISREPRESENTATIONS.

    By the way, I was one of more than 100 people on one of our company’s training conference call today, where Mr. Miller’s article was discussed. I couldn’t help but post my response, even though we were asked not to. We were encouraged to spread the word and I will happily comply with that request. I don’t think we’ll be inviting Mr. Miller back.

  45. Brigitte Matthews Says:

    I was at a Memorial Day picnic with my neighbors. One neighbor, John, makes the comment (and I quote him here): “The problem is you got all these nig***s moving in. They just trash up the street and run down our property values.” When confronted with the “evidence” to the contrary, and especially now that things had gotten a bit heated, and one of the black neighbors had joined the conversation, John says, “I didn’t mean you, Bill. I meant the other ones.”

    And yes Roxanne – that one comment was enough for me to decide I wanted nothing to do with that neighbor. Dan’s one comment told me who he was just as surely as my neighbor’s comment told me who he was. People will tell you who they are, and it pays to listen. In this case, it pays to stop listening also.

    As a restaurant critic, I would never post comments I’ve heard from other people while neglecting to recount my own personal experience that contradicted it, especially with the voluminous positive experience Dan has had with MLM. His integrity and credibility have fallen through the basement floor.

    My wife joined a network marketing company about 6 years ago. Nothing about her at that point would have made you think, “I’d hire her if I have to pay her.” In fact, she was so shy she could not meet the eyes of the grocery clerk. Her first year, she made no money, but she began to gain confidence and her self-esteem did a 180 degree turn. The fact that she was around people who BELIEVED IN HER and who GAVE HER A CHANCE encouraged her to believe in herself. Today, she confidently addresses groups that number in the hundreds, and she makes more money than she did at her previous two jobs combined as a teacher and a hairdresser. Last calendar year, she made $90,000. No, she hasn’t reached the six-figure mark yet, but she certainly sees it happening soon.

    I don’t think MLM is misrepresented as much as it is that people hear what they want to hear. Then of course they are unwilling to admit that they weren’t willing to believe in themselves long enough to realize their own potential. They become victims of themselves. That is what is really sad.

  46. Karen Says:

    I am appalled. I’ve read and re-read this post and it’s comments. First of all, let me say that Roxanne is a very good friend of mine. If you bothered to learn anything about her, you would know that she is a trainer who helps those screaming hyping network marketers learn a better way. Many times I’ve come to visit her and she is doing a FREE teleseminar to help people from all different companies be successful. She helps anyone in any company, not just those in her own company. And she doesn’t ask for ONE PENNY for it. She does it because that is who she is. Neurotic, my a$$. As for “embracing the ripper”, that is ridiculous. First of all, if you aren’t part of the 99% then you weren’t “ripped”. Roxanne isn’t part of the 99% so she wasn’t offended by the comments.

    My friend is one of the most caring people that I know. She has helped countless people become successful in mlm and in life. But, she is not one to “sugar coat” things. She will tell you the way she sees it. She doesn’t do that to be nasty, she does it because she doesn’t believe in being an enabler. Allowing people to believe that network marketing is all great and wonderful and that all companies are created equal and that all prospects (as you call them) are created equal is being an enabler. She truly is out to change network marketing one person at a time. And I see her doing that every day. I’ve heard enough of her teleseminars to know what she believes in.

    I’ve read a couple of the emails she got in response to her comments here. The sad thing is that I don’t see where she was rude or nasty to ANYONE here or anywhere else for that matter. It’s sick that some mlm people have taken this as low as they have.

    Dan and Roxanne are right. Network marketing isn’t right for everyone. I’m not a people person and wouldn’t be good at it. I recognize that and don’t do it. Roxanne was kind enough to sit down with me and go over some things that I can do online to make money that fit with MY personality. She has done that for a few of our friends. She is mature enough to realize that not everyone wants to do network marketing. She is kind enough to help those of us who do not even want to hear about network marketing. Who knows, someday maybe her kindness will pay off and some of us will become more comfortable working with people and join her. She’s proved to us that this is a viable source of income.

    I see the scores of screaming hyping network marketers all over the internet. My email inbox is filled every day with the next, greatest deal. If you look at what was said, you will see that the post was written to answer the questions. READ the questions. One poor person was told that he/she doesn’t have to do any selling. It’s all done through the internet. That makes NO sense. If you are not selling, you are in an illegal pyramid scheme. Another person was told she couldn’t work two companies at the same time. That’s an employee, not an independent business person.

    The post also says that the answers require more space than is allowed here. That led me to believe that he may be expanding on it in a later post. Did those of you who are screaming at him give him a chance to do that? NO. Some of you did exactly what you accused him of doing. You personally attacked him. I read a lot of blogs and many people write a SERIES of posts about a subject. He implied that there may be more coming, but because he didn’t cram it all into a book in one post, some of you are screaming like stuck pigs. Who walks away from someone because they disagree with them? And what kind of world would this be if we all agreed? BORING.

    Based on the comments here, mlmers appear to be one rude, nasty, obnoxious bunch. The majority (NOT ALL) of the comments here are scraping the bottom of the barrel. But, you know what? I am not going to hate any of you based on one interaction with you. I pity some of you, but don’t hate you.

    This post wouldn’t turn me off to mlm. It is one person’s OPINION about the questions that were posed to him. He is entitled to have that opinion and not get trashed personally for it. He did not personally attack any of you – unless, of course, you are one of the 99%. And if you are one of the 99% you deserve to have the truth told about you. The majority of the rude and nasty commenters would turn me off to mlm. There wasn’t just one rude comment. It started with one and just like sheep being led to slaughter, many more followed. And followed without even understanding what the post was saying. SOME, MOST, 99%. The only ones who have cause to complain are those of you who are part of the SOME, MOST and 99%. Just like Roxanne tried to point out, but some of you were so riled up and closed minded by then that you couldn’t even see reason.

    Bottom line – if you were professional network marketers, you would not have had the reactions that some of you did. I, for one, am proud to be a non-mlmer now. Again, not because of the post but because of some of the commenters (mlmers).

  47. Mike Westwood Says:

    Karen what did you eat for dinner? I want to make sure I don’t eat it :).

    Let please all get civil here and stay on point.

    I’m still of the opinion as a very successful networker of 22 years that does not sponsor someone just because they can fog a mirror that Dan’s comments were misleading. Then he jump out with some damage control. As one that has referred many folks over the years to the 48 days web site that were considering an MLM (networking) career (to help them make their decision) I can no longer use Dan’s site as a tool in my prospecting. Here is why: the broad stroke he used to paint the MLM industry was to negative and general. He had no disclaimer or comments about this not being applied to all companies or career professional networking sale people or his involvement in MLM. The company I’m with is 35 years old and leader in it field. The leader and founder is in the industry hall of fame, he has received several awards (read not MLM awards or hall of fame). A new person or prospect to MLM would not know anything like this Dan’s article. So my perspective is to look at this from the point of view of person that is investigating the mlm industry and make comments from this view point. I would like to think that all seasoned MLMers would take this same view and make your voices heard. Otherwise onlookers might take the view that Dan is correct. I want to thank you seasoned networkers that are going to express your opinion.

  48. Karen Says:

    It’s OK Mike. We get it. You must be part of the 99%. I’m sorry to hear that.

    Get civil and stay on point??? Is that what you call your comments? Interesting.

  49. wow Says:

    Karen,

    First, I disagree with your initial premise – 99% – that in and of itself it a broad-based generalization… plus, how the heck would you know – if you are someone that “who do not even want to hear about network marketing” – so how would you know much about it?

    I don’t know Roxanne, wouldn’t recongnize her if we boarded the same elevator… but I can disagree with vigor if I choose about what Dan said… and if Roxanne takes it personally then I say she needs to grow some rhino skin…. we are debating the fact that Dan ‘slapped’ MLM across the face…. and you suggest while we wait for the sting to subside and hope he ‘calls’ back and asks us out on another ‘date’?

    Get Real… If i came up to you and insulted you – do you really want to hang around an see if I will eventually throw a compliment your way…

    You may be right – maybe you are not a people person so you may not be able to understand when someone has taken a swipe at you…

    If Dan wanted us to wait around for his next post maybe he should disable the comments section… we choose to answer Dan’s misstep… I really don’t have to wait around to see what his next blog is gonna be…

    I have enough scruples to see what he’s written without having to need an interpreter – but thanks for your effort…

    I don’t agree with you to say most of MLM’ers here are a rude nasty bunch… we just disagree….

    Your friend’s feelings were hurt because we disagreed with her… no one on this blog post and comments has called her a name…

    I can’t comment on any private emails she may have received and if someone took aim at her then I say she has the right to set them straight…

    but not on everyone – this is a public forum and this is how ideas are germinate and mature and maybe a brand new person (which by the way would find it a negative article) might find that peolple who have the guption to stand up for their profession actually have a bit of a backbone and hope to set the record straight…

    By the way, how did you happen to find this post if you are not someone who even wants to hear about MLM?

  50. wow Says:

    Karen,
    your reply to Mike is juvinile and catty…. you said your piece why not leave it at that?

  51. Brigitte Matthews Says:

    I don’t know anything about the private emails Roxanne is referring to. I suspect that whoever sent private emails are not the same people posting here. We who post here clearly feel no need for anonymity. But, Karen, think about what you said. If people who didn’t fit the bill Dan described shouldn’t be offended, then why is Roxanne being offended by whatever the emails say? I think it is interesting that, as someone earlier pointed out, no one has called Roxanne a name. Many have disagreed with her, but they seem to have done it in a professional fashion. No one has attacked her. They have directly responded to her posts, but that’s not unprofessional, and it’s no different than what she has done. I am always amused by those who attack anyone with an opinon that differs from theirs. Healthy debate implies difference of opinion.

    Let me clarify once again, since you and Roxanne still seem to not get it. As I read the posts, I don’t see where anyone felt convicted by Dan’s comments. If someone calls your family a bunch of liars, you can be disgusted with the person without feeling or being guilty of the accusation.

    If you and Roxanne can’t handle healthy debate, please feel free to not engage. It’s that simple. If I get a call from a telemarketer, I can say thanks for calling, but I’m not interested and then simply hang up.

    This kind of reminds me of the Dixie Chicks issue where the one girl made a comment about being embarrassed to be an American and then getting upset because people chose to boycot their music. So you can have your opinion, but not allow others to have theirs????? I have to laugh at the irony of your comments. And like someone said in one of their earlier posts, you (and Roxanne) are still missing the bigger picture. But I suppose you can only see what you are willing to see.

    I have no reason to think Roxanne is not nice. No one has suggested she isn’t. I don’t doubt that she has a caring heart. What does that have to do with anything being discussed? Why not reply to the people who are emailing her and quit attacking those of us here for what I doubt anyone here has even done. Bizarre behavior.

  52. Eric Says:

    HOW CAN YOU SAY THIS ABOUT MLM’s!!??? They are the best thing since sliced bread with peanut butter and jelly!! I have made millions with MLM’s :-)

    Nah, just kidding you are 100% right. You’d be better off trying to start your own thing!!

  53. Anne R Says:

    I was going to just read the highlights here and take it for the cheap entertainment that it was, initially. However, I must pause to say that after reading through this display of theatrics, I read Dan’s article without concluding that he was “bashing” MLM. What I DID gain from his insightful article, were some of the same forewarnings that some of my caring friends had already offered on the subject. These friends have been involved with numerous MLM companies and have been highly successful with them. I sought their advice because I have been considering joining a certain MLM company for a number of months now. In no way was I discouraged by reading this article. If anything, I took it for what it was: GOOD ADVICE. I can’t help but to see all of this carrying on as “much ado about nothing”. It honestly makes me wonder if I DO get into the world of MLM, am I going to have to suffer these kind of personalities? I should pray not. Because, now I can honestly say that I have much less concern for the content of Dan’s article than I do for the seemingly vicious nature of some of the people who have said here that they have succeeded in MLM. I do not aspire to such characteristics. And if that is exemplary of the nature of one who should succeed in the business of MLM, then I should be wise to avoid such business.

  54. wow Says:

    Anne,
    Could you please point out the ‘advice’ that Dan offered to ‘help’ you choose or move forward in an MLM company?

    That is the point… he didn’t…. he just basically eviscerated all MLM companies and the folks who apply themselves…

    So, if you really do follow his advice you would open up a cheesecake stand… just don’t do it as an MLM…

    The nature of people here are not viscious… just passionate…

    By the way, you will suffer ALL personalities as MLM cuts across all ages, colors, political beliefs, etc… so, you may have to rethink your direction

    It is funny how you can assume that you are the only sane one here…

    good luck

  55. Mike Westwood Says:

    Please folks, focus on Dan’s comments not each other. You either think Dan was correct or he is off base. Let debate that issue. Name calling and fussing at each other is just distracting. Please state you position:
    I support what Dan wrote.
    I do not support what Dan wrote.

    Then support your position. That my friends is debate. Yes you challenge another statement. But no personal attacks on others posting it serve no purpose. It helps if you provide information on your personal MLM experience.

  56. Todd Parker Says:

    Great points! Can you comment on franchises and the insurance business? I heard from a recruiter there is only a 30% retention rate for insurance/financial representatives the first three years with first year earnings only around $30K – $40K. Fine if you’re single or as a second income. It also seems franchises are seeing this economic time as an opportunity to recruit more as well. Some are tempting, but I would like to hear about others’ experiences. Thank you.

  57. Susan Strevens Says:

    Todd,
    I have met several people in the insurance and financial industries over the past 12-18 months. I don’t have direct experience with these industries, but I was compelled to suggest that you visit your local Chamber of Commerce meeting as a guest or attend a couple of Business Networking International (BNI) meetings. You will meet people who are in the industries you mentioned as well as realtors, mortgage reps and other small business professionals, perhaps even franchises owners which will give you the opportunity to network and ask to meet to learn more about them and their business.

    I hope this serves to assist you today for a healthier, prosperous tomorrow!

  58. Carol Says:

    I’m stunned both at the ignorance of both the original blog and that of the posters who claim to have been in network marketing companies for years but cannot adequately describe a pyramid scheme. Network marketing does NOT require selling; IF you are not in it for an income. Just like you are networking when you tell your friends about the great new restaurant that opened in the next town over but are not ever going to get paid for it, you can join an MLM company to purchase products (that you use anyway) at the best possible price, but will not get paid for it. That does NOT make it an pyramid scheme. You can even sign your friends up under you and they can just buy products that they will use and never sell, and then you MAY receive a small commission check (depending upon the compensation plan of the company).
    A pyramid scheme is very much like a corporation…. those doing all the “work” are at the bottom and making very little money while the ONE at the “top” who is not doing any of the “work” is making most of the money, and the people at the bottom can NEVER become the ONE at the top and vice versa. It works like this: I am the 1st distributor of XYZ shampoo. I can buy the shampoo for $1 a bottle and it retails for $9.95 a bottle. I recruit Sally and she buys XYZ shampoo from ME for $2 a bottle and retails it for $9.95. Then Sally recruits Bob and he buys the shampoo for $4 a bottle from Sally who gives me $2 and keeps $2 (cause she has to buy his shampoo from me too, cause Bob has to buy from Sally) and Bob sells his shampoo for $9.95. As we go on recruiting, the lower levels receive less and less commission on the SAME PRODUCT!
    In contrast with a legitimate MLM/Network Marketing company, EVERYONE starts out as a “distributor” and buys their product directly from the company at exactly the same price. Everyone they recruit in turn buys product from the company directly, not their sponsor. Everyone in the organization has the same opportunity to make the same percentage of profit on each product. You are paid a commission on 1) your personal sales and 2) a residual commission on a small percentage of purchases made by people you have introduced to the company who have chosen to also become distributors. But, your residual check does not come from the recruit’s potential profits as it does in a pyramid scheme. Obviously, when you sponsor someone, they are no longer buying from you, so you lose your retail commission from that customer because they now buy directly from the company at wholesale. So, residual checks are a way to 1) thank a distributor for sharing the business and products with new people and 2) come from an advertising budget that the company does not have to spend on TV, Radio, Internet, & Newspaper/Magazine Ads.
    I’m deeply disappointed in Dan’s article. In fact, it and comments by Roxanne (the “coach”) have reinforced my opinion that all “coaches” are con artists. They do not sell a product. They prey on people who are desperate to make a change in their lives but do not have the confidence to trust their own ability to hear from God. And, as Dan’s blog illustrates, who cares if I’ve misrepresented the coaching profession… after all, it’s MY OPINION.

  59. Frank Says:

    Carol,

    You may want to ask the government directly. I see that you like to attack people here just like other MLM people. Maybe YOU are the con artist???

    It seems that the FTC (that’s the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION my dear) agrees with Roxanne as well. Next time you want to slam someone, make sure you have your facts right.

    http://www.ftc.gov/speeches/other/dvimf16.shtm

    I did some checking after reading your comment because I thought you may be right, but turns out, you’re NOT. Before you slam someone and call them names (like CON ARTIST), make sure you do YOUR homework.

    YOU were describing a PONZI scheme. The other person was describing a PYRAMID scheme. They are similar but different.

    Pay close attention to the sentences in the first paragraph (at the above link) under “What is a Pyramid Scheme and What is Legitimate Marketing?” that say:

    “A lack of retail sales is also a red flag that a pyramid exists. Many pyramid schemes will claim that their product is selling like hot cakes. However, on closer examination, the sales occur only between people inside the pyramid structure or to new recruits joining the structure, not to consumers out in the general public.”

    Seems you were WRONG, not the other person. This is exactly what she said in her comments.

    Maybe your personal slam owes someone an apology? Unless, of course, you are going to call the FTC wrong. LOL.

  60. Latest list of multi level marketing companies news - MLM — More Loose Misrepresen Says:

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  61. Ebert Says:

    Dan,
    Thank you for your position about MLM companies. I tried my hand at it with a few companies and was not able to make it work. MLM is a selling occupation period. I remember years ago purchasing videos on MLM and the author spoke in general terms about the exponential growth that is possible within MLM. He tried to get the viewer excited about the growth potential and made it seem that anyone could magically build a great team with any MLM business.
    I am not putting down the opportunity that MLM companies offer, just the reality check that you have to develop great selling skills to succeed with MLM.

  62. Latest multi level marketing companies news - Making it Big in Multi Level M Says:

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  63. admin Says:

    The MLM company that I tried years back spread lots of great sounding stuff. I lost $600…. expensive lesson. avoid MLM people. keep your money.

  64. Jeanne Says:

    I appreciate your candor and balance in speaking to a very volatile subject. I have been with a mlm for 7+ years and continue with it successfully because I tell people the truth about how much work it is ( just like any job/career) and that it is NOT a fit for everyone. I think there are great companies that are legitamate. But within the industry are also vultures who move from company to company to skim off what they can before they move again. I run into them all the time and won’t recruit them (including some within my company). The opportunity that direct sales offers has been a God send to this former high school teacher and my family and I thank Him for it every day. I will continue to help and support anyone who wants to build their own business in an ethical company by treating it like a real business.

  65. Adam Davis Says:

    Magnificently done posting, if only all bloggers put up this level of high-level quality information the internet would be a very much better place. Please keep it up! Thanks.

  66. ace Says:

    I for one prefer to stay out of business with the kind of drama queens prevalent in the comments section.

    Seriously kids, get some thicker skin.

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