Starting off in the work field after college was an arduous ordeal that consisted of misleading business propositions and some money mistakes, thankfully none that I deeply regret. I almost joined 2 different MLMs (multi-level marketing), almost became a life insurance agent, and spent lots of my money on eating out. Today, I’ll share on my MLM experience.
In order to understand what an MLM is, you can think of a pyramid. At the very top of the pyramid, you have one individual, and that individual recruits someone else; they in turn return others creating a pyramid-like structure.
The 1st MLM I was almost convinced to join was called ACN, a business that provides telecommunication services. A buddy of mine called me up and got me to sit down with him to hear a business proposition, which sounded incredible to say the least. The selling point is to accomplish the things you’ve only dreamed of and the limitless ability to make money. I was more young and foolish than I am now and decided to continue on with attending a seminar.
My friend kindly offered to pick me up and take me to the place, which I gladly accepted. We parked in the parking structure of a Holiday Inn. As we climbed the stairs towards the meeting location, we were welcome by booming electronic music and chattering of many voices. It was a pumped up environment with lots of sharp and well-dressed individuals. There was a bit of adrenaline rushing through my system as I was taking in all that was happening.
The seminar soon began and there was some sort of chant that started as the mc for the evening came up and introduced himself. There was a lot of positivity and energy in the place. After 2 speakers who shared their story and how they reached their level of success: thousands of dollars in passive income.
After the seminar was finished, I was introduced to a beautiful woman who then shared with me her business proposition. The constant flattery and words of motivation were lavished on me and if I’m to admit, it felt good, but my mind was still cycling through the words of the presenters and tried to assess what they were selling.
Ultimately, I would be paying $500 for a website with a monthly payment to keep it running, mentorship, and invitation to events (which were several hundred dollars more). The way that I would really make money would be to recruit other people to join and take commission from what they were selling. This would be the way to financial freedom! The woman pressed me to make a decision saying how winners act fast. I decided not to be so quick to act and slept on it.
The next morning, I realized the business proposition was exciting and adventurous but not one I would want to be involved in. I turned down the offer.
Reflections on my Experience
I can see how such an organization can be successful, but the chance of reaching the pinnacle of success within that sort of business is extremely slim. There are those who make it to the top, the hustlers, and they do make enormous amounts of money, but at what cost?
I realized that some of the successful people in the business were sold on the products that they were selling, but were more so focused on recruiting others into their business. The money was more in the recruiting than it was in actually selling the products. This is when the alarm went off in my mind.
Overall, many businesses won’t last as they are built on shaky ground. A good business should have well-thought principles and values at its core, with a strong vision to add value; along with planning, developing strategies for growth, and systematizing its processes.
If an MLM is doing that and isn’t focused on making money on people’s hopes and delusion but is set on building great business that impacts the world for good, I say great for them, but I personally wouldn’t join one nor recommend others to join one. Too many have gotten suckered into it and have lost much more than they have gained.
Share your Experience!
This is a small bit of my financial journey and how I almost made a big money mistake. Have you ever been asked to join an MLM? What sort of financial mistakes have you made?