Have you ever made a mistake and blamed yourself for it? Well, so have I. But I’ve thought what is the worst that can happen from me We all make mistakes. However, the way in which we react will be revealing of who we are. Best option: Live and Learn.
Jumping into 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 MLM (multi-level marketing) businesses, almost became a life insurance agent, and spent lots of my money eating out. For now, we’ll settle in on the first.
What is an MLM?
In order to understand what an MLM is, imagine a pyramid. At the very top of the pyramid, you have one individual, and that individual recruits someone else; they in turn recruit others, creating a pyramid-like structure. Those who are able to create a sustained group of people who will recruit others who will then recruit others and so on, will be successful in such a business.
My very first experience with an MLM was with 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 legally accomplish the things you’ve only dreamed of and the limitless ability to make money. I thought why not?
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. We climbed up the stairs towards the meeting location and were greeted with booming EDM (electronic dance music) music, a flood of people and great chatter. It was a pumped up environment with lots of chatter and well-dressed people. 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 every month.
After the seminar was finished, a pretty Asian woman approached me; pitching me the business proposition with great persuasion. The constant flattery and words of motivation, if I’m to admit, felt good. My mind cycled through the words of the presenters as I took time 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 (more on financial freedom here)! 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 pursue. I turned down the offer.
LIVE and LEARN
I can see how such an organization can be successful, but the chance of reaching the pinnacle of success within is extremely slim. I was willing to work hard, but the addition of pitching my friends and family at the costs of relationships wasn’t very appealing. In this business, you hustle, making sure that your downline (those who you have recruited) are motivated and engaged, maintain relationship with your upline (those who recruited you), and always look to add people to your team.
If you want to be successful in such a business, you have to overcome your fears of rejection (huge positive) and be willing to be extremely uncomfortable. More than selling products, growing your team will bring greater profits; which was one aspect of MLM that was questionable.
In the long run, there won’t be many MLM businesses that will continue for long. 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 provides this, it wouldn’t hurt to give the proposition a shot.
All in all, here are some positives: development of social skills, networking, great seminars, excellent book recommendations, and collaborations. These are very practical experiences that you can benefit from simply being involved to one capacity or another. I also know individuals who have found incredible success from such endeavors.
However, the cons are as follows: you will be pushed out of your comfort zone, challenged in the way you think and urged to conform to another standard of thinking, you may lose some friends and experience lots of rejection.
Have you been approached?
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?