Wednesday, November 28, 2012

MLM: An Expensive Hobby

Every one of us has our own interest, past times and hobbies. Some may love outdoor activities while others like to stay indoor and prefer hobbies like reading books, painting, crafts making or pottery. Our hobbies define us as a person and most of our habits are beneficial to our own growth. We have our own passion and for some it was even a selfless passion. Some individuals may want to spend their free time helping other people through their own little way. Like spending time with the elders, feeding the homeless, or teaching the street children. They may also like to participate in church activities and other community services. Our hobbies, past times and our passion give us self-fulfillment and a sense of well being.

How can I relate MLM with the hobbies that I have stated above? We know that MLM is primarily about business. Why would I categorize it as a hobby then? Like any other organizations and companies, MLM has also its own set of activities. It is not only limited to meetings, seminars and rallies. In order to keep the motivation, the leaders formulate different activities which are fun and will keep its members coming back for more. There will be team buildings, bonding and celebrations. It is usually team building slash training, bonding slash training and celebration slash training. See my point? These activities always include training which is again an opportunity for brainwashing! There will be food, fun and laughter while leaders share their secrets on their "success". There will be "oohs" and "aahs" from the members and they see these leaders as idols whom they cheer on. Members repeatedly shout same chants over and over to keep everyone in a hyper mode. Do you see the similarity of this to a cult? Leaders, idols, chants. Creepy isn't it?

During my time we usually rent a hotel room or open banquets to cater our activities. And do you think it is for free?? No! Each member of course has to give their share. You have to pay for your own fare, food and hotel. It is an average of two major activities in a month aside from the bi-weekly meetings and rallies. How much do you have to spend for these activities then? Just do the math!  I have a downline before who was living far from the city and she was paying high taxi fare just to attend these "fun" activities. Business wise, she has not made any. She has not sponsored anyone. What keeps her then? It's the fun moments and camaraderie of the people that keeps her going. Even if it means spending her meek allowance for financing these activities! She was telling that even if she has not made any income yet, she is thankful because she became a different person. She was able to have new friends, enhance her personality and she feels the sense of belonging. Well, she could have just spent time with her friends and save herself from huge fees! You started a business mainly to earn. There might be light moments in between but your main objective is to profit from it. Just like any other normal businesses if it is not giving you any profit it would be wise to discontinue. You save yourself from headache and future losses.

Spare yourself from a destructive and expensive hobby ---- which is MLM! There are lot of other great things to do than to waste your time over this cult. MLM sucks your time, your money and make you abandon your real friends over some "momentary allies". Do you think they genuinely care about your well being? They just want you to be brainwashed enough so you will do everything that pleases them. And don't wait for the time that you become so broke you can't even fake a half smile!

MLM as a hobby? Thanks but no thanks. I'd rather sleep. (-_-) zzzzzz.....

Monday, November 26, 2012

On Benefits: MLM vs JOB

"You cannot finish your job, but your job can finish you."

"We make things happen."

"The goal is to get out of the rat race!"

"Stay focused. The minute you lose focus you will also be losing your momentum."

"You're failure is temporary because you are created a champion!"

Motivated enough? These are the facebook statuses of the MLM junkies. That positive vibe, hype and energy! Oh can you feel it?! Job, rat race, focus, failure, champion. Do you see the relevance of these root words here? In a nutshell, they were  trying to imply that your job is just temporary. That later on you will lose your job, you will never get out of the rat race and you will be a failure... if you will not do MLM! That is the clear message. How to be a champion? Join MLM, stay focused, never quit and diss your JOB. The job that brings food to your table, pay for your child's education, gave you medical insurance, prepares you for your retirement and your source of savings for your contingent needs. How can you exchange your JOB for MLM then? What does MLM can give you? Fixed earnings? Passive income? Insurance? Time freedom?

Well, let me enumerate the "benefits" that MLM was trying to offer:

1) Fixed earnings - On your JOB, you will have your monthly income credited to your bank account. No questions asked as long as you completed your working days. You will have this income for as long as you work with your company as you are sharing a mutual benefit. Your services in exchange of wages. In MLM, you have to recruit people, use and sell the products to get commission - which is not FIXED even if you work to the best of your effort and most of your time. Because if you weren't able to convince people to join, that's the end of it. No questions asked.

2) Passive income - On your, JOB you can save your extra earnings on the bank, open a time deposit, or invest in stocks, which can give you a passive income through interest. Or if you are having a bit more savings, you can invest on properties and buy land because its value appreciates over time. In MLM, you have to recruit people, use and sell the product to get commission  - which is not passive income because you still have to work for that. - PAINSTAKINGLY

3) Insurance - On your JOB, most likely the company provides for your medical insurance, offers you a retirement benefit, bonuses based on your performance and other employee benefits. In MLM, you are not insured! They may say you have a personal accident insurance for this so and so company but how can you vouch on that? You are not their staff and they have no obligations to you. You are just a mere "commissioned salesman". Can you claim on that in the future? Another thing, the amount of the insurance is not significant enough to secure you in the near future taking into consideration the time value of money and inflation as this a fixed amount.

4) Time Freedom - On your JOB, you work an 8 am to 5 pm shift. An average of let's say 10 hours a day inclusive of break time. Most are free in the evening after work. You can catch up with your friends over a cup of coffee, have dinner with your family, or even a movie date with your significant other. Plus in the weekend, you have a choice to either just stay at home and rest, or if you want to have more fun you can have weekend getaway on nearby places or just simply stroll somewhere. In MLM, you are on call 24/7. Meetings and rallies here and there. You are up all night, you have a lot of appointments to sell your pitch and you have to go to a lot of places - using your own hard earned money from where else? Your JOB! You have to pass up birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and other important celebrations of your life! It's because you have to put on your priorities these MLM activities because of your commitment. Where is the time freedom here??

These are just some of the benefits that the MLM is trying to put as a bait to their prospects. In every motivational messages that they are trying to impose, there's a hidden meaning behind it. My then upline told me that once you are in MLM there's no way out. What?? Is this a syndicate or something? He told me that if you are a networker and you have no results for the first two years you have to try more. And on the fourth year you have not made it yet, well try harder. On the fifth year you are still struggling, don't even dare to quit! You had already invested 5 years of life. Are you going to throw it away just like that? What is his point? Never ever quit till your last breath! What does he want me to become? A poor old person swamped with huge debt on my death bed? Just the mere thought of it brings shiver down my spine! I proved him wrong though. I quit, and I'm doing even better. Even BETTER now on my JOB! 

(Well I heard my upline still drives around his fancy car. His sports car which is still on loan from this very moment. And his debt is piling up... enough to build a wall around his dream mansion! Lol!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ad Infinitum: Who Gets the Bacon?

The three foot rule – Anyone who is within a radius of three foot or less around you is a prospect. You swallowed hard, recall your pitch and plastered your well rehearsed big smile on your face. Then you try to catch the attention of your prospect. Some reacts positively, and most – don't even care less.

That scenario was common for someone who's been drowned by the MLM (Multi-level Marketing) hype. Going to the mall was no longer the usual shopping spree, having lunch / dinner with friends or just simply strolling. It became a prospecting time wherein an MLM distributor try to offers that "once in a lifetime opportunity" to random strangers with that much confidence in themselves that they are helping people change lives. Changing people's lives to best… or to worst?

Not too long ago I was one of those MLM junkies who are armed with confidence and motivation to spread the great news that will save the world. Yeah, save the world, as what our "respected" uplines say upfront. Why keep the great news within yourself if you can share it with your family, your friends and even strangers?? You can help build the world a better place to live in - financial freedom at everyone's reach. I had a dream then. Am I a superhero or something? I was naive.  

I had invested… rather wasted two valuable years of my life getting on this "get-rich-quick scheme" business plan. It was called in various names. Networking, Direct selling, Multi-level Marketing, E-commerce business – in fact this is just a legalized Pyramid Scheme. I was duped. I certainly was. Spent almost $ 3,000 ++ for sign-up fees, product re-order and training fees. Not to mention the out-of-pocket costs for transportation and food expenses for the so-called business meetings and orientations. Include further the hotel fees, phone calls, and most importantly the time spent on attending the different rallies. Everyone is not conscious of the time. More time spent means greater commitment to your "business". They say "work now, play later" because all your labor shall never be in vain because it will pay-off after some time. It is normal to fail because without failure you cannot succeed. You need to invest more to get more. You need to have that title of gold, platinum, diamond even if it means stocking your garage or your room with those overpriced product till you cannot breathe. You turned out to have the "kryptonite" title rather than the "diamond" title as the little superhero in you get sucks up and drained… financially. By the process you turned out to be an MLM zombie ready to eat your prospect's brain and their bank account!

The experience was quite overwhelming though. It was overwhelming in the sense that you get to meet a lot of people. Some you may get along and some simply get in to your nerves. Various people of different walks of life gather in MLM. It does not evaluate any of its members. Irregardless of educational attainment, religion, culture, family background… and even criminal record. So there might be a chance that you're "so-called" business partners has been passing up the law or like fugitives. I even remember one upline who is hooking up with ladies in order to get them in the scheme. He played with their feelings, make them his downline and start having secret relationship with them. At the end this cheater upline dump the ladies like a hot potato! And the devastating fact is that upline was already married. He con on people's dream and break a lot of hearts. What a loser. He really is a hundred percent sham!

There is also a chance that you might be dealing with someone who had a case before of felony that you are unaware of. I have also seen some distributors that are having immoral relationship with fellow members. This one lady distributor doesn't care about her reputation of being a mistress. And she was even proud! The nerve of a dim-witted mistress, she could have used her brain for a minute or so. Even married women had relationship with random men in the group. Most guy members are in troubled relationship and they try their best to court downlines and crosslines for their short-term pleasure. They also claimed that they will be filthy rich soon. Funny thing is that these brainwashed guys couldn't even afford to pay for their prospect's coffee. Because they are just so broke! Seeing these kinds of business partners makes me want to puke. I bet they left their morals somewhere else, or maybe it was buried deep in the desert.  And so I left the group like its funny.

MLM doesn't qualify any of its prospects. It's because the main requirement of joining this "prestigious" group is to have the ability to pay. I would like to say the "ability to pay" rather than "financial capacity" because even the prospect is at the cliff of his debt bed, these uplines will still motivate them to find a way to purchase and pay for the sign-up fees. Even if it means, pressing more on your piling debt, borrowing from relatives or selling your valuable things in order to pay for the joining fee. And it is for "limited time" offer only! Here's the catch, they will inform you that you're so lucky you will be joining at the perfect time but you have to join immediately because of the current promotions that the company was having. They will pressurize you to join immediately and you might miss half of your life passing up a very lucrative offer! With this, the unassuming prospect gets caught up thinking he really did accepted a great deal. A great deal that will later consume his personality --- and his relationships.

Sleeping is only for the broke. This were the exact words of my upline as he try to justify that one must not miss an opportunity even for a blink of an eye! Even if it means passing up sleeping time and being up all night and loitering around like an upbeat horse. Lack of sleep affects my work, and my quality time with family and friends was greatly affected. I became distant with my real friends and spend most of my time with my fellow brainwashed distributors. What used to be a happy weekend became a prospecting time not to mention the rallies and meeting in between weekdays. I was so tired and I spent money like trash. Money spent that I could have just enjoyed or just sent to my loved ones. Investment that I thought will be reaping benefits in the long term was sucked up by my hungry uplines.

Would you like to earn your passive income while helping others? This was the question whenever we start a meeting with unsuspecting prospects. Looking back I hope I could have passed on this question. I could have not been scammed. I could have not wasted my time, money and energy. It is because this kind of system was already flawed right from the beginning. Only those who sit on the top make the big chunk at the expense of the members at the bottom. They earned their six figure income out of the huge losses of the most. Endless prospecting, endless recruitment,  countless training and never ending meetings, ad infinitum as they say. If you are still a member of this offbeat group, I do hope after reading this you will now have the answer to this question… In this kind of "business" who do you think gets the bacon???

I'm an ex MLM junkie!

This blog are for those who were involved with MLM in the past who realized that chasing an MLM dream is like chasing rays of sun on a rainy day. Few may have achieved their dreams but apparently at the expense of the majority of people who lost their savings, deteriorate their relationships and most importantly lose their own self in the process.

Welcome to my blog! Feel free to leave your comments, suggestions and your stories to help people be enlightened!