“But why aren’t you balanced? What about all the positive stories about incredibly rich (insert name here) MLMers?” In this post, we explain why ‘balance’ is bullshit when it comes to network marketing, and so is attempting to be unbiased.

We get it regularly.

However I do worry that it (Timeless Vie) doesn’t provide a balanced view; there are no positive stories.

comment

On the face of it, that seems a completely reasonable point.

That’s what proper journalists would do, right?

They’d have the sad story and then the happy story so you, the reader, got both sides of the issue.   And what would you think? You’d probably think there’s a 50% chance you could be wealthy in an MLM, and a 50% chance you’d fail.   Fair.  Balanced.

Except….acccording to this study, approximately 99% of people lose money.

If most people lose money, is it really fair and balanced to have 1 story for and 1 against?  Wouldn’t a really balanced piece of writing about MLMs have 99 stories of failure vs 1 story of success?  Wouldn’t that be more accurate?  And wouldn’t a really balanced piece point out that the 1 person who succeeded did so because of all the people that failed?

The idea of ‘false balance’ in journalism has been around for a while, but none of us connected the issue to the debate over MLM until one of us talked to a journalist in New Zealand.  He was interested in what we were doing, and the feminist stance we were taking, and he pointed out that ‘false balance’ could be a problem when it came to issues like MLM.   Read this, about the climate change science and false balance.

And this.

The idea is this: that by presenting both sides of a story and giving each equal weight, journalists inadvertently give people the impression that both sides are equally valid.   They aren’t.

On one side, we have an industry that is making lots and lots of money by selling women false hope, that allows reps to make false health claims, that says one thing in public and another in private (we have so much evidence of this at this point it’s not funny), that in some cases refuses to divulge how much money women will really make, and is largely ignored by government.     For ‘positive’ stories you only have to go to the websites of the Direct Sales Association, Arbonne, Younique etc.

On the other side, there’s us.  We are making exactly zero money from doing this.  We have jobs, families, we do this in what spare time we have.    We’ve researched.  We’ve talked to victims.  We really care about them.  We’ve tried to get answers from the DSA, MLM companies and government, and have discovered that there’s a huge information gap about what effects MLMs really have.

If we were to do positive stories, we’d be giving our readers the impression we think MLM is a valid business model, when all evidence we’ve found so far indicates it’s not.  Would that really be the right thing to do?

This is why we don’t do “balanced” stories about MLM.

Because what matters is the truth.

Save

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We researched Women’s business groups & events to see how many allow MLM reps to join. Here’s what we found.

Some time ago we promised we’d look into the many women’s business networking groups and events out there and figure out which ones are MLM-free (and which aren’t).  Many women had complained to us of going to networking events to make contact with other business women, only to discover they were full of MLM reps from Juice Plus or Arbonne etc trying to recruit.

 

In some cases, the speakers at these ‘women in business’ events would also be MLM reps.   For women trying to launch genuine & original businesses, and for professional women,  this is a frustrating state of affairs.  That’s why we decided to step in and at least try and clarify which groups do and which groups don’t allow MLM.

 

We do not claim this is an exhaustive list of all groups out there.  If there are groups or events we’ve missed, please let us know.  If we’ve incorrectly labeled your group as a group that allows MLM, please also let us know.

 

How did we determine which groups allow MLM and which don’t?

We checked each group’s member directory.  If there were network marketing reps in the directory, that was a sign the group was pro-MLM.   For those groups without a public directory, we emailed and asked directly.   For events, we checked to see which exhibitors were allowed and which weren’t.

Here it is!


Firstly, here are the groups we found that don’t allow MLM.  If you are looking for an MLM-free group or event, these are the ones to join.

MLM-FREE

 

Women at Work

Talented Ladies Club

Molopreneur Collective

365 Badass

Ebony Inspired UK

from 2018

Mums Enterprise Roadshow – From 2018 they will be MLM free

 


Allow MLM

 

Women in Business Network

Company of Women

Business Babble

Networking Women

Stroud Business Women

1230

Wire UK

Women in Business Hull

Women Mean Biz

Forward Ladies

Metis Women UK

Savor the Success  – named as one of FORBES 100 best sites for women, crawling with mlm

Handbags and Briefcases sent email – does accept MLM

Women in Business NI sent email – does accept MLM

Every Woman sent email – does accept MLM

W X Network– email sent, they said they were interested in talking more about my MLM experience

Ellevate Network   sent an email – yes they welcome MLM network marketers

CMI Women sent email – yes they accept MLM

Mums Enterprise Roadshow – 2017 only. From 2018 they will be MLM free

Parentpreneur networking

 


UNKNOWN

 

High Flying Divas sent email

Norwich Business Women’s Network no contact info

Rural Women UK sent email – email failed

Business Women in Surrey  sent email

Women in Business Sussex sent email

Women in Business  sent email

Women into the Network sent email – email address failed

Crave Company  sent email

Business Womens Link

Association of Scottish Business Women – EMAILED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Younique: “Saving Lashes, Changing Lives”?

But whose lashes need saving?

Facebook is awash with posts such as the one below about Younique’s newest campaign “Saving Lashes Changing Lives”:

Y1

It faintly echoes their August 2016 Kudos, which we debunked.

Now everyone knows we love a bit of number crunching here at Timeless Vie HQ, so we were particularly interested in the specifics of this campaign, namely the criteria and the reward on offer to presenters.

All you have to do to earn an exclusive Uplift necklace is:

  1. Sponsor three new presenters
  2. Sell seven “Lash Trios”

Sounds fair, right? Right?

To show you just how amaaaazing this promotion is, we’ve worked out the maths behind it all…

When somebody becomes a Younique presenter, they pay £69 for their presenter kit, so sponsoring three new presenters = £207 straight to Younique.

The “Lash Trio” (featuring lash serum, the new Epic mascara and the classic 3D fibre lash kit) retails at £60. Selling seven of those = £420 straight to Younique.

Y2

That’s a total of £627 going to Younique’s coffers in order to obtain the Uplift necklace. Surely this must be a pretty high-quality necklace to warrant such a sum?

Possibly not.

A quick Google search throws up a variety of Chinese wholesale sites selling very similar necklaces with free engraving on offer for as little as $7.01 (£5.34 as of 3rd August) each if ordered in bulk (which Younique have been no strangers to).

So, in total, that’s £627 – £5.34 = £621.66 going straight to Younique.

#TotesUplifting #WorthIt

Social Selling company Stella & Dot loses partnership after outcry on social media

Multi-level marketing company Stella & Dot lost a big promotional opportunity last week after a public outcry led by us – Timeless Vie.

 

 

At Timeless Vie we regularly see MLMs hoodwink legitimate businesses and charities into giving them additional promotion and partnerships.  Earlier this year Great Run UK backed away from it’s partnership with Herbalife after a similar outcry lead by Stephen Morrison and with help from us.  Partnerships like this infuriate us because they give MLM companies an aura of respectability we don’t believe they deserve.  We take the stance that multi-level marketing (also called network marketing, social selling, relationship selling) – is an unethical business model that leads to participants, mostly women, losing money, time and resources.

 

 

Just last week Bloom & Wild, a hugely popular internet flower delivery service announced that they’d partnered with Stella & Dot to do a series of events in the UK.  Bloom & Wild has been featured on Facebook groups like Mrs Gloss & the Goss (100,000 members) and The Motherload (35,000+) so had access to a large audience of women.  They had built a great reputation within this market – a market we believe Stella & Dot would be keen to enter.

 

 

At these events, Stella & Dot would release details of their new jewellery line and, we were concerned, perhaps recruit more women into their MLM.   Did Bloom & Wild know that Stella & Dot was an MLM?  It seems unlikely.  S & D positions itself as a ‘social selling’ company even though there is no discernable difference between it’s business model & that of other MLMs.

 

 

One of our supporters tipped us off to the Bloom & Wild/S&D partnership.  We knew we had to warn our readers so we shared the info to our FB page.     We didn’t stop there, however – we then let our friends and MLM-Free Network members know – The Motherload, Mrs Gloss & the Goss & The Talented Ladies Club.  With their help, the news spread quickly via Facebook, Twitter & Mumsnet. Women were contacting Bloom & Wild to complain and threatening to cancel their subscriptions.

 

 

Bloom & Wild did a great job responding to our concerns. They initially said they’d look into it and not long after, pulled the event! Take that S&D.  We were thrilled at their quick response.

 

 

Timeless Vie works tirelessly to stop the exploitation of (mostly) women by MLM companies. Stopping S&D from getting free publicity and probably more recruits is a big win for us and by extension, for women.

 

 

If you’re interested in learning more about MLMs and the damage they do, please share this post and check out our site and sign our petition.

If you would like your business or organization added to our MLM-Free Network, please contact us at timelessvie@gmail.com.

Thanks again to all those who participated in this campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

1 Small Town with 11 Competing Online Younique Parties & 30 Younique reps

….And 10 other MLMs actively trying to recruit.

This a continuation of the series of posts started by Kate Dyson of the Motherload & Timeless Vie (Katiepeakoe).

Part one & Part two are below:

Network Marketing: A Cult for Mums

How Mormons, network marketing & social media combine to sell women a false dream

I first noticed Miramichi when I was on Younique’s “find a sponsor” map and saw it had a crazy number of Younique reps for the size.

Miramichi has just over 17,000 inhabitants.  A check of Google Earth reveals a small town that’s flat but very green – large lots with small houses from every decade.  Like many towns in this part of east-coast Canada, it has been exporting it’s young people out West to the oilfields of Alberta. But this town – like the province it’s in – has fallen on hard times.   It has an unemployment rate of 13% in June 2017

Miramichi’s job board on FB is mostly service jobs – waitress, food service, health workers, caregivers, typically low-paid.

So does it make sense that there are not 1, not 2, not 3 but 30 Younique reps and reps from Stella & Dot, Monat, Epicure, Usborne Books, Jamberry, Mary friggin Kay,  Party Lite, Norwex, Doterra & Plexus?

Of the 30 Younique reps, 10 of them were holding online Younique parties at the same time in Mirimichi.  One rep was holding 2 at the same time.

 

Presenter status comments  Starter Kit  active per 3 months
Presenter 1 white profile is private, no known group  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 2 white unclear if active  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 3 white has a younique party online. Has earned 6 party points and is the only contributor.  Party closes 24 june 2017 younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 4 yellow shares a lot of other MLM pages – pearl opening parties (Dxx’s Precious Reveals), usborne books, tupperware, etc. on her FB page.  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 5 yellow 21 people liked her younique FB page.  No likes on her posts  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 6 white very little on FB page, no party.  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 7 pink has a younique party online.  Has earned 73 party points.  Only contributor is Dxxx.  Party open until 22 June 2017.  Works as a cashier. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 8 white has no party.  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 9 yellow very few likes on her Younique posts – average 1 or none per post  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 10 white follows a lot of top shills in Younique & Dxxx’s precious reveals – pearl party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 11 blue has FB group with 182 members.  No likes on any of her recent posts.  Has an open Younique Kudos party that is currently open with no sales. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 12 white Has a fb group called Presenter 12’s Online Younique party.  18 members.  Last post was January.  A friend posts for her – things like this: “Check out the new skin care line. It’s to die for. Message Presenter 12 if you are interested in them.”  “Let’s help Presenter 12 earn some Younique cash”  Group was created in Sep 2016. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 13 orange Posts a lot on her regular FB page & insta.  Gets a fair bit of engagement.  Is running an online Younique party that is done on 20 June 2017.  The party has made 73 party points and the only contributor is Presenter 13. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 14 yellow can’t find much info on FB page  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 15 white Also does Scentsy too.  Has a closed Younique FB group with 339 members.  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 16 white has closed Younique FB group with 12 members.  Shares peal party openings  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 17 yellow could not find info  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 18 white no info  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 19 blue has Younique group with 429 members.  Last posted feb when she listed a bunch of products for sale.   Presenter 30 (white status Younique rep) a member of this group- possible downline?.  No interest in Younique kudos party from this year. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 20 white has 2 younique online parties going.  One finishes on 19 june, one on 24 june 2017.  First party has had no sales.  Second party has no sales. younique party x 2  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 21 white has younique online party that expires on 22 June 2017.  No sales so far. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 22 white  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 23 white had party for friend rxx bxxx, made 9190 points.  3 contributors.  Posted party in facebook group for people to sell in Miramichi. younique party is over  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 24 yellow is doing a party for Mxxx and has a FB group for this.  No likes so far. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 25 white has a Younique online party that ends on 20 June 2017.  has no sales. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 26 pink no info  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 27 white does not appear to be active  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 28 green has an online Younique party ending 22 June 2017.  Has no sales. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 29 blue seems to have genuine artistic talent.   Had a younique online party and made 180 party points.  Presenter 29 was the only contributor. younique party is over  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 30 white no info/member of blue status Presenter facebook group, possible upline?  $  3,451.00  $  3,625.00

 

This was the result:

Of the 10 parties currently active in Miramichi, not one had made the minimum 200 pt requirement.

Younique party info

youniquepartyinfo

 

PARTY OUTCOME

Presenter status comments  Starter Kit  active per 3 months Party Outcome
Presenter 3 white has a younique party online. Has earned 6 party points and is the only contributor.  Party closes 24 june 2017  $     119.00  $     125.00 6 pts – Presenter 3 is only contributor
Presenter 7 pink has a younique party online.  Has earned 73 party points.  Only contributor is Dxxx.  Party open until 22 June 2017.  Works as a cashier.  $     119.00  $     125.00 73 pts, 1 contributor.
Presenter 11 blue has FB group with 182 members.  No likes on any of her recent posts.  Has an open Younique Kudos party that is currently open with no sales.  $     119.00  $     125.00  0 pts.
Presenter 13 orange Posts a lot on her regular FB page & insta.  Gets a fair bit of engagement.  Is running an online Younique party that is done on 20 June 2017.  The party has made 73 party points and the only contributor is Presenter 13.  $     119.00  $     125.00 73 pts, Presenter 13 is only contributor.
Presenter 20 white has 2 younique online parties going.  One finishes on 19 june, one on 24 june 2017.  First party has had no sales.  Second party has no sales.  $     119.00  $     125.00 2 parties, 0 pts.
Presenter 21 white has younique online party that expires on 22 June 2017.  No sales so far.  $     119.00  $     125.00 0 pts.
Presenter 24 yellow is doing a party for Mxxx and has a FB group for this.  No likes so far.  $     119.00  $     125.00 0 pts.
Presenter 25 white has a Younique online party that ends on 20 June 2017.  has no sales.  $     119.00  $     125.00 0 pts.
Presenter 28 green has an online Younique party ending 22 June 2017.  Has no sales.  $     119.00  $     125.00 0 pts.
Presenter 29 blue seems to have genuine artistic talent.   Had a younique online party and made 180 party points.  Presenter 29 was the only contributor.  $     119.00  $     125.00 180 pts.  Presenter 29 only contributor

 

Of the 10 parties, in 3 of them the only buyer was the presenter herself.  7 of the parties had made 0 sales.  If we include the parties where the presenter bought items herself, 10 of the parties had made 0 sales in the time period we checked them. 

In each case the women had purchased starter kits and then had to make sure to generate a certain amount of points every 3 months to stay ‘active’.  The estimated amounts are shown in the table.

All these little payments of money – micro-losses, micro-scams – when added together are thousands.  1000’s of dollars that could have gone to local business in Miramichi, education, or savings.

This time I also decided to look at other MLMs – I assembled what data I could by searching on FB for bots from different companies living in Miramichi.  In some cases I found them though other bots’ friends’ lists.   I’ve put what I found about each one below.

 

STELLA & DOT HUN

She paid $199 to join

Has to generate 500 PVQ every 3 months to stay active.  500 PVQ is approximately $633.60 in Cdn dollars (exhange rate between US & Canadian dollars taken from Bank of Canada website) cos 1 PVQ = 1 USD.

Her FB info:

facebook group for selling.  Not much interest.  Only likes appear to be from her upline in Toronto, Hailey Verity.    Group has 123 members but not much sign of engagement.

Stella and Dot hunfo

Most active S&D consultants in Canada, who didn’t have teams, earned $1481 per year.  The recruiting STARS earned a whopping $10,567 per year which is totally a retirement income in…..ah….er…????

 

MONAT HUNS

Another MLM selling naturally based products blah blah.

Monat Hun 1 not a lot of interest in her FB group
Monat Hun 2 has her own FB group

They each paid at least $125 dollars to join.  Must sell 200 PV per month to be active.  No explanation about what PV is, but most likely 1 PV = 1 USD which is typical of most US based MLMs.

Monat hunfo

 

EPICURE HUN

Epicure is a Canadian MLM.

Epicure hunfo

Her FB info:

Epicure Kitchen – 465 people like page.  Last posted Feb 2017/ had a house fire april.  Runs a lot of competitions to move stock/get interest.

She paid at least $99 to join.

 

USBORNE BOOKS HUN

$79.95 to join

Must sell $500 in the previous 6 months to be active.  If you fail the target they set, they charge you for the full cost of the books.

Usborne books hunfo

68 members of her Usborne Books FB group.

JAMBERRY HUN

To join – $99

To stay “active” the hun must generate $250 Cdn per month in sales.

Jamberry hunfo

Her FB info:

calls herself “Jamberry Independent Team Manager”.  305 likes of page.
last post was asking people to show their best jamberry mani of the month for june. You will win a prize!  No likes or comments.  Post on june 4th
does have some engagement on her other posts, as well as no interest on others.
has a “VIP” group
One woman, HXX HXX from Miramichi, seemed interested in knowing more
also posts trying to sell in Miramichi direct sales
MXXX’s June VIP Jam-bourri!  – party

A Typical Participant in the Jamberry plan in 2014 earned between C$81 and C$1,221 in commissions.

 

MARY KAY HUNS

Miramichi had the luck of having 2 Mary Kay reps trying to sell makeup along with 30 Younique ones.  They each had spent at least $75 to join.

To get commissions, they HAD to have at least 1 recruit.  Must sell $225 per 3 months to stay active as well.

MK admits most women earn “in excess of $100 per year!” !!!!

Mary Kay hunfo

How were the 2 MK huns doing?

has MK facebook page.  44 likes.
has MK facebook page, 14 likes.

For more info on MK, read this.

I couldn’t find much info on the Norwex, Plexus, or Partylite huns but did find this on Doterra:

 

DOTERRA HUN

Had to pay $180 minimum to join + a non-refundable application fee of $35.

Lower level huns can earn up to $1,600 USD annually.  (can totes buy a private island).

Doterra hunfo

Her FB info:

Doterra Hun  – Doterra Oils  1 like on post.   Had a stall at Lion’s club.  41 people like page.  15 views on her live.  Offering ‘sip and chats” and local bookstore.  Very little engagement.
i.e. Asks for RSVPs to a DoTerra event in Fredericton, and offers an exclusive giveaway to anyway who posts below about what they want to learn more about at the event.  No one posts.

Quick maths shows over $10k has flowed out of Miramichi due to MLMs.

 

The Pyromaniac Chef talks about real empowerment and real charity work

 

Concentrate or it might sound like MLMs have a point

 

One of the greatest challenges presented by MLM myths is that they tap into something true. The advice I’ve been given by some very successful people is the same content as on the motivational posts favoured by bots. Something I do to great effect is ensure I surround myself with positive people, particularly at the beginning of a project. My husband, my mum and my best friend are my absolute cheerleaders whereas my mother-in-law is one of life’s worriers and points out everything that could go wrong. Haters gonna hate so keep your distance from them when it comes to being an entrepreneur.

Knowing your why is also vital to success. I run one of the world’s smallest restaurants and the night’s I have bookings, I have a sixteen-hour day. It’s stressful and exhausting but my why carries me through. My reason for why I do what I do is because I’ve been able to avoid putting my son into childcare. The motherhood experience is so personal and I believe there is no universal right way to raise a family but what is essential is to seek out the balance which is right for you. I miss out on some family time at weekends but the compromise is worth it for me for all the midweek trips and adventures I have with my son.

These truths are what make MLMs so insidious. Talk to any small business owner enjoying some success whilst enjoying what they do and there’s a high chance they’ll sound like a bot.

 

So how can you tell a bot from the genuine article

 

In a word, empowerment. My own story could be told to the backdrop of a few violins. My husband got very ill and this hit our finances hard. I was desperate and needed to make money and fast. I opened my restaurant, Gloucester Studio and in the process of becoming stronger and more confident as I began to take control of my life and our financial situation I became empowered.

It’s a journey that the bots like to claim to be on but there’s a crucial difference. I won’t get demoted if I don’t hit some arbitrary target. Empowerment comes from within and can’t be taken away from you. When you’re empowered, you set the rules. My restaurant closes in July and August; my diners sit around a fire pit so it’s a bit hot but also, I don’t want to. It’s the school holidays so I’m busy with my kids. Because my business is actually my own business (there’s a clue in the way I pay tax as a director of the company) not only do I not get penalised but it makes me more successful. A couple of months’ rest means travel and visiting other restaurants. Come September I’m refreshed and inspired for the next ten months of service.

 

Let me shed some tears while I talk about money

 

A recent video from a bot demoted for breaking the rules included a charming reference to losing her stepfather. There has also been a flurry of activity surrounding charitable donations from the top of various pyramids and bots saying how proud they were to be part of such an amazing organisation.

My ill husband is better than he was but it has been a hideous few years. As we began to come out of this my grandad was diagnosed with dementia. His decline has been so fast and I’m not coping. There’s a weight on my chest that sees me endlessly catching my breath as I fight the tears.

The good news is I’m not a bot! The best news is as I run my company as I see fit so in June I’m attempting a gigantean challenge. I want to make £5,000 (that’s diamond studded flappy pigeon level income for those of you who want it in proper figures) for the two dementia charities who have helped my family.

What is exciting about working with a beautiful company like Pyromaniac Chef is that I’m the one who’ll be writing the big juicy cheques. When I hand that money over it won’t be as a result of causing stress and upset to a downline but rather be the result of the parties I’ve thrown and the crowdfunding I’ve done in order to do something productive with the tangle of love and pain that without a project, might actually break me.

So, if I may talk to you from the heart for a moment let me say this. Dementia is a cruel disease but Alzheimer’s Society and Lilian Faithful Homes are doing great work. I’m taking the advice of the late Carrie Fisher and taking my broken heart and turning it into art; I’m writing a book whose proceeds will go to these amazing charities. You have an opportunity to help me reach my goal and in return receive a beautiful book, gorgeous hamper or attend an experience day. See crowdfunder.co.uk/hygge-huts for details.

Thank you.

“The leader stood over all of us saying we had to call someone NOW and talk to them about Forever, and she was standing over us waiting for us to call.” – A new graduate speaks about her experience in Forever Living

Here we go…

Straight after I had graduated from university (STRAIGHT after), my
long-term friend joined Forever and was really excited about it. We
were really close at the time and spent a lot of time together, and I
trusted her completely. Somehow at that time I had never heard about
MLM at all let alone Forever, so it sounded quite good to me. A
business I could do from home while I looked for my first proper job
after uni? Perfect! She took me to the local Business Presentation and
I didn’t understand much of it but it looked super exciting. Lots of
smiley women around, lots of beauty products, it just looked to me
like I could have fun with a brand new friends and get a discount on
some awesome stuff. My friend told me the business training was worth
more than the £200 investment needed anyway and would help me
career-wise too, no matter what area I worked in. It sounds silly, but
this was the first I’d heard of anything like this and I was super
happy to join even though it was a LOT of money on my part-time
waitress wages.

“We had to contact everyone we knew about the company…”

I soon learnt we had to contact everyone we knew about the company and
ask them to join our team, in various scripted ways. I felt really
uncomfortable about this and would have rather sold the products
themselves or got people I didn’t know to join, but I was told it was
the only way, that I need to get motivated, etc. I was given links of
mindset training on Youtube and some motivational books to read very
day when i woke up. I was told to create a dream board of all the
things I wanted in life, and that other people’s opinions shouldn’t
mean more to me than the things on my dream board, so I shouldn’t be
hesitant to talk to anyone about the ‘opportunity’. I struck up a few
conversations with old friends and led them into talking about the
business. I felt deceitful and hoped they wouldn’t think I had only
spoken to them because I wanted them to join (I had in that instance,
but I did care about them too). No one signed up.

After my failure to create a team I was told to go round to the house
of someone who was very successful in Forever. There was a small group
of us newbies there, I was the youngest by a mile. The leader stood
over all of us saying we had to call someone NOW and talk to them
about Forever, and she was standing over us waiting for us to call.
Everyone else picked up their phone. I said I don’t actually call
anyone, I just message (no one I knew at my age randomly phoned their
friends anymore) so it would look weird. She closed off from me and
said I was making excuses, and that she couldn’t stand excuses. I
still didn’t want to call anyone and said I’d rather do things a
different way, and I tried to reassure her I really wanted to make
this work.

“I was already paying out for things I hadn’t expected…”

The leader told me if I really wanted to succeed I’d be at the next
official training event, which was too expensive for me and I didn’t
have transport to get there. I was already paying out for things I
hadn’t expected, having four monthly payments to access training and
so on (QLS group, Forever Knowledge, Forever 360 and Smart Pod). I was
told to ‘buy the ticket now and figure out how to get there later’,
which turned out to be a common phrase I heard a lot. To try to get in
everyone’s good graces again I borrowed money for this training event
(taking four train journeys on my own at the weekend), hoping it would
be enough to get some more help. In my Facebook group women were told
if they didn’t have a sick day off work or leave the kids with a
babysitter in order to attend training events they were losers who
made excuses and wouldn’t succeed. Mums often got stressed out with
the lack of time they now had with their kids but where told to ‘make
your kids the reason to succeed, not your excuse’ and to find them a
babysitter as it would all be worth it when they were living life like
a millionaire.

At the training event the leader came on stage to loads of applause
and cheers, like a celebrity. She told us we need to brand ourselves
and take lots of pictures and make our profiles public so everyone can
see how great our life is and want to join. She said yesterday she
posted about going out somewhere, but she actually didn’t go anywhere-
she took the picture of herself in the car a few days earlier and
posted in when we was still in bed feeling tired and ill, but no one
outside Forever needed to know that. She told us it doesn’t matter how
we feel, we need to make people want our lives, that’s what our job is
now.

By this stage my sponsor was basically unrecognisable from the girl I
once knew. All she talked about was Forever. When someone wasn’t
interested she said to me ‘no just means not right now’ and asked them
again next time she saw them. She gave my sister a face cream which
triggered a big allergic rash and pressurised her to keep using it ‘as
its just the toxins coming out’. My sister pretended she was using it
to shut her up but had to stop as it was so painful. Everyone my
sponsor knew who was not involved with Forever she fell out with as
they were ‘negative’ and she ‘needed only supportive positive people
in her life now’. She had quit her successful, well-paid job and was
staying at home all day, posting a perfect calm ideal life on Facebook
yet being crying and stressed when anyone close to her saw her.

“Only losers are employed…”

The mentality in Forever was that only losers are employed, and that
everyone who is smart and ambitious knows better than to take on a
full-time job. I was shamed into not getting a full-time job and it
got to the point where I saw it as a failure. This lasted four years
while I tried to do MLM alongside minimum wage part time jobs, ruining
my best job prospects straight after graduation, but I knew if I got a
‘proper’ career I would be looked down upon as weak, and I believed
people outside Forever would look down on me as a failure too.

I wanted to keep my work and personal life separate to hang on to the
tiny bit of respect my old friends had for me, but this made me be
seen by my Forever group as someone who was lazy and didn’t want to
work hard for success, which hurt me and make me want to prove myself.
My group had stopped talking to me and my sponsor got stressed and
said we needed to go contact marketing instead. I was told it was fun,
we would meet in the city centre and just be friendly and people would
naturally be curious about the business, that I was being paid to hang
out and shop, essentially. I was excited, thinking this is how I would
get my team without alienating the people close to me. I honestly
believed at that time, thanks to all the training, that recruiting
people was doing them a favour and saving them from their stressful
J.O.B.s which would give them miserable lives. We were told that every
time we didn’t approach someone about the business we were just being
selfish by not helping them, and didn’t we want to help people live to
their full potential? The first place we went was Boots. My sponsor
pointed out a lady looking at the shampoo and told me to go and talk
to her about our shampoo. I was shocked and said I couldn’t just go up
and do that, and that I didn’t know what to say. Suddenly my sponsor
got irate and shouted ‘talk to her NOW! With this attitude you’ll
never make manager!’ She didn’t seem to care that everyone heard us. I
was so embarrassed. The poor lady looked over to us in sheer confusion
and terror. My sponsor tried to carry on arguing, but I’d had enough
and walked out the store in sheer panic. My sponsor and long-term
friend stopped speaking to me after that and seemed to hate me. I
started to feel very humiliated and alone.

“My question kept getting passed between departments…”

I decided I was going to try and work the business online by myself,
and wanted to make a health blog talking about how wonderful our
products were, as I completely believed they were. I couldn’t find any
information about them apart from a short paragraph on the official
website, and needed a lot more information to sell them online
successfully. I messaged head office asking why the honey was so
expensive (even organic raw honey was a quarter of the price), why the
tea bags were so expensive, and so on. I honestly believed there was a
reason, and was excited to be able to explain it to people. My
question kept getting passed between departments and finally I
received a reply with a standard blurb about the products. I replied
back repeating my question about the difference in price, I wanted to
know why it was so much higher, what the quality differences were. The
answer was just that it was ‘high quality’. My emails were ignored
after that. I started I worry that the prices were inflated with no
reason. At this point a cloud of panic set in as I started to wonder
if I’d been duped all along. I was scared the dreams of a perfect life
and success I’d built up in my head were not going to happen after
all, and that the time I had spent on the company had been wasted when
I should have got a ‘real job’ after graduation as I’d planned and
studied for. This was a really horrible feeling and I tried to push it
away.

“I was terrified to think
anything negative or feel negative incase it made the thought real.”

 
I quit Forever but still felt MLM was the answer and didn’t want to
admit I had gone down the wrong path after all. I joined a couple of
other companies but after the initial excitement at everyone being
nice to me because I was new and trying out the products, they all
worked exactly the same underneath. I kept wasting my days at home by
myself watching mindset videos all day on Youtube as I kept being told
mindset was the reason I wasn’t succeeding. Everyone was talking about
the Secret and the Law of Attraction, and that the thoughts you have
control your life and create your reality. I was terrified to think
anything negative or feel negative incase it made the thought real. I
was told if you think you aren’t going to make it, then you won’t make
it, and for instance if you wake up and feel sad, it will cause sad
energy to be attracted to you and something bad will happen to cause
more sadness, so you had to be careful and always watch your thoughts.
You always had to remain grateful, patient and positive and to believe
you are already living your dream life right now, which will make it
more likely to happen. I couldn’t air any doubts with anyone otherwise
I was labelled as negative and causing my own problems.

I was tired out and had no friends left both inside and outside MLM
groups as I hadn’t been successful, and felt both groups saw me as a
failure in life. I had no money whatsoever (not even enough to buy a
bag of crisps on a whim) though I felt I was working every second of
every day and felt like a total loser, which hurt me as I was
naturally very ambitious and sociable with big plans for my life, and
had graduated with so much hope for my future. I also felt I couldn’t
admit I was lonely or poor as it would attract more loneliness and
lack of money to me, and that I needed to have an ‘abundance mindset’
and to carry on working hard. I believed success was always just
around the corner and soon I’d have my ideal life, friends again, a
business of my own and regular travel, like all the others I saw on
social media who were doing MLM. I honestly didn’t understand why I
hadn’t made it like they had, although from the outside maybe it
looked like I had too, due to all my inspirational posts.

If I just had a cup of tea for 5 mins I felt guilty as I should be
‘working’, and I didn’t want to go out and enjoy myself as I thought
this would mean I was being lazy and not working on my dreams hard
enough. I lost contact with almost everyone but thought it would all
be worth it one day. To cut a long story short, with absolutely no
exaggeration, this led to me having a full-blown panic attack as I
couldn’t stop the negative thoughts and was terrified I was making
them real. I then ended up having panic attacks every week. I
collapsed on the floor, felt like I couldn’t breathe and honestly
thought I would faint or die. I was exhausted and thought I was
actually going crazy. I developed obsessive compulsive disorder to try
and ‘control’ my thoughts and to stop bad things happening. My
boyfriend was very supportive and told me I needed to relax and get
away from all the stress and find a job so I could make regular money
and meet people again.

I took a small job at the local college and with the wages I earned we
went on our first holiday in years. Getting out the house and feeling
like I had a normal life, slowly I started to recover, although it
took about 2 years in full for the anxiety and OCD to completely
simmer down. I was worried because I had no job experience in the
subject I had graduated in and didn’t know how to explain to employers
what I had been doing all this time, so I was convinced I wouldn’t get
a job in the field I wanted anymore. After all my studying and
ambition I was devastated I had wasted my twenties, alienating my
friends, having no money to do the travelling I wanted and looking
lazy on my CV.

“My friend is still in Forever and becoming increasinly unhinged…”

It’s now a few years later, and my heart goes out to those in MLMs. My
friend is still in Forever and is becoming increasingly unhinged
(whenever I see her, which is rare, she seems to start screaming or
crying about something and is very controlling of those she knows,
despite her life looking successful, luxurious and happy on social
media). She is retraining to be a life coach. My cousin, who joined
Forever initially with no success, has been in about 4 different MLMs.
Before all this she started off trying to get her own business in
accounting set up, which had been going well, and stopped that for
success in MLM, which has still never come. If you saw any of these
people on Facebook you’d think they were rich and happy with loads of
friends and not a care in the world, but I know they are struggling
desperately with money and spend all day inside the house, alone,
working on their ‘mindset’ and making the perfect posts for social
media, which never get any interaction.

If only I could go back in time and get a full-time job straight out
of uni, but at last I’m here now (yes, in the industry I always
wanted- turns out my detour into MLM didn’t affect my employment
prospects as much as I dreaded as luckily people seem to assume I was
just travelling and taking it easy in my early twenties- thank god
they don’t know I was actually being brainwashed). I took about a 6
year detour until I had the confidence to go for my ideal job and now
I’m where I should be. Don’t get sucked in to the hype, if you want a
great life go for your dream career at last or set up your own
business yourself and you’ll make it with far less money and time you
would have wasted in an MLM.

*

Wow.  What a powerful and enraging story.  Thank you so much for sharing with us.

“After nearly seventeen years in the hair and beauty industry I have been approached by ‘reps’ for pretty much every MLM company going…” Guest Post

This is a guest post written by one of our favourite #manhuns, Andrew Rowe-Henney.  You can check out his skincare business here

 

After nearly seventeen years in the hair and beauty industry I have been approached by ‘reps’ for pretty much every MLM company going. All offering me the same dream that they offer many people, which is apparent long term financial freedom and escaping the ‘rat race’. Here is where they fall down in establishing any major foothold in my profession. A survey carried out by City and Guilds in 2008 found beauty therapists and hairdressers were the two happiest professions in Britain. So creating an escape for people to run to does not really work.

 

The main issue that any kind of MLM business selling in or to my industry faces is lack of knowledge.

 

When you are trying to sell moisturiser to a beauty therapist or conditioner to a hairdresser, you better know your stuff. Some people do think they know their stuff and approach someone like myself, leading to an often harsh sounding rebuttal. Because they have been told their moisturiser is scientifically the best thing out there and people will be snatching it out of their hands and throwing money in their face, they truly believe this. I have the benefit of years of training, experience and sound knowledge of cosmetic chemistry and biology to challenge the claims made by these companies. Even companies I sometimes deal with that are not MLM’s, make me roll my eyes sometimes with cleverly worded advertising. It is not unique to that industry but, in my opinion, it is by far the overriding factor in making people believe they are entering a solid business ‘franchise’.

 

I recently had a message from someone trying to recruit me.

 

I recently had a message from someone trying to recruit me. She was a school friend and wanted to come and see me when I had some free time (actually not a friend as such, but in my year and dated my cousin kind of friend. One you would not pass in the street, but one you would not get a nice birthday card for either). This was not to catch up on old times, it was because she had discovered this wonderful bunch of products. I did not share her enthusiasm for these products. I normally just ignore messages from this kind of business, as I find engaging in conversation about the scientific merit of their products claims can be confusing for the representative as they have had ‘training’ in the product, but understand little of the science, which in itself can be presented by the company in a very biased format and without links to external studies which verify the claims. The company in question sold a multitude of cosmetic products and their star product was a ‘Galvanic Spa machine’ which this representative had been ‘trained to use’ (more on that later). Understanding a great deal about galvanic current used for cosmetic purposes, I decided to respond with why I thought her company’s machine was comparable to one which was £220 cheaper and offered not a sufficient level of controllable and ‘true’ galvanic current to make any real difference. I also stated I used the world’s largest salon skin care brand which is part owned by the world’s third largest company, meaning I was happy with the level of research that goes into the products I use and retail. This was enough to dissuade her from contacting me about joining her any further.

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE

 

I would say the biggest disappointment for me was discovering she (at the time) did not have professional liability insurance. You see when you go into a salon or have someone visit your home to perform a treatment, they will be insured with a policy from a specialist insurer or insured through a trade body like the one I am a member of. Specifically my trade body BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapy And Cosmetology) will require submission of certificates from a recognised educator working under an approved framework (City & Guilds, VTCT etc.). There are many insurers who require this and who will not insure non-qualified practitioners.

 

 

If you go into a store like Superdrug, for example, they have insurance that covers them for what they do. You are the person picking something up off the shelf, therefore it is your responsibility to check ingredients for any allergens that are specific to you. These products will also have legal notices printed on them advising against use if you have specific conditions and notices if you require a sensitivity test (like with hair colour products). That is how standard high street retail of products work.

 

THE RULES FOR SALON-ONLY PRODUCTS

 

When we look at salon only products a different set of rules comes into play. I am responsible for checking allergens, I am responsible for contraindications to use (like salicylic acid during pregnancy), it is me who is responsible for checking professional only products are suitable for use. Unfortunately, my industry is largely unregulated and as such anyone can pop up in a shop and call themselves a beauty therapist or hairdresser. Some councils are now moving to combat this by making sure people have licences for treatments like massage, but it is still not getting to where it needs to be. The problem of MLM companies advocating those without qualifications both perform and recommend products only complicates the matter. Remember that the MLM representative is advising you from the point of a business now. In this circumstance they are not your friend offering their opinion on a moisturiser they like, they are advising your purchase from them in their capacity as a ‘trained’ individual.

 

 

Remember the second someone is recommending you something or performing a treatment on you, they are declaring that they are qualified to do so and as such should provide you with proof of qualifications and, importantly, proof of insurance. If they do not have either, please be sensible and refuse their advice.

 

To the people who think it is ok to inbox me with these offers;

 

I have years of practical experience, backed up by extensive education in my field, including qualifications in anatomy and physiology and many CPD hours each year. I am a member of a professional trade body and I am qualified and insured to provide each treatment I perform. Please do not compare three hours of ‘training’ to this and consider yourself a professional. I quite frankly find it insulting. If you truly wish to enter the field as a professional, please seek out your local careers office or college who will advise you on which path of training is best for you. It is not too late, or indeed too early to leave MLM behind.

Thanks very much for sharing this post with us, Andrew.  You make a compelling case for men and women to use professional, trained beauty therapists.

Get your 2017 MLM-free summer shopping here!

Grab a glass of prosecco, put your feet up & enjoy our latest MLM-free shopping guide.  We have an eclectic bunch of vendors, selling everything from farm machinery, hand-cut jewellery, to offering HR services.  Check it out and know that none of them will try & recruit you to their team! 100% #lossbabe free.

 

starsandscarsbanner

Hand-cut and designed jewellery

 

 

 

sussexzest

Ethical, MLM-free personal trainer

 

 

 

rainbow

Gorgeous hand made glass objects

 

 

 

valentina

Original & adorable hand-made bears for babies

 

 

annata

Stylish and vintage stationery

 

 

halohairoxford

Exceptional hair salon in Oxford

 

 

 

littlebowbee

Bows!

 

 

 

WW-Intimate-Wax-Perfect-WEB

Just in time for summer! Intimate waxing services

 

 

 

croneandcrane

Rich and beautiful vintage clothes

 

 

 

carpediem

Need some pampering? check out Carpe Diem mobile spa

 

 

 

MKH

We’ve got your farming needs covered

 

 

 

spinsonic

Wanna hula? love hoops? check us out

 

 

 

icanplaysport

Teaching kids sports skills – from 4 to 7 years of age

 

 

 

hollyjewellery

Holly makes lovely jewellery in precious metals

 

 

 

sensaround

A social enterprise helping people lead healthier lives through using their senses

 

 

 

tread the boards

A theatre school in York

 

 

 

marthasbow

One of our original viestars, Martha sells bows for little girls and boys!

 

 

 

hrsolutions

Need HR help? click here.

 

 

 

doodlepipdog-e1461318767848

Hand made wear for dogs that’s MLM-free

 

 

 

chippenhamdogwalker

Chippenham dog walkers for walking your BFF

 

 

 

360pole

Pole dancing keeps you fit and also, it’s really sexy

 

 

 

helpingbare

Does a loved one need some help around the house? Click here

 

 

revolingerie

We love lingerie. Pretty. PRETTY