We’ve all seen the arguments and the memes demonstrating that some of the world’s best known, richest businessmen and entrepreneurs think that MLMs are Very Good Things. These facts & quotes are often used to support 2 classic MLM recruitment lies, namely:
- Network marketing is NOT a pyramid scheme! It’s totally legit, look – Branson/Buffet/Trump have been involved in them!
- My scheme will definitely make you rich! Look – Branson/Buffet/Trump say so and they are BILLIONAIRES!
Lets break this down. Starting with the obvious:
- None of these men made their fortunes through their brief flirtations with MLMs. Their money came from finance, investments, traditionally structured companies and in the case of Trump, from his inheritance and a stint on TV.
- All of these men were briefly involved in MLMs… which failed. None of them are involved now. If Network Marketing is so bloody brilliant boys, why are you not running one and why did your attempts fail?
The obvious aside, here’s something else to consider. MLMs really are a brilliant way to make a tonne of money. But only if you are the person who owns the company, not if you are a recruit. Here’s why.
I’ve worked extensively in consumer marketing and retail. I know what it takes to develop a brilliant product line, launch it, sell it in, distribute it, advertise it to consumers. I know how hard it is to compete on the global retail market. I understand how tough it is to get your product listed by a decent retailer and what they will expect from you in terms of margin, deals, support. I know that you need to spend millions on photography, brochures, advertising, in store display, staff training, PR campaigns….
But what if you didn’t have to do all that? And what if you could just buy product off the shelf from a contract manufacturer, shove it in low-rent packaging and charge a massive mark-up on it and PEOPLE WOULD STILL BUY IT???
And what if you barely had any employees? Had no salary, benefits, pensions to be responsible for? What if you found volunteers who would act as your sales force, your retailer, your marketing department, your administrative team, your recruiter? And what if those volunteers not only promised to personally buy X amount of your crappy over-priced product every month but also to recruit other volunteers to do the same?
CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW MUCH MONEY YOU WOULD MAKE?
And Branson, Buffet & Trump presumably knew that. MLM is a license for immoral business owners to make vast amounts at the expense of others. There are dozens of MLM-owning billionaires over in the USA and those billions have come at the expense of hundreds of thousands of MLM recruits around the world.
So yes, MLMs are a brilliant, evil way to make money. If you own one.