“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.

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