“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.

“I put the whole lot on eBay. It must’ve been worth several hundreds of pounds, and I got about £30 back.” Today: Usborne & Forever Living ex-bots speak

 

In this post, we’re combining 2 stories from some of the women who have come to us.  The first story is from someone in Usborne books, and the second is from an ex-rep of Forever Living.  Read on…

Back in 2013, I had a little part-time business selling gift baskets & pamper hampers, which I used to sell at craft fairs, community events, etc. Whilst at one, I met an Usborne seller, who was keen to tell me about the benefits of working for them & that I could do it alongside my full-time job and part-time biz. I had no experience of MLMs, but have always loved books, and thinking this was a long established, reputable firm, I signed up.

 

I got a few orders from friends & family, but could not do school events, coffee mornings etc due to my f/t job. I tried numerous times to book into local weekend events, but most times, my manager or one of her friends had got there first. I started to struggle, but then got offered (and pretty much told to take) a summer fete at the nursery half a mile from my house. I was delighted and put everything into making it a great event. When it came around, it was a burning hot day & I was based outside. People kept coming to look at the books, but no-one was interested in buying, which was pretty depressing. I then got told by someone that worked there that the manager’s friend had been in that week and secured a several hundred pound order – hence no-one wanting to buy!

 

A few months later, the manager asked me to cover another event for her as she’d double booked, and yep, similar thing happened. Eventually, after months of battling to try & get orders from my locality, I decided to quit. I tried selling my stock at a discounted rate to other sellers, including my manager, but all said they didn’t need it. So, wanting rid, I put the whole lot on eBay. It must’ve been worth several hundreds of pounds, and I got about £30 back. And who bought it? Yep, the manager who didn’t need anything.

 

So yes I was naive, but even with a decent biz brain & lots of motivation, all I did was lose money. The obsession, as with all these companies was recruit, recruit, recruit, but there was no way I would rip friends off, so I lost out. Moral of the story is don’t assume that these long-running companies have any more integrity than the Youniques and Juice Plus Types, because in my experience, they don’t xx.

 

The End.

 

“She wanted me to register my husband as an FBO in order to get the 2cc’s she needed to obtain her promotion and she would pay me and transfer the £199 it would cost to do that.”

 

Hiiiiiiiii Huuuun!
So, just over a year ago I became a victim of the fucking shit “company” known as Forever Living so I thought I would share my (fairly long) story with you. Sorry!!!

 

Having sat on my ass enjoying the high life for approximately 8 months longer than my husband ideally wanted, my sister in law told me about this”ammmmaaaaazzzzzziiinnnngggggg” business opportunity. Fuckever Living as it’s known in my household.
At £199 to initially start up the alarm bells were already starting to ring but being family, I didn’t feel I could back out.

Endless bullshit you tube training video later I was even more dubious – I actually think I’m a fairly happy person 80% of the time and don’t need to watch “the secret” every morning at 6am, I mean Jesus, I have two kids and a husband that require dressing and feeding – who seriously has time for that shit?????
My area was new to FL so I found it pretty easy to sell the products and done pretty well within the first 4 weeks and got myself a “promotion” to supervisor.
I was always a little aware of the ‘higher archly’, being my manager and golden sodding eagle or whatever she was because frankly I thought she was a patronising twat, so I never ever posted anything on the “secret” groups. I was never congratulated for making them shit loads of money because it was made quite aware to me that my face and my Facebook profile didn’t fit and/or meet requirement. (Sometimes I just wanted to tell the world what a fucking shite day I was having!!!!!!!!!!)

I did however enter the every single incentive they did (who doesn’t like a freebie) and never got a single thing.
So I kept a suspiciously close eye on these “amaaaaazzzzing incentives” and found one that I knew I would qualify for:
If you earned 12 cc’s before the 15th of the month you would be taken on a log cabin retreat. I knew that I had managed to do that and low and behold after several messages to the “senior manager” the trip was “postponed due to illness”. I then started messaging other fbo’s who I didn’t know to find out whether they had received their “prize” and guess what NOPE!!!

A week later another bogus incentive for a spa weekend presented itself via FB and so I commented on it telling everyone not to waste there damn energy and for the love of god go and spend some time with their families.
Obviously, after that I had an email from a forever “official” and a few pushed off messages from my team manager (ignored).
After that I pretty much sacked it off until I had a phone call from my then assistant manager ask me for a HUGE favour….
She wanted me to register my husband as an FBO in order to get the 2cc’s she needed to obtain her promotion and she would pay me and transfer the £199 it would cost to do that.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA – NO!!!!!

The day after that I cancelled my registration with them and now continually spam the sites & pages until I get thrown off of them.
Dickheads, all them!

DO THEY KNOW? Do you think the top MLM reps know what they’re doing when they suck others into their team?

It’s the question we often ask ourselves at TVHQ and it’s been the source of some heated debates. 

Do the uplines, the top bots, the high-flyers in MLM, know what they’re doing when they pull people into their downline?  Do they know that most will fail?   Or are they brainwashed?  Trapped? Or sociopaths?

 

For those who are knew to MLM/this blog, some explanation.  MLM = multi-level marketing, like Younique, Forever Living, etc.

Upline = persons higher up in the pyramid, who generally appear to have lots of money, large teams, etc

Downline = the people below the upline.

 

As we’ve seen here, some MLM success-stories do work it out fairly quickly and leave because they can’t bear to see people they care about getting hurt.  Their moral compass, their emotional intelligence forces them to go before too much damage is done.  They realise that for most people MLM is a losing proposition.

And the others?  WATCH THIS:

 

Having watched the vido, do you think Emma, the top bot living in a castle, is lying?

Or is she convinced that she’s doing the right thing, using ‘attraction marketing’ to draw others into her MLM?  That she can help others get this dreamlife too?

And her brother – is he lying too, or does he truly believe that MLM is just another way of doing business?  To me, he looks sincere.

The question of Emma’s guilt or innocence, awareness or lack of, has been discussed  by those of us behind TV, along with other top bots.   Some of us believe she knows what she’s doing and is deliberately manipulating people.  Others think she is completely brainwashed and a victim.

The thing is, if Emma is doing everything she’s supposed to do: listening to ‘mindset’tapes all the time, constantly training and reaching out to others to bring them in, while balancing her family,  it’s possible that she DOES believe that what she is doing is right.  MLMs ban what they call ‘negative’ thinking.  Read this. And this.

This kind of thought-stopping tactic is also found in certain religions like Scientology.  An excellent blog to read about Scientology  is this one

Botwatch also wrote a well-researched post about MLM thinking here

Due to the high-turnover of recruits, all uplines have to spend a lot of time focussed on recruiting, which doesn’t give them a lot of time to reflect on what they are doing.   It’s an eternal sad hamster wheel of victims in, victims out.   As we discussed here, it can be very difficult to leave an MLM once a certain amount of time and money is invested.  That’s why we’ve always tried to reach out to the successes as well as those who have been used – in some cases, we think they are victims too.

Some, but not all.

There are also those who we have strong reason to believe know what they are doing and don’t care.  We will have more to come on this story, but for now, here’s an excellent blog about how to tell when people are lying.

How do you know whether you are good at spotting liars? Test yourself  here at the University of Berkeley’s EQ test website.  This test will tell you how clever you are at reading other people’s emotions, which is part of lie detection.

Many MLM uplines post videos on Facebook etc to persuade people to join, to mentor their ‘teams’, etc etc blah blah.  Next time you watch one, take note of whether their facial expressions match what they are saying, whether their smiles are truly sincere, and whether they show true emotional concern for their ‘teams’.   I’m not just talking words here – they should be showing genuine emotion/concern on their faces if they truly care.

People who lack emotion can sometimes appear very charming, smiling a lot, presenting a beautiful appearance, but will also show inappropriate facial expressions at times.   Take note of this.   It’s a red flag about how that person is truly feeling.

And finally, if you are high up in an MLM but want to get out, we ARE here for you.  No matter what you’ve done in MLM, you can make a difference right now, today, by leaving & helping others see through the deception.

READ: Forever Living’s Plans for 2017…recruiting, recruiting, recruiting

#foreverbring it

Here’s the latest leak from our #foreverliving spies & agents.  2017 is here, and guess what! Forever living has a new incentive!  READ ON:

 

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We did a comparison of how often the phrase ‘team/team building’ ‘recruitment’ ‘products’ and ‘sales’ were mentioned in this literature.  We believe it’s an indication of where #flpuk’s priorities lie.

Highest- mentioned phrases:

Team/team building = 6 mentions

Second highest mentioned phrases:

Recruit/recruitment = 2 mentions


Retail sales were mentioned once

There were zero mentions of the products.


“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.

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“I realised that to get to a higher level in the company, it was necessary to recruit people that you knew were going to fail. ..” A new informer, and single mum, from Forever Living tells her story

This particular tale of woe began in February 2014. I was in year two of my university degree, working part time and had become a single parent a couple of months before. I had a random message on facebook from a good friend and former colleague of mine asking me to host a party for her, as she had just started selling a line of beauty/nutrition products. As a former beautician and sports enthusiast, this seemed like a great idea.

Well, out came the famous green table cloth, aloe vera shots and free facials, much to the distress of my younger brother and a male friend who were the only ones to attend! Out of embarrassment at the poor turn out, I listened to the sale pitches, plastered face masks on my brother and dear friend (Note: face masks and beards don’t get along…) and purchased a clean nine.

I completed the programme, and naively believed that it had done me a lot of good as not surprisingly, glugging down laxatives and water for nine days, and consuming meals and shakes that only add up to just over half of your daily calorie allowance per day makes you lose weight!

The friend I had purchased the clean nine from then got on to the classic recruitment pitches. I was an obvious target retrospectively, I had worked with her doing beauty and sports massage therapy some years ago. As I knew she was a fairly successful business woman prior to Forever living, I trusted her. There was of course the added bonus that I would be selling products alongside a good friend. I signed up, parted with my £200 and eagerly awaited the arrival of my box of aloe vera everything.

In my first month, with only two weeks after I joined to make the fabled “4cc” I did 7.5cc in personal sales (rather a lot, in pounds sterling, but I can’t remember how the forever monopoly money translates into actual currency!) I say this not as a boast, I’m not proud I made my friends drink aloe vera gloop to prove how much they truly loved me, but because I want to outline the fact that I am a capable seller and my dislike of this business isn’t down to being bitter because I couldn’t sell anything.

The business model sets you up for failure. (because it’s not a business – Timeless Vie)

I began my recruitment pitches, discovered I was actually pretty good at it and ended up with a team of over 20 people. I got to supervisor level, went to success day, and was stood up to be applauded for my efforts like a small child. I got a badge too. Cool.

Where did it go wrong, I hear you cry?! Well, I always questioned some of the business practices. The first being “PUPP boxes” in which you deliver free products for your friends/neighbours/second cousin’s dog to try and hope to God they don’t use them all or never give them back. Having had a small business before I felt this was a ridiculous idea and simply a way for the people up the line/*cough* PYRAMID to get more money out of you.

The second was the use of “case credit” value attached to products. I felt this was a very clever mechanism to encourage people to forget they are spending actual real money, and get them into buying products to score “points” to get them up the recruitment ladder. The fake it till you make it thing really bugged me too. Horrible deceptive practice. I tried to advise my team to keep records of their incomings and outgoings because I genuinely didn’t want them to lose money. I also discouraged buying products unless they were attached to a genuine customer order. Little did I know, this would be of no help whatsoever in this kind of marketing structure and social environment.

The big issues with the company, however, surfaced when I started to see my friends fail. I remember seeing one of them sat in a pub with all her products around her, with no interest at all. She left having wasted her time and money, feeling totally depressed and deflated because of me. That didn’t feel good.

I saw people I cared about trying to sell products in a saturated market place, getting nowhere. I realised that to get to a higher level in the company, it was necessary to recruit people that you knew were going to fail. Not cool. It was at this point I looked at my own books, despite meeting with sales targets every month since I began and not over spending on products I was at a £300 loss myself.

There were several factors at play, such as cost of postage which forever charges on all web orders, cost of travel to deliver them, marketing materials, websites such as ‘forever 360’ alongside ‘forever knowledge’ and ‘QLS’ training materials. It all built up and blew the feeble commission percentage out the water pretty fast. This had been a total obsession for eight months of my life but my eyes were open. I began watching back videos of the leaders of the business, with a more critical eye and realised how full of rubbish it all was.

I have seen more drawbacks from buying into this ‘business’ than I could count. I saw one lady outside at a success day who had just got off the phone from paying a credit card bill because she had bought her way to ‘supervisor’ level and was still paying off the costs. The social pressure to get sales is that intense she was prepared to put herself into debt just to get a pin badge and certificate. She wasn’t the only one. I’ve experienced immense pressure from uplines, who are no doubt desperate to pay off their own bills, to buy product and sell it on later to get ccs. I’ve seen women back biting and treading on each other like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve seen worse when people leave. It creates a massive blame culture which isn’t unique to forever living, but to the marketing structure it uses and the psychological techniques it implements. It’s ugly.

All I can say is, if you are involved in any MLM, even if you are not prepared to leave. Please be critical and cautious. They tell you to remain positive because if you don’t, you’ll open your eyes and realise you’ve lost friends and money. Many people in MLM are talented, hardworking people and these skills are transferrable to valid business ventures in which you take home the profit and use your talent. There is no way I’d be prepared to face that kind of pressure, stay on my phone 24 hours a day and peddle a product I make nothing out of but lost friends and an empty pocket ever again.

3 spectacular updates on some of our fave social ”selling” companies: Younique, Forever Living, & Maelle

We’re folowing so many social selling companies at this point that we’ve decided to combine all the updates into one spectacular post.

 

1. Younique’s new charity – look! look over there! we help people

new charity

Their new charity is called “Defend Innocence”, and it’s ostensibly to help stop the sexual abuse of children.   Sigh.  Obviously anyone with a heart would be in support of that.

However, we have this question for Younique: if you want to do right by women and children, why don’t you provide those women (who often join to support their kids) the truth about a Younique presenter’s typical earnings?  So they don’t waste money they can’t afford and end up #lossbabes?

 

noparticipantplan

 

In the meantime, here’s a slideshow of some of the women trying to swap, sell, or get rid of their Younique stock.  #lossbabe

 

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2.  Forever Living targets NCT groups

For non-UK readers, NCT is the National Childbirth Trust linky here.  It’s an organisation set up to help parents and new babies.

One of our supporters sent us this email from NCT – there’s a big-ass ad by a Forever Living bot in it.  Not that you can tell.  Strangely lacking in bottles of aloe, no?

AA-NCT

 

The ad is deceptive as it’s not until you click on it that you realise that it’s advertising for a multi-level marketing company.

Holy crap NCT.  DOn’t you have any ethical standards for who can advertise?   As we’ve blogged previously, new mums are particular targets of MLMs and are vulnerable.  Start here.

 

3. Maelle mentors are excited about being at the top of the triangle, and hoping it’ll be better than Younique i.e. they’ll actually make money this time.

Life is gooooood in the triangularity.

(‘cept hmmmm.  They don’t even have any products yet. )

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And on that note, I’m off to play with some lipstick and cheer myself up.

 

“I have started seeing more and more of my blind friends getting sucked in by MLMs”…Are MLMs targeting the disabled? New Ex-Bot Tell-All

Many thanks to this informer for stepping forward.

 

1story

 

I’m blind, so I am by default, along with many other disabled people, unemployable to the average employer.

 

2story

 

Like me, they’ve found the job market hostile and see MLMs as equal opportunity organizations.

 

3story

 

As a rep you’re being told by your upline that every minute of every day is an opportunity to sell and recruit.

 

4story

 

5story

 

I had to hire a friend who had to help me resign as an FLP rep

 

6story

 

MLMs are gaining momentum and if the situation don’t improve for disabled people, they may be lured in and lose money on a scheme…

 

7story

“If you do this before the end of the month, then I will pay you £500” – how top FL bots pay people to resign.

Many thanks to the informer who sent this in.

First, some background: the Bot who wrote the following post/messages is very high up in FLP UK, and presents herself as a hard-working single mother who wants to help others achieve the same business success.  It’s classic MLM targeting.  However, as we shall see, she along with others has achieved this ‘success’ in unethical ways.  Ways that your average Bot, slogging away on a housing estate, probably has no idea about (and then wonders why they can never get ahead).

Note: We have reliable information Forever Living is NOT the only MLM to do this.  Please do not assume your MLM is any better, cos it most likely isn’t.

Here’s how she sells herself: LIVIN’ THE DREAM, Y’ALL

 

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In the following messages this Bot offers to pay-off an “inactive Manager” so she can take over that Manager’s downline and the money she could earn from it.

Note: “Inactive Manager” = a Bot who has previously achieved Manager status but now is not spending money every month on FL products to stay “active”.  i.e. they are not a real Manager at all.  FL could call them a “Kite Flyer” and it would be about as meaningful.

1cc used to = £227 pounds.  So the “Manager” would have had to spend £908 per month to keep their status.

 

1unrecognizedmgr

 

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3unrecognizedmgr

 

4unrecognizedmgr

 

FLPUK 4cc incentive doc

How to retail 8CC huns!