This post is written by John Evans of Juice Plus Lies exposed.  Many thanks for contributing this post, John!

Nu Skin Commission Breakdown.

Nu Skin is a well established MLM selling a range of wellness and beauty products.  In 2015, Nu Skin released a complete breakdown of their commission payments to their “Leaders”.

I assume that this document hasn’t been independently verified but it’s the best we’ve got so let’s take a look at the statistics.

So in 2015, $125,025,130 is the total value of all commission payments to distributors.

Number of Distributors.

Total – 154,020
Active – 55,170
Inactive – 98,850

An active rep is defined in this document as a “Distributor who placed an order for products, promotional materials or services during the most recent three-month period”

Only 35% of the total number of distributors met this criteria.


Out of these active distributors (55,1670), only 18.63% (10,278) actually earned a commission check.

The average commission paid to these 10,278 active distributors was only $188.85 per month or $2,216.16 per year.

This means that out of all 154,020 distributors.  The average earning per distributor was $67 per month.


Let’s look at the breakdown of the different promotional levels.

There were 132 top level distributors.  These Blue Diamond leaders apparently earned an average of $42,231 per month or $506,772 per year.  The top level make up 66 million of the entire 125 million dollars.  This means that over 50 percent of the entire commissions were paid to the just the top level.

MLM distributors are constantly insulting this mischaracterised concept of a J.O.B, where you spend your hours slaving for some boss upstairs who doesn’t appreciate you and makes loads of money off your back.  Well from Nu Skin’s report it actually looks like they fit this description a lot better.

Out of 154,020 distributors, 53.5% of the total paid commissions went to just 132 people.


Below is the rest of the table of levels broken down into average earnings.

132 Blue Diamond – Average $42,231 per month / $506,772 per year = $66,893,904

83 Diamond – Average $8,310 per month / $99,720 per year = $8,276,760

104 Emerald – Average $4,894 per month / $58,728 per year = $6,107,712

237 Ruby – Average $2,520 per month / $30,240 per year = $7,166,880

485 Lapis – Average $1,471 per month / $17,652 per year = $8,561,220

684 Gold – Average $923 per month / $11,076 per year = $7,575,984

2,747 Executive – Average $492 per month / $5,904 per year = $16,218,288

132 Provisional Executive – Average $48 per month / $576 per year = $76,032

977 Qualifying Executive – $106 per month / $1,272 per year = $1,242,744

4,689 Non-Executive (earning a check) – $37 per month / $444 per year = $2,081,916


This data tells us that 9,714 out of the 10,278 active distributors earned $1,471 or less per month, so that’s a whopping 95% of all paid distributors.

But even more alarmingly, 45% of these active distributors, the 4,689 non-executives, earned an average of $37 a month! 


In summary.

2015 was a bad year to be a Nu Skin distributor, you had a 6.6% of earning anything at all.  If you did get lucky enough to be in this 6.6% then you were 95% likely to have earned less than $1,471 per month.  Or worse still you had a 45% chance of earning an average of 37 dollars per month.

Based on these statistics it is absolutely shocking how the average Nu Skin distributor portrays this job opportunity.  But this will be the subject of another article.

This guest post is by the owner of Sussex Zest.  You can find her on Facebook here.


This blog is possibly going to upset some people,  some people close to me even.  But you know what? I am upset!  I am upset because once I again I have received a Facebook message that begins:

I’ve just started my own business in the last few months working with a multi billion pound Health & Wellbeing Company promoting products for all the family.
I’m working on getting the products ‘out there’ and as your business is also in this sector….”


Yes almost two years ago (with daughters aged 3 and 5) I opened a business, a fitness and Personal Training studio.  I did it because I genuinely believe there is a need for such a product in my area.  I achieved it by writing a comprehensive business plan which I took to the bank and borrowed a large sum (secured against our house).  And that was just the beginning of working my butt off.  I’ve built, I’ve cleaned, and I’ve spent many an early hour staring at my bedrooms ceiling with my brain refusing to stop asking itself circular questions.  Do you see where I am going here?  To compare our ‘businesses’ is incorrect and borderline insulting.


Owning and managing a business means there might be times your husband finds you in tears on the kitchen floor when lease negotiations fall apart the week before signing.  It’s about the hours spent sweating trying to nail that one bit of choreography, it’s about some days starting at 06.00 finishing at 22.00, it is about a constant juggle of paperwork – planning, accounts, marketing but somehow walking onto that studio floor shining, and making your client feel like the most important person in the world – BECAUSE THEY ARE!


BUT BUT BUT owning and managing a business is also about the look on your client’s face when they realise that 4 weeks ago they couldn’t do what they are doing now.  It’s when you get a text on a Saturday afternoon saying ‘I’m wearing that dress at my friends wedding and I feel great,’ it’s when a toddler peers though the windows and sees people exercising but more importantly having fun doing it and it’s about those 5 minutes at the end of a busy day looking around at what you’ve created and thinking ‘yes, I made this’.


To me it’s never about approaching often vulnerable acquaintances (the mother who doesn’t feel ready to return to work, the friend who is unhappy with their weight) and presenting them with a non-descript ‘business opportunity’ or quick fix solution.  It is not about cryptic messages on social media (dm me), faux aspirational memes or ‘faking it till you make it’. 


It’s so very prevelant in fitness (and with parents of young children – yay I get double the fun) and I understand this – really I do – that fitness can be a tough industry to earn a living in.  There are many hidden costs – licenses, insurance, music, licesnes to play your music (yes) and of course the ‘on the floor’ hours are only the tip of the iceberg of your working day.  For each hour you train there are many more spent marketing, learning choreography, reading….which is why the idea of a residual income could be tempting.


But FITNESS colleagues I ask you this – do you hand on heart believe in the products you are selling, endorsing or recruiting others to sell?  You made the time and invested in yourself, often as an adult – as a career change, studying hard to gain qualifications in sports nutrition, to memorise the anatomy of the human body, and much more ongoing further education.  You are a professional. Never stop believing that and that you have so so much to offer.


We have a nationwide health crisis with increasing ever increasing rates of obesity and associated illnesses.  What individuals need right now is not quick fixes.  It is not diet shakes,  vegetables made into capsules, coffee with added mushrooms, 9 day detoxes and so on.


They need fitness professionals who are passionate about what they do, but are empathetic and meet them where they are now.  It is about the fitness industry using evidence based information and research to create individualised, appropriate and enoyajable fitness and nutrition strategies.  And they need their friends and colleagues support them through any lifestyle changes with no business agenda.



Many thanks to Samantha for writing this post and for being an ethical and honest fitness trainer.  If you’re looking for someone who will not spam you with overpriced multi-level marketing products, Samantha’s your go-to.

Three ways MLMs are piggybacking on legitimate business tactics and why it doesn’t work.

by Kathryn Minchew, Pyromaniac Chef

Check out Kathryn’s business here. Her website makes us hungry.


  • Posting on Facebook groups


When you are a genuine business owner, Facebook groups embrace you. I have shared stories about my restaurant in a Kota hut in Kota hut owner groups and have received wonderful feedback. Then, when I have had something to sell (such as my cook book inspired by my Kota hut) I have received an enthusiastic response (since I have built up a relationship and of course, my product is new and interesting). I belong to a group that shares PR ideas and I was so impressed with one woman’s approach that I immediately supported her crowdfunding campaign for a children’s novel. People get excited about passionate people sharing their story when it is within a subject area which interests them.


But in an MLM it is not your story.  No matter how passionate the individual, it is still a script. A story being regurgitated from marketing packs and conferences.


  • My wonderful life as seen on Instagram


Of course my Instagram shows a highly edited version of my life but it is still true. The cute wooden building in a garden is my restaurant in my garden. The smoker and the pistachio Kitchenaid are how I cook. Do my kids get frozen pizza now and then? Sure they do but I don’t show it because it’s not what my business is about. An edited business profile is about communicating what I want to discuss (food, fire and hygge) in order that people gain an impression of my business that is ultimately realistic. I sell food, fire and hygge products and services; I don’t sell frozen pizza.


But in an MLM the editing is about creating a version of a life which misleads. Far from seeking to zone in on a core message based on business reality, they are portraying a fake version of events. I get tagged in images of people in my restaurant or my candles in their home; MLMs have to tag themselves.


  • Be my friend


I add loads of people on my social media accounts. How else do you build up your online network? I talk to them and some become customers and some become suppliers. I have a lovely story about how this works. I posted a picture of a cup of coffee which attracted a like and a follow from a coffee supplier, I looked at them and liked what they did so started buying my coffee from them. Then they liked everything I posted about coffee. Another of their customers saw this and wondered who I was so looked at my profile. They then booked into my restaurant. I only know this story because I was giving my little talk during the coffee part of the meal and the man in question said the reason they’d come was because if I was smart enough to get my coffee from that supplier, I must be pretty good. That is how networking works. We build trust.


But an MLM has closed off 50% of what makes business flow. You can’t do something for another person (no, selling me an “opportunity” is not something for me), you can only sell. If you cannot offer someone something, how can you expect to develop a relationship with them?

Thanks, Kathryn, for sharing your insights with us.  If you are a business owner,  and would like to be featured on the blog, drop us a line. 

It’s Not About You.

A guest post from a supporter:


It’s not about you.


This is a reply to all the bots out there who complain, ‘you are picking on me, it’s bullying, you are jealous haters’ etc, from Timeless Vie to Botwatch to Ethan Vanderbuilt to every other anti-MLM campaign out there.

It’s not about you.

Let us be crystal clear.

It’s not about you, though  its easy to see why you might think our campaign is about you. The MLM, your upline, your trainers, they all gave you the same message, ‘its about you, if you fail it’s because of something you didn’t do.’

This is not true.

However we understand it might be an easy mistake to make.

We know that your training encourages you to put yourself out there, we see your Facebook where you have reinvented yourself as a public figure, we see your carefully curated image with absolutely no negativity, making it look as if you were fabulously successful.

We see you putting your kids out there too, as part of your brand, seriously compromising you and your family’s privacy! Because hey, the business is the most important thing isn’t it? We see you with your carefully crafted prose and artful photography, to make it look as if you have a lifestyle that isn’t really yours.

We see that sometimes you write things creatively, (we would say deceptively), in order that your potential downline would assume that something was true, when it wasn’t, that the car in the car dealership was yours, that the trappings of wealth that you told them they could have if only they joined you wasn’t really leased or rented. We know how rife this is, we get messages every week, ‘my friend is renting a house but her downline thinks its hers.’ ‘This isn’t her car.’ ‘Her husband pays for everything.’ ‘They were already wealthy.’ ‘She bought her promotion.’ ‘I am so angry, that’s not her kitchen, but she acts as if it is, check out this YT video’

But hey, it’s okay if my downline thinks I own this house and car, you say to yourself. You didn’t lie, did you? You never ACTUALLY said that. If they assume, then the fault is on them, right?

Back to the subject. It’s not about you, it isn’t and it never was.

We’re not interested in attacking you, we would embrace you with open arms and comfort and support you too, should you come to your senses, just like your downline who left.

We know you have been coached to think your downline were bitter and lazy and had failed. Even so,  we would support you. After all we have seen you in your training videos, looking more exhausted and stressed as the months passed. We saw you desperately put a positive spin on your downline leaving. We heard you mumble through a training at 3am. We feel for you too. So should this shitshow that you are in crumble to dust and you can bo longer do it, we will be there for you.

We never ‘attacked your business’. Because we don’t even think MLM is a business, it’s a game, a slight of hand trick, a scheme, a racket, where recruits are drawn in with illusions and deception.

But this still isn’t about you, it’s about the actions of victims who are caught up in MLM schemes. The actions of the owners of these schemes. The actions of the trainers. We raise the awareness of these actions that are used to deceive people and draw them in and take their money. We share your trainers’ scripts, we use parody and satire, because we want to educate without resorting to personal attacks. If your actions are raised and criticised then this is not a personal attack on you, it is a criticism of your actions, which you used to deceive people into signing up.

We are only interested in truth.

Not spin, not illusion, only truth. And because MLM does not share the truth, then we will do it.  Does the truth hurt you?  Stay with that feeling, and if you can, think about why that might be.

It’s not about you.  But if you come to us for help, we promise to support you.

FIGHT CLUB: MLM vs Real Actual Business – a Guest Post

This guest post was written by one of our supporters, who compared her real job with a real USA-based business to an MLM.   Thank you so much for talking the time to write this for us, Anonymous!


Why won’t forever living employ you?


I work for a multi-billion Dollar American company.

Forever living is a multi-billion dollar American company (allegedly)

My company manufactures consumer products, and my role is to sell those products to customers.

Forever living manufacturer consumer products, your role is to sell those products to customers.

In my company there are 50 people in the UK that have the same role as me.

In Forever Living there are over 14,000 people in the UK that have the same role as you.

I have a signed work contract that sets out my terms of my employment.

Forever living won’t give you a contract of employment.

I have to travel for my work; I’m given a company car, and a company credit card to pay for fuel.

When you sign up for forever living you don’t get a company car, they don’t pay for your fuel.

I need product samples to give to customers. I am given samples as and when I need, always free of charge.

Forever living doesn’t provide you with samples.





I get a monthly supply of my company’s products given to me for free. Sometimes I give these away  to friends and family, sometimes I use these products myself.  I can also choose not to take these free products and instead have the equivalent value added to my monthly pay.


Again, forever doesn’t give you any free products.


I need to be trained on my product line in order to sell these products to my customers. My company schedules training during the week, books for and pays for hotels and all expenses when I  am away from home, and also offers free online courses I can take to help improve my skills.


Forever living makes you pay for training days, holds these days during unsociable hours such asevenings and weekends, doesn’t pay for your travel, accommodation or food.


My work recognises that in order for me to be successful I need to have a good work life balance, so they give me flexible working hours, 25 days a year holiday, plus paid sick leave. I can also trade in a portion of my salary for additional holiday days should I so desire.


Forever living doesn’t employ you.  You don’t get holiday days or sick days.


My company provides me with monthly pension contributions and private healthcare cover.


Forever living does not give you monthly pension contributions or healthcare cover.


Whilst I travel to see clients my office is based from home.  My company pays me a small amount each month to cover my increased electricity costs.


Forever living doesn’t provide you with any contributions to help cover your costs.


In order to do my job I need a phone, laptop, tablet, printer and general office supplies. My company  provides these to me free of charge. If I run out of supplies I use my company credit card to buy more.


Forever living doesn’t give you any equipment to do your job. They won’t reimburse you for any costs.


My company pays me a monthly basic salary, even if I haven’t hit my bonus targets.


Forever living doesn’t pay you a basic salary.


Because I have a contractual agreement I am protected by law from unfair dismissal and discrimination.


Forever living does not provide you with a contract of employment; you have no legal rights that  employment law provides you.


I didn’t have to pay to join my company.


How much has it cost you to join forever living?


I work for a multi-billion dollar American company.


Forever Living is a multi-billion dollar American company.


So why won’t forever living employ you?


Forever living doesn’t employ you because you are the customer, not the employee, not the  business owner. They don’t want you to recruit people to join their business; they want to expand  their customer base.


The company I work for pays me and give me a multitude of real benefits because I provide value to  them over what I’m paid. It’s cost effective for them to employ me because of the return of  investment I will provide.


Forever living and any other MLM company’s route to market is a lot different. They don’t retail  their products in store, or online because this would involve them entering a saturated market, thus  having to incur large business costs such as marketing, paying salaries, product testing and cost them  further by having to have a reduced wholesale price so that stores can retail their products at the  appropriate market rate.


By making you buy their products just to join the company they can quickly and for a very low cost  create thousands of customers with an astronomically high lifetime value.  If you’re in an MLM it’s  very likely that you have a small customer base, if you have one at all, and you find it very hard to  sell large quantities of your stock. So to keep sales flowing they get you ‘recruit’ more people into joining the business. How are people recruited? Is it by way of entry exam, or qualification? No, they  have to buy £200 worth of forever living stock. Added to that you need to personally purchase £160  pounds of stock a month to stay part of the ‘business’ and you’re quickly your own best customer,  and for very little outlet cost forever living has made a large and substantial profit.


But, you may say, I earn commission of the sales that I make. I can work whatever hours I want. My  earnings are unlimited with Forever Living.


The reality? You might earn a couple of pounds from selling some aloe-vera gel. You can choose to  only try and sell that gel by posting on facebook between 10-11am every Tuesday, and you could  potentially sell a bottle of aloe-vera gel to every human being on this planet. The reality is that  selling is hard. Selling in a saturated market is hard. Selling a £20 bottle of aloe is hard. Without  taking into account the outlay of personally purchasing the products, the training, the fuel, postage  and other costs you stand to either make a very small amount of money  or, like 99.9% of people  that ‘join’ a multi-level marketing company, you will make nothing or lose money.

So, if you work for a multi-billion, cash rich, debt free company shouldn’t you expect a little more for  your time than a couple of quid for selling a bottle of aloe?

If you work for a multi-billion dollar, cash rich, debt free company, ask yourself what they’re providing you.

 Ask yourself how they became a multi-billion dollar company.



Ask yourself, why don’t forever living employ me?