I have a confession to make. There’s something in my work that made me feel icky when I first started doing it. I did not know I was feeling icky about it until someone asked me about it and I struggled to explain it. I knew there was an energy block and when I had a chat with myself about it, I realized that I was letting other people’s opinions (OPOs) control how I felt about what I was doing. For goodness sakes … I’m a Leo and that is never acceptable!! So I decided to venture out to help myself get over the ickiness being caused by OPOs.
So what was making me feel so icky? The concept of network marketing, otherwise known as multi-level marketing (MLM). Let me explain. I am totally addicted to and in love with Young Living essential oils. They have changed my life, the life of my cats, my family and friends. Maybe you’ve heard about Young Living and you love them too, or maybe you’re with another oil company, or maybe you don’t like Young Living or essential oils at all. All of that is beside the point. If you’re in a MLM, or if you’ve been thinking about joining one, you may have felt this ickiness at some point. So I am writing this blog to help you get beyond OPOs so that you can create financial stability.
What is a MLM? It’s a business model that relies on people sharing the product via word of mouth rather than the company spending money on advertising. One person joins, they love the product and rave about it and others start to join and use the products and share, and so on. You earn a monthly check based on the volume of your group’s orders. Some people call it a pyramid scheme and that sends me over the edge because of the complete and utter ignorance in that belief.
A pyramid scheme is illegal and it’s nothing more than someone getting people to pay them money with the promise that if they sign up other people they will get a return on their investment. There are no products whatsoever involved. It’s simply people giving money to someone above them in hopes that they will make more than they invested. That’s a pyramid scheme and it’s illegal in the U.S. MLMs or Network Marketing companies with a product are reputable and NOT pyramid schemes.
Here’s why. Some people think that if a company is built like a pyramid with one person at the top who recruits a level of people who then recruit levels of people below them that it is a pyramid scheme. Think about it … what model is that? CEO, then Vice Presidents, then Management, then Employees? It’s called business. IBM, Apple, Ford and every other business on the planet has a CEO who has a level of executives who have a level of managers who hire workers. It’s shaped like a pyramid, just like a MLM, but it is not a pyramid scheme other than it’s shaped like a pyramid.
So here’s what I know about MLM businesses:
- you are your own boss
- you decide when you work
- you decide who you work with
- you decide how you want to work
- you decide if it’s a home-based business (you can be at home with your kids and pets)
- you decide how much income you will make
- you get pay raises based on your hard work (not the same percentage that everyone gets whether they work hard or not)
- you do not need any special education, degrees or expertise
- you will earn money even if you are sick, on vacation or taking a break
- you will never have a fixed income and can earn as much as you want
- you will be rewarded for your hard work with incentive trips, retreats, gifts, free products as a thank you from the company for helping them avoid costly traditional advertising
- you spend your time sharing passionately about products that have changed your life for the better and you want others to benefit
- you get unlimited support from your upline (the people who came before you) because you only grow in MLM when you help others grow (name me another industry that does that?)
- and you can truly achieve financial security based on your passion, dedication and work ethic.
Now, who would ever turn down any of those benefits? No one. But when I say the words Multi-Level Marketing or Network Marketing, people cringe. And I was one of those people. Why? Why was I cringing over a business model that I knew nothing about? It was because of OPOs. Once I figured that out, I was mad. Mad at people making judgments about a business model that they also knew nothing about, but most importantly mad at myself for letting OPOs control me. Grrrr……
So what did I do? I launched myself into massive education about MLMs and decided that if I still felt icky after learning all that I could, then I would know it was not right for me. But guess what? I’ve learned a ton about MLM (and still have more to learn) and I now feel AWESOME about the business model. Here’s why:
- Well-respected business leaders say that MLMs are the most stable and sustainable business model if you want current, long term and permanent financial stability. Who are those people? Tony Robbins, Warren Buffet (who actually owns several MLMs), Sir Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad best selling author) just to name a few.
- The Wall Street Journal calls MLM’s The Ultimate Social Business Model.
- Forbes magazine proclaimed MLMs as providing financial stability in retirement. Robert Laura, author of the article, stated, “I believe that the entire industry is poised for explosive growth and can be one of the most significant solutions to America’s current retirement savings crisis.” Read it here.
- Forbes magazine also called MLMs a successful business model in this article. I love how the article ends, “So, the next time you meet someone who runs a “home business” or “MLM” give them a high five for taking their career and life into their own hands and becoming an entrepreneur.”
- There’s typically a very low investment to get started (usually under $200).
- And at least for me and Young Living … we don’t sell, we share. (I still have a mini-block when it comes to “selling” … I’m working on it).
- You attract people who have a need that you can meet. For me, it’s the wellness aspect of essential oils for people and pets in balancing the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energies!
- If just a few people sign up under you (become a part of your downline), you may earn a monthly check to pay for your product purchases.
- If you get a few more people who love the products like you and they begin to sign up people, you may earn a monthly check to give you extra spending money each month (to pay monthly bills, to set aside for vacation or college education or retirement)
- If you go all in you could replace your current income and potentially earn more than you’ve ever made (no matter what your career has been)
- And I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. This is legitimate stuff.
So I’ve taken classes, attended conferences and read books on MLMs. I really recommend these 3 books (two of which are very short and easy to read).
Although I am in the beginning stages of the MLM business to compliment Manifested Harmony, I can already tell you that IT’S TOTALLY WORTH IT! I love the people who have joined my Young Living team, I love the people in my upline who help and support me, I love sharing and teaching about the oils, I love interacting with new people and hearing how amazed they are at the results from using the oils, I love changing the lives of people and pets who are struggling with wellness and finances. I go about my day like an Oil Fairy dropping little samples here and there to people who are visibly struggling and need a boost (I do this a lot on airplanes). And after all of that, I love my monthly check … it subsidizes my oil habit and more as it grows.
And I chose Young Living because of its mission.
So whether it’s Young Living or another MLM, I really encourage you to take your financial present and future into your hands and seriously consider why you are spending your days in a job (that maybe you don’t really like) helping someone else achieve their financial goals while you trade your time for dollars for a fixed income. You can start your MLM business while you still have your job and start to create residual income and a sustainable future.
And for me, I no longer feel icky.
As always, if you want to learn more or have an online or phone chat with me about the business potential of Young Living, just drop me an email and I’d be super excited to explain even more.
About Allie Phillips: