Why You Should Join an MLM Scam

Every generation must re-learn that MLM (multi-level marketing or network marketing) is extremely profitable—for a tiny percentage of participants.

And that is okay.

One estimate is that 2% in any MLM organization make outsized profits, and the rest lose money.  That estimate might be high or low.

People become part of the 98% if they (1) care how their actions affect other people, and (2) are not born to sell.  The 98% are marks, or targets, for the 2%.

Yes, anyone can learn to sell.  But to sell complete lifestyle change, to sell religious conversion, requires a competence package that few possess.

I can sell, and have some of the other necessary skills, and I lost $70,000 in one year.  The company continually changed policies to benefit the 2% and harm the 98%, because they knew the 2% were their real customers and the rest of us were cannon fodder for the 2%.  I realized that I would never become part of the 2%.  So I quit.  Weirdly, I was again convinced to try another of those companies a year later.

Here is the good news.  Almost everyone who tries to make money in MLM becomes a better person.  I have seens hundreds of people try MLM, and they develop skills:
* ability to emotionally expose themselves and talk to people
* ambition
* basic self-improvement, sometimes even improved personal hygiene
* accounting and accountability
* basic marketing mindset
* long-range planning
* ability to discern good and bad opportunities

So even if you lose money, you still receive benefits (skills) that you can use in legitimate spheres of your life.


Here are some definitions and clarifications.

MLM scam: Some of these companies focus on product, and compensate distributors for selling products. They are legit. But if a company’s focus is the payment plan for recruiting, it wants you as cannon fodder to keep people at the top profitable. The legal definition of Pyramid Scheme involves having a real product or not. If the product is a liter of fruit juice for $40, be suspicious.

Personal direct marketing:  These companies are almost 100% product focused.  They are not MLM.  Pampered chef, Avon, and various candle companies do not offer a path to wealth, but are legitimately ways to earn side money at home. (Some scams do offer huge profits for doing very little work.)

Cellular Level:  A common product claim from MLM companies is that their vitamins or fruit juice benefits your body “at the cellular level.” Clarification:  Everything we eat benefits or harms us at the cellular level.  Organic kale and lead paint chips affect us at the cellular level.

The Vikings Have Really Improved

This year begins with a new series,

Developing Leadership Skills from History.


Should we teach business skills in schools?   Do business skills matter?

14D0B110-84C1-46F7-9CE8-0423F05B0DEEFor 373 years, the Vikings terrified Europe. The Germans were powerless before the Danes.  Vikings called the Franks in the powerful Carolingian Empire “beggars,” because they would beg for their lives.

“Here, take all of our treasure, just please leave us alone,” the Franks would cry.

But when the Vikings became Christians and the Viking age ended, the tide turned completely back.  It was not the Vikings who controlled their domains, but the Germans.  Merchants of the German Hanseatic League set up trading cities, hired armies, and established banking.  The Hanse merchants were simply better at marketing, supply chain management, and scaling.  For 300 years, the merchants controlled the economies of the Baltic and most of Scandinavia.

So as it often in history, the abacus was mightier than the battle axe.  

Japan borrowed that lesson.  In the first part of the 20th century, their military controlled Asia.  Japan grew an empire that covered (at the peak) between 1/4 and 1/3 of the world’s population.  But they lost it all pretty quickly.  So they built an economic powerhouse, and Japan is much more prosperous.  The abacus was more powerful than the katana sword.  Japanese are much more happy. 

The Viking descendants did catch up on business skills.  Now they sell tiny plastic toy blocks at 10,000% profit (Legos).  And they sell furniture cheaply by outsourcing most of the manufacturing to the customer (IKEA).

Are you developing your business skills?  Remember that basic business skills do help build economies.

:::  Be fierce.  Be kind.  Be knowledge-hungry.  :::

Stay Off Santa’s Naughty List

In my country, people practice a pretend belief in Santa Claus.  This mythical person delivers gifts to well-behaved children.  Naughty children, in theory, receive nothing.  

The definition of good vs. bad is fuzzy.  It is subjectively determined by parents in each household.  

In practice, however, poor children receive less, regardless of behavior.  Bounteous gifts are given by parents who are wealthy (or are divorced and trying to win affection, in competion with ex-spouses).

As adults, I wonder how we can stay off Santa’s “naughty list.”  How can we be better?  These are four common sins we can stop committing:

1.  Be less busy.  We need to put down phones, turn off televisions, and listen to silence.  Creativity requires quiet time.

2.  Stop using the Law of Small Numbers to make decisions.  Humans tend to make hasty generalizations based on small sample sizes.  We generalize about a race of people based on a single example.  And everyone knows someone who had a mean father, so we hate all men and publicly engage in gender shaming of boys.  Potential entrepreneurs often plan businesses based on what a group of friends might want to buy, and they fail.  

3.  Eat better.  To improve brain function, we should eat less meat and more vegetables (and no dairy).  Almost everyone should eat less sugar. 

4.  Be more humble.  Learning begins with humility, because only teachable people learn.  

That is my list for the new year.  Have a great year of continuous self-improvement.  What sins are you working to avoid?

The Positive Power of Amnesia

Jamais vu is a French term meaning “never seen.”  It is the opposite of deja vu.  (We associate it with amnesia or epilepsy.)   Jamais vu usually means not recognizing a word or person you have seen before.  

I associate it with seeing or experiencing something I have seen before, but in a new way.

To me it means seeing anything anew.  If you view something you have seen many times, but view it in a new way, with fresh eyes, we could call that jamais vu.

This is not  French language lesson.  It is a challenge.  

 Be childlike.  Be a fool.

Challenge #1:  Choose an aspect of your job and view it in a new way.  Become an outsider.  Pretend you have never seen it or heard of it before.  

If you actually saw the situation for the first time, what might you want to know?  Ask some questions to help you understand it.  

Challenge #2:  view a relationship in a new way.  For example:  if you were meeting your spouse for the first time on a blind date, what would you ask?  What would you say to impress?  Most importantly, what communication patterns would you strive to create?  (i.e. which of your current negative patterns would you avoid developing?)

:::   Be fierce.  Be kind.  Be knowledge-hungry.   :::

We Need You to Save Us

A Skill for Troubled Times

Difficult times might be coming. A cycle of violence, like the period from World War I —Russian Revolution—World War II, might begin in 2019. Hatred and irrationality are growing.

B0DF133F-ADAC-476C-B636-6EB8561EFC49Your skills will be needed.

If not a violence cycle, some regions might be hit by natural disasters.  Others may experience famine or economic collapse.  In these new cycles, we will need you to save us.

What we need is you to develop your ability to stay calm.  The psychologist Rollo May said:

Finding the center of strength within ourselves is in the long run the best contribution we can make to our fellow men. . . . One person with indigenous inner strength exercises a great calming effect on panic among people around him.  This is what our society needs — not new ideas and inventions; important as these are, and not geniuses and supermen, but persons who can “be”, that is, persons who have a center of strength within themselves.

This blog encourages you to teach yourself to be successful.  You can do that in several ways.  But sharing your inner strength might be the most important competency right now.

People might want to kill others because of their ethnicity, like Hitler did.  Or people might want to kill others because their farms are a little bigger, like Hitler’s mentor Lenin did. Both types of hatred are simmering.  Maybe they are the same thing.  Either way, please help is to make good choices by ignoring mass hysteria.

Maybe these sorts of problems will not occur again, but if they do, we depend on you to be ready.  We’ll be too busy shouting slogans  or running for cover.

:::   Be fierce.  Be kind.  Be knowledge-hungry.   :::

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