Multi-Level Marketing, we’ve all experienced it at some point. Everybody has that friend that regularly posts on social media about how “they” or “their friends” have seen super quick, tremendous results about their skin, weight, abs, hair, face, feet, anus or whatever else. Hawking everything from essential oils, skin care products, nutritional supplements, candles and whatever else. They experience the results and now they want to pass on the secret too you, for only $19.99 plus shipping and handling! But you’ll love it so much too that you shouldn’t just stop there, how would you like to “be your own boss” and make “hundreds of thousands of dollars” while helping your friends discover this new and revolutionary product that is too good for stores so they choose to sell it through direct distribution directly to you!
Say it with me… “PYRAMID SCHEME”
Being a coach, trainer and otherwise well-educated individual I have received countless offers from probably every company you ever heard of too “earn more money” and “help change people’s lives” and blah blah blah. It is good and all if the companies weren’t so full of shade and the products themselves weren’t just full of crap.
Most of these companies depend on pseudoscience, poorly executed and biased studies, and extreme exaggeration or incorrect interpretation of otherwise well-established methodologies. The product’s claims typically are over-exaggerated if not outright lies and often time the benefits you might experience from said products could also be accomplished through simple changes to your eating and exercise habits.
No, your herbal supplement will not cure cancer, mend a torn tendon nor will it increase my athletic abilities (at least legally) by any substantial amount. Sadly though, these companies are giving legitimate professionals a bad name and are doing a lot to damage what many of us are trying to build up by selling bad information and dangerous health claims. For the sake of marketing, their sales people might be branded as “coaches” or “ambassadors” and talk about their “amazing success” which, and remember now, is more of an exaggerated marketing gimmick than it is actual success.
MLM distributors often have very little training and education and qualifications in the bigger picture of what they’re promoting. The training they do receive is all based around the product and subsequent sales pitch. Thus are not qualified to give any legitimate advice you would otherwise receive from a certified and qualified professional, such as a doctor, trainer, nutritionist or other such professional.
Results that are promised as “quick” and “easy” aren’t healthy, nor lasting. Sure you might lose 20lbs in 2 weeks, but at what cost?
MLMs (not M&Ms) are sadly only a symptom of a larger problem within the fitness industry. A problem in which almost the entire fitness industry is built upon. That people only want the results, they want them quick and via the easiest methods possible. This is why MLMs, diets and other quick fix fitness and “health” products continue to thrive. I mean why the hell would someone want to do burpees for 6 months when you can just starve yourself for 7 days and be 20lbs lighter?
Predictably the same thing happens every time. While you might lose 20lbs in 7 days, it will be 7 days of more misery than you will experience in 6 months worth of burpees. If you don’t end up in the hospital afterwards, you’ll end up gaining the weight again and end up right back where you started.
The mentality of these products, companies and the whole industry in general is not about the process, it’s about the results. This is a problem because without the process, you will never see real results. If you don’t embrace the process, don’t expect the results.
I have had my share of friends, family members and (most surprisingly, or not) colleagues who’ve tried to get me to join their (insert Ponzi Scheme name here) family. I’ve sat through all the high-pressure meetings full of technobabble and sales pitches; learned about “how great of an opportunity this is” and read all the “studies” they push at me screaming about how amazing and innovative the product is. Literally every sales pitch is the same, and after my own research, usually comes up with the same result (If you haven’t yet figured out what that result is, scroll back up to the top of this article and read). While the extra income might be nice (which often time the is just a myth), these products go against every instinct and philosophy I have toward helping people make legitimate changes to be more active, healthy and fit in their lives. Simply put, there are more realistic and educated solutions that might not promise immediate results, will help you achieve what you seek in the long term.
By Dirk Smith
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