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The post to see if my friends are reading my blog January 13, 2006

Posted by Mike N. Cheese in Business, Entrepreneurship, Ethics & Morals, Friends/Family.
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My friends and I maintain an email group. It ebbs and flows depending upon who feels like talking and the interestingness* of the conversation. It’s what keeps us in each others’ loops. It amazes me (and especially my wife) that I am still in close contact with my friends from high school.

I am hoping that this blog will be an extention of that email exchange. I guess I will just have to find something that will rouse up some comments.

Which begs the question, “Is network marketing really evil, or does everyone just think it is?”

Network marketing, multi-level marketing, direct sales, whatever you want to call it, has been around for a long time, and no one can deny the shady resemblence it has to pyramid schemes (just don’t ever say the word “pyramid” around a network marketer unless you have some time on your hands).

I want to hear your opinion. Which is it? Are network marketing companies’ products just a front for their real operation, or are network marketing companies just like that poor kid who gets picked on all the time but is actually really cool if you get to know him?

Comments, please.

*not a real word

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Comments»

1. Mrs. Dub - January 13, 2006

I’m totally against network marketing for several reasons, though I’m sure there are some credible network marketing schemes out there. Generally speaking,I don’t like that they depend on people’s pity, people’s desperation to make money or get rich quick and other people’s hardwork. I mean, when someone involved in network marketing comes to me, I either feel obligated to purchase something (which gives them a false sense that I really want their product or that it’s a good product) or I feel scared that they will try to talk me into selling underneath them (something I don’t want to do because I don’t want to abuse any friendships to find someone to fit underneath me.) Besides, if you have a credible business product, why can’t you be like everyone else and get a store or get your product into a store? If NuSkin is really so revolutionary, don’t you think there would be a counter at the mall? Finally, I think network marketing is usually driven by people who want to make a lot fast and that scares me. Because in certain places (Utah and Asia, mostly), network marketing schemes will explode at first only to quickly fizzle out, leaving the person at the top living beyond their actual means and the person on the bottom, well, screwed.

2. David Parker - January 14, 2006

Amen!

3. Mike Court - January 14, 2006

Where are the MLM-ers?

4. Emily - January 18, 2006

I did Mary Kay for 3 years. It is technically dual-marketing. I liked it. Making money was not dependent on getting people to sign up “underneath” you. I had 12 “team members” for awhile. I didn’t make any money directly from them, but the company gave me money based on what their sales were, just a bonus commission of sorts on top of what I was already making. EVERYONE who sells Mary Kay buys the products at a 50% discount directly from the company and sells them at the suggested retail price. Cosmetics are consumable, so your return business is good and the products are good and the cost is very reasonable. When I moved to Oklahoma my business fizzled out, but I still think that it was a great experience.

5. Joshua Rogers, Mike's spiritual advisor/seafood consultant - January 20, 2006

Everyone should list their full names and or relationship with Mike. I am Joshua Rogers- Mike’s spiritual advisor/interior designer. I think that network marketing is funny because they say that you never have to work but really you are working 24 hours a day. When you go to family parties, when you are at the mall, whenever. I think that if that much time were put into any effort, then that person would make $60,000 within the first six months.*

*These numbers are not typical.

6. Bradical Stoddard - January 20, 2006

My name is Brad Stoddard and I am one of Mike’s friends. I am also Josh’s spiritual advisor who then advises Mike. I for one am totally for network marketing. At the same time I totally understand why many people are against them. A lot of what Mrs. Dub said was true. There are a lot of companies that start up and are based solely on hype and buy in fees. Only eight network marketing companies have reached one billion dollars in sales and the rest seem to have short brilliant spurts of growth before coming crashing down and leaving people with out a pay check. I must admit that I am currently a Nu Skin distributor and I am rather enjoying the type of work too. My parents did Nu Skin in the 80’s and failed and so when I was approached by a friend to join Nu Skin I was extremely skeptical. After doing my homework I decided not all network marketing companies are bad. I would like to address some of the concerns mentioned. First, don’t feel pressured into buying a product. Do your homework on the product. If your research shows that the product is mediocre then inform the person of your results. But if the product is great and does what it says then buy it! Network marketing is another way to distribute products. If Nu Skin started to sell their products in stores then they would be competing against their own sales force, their distributors. Pharmanex, which sells supplemants, used to be sold at GNC. Once it was introduced into network style marketing their sales more than quadrupled. In short many companies find it more profitable to use direct sales instead of traditional retail. Emily mentioned it was a great experience. I find that completely accurate. What other job gives you experience running your own business, bulids communication skills, lets you make what you are worth, and helps other people earn money? I find it funny when people say that I am “using” the people under me. When I think of using, I think of employees who trade a block of their time for a salary to help the owner get rich. They have been payed just enough money and benefits to keep them working at their job, but all the while they are being leveraged to make more money for the owner. These people have no chance what so ever to make more than the person above them. With Nu Skin you can make more than the guy right above you if you work harder than he does. Yes, he is making money from your sales. But I think that it is fair seeing as he introduced you to the company and probably spent time and money training you into a success. Consider it a franchise fee. Nu Skin and Pharmanex have great products and thats not just me saying so. I have been to many third party web sites that rate different products and Nu SKin/Pharmenx consistently beats the normal retail products. And as a side note a good chunk of my customers are from referrals. Many of the people I sold to loved what the products did for them and told their friends about the results. In closing, ther are many bad network marketing companies but there are a few great companies that strive to improve people’s lives with great products and a chance to work hard and earn a great income. P.S. Sorry… this was a wee bit long. But Mike said that we should write more.

7. MRS. Bradical Stoddard, Brad's wife, Mike's information station - January 20, 2006

I only have 2 cents to add to my husband’s brilliant declaration above. MLM has its pros and cons. As the new wife of a MLMer, I’ll be the first to acknowledge my concerns. But the more I see NuSkin and Pharmanex in action, the more convinced I am of their legitimacy. Since you dont sell your products in a store, your “store” is basically your mouth. When your mouth is open, your store is open. I’ve never heard anyone say that you dont have to work at network marketing. It is, by very essence, WORKing your network… and your network’s network and so on. It’s hard work. There’s no getting rich quick, I can assure you of that. You get lots of no’s that dont make you dime. But it also has the potential to be very profitable after you’ve put in your hard work. And you can take your “store” with you to the movies, to the grocery store, and on vacation! MLMs have their benefits, that’s all I’m saying. You cant discount the quality of the products just because they aren’t sold at the mall. Have you seen the crap they sell at those stands in the mall? C’mon.

8. terry underhill - January 21, 2006

bravo to bradical and wifes comments!!! i whole heartledly agree! yes there are crap network marketing companies out there…but there are also crap traditional style companies as well. and talk about a pyramid scheme there…in a traditional style corperate stucture, you are definetly there to make the top guy rich. and in that you definetly have zero chance of ever making much money. so i guess what i’m trying to say is that, don’t be so quick to judge this style of buisness until you have seen that companies buisness plan…and nuskin definetly has a very legitamite buisness plan if you just stop and listen.

9. Chris Jordan - July 31, 2006

Hi Mike

I am a random network marketer from the UK who stumbled across your blog while seeking a corporate flight discount – goodness knows how that happened!

Anyhow, I am a Ruby Executive with Nu Skin Enterprises and have been since 1996, having not done much building of my network since then. I have been lazy and enjoyed the benefits over a decade of repeat commissions so it can’t be all that bad.

I also concur with your previous commentators, that there are both good and bad programmes out there. Nu Skin happens to be the one I selected after being with another company which went bust! I chose Nu Skin because of their product credibility, high income potential and published average income figures being available(which are not sadly required for companies here in the EU yet), which have turned out to be pretty accurate reflections of reality!

I have had good and bad times during the three years I spent building my network. Boy does it teach you a lot about people! So many people are hust not prepared to keep their word and act with integrity, that it’s truly shocking in the beginning! I have business in 17 of Nu Skin’s 3 ‘open’ countries so far and have travelled to most of these, which I would probably not have enjoyed in traditional business or a job.

I have had a good experience, but totally understand that, just as in any field, there will be good and bad.

Well that’s my two pennies worth. I hope you didn’t mind me dropping in to say hi!

10. Chris Jordan - July 31, 2006

Sorry about all my typos!

11. Major James T. Reeman - August 1, 2006

Good thread – – I too am a NuSkin guy. Worked hard for one year in 1995 and then coasted for 10 years! I earned a residual check every month for 10 years without doing anything but using the products – – all for one year of hard work.

Last year I came out of “retirement” because I saw NuSkin’s Pharmanex division growing and wanted a piece of the action.

So far… so good.

Most people bent on MLM had a bad experience or reference someone else’s bad experience. There are arguably more BAD experiences than good ones. After all there have been 4500 MLM companies and only 8 reached $1 billion in sales (even 2 of those are bankrupt). The odds are stacked against most deals.

But rest assured that some DO work – – I’m living proof.

Jim

12. Andrew Murray - June 21, 2007

MLM is the art of doing a favor not just for yourself but also to others. It is the thing I’m teaching at http://www.mlmtraining.org.

13. Nicolas - July 24, 2007

Hey all, I am from South Africa.
I have been searching for the past 3 years for a mlm company.
After attending numerous presentations, most of the companies just focused on how much money you can make, then quoted top quotes from business people, with a whole jumping and clappind vibe..

Then the next day the people would pressure me to sign up and buy in.
My general knowledge told me that one should not “buy into a mlm company”, but rather “build in”

Around 1 year ago I attended a nu skin presentation, and I was totally blown away. Just touching on the business plan, the products and technology were their main focus!!
I went home and did my research on the company and what 3rd parties are saying about nuskin.

I found that the deeper i dug into the company, the more i fell inlove with it! I am currently a lapis with the company and have never felt so good being on their products. & the best part it I can prove it 😉
Aswell as seeing what nuskin is doing with Nourishing Children around the world, alot coming from Africa. I believe that there is no other mlm company like this 1!

Take care and all the best with everyone.

Nick


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