I don’t believe in regret. It seems like a waste of energy to put time into considering the “if only” possibilities of the past.
That being said, I have one intense regret. I regret joining an MLM business.
I went into a multi level marketing business (MLM) much like Pollyanna. I was hopeful, excited and truly believed the hype.
After all, maybe I could be a #girlboss who worked from home and earned amazing trips and gifts for just a few hours a day. It was a logical decision because 1) I like the products and wanted a discount, 2) I saw it as an opportunity to find my #tribe and make some friends who were health-centric as I was, and 3) Just a few hours of work a day? I could commit to that. I was a stay at home mom with a part-time job. And the consultants assured me I could fit this into the nooks and crannies of my day.
The formula was so simple. Call 30 people or more a month and tell them about the opportunity. If you stick to that formula, inviting your friends and family to join you in this “amazing opportunity” or at least host a party for you, you would no doubt be reaching the top of the company and earning $20,000/month or more! The sky was the limit.
Gah. I feel like such a fool. When I look back at it now it looks far to good to be true, but I needed to learn the hard way. I had a friend who did make it to the top, so I hung on to her coattails with white knuckles thinking, “If she could do it, so could I.” And she would tell me the same thing.
I jumped in. They told me to jump “all in.” They said I could be driving around in my luxury car in a matter of months. “Don’t be afraid of the ‘no’s you’ll hear from your friends . . . because every no brings you closer to a yes!”
So many one-liners, so much gimmick . . .
Network marketing is the business of the future.
Grab five friends and lock arms! You’ll rise to the top together!
Residual income means you make money while you sleep.
I followed the scripts they gave me. I stuck to the three filters: 1) first you offer the business, but if they say no, 2) you ask them to host a party, and 3) ask for referrals.
And I spent thousands of dollars. Thousands. Because the quickest way to get promoted is based on volume and the only volume I could really control was my own.
“Shop from your own store!” they cheered. “You earn commission on your own purchases! You’ve got to spend money to make money and you are representing the brand now, so you should be showcasing the brand in your bathroom, your kitchen and in your purse.”
The saddest part of all is I didn’t make any friends from my new business. My tribe? They definitely weren’t these girls and this world of self-promotion. But but I did lose a few. One of my dearest friends said she felt like I sold her out for the opportunity to make money, and it still breaks my heart. My family felt pressured to buy from me, despite how ridiculously expensive the products were. And I burned a lot of bridges.
I became that awful girl who started messaging friends I hadn’t spoken to in years to say “I have an amazing opportunity!” I became the cliche.
I can’t get that time back. I can’t even get some of those friendships back. But I can share my experience. Because I did follow the formula. And it still didn’t work.
The chances of making it to the top are similar to winning the lottery. But the chances of hurting your friends and family? 100 percent.
Next time someone wants to share their “wonderful business opportunity” I encourage you to politely decline. You’ll save money, retain friendship, and chances are you can find equally good products on Amazon for half the price.
And your tribe? They’re not here. I promise. I looked there already.
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