Thursday, February 20, 2014

That Awful "M" Word... A New View on the MLM

Multi-level marketing...MLM.  It will turn people's stomachs in a heart beat--crunch their faces with looks of disgust in no time flat! But, what does it really mean to be a "Multi-level marketer?"

MLM simply defines the way a business is organized. The company founder decides at its initiation how it's to be put together: who will "advertise", how it will distribute, and who will be rewarded based on these things.  MLM businesses are not all created equal--you can't judge one by another.  It's like assuming all churches are the same.

Why then, do MLM companies get such a bad rap? The overanxious, overzealous, money-signs-in-the-eyes, "I-can-make-you-rich-if-you-join me" folks may be the reason.  I should know--I was one! I wanted badly to be at home full-time with my children at around my second child (I have four) and saw the opportunity through one of these companies...I am afraid I "mowed over" a few people in the process.  In fact, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit months later to go back and apologize to a couple of them.  No wonder some would rather hide than to talk to a MLM business owner!

I've had to sort out my way of thinking by the Lord's guidance, through experiences that He has allowed in our family.  My views have flipped on vaccines, immunity, prescription medicine, diet--you name it, we've changed it! And what's more, we've seen some wonderful things take place as a result!
Did I look to "get involved" with another multi-level business? No. In fact--I was cautioned by my husband not to in the beginning.  However, when we saw what a change occurred in our autistic son (recovered, praise God! Not just oils--refer to earlier blogs) because of using the essential oils, I wanted to invite a knowledgeable oiler to talk about what she knew, and invite all my mama friends to hear.  I needed them to have what I had to help their children, if they so chose.  When some of my friends wanted to enroll after learning, I approached Jim, and we decided that it would help with the cost of the oils we needed for James.  He told me it would be fine if they enrolled with me.  I was blessed with help because I shared something of great value to me.

Courtesy of Dolf Cheng

Back to the MLM controversy.  I have a different view of this configuration today, and it is beautiful when used in the right manner.  Let me list a few reasons that I think an MLM is superior to a "regular" job.

1. Accountability: There is a direct connection between the "advertiser" and the purchaser.  If I represent a line of goods that are substandard, people will realize it and come back to me.  When I buy something at a store, I never "see" the company that sold it.  If it is low quality, most likely I won't buy it again, but that's about all.  Direct selling keeps it honest.  If you build a big business based on faulty products and promises, soon there is no business at all.

2. Advertising: How many ads, commercials, billboards, on-line pop-ups do you see for your favorite products? Have you realized how much they pay those celebrities to drink milk? (...that is slowly poisoning you, by the way--see earlier posts!)  MLM companies leave their advertising to their distributors--they rely on word of mouth to promote their wares.  Instead of shelling out big bucks to agencies they put that money toward their "advertisers"...their distributors.  Again, this is a pretty good reason to be trustworthy and have a great product.

3. Alliteration: I am a preacher's wife...can you tell? :)

4. Advancement: This is where a lot of folks get hung up.  They think that one person tells a few and then sits back and watches money roll in from all the underlings.  That may be true for a pyramid scheme, but not so for multi-level marketing.  Your business is what you make of it.  If you try to coast along and watch others work for your money in this deal it won't happen.  Hard workers can, have, and will surpass their upline in rank.  That inability to surpass your bosses is illustrated more like this:

(I know, it grosses me out, too. But it really drives the point home.)

5. Availability: To live your own life, I mean.  When you work in a "regular" job at a lower level, your are pretty much at the mercy of the company as to when and how long you work, not to mention how much you get paid.  Waiting for position advancement sometimes can be pretty tiresome.  If you are a business owner, you have other individuals depending on you for their income--so often you have long hours and bear a weight that keeps you from the free time you desire.  In MLM, like I said, your business is what you make of it.  You can advance more quickly with more interaction, more learning, more activity, but you can also take time out when you need to--it is your right and you have that ability.  I am able to stop everything for family, church, homeschool events.  I can interact with people in my timing--and I love it.

She loves it?! The MLM?!? Yes, I do.  What I do now, when I am doing what the Lord wants--is sharing what was needful for us, then watching others' lives change for the better when they do the same.  Guess what? There are other products that I share, too! And I don't make any money from them! My guess is, you do the same.  You tell about a new restaurant you found, a new book that you love, and never have a second thought.  When I receive from spending time with others, instructing and assisting, it is a gift.  I am rewarded for sharing, and gain even when others I have shared with, share themselves.  Get it? Sounds vaguely like a system my Father worked out a long time ago: no matter who sows, waters, or reaps, it is added to your account. 

To wrap this thing up, just as shown in the picture above, I may be weird in so many ways, but I am confident in them! Call me an anti-vaxxer, a homeschooling mom, a tree-hugging oiler, a multi-level marketer, and, yes, by all me a Christian--I pray that I have given you reason!

By the way, if you don't know where you will spend eternity, you can settle it! Please contact me for answers and a peace that you'll never regret!

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."  1 John 5:13

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