Multi Level Marketing - am I wasting my time $$ ???

Discussion in 'Network/Multi-level Marketing' started by feelingscammed, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. feelingscammed

    feelingscammed New Member

    I'm currently involved as a distributor for a MLM company - ScentSations (Mia Bella Candles) and have been since May 2006. Well, I've worked the business - did some craft shows, built a personal website, handed out biz cards with samples, added 6 team members etc etc....

    However, I can't tell you the number of hours I've spent researching & developing my website & the hours spent on the phone or via email prospecting etc... I can't claim that I've "worked my business" everyday, but I've invested TONS of time & some $$ to get this going. (this is my 2nd "go" at MLM, my first was with Mary Kay years ago)

    Needless to say, I have recently begun to question whether MLM is a valid business model and even began to question its legality. I did some research on the net and came across your site today.

    Honestly, what I've read about MLM & NWM via the net over the past couple days - I already knew in my heart, but the lure of MLM is the "potential" to build that downline into an incredible "residual" income source.
    It is very tempting and the claims that "you can do it" as long as you stay committed & "work hard" keep you reaching for your goals.

    Unfortunately, I'm beginning to believe that all I'm reaching for is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow & that to succeed I'm going to have to convince a LOT of people to become a distributor & then train them to do the same. That, I fear, is going to be a never-ending process. I mean, I can make some $$ retailing the products - but not enough to be "financially independent" as is claimed. That can only be done, as far as I can see, by sponsoring others into the team.

    I think I need to close up shop on this "business".
    My dilemma now is battling that feeling of "I've already invested X amount of time" and all of that will be lost. It's a struggle. Kinda like inserting X amount of $$ into a jackpot machine & thinking - just one more dollar will do it! [​IMG]
    Any advice or guidance you'd be willing to offer would be appreciated.
    Do you know of any online support groups that help people "get over" MLM?? LOL
    I mean, once I wrap this up, I don't want to get involved in another MLM. (like I did with Mary Kay) I'm not exactly sure why I'm drawn to MLMs.
    I already work P/T for a financial company, homeschool my oldest, & keep up my household. When I'm working an MLM I spend too much time on the net or on the phone and not enough time with my family. I'm sure there are lots of moms out there who have done the same & it would be great to meet them & share our stories. [​IMG]


  2. agoodsaid

    agoodsaid New Member

    Hi there -

    First I want to say that much of what you've learned along the way is valuable in one way or another, so don't ever feel like you've wasted time that way. Much of MLM is about personal development and leading others to personal development.

    Should your focus be elsewhere? Well, maybe if you're clear that it's affecting your family relationships poorly.

    One thing you have to understand about Mia Bella is that the residual on team members is relatively small ... basically, for most people, it makes a decent retail business and that's all. Which is okay if you like hauling candles around (My experience with MB helped me to become crystal clear that I didn't want to handle/receive/deliver ANY inventory ... I spent plenty of time and money figuring that one out ... but it was totally worth every penny).

    The up front bonuses are swell, but they are not residual and therefore amount to J-O-B type money which is also fine, it just isn't the 'do it once' money that MLM alludes to.

    I've actually found that a big up front bonus can be a good thing 'cause it can help to jumpstart folks who really want to build a business, but the failing with this company (and many others) is in the encouraging of people to become distributors just so they can get the discount. It undermines the retail that should be the lifeblood of our businesses.

    Are you familiar with Kim Klaver's "Nylon Women"? (there's an audio link I can dig up for you if you'd like to listen to it). The gist of the approach is that many small retail businesses make up a much stronger foundation than waiting and praying for the elusive heavy hitter. And duplicating in this way means everyone meets their own personal business goals, everyone makes money and magically, the need for 'support groups' goes by the wayside.

    That being said, what really matters most is why you want to do this in the first place. What is it that draws you? How can you (or should you even try any further) do it in a way that's authentic to yourself and fair to the others who you bring to it and is this even the right vehicle?

    Don't feel scammed ... you happen to have landed with one of the more decent companies. There's just a real learning curve that goes with sorting out what will work best for YOU.

    Any of that make sense?

    Hope something here helps you to feel more at ease ...

  3. Chaz T

    Chaz T New Member

    Quoting: feelingscammedMy dilemma now is battling that feeling of "I've already invested X amount of time" and all of that will be lost. It's a struggle. Kinda like inserting X amount of $$ into a jackpot machine & thinking - just one more dollar will do it!

    Sometimes we have to recognize the signs when something has become a fruitless endeavor, draining us of your time and money. I think it's just our "will to succeed" that try's to tell us "okay maybe just one more dollar!" But in our gut.........we know the truth.

    I've been known to be hard headed at times when it came to excepting the fact that a certain venture was just not worth it anymore. But I think the key was that I was able to learn so much from that experience (whether it was what to do or what NOT to do).

    And when you move on, it's not that you're "giving up". No way! You just recognize the fact that you need to move on and put you're time and effort into something else, and keep moving until you find something that is finally worth all your time.

    Some people may say, "Yeah but what if you never find it?" Well, honestly how will you know if you stop? I think we all know that life is not simple. And as the saying goes: "something worth achieving is never an easy path."

    Hope that offers a little encouragment.
  4. getagrip

    getagrip Gold Member

  5. brujj1

    brujj1 New Member

    I also own an online business and I really tried hard. I spent money but I learned a lot too. I worked everyday and every night when I was just starting, because everything I learned was new and very very interesting. Later I lost my motivation mostly because almost everyone around me just thought I was wasting time and money and I was not learning any better! They told me to get a real job...
    Today I just saw that I am going to receive my first big check!!!

    It is not much but this check comes from trying so hard even without knowing what i was doing and if I was doing right. But it seems I did somethings right and now I am getting a reward! That began to motivate me again and I think I will go back to working night and day as when I started first!

    I didn't think getting paid would motivate me so much because I worked in "real jobs" for so many years and I got much bigger checks and those checks did not motivate me at all I guess earning from my online business is a different joy!

    What I want to tell you is that don't give up. There are many of us like you. It feels really bad sometimes. Perhaps take a break or something but don't give up. You will be feeling good again -like me- when you see a check coming!
  6. LifeofEgypt

    LifeofEgypt New Member

    You also have to give some thought to the peoduct your selling. Is there a high demand for your product?
  7. susaneng

    susaneng New Member

    It is so frustrating to work so hard at a business and not see a lot in return. I have tried a couple of mlm's but was only casually working them. I used the product and tried to get people to join my downline. I am sure you aren't being scammed, but I think only a few people make the big bucks with a lot of these companies. I suppose it depends how good of a salesperson you are and then it is the challenge of keeping your downline.

    The idea of passive income is great and I definitely will strive to achieve this. I personally have a plan to make money with my home based business to invest in real estate so I will be able to get my passive income this way.

    I heard Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad author) talk at a Learning Annex seminar. His advice was to start a business of your own and then invest in real estate. I took up his advice and started my home based business. I did a lot of research and hired a cash flow coach to help me. She made me figure out how much I needed to make each month. I found several companies that I really liked and their products were good, but when I talked to the people in it I found one person that was working the business for 2 years with and only making about a $200.00 profit. I looked at other companies with their products and realized I would have to sell a lot of products to make any significant amount of money.

    I finally found a business that I love. It is not mlm, but direct marketing. It only will take 1-3 sales a month to achieve my goal of the extra money I need to make, but my goal is to sell more than that. My sponsor who started last May just made $9000 in Feb. alone and has two more sales in the works. Best part of all is we don't have to do sales. Most of the business is marketing and we have a Call Center that takes your calls. They are a professional group of people that are not in the company (they do make a commission). They call your prospects, pitch the sale, close the sale and send you the money. The top leader in the group is great at training and help. He goes out of his way to help people in the group and he doesn't receive a commission from helping them. I talked to him and he and asked how he had time to do all he does. He said it was mostly all automated and he just answers his phone which gives him plenty of free time.

    I just recently took a Internet Marketing seminar with Robert Allen and Mark Victor Hansen. The people running the seminar were working for them and not allowed to pitch their own businesses but I found out one of them were in the same travel company as I am and even in the same group. He has been doing it for 5 years and is also very successful.

    Wishing you the best of success with whatever you decide to do. Don't feel scammed. It sounds like you worked hard and did your best. I think what happened to you happens to a lot of people in mlm's. Focus on what you want and not feeling like you got scammed and I am sure you will find your niche to make your success.
  8. malibumentor

    malibumentor New Member

    Whatever end of the industry - high-ticket like Susan and me or in a lower-ticket mlm deal, it still takes exactly the same amount of effort to get a LEAD.

    What I have found is that it makes sense to lead with a big-ticket package, and some people will go for it.. but also have low-investment stuff for people who TRUST my Judgement and want to follow me but are unwilling or unable to afford a significant committment.

    Financially speaking - generally what you will get out is related to what you put in. Small investment, small return - big investment...

    Despite the ability to delegate the phone calls (as I am now doing) and have sophisticated automated systems making the business presentations and filtering the traffic... its still really a business of building relationships, preferably win-win ones.

    I could have definitely made a lot more money promoting quick-hit programs to my list (ie. win-lose) but I knew most of the people wouldn't be able to promote and get into profit fast without the same training I had... which is why I lead with the same training program I used to put my business into profit.

    I never tell people they are going to make millions by having thousands of distributors paying them a dollar every month. I have never made much money that way, so I won't say whether it can or can't be done... I just know I haven't done it. What I have done is make some great income by leading with high-ticket programs and consistently doing marketing activity on a daily basis....

    - and I show everybody I sponsor exactly how to do the same thing.... but its a matter of personal ambition to do the work.
  9. Vern Lai

    Vern Lai New Member

    As what you've mentioned, being committed, focus and working hard are definitely the element for success. But there's always the question of whether you're working SMART as well.

    Isn't it interesting to know that you've put in the effort but not getting the result you wanted?

    Just sharing my experience...I'm currently involved in Internet MLM related to personal development. Instead of out doing presentations, we work at home marketing online with various strategies e.g. article marketing, forum marketing, blogging, PPC and etc...

    The difference between my team here as with any other team is that:

    * We have coaching and mentoring program, teaching new members how to market online.

    * We've co-op where we pool the money and let the expert do the marketing for us

    * We share experiences, email / website templates on what works and what not

    We basically leverage on one another's strength. And it is such team effort and support that kept us going to achieve the result we want.

    No matter which business you're in, I'm sure you'll succeed in it, the only difference is whether you have the support to put you over the fence to the other side...
  10. jenms

    jenms New Member

    Hi there fellow MB rep!
    I also joined MB a year ago - it was my first foray into MLM, and I spent a bunch of time the first couple months building my site and with SEO. I realized after a couple months I was not going to "get rich" with this particular company, not because it's not a great product, but because it's a small commission on a product that is only $19 a pop and even with a downline, most of them are only ordering the minimum and not actively working the business. I think most MLMs are good for building a STREAM of residual income, but don't count on getting rich doing it, because it's probably not going to happen - but that is not to say that it isn't possible to find a company that will generate a 6-figure income, because that is certainly possible. But I will say that I do have a steady stream of income generated by my MB site, mostly in the form of retail orders with very little effort on my part (as in, I send a follow up card by mail since the orders are processed and shipped by the company) so I cannot complain there since it takes almost zero effort on my part to earn an income stream with MB.
    Since I began with MB, I joined 2 other companies, the most recent being Coastal. I decided to go with Coastal because the bigger ticket item is a way to earn more profit with less sales and less people in the pipeline. I also was attracted to the travel industry because I'm a travel fiend and I've worked for a corporate travel company for 3 years. As far as marketing the business opportunity, people who sign up with a company that has a $1000 or more product purchase to join are likelier to be a little more serious about a business opportunity and more committed to building a business (or at least actively working it) than the "weekend warrior" types you get with the MBs of the industry. As Susan mentioned, Coastal is more of a "Direct Sales" company and not a traditional MLM with levels. I'm loving Coastal. I also enjoy my other business, although that one is mostly on "autopilot" along with MB. I'm only actively working Coastal now.
  11. ESS

    ESS New Member

    Quoting: feelingscammedNeedless to say, I have recently begun to question whether MLM is a valid business model and even began to question its legality. I did some research on the net and came across your site today.

    Hi Feelingscammed,

    I know how you feel, I hear it quite frequently. Here is my observation.....

    In any business the key to being successful vs unsuccessful is mentoring.

    Why is franchising the most successful business model? It is because there is a system to follow which includes ongoing support and training(mentoring).

    The home business arena, especially MLM, attracts many folks who are not self motivating or business savvy. Thus if there is not a strong mentoring program, or upline mentor, to guide them they give up/quit or as the negatroids call it, fail.

    If you feel you need to move on to another company, look for a solid debt free company with a product that is in demand, and most importantly, make sure you find a sponsor who is willing to take you by the hand and lead you every step of the way. That sponsor does not have to be super successful, yet. But they should give you the indication that they are being mentored by their upline and that they are strictly following a successful system themselves.
    (A good indication of this is if they quickly introduce you to other successful people in their upline).

    Then you yourself must work hard, invest in your business and eventually graduate from student to becoming a teacher/mentor to your people as well.

    There is no doubt about it that MLM is a valid business model and is legit, there are too many high profile companies turning to it as a means of distribution. Also the fact that several people, that are already very successful, like Warren Buffet & Donald Trump have either purchased MLM companies and/or put their stamp of approval on it just gives it more validity.

    Hope everything works out for you!!

  12. spirk02

    spirk02 New Member

    Hello Feeling Scammed,

    I can certainly understand where you are coming from. I have often tried to figure out how to make $1-2000.00 a week in an MLM.
    You have to have a product that is priced to do this (that eliminates the $30.00 products, 35-60 sales a month) or have a sucessful downline. Direct selling is probably the most sure bet, as building donwline you have to have training to do. What does it take to make $5000.00 a month? how many trained eager people? (and they have to be motivated to build like you are, no tire kickers on this ride.), and how many sales? I realize that everything is predicated on the opportunity and the payout plan but there are just easier businesses to do oline with out all the fuss. What happens when several key members in your downline decide to take their legs and go to another opportunity? All of this is just tougher than it has to be. If your going to build a downline and do this for real, recruiting and training is absolutely the most important step, and most people will fail trying to do this without help. E-mail me for some suggestions on this one.

    MLM, I just don't get it. I would rather make one or two sales a week of a solid product and put several thousand in my pocket rather than rely on an army of people to help me do the same.

    best of luck

  13. malibumentor

    malibumentor New Member

    Since we discuss this online - perhaps its appropriate to talk about how the emergence of the big-ticket programs has affected the MLM industry ONLINE.

    There is no doubt that building a local MLM organization with local meetings, home parties, etc... is a profoundly different thing than the global phone recruiting we do with Direct Sales.

    The assumption seems to be that the internet should be a Godsend for MLM marketers... but building MLM on the net has its own unique challenges... one of the most reloevant being the competition for market share from bigger-ticket, faster-money programs.

    Its true that MLM is plagued by the migrating downline effect. This is considerably less of a factor in DS... because we make significant profit at the front of teh relationship whereas in MLM profit comes only with time.

    More and more as I realize the limitations of the internet I think that the internet is actually NOT the place to recruit for most MLM plans, but it still remains very valid for Big-ticket.

    This is a controversial line of thinking- but bear with me here.

    In the past I did quite a lot of direct mail marketing for another type of business and right now I am looking at getting back into it.

    Now you may ask "why do direct mail when we have the internet...", to which I answer ,"because not everyone is on the internet..." and in fact I feel that Direct Mail may be a more solid, reliable and predictable way of building an mlm or Direct Sales organization than the internet is.

    As a very accomplished online marketer I see what I have yet to learn from the masters of direct mail... and I am in awe of what they have done and continue to do with a postage stamp and a few sheets of paper.

    The power of written copy to touch our emotions and persuade us to take action is unsurpassed in the guerilla marketer's toolbox, yet
    we seem to think that advertising on the internet is somehow better than talking to a lot of people...

    Let me postulate that sending the right piece of direct mail to the right people can and will produce a profitable ratio of sales and signups... and its only a matter of doing it right.

    With the internet environment changing so dynamically and so often, marketing tactics that worked yesterday often become less workable with time as saturation sets in.

    Direct mail is proven. These guys have been testing and refining this stuff for over 50 years.

    Perhaps its not that MLM is no longer viable, its that marekting it on the internet is less viable for the majority than it would appear to be.

    Effective marketing is ALWAYS a combination of 3 factors:
    -the right message
    -the right target market
    -the right medium

    Get any of these three wrong and the marketing is likely to prove ineffective.

    The question I pose is this - is the internet the right medium for the target market of MLM?

    I think maybe it is not... and this is the source of so much struggle. I am not sure the net is the perect market for Big-ticket either, but it has at least proved profitable for me.

    Thanks for reading (feedback appreciated)
  14. gettys2

    gettys2 New Member

    Hi There,,,Ive been there and done that! I wouldnt say all are scams at all ,,if you can build trust and offer a funded proposal that can pay your downline BEFORE you show them your Business!
  15. bkamanski

    bkamanski New Member

    I would say that if your product can be had at Wal-Mart or Target you have got an uphill battle right from the start. The inherent problem with MLM is that you can recruit 100-200 people who will never get off their butts and do anything. I have done it many times in my 8 year online career. Also, another problem is the COST. Take for instance Liquid Vitamins. One of the top products is priced at $31.95 + $9.00 S & H. Your price is $40.95. The reason it is so high is because they have to pay many levels of commissions. And if you do any research online you can get the same product for $10.50. The only thing different is the label. Once people know this they are turned off and you lose them as customers...

    Having said that there are still some good programs but they have to be unique and cannot have competition offline!

  16. abejebai

    abejebai New Member

    Hi everybody,

    I think that the secret is in the product. I am involved with a company that has a product that is making a revolution in the health and welness industry and that's why I am very successful in MLM. Of course, we can not igonre the power of the company and its international expantion. Also, we can't forget compensation plan and team work.

    Good luck too all of you in the MLM business because I think it is the best opportunity ever and that's why I left my work as engineer, and I am in my way to retirement .

    Abraham 32yrs old [​IMG]
    (313) 926-3736
  17. superdennis

    superdennis New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I have been in MLM for more than 7 years now with one of the top 5 companies in the world, N*skin Enterprises and I must say that MLM really does work, however, you really have to put in your 100% effort and time into building the business.

    And after 7 years, I realize that in the end, it all boils down to your timing, the quality of your namelist, and the amount of money you have to advertise the business to get fresh prospects...

    If your timing is wrong... either too early in a company destined to crash, or too late in a giant mlm co. that is past its exponential growth curve... you are wasting your time...

    Actually now i prefer to look for a young company which has solid management, breakthrough technology products/services, a comp plan that is well balanced without the breakaway element and ideal timing before the company hits its 3 year mark...

    Recently, a company called Agel has caught my eye... something that surprised me is, Randy Gage, multi-millionaire guru, is back in the game and has joined Agel!

    This guy who is his level 2 downline approached me and asked me to join...

    I'm still considering though...

    Most of my time now is spent on Internet Marketing...

    Now my opinion is, if you want fast money without the upfront heavy investments like MLM... try internet marketing...

    I have operated my own internet marketing business for some time now, and the immediate cashflow is just AMAZING...

    To me, internet marketing = fast active income
    mlm = slow, residual income...

    So do learn more about Internet Marketing, it's worth it!
  18. clendon

    clendon New Member

    Many people who look to the Internet for income believe that the www in the url means wealth without work. Everyone that I know who has gotten involved with the major companies such as Mary Kay, Avon, Herbal Life, etc spend more hours a week trying to promote their business than they would with a full time job at a company. Something is wrong with that picture.

    I have stated elswhere in this forum that if you are trying to make extra income in an MLM program, then scour the various forums such as this one. The key here though is EXTRA income. I would not recommend an MLM program as a full time job as even the best of them have a life expectancy of about two to three years. But they are great for extra income. Don't adjust your budget to account for this added income as it could come back to haunt you.

    Search for programs that are active and PAYING. You do not need to get in on the top floor to be successful. If the program is active you will get your share.

    Above all, ignore testimonials - most of them are false and written by the owner of the program. If the program is a good one, the forums will tell you. Likewise, if it is a scam it will be broadcast loud and clear.
  19. dtran

    dtran New Member

    For me MLM is hard work for some time to learn internet marketing, at least for me since I was new to IM, to build your business and downline.

    You need a big list to generate a reasonable list before you will have a persistent stream of (residual) income. It's also important to have more than one (4-5) companies to promote at the same time. Some could do better in others overtime.

    I combine MLM also with internet marketing, which you can earn money more quickly.

  20. clendon

    clendon New Member

    MLM's need not be a mountain of work to succeed. The first criteria is to look at the program itself. If it looks like you are going to have to spend your life recruiting, I would suggest you look for another program.

    There are some out there which operate as a team effort. This helps prevent the losses in the downline from those who cannot succeed. If someone ahead of you stops, you need to find your way around them.

    Look for those programs that allow you to do just that.

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