In no less than one week, I have come across two of our customers in some sort of multilevel marketing structure. Even my boss at work has tried to get me and my coworkers on board with another multi-level marking thing.
As the economy gets worse in the west and as your opportunities dwindle, you should expect to see more multilevel marketing businesses (though renamed as “network marketing”) popping up all over the place. These companies might not even be scams. They might just be legitimate businesses with an unconventional pay structure, but others are not. Desperation can lead to people throwing skepticism to the wind and jumping headlong into a time and money sink.
In my opinion, most are to be avoided because if the company needed a salesmen then they’d hire a salesmen. There’d be no need for recruitment or some elaborate pay scale for you, your sponsors and the people you sponsor. So judge with caution.
Do they sell The Dream, or the product?
If you go into a seminar, which is proposed to be “exclusive”, and they start the first hour of the presentation talking about how much wealth the speaker has, how many houses they own, and how little time it took to achieve “financial freedom”, without saying anything about the product, then they’re trying to sell you on The Dream and not their business. The product is secondary, or even tertiary. The intent is to hook you with a golden carrot that’s only a few years away so that you’ll get emotionally invested and suppress any logical criticisms you might have.
Reputable companies typically start with their story – how long they’ve been in business, what they do, and where they want to go. The next step is to tell you about the product – why it’s different, better, or worth selling. Their approach is to make you a salesman. Taken to the extreme, this tactic tries to make you into a True Believer of Conglom-O, however even at worst it doesn’t delude you with visions of Maui. Being a salesman is tough. You know this. Companies know this. That’s why they don’t insult your intelligence when you start as a salesmen. They typically tell you what you *could* make, and don’t tell you of the fantastic dreams you can accomplish. That is left up to you. If any company is trying to sell you on a lifestyle rather than a product then it’s time to check your preconceptions.
You are still making someone else money
This is the main criticism that multi-level marketing structures use against your typical employment. By working, you make 30k (or whatever a year) while your company makes 100k from your work. This is supposed to motivate you into working for yourself and make your own money without someone taking a cut over you. Yeah, this sounds good on paper, but 1) it doesn’t jive with how an economy functions and 2) the multi-level marketing structure is STILL making money off you.
This particular condemnation of “making someone else money” I’ve heard many times from those of the Marxist persuasion. The workers work, get a small cut, and the capitalist makes the lion’s share of the fortune. Yeah, this sucks but looking at it another way we see that the capitalist has put millions of dollars of their money on the line in the form of a factory which employs the workers. If the factory goes under, the workers may lose their jobs temporarily but the capitalist loses their fortune. The person making money over you, like the CEO and stockholders, are trying to get their money back after fitting a billion dollar bill to start the company and they take on all the risk. That’s their justification. Call it BS if you want, and I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but it simply is what it is.
Joining a multi-level marketing firm doesn’t change this. When you sell a product or recruit someone, the person above you gets a cut, as does the person above them, and the person above them, while you’ve done all the work. This structure incentivizes you not to be a salesmen but a recruiter, so that when the person below you sells something, you get a cut. This is what they mean by “building your business”. All you’re doing is getting people under you who try to recruit people under them. The truth is, someone will always get a cut of your work whether you’re in a cubicle or in multilevel marketing.
Recruitment is the wrong mindset
In order to make the computer or cell phone you’re reading this from, some men had to mine the metals to make the board, drill the oil and process the plastic to make the case, set up and launch the satellites, build the cell phone towers or lay the fiber optic internet cable, and spend years of their time writing the software to host the website. Every link on the chain had to do with someone producing something of value in order to get to this opportunity to consume.
This is the foundation of every economy: production. Not everyone can be a salesman or a recruiter, for someone has to design and make and ship the products. That means you can’t get more people in your network, who will get more people, who will get more people, because the economy needs to get stuff done. It needs people to produce things. Thus, wealth is about producing things of value, not simple setting up a network.
If you want to make real money the way the captains of industry did at the turn of the century then you have to focus on producing something new or better of value. But that’s not so easy. It requires you to have a mindset that’s observant to the needs of the economy, and a truckload of accurate foresight.
These “opportunities” are nothing new
The reason why the wealthy are wealthy is because they’ve searched for every opportunity to acquire assets in order to make them money – assets in real estate, investments, or businesses. Given the amount of time and the number of eyes searching the economy for more sources of wealth, it means that all the great ones are probably exploited already. That is what happens when the economy becomes stagnant. The opportunities for the average man to discover a new venture begin to dwindle as the entrenched wealthy continue to gain their income from their aging businesses.
The only time genuine opportunities arise is when the economy expands or evolves in some radical capacity. For example, if we were to open a portal to another habitable world, the opportunities for being a geologist – a field that has been tapped out to the point of uselessness on Earth – would be highly in demand. Same goes for geographers, scientists, truck drivers, builders, etc. Expansion means more jobs will be in demand. Evolution means new and different jobs will be in demand. Unfortunately, our economy isn’t doing that. There is no portal revolution, no space race, no internet 2.0 to change the world as we know it.
That means if you are told of a *new* and *exciting* *opportunity* then it has probably been done already. Someone got in thirty years ago when they getting was good and now you have the scraps.
The fact is, there are no easy ways to make money these days. No silver bullet. No perfect plan. All the truly great opportunities are locked tight as trade secrets between the wealthy. If some “opportunity” is being advertised to the general, McDonalds-eating populous then logically it means it’s a dud.
So here’s what you can do about it:
Don’t fuck up
Despite all the rhetoric you hear about the economy falling (and it definitely is), the life you live can be so much easier if you simply don’t screw up in the following ways:
1: Don’t go to jail.
2: Don’t get divorced.
3: Don’t have kids when you’re not ready.
4: Don’t become addicted to drugs, especially the expensive ones.
5: Don’t take on too much debt.
6: Don’t major in something useless.
7: Don’t fuck over your health.
8: Don’t get conned into shady business “opportunities”.
9: Don’t live in New York, San Francisco, or anywhere else with too high a standard of living.
If you avoid all that then you will survive, almost guaranteed. You won’t be living in a palace or driving a Ferrari, but you will be able to pay your rent, bills, food and some video games. No, that’s not very appealing but that’s the truth. The bar is set so low to maintain a self-sustained existence that I’m disappointed that there are so many people who screw it up.
But subsistence isn’t good enough. We all want something better. So here’s more:
The conventional plan, as exposed by the generation before us, is to go to college, get a good job, and work till you die. Obviously, we’re not inclined to do that anymore. Aaron Clarey, Matt Forney, Roosh, and many others have talked about the requirement, not necessity, to live an unconventional path in life, whether that be starting web-based businesses, living/working abroad, going minimalist, or just having multiple income streams. The burden is on you to figure out the right path for you. This is something our parents never had to do because their path was well-lit. We don’t have that privilege.
I’m not going to lie to you. It’s hard these days. I’m in the trenches myself. However here is the actual, legitimate good news which should motivate you to go forward: by virtue of simply being here in the underground part of the internet you have shown that you are not part of the mainstream bunch, and that you’re capable of doing things differently. We live in an age where our knowledge is increasing as the human capital of the west is decreasing. All the people your age – your competition – are getting shittier and shittier as the years go on. They’re less educated in the fields that matter, like math and engineering (despite their university degrees), and are less capable of enduring the hardships that you have likely surpassed. They don’t have the mindset of improving their lot in life or looking to overcome their challenges, and instead would rather bitch about it on social media. This is actually good news for you. That means you have a tremendous advantage over them as a person capable of providing something of value.