“Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance.”
Imagine this. You’re a TV producer with an office at Universal studios. You’ve also been on air as a TV and radio talk show host. You’re driving a late model sports car and riding high.
Your partner is a TV star and you lunch daily with or around the stars in the Universal commissary.
Then, without warning, the network that you thought you had a real deal with decides you don’t. They cancel before you can get started. You’ve got other projects on the burner too. You’ve put a lot of your own money into the business and are depending on this next production to keep you going.
The studio calls you the same day and gives you 48 hours to vacate your office space, since it’s contingent upon your producing a show there.
I not only can imagine that, I lived it. Though it was years ago, I can still recall the fear I felt at the time. What would I do now? What
could I do? Cash flow was
non-existent, another project would be costly and time consuming. I had neither the money or the time.
To me, at least today, that’s part of the excitement of living. You just can’t predict anything with certainty. Had you predicted my next
move and told me, I would have laughed out loud.
I was depressed, and in need of some kind of external motivation. I literally prayed for some sign to show me my next move.
Though I had another day before I had to move out of my office, when I walked in the next morning, the studio had removed the
furniture and put my personal things in boxes lined neatly against the wall. The sign on my door had already been removed. I stood
there looking at the only thing left. An office chair, which I owned. The phone was sitting atop of it and it began to ring.
“Hello,” I said with a less than enthusiastic voice.
The voice on the other end almost shouted, “Tom! Wow, it’s great to catch you. How are you? It’s been awhile!”
“Who is this?” I demanded. No one should be that enthusiastic unless they’re trying to sell me something, I thought.
Dave was a guy I’d met a few years before. He was a young and inspired eager beaver always looking to make a killing in business. But the only thing getting killed was him. One bad deal after another. But he kept going.
Then he found MLM and it was like a religious experience for him. Totally convinced that he’d make his fortune there, he called me, not once but several times. “Wow, this is such a great opportunity and people are making a lot of money. . .” He’d proclaim.
Unfortunately, he was always with a “new and exciting company.” When asked about the last exciting company he shrugged it off and went back to telling me, or trying to tell me about this new one.
I liked him, but of course I had no use for that kind of “opportunity.” I was a TV PRODUCER (puffing chest). The first couple of times he’d called I was polite. Though eventually I got pretty steamed about these kinds of calls from him, I tried to be gentle, cutting him off (at the knees) as soon as possible, letting him know it wasn’t for me. Not then, not ever!
Now, within thee months, another call from good ol’ Dave with another opportunity. I was miserable and almost hung up on him. But then I remembered that some years before I’d attended a couple of these meetings. There was always a motivational speaker, lots of enthusiasm and excitement. I had no interest in the business, but I wanted to be around that kind of environment, the sooner the better.
He was inviting me to another meeting for another company to be held that night. As he was excitedly extolling the virtues of this company as fast as he could, hoping not to get cut off. I cut him off. “I’ll go,” I said.
“Whaaaat?” He cried. “Really? Wow!” Then silence. He reminded me of a dog that always chases cars and then catches one. Now what?
Of course, I had no intention of getting into such a deal. Though what happened after that was almost hilarious, along with unreal timing, well, let me just say that I joined this company. I could not believe I was doing it either. Good grief, from Universal Studios to MLM. I tried not to think about it. I was desperate.
They had a product with a lot of testimonials of many years and one that I could test for myself, which I did. It worked even better than they were promoting it.
I just went for it. When I knew it was a good product, I told everyone.
In less than a year, I made more money by accident than I’d ever made on purpose in my life. I was as lucky as I was well trained.
This was before Google and the Internet. The competition was slight, the compensation was dismal, at least compared to today, but we didn’t know better. There was a severe recession, yet it was an entrepreneur’s paradise.
It was an automotive product, yet I had an MD, two authors, a professional athlete, actors and others from all walks of life in my downline. What a time!
After a couple of years I sold the business and moved on.
I stayed within that industry for several years, I had many other business interests too.I became a leading speaker/trainer and consultant.
I owned a percentage of a couple of companies and I became a founding board member of the MLMIA, an non-profit group that was dedicated to promoting ethics in that industry.
However, as the industry grew, I eventually became disgusted with it. Even though there were many fine companies, so many were coming and going out of business, harming people who’d worked hard to build their groups, I formed a major mistrust of the entire industry.
I’d almost always been an entrepreneur and that didn’t change. My consulting company went on to work with major corporations such as American Airlines, Entrepreneur magazine, as well as several MLM companies around the world such as Rexall, Nikken, and others.
I only joined companies as a distributor if I wanted their products at wholesale. There are a lot of great products sold through MLM/network marketing, and though I’d formed a prejudice towards the industry, I couldn’t deny the high quality of several of these company’s product lines.
Over the years I’ve watched the industry from afar. As friends of mine entered a new company or founded them, and tried to entice me to join, I politely declined. Today, some of them are making six figures a month, while others failed.
Some time ago I began looking more closely at the current state of the MLM/network marketing industry.
When it comes to MLM, the word “hate” is used a lot by people who’ve had negative experiences or know others who have. Most of us have been approached endlessly by uncle Fred or aunt Edith to join with them in their “new exciting company.” Only to see them fail, at least most of the time. For those who’ve had bitter experiences, the word hate may seem justifiable.
Then, when one of them succeeds, it’s easy to look back and think you were too late.
I don’t care for the word, hate. It’s overly harsh in most all cases.
In part 2 I’ll show you why you should mistrust MLM and why you should know more about the 21st Century version of the business. I’ll also give you some guidelines in case you’re actually thinking of joining such a company.
PART 2 – CLICK HERE