Is everyone ready for some harsh truths? This post is going to reveal problems with our industry and show some possible solutions to them. The industry we all love has made many millionaires, but it’s also made many more people poorer than they were when they started. Sometimes it’s a bad company, but more often its bad practices by people who claim to be leaders. More often still, it is because the person doesn’t know how to market.
When people get into our line of work, Direct Sales or Network Marketing, they have a real opportunity to make money and live the life they want to live. There is also a large chance they will end up under a scam artist in a lousy company built to enrich the people at the top at the expense of the people at the bottom. And guess what? These new people are at the bottom. That scenario is common enough that we have to be willing to talk about it and to call out the bad actors. We will be doing a lot of that on this website as it grows.
The industry itself has longstanding norms that have to be broken. These patterns of action are passed down from older network marketers to the newer generations. This is how most knowledge in our world is passed on, sometimes referred to as ‘institutional memory,’ and it is usually a good thing. But we have a problem: much of the knowledge that is passed on and the supposedly “working” patterns to follow are not only bad for people but bad for the industry as a whole. This is made evident by the number of posts you can find online by simply searching for MLM COMPANY NAME + SCAM in any search engine. The number of people who feel wronged and who are vocal about it is enormous. We need solutions for that, and one of them is open communication and sharing of good ideas, good work patterns, and an overall sense of community that holds people to account for their actions.
All of this might lead you to believe we have something against the industry or everyone in it. We don’t: there are a lot of great people in this industry, and we want to bring them together and work with them to make the whole industry better!
We won’t cover every issue in this post, only a few of the most important ones to start the conversation. Future posts will go into more detail on other topics, as well as possible solutions.
Leaders treating their teams and downlines like a personal fiefdom.
If the only reason someone is under you in one of these companies is that you work hard to keep them from meeting others in the industry who might be better, then you are not a leader. Your people should go somewhere else. Making decisions based on fear will never lead to good outcomes or functional work environments.
We have gotten some pushback from builders in this industry who have asked us not to start this site. They fear the open community we plan to build. The fear is that you, as a member of this community, will meet better leaders and get better than them. When that happens, you’ll leave for greener pastures. It’s a valid fear, too: if they aren’t right for you, then why stay?
Our hope is that good leaders and builders will find this platform and realize that using it with all of their people will make everyone better.
Remember: if your upline fights to keep you in the dark and hide you from other builders, then they’re afraid. The only reason a builder has to fear is if they aren’t the best leader for you and your team. So join the community and talk with everyone, share your experiences, and rate the companies!
Some companies commission plans encourage being Garage Qualified
When an MLM or Direct Sales company has a lot of distributors getting Garage Qualified, that is a sign the products aren’t any good or the company doesn’t care if distributors succeed. Being Garage Qualified means that you have bought enough of the companies product to go up a level, earn a bonus, or stay active, but you aren’t selling it as fast as you are buying it. This starts to fill up your garage, closets, or sometimes entire rooms of your house.
This is a situation that few people pull themselves out of. Sometimes it is due to the quality of the product, other times, it might be related to the compensation plan and its bonus structure encouraging this activity. The companies themselves rarely seem to be bothered by this activity as it means they are making money because you are purchasing their products. But now you are the customer.
The solution to these problems is to find a company that has products you know how to sell, you trust, and have the quality that will keep them moving instead of piling up. If you ever look at a new company and after checking out their compensation plan, start thinking to yourself, “If I buy this much upfront, I start so much higher!” That is a good sign that you might want to run away and fast.
Old/Dated tools and technologies
I’m not going to call out tools by name in this post: that will happen, but it will happen in posts dedicated to those tools and their competitors. Instead, I will talk about the more significant problems with most of the tools in this industry, and that is age. I know of one website that was built in the mid to late 1990s and hasn’t really gotten an update since. It still has many thousands of users, and it’s built on technology that nobody uses anymore.
The internet moves fast. New technologies and methods for marketing online are invented every month. Tools specific to our industry are usually 20 years old, based on outdated methods and rarely updated. This isn’t helpful to anyone but the people who keep selling those obsolete tools, and who keep making money off of the unsuspecting users who haven’t found anything better.
Marketing tools don’t have to be specific to this industry: they can be, and sometimes that’s helpful, but usually, it just leads to unsupported websites and outdated techniques. We plan to address these problems by introducing our users to the latest tools, getting them discounts on those tools, and teaching them how to use them.
When it comes time to introduce you to new tools that help you solve your problems and earn more money, we will only recommend the best. When we can’t find a tool that covers a specific need, we will probably end up programming it ourselves and including it into this platform. Expect a lot more built-in functionality in the future!
The industry has a lot of room for improvement, but we feel that people with the right motivation, the right tools, and most of all, correct information will be able to find financial freedom and a better life.
Where we can find that information, we will share it. When we find a new tool, we will review it and recommend the good ones. And most importantly, when we see a problem, we will address it and offer up real solutions.