I have been going back and forth with the idea of writing about my experience with MLM (multi-level marketing) and sharing it on here. What I am about to reveal may be something you can really relate to, or it may light a fire within you– a conflicting one. Either way, this is MY experience from the inside and outside perspective, and honestly it really did change the course of my life …for the better.
Disclaimer, I am NOT part of any MLM company at the moment.
It was 2014, I was scrolling through Instagram one night and saw someone I had been studying for years on a stage speaking. I reached out to my friend who posted it and asked what he was doing and how was he at a Bob Proctor seminar? He immediately called me on the phone and sent over some information that was about to change my life. I watched a 10 minute video that showed people having fun, soaking up success, working smart and truly LIVING. I wanted that. I hated the job I was working, I was constantly stressed out, and I had red hair. It was a bad phase of my life. 😅
The information I was presented with seemed too good to be true. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the opportunity because it was everything I ever wanted and it was being handed to me so easily. I lost a lot of sleep thinking about it and researching it, it made me crazy. I had recently finished up college and for the last 17 years of my life it was pounded in to my head “go to school, get a job, blah blah blah”, but this opportunity was just the opposite. This opportunity encouraged me to dream.
I finally pulled the trigger and joined. I was so happy to be part of something with people who were all motivated and chasing one thing, success. The energy was contagious and I was so excited to share the opportunity with everyone, I wanted everyone to feel what I was feeling. Once my ego was inflated enough, I got the courage to take the first step. The first step (back then) was to make a contact list, reach out to EVERYONE on your facebook friends and in your phone contacts– even if you’ve never spoke to them before. I began sending messages asking people to watch a video and telling them they’d be so great at this opportunity. 5 years later and I’m still embarrassed from this.
A few months in to my MLM journey I went to a huge convention in Phoenix, Arizona. It was the first time I traveled to something like that alone and roomed with people I met on the internet. But, still to this day I talk about that convention and overall experience. During that trip something really clicked in my brain. I wanted this lifestyle. I wanted to travel, make connections, and learn everything I could about people who were financially free and fortunately for me I spent those 4 days in Phoenix doing just that. I came home from that trip with more information and new ideas than I ever learned in a classroom. I talked to some of the most successful people in the industry and my ego inflated a little bit more.
The things I was posting on Facebook and Instagram were a reflection of that. We would have weekly team calls that we’d all promote to get others to join us. I’d be instructed to post specific graphics at certain times and comment on everyone else’s posts too. The hashtags were atrocious #bossbabe #tothetop #ladyboss, ugh why didn’t anyone stop me? My selfie game was out of control and my self confidence was at an all time high. I was pushed to do videos because they gain the most traffic, so I chose to talk about the Law of Attraction. You might remember those if you’re an OG on my Facebook page. I’m so grateful for that little push though because ya girl is starting a YouTube channel this year (2019), being on camera doesn’t make me nervous anymore. It just takes practice.
At my old day job I would get made fun of by 2 people I worked with in particular for being part of a “pyramid scheme”. Honestly, this was the first time I had ever really heard this phrase before and I had to google it. I denied it of course, because that is what I was instructed to do. My comeback was “corporate America is a pyramid scheme, you work your way up from the bottom and you’re working to make someone else’s dream a reality”. I didn’t understand it back then, but today I laugh about how ridiculous the company I was promoting really was.
And then my first MLM got shut down for being an alleged “pyramid scheme”. I was grateful that I wasn’t relying on this for all of my income, but my heart ached for those who lost everything that day. Many had families to feed and bills to pay, it was so sad to see. This can happen with any job though.
About a month later I was introduced to a new MLM company we were all transferring to. This one was less saturated and I would say more of a start-up, one I had never heard of before. The products were things everyone could relate with and best of all they were chemical free. I was all in and I bought my starter pack. I liked the products for a little while but I didn’t feel comfortable promoting a lot after what just happened with the prior company. I wanted to be successful this time around so I was very strategic with how I was posting.
RULE #1 – DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT LET A BRAND DEFINE YOU. BRAND YOURSELF BEFORE PROMOTING SOMEONE ELSE’S BRAND. What do YOU value?
I learned this with my second company, it’s called “Curiosity Marketing”. This is when you post your results of a product test or photos but you do not show or mention the brand which causes people to ask you “what is that?” “where did you get it?”. This tactic opens conversation. This December and January must have been a great time for newbies to catch the MLM wave. Scrolling through my feeds on all social platforms I saw more people than ever promoting new companies they were with. There is NOTHING wrong with that and you are excited and entitled to run your business the way you want, HOWEVER, now you just defined yourself on the internet as the ” *brand* shampoo girl” or the ” *brand* shake seller”. You’re better than that and you have a hell of a lot more to offer sister! Get creative! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
RULE #2 – Stop sliding in to my DM’s with “Hey girl! Your profile is so amazing and you’re so beautiful. I’m looking for product testers and I think you’d be a great fit. Would you be interested?”
To be honest, I am insulted when I get messages like this. Not only are they copy and pasted messages, but are you seriously trying to pocket off the hard work I put in to my feeds and followers? It’s so important to be authentic and genuine with people you’re trying to sell a product to. If the product you are offering fits their needs/lifestyle great! If not, then move on. Stop serenading people with compliments when your motive is to get in their pocket. Have a true conversation with them and listen to what they are all about. Build trust human to human before you start selling.
RULE #3 – Take advantage of events and all the personal development you are offered– for FREE!
The amount I learned from being a part of MLM companies for 2 years surpasses anything I ever learned in school by miles. The people I was able to talk to and learn from have turned in to life long friends all over the country. Each of those people hold a specific expertise and continue to teach and bring value to my daily internet scrolls. Take advantage of all trainings and such, they are so valuable and the skills you will learn can be applied to other jobs/daily life.
Being a part of these companies connected me with Vybe Source. I learned how to run and manage their social media for awhile which lead me to my current job. I manage social media accounts and email marketing remotely, it has been incredibly nice being able to work from home… or another country. 📍
In closing, I ended up leaving the MLM world to pursue other things including this blog and my own personal brand “In Between Dreams Designs”. I never fell 100% in love with any of the products I could promote and I didn’t feel genuine for trying to continue. I hope my words resonated with you good or bad. I’m not here to please, my goal is to make you FEEL something and be completely transparent. This was my journey and I’m so grateful for all of it. Good luck to you on your journey whether it’d be a entrepreneurial venture, an MLM company, a 9-5… We’re all out here working hard and trying to make it, but I hope that whatever it is you choose, you love it with all of your heart. ❤️
P.S. Never lose your ability to dream BIG.