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Why Your Family and Friends Aren’t Supporting Your Networking Marketing Business

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNT chapter.

I had a hard time writing this article. There are so many things that should be/could be said. Let me say one thing before I get into the facts of this thing. Your family and friends who know what MLMs are, are worried about you. No, you don’t get to be upset that they aren’t buying your products or ‘joining your team.’ The only difference between what you’re doing, and a pyramid scheme, is your product. Also, you’re not a business owner. You paid your employer to employ you. If you have an employer that’s not you, if you have an ‘upline,’ you just don’t own your own business. If someone is above you and is  making profit off your sales, you don’t own your own business. 

Now, the facts–MLM stands for multi-level marketing. It’s also known as direct or network marketing. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. The random girls that message you and say, ‘hey girl, I’ve got a great business opportunity for you if you’re interested in working from your phone!,’ then they tell you about Monet, Arbonne, Beachbody, It Works!, or Lula Roe. They tell you about the extra 500-2000$ a month you could make. How ‘even if it’s your last x number of dollars’ you should jump right in and invest it. They profit off of the ‘just do it’ mindset because if you researched it, you’d know better. I’m not trying to hurt your feelings; I want to help you. I want you to pay attention to what you’re reading and consider your situation. 

Okay, now actually onto the facts. Let’s take a look at It Works! for example. They released an income disclosure statement for 2018. 83.20% of their independent distributors are their lowest/entry rank. Their monthly average income is 47$. They make less than if you worked a minimum wage job for 7 hours a month. The next highest rank was ‘Executive’, 6.53% of their independent distributors are this rank. Their monthly average income is 223$. That’s comparable to working a minimum wage (7.25) job for under 31 hours a month. That’s equal to a little under 4, 8 hour shifts a month. 3.875 to be exact. The third level from the entry is Ruby, 5.88% of distributors. Ruby level averages 471$ monthly. That means over 95% of their independent distributors make less than 500$ monthly. Let’s say they continually make that 500$ monthly somehow, that’s 6000$ annually. That’s right under two 8 hour shifts weekly if you’re making minimum wage. In an MLM, maintaining a steady stream of income is very uncommon. Their fine print states, “These figures do not represent a Distributor’s profit, as they do not consider expenses incurred by a Distributor in the operation or promotion of his or her business. The figures above refer to gross income (total income before any expenses are deducted). The expenses a Distributor incurs in the operation of his or her It Works! business vary widely. Expenses for Distributors can be several hundreds or thousands of dollars annually.’, very clearly. So, if you’re lucky, you’re making 6000$ annually and that is, without any expenses calculated. It goes on to state, “95.44% of all Distributors received income from It Works!,” which means that 4.56% of all distributors made zero income at all. 

Okay, I’ll give It Works! a break. Let’s discuss Arbonne–they also released an income disclosure for 2018. 66% of their independent consultants make an average of 839$ annually. Their fine print states basically the same statement as It Works!, ‘these figures do not represent Arbonne independent consultants’ profits, as they do not include expenses incurred.” It actually states in Arbonne’s ‘Success Plan’ that to make your 6% override commission on the other women you recruit (which is what most of these consultants are constantly posting about) you must generate 500 ‘PQV’ points in the same month. PQV is Personal Qualifying Volume, in the United States it’s basically a 1:1 ratio. 1 dollar to 1 PQV. So, you must spend 500$ on Arbonne just to get commission from your recruits. You’re spending 500$ monthly, so 6000$ annually. Let’s say you’re in the next higher 24% of your company. You’re still losing money, 2,149$ to be exact. You would have to be in the top 9% of your company to be making any profit. Let’s say you’re not in it for the profit, maybe it’s the show of it. Maybe you can get to the top of Arbonne and you qualify for the white Mercedes Benz (by the way, it has to be a white Mercedes Benz), you take out a loan in your name and Arbonne sends you payments monthly. That is, if you maintain rank. You lose your rank; you lose your payments. Now, you’re making less money and you have a car loan out in your name. Is that the life you dreamed of? 

This is no side hustle; you’re just being hustled. These MLMs are making big bank off of you and your ‘side hustle.’ Please tell me how you cannot see clearly how unevenly profit is split up in this company. The only people who make a livable wage in these MLMs are people who joined at the beginning of the company. The people who love you, who aren’t supporting you, are worried about you. There is plenty of proof that these MLMs are predatory, look into it. They target people who want to work from home, promising a life anyone would want. They target new moms, military spouses, and even disabled people thinking they can get away with seeming nice by offering you a life where you can fully support yourself from home and have a huge group of ‘boss babe’ friends. They’re not being nice; they’re watching these people who have fallen for their façade lose money. The second you leave, you’ll realize this group of ‘boss babes’ aren’t truly your friends. They were your competition. You brag about working from anywhere, even vacation. You drag on corporate/9-5 jobs, but at least most people who have a corporate job don’t have to work while on vacation. Everyone I know who works for an MLM has an actual job on the side. Take this seriously and realize what is really going on in these MLMs. Your family and friends are worried about you. The more you post and message, the more you’ll lose.


A 20 year old transfer student and campus trendsetter at UNT who is passionate about equality. I love shoes and talking about things that hopefully help others.
Scotlyn is a UNT alum, Class of 2020. She graduated with a degree in Digital and Print Journalism and a minor in English. During her time with Her Campus, she served as the Chapter President for two years, and also held positions as Chapter Advisor, Writer, and Chapter Expansion Assistant through Her Campus Media. And yes, her name is like the country, but spelled differently.