Why are so many involved in one of those pyramid schemes? This is the problem. We assume a business model we don’t understand is a pyramid scheme. They are not pyramid schemes, they are an alternative business opportunity that levels the playing field, making it affordable for most to get started with limited resources.
A pyramid scheme has no final product. When you “buy in”, you give your money and then go and get others to do the same. In one model, you recruit levels below you and when it reaches so many levels, the top person leaves and the next two split to form two new pyramids. This continues until you can no longer get people to cough up the money to join the pyramid.
Notice that at no time did anyone buy a product or service. That’s what makes it a pyramid.
Here’s the rub, if you look at a “traditional” business model or a network marketing business model on paper, you will see a pyramid.
In a conventional bricks and mortar type business, there is usually an individual who starts the business. They may eventually grow large enough to need more people. This is when the pyramid begins!
Vice-President Sales and Marketing | Vice-President Operations
District Sales Manager|Director Marketing|Director Facilities|Director Purchasing
Are you starting to get the picture? A “traditional” business eventually starts to become a pyramid. It can’t survive growth if it doesn’t. Those who believe they can do it on their own eventually give up under the weight of the business demands.
Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) or Network Marketing
In the world of MLM or Network Marketing, there are a few challenges.
- Ignorance (People don’t understand the alternative business model)
- Fear of success (Many of us are risk averse, afraid our friends may not support us.)
- Don’t believe we can succeed in sales (I’m not a sales person!).
Legitimate MLM or network marketing companies offer a service or product that meets a particular need in the marketplace. For example (Yes, these are my affiliate links.):
- LegalShield – provides affordable access to the legal system and opportunity for personal growth.
- GVO/Pure Leverage – offer web hosting services and online marketing tools.
- My Own Meeting – online web conferencing including desktop sharing, etc.
When you decide to try a network marketing business, you have to decide if you are going to just sell product or service or are you going to develop a business enterprise. The choice is yours to make. You are the CEO of your own business. You have just decided that your business is going to represent a company and their product or service. How you do that is up to you. MLM is an alternative business model where you will have built in systems and coaching. Your mind is like a parachute. It only works when it’s open.
Sales isn’t for everyone. The challenge is that we don’t know if we don’t try. Most of us are selling all the time and don’t realize it. Whether it’s convincing your boss to try something new or your spouse to go see a movie, you are selling the idea. You might to learn some skills and tactics specific to your chosen business to succeed. Go in with an open mind and be willing to learn.
Some find that they can be consumed by the business for a while. Think about it. Have you ever seen a friend or family member open a shop and all of a sudden, it seems they dropped off the face of the earth? They didn’t. They are focused on growing their business and sometimes have to make sacrifices. What are you willing to do? Are you one of those people that have a negative impact on people close to you who have tried to start a business, MLM or otherwise?
At times, the greatest challenge is your own mind. If you don’t believe in your own ability to achieve success, you can be guaranteed that you won’t. In the immortal words of Earl Nightingale, “you become what you think about most often“.
The bottom line is that most of those “pyramid schemes” are legitimate business opportunities. Are you afraid of them because you don’t believe you can succeed? Does labelling the opportunity a pyramid scheme allow you to excuse yourself from taking any risk and maybe achieving financial and time freedom?
The choice is yours to make. Don’t let others tell you what to do.
The video below is a little dated and some might think a little “cheesy” but it does a not bad job of discussing MLM versus pyramid.
Make it a great day!
P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for people who are able to think independently. I’m thankful for people who aren’t afraid to ask me to look at their business opportunity. I’m thankful for any chance to learn. What are you thankful for today?