What are the benefits of joining a MLM? Ahhh the MLM/Network Marketing home-based business. Seems like a dream come true for so many, but they often have a TERRIBLE reputation. I think that this is largely because of two reasons:
1. Well-meaning but overly enthusiastic but un/undertrained people make them look bad.
2. There ARE sleazy types that are definitely out to scam people or make a quick buck that give everyone else a bad name.
Before we get any further, I want to be clear that I am not going to try to talk you to joining any MLM I’m in. I’d like to think this is pretty objective!
So, What are the benefits of joining a MLM?
Since I’ve been 18 (aka old enough to legally join the MLM world), I have been in several different network marketing or direct sales organizations. If you’re not familiar with that terminology, you probably still have some degree of experience with these… They are companies like Amway, Mary Kay, Beachbody, Young Living, DoTerra, Younique, Tupperware, Avon, Rodan & Fields, WorldVentures… The list goes on and on and on. Another name they often get is “pyramid scheme.”
The premise is that a company starts out with a product or service, and instead of spending their budget on traditional advertising, they recruit enthusiasts of the product to sell the product directly to their families and friends, as well as to build teams of others who sell the products to their families and friends, and hopefully build teams as well, and on it goes until everyone’s making money and happy about it!
Well, it doesn’t always quite go like that, as evidenced by this video (which honestly irritated me a bit the first time I watched it, but was funny now!):
When I was in college, I joined Mary Kay. I’ve obviously always loved makeup (hence this portfolio and this course and this ebook), but my Mary Kay experience was a huge bust. I am sure some things changed since 2002, but at that time, you ordered tons of product at once yourself (guessing what people will buy so you can give it to them right away), and then have parties or small makeup “facials/face modeling,” and then you (hopefully) sell what you already paid for.
I did just about everything wrong, and I think I STILL have some of my inventory from those days. Turns out, I wasn’t passionate enough about the product, picked the wrong stuff, and wasn’t really into the logistics part of the business.
Then, I tried BeautiControl. Same result as Mary Kay, and I definitely still have product from that. Love the stuff, but it wasn’t a good fit.
Next, I joined Beachbody. Ding ding ding! We have a winner! I actually started with Beachbody because Tommy and I did P90X together and I loved it, and my “upline” found my posts on Tumblr or Twitter or something and started chatting with me.
Actually, here’s a video that explains how I got into Beachbody:
Anyway, since I was fond of the product first, it seemed like a no-brainer to get a discount. I’d also recently quit my day job, so having a side-hustle in addition to making modeling and makeup artistry work in Milwaukee, WI was helpful.
With Beachbody, I had some amazing experiences. My highest weekly check was over $1,000 and I hit that milestone a few times. I earned a trip to Disney World, and took Tommy on a free cruise to Cozumel and the Grand Cayman Islands that I earned. I got to work out in amazing tropical places with the celebrity trainers who were in the videos, plus hundreds of amazing other coaches. I loved it!
The financial aspects of it were just a small piece of what made it great for me… But let’s dive deeper. What are the benefits of joining a MLM?
1. The People. Now, like I mentioned, there are people who join these who are less-than-ideal, but honestly, that’s true with any profession. There’s always people who do bad things (and loudly or publicly) in any profession that makes the whole entire profession look bad. With network marketing, it’s exactly the same. Whether it’s the pushy salesperson, the person who just seems shady and greedy, or the #bossbabe you haven’t spoken to since kindergarten sliding into your DMs with a “Hey girl, I have to tell you about this amazing opportunity,” there are people that make MLMs look bad. BUT, there are also some of the nicest, most caring, intelligent, and hard-working people you could ever meet… I even had a friend I met through Beachbody walk 60 miles with me to fight breast cancer!
2. The LEARNING. For me, Beachbody was like entrepreneurship lite, or diet business-owning. It was a perfect mix of having great guidance (from my upline, organization, and corporate), plus the autonomy of it being my own business, and the need to wear many hats to make things work. It was like a warm-up to starting my own thing (even though I sort of already had my own things as a freelance makeup artist and model).
3. The Personal Development! I’ve mentioned countless times that before Beachbody, I thought that personal development was for sad and lonely people on their couches in their one-bedroom apartments with 3496 cats eating ice crying while crying and reading “Why Am I Not Enough?” or something, but that I’ve since learned that the smartest, most successful people on this planet engage in some form of personal development or other, whether it’s books, podcasts, courses, etc. We can always improve, and this is something I learned from my MLM experience that had an enormous impact on my life and started an addiction! (And if you’re a fellow addict, please take a look at this book list from past podcast guests, and check out my podcast!)
4. The Low Risk. This could be a piggy back on #2 and how it’s a chance to learn, but many network marketing opportunities are generally low-risk, as the buy-in (usually some sort of start-up kit) is generally a little over $100, along with a possible monthly business fee. That’s so much less than paying someone to make a logo, paying someone to design a website, paying someone to help you market and fulfill your product, etc. (If you are interested in starting your own business, however, you might like my resources here).
5. The Residual Income! Ha, I can’t believe I had to come back and edit this and add it in! I currently do not do work as a Beachbody coach – I am neither actively recruiting, nor am I actively sharing the products with people. If someone asks me for recommendations, I give them to them, and I have blogs with links to buy through me that are still possibly bringing in income, but that is about it. While it isn’t necessarily a lot, I am still making more money than I spend on the monthly business fee with Beachbody, from doing nothing these days. It’s literally money in my sleep. Yes, I busted my heinie years ago, but I am still profiting off that work now, without continued effort!
For these reason, I think when chosen properly and done right, MLMs can actually be quite beneficial to everyone involved.
I am contemplating turning this into a mini blog series, so come back next week for the next installment about MLMs, now that you know What are the benefits of joining a MLM?!
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear about your MLM experiences in the comments!
P.S. I’d like to think that my book about goal setting would help anyone, whether you’re in a MLM or not, and I’d love you to check it out!
If you’re in a makeup or skincare-based MLM, you might enjoy my makeup ebook!