Ok, so I have a confession to make. I’m in a Pyramid Scheme… Well, I guess it’s not really a Pyramid Scheme. We’re told it’s really called, “Multi-level Marketing (MLM)”. But the word “Pyramid” describes it well enough. You know how they work. You sign up and then get somebody else to sign up, who gets somebody else to sign up, etc, etc, etc… until you’re earning a bunch of commission off of your downline.
I blame my mom. She got me into it. (But more on her later.)
It’s certainly not the first time I’ve been presented with one of these types of programs. My first experience was attending some type of web-membership program with a friend. Something about buying stuff online. After the meeting, the guy who invited my friend was practically pleading with my friend to join. The look of frustration and loss of pride was pitiful to see. I was so glad that guy wasn’t my friend. This was obviously going to affect their friendship.
But the worst of the worst was when I was in college. I was looking for a job and responded to a newspaper ad that had very little description of the actual job – a mistake I won’t again make. I drove 25 minutes to the office to find an obviously newly rented space with almost no lighting, a simple desk, bare walls, and a suspicious-looking secretary. They had me wait for 5 or so minutes, then called me back to another small room where an overweight guy in a shirt and tie that looked very unnatural for him to wear greeted me. I remember feeling the normal interview tension that goes along with trying to show off in 5 minutes or less. I was sweating and wanted to impress. Within a few minutes, though, I sensed something was awry. I could literally feel the pressure shift from me to him as I became enlightened on what was going on. I was in a pyramid scheme presentation! He started to sweat and squirm as my probing revealed that I was on to him. Before he could even tell me what the program was, I had excused my self from the desk and left. I was mad. I had just driven out of my way for a job interview that wasn’t really an interview. It was trap!
You probably have your own horror stories…broken promises, wasted money, and maybe even broken or wounded friendships. Man, I’m right there with you.
Now, back to my mom. Bless her heart, she has tried quite a few entrepreneurial programs, to be sure. She’s sold items in bulk to dollar stores, made homemade earrings from extra paint chips at paint stores, made her own puppets, and even flirted with trading futures. My mom is awesome, though, and was able to make (or recover) money on almost all of her ventures. She’s a natural extrovert. She’s always making friends with people in the cash register lines at grocery stores. She was born for MLM. She’s also a really talented artist. Here’s here blog: Deborah Carman Studio (Check out this one: A Restful Moment – That’s my Grandfather holding my son.) You can also Find her on Etsy: Debs Doll Room Designs . (You should check her out.)
But me, on the other hand…I’m not an extrovert. My heart is racing even writing this blog post knowing that people are going to read it. I don’t like selling things. I once had a job as a telemarketer trying to sell insurance. It was definitely the worst job I ever had. We were supposed to give two rebuttals if we found someone willing enough to stay on the phone with us and endure through 3 times of telling us, “no”. I didn’t like to rebut. So, if they said they weren’t interested, I’d say, “Yeah, I wouldn’t buy it either. Have a good day!”
That job didn’t last long.
My philosophy on marketing is, I’d much rather let things speak for themselves. If it’s good, people will like it and buy it. The only trick is getting people to see it, try it, and/or experience it. (Hence this blog post.)
So, using the above life-lessons, I’ve tried to figure out how to tell my friends about this and to join with me on this Pyramid…uh…I mean Multi-Level Marketing thing.
Here are some things that I WON’T do:
- I won’t cloud your Facebook Timelines trying to convince of you this program.
- I won’t guilt or beg you into joining me.
- I won’t endanger a friendship over this.
- I won’t rebut your refusals to join.
- I won’t tell you that you’re going to make a million dollars over night or post expensive home and car pictures alluring you with unfathomable wealth.
Here’s what I WILL do:
- This blog post.
- A contest. Details coming soon.
- Tell you that I made over $100 profit last month with minimal effort. (My mom did, too…)
- Tell you that you can quit at any time. But you probably won’t want to.
- Talk about my website designing skills. (I designed the website…I like it alot. It’s also got a mobile version…my first attempt at designing for mobile!)
If you’re not. Don’t. You’re still my friend.
Can’t believe you remember the “paint chip earrings!”
Who can forget the pait chips… When I was a kid the paint chip earrings completely fascinated me. You really are talented. Great post Jeremy.
Yeah, the paint chip earrings were awesome! I think I even got to scrape them off of the paint-shaker-thing!
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