Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Sulaiman Rahman, @sulrah. Sulaiman is the founder of UrbanPhilly.com, or UPPN – Urban Philly Professional Network. He was also an African-American Chamber of Commerce Chair. Sulaiman is a Philadelphia native and Penn graduate. He is also currently a Creative Ambassador for philly360 and long-time entrepreneur.
For more information, John Oliver did a fantastic segment about the horrors of MLMs. The 2016 documentary, Betting on Zero, investigates the allegations that MLMs are nothing but legal pyramid schemes. This article also does a wonderful job of breaking down the reasons why MLMs are doomed to failure. I encourage anyone who is thinking about signing up for an MLM to watch these.
Then figure out where your target customers can be found—both physically and virtually. College students who need more income can be found on campus or on online forums or websites about learning to manage your money. Athletes and people who lead healthy lifestyles can be found at gyms and online groups or websites about running, yoga, healthy eating, and more.
* Why 10 years? Because that amount of time really seems to matter. For example, according to research, since 1956 thousands of different MLM, Multi Level, or Network Marketing companies have opened their doors; and to date only +/- 50 MLM companies have found a way to celebrate their 10th anniversary and still remain in business today. Now, to be completely fair, we should also point out that each and every company on our list was at one time a start-up company too.
Also called pyramid selling or network marketing, multi-level marketing companies grow revenue by hiring and recruiting non-salaried employees referred to as distributors, influencers, consultants, salespeople, or promoters (among other names). In other words, employees generally receive compensation from performance through a pyramid-shaped compensation system.
Hi JP, Your assessment of Melaleuca stating… “When you hit over a billy in annual sales, that’s reason enough to be on the shortlist. On top of that, they’ve been in the MLM game for over two decades, and they’re now the “largest online wellness shopping club” (basically just sounds like a fancy way of saying they sell a lot of miracle diet pills).” is VERY misleading and inaccurate. They offer “far more” products and services than weight control supplements. I have been a “customer” only of Melaleuca for over 20 years and can attest to the superb quality of their products. Please get your facts correct before posting inaccurate information. 🙂
Great post, Dawn. I love your blog. My favorite tip on this list is to have the right mindset. Most people coming into the home business industry have never owned a business before, so they don’t really understand the entrepreneur mindset. When you are used to trading time for money, and then start a business and don’t get paid that way, it can be frustrating.

However, as aforementioned, you may know people that sell products from Mary Kay, Avon, Advocare, Tupperware and the like (see more companies in our Featured Home Businesses section). You know people who sell these types of products because they believe in the products and the companies that stand behind them. These companies empower those who sell their products to actually establish their own businesses, selling the products. This is very attractive to many entrepreneurial-minded people who do not want to have a boss watching over them but also want some pre-established structure and support. Most MLM organizations provide a very robust infrastructure and great training as well as impeccable rewards (hello free cars and trips!).
Pay Per Click or PPC can be very effective in the right hands. If you do it the wrong way it can be a fast track to financial ruin. Unlike Facebook Ads where you can see how effective your ads are within minutes, Google AdWords are much less responsive and you can use up a lot of cash before you hit the winning combination. Concentrate on being very focused and specific. If you are not, you will get lots of clicks on an ad which sounds right, but results in low conversion rates when people find that it’s not exactly what they are looking for.

5. Stop trying to motivate them and inspire them instead. One of the most common questions I get is “How do I motivate my team?” Before you learn that Braveheart speech, realize that I think there is a better way and that is to inspire your team with YOUR action. The best thing you can do for YOUR team is rank advance and show them that the system works.
I really appreciate the truths and the facts as well John..#2 and #8 is very very important in network marketing.The word “TIME IS MONEY” Is so bad when you working for someone as your boss, because you devote your time and you working for your boss to earn from you. After you spending a whole of your time working for him to earn big, all he can do for you for so many years is to give you something small just to keep you… John i love this..
Business Presentation – Once the prospect completes your lead capture page webform and hits the “submit” button, their browser should be redirected to your business presentation. That way they’re getting all the information about your business right away even before you talk to them. That makes your prospecting job easier when you contact them because they’ve ideally already viewed the information. The URL of the business presentation is typically programmed into the lead capture page webform.
An example of a high-profile multi-level marketing company defending its practices is Herbalife Ltd., a manufacturer and distributor of weight-loss and nutritional products with more than 500,000 distributors. Although the FTC had been investigating Herbalife, it was activist investor William Ackman who shed a national spotlight on the company by shorting $1 billion of the company’s stock in 2013. Ackman accused the company of operating a pyramid scheme and backed his allegations with a bet the company’s stock price would fall under the weight of the scam.  

Actually, it really doesnt matter when you join a company. It all depends on the person deciding to jump in and work it as a real business. That means sharing your love of the products and showing up daily. You are compensated for your efforts if you should decide to build a team. You inspire, motivate, and lead others while working on your own business. In my experience, it’s extremely rewarding to know you have a opportunity or as i see it as a gift that is going to help someone.

One of the greatest pitfalls most network marketers fall into is the lure of huge potential income from an MLM business. Therefore, they end up not paying enough attention to what the company is asking them to sell. In MLM, as in any other industry, you can’t sell something effectively that you aren’t proud of. You won’t be enthusiastic about it, and potential customers will be able to smell that lack of enthusiasm from a mile away.
Have an empty guest room? Leaving town for a month on a sabbatical in Spain? Why not rent out your vacant space and make some money? Airbnb is disrupting the hotel scene by allowing anybody with an internet connection to offer their room, cabin, cottage, treehouse, RV or some other interesting abode to travelers. Listing your space is free, and Airbnb even has a photographer who will come and take killer wide-angle lens photos of your space, totally free.
“For example, most people want to earn more money, but why? They want to earn more money so they can spend time with their family, pay off debt, or move away from a pain they are experiencing; these are  benefits of the benefit. Effective rapport building and prospecting will help you uncover what are their decision-driving factors, so never go for the close until you uncover their decision drivers first, which are usually the benefits of the benefit. Seek to serve your prospect, always speak in terms of benefit to them, under-promise and over- deliver, and always do what is in their best interest regardless of your own selfish interest." - Ron Gelok III

Focus – In today’s fast paced society, the ability to focus is becoming a rarity.  People are all over the place, and easily distracted.  Time management is a myth, because time is already well managed into 24 hours a day.  FOCUS Management is the challenge for us all.  How to stay FOCUSED, and WHAT to focus on is also a topic in itself. It helps to have mentorship to assist you in this category.

I found your article interesting. My wife and I have been involved with AdvoCare since November 2011. Even if I never make another dime in AdvoCare, I will continue to use the products because they have worked and continue to work for us. What I find interesting is the statistic that the majority – 99.7% in MLM actually “lose” money. What is the context of that statistic? That would mean A: the majority of MLM companies don’t have a buyback or return policy B: people that get started with MLM’s have to take on much more inventory that they are able to sell or C: this statistic is not accurate. I believe that C is the right answer. I do agree there are flaws in the MLM industry just as there are flaws in every industry. However, I believe that the MLM industry has made huge improvements in recent years and we do have a better way. People are the variable. When you have a great product, a passion and purpose that drives you everyday, are teachable and coachable, and love others as much as you love yourself, you can be successful in this business. Through the process of investing in your own personal development and learning to serve others, you are able to lead others to do the same. Thanks again. I look forward to reading more from you in the near future.

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