The Brutally Honest Truth About Network Marketing Scams and the Terrifying Pyramid Scheme

Making a crust these days, there are a whole lot of options available to us. For me the options were get a “real” job in an office. Admin, legal secretary or typist were the areas I had some experience. Work in retail (which probably would’ve ended in tears for everyone involved), start my own business which would have involved either a) a huge injection of cash which I didn’t have and which no one would have loaned me to get a traditional franchise or bricks and mortar business or b) start something tech savvy or sell online programs and banner ads which I tried and failed at.. I was about to go back to the fairly soul destroying prospect of getting one of those “real” jobs with a 6 month old baby and looking at the commute, how on earth I’d express for that many hours away and doing something that absolutely did NOT fill my soul, passion and desire to make a difference and empower people.

Then someone sent me essential oils and that all changed. It was one of those dreaded network marketing companies and yep I’ve had quite a few people give me the horrified look and the.. but.. isn’t that one of those pyramid schemes? When I explain what I do. So let’s break it down.

Is it a Pyramid Scheme??

If the business model is based on whoever gets in first makes the most money and the people at the top doing well while the people at the bottom will never be able to get anywhere then yes, that would be classified as a pyramid scheme. 

If it is a savvy direct selling or network marketing company then no, absolutely freaking NOT!!!! This short video explains this concept well.

A good example is me. I make more money (a lot more in many cases) than many people who are directly above me because I have built my business bigger than theirs.

So why does network marketing or these “pyramid schemes” have such a bad reputation?

Because some people go about in a really ordinary way. Like many of you probably have I’ve been lied and tricked into attending a networking event and then sold an opportunity I didn’t want to be sold and told that I then needed to invite all my friends around to learn more about this magical “opportunity” where they used the product as a “vehicle” to success. Then you have to lie and trick all your family, friends, colleagues into doing what you just did. VERYYYYYY low retention rate. VERRRYYYYYY high drop out rate. Lose friends rate. Awkwardness rate and all other kinds of rates that you don’t want to be a part of.

Others just have low integrity in their product or go about the opportunity in a very forceful, spammy, selly, bizarre manner. You might get invited to facebook events 15 times a month, added to groups you don’t wish to join added to group chats you don’t want to be a part of and spammed in every other way possible.

NOT a good experience for anyone involved.

Then there’s the autoship. The same products sent to your door every few weeks whether you want them or not. Your card being billed over and over. The only way to escape is to buy a wig, wear huge glasses, cut your credit card up and pretend it was stolen, report it was stolen and get a new one, and NEVER under ANY circumstances go to places where they might be hanging out or social events that you have any chance of seeing them at, so they can’t get your new credit card details and talk about their incredible “opportunity” for the next three and a half hours. Do whatever it takes to avoid them. Forever. Or just you know, be a normal person and say straight up to them you’re not interested thanks anyway :)

PS Just because you went to a shoe store once where the sales assistance was crazy, demanding and bullied you into buying a pair of shoes that didn’t fit very well and weren’t in your colour (by the way no one can FORCE you to do anything you don’t want to do) doesn’t mean you should condemn every shoe store ON THE PLANET from one bad experience. The shoe store around the corner might stock the most incredible, comfortable, ethical, sustainable, well made, GORGEOUS and cute shoes on earth. The owner might be lovely, patient, kind and softly spoken and love shoes just as much as you do. She will help you find the perfect pair, that fit right, at a price in your budget. We’ve all had terrible experiences along the way, it doesn’t mean they all will be.

So how does network marketing REALLY work?

A good network marketing company is based around an amazing product, NOT simply selling the idea of an opportunity. 85% of people with a doTERRA wholesale account are simply there because they LOVE the products, they have no interest in sharing and never do, they are just using the products for personal use.

A good network marketing company focuses on educating and empowering people who could benefit from the product to understand how it works and to make an informed decision about whether or not they would like to use it without any pressure, manipulation, lies or trickery involved.

A good network marketing company (and there are many) does NOT have a forced autoship option for all members, it should have (and I can only speak for the one I am involved in) an OPTIONAL rewards program, whereby if you CHOOSE to take advantage of even greater benefits and free products below the wholesale price and overhaul your lifestyle/household products/whatever they sell that you’d have to buy elsewhere anyway you CAN!! But you should also be able to edit, change or cancel it at anytime without repercussions or fees.

A good network marketing company will only have a min monthly order that can be changed or cancelled at anytime if that person CHOOSES to take advantage of further rewards or wants to earn commission. This is for good reason in terms of earning commission. So that you actually have products that you can speak about from experience and with knowledge and enough to share samples with people! If the products aren’t good enough for you to use and order every month and overhaul your life with, why should anyone else buy them from you?!! Believe in your product and make it a priority if you’re going in to make a business out of it.

A good network marketing company will have a quality compensation plan that doesn’t involve those at the TOP getting paid the most, but rewards those who put in the work. It will NOT be a get rich quick scheme. It will be a business and will need to be treated like a serious business to get results. If treated like a hobby you will get hobby results and that might be just what you want!

A good network marketing company will pay the most to those who work the hardest to share and help those that actually WANT to share (not coerce anyone into doing anything they don’t want to do) but to encourage, inspire, educate, motivate, support, love and help those that want to share, build and eventually lead a team of people working towards the same mission.

A good network marketing company involves good people helping good people create abundance together.

A good network company will NOT be based on lies, trickery, outlandish claims, forced autoships for everyone, making people who don’t want to have “parties” have them, spamming everyone on the planet or anything else that screams I LACK INTEGRITY!!!!

So how do people get paid? Is there a massive markup on the price to pay everyone?

No!!!! Most companies have an advertising budget that they use for media advertising, radio, TV, magazines, paying bricks and mortar businesses to stock their products, billboards and social media. 

With network marketing companies they simply pay the people that are educating others about their product instead of using traditional methods of advertising. You can choose to buy retail and then yes you will be paying a bigger markup or you can choose the wholesale option and your friend or whoever introduced you to the network marketing company will receive commission even though you are actually paying the same price as them for the product! It’s awesome! Sharing and helping others share is how you earn commission. Just like if you had a bricks and mortar store, people that come in and buy the product give you money for that product and you receive the difference between wholesale and retail. It’s a direct selling business so the same applies! It is just done a little differently. To learn more about the compensation plan check out this post or contact me directly, I offer lots of training on the subject.

What should you do if your friend who’s in a network marketing company wants to have lunch with you? Or invites you to a party/class/workshop?

Have lunch with them! They are your friend, if they keep talking about their network marketing company suggest gently that you talk about something else if it doesn’t particularly interest you or just change the topic! Most people in network marketing companies actually still have a life, they like talking about LOADS of things and most won’t be silly enough to ruin all their friendships by making every interaction in their life about selling.

If you do bring up that your kids aren’t sleeping at all or you’re feeling run down or you’ve been having some gut problems/hormone problems/feeling anxious etc and they offer you a sample of something that has helped them. TAKE IT WITH GRATITUDE and let them know how it went for you!! It may well totally change your life and your friend will then be able to help you get the same prices as they do!!!

If you’ve been invited to a class/party/workshop go along and support your friend if it involves something that you could be interested in!! If not then warmly decline. Ask them more about what they will be teaching! If they are teaching how to make your home toxin free and you have been interested in learning more about that why not go along? If they are teaching about how to make your own natural remedies and you’d like to be able to support yours/your families physical and emotional health go and LEARN! It doesn’t mean you have to join, though you more than likely will once you have the education and knowledge you need!

Only people with huge networks, previous businesses or social media followings can be successful!

Absolute RUBBISH!!!! Many of the most successful people I know in network marketing started from less than nothing, barely knew how to use facebook or started when it wasn’t even around, had ZERO previous business experience and came from a normal career/background. They simply worked harder and didn’t bother complaining about their lack of social media following/network/business experience etc. They got out there and shared what they had! Educated wherever they went! Traveled, taught, learnt, networked and grew!

I know people with social media following 500+ times bigger than mine that have doTERRA wholesale accounts but aren’t getting anywhere with it like I am because they DON’T go out there and teach people, support people, do trainings, help people get confident and get started and treat it like a serious business. So no they aren’t successful. Social media following isn’t the success determining factor. Neither is anything else except what YOU are willing to do to create your own success. YOU are the variable. That is all!!!!!

What made you decide to build a business with a network marketing company?

I could have invented my own product but I hadn’t come up with any outstanding ideas to date and even if I did I wouldn’t have had the money to invest in bringing it to life. I wanted to be able to serve my community with an amazing product or service that had integrity and truly helped people and when someone sent me some essential oils and they gave us incredible results I knew I had to learn more.

With a network company it is totally possible to supplement, replace or even multiply your income with a very small investment comparative to other business models. The downside is the large majority don’t take it seriously as they haven’t put EVERYTHING on the line for it. They don’t commit enough time, energy, do enough personal development and connect with enough people or WORK THEIR FACES off to get true success. So they get annoyed and call it a “scam” because they didn’t make it.

Truth is anyone can make it in network marketing. But not everyone will. It requires persistence, consistency, determination, leadership skills, personal development, integrity, loyalty, an ability to make others shine, to empower, educate, teach and grow. All skills that are actually quite simple and can be learned, but not everyone will bet on themselves, take a risk, get outside of their comfort zones, feel the fear of putting themselves out there and work on themselves every day to learn the skills required and grow their business.

ANYONE can. But not everyone will.

My mission is to educate and empower people to support themselves physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially and to help others shine their brightest and realise their full potential. To take back their power and be the best they can be.

doTERRA essential oils ticked all of those boxes for me and meant I could create true abundance whilst maintaining my integrity and stay on the path that is my mission in life.

That is why I do what I do and shrug when people fail to see past their preconceived ideas of pyramid schemes and laugh at and mock me. I simply laugh and move on as I know there is always another opportunity. Some will get it. Some won’t. So what? Somewhere.. someone’s waiting :)

To find out more about how to earn with doTERRA head here or to click here to find out more about opening a wholesale account.

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