So I've been part of an "MLM" for a number of years. I sling my product to those I think would be excited about it, would enjoy it and when the moment is right, I offer the opportunity. There. I came clean… and no, this isn't a sales post.
Last night, I stepped up to train my peer group. This was a big bold step for me. I don't like talking to big groups…major stage fright, even virtually. But what happened afterwards was what prompted this post.
As part of my MLM, we have a book club. It's the encouragement and business lessons we need at that moment. Well, one of my book club-mates (is that the right terminology? No? Well, I just made it up) asked how I ended up talking about mindset, managing stress and building relationships - the keys to ALL businesses. She shared how much personal growth she had in a few short months.
So yes, many MLMers don't get it right. That's probably why "we" get a bad rap. I was there too. But for some, it gives them something that forces us to communicate with other adults. For some, it brings them out of isolation and depression. For some, it teaches unknown skills.
There is also that stigma that it's for "middle-aged housewives" as I've lovingly seen on my Facebook feed. That stings. But it's really so much more than that. It brings in income. Toward the end of 2020, it was my family's money to make ends meet. My "side gig" may not make the dollar amounts to replace my previous income yet, but having that to fall back on really helped. Hey, it's still work. You get what you put into it.
Let's talk about the "pyramid scheme". There is no scheme involved. When someone joins us, we spend less time on our sales and supporting these individuals so they feel competent in what they're doing. Yes, we get paid for that. But it's not different then your manager at work getting a salary increase.
Ok, this isn't a "MLMs are good" post. So what's my point. I can honestly say that the work I've done in my MLM business has led me to coaching. You can re-read that last line again. When I joined my first one, it was because I was a "resident expert" in my last role and knew I still had much to learn! By learning skills like getting over my fear of public speaking, networking, and MINDSET, I learned I had so much more than just being good at work. I have much more confidence in myself… something I know I didn't have when I started 4 years ago. Watching my fellow network marketers, I found some amazing women, role models. These are people who's success I want to emulate, but still be genuine to who I am. I may not be an exec level person in my company. I have a lot of ways to go there, but I am happy of the success I have… and it's so much more than money.
So before you bash "all of us", look for the diamonds in the rough. You may actually be surprised! (And no, I won't spam you!)