The MLM Whole Truth, Network Marketing Super-Site

Some say that all MLMs (aka multilevel or network marketing companies) are nothing more than endless chain pyramid schemes.

They are wrong.

Others say that all MLMs are good, moral, and legitimate businesses that are the last best hope for the average person without huge capital to achieve the American Dream.

They are wrong too.

As in most areas of life, the whole truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Welcome.

I am Lou Abbott, founder of this site and a 15 year veteran of the network marketing profession.  Believe me when I say that I’ve seen the very best of multi-level marketing and I have seen the very worst of it.

I’ve been in the top 1 percent of distributors.

I have also experienced the train wrecks.

My mission here?

I want you to be well informed because ignorance in the MLM profession can cost you a lot more than money. It can also cost you your friends, family, hopes and dreams.

You need the whole truth about MLM, the companies, the industry, and what it really takes to make significant income with a network marketing business!  Our goal here is to bring it to you as effectively and objectively as is humanly possible.

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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

Elijah November 5, 2013 at 7:56 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Please can you help me know whether PROSPERITY CASH INTERNATIONAL is a credible network marketing business. Thanks.

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louabbott November 5, 2013 at 8:17 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I have never heard of them. Fellow Networkers . . .?

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Charlie October 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi Lou I was wondering have you heard anything about Le-Vel?

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Ken Ojala October 28, 2013 at 10:29 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Dear Lou,
We have only spoken two or three times some time ago, following an intro of a dry foods outfit in Idaho. The only remark you may remember is the one which I cited from an author in our church who warned against storing up beyond modest levels. Anyway, I just want to say how much I appreciate your work with “the Truth” and how deep my respect is for your efforts to help people mature and understand markets which would otherwise be mind-boggling. Your work is just as valuable as any investment advisor I have read in the last few years, and there are some legends among them. Keep up the good work. KO

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Phil September 24, 2013 at 7:16 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi Lou:

Can you tell me where I can get an off the shelf 3×7 Forced matrix software and what it might cost me?
Phil

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bruce September 15, 2013 at 8:56 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

Any word on cool trader pro mlm…..thanks….best regards bruce

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Leon July 30, 2013 at 8:59 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Dear Mr. Lou,
Thanks you so much for your sharing.
May I check with you that do you heard of Nefful ? A MLM company which is selling Negative Ions Clothing from Japan. May I know if you have any review about Nefful?
Thankyou 🙂

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jo July 28, 2013 at 7:22 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

what do you think of USANA?

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Michael July 27, 2013 at 8:00 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi Lou.

Excuse me for asking so direct, but have you any experience/opinion on ACN?

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louabbott July 27, 2013 at 9:06 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Michael – see comments and links here:
http://www.mlm-thewholetruth.com/mlm-companies/acn/

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Tom Grasch July 24, 2013 at 12:57 am Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Brace yourself fellas:
I have created a new twist on a binary comp plan. At first it was just a good idea…..now it is a GREAT idea with statistics.
Instead of 95-97% failure rate…….approx. 80-90% success rate.
instead of average recruiting of 2.4 per person……..8-12
Bigger % of auto-ships on
Most auto-ships turned back on once they were turned off in the company.
More people making $$,,
10-14 times more production per person per month than the #1 earners team
Moving up through the ranks faster than any other team with non- networker recruits

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DaveP August 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

A company with probably the most innovative and fair binary comp plan around has already beaten you to the punch. They’ve been around since 2005.

In an industry where company hopping is pretty much the norm these days,
GWT is miles ahead of the game and have pretty much figured out what you’re proposing.

And I’m not even a distributor.

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Nate September 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

This literally couldn’t be more accurate – and after just talking with top earners, they’re enhancing the comp plan even more as of September 21. GWT > all else

ntbest6@gmail.com

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Kip Faught July 22, 2013 at 10:31 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Nudayo RX card and company??? does it work an is it legit? Can you make a good side in come from passing out the FREE Cards?

Need to know… Thanks, Kip Faught

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louabbott July 22, 2013 at 11:40 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

We quietly gave it a try. Distributed over 5000 cards. Got zero results. Sounded good. But unlike what we do now, the method failed to get passed peoples “sales filters.”

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leslie May 15, 2013 at 10:23 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Where can I get the current income data I need for “Life Business/Team” to be able to determine how many of the consultants actually make money and the answer to what is their percent of sales to non consultants?

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Jahan May 7, 2013 at 5:49 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi Lou,

Thanks for the fantastic book. I recommend your book to everyone who wants to join MLM or is involved. They certainly get great value for their money with all the audio books, interviews and videos.

I was wondering if you or anyone else here have had any experience with ACN. I am considering joining and they seem to have most of the characteristics.

Many Thanks

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Steve Penney May 28, 2013 at 12:07 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

I was in it a couple years ago. A huge start up cost and you really have to hustle to re-coupe your money. I helped my mother to switch to ACN, however, it she returned back to her old phone company provider she did not really save money on her phone bill. I got out of it after I read Lou Abbott book. Good thing that I did. I even took a trip to Michigan to their headquarter. I was not impressed. Steve

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RJ Lange June 2, 2013 at 9:56 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

Steve took a trip to Michigan to see the headquarters and wasn’t impressed. I guess not, since the headquarters is in North Carolina : \

ACN is a GREAT option for ANYBODY that needs an opportunity and is willing to actually work to achieve their goals. If you can introduce 3 partners to this business relatively quickly and acquire roughly 25 services in a year or two (consider 5-10 of those services will probably come from your own household) and then MAINTAIN that number of services, you can prosper greatly with ACN. The “HUGE start-up cost” Steve refers to literally made me laugh out loud.

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Carol April 17, 2013 at 12:34 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Is lifetimepaiddaily and lifetimepaidhourly legal in the United States the owner Terry Cuthbert claims they are as well can you tell us what makes sites like these legal?

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louabbott April 18, 2013 at 8:32 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi Carol – many ‘businesses’ that look like those you mentioned have been closed down. Most simply fail over time for the same reasons many regulators eventually close them down anyway.

Of course, every owner will tell you they are “legal.” So did the owners of FHTM, Zeek, Ad Surf Daily . . . etc. etc. etc.

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Affiliate Marketing Depot April 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

hey Lou….am wondering of you have done any research on Lyoness International….intending to r=write a review my self based on my own experience but interested in your opinion. Concerned for others that is another Zeek in disguise,hiding or skirting the law because they are based in Austria…their big push is getting people to invest,tho they call it something else. with the promise of getting some pretty Outrageous returns… http://behindmlm.com/companies/lyoness-lawsuits-and-investigation-in-austria/

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louabbott April 17, 2013 at 7:49 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Interestingly, Bruce, one ‘watchdog’ who originally warned against Lyoness, recently posted this:

LYONESS INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED DUE TO COMPLIANCE REPORTS!
NOW WE HAVE REPORTS THAT THEY ARE IN COMPLIANCE IN THE U.S.
I have some really good WatchDog “Deputies” Who zeroed in on very ‘flashy’ newly launching (in the U.S.) as an MLM. They report that they are now in compliance with all U.S. laws There have been no authorities charging illegal activity in checking Europe and Austria where they have been operating.

What’s “legal” and what is not is almost always a matter of opinion. (See: Gerry Nehra on pertinent legal issues article.)It looks like a pure money game of some kind to me. In any case, this is what I emailed privately to an enquirer a couple of days ago:

I have seen the kind of publicity like Lyoness is getting (see links below) for companies before – and almost always, it was the precursor to the end of a company.

In any case, why would anyone join a company with this much bad press? …this many red flags waving?
Who in good conscience could recommend it to anyone, much less their friends or family?

http://mlmtheamericandreammadenightmare.blogspot.com/2012/09/lyoness-is-lie-and-hubert-freidl-is-its.html

http://www.businessforhome.org/2012/02/swiss-newspaper-crushes-lyoness/

http://amlmskeptic.blogspot.com/2013/04/breaking-news-lyoness-in-trouble-in.html

Gerry Nehra on pertinent legal issues

My question always is, “If there are so many absolutely time-tested, proven, good companies, why would anyone risk their reputation, their family’s and their future by joining one with high risk of ultimately failing?”

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Marie February 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

Hi Lou,
I live in the Uk and am just about to sign up with Melaleuca. I am currently a stay at home mum but I am so eager to work again and earn an income. This will be my first experience with an MLM business. I chose an MLM because I think that if you work hard and smart you can earn good money, right? And of course because I want to have my own business, and this could be a way of that without putting to much money at risk.
I chose Melaleuca because I really liked the product and that so much of the selling etc in done online. Could I get your feedback on wether this is a good descision? Is Melaleuca the best company to go with as I live in the UK?

Thank you,
Marie

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Phyllis February 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

I was in Melaleuca, the products were wonderful. But they are so concentrated that if you get sales(they are very expensive) the repete sales are few and far between, I didn’t make any money. My friends and family said that it is less expensive to buy at the grocer.

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Gilbert Nichols February 21, 2013 at 5:11 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

Marie,
Many will tell you that the best company is the one they are in, and well they should. Many people have to look at several criteria in order to make a positive choice with choosing a reputable MLM. I applaud you for seeking advice before making the move. Getting good counsel will go a long way toward making the right choice feel right in the long run. I have many “paperback” mentors who have provided great encouragement and support to help me move forward in my MLM. I wish you good luck in your research and pray that you’ll succeed sooner than you expected. Blessings to you. /Gilbert in Atlanta

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john mahoney January 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Lou, given all the recent publicity regarding Herbalife, I’d love to get your most recent thoughts on the legitimacy of the company. It looks like your latest comments on HLF date back to 2009-2010. Thanks.

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Marlow February 7, 2013 at 9:47 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

What about these so-called “one on one” friendship marketing plans where you put up a few thousand to start in just plain cash. What if they run out of takers? Doesn’t someone get stuck?

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louabbott February 7, 2013 at 10:10 am Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Yes, Marlow. That’s why they are illegal in almost every country in the world.

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Bria Okonkwo January 3, 2013 at 8:57 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Thank you John for your comment.
My name is Bria and I live in Essex in the UK, I am a mother of 2 little kids. I have a 9/5 job and would like to quit my job but not without having substantial income coming in.

I have just joined a network marketing business which was introduced to me and I was opportuned to meet with the CEO of this company on a one to one basis
The opportunity is mind blowing and has been in America for 20 years now turning over 300 millionaires.
They are currently in America, mexico, Australia, Hong Kong and UK (launched in Mar 2012). We are going global in about 5weeks time and i need advise on how I can take my business to the next level.
I will appreciate it if I can have advise on ways and strategies as the timing is right and I would want to seize this opportunity.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Bria

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John Anyanwu December 31, 2012 at 12:10 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Mlm is like any other business that requires through planning and setting of goals. And every other business requires patience. If it so easy the whole world would be in it. What we need to do is keep on reading, finding ways of improving the business. Sustenance is the key. When you are in multilevel, sell the products of that company if they have products that people will need and keep on building your team. If you have clear goals in mlm and you pursue it you will definitely come out successfully.

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Brian from www.kyanisingapore.com December 20, 2012 at 10:48 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Great site Lou! The interaction you have going with your readers is fantastic. Some of the comments are certainly food for thought.

I’ve just signed up for your 7 days email series.

Thanks.

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Paran Thakur November 14, 2012 at 2:00 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I have been involved with a networking company for the last 2 years and all I can say is that I’m a big fan of the industry… from what the opportunity offers in terms of an additional source of income, to leverage… to the positive changes that one makes in their lifestyle and mindset- its all worth it… so please don’t let ignorance come in the way of your success… in this time of a fragile job market – don’t be career driven, be success driven… and be prepared to work hard, change…

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Emma November 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

What does the law says about how many days do I have to get out of a MLM and get my money back?
Thank you.

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louabbott November 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Emma – most State in the U.S. have a mandatory 3 day right of recission. Most of the better companies have at least a 30day Satisfaction Guarantee. Check with your company first.

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aomos September 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

I arrived on your site because I am looking for people’s views and tips for MLM. The reason I am searching for these things is that I joined a MLM buisness in October 2010 and have recruited 21 people to date based on my belief and love of the products that I use which certainly have improved my health and I wish now to pass on the benefits that I am getting from these products to other people. Interestingly enough all 21 people have signed up and bought products from me with great enthusiasm and have even seen the benefits of these products themsleves but that is where it stops as they are not active members of my team and have not got the concept of MLM – like I have. I have held meetings to demonstrate the products, invited all my team and made life easy for them but with only a few of them getting other people to join but still with nobody being consistently active. So while I pay my autoship monthly, I am not even making enough at this stage to cover that. This is HELP comment as I have the desire, belief and expectation to make this happen and I am hoping your 7 day email course is going to show me where I have gone wrong and how I can change my failures into great successes and turn the results into Euros. Thanks for being here. Aomos

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Maggie Pimm August 15, 2012 at 7:59 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Great that you went thru it and trialled it, for this is the only thing that verifies the situation, whether good or bad or ugly and relieves us from swimming in opinions. Thank you for taking the trouble to do so.

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Susanne August 9, 2012 at 6:49 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

Hello all fellow network marketers !
Am commenting on the Zeek report by Lou. Over the last weeks I have seen a wave
of Zeek fanatics sweep into my network ( a solid product based and good network)
and cause chaos. I was told off for being negative about something that actually”makes money” and decided to see for myself and to check it out. Well Lou I could not agree more with you: The idea of making money from the loss of other people who spend their few dollars “betting” on “winning” not purchasing.. but “winning” another stupid junk item that they really don’t need. I could not believe what I saw in those penny auctions. an electric toothbrush was up for auction. Many people spending their bids up to the tune of 4000.00 dollars spent so that someone could get their hands on this item. By the time someone “won it” it had reached a higher sum than the normal retail price, which the “winner ” then also had to pay to get it. And the losers… well they paid their hard earned money for the thrill… ??
I don’t care how much money I could potentially earn, but I might as well enter the illegal drug trade … If money is the only thing people are focussing on… then wow
they can be blind to a clear NO EXCHANGE factor like this and I can’t imagine they will feel good about it. Well count me out on this one. Hope you guys who are raking in the dosh take second and get back to earth before the sh..t hits the proverbial fan.
Best wishes to all who stick to the good industry which we all love and cherish and which can save lives…
Susanne

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RUPAM JYOTI BORA August 5, 2012 at 1:38 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

DEAR LOU ABBOTT

I NEED TO REFER YOUR E-BOOK TO MOST OF MY FRIENDS WHO ARE FALLING VICTIMS TO PYRAMID SCHEMES IN INDIA – BUT IT IS NOT FREE NOW ? EARLIER IT COULD BE DOWNLOADED FREE !!!

REGARDS
RUPAM JB,
INDIA

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louabbott August 6, 2012 at 8:53 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Thanks for your concern about those falling prey to pyramid schemes. There are many people who are because, of course, the illegal pyramids and ponzis try to make themselves look like legitimate network marketing / MLM companies.

I wrote my book to help people understand not only the difference, but beyond that, what actually are the business fundamentals for a good network marketing company that can really help a person build the very best kind of income, a “reliable, long-term, leveraged, residual income.”

One can buy my eBook, paperback, or audio version of the book here: MLM The Whole Truth. I have offered it free as part of a special promotion for a very limited time. I have no current plans to do so again.

I also highly recommend this video: Pyramid Scheme or Legal MLM: How to tell the difference

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azmatkml@gmail.com May 31, 2012 at 4:06 am Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Hi, I am just 5 months old in this industry from Dubai U.A.E. and found it a great place to learn more about the MLM.
Cheers

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TONY March 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

I LOVE YOUR SITE AND EVERYTHING I READ THERE. I AM INTO MLM HERE IN NIGERIA, I THINK I NEED SOMEONE LIKE YOU TO COACH ME ON MLM RIGHT NOW, I HAVE A TEAM IN MY MLM BIZ AND WE ARE DOING WELL. THEY ARE DEPENDING ON ME TO TEACH THEM ON MLM. KINDLY SEND ME MATERIALS TO USE

THANKS
TONY

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Baciu Magda February 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi LOU,
I am glad that is somebody like you that want to enlight the situation as regards MLM s.What do you think about Lyoness Company?Is it a good MLM?Till now has 2 ooo 000 community consumers..and is estimated that in 2 years will be 25-40 000 000.
Thank you!

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Angelena Los restylane December 25, 2011 at 7:32 am Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

Nice, just bookmarked ya under Digg under “MLM the Whole Truth, Network Marketing Super-Site”. Thanks.

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Akos Fintor December 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

Hey Lou,

I must agree with Andre.
People don’t join companies; people join people.
Before joining we are looking for the best leader we can get. And that’s attraction marketing.

Work harder on yourself than on your business – Jim Rohn

thanks for the share

Akos

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louabbott December 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

Unfortunately, Akos, many good people join bad companies that fail and take good people with them.

It’s critical to know what makes for a good MLM, a mediocre one, a thinly disguised pyramid scheme, or even a Ponzi scheme. All are different. Most people simply don’t know the differences

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Bill Nixon April 24, 2013 at 9:21 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Lou,

Do you have a list of the ones to stay far away from? I am just finding your site and it is extremely well done!!

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Andre Smith October 20, 2011 at 12:12 am Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

It’s not about MLM, products, etc… as Mike Dillard says, it’s about the person that you become through helping others get what they want, which in turn helps you achieve what you want.

Blessings,

Andre

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Paul Merriwether July 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Lou, great site and I loved the video. I really the loved the video on gold & silver MLM’s. You said what I’ve been saying for over a year now. Selling a $50 commodity with a DVD, a case, some literature for $495 is asking for trouble (OK, my words, not yours). These programs bring no glory to our industry, only trouble and losses for us all.

Paul

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Brendan July 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Hello Lou. I’ve thoughts and constructive criticisms regarding the 2-part video on telling value oriented marketings from pyramid schemes.

Value for price: This is an excellent standard. Good product for a fair price is an effective way to run spending habits for any delivery mechanism, be it store/mall shopping, internet orders, catalogs, or person-to-person trades.

I slightly disagree with the idea that number of commission-able levels doesn’t matter. I don’t think it matters as much in and of itself, but number of levels has a tendency to affect total magnitude of the combined levels. As such, I think the amount of commission paid to the seller compared to how much is paid in total to the upline is a matter of relevance. Commission is part of the manufacturing/distribution cost of the product, and if it gets too high, value for price drops as a result. I’ve actually run a few models in Excel of commission structures designed to show where to draw the line between a program that rewards retail sales and one that rewards recruiting and “being on top”. They are available by request.

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Sergio March 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Brendan July 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Pursuant to your comment, to-wit: “I’ve actually run a few models in Excel of commission structures designed to show where to draw the line between a program that rewards retail sales and one that rewards recruiting and “being on top”. They are available by request.”

I am hereby respectfully requesting such models.

Thank you,

Sergio

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curtis July 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Thanks I thought I heard that on a recording of one of the ANMP calls.

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curtisangelobrown@hotmail.com July 1, 2011 at 4:59 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Lou, somewhere I heard that it is a law that network marketing companies must have their business contracts written in layman’s term so that it could be easily understood by the average person without the aid of a lawyer to have to interpret it. If this is true where can I find reference to this. Thanks.

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louabbott July 1, 2011 at 8:31 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hello Curtis,

I have never heard of such a law, but most of the P&Ps I have read seem to be straight forward. I can’t say I like any of them, but they do seem understandable.

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Burke Hedges May 4, 2011 at 10:32 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Lou,
Keep up the great work friend. Our industry needs more sages like you.
Be bold to preserve and protect the greatness of Network Marketing!
Burke

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Sea Pea April 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Checking out an MLM is just like checking out a Franchise, a Dealership, a Bi-Hybrid or any other type of business. Check Dunn & Bradstreet. Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Check to see if it is a Chamber of Commerce Member anywhere. Then check trade associations that apply. (If they do Direct Sales, they should be a Member (in good standing) with the DSA, for instance. If they’re not listed with any of these groups, then don’t waste time looking at them–just forget it & move on.

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Dave February 11, 2011 at 8:48 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

How about info regarding…
1. Personal Wealth System aka Pizza Box
2. Lead Net Pro
3. FamilyIQ
Thanks!

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louabbott February 15, 2011 at 2:38 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

Ah Dave . . .

If only I could find an experienced networker with a realistic attitude and a fair and impartial viewpoint to help me for little or no pay but some good recognition!

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Dave February 15, 2011 at 6:14 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

LOL… well you got the attitude & viewpoints correct but it’s the lack of experience that prompts me to ask in the first place. Too bad my checkbook isn’t in as good a shape as my ego… thus, no recognition needed.

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Ralph Dixon February 8, 2011 at 6:48 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

WHAT HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT ZIJA AND ITS MARKETING? I HAVE SOME FRIENDS WHO ARE GOING TO TRY IT .

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Joe Young October 22, 2010 at 10:24 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

Hello Mr.Abbott,
Just wanted to say thanks for being on the call tonight even though you were in the airport. I came to this site before while searching out info I was writing about on my blog, but did not stay for some reason. I had no idea we would be brought back and that concerning the eFoods Global.

I will be picking up your report and have subscribed to the 7 days series. Just what I have heard so far matches up very well with a vision I have and will be zeroing in on at the blog concerning recruiting in mlm, also a 7 day video series which will be posting soon.

I will be anticipating the knowledge from your report that I can share with those already logging in at the site(in blog post form). I will be featuring expert video interviews with individuals I am searching out and have found that will be sharing their recruiting experience with me and those I want to help. Maybe someday you will be available for an interview? It would be one awesome interview…..

Anyway, enough said here.

Thanks
Joe Young

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Will Robins August 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

I think that MLM or Network Marketing Companies are glorified pyramids. The only thing that makes some different from others is that they have a legitimate product or products. These companies have their benefits for the individuals at the top and the highly motivated “wannabe superstar” of the company. If you are highly motivated,have a connection with lots of people and have some marketing skills you can do well. If you’re a person who has never done anything like this before this may not be for you. It is true that we all must start some where, but this might not be the place unless you have a great coach and a vision. Some MLMs that have products are still shaky and can be considered a scam. When you join a MLM you need to read the fine print. When you make sell after sell and you receive little or no compensation then something is wrong. A red flag should go off when see or join a MLM that is not registered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), associated with other business organization in the local area of the company or has no headquarters address. I have seen MLM pop-up and the HQ address that was listed was not the correct address. Some of these MLMs setup shop, get people to join and then disappear with all the money. I have seen companies claim all kinds of stuff over the years. MLMs that have “big name” endorsers are no different. You have to watch-out for those companies also. In some cases the “big name” endorser gets his money and is gone. Then the leaders of these companies “flip the script” after all the hype. They then get their money that they were aiming for and then their gone. I must admit that most that join MLM never make enough money to replace their income. It’s only about 10% that go above an beyond the norm. This may not be totally the fault of the MLM because there are a few good ones out there. If you are willing to work smart, do your research and find a legitimate MLM this could be the quickest way to achieve the “American Dream”.

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Viktoria & Gary Affron July 3, 2010 at 4:01 am Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

Hey Lou,

Great words of wisdom. We’re actually hoping to teach more people the old methods of marketing and direct sales that were so effective back in the day. When something works – you don’t change it. The problem we see today is the introduction of the computer and the Internet in the mid 80’s has created an entire generation of socially inept and indolent people who aren’t interested in doing the work required and who have developed a belief in a system or another person who would do a percentage of or all the work for them inadvertently causing a level of success where none exists based on their own merits.

Today, more than a few marketers think of their business as a social club or hobby. They seem to have a mindset that comes with being taught the “fake it til you make it” attitude and don’t seem to be committed to the time, effort and hard work required to effectively manage a business – let alone achieve monetary success.

Returning to the “old school” methods of marketing and direct sales would require people engage in educating themselves and find a comfort zone in having concise conversations with people they do and don’t know. Such challenges require effort to develop confidence in what one’s doing. People need badly to develop healthy skills in building long term relationships and learning to close a deal without resistance. These are things all marketers and direct sales people need to accomplish first in order to achieve their goals and dreams while realizing a monetary return for their efforts.

We believe that this newer age of the Internet has people overturning their own abilities in lieu of beliefs they can achieve true success by following gurus and expecting something called “overspill” and a hefty pay check without in jecting their own time, effort and hard work into the equation.

More often than not, a lot of people end up terminating their business in a company promoted online or locally due to frustration in this new era of instant gratification. If they don’t earn monies in the first 30 to 90 days, they quit and move on to other programs only to do the exact same thing 30 to 90 days later. For most that never achieve what they set out to accomplish …they give up for a time and then start over again less any more skills than they had prior.

Granted there are some pretty good resources available online to help one learn, outsource and manage a business more effectively. However, the “old school” methods still work beautifully. We strongly encourage anyone in a home based business to learn effective marketing skills, implement them and watch how much more effective they become in succeeding in a home based business. Learn how to effectively communicate with others in business and you’ll have a gold mine waiting for you along with loyal and long term business relationships and desired monetary gain.

For those who fail, they must learn to market more effectively and work harder to succeed. If all attempts fail, one must find a more traditional method of earning income to survive. Residual income rises from experience and knowledge one must develop and continually work on accruing daily. With practice, some great skills, an influential mentor and attributed leverage in business, an average person, honest and ethical can in fact succeed in earning a 6 or 7 figure yearly income!

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Charles White January 12, 2013 at 11:12 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I am a customer of MLM Co Shaklee for many years & have never tried to build a business but read about MLM industry as i am retired & I would recommend everyone to listen to 84 yr old Jimmy Smith who was a butcher in supermarket for over 40 years before he started MLM business.. his earnings are over $150,000 per month…look him up. I am not in his business but every networker would learn from him…much success, Charles White

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Alan Eames June 3, 2010 at 12:00 am Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

I just signed up for your Insider’s Club. You are my voice of reason in a world where too many are trying to out-hype each other vying for our attention.

Thanks for being there,

Alan

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Arlette Stanley April 8, 2010 at 7:27 am Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

Hello Lou,
I bought and read MLM the Whole Truth and I like it. I will have to read it a couple of times though in order to print it in my mind. It’s clear, its realistic, and now we finally know what can go wrong with MLM and why. It’s not MLM in itself it how the distributors deal with it or work with it.
I have a question Lou, I am finishing my website and on one of my pages I talk about MLM, in general, can I refer to you book and do I have a commission for that ?
thanks !

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Maggie Kress February 14, 2010 at 7:01 pm Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

Lou, you are always right on target about MLM. There are many companies out there wanting you to sign up with them. The type company you need is a company that will give you long term reoccuring residual income. This company must have a long term plan in place and keeping that long term in mind if any changes need to made.

They must ask themselves the question, Will this change help or hurt the representatives that are making this happen? If the representatives are not first in mind when making this plan, it will soon fall apart. The representative/distributors are the backbone of any company. The management will be nothing without them. They must be their number one focus.

For a representative to know if the company has a long term plan, you must Ask. Read the Compensation Plan, Ask questions, Read the Policy and Procedures, Ask questions. Read Terms and Conditions, Ask questions.
If you do not get the answers you want, then move on. Remember Business Model drives the behavior in the field. That means if everything is compensation for the management and not the representatives, you are just making money for them and not you.

MLM is a good direction to go if you are informed and know how to choose the one that fits you best. I can help you find the information determination and give you a way to find out the information you need. There is no cost, it is just my way of giving back. If you help others find success, you will find success.

Thanks and God Bless
Maggie Kress
417-426-5931

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Mona February 9, 2011 at 10:13 pm Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

I am looking for a vehicle in MLM, product or service? How does one choose what’s right for them?

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louabbott February 10, 2011 at 9:43 am Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

Hi Mona,

The first thing to understand is that the first thing is not to pick a product or service that is “right for you.”

That would be the second thing to do. The first is to know how to pick a company that has even a chance of delivering a real, long-term, leveraged, residual income, PERIOD!

When you learn that criteria, you can quickly cull out all of the companies that will never deliver on the promise – then you can choose from those what is “right for you.”

See my eBook / Course / Special Report, “MLM The Whole Truth”

Editor

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Jeff Young February 11, 2011 at 11:53 am Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

Mona,
A good place to start would be reading Robert Kiyosaki’s book, “Business of the 21st Century”. It’s a great look at the MLM industry from the outside. I found it to be very re-affirming of my choice in companies to partner with.
Good Luck and God Bless!
Jeff Young

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Lesley Masumoto June 12, 2012 at 1:27 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Aloha Mona, Congrats on seeing the value of leveraging, which is what direct sales (mlm) offers. Look for industries that’s huge, like weight loss, health & beauty, wellness, because there’s probably a great need.
You need:
-a product or service that sells itself, especially if you can’t sell
-a marketing plan that’s easy to follow, and doesn’t consume alot of your time
-small buy in fee (or none), to get started
-small monthly auto ship, to stay in for the long haul
-company that’s well capitalized so it’ll be able to pay commissions
-a good compensation package that most goes to the distributor and not the co.
-people you trust, can work well with, and have the time to mentor you.
There are many out there, and I would recommend that you go to all that you’re invited to. Don’t be in a hurry to join….observe, do your research on the internet.
Good Luck…and Mahalo….Lesley

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mark November 16, 2012 at 11:40 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

i am looking into MLM, and would appreciate contact for input or advice. thank you

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louabbott January 16, 2010 at 10:09 am Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

Hi All . . .

I just had the pleasure of meeting Deb Bixler and reviewing some of her excellent blogs and websites. If you are looking to increase your online presence and branding, you would do well to check our her sites.

But most of all, Deb seems to be a real expert in Direct Sales Marketing.

Check out her site and work at the link above.

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Micheal Young November 23, 2009 at 6:55 am Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

Is Market America the best MLM system?

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John Chatman December 19, 2009 at 1:59 am Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

Hey Michael,
I am sorry to break it to you my friend but there is no “best” MLM System. There are several out there which are being used quite effectively to produce some outstanding results.

The bottom line is that the “Best” MLM System is the one you use daily. It’s the one that you enables you to create leverage through a specific set of daily actions taken on your own behalf to create the desired outcome.

To Your Massive Success,

John

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Peter Arnold November 17, 2009 at 9:23 pm Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

Hey Lou:

Love your new site (Blog) + Video (wish I had some of your ‘technica’ skills :>)

I’d like to share a few thoughts with you on this, your first issue of your Web-02 format…

First, I greatly appreciate the VALUE you provide our industry with ‘MLM-The Whole Truth’.

MLM Industry news, and continuing education, are essential for all of us in order to be well informed and to grow – both personally and with our Home Businesses.

INDUSTRY – As a 23-year veteran in this great industry – I too, feel I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly of Network Marketing.

DRA – It’s one of the reasons I’ve proudly served for almost 4-years on the Board Of Directors of our Distributor Rights Association, representing my country of Canada. Our DRA is the “only” organization in the world that serves to educate, protect and preserve the ‘rights’ of Distributors and Direct Sales Reps everywhere. This is a non-profit organization, and we all contribute on the Board voluntarily, without remuneration ( http://www.OurDRA.com ).

Our main mission in the DRA is to bring about a much better, and fairer, “business partnership” between Distributors and Companies – because of the ‘carnage’ we see (sadly) between Companies and Distributors, on a weekly basis (wrongful terminations / bad Policies & Procedures (P&Ps) / lawsuits / companies ‘hitting the wall’, etc, etc). As well, we are tirelessly working ‘behind the scenes’ interacting with government regulators, like the FDA and FTC, etc – to protect, and to advance, our cause within this industry.

BEGINNINGS – Like Michael Eisbriner above, I was associated with Amway back in the mid-1980’s. I was with the Yager Group, and have been in one of Dexter Yager’s many homes in NC (where I believe Bill Britt lives as well). My early training came from Amway – and man! – “have we come a long way since then”! :>)

‘BALANCE’ In BUILDING – There’s a lot of debate raging out there right now about – OLD School -vs- NEW School marketing strategies – about ATTRACTION MARKETING – about SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKING – PPC – SEO, etc, etc. Even though I was brought up under (so-called) OLD methodology – I do both old AND new TODAY – I believe strongly, that the healthiest approach is to apply (and to promote) a “balance” between ALL marketing strategies, as each of us will have different skills, interests, time constraints, finances, technical abilities, etc.

MLM – Personally, I have a deep respect for the MLM-Network Marketing business model – and I say that, both as a professional Financial Advisor and as a Network Marketer and a Coach in this industry.
But there are indeed “realities” that we must face in this industry – as know, only too well, Lou. I do believe the future is very promising for our industry – and that currently, given the grim economy – we will continue to see a surge in its growth. I also believe that the INTERNET will be the major driver for MLM – but that we need to treat it respectfully, as a TOOL only.

REWARDS – Where else today can one find – wrapped up in ONE business, the opportunity for – leverage – residual income – self development – friendships – tax incentives – recognition – travel – leadership growth – a sense of belonging – more fun – the chance for a better life — to name only a few?

CHALLENGES – Yes, the challenges are out there – they always will be – we cannot hide from them. But knowlege + human ingenuity will empower us. Resolve + positioning will cause us to win – big. The opportunities will be there, for those of us who are ready to CHANGE, as we enter 2010.

PASSION – We are a resourceful industry. We should have a ‘passion’ for its purpose. We need to believe in our dreams. We need to act on our vision. We will build even greater successes in future, together. I truly believe this.

WHY do I believe this?

INDUSTRY MISSION – Because of what we DO in our Network Marketing world — because of the CAUSE we represent — because of the HUMANITY we serve.

We in this industry — reach out to more people — we touch more lives — we bring more good — we spread more WELLNESS (personal / financial / business / legal / spiritual / + +) — than just about any other calling on this earth.

I believe that we should RECOGNIZE this — that we should be PROUD of this — and that we should do whatever is absolutely necessary to PRESERVE this heritage, as it is an awesome responsibility we hold in our hands.

Thanks Lou, for all that YOU do for our industry.

Warmly / Peter A.

Peter Arnold, CLU, CFC / Founder
Business Achievers Academy / Canada

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Michael Eisbrener November 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm Thumb up 51 Thumb down 8

In my research on those who have made it, the ‘numbers’ are nearly all the same for those at the top. One in a thousand really makes it big. This is a six to eight year plan if you want to reach $100K/month or more. It is a minimum one year to just figure out if you want to pursue that dream or not. It will take four to five years to change who you are enough to make the final climb.

I spent a year in Amway ‘core’ in the early 90’s and recently found Bill Britt’s numbers. Do a search and you will discover a ton of info about him. Bill saw the opportunity while a City Manager and came into contact with a lot of people. He was not shy and had the skill of self assurance. Still he didn’t expect to show this to 10 people and wait for the money.

His plan, as I have backed it out from his numbers was to invite 40 people a week to look at his opportunity. That is 10 people a day, four days a week. He also took a break one week every quarter. There was no internet in the 70’s and 80’s either. In ten years he invited over 18,500 people to look at the opportunity.

Only one in five took a look. He showed the ‘plan’ on average to 27 people every month for 10 years. The industry has improved immensely since then too. Then it was a personal one on one or a meeting. Now you can provide the best quality CD/DVD’s to as many as are willing to look.

Over 10 years Bill sponsored 621 people. That is about one out of five who looked and 5 every month for 10 years. Persistence pays huge dividends. This is where who you are will tell the tale. The more you invest in personal growth the better this set of numbers becomes.

Over half quit with only 304 sticking long term. This appears to be common to other industries as well. How many people go through all the trouble to acquire a real estate license, a law degree, an insurance license and in one year… disappear to something else? Yet no one claims there is anything wrong with those professions.

61 of those who stayed, or about 10% of those he sponsored, worked it to $500/month profit or more every month. Again do some research on other industries and this is not out of line. How many people pursue a medical degree and never make it?

From the 61, 14 are very special. 11 made him a very rich man. 3 made him millions. Looking for someone to make you a millionaire? You will have to talk to at least 6000+ people. NOT send them an email but actually talk to them. I suggest you get started right now.

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Bob and Anna Bassett May 21, 2011 at 5:16 am Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

Michael, this is a powerful reality check. With your permission, we’ll be posting it to our blog.

Too many of us join a company based on hype – the mansions and the Maseratis and the Armani suits – when all we really want is to make a car payment or put the kids through college or help put a new roof on the church. We get swept away and lose sight first of our real goals and then how hard we will have to work.

Thanks for the eye-opener!

Bob and Anna Bassett

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Paul Merriwether July 31, 2011 at 1:22 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

Thanks Michael, for the incite on Bill’s numbers. However, in today’s world of new comp plans coupled with the Internet less effort is needed as we see with million dollar earners are strictly “affiliates”. No team, just great marketing skills to move other people’s good’s or services. One individual David Wood that’s in MLM has personally recruited more than 1600 in one year’s time (he really gets it).

I have more than 350 in one leg of a binary, because I joined the right person (I refuse to build the other leg, because I hate the program).

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Gaye April 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Wow, Michael. Thank you for the breakdown of the numbers. From what I am seeing, I totally agree with you that you have to work your at home business or you will be out of business. Appreciate you sharing those numbers.

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Bill Mullinax May 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

I will have to say that you used for an example a company that had one of the hardest compensation plans to use for an example. I did pretty well with Amway but because my team was building slow I had to purchase products to keep my business volume from dropping so that I did not loose the level I worked so hared to achieve. The first 3 years I had to do this without fail every start of summer. But if you look at the financial records Amway has grown quite a bit the last few years. I think they do that because they do a good job on their product promotions that you believe in the products. The only problem is that most people do not stick when they realize the cost to build a business with their compensation plan.

You are right in that this is a face to face business. Like you I recommend for people looking to get into a MLM that they understand this is not a get rich quick business. But there are a few companies out there now that are blowing the roof off of getting wealthy faster! One thing that I learned from my past experience is stay away from a marketing program that the company manufactures the products you are trying to build your wealth on. In this economy people are going to go to what is cheaper. The MLM that manufactures the products sold have their main focus on moving their products. Try to find a MLM that is not trying to create an income stream with a new product no matter how good it is. Things that are the next new thing until get knocked off their perch when the next new thing comes along. I have seen how one person’s death from using a product shut down an entire MLM! Even though later it was ruled the product had nothing to do with it. Plus how many people stay with anything very long. Like if you push a diet product that really works. Well, what happens when people get tired of their diet? They no longer want to purchase the products needed to qualify their business for compensation. The smart money is to find a MLM that puts people in front of income streams that people are already paying into. I recently signed with a company that met that qualification. For those that remember Excel in the 90’s this is set up much the same. This company is unique on several levels. First, the person who started this company earned more money faster then anybody in history with a home based business. I remember seeing him on the news, being called the million dollar man because he was earning over a million dollars a month with Excel. I had a chance to jump ship from Amway but refused to do so. Friends that did earned a lot more money then I did with Amway. He started a company called Fortune that is blowing the roof off on people coming from nowhere and earning money fast. I have met many and had the privileged to work some of these people who within 40 months are doing very well. The cost to become part of this is very cheap! Because of this there are people who sign up and never do anything at all! All MLM companies have those people and that hurts the annual figures when you break down the average annual income for each level of the people involved.

Another great thing about having a president of a company that used to be a rep. He cares about the reps and what they are going through. As this company has grown the compensation plan keeps changing giving the reps a pay raise every time you turn around. The compensation plan cannot be beat. The fact that most of the income comes from products and services that people are already using helps also. You may have to change from cable to Dish…but so what if you are getting paid…who cares. I would be glad to sit down and compare this program against any of the others out there.

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John Chatman November 17, 2009 at 12:01 pm Thumb up 27 Thumb down 14

Hi Lou,
Wow…what a wonderfully sharp & captivating video introduction you created with Animoto. I absolutely love that service.

Network Marketing or as some people know it MLM is an industry which has come of age. No longer is the Network Marketer selling soap door to door or needing to hound their family and friends to build a thriving online business.

Today’s Professional Network Marketer has a very specific skill set which includes Social Media & Direct Marketing Strategies, Blogging, Pay Per Click Advertising, and a steady stream of positive reaffirming Self Development. This specific skill set allows the participant to actually put the MARKETING in network marketing.

Network Marketing is a business first and foremost. It is the only vehicle of which I know on a personal basis the average person who has the self discipline to acquire the requisite skill base can within a relatively short period of time (2-3 years) create a multiple six-figure annual income.

This is the only industry of which I am aware that lends itself to not only being the method of choice for today’s active lifestyle but in fact has become the separator between the New Rich and the masses.

The New Rich understand leverage and why not being bound to any one geographic location allows them greater freedom in designing their lifestyle and in turn enjoying a greater quality of life.

I invite all those professionals who will read this message to closely examine this industry on its own merits. Study how by taking the time to learn and apply proper marketing principles you can step away from the corporate ball & chain to a life of freedom, friendship, and adventure.

To Our Massive Success,

John Chatman

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louabbott November 17, 2009 at 12:28 pm Thumb up 35 Thumb down 7

Thanks for the nice comment, John. Good points all.

I would caution folks about thinking that an “average” person can make a multiple 6 figure income in 2 to 3 years. In my 12 years in the business, I have not met one average person that has accomplished that. I have met a couple of extraordinary people that have done so.

Part of my goal for this site is to tone down any type of exaggerations that lead to expectations that lead to disillusionment with the industry. One of the common exaggerations, in my opinion, is how easy it is is to make huge money and how quickly it can be done.

That said, I love your point about not being bound to “one geographic location.” That is one of the huge reasons I started in network marketing!

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Vincent Czaplyski October 3, 2010 at 3:50 pm Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

Lou,

I don’t have your long time depth of experience in network marketing but I’ve been involved with it long enough to know a few things that people entering this industry should know.

For one, no matter what your background, this is a unique business that requires focus and a plan to succeed. Everyone brings unique skills to the table when they first enter this industry, but chances are strong that you will need to learn some new ones. Expect to expend some time and energy getting good at this business.

Secondly, don’t ever forget that despite the “magic” of your company’s compensation plan, there is no magic in getting to the point of earning significant income. You need to understand how you can actually attain higher levels within your company and take concrete action to reach those levels.

Thirdly, don’t think that just because your company offers amazing products and has great leaders that success will inevitably fall into your lap. That’s just a starting point and you need to actualize the results you want by working it as a business.

Finally, never forget that marketing will be essential to your success, whatever form your marketing takes. I happen to come from an Internet marketing background so it is natural for me to utilize online means to market. But there are plenty of offline methods that can work for you. You won’t know what works best unless you actually start marketing.

In short, you need to set realistic expectations and take action towards them.

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Gabrielle April 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

Lou, so far, all the people that I have met who are doing extremely well in YTB have been in the business roughly 7-8 years. What I do believe is the guilty cow is that people erroneously think they are going to be a millionaire overnight AND don’t have to work or that they can work part-time 2 to 5 hours a week. From what I am seeing, in MLM a person can get rich BUT they work for themselves and get back what they put into it. All of the people that I see that are doing well are also putting in massive amounts of time. So no one should think get rich quick but they can get rich. Thank you so very much for explaining Legal Distribution. I loved it and am thankful now that I have that knowledge

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