Would You Ever Join a Start-up Company?

Bonus Audio/Video Content for Chapter 4

That’s the question I get asked the most.  “Would you ever join a start-up, “ground floor,” or pre-launch Multilevel Marketing company?”

Why? Because the ‘you can get in early’ claim seems to be the hype that is most used by promoters of new companies, no doubt because they think most people are greedy.

But is that even a smart reason to join any company?
This video reveals my answer – in no uncertain terms . . .

Update (January, 2013)

You can find the USA 2011 statistics from the DSA here.

In just the couple of years since I first recorded this video, I have revised my advice for making an exception to the 5 year rule even stronger. Experience is a great teacher. (But only if we are paying attention.) In the case of the company I mentioned as the exception I made a several years ago, while the owners had great track records in business in general, it become apparent within just a couple of years that they were handicapped by not having any experience in MLM businesses. Consequently, they chose poor advisers and management to guide them in that area. A good lesson for me, and for all of us.

So, if you are tempted to break the 5 year track record recommendation, let me give this advice . . .


Here is what I am seeing more clearly than ever.

Joining new, weak, or unproven companies is about the dumbest thing we can do.

Most of them by far fail in, at least, the long run!  Most fail much faster than that.

So it’s just stupid gambling.
Why do that with our financial future, our family’s future,
and the future of people we invite to join us?

I confess. I have been tempted to break my own rule. Never again!  It’s just not necessary when there are so many better, proven choices.

And frankly, 5 years is too short. We all just watched Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing – FHTM – get closed down by the FTC.  That company just turned 12 years old.

The assumption of most people was that FHTM’s business model was tested and completely legal – if for no other reason than their length of time in business. Don’t fall for that argument.  Regulators move slowly.  Many, many very ‘red flag’ and borderline companies are allowed to exist for long periods because the regulators are simply too understaffed to enforce the laws and legal guidelines on the books.

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc Bissonnette February 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Hey Lou;

This is a *great* video – Not just for those who are already in the MLM industry, but for those who may be considering it as part of their revenue stream.

I have posted a link to it, along with similar commentary on the CanadianISP facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CanadianISP



Roberto February 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

I just can’t see the longevity of an MLM company as being such a make-or-break factor when deciding on joining them. Granted, it IS important, but your video comes across as suggesting that Longevity is The Single Most Important feature of any MLM program.
I am not an expert, in fact I am one of the “98%ers” who fail at this business, so I may be wrong. I just wanted to state my opinion that there are other features to consider that are more important than longevity. I have failed miserably with startup MLMs and I have failed even more miserably with 20 year old companies. And I’ll stop writing now because I’m depressing myself.


louabbott February 1, 2013 at 2:37 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Thanks for your comment, Roberto.

You are kind of making my point – from a different angle.
If you don’t know how to sponsor and build, you are right, it really doesn’t matter what kind of company you join.

However, when and if you do learn the skills and qualities to reach a measure of success, don’t you want the highest chance the company won’t let you down? Precisely because it is not easy to build?


Alan Eames February 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi Lou,

Another great piece! I loved the facts and figures. Having been through that same company with you, and having watched my income from that company get divided by 5!!!! I’ll never go there again. The company I’m with now has been in business since 2007, and all is well.

Thanks again for keeping us informed!



louabbott February 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Glad to hear it, Alan.


thephoenix@shaw.ca August 3, 2011 at 11:22 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Looks like one needs to post here to get a reply? You refer to the Direct Selling News, Sept 2009 edition for the statistic that only 65 companies in the world have reached $100 million in annual sales. Have you got an updated figure for this? Could you name names, Lou, and let us know who those 65 (or whatever the current number is) companies are (and how long they have been in business)? I’d like to add that this is most definitely one of the more useful and informative industry websites. I enjoy the time I spend here so thank you (and please keep it up!) Jessica H., Saskatoon, SK, Canada


louabbott August 4, 2011 at 8:03 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I most always respond within a day or two to emails (though of course some emails never get delivered nowadays) and phone messages. Did you try either of those methods?

I did a just a little googling and found the link to the article for you:

Thanks for the nice compliment.


Leave a Comment

Thoughtful and constructive comments that benefit network marketing professionals and the industry will be accepted and published after review.
We will not publish rude or insulting comments, plugs for your company or product, or generally non-helpful or self-promoting content.

{ 1 trackback }