This week in learning – everything old is new again?

Another workout picture from the cycle class on Wed night – which they do AFTER we spend an hour of circuit training! I must admit to being mighty impressed that they all keep up! SB is the second head on the left with his new (old) bike.

Working those legs!

So – what I learned this week. I probably shouldn’t call this *learning* really, this is more about rediscovering or being freshly exposed to a concept.

Multi Level Marketing

Growing up, I heard of it thanks to Amway. If you are from my generation, you all did, right? At some point your parents knew someone who was involved in it. The last time I heard of it directly when at least 15 years ago when one of my friends was flirting with the idea and got SB’s dad & I to attend a presentation.

What is your impression of the concept? I know that my parents gave off the “Oh hell no way!” vibe which I picked up so that I was always naturally suspicious. As I learned more about it as an adult I found myself completely agreeing with the “Oh HELL no WAY!” reaction šŸ™‚ Of course I still knew people who thought their cleaning products were the best ever and SUCH a value for the money..blah blah blah. Still, I always get a terribly creepy, slimy vibe from the whole concept. Not the direct marketing of products part. That I get. You keep more money in your pocket as a supplier if you don’t have to split proceeds with stores or middlemen. I get THAT. The slimy part comes from the Multi-Level part. The way it quickly turns into a pyramid-like scheme as you recruit sales people to work for you and you make an ever increasing percentage of THEIR sales. Suddenly, it’s really only direct to the folks at the top as the percentages pocketed get smaller and smaller as they trickle down. The reason these things are not totally illegal pyramid schemes is because they ARE selling a real product at least at the base of the process. No product = no sales = no percentages to trickle UP and therefore no real company. So, it’s legal. And it must work because I swear there and more of these around than EVER.

What’s new within the last 15 years (to my exposure anyway) is that they are almost exclusively selling skin care products. Every new one that I’ve encountered is selling lotions and face creams. Looking at this list from Wikipedia I do see other companies I recognize from over the years. Pampered Chef, Tupperware, Discovery Toys, Avon & Mary Kay stand out as ones that have been around for a very long time. Full disclosure, I made a very lame attempt to sell Avon back in high school. Exceptionally lame! Sales (in any form) is just not for me šŸ™‚ Anyhow, recently I’ve stumbled upon friends venturing into NuSkin, LifeVantage and oen that is not (yet) on that Wiki list – L’Bri. Click on that L’Bri link and read their business plan. Classic MLM. Your goal obviously is to recruit so successfully that you get yourself into the Executive Manager realm.Ā  Double Diamond is the Ultimate position to be in.

Why am I bringing this up? Fear not – I am still NOT a salesperson & never want to be BUT – what makes me curious is how do these really succeed? How is there so much staying power? Personally I like some of the products enough sometimes to seek out a representative. I was exposed to L’Bri by my next door neighbor who had a house party and I really really like the products. How much? Well, let’s just say that I wound a solution to my shredded fingertips & cuticles! The aloe based formulas really seem to work. So, I hope that this relatively new company leaping into the direct sales skin care niche can succeed. But dayum does that market seemed saturated already!! First off, there’s the very many MLM versions. Then there’s just your regular old standard retail lines. Flip through a typical magazine geared towards women – say, Oprah’s – you know how many skin care/anti-aging product ads I saw in the very FIRST 30 pages? 15!! 15!! 1/2 of all pages were ads for skin products. And I did NOT count makeup. To me, that means, market = saturated, right?

But hey, I’m an accountant just doing math. Not into sales or marketing so what do I know right? I just find it so curious how these MLM type businesses can continue to thrive when from my own personal experience the majority of people I know hear a word like “Amway” or “Herbalife” or simply the term “MLM” and think “Oh HELL NO!” Negative. Scam.So then HOW do they keep going on?

Somebody out there must think they are awesome, right?! So – confess – WHO? Are you someone who doesn’t get the heebie jeebies when thinking about this? Do you LOVE the concept? Are you working for one of them now? Have you? Was it all that & a bag of chips? Because I really love my newly smooth, healing fingers & I want to keep them!


Not getting political here, I promise, (saving that for a post at PP) but have you notice that people either love, or hate, unions? Which is funny since the word unions means to unite, and yet the existence OF unions seems to do nothing but divide. Just something I’ve observed this week since unions are in the news. Strong feelings for sure. Not a lot of middle ground from what I’ve witnessed in discussions so far.


On the flip side – you know what even people on opposite sides of the political spectrum can agree on?


I put that as my status line on Facebook yesterday and got all manner of agreement from my vast variety of friends. I swear that even vegetarians love bacon. They search for that flavor all over even after giving up meat. Bacon just makes EVERYONE happy šŸ™‚ Well, except for that kid of mine up there peddling his ass off. Weirdo doesn’t like bacon! Or…thinks he doesn’t…he sure loved the bacon infused roasted chicken I made!

Have a great weekend. With dreams of bacon wrapped….oh..anything!

One thought on “This week in learning – everything old is new again?

Add yours

  1. I run from the mention of any MLM–though I do like some products. I remember years ago (about 18, yikes!) our Girl Scout troop was doing an “Exploring Careers” badge. All the little 8-year old girls were talking about being veterinarians and doctors. One of the little girls–who was also a touch odd–stood up and said, “I want to sell Amway, just like my mom and dad!” My co-leader and I excused ourselves and went into the kitchen and rolled around the floor laughing–it explained so much!


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