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MLM Personal Development
Is It a Scam or The Real Thing?


MLM personal development has evolved into “direct sales” personal development. There's a big difference and one that makes you sit up and take notice when the word “scam” comes to mind.

When Multi Level Marketing (MLM) was new, it had everyone chasing after their friends and family to buy the “latest, greatest” soap!  But was it really the best soap?  And why do companies opt for the multi level marketing approach? 

Because it's very profitable, both for the company and the distributor [if the distributor can get past his/her circle of friends and family!]

And, yes, it probably was the best soap!  It had to be in order to compete with traditional distribution.

But, a lot of people confuse the two terms of “multi level” and “network marketing.”   In fact, many people use the two interchangeably.  But there's one distinguishing factor when looking at an opportunity for “scam alerts...”

And that is whether the opportunity is network marketing “direct sales” or network marketing “mlm.”  (Or sometimes it could be a little bit of both if the company has more than one avenue of income.)  Today's “mlm personal development” has evolved into using “direct sales” for the bulk of its sales.

 Let's first take a quick look at what makes up network marketing MLM and why it's gotten such a bad name.

MLM Personal Development

So, why do so many mlm companies get labeled “scams?”

Well, over the years there have been “fraudulent pyramid schemes.”  These have come to be known as “Ponzi schemes” because of a man named Charles Ponzi, who became notorious for using the “pyramid scheme” in the 1920's.

So, what did Mr. Ponzi do to get such a title?  He sold a ton of “nothing” to a whole lot of people, and “robbed Peter to pay Paul” to do it.

There really wasn't any valuable product being purchased.  Even today there are “pyramids” out there where there's supposedly a product, but they never materialize.

But what about the mlm companies that have the soap?  That's a tangible, valuable product...

A lot of people will call that a scam too.  But when you ask a few targeted questions, you'll find out out a different story.

An example conversation would be:

Person A:    Oh, that's a scam.  I tried it and never made any money.

Personal B:  Was there a tangible product being exchanged for money?

Person A:  Yes.

Person B:  So people actaully sold a product rather than making their money from sign-up fees of new people, right?

Person A:  Yes, the commissions were paid from the sale of the products and the sign-up fees went to the company as administration costs.  

Person B:     Okay, were there people who did make money in that business?

Person A:     Well, yea.  Some people made a ton of money, but I never made any.

Person B:    Okay, well, if people were making money in it, yet you weren't making money, what was the difference?

Person A:     Well, I didn't have the time.  I didn't think I could be like them.  I guess I didn't really apply myself like they did.

Person B:     So, does that make it a scam?

Person A:   No, I guess not.

A lot of people are into the “blame game" and the word “scam” is something that is often used when people don't get the results they wanted.

I saw it all the time when I did talent scouting around the country for models and actors.  We had a viable product and people (who applied themselves) got great results and had success, yet those who didn't “apply themselves” to the opportunity in front of them, quickly came up with the word “scam.”

It's a word that is used to shift responsibility that you should have taken to make yourself successful, onto someone else so you don't feel bad for failing...

Except in Mr. Ponzi's case and the other pyramids floating around out there today.

And what if you did apply yourself but still didn't get results?  Let me ask you, “Was your "opportunity" one of those where you were earned "a quarter of a penny commission per person?"

Yea, I hear you laughing and saying, “Oh, come on Suzanne. Aren't you exaggerating?”

Uh, no, actually I'm not.  I was introduced to such an opportunity.  I did the math and found that by the time the money "came down all those levels" it came out to about 1/4 of a cent per person residual.

So I politely said, “No thanks" to the person who invited me (and kept the “Are you crazy” part to myself.)  Interestingly enough, the man that introduced me to it lasted about 3 months before quitting that "opportunity" himself.)  

So, even if it's not a true "ponzi scheme", each opportunity needs to be weighed and measured against, "Do I have the human energy to make a million dollars off of 1/4 cent per person?  

Personally, I'd take my own pennies (and spare change from my desk, pockets and glove box) and collect them in a jar.  In a month, I'd be totally profitable and could celebrate my first month "in business" by taking myself out for ice cream - two scoops if the profits were high enough!  (Can you tell I'm a little jaded when it comes to MLM?)

MLM Personal Development

So, the difference between network marketing “MLM” and network marketing “direct sales” is simply this:

Multi level:  A lot of people get a piece of the pie as it moves up the ranks.

Direct sales:  One person gets the proceeds from each sale.  Whether that person be on level one, two or three, only one person gets all the proceeds from the one sale.

So mlm personal development has turned into high profit personal development because all the profits from each sale go to one person – instead of dividing it up among a 100 people in your “upline,” “downline” or “crossline!”

Can there be a combination of both?  Yes and no.  Look for how many people get a cut of the money.  If it passes up a couple of levels, but still only one person gets it all, it's still direct sales – with a “flavor” of mlm.   The good news about that is that when it gets passed up to you, you also get the whole thing.
A good example of this would be a “complete online mlm marketing system” that not only recruits prospects for you for direct sales, but is fashioned in an mlm format to give you some “pocket change” for your costs with the system.

So, MLM personal development can be a combination of both direct sales commissions and muliti-level recruiting commissions, depending on how it's set up.

MLM Personal Development

MLM personal development can be the real thing if you:
  • Find an opportunity that pays high dollars per sale!
  • Apply yourself
  • Get a good online network marketing lead system
  • Apply yourself, and
  • Run the other way when someone talks about Mr. Ponzi!

For more information about promoting positive thinking, check out this article:

Personal Development Business Opportunities: New Ideas for Small Business  Personal development business opportunities are emerging as one of the most creative ways to make money today because this type of business offers many facets to owning...


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