Facts, opinions, and the real story behind Mary Kay Cosmetics.
 

MLM Is Not the Problem

A comment from a gentleman who believes that people are more likely to fail than succeed at anything they do. What an outlook on life! Why do anything at all in life? What a sad life you are going to have if you’re most likely going to fail at everything!

Every negative you described appears in every sales opportunity on the planet. There will always be things out of your control. What is in your control is your attitude and response to these negatives. Your work ethic is in your control.

If your dumb enough to buy your way into a sales goal to achieve recognition, you will not succeed. That is bad business. If you open a McDonalds and buy 1000 big Macs to hit your sales goal, you’re a terrible business owner and a hollow shell of a person who believes that is success. And you will never succeed.

What you describe is not exclusive to MK. People are more likely to fail than succeed at anything they do, and we as sales people are entitled to nothing we don’t create for ourselves. The problem isn’t MK or MLM, it’s the people in them that blindly believe it’s an easy way to make 6 figures or better. They’re naive. And shame on the recruiters who aren’t straight with their distributors, hut again this isn’t exclusive to MK or even MLM.

As an insurance broker I talk to agents daily who blindly believe they are guaranteed to make 100k in passive incone just because someone else did. Only 10% of agents make that type of money or better. The other 90% are hardly ekibg out a living. But let’s blame the insurance company or better yet the insurance industry as a whole instead of taking responsibility for our poor business savvy, naivety and weak work ethic.

I challenge you to show me one business opportunity where 51% or more of the people succeed long term making an above average income. And back it up with facts. You cannot do it. 70% of businesses fail within 10 years. If you can prove me wrong, I will quit my job and sign up under you, then pass your lazy ass.

23 Comments

  1. Popinki

    “If you can prove me wrong, I will quit my job and sign up under you, then pass your lazy ass.” Like anyone’d take you with an attitude like that.

    Unlike MLMs, legit sales jobs have a hiring and vetting process to ensure they’re getting a person who is able and willing to sell stuff, not starry-eyed naifs who get caught up in the excitement of the moment. Going the other way, the new salesperson knows right away their hourly rate, their schedule, the benefits they are entitled to, and their quota. No “make zillions of dollars while working 4 hours a week!” nonsense, which the person finds out isn’t true.

    Unlike MLMs, franchise businesses do heaps of research to make sure another location is a viable option before letting a potential franchise owner open another one. I saw a documentary about LuLaRoe earlier this year where two women who lived side-by-side in a NYC apartment building were both selling and both failing because of market saturation.

    Unlike MLMs, retail purchasing is based on demand, season, current trends etc. Quotas when I worked in commission sales also took those factors into account. They weren’t arbitrary numbers just to help someone up the chain from us win some sort of cheap “bonus.” Good salespeople get rewarded with raises or other perks.

    Yes, the majority of new businesses fail. But all businesses are subject to the same vagaries of economy and nature, and other factors like poor management, bad location, failure to do the research, etc. But at least those are reasons beyond the company itself for failure, not because it’s a flawed business model that’s doomed to fail from the start like MLMs.

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    1. Mountaineer95

      So many good points! I doubt the writer above would understand them. We see how much he knows about McDonalds. I do wonder if this guy is in one of the insurance MLMs. Like Primerica but maybe not that exact one.

  2. Destiny Angel

    Every negative you described appears in every sales opportunity on the planet. There will always be things out of your control. What is in your control is your attitude and response to these negatives. Your work ethic is in your control.

    What a bunch of empty platitudes.

    If your(sic) dumb enough to buy your way into a sales goal to achieve recognition, you will not succeed. That is bad business.

    This is true.

    If you open a McDonalds and buy 1000 big Macs to hit your sales goal, you’re a terrible business owner and a hollow shell of a person who believes that is success. And you will never succeed.

    If I buy a McDonald’s franchise, I I have to fulfill many conditions including a required minimum number of potential customers in my hinterland. Any-one who walks through my McDonalds door knows what I am offering and they know I will not be trying to get them to open their own McDonalds and they can be relieved to hear that I will not be phoning them at 11.30 pm on the last night of the financial year begging them to buy one more burger, another order of fries or a milkshake.

    What you describe is not exclusive to MK.

    Not exclusive to MK, no. But very inclusive to MLMs.

    People are more likely to fail than succeed at anything they do, and we as sales people are entitled to nothing we don’t create for ourselves.

    People in MLMs are lead to believe that they are business owners, not sales people. Therein lays the difference.

    The problem isn’t MK or MLM, it’s the people in them that blindly believe it’s an easy way to make 6 figures or better.

    They are told it’s an easy way to make plenty of money, to pay off that credit card bill, etc. The up-lines flaunt their big houses, shiny cars, logoed bags to play into the illusion of success. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

    They’re naive (sic). And shame on the recruiters who aren’t straight with their distributors, hut (sic) again this isn’t exclusive to MK or even MLM.

    Maybe these women are naïve. And I totally agree that the people who push these faux opportunities are culpable but it does seem that MLMs as a whole are riddled with people who have bad intentions as they rise higher because they have to extract that last drop of blood or lipstick purchase.

    As an insurance broker I talk to agents daily who blindly believe they are guaranteed to make 100k in passive incone (sic) just because someone else did. Only 10% of agents make that type of money or better. The other 90% are hardly ekibg (sic) out a living. But let’s blame the insurance company or better yet the insurance industry as a whole instead of taking responsibility for our poor business savvy, naivety and weak work ethic.

    The only insurance brokers I know who talk about $100k in passive income are from Primerica, another MLM. The truly independent ones have a far more realistic expectations of their own earning potential. Those who are contracted to an agency are aware that they have a contract which gives them a basic salary with added commissions but no illusive “passive income”.

    I challenge you to show me one business opportunity where 51% or more of the people succeed long term making an above average income.

    I suspect my idea of an average income and this person’s idea are very different. But every woman I know who has been involved in in-home childcare has made a decent amount of profit during the years that they were active. Not enough to private jet down to the Bahamas every week-end but enough for their own needs. Plus they get to choose their own clients and working hours. And that can mean more than turning a quick buck.

    ,i>And back it up with facts. You cannot do it. 70% of businesses fail within 10 years. If you can prove me wrong, I will quit my job and sign up under you, then pass your lazy ass.

    I’m not sure this person can deal with undisputed facts and I don’t have time to google business failure rates ATM. But I will suggest that he gets this license for childcare and starts changing diapers, cleaning up vomit, waiting in the rain for school to end, helping with math you have forgotten or improving our second language, and as a bonus he will have helped other people in a tangible way. Money isn’t always some-one’s motive for what they do in life.

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  3. Char

    “If you open a McDonalds and buy 1000 big Macs to hit your sales goal, you’re a terrible business owner and a hollow shell of a person who believes that is success.”—

    And even dumber!!!……..You ask every one of your burger eating potential customers to open up a restaurant on your block, and they order direct from the company instead of buying your Big Macs.

    “The problem isn’t MK or MLM”—

    See above, and yes it is. Perhaps you should understand how MLM works before calling others naive. You mistakenly thought MLM is actually about selling burgers. What a dumbbell.

    “And shame on the recruiters who aren’t straight with their distributors”—

    A question: Who’s a recruiter, and who’s a distributor in MLM? You’re not the sharpest tool in the shed, are you?

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  4. AnonyMouse

    “If you can prove me wrong, I will quit my job and sign up under you, then pass your lazy ass.”

    What an interesting threat. How would that be possible if none of us here are in an MLM company? Hmm.

    Calm down and take a seat sir. You came to the wrong place for such a rant.

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    1. Data Junkie

      “I will quit my job and sign up under you, then pass your lazy ass.”

      Adding to AnonyMouse:
      – Real business owners can’t be “passed up” by underlings, unless they buy the business outright. Hmm…
      – An MLMer’s “business” can’t be sold. But real small businesses and franchises can. This is so strange
      – Banks will loan money to real small businesses and franchisees. But not to MLMers. That’s curious
      – Most of what Mary Kay produces is never used. Something other than the product must be driving the MK machine. What could it possibly be?
      – MLMers appear to have anosmia when it comes to this distinct MLM odor. Everyone else can smell it from a mile away. (*sniff*) Eew…
      – Half of new business never get off the ground, But 99.6% of MLMers must lose money. Wait, what?
      – Traditional companies make money from outside customers. MLM’s make money mostly from their own sales force. Huh?
      – 100% of the employees of nearly all traditional companies make positive income. MLM?
      Only 0.4% (typical). Yikes!
      – MLM kingpins profit almost entirely from down-line losses, not retail sales. Now hold on a minute!
      – Mary Kay charges retail sales tax to their distributers, traditional wholesalers do not. What’s up with that?
      – Could it be that MLMers are no more than customers who get cash back on their own purchases and those of their referrals? (*gasp!*)
      – Everyone is buying and no one is selling in MLM. What the…

      Watch your wallet closely, OP. MLMing is not recognized by financial institutions as legitimate business activity.

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      1. Lazy Gardens

        “Mary Kay charges retail sales tax to their distributors, traditional wholesalers do not. What’s up with that?”

        Here’s whassup ….. it’s because of the piss-poor accounting knowledge of the MLM distributor networks and the desire of states to collect sales tax:

        Real wholesalers REQUIRE their customers to have a business license and/or tax number. It’s then up to the buyer to collect and hand over the sales tax. Wholesaler reports sales, state compares with tax from business … basic accounting.

        So many MLM distributors were failing to collect and submit sales tax (or collecting it and spending it!) that MLMs have special tax laws that require them to collect sales tax IN ADVANCE on the full retail price and pass it to the state/local tax authority. Their sales force – theoretically – will collect the tax from a real customer when they sell at full price, and recover the advance tax.

        On the advice of their upline, many MLMers will charge “full sales tax”, even on a discounted item, to try to recover as much prepaid tax as possible. THIS IS ILLEGAL!!! You must charge tax on the ACTUAL sales price, not the mythical “full retail”, and request a refund of the excess from the MLM.

        If the product is discounted or discarded, there is a form to fill out to submit the actual retail $$ and get a refund of the overcharged tax from the MLM. It’s a well-concealed form and if asked, most MLMers do not know how to do this. Few upliners will explain it, because it requires good record-keeping and it’s quickly apparent what the REAL cash flow of the “business opportunity” is.

        1. Data Junkie

          Thanks gor clarifying, Lazy Gardens. This is so interesting. It is still backwards to me. If the MLMer never sells or consumes the item, sales tax should not be collected. But thats assuming the consultant is seen as a true retailer, which the IRS does not.

          It still seems to me the reason they charge sales tax is Mary Kay operates like a retailer, not a wholesaler, and enough states complained to these MLMs that they were not getting sales tax on the overwelming majority of the purchases that go to the consultant but never make it to an outside customer.

          This may also serve to placate states so they are less likely to go after MLMs for their pyramid activities. But just think how embarrassing it would be for MLMs to stand in front of a state AG and try to explain the real reason so little sales tax is collected: because such a tiny fraction of consultant inventory is sold to end customers. That might get the AG’s attention and raise the spectre of greater scrutiny of the MLM.

        2. Mountaineer95

          I think another reason corporate collects tax up front is that if the consultant has to calculate her actual sales in order to determine what sales tax is owed, she will see just how truly dismal her sales are. But hey, let corporate take care of this pesky tax thing so she doesn’t have to mess with it! Just another way to keep the wool over the consultant’s eyes.

  5. morningstar

    An angry bird flew in, He is angry about something in his writings, although I do not think it is about sales etc. He somehow is competing with who?
    And the sad thing he is re ally calling himself out:
    then pass your lazy ass.

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  6. Kristen

    “If your dumb enough to buy your way into a sales goal to achieve recognition, you will not succeed.”

    And if YOU’RE dumb enough to use the wrong form of the word ‘you’re’, I have no respect for you or your argument. Get an education.

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  7. NayMKWay

    “I challenge you to show me one business opportunity where 51% or more of the people succeed long term making an above average income.”

    Well, sir, I challenge you to show us one MLM where more than 2% of those who sign up make any money at all. You make cracks about insurance agents who barely eke out a living. Well, at least they do eke out a living rather than pour money into a scam.

    The FTC recently published the results of a study into what percentage of people who join MLMs end up losing money. The result? Every single MLM scored greater than 99%. If you want to look all those people in the eye and tell them they’re all lazy losers, I’ll happily stand by and watch them kick your sorry ass.

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    1. Mountaineer95

      And the writer’s behavior of talking to agents daily who blindly believe they are guaranteed to make 100k in passive income certainly isn’t a profit-building activity, right? All the time he listens to these dummies complain is time he could instead be using to build his own business. Sounds like something a lazy looser might do.

  8. Wasrings90

    As an insurance broker I talk to agents daily who blindly believe they are guaranteed to make 100k in passive incone (sic) just because someone else did. Only 10% of agents make that type of money or better. The other 90% are hardly ekibg (sic) out a living. But let’s blame the insurance company or better yet the insurance industry as a whole instead of taking responsibility for our poor business savvy, naivety and weak work ethic

    Oh my, I hope you’re not a broker in the same state that I am in.. I work for a franchise agency, it’s a good job, the owners father started the agency 60yrs ago, the owner has been running it for 40yrs now & his son has been running his own agency for the last 15yrs, the guy who worked about 6 miles away from our office and retired this year was running his agency for 35yrs, the independent agency across the street from my office has been in business for the last 40yrs also, the agency by the football stadium has been there with the same agent for the last 25yrs, the independent agency across town has been in business for 55yrs… The agency I started at the lead agent had been in the business for 20yrs and she originally worked for an agent that was in the business for 40yrs before he retired and she went independent….. Not owner of these people are lazy, think they will make all their money on passive income, nor do they have anything close to a weak work ethic. I don’t know what type of candidates or agents you are talking to, but they probably aren’t the right type of people to be in the insurance business….. Or maybe they have that mindset because you are pushing it on them like the MK NSD’s seem to – that’s why you are upset that this website exists.

  9. Eyes Wide Open

    What a knucklehead. I can’t imagine being his spouse, child, or coworker. This is a guy whose glass isn’t half empty – he doesn’t even have a glass at all.

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  10. Mountaineer95

    As a now-retired sales professional, I can tell you that I NEVER had to pay a company up front to be “permitted” to sell their products. I went through interviews, put together a good resume, and only then would I be offered a position. I didn’t pay a cent to get my jobs; rather, the hiring company paid quite a bit for my training and on-boarding.

    MLM will take anyone who can pay to play. Your resume, your experience, pretty much nothing else matters at all except whether you can pay for the starter kit.

    Tell me again how MLM and non-MLM sales “jobs” are the same.

    1. Data Junkie

      “…pretty much nothing else matters at all except whether you can pay for the starter kit.”

      That’s the MLM business model: Sell starter kits to those customers you are able to fool into believing they are business owners. The consultant is the customer, and the starter kit is the MLM’s most lucrative product. Starter kit purchased=Sale complete, mission accomplished. Next?

      Unlike franchising, no MLM corporate business plan has any dependency on their reps running a successful business. That’s because MLMs (MK included) are primarily in the business of selling inventory to their own sales folks. No outside sales necessary.

      Bottlesoup covered this well here in this 2015 article:
      https://bottlesoup.com/2015/04/18/jamberry-scamberry-why-the-latest-mlm-preying-on-sahms-will-never-give-you-financial-freedom/

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