They tell us that multi-level marketing isn’t a pyramid scheme. When I say that it’s endless chain recruiting, they tell me that’s nonsense. But it IS all about recruiting. They pretend it’s about the products, but we’re bombarded by requests to bring guests and interview them. Oh, it’s just for practice. Let the director interview them. It’s just for fun! Have her do a survey. We just just want her opinion!

Tell me why we’re wasting everyone’s time if we’re just pretending? Because they’re not pretending! They really DO want to recruit them. AND IT’S A NUMBERS GAME. The more people they talk to, the greater chance they have of recruiting someone.

But that’s not the only numbers game that’s involved here. In Mary Kay they pretend that there are an infinite number of women with skin. There are an infinite number of women to recruit into this scam. Sorry, but that’s not true. The marketing plan ensures that nearly everyone will fail. But lets just assume they’re right and “everyone” can succeed with this awesome “opportunity” and can recruit anyone. What would the numbers look like?

I’m a new sales director and I have 24 women in my unit. Since anyone can succeed with this “business,” they all become new directors, so they all have 24 women below them. This is a viable business opportunity, and they’re all on the fast track and this all fast and easy and they all become directors within 4 months of signing their agreements! Everyone keeps becoming directors. See how fast this multiplies:

1 director

24 new recruits in 4 months

576 new recruits in 8 months

13,824 new recruits in 12 months

331,776 new recruits in 16 months

You can see how quickly this gets absurd. Imagine if each of these directors/consultants got 100 customers each. (Having been in Mary Kay, we know how difficult it is to get 100 loyal customers because women have so many choices for their products these days, but work with me here.)

The amount of products that would be purchased as each of these women worked through DIQ and the required production of $18,000 wholesale each would add up quickly.

I’d be a National Sales Director in no time if the numbers game worked like this. And the population of the world would quickly run out. It’s impossible to recruit like this, and there are always losers at the bottom of the pyramid. Why do you think that the women at the bottom of Mary Kay are always scratching to make a few pennies? Even the women at the top who are supposedly the most successful are still putting on a front.

Why do you suppose Mary Kay stopped printing the incomes of a whole boatload of NSDs each month? (Do any of you remember when they used to print ALL NSD commission checks in Applause? Probably not because it’s been so long.) They stop printing those incomes because it was embarrassing. They’re at the very top of the company yet they were making less than $10,000 per month. Would consultants be inspired by that? These are not nameless, faceless women. They put up on a pedestal as the ultimate success in MK, yet HALF of the NSDs are making less than $10,000 per month. Let that sink in for a minute.

This idea that you *could* make a ton of money in Mary Kay is so silly. Sure. Anyone *could*. Almost no one *will*. When will women accept that the odds are so far stacked against them that it is the worst deal in the world? When are women going to stop taking money from their families and putting into this stupid nonsense, pretending it is a real opportunity for them? Yes, it’s a numbers game. One that is stacked completely against them.


  1. This is a great summary regarding how the house always wins with MLMs. The numbers are stacked against you no matter what level you reach in the pyramid. Just look at Somer Fortenberry’s latest video where she whines about the lack of activity in her area. She knows the numbers and knows that she won’t make money UNLESS her downline has a “full datebook” and orders unneeded products.

  2. “But lets just assume they’re right and ‘everyone’ can succeed with this awesome ‘opportunity’ and can recruit anyone. What would the numbers look like?”

    While your thought experiment nicely exposes the absurdity of endless-chain schemes, it is similarly important to note that It is mathematically impossible to have an average of even “one” direct down-line rep (per rep) in any MLM. If someone has 24 direct reps in their downline, 24 others elsewhere in the same down-line must have zero. The average must be less than one. There is no way around this.

    This simple model shows the mathematical limits of endless-chain systems, and why no MLM down-line can ever be profitable as a whole.

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