In case, anybody missed it, I’m an MLM representative. (And a shocked audience goes wild)
In my case, I’m a legally defined independent contractor distributing products and services of Quixtar Corporation. In marketing-speak; I’m an Independent Business Owner powered by Quixtar.
For further clarification, I’m included in a sub-category of Quixtar IBOs. This sub-category is defined as a “non-tools” IBO.
On the Internet, a “non-tools” IBO is looked upon with a little more favor(but sometimes, not much) among those that oppose Quixtar and Quixtar IBOs. It means that I don’t participate in a “second-business” of several Quixtar IBOs high up on the “recognition scale”. This second business involves the higher “muckety-mucks” producing motivational tapes and books and organizing motivational rallies for sale to their downline(people they have signed up in their business, and people they have signed up and so on and so forth)
Some of the “muckety-mucks” have organizations that reached into the thousands and thus they mange to sell a lot of motivational stuff and make a lot of money apart from their actual sale of Quixtar products and services.
Is this wrong?
There, I said it. It’s free enterprise. Capitalism at work. What the market will bear.
What it can be is…deceptive.
New recruits see a “higher-up” who has a new car, a mansion, a boat, and naturally assume all this wealth came from the sale of Quixtar products and the ability to teach others how to recruit and get others to sell Quixtar products. The new recruit has no idea that possibly this money came from the “second business”.
People that oppose this second business(me, included) point to the possibly thousands of dollars that unsuspecting IBOs spend on these motivational materials as a flaw in the second business. IBOs who get sucked in to this buying habit almost always spend more on the materials than they make in their Quixtar business. They “chase” the motivation and miss out on the real business of being a Quixtar IBO.
Also in the chase, they are subjected to the opinions and ideologies of those speaking on the tapes and at the rallies that may have nothing to do with building a Quixtar business.
Well then, you might ask, “Why doesn’t Quixtar step in and stop this practice?”
I think there are two good reasons.
1) If they regulated a second business that has nothing to do with selling Quixtar products and services, then the “independent” in “Independent Contractor” goes out the window. They legally have no say in how a IBO “trains” his downline. They can impose rules about disclosure of average incomes and “buy back” policies that deal with their trademarks and copyrights, they can even terminate IBOs that do not follow other rules that may involve setting up competing compensation plans for these tools. But they can only do so much legally.
2)The higher “muckety-mucks” have at their disposal a contract with Quixtar that gives them a “lobby” with the Corporation in the form of a IBO Council. This council was originally set up by the founders of the company to make sure those reps in the field would always have a certain “say” with the Corporation. They lobby that without these tools; servicing and training such a large sales force would be impossible and would be detrimental to their “first” business and to Quixtar’s bottom line.
Could the company survive a mass exodus of the 20 or so largest organizations? Remember, the organization consists of IBOs who are convinced that their leaders’ methods are the only way to build a successful business. If the leaders were to leave, would these IBOs stay?
So, with these problems, the people that oppose these methods speak out on the web and elsewhere.
And IBOs like myself are questioned as to why we turn a blind eye to the problem and condone the activity by our continued participation.
But those problems are really OUR solutions.
Now if you are oppose to MLM in general and think it’s a bad business model then anything except quitting won’t be a solution.
But here’s how I see it.
I have the same “independent’ status; which means I can choose to train my organization without tapes and rallies. I can take advantage of Internet Training, websites, Interactive forums, email, and the telephone. I can offer free training. I can teach business principles, merchandising techniques, interpersonal skills, netiquette, and I can motivate my IBOs through profit that they make.
If I can get my message out there and build a large organization, then I also have the opportunity to sit on the same council as the current “muckety-mucks”. I can lobby my ideas. If more organizations like mine spring up and are successful; then we begin to contribute more to the bottom line of Quixtar. Thus providing the corporation with an alternative mega income stream.
If, in fact, we are talking about “free enterprise” then encouraging IBOs to build without tools is the only way to effectively get rid of the tool system. Building organizations without tools successfully, would diminish the market for the tools and thus dry them up. So, operating a business ethically, without tools, accomplishes minimizing the evil, not turning a blind eye to it. In effect, changing the system from within.
Finally, as a consolation to those who feel MLM only makes money for those at the top, I offer this:
If one is honest and ethical presenting MLM and retailing products, AND cutting out the tools. Expenses become minimal, thus the inherent failure you see of the downline masses goes away. No, not everyone will become rich, BUT everyone could supplement their income to various degrees. But of course if you are showing the plan as a “get rich” plan then you aren’t showing it ethically in the first place. Again, it depends on the independence of the MLMer AND the good judgment of the “recruit”.
So, am I turning a blind eye?