Oasis or Mirage? Part II

Why did Bo Short and Passport decide to associate to Oasis LifeSciences? What happened?

Even though the Pentagon visits “On The Road With Dave”, I admit I haven’t got access to wire tapping devices, nor am I on the “inside” of the boardroom decisions of Bo Short’s company, so I don’t have any facts other than the Public Relations notices being published.

What I do have is opinion and conjecture. And in the MLM-blog world, that’s sometimes good enough.

Here’s why I think Passport “jumped ship.”

1. “The Buzz” ceased.

Take an elite Amway Diamond disgusted with the “tools business” and let him start his own MLM. Let this Diamond be interviewed about the vices of Amway and the “tool system” by a national TV news show; couple this with his staunchest new distributors’ zeal for getting the word out and in PR vernacular, you have some major “buzz”.

It’s a start-up company’s dream.

But, when the “buzz” dies down, you still have to continue on with focus.

Passport seems to not be able to get past the “buzz” point, in my opinion.

Dropping the MLM component, and switching downlines to another company creates yet another buzz in the MLM industry.

2. Inconsistency

If you start an MLM company and you “set yourself apart” as a company that will provide free training, no training tapes for sale, and inexpensive products that should have a retail market; then you need to stick with it.

Two inconsistencies I noticed from Passport had to deal with tape sales and products.

In March of 2005, the president of Passport kicked around the idea of a “sponsoring tape” produced by Bo Short based on subject matter from his “Amway” days.

Reader comments for that idea seemed less than favorable.

To me it said two things. “Hey maybe we jumped the gun on setting ourselves apart from Amway, cause all of our founder’s training and insight comes from building an Amway diamondship.” Secondly it said to me, “If we could make a little more money selling a tape, maybe that wouldn’t be so bad, if nobody notices. They noticed.

The other inconsistency involved, is faith in the products of Passport.
Passport is not a manufacturer. Their products are produced by a private-label company to Passport specifications. Nothing wrong with that.

But, if you have products to sell, you should be concentrating on THOSE products. So if a leader of Passport decides to join another MLM while also promoting Passport, then my question is, “What is the message being sent to the Passport reps?” Even if it is an Experiment.

(NOTE: If you’d like to read more of The MLM Experiment, you’ll have to enter the URL: http://mlmblog.typepad.com/vemma/ in order to access. The current home page has no archives and merely reiterates the Passport/Oasis association.)

3. Ego

Let’s say you are an Amway Diamond. Thousands of people come to hear you speak. Thousands more buy every audio tape with your name on it. You are held in high regard among the Amway “Red White and Blue Guard”. You may be as humble as Ghandi, but you can’t say you don’t get a little thrill out all that applause and accolades coming from your adoring downline. (I know I would)

But, you start a company that promises an end to these rallies and love fests. Instead, you are met with the day-to-day challenges of corporate balance sheets, employee payroll, shipping costs, and legal paperwork. You are faced with all the hassles that any good MLMer worth his salt is seeking to avoid. You become the antithesis of what is SUPPOSED to make up the Diamond lifestyle. Plus, rarely does anybody applaud when you show up for board meetings and the sound of the crowd is far from deafening when you give your conference call talks. Those speakerphones can’t match the power of 15000 watt Peavy amplifiers.

Your ego has to suffer.

What if you could find a way “back into the game”. Rallies, conventions, audiotapes, and oh yeah, some new “Buzz” products promising more than your inexpensive label. Wouldn’t you jump?

4. The Greener Pasture Syndrome.

This is the syndrome of “MLM junkies.” Those people seeking the “next big thing”, The next “groundfloor opportunity”. MLM junkies spend 2-5 years with one company and then, amazingly, see the light at the end of the tunnel in ANOTHER MLM. An MLM that will finally work this time…an MLM that finally has the right products….an MLM that finally has the right leadership.

But, the Greener Pasture Syndrome is not exclusive of the MLM junkies, it can happen to the best of us. We strive to make our MLM business work and we are met with frustration and disappointment peppered in with our small successes. We wonder if we can make it from Point A to Point Z. For those who become successful they tackle each letter as it comes, but for some, it’s easier to quit at “C” and leave MLM altogether. For other’s, reaching point Z requires an entirely new alphabet, where they can skip some letters.

5. Website Awareness and URL obscurity.

Do a simple search for “Passport” on Google and you’ll be hunting for awhile for the company Passport, LLC. Do a search for Oasis LifeSciences and “BINGO”, you’re there. You can even hit the “I Feel Lucky” button.

Passport reps did a great job of making Bo Short’s name a household name on the Internet, but even after 4 years online, Passport, the company, is still obscure.

These are just a few perceptions I have of this new development at Passport, LLC.

They are items that speak to my main objections of many MLM companies being operated today. The Greener Pasture syndrome; the seemingly unending desire of MLM leaders to seek the limelight,and the dissatisfaction of just running a good business and adapting to the marketplace or failing in the attempt. Switching companies makes good headlines, creates “buzz”, and provides a “fresh start”.

Sticking with the basics can be boring for some.

My wish is for success for the former Amway reps, who are now former Passport reps who are now to become Oasis reps. I hope they find a true “Oasis” in the MLM industry.

My fear is that the “Oasis” will become merely a mirage in another 5 years and they will become former Amway/former Passport/former Oasis reps seeking another new company.

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About Dave Robison

Now Appearing in an Extended Engagement! Join Dave Robison as he takes you into his world and his daily life of reviving a stand-up comedy career. Prepare for side trips exploring Public Relations, marketing and business ethics. Enjoy some frequent detours describing his observations on life. Read the exploits of this self-proclaimed Renaissance-man and blooming blogger as you go On The Road With Dave. From Mobile, Alabama comes Dave Robison, a confessed Internet-aholic, middle-aged-married-man, who's generally a nice guy--he just has one or two issues. Stand-Up Comedy by Dave Robison is available for corporate events, college campuses, and nightclubs.
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2 Responses to Oasis or Mirage? Part II

  1. Anonymous says:

    obviously you have not did your homework on Oasis. If you had, then you would know why people are switching over and staying.

  2. I haven’t done a lot of homework on Oasis.

    I know they have a limited nutrition line and a unilevel payout plan.

    But you are corrrect, I don’t know why they are “staying”.

    Are they “staying”? Do you have attrition figures for Oasis since their inception. Does Oasis publish their drop-out rate? Does it beat the industry standard of a generous 50% after the first year?

    Let me know. I’d be interested.

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