It’s time for another anti-MLM Monday post. You can read my previous anti-MLM posts here
I want to ask this: how many of you have a timed job (aka 9-5, 10-6, or the like)? How many of you have jobs that are not 9-5? Does your job come with benefits, like health, time off, and tuition reimbursement? If so, I’m here to tell you this… your average MLM hun hates you.
MLM huns like to claim themselves as small business owners just for the sake of it and also to put themselves on a pedestal over those who work in “corporate America”. They see themselves as better than the people who they claim are “working for the man” and “contributing to the salary of the CEOs”. Now, corporate America has its own issues (read: billionaires who think they’re hot shit), but the main difference between corporate America and multi-level marketing companies is that the former actually pays their employees while the latter doesn’t. Corporate America is also a pyramid, but they have limited spaces. They don’t try to recruit people to work for them. Meanwhile, in multi-level marketing, they will take in anyone with a pulse.
For this week’s anti-MLM post, we will look into the MLM’s war on 9-5’s
MLM huns love to say 9-5’s are a pyramid scheme designed to make their bosses richer. They have made claim after claim that those who work 9-5 or other shifts are tied down without any dreams or goals and are there to line the pockets of their company’s CEOs. This Reddit post above explained that the OP was able to pay off and own her own car due to having a 9-5 job while the hun she was talking to only had her Mercedes due to reaching a quota in her company. In the later weeks, I will discuss the “free stuff” that gets thrown around in MLM companies
I found an anti-MLM YouTube video from two years ago that explains the whole argument about 9-5’s that MLM reps keep spewing without context, even when they have been debunked.
Around the 2:10 mark, the “small business owner” tag gets debunked quickly. One of the reasons people join MLMs is the promise of being their own boss. The supposed benefits of time and financial freedom are enticing to people who needed a change and MLM companies prey on that. Another aspect of the “being your own boss” mantra is the tools they would receive upon joining these companies. I might dive into this another time, but the gist of it is that what they actually do is less than 1% of what real business owners do. It’s almost like the business was built for them and all they have to do is promote it.
At the 2:56 mark, the graph was shown of two triangles, one labeled “job” and the other “MLM”. Yes, both structures are in the shape of a triangle, but the difference is that in a 9-5 job (or any shift), everyone gets paid. The C-Level folks get paid, the managers and directors also get paid, and the rest of the company gets paid too. The money flows downward, with the C-Level holders getting the most (sometimes a lot more, but that’s an argument for another time) followed by managers and directors, supervisors, and finally the employees. In an MLM, the money flows upward. Huns holding higher ranks get a bigger cut of the sales their downlines made based on how big it is and how far up they go. They also stack. For example, a hun will make a 25% cut from her direct downline, a 15% cut from her second-level downline, a 10% cut from her third-level downline, and so on. Every MLM that has released an income disclosure statement has at least 60% of its workforce within the bottom 3 levels of the pyramid.
5 minutes in and there is a discussion on sales in corporate America vs MLM. Monica explains that in a regular sales job, losing a client will have implications for the whole company. In an MLM, however, it’s a revolving door. Those at the bottom keep coming and leaving because the hard work they keep putting in is not giving them the return they deserve, despite what the uplines tell them.
At the 6:45 mark, the stability is much different in a 9-5 than in an MLM. In a timed shift job, like 9-5, 10-6, 8-4, or whatever shift there is out there, you have a set of hours that you work, and you get your pay. The pay is stable because you know how much you get paid for your work hours. In an MLM, the pay fluctuates. MLM huns get drawn on the so-called “uncapped potential” to earn as much money as they want, but they could also earn nothing. In fact, in most months they lose money. Think of it like you’re sending a check to your job rather than the company paying you for your time.
At the 8-minute mark, the discussion goes into the base salary. Again, in a 9-5, you have a guaranteed salary. In an MLM, it fluctuates even day by day. In both instances, the amount is measured before taxes. That means in a 9-5, you will still have money left over, but in an MLM you’ll be running in the red
At the 9-minute mark, we’re now diving into the “free” stuff. MLM companies love to promote the “free” incentives to their reps, who in turn love to promote the same “free” incentives to their potential recruits and on their public social media posts. They also turn around and say that their 9-5 jobs don’t have them and have used this “lack of free incentives” as the reason to join the MLM.
Earlier this month, Monat held their annual Monations convention in St. Louis, Missouri. You would think that Monat paid for the airfare, lodging, and other expenses for their 25,000 reps… but it’s not the case. If they had a 9-5 and they had to go to a work conference, their company would have paid for all the expenses. But since they’re in an MLM, they had to pay for almost everything… the mandatory ticket (yeah, it was mandatory. These are the prices for the 2023 convention), the airfare, the lodging, etc. Here is the full Monations FAQ for reference, which includes a question about expenses and bringing babies onboard
Staying with the “free” incentives, MLM reps love to talk about getting their free company car from their businesses as opposed to an actual company. The problem with that, like that of the free trips, is that the rep is on the hook for at least half the car payment when they hit a certain rank, and they have to rerank to that level or higher every month or they’ll be on the hook for the entire car payment. The cars chosen by the reps are of a luxurious vibe, so the monthly payments are a lot higher than for most cars. In a 9-5, you don’t have to worry about any of that, and if you have a company car, the company is paying for all of it
The benefits are drastically different in a 9-5 versus in an MLM. In a 9-5 job, you get benefits like health, vision, dental, paid time off, maternity and paternity leave, sick leaves, etc. Sure, they could be better. They can be better, but that’s a conversation for another time. In an MLM, however, unless you’re in the top 0.0000001% of the company, you really don’t have benefits. MLM reps are 1099 independent contractors (in other words, NOT business owners), and therefore don’t have benefits. They also don’t have withholding, so they end up filing more tax returns (quarterly) than those in a 9-5
Speaking of paid time off, vacations are also different. In a 9-5, you get to plan your own vacation. You get to put in your requests and you can go wherever you want and not have to work. In an MLM, however, the way vacations work is that the reps usually beg people on social media to help them reach their goals so that they qualify for those trips. But what happens when they get there… they still had to work. Yes, they will post from their “vacation spots”, where “taking your job anywhere” is considered a flex.
The final characteristic is market saturation. Corporate jobs don’t have more people than they need. They have limited spaces and filling the spots is competitive. In an MLM, they will take in anyone over 18 with a pulse and $99 to spare. Because of how they recruit people, it’s not uncommon to see an entire neighborhood full of Mary Kay reps for example. They will deny it outright, but it’s not a secret.
In conclusion, the money flows downward in corporate America and upward in an MLM. The lowest level employees get guaranteed pay in a 9-5, although minimum wage has stalled for over a decade. The top reps make their money off the backs of their downlines, so it’s no wonder there’s a 99% fail rate. So keep that in mind if you’re approached with an opportunity to join an MLM.