When my wife and I made the decision to represent AdvoCare as Distributors we did it because we were so totally impressed with the products and the people representing Advocare. Our friends and AdvoCare mentors are such wonderful and impressive people, which we’ve learned even more so in the nearly one year we have been accepting their teachings and guidance. But one thing they warned us about, and others within the AdvoCare family warned us about has come to pass when I absolutely didn’t think it would. We were warned that a lot of people would outright reject Advocare without ever hearing about it because they were convinced it was a “Pyramid Scheme“. I didn’t think this was such a threat because I didn’t think there were going to be that many people my wife and I encountered who were THAT stupid.
Ok…Ok…that was mean.
Not stupid. How about ignorant?
Better…but still a little too demeaning.
Let’s stick with “ill-informed”.
Anyway, there have been a lot more of those ill-informed people that I ever thought possible.
If you’re one of those stup…errr…ill informed people you probably became that way through absolutely no research done on your part. My guess is you asked someone about Multi-Level Marketing or maybe it was because of you specifically asked someone about AdvoCare and this person being equally stup…errr…ill informed said to you, “I heard its a pyramid scheme” and that was it. You were done with AdvoCare or Multi-Level Marketing completely. You made no effort to learn from someone who knew better, you didn’t even bother to evaluate the intelligence or wisdom or experience of the person who gave you that false information. In all likelihood this person who gave you this bad, incorrect information was not accomplished in any way. But their word became your Bible, on this subject anyway.
It’s amazing how many people take the words and advice of friends and family who have no credentials, no accomplishments, no resume`, education, or bank account in which to measure their advice as worth while. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll take friendships from where ever they’re offered. But in the words of Sales Trainer Tom Hopkins, “I won’t take advice from anyone more screwed up than I am”.
You, the ill-informed one, need to know what a pyramid scheme actually is because neither Advocare nor most other multi-level marketing companies are “pyramid schemes” They are closer to what “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” author Robert Kiyosaki called “the perfect business”.
The definition of “pyramid scheme” from Wikipedia is: A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public.
Bernie Madoff was busted in 2008 for operating the biggest pyramid scheme in U.S. history, totalling $65-billion dollars in fraud. He did it by taking new investors money to pay off earlier investors. And then he kept getting more and more investors, all of them paid off with money that came from newer investors. The obvious end result of this is that eventually Madoff ran out of new investors, and the stock market crash of 2008 painted Madoff into a corner in which he couldn’t escape. Investors kept asking him for their money. He paid out as much as he could, but couldn’t keep up. The dier economy left him fewer and fewer investors and eventually he was caught and arrested, December 11, 2008. Madoff made no investments. He sold no products. He just took from Peter to pay Paul.
Advocare sells products. AdvoCare sells the finest health and nutritional supplements in the world. The company has hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers; most of whom take the products and never work it as a business. And not one AdvoCare Distributor is paid a dime for signing-up another. AdvoCare is a products driven company. And it is a for-profit company. It’s been around for over 20 years and you don’t get to stick around that long by being a pyramid scheme. A pyramid scheme is not successful in signing up famous national spokespersons like Drew Brees, Jason Whiten, Matt Hasselback, Sam Bradford, Michael W. Smith, Doug Fister, Veronica Campbell-Brown…and so many others. A pyramid scheme doesn’t sponsor NCAA football Bowl games, like the AdvoCare Independence Bowl. A pyramid scheme doesn’t sponsor Nascar races or race cars, like Advocare.
I once had someone actually tell me, regarding multi-level marketing, “I have a problem making money off the labor of others.” I told them of my previous employers. This broadcast sales company had a single owner, a General Manager, and a Sales Manager, in descending order of rank and/or responsibility. Not one of them sold anything to any customer (In truth I think the Sales Manager made a few sales every year…but not much) or made any of our products. They made money off the labors of the Sales Staff. We had a sales staff of between 40-45 people. They sold everything and were paid a wage based on how much they sold. The Sales Manager made a living based on how much the sales staff sold. The General Manager’s salary was raised based on whether the sales staff sold. The owner increased his wealth or earnings based on how much the sales staff sold. Are you beginning to get the picture?
Multi-Level Marketing became tied to the idea of what a Pyramid Scheme was over 20 years ago when the U.S. Justice Department charged Michigan based Amway Corporation with being a “pyramid scheme”. Amway defended itself, and won in court. It isn’t and wasn’t a Pyramid scheme. Unfortunately though for them and other MLM’s the label stuck. Amway was a billion dollar sales company in the U.S. prior to the lawsuit and a damning 60-Minutes tv profile. They have since fell on very hard times and a bad reputation within the United States. But Amway is still one of the top 25 business companies, in revenue, in the country thanks to the fact that the reputation-damaging false charges didn’t diminish Amway’s over-seas sales.
Multi-Level Marketing companies have existed successfully in this country for nearly 150 years. The Fuller Brush Company being one of the first and longest lasting. A couple of others you may have heard about are Avon or Mary Kay Cosmetics, and Tupperware…just to name a few. Multi-Level Marketing simply means you are creating leaders who lead a sales force and get paid according to that sales force’s level of success. But unlike the Classic Business Pyramid as shown in the picture above, the sales force of a well run MLM has its own sales force under them (If they choose to.) The fact is most buyers of Mary Kay Cosmetics never sell Mary Kay Cosmetics. That includes my wife. She’s bought Mary Kay for over 20 years and hasn’t sold a single lipstick container. Nobody accuses Mary Kay of being a Pyramid scheme.
I’ve never sold Amway or any other Multi-Level marketing product/company in my life, either. But all this information is on-line and free to find for anyone who looks.
The fact is name-calling, or demeaning something you don’t know about or understand, by calling it a pyramid scheme is a lot easier than taking the time to learn about it. And that’s why stup…errr…igno…ummm…I mean ill-informed people will continue to believe Advocare and other MLM’s are pyramid schemes. They’re just to lazy to learn the truth.
Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.
- You Too CAN Afford the Expense of Losing Weight (mschuettblahblahblah.com)
- Business 101: Defining Network Marketing (business.answers.com)
- PREVIEW: Pyramid Schemes (whatafriggenworld.wordpress.com)
- Draft norms for multi-level marketing firms soon (themlmindia.wordpress.com)
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.