I remember after I left my last job and before I started my own business I got sucked into the MLM game.
I was attracted to the "business in a box" aspect. They said they'd give me everything I needed to get started with my own business. Well, sign me up.
I signed up with a home decor company and thought it would pair perfectly with starting my eDesign business. I could spec these products in my jobs to clients and make cherry on top income.
But the MLM company also wanted me to do business their way. So I also did that. Reluctantly.
The first step was always to tell you to make a list of 100 friends and family you can sell to. Get them to host a party for you. Then people at the party will book you to do a party for them. It's soooo easy.
It wasn't. Maybe this works better in other states, but in California it's pretty fucking hard to get someone to host a party which is really a "Hey, wanna come to my house to listen to some stranger sell us shit, then buy some of the stranger's shit so I can get free shit?". Not to mention the fact that a bunch of people who live here are a-holes who recoil in fear when you say "Good Morning" to them. Californians like to keep to their cliques.
When I finally got someone to host a party for me it was filled with all sorts of awkward. I had to filter my words, read off cards about the benefits of the product and pretend I wasn't kooked out by the side-eyed bitch looking at me waiting for me to finish my presentation.
Of course, there was always the customer who had to make a point of telling me that the product was over priced. In my head, I'm like "I know. But I'm only making 25% on this deal to haul shit in and out of a house to perform for a meager profit."
After exhausting my list of family and friends, which was like 7 people, I ran out of people to host parties for me. Which didn't make the team leader happy. They didn't get their spiffs unless we were booking people. So they would push, push, push and I would retreat.
I did tell the team leader that I had these design projects that I was working on and the product on those sales would be coming in soon. Not good enough.
So here I was hustling for my business and their business to make 25% percent on the products. I spent more time on that fucking MLM than my own business to only have them decide that they wanted to move into jewelry. Like WTF?
They eventually went out of business.
It occurred to me why I joined that MLM. While yes, I thought it was a great idea to pair their products with my eDesign business, I was scared.
I wanted someone to show me the ropes. To show me how to do business. I wanted friends (teammates) to talk business with. I loved the weekly sales calls and monthly meetings.
I just didn't want to do business alone. Except that it's pretty fucking hard to get rich in an MLM. Not impossible, but I'd rather take all the profit on the front end. And not have to conform to their rules about how to sell their product.
If you don't want to do business alone, you don't have to. You can join us in the Society, get your business questions answered, get new trainings every month, meet new friends who know what it's like to run a design business and join us for bi-monthly calls. You'll be able to run your biz like a boss from the get go!
Alycia Wicker is a business coach for creative entrepreneurs. Her clients land more of their own dream clients and make more cash, period. Celebrity gossip whore. Elvis-obsessed.