What is MLM Networking?

Definition: Multi-level marketing (MLM) also called pyramid selling, network marketing, and referral marketing, is a controversial marketing strategy for the sale of products and/or services where the revenue of the MLM company is derived from a non-salaried workforce (also called participants, and variously known as “salespeople”.

Basic History of MLM’s

MLM’s have been around since the 1920s and 1930s in California. Names such as Shaklee, Avon, and Mary Kay are just a few of the MLMs that circulate around the country today, including other countries such as Canada, El Salvador, and even China.

Is it Right for YOU?

Unfortunately, not all MLM’s are for everyone. In networking business, you have to be able to recruit the company’s products by getting people to join your “team.” This is a typical Pyramid theme/scheme within itself, so there’s no way to hide the facts when you are part of an MLM yourself!

People are “Variables”

Each “team member” is responsible for getting their own team-mates by venturing out into the real world to find potential prospects. MLM workers are set out to “fly” off into stores, malls, and coffee shops to locate prospects to build their team. However, not all prospects will be led through the process with integrity. For instance, some recruiters/sales workers have to use the skill of manipulation to lead a prospect to sign up.

Reconsider your attitude and understand to be careful about letting your pride/ego lead you to believe in strangers who claim to be your friends in an MLM.

***Perhaps, the only good habits or skills a person can develop if they haven’t already is reading and listening skills primarily due to having to listen to all the endless rhetoric talks/seminars in an MLM. However, some may be useful to you. 

Sponsors and your “upline” can be strategic deceivers who may try to claim that you are “negative” once you realize you are aware of them misleading you into their scheme; no one should have to lie or be deceitful to you to get you to JOIN their MLM. Of course, every human being experiences feelings of negativity–it’s human nature. 

In extreme cases, don’t let your upline convince you to abandon your family and close relationships to best suit their needs. Of course, they depend on you to fund their “business” and you should be willing to accept that.

*YOU need to make your own mistakes and learn from them. Do you trust your upline? Do they lie to you or hide facts from you? Do they offer unsolicited advice that they have no knowledge about? Ask yourself these types of questions before deciding whether or not this is the right place for you.

***If various problems prolong throughout your MLM experience, please get some Help for your dependency issues if you develop a series of habits/behaviors that will lead to divorce, financial loss, and emotional damage.

Tips: for those interested in a hyped up Motivational Organization—If you are a go-getter, positive, or Pavlo’s Dog then you’ll love listening to endless audios and other “motivational” material used to manipulate you into a robot. *Guaranteed results to develop a codependent, obsessive, habit/behavior for those who are not strong-minded or wise enough to discontinue these habits for their own sanity.J.K!

Develop discipline and your own strategies to help you along the way. 

Seek Clarity and Pause/Reflect

Clearly, not all people are suited to succeed in MLMs, and most end up quitting before they invest too many years of their time & money into it before they realize they are in debt. The premise is to sell you hope and a dream. The golden opportunity per se. If you do not buy into the dream, then you will not produce success.

Heck, if you are married these days, then consider yourself lucky and fortunate; you should be grateful to have found the love of your life, and if you decide to take on an MLM business while you are married, well, be careful about how you treat your spouse. You never know who may just be a better man or woman who can care for their needs more than you while you pursue/chase a DREAM.

What are the costs to start up in an Amway MLM Business?

The costs vary within the organization; however, the startup cost for Amway is $180.00 for an introduction kit.  Plus additional costs if you are connecting to their other business wwdb, which costs $50 for Premier. Not including the web fees of roughly $20+.

*Be careful, your sponsor will most likely encourage you and insist for you to purchase the Amway kit, which contains most items you will not even need for this type of “business.”  If you read the information provided on the Amway site regarding the kit, it is optional.

Startup Fees for Amway IBO Monthly FEES

Communikate Application: -$37 monthly fee

Amway Platform fee: -$20+

Anticipated PV (points) are 150 PV+ = to roughly amt. of -$300 and upwards. Note. Your sponsor or “coach” will attempt to persuade you to “invest” more money into your list of products. 

Seminars: Varies from -$20 and up per person

Rallies $150+ (@4 per year) = to -$50 per month on average per person

Standing order for audios: -$25 Note. Standing order is optional, however, your sponsor or “coach” will expect you to sign up for this.

Additional Books and Cd’s: Varies from -$10-22 and up.


Do the math and add up the numbers. If you were to choose from an MLM such as Amway, Avon, or Herbalife (there are more not mentioned here). Clearly, you will have to spend a great deal of your time & money into people and the system before you will even earn a cent.

In other words, you will lose out more money and time with no guarantee of ROI, even if you do get people to join you. That’s a hefty amount of money to put into a company that depends and requires you to get out and gain distributors for your team; this doesn’t include the costs required to produce products through your store.

***Be careful who you let into your life; they may not have your best interests at heart. In fact, most greedy individuals do not have your best interest at heart and will gladly manage your money for you if you do not do so for yourself.

EXAMPLES of DECEPTIVE TACTICS Sponsors use to hook you in: A sales hustler (MLM, IBO etc.) will approach you with great interest and enthusiasm to get to “know you”. For instance, an IBO may say, “I like your leggings” with great interest and a huge smile plastered on their face in hopes to gain your attention; this deceptive tactic is used by those who think they are clever at stroking your ego to help ease you into a conversation.

Note. Not all MLMs are scams. Though, be cautious and evaluate the pros and cons of that institution. If you are determined to do it, then you will do as you intended.

FACT: Using compliments to gain a monetary need/profit in return is deceitful and misleading, equivalent to a fake friend. Use facts and be upfront and honest about your business opportunity. No one likes to be lied to by use of deceptive tactics, it’s insulting. 

*If you fall prey to a predator, be prepared to stand your ground firm like a tree deeply rooted in the Earth’s soil.

Sacrifice Time & Money

Most importantly, you will sacrifice your time and money once you join and become part of an expensive MLM program.

However, if you are trustworthy and have integrity, maybe you will succeed to the higher levels near the top knowing you did the right thing by being honest from the beginning. The failure rate is 99% in Amway. But, honestly, who is trustworthy in your life? Maybe you should ask your friends to take the Dark Triad Test before you get too involved.

Maybe, just maybe…greed won’t overtake you into secretly taking from others, which is not yours for the taking. BE HONEST and have Integrity. Those who will take from others without their consent is called manipulation. Can you honestly trust your upline and sponsor as truthful “team” members in an MLM organization who will not “feed on” your income to suit their needs first? Ponder that thought before you decide to become an MLM sales worker.

***Take the time to really think about what the pros and cons of this “business” have to offer in ROI. Is it worth your time and money to sacrifice your way of life, family, or self-values? That is the question you need to ask yourself.

***You do not need permission to take control of your life. We all have free will. Choose wisely.


My Best,



  1. I am glad to be out of the MLM industry after being in it a couple years ago. I feel less sleazy when talking to other people. The one thing I hate about it is they always make that assumption that if you have enough “downlines”, then you should make a decent amount of passive income. But like you said, not everyone is going to perform and if anything, most won’t. So much for being passive.

    Did you have an experience with MLM’s as a participant?

    • Hi, Jessie! Glad you are doing your own thing now that you are out of the MLM. In my opinion, some MLM’s are simply not healthy for everyone. From my experience, the MLM I was involved in uses brainwashing tactics to get their IBOs to conform to their belief system. No one has the right to control a human being’s free will. For instance, as an IBO, you were required to listen to numerous audios over and over again each day to make sure the information was ingrained in your brain. In addition, you were practically chastised if you did not attend their functions that involved 3 days of a chronic rant from their “leaders” and a fancy pony show of their financial status, which again was for those to “buy” into a dream.
      Getting people to join the membership is one thing, but not having to be forthcoming with basic questions, well…that’s just not who I am. I am a horrible liar and I do not comply with that form of deception. Also, I enjoy my solitude.

  2. I too had a few attempts at MLM. Some more successful than others but I have to say, with all the pressure now and the added pressure to recruit in order to make any real money it is off the table for me. I prefer, no I love the passive nature of Affiliate Marketing and even Drop Shipping is passive compared to MLM. Not a scam, but not always the most forthcoming in sales tactics. Thank you for a great article. Have you ever read the book, The Flip Flop CEO? It is an excellent short read and is all about MLM and a different viewpoint again.

    • Hi Merry! Thank you for your comment and sharing your experience with MLMs. I have not read the book Flip Flop CEO but will look into reading it to see what it is all about and has to offer. In my opinion, any book can influence the reader into their belief system, unless the reader views it critically. Regarding my MLM experience, I did not want to commit myself to a cult-like environment that limits my ideas and attempts to conform me to their liking. Clearly, MLMS ARE NOT FOR EVERYONE! LOL! Though I am openminded to read various books that aren’t all about setting the reader up for a “feel good” read, but rather books that offer facts, scientific research, and documented events.
      Again, thank you for sharing your experience with us and for recommending the book. I will read it and consider its viewpoint.

      • Hi Jill,

        I think this is a guide on how NOT to get brain washed by online scams. I have come a cross so many hyper actively talking sales pitches online it is nauseating. They get you so worked with dreams of riches in your head that you really will do anything to ‘make it’.

        Unfortunately, time and time again, it comes with a horrible price tag that nearly always goes up per training level. Also, they will charge your for varying degrees of membership to squeeze more out of you. They are not genuine and do not care about you, even though, you can easily fall in love with the idea of being successful using their ‘system’.

        I was with a group of people This guy was all ‘cool’ talking except at one point in his video sales pitch. Every he circled to the idea of ‘money’, he would clear his throat, eyes would widen slightly and his body language closed down a little or he would abruptly turn away. I felt strongly, ‘Why has this guy got such mental discomfort with money?’. I Googled him and guess what? He was tried and sent to prison for messing with his own affiliate members links and taking their earnings – !!! AWFUL!!

        Thank You Kindly Jill and I did recognize a lot of what you wrote from experience.



        • Hi, Philip! Thank you for your sharing your positive and insightful comment with us and for sharing your experience as well. I agree with your advice about how the content should be (more or less) labeled as a guide about how NOT to get brainwashed by MLMs; it appears to be more suitable!
          I understand I added quite a few tips on how to avoid these types of scams and how to be aware of their deceptive tactics. LOL, lots of ways to avoid it when possible! I suppose I am concerned with how people are treated these days, and I don’t particularly appreciate how most business pitches are often deceptive and misleading. Some people are blinded by the promise of these dreams and are in debt and have lost relationships due to the influence of some of these MLMs.
          Also, I’m sorry to hear you had a negative experience as well, especially considering how the “smooth talker” swindled money from his own members! YIKES! Unfortunately, not all MLMs have integrity and ethics that they actually follow and abide by themselves. From my experience, the group boasted about how many great values and morals they had etc., but they didn’t follow any of it themselves. Now, why would anyone want to follow, or be led by someone who believes they are practically invincible or a demigod? LOL. In my opinion, it seems there are more viable opportunities out there that we can look into before settling for just about any “business opportunity.”

  3. Hey Jill,

    First off, this was a great read and I love your writing style, it really grabbed my attention. I’ve never been involved in an MLM. Before I even knew what an MLM was, I had a “friend” try and get me to join their pyramid scheme crap. The offer sounded tempting, but this was back when I was skeptical money could even be made online. Anyways, I refused the offer, and let me tell you I’m ever so happy I did.

    I had no idea a MLM could ruin relationships with family and spouses. (I’m a young man lol). Has this touched your life in anyway? Also, what MLM’s aren’t scams?

    I really liked your post, Cheers!

    • Thank you for sharing your experience and for posting a positive comment about the article, Kevin! I appreciate your input. In regards to your question, yes, I have been in an MLM for a brief amount of time. The experience was a bit awkward for me. I just couldn’t get myself to lie to people and then recruit other people into selling “a dream”. Most of the tactics used in that particular MLM was to manipulate people into gaining financial freedom, even though roughly 99% of the people end up losing money or failing to attempt to gain financial independence. The fees and expenses, including purchasing the products itself were unrealistic to obtain financial freedom; for instance, you will put more of your money into the MLM then what you get back in return. The scheme was more about recruiting people into the system than selling the company’s products (the products were not that good, to begin with).
      Thank goodness you are young enough to set your sights on more important aspects of your life! lol, marriage is tough when you are trying to achieve any of your goals in life. I nearly got divorced because of the huge arguments between my husband and me; he was convinced that the MLM was his way to make money and was really into it all at one point; initially, he blamed me for not continuing to “buy into” the system. I am sure he resents me for it also. The MLM was good at turning people against one another. For example, members would say to stay away from anyone in your family who does not support you in this organization, so yes, it was tough to break away from it entirely without disrupting or destroying some peoples’ relationships.
      In my opinion, it’s difficult to determine whether or not an MLM is a scam, but the rule of thumb is usually when an MLM wants you to recruit more people rather than sell the company’s products, that’s a red flag/sign it’s a scheme/scam. Also, if the products have a bad reputation, then, you may want to reconsider your options. Some MLM’s have various fees that can interfere with your ability to make any good money in return; however, there is hope that there may be some decent MLM’s out there that may actually produce good outcomes, though, I’m not so certain about which ones’ that truly work.
      *Again, thank you for your positive feedback, and I wish you the best of luck and success in your endeavors!

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