There is a well-known guy in San Francisco who's thing is to sit around the wharf area, with this big leafy bush in front of him so he looks like a normal plant, and the yell at or jump out at unsuspecting people as they walk by. Its hilarious to watch, and I love to see him when I'm in San Francisco, but I feel like he is what people think of when they think of network marketers. You're going about your normal life and then WHAM! A friend or family member jumps out at you from nowhere with their new business venture and you run screaming in the other direction.
If you are anything like me (and i’m guessing you might be, since you’re reading this blog,) then you have always been cynical of MLMs/network marketing companies. I know I have been invited to, and attended, my fair share of “parties” from various companies, mostly just to support a friend and never with the intention to buy. I always brushed them away as a “pyramid scheme” or rolled my eyes as one friend or another spent a ton of money to stock product they didn’t even want, and were also enrolled in an autoship program they couldn’t get out of.
So imagine my own surprise when, after a year of researching all about essential oils, not purchasing anything, and definitely not interested in any sort of business, I decide to become a Young Living Independent Distributor. Wait...how did that happen???
I’d like to approach this as a skeptic, because that’s what I was, no question. I had to approach it on my own, with no one reaching out to me about it, no one selling me on “the opportunity,” no one telling me how amazing it all was. I did my own independent research and eventually signed up under someone who I thought would give me the most and best support (and I was right!)
So, what did I find out for myself?
Young Living is not a “pyramid scheme”
This was my top concern, and something I think is at the front of most people’s minds when they think of network marketing or MLMs. Young Living is not a scam, or only out to get your money. They have been around for 20 years now. When I think of a typical pyramid scheme, what comes to mind is that members are only focused on getting the maximum amount of people signed up underneath them. They rarely sell the product, but instead sell “the opportunity.” In my mind, they don’t care one bit about whatever it is that they are selling’ they are just out to make money from you, period.
Young Living is the opposite. Of course the point of having a business is to make money, but if you don’t absolutely believe in the products Young Living sells, they don’t want you to sell to other people. Essential oils are absolutely life changing, and have already done so much for us, that I can’t help but share them with others. Did you know that 92% of Young Living members are at the wholesale membership level? This means that the vast majority of YL members do not opt into a business, but simply enjoy their wholesale membership. This was a huge clue to me that this company was different. In fact, my team makes it a point to avoid speaking about the business side when introducing people to YL, unless they specifically ask.
But all my friends tried network marketing and failed…
I mentioned before that I have seen some friends stuck in MLM businesses they no longer wanted to be in but had a hard time getting out of. The more I researched Young Living, the more I was attracted to their particular model of network marketing. To join Young Living as a wholesale member, you need to make a one time purchase, and then spend $50 a year. To receive thank you checks from Young Living, you simply need to spend $50-$100 a month (depending on circumstances) to qualify. If you would not receive a check in a certain month, you absolutely don’t need to purchase anything that month. No strings attached. No contracts to get out of, or minimum stock to buy. This is what really pushed me over the edge. If I wasn’t going to make any money in a certain month, I didn’t need to worry about losing any because of an agreement or contract. In this way, Young Living does not fit the typical MLM business model that so many (including myself!) have a huge problem with.
The other point I’d like to address is that many of my friends who have tried network marketing tried it for 2 or 3 months, decided it didn’t work, and gave up. Absolutely no one will get rich in 2-3 months doing anything. This is a business, and most businesses take years to mature. There is a book called The Four Year Career by Richard Bliss Brooke that goes more in-depth into myths like this, and tackles them head on. Its a great read!
I am not a salesperson!
Neither am I! As you might have guessed from the title of this blog, I am inherently an introverted person, and spending a lot of time around groups of people exhausts me mentally, and sometimes physically. The amazing thing about Young Living is that you don’t have to sell. You just share.
What’s the difference, you ask? Selling is hawking a product you don’t care about just to make a buck. Sharing is caring about people so much that you want to see their health and wellness improve, so you show them these amazing products. Of course the idea is to make money, otherwise why would you bother starting a business, but more important is a passion about Young Living products. I promise that when you see what these oils can do in your life, you just naturally won’t be able to keep quiet about them. I see opportunities all the time to share just in my day-to-day life, because I care about the people around me and want them to be healthy and well.
I look at it like this: when I see a really good movie, or find an awesome restaurant, I tell people about it because I want them to enjoy it too. I don’t get paid to say these things, but I still do it because I want the people I care about to be entertained and happy. Its the same way with Young Living Essential Oils. They have made my life so much better, and I want to share that with those around me and help make their lives better as well. I just so happen to get a thank you check from Young Living for doing it.
Tell me your thoughts! Have you ever been pitched a network marketing opportunity? Have you ever tried network marketing yourself?