Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Now Usually I Don't Do This, But Um. . .

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That's how it always starts. (Or some variation thereof)

You're on the phone with someone. Often times someone dependable and reliable. Or has been in your recent past. And they want to let you 'in' on something. Something that 'the man' doesn't want you to know about. And you start to listen, with equal hope and dread. The hope that somehow, someway, this is NOT leading down the road you expect it to. And the dread that in your gut, you know that 'tis. So you just wait for the closer, the climax, the piece de resistance, the entrance of the 'big deal'.

"I want you to come to a meeting with me"
"What kind of meeting?"
"I mean, it's hard to explain, you just have to be there. Plus the VP is going to make a special appearance".
"But WHAT is it? Where is it?"
"At the Marriott in Long Beach. I'll come pick you up"
"What kind of meeting is it?"
"It's a business opportunity. You do want to make money, don't you? I thought about you when I went to the meeting, I said, 'Who would be SMART enough to take advantage of something like this?"

Somewhere in the middle of that, the person that is conversing (read: holding you hostage), is tugging at your heartstring/ego, but so far, no DICE.

- "You're a smart woman, P, I thought you would want to know about this"
- "When you have kids/get married, don't you want the flexibility to do things?"

The script is the same, but the cast of characters change.

Sound familiar? Maybe you didn't go to that meeting, but the variation of the meeting/selling point lurks in your mind. I know it does. There is always some bankruptcy, sob story of a guy that wanted to get out of the grind and show his son how to ride bikes, OR some chick who tugs on the heartstings of the mother's in the audience, OR a guy who tells you how much property/money/cash flow he has every month and that he is really busy but that he HAD to stop in and talk to US, but he has to be on his way, now. He fails to mention that they want to get you started on some 'starter kit' for the low, low price of 299.00, and of course, that's really a steal if in fact the 'kit' will pay you back in no time, and you're become a member of the gold, platinum, titanium, etc. VP club and by the way can we take a postdated check from you?

As previously stated, Even though you are NOW immune to the meetings that can either be overly spectacular or creepily clandestine, at some point in your life, some trickery occured where you either (a) showed up at one of the meetings, only to realize that it was THAT kind of meeting, or (b) you were tortured by your neighbor, hairdresser, co-worker, friend (that you haven't heard from in three months) to sell or be interesting in buying:

- Long Distance
- Amway
- Herbalife, Noni Juice, et al.
- World's Greatest Vitamin
- Internet Mall

- To a DEGREE: Cookie Lee, Primerica, Mary Kay.

Sidebar: Every woman in the US of A has either bought a Mary Kay product at some time in her life, went to a Mary Kay makeup party, or was stalked over the phone by a Mary Kay consultant.

Anyway, back to the lecture at hand. The biggest problem with Network Marketing is not the marketing concept per se. But those same things that make it attractive are the very things that those who have never managed any level of business, big, or small, are not prepared to invest their time in. Usually, for the most part, there are exceptions to the rule; however, exceptions PROVE the rule.

According to Scott Allen, author of "The Real Problem With Network Marketing"

Most of these folks (Can be one or more of the below)

  • have not done well in their business or profession and have little money saved up to invest
  • have no previous experience owning or running a business
  • have no previous experience in sales
  • have little or no experience developing business relationships other than that of employer/employee/co-worker
  • are not satisfied with their current level of income
  • have unrealistic expectations of the amount of work involved compared to the revenue realized.

Again, there are exceptions to the rule; but the exceptions PROVE THE RULE.

So friends and family, please don't call my cell phone number so that I can review some antiquated flyer of yours, or you can email me a link to your internet mall to get toilet paper that I can buy at target, or tell me about the weight loss shake that worked for you (not to mention you are now working out three days a week). I'll pass.

And no, I don't want to buy the World's Greatest Vitamin.

What has been your experience(s) with folks interested in Network Marketing and/or the first (and probably only) time you were duped into a meeting?


Miss Ahmad said...


and i would probably fall for the world's greatest vitamen, as would my mother.

she's queen of buying stuff. she also sold Jafra when we were younger and was actually quite good at it, but then again if you can run a household of four kids and a husband you can run a small least that's what she said when she aked.

I always wanted to own one of those pink mary kay caddilacs, but alas i don't like their products so it'll probably be sex toys for me:-)

P said...

Your mother is one of the exceptions to the rule. She is intelligent, educated, and can take care of business.

Most of the people that sign up for that stuff AREN'T. They just aren't.

They are looking for a get rich quick scheme.

PS: Hey!! Saw the show. :)

HEY!! My word verification is Plutonqt. Are they trying to give props to our dearly departed pluto?

chele said...

My name is Chele and I have fallen victim to the meeting invite.

It was Mary Kay and it was nuts. I mean, at first it was cool because I was buying up the stuff left and right. I loved it and then I foolishly believed that everyone was as gullible as I was. I bought my inventory and ended up using more of the stuff than I sold. I was finally able to escape.

Koolbreeze said...

when i was in college. some bio friendly products. some you take, some you clean with. prolly can eat and clean with the same thing. this girl i knew asked me to goto this long ass meetting out of town. . i needed money so i went. but you had to BUY the stuff then sell it... i'm like idoits... i'm BROKE thats why i'm here. and that stuff was exspensive!

Cool AC said...

Put me down as one who has been harassed by the Mary-Kay Lady!

And I have been to a Primerica meeting. (I got asked by an old boo, he was so passionate about it so I had to see what was really good) I almost fell for it too. Then I thought about the fact that this negro was going to make money off me for the rest of his life whether I liked it or not and I was not having that!!

T. Cas said...

This old coworker of mine tried to sucker me into one of these. He told me that he had something very important to talk to me about after work. He was being very cryptic and serious.

I gave him my cell phone number and he called like at 9PM. It was then that I realized that this very mysterious and important thing he wanted to talk to me about was joining some insurance sales pyramid scheme thing. He said for $300, I could buy in and then sell insurance door to door to make extra money and the more people I brought in, the more money I could make.

I never went to the meeting and I avoided his punk azz at work until he finally got fired for soliciting on the job. Apparently, he tried to get EVERYBODY to buy into his marketing scheme, er I mean plan.

I just don't trust anything that seems like a get rich quick scheme that makes you pay to do it.

J. G. said...


Lāā said...

LOL, I was living in Atlantic City at the time. A male friend of mine just asked me to go to a meeting with him. He told me that it wasn't going to take a long time either. So, unknowingly I went along for the ride.

After we arrived he started introducing me to all of his 'friends'. Then all of a sudden he had to go back out to the car or something. So I'm sitting there waiting on him.

Then they announce that the meeting is about to start. Everyone stands up and starts singing along with Tina Turner's 'Simply The Best' song. I was floored. Then they started on the whole Herbalife spiel...yadda, yadda, yadda.

I couldn't believe that he tricked me into coming to this meeting with him. That whole pyramid scheme thing is not for me. Funny thing, on his business cards he had HerbaCop printed on them and I didn't get the connection.

Peace said...

Oh God. My forst was 2x2 something or other - I was in college & my friend SWORE I was gonna be rich. I was DRAGGED to the meeting & I got hype. Needless to say, I'm STILL not rich.
Currently one of the guys who delivers the mail interoffice is hinting around something fishy. He keeps asking me when me and my man are going to be home @ the same time so he can call us and discuss "an opportunity." I keep asking what the hell it is but he won't tell me - I am NOT giving that fool my #!!! I HATE network marketing!
My old roommate always tried to get me to sign up for Pre-Paid legal stuff...

nikki said...

wayyyyyy back in the day someone tried to get me onto that amway thing. i've made a point of avoiding all discussions of anything like that now, i don't care WHO it is.

The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said...

So already know how I feel about this shit...

There should be a warning label on those people...

WARNING: The ONLY mutha fucka gettin rich here is the MUTHA FUCKA you're givin your money to!! YOU ARE NOT GONNA BE RICH! You are STUPID if you think so!

So I wonder does Slumber Parties fall into that category...Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

OK, so now it is my turn. Let me first start off by saying I hate this shit...OK, let me repeat it for emphasis. I mean I really really hate this shit. It is soooo stupid and all of the people who are in it are simply full of shit. I have been fooled over the past 12 years of my life into going into a few of these meetings and each and every time I am mad as hell. I get asked so often it is not even funny. I own my own business and do a considerable amount of networking on a daily basis, so the amount that I get hit up is probably a little more than the average person. At this point in the game I tell people if you can't tell me exactly what it is that you do in ten seconds and I don't understand what you do then I am not getting involved and that it is not for me. I must say that these people have really gotten savvy in their approach, but I am hip to the game and am proud to say that I have never joined. I have one friend that has joined three different schemes and guess what his total income was for all three, yep you guessed it, a whopping zero dollars. It just makes no sense to me. Some of these things feel like some damn secret society, but with less benefits, like zero. Like Pat said, these are usually people that have no experience running their own show and what the did do in the past they were not successful in it. I hate to knock another mans dream, but the bottom line is, it just does not work.

Miss Ahmad said...

so does this mean that you or do or dont' think the cult of amway was a money maker?

and you will or won't be interested in investing in your future.

i think people with hustle and sales skills can do just about anything I've seen proof of it, however we're all not cut from the same cloth.

I have wanted to get involved with allot of endeavors, and yet allot of times i have to refrain b/c if I do it I want to do it well.

I've run businesses and promoted parties and done all of that jazz, that bottom line is that it's hard work and anyone who thinks that they are gonna make money without working hard is probably gonna make a better customer than manager:-)

Miss Ahmad said...

oh yea and thanks for watching the show, it debuted at number 1 which is a damn good feeling if i do say so myself!

XOXO! said...

Too Funny! I think I have been tricked 2 or 3 times into going to that meeting.
But one time when I was in NY and twisted my ankle really bad and didn't have any insurance. This lady..bless her heart...she gave me a bottle of Noni Juice and told me that would cure my ankle...of course I was thinking I had to soak my foot in it! LOL! No drink it! That mess tastes like Prune Juice! LOL! I can't even remember if it helped my ankle.

Isha said...

Funny, I was JUST thinking about the Two by Two craze that was here not too long ago. I got tired of seeing cars with the logo, e-mail adress with @2by2 on it and folks trying to get you in their cell uuuh unit of the darn group. My brother got mad at me when I would not even listen to him abou tit. He had all of these new "friends" that I would not even let in my house cause they were always trying to convince me that it was an up and coming thing for people of color. Well it faded and along with it, lots of money went to waste.

LOL...On the Mary Kay note, I get more product from my g-mom cause her "up-line" broke. No thanks

bunny said...

Oh yeah I think we've all been suckered into craptastic money making schemes. My neighbor is currently into Pre-paid legal and she wanted me to listen to her little spiel and I wasn't having it. I told her if I needed a lawyer I would find one and not have to pay monthly for a what-if.

Amway was a pretty funny one too, that crappy laundry detergent didn't even clean my clothes good and my friend almost got trapped in that "Overly Ambitious" group til she asked me for her starter loan and let's just say nothing came between me and my money.

I used to love to go to Mary Kay parties! Free facial oh yeah. I love their Satin Hands line too and they sell it now at the flea market, so no Mary Kay middle (wo) man can harrass me now!

Rose said...

Not good at all...and I just hope that no one else ask me to participate in that stuff again...

dp said...

I've been lucky because all of this crap comes from my cousin from Philly. He is on the crest of all of this 'get rich quick' bullshit and as soon as he comes thru I know whats up. He was on that Noni ish like ten years ago. He has been on some energy drink shit lately. Whatever he is peddling I know is some pyramid scheme from the gate.

He is such a bomb azz actor that sometimes I think to myself, "What if he's right?", but that doesn't last for too long and then I realize that he is my former cokehead cousin who has used his yellow skin and green eyes to avoid ever having to really be honest.

Sangindiva said...

I know I'm late with my response...
But I read it a while back I just am lazy about my commenting :) I have to realize that people can't hear my thoughts- I must write them out and it take so damn loooong...

It seems that people get caught up in thiis stuff and it's been around for YEARS. I mean if Uncle Ron didn't get rich off Amway and Princess House, Mary Kay etc. didn't make aunt Sarah rich- WHY do you think it's gonna happen for you?
I mean as much as folks talk-
you would KNOW which ones make instant millionares before the flyer for the next meeting could finish printing. *shaking my head*

Anonymous said...

Had a friend once who did amway, hope he aint part of this shit: