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This story is about how I tried MLM twice and failed. I know there are a lot of multi-level marketing skeptics out there and I thought I would share my honest perspective as someone who took on MLM as a successful blogger.
MLM side-gigs sometimes sound too good to be true. Here is how you can make money fast and become your own boss, maybe quit your job and drive a brand new Lexus while traveling the world. Sound familiar? Let me set the records straight – those who succeed in MLM in this way are the top 1%. They are good at what they do. Will you be just as successful? Maybe, not also maybe not.
Sure, if you have a passion for MLM products and love to use and share them, why not give it a try. I mean, that is what I did. I can say that I still use and love the products that I used to “sell” but I am also quite mad at myself for investing too much money and time (while also neglecting my blog) to grow my failing MLM business. It could have and should have stopped at my love for the products.
I tried MLM twice and failed, much like the other 99% of those who get into MLMs. I gave it my best shot for two years before giving up, since every business does take time to grow and I wanted to give it the time it deserved. However, it wasn’t genuine to who I am and what I am really good at. We cannot all be good at having a successful MLM business. If we did, we’d all be driving a Lexus.
If you want other examples from the other 99% of MLM-ers who have failed, I highly recommend you listen to the podcast called The Dream.
Spend Money to Make Money
In the MLM world, you must spend money to make money. There are even the most vulnerable down on their luck type of people who fall for this tactic. While most businesses require money up front before it can grow, this is not always the case. As someone who has built websites from scratch and started blogs, I know first hand that you can start up a side gig for nearly nothing. I did it and here I am today with my own growing company (that is not an MLM).
In order to collect a paycheck from an MLM company, you must spend money first. To this day, I still have sign up links somewhere on this blog. That is my blog disclaimer for the day. Yeah, sometimes I get a “sign up” with a $50 bonus sitting in my account. But is it working for me?
The problem is, I have to place a $50 order within that same month to collect this $50 bonus. In essence, I would be getting $50 of free products for this sign up. This doesn’t factor in the many months where I have spent at least $50/month and received nothing in return. This was either due to no sign ups that month or having too little income to cash out.
As a Successful Blogger, I Tried MLM and Failed
I started this blog long before getting into MLM for the second time. I was one of those let’s start selling Avon when I turned 18 for some extra cash kinda girl. Let’s just say, that didn’t last long either.
Fast forward to years into blogging when I already bought the products and loved them so much when I decided why not try to turn this into a side business. Maybe I’ll even make some money while enjoying the products. Sounds about right, don’t you think?
The problem is, my blog started to suffer. Although it gave me a reason to create tons of new blog content, it wasn’t long before my blog side bar ad was flagged by Google, hurting my hard-earned rankings on their search engine. This was a hand-crafted ad I created for my MLM.
I started adding to groups in my upline, taking courses, studying materials and hosting classes of my own. At one time, I grew to the next level in my upline after one very successful class I hosted. It felt great! What people didn’t tell me is that all these people who signed up for a starter kit would never purchase anything again. This lump some of cash from a handful of sign ups barely paid back what I had spent so far on products and keeping the business going thus far.
As a successful blogger, I thought my blog was a great platform for finding potential sign ups. I thought I’d get click after click after click and make tons of money. Nope. People are skeptical of MLMs and always will be. I have had much more success with affiliate marketing and Google ads.
I knew I had to step up my game instead of relying on sign up link clicks on my blog. I also made the biggest mistake of soliciting other bloggers (even more successful than me) trying to convince them to join and start making easy money on their blog too. Some people must have really hated me.
I also got a little too much with my friends and I know I annoyed a lot of people. If any of you are reading this, I am truly sorry. Did I get caught up in that scheme or what? Don’t we all though.
The upline members of MLM companies provide you with training that asks you to do things out of your comfort zone like make new mom friends at the park, then try to convert them to your downline after a few playdates. After all, they all did that too and are now making millions, so it works right? That’s what I thought. I thought I was doing everything right even though it didn’t feel right at all.
What I Learned
If you are looking to start a side business, side hustle, side gig, or even quit your day job to make millions selling products you love, think again. This is not realistic and more than likely the odds are against you. Instead, maybe start a blog, create a product to sell, or find legitimate side gigs that do not require much money upfront, if at all.
If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t have tried to start my own MLM business. I would love and use the products when I wanted with no obligation to spend a minimum per month or start cold calling my “friends” who I haven’t talked to since high school. We all get those solicitations right?
Although I tried MLM twice and failed, I still use the products and do really love them, so I am not bashing on the products whatsoever. I just wish I had remained focused on my growing blog at the time. I got into blogging at a great time and those two years trying MLM really set me back. Thank goodness I have made up for it now with real experiences and growth that has led me to this point.
Have you had success with a side hustle that turned into a full time job? Share in the comments below so we can get a real discussion going.