MLM….Scam or Income Opportunity?

Multi Level marketingMLM, Network Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Direct Selling, or Referral Marketing, no matter what you call it, it’s a marketing strategy employed by thousands of companies.  According to Wikipedia:  “Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant’s “downline”, and can provide multiple levels of compensation.”  For some companies, and their sales force, this strategy has been very successful.  For others, it’s been a disaster for the individuals involved and a smoke screen for illegitimate businesses.

Unfortunately, the disasters get much more attention and media play so the concept of MLM frequently elicits a negative knee-jerk reaction from the general public.  However, if you take the time to do your homework, there are opportunities out there that can be a meaningful source of cash flow, either part or full-time, and largely from the comfort of your own home using the internet.

Perhaps the most important gating event is your personal relationship to the product.  Do you believe in it?  Do you use it and have you achieved the desired, visible benefits?  Any legitimate MLM is based on selling the company’s products and that’s a tall, if not impossible, order if you don’t believe passionately in the products’ benefits or if you, personally, are not an obvious representative of those benefits.  For example, a bald man would have a difficult time selling a hair replacement product if he were still bald after using it.  On the other hand, if a man you knew as being bald for his entire life came up to you with a new full head of natural hair, he’s already sold the product.  You would be asking him how he did it.

The next investigation should be into the compensation structure, making sure that most, if not all, of it is coming from the sale of products and not from recruiting new distributors.  The company should also have an easily accessible report of compensation ranges at every sales level within the company, including the average, highest and lowest amounts paid.  Another financial consideration is the up front cost relative to a reasonable projection of when and what your cash flow will be.

Other steps you can take to insure against getting caught up in a disappointing MLM “scheme” include:

  • Do a background check on the company with the Better Business Bureau and even read any complaints formally filed against the company.
  • Only consider doing business with a large, financially successful company with a long track record.
  • Speak to other distributors already in the program about their experience vs. their expectations.
  • Use an independent adviser to give you an unemotional perspective on the opportunity.
  • Be brutally honest about whether the products, the selling process and the corporate philosophy are an appropriate match to your skill set and temperament.

Once again, MLM has taken a public beating, but if you’re a Baby Boomer looking to supplement your income or even launch a new career.  There are some real opportunities out there.

God Bless

Eeny Meeny Miney Mo

I was up at 5 a.m. again this morning eager to get downstairs and create another relevant and practical post for my growing audience of readers.  I found myself going back to read some of my earlier material to see if there were any topics on which there should be some follow-up.  I was struck by the realization that there were several posts made back when my wife was my only follower that, in my humble opinion, were pretty good and deserved broader exposure.  Thankfully, my readership has been growing steadily, but rarely will people take the time to go back and read archived posts.  There is a lot of meaningful material on fitness, nutrition, finances and general lifestyle that I feel you should at least know is there.

So, here is an index of some interesting articles more than a week old.  If you find one that catches your attention, just click on it and you’ll be magically transported there.  Enjoy!

Motivated Yet?
Take Action for Fitness
Fitness For Living
A New Fitness Beginning?
Are You Prepared to Face Your Fitness?
No More Eggs For You!!
Baby Boomers Never Die!
Just Hang On!
The Silent Killer?
Y R U a Slave to Bad Food?
Turbocharge Your Weightloss!
This WILL Change Your Life………..
Weight-loss Simplified
Amazing Grace
Need More Cash?
Weight-loss By Super Food
Oh, Honey, I Really Do Love You!
Can We Live To Be 1,000?
Baby Boomers: Financial Security
Want To Be The Biggest Loser?
When’s a Chicken Not a Chicken?
Do You Just Listen Or Really Hear?
Power Up With These Super Foods!
An Early Holiday Present For You!
Who’s Got Your Back?
Want New Genes?

Rewire Your Brain For Happiness

In this clever, fast-paced and funny TED talk, Shawn Achor provides a fascinating perspective on our misguided quest for happiness.  His statistics on the positive impact happiness has on every area of our lives are compelling.  Best of all, towards the end of the video, he provides a step-by-step guide to actually rewire your brain for happiness.  In just 21 days of practicing his few key directives, no matter what your circumstances, you will begin to function with a genuine internal happiness that will positively impact every area of your life.

God Bless

Who’s Got Your Back?

Thinking about making money online?  You should be, especially if you’re a Baby Boomer headed for your “twilight” years.  Let’s face it, the economy within which we grew up is gone and gone for good.  You basically have two choices (unless you’re filthy rich and well diversified); you can bury your head in the sand and “hope” things will turn out okay for you and your family or you can start now to consider ways to supplement whatever financial resources you have (or think you have) with the limitless opportunities on the Internet.   Job security, corporate loyalty, financial security at retirement, even the government’s ability to help have all eroded to the point of being totally unreliable.  Really, who’s got your back these days?  Who or what can you point to and say, no matter what, they’ll be there for me.  Hopefully, you at least have family, but the point is you’re pretty much on your own when it comes to figuring out the next 25-40 years (probably longer when you understand life expectancy).  This is a loud call to action!  Don’t be complacent about the importance of your taking steps today to deal with your future security.

Given the reality of the situation, and if you don’t think it’s real you’re kidding yourself, it flabbergasts me that so many among the Baby Boomer generation have taken no interest in the Internet and all it has to offer.  Even those that have stuck their toe in the water should make a conscious effort to determine how their experience, passion, expertise and dreams can translate to global opportunities online.  The possibilities are endless in that you can immediately supplement your income, even part-time, with legitimate jobs online.  If you have a unique talent, service or product, you can develop a global, online presence through the creation and marketing of a dedicated website.  The point here is not to figure out exactly what will work for you, but to get you thinking about the possibilities for yourself.  Everything, absolutely everything you see manifested in the world today began with a thought.  I am encouraging you to begin to think about, learn, investigate, dream, and try to understand what opportunities may lie ahead in embracing today’s economy and the technology necessary to operate within it.

I would love to get your feedback on this and hopefully start a discussion that would be meaningful and helpful to those interested in taking more responsibility and control of their future.  Please consider leaving a comment.  Thanks!

God Bless

Need More Cash?

Welcome to the “new economy“, Baby Boomers!  In case you haven’t noticed, things have changed……..BIG TIME!!  We basically had spent 40-60 years (all our lives!) in abundance.  Then October, 2008 happened and for many, the world came crashing down.  Maybe not all at once, but over the past few years our demographic has suffered the most devastating financial circumstances of our lives.  How could this possibly happen?  Real estate always went up, there were always enough jobs around, retirement was secure and assured, everybody had a legitimate shot at the American dream.   Now?  Our economic and political systems are a mess, with no obvious short-term, pain-free fixes.  Unemployment is through the roof, retirement has become a shattered dream and, worst of all, people have lost hope.

Except for the very small percentage of the very rich, these are hard times, but there is indeed hope.  Baby Boomers have always been an independent, creative and tenacious force in the world.  The positive side of the “new economy”  is the development of the Internet, the globalization of commerce (specifically e-commerce) and the ability to outsource almost anything.  An example of “old vs. new” would be; if I came up with a new mousetrap in my machine shop within the old economy, I’d start making them, selling them locally and, as my business grew, I would expand my factory, hire a lot more people to 1.) make and sell the new mousetraps, 2.) manage accounts receivable and payables, 3.) manage legal affairs, 4.) manage human resources, 5.) maintain my factories, 6.) manage customer service, etc., etc., etc., and, over a long period of time, with a lot of capital invested, I might have a successful enterprise that sold mousetraps around the world.  In the “new economy”, I can do all this sitting at my desk, investing a fraction of the time and money.  I have an idea of a new mousetrap, I outsource it to a company I found in a Google Search (GS) that builds prototypes.  I then do another GS to find a manufacturer who will make my new mousetrap, maintain an inventory and drop-ship it directly to my customers.  I set up a slick website to sell my mousetrap and immediately have a global presence.  I hire a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) firm to drive traffic to my website and a marketing firm to make sure that the website is visible wherever someone looking for a mousetrap might go (Amazon?).  My customers pay online through the website and the payment management company I outsourced to sees that the money ends up in my account and my manufacturer automatically charges the same account for any mousetraps he delivers to my customers, and the customer service company I outsourced to makes sure everybody is happy.  I just built a successful, international mousetrap company sitting at my desk with a computer and a phone, and all I have to do now is check my bank account.

If you are a Baby Boomer who has been hit hard economically, there is hope…………….and tremendous opportunity, but it lies in understanding the “new economy”.  The opportunities for making money from the comfort of your own home (or wherever you have access to the Internet) and on your own time have never been greater, but beware because the scammers have found this to be fertile ground for their insidious schemes.

Bottom line, if you need more cash or you’re looking to re-establish some financial security, you can do it online, in an area that interests you and build long-term value, but you have to be committed to the process and willing to learn.  Stay tuned for more information on how to mine the Internet nuggets!

God Bless