Have you ever scrolled through Facebook to see something that you were associated with negatively exposed? I’m from Mississippi and live in North Carolina so we are constantly in the news for the lack of equality across the board. I’m a Marine Veteran so the picture scandal has been trending for a few weeks. None of this makes me feel embarrassed. Then, I saw something that initially made me hold my head in shame.
The latest scandal came from a MLM company named 5Linx. The Founders who were on our presentation slides for being men of integrity had misappropriated approximately four million dollars from investors. Ouch!
The company is no different than Avon, It Works, Origami Owl, or other MLM companies as far as the structure. It has actual products and services so it’s not a scheme. The founders were scheming investors.
I was a member for over a year and was fairly active. However, I wasn’t successful. Some of my mentors had retired before 35. Some had paid off tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt. I was a painfully shy and timid person which is not a good mix for sales in general. I threw in the towel when I started writing my book. I shifted my entrepreneurial focus from others products and services to my own. Instead of embarrassment, I looked at it as an experience of growth. Here are things that I’ve learned and things that’s followed due to me being in a MLM company.
1. I wasn’t truly into personal development before this experience. I liked reaching goals but was the same person as I advanced in my career. Now, I’m constantly listening to audiobooks or podcast to develop as a person. I’m attending women’s empowerment conferences.
2. Cost conscious vs Value Conscious- I’ve always been frugal so a business was not my cup of tea I started viewing money differently. Instead of focusing on solely what will this cost me, I ask what I will get in return. I still keep in mind lost over profits but I don’t shut down when I hear the price of services. As a result, I’ve paid for things that other people wouldn’t such as hypnosis to stop smoking, editors for my book, pictures from professional photographers, coaching sessions, a pretty penny for my website, and marketing materials.
3. I joined Toastmasters to improve my interpersonal skills as an entrepreneur. A couple years later, I was asked to speak at a high school graduation. It lead me to view myself as a professional speaker and I began to further hone my craft. I even took acting classes (which goes back to the second point) to be a better speaker.
4. Robert Kiyosaki, Darren Hardy, Toni Robbins, and Trayvon Martin’s mother spoke at the national conventions. I’m still amazed that I’ve heard these great speakers in person. This is some people’s lifelong dream.
5. In MLM companies, you reach out to people that you know initially. This may be people from high school or someone from your old church choir. Now, I reach out to people from my past periodically just to see how they are doing and especially to remind my military brothers and sisters that I’m here.
I bet you haven’t talked to twenty percent of the people on your Facebook friends list in two years. Some of them are even family members.
6. Speaking of family, here’s a harsh reality as an entrepreneur. Some of your family will not support you. This is why I wasn’t devastated when some family members didn’t buy a less than $5 book. It’s not personal and people have their own lives. This just allows you not to dwell on it. The opposite is also true. Some people who you least expect to help you including family will support you as best as they can.
7. Tax Write offs. Tax write Offs. Tax Write Offs. Tax Write Offs!!!!!!!!!
8. Push pass your comfort zone. I hated talking in front of people whom I’ve known for years. Yet, I did it afraid. Some people will never take a step towards their purpose because they are comfortable sitting on the sideline.
9 We are better together. My mentor was a few years older than me but she was a hard worker. It was painful asking for help but I started. Now, I’ve learned to accept help and ask for help from people.
10 This is a last but not least statement. I guess you can say things come full circle. Pun Intended -😊 My circle of friends have changed. I have a friend who will be finishing a doctoral program soon. She’s introduced me to other phenomenal entrepreneurs but I met her in 5Linx. Everyone that I hang around have growth-mindsets. They push me to be better and we hold each other accountable.
I don’t see myself being a representative of an MLM ever again!! Nonetheless, I’ll continue to support my friend who sales Avon because I love the color of lipstick. I’ll buy an essential oil from my friend whenever I use all of mine. There’s no need in being a Negative Nancy.
It’s fun to bash people but you’ll usually end up with bruises too in the process. Whether you help or don’t help, join or don’t join an MLM , Here’s my take away from the ordeal 1 People aren’t who they claim to be. 2 Sometimes in order to discover who you are, you have to discover who you aren’t.
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~Onward and Upward. Progress to Your Fullest Potential!~
Phyllis G. Williams
Author, Speaker, Consultant