When I got into my first multi-level marketing company, or “MLM”, I’ll admit I was skeptical. It sounded too good to be true: hard-work actually paying off? It also had an eerily similar structure, on the outside, to a pyramid scheme. Now, I’m no business major, but I had heard a thing or two about pyramid schemes, cousins with the infamous Ponzi scheme setup. But what I learned along the way pleasantly surprised me. I first encountered it with my run in with AdvoCare.

The main thing that turns people off of MLM’s is the fantasy they idealize in their head: that if hardwork really paid off as it should, they would definitely work as hard as they could and realize their dreams. When offered the opportunity, however, it appears to be too much work and they are turned off, resorting to labelling it as one big scheme to rip them off their money. That’s how I felt initially; I was reluctant to put in time, effort, and money into something I wasn’t well-educated on.

By definition, a pyramid scheme is a self-fulfilling investment strategy in which each person involved recruits two other investors with promises of grand returns, as long as they also recruit two or more investors each. What they don’t know is that these “investments” are really paying off the initial and other early investors, and that they are unlikely to see returns if any sort, if any at all, until much further in the scheme if enough people end up investing. It’s unsustainable, it’s deceptive, and to top it all off, it’s illegal.

What makes an MLM seem similar to a pyramid scheme is its theme of recruitment: people working for an MLM are encouraged to recruit others to join and are often offered rewards or commission based on these referrals. However, the key difference between a pyramid scheme and an MLM, other than legality, is that it is an actual business with actual products or services being offered and sold; it is not simply a system of moving investments, as with a pyramid scheme. Some of the lessons are similar to self development / cleaning tool called the hoponopono.

But learning what an MLM is was just part of the process; once I was sufficiently assured that it was no such scheme or trickery, I dived in headfirst and began showcasing the products I was selling to coworkers and friends. Immediately, my worries that I would seem desperate or greedy disappeared; because the company gave me free products to try out myself and become familiar with, I didn’t feel like a seedy businessman trying to pawn off fake products; they were real, quality products that I truly believed my peers could benefit from and enjoy. Anything I didn’t like or that didn’t appeal to me, I was not forced to sell or promote. It was that simple, and I quickly accumulated a clientele of not only friends and coworkers, but friends of theirs as well, and I really began to see results in terms of supplementing my income in a fun easy way.

Once you find an MLM you can really get behind and get excited about maybe by doing your due diligence, I recommend looking up great articles that go really in depth about the compensation plan as well as looking up why most people fail in MLM, I recommend checking out  articles like AdvoCare Reviews, all those initial worries become miniscule, and you’ll find yourself on your way to what could be the next step in your business career.