Friday, August 11, 2017

MLM and the "Mine is different" line.

Today's blog post is about the old, tired line, "Some MLMs are better than others", and the various derivatives of this phrase. The main idea behind this line is to discredit your opinion by suggesting what you experienced was a freak incident, or the experience was not typical and you should expect different results because their group is different. There are a couple of fundamental flaws with this, the main one being, they all started with the same premise. It is hard, or in this case impossible, for something to be significantly different if it has to abide by the same structure as the original, therefore if the original has an inherent problem, then you can expect those problems to exist in the subsidiary groups. Translation, if a MLM as a whole has a significant issue, then the groups operating underneath the MLM will have that same issue.

There are three main levels in which this phrase is used, from micro to macro. The lowest level phrase is, my team is different because, we have better mentors, make more millionaires, have been around longer, or some other variation. The middle level phrase is, my MLM is better because, we have better mentors, we have better compensation, we have a better product, we are "new school", or some other variation. Then the highest level phrase is, MLM is better than "traditional" businesses because, you need less capital to start, you don't need to come up with a product, you don't need to handle the legalese, and many more lines. All of this falls under the same premise, we are different, therefore give us a chance. However, they are not different, and there is a very basic reason for why these arguments fall flat.

The MLM concept is founded on the idea that you can generate revenue from spending money instead of making money. This is the root cause for problems in MLM, because the revenue is generated through dollars spent by people involved with the company and not people outside of the company. Therefore, it doesn't matter how you try to justify your MLM or your team as being different or better, because the differences are irrelevant due to that main concept being inherently flawed.

This fallacy is known as a straw man argument, because the people using the, "Mine is different" line aren't addressing the root cause for the failure. They instead, are focusing on the symptoms, which is a common misnomer. It is the same as someone trying to treat a fever with cold compresses when the person actually needs antibiotics due to a virus. If you are only addressing the symptom, then the virus will not be stopped.

Another example is, a person in a MLM may be trying to follow a "system", but they just can't seem to make it work.  They read all of the books, they show the plans, they attend all the seminars, they pay all of their dues, but it still doesn't work. A MLMer may say, "The person just needs to try harder, they need to read more, they need to learn more, they need to do more", which is a focus on the symptom instead of the virus. Instead, the MLMer should say, "This person is following the system and failing. We should take a look at the system and make sure it still works."


  1. Every MLM scheme is based on recruitment and not product. It's as simple as that. Many of them even admit this.

    This is why they are basically a "something-for-nothing" racket that hides behind tedious jargon about "prosuming" and "pipelines" and "networking." It's all a load of horse manure.

    Every MLM scheme is a fraudulent ripoff for everyone except the top leadership.

    1. Anonymous --

      Exactly! Who cares if you somehow can differentiate yourself from the rest if the whole thing is founded a terrible premise. The net result is still going to be the same, and you will still lose.

      It's interesting that top leadership isn't even a safe place. Amway diamonds get fired and their "pipelines" get taken away. Duncan went bankrupt. Worre got fired and sued for over a million dollars. The scam eventually catches up to everyone, and at some point they all go to court and have to pay outrageously large settlements to, "Not be found not to be a pyramid".

      One of my favorite movies, "The Big Short", has an awesome line from Steve Carell. He says, as the Mark Baum character:

      "We live in an era of fraud in America. Not just in banking, but in government, education, religion, food, even baseball... What bothers me isn't that fraud is not nice. Or that fraud is mean. For fifteen thousand years, fraud and short sighted thinking have never, ever worked. Not once. Eventually, you get caught, things go south. When the hell did we forget all that? I thought we were better than this, I really did."

    2. All MLM groups claim to be the "best" or "most profitable". I wonder what some upline would say if a prospect were to ask them to substantiate their claims? As an IBO, I just assumed that the "rich guys" on stage were telling the truth but in reality, nobody knows because the never share their actual financials with others.

    3. Joe --

      I fear your assumption has been the cause for everyone to join in and listen. We all want to give people the benefit of the doubt, and we all want to believe that people are telling the truth. Unfortunately, that can hurt us when the wrong people know how to manipulate that trust.

    4. Trusting people is a default in western mores ("I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and consider you basically trustworthy until you do something that breaks our trust."); MLM'ers use this to their advantage to victimize their unfortunate recruits.

  2. It's funny you mention virus - that's how Steve Hassan refers to mind control. heh

    1. pinkvictim --

      It is the most accurate way to define MLM and its parasitic relationship with society. If you could graph its effect with an x axis showing people's net worth, and a y axis showing duration of time spent in MLM, then you would see a very steady and predictable line going sharply negative. The same could be said for documenting longevity of people with any virus over time.