Imagine waking up one morning to your dream job. You have been searching for a job for too long now. Then one day, a friend calls asking whether you are near town or not. Knowing that he is working in a reputable organization and could easily link you with the human resource, you quickly answer – yes – smiling widely as though he could see the joy that is now painted all over your face. Well, this was me, and I hurriedly prepared for the appointment that I had just secured. This was it, I thought. I have been looking for a job for too long, and today, my prayers, yes, my fervent prayers were finally paying off, I thought. Funny enough, I felt sick in my throat that there was something fishy about this whole meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel, a prestigious place that I had only set eyes on from afar until that day. True to my fears, it was another Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) scheme. My trust levels went down crushingly, and my hopes turned into something else. But wait, what is wrong with MLM?
I sat down gingerly and the man on the other side of the table rushed to introduce himself to me as my friend fiddled with his humongous phone, but I think he was taking a call. By the time my friend was done attending to his phone, or the call that had come on it, we were no longer strangers with my friend’s friend. The man asked me, after my friend had wittingly excused himself citing he was rushing to another meeting that he was already late for, if I took coffee or tea and if I took coffee how I liked my it prepared. The guy went ahead to prepare an Organo Gold cup of coffee for me anyway, despite my concerted effort, of course in a gentle manner, to air that I neither take coffee nor tea – seriously I don’t. That is when I confirmed my fears, it was one of those pyramid schemes and the man was an MLMer.
The conversation was ready to kick off, well, OG coffee was on the table and it looked like a professional business meeting. The prelude subsumed past experiences and my new friend explained how he had made it in life amid the peer influence that paralleled his life at campus. In every statement that he made, he mentioned something about a dream. He keenly stated how he had seen everywhere he went as too little to match his dreams. He had quit international jobs and flagged down gold-coated opportunities along the way. Finally, he had come to find out about Organo Gold products and the Multi-Level Marketing that could turn him into the millionaire that he always dreamt of becoming. Now he could see Organo Gold matching his dreams.
After I showed signs of uneasiness, as though I was getting late for some meeting, he quickly changed the course of the stories and started hitting the nail on the head. By that time, two other guests had joined us. Another tall and stout-looking man had also come to the seat next to us – he seemed to be listening to the stories, but at the same time busied himself with his smartphone. I listened keenly as the MLMer talked about how Organo Gold products had cured his ulcers and allergies. He went on further to praise the products’ abilities to cure cancer, help people lose weight, and assure longevity. All this, he said, is because of a component called Ganoderma. The marketing session was almost through, at least I thought it was, as the gentleman had flipped to the end of the brochure he had been using all this while. Then, the tall man joined the talk in a spirited manner confirming my fears that he was also an MLMer.
Apparently, there are levels in MLM and this tall guy was at sapphire level. He started off strongly asking who would have love to continue earning, what he called passive income, despite having quit or retired. The answer was yes from everyone. He then went ahead to state that if you are dependent and keep on working for someone your whole life, you are being leveraged. He jumped from one jargon to another displaying his marketing know-how. I have to admit, I was really impressed. I was. “You mean that MLM has really gathered a whole novel approach?” I mumbled to myself. I actually perceived everything he was explaining one big discombobulated matrix network that will ensure you are salaried so long as you are living. Finally, the talks ended and the marketers asked 20$ upfront before any of us could start journeying down the boulevard to success. At that instant, I connected the MLM with the infamous pyramid schemes. I do not want to add anything else to show you whether MLMs are right or wrong, because I hope that you have been reading in between the lines. MLMs will systematically dwindle…with time and most of my fears about this get-rich-quick scheme will be turned inside out.