A Business Model is Born
Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) as a business model came into its own in the 1950s when Rich De Vos and Jaye Van Andel created Amway. In those days, Amway became a very dynamic, effective, and lucrative model of creating wealth. The fact that the Amway Corporation is still operational today, under the name of Quixtar, is testimony that Multi-Level Marketing has been a functional and effective business model.
I highly recommend the book, Compassionate Capitalism by Rich De Vos. It is a masterpiece! In the book, he states that the nation of America was built on private ownership and free enterprise. He interjects that, “Capitalism is not perfect, but it is the only way to keep this nation strong.” (Compassionate Capitalism, page 10)
Here is another pertinent quote to consider, “Compassion, not profit, is the ultimate goal of capitalism. When compassion inspires and informs free enterprise, profits follow, the quality of life is advanced, and the earth is restored and renewed. When it is not the active ingredient in the process, profits may follow temporarily, but the long-term cost in human suffering and depletion of the earth is more than we dare to pay.” (Compassionate Capitalism, page 10)
It Starts With a Dream
Mr. De Vos went on to say that man was created to dream. He further stated that our dreams are created in the image of God’s dreams. Then he reflected, “Imagine what the reality of those dreams would mean for your Creator, for you and for the planet.” (Compassionate Capitalism, page 22).
One final quote from Mr. De Vos: “If you and I are created in God’s image to dream great dreams for ourselves, and everybody else is created in God’s image to dream, then our dreaming must reach out and help their dreams come true.” (Compassionate Capitalism, page 24)
I share these quotes because I believe that they are at the heart of Multi-Level Marketing. It starts with a dream for something more than what is possible in your current platform and position in life. The revelation that I believe Multi-Level Marketing was built upon is, if I, a dreamer, can help you, a dreamer, realize your dreams, then I will ultimately realize my dreams. That is where the MLM journey begins.
You Need a Vehicle
The Ark was a vehicle that God gave Noah to sustain HIS dream of purging mankind of evil. The Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, were vehicles to carry the pilgrims away from a despotic rule, to a place where they could live out their dream to govern their own lives, in accordance with Biblical principles.
In the same way, Multi-Level Marketing was designed as a vehicle to liberate the dreamers of this day. The vehicle is not the dream. It is simply a vehicle that will carry you to the realization of the dream.
A Good Reputation Gone Bad
For many years Multi-Level Marketing was a well-respected and effective way of doing business. In the past 30-years or more it has grown rapidly. With each passing day, you would hear about a new Multi-Level Marketing opening up somewhere. Before long, however, you began to hear about MLM companies going out of business. Then there were “scam MLMs” popping up everywhere you turned.
Another flaw in the system arose when people were so desperate to get people into their business, that they embellished the truth and greatly distorted the facts. Their unsuspecting prospect was told how easy it is to build a business, create wealth, and quit their job in a matter of months. When it didn’t happen that way, disgruntled marketers started sharing their stories and warning others to avoid Multi-Level Marketing.
In short, a beautiful model got a bad reputation on the streets. Today the quickest way to lose a friend is to ask them to join the Multi-Level Marketing thing that you got going. It will be a long time before you see or hear from them again.
To sum it all up, we have very effectively “cheapened” the Multi-Level Marketing model and we have created a culture of failure in the industry. In fact when you look at other mega models operating and functioning in the world, you can see the same pattern.
Other Models Have suffered the Same Demise
The Church was founded by Jesus Christ Himself. Oversight was provided by God Almighty. Yet, today the second easiest way to lose a friend, is to ask them to come to church with you or share your faith with them. So many people have been hurt by people in the church, that they want nothing to do with it. Yet, in its purest form the Church is a masterpiece of life and provision, given to us by God.
What has happened to Multi-Level Marketing and the Church, as well as other operational models of functioning? The impurity of un-redeemed humanity infiltrated them, perverted them, and damaged them. They have not destroyed them.
It is a given that there is evil in the world. But, those who choose to live above the evil, should not hide their goodness under a bushel. We cannot throw the Multi-Level Marketing baby out with the bath water.
What Can We Do?
So what can we do? First of all we must objectively evaluate the MLM model, weighing its merits against its shortcomings. When we are presented with a Multi-Level Marketing opportunity, the same scrutiny must be applied.
When we sign up with a company, we must submit to our leaders for training and direction. Then we must seek out our own education to create success in our business. Ultimately, we must take full responsibility for our business success. Then we must pass on what we have learned to our new business partners.
The bottom line is that we must dig deeply into the principles of success creation in Multi-Level Marketing and we must apply what we learn to every aspect of the business. We must become a walking testimony of the true value of the vehicle of Multi-Level Marketing.
Imprisoned Dreamers Must Be Liberated
Why is that so important? Because it is one of the few models that anyone with a dream and a drive can lay hold of and reinvent themselves vocationally, culturally, and socially.
We have been imprisoned too long in the corporate world. The average worker exercises their skills, to create profit for the corporation, and their take is barely enough to live on.
But the greatest tragedy is that they were created to be dreamers. I postulate that everybody has a dream. Few have a vehicle to make it a reality. Without a launch pad, the flame of that dream will quickly dim and eventually die out. With the right opportunity/vehicle, the dream can be revived.
We owe it to our Creator, to ourselves and each other, and the World to do all that we can to reinvent a Multi-Level Marketing model of Integrity and success.
This has been MY answer to “Why Multi-Level Marketing”?