AVOID Multi-Level Marketing Scams.

Photo courtesy of squirrelfeedersonline

Photo courtesy of squirrelfeedersonline

Multi-level marketing is a bad idea, unless you are the person starting it and even then, it’s still a bad idea. MLM’s are designed so that the top always become richer and the bottom are always broke, otherwise known as a pyramid scheme. As a good rule of thumb, if someone sells you an idea for a business and then asks YOU to pay for it up front, walk away. Sometimes they disguise it as “Starting your own business!”, but you would be better off actually starting your own business and using that money in your own way.

I had a situation once where I was invited to a meeting under the impression that we would discuss an acting gig in a short film of theirs. I have always loved acting and actively pursued that passion, so it sounded great. As I entered the bookstore cafe where we were to meet, I was greeted and given a chair to sit in - so far, so good.

I believe I opened with, “I’m incredibly excited to hear about this script!” or some such nice-ity. The conversation almost instantly went in a different direction.

Photo courtesy of Tumblr

Photo courtesy of Tumblr

“Awesome, man! We’re excited too, but I wanted to talk to you about this insurance company opportunity real quick.” (Real quick was not real quick.)

Now, I’m pretty well-versed in smiling and nodding and I’ve done the proper psychological research to know how to look and stay polite and attentive(not as a gimmick), but “REAL quick” was actually a “REAL two hours” and that is not an exaggeration. It was my greatest test in looking and smiling and being polite, although looking back, I probably should have walked away sooner.

I repeatedly had to say that I am not interested, but it didn’t matter. It took me awhile to realize that this guy had been so hell bent on selling me on this business because he didn’t want to be on the bottom, where subconsciously I’m sure he knew he was, and he definitely didn’t want to lose the money he had poorly invested.

Photo courtesy of  simpsons.wikia.com

Photo courtesy of simpsons.wikia.com

The sad thing is, this was not a one time occurrence. I’ve been told about MLM’s in every category possible, from Insurance, to autocare, to group coupon deals, to you name it, from all walks of life.

The bottom line is this: if it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is. Stay away from MLM scams and always do a lot of research on any investment you ever make, regardless of the price. Additionally, time can also count as an investment - something I still struggle with maintaining myself sometimes.