My first experience with network marketing or multi-level marketing was in the early 2000s when my mom put down money with the Mateo Management Group (MMG). That time, there were no products to be bought and sold because MMG supposedly used the members' money to finance their many businesses, but the emphasis on recruiting others in your downline and eventually not working at all because of commissions from your recruits, was also present.
I still recall my mom talking about how she only needed to recruit x number of people, and pretty soon, she'll just be sitting around collecting her monthly commissions. It seemed pretty shady to me and just plain too good to be true.
And true enough, MMG folded a few months later and the officers were slapped with numerous estafa charges. Thankfully, my mom got out in time and didn't lose any money, but my brother's experience is another story altogether.
Now, my friend is recruiting me to join the network marketing company he's affiliated with, starting his presentation with heady promises of wealth, freedom and the joys of passive income. The process seems fairly simple, it's either you buy or sell the products and monetize the points from your sales, or recruit enough people, who will in turn recruit more people creating a virtual forest of downlines. But of course, it goes without saying that recruiting people will make you more money than simply buying or selling the products.
Even if my family didn't have that unfortunate history with MMG in the past, I would still think twice about signing up for network marketing, mostly because I don't like selling stuff to other people. I know my strengths and talents, and sales isn't one of them. For all we know, I might have some hidden talent in sales and can actually sell ice to an eskimo, but really, at this point in my life, I am satisfied with my streams of income and would rather focus my attention on improving and expanding those streams on my own terms and for my own benefit, and not for some nameless few on my upline.
I sincerely hope my friend doesn't get burnt over this.