When you work for an MLM (multi-level market or direct sales company) you usually enter the decision with eyes wide open (not the awful Creed song). You know that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. There is a stigma that you’re fighting all the time. And that’s fine, I guess. I’m not one to shy away from a challenge. I get that not everyone is going to get it, that not everyone is going to be interested in what I have to sell or the opportunity I have to offer. However, I am an intelligent and educated human being who does notice a lot of criticism floating around out there. And as much as I’d like to Taylor Swift it, because the haters are always going to hate (hate hate), I do have something to say about it before I shake it off. I see social media posts from Scary Mommy (incidentally a very funny website…the humor is not lost on me) and I wonder if there was enough salt left for the dead sea after this writer was finished. Here are 5 reasons why I personally don’t drink the hater-aid when it comes to MLMs.
- America, capitalism, wooooh! In case you didn’t notice, we live in a society where we are bombarded by advertisements all the time. Some you notice, some you ignore, some you don’t even realize are happening. Did you know that you have likely sold something recently? If I ask on social media if anyone knows a good hair dresser, I will honestly get about 50 different comments with people tagging their hairdresser, posting Yelp reviews, linking Google maps, giving out social security number – anything to get me to use their hair dresser. Why? Because when you find the best you want people to know about it. Did you get paid for that sale you just made for Susan at Sports Clips who caresses your ears ever so gently during the shampoo at hot towel (because clearly that’s who I’m choosing)? Nope. You didn’t make a penny. Did I get angry about it? Nope! Because I just got a hot towel massage and an $8 buzz cut. And we skip down the street holding hands because I appreciate your non-commissioned sale that you just made to me.
- I’d prefer to line the pockets of real working-class citizens. I know plenty of people who sell makeup, clothing, organizational totes or vast amounts of other items I could easily order off Amazon or buy at Target. But if I can support someone who is just trying to eke out a living (like all of us are), why wouldn’t I? If I know I can get something reasonably priced that I would purchase anyway from someone I know, I feel good that it goes to pay for Timmy’s 4th retainer that he’ll probably toss from his lunch tray again or buying ballet slippers and a tiny, bedazzled bomber jacket for little Zanzibelle’s recital of the ballet version of Top Gun.
- There’s a chance someone in an MLM actually gives a teeny, tiny poop emoji about me. When you sell to someone you know, they’re in what’s called your warm market. Why is it warm? Hopefully nobody peed in it. But seriously, you know these people. Chances are they do care about you. They’re not just trying to get your money like every. other. corporation. They honestly do care what happens to you as a person, what happens to your family. Do I feel better about supporting an individual human being with feelings just like me than checking out at Amazon? Yeah, personalized service from a human being I know is pretty sweet.
- I don’t judge people based on their professions (unless you’re a clown…then I’m judging you. I’m judging you hard.) Do I care that Moequayquay from the 3rd grade decided to become a real estate agent or Thad across the street sings in a professional barbershop quartet? No, I don’t. You know why? Because it doesn’t really affect me in the slightest. You make your living how you make your living. If Moe wants to ask me if I’ve thought about selling my house or Thad wants to serenade me, I’m truly not going to be offended. Because just like me (and you and everyone) they are selling something (directly or indirectly) to make a living. And it doesn’t hurt my feelings that they want to feed their families.
- I have the power to ignore things that minorly irritate me. Give me your tired religious posts, your hungry political rants, your huddled masses of Candy Crush requests yearning to breathe free. Was I thrilled with any of that when you sent it to me or tagged me in it or assaulted my eyeballs with it and made my brain bleed just a little? No! I have the power to gloss over what minorly irritates me. Accept that not everybody is going to agree on everything all of the time. Life skills. Ya’ dig?
Ultimately, if you rage about things like someone messaging you on Facebook to see if you want to try their nutritional shakes or buy a piece of jewelry, I’m happy for you. Because if you see a private message from a friend (or acquaintance, or your mom’s mailman) so blood-curdlingly offensive that you have to rage about it, chances are you don’t have any perspective-giving problems like losing a child to cancer or being a Syrian refugee or raising six kids as a single parent on a fast-food worker’s salary. So in a way, I’m glad you suffer so immensely from your #firstworldproblems, because you are spared the pain that so many people with actual problems have to deal with.