In need of an alternative/ extra income?

This post explores help available for people needing a bit of extra money or an alternative income. I have not received any payments from any of these companies for promoting them, neither have I personally tried all these methods of earning money. I have just trawled the internet for ideas and put them together here. Hopefully they might serve as a starting point for you to search more thoroughly and come to your own conclusions on what is best for your circumstances. If you would like to see something here that I have missed, please drop me a message. If you think any of these links are not what they seem or might be dodgy, please let me know so I can delete the link. I don’t want people being scammed.

We advise you to avoid any companies that are Multi Level Marketing (MLM) schemes. 99% of people in these schemes lose money. 90% leave within a year. They seem legitimate but are not. If a company seems to be offering a nice way of earning money from home, google the name of it, followed by ‘MLM’. If you get lots of results, stop searching and try another company. Seriously, don’t even be tempted. If you see people saying ‘It’s legal, it’s not a pyramid scheme’, it will be a pyramid scheme or as close to it that the definition doesn’t matter. If you are considering joining an MLM, have a look here first and assess the scheme.

 

Help with debt/ making ends meet.

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Money saving Expert offer hints, tips, tools and a forum to help you make ends meet. Try some of their calculators, read a forum, join a forum and get into some good habits. With support of the people on the forums, you can be supported in reducing debts.

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Debtline can help with advice and they have some factsheets on how to get help with debt.

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Step Change are a debt charity that can help. They have a calculator that helps you plan what you can do.

 

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Are you receiving any benefits you might be entitled to? Have a look at this handy calculator from Entitled To just to check.

 

 

Legitimate work from home opportunities.

 

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Check out the CAB’s checklist of what to consider before setting up as self employed.

Customer service phone operator at home. If you love customer services and can navigate yourself around a computer program whilst talking to people, you could set yourself up as a customer services operator. This website takes on people as independent contractors that do just that.

Freelance IT work. If you’re good with computers you could help people create websites, assist with their content, check for mistakes. This website has examples of some opportunities and gives the hourly rate. There is an advert for AVON in there though, so beware. Just apply for the positions that give actual hourly rates! You could sign up with Clickworker and perform tasks that companies need doing, such as data entry, form filling, website checking. You get paid for each task, just do the bits that you can do, when you’ve got a bit of spare time.

Website designer. You can work online during hours that suit. If you are not great at that sort of thing but are interested, you can learn skills online.  Like at this website or this one.

Website testing. Visit websites and test them out, reporting back on your findings. User Testing is one site that does this. You visit a website, complete a set of tasks and verbally record what you are thinking. Whatusersdo are a panel of testers that you can join. This blog post gives details of 11 sites that pay for this sort of service.

Home typist. You are sent a recording of someone talking and you type it up. One company that does this is called Take-Note. This page tells you how you could work for them.

Bookkeeping. Train at home online for a bookkeeping qualification and then set up as a bookkeeper at home. The Institute of certified bookkeepers has more information.

Virtual Assistant. Work as a virtual assistant if you have experience of being a secretary or admin assistant. You could work freelance for a company or set yourself up in business when you have some experience. Time etc is one company that offers these work from home positions.

Courier. Work as a self employed or employed driver in your local area. Pick up parcels and deliver them. From just a few to a lot, depending on what you can do. Yodel offer this model of courier service. I had a look at one of their many job adverts and it was for £30-£70 a day. You pick up the bagged parcels, plan your route and then deliver them. You need to have a car and be a driver for this job.

Exam marking. Have a look here and here for more information.

 

Businesses you can set up yourself and run.

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Dog walking. It might take up a bit of time to build up but you could do this for a bit of extra money and get some exercise at the same time. Maybe extend it to dog sitting as an alternative to people putting their pets in kennels? Here, the Pet Owners’ Association explains how to set up a do walking business.

Swimming teacher. You can complete a teaching course locally to you and obtain funding to help with costs of the course. Check out the ASA website that has details of where courses are held and what funding there is.  Set up your own group of students around your commitments.

Childminding. There are some hoops to jump through and some paperwork to sort through but this could be an option if you want to work from home and have small children of your own keeping you at home. For some thorough information and links to other pages of interest, check out the careers service website. Perhaps you wouldn’t want to commit to actually having children round your house all the time. You could set yourself up as a babysitter. Get yourself trained as a childminder and then offer your services around your schedule. Have a look at Childcare.co.uk for the types of positions available. Register here to offer your services. After (considerable) expenses, taxes etc, earning potential is roughly £400 a month. This will depend hugely on the number of children and their ages.

Cleaner. If you don’t have a young child with you during the day, you could try offering your services as a cleaner during the hours that suit you. A start up website explains in 8 steps how to set up a cleaning business.

Beauty Business. Set up your own beauty business at home. If you have a spare room, an interest in beauty and treatments, look into this option. Or be a mobile beautician and visit people in their homes. The National Hairdressers Federation give ten tips on how to do this.  Twenty two tips here from the Beauty Biz. If you don’t know much about actually doing treatments, you can do online courses from home, such as these ones.

Not sure what to do and need ideas. Have a look at this website that goes through some ideas to think about. There are 6 areas of home business that you might like to consider.

Flexible jobs on an employed basis.

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Caring roles. These often require minimal initial training and are not too difficult to come by. You could look at local hospitals or agencies for a bank or agency position where you choose which shifts you would like to do. You get paid for the work you do, are given free training and usually uniforms. You would also accrue holiday pay. Some positions would be in a hospital, others involve visiting the elderly and offering companionship or help with their shopping. Here is a checklist from an agency on whether caring is for you. And some information from the careers service.

Adult educator. Do you have any skills or specialist knowledge? Could you pass on your knowledge in night classes? Contact a college  or library local to you and ask if they offer informal classes in a subject you are good at. Perhaps you could teach woodworking/ flower pressing/ family history tracing/ cake decorating. If you are knowledgable and confident it could be a great opportunity, with not poor pay rates. Enquire informally in the first instance and ask to observe a lesson/workshop for an idea on what would be expected.

There are part time evening courses that you can do to become a qualified adult educator that can be done around a family. If you have a degree you could do the adult educator qualification and you can then teach that subject formally. The Department for Education has some information on the qualification.

English teacher. This website tells you about the different types of qualifications available for teaching English as a second or foreign language. You can do these courses on a part time basis and you could then teach TEFL or TESL either abroad or in a college. Especially useful if you live in an area where there are many non-English speakers.

Other ideas.

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Night shifts. Could you work a few nights a week? If you have children and have someone to look after them at night, you could work overnight and then stay awake in the day. You would only be able to work two or three nights a week doing this, ensuring you don’t work two nights in a row. All the better if you can have a couple of hours’ nap in the day.  Places that offer night shifts are hotels, warehouses, nursing homes, hospitals, bars, factories, shops (shelf stackers).

 

 

 

Screenshot 2016-05-20 21.57.11Magazines. Write funny letters, short articles, send in cute child or pet pictures, write up holiday reviews, jokes, quizes. Get some magazines like Take A Break, Bella, Woman, Chat (You know the type) and have a look at their content. Email them your letters, articles etc and you might earn a little bit of money. Take A break tell you how to sell your story by filling in a form. If it’s a good one, you could get upto £2000. Maybe you’ve got a good MLM story to tell?

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Etsy. Are you an artist or good at making things? You could set up an online shop on Etsy. The quicker it is to make the item, the better. You can sell things virtually there, such as patterns for clothes/ toys, colouring in pictures, templates, signs, prints. You just need to upload these once, and then get sent payment when someone buys one.

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Rent a room out. Do you have a spare room? Could you rent it out to a lodger? What about turning your house into a temporary Bed and Breakfast? Have a look at Airbnb for how to do that.

Selling your artistic talents. Can you draw cartoons? Consider putting some work on Cartoonstock and earning money when someone pays for it. Have you got any photos that you could sell? See here on ideas how to do that. This blog tells you how you can sell traditional art, prints, photos and other types of art.

Write a book. This option isn’t as difficult as it used to be. Now you can publish a book to Kindle and start selling it straight away. Writing a book can take a lot of effort and the potential rewards could be very small. However, if you have a flair for writing, then why not? Read this free edition of ‘How to write a nonfiction book in 21 days- that readers love.’

Enter competitions. Someone’s got to win. Some determined people make a living out of it! Look for websites that advertise competitions. Like this onethis one and this one.

In need of an alternative/ extra income?

Multi Level Marketing journey through memes

 

 

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Footnote- A little word on the quotes that are attributed to well known people. They didn’t say them and did not demonstrate any support for Multi Level Marketing schemes!

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This quote is everywhere but I haven’t been able to find any evidence for it. Some people say the quote was originally from Trump. I have been unable to find evidence of that either.  I know it is impossible to prove something wasn’t said but we will have to assume it wasn’t, until proof can be given that he did say it.

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Richard Branson says this on his website. He has been associated with MLMs and even has one himself called Virgin Vie at Home. Clever man, he knows there is money to be made in owning an MLM. I would have to argue that this quote is not applicable to MLMs as it is most certainly not an ‘amazing opportunity’.

 

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I cannot find any evidence that this quote was made by Bill Gates. It is requoted all over the place. A discussion on Wikiquotes couldn’t find any evidence and they pointed out that the phrase goes against a lot of what he DID say and what he believes in.

 

 

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This link investigates quotes and their origins. They discovered the quote comes from a person claiming he got his information from aliens by trance-channeling. He attributed the quote to aliens, it later became attributed to Einstein for some reason. The quote seems to be backing up Attraction Theory which is why MLM supporters seem to be using it.

Multi Level Marketing journey through memes

Critique of a Slenderiix paper

The paper can be found here.

This paper has been given by people peddling Ariix products as evidence that it works. Here are the products mentionned in the paper.

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So that is what is claimed by Ariix. They also claim this-

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Let’s not just take their word for it, let’s have a look at the actual paper and evaluate it properly. I would like to point out that I have been trained in how to analyse a research paper and even worked in clinical research for a year.

Context of the study

  • The publication that the study appeared in. This paper was given to me as a pdf and no journal is mentioned on it. Where did this paper appear? Was it peer reviewed? Normally a paper is submitted to a journal and it then goes through a vigorous process of reading and checking by experts in the field. Only if the experts agree that the study is a good one, will it be published. Different journals have different levels of credibility and expertise. It would be useful to know which journal it appeared in (If any).

If it has not been in a peer-reviewed journal, this immediately casts doubt onto its                credibility.

Who did the study?

It is useful to know the background of the researchers. Do they have the proper expertise? What papers have they published in the past? Are they credible? What institution do they work for? It is common practice to research the authors of papers as this is all relevant.

There is no mention of who carried out the research or where. This is extremely unusual in a research paper. In fact, when research is quoted, you start with the names of the authors. There is a mention of someone called Dr Hurt who interviewed the participants. I initially googled ‘Dr Hurt’ and found this-

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He is a character from Batman. I assumed it wasn’t him that wrote the paper. He’s a psychiatrist.

 

Googling ‘Dr Hurt ariix’ reveals this-

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Dr Hurt worked for Ariix. She seemed to have a part in designing the products. She is not the best person to be testing these products. She will not be non-biased at all. In fact, normally research papers have a section where authors declare interests that might conflict with the study. There is no such section here.

Dr Hurt’s qualifications

It is normal practice to examine the qualifications of authors of papers. It is standard practice for CVs to be submitted to Journals when papers are being submitted to a journal. It is normal for critical readers to examine the available evidence of an author’s qualifications and job role. I am not getting personal or nasty here, I am just doing what is expected in a thorough review.

Dr Hurt is the only name mentioned in the paper so I can only look at her information. Here is her LinkedIn profile-

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Ah, it says this on her profile-

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So she was the only person involved in the study. OK, let’s look at her qualifications.

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What is a ‘Fellow, functional Endocrinology’? A quick goole tells me a ‘fellowship’ is obtained in the US by a physician or dentist undertaking about a year of additional medical training. More details can be found here about the qualification. It is open to people with a phd and is an online course.

Dr Hart’s phd was gained in Kingdom College of Natural Health. Is this an acredited college? No. This is from their own website.

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The KCNH just do distance and online courses. It is possible to get a degree there in 30 days if you already think you know the subject! You can just take the test and skip the course.Screenshot 2016-05-13 10.59.40.png

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I do not know if Marlisa got her doctorate this way or if she studied hard for years. Either way, it isn’t recognised by the US Education Department.

What about Liberty University where she got her Bachelor’s degree? This is a very Christian University where their programs are ‘Christ-centred’. Her degree is in Human ecology which is the study of humans in their environment.

Is someone with a ‘Christ-centred’ degree in human ecology and a non-accredited phd the best person to be conducting a clinical trial?

 

When was the article written/ published?

Normally, papers have the date mentioned somewhere on it. It is important to know the date so the research can be put in context. Also, studies are normally referred to by author and year published as a way of identifying it. This is how a research paper should be referenced-

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Note that the information contains the names of the authors, date, title, journal it was in. Every single piece of this information is missing from the Slenderiix study.

Note also that the above example was taken from the reference list of the Slenderiix paper. It was one of the few that was correctly referenced. Most of the other references were of a very poor standard, well below that expected of an A-Level student (for our non-UK readers, A-Levels are undertaken by 16-18 year olds).

 

What is being studied?

  • Normally I would look at the title of the paper next to see what it was examining. There is no title. This is very unusual for a proper scientific paper.

 

  • This is mentioned in the abstract- “Exploring the relationship of an exclusive homeopathic weight loss tincture combined with therapeutic nutrition in relation to reversal of visceral adipose fat tissue stores and serum inflammatory markers, which indicate risk factors for leading causes of death, including congestive heart disease and hormone-related cancers.”

The dependent variable here (the thing that you are trying to effect) is amount of visceral adipose fat tissue stores and serum inflammatory markers.

The independent variable here (the thing you have control over and are tweaking) is the homeopathic weight loss tincture and therapeutic nutrition.

Right, so we’ve managed to work out what they are testing. Let’s see how they went about it.

Design of the study

  • In the Abstract the phrase “A Randomized, Blind, Placebo-Controlled Cross-Over Study:” is used. This is good news. This is nearly the gold standard for research studies.
  • Randomised means that people are allocated to groups randomly, not chosen by a researcher which might bias the results.
  • Blind means that the participants don’t know if they are in the experimental or control group. This is supposed to weed out any placebo effect. This is not a double-blind study, where the researchers don’t know who is in what group. When it is not double-blinded, there is the possibility of researchers interpreting information in a biased way.
  • Placebo-controlled means that there was a group of participants who had exactly the same treatment as the experimental group except they were given products without active ingredients. The participants themselves wouldn’t know if they were having the active ingredients or an inactive substance. It is important that the products taken look and feel the same. They would be treated the same by the researchers as well if it was a double-blind trial but this isn’t one of those.
  • Cross-over means that the same people were put through being in the placebo group and experimental group.  They essentially act as their own control. This would factor out any differences found being down to individual differences in the participants. For example, if you have a young person and an old person in the group, their age wouldn’t affect anything because they would be in the control group and experimental group. Old control vs olds experimental and young control vs young experimental. Their age would become irrelevant.

 

Is the study Placebo controlled?

  • If the study is placebo controlled, then there should be an experimental group where they try the product/method and a placebo group where the participants have exactly the same as the experimental group except their products do not contain any of the active ingredients. Because it is a cross-over study, each person should be in each group over a period of time.  This should mean we can see if it is these specific products that have made the difference, rather than just being involved in a study and having the help and support of the researchers.

Having a look at the paper  though, they describe their groups like this-

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There is no mention at all of a placebo group. There is mention that the people in group C have a placebo instead of Slenderiix. But they are still having the other two elements of the program so this is not a placebo group. Each group appears to just be doing different components of the weight loss program. These groups might be useful when trying to determine which element is having any effect, but it would be an entirely different study to the one that is presumably being done.

Later the groups are referred to like this

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Group C seems to be labelled as a placebo group now. This is not a placebo group at all. This is quite deceptive in my opinion.

Then these two pieces of information appear-

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This sounds like a control group where the participants had no diet. Where did this group come from? How many people were in it?

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Now there is a diet only group as well. Where has this come from? Note Group C is still being referred to as a placebo group. Where are the people who had no diet?

From the information given, it is very unclear exactly who is in what group. There doesn’t appear to be a proper placebo group.

 

Is the study a cross-over study?

The study does not appear to be a proper cross-over study where all the participants serve in all the groups so they are their own control. The paper has this to say about it-

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This means that for the first 4 weeks there were groups A,B,C and D (plus the mysterious diet only and no diet groups) and for the remaining 8 weeks, A,B and C joined D. On the charts the people stayed in their labelled groups even though they had changed regimes. All very confusing.

This is not a cross-over study.

 

What do we know about the particpants?

The paper has this to say-

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Only 19 of the participants completed the experiment. This is an extremely small group and is not representative of the population. The men:women ratio is very uneven, why not just choose one sex to study? Or do half and half?

Because the study is a crossover study it should not need as many participants because each person will be used in each group. However, as this is not a true cross-over study that is irrelevant.

19 participants is an extremely low number to use. There is no reason to use such a small number of people in this study. It just undermines any results found.

 

 

Results

What did they find in relation to the initial research question? I.e. visceral fat stores and inflammatory markers?

  • visceral fat stores.

The most accurate way to measure visceral fat stores in with CT imaging. I would expect a proper clinical trial testing a product to use this most accurate method. There other, less accurate ways to measure it according to this health website.

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So there’s a few ways to measure it- each becoming less accurate. They are- CT, Bioelectrical impedence machines, waist to hip ratio.

Which method did this study use to measure visceral fat?

They talk about weight loss amounts and produce charts and graphs but this is irrelevant to the question being asked. We want to know about visceral fat, the dangerous type that can increase your chances of having health problems. Normal weight loss is not a good indicator of this.

In the write up of results there is mention of some measurements taken. There are no figures, no statistical analysis. There is some anecdotal information thrown in too.

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There does not seem to be any attempt to measure waist-hip ratios which would have given some idea of visceral fat loss. (The third best way to measure this fat.) I am suspicious as to why the researchers have not done a thorough analysis and made their results properly known, seeing as this is what they initially set out to test.

 

  • serum inflammatory markers.

The best way to measure these according to Patient is to measure three things-

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The study reports that over half of the participants did not have their blood tests repeated after the 12 weeks. This is a major concern and seriously puts any results into jeopardy. There were only 19 participants anyway, to lose half of them at this stage is catastrophic! They blame the participants’ own doctors because they were supposed to be doing the tests. Why are the researchers not doing the blood tests? This all sounds a bit odd!

Anyway, what blood tests were done on the remaining 10 participants?

These are the tests that were done on the people in the non-placebo groups.

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ESR and PV are not tested for. CRP is though. The CRP levels have been shown to reduce in the non placebo people and this is statistically significant.

What about in comparison to the placebo group then? Which is the comparison we are here to make. They don’t mention the placebo group on their own, but lump all the post-study blood together here and say they all improved.Screenshot 2016-05-11 14.40.17

Serum inflammatory markers have not been tested for adequately or compared between the groups at all. In fact, only one of the markers was tested, and then not properly compared.

Analysis of the paper’s conclusions

The conclusion does not mention at all the results of what hey set out to test. This is the bit where the original question is revisited, the results related back to this and meaningful conclusions drawn as to what the results might mean. Instead there is a rambling essay of things that were discovered along the way but this is meaningless if it was not studied properly.

 

Other observations

Many statements are included in the paper that are not backed up with research. This is very poor for a scientific study. If you are going to state something as a fact in a paper, you need to back it up. It is not enough to just include a list of references at the end. You need to annotate points as they arise. Sometimes this is done, mostly it is not.

There are many pages of irrelevant details that serve as descriptions of Ariix products. This is totally unnecessary.

The aim of the paper. Why was it written? This is offered in the introduction-

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I would have to conclude, after examining the evidence, that this is not a proper study at all, it is a very poor attempt at one. The inclusion of statements such as this one

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ring alarm bells at the assumptions being made. It is my considered opinion that this paper is psuedoscientific.

 

Conclusions

This is not in a peer-reviewed journal which means it has not been checked by experts. (As happens with normal research)

It is written by someone working for the company and she may also have been involved in making the product. Her professional qualifications are doubtful.

It is not placebo controlled as claimed in the paper.

It is not a cross-over study as claimed in the paper.

They set out to test visceral fat stores and inflammatory markers. They didn’t test visceral fat stores. Only half the people had inflammatory markers tested.

Only 23 people started the study, 19 completed it, 10 had blood tests done.

There are many pages of irrelevant information about the products.

The study is rambling, and disjointed. Groups of participants appear and disappear with no explanation. It is not properly referenced and follows very few basic scientific paper standards.

This study cannot be trusted in any way. No meaningful conclusions can be made from it. IT DOES NOT SHOW THAT SLENDERIIX IS EFFECTIVE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Critique of a Slenderiix paper

The things MLMs say (or MLM Bingo)

You may have had discussions with someone promoting a Multi Level Marketing  (MLM) Scheme and found they say some strange things that stop you in your tracks and make you unsure of how to respond. If you haven’t had any of these discussions, prepare yourself because sooner or later, you will. It doesn’t matter which MLM the person is representing, they all use the same arguments.

This phenomenon has led Timeless Vie to come up with an MLM bingo card because they noticed the same themes being brought up in arguments time and time again.

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Here, I will show you the themes I have noticed, and what the truth is. If you hear any of these arguments, point them here so they can see the truth and why you don’t believe them.

 

1. My company is pyramid shaped but it isn’t a pyramid scheme. After all, most companies, and even governments, are pyramid shaped.

They say that most companies or countries have a CEO at the top, then a few high up executives, then senior managers, managers, and finally,loads of people on the shop floor. You may be presented with images like this.Screenshot 2016-05-02 22.17.10

At first, you might think that there is some truth to this, and maybe the fact it is pyramid shaped is irrelevant. The mistake being made here by the MLMs is that they are confusing hierarchical organisations with pyramid schemes.

MLM Myth explains this very well:-

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So, in a hierarchical organisation, people perform different roles, with differing levels of authority. They are paid a wage depending on their role, skills, qualifications etc. In a pyramid scheme people have to recruit as many people as they can to do the same job as themselves. They earn money from these people.

2. You are against MLMs because you failed at it.

I have heard this quite often. For some reason, people in MLMs think that anyone who opposes their scheme must have been a part of one themselves and ‘failed’ at it. I have never been in an MLM. People have said I have failed in one.

I wonder if it is because it is drummed into them so much about MLM being easy and only people who don’t want it or are lazy will fail. They are told that anyone who fails deserves it. Failure and the people who fail become the enemy. They might see people who criticise MLMs as bitter and out to get revenge. After all, why else would anyone have any objections to their perfect, lovely scheme where everyone can flourish and make loads of money?

I have asked people leveling this criticism why they think that. No answers have been forthcoming. Please comment below if you have accused anyone of this, and explain why.

 

3. Of course there is a high failure rate in MLM. It is a business. Traditional businesses fail too.

The rate of people leaving MLMs is notoriously high. This is from MLM Myth. Other MLMs have about the same churn rate. 90% of people will leave within a year.

Screenshot 2016-05-10 20.43.02.png

 

Here are some stats for new business failure rates in the US.

Screenshot 2016-05-02 23.01.55

Let’s say a million people start a business of their own and a million people start work for an MLM.

People left after…

Type of work                       Starting          1 year         2 years           3 years        4 years          5 years

MLM                                    1,000,000       10,000           100                   1                      0                      0

Traditional business      1,000,000      900,000         750,000     650,000    550,000        520,000

 

What about in the UK? Here is an article from The Telegraph.

Screenshot 2016-05-02 23.30.23

This is a widely reported statistic from the RSA. To compare with the above chart, in MLM after 5 years, there would be no people left. In the US there would be 520,000 businesses left and in the UK there would be 500,000 left.

Although traditional businesses are at risk of failure, the rates are in no way comparable to the rates in MLM. It’s like comparing crossing a road on a quiet cul-de-sac with running across a motorway blindfolded.

4. You can earn money in an MLM.

You can’t. Unless you own it. This table is from MLM-The Truth,

Screenshot 2016-05-02 22.50.49

5. Other MLMs are scams, this one is different.

Yes, they all say that.

6.  It only takes 5-10 hours a week to earn an income.

No it doesn’t.  It takes over your whole life. You can’t stop spinning those plates for one second or it will all come tumbling down. If you are trying to earn proper money you will be up at 6am and going to bed after 11, most of the time you will have been working. This post shows the personal experiences of people in an MLM.

7. MLM is taught in Business schools.

People claim that Harvard Business School teaches MLM and have studied it. The claim is that they identified three factors that make an MLM likely to be successful. This article blows that apart.

Screenshot 2016-05-10 14.36.53

8. You can have a better work/life balance with MLM. 

No you can’t. It takes up every waking minute of your life. You don’t have a day off, no holiday from it. You may be encouraged to put your children in child care. There are events and meetings and prospecting to do. Again, have a look at this blog post outlining real people’s experiences in an MLM.

 

9. My MLM isn’t a pyramid scheme or illegal because there are products sold.

You can retail products in a pyramid scheme. The key is if you can only earn money by recruiting more people. MLMs will stipulate a monthly amount that has to be purchased so they can say “we are selling products, look! It can’t be a pyramid scheme.” If people in the scheme only make money by recruiting others and earn peanuts/ nothing from retailing, then it is a pyramid scheme.

MLM Watch describes the 5 warning signs that an MLM is a product based pyramid scheme.

  1. Recruiting of participants is unlimited in an endless chain of recruiters recruiting recruiters.
  2. Advancement in a hierarchy of multiple levels of “distributors” is achieved by recruitment, rather than by appointment.
  3. “Pay-to-play” requirements are satisfied by ongoing ‘incentivized purchases.’
  4. The company offers commissions and/or bonuses to more than five levels of “distributors.”
  5. Company payout per sale for each upline participant equals or exceeds that for the person selling the product, creating inadequate incentive to retail and excessive incentive to recruit- and an extreme concentration of income at the top.

 

10. It’s not a scam. My MLM is regulated by the Direct Selling Association.

The DSA have had many pyramid schemes in their ranks before. These companies were saying they were legitimate because of their membership. Just before they were shut down.

Look up Vemma, Trek Alliance, Your Travel Biz and Equinox International.

This blog post has some interesting information about the DSA.

 

11. People not in MLM are living lives of quiet desperation, being wage slaves in their underpaid J.O.B.s (Just Above Broke). MLM can save them from this drudgery and misery.

This just doesn’t ring true for me at all. I have a stable job that I trained for and that I enjoy. I work part time around my family, as do others I work with. I can afford to pay my mortgage, all the bills, and save as well. My house is just how I like it and me and my family are happy. I have friends in the same situation as me. There are, no doubt, some people who are struggling financially and are unable to pay their bills. Is it as widespread as the MLMs will have you believe?

Even if there were a lot of working people upset with their circumstances, MLM would not be the answer. It would make things worse.

12. Everything is governed by the Law of Attraction. If you are positive, good things will happen to you. If you are negative, bad things will happen.

People in MLMs are taught this as part of their ‘mindset’ training. The theory is that everything has vibrations, including thoughts. These vibrations attract similar events with matching vibrations. So when you think you are not going to do well in your ‘business’, you won’t do well. Taken further, the Law of Attraction states that when negative events happen, it is because people brought it upon themselves with their negative thinking. A devastating flood with resulting deaths is due to those people having negative vibrations.

People will find their MLM will not go well. They are taught this is because of their negative mindset. They just have to be positive and assume it will all be fine and then it will be.  This puts the blame on the individual, instead of the dreadful business model. It will also encourage the person to continue trying to make it work, even when all the evidence is pointing to the scheme not working. When the person finally admits defeat and leaves the MLM, they are left with the feeling that it was their fault they failed and they have feelings of shame.

13. People have succeeded in my MLM, I have seen how successful they are and I have seen the huge cheques presented to them.

People are Faking it to Make it. They have to pretend they are doing well to attract more positive events, as promised by the Law of Attraction. If they believe they are doing well, they will eventually do well in reality. People sell their small houses and rent bigger ones. They hire expensive cars, they buy expensive gifts for their downline, all to give the illusion they are doing well. They hope that as a result of all this faking, other people will notice, become curious and start asking how they can achieve the same. The sad reality is that this deception costs money which will eventually run out.

Some people, of course, do get cheques. Here’s some examples of some cheque earners. They look great and something to aspire too. Worth sacrificing everything for an attempt at that maybe?

Screenshot 2016-05-03 12.38.17.png

Screenshot 2016-05-10 22.08.29.png

How much time and effort and expenses have these people lost? See point 4 for the reality of what 99.9% of people will ‘earn’.

What are the chances someone  in Forever Living will earn cheques like these? Worldwide there are 9.25 million distributors. In 2015 there were 661 of these cheques presented and there were 15% more given out in 2016. This means there were 760 cheques in 2016, out of 9.25 million distributors. This equates to 0.008% of the total. That is one eight hundredth of a percent. Not great odds that it will be you picking up a cheque.

A top FL earner has been exposed by her ex-husband in this blog.  In it, Craig Morgan explains how he funded his wife’s lifestyle and helped pay for the trappings associated with supposedly being successful. She collected one of those cheques but it turns out, according to the husband, she was actually a few hundred thousand pounds in debt. I suspect she isn’t the only one in this position.

 

14. Random figures are thrown about that might look impressive if you just glanced at it, but fall apart pretty quickly if you do even one sum.

Like this one for example from Facebook-

Screenshot 2016-05-10 22.29.28

I confronted them with the truth and a little bit of analysis.

Screenshot 2016-05-10 22.30.28

They deleted the comment and left their inacurate statement with glaring figures showing how bad an investment this is.

Here is another fact that is bandied about like it is a good thing. This is from a Network Marketing site.

Screenshot 2016-05-10 23.20.06

$200 million paid out a day! How many people work in MLMs then? The World Federation of Direct Selling Association puts the number at 100 million. That means people in MLMs earn about $2 a day! And that is the average. We have seen some people earn a lot more than that. Which means a lot of people earn a lot less than $2 a day.

 

 

15. 

Screenshot 2016-05-10 22.57.56.png

No it doesn’t. Where have these facts come from? First of all, it is treating MLM as an industry in its own right, when really they cover a lot of different industries like healthcare, beauty etc. If it is an industry in its own right, it doesn’t feature in any statistics on industry earnings.

MLM Skeptic investigates this oft-repeated ‘fact’ better than I can.

Screenshot 2016-05-10 23.03.38.png

16. My MLM product works because it is in the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR).

This means nothing. The PDR is a book published in the US by a private company that contains information provided by, and paid for, the manufacturers of the products. It is essentially a book of those leaflets you get in packets of tablets. The PDR company do not verify the information or put it through any quality control.

Screenshot 2016-05-11 23.10.33

Inclusion of an MLM product in this book does not lend it any credibility or mean that doctors are happy to prescribe it. Have a look at this analysis by MLM Watch of an MLM’s claim about their product being in the PDR.

Optimals by Ariix is in the PDR. Interestingly, it contains the following.

Screenshot 2016-05-12 09.11.13

I think it is a good idea to have these products in the PDR, so that when people go to their doctor and tell them what they are taking, the doctor can look up what it is. And put them on the correct medication. That is cheaper and might actually work.

17. My MLM’s products are good for health because (insert dubious reason here)

No, your MLM’s product will not work. Your products are cheap, not had the right testing done, and are sold at massively overinflated prices so that everyone can get a cut of the sale. It doesn’t matter that they don’t work because everyone in the scheme is buying it anyway, in an attempt to make money. Excellent analysis here from Lazyman on exactly why the product won’t work.

 

18. You are just a jealous, dream-stealing hater who wants me to fail.

People criticising your MLM are not jealous. They have found out the truth and are either angry you are sucking people into your scheme, or are trying to educate you and others, in an attempt to help you get out.

The ‘dreams’ you speak of have been created by your MLM. They get you to think of some huge thing you want and aim for that, pretending that if you persevere and persevere, you will eventually get it. You won’t get that mansion/ boat/ private school place because you won’t make money. This ‘dream’ is making you stick at it longer. It is an emotional carrot, pulling you in deeper. Here is a page where you can be told how to have lovely dreams and adjust your thinking so that you can  make yourself stick at your MLM for longer. If this looks normal to you, you are probably in a bit deep and need to re-evaluate your situation. If this looks horrific to you, you are well on your way to protecting yourself against these schemes.

 

Here’s a good one, ignore facts people, just dream. Pesky facts.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 10.00.30.png

The person you are raging against is probably a friend or family member who cares about you and can objectively see what is happening to you. They want to help you. If you are leveling this accusation at someone on a forum, they have probably been led there while looking to help a good friend. They are concerned people and they want to help you.

19. By buying from me, you are supporting a local business, not lining the pockets of a corporation.

I have seen this a few times on the pages of people involved in MLM.

Screenshot 2016-05-12 10.05.49

By buying from an MLM, you ARE helping the CEO buy a 3rd holiday home. The person who owns the company is earning loads of money from the local people trying to sell their stuff. You are not helping a girl get dance lessons or any of that other stuff. You are encouraging the person to limp on a bit longer, and continue to lose money, worsening their financial state.

20. I don’t believe your facts and figures and arguments because…. You are a keyboard warrior, I don’t know your name, You know who I am, it’s not fair. You’re not in the business, you don’t know what you are talking about. Don’t you have better things to worry about? You have too much time on your hands.

It doesn’t matter who the person is, it is the content of the argument that is important. If someone points out that it is illegal to make health claims, it is not a valid counter argument to say ‘you are a keyboard warrior’. Once the discussion is turned to the qualities of the arguer, you know that they are losing the argument. If you can’t argue with facts and figures, give up.

 

 

The next time people involved in MLMs give you ‘facts’, look a little deeper and the truth won’t be far away. Feel free to notify me of any Bingo squares you have noticed that need including on this page. Thanks.

 

The things MLMs say (or MLM Bingo)

LTW Payment plan update

News just in (As of 8th July 2016)- The DSA have not approved LTW for membership. They are no longer on the list of prospective members on the DSA website.

On the 11th July there is a petition in the Manchester courts for LTW to be wound up. This move has been brought forward by a perfume company who are owed money. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/notice/2565024

 

I have been informed by people from LTW that my last calculations were misleading and do not show how people actually earn money in their scheme. I have re-examined the payment plan and found that I was mistaken in the requirement to do three months shopping to be eligible for bonuses. Here is an updated version of how you are supposed to make money. Update to the update (27 May 2016), I have seen the official compensation plan for April 2016. I will write updates in red, to reflect this document.

Screenshot 2016-05-27 22.09.42.png

I cannot access the official information on the compensation plan because the official website has no reference to it at all. This is still the case. If you were about to sign up to this ‘business opportunity’ you would be doing it based on what bloggers and Facebook members told you it was like. This must be concerning and a red flag. I would not take up a job or business opportunity where the only financial information provided was what some random people promised me on the internet. Especially when these people would profit from me joining.

This clause still seems to be active.

Screenshot 2016-05-09 10.28.14

This is from this LTW website which looks official but has a different logo.

Relevant to any discussion on earnings is this statement from the ‘earnings and income disclosure statement’ from this website.

Screenshot 2016-05-09 10.34.31.png

The highlight from this bit is where you are warned that testimonials you hear about are not representative and will not apply to the average purchaser. The ‘average purchaser’ presumably being those people that think they can earn money just by shopping with this company.

Let’s have a look at some of these websites that don’t seem to be official to see what they think the compensation plan is. We will apply this to the Average Purchaser.

First of all there is the £35 joining fee. It has been described variably as a one off payment, but also, on more than one occasion, it has been described as an annual fee. Without official information, it is difficult to tell. It is referred to as an ‘application fee’ on the official document, so it sounds like it is a one off payment.

So you join up and spend £35.

Total spent £35

Then you need to do some shopping. You need to get 100 PV points really if you want to make any money. 100PV means you have made the company £100 in profit. To do this in the cheapest way you would buy a ‘hamper’ for £165. This contains all sorts of things that you probably would not normally buy. But hey, it is cheaper to do it this way and you are in it for the business aren’t you? Not for the shopping.

So this arrives.

Screenshot 2016-05-03 14.00.53

Great. Now you don’t need to buy any Yazoo for months. It was sent by Royal mail and took 3-5 days. You may well have had to go to the post office to collect it if you were at work when they tried to deliver it. You can’t take time off work to sit and wait for these deliveries. It will arrive in two heavy boxes. I hope you have a car to go and fetch it with.

Total spend-£200

You will be eligible for 2% commission on your shopping, congratulations! You will receive £3.30.

Total spend balance- £196.70

You would be eligible for team bonuses and a share of their money but you don’t have any downline yet. You have just started and wanted to see if it worked first.

Month 2.

You have managed to persuade your brother and a best friend to join LTW. You promised them a fantastic earning potential even though you do not know for sure that it will work out. You probably showed them pictures of people with big wipe clean cheques for £10,000 and told them that they could get that too. Did you tell them that the payment structure could change? Did you manage to find official details of what the payment plan actually is? Did you tell them that the average purchaser wouldn’t earn that?

You buy £165 of food again. So do your brother and best friend.

Screenshot 2016-05-03 14.00.53

This arrives again. But you’ve not finished it all from last time! Better get drinking the Yazoo then. And then go proper food shopping because there isn’t enough there for a single meal.

Apparently you will get £20 for each person you sign up. There is no mention of this bonus in the official LTW comp plan.

And 2% on your shopping. And 1% ‘residual income’ from the money your brother and best friend spent.

Month 2 you get back £3.30 ‘residual income’, £40 sign up fee and 2% from your own shopping. you get £46.60 in payment.

Your total spend balance is now £315.10

Month three you have managed to persuade your neighbour into joining the scheme. Have you been totally honest with them about the ‘opportunity”? Would your brother and friend tell them how great it is or would they be objective? What information are you showing them to persuade them to join?

You order your hamper again. You go for a different one this time because you are running out of storage space for the weetabix and Yazoo. This arrives via Royal Mail-

 

Still nothing there to make an actual meal out of, but never mind. Some LTW people have suggested just taking it to a food bank. It isn’t about the products/wampum after all, it is about the business opportunity. Although I’m not sure what you would do with the lipsticks, blue nail varnish and perfume. Save them for presents maybe?

You make another £20 for persuading someone to invest in a scheme on the promise of future rewards. Nice one!

Meanwhile your brother and best friend have diligently spent another £165 on their wampum. Also they have persuaded a person each to invest money in the scheme, promising them future rewards for doing so. They get money for doing this and earn money from their shopping.

Luckily for you, your neighbour has immediately signed up her sister into the scheme. She promised future rewards in return for a payment. The neighbour and her sister pay their £200 each into the scheme.

You get paid more money. You get £20 for signing up your neighbour.

Screenshot 2016-05-09 11.39.08

This chart is reproduced in the official document. It goes upto ‘infinity’ apparently. WOW!

Screenshot 2016-05-27 22.43.26.png

You get 2% on your shopping (£3.30). You get 1% on your neighbour, brother and best friend’s shopping (£4.95). You also get 1% on the shopping from the people that they signed up. (£4.95). This totals £13.20 in commission.

Because you have now been the catalyst in persuading 6 people to part with £165 on wampum and you are at the top of a little pyramid you are eligible for a team leading bonus! Yay! This is for £200. Finally, this is what you have been waiting for.

This month you get paid a £20 sign up fee, £13.20 commission and a ‘senior star’ bonus of £200. Total income this month- £233.20. But you spent £165 on wampum.

Your total spend balance is now £246.90

This is you-

Screenshot 2016-05-09 11.53.51.png

Ooh, hang on! You have been active now for three months! This makes you eligible for the pool!

Screenshot 2016-05-09 11.55.44.png

If you don’t get 100 points one month, you get no pool money until you have spent 100 points for three consecutive months again. LTW illustrate the 2% pool as a pie chart. It’s just a small point, but that is not 2%.

                                              LTW’s 2%                                          Everyone else’s 2%

What does this actually mean? Do you get points so you don’t have to spend as much money? Is it actual money? Let’s assume it is actual money that you get paid.

You would have to know how many points were purchased and how many people were active.

Hmm, well, we know that there were 6650 people in LTW in Dec. Let’s pretend it is March.

Screenshot 2016-05-09 12.50.30.png

Over that period of time there will have been a churn rate which means that 90% of those 6550 people will leave over the course of a year. This will equate to 1,474 people leaving over three months. They will be replaced of course so the overall figure will increase. How many of these will have spent 100 points ? Let’s be generous and say 80% have spent their required amount.

This means 4060 people are in the pool. We are told in March there are about 9000 people in LTW. Let’s be generous again and say 80% spent 100 points this month on £165 hampers. This means that £1,188,000 (and 720,000 points) is given to LTW. 2% of these points are added to the pool. This is 14,400 points. Presumably these are converted to £14,400 for sharing purposes. £14,400 divided by 4060 is £3.55.

By month three then, your Total spend balance is  £243.35.

By month 4 you really need some different types of food. The only other available hamper for purchase that doesn’t involve trips to Saudi Arabia or drinking strange juices is this one-

Screenshot 2016-05-09 13.20.31

Screenshot 2016-05-09 13.20.38

 

I suppose you could have a tin of Heinz spaghetti for tea? Or rice with tinned tomatoes? It might be interesting to try different food from round the world. After all, it isn’t about the product / wampum is it? By now the people at the local food bank will be wondering what delights you have for them next.

Month 4

You spend your usual £165. Your neighbour and best friend have spent their £165, as have their downlines. They haven’t recruited anyone else. Unfortunately though, your brother has packed it in. His wife was getting sick of all the false promises and is angry he has become involved in another ‘get rich quick scheme’. His best friend and downline has backed out as well.

Never fear though, you can get the residual income from your two downlines and their downlines. This will equate to £6.60. Don’t forget the 2% for your own shopping! Your ‘cashback’! Thats another £3.30. In total these payments add up to £9.90. And you are still eligible for the pool. That’s another £4.43 coming your way. You are not a senior star distributor anymore though so you won’t be getting your £200 bonus. I hope that doesn’t cause any friction between you and your brother.

By month four your total spend balance is £403.92

To get back up to the dizzying heights of senior star distributor you will need to recruit another person and persuade them to recruit a person under them. In the meantime you will need to be persuading your two downlines to get on with recruiting another two people and getting those people to recruit as well otherwise they won’t be senior stars. They haven’t had any £200 bonuses yet and might be leaving soon if you don’t keep on at them.

Does any of this sound like the adverts for this company?

No sales? No team building? No pressure?

Well LTW people, have I got it right this time? Has anyone been able to find me official confirmation of the payment structure? Are there any bonuses I have missed? I am not interested in hearing from the people who transferred over from another MLM with their 30 downlines and their instant qualification for all the bonuses because that is just not realistic. I have tried to portray here what would probably happen to an average purchaser who got involved in this scheme thinking all they had to do was buy their shopping and get a few others to do the same.

It would be great if some average purchasers could comment below on their experiences. Including any problems experienced. I think it is important to show the realities of this scheme so that people considering joining can make a considered judgement.

One more picture to end on. This graphic nicely shows where all this amazing money and £3.30 commissions come from.

Screenshot 2016-05-09 14.10.18

 

 

 

LTW Payment plan update

Forever Living using sick children, Great Ormond Street Hospital and a charity to make unsubstantiated health claims.

Have you seen any claims from Forever Living (FL) salespeople about their products and links with Great Ormond Street Hospital? Or with the skin condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB)?

In case you haven’t heard of EB, here is some information from an NHS website.

Screenshot 2016-05-05 08.56.44.png

Here are some examples of Forever Living distributors making health claims using GOSH/ sick children/ EB in order to sell their creams.

From a distributor’s blog

Screenshot 2016-05-04 23.28.08

 

Here is someone from FLP trying to get sufferers of EB to use the products on Facebook. There weren’t any replies to the question.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 23.32.25

Here a distributor is making claims about Gelly being used in the burns department at GOSH.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 23.36.54.png

Here, a distributor is making claims in a local publication to promote the company.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 23.41.42.png

I have personally heard a Forever distributor say that FL products are used at GOSH for putting on burns. I thought at the time that this didn’t sound right but kept quiet because I was at my friend’s house and it was her ‘launch party’.

This charity worker also heard of these claims. Her name is Janice and she seems to have worked/ works for DEBRA, a charity supporting patients and their families with EB. She became concerned about claims that were being made to people with EB and other DEBRA workers.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 22.07.19

These are the claims she was talking about. This is the message that was sent from someone selling these products.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 22.09.56

Screenshot 2016-05-04 22.10.21

This document can be found here. I’m not sure of its context, it seems to just be floating around the internet on its own.

I decided to do a bit of investigating of the issue myself.

 

I found this on page 16 of Forever Living’s ad pack where they say what statements their salespeople are allowed to use.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 21.55.09

With regards to the first statement of money being raised, I found this in Company check that makes the information at Companies House available to the public. It is taken from their records for 2001.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 22.34.17

Screenshot 2016-05-04 22.33.58

Was this statement audited? Is there footage of giant cheques being presented? Or was it just a statement put in the introduction with no need to prove it?

Timeless Vie, on behalf of Bot Watch, asked Forever Living Products (UK) to verify the facts mentioned in the ad pack. They did not reply. They asked again. No answers.

So I asked Great Ormond Street Hospital if they had received any money for funding these nurses. This was their reply.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 23.17.50.png

Maybe Forever Living’s distributors did raise that money. There is no evidence for it, but none against it either.

 

What about the other claims in that ad pack?

Janice (the woman who was researching the spurious claims) got a reply from the specialist EB dietician at GOSH about the Forever Living claims-

Screenshot 2016-05-04 22.02.51

I asked Great Ormond Street more questions. This is their reply. Their answers are in bold type.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 23.01.36

 

I asked DEBRA what their thoughts were on these claims. This is what they said-

Screenshot 2016-05-04 23.15.28

 

In conclusion,

Forever Living’s distributors are claiming their products have been used in research on EB at Great Ormond Street Hospital. They imply it was successful, so successful in fact, that you can get their product from the dermatology department there. They have associated themselves with DEBRA.

GOSH have no records of any research being carried out there, their creme wasn’t available there and it is not available there now. DEBRA do not endorse any products.

The health claims surrounding EB and Propolis creme are endorsed by FL themselves. There is no evidence to support these claims.

Using sick children, a well known NHS Children’s hospital and a charity to sell moisturiser is unacceptable. No health claims should be being made for this product as it is not licenced by the MHRA. For more on this issue, visit my other blog posts on it- Part one and part two.

If you sell these products, please stop making fraudulent claims.

 

Update- Since publishing this article it has come to light that Forever Living have told their distributors to stop associating them with GOSH. This was on a Mumsnet thread discussing the issue-

Screenshot 2016-05-05 09.08.50

Screenshot 2016-05-05 09.08.23

 

I’d be happy to add a comment from Forever Living themselves if they want to leave one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forever Living using sick children, Great Ormond Street Hospital and a charity to make unsubstantiated health claims.

MLM Expectation vs Reality

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There are endless statistics out there about how you will not earn money in an MLM, the evidence is overwhelmingly against joining one of these schemes.  But still people join. They respond to adverts, they listen to their friends and relatives who tell them it is a great opportunity. They are told all sorts of things.

This blog post examines the reality experienced by people who have left an MLM, namely Forever Living, although I suspect these experiences are shared across many MLMs. If you are thinking of joining an MLM, please take a moment to read what the reality is like. As described by successful MLMers who were being paid full time wages.

 

The Expectation- The hours will be part time. A typical claim is 5-10 hours a week.

The Reality- Much, much more than this.To get anywhere, to earn anything you need to put in serious hours. 12 hours a day is normal, 18 hours is not considered too much. This is every day, with no days off. This adds up to 126 hours a week.

 

The Expectation- Spend more time with your family than if you were in a traditional job.

The Reality- People are encouraged to put their children in nursery to spend more time on the ‘business’. Every social situation is a prospecting opportunity. You can’t relax and enjoy your child because you should be doing an MLM related activity- one-to-ones, training sessions, preparing for presentations, putting out social media. Every fun family thing you get involved in needs to be photographed so you can say how amazing it is that you are spending time with your child.

Evenings with a partner are non-existent. That is when you are doing online training, checking up on your team, reading emails, making videos, planning for yourself, helping others plan. You might be hosting webinars, attending meetings, visiting team members, working on your mindset.

 

The Expectation- Work from home.

The Reality- Most of it was out of the house, dragging the kids around a lot of the time. Training days, success days, BP meetings, one on ones, building up relationships with prospects, searching for prospects, card dropping.

 

The Expectation-No targets

The Reality- There are targets if you want to earn any money. You have to do 4CC a month to be paid your bonus. You could either retail hundreds of pounds of stock or recruit 2 people and sell some stock. Very very difficult to achieve. The pressure is put on by yourself and by your upline who needs you to do your 4CC so they get their bonuses. Sometimes the only way to meet these targets was to buy the stock yourself.

 

The Expectation- You are your own boss with no one telling you what to do. Complete control over your work.

The Reality- Constant demands from uplines. Lots of obligations hoisted on you- talking at presentations, online training, participating in team events. Targets set by the company, lots of obligations set out in the contract. Promotions given by the company, termination is a real possibility. You are questioned by your upline if you don’t perform as well as expected and accused of not trying hard enough. This environment has been described as more pressured than a well paid corporate job. All without the safety of a regular income.

 

The Expectation- The products will sell themselves. All you need to do is to be seen to be using the products and people will be asking about them. They are great products so it is easy to sell them.

The Reality- Very difficult to sell. The products are very expensive for what they are.

 

The Expectation- Friendly environment. Much is made of the ‘Forever Family’ and it seems from the outside that it is all very friendly and supportive.

The Reality- Cut throat, Mean Girls environment. Lots of bullying.

 

The Expectation- Recruits are easy to find.

The Reality- You can go months and months without recruiting anyone. Friends block you. Invitations start dropping off. You become unpopular.

 

The Expectation- It is cheap to start up and run.

The Reality- There are many expenses that all add up. See below.

 

Typical expenses over a month, as described by an ex-FLP member.

MONTHLY COSTS-
£12 FLP360 site
£7 QLS site
£2.99 smart pod / PowerPod
£20 Business Cards
£20 fliers
£80 accountant
£100 – to hire room for BP
£120 (at least on personal use products)
£50 success day tickets (hotel fees, transport, food, parking on top of this)
Team incentives £varies (one month we were all encouraged to buy an iPad mini for a team incentive, products, books and CD’s are also common incentive prizes)
£30 teas and coffees at 1-2-1’s
If you can’t retail / struggle to recruit and you are a manager you will have to buy your 4cc!
£50 on books/ audio / mindset training
£80 on products for Trial baskets
£40 – office stationary / phone bill
£other training events

The £300 costs were once a quarter for team parties

Success days are now £50 and when in Birmingham or London you have to pay for travel accommodation food etc so it soon adds up

Out team trainings cost £20 a time out of our own pocket these were held 5 times a year

Mindset weekends were approx £250 twice a year

Plus costs of running the business travel costs trial products, business cards advertising, paying for room hire for business presentations and team trainings

£300 a quarter for team parties

Total- £687 to £1470 (this figure takes into account the frequency of the training/ events.)

 

And from another ex-FLP member-

“Monthly costs for me were at worst just over £500 per month as some months customers wouldn’t order as products do last and if I was unable to recruit despite working really hard I would have to buy my case credits just to get paid my leadership bonus.”
But the costs don’t matter if the earnings are great do they?  Here’s an enlightening quote from one of the above people- “I used to earn about £1800 per month but put in a lot of hours…. that money dropped every month as people left. When it dropped to £800 I had to stop as my costs were more than I was earning. I couldn’t sustain it.”

We keep hearing about all the time that it takes to put into this scheme to get anything back. What does a typical day look like? Here is one woman’s experience…

“Told to do mindset from 6 but started at 7

Then from 9am after sorting my children I would be making calls prospecting people.
Commenting on team posts on facebook…. motivating others….
Sending out messages asking if people were interested in trying the products. Noone was interested really I got the odd lead but hated bothering people

I neglected my family at times as I was so wrapped up in Forever it takes over your whole life . Then I was out or working at home every evening. Online business presentations, actual live business presentations, one to ones with people.
Training up a new person so planning with them.
Team get togethers it was constant.”

And another…

“How time is spent over an average day:

6am: Alarm 6:05: headphones in to listen to mindset training

6:30: Check team pages & business page / answer messages

7am: shower, dressed, makeup, lunches for family

8:10: school run 9am back from school run and will have morning with my youngest child. I usually tried to go somewhere I could meet “new friends” – shopping centres, play groups, the park. Post on FB/ Instagram Carding / fliers being given out and a lot of time my 3 year old was handed food / iPad to keep him quiet.

1pm: school pickup

1:40pm: home and lunch for kids / homework / after school activities (retailing and prospecting on my way)

4pm: prep team training, catch up with team, message some customers and Post on FB / Instagram

5pm: start dinner, iron hubbies work shirt. Watch training while I do these things.

After I get my children to bed at 8pm I start working on my social media. I would have a list of people pre written on a Sunday and I profile and take time to engage with them trying to build rapport to see if they are interested in the business / products. Some evenings I would have launches / pamper parties / sizzles to attend. The local BP would be attended once a week. I hosted an online webinar once a week. Online events were at least once a month too. So evenings were really full.

11pm: evening mindset training & gratitudes.”

I asked her what ‘gratitudes’ are.

“Gratitudes- where you sit and think of things you are grateful for that day. It’s part of mindset.
I was absolutely shattered. I’m still recovering.
I found myself snappy, irritable and my anxiety was through the roof. If the team didn’t have a good month I would beat myself up.”

 

I find all this really, really sad. These women are stretched financially, time-wise, energy-wise, friend-wise and they are fighting a losing battle where the odds are stacked against them. And they are told to be grateful.

 

 

MLM Expectation vs Reality