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It was called 60-Day Startup. Jumpstart your business. The event description described things like “Explore and Compare different business models that are easy to start, sustain, and scale” and ” Discover modern ways to start a “side hustle” while keeping your full-time job”. Looking back now, I should have seen all the red flags. There were words like “side hustle” and “income stream”. But it was so cleverly worded that it did sound like a talk for people looking to start their own business, it was in the event name after all. Much of the event description also focused on what it is to be an entrepreneur, and the guest speakers lined up looked impressive. I was sold, plus it was free too, who can resist that?

What was the event like? It started like any networking event. We had a few ice breakers and then the speaker came up. She talked about what makes a good business, what factors need to be taken into consideration. So far everything checks out with the event description. Then we were asked to get into groups and come up with a business plan in 20 minutes. Something like a shark tank thing. This was fun right? And so we all came up with our ideas and even presented it. After that was when events took a whole new turn. It felt like i was on this roller coaster for It’s a small world and suddenly the ride takes a sharp turn into jurassic park. (Yes, i understand they’re in different parks but that is the point) Suddenly it was all, “yes your business ideas are great but here’s a better way to earn money faster.” Terms like network marketing came out, videos of this guy from a MLM was shown and my heart began to sink. Just in case you were wondering, it was a pitch for the MLM Melaleuca. Now i have nothing against Melaleuca’s products per say, i’ve heard good things about it actually. My issue was that this event was presented as a talk to build your own business but it turned out to be a recruitment for a MLM. I wasn’t the only one who felt that way, there was another guy, as soon as the MLM portion started he began to be disinterested. And he was the one who was really energetic during the shark tank bit. He knew it, I knew it. We were duped.

A huge takeaway from this event would be that MLM’s these days are getting craftier with the way they present themselves. For someone who has seen countless acquaintances promote MLM products on facebook, i thought that i was immune to it. This event struck at the right chord. The chord that wanted to start my own business. It provided the answers to common questions like where to start and how to sustain yourself. Unfortunately, it was all a sham. I’m sure that for them to be able to form their own business to recruit others into this means that they’re on a pretty high tier. People who are up there do see the fruits of their labour. Unfortunately, i believe that if we were to be recruited we would not be at the same level, nor do i think i’m entitled to be there. To end this tale i would like to include a few links which helped me laugh at this and move on with caution.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6MwGeOm8iI  John Oliver’s piece on Multilevel Marketing

http://www.finance-guy.net/streetonomic/melaleuca-review-make-money A review of whether or not you can really make money with Malaleuca. Spoiler alert: No.

Note: If you want to join a MLM so be it. As long as you’ve read all the information on that company, really understand how you’re earning your money and then if you still want to go on with it then sure. I personally do not believe in MLM’s because the case studies and the research has shown that it does not work for the everyday person. And i’m an everyday person. Also, I think that a business should be earning profit from what your business is supposed to sell, not off recruiting others (not the same as employment).

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