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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cruel Intentions: Are Health MLMs Evil?

By: Joel Luedke

Chances are you have heard of Midline Marketing (MLM) and most likely been approached to participate in one.  If you're in the health and fitness industry almost definitely have been bombarded with them to get in and help people, make money and potentially retire early based on you passive income.....Ok, ok.  Done with any sarcasm.  In most cases MLMs are decent companies that do actually mean well.  Other times, maybe not so much.



Our goal with this article is to take a look at MLMs and look at the pros and cons of them and if you should be getting involved.

What is a MLM?
Often people consider MLMs pyramid schemes where the goal is to sell a specific amount of a particular product and then recruit people to sign up for the selling the same product underneath you and then everyone gets their cut of sales as you continue to sell.  Each company has their own way of how they break down compensation but it typically involves an up front payment (usually an annual fee) to be part of the company.  From there the cost and reimbursement vary greatly company to company.

In the remainder of this article we are going to focus on the companies that provide health related products and services and discuss if they are the best option for utilizing in your own goals of health and fitness.

What Should you Pay for and What Should You Get
This topic go sparked from listening to a podcast talking about health and diet.  The host brought up that they believed when you are looking for help in losing weight (as an example) that often finding someone who puts out the basis of information you need for free is often a source that you can trust.  While that person may have products and supplies that you can purchase if you so choose they do not make it a necessity in order have success using their basic (potentially free) idea.

This is where MLMs can get interesting and also come off a purely profit driven.  Many are based solely around the product and the need to purchase a package of some kind to apply to their diet plan.  This is the plan to attract people with 'cleanses', 'x' number of days challenges and other fast acting programs promising weight loss and feeling better.  Rarely do these companies provide anything free to you ahead of time and it is only after you purchase it.

Whole Food vs. Supplemental
Without getting into a lot of depth on this topic I believe you can't rely on just supplemental foods to truly reach a state of optimal health.  You may get quick results in regards to weight loss in the short term but often holding on to that weight loss is near impossible. While there are often plenty of vitamins and minerals packed into the powders and supplements they are just not enough to replace whole foods and the nutrition they can provide.

Supplements have their place but that is a supplemental role.  They can be utilized to fill in the gaps of nutrition that you might not get through whole food.  Supplements can also be utilized to work your nutrition up to optimal ranges that might not be attainable through eating just food (that would be a lot, I mean a lot of fruits and veggies.  Again, I would caution anything that claims is will fix you with pills and shakes alone or a plan that calls for significant restriction of any basic food.


It's All About the Application
Having personally started in a MLM I never felt completely comfortable hard selling the supplements that were provided.  Not being a salesman at heart I felt a sense of guilt trying to 'up sell' anyone to buy more of what I was selling or even reaching out to anyone from out of the blue and seeing if they wanted to improve their fitness.


Moving on past that I found an area that made me feel comfortable selling and that is working through this blog and our podcast Clinically Pressed and providing what we hope to be is good information while not advertising that we sell the related supplements.  If it comes up in conversation I will potentially suggest ideas and thoughts but only in the supplements that I believe will actually help someone and not all the options provided by the company.


This is where I think not all MLMs are evil and full of people looking to earn passive and easy profit. When there is a true base of wanting to help people and providing them with the tools to do that without making is a requirement to purchase hundreds of dollars (or more) of nutrition items, that is a winning combination.  Be careful in your pursuit of quick fixes and anyone selling you nutrition products with little to no background in health and fitness.


*Disclosure: I (Joel) am an Advocare advisor but do not advertise or sell product on a regular basis.  I utilize the discount for personal use and when anyone asks.  It is not a revenue stream for me.
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