The other day, I took a check (yes, some people pay me with paper checks, in spite of my efforts to get everything taken care of electronically) to the bank. We went through the drive up, and right there, below the clear plastic chamber, was taped an inspiring flier.
Work from HOME!
I already work from home. But all things work from home intrigue me. And I was further intrigued by the promise that you could be working for a NYSE listed company. Totally legit!
Below was a blank white space, stamped with a name and a toll-free number. Because I get curious, I brought it home and decided to call the number. Sadly, all I got was a recording, encouraging me to set up an appointment for an “interview.” So, I decided to search the name on Google. What I got to was someone's Herbalife distributor page. Turns out this great “opportunity” is really an ad encouraging you to buy Herbalife's home business system so that you, too, can be a Herbalife distributor.
Is it an outright scam? Probably not. It's classic MLM. The little flier is accurate; you can start a business as distributor, and you will be working with a NYSE listed company (ticker: HLF). However, like so many MLM “opportunities,” you are going to have to whip out the old credit card (I suggest using your best cash back credit card if you do this so that you get something back) to buy a system, and pay for products.
At least I think that's how it works from what I've read about the system, and MLM in general. I don't really know because I never went through with my “interview.”
Work from Home = Hard Work
The flier makes it sound so easy. However, it is important to note that working from home is hard work. People seem to think that I play around all day. And I can't really blame them. “Professional blogger” sounds like I just dip around on the Internet. However, there is work involved. Real, honest work. And if you get involved in a MLM or some other distributor type program, there is even more hard work — and the rewards might not be as big.
I watched my mom sell Avon, and I see any number of attempts throughout my neighborhood, from shoes to jewelry to scrapbook supplies to Tupperware to scented wax, to earn money working from home. As easy as it sounds, though, it's anything but. And it takes a great deal of work to be successful. While there are a few stories of people making it big (the pink Caddy I see around town is a testament to Mary Kay), most people end up just working and working and having little to show. A lot of the time, it amounts to just buying the products at a discount.
Am I wrong here? I don't know much about selling these products, or about MLM. But, horrible as it sounds, I cringe inside when others' response to the fact that I work from home is, “Oh, how nice. What system do you use?”
I'd love to read your stories about working from home, and I'm especially interested in hearing about experiences with MLM and other types of selling. Is it really worth it? Does it live up to the hype? Or is it an exercise in frustration and futility?