The first time I had ever heard about Beachbody was through an old friend on Facebook (wow, doesn’t that sound like an MLM podcast episode). She was always doing “free” healthy challenges, like clean eating and getting your daily water intake. Umm, I’m a broke college student who is depressed cause I am a said broke college student and all I can eat are Cheetos.
At first, I really enjoyed the challenges she put together. It was nice to focus on something that was good for me and helped me get out of the negative space my brokeness was causing me. However, what goes up must come down.
She started asking for me to buy these hella expensive shakes. I was really hesitant, especially because I could barely afford my rent (hello, FREE FACEBOOK CHALLENGES).
After I explained that I couldn’t afford the products but thank you anyways, she mentioned I myself could start selling shakes and making extra cash, to not only cover my shakes but also enough to start making a real side income. After doing some research, I realized some things just weren’t adding up.
I found an FTC article that shared that 99% of people who join MLMs (multi-level marketing companies) actually LOSE money, not make it.
Loss rates are extraordinary – over 99% for all of the MLMs for which I have been able to obtain relevant data. This in itself would not be so bad, except that it is promoted as an “income opportunity” – or even as a “business opportunity” – a misrepresentation in itself.
This wasn’t too surprising since I would have to not only purchase the product for myself to advertise my new health journey, but it would also require me to purchase enough of said product to have some on hand to sell. I would also have to pay fees on top of fees, like attending conferences, training and my membership fee.
I’m only a feeble woman who’s not that great at math (HA), but I realized that the numbers here weren’t working. No matter what formula I tried using, it wasn’t adding up. I even looked here and here and here and here and here.
But I’m A Scientist
I realized after further research (aka going down the Google rabbit hole), that a lot of scientists actually sign up to be Beachbody coaches, despite it being an MLM. It makes total sense to me for a variety of reasons.
No one teaches a scientist how to run a business. I mean, hello, we are supposed to research, chase animals and blow shit up. Running a business or looking at profit margins, advertising, and paying quarterly estimated taxes is just not our forte.
But since a lot of us aren’t paid what we would like, or can even really live off of sometimes, MLMS seem like a pipe dream. All of the makings of a business, put in a box, with instructions on how to build it.
Or… do they really? I’m talking more of my findings as well as my personal experience in the video up above.
I’m curious though, have you ever considered an MLM? Are you the 1% that actually makes money? If so, can we call you Yoda? I’m only semi-serious but would really like to pick your brain about it. You know, for research.