Multi-Level Marketing Realities – Part 11
I finished part 10 talking about having to shut down our web site because of the MLM company’s compliance department. However, I wanted to talk about something I had forgotten to mention: Chris had been taking the dietary supplement for about 6 months in May of 1998 and had lost a total of about 50 lbs. I used this fact on the home page of our website and it gave people who called something to talk about with Chris. We didn’t use before and after pictures or anything, but this success really helped us continue to sell a lot of the dietary supplement.
I had also neglected to talk about how I had approached other business people through Melvin Power’s forums and got ridiculed because I mentioned that we were successful, and how successful we were, and asked business-related questions about dealing with the kind of success we were having. This would have been in the Spring of 1998. The response I got was not good. People didn’t believe we were selling $10,000 worth of product per week after only a few months in business. I learned that being successful in business can be somewhat lonely because you have very few people you can talk to about it.
The effect that being part of a successful business had on my job was not good. I was more tired than unusual and often had to deal with business problems during the day, especially with the MLM company’s compliance and customer service departments. My attitude was poor and the pressure I was getting from home was making it worse, to the point where my job performance was good at times and horrible at other times. I really cared about the client, though, which helped me make it through… I just didn’t feel that the work I was doing was very important compared to running a business. It didn’t help that we were making more from our business than I was making from my job.
The volume our business was producing made us need some tools that I didn’t expect. For example, Chris bought a shreader so we could dispose of aged customer paperwork and not give away their personal information. No, we didn’t use the shreader to get rid of incriminating evidence. At first I didn’t really think we needed it but it did come in handy. Chris also got hand-held shipping tape dispensers which we still use.
In January of 1999 we put a contract down on our house that we currently live in. Although we didn’t spend much money on extravagances we did feel that the four bedroom house with a full basement would be a welcome edition, and a milestone that would allow me to quit my job and run the business. As I had mentioned before, we still had two mortgages on our townhouse at the time but would pay the second off completely before we closed on our new home.
In March of 1999, Chris and I booked a cruise to celebrate our 10 year wedding aniversary. We were all ready to go when the day before we left, we received a letter from the MLM company’s compliance department. Something was wrong with the website and we could either fix it, shut it down, or lose our distributor agreement. I think they said we had 5 days. I have no idea what was wrong, can’t remember, but I decided we would just shut down the site until we got back from our vacation. We put our 800 number on the front page so that people could still call in and order. I think the site was off for a week to 10 days before I was able to make the change and get it back on line.
We did really enjoy our vacation as there wasn’t too many worries about money. We did many fun things and I was able to buy a bottle of champaign for our table one night.
In part 12 I will talk about how the MLM company asked us for our complete list of customer names and addresses.