top of page

From Anti MLM to Top Earner to Skeptic and Slayer: Part 2

Updated: Aug 7, 2022

The problem with Internal Consumption and the majority of MLM companies.

What I learned was that I was part of an internal consumption company, a concept that was new to me because I had assumed they were all the same. I figured this was how this business had to go, so the thought of doing it somewhere else was off the table because, Jesus Christ, it was hard.

So what’s the problem with the standard internal consumption model of MLMs?

The first Network Marketing companies in the US came about during the Great Depression. I can only imagine the relief some had when it came to a new way of earning money. It was genius, really. If you think about any other sales position, it’s set up so much the same, only with less control for the sales force and less opportunity to succeed.

The problem is that the model itself has not changed much and 1930 was a long time ago.

In the majority of companies, including the one I was originally officially affiliated with (and the few I was guilted into for a hot second before that), is that the lure to becoming a consultant is to get a large discount and some free product. There is an incentive to try and sell the product (mine was more free product and the threat of a $200 fee which we ABSOLUTELY could not afford at the time). The funnel worked perfectly on me. I was terrified of having to tell my husband we would have to pay that $200, so I did what I was told and threw a party, started earning money, saw a potential future, couldn’t believe my own success and shared like crazy because if I could do it ANYONE COULD!

But, they can’t. I had something at stake- our family’s wellbeing. I also have drive, desire, a background in education and leadership, a love of teaching, I have discipline, and a brain for research, and I will do things that I put my mind to. I had determination. At the time I hadn’t had a lot of therapy…so I assumed this was how everyone is. It’s not though, anyone is capable of it, but it’s not how many function. Luckily for me, my ambition did draw in many other incredible people who also had ambition. So I did have a team of incredible leaders…but they only made up about 1% of the team (at best)…and none, but one came close to earning what I did. That one worked so much it made my head spin and I was worried for her and her health, but those things don’t matter to most.

The internal consumption system works, just not in the way you think or should want. There's a big discount, nothing to lose, the potential to earn some money, and MAYBE you’ll go so so big you’ll become a big earner. They focus a lot on the big earner part though. You see the big earners all the time. They win all the awards and speak on stage. They inspire, but rarely share details. They have assistants and systems in place that no one knows about…because if everyone knew, nobody would really want to do it. It would feel impossible, and it maybe is.

How can you tell if it’s an internal consumption company? There’s a great big discount on all your products right off the bat. That’s going to be your biggest sign. Seems like it makes sense though right? You want the wholesale pricing…but that’s where the problem will lie in the business and comp plan.

I would tell you to look at the comp plan but honestly, most comp plans are so confusing that unless you’ve been in the industry for years and read through tons you couldn’t possibly understand them until you’re neck-deep and realizing what you’re up against.

While you can absolutely sell the products and earn money in a company like this, you will likely be giving a percentage of your discount away in order to incentivize people, despite what you were told would be amazing incentives. People want free shipping, they want a deal, and they don’t want to spend money on certa