When researching MLM network marketing companies you might come across some websites that claim that these types of businesses are cults. Although it is always smart to be skeptical of business opportunities that seem too good to be true, it is silly to dismiss an entire segment of the business world just because you don’t understand it. To those that ask is MLM network marketing a cult, the answer is a resounding no. Those that claim it is simply don’t understand the fundamentals of MLM network marketing.
MLM network marketing is a legitimate business model where distributors who promote products and services can make money in a number of ways. Distributors can make money by selling products directly to customers. In addition, distributors can make money by recruiting new distributors into their network on the back-end. These new distributors that you recruit are known as a “downline” and the person that recruited them usually receives a commission off their group.
Most distributors operate their business from home and split their time between selling products to customers and recruiting new members into their organization. The best MLM network marketing opportunities offer bonuses and rewards for recruiting new people and also offer similar bonuses for sales. This allows a distributor to grow their income exponentially, and they will make more money when they recruit new distributors.
First off, let’s talk about what a cult is. A cult is usually some sort of religious or another belief system where all of the members believe the same things. There is usually a supreme “leader” who tells everyone else what to do. Using this definition, MLM network marketing does not resemble a cult in any way. In fact, it is almost the opposite. Distributors are essentially their own bosses and do not answer to any leader or higher power.
Cults also have rules about leaving the group. In MLM network marketing you can leave anytime. You are under no obligation to stay involved with the opportunity and can pretty much make your own rules about when, where and how much you work. When you are involved in a good MLM network marketing opportunity you can enjoy benefits such as:
- Financial freedom
- Working from home
- Being your own boss
- Making your own flexible work schedule
- Helping those who are looking for a better quality of life
Does this sound like a cult to you? This sounds much more like an independent business opportunity where your success relies almost entirely on your own hard work, dedication, and passion, unlike a cult where everyone is at the whim of the leader and group.
Those that say MLM network marketing is a cult definitely do not understand what this opportunity is all about. If you want to learn more about MLM network marketing then you are encouraged to do further research about this exciting way to be your own boss and work from home. MLM network marketing is a legitimate business model that can be a great way to generate a second source of income or a full-time living.
This post has got me laughing quite a bit as I can’t believe that people would think MLM is a cult. I may have just never met people like that.
Well, if you look at it from a different point of view. The industry is indeed a cult.
Some people love money and worship it. They can’t seem to live without it, and they will do anything for it. Of course, these people are usually very desperate and are not the kind of people we want to work with.
Then there are the leaders in this industry who all preach the same belief. That we have to help others if you want to achieve personal success, and that we have to continually improve and develop on ourselves if want to be able to help more people.
So, the question isn’t about network marketing influencing and instilling “beliefs” in us. The question is, are those beliefs beneficial in helping us improve as human beings? And do these beliefs help improve the lives of not only ourselves, but the people around us.
Interesting topic Nate! 🙂
You would think that but I guess you can never say never.
This was something I wanted to address because this is something that someone had expressed to me about how they felt about the industry. Not so much it being a scam, but more so a cult, from a brainwashing sense. In a very basic manner, I wanted to point out the differences between the two.
Thank you for the comments, Darren!
What a clear and cogent breakdown Nate. Skeptics see believers – not in the religious sense ; ) as people who are cultish. They have no clue how to believe in a higher purpose and connect with like-minded people.
As note nothing is farther from the truth. We have independent minds and although meet for a single cause we each bust our tails and answer to ourselves.
Thanks for sharing!
Exactly, we bust our tails to work on our dreams and we take control of our own life. 🙂
You said the one thing that most people overlook and misunderstand.
You said “Distributors are essentially their own bosses and do not answer to any leader or higher power.” A lot of us get in looking for someone to tell us what to do, like at a job, or a cult as you mention.
The majority of people don’t want to take responsibility for their own successes. They want to leverage someone to take responsibility which doesn’t work out.
When it comes to business we definitely have to use an autonomous mindset and take that responsibility for ourselves.
Thanks for sharing!
This is powerful, Nate and thanks for addressing this. You’re right MLM is not a cult by any means. It’s a business model where people can develop themselves and create financial freedom for themselves and their families.
I like what you said about people in network marketing not being answerable to a boss or higher power. This is so true. When we get involved in MLM, there is no one looking over your shoulder to see if you’re doing what you’re supposed to do. You make your own schedule and are responsible for your success or failure.
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for the comments, Etieno!
Of course it’s a cult. But then again, so is any group of 3 or more people getting together for a common goal.
The word cult in current popular usage is a pejorative term for a new religious movement or other group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre by the larger society cult.
I guess it all depends on your definition…
One word like the word cult, could mean different things to different people. Thanks for the comments!
I think it’s funny when people say that MLM is a cult. I mean, really?! Each company has a culture, but that’s true with any NON-MLM company too. I like this post, Nate! 🙂
You’re right it is funny. I guess nothing really surprises me in our industry. If people think ABC company is a scam, and say of Mr. Prospect doesn’t full does his due diligence where he might Google it and see a bunch of misleading titles that ABC Company is a scam, even though it’s not a scam.
I realize that been in this industry that people hear, think and perceive things in a differently.
That is just to say that nothing surprises me in our industry. This definitely was a first in terms of hearing that MLM is a cult and wanted to share my thoughts about it.
Great blog and great information!! 🙂 Thanks
Thanks for stopping by!
MLM a cult? Most of the companies are legit, but then there are some which are like a “cult” in some way (like so many brain-washed people who are just followers…..),
Thanks Nate for your awesome insights on this!! Great post!!
Exactly. Thanks Joan!
Thanks Nate for this Blog. I’m an AVON Leader. It really helps to analyse that my company is a MLM and it gives much more than any other MLMs.
You’re welcome. Most MLM’s have awesome products. Just that the masses do not understand excitement and also their perception of MLM is different in their eyes compared to someone that is already in the business. They do not understand the “big” picture. With a little bit of educating, most that I’ve come across somewhat understand it at the end of the conversation.
My company has a tremendous event/training culture. Some of my friends have made comments that imply that we are a cult. I often hear,”You’re drinking the Kool-Aid.” People in my company are generally happier, successful, and more fulfilled, so it’s not surprising to find people who want to rain on our parade.
The negativity that exists regarding network marketing is generally from individuals who are ignorant. Amazing how the least informed and least successful people in the world generally have the most to say about certain topics.I have learned that if I accept someone’s opinion, I also have to be prepared to accept their lifestyle. No dice!
Great article Nate!
To your success!
Founder MLM Mastermind Online
I have seen some footage from some company events that border on cult like behaviour but this is not the norm. Anyone working inside MLM, internet marketing circles knows that independent, strong willed individuals are the norm.
Exactly. Thanks Luke!