Direct Sales: Think Your Friend’s Small Business Is a Pyramid Scheme? Think Again! by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead

Career Parenting
11 months ago
Direct Sales: Think Your Friend’s Small Business Is a Pyramid Scheme? Think Again!

So many of us live paycheck to paycheck, struggling to make ends meet and spend more time with our families. Have you noticed that many parents, mothers in particular, are becoming their own bosses? You may have heard direct sales businesses referred to as pyramid schemes. But pyramid schemes are illegal. Many of these companies are multi-level marketing businesses, not much different than a bricks and mortar store with associates, an assistant manager, manager, etc. 

Wouldn’t you rather support your friend’s small business than a large chain store? I know I’d rather support a friend who is trying to pay for her child’s swim lessons than help a billionaire CEO buy another home. So the next time your friends post about their small businesses on social media, whether they're in direct sales or not, consider supporting them.

Heather Murphy-Fritz
Thanks so much for showcasing this, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead! I love supporting my family from home.
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Thanks for your comment, Heather! I think a lot of mothers feel the same way. I know I feel good when I can support a small business. When I need something I often ask myself if I know someone who sells a similar product before I head to the mall!
Tori Ulrich
Even without it being a pyramid scheme, I still sometimes get frustrated feeling like I'm constantly being sold something every time I open a social media something. But, hearing it put in terms of 'swim lessons' and remembering that my small business just happens to run differently, helps me to remember we're all just trying to make $&*+ happen and doing our best along the way. This is an awesome reminder. 😊
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Well put, Tori Ulrich! I love supporting fellow women who are just trying to make $&*+ happen! :) We can accomplish so much more when we support each other!
Meredith Schneider
Thanks for sharing this Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead ! Having been on many sides of different fences 15 yrs corporate world as an executive assistant. During part of that time I was pregnant with our 2nd child while my husband was in Iraq. 5 yrs of our own brick and mortar owning our restaurant. Then home grateful with more time with our kids but after many life changes, closing restaurant and having a 4th child can be a culture shock and led to me gaining weight and becoming an emotional mess. After having hit rock bottom I started working on me and began helping others work on themselves inside and out too. Being able to be a wellness coach from where ever I am is incredible and fuels me to keep being a better version of me everday and being able to provide the tools no matter anyone's goals from an amazing company like Herbalife is priceless. And being able to cover kids sports activities is a bonus. Love love love supporting fellow moms trying to make $&*+ happen everyday! Love you all I've got your back!
BeHappy. BeHealthy. BeFit. BeYOU. It's Your Turn!
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Thanks for sharing your story, Meredith Schneider ! What an amazing journey! Love our 30 Seconds tribe!
Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
This is such a much-needed perspective on the direct sales industry, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead ! Many people don't understand it or make assumptions about it. Thank you for clarifying and putting it into real focus so we think twice about "shopping local" in every sense of that phrase. Hugs to all the hard-working small businesses owners out there. We see you and appreciate you! Way to go, Heather Murphy-Fritz Tori Ulrich Meredith Schneider and so many others in our amazing #30Seconds tribe!
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
I always feel so much better about a purchase when I've shopped local, especially if I can speak to or message with the business owner when shopping! There's just something about building community wherever you are, even if it's while buying skincare or leggings via facebook. :)
Laura Greenwald
Thanks Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead for such an insightful tip. I completely agree and am loving the time I've been spending as a distributor for Nu Skin. Hiring a company instead of having to wait for a company to hire you is a life changer.
Laurel Smith
I have no way of working outside the home. I have 2 young teens but they are both developmentally delayed. I cannot leave them home alone. Working from home, selling to friends, is the best way for me to make some extra money to cover things like meds, clothes, food for their growing appetites! LOL!
Forgive my ignorance. Where you say 'I’d rather support a friend who is trying to pay for her child’s swim lessons than help a billionaire CEO buy another home' take Arbonne as an example, when a consultant pays the sign up fee and has to purchase a stock inventory to sell on, they are helping the billionaire CEO who owns Arbonne to buy another home, so I am not sure how it can be classed as their 'small business'.

I've seen, and heard from ex-consultants, that once a consultant purchases the stock, in the long run, they actually make very little, even if they do it for a couple of years and get promoted through the ranks. The promotion is more of a tool to keep up the momentum rather than genuinely recognising the persons worth. Has anyone read this FTC document?

I'd be interested to hear peoples thoughts. From reading this myself it seems like, in the majority of cases, only 0.5% of people actually make any profit, and that doesn't necessarily mean good profit, they just aren't losing money like the other 99.95%. That is a frightening statistic. I am actually more inclined to help my fellow mom to try and get out of the MLM before she breaks down in a couple of years from stress and becoming broke.

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