What is a Fake Business?

I’m wondering if I need a new name for this blog.

After reading a blog posted on Sunday by one of my readers (Anna), I am seriously considering a name change.  What she wrote made me embarrassed to call myself an 8pm Warrior.

What sparked this?

In a previous post, I asked the question “Is Multi Level Marketing (MLM) a good opportunity?”  Apparently, this topic is hotter than I imagined.  One reader even commented that they thought “8pm Warrior” referred to the time of evening when these Multi Level Marketing people like Amway, Market America,  or similar groups get together and talk about their fake businesses.

Fake business…

I don’t know if I was candid enough in my first post (probably too nice).  However, now that I’ve revisited the issue, here are some clear thoughts on the matter in plain English:

1)      It is not a business if you never plan to make a profit (or if 99% of people who do the same thing will lose money).  That is called a hobby…much like owning a boat, gardening, or building miniature model ships inside glass bottles.

2)      If by chance, someone makes money doing this sort of hobby; it does not legitimize this business model.  Even though a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while, finding the nut on accident does not qualify the squirrel as a bona fide nut business owner (however, MLM’s might qualify).

3)      You are not a business owner because you sell yourself products.

4)      You are also not a business owner if you use your strong emotional connections with family or close friends to sell overpriced products.  That is called misguided, annoying, and destructive in the long run.

5)      It does not mean you own a business if you dress up and pay thousands of dollars to hear speakers tell you about their dreams coming true.  Their dreams came true when you paid to hear about their dreams coming true and signed up for the snake oil they were selling.

(Side note, MLM’s do prove that speaking for a living is a real business)

6)      You are not an 8pm Warrior just because every Wednesday night at 8pm you bring yourself and others to a hotel conference room to play a childish game of “Dress Up” or “Pretend”.

My two kids dress up and “play house”, but that doesn’t mean they own a house.

Real businesses add value.  Real business owners must offer something more than dreams.

Have a real night,

Aaron@Biebert

Further Reading:

Less than 1% chance of success

Demographic Groups that Amway Targets

Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

5 comments on “What is a Fake Business?”

  1. Not sure what all the fuss is over the MLM’s. The Amway biz model had its day in court and emerged as the standard for all other businesses of the sort at that time. To this day, as a product selling business, it is still legit. There are endless sights that trash this type of business and many of the comments are true and accurate. Many are outright lies. Anytime people are involves there will be problems. This is true for all things. If we are honest we will have to admit that we even lie ourselves. I know I can ‘justify’ an outright lie to myself if I’m not on-purpose at the moment. MLM’s work slick when signing up scores of people for sure and have proven countless times to be illegal because of this. Sometimes though, like Amway and even Shaklee in the past, they are completely legal, but the pay structure gets changed for the worse an distributors work harder and harder for they same pay. Oh look…I just described nearly every job in America. A true product distribution MLM is a great way to launch a new product line or sell high end goods that deserve to be sold at a premium. Ask Warren Buffet who now owns Pampered chef and was looking at other MLM’s. Bash the people side of it all you want, but spare the pioneers who added value to peoples lives for decades by providing quality consumable and durable goods and even a few services. They were merely part time sales agents that moved product by the millions and so are many of the distributors today. Along the way they were also rewarded for adding people to the sales team.
    Don’t get involved to get rich quick.
    Plan to make a profit,
    purchase for yourself only the products you need and use and believe in and can afford,
    use your influence with anyone you know to share your joy about a product or sell a product that is useful and of value to that person,
    dress up and act the part of a professional if that is what you want to be and pay as much money as you can justify to be sure you are at the top of your game just like you would do with any professional sales job.
    I do agree that many people have been led astray with slick talk from their upline. In general though, people are better off from being involved because of the lasting relationships that are formed, for learning how to better manage their money and live debt free, for learning how to better love their spouse, for learning great people skills and many other reasons. Steer clear of anything that goes against your better judgement or man’s and God’s laws, refrain from listening to anyone that is misleading people and do not mislead anyone yourself, always check the fruit on the tree before you eat it. Too much Kool-aid is never a good thing so don’t drink too much of what they are serving. Get back to the basics of the business plan and sell quality products for the ever de-valuing dollar. It’s no different than any other sales job at that point. Feel free to take control of your financial future by supplementing or replacing your current income until such time you choose to do something else or the pay structure is no longer fair. Yes, I’m an ex-active distributor with many satisfied customers and tons of paid for lifestyle and debt to show for it. Why am I an ‘ex’? For the same reasons I do.t do a lot of the things I used to do. Personal choice coupled with changing times and opportunities. God bless America where we are free to choose our path in life and to have opinions no matter how much anyone else thinks they stink. Be careful what you read on the internet about anything…it’s the bathroom wall of the world.
    By the way, I like your title of 8pm warrior. Be proud of who you are and when you choose to keep on working. It doesn’t mean you are a snake oil salesman. MLM’s probably never came to mind when you decided on the title and never crossed my mind when I first read it.
    Sleep tight Aaron and keep up the spirited discussions.

  2. Hi Aaron. Good post! I love your name 8pm Warrior. I only wish I’d thought it up first! Any comparison to 8pm Amway warriors is coincidental. My apologies for showing Tex the path to your site!

  3. Anna, that is not a problem (Tex). I appreciate you sharing my blog with others and I’m glad you like the name.

    Jim, I have a ton of respect for you and your move to a new legitimate business. Your 8pm Warrior ways are inspirational.

    I know that you’ve put a lot of time, energy, and social capital into your former Amway business, and I can appreciate the feeling of having tried something and moved on. It leaves all kinds of bizarre feelings in one’s mind.

    The thing you should be proudest about is that you made the change.

  4. Thanks Aaron. I agree with you, but will admit that I do miss the steady diet of being around people who are committed to their dreams. Many failed along the way or never really tried. It doesn’t change the fact that it was extremely refreshing to be around a bunch of winners even if some of them were simply playing dress up.

    Our latest business venture is most assuredly legitimate. I hold a clear vision of the future and couple it with my 8pm warrior ways to ensure that it doesn’t become nothing more than an expensive job that I purchased for myself.

    Game on!

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