Results 1 to 12 of 12
Like Tree34Likes
  • 3 Post By kschang
  • 3 Post By Bestbud
  • 5 Post By ribshaw
  • 4 Post By ribshaw
  • 3 Post By kschang
  • 3 Post By surfer
  • 4 Post By ribshaw
  • 2 Post By kschang
  • 2 Post By kschang
  • 3 Post By surfer
  • 1 Post By ribshaw
  • 1 Post By kschang

Thread: Need a little help in an essay idea about how MLM is a reality-distortion concept

  1. #1
    kschang is offline Senior Scambuster
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    874

    Need a little help in an essay idea about how MLM is a reality-distortion concept

    Recently, I read something that just got me thinking.

    The author Holly Lisle basically said, "you should learn from professionals, and avoid experts".

    The definition basically goes... Professionals are those who earned their experience through blood and sweat, while experts are those who earned their credentials by book and school. I know, a bit of a cliche. But it makes sense, for a lot of situations.

    Then my mind went on a tangeant... onto MLM... and my thought quickly added "except in MLM, where 'professionals' got there by luck or insider connections', and experts are just self-professed"

    In MLM, the "professionals", i.e. high-earners, the success stories they parade on stage, either have insider connections (Alkazins in Vemma, Bob Proctor's wife and daughter in Vemma, similar "dynasties" in Herbalife...) or they just got in early and got lucky in finding their downlines proficient in recruiting. But due to their luck blindness, they believe it's their "hard work" that allowed them to succeed.

    In MLM, the "experts" are any one who hang out a shingle. Most of them are wannabes who went nowhere, but willing to "coach" you (by recruiting you). They advertise their going-nowhere as "experience". They advertise their opportunities hopping as "long history in network marketing". It's truly "fake it till you make it".

    The obvious conclusion is MLM really is a Mass Delusion as Robert Fitzpatrick postulated, and people who got hooked enter into a reality-distortion field who believe in newspeak, up is down, black is white, luck is hard work, and fake is real.

    What do you guys think?
    ---
    A MLM Skeptic (not a Cynic) covering scams, critical thinking, and psychology
    http://amlmskeptic.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Bestbud is offline Senior Scambuster
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    2,300

    Re: Need a little help in an essay idea about how MLM is a reality-distortion concept

    The evidence is overwhelming...

    MLM.jpg

  3. #3
    ribshaw's Avatar
    ribshaw is offline Nigerian Ministry
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Internet Cafe Nigeria
    Posts
    5,281

    Re: Need a little help in an essay idea about how MLM is a reality-distortion concept

    Quote Originally Posted by kschang View Post
    The author Holly Lisle basically said, "you should learn from professionals, and avoid experts".

    The definition basically goes... Professionals are those who earned their experience through blood and sweat, while experts are those who earned their credentials by book and school. I know, a bit of a cliche. But it makes sense, for a lot of situations.
    Sorry, I don't think it makes any sense but it sounds cute. If you define "professionals" and "experts" to mean things they don't mean in a vacuum that doesn't exist then sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by The actual quote with a link to the article

    "Get your education from professionals, and always avoid experts."

    "Never, never pick up a textbook — textbooks are worthless."

    https://hollylisle.com/experts-profe...s-and-college/
    This is a little more than a pithy trope that has little to no basis in reality. The author has taken the liberty of defining her own terms in absolutes while ignoring life's unlimited nuances and complications. Usually when people resort to slogans they are attempting to win over an audience with emotion while avoiding hard data and logic that would disprove their thesis. Politicians come to the front of my mind.


    All Holly has done is defined words in a way that fits her narrative in expectation that the readers who don't question it are her target market. Her article is geared toward would be writers without a college education. To start, writers as with many professions have lost ground to automation and technology. I see no reason why this will not continue. Even if someone goes to college to become a writer if they plan to eat the numbers suggest having a strong plan B.

    Her article comes across that the education system is one big conspiracy, a little angry and paranoid for my taste. The system is what it is, with few exceptions in 2017 people that don't go to college for a saleable degree are at a serious disadvantage in the marketplace. Unfortunately for her readers this extends to most writers. There are always exceptions, that's why they are called exceptions.

    College Degree most likely needed.

    Creative Writer: Job Description and Requirements

    College Degree most likely needed.

    Magazine Writer: Career Profile and Educational Requirements

    Not much.

    https://www.thebalance.com/how-much-...r-make-2799940

    Not Much.

    How much does the average author earn publishing their book? | Creativindie

    The title says it all.


    https://publishingperspectives.com/2...han-you-think/

    Almost always life involves dealing with "experts" long before one will ever get to study under a "professional." Even if I bought into everything Holly proffered (I don't) internships, connections, and open doors come from a formal education at the hands of experts.

    As I think about it, her piece reminds me a lot of an MLM pitch.
    Last edited by ribshaw; 11-11-2017 at 05:02 PM.
    "It's virtually impossible to violate rules ... but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time." Bernie Madoff
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scam-...98399986981403

  4. #4
    ribshaw's Avatar
    ribshaw is offline Nigerian Ministry
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Internet Cafe Nigeria
    Posts
    5,281

    Re: Need a little help in an essay idea about how MLM is a reality-distortion concept

    Quote Originally Posted by kschang View Post

    The author Holly Lisle basically said, "you should learn from professionals, and avoid experts".

    The definition basically goes... Professionals are those who earned their experience through blood and sweat, while experts are those who earned their credentials by book and school. I know, a bit of a cliche. But it makes sense, for a lot of situations.


    MLM is no stranger to meaningless slogans, "build systems", "duplication", "passive or residual income", "trading your time for money"; all sound businesslike but don't survive much scrutiny. Without said scrutiny Holly's quote would fit perfectly into an MLM opportunity presentation.


    Being a professional and an expert I hardly think as mutually exclusive. Is a surgeon not both a professional and an expert? An accountant, attorney, plumber, all professionals and experts yes? Sure there's a sliding scale, every profession has hacks, but they would not be considered by most to be experts. In these situations unless one uses "expert" as a derogatory term which Holly does, do experts not by definition almost always have to rise to the level of professional?

    Certainly, there are a few professions where someone can be an expert without rising to the skill level of professional. Sports coaches leading championship teams come to mind. Most great coaches were never professional players. I will add that not many rings are being won by coaches with marginal players, so there's that.

    In the area of sales (including MLM) it's every easy to encounter professionals who aren't experts. This is not to say there aren't salespeople who are both, I'm referring to hacks. There a plenty of people that make extraordinary incomes lying and peddling crap. They may know very little, but are able to build a cult of personality that draws people in. Most people wouldn't be able to "duplicate" that no matter how hard they try. How is following these "professionals" any kind of meaningful advice?

    The second problem with the platitude "you should learn from professionals, and avoid experts" is that there are many areas including MLM where it falls flat. Does someone need an Oncologist (both a professional and an expert) to tell them that a lifetime of smoking has been linked to lung cancer? In most cases I would say no. Wouldn't it also stand to reason that someone could coach and motivate salespeople without being a professional salesperson? Tony Robbins and Robert Kiyosaki are both "experts" whose empires grew not because of what they built, but because they continually talked to others about how to build it. Is this not what teachers (experts) do?


    One of my favorite stories came from a friend that is a welder (A professional). A guy brought him a drawing of something that needed to be welded (An expert). My buddy looked at it for a few seconds and asked "how do you expect me to get my torch in there" and that was the end of the discussion. Why on earth would my friend or anyone else at a "professional" level mentor someone that hasn't proved they can competently jump through a few of life's "expert" hoops? In fact, I'd wager if a "professional" offers anything to the contrary there will almost certainly be a check request.
    Last edited by ribshaw; 11-11-2017 at 05:14 PM.
    "It's virtually impossible to violate rules ... but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time." Bernie Madoff
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scam-...98399986981403

  5. #5
    kschang is offline Senior Scambuster
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    874

    Re: Need a little help in an essay idea about how MLM is a reality-distortion concept

    Now that's the kind of critical feedback I need. Thanks.

    In a way, the platitude is very reminiscent of Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk about how schools are designed to replicate workers to feed the industrial revolution, and is not helping current generation of students in the middle of the knowledge revolution. I know, more pithy-cliches. Kiyosaki stole a bit of it and turned it into a book too. :D ("Why A Students Work For C students")

    Obviously there are certain critical occupations that requires expert certification. Architecture, medicine, police, and so on. But those generally have long "apprentice" periods before you can be accepted into the ranks. Cops don't get to be detectives immediately... they have to work through rookie, patrolmen, before they can be promoted. Doctors have to go through residency and be supervised before they can hang out their own shingle. etc. etc.

    But there are careers like sales, writing, etc. that do NOT require expert certification, and where certification often does not help. Having a BA in English doesn't help one become a writer... much. It's the results, and catching the public in the right mood, that created bestsellers. (Fifty Shades being an example, a crappy piece of fan-fic rewrite that caught the public in the right mood) But it's so... luck-dependent, where does the skill come in?

    Which is the part where MLM comparison becomes apt.
    ---
    A MLM Skeptic (not a Cynic) covering scams, critical thinking, and psychology
    http://amlmskeptic.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    surfer's Avatar
    surfer is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    357

    Re: Need a little help in an essay idea about how MLM is a reality-distortion concept

    I gotta echo most of ribshaw's sentiments regarding Holly's article.

    Quote Originally Posted by ribshaw
    As I think about it, her piece reminds me a lot of an MLM pitch.
    Or a bit of a subliminal sales pitch to purchase her writing courses. :)

    I do find it a bit odd/hypocritical that someone who closes with
    You see, Iím a full-time professional writer, and I donít have a college education either.
    and criticizes college professors saying
    They arenít doing it full time, of course, because if they were, they wouldnít be supplementing their income by teaching, so you wonít be able to model a full-time writer by watching them.
    while she belongs to Patreon because
    writing original fiction takes time and costs money. By pledging as little as a dollar a month, my Patreon patrons make it possible for me to set aside hours each day JUST for writing and revising new, original fiction, while still earning reliable money to cover bills, buy food, and deal with emergencies.
    Relating that to your MLM definitions of professional vs. expert, I don't agree with your assessment that
    Quote Originally Posted by kschang
    'professionals' got there by luck or insider connections'
    Succeeding at something, even if it's in an industry many believe to be illegitimate, is rarely lucky. Most weren't born with insider connections. Those were groomed over the years, just like people do in any other industry.

    As for stating that they
    Quote Originally Posted by kschang
    got lucky in finding their downlines proficient in recruiting
    that also seems a bit nonsensical to me. Some leaders are simply better at teaching their recruits the tactics necessary to keep the chain going. They are most likely charismatic and take full advantage of that quality. Not exactly blind luck.

    Personally, I don't think I would make a distinction between "professionals" and "experts" within an MLM opportunity. I'd be more inclined to call guys like Troy Dooly or Ted Nuyten "experts".

    As for the mass delusion aspect, certainly, because of the hype.

    IMO, we have mass delusion in many things. MLM tactics just take it to another level.

    I do agree that we've become a bit overly dependent on degrees, especially in certain fields as you pointed out. You might even say that there is a bit of a mass delusion going on in just what having a degree will get you these days.

  7. #7
    ribshaw's Avatar
    ribshaw is offline Nigerian Ministry
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Internet Cafe Nigeria
    Posts
    5,281

    Re: Need a little help in an essay idea about how MLM is a reality-distortion concept

    Quote Originally Posted by kschang View Post
    In a way, the platitude is very reminiscent of Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk about how schools are designed to replicate workers to feed the industrial revolution, and is not helping current generation of students in the middle of the knowledge revolution. I know, more pithy-cliches. Kiyosaki stole a bit of it and turned it into a book too. :D ("Why A Students Work For C students")
    Perceived intent means a lot in the context of the discussion of education. Ken Robinson IMO is criticizing the education system because he wants it to work better. Maybe he gets a payday in the process, fair enough. Robert Kiyosaki is criticizing the education system IMO to prey on the emotions of people and get them believing buying one his systems is the path to freedom. Let's not forget in his '92 book his "best teacher ever" was - Ralph Kiyosaki (Poor Dad), in '97 that changed to the fictional (Rich Dad) the rest as they say is history. https://johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-r...oor-dad-part-1

    A vast difference exists in criticizing the education system with a concern for the disadvantaged as opposed to seeing them as a source of funds.

    Quote Originally Posted by kschang View Post
    But there are careers like sales, writing, etc. that do NOT require expert certification, and where certification often does not help. Having a BA in English doesn't help one become a writer...
    I'll say maybe. Many sales and writing jobs require a college education; the help is that's the only way doors gets opened.

    There are parts of the system that are broken, rife with fraud, and if I think back on my education superfluous. With that said, if someone came to me and asked if they should do MLM or get a degree in something bankable, 100% of the time I would pick MLM.


    Quote Originally Posted by kschang View Post
    much. It's the results, and catching the public in the right mood, that created bestsellers. (Fifty Shades being an example, a crappy piece of fan-fic rewrite that caught the public in the right mood) But it's so... luck-dependent, where does the skill come in?
    I don't know if luck versus skill is the right way to frame the question as much as the probability in large numbers. If 1000 people try MLM despite our best efforts 1 will do exceptionally well. 9 might make some money, the rest well we told them so. If that 1 is a high school dropout raised by wolves the story resonates with the next 1000, hell I'm even getting warm and fuzzy thinking about it. Does luck play a role, sure the wolves could have easily eaten him. Again, I would argue that person has some innate skill most people would find impossible to replicate. But that success can only be viewed without forgetting the other 990 that were neither "lucky" nor "skilled" and faded away.

    Is the math of success any different for writers? Would a "professional" take 1000 people under their wing or is it more probable most if not all would have to deal with a few "experts" and open their own doors from there?
    "It's virtually impossible to violate rules ... but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time." Bernie Madoff
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scam-...98399986981403

  8. #8
    kschang is offline Senior Scambuster
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    874

    Re: Need a little help in an essay idea about how MLM is a reality-distortion concept

    Quote Originally Posted by surfer View Post
    I'd be more inclined to call guys like Troy Dooly or Ted Nuyten "experts".
    I'd say Troy Dooly and Ted Nuyten are experts in living off MLM without being a PART of MLM, but rather, MLM derivative industry... they feed off the MLM industry much like Remora feeds off a shark. But maybe I'm just splitting hair.

    My definition of 'expert' vs 'professional', as I explained before, are a bit skewed. I'd say professionals have the experience, while expert have theoretical knowledge but not necessarily in-the-trenches experience. And in MLM, the "success" of an affiliate was not really determined by how well s/he can hawk the products... but rather... sell the dream to the recruits, i.e. recruiting. As there are no such thing as "experts" in MLM (there is, what? two colleges that even have classes on MLM?) as per prior definition, everybody claims to be a professional, even those who don't will fake it by using euphemisms.

    But what exactly does "experience" in MLM entail? Do all the victims don't count? (they have experience too!) What differentiate the winners from the losers? often, just a bit of luck, the right "downline", and insider connections.

    I can see a comparison like this wouldn't work. *sigh* Back to the drawing board. :)
    ---
    A MLM Skeptic (not a Cynic) covering scams, critical thinking, and psychology
    http://amlmskeptic.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    kschang is offline Senior Scambuster
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    874

    Re: Need a little help in an essay idea about how MLM is a reality-distortion concept

    Quote Originally Posted by ribshaw View Post
    If 1000 people try MLM despite our best efforts 1 will do exceptionally well. 9 might make some money, the rest well we told them so. If that 1 is a high school dropout raised by wolves the story resonates with the next 1000, hell I'm even getting warm and fuzzy thinking about it. Does luck play a role, sure the wolves could have easily eaten him. Again, I would argue that person has some innate skill most people would find impossible to replicate. But that success can only be viewed without forgetting the other 990 that were neither "lucky" nor "skilled" and faded away.

    Is the math of success any different for writers? Would a "professional" take 1000 people under their wing or is it more probable most if not all would have to deal with a few "experts" and open their own doors from there?
    Spotlight effect PLUS survivorship bias AND post-hoc rationalization... AND luck blindness.

    The people who succeeded see NO role for luck in their narrative... they **must** have worked hard to succeed, and conversely, those who failed **must** have **NOT** worked hard. And because nowhere hears about the 990 who failed (survivorship bias), people believe the crap reasons the winner attributes his/her success to: "hard work" and whatever superstition s/he had, when s/he doesn't really know why they succeeded and others didn't. S/he can only throw out a particular guru / mentor / book because it's convenient (post-hoc rationalization)
    ---
    A MLM Skeptic (not a Cynic) covering scams, critical thinking, and psychology
    http://amlmskeptic.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    surfer's Avatar
    surfer is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    357

    Re: Need a little help in an essay idea about how MLM is a reality-distortion concept

    Quote Originally Posted by kschang View Post
    I can see a comparison like this wouldn't work. *sigh* Back to the drawing board. :)
    I offer an e-course for just $999 that will teach you to make it work.

    And for just $1999 I can teach you to make it work even more better.

    A mere $2999 will show you how to make it work the super duper bestest.

    But yeah, tough assignment.

  11. #11
    ribshaw's Avatar
    ribshaw is offline Nigerian Ministry
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Internet Cafe Nigeria
    Posts
    5,281

    Re: Need a little help in an essay idea about how MLM is a reality-distortion concept

    Quote Originally Posted by kschang View Post
    I'd say Troy Dooly and Ted Nuyten are experts in living off MLM without being a PART of MLM, but rather, MLM derivative industry... they feed off the MLM industry much like Remora feeds off a shark.
    Speaking of sharks, in the case of MLM you could make a very strong case that even the professionals are feeding off a derivative industry. Ironically while eschewing formal education leaders have found a warm home in their pockets for that cash.


    * Dexter Yager telling Forbes magazine that 2/3 of his income comes from the sale of tools to his downline.

    https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Amway/AUS/tools.htm



    Quote Originally Posted by kschang View Post
    What differentiate the winners from the losers? often, just a bit of luck, the right "downline", and insider connections.
    One vexing problem with MLM is the math of success is nullified because unlimited recruiting smacks into finite demand for product. Assuming we have 1000 people in a downline equally lucky/skilled under one "professional". For each of them to reach the same level of success (1000X1000) the scheme must grow to 1,000,000. From there (1,000,000 X 1000) or 1,000,000,000 before we consider the market for the actual goods being peddled.

    Amway's revenue for 2016 was 8.8 Billion.

    8 billion in Revenue.JPG


    If a downline all foolishness aside of 1B existed that would represent $8.80 in gross sales per rep. The market itself dictates skill/luck become increasingly irrelevant at a fast rate because demand for product has been exhausted.


    Poor Earnings.JPG

    https://www.businessforhome.org/2017...les-in-3-year/


    I don't know what the right number of salespeople would be for an organization with 8B in revenue, but I'll guess a few thousand tops. Some of the same people would probably rise to the top, that's usually how these things play out. But as it stands now given the math, its impossible to accurately factor how much success in MLM is pure chance.
    "It's virtually impossible to violate rules ... but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time." Bernie Madoff
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scam-...98399986981403

  12. #12
    kschang is offline Senior Scambuster
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    874

    Re: Need a little help in an essay idea about how MLM is a reality-distortion concept

    Quote Originally Posted by ribshaw View Post
    Some of the same people would probably rise to the top, that's usually how these things play out. But as it stands now given the math, its impossible to accurately factor how much success in MLM is pure chance.
    Ah, but if you play it purely as a recruiting game, the more you recruit, the more likely your chance of success, since you may chance upon someone who's as efficient in recruiting as you are. This is where it feeds back into the "luck" factor. i.e. the more you play, the more you're likely to win, and the myth about "you did/not work hard enough".

    Let's say success rate is, what? 1%? 2%? So someone who goes through 100 recruits a month is half as likely to hit a "gem" downline than someone who goes through 200 recruits a month.

    This also means those who can get in early, i.e. as far ahead as market saturation sets in, is more likely to succeed than those who joined late, simply by the pool of joiners (already exhausted by other recruiters).
    ---
    A MLM Skeptic (not a Cynic) covering scams, critical thinking, and psychology
    http://amlmskeptic.blogspot.com

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed on this website are solely those of their respective authors.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42