Disclaimer: I’m ’bout to go on a rant, y’all. If you find yourself easily offended, read on. I already warned you. And you probably need to hear this.
Boys & girls, today we’re going to talk about “business opportunities”. Y’all know what I’m talking about. That friend you haven’t talked to in a while (or maybe you have) who texts or emails you (not phone calls. Never phone calls) and says they want to talk to you about a business opportunity.
At first, if you’re down on your luck, you think, “Oh, really? Hmm…a job?”. Then, they don’t want to talk about it until you meet them in person or have about 20 minutes to talk on the phone. And then you know.
Awww, crap. He/she has gotten into something they’re going to try to sell me. C.R.A.P. You find yourself desperately trying to come up with reasons you’re busy. You stop following them on Facebook. You avoid their calls until they corner you and force it down your throat, usually out of genuine concern for your health/well being/financial status.
Its Tupperware and Amway on steroids.
Advocare, Pampered Chef, Jamberry, Herbalife, Usana, Nu Skin, Beachbody, Medifast, Omnilife, Scentsy, Premiere Jewelry, Melaleuca, Metabolife (now defunct), Shakeology and my personal new favorite, Plexus. Anything that falls under the multilevel marketing/direct sales/network marketing category.
I’m pretty sure they all have the same marketing manual. They won’t come out and say what it is they’re involved in. No one says, “I’m onto a new no-work-but-lots-of-money scheme, and I need you to drink the Kool-Aid with me!”
They wait until they have you in front of them, buying your coffee so you’ll think they’re flush with money because of this new venture. Then they tell you their story of how awful life was before this miraculous thing, and how the thing has changed their lives and how they’ve personally met people who have made bo-jillions of dollars and now have a personal jet – and they only work for 42 seconds per day!
Now, if you start to shift uncomfortably in your seat, they assure you that you don’t HAVE to buy ANYTHING. They just want to tell you about it, because it really has changed their lives and they felt VERY strongly that YOU of all people would REALLY benefit from the thing.
Because the “truth” is that their health has improved, their skin has improved, their sex lives have improved, and their nails/hair/car/earwax/weird rash/bald spot/carpet smell has NEVER BEEN MORE AMAZING AND ALL THEIR PROBLEMS WENT AWAY MAGICALLY.
Then, when you don’t bite, the disappointment is palpable. I mean, soul-wrenchingly deep sorrow for how awful your life is going to be if you don’t take part in this wonderful business opportunity. Or at least buy the thing.
There’s an underlying theme in the people who do/sell the thing and are all about the thing. They have all done (and tried to sell you on) several of them. MANY, MANY of them. Its always the same people, and from year to year, its the same thing – just a different company. A different scheme.
And exactly NONE of them ever worked. Which is WHY you’re onto a new one. You’re STILL struggling to make ends meet, and yet your faith in the thing is absolute. Why? I’m going to let you in on a secret. Those people in the “Diamond”/”Elite”/”Platinum” group, who own jets and never work and have all that family time? Your chances of reaching that level are about the same as winning the lottery. Check on those stats. I’ll wait.
Yeah? Sucks, huh? I am so sorry to burst your bubble, but you’re not going to buy a jet selling protein shakes with electrolytes. No. No, you’re not. Did you even reach “Emerald” level with the last 3 MLM “business opportunities”?
No. No, you did not.
The other underlying theme (for some) is the devastation when you actually haven’t drank the Kool-Aid. One friend actually broke down in sobbing hysterics because she was so worried that I would DIE if I didn’t use the thing she was selling. When that didn’t work, she got angry through her tears…and I was genuinely concerned for her sanity, as well as the physical violence brewing in me when she wouldn’t let up. She apologized many months later, but frankly, she’s still intense enough to scare me a bit. I still avoid her.
Before I go on, I will confess that I had a couple of candle parties back in the day. However, in my defense, I told the rep with absolute certainty that under NO circumstances would I do more than host a few parties – because I wanted free and deeply discounted yummy-smelling candles. I even asked her if she could do the party without trying to make my friends listen to the ‘business opportunity’ sales pitch. It didn’t work. I’ve attended my share of Pampered Chef parties, because I like their products, but mostly because they always make yummy food at those things and its worth listening to the sales pitch.
But I digress. We’re up to date on the direct sales, right? So, let’s move on to how social media is the new batch of German roaches. Before, when they were taking you to coffee, at least you got a coffee/meal/free stuff for having to listen to your friend obsess over getting money for nothing if you just drink that damned Kool-Aid.
You used to be able to just avoid phone calls. Be busy. Not have time (but it doesn’t take ANY time!!!! This one Diamond Sales Rep only works 2 hours a YEAR!!!!!! ANYBODY can find 2 hours a YEAR!!!!!!!!). But now?
Now, I can’t even look at my Facebook page without being accosted with testimonials about the thing. Whatever thing it is. There days, its Plexus. Plexus is the thing.
Okay, look, peeps. You found a new calling. The thing. You drank the Kool-Aid, and now the thing is all the rage and you just want to share your everlasting joy and exuberance and profit-making ability and improved pinky toe. Yay!
But here’s the deal. You’re obsessed. I mean, truly and deeply obsessed. Did you know that its all you talk about? ALL. YOU. TALK. ABOUT. Or, if you’re not directly talking about it, you have snuck it into every single God-forsaken area of your life – your photos of your kids’ soccer games aren’t even safe from a well-planted sales pitch. Have mercy, y’all.
Its bad. It is so, so bad.
My blood pressure rises dramatically when I even see something in my Facebook feed. My brain automatically starts screaming, “NO! I DON’T WANT IT AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME AND SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!!!!”
Have you ever met a cat person who loved cats so much that they owned like 10 of them, they only wear cat t-shirts, decorate their home with their cats in mind (including a cat pattern on the sofa), drink out of cat mugs, puts cat bumper stickers all over their car, a fake cat tail sticking out of the trunk, makes cat clothes, draws cats, posts cat memes on social media no less than 47 times a week, wears cat-themed jewelry, has cat hair on every surface of their entire existence, and the only thing they EVER talk about EVER is their cats, and you really don’t want to have dinner at their house because you KNOW there will be cat hair in your food…again?
I’m being so serious right now.
Look, I know you’re excited. I’m sure its great. But you should know that not everyone has the capacity to be as 1000% devoted to a cause or product or ‘business opportunity’. It doesn’t matter how you dress it up – some of us just aren’t built for selling with every breath we take. And no, I don’t want to buy any, either. And if you tell me I’d be able to buy it if I give the ‘business opportunity’ a try, I will absolutely throat punch you.
Hear me when I say this. The biggest reason we don’t want to try it is actually because of you. Either you have annoyed the shit out of us and we have lost the desire to hear your voice for like 3 years, OR we are deathly afraid of becoming like you, and losing all of our friends.
Please stop it. Take inventory of how many times you talk/post about it. Take out the “I just want to share this amazing thing” from the equation, and please count the ways this has invaded your entire existence, and adjust accordingly.