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NotebookCrazy.com is where I’ll be keeping a digital diary — a notebook — of direct sales compensation plan reviews.

Some of ’em I have personal experience with; others, I just do the due diligence for you and present the facts, so you can make an informed decision on whether or not to join whatever company’s business opportunity you’re thinking about joining.

I’ll also be introducing you to my partner — also a “Brad” — to tell you a little more about what we’ve been up to, outside of MLM.

Brad used to be a top earner in one of these new school, online network marketing opportunities but in sponsoring nearly 400 independent distributors in a little over a year… he noticed something: MLM on the internet doesn’t exactly work.

I mean, it does, and it doesn’t.  It can work for a little while, but in the end, you slit your own wrists.  Your success becomes your ultimate downfall.  How so?  Well, Brad will tell you more about this in his videos, but essentially, there’s only so much qualified MLM traffic online.

 

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Ruby Ribbon MLM Compensation Plan Review

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Introduction to Ruby Ribbon MLM Compensation Plan

Red is for HIV and AIDS.  Pink is for breast cancer.  Yellow is for supporting the troops.  Purple is for domestic violence.  White is for peace.  Pearl is for emphysema.  Purple is for Alzheimer’s disease.  Blue is for water safety.  Black and white is for racism.  Periwinkle is for eating disorders.

Red and gray is for crystal meth addiction.  Burgundy and ivory is for head and neck cancers.  (RIP, Roger Ebert.)  Turquoise is for addiction recovery.  Cranberry is for fibromyalgia.  Black is for paramedics.  Green is for celiac disease.  Orange is for multiple sclerosis.  Purple and green is for epilepsy.  Orange and orchid is for eczema.  Beige and giraffe print is for tethered spinal cord syndrome.

I have chosen to begin this Ruby Ribbon review with a list of ribbon colors and the diseases and issues associated with them, perhaps to put things in perspective, to remind my readers that there are plenty of problems in the world and also plenty of reasons to hope.  It so happens that Ruby Ribbon products are body shaping garments, which is not a subject I am especially eager to discuss, so before we get into all the details of the Ruby Ribbon business opportunity, let us talk a little bit about rubies.

As you might expect, since I am a dude, I never really thought much about rubies before I staring doing research in order to write this Ruby Ribbon review, but in the interest of Notebook Crazy living up to its reputation as the thinking man’s multilevel marketing (MLM) review blog, research rubies I did, and I found out quite a few interesting things. [click to continue…]

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Cutco MLM Compensation Plan Review

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Introduction to Cutco MLM Compensation Plan

Norman Bates.  Ghostface.  John Belushi’s samurai chef character.  Wendy Torrance, in a rare moment of not being a complete milquetoast.  Dan Aykroyd’s Julia Child impersonation, roughly contemporary with Belushi’s samurai chef.  Edward Scissorhands.

Yes, I have chosen to begin this Cutco review with a brief list of characters famous for wielding pointy implements in movies and on television because Cutco products are knives, and I have chosen to include Edward Scissorhands in this list because some Cutco products are scissors.  Another reason I have chosen to start my Cutco review with this list is that, while Cutco products are designed to be used in the kitchen, I already told my story about how my youngest brother Bryce is a daring and resourceful cook and how he rose from frat house grill master to host of eventful New Year’s parties where every appetizer on the appetizer table was the work of his own hands.  (If you really want to read that story, you can read my Pampered Chef review.)  I guess I could have just rehashed my story about how my baby brother is an awesome cook, but that’s not me.  Maybe on someone else’s blog, but not here.  This is Notebook Crazy, the thinking man’s multilevel marketing (MLM) review blog, where I am on a quest to review every MLM business opportunity out there.  If I sound a little crazy, you would be, too, after reading so many MLM websites, compensation plan documents, and spammy reviews designed to rank higher on Google than the ones that give you an honest assessment of what the MLM opportunity is really like and why you should run in the opposite direction.  I do my best to highlight the redeeming features of each MLM business opportunity, if there are any, and my reviews usually end with a stern warning that virtually any kind of income generating activity you choose is going to be more lucrative than MLM.  I have been at this since New Year’s, when my business partner the other Brad and I hatched our plan for this blog at the aforementioned New Year’s Party with Bryce’s aforementioned appetizers. [click to continue…]

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Introduction to My Millionaire Mentor MLM Compensation Plan

Welcome back to Notebook Crazy, the grouchiest multilevel marketing (MLM) review site in the Midwest, in which I grouse and grumble about MLM companies before leave you with empty pockets and a basement full of unsold vitamin supplements, so you won’t have to complain about your predicament after paying those nonrefundable fees.  I am Brad, a typically cheery Midwesterner when there is a basket of garlic knots in front of me, but otherwise far less chipper than most of my Midwestern countrymen.  This My Millionaire Mentor review marks one of those rare instances in which I admit that something I complained about in a previous post could be a lot worse.

Earlier this summer, I was writing an MLM review while babysitting my brother’s kids, and my niece was driving me up the wall.  Actually, she herself was not driving me up the wall; she was actually being very quiet while watching cartoons on her dad’s iPad.  It was the theme song from The Littlest Pet Shop that was driving me up the wall.  At the time, I thought it was a new low point for children and technology, worse than when neighborhood kids search for Pokemon on my front lawn in the early morning when I am trying to sleep.  But a news story I found while doing research for this My Millionaire Mentor review quickly showed me that having to hear an annoying theme song over and over again is just about the least of the things that can go wrong when it comes to kids and iPads. [click to continue…]

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Pink Papaya MLM Compensation Plan Review

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Introduction to Pink Papaya MLM Compensation Plan

My name is Bryce Kartoffel, and this is my brother Brad’s multilevel marketing (MLM) review blog, Notebook Crazy.  I decided to jump on the guest posting bandwagon after I read my other brother Brian’s guest post, and since this is the Pink Papaya review, and of all of us brothers, I am the one who knows the most about papayas and their uses, I decided that today would be the day for my guest post.  I thought it would be appropriate for me to write this Pink Papaya review because Brad has a huge chip on his shoulder about most healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, so I thought that if he wrote it, a big part of this Pink Papaya review would just be him kvetching about how much he hates papayas and how he would rather eat garlic knots or some other kind of empty carb instead.  To be honest, I haven’t read every post on this blog, but Brian has, and he says that Brad takes every opportunity to complain about health food.

I guess I can take partial responsibility (or credit or blame, depending on how offensive this blog actually is) for the existence of Notebook Crazy, since it technically started at my New Year’s Party.  I am sure there are some award winning chefs in Chicago who would like to challenge me on this, so until they do, I can say that I am the best cook in the Midwest.  I love a cooking challenge, and one of my favorite challenges is to try to cook something that both my brother Brad and his business partner, the other Brad, will eat, since one Brad does not eat healthy food (with very few exceptions), and the other Brad does not eat carbs, although he will drink them if they are called beer.  I guess I could just serve them bacon and airline peanuts, but where is the creativity in that?  I did read the post where Brad said that he and the other Brad were sitting at the appetizer table eating hummus dip when they had the conversation that launched this blog, but that is only part of the story.  There were plenty of other appetizers on that table besides hummus dip.  The one that disappeared first was the feta cheese and jalapeno dip.
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Charle Corp MLM Compensation Plan Review

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Introduction to Charle Corp MLM Compensation Plan

Welcome back to Notebook Crazy, where the goal is to review as many multilevel marketing (MLM) business opportunities as possible but where the discussion sometimes leads us far afield of MLM, and we end up on some pretty interesting subjects.  In a previous review, I discussed movie MacGuffins.  A MacGuffin is an object that the characters in a movie are trying to find, transport, destroy, or protect, although, from the audience’s perspective, the MacGuffin is not what makes the movie interesting.  I gave the example of Pulp Fiction, where the MacGuffin is whatever is in the briefcase.  Quentin Tarantino, ever making a point about movies and why we love them, never even lets us see what is inside the briefcase, and we don’t even care, because there are so many other things in the movie for us to enjoy.  In a similar spirit, I shall begin this Charle Corp review by arguing that lingerie is not the most interesting thing about The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This is not to belittle the Rocky Horror Picture Show costumes.  Wikipedia credits Sue Blane, the costume designer for both the stage play and the movie based on it, with influencing punk rock fashion, with its ripped fishnet stockings and its outrageous hair colors.  Indeed, all the female characters in the movie (Nell Campbell’s Columbia, Susan Sarandon’s Janet, and Patricia Quinn’s Magenta), look fetching in their costumes, and I have also seen some girls in real life wear Rocky Horror-inspired clothing with aplomb.  But cool clothes are not enough to keep people coming back to the theater to see the same movie for 40 years in a row.  If that were the case, we would all be lining up for midnight screenings of Barry Lyndon.  No, the appeal of The Rocky Horror Picture Show has to do with a lot more than just clothes and makeup.
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Cosway MLM Compensation Plan Review

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Introduction to Cosway MLM Compensation Plan

Hi, my name is Brian, and this is my Cosway review.  I am writing this Cosway review as a guest post on my brother Brad’s blog, Notebook Crazy.  I have been reading Brad’s blog with interest, and I came to the conclusion that you guys already know a lot about me, just based on what Brad wrote.  (Most of it is accurate.  I am much better looking than he makes me sound, though.)

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this Cosway review, I wanted to share a few of my thoughts with you about this blog and about multilevel marketing (MLM) in general.  First of all, I like the idea of writing a “thinking man’s MLM review blog.”  I teach high school English, and I like to think that Mr. Kartoffel does a pretty good job of teaching his students to write, so I am not here to complain about Americans’ writing skills in general.  I know there are lots of teachers whose hobby is blogging about how much their students stink at writing, but that’s not me.  (My hobby is collecting vinyl records, but then, if you have been reading Brad’s reviews, you already knew that.)  If you want to see bad writing, some of the worst writing on the whole Internet is on MLM review sites.  The lack of attention paid to punctuation, spelling, syntax, and worst of all, logic is absolutely astounding.  I was at the New Year’s party at the house of my other brother Bryce, where Brad and his friend the other Brad sat at the hors d’oeuvre table all night and talked about their plans to write an MLM review blog.  I always thought it was a great idea.  My brother Brad is a great writer, so I knew his blog would be interesting.  I was also there, a few days earlier, when we went to watch The Big Short in the movie theater.  By New Year’s Eve, Brad had been beside himself for days.  He only gets that mad as a preliminary step to starting a big project, so I knew it had to turn into something.
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Aerus MLM Compensation Plan Review

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Introduction to Aerus MLM Compensation Plan

Hey, remember that episode of The Ren and Stimpy Show that ends with Ren the angry chihuahua descending into madness?  I guess that is every episode, isn’t it?  Let me be a little more specific.  Remember that episode where Stimpy keeps inventing pointless things, and Ren get angrier and angrier (of course), and then at the end, Stimpy invents the Happy Helmet, and Ren puts it on while Stimpy plays a record of the song “Happy Happy Joy Joy”?  Ren goes from grouchy to happy to delirious to maniacal to the far frontier of totally whacked out crazy on the border of happiness and anger, until he smashes the Happy Helmet in a catharsis of anger so pure that it might as well be pure happiness.

Of course you do.  Every millennial except those with the strictest parents remembers The Ren and Stimpy Show, and the “Happy Happy Joy Joy” bit was, hands down, its most memorable sequence.  I don’t think a year has gone by since that show first aired that the song did not run through my head at least once.  The show did such a great job of using its crude animation style to represent Ren’s madness.  The more I think about it, it is a wonder that I have never mentioned “Happy Happy Joy Joy” or The Ren and Stimpy Show on this blog before, but this Aerus review, more than any other multilevel marketing (MLM) business opportunity review I have written for this site, warrants being introduced by a Ren and Stimpy shout out.  I say this for several reasons, most notably because of vinyl records like the one Stimpy uses to unleash the recorded strains of “Happy Happy Joy Joy” and because now, more than at any other point thus far in my quest to review every MLM company known to man, I understand how Ren felt during the third verse of “Happy Happy Joy Joy.”

I am writing this Aerus review from the living room of my brother Brian’s house.  Brian is at a vinyl record show, buying more vintage discs to add to his sizable collection.  I agreed to babysit his offspring on the condition that he agree to write an MLM review when I ask him to do so.  Brian’s wife Grace is with him at the record show, not because she herself collects vinyl records, but rather (as far as I can tell) for the sheer amusement of finding out what state of madness the children and I are in when she and Brian come home this evening.  At the moment, my nephew Ethan is napping, and my niece Emma is sitting on the other living room couch, watching cartoons on her iPad.  She takes after her uncle Brad when it comes to being a couch potato.  Since I sat down to research the Aerus business opportunity in order to write this Aerus review, she has watched at least three episodes of The Littlest Pet Shop.  Its sunny pop confection of a theme song plays at the beginning and end of every episode, and already I feel like my cranial nerves are beating each other silly with sledgehammers.  I have a new found respect for mommy bloggers, daddy bloggers, and stay at home parents of all sorts.  I want to apologize to my parents for that road trip where my brothers and I sang “Happy Happy Joy Joy” all the way from home until we reached the Tennessee border.

But don’t worry about me.  Brian and Grace should be home soon.  As soon as they arrive, I am going to call the other Brad, who is my business partner in Notebook Crazy and various other ventures of ours, and ask him to meet me at a bar, where we will proceed to drink beer as though it is the only substance the human digestive system can tolerate and speak in strings of expletives.  Goodfellas contains 296 f-bombs in 145 minutes.  On a day like today, I think the other Brad and I can beat that.  Easily.
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Southwestern MLM Compensation Plan Review

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Introduction to Southwestern MLM Compensation Plan

College was never my thing.  I know I have talked about it here on Notebook Crazy before.  If you have read all my posts, you will know a lot of the details.  While introducing my reviews of multilevel marketing (MLM) business opportunities, I have regaled you with stories of my three ill-fated semesters of college study, followed by my lifelong quest to become a knowledgeable and financially successful college dropout.

It is safe to say that I have been pretty successful at both of those things.  As for the knowledgeable part, I challenge any of you to name an MLM review site that goes into as much detail about the history of the casino town of Baden-Baden, Germany, as this one does, or for that matter, one that names as many species of reptiles.  As for the financially secure part, my journey began with low wage jobs and living below my means, and my business career has had some ups and downs (the less said about the fungus coffee debacle, the better), but it eventually paid off.  My business partner the other Brad and I have several business projects going, including this blog, and I am officially debt free.  My house and car are paid off, and, in true Midwestern fashion, I still live below my means.
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Amore Pacific MLM Compensation Plan Review

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Introduction to Amore Pacific MLM Compensation Plan

I thought I’d seen it all in the multilevel marketing (MLM) world, but this Amore Pacific review contains a twist that even I didn’t see coming.

Amore Pacific: The Company and Its Products

Much of the information about the Amore Pacific business opportunity in this Amore Pacific review comes not from another Amore Pacific review but rather from an article in Forbes Asia about the history of the Amore Pacific business opportunity. Like so many of the multilevel marketing (MLM) companies I have reviewed on this site, Amore Pacific started out as a family business.  The story of the Amore Pacific business opportunity begins long ago, in the 1930s, when direct sales made sense and door to door selling was the norm, before there were cynical social media posts promising to make you a debt-free business owner within the year if only you would host one or more parties a month in which you sell nutritional supplements or personal care products that are allegedly so irresistible that your cash-strapped friends of friends will come up with a way to pay for them.  This is not to say that there were no questionable nutritional supplements before the Internet age or before the “Me Generation” of the 1980s.  In the 1950s, it was clear to TV audiences that Lucy Ricardo’s plan to get rich selling Vitameatavegamin was misguided, and I believe that the term “snake oil” dates back to the 19th century.  It’s just that selling products directly to your neighbors made a lot more sense back then, before it was affordable and time efficient for your friends to drive to the outlet mall or order vitamin supplements online.

In the 1930s in Korea, traveling salesmen used to sell camellias, the flowers of Camellia sinensis, the plant from which tea is made.  Yun Dok-Jeong, a mother of six children in a small town called Gaesong, started the business that eventually became Amore Pacific when she started making hair conditioners from oils she extracted from the camellias and selling them from a small shop in town.  Gaesong is now part of North Korea, but at the time that Mrs. Yun started making Amore Pacific products, Korea was all one country.  Of all of Mrs. Yun’s six children, the one that took the most active role in the business was her son Suh Sung-Whan.  He used to ride his bike to neighboring towns, sometimes biking as far as 88 miles in a single day, in order to collect bottles and other supplies for his mother’s business.  By 1945, when Suh Sung-Whan was a young man, he took over the business, which had expanded its product line from just camellia-based hair treatments to also include skin creams.
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Partylite MLM Compensation Plan Review

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Introduction to Partylite MLM Compensation Plan

Welcome back to Notebook Crazy, the thinking man’s multilevel marketing (MLM) review blog.  Today I am reviewing the Partylite business opportunity, and when I found out that Partylite products are candles, I decided that I would begin my Partylite review with a discussion of famous movie scenes featuring candles.  I thought back to when my class read Shakespeare’s Othello in high school, and we watched a movie version of the play.  The movie starred Laurence Fishburne as Othello, and it was fairly new while I was in high school.  Thanks to my blog, Classic Rock Ragnarok, that kept me awake most nights during my last two years of high school, I was rarely alert during school hours, so I probably zoned out for most of the Othello movie, but I still remember the scene at the beginning, where Othello carries his bride Desdemona over the threshold into a room full of huge candlesticks.

As grouchy as I may come across in some of these MLM reviews (I have a hair trigger temper about things like autoship and stair step breakaway compensation plans, not to mention a hair trigger gag reflex about MLM home sales parties), I really enjoy researching my reviews.  I was sure that reading about famous cinematic candles for my Partylite review was going to be a lot of fun.  I imagined that I would find all kinds of lists, lovingly crafted by movie nerds, describing the awesome candles in movies that take place before the invention of the electric lightbulb, as well as candles used to make horror movies even more suspenseful.  I hoped that the blogosphere would jog my memory about candles in Amadeus, Gangs of New York, and The Exorcist.  Were there candles during the scene where in Psycho where Marion Crane dines with Norman Bates in the Bates Motel, and the audience is left not knowing which character is creepier?  To my disappointment, almost every entry on the first few pages of search results was about the movie Sixteen Candles.  This fact probably has momentous implications when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), but for the time being it falls outside the scope of this Partylite review.
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