Introduction to 5Linx MLM Compensation Plan
Chicago is the ultimate road trip destination for Midwesterners. I have mentioned many times before on this blog that I wouldn’t trade the Midwest for anything. I love our food, our drinks, our frugal, straightforward people, even our oppressively hot summers and, as long as I am in my basement sitting on my keister, our depressingly cold and snowy winter. We have everything we need in the Midwest. Who needs the sea when you have the Great Lakes? Who needs Texas barbecue and Carolina barbecue when you have St. Louis barbecue?
Wherever you live, think about the place where you always dreamed of going on a road trip, the destination that lingered before you in your mind’s eye as your driver’s ed teacher slammed on the passenger side brakes, like the Emerald City at the end of the Yellow Brick Road. For people who live in Florida, that place is Disney World. For those who live in any other Southern State, it is either Atlanta or New Orleans. In the Northeast, it is New York City. In the Midwest, our road trip destination is Chicago. Chicago is a hotbed of enterprise and innovation. In former times, it has been home to the World’s Fair, and now it is the site of Ebertfest. Despite anything you might hear in New York City, Chicago is the birthplace of Saturday Night Live. One can point to lots of different African-American musical genres that gave rise to rock and roll, but it was unquestionably the Chicago Blues that sparked the British Invasion. Chicago is home to grumpy intellectuals and no-nonsense salesmen. It has a thriving theater scene. As a Midwesterner, getting behind the wheel to go on a road trip to Chicago is a rite of passage like no other. Mine was when I was eighteen, with my friend the other Brad, who runs this site with me, and two of our other friends. I’ve made plenty of other road trips to Chicago, and I’m telling you, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, not for all the sunshine and glitz of Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, and Dubai put together. I plan on going back there this year for Ebertfest. I hope to see you there.
For a few months now, I have been on a quest to review as many multilevel marketing (MLM) companies as I can, and I am delighted to have found an MLM company with a special connection to the Midwest. First, a little bit of background about multilevel marketing companies. MLM companies make their money by recruiting members (that’s you and me) to sell their products or services as Independent Business Owners. (The terms MLM companies use to refer to their sales representatives vary from one company to another, but Independent Business Owner is a fairly common one.) The IBOs earn a commission on the products and services they sell. They can also earn commissions and bonuses by sponsoring or referring other people, usually their personal friends and acquaintances, to become IBOs for the MLM company. The term “multi-level marketing” actually refers to the fact that there are several ways of making money, namely through product sales, through recruitment, and through bonuses based on the sales of your downline (the people you recruited and the people they recruited), but a lot of people hear “multi-level” and think of a pyramid, as in a pyramid scheme. Therefore, people who are involved in the MLM business usually euphemistically refer to it as “network marketing”, much like how the Simpsons in an early “Treehouse of Horror” episode informed us that zombies prefer to be referred to as “living impaired”.
Within this framework, every MLM company is at least a little bit different from the others, which is why each one warrants its own review. After reading the previous paragraph, you might be ready to run away screaming as soon as you hear the words “network marketing” or “downline”, but if you are already part of the MLM scene or thinking of getting started with your first MLM business venture, I am here to help you figure out which MLM companies are truly living impaired and which ones just have a mild case of pink eye.
5LINX: The Company and Its Products
I know that you arrived at this section expecting to read more about Chicago, but our story actually begins in Rochester, New York, where it snows as much as it does here, if not more. Jason Guck, Craig Jerabeck, and Jeb Tyler founded 5LINX in 2001. The company’s longevity is already a mark in its favor, since most MLM companies, and indeed most companies in general, go out of business in the first three years. The company has had some notable people among its distributors, including several people who have held public office in the Chicago area. Patricia van Pelt Watkins, a member of the Illinois State Senate, was a sales representative for 5LINX for a long time until 2015, and it seems that Dorothy Brown, the Clerk of Cook County Circuit Court, is still affiliated with 5LINX. 5LINX has a reputation for having a higher percentage of African-American members than other MLM companies, although there are also members of other ethnic backgrounds.
The variety of 5LINX products and services is considerable, but the company’s bread and butter is the sale of telecommunications services. These include home Internet service, cable TV, and satellite TV, among others. Its other home services include energy services and home security systems. It also offers (surprise, surprise) vitamins and nutritional supplements. 5LINX is, however, the only MLM company I know of whose product line includes business solutions for businesses. In addition to the commercial versions of its energy, satellite, and security services, these are some of its products geared toward business customers.
- 5LINX enhancedcareMD Smarter Choices includes “24/7 direct access to doctors and nurses”, as well as a prescription drug plan through Wal-Mart pharmacies. It is not a full-fledged health insurance plan.
- 5LINX Payroll is a cloud-based, paperless payroll system. It also deals with tax payments and workers’ compensation insurance.
- Payment Solutions is a payment processing service. It includes credit card readers as well as the technology to accept payments through mobile apps.
- TextAlertz is an app that allows business customers to send out large group text messages. These can take the form of announcements to employees or promotional messages and offers sent to customers or prospective customers.
- Business Elite Services is a package of 5LINX products and services designed for business customers. Its features include office software, text marketing, and web conferencing technologies. It also includes access to discounts on things like dining and travel. It also allows your business to send out 1,000 text messages with your chosen keyword.
- 5LINX SEO promises to get your page ranked on the first page of search results within 90 days. If any of you have partaken of this service, or any other SEO service, I strongly recommend that you type in “cytoplasm charmer”, “placebo receptor”, “quadruple crown diamond barf”, or “snake skink Boris the Spider” and then watch in amazement as Google leads you right here to Notebook Crazy.
5LINX Compensation Plan
5LINX, like other MLM companies, offers its members opportunities to earn income based on their personal sales as well as their recruitment success. It is never free to get started with an MLM company; that is one of the major differences between MLM and affiliate marketing. That said, some MLM companies are more expensive to join than others. With 5LINX, you have the choice of enrolling as a Customer Representative, for a one-time enrollment fee of $99, or as an Independent Marketing Representative (IMR), which also requires a one-time payment of $499. After that, as with other MLM companies, you are required to earn a certain number of points per month (through sales and/or recruitment of new representatives) in order to maintain your active status in the company. Like other MLM companies, 5LINX also requires its representatives to complete proprietary training courses in order to increase their rank in the company’s leadership levels. A lot of people complain about the required trainings, but is 5LINX a scam? No, it is just an MLM company, and its practices are more straightforward than those of some other MLM companies. For one thing, a description of the 5LINX Compensation Plan is available online, and all you have to do to read it is click on it, no payments, no subscriptions, no downloads. A YouTube vlogger and 5LINX member named Tyson pointed out that the structure of MLMs, including 5LINX, is not much different from that of businesses in the corporate sector.
The leadership ranks of 5LINX and their requirements are as follows:
- Executive Trainer – You must earn 10 points, and you must have sponsored three IMRS, in addition to completing the training module for this level.
- Executive Director – You must earn 15 points, and you must have sponsored at least six IMRS and one Executive Trainer, in addition to completing the training module for this level.
- National Director – You must earn 20 points, and you must have sponsored at least six IMRS and five Executive Directors, in addition to completing the training module for this level.
- Senior Vice President – You must earn 25 points, and you must have sponsored at least six IMRS and three National Directors, in addition to completing the training module for this level.
- Platinum Senior Vice President – You must earn 25 points, and you must have sponsored at least six IMRS, six National Directors, and two National Vice Presidents, in addition to completing the training module for this level.
This is a lot harder than it sounds. Most of the complaints about 5LINX that I could find said that the reason members gave up on 5LINX was that it is so difficult to make large amounts of money by working for the company. All the videos I could find when I searched for “Is 5LINX a Scam” said unequivocally that 5LINX is not a scam, and that they thought really highly of the people they met through 5LINX, including its leaders. Vlogger Marvin Sykes posted a video announcing his resignation from the company after working there three years, and he seemed really sad to be leaving his 5LINX colleagues behind. He said that leaving 5LINX felt like getting a divorce. His reason for leaving, though, was that he was not making enough money for his hard work.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- 5LINX products and services are different from the usual meal replacement shakes and expensive coffees that make Starbucks look like a steal. It is the only MLM company I know of that markets its products to business clients.
- If people who have time-consuming jobs such as being a state senator or clerk o court make time to market 5LINX products and services, then you definitely have time to do it.
- 5LINX publishes information about its compensation plan and makes this information accessible to everyone, which the sleazier MLMs don’t.
- People who have worked for 5LINX tend to have a high opinion of the people who work there with them. If you want the flexibility of MLM but not the philandering slimeballs who boast about their wealth while, in the same sentence, ask to borrow money from you, 5LINX is a good choice.
- You can find almost all of the 5LINX products and services available elsewhere for a lower price. 5LINX might be the only MLM that sells business solutions, but there are cheaper business solutions out there if you do a little comparison shopping.
5LINX is a reputable company that sells real products and services. It is not easy to get rich with any MLM company, but 5LINX is a long-lived company that has adapted its products and services to change with the times. If you are already in the business of selling business solutions, or if you want to get started in that business, 5LINX could be the right MLM for you.
Want to know more about how to make your MLM business successful and can’t wait until the Ebertfest after party to talk to me? Give me a call today.