Introduction to DoTerra MLM Compensation Plan
A major factor in my decision to drop out of college was a firm belief that you shouldn’t have to cost a fortune to be knowledgeable. At the time I dropped out, Steve Jobs was not the household name he would become when the iPhone made its debut in 2007, but when his star made its glorious ascent for the last four years of his life, and it was impossible to click anywhere on the Internet without finding out more details about him, I found that his journey in life reminded me of mine in many ways. He didn’t have any patience for social conventions or for authority, he couldn’t stand things that were pointless or inefficient or were going nowhere, and he didn’t suffer fools gladly. Although I don’t think he ever said as much in any interview of his that I have ever seen or read, he behaved as though life was a quest.
I am not so well versed in the subject that I know which parts of the Steve Jobs movie that came out in 2015 are based in historical fact and which are apocryphal, but a part of the movie that stands out in my memory is the part when Steve Jobs made an eleventh-hour decision to nix a device that was about to debut because the device came with a stylus. He (movie Steve Jobs) couldn’t stand the idea of making people write on a tablet screen using a stylus when, in his words, “You have five of them attached to your wrist.” That was kind of how I felt when I dropped out of college. Why pay tens of thousands of dollars every year to read and have intelligent conversations when you can do that outside of college for a lot less money?
I have previously discussed on this blog how I spent my late teens lovingly laboring over my classic rock blog, and I have talked about how, when I turned 25, I began my quest to trying to stay financially solvent in the most time-efficient way that does not involve a 9 to 5 job, culminating in my current project of reviewing as many multilevel marketing (MLM) companies as I can, but the missing time period you don’t know about is my early 20s. I spent my early 20s on a quest to become the world’s most knowledgeable college dropout. I worked menial jobs, and I read constantly. It was a strategy that was as good for community building as writing a classic rock blog, maybe better, because on a classic rock blog, people take offense and write some really nasty comments if you say something negative about a band they like. A traded a lot of interesting books with my co-workers at my many dead-end jobs.
A guy named Trevor who worked with me at Wendy’s for a few months once gave me a copy of the novel Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. The book is interesting for a lot of reasons, from the writing style to the multi-century time frame, but the reason I mention it today is because perfumery is a recurring theme in the book. If you can read Jitterbug Perfume from cover to cover without wanting to mix perfume oils together in your own unique way, I am convinced that you have neither a nose nor a soul. Reading that book was the first time I had ever really felt or understood humanity’s drive to mix scented things, but there are lots of people who love taking scented oils and making them their own. Perhaps your mother or grandmother has one of those vases with wooden sticks in it to diffuse the smell of scented oil around the room, and perhaps her eyes light up every time she passes by that scented oil kiosk at the mall. Perhaps your girlfriend, who has never spent more than ten dollars per person when dining out, will not think twice before dropping a week’s wages on scented oil necklaces at the Renaissance Fair.
If you stay active in the MLM scene long enough, you will eventually be amazed at how many MLM companies originate in Utah, but I guess the folks in Utah finally figured out satisfying certain segments of the population find it to pour scented oils onto specially designed tchotchkes and choose bath products based on the fragrant botanical ingredients they contain. And that is why I am here today to review DoTerra.
DoTerra and Its Products
When you review enough MLM companies, their stories and product lines tend to blur together unless there is something really usual about them. DoTerra was founded in Utah, as many other MLM companies were, and it was established in 2008, which means that it has escaped the fate of going out of business in its first three years, as so many other MLM companies do, but it is far from being the oldest MLM company around. (Avon was founded when Rutherford B. Hayes was in the White House.) Its founder and current president, David Stirling, had previously worked for Young Living, another MLM company which deals in similar types of products to the DoTerra merchandise.
DoTerra’s flagship product line is its Single Oils, which are a lot like the scented oils at the kiosk at the mall. The DoTerra site currently lists 42 oils on its scented oil page, including some favorites like sandalwood, lavender, cedarwood, and patchouli (if you took a shower today, at least one of those is probably an ingredient in the shower gel that you can still smell on your skin now), as well as oils like black pepper and cilantro, which are things that your burrito should probably smell like but the potpourri on the knick-knack shelf in your grandmother’s living room probably should not. Then there are the Proprietary Blends, which appear to be a slightly more aromatherapy-themed version of the oil blends you see at the scented oil kiosk at the mall. There is a DoTerra Essential Oil Use Guide to add to the vibe that these oils are homeopathic remedies as opposed to being toys for women who consider themselves too practical to shop for the things that the shopaholics in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City shop for. Beyond that, you are firmly in generic MLM merchandise territory. There are the lotions and shower gels that supposedly have medicinal benefit, DoTerra On Guard to strengthen the immune system, DoTerra Deep Blue to lessen the stress you feel after physical exercise or a job where you have to stand up all day, DoTerra Breathe, which is a much more expensive version of Vicks VapoRub and Halls cough drops, and DoTerraDigestZen, which adheres to the placebo receptors in your intestines that go into a tailspin whenever the phrase “gut bacteria” appears in the news.
DoTerra Compensation Plan
The DoTerra Compensation Plan offers several different opportunities for DoTerra sales representatives to make money. Be warned, though: it will sound like it is easy to make money through the DoTerra Compensation Plan or the Compensation Plan of any other MLM company, but it is harder than it looks. You usually have to buy lots of merchandise from the company just to keep your active status, but then you end up with a basement full of MLM merchandise. At least with a basement full of DoTerra products, your basement will smell good, unless, of course, you buy a case of coriander oil, which (surprise, surprise) your cousins are less than enthusiastic about buying. The DoTerra Compensation Plan includes the following opportunities:
- Retail sales – DoTerra members can purchase DoTerra products at wholesale prices, meaning that you can make a profit of 25% when you sell them at retail prices.
- Fast Start Bonuses – These are commissions paid on sales by your first three levels of downline. (That means that if Adam enrolls Milind, Milind enrolls Noelle, and Noelle enrolls Orville, Adam is eligible for this bonus based on all of their sales.) This bonus differs from other commissions on downline sales in that it is based only on the sales made by the first three levels of downline in their first 60 days. In the example above, that is good news for Adam because, while it is not especially easy to enroll three levels of downline, it is easier than getting them to stick around for more than 60 days.
- Royalties – These are like the Fast Start Bonus, except that they start after the first 60 days of your downline team’s enrollment.
- Power of Three Bonus – This is paid when you enroll three people and each of them enrolls three. To continue the above example, this means that Adam enrolls Milind, who enrolls Noelle, who enrolls Orville, who enrolls Pia. Adam also has to enroll Renata, who has to enroll Soraya, who has to enroll Todd, who has to enroll Vera, and then he has to enroll Warren, who has to enroll Zeke, who has to enroll Archibald, who has to enroll Blanche. If that sounds difficult because so much of it is outside Adam’s control, you’re starting to catch on.
- Residual earnings – These are commissions based on your team’s sales down (you and the seven levels of downline below you, if you have that many).
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Having a basement full of bergamot oil is better than a basement full of nicotine-less nicotine patches, which is what you get from other MLMs.
- There are people out there who like buying scented oils even more than they like buying lotion, and if those people have any money left after you sold them lotion in your last three MLM businesses, they might buy some scented oil from you.
- The people in your life are smart enough to know that they can’t make money by selling expensive versions of things you can buy at Wal-Mart and cilantro-flavored air fresheners, and they certainly don’t have the audacity to try to get their friends to sell it. They are wondering why you do. They thought they raised you better than that.
- When your friends hear you rhapsodizing about how DoTerra products can strengthen your immune system and help you lose weight, they will pull out their phones and play the video they recorded of you saying the same thing about the merchandise of the last MLM you got mixed up with.
Is DoTerra a scam? Not really, but there is no reason for anyone to buy DoTerra products. If you just have enough free time that the desire to finish out the day with more bath products than you started with creeps into your head, there are far less expensive options. I am sure I have told you about how, every Black Friday, my mom walks into Bath and Body Works with a twenty-dollar bill and walks out with a year’s supply of bath products for a family of five. (I know she could probably get more if she shopped online, but you extreme couponers can stop rolling your eyes now, because for my mom, it is the physical participation in the Black Friday ritual that is part of the fun.) And if you are a hypochondriac, then DoTerra is not going to calm your fears any more than the overpriced bath products of any other MLM company will, whether it comes from Utah, Texas, or any of the other MLM hotspots. Sandalwood oil smells nice (and I guess black pepper oil does, too, if you are going on a first date with Oscar the Grouch), but there are so many other ways to get them for less money and less hassle. Consumers are smart enough to know, that, too. In the time it took you to read this article, everyone you were thinking of selling DoTerra products to has already Googled the cheaper options.
Remember that time in the early 80s when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak made a phone call from their garage straight to the Vatican? It was a phone call that changed the world. If you call me, it may not change the world, but it will change your MLM business strategy.