Introduction to Take Shape for Life MLM Compensation Plan
Welcome to Notebook Crazy, the thinking man’s multilevel marketing (MLM) review blog. My name is Brad, and by now, I am a seasoned MLM reviewer. When my friend the other Brad and I started this blog right around New Year’s, we decided that we were going to review every MLM business opportunity out there, and I think we underestimated just how many MLMs there are. To make a lng story short, winter (the season for sitting on one’s keister and writing MLM reviews) turned to Ebertfest, which turned to Paintball and fly fishing season, and then Talk Like a Pirate Day came and went (but not without my brother Brian scoring a dozen donuts as a prize for his pirate-inflected rendition of a speech from Othello), and here we are in October. I just came back from Oktoberfest, full of pretzels, Wurst, and beer (the other Brad didn’t eat any pretzels, since he avoids all carbs that are not beer), and it is in this state of mind and belly that I present to you my Take Shape for Life review.
As you may be able to infer from the name, Take Shape for Life products are designed for people who are trying to lose weight. (I may try to lose weight one day, but it will have to be after the world runs out of pretzels and garlic knots.) I have reviewed a lot of nutrition-related MLMs, and so my heart kind of sank when I saw that today was the day for my Take Shape for Life review. To my surprise, though, when I visited the Take Shape for Life website, I saw that, instead of protein powder and glorified vitamin tablets, the featured Take Shape for Life products were actually foods, and some of them looked like things I might actually want to eat. One of the Take Shape for Life products is actually just plain old mac and cheese, which is a personal favorite of mine, especially when it is a side dish to barbecued meat of some sort. But the product I couldn’t take my eyes off of, even after a day when I tasted mustard, radishes, and more kinds of Wurst than you can shake a stick at, was the pesto pasta. Its pesto sauce was such a beautiful color of green.
Sitting at my computer in my basement, gazing at the image of pesto sauce on the screen, my mind slightly cloudy with Oktoberfest beer, I thought back to all those other nutrition MLMs I have reviewed, the ones that play on people’s desperation to lose weight and to stop living paycheck to paycheck. The pesto pasta looked delicious, but the name “Take Shape for Life” left a bad taste in my mouth. (Enough mustard and horseradish will leave a bad taste in your mouth, too, but that is a story for another day.) I remembered an MLM I reviewed in the spring, one that sold an expensive liquid placebo, which it marketed with the slogan “drink pink and shrink.” I remembered how much fun I had writing the introduction to that review, where I gave shout outs to several pink drinks that bring pure enjoyment unencumbered by pushy MLM promises of riches, and I saw fit to introduce this Take Shape for Life review with a shout out to a few of the most beautiful green beverages I have ever seen or tasted.
Let’s start with chartreuse. I knew that chartreuse was a color long before I knew it was a beverage. It was the color of some green slime on some Halloween decorations at a Halloween party the other Brad (who eventually became my business partner and the co-founder of Notebook Crazy) and I went to with our Little League team. We kids called it “puke green,” but when my mom came to pick us up from the party, she and some of the other kids’ moms were calling it chartreuse. At some point, while reading Wikipedia articles about a topic related to one of the MLM reviews I was writing, one click led to another, and I ended up on the Wikipedia article about chartreuse. It turns out that chartreuse is an approximately 100 proof green liqueur that has been made at a monastery in France since the 18th century. The beverage derives its dusky green hue from mountain herbs and flowers, 130 of them to be exact. Wikipedia says that angelica root, cinnamon, cinnamon, costmary, arnica, hyssop, lemon balm, wormwood, peppermint, and thyme are among the ingredients of chartreuse. If you have already cracked the KFC recipe and figured out the 11 secret herbs and spices, I encourage you to try your hand at making chartreuse and let me know how it goes. The fact that chartreuse comes from a monastery in the French Alps spawned imitators, most notably Frangelico, which has been produced in the 1980s and is sold under the marketing gimmick that its recipe was invented by a monk, although this is as far-fetched as many of the MLM origin stories I have told on this site.
Chartreuse is far from being the most famous intoxicating green beverage to come down from the Alps and attract a following in Paris. That distinction belongs to absinthe, whose reputation, as well as its sickly green glow, precedes it. Like chartreuse, absinthe was invented in the 18th century, and also like chartreuse, its ingredients include green culinary herbs and lots of alcohol; at more than two thirds alcohol by volume, it is one of the most alcoholic drinks around. (It is almost impossible to drink it undiluted.) Absinthe gets its legendary haunting green tinge and its bitter flavor from wormwood, as well as from green anise. According to an absinthe connoisseur blog I read, green anise is similar to, but not exactly the same as, licorice, and if your absinthe tastes like a black jellybean, it is the cheap stuff. In the 19th century, absinthe was a favorite drink of almost every writer and artist you ever admired, including Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, and Vincent van Gogh. In the early 20th century, the moral panic about the dangers of absinthe led to it being banned; the ban was lifted in the 1990s, and absinthe enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. The arguments that the enemies of absinthe used to get it banned were similar to the things that MLM reps say about your favorite foods to get you to drink their overpriced MLM meal replacement shakes instead of eating your favorite pretzels and mac and cheese. They claimed that wormwood causes madness and delirium, when actually the intoxicating effects of absinthe were because of its high alcohol content, and the delirium seen in absinthe drinkers was a symptom of alcohol withdrawal. It is something of an uglier version of the urban legend that the reason you feel sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner is because of the tryptophan in turkey.
Of course, I cannot end the introduction to this Take Shape for Life review without first giving a shout-out to Hi-C Ecto-Cooler. Ecto-Cooler was the highlight of my childhood, and if you and I are close in age, it was probably the highlight of yours, too. It tasted like it looked, limpid, pale green. I have never tasted chartreuse or absinthe, but I can assure you they are the only things that could possibly taste as green as Ecto-Cooler. Imagine my surprise when, while researching the green beverages worthy of a shout out in the introduction to my Take Shape for Life review, and I found the recipe for making homemade Ecto-Cooler. Its main ingredients are orange Kool-Aid powder (or Tang or any other orange drink powder), the juice from a can of mandarin oranges, and powdered lemonade. How can orange and yellow drinks taste so green? I feel like my whole life has been a lie.
Take Shape for Life: The Company and Its Products
Take Shape for Life is the MLM aspect of the nutraceutical company Medifast. Take Shape for Life products run the gamut from the usual MLM meal replacement shakes to things that people would actually want to eat, like brownies, mac and cheese, and pesto pasta. Take Shape for Life distributors style themselves lifestyle coaches or wellness coaches or some such. I would be appalled, but I have reviewed so many nutraceutical MLMs that I have been down this road before. Beachbody tries to convince its distributors that they are personal trainers. The whole business of nutraceutical MLM reps taking on the role of supplement-pushing fitness coaches is a big part of the reason we ended up getting mixed up with the nutraceutical MLM that left us with empty pockets and basements full of fungus coffee.
The Take Shape for Life Compensation Plan
A quick Google search takes me to the Compensation Plan page of the Take Shape for Life website. Rather than a Take Shape for Life compensation plan document as such, I found many lists of bullet points. From this, I gathered that the Take Shape for Life compensation plan requires Take Shape for Life distributors (excuse me, “health coaches”) to re-earn their rank each month, which really stinks. It isn’t passive income when you have to keep re-earning it each month. The compensation plan page of the Take Shape for Life website does not mention the names of the leadership ranks in the Take Shape for Life compensation plan. I did, however, find them in one of the Take Shape for Life reviews I read while researching this Take Shape for Life review, and from what I remember, they were pretty boring, so I will rename them. I shall call them Crayola Green, Seaweed Green, Kelley Green (remember that color, 80s nostalgia fans?), Neon Green (just as 80s), Sour Apple Now ‘n’ Later Green (is it Halloween yet?), and Absinthe Green.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- As of the time of writing this Take Shape for Life review, chartreuse, absinthe, and Hi-C Ecto-Cooler are all commercially available.
- Nutraceuticals, man.
- The whole charade in which Take Shape for Life distributors act like they are your weight loss mentor in order to get you to buy more and more Take Shape for Life products.
- I have read enough MLM reviews and their comments sections to know that if someone tries to get you to join the Take Shape for Life business opportunity and you resist, they will tell you it is just the green-eyed monster speaking.
Green herbs look and taste beautiful, and I say that even as someone who has mixed feelings about most plant-based foods. You can make beautiful things out of green herbs. And the best part of it is that, unless the finished product has the alcohol content of chartreuse or absinthe or the herbs themselves are as rare as Ecto-Cooler in its discontinued days, most of the things that people make out of culinary herbs don’ t cost much at all. At your local supermarket, and for a lot less money, you can get foods that taste just as good and are just as nutritious as Take Shape for Life products, and they cost a lot less. There are definitely cheaper ways to get mac and cheese than by joining the Take Shape for Life business opportunity, but if MLM has chewed you up and spit you out like it has the rest of us, you are probably all too familiar with them. I, for one, would have to be a lot drunker than I am now to ever eat Easy Mac again. And if your Internet service is reliable enough for you to read this Take Shape for Life review, then you can definitely find work opportunities that pay as well as the Take Shape for Life business opportunity and involve a lot less hassle.
If you really want my honest opinion about how to make money online, you should probably schedule a call with me now, before I sober up. In vino veritas, or whatever.