Introduction to World Ventures MLM Compensation Plan
One of Chris Rock’s most memorable stand-up comedy pieces is the one where he talks about the difference between being rich and being wealthy. According to Chris Rock, “Shaq is rich. The guy who signs his checks is wealthy.” He goes on to say that, while rich people spend their money on expensive, ostentatious but ultimately useless things, wealthy people spend their money on the opportunity for more wealth. According to Chris Rock, “Being wealthy isn’t about having money. It’s about having options.” If this were any other multilevel marketing (MLM) blog, this would be the part where I tell you that if you join my downline sales team, I will make you so wealthy that you will have options beyond your wildest dreams. But this is not any other MLM blog. This is Notebook Crazy. I am Brad, and I come from the Midwest, the land of Jean Shepherd and Roger Ebert. It just wouldn’t be my style to launch into my World Ventures review without first telling you some stories or giving you some well-reasoned opinions.
Chris Rock plays his descriptions of the ridiculous things that rich people buy and the enormous opportunities that wealthy people have for laughs, but there is a lot of truth to the idea that money buys options. His off stage behavior is entirely consistent with this philosophy of life. Although he definitely did not come from a wealthy background, he has always lived within his means and has never been in debt. He says, “Credit and debt is the root of all evil.” If you are reading this blog because you went online to do research about which MLM to join, then you understand, just like Chris Rock does, the desire to have enough money to be able to use it to help other people. His wife Malaak Compton-Rock operates a non-profit hair salon that provides free hairstyling services to women who are newly entering or re-entering the work force. That is probably the same thing you would do if you had enough money. You probably wish that you had just 10% more than you have now so that you could pay for the people in your life get a new haircut or new clothes to wear to work so that they could spend the money they earn on other basic things like groceries and car insurance.
You didn’t get involved with MLM so that you could buy a diamond-encrusted soap dish or a private plane with crushed velvet seats. You did it so that your kids could afford to go to a college out of state if there was one that matched their career goals better than any of the ones near home or so that, even if they went to a state school, they could actually spend their time studying instead of having to spend their evenings and weekends working just to be able to afford to stay in school. Despite the images of the lavish life you see in MLM training videos (they look like cheap knock offs of Jordan Belfort’s infomercial spot in the third act of The Wolf of Wall Street or of that Phil Collins video where he is lounging in a hot tub in the back of a limousine), MLM recruiters know that you keep coming back because you want opportunities. You want options.
One of the options that many of us wish we had is the option to travel. We all have places we have never been that we would love to visit at least once in our lives, whether it is New York City or Paris or Disney World or the Great Wall of China. But what we are really wishing for is the free time to travel. Plane tickets to Paris don’t cost that much if you save up for them and buy them months in advance. For you to be able to spend two weeks in Paris, you would have to put money aside for months and then request the time off of work before you even bought tickets. To travel almost anywhere within the continental United States, you don’t need much money at all. All you need is time. If you wanted to, you could ride around in your RV all summer and spend a few nights in each of the 48 states. It would only cost you the price of fuel and groceries.
But there is travel and then there is rich people travel. Rich people travel is where you decide 24 hours before your arrival that you would rather be on a continent other than your current one, and you just get up and go. Rich people travel means traveling now, deciding which of your stuff you want with you on your trip, and having your mom or your maid ship it to you. Rich people travel means hiring a car, or even a private plane or helicopter, to take you from Washington, D.C., to New York City, instead of taking a commuter flight, bus, or train. Rich people travel means going to tourist sites but not having to wait in line.
And you don’t need that. And neither do your friends. Big Ben looks about the same whether you see it from the window of a private chauffeur-driven car or a double decker bus. The air in New Orleans smells the same whether you are dining on the patio of Commander’s Palace or the Italian Pie and Pasta. And that is the main issue with my World Ventures review. The World Ventures business opportunity is a failing proposition because, no matter what you do, you cannot buy or sell free time. You can sell tour packages and hotel accommodations, but you can’t sell the leisure time to take a vacation. Likewise, you can sell custom-made wedding dresses, elegant photo shoots, and cute bridesmaids’ luncheons, but you cannot buy and sell love or a happy marriage.
World Ventures: The Company and Its Products
Another issue I have in writing this World Ventures review is that I am not even sure I can classify the thing that World Ventures wants you to talk your friends into buying, and eventually recruit them into selling, as a product or a service. What World Ventures sells are memberships to a travel club. People who buy memberships and become World Ventures members can sign up for organized group tours, and they are also eligible for discounts on things like hotels when they plan their own trips.
I see a few problems with this World Ventures business opportunity already. First of all, paying money to be eligible for discounts is ridiculous. Remember when you were in elementary school and you had to sell those “entertainment books”, essentially a phone book with useless coupons instead of phone numbers? You didn’t sell any, did you? If your parents bought one, they probably didn’t use any of the coupons, because they could get the coupons for things they really wanted to buy free by clipping them out of the newspaper. It wasn’t because of a flaw in the school fundraiser business model, because the kids who sold almond bark and Christmas wrapping paper made plenty of sales.
Another flaw in the World Ventures business opportunity is the utterly preposterous idea that anyone in 2016 would pay to join a travel club. If you think that sounds like something your grandparents would consider an aspirational product, you are not alone. Travel clubs were for upper middle class married couples in the 1950s. They would leave their kids at home with a babysitter and go on a travel club excursion, where the men would get sit together at the bar until they were so drunk that they forgot how much of their hard earned money they had dropped on this ridiculous travel club, while the wives would sit together and drink away what Betty Friedan would later refer to as “The Problem That Has No Name.” Travel clubs weren’t fun in the soul-crushingly conformist 1950s, and they aren’t fun now, when 99% of people are self-aware enough to loudly shout that they do not have enough disposable income for such frivolities.
The World Ventures Compensation Plan
The World Ventures compensation plan works quite similarly to the compensation plans of MLM companies that trade in more recent fads than the 60 years out of date travel tours that World Ventures is selling. If you can actually manage to sell any of these ridiculous white elephants, these are some of the ways you can make money:
- Direct Commissions – These are commissions on your sales. The percentages vary from one product to another.
- Weekly Team Bonuses – If both legs of your binary team achieve a certain amount of sales within a given pay period, then you get a $100 bonus.
- Double Cycle Bonuses – For the first eight weeks after you enroll, you are eligible for double bonuses. That means that every time in your first eight weeks that both legs of your team meet their sales goals, you get a $200 bonus.
The maximum dollar amount in bonuses for which you are eligible varies according to your leadership rank. The Qualified, Senior Representative, and Director levels are each eligible for up to $2,000 in bonuses. At the Marketing Director level, you can get up to $5,000 in bonuses. At the Regional Marketing Director level, you can get up to $10,000 in bonuses. At the National Marketing Director level, you can get up to $20,000 in bonuses. At the International Marketing Director level, you can get up to $25,000 in bonuses. I’ll bet I’m not the only one who thinks that these are really boring names for leadership levels in a travel-themed MLM company. Why not name them after famous travelers? Why not Leif Erikson, Sacagawea, Captain Cook, Marco Polo, Amelia Earhart, Ibn Battuta, and Magellan?
To make matters worse, not all of the bonuses in the World Ventures compensation plan are in the form of actual money. Sometimes you just get Training Dollars or Travel Dollars, which are points that you can redeem for World Ventures prizes, much like tokens at Chuck E. Cheese’s, but a lot less fun.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- At least there are no nutraceuticals involved.
- Unlike the traditional BS coupon books that your elementary school probably tried to make you sell for a fundraiser, the World Ventures travel club is intangible, and therefore it cannot gather dust in your basement. When you consider the fact that there are at least two MLM companies out there whose business strategy is to fill your friends’ basements with fungus, this is really a point in favor of World Ventures.
- I have seen a lot of non-recession proof jobs in my quest to review every MLM company I can find, selling luxurious travel packages to people who can’t afford them has to be the least recession proof of them all.
- The mere mention of a binary model of MLM makes my left foot want to go on a kicking spree.
The world doesn’t need more wannabe jet setters. It needs more financially literate people like Chris Rock and like you. If you want to see the world, apply for a job to teach English in another country. Go on a volunteer trip with your church. Join the Brethren Volunteer Corps, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, or the Peace Corps. If you want to give other people the option to travel, continue living within your means and watch your debts get smaller and your savings get bigger; eventually, you will be able to help the people you love pay their way to wherever they want to go. World Ventures is the opposite of what you and your friends need in these economically tough times.
So am I rich, or am I wealthy? You probably can’t tell just by reading Notebook Crazy. But you can find out by calling me, and while I have you on the line, I can give you a few ideas about how to make enough money to buy yourself a few options.