People who are committed to trying different Multilevel Marketing (MLM) programs until they find one that works for them can, for the most part, be divided into two categories. There are those who are on a quest to free themselves from their 9 to 5 jobs so that they can spend as much time as possible sitting on their keister, as we discussed in a previous post. And then there are those who are on a quest to free themselves from their 9 to 5 jobs so that they can spend as much time as possible working out. The motivation of fitness oriented MLM distributors could simply be a wish to live long enough and stay healthy enough to attend their grandchildren’s graduations and weddings, or it could be that MLM is a stepping stone on their way to a second career as a fitness model. Whatever the reason, MLM and health consciousness go hand in hand. Lots of people pursue a perfect physique to go along with their anticipated MLM riches, and an even greater number of MLMs deal in nutritional supplements that promise wellness, improved athletic performance, and weight loss. 4life is one of those MLMs that belongs to the nutritional supplement industry.
A quick walkthrough of 4Life MLM Business Opportunity
4life is one of the oldest MLM programs still in existence. We mentioned in a previous post that most MLMs close down after about two years, thanks in no small part to their unsustainable business model. 4life was established in 1998 by David and Bianca Lisonbee. It boasts an enormous product line, with supplements designed to benefit virtually every system of the body. There are supplements for heart health, brain health, bone health, and reproductive health, as well as supplements designed for weight loss and improved sleep, in addition to your garden variety multivitamins.
The first thing that stands out about the 4life website is its enormous selection of products; the second thing is its impressive roster of medical doctors and Ph.D.s who are associated with the company and promote its products. While 4life offers more details about how the supposed benefits of its supplements work, the products are still just supplements. They are not endorsed by the FDA as medically necessary ways of curing any disease. 4life’s core line of products contain transfer factors, a type of molecule involved in the body’s immune response. The transfer factors in 4life’s products are derived from the colostrum of cows. Colostrum is the substance that the mammary glands produce right after the cow (or woman or any female mammal) gives birth, before they begin producing milk. If you do research online, you will find differing opinions about the role of transfer factors and whether there is any benefit to taking transfer factor supplements. The immune system is, in fact, an amazing thing, and its role in medicine is still being discovered; new treatments for everything from cancer to infertility involve monitoring and manipulating the body’s immune response. These are a lot more complex, though, than just taking a supplement. Another thing that stands out about 4life’s products is that they are expensive, sometimes as much as a dollar per pill, more than some prescription drugs. For a lot of people, that is way too much to pay for something that might just be a placebo.
Review of Organo Gold MLM Business Opportunity
At first glance, Organo Gold presents itself as a direct marketing company, similar to Mary Kay, and if you find a customer base that really wants to buy gourmet coffee drinks, it really is possible to sell a lot of units, but Organo Gold does also have the multilevel recruiting aspect to it. If you just stumbled on this page because you Googled “Ganoderma” or “awesome fungus” or some such, or perhaps even because you Googled “sit on keisterMidwest”, and you are not familiar with multilevel marketing (MLM), I will explain. In an MLM plan, Adam sells specialty coffee from his website and makes a profit of it. He then recruits Ray to sell the same specialty coffee products, and Adam earns a commission off of Ray’s sales. Then Ray recruits Simon to sell the products, and both Ray and Adam earn a commission off of Simon’s sales, and so on. Currently, Organo Gold has over 150,000 distributors in over 40 countries, most of whom were recruited by other distributors. According to the Organo Gold website, distributors can earn a 50% profit on sales of Organo Gold products. In addition to profits from product sales and commissions from “down line sales” (sales by distributors you recruited and distributors they recruited), Organo Gold also offers bonuses for high sales volume, successful recruitment, and the like, as do many other MLM plans.
4life Compensation Plan
One of the ways to increase one’s rank in 4life is through selling 4life products. 4life assigns “life points” (LP) based on sales, but unfortunately, in the beginning, you earn less than one point for each dollar of merchandise you sell. Another of the basic components of MLM is that product distributors are required to sponsor or recruit other distributors. Distributors have the opportunity to earn profits on the merchandise they sell and also to earn commissions on the sales of members “down line” from them. That means that, if Adam recruits Ben, Ben recruits Clive, Clive recruits Dina, Dina recruits Ellie, Ellie recruits Fikri, and Fikri recruits George, that means that Adam, Ben, Clive, Dina, Ellie, and Fikri can earn money from the people down line from them. 4life lists rank advancement as one of the business opportunities on its website, but it does not go into detail about what the requirements are for each one. The highest five levels, however, are as follows:
To reach the Diamond level, you must earn 100 LP based on your own sales. You must also enroll six distributors who each earn 100 LP per month, and the combined LP of you and the highest three levels of your recruitees must be at least 3,000.
To reach the Presidential Diamond level, you must earn 100 LP based on your own sales. You must also enroll eight distributors who each earn 100 LP per month, and the combined LP of you and the highest three levels of your recruitees must be at least 10,000. You must also have at least two “legs” (chains of recruitees) where the person you directly recruited has reached the Diamond level. For example, if Adam recruits Ben, who recruits all the other above mentioned people, and Ben reaches the Diamond level, that can help qualify Adam for the Presidential Diamond level. However, another direct recruitee of Adam’s must also reach the Diamond level before Adam achieves Presidential Diamond.
To reach the International Diamond level, you must earn 100 LP based on your own sales. You must also enroll ten distributors who each earn 100 LP per month, and the combined LP of you and the highest three levels of your recruitees must be at least 20,000. You must also have two legs of recruitees who have reached the Presidential Diamond level.
Gold International Diamond
To reach the Gold International Diamond level, you must earn 100 LP based on your own sales. You must also enroll twelve distributors who each earn 100 LP per month, and the combined LP of you and the highest three levels of your recruitees must be at least 20,000. You must also have threelegs of International Diamond recruitees.
Platinum International Diamond
To reach the Platinum International Diamond level, you must earn 100 LP based on your own sales. You must also enroll twelve distributors who each earn 100 LP per month, and the combined LP of you and the highest three levels of your recruitees must be at least 20,000. You must also have three legs of International Diamond recruitees.
4life also offers opportunities to win bonuses, vacations, and other prizes.
Advantages and Disadvantages of 4life Compensation Plan
- 4life has been around for a long time, so it is unlikely to vanish off the face of the earth just as you have invested time and money into it.
- The claims on 4life’s site about the nutritional benefits of their products will sound impressive to the product’s target audience.
- You get to buy the products at a legitimate wholesale price, unlike some other MLMs.
- There are articles in peer reviewed journals describing the role of transfer factors in the immune system.
- The products are very expensive, and only people who are really expecting nutritional supplements to solve their problems will buy them.
- 4life products are available for sale on Amazon for less than most distributors would need to sell them in order to make a profit. This puts 4life MLM distributors at a clear disadvantage.
- If potential customers do enough research, they will see that for all the physicians and researchers whose pictures are on the site, there are no links to studies in peer reviewed journals.
- It is very difficult to reach the high levels of the compensation plan; this is a very common problem with MLMs.
Of all the overpriced nutritional supplements out there, there is little to distinguish 4life. Some of the products distributed by 4life are no different from the vitamin supplements you get at the supermarket. There are people out there who really believe that the latest nutritional supplements have unique benefits. Optimists would call that a placebo, but pessimists would call it something that shares its initials with Bon Scott, Baby Spice, and Bubba Smurf.
Another thing that people often forget about MLMs (but are reminded again and again once they get involved) is how much effort you have to put in to make any substantial amount of money. 4life is built on people underestimating the difficulty of achieving their goals. The products count on customers believing that you can nutritionally supplement your way to good health, and the business model counts on people thinking that it will require little effort to reach the levels where they can make a substantial income. I definitely understand the desire to get out of the corporate rat race, but trying to get to the highest levels of 4life, or in fact any MLM instead of the best ones, will also keep you running in circles and running up bills on your credit card just to stay in the game. It is the thrill of opportunity that keeps people addicted. MLM is not a road to financial ruin like, say, gambling, but it involves lots of virtually pointless expenditure of time, much like, for example, extreme couponing. It is definitely possible to get away from the soul sucking environment of corporate America and get to a point where they can live on passive income, but it takes months and years of constant work. No one gets fit just by buying the right product; everyone who has successfully lost weight and kept it off has adopted a healthy diet and exercised regularly for the long term. Likewise, you can make money by selling products, but you really have to keep at it. You could just as easily build up your savings by doing transcription, working as a virtual assistant, or even by walking dogs. I happen to have chosen MLM as one of my paths to living large outside the rat race, but I have also invested a lot of time and learned a lot through trial and error. The bottom line is that most MLMs require you to sell overpriced products that are of dubious use, and then you have to convince other people to sell them and keep selling them. Most of the time you end up with lots of credit card debt and a basement full of unsold merchandise. There is really nothing to set 4life apart from the others.
P.S. Just in case you were wondering, my last name does not begin with S, and neither does the other Brad’s.