Introduction to Ignite MLM Compensation Plan
Welcome back to Notebook Crazy, the grouchiest multilevel marketing (MLM) review blog in the Midwest. The Internet deserves credit and blame for many of the dynamics of today’s society. In my introduction to this Ignite review, I choose to highlight two of them. The first is that there are seemingly endless possibilities in which people use the Internet to make money, some more benign than others. That trend is the reason for the existence of this blog. I will return to the subject of using the Internet to make money later in this Ignite review.
The other aspect I wish to discuss, the other purpose for which the Internet holds seemingly endless possibilities, is the discussion of minutiae of famous works of pop culture. Longtime readers of Notebook Crazy will recognize that this blog is likewise no stranger to that subject. This is because I, Bradley Davenport Kartoffel, am as much of a nerd as any other blogger who blogs out of a desire to express ideas and not merely to use his or her blog as a platform form shameless product placement. In other MLM reviews, I have discussed the rise and fall of Beanie Babies, the time Jean Shepherd and the loyal audience of his radio show staged one of history’s most successful pranks, and how the characters played by Ben Stiller and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Along Came Polly reinforce negative stereotypes about the insurance profession and community theater, respectively. I have eulogized David Bowie, Roger Ebert, and Prince. I have encouraged my readers to listen to the first two Alan Parsons Project albums, which I freely admit to liking. (Of course Kartoffel isn’t my real last name. I am not dumb enough to use my real last name on a blog.)
The Internet recognizes that good works of art are open to multiple interpretations and that they become more and more enjoyable the more times you watch them or listen to them. When I was a teenager, I fell in love with classic rock, in large part because the songs had been around long enough for them to mean different things to different people. Reading the stories behind the songs, stories of personalities and of then innovative feats of sound engineering, made the songs even more interesting. When I experienced my first Pink Floyd planetarium show, I knew I had to write down my ideas, so I started my first blog. That was a very long time ago, before the word “blog” even existed.
The Internet has come a long way since the days of my e-zine Classic Rock Ragnarok. (Kids, ask your parents about the days when blogs were called e-zines.) Like the many millions of nerds who populate the Internet, I have spent countless hours reading discussion and analysis of movies I have watched multiple times. One of the movies that has attracted more fan discussion than almost any other is The Shining, Stanley Kubrick’s slow-moving fright fest based on Stephen King’s equally scary novel. The pastime of interpreting The Shining has taken on a life of its own, so much that there is now a documentary, Room 237, which consists entirely of five people narrating their interpretations of the movie’s symbolism over visual footage from The Shining illustrating examples that support their points.
It is broad daylight here in the Midwest, and all the lights are on in my basement, as well as on both floors of my house, but still, I am shaking as I write this. Don’t get me wrong. Thanks to a fortuitous combination of genetics and garlic knots, I’m a big guy. I could beat up Jack Nicholson in his prime. Still, thinking about the scariest parts of The Shining sends a chill down my spine, as big as I may be and I much time has passed since I last saw it.
Each of the various interpreters of The Shining has his or her own idea about what makes the movie so scary. They agree that its images allude indirectly to something we fear, but they do not agree on what that fear is. I have decided to include in the introduction to this Ignite review two interpretations of The Shining that, in my opinion, illustrate what is wrong with the Ignite business opportunity.
The first interpretation is that of Bill Blakemore, a TV journalist from Chicago whose narration is featured in Room 237. Blakemore believes that Kubrick intended to present the events in The Shining as a metaphor for the genocide of Native Americans. A piece of evidence to support this is that, at the beginning of the movie, the hotel’s manager tells Wendy Torrance that the Overlook hotel, where the Torrance family will be staying for the winter, was built on the site of an Indian burial ground. In King’s novel, it is clear that there is something sinister about the hotel, to say the least, but the part about it being built on the site of an Indian burial ground was Kubrick’s innovation and does not appear in King’s novel. Blakemore first arrived at this interpretation because, in another part of the movie, Kubrick lets the camera linger on cans of Calumet baking powder in the pantry. (One of the things that makes The Shining so effective is that Kubrick lets the camera linger on things that are not particularly scary in themselves, but in context, they become terrifying.) Blakemore grew up in Chicago, which is not too far from here, and Chicago locals know that the word “calumet”, the namesake of the city’s Calumet Harbor, means “peace pipe”, which Blakemore describes as “the symbol of an honest treaty”. According to Blakemore, the Calumet baking powder featured prominently in The Shining is a reminder of the broken treaties that were part of the genocide of Native Americans by White settlers, and the elevators that overflow with blood symbolize the driving of a “stake into the body and soul of a murdered people”, and Jack Torrance wielding an axe symbolizes lots of White men wielding axes.
The second interpretation belongs to Mark Jacobson, a reluctant fan and even more reluctant theorist about The Shining. After many viewings, Jacobson came to see The Shining as a metaphor for the traumatic experiences of Stanley Kubrick’s childhood in the Bronx, where Jacobson also grew up, traumas from which Kubrick was only ever free when he was behind a camera. After seeing Room 237, Jacobson retraced Kubrick’s steps through the Bronx and visited Kubrick’s elementary school and the apartment building where Kubrick lived as a child. The forbidden room in King’s novel is room 217, but in Kubrick’s film it is 237, and Jacobson searched the Bronx for a reason why Kubrick might consider 237 a scarier room number. He finally found it in P.S. 3, Kubrick’s elementary school. During Kubrick’s childhood, as during Jacobson’s, elementary school students were “tracked” according to what teachers perceived as their academic potential. In second grade, Kubrick was placed in the lowest-performing class of students. His parents, who had hoped for him to become a doctor, were so mortified that they withdrew him from the school and gave him lessons at home. In 2016, it is nothing unusual for kids who don’t fit in in school to be sent to alternative schools or to be homeschooled, but in the 1930s, when Stanley Kubrick was a kid, it was unheard of. The world is a kinder place for misfit kids than it was during Kubrick’s childhood. For Stanley Kubrick, classroom 237 represented the loss of reputation, his immigrant parents’ loss of the American dream. I invite all of you to consider just how scary the loss of reputation actually is.
The reason I mention these two interpretations is that they are both essentially local. If knowing your local environment is that important to how you interpret The Shining, imagine how important it is in business. This is the problem with the Ignite business opportunity.
Ignite: The Company and Its Products
Ignite is the MLM business opportunity provided by Stream Energy. Its flaw is the same as the flaw of any of the deregulated energy MLMs, namely, why would anyone buy energy services through a direct sales business model when they could just buy it directly from the company? Now, here comes the part about knowing your local environment. Stream Energy is only available in six states, none of which are in the Midwest, plus the District of Columbia. Normally, I would say that this means that 44 states dodged a bullet, but then I read an Ignite review on Lazy Man and Money, which is one of my favorite MLM review sites. The Lazy Man, author of the Lazy Man and Money blog, told the curious story of how he received an email inviting him to become an Ignite distributor, even though he does not live in a state where Stream energy services are available. The Lazy Man did some research (he is not nearly as lazy as his pseudonym would suggest), and he found out that 27 people have reached the rank of Presidential Director, the highest rank, in the Ignite business opportunity. 23 of these people live in Texas, but one of them, Randy Hedge, lives in Arizona, where Stream energy services are not even offered, yet Hedge and his wife Marcie have managed to build such a successful business and gather so many clients and downline Ignite distributors that they have reached the highest rank in the Ignite compensation plan. I encourage all of you to read the Lazy Man’s Ignite review, as it is quite entertaining, especially the account of his debate with the Ignite distributor who tried to recruit him about the difference between an MLM business model and a pyramid scheme and which one best describes the Ignite business opportunity.
The Ignite Compensation Plan
The Ignite compensation plan document is four pages long, and it is available by a single click on the Ignite website. The leadership levels in the Ignite compensation plan are Director, Qualified Director, Trained Qualified Director, Managing Director, Senior Director, and Executive Director. The Opportunity page of the Ignite website name checks Mercedes Benz, but the Ignite compensation plan document itself does not say anything about a car bonus.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- As Ignite products are not physical objects, you do not have to have them sent to your home on autoship, where they accumulate in your basement. This is one advantage that the Ignite business opportunity has over product-based MLMs.
- Since the Ignite business opportunity is only available in six states and the District of Columbia, people in most states are not at risk of being pursued to become customers. As the Lazy Man’s Ignite review shows us, though, anyone can be on the receiving end of recruitment attempts as an Ignite distributor.
- The Ignite compensation plan is concise and virtually free of hype.
- Almost all MLMs require you to try to sell people something they can get elsewhere for a lot less money and less trouble. This is especially true of deregulated energy MLMs like the Ignite business opportunity.
- The names of the leadership levels in the Ignite compensation plan are quite uninspired.
Ignite is no worse than any other deregulated energy MLM. The problem is just that deregulated energy MLMs in general are a losing proposition. It is much more practical for customers to get their energy services right from the company, and it is a big hassle for them to switch their energy services to sign up with you. I have mentioned many times on this site that, in order for you to have a successful business, your customers have to have some reason to buy your products other than helping you achieve your dream of owning your own business.
I am serious. If you want to know more about how you can use your knowledge of your local market and community to build a successful Internet-based business, schedule a call with me.