Introduction to Momentis MLM Compensation Plan
People my age and younger take for granted how easy it is to find information these days and how easy it is for songs and other items of entertainment to become hugely popular. How many YouTube videos have gotten hundreds of millions of views? I just searched on Google for “How many videos have broken Gangnam Style’s record?” and instead I found articles and statistics about how “Gangnam Style” got so many views that YouTube had to start adding more digits to its counter of how many times a video has been viewed. I eventually found a Wikipedia article about the most viewed videos on YouTube, and as of the most recent editing of the Wikipedia article, “Gangnam Style” still holds the record for most views, but it is now one of 23 videos with over 2 billion views, and 21 out of these 23 videos are music videos. Some of them are recent big hits that will still run through your head when you read the titles, like “Hello” by Adele, “Roar” by Katy Perry, “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem and Rihanna, and “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor, but does anyone even still remember “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift or “Sugar” by Maroon 5?
If you have been reading Notebook Crazy, you will know that I used to write a blog about music when I was in high school. My blog (actually they were called e-zines back then) was called Classic Rock Ragnarok, and I found most of the information for it in the liner notes of CDs and in books I borrowed from the public library or read while sitting in the squishy chairs at Barnes and Noble. (Kids, ask your parents what bookstores were.) That means that most of what was on there was my opinion, interspersed with just a few verifiable facts. I read something today that made me think about how much less work it must be to write a music blog now than it was when I was doing it when I was in high school. There is a world of information at your fingertips. When I was writing Classic Rock Ragnarok in the 1990s, most of the music I wrote about was from the late 60s and the 70s, and some of it still got played a lot on the radio, but I also wrote about plenty of deep tracks that I only discovered after buying the CDs and rarities I only ever knew about after I borrowed CD boxed sets from the library. For example, I know that the band members would disagree with me, but I still think that the first Genesis album, From Genesis to Revelation, which was released in 1969, is quite enjoyable to listen to, and the same goes from the singles from the years leading up to the album’s release, which are included as bonus tracks on the CD. (You probably don’t even need to borrow the CD from the public library; you can probably find it on Apple Music or Spotify, and someone has probably even uploaded it to YouTube.) I challenge any of you to listen to “Am I Very Wrong” or “One-Eyed Hound” all the way to the end without wanting to listen to it again, even if you are so young that you have never in your life rewound a tape.
Now think about how much it meant for a song to reach everyone’s ears back in the 70s, decades before people on six continents were clicking on Justin Bieber videos and “Gangnam Style.” But that is exactly what happened with “Soul Makossa”. You may have never heard the song’s title, but I guarantee you have at least heard the chorus. It was originally recorded in the early 70s by Emmanuel “Manu” Dibango, a songwriter and saxophone player from Cameroon. (I think he wrote it, and what happened in the aftermath of its release indicates that he did, but I have not been able to find the songwriting credits for it.) It became a big hit in New York City after David Mancuso, a party DJ, found a copy of it in a record store and started playing it at parties. People couldn’t get enough of its catchy bass line and its saxophone riffs; soon, everyone wanted the “Soul Makossa” record, and ever copy of the record in New York City quickly sold out. Before long, more and more records were being released in New York with arrangements similar to that of “Soul Makossa”, with consistent 4/4 rhythms, guitars played as rhythm instruments and taking a backseat to the bass and drums, funky horns, and lyrics that did more to urge dancers on than they did to tell a story. The lyrics of “Soul Makossa” are, in fact, in the Douala language, which Dibango learned from his mother’s side of the family. The words of the refrain are “ma-mako ma-ma-samako-mako-ssa”, which is just Dibango riffing on the word “makossa”, which means “I dance” in the Douala language. (Think of how long it would have taken to find that out in the pre-Wikipedia days.) But whatever he was saying, everyone wanted something that sounded like it. “Soul Makossa” made a big impact on the disco genre, which was becoming popular in the early 70s, and subsequent disco songs were released that sounded more and more like “Soul Makossa”. Even the lyrics were interpolated in songs by other singers who knew nothing of the Douala language.
In 1982, when hardly anyone had anything good to say about disco, my fellow Midwesterner Michael Jackson (he was born in Gary, Indiana, which is not too far from here) interpolated the refrain of “Soul Makossa” into his song “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”, where he pronounced it “mama-say mama-sa ma-ma-coo-sa.” The song was the first track on Jackson’s album Thriller, and you can click on YouTube as many times as you want, but Thriller still holds the record for best-selling album of all time, as it has for my entire life.
It’s a catchy refrain, to be sure, and even if most of its story played out before you were born, numerous versions of it are only a click away. It’s really easy to share music and to share information these days, probably even more than you realize. Why, then, do people keep falling for multilevel marketing (MLM) schemes, and why do they think that now, in 2016, they can convince their friends to join them? That is what really gets me. I really love music, and I may go back to writing a music blog someday, but not until I finish my quest to review as many multilevel marketing (MLM) companies as I can. Today, you have arrived in time for my Momentis review, and I saw fit to start my review with a story about an enormously influential song just to remind myself and my readers that sometimes good ideas can spread, too.
Momentis: The Company and Its Products
I guess I could see people joining an MLM business opportunity if the MLM company sold something really interesting and unique, but Momentis does not. Most MLM companies sell overpriced nutritional supplements (I am pleased to report that Momentis products are not nutritional supplements) and similar items that people do not need to buy, at least not at the prices that MLMs charge for them, but every so often you will get an MLM company with a truly unique idea for its products, such as Healthy Headie, which sells bongs and contraptions that make cannabis oil. Likewise, the Momentis business opportunity has been made possible only because of a fairly recent piece of legislation, but I assure you that Momentis products are not nearly as much fun as Healthy Headie products, and I say this as a dedicated non-pothead.
You see, in the 1990s, some states decided to pass laws that would allow private companies to sell electricity and telecommunications services through an MLM business model. The only Midwestern states where the MLM business model for selling electricity and natural gas services is legal are Illinois and Ohio, which are not too far from here. This was what Momentis did in the early part of its history, when it was the MLM arm of Just Energy, but MLM business opportunities that rely on deregulated energy markets have a bad reputation, and this bad reputation eventually caught up with the Momentis business opportunity, and Momentis decided to reinvent itself. The details of the collapse and reinvention of the Momentis business opportunity are not entirely clear to me, even after reading the Momentis website and as many Momentis reviews as I was able to find.
The Momentis website says that the company, at least in its current form, has been around since 2010, and that it is under the leadership of Andy McWilliams. Other Momentis reviews I read said that McWilliams has been part of Momentis since the early days but that he is not the original founder of the Momentis business opportunity, and that several previous leaders in the Momentis corporate structure have left the company, which is a fairly common occurrence in the MLM industry. As of 2010, the company has been focusing on a new line of Momentis products, namely skin creams that allegedly have anti-aging effects. In fact, these skincare products are the only Momentis products mentioned on the Momentis website. It is unclear whether the electricity and natural gas services aspect of the Momentis business opportunity is still available.
The Momentis Compensation Plan
As other writers of Momentis reviews have pointed out, details about the Momentis compensation plan are not readily available on the Momentis website. The Momentis reviewers did say that the old version of the Momentis compensation plan was very complicated, which is disappointing but not surprising. A lot of MLM companies have complicated compensation plans that maximize the gamification appeal without providing much in the way of financial gain for the distributors. Indeed, I found a slideshow of the old Momentis compensation plan, the one from when the Momentis business opportunity was based on deregulated markets, and it is 56 slides long. It mentions that there are Team Bonuses, Leadership Bonuses, and Mentor bonuses to be had, as well as commissions on retail sales and even the elusive residual income. As a Senior Director in the old Momentis compensation plan, you could make commissions on 3 levels of downline sales, while Regional Directors were eligible for Mentor Bonuses of up to $250, presumably based on members of their downline team achieving promotions in rank. (The Momentis compensation plan slideshow I found explains all of this through images, as it contains hardly a single complete sentence.) National Directors and International Directors were eligible for even bigger Mentor Bonuses. Again, I am not sure if the current version of the Momentis compensation plan has changed.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- At least Momentis products are not nutritional supplements.
- I have found no evidence that the Momentis business opportunity involves home sales parties.
- Momentis is not a recession-proof job. People who want anti-aging skin care products are old enough to know how to find them at prices lower than the prices at which Momentis distributors sell them.
- I have been unable to find an origin story about how Momentis got its name, and frankly, Momentis products are too boring for me to bother to make on up.
- The fact that the Momentis website contains so few details about the Momentis compensation plan is not a good sign.
I do not claim to know the secret to eternal youth, but something tells me that you are not going to find it by spending your energy recruiting new Momentis distributors to the Momentis business opportunity.
Hey, baby boomers! I know you’re surprised to see the author of a website called Classic Rock Ragnarok say such favorable things about disco, but times have changed, and I belong to a new generation. If you would like to hear my youthful insights about Internet-based business, schedule a call with me.