• Beth

Musings on Network Marketing

When I first started partnering with Doterra I found that I personally (and those around me) questioned the validity and ethics of network marketing, to be fair it often turned into a conversation of the ethics of capitalism and consumerism but they’re thoughts for another day! A lot of these conversations came from a place of ‘not knowing’ and until I had fully researched I was unable to give a satisfactory response. Knowledge is power my beautiful friends, so here are my thoughts.

What is Network Marketing/Multi-Level Marketing?

If you do a google search on Network Marketing (aka Multi-Level Marketing or MLM), inevitably one of the first sites you’re taken to is Wikipedia, and one of the first words that you read is ‘controversial’. A year ago I would have very much agreed with the sentiment of this word. In this age of Instagram influencers, network marketing is advertised everywhere and I found it difficult to align with despite it being such a valid business model. I found that I could never get behind any of the products that were being offered (think protein shakes), but also I very much feared the model – I felt there was something untoward about the whole thing. Something like a certain three side-ed shape…

When dōTERRA essential oils were introduced to me, I actually didn’t realise it was a Multi-Level Marketing model. This is one of the first things that softened me to the idea of it. I had been introduced to the oils by 2 women, that I trusted and respected, who were sharing their passion for the product; nobody once spoke to me about the business side of it. Instead of being approached to ‘get involved’ in order to make money, with dōTERRA I was being educated around these incredible oils, and the business opportunity was an extra side of it that I was yet to discover.

Now I know what I know about dōTERRA, for me it is one of the biggest distinguishable factors about how they operate. From the Founders down there is a deep-rooted passion for the work they are doing, both in terms of the oils that they bring us and their mission to educate and empower us how we can use these oils to support our bodies on so many levels, but also to support the communities in which they grow and distill the plants which create these oils.

Not all Network Marketing companies have this ethos. Many of the bigger ones I had been aware of for many years are all about pushing ‘the business’ – the product very much seems to be by the way side, and instead everyone is being pulled into this ‘dream’ of becoming a millionaire!

This is where Network Marketing can indeed be seen to be closely linked to the now illegal concept of pyramid sales. Pyramid sales involved everyone putting forward cash with the hope of a re-payment, as more and more people were recruited to invest in the same way, then those at the top benefited, and the payout for those further down diminished until eventually ‘the bottom fell out’ and the structure collapsed, leading those at the top to be the only benefactors. There was no product involved, and everyone gave money, often for nothing.

Some Network Marketing companies encourage everyone to do the business, and in turn this means everyone is being pulled along with ‘the dream’. Getting an account means having to buy every month, and often you are receiving something you do not want or need, just to have the opportunity to fulfil ‘the dream’ but in turn having to push your friends and family to do the same.

This is 100% not for me!

What is different about dōTERRA?

The more I looked into dōTERRA’s approach (and I really did look into it), the more I realised that the word ‘controversial’ here really had no place.

Unlike the approach taken with some companies, the focus of dōTERRA is on sharing the product. The majority of those people that have an account with dōTERRA have chosen to do so because they share the same passion for these oils as I do. They want the oils in their lives, so they buy them, and after that point they are under NO obligation to ever buy again. Just as you would buy a product you loved from a high street retailer, or online store, people buy dōTERRA oils from dōTERRA (they come directly from their warehouse, never touching my hands). The only difference is that rather than paying for shop space, advertising, marketing, salespeople, offices – dōTERRA reward me (and others) for sharing and educating people in something they love. Women talk! We share things we love anyway, whether we are being paid for it or not, so where is the shame in being paid? When done right, from a place of authenticity and love, there is none! This is what I realised – I would be sharing dōTERRA anyway, and if I could support my fiance and our dog even a little as I did so, then what an even more wonderful gift these oils would be in our lives.

I want to say here too one important thing to remember (and it’s another thing which inspired confidence in the business when I was deciding whether it was something for me): it isn’t, and nor will anyone ever tell you within this organization that it is, a ‘get rich quick scheme’! As one of the managers of dōTERRA Europe said recently, it’s not for the faint-hearted! But if you have passion in the product, your life is aligned right in this moment to share it fully and you are willing to put in the work, and have the faith that it will grow as it is meant to, then it can change your life unimaginably.

So yes, the nature of Multi-Level Marketing means that people buying these oils benefits those who have shared the oils with them, and in most instances this is what puts people off, or makes them think it is some kind of ‘con’?! However it is this very thing that thousands of women (and men) are finding is becoming a life changing experience for them and their families. It makes sense for feminine based industries to position themselves this way! It makes sense that it is fast becoming a very conventional business model in this modern world of entrepreneurism (think Jamie Oliver, Anne Summers, Usborne books). Women love. Women share. Women talk. Why should women not benefit? When you shop at your local supermarket, do you not think that the money you spend goes on to benefit somebody? Is that shop not making profit? And furthermore, why is it ok to benefit the shareholders and very wealthy board members of a supermarket chain, but somehow wrong to benefit a woman that you know and trust?

And so…

I am now proud to be part of a Multi-Level Marketing company such as dōTERRA (and don’t get me wrong there are others that do it right too!). And what a network it truly is! One of the biggest blessings of being involved with this company is the amazing group of women that I’ve come to know and love, they have honestly changed my life beyond measure. When I began this journey, I didn’t imagine that it would make me a part of a network in the most positive sense of the word. Far from being alone in this I’m part of an amazingly supportive team of people, all on the same journey, all trying to make a positive difference to others’ and their lives. There’s an endless number of people to turn to for advice, help, motivation, guidance, training, education… As someone very successful with dōTERRA has said, your world becomes bigger.

Maybe it’s a British thing – the idea that making money is almost vulgar. Which is probably why we find this approach quite hard to accept: it’s too direct, too transparent almost. Much easier to hand over money to a cashier at a supermarket so we can’t really see where the money is going! But there’s nothing vulgar, certainly nothing wrong, with being able to enrich people’s lives with these amazing oils, and truly change people’s lives with the income you can earn from them. I’m at the beginning of my journey with this amazing company and can already see and feel the benefit of the personal and professional growth. I cannot wait to see what lies ahead.

#doterra #wellnessadvocate

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