Yawn, all this talk about men manning up and taking responsibility would be funny if not for the dire situation society faces currently. The funny thing about it is that the Powers that be either don’t see the truth for what it is or they don’t want to. Either way gang, if you would like to know what all your “Man Up” tripe means to the contemporary man, we need to look no further than MLM’s for an example.
See, when people initially enroll after buying the song and dance about part time financial freedom, they are fired up and some will plunge headlong into the world of network marketing. The upline tells them to buy their books and tapes, (which coincidentally the upline has a ready supply to sell) which the new recruit eats up with both hands. They are told to attend all functions their Line Of Affiliation ever throws and this recruit empties their pockets to get the job done. They are told to buy their products, and expose the business and the recruit does whatever personal growing which has to be done in order to meet new people and show them the sales and marketing plan.
The one thing these recruits are focused on is the initial song and dance which sold them in the beginning; 7-10 hours a week of exposing this business and in 2 – 5 years they will be financially free.
During their tenure of showing this plan, the distributors who where actively exposing the program (mainly men) are regaled as heroes to be followed and respected while the men who aren’t are derided as ‘not being men’, sound familiar? Trust me, my parents and I have been bitten by the MLM bug in the past and I’ve personally seen men have no choice but to cheer when someone on stage states how they personally have courage and aren’t a mealy mouthed, scared little MALE (not man mind you) and has the dream to build the business.
Awesome, nothing like cheering someone on for insulting you!!
Our independent distributor feels good that he can be counted as a man and that insulting diatribes like the one I gave reference too do not include him, however, there is trouble in paradise. Eventually what is promised at functions and meetings doesn’t seem to match up to the reality on the ground. The recruit ponders why his prospects are so negative about the MLM he’s exposing to them. It seems that either people have either been enrolled in the past and had a negative experience with it, or they have a friend, or family member who did. Online, these MLM’s get nothing but slagged as the negative opinions out weighs the positive by a factor of 10:1.
What gives, why so much hate?
Our distributor has been told that most businesses may not make any money in the first two years of operation, but this business is supposed to be a 2 – 5 year plan. The distributor looks around and sees many other comrades following the rules, reading books, listening to tapes, meeting people, buying products, and attending functions and have been doing so for years and they are virtually no better off since when they started. The distributor tries to justify this as simply the fact that the team he’s enrolled with as being ‘slow to start’ and in time things will pick up but he sees the same situation when they attend larger functions. The same faces still being the same level function after function even though they are out showing the plan. Even more aggravating, he’s actually part of a Line Of Affiliation, which is one of the fastest growing in the business. He also has a nagging suspicion that the financially free distributors, which everyone loves and respects achieved that level many years ago when the perception of the business wasn’t so negative. The amount of new distributors who actually achieve financial freedom seems to be in serious decline and the few brand new ones who make it happen didn’t accomplish the task in 2 – 5 years, more like 10+.
There’s something rotten in Denmark.
The doubts keep coming and now our distributor looks at his finances and realizes they are an absolute mess. He was able to ignore them in the interim when he figured that the money was eventually coming, but now that financial freedom is in doubt, he’s now much more critical about his future cash flow. So, our hero talks to his upline about his concerns with the business, he wants to know what he can do in order to become successful. What does his upline state; that the issue isn’t the business, it’s obviously something that he isn’t doing right at the moment. That the negative he reads online is simply the opinion of losers who have lost their dream and he needs to ignore them. That the answer is getting into (read: buying) MORE tapes and books, spending MORE time with the team, and showing the business to MORE prospects.
Our distributor isn’t quite sure what to do with this situation but since he has face time with his upline, he won’t waste it. He then asks about his current financial situation, and is told that he needs to eliminate all negative aspects in his life which is consuming his hard earned finances and funnel it all into his business. “Do you think ‘Insert name of financially free distributor here’ worries about paying his bills now?”
What do you think our distributor thinks of this advice?
It becomes crystal clear to our hero that his financial well-being is of no concern to his upline and that the stories of ‘loser’ former distributors who lost everything they had may not be so unfounded after all. At the end of the day another MLM critic has just been born and our hero tapers off from the business in the coming months until he finally fails to renew later that year. All the talk of manning up, keeping your dream and never giving up tasting like bile as he, among many others, finally realize that many of his still faithful comrades will never achieve the reward they sacrifice for and will rue the day when they recognize just what they gave up for fool’s gold. They don’t really care about you, only the money they can make off of you and sadly, your upline which you thought you could trust with your life doesn’t even care if you give up your home, or your marriage ends, so long as you can buy one more book, tape, or attend yet another function. Once more, as time goes on critics begin to realize that most of these large pins knew full well that your chances of being successful where very small, but that didn’t stop them from charging exorbitant prices for their learning materials and functions. As time goes on, many critics become enraged as they realize the level to which they where taken for a ride.
That will get your dander up, no?
As an FYI, one of the biggest and baddest MLM’s is seeing growth slowing in North America, which means the rate in which they can enroll new distributors against attrition of old ones is beginning to change for the worse. Large ‘pins’ are selling their homes and some are even going backwards in terms of their achieved levels. The reason behind this is exactly what I’ve laid out here, and many new people want nothing to do with a shady business, which takes your money and gives nothing in return.
This is the exact approach people like Kay Hymowitz are taking as they attempt to shame men into ‘manning up’ and ‘taking action’ despite the real and obvious consequences facing men. The reality on the ground isn’t matching up to the 'sales and marketing plan' they espouse and men are recognizing the definite consequences for taking action. So long as these people continue this foolish approach, the more men they will actually alienate.
Men no longer want to sign up, so what are you going to do about it?
Edit; there could be a chance that some people may want to come here and attack simply due to my links to a certain business. Just to preempt;
1) This blogsite isn't a platform against Network Marketing, there are many more educated and thorough sites out there, I'm merely using it as an example to prove a point. This blog will not entertain MLM arguments, jus sayin.
2) I don't give two whoops in Hades about your failed business model which has yet after 50+ years to show that it actually works in the aggregate and not some scam which bilks the many for the benefit of the few.