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Approaches MLM In A New Light...
on September 8, 2002
False Profits takes a fascinating look at the world of illegal pyramids and multilevel marketing. The book approaches MLM and the MLM industry like no other book I have read. Instead of explaining it from a pure business point of view, it explains it from a psychological, spiritual, ethical and social point of view.
Make no mistake, the author of this book loathes MLM. As far as he is concerned, there is little distinction between most MLMs and pyramid schemes, other than the fact that the latter are illegal. Even if you are pro-MLM though, you must admit that many of his observations are correct, and that the MLM industry in general has a long way to go before it reaches any level of acceptance in our society.
My favorite aspect of the book concerns its look at the psychology of many multilevel marketers and get-rich-quick schemers. It focuses on the guilt trips that these people lay on their own friends and family, their compromise of integrity and interpersonal relationships for the sake of greed, their deception of unsuspecting strangers, and the overemphasis on materialism that has made many of these people morally bankrupt.
Of course, not all MLM participants behave like this. These are largely the actions of "MLM junkies" and hard-core recruiters. Unfortunately, MLM companies and the industry itself often encourage this type of behavior amongst their reps, which has helped to give the MLM industry a black eye over the years and made multilevel marketers looked upon as people to avoid. Hopefully, by recognizing these ugly traits, you can avoid becoming one of these people.
About the only downside of this book is its occasional delve into spiritual and deeply philosophical theories of how MLMs and cults operate. While I have seen many MLMs that resemble cults, and many multilevel marketers that resemble little more than brainwashed zombies, I think that the author's view of all MLMs being tied (somehow) into the new age movement is a bit of a stretch. Not all people get involved with MLM for the same reason, and not all multilevel marketers become blathering idiots. Many do, but certainly not all of them.
Despite the author's occasional forays into the esoteric, the book is quite enjoyable to read. It is obviously very well researched and the culmination of many years of hard work. Although it may go a bit far at times, I think that it should be read by anyone contemplating getting involved in the world of multilevel marketing. It will really make you question EXACTLY why you are getting involved, and whether your involvement is for the right reasons.
Unethical multilevel marketers will absolutely HATE this book. Those involved in blatant pyramids and get-rich-quick schemes will probably want to strangle the author, since he will likely expose them for the shallow con-artists they are. Ethical multilevel marketers will learn how to avoid the pitfalls of becoming a participant in these types of schemes, and the book's lessons will serve as a reminder of how NOT to do business.
Fitzpatrick explains exactly how illegal pyramids work, and exposes many MLMs for what they really are. After reading this book, you should be able to tell the difference between a quasi-pyramid and a legitimate business opportunity. You should also come away with a strong sense of what is ethical and right, and what is not. Ethics seems to be a dirty word to many in the MLM industry, but it shouldn't be. Read this book, and you will likely discover much about MLM, and yourself, that you did not already know.