Businesses in a Box

I think entrepreneurship is great. Some people have the gumption to create their own business, turn their passion into a profit – more power to them! Here’s what I don’t like: the businesses in a box. The multi-level stuff.

I’ve dabbled in a couple of these “businesses”, but ultimately a person becomes a recruiter (“team builder”) if they want to make any real money at these ventures. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my Thirty-One bags, my Avon Skin So Soft, the Creative Memories crafting tools, etc, just as much as the next person. I think there are some folks who are EXCEPTIONAL at team building and recruiting and really make these things work. Kudos to you if this is you.

My beef? Relationship sabotage.

I was playing with the kids recently at the playground and in my “quest to chat up other parents at the playground” and generally step outside of my comfort zone and not be such a hermit, I had a very pleasant conversation with a dad who happened to have kids the same age as mine. As most parents do when you meet others with kids of a similar age, we compared notes of kids’ birth stories, ages, was a parent deployed while pregnant, developmental milestones, parenting philosophies – you name it. It was simply a pleasant conversation. As I was mentally patting myself on the back for stepping out, striking up a conversation, putting myself out there, and envisioning dinner dates with a new couple, the bomb drops.

“You know, you have a great personality. You would be great at my business. Have you ever heard of direct marketing or e-commerce?”

Dammit.

Now why’d you have to go and do that?!

UGH.  Yes, I know everyone “needs a plan b” and all that other garbage. I just left feeling used, set up, and generally disgusted. I started to question how authentic those kid story similarities were. Did he just make up stuff or embellish anecdotes to foster a common ground? Needless to say, a hasty exit was made and a “Thanks, but no thanks,” muttered as we went our separate ways.

I’ve also had the experience that when you “buy in” to one of these opportunities, all of a sudden you seem to have a new world of friends. They care about how you’re doing, both inside and outside of the business. When you decide it’s not for you – it may as well be 1642 and you have a scarlet letter on your chest.

I don’t have a problem with the products, it’s the business model I’m not a fan of. Don’t try to make money off of me. Stop trying to use your “sphere of influence” to make money off the lower rungs of the tier.

If you are my friend, be my friend. I’m just not interested in being business partners masquerading as friends.

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