The MLM Effect

Amruta JadhavStarred Page By Amruta Jadhav, 24th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

MLM (Multi Level Marketing) has been spreading its web for quite some time now. This has become a growing nuisance to the friends and acquaintances of all the people involved in this business. Beware or you may be their next victim!

Friends or Foe!

Marathis are generally known for their inability to help their own people. They can find enough kindness in their heart for all people except the ones from their own region. This has been observed since the ancient times. Even the great Shivaji Maharaj knew that this flaw can be the undoing of Marathis in the fight for freedom against the Mughals. He was a mighty leader, able to bring all his people under one banner. But after his golden era they all bounced back to their original nature!

One might think that things may have changed in the twenty first century. But time and space has no effect on this peculiar species. Even abroad in other countries I have observed them to be the same. They seem to look at you, their native person, as an object of ridicule. They seem to start considering themselves as royalty. When you enter their society they think of you as an intruder and try their best to make you feel out of place. I have even come across people close to me severing all communication perhaps thinking I might cling on to them for help settling in.

Amazing Opportunity

After having had such experiences it came as a pleasant surprise to me when a gentleman walked up to us in a store and introduced himself. He was delighted it seemed to have come across his native people. He was so pleasant in his demeanour and so welcoming. My husband and I were quite confused for never having had such a delightful encounter with a Marathi before. That evening when we reached home, the gentleman called us and invited us over to his house to meet his wife and kid. Since we had prior engagements we politely declined but agreed to meet some other day. We were so happy and thrilled for we thought this family maybe just like some few exceptions to the rule as some of our close friends were. My first week in Jersey City just couldn’t get any better.

The next evening Mr. Gentleman called us again to meet up with us but this time he was specific and mentioned his wife had some e-commerce idea to discuss. I thought to myself ‘Oh My God! Here’s the catch’. I had a feeling it might one of those MLM (Multi Level Marketing) traps and wanted to avoid it but curiosity got the better of me. We met them at the Burger King. His wife was very friendly and easy to talk to. They hailed from Mumbai, one of my favourite cities. I had lived there for two years and had wonderful time there. After some twenty minutes or so they started talking about their business idea which turned to be not their idea but some bigger company. They were just business associates in it. I felt the inner alarm frantically going off. I was being dragged in the quicksand but somehow I wanted to see how it played off.
By the end of their explanation they had very cleverly avoided the name of the company, tried to create a need of extra income and a desire to attend the conference the next eve. We could only understand that this business would increase our income and that we would improve our position in the Robert Kiyosaki’s cash flow quadrant. They did not throw light on what skills are pre-requisite for this business. It seemed only the burning desire to earn more money is enough to get started.

It’s all about money Honey! Hence, against my better judgement we were off to the conference in Hilton. The couple who invited us also agreed to drive us to the hotel. I was excited to see if this really could turn out to be the one opportunity everyone waits for in their life. When money is involved you hope against hope to come upon the gold mine which could make you rich in no time. The drive was quite picturesque with a gorgeous sunset partially covered by clouds. Everything seemed perfect at that moment.

Giant Trap

At the conference the guests were made to seat in the front rows. The girl next to me asked me if I knew the agenda of the conference. I found out later that almost all the guests there had not been given any clue as to what to expect and they had been offered a ride as well. This increased my suspicion; it all seemed like a big, giant trap! On the third slide of the presentation, the name of the company was revealed, and my husband looked at me with the same exasperated expression that I displayed. This was the MLM entrapment that both of us disliked. It definitely worked for others but for us it never can because we did not want it to. Somehow we lasted through the presentation.

We were so relieved to head home after that. The couple introduced us to the big players in this business. I could not help but notice one particular man arguing with the person who invited him and one of the allegedly big star performers. The man kept on insisting to know how exactly this business works and what is the nature of job if he wants to join. It was true; they revealed nothing in the presentation except the dreamy big figures which they claimed would be our income if we join. They wanted that poor frustrated man to meet them after two days and in the mean time to study the literature which they had provided to all the guests. I sympathized with that puzzled man, these MLM people do not wish to reveal all their cards all at once. They want to make sure that they have built a cocoon around you so tight that you would not be able to get away. This, my friends is the MLM effect, a social trap which everyone must face at least once in their life.

The Ugly Truth

My bubble burst and I realized that Marathis would never come to us by themselves unless it serves their selfish motive. The couple kept on bugging us for two days to meet up with them. We met them one evening after two days to decline their offer to join the business. They were so disappointed, they tried all they could to make us realize that we are giving up an opportunity to become rich. They went to extent to imply that we would be stupid if we don’t quit this rat race for money and become smart by seizing up this opportunity to make extra income. According to them this business would be able to make our marital relationship better as we would have something that we could do together. I was so put off by that, surely my husband and I have so many better activities to do together that we both love. It would be too sad if this business were the only thing that we do as a team. For such couple I would advise to go and see a marriage counsellor.

The more they tried to convince us the more I was convinced that I would never ever want to be a MLM person who is always clinging to others against their wish. MLM is great for earning more money only at the cost of your social network. These are the social network hackers, hacking your network for company gains!


Friend or Foe! source Original uploader was Sledgeh101 at en.wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by Dystopos at en.wikipedia at Wikimedia.
Opportunity source Warner Brothers at Wikimedia
A Huge Trap source Jon Sullivan at Wikimedia
The Ugly Truth source Warner Brothers at Wikimedia


Marathis Abroad, Multi-Level Marketing, Multi-Level Marketing A Nuisance, Social Network

Meet the author

author avatar Amruta Jadhav
I am passionate about writing and thrilled to let the world know my ideas. My writing will mostly focus on travel, lifestyle and relationship.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
24th Apr 2012 (#)

Definitely like the word of caution you are spreading about MLM organisations. Generally there is no business opportunity here unless you are the first person bringing it to a specific territory (where everyone becomes your down-line and makes you rich).

MLM is not a genuine business opportunity in my view.

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author avatar Amruta Jadhav
24th Apr 2012 (#)

Thanks Peter, just hope to make people aware! :)

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
24th Apr 2012 (#)

Good for you for standing your ground with those people, Amruta. MLM is always a pyramid scheme.

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author avatar Amruta Jadhav
24th Apr 2012 (#)

Thanks Steve for the compliment:)

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author avatar Val Mills
24th Apr 2012 (#)

We once had persistent friends we'd known for some time, and the friendship eventually died because of their persistence and our refusal to join.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
25th Apr 2012 (#)

Ditto Peter. Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar Shaunak
25th Apr 2012 (#)

True words, Many people waste lots of time on such schemes. Also, i must say excellent way of presenting. Wonderful pictures

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author avatar Amruta Jadhav
25th Apr 2012 (#)

Thanks Shaunak

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author avatar Divya
15th May 2012 (#)

Great Article, Amruta. Well written with vivid accounts of real experiences!

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author avatar Amruta Jadhav
12th Jul 2012 (#)

Thanks a lot Divya

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