I've been researching about multilevel marketing and how Christians should feel about it or what the Bible has to say about it and I found nothing. So I looked over Christianity and Multilevel Marketing and found some interesting articles about it, some are opposing and some agrees with it. I tried to be open-minded regarding the matter while reading their article so here is what I've gathered. I hope you an open-mind as well while reading this article.
The Enrich Philisophy
One article says something about "The Enrich Philisophy" which says that all members of multilevel marketing would want to enrich themselves because most multilevel marketing business offer people a chance to enrich themselves and Christians get caught up in this idea too. I do not deny the fact that as a member we do want to enrich ourselves but if we look and see other people engaged in other businesses, let's say for example a restaurant or even a computer rental shop. I've been an owner of a computer rental shop before and I also use the same philosophy. I think of things to make my shop worth my client's time, make promotions and discounts to entice people to go to my shop. My mom had been an owner of mini-restaurant we call "turo-turo" in our country. We put up slogans and even give a few discounts to repeat customers. As I see it, all people engaged in businesses look up to enrich themselves too; however most business are limited for enrichment. Isn't it the very concept of business, enrich and empower the entrepreneur? If you are an entrepreneur, would you engage on a business if there is no promise of enrichment?
Another one says that most people engaged in multilevel marketing would take most of their time. I think most people engaged on their own business would agree that when starting a business, it would take most of their time in enriching their businesses. Regardless of what business a person is engaged and not just people engaged in multilevel marketing business, they will make sure they'll put time and effort in making their business a successful one.
The Pyramid Scheme
The most common factor why people are avoiding multilevel marketing. One should beware of this scheme. What is a pyramid scheme? According to Wikepedia:
A successful pyramid scheme combines a fake yet seemingly credible business with a simple-to-understand yet sophisticated-sounding money-making formula which is used for profit. The essential idea is that a "con artist" Mr. X, makes only one payment. To start earning, Mr. X has to recruit others like him who will also make one payment each. Mr. X gets paid out of receipts from those new recruits. They then go on to recruit others. As each new recruit makes a payment, Mr. X gets a cut. He is thus promised exponential benefits as the "business" expands.
Such "businesses" seldom involve sales of real products or services to which a monetary value might be easily attached. However, sometimes the "payment" itself may be a non-cash valuable. To enhance credibility, most such scams are well equipped with fake referrals, testimonials, and information.
The flaw is that there is no end benefit. The money simply travels up the chain. Only the originator (sometimes called the "pharaoh") and a very few at the top levels of the pyramid make significant amounts of money. The amounts dwindle steeply down the pyramid slopes. Individuals at the bottom of the pyramid (those who subscribed to the plan, but were not able to recruit any followers themselves) end up with a deficit.
Basically, pyramid schemes are businesses that involves a recruitment in order to make profit. If the multilevel marketing offered to you tells you that in order to earn profit you have to recruit people then beware of this business. Although most MLMs involved real products, most of them may have fake testimonials or ineffective products. Check the credibility of the product, if you must. Check their certificates or credibility from reliable scientific organizations worldwide or locally if the product is only offered local.
It's not that I am tolerating people, specially Christians to join a multilevel marketing but if you think someone or a brother thinks you are engaged on an evil scheme, let them think of it. You don't need to fight or make an argument over the matter. Respect their beliefs because sometimes the more you defend yourself, the more heat goes into you and your business - don't let Satan be in your midst.
Before we leave, here are some pointers for all Christians entrepreneurs out there.
- Continue to be a disciplined and respectful Christian.
- Discipline your time, time for God is for Him only.
- Do not neglect your church responsibilities.
- Be honest in promoting your product. Do not compromise by lying about your product's capability.
- Be more patient. In some ways, people will closely look into your activities in or out of church. May even disrespect you or just plainly ignore you. Be patient just continue to be a good Christian. You'll need a lot of this because Christians or not, some of them disprove of this business.
- If someone needs help, don't help them because you want them to be engaged in your business. Help them because they are your brothers/sisters and you love them.
If you have questions or suggestions regarding the matter, please feel free to comment or email me. God bless to all.