Is Your Business a Business or is Your Business a Hobby?

The primary purpose of a business is to make a profit.

While a business can and should do many other useful and beneficial things – it can not even continue to exist if it does not make a profit. Not in the real world anyway.

Yet thanks to the internet that once very clear definition has become very unclear to many people. Even worse manipulative people and crooked companies are more than happy to exploit ignorance to the maximum for their own gain.

I see it all the time. So will you if you open your eyes and look.

MLM is the King of Predatory Misinformation

While I like to think of myself as being a positive and relatively open minded person – I must admit that in general, I do NOT like MLM. While there are a few exceptions and a very few MLM companies out there that I think might be worth considering – with extreme caution – the vast majority of all MLM companies are designed to use and abuse as many gullible and desperate people as they can find – and I do NOT like that.

My first experience with a MLM company was decades ago and though in this particular article  I will not mention it’s actual name here – but rather I will just call it by the name I gave it all those years ago “SCAMWAY”.

I had many friends who fell victim to the behemoth and lost thousands of dollars and damaged or destroyed countless relationships by harrassing their friends, family members and coworkers non-stop.

My wife and I  were close friends with another couple who were in this particualar MLM and who had been trying for months to get us to join it too.

They were very excited. The problem was that they were not making any money at all – and even worse – had a garage full of crap they didn’t need and couldn’t afford. Yet they were “saving money” and it was an “investment in their own business”. They kept trying to convince us to do the same – but we kept telling them no thanks.

Eventually it got to the point where we were avoiding them. Finally I had enough and told them point blank they had a choice to make – either stop pushing their MLM opportunity on us and stop talking about it to us – or we would no longer be friends.  It took them awhile but they eventually saw the light and snapped out of the spell they had been under. But not before losing thousands of dollars in the process – and losing other friends too.

There were many other coworkers and aquaintences who fell victim too – none of them – not one single person I ever met made ANY money either. They all put in and lost a lot of money though. If your add in the hundreds and even the thousands of hours by some – and calculate the lost time at even minimum wage rates, their actual loses were huge.

Again – that doesn’t even take into consideration the damage to their own ego’s and the waked of damaged or destroyed relationships either.

As I said I knew many of these people personally. Many were working fulltime jobs and were already in debt up to their eyeballs and struggling to survive. Some had medical problems. Others had marriage problems and all kinds of stress.

They were all desperately looking for a way to have a better life.

The money they put into the MLM was money they could not afford to spend. It caused them all much harm.

While it is true that people are responsible for their own actions and their own choices – and nobody put a gun to their head and made them join or stay in an MLM – it is also true that the only reasons they did join were all based on misinformation, false promises, lies and in some cases outright fraud too. That makes the MLM’s complicit too.

My Own Personal MLM Experience

While I learned early on that most MLM’s were full of crap and just false promises – there were a few I found interesting enough to consider.

One in particular was another huge MLM and very well known. It provided legal plans and I had already been a customer for some time and was relatively happy with the actual product. So I decided to look into marketing it, and down the rabbit hole I went.

I joined.

Very quickly it became apparent to me that there were all kinds of limitations, hoops and hurdles and not very much “Independent Business Owner” at all.

It all became crystal clear that the main way to make money was in recruiting other people into the MLM so they could also be coached and mentored into how to recruit other people in as well. That was where the money was…so said the “mentors” and if you were not interested in going whole hog on that and being “coachable” then they were not interested in helping you at all either.

There was zero interest in actually marketing and selling the actual product – just recruiting people in – that was the focus according to the people I dealt with on the inside anyway.

Now keep in mind I am a recruiter and I have recruited thousands of people into trucking, and other things over decades — so I have NO PROBLEM with recruiting people into things – so long as it is being done HONESTLY and truthfully and not based on false promises, misinformation, and outright lies.

The company should have been more clear about all the limitations and restrictions it had in place – before people join it. It should have been more open and transparent about the fact that the only real way to make any significant money was to recruit massive numbers of people – and not through marketing and selling its actual “products”.

Then I began to devour their stats and their own disclosures. What I learned was that the time was going to take was extensive and that the percentage of chance of monetary success was tiny. I also did not like the constant nagging to attend meetings and calls and other things – which were more in line with being treated as an employee than as an “independent” business associate/owner.

I decided that I did not have the time, the paitence or the interest to pursue it further – so after a few months, I canceled my affiliation with them.

This company remains one of the few – believe it or not – that I still consider to be potentially viable for the right people. It was not right for me at that time in my life – and that’s another consideration for you in any business opportunity.

First is it ligit – and then is there any real chance to make any money? Then is it something that you are willing and able to do to make it happen? Finally – are there better opportunities that are a better fit and that may offer better income production opportunities for you now?

Before You Come for Me…

As I said – I am pretty open minded and reasonable about most things, and I am always willing to learn. But do not come at me with opinions you have pulled out of your own ass, or with programed scripted information (Koolaid) from any MLM mentor/guru either.

Bring me hard cold facts – and facts that are verifiable. Then maybe someday if that ever happens I might change my mind.

Until then – you believe what you want and do what you want. It is your life, your time and your money, but before you blow it all – I highly recommend you read their own required by law income/earnings disclosure statements.

In most cases, less than 1% – that means LESS than One Person out of every hundred people makes ANY money at all in an MLM. Read that again slowly and let it sink in.

Then read the rest of the disclosure statement – of those few who do make any money at all – most of them make chump change that never even comes anywhere near making back the money they put in! No profit at all, just a tiny bit of their own money they sunk in is all they get back – if they are among that fortunate 1% – and other than that everyone else loses. Except the company owners that is, they do make money – often millions.

Some of them will eventually face the wrath of the FTC or class action lawsuits – or both and will go down. Even then their organizers just reinvent the thing under a new name and with new “owners” of record in some cases. Others reach settlements and pay out millions in fines – do mandatory “restructuring” and change just enough to be allowed to keep doing “business” and keep bringing in more and more people.

So – if you have contradictory information that is based on facts – documented and provable facts, not company propaganda, then by all means – bring it on and educate me. Maybe you will get me to change my mind.

Hobby vs Busines vs Scams

My wife and I owned and operated a soap and candle making company for many years. We also made bath and body products and other things which we sold both retail and wholesale.

We made money and we made profit doing it all – but it was a ton of work, required a ton of time and effort to do it too. We also hosted an annual gathering for years that brought in all kinds of people from all over the country, along with vendors and suppliers too.

During the course of doing all this, we got a chance to learn about hundreds of other people and their businesses over many years. Some were running very successful businesses and making a lot of money doing it – though it had taken all of them years to build such businesses.

Others were running what I would call “hobby businesses” and made enough sales to pay for all their supplies and materials and still make a little profit. For some, that’s all they wanted and they were quite happy with their results – others wanted more but just hadn’t figured out how to get it yet.

Then there were those who just enjoyed making soap, candles, bath and body products and other things – and they only wanted to make enough to cover their own costs and keep doing it. That’s all they wanted.

Some didn’t care about selling at all and just enjoyed making stuff and hanging out with other people doing the same – for them, it was just a hobby. Nothing wrong with that either – if that’s what you want and what your intention is.

In the online world that gets muddled up though.

Almost every day I read posts and listen to podcasts and  I watch YouTube videos by people who are calling their hobby or their social thing a “business” and that is where the problem starts. It’s not because they are calling it a business either that matters most – its because they erroneously believe what they are doing is a business – and that always leads them to failure unless they wake up and realize it isn’t a business at all and then change their approach.

If you are a member of any group, MLM, company, or other things and you are paying them money monthly or yearly on the pretense that they are somehow teaching you how to build a business or providing you a business opportunity of some kind – regardless of how – it must make a profit. If it does not cover all of it’s own expenses and taxes, and your time – and produce profit doing so then it may be a hobby – but it is NOT a business.

If that is what you are doing you may want to reassess the situation. Figure out where the problem is. Is it the company/organization/opportunity?

Or is it YOU?

Do you need to work smarter or harder or both – or do you really need to jump ship and go find a better opportunity?

My Recommendation for You

No matter what business you want to be in you need to be able to have your own website (or suites) and you need to be able to understand and apply marketing skills to help you build your business.

Over time, as you gain more success, you will eventually be able to hire other people – either as contractors and outsourced workers, or in some cases as actual employees to help you continue to grow your business.

That is not feasible or affordable for most people just starting out though and they need a  way to be able to do it themselves until they can afford to pay other people to do it for them. So will you probably. You can learn to do it all yourself to begin with. That will help you later even when you are able to hire people because you will understand enough to know whether they know what they are doing or not and to manage them better too.

Where can you learn about building websites, starting a blog, creating content, monetizing it and learn how to begin making real money and much more?

Wealthy Affiliate – that’s where.

I can’t tell you it will be easy or overnight because it won’t be. It will take both time and work. But it will help you build your own business – or businesses – and it will show you true and honest ways you can make money online that are scalable over time.

If you want a get rich quick,  pie in the sky false promise – then any typical MLM company will give you that – and good luck!

If you are looking for get rich quick schemes – they can help with that too – and plenty of other people an companies online will be happy to help you out with that or at least give you that false hope for a little while anyway.

On the other hand – if you are ready and willing to finally start building a real business of your own online right now – then consider joining Wealthy Affiliate today. It’s FREE to check it out and no card number is required – so what have you even got to lose by taking a look?

You can do that HERE if you like and if you use my link I will personally help you get started too.

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