Chapter 15 – The Hunlife is Not For Me (Final Chapter)

Chapter 15

The final curtain of my #Poonique tale is about to fall.  How did I manage to escape the hunlife with my sanity still intact?

This takes us to…

Chapter 15 – The Hunlife is Not For Me (or Crouching #Lossbabe, Hidden #Huntrepeneur)…

Before reading Chapter 15 of my experience with MLMs (namely Younique), please remind yourself of my mission statement here.  In a nutshell, all views presented in this blog are mine, and mine only.  Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively.  All names and identifying features have been changed to protect the individuals concerned.

There were certainly big changes in my world of #Poonique.  Scarlett had delivered the biggest F-U she could muster, Camilla had buggered off to Maëlle and Overlord Tania decided to recruit Deputy Bianca to handle all of her new downlines.

Part of Deputy Bianca’s bright ideas was to start a Boss Babe Buddy System – in Chapter 14, I was introduced to Marisol, my sweet-but-deluded buddy.  Thanks to her dogged determination, we had won the month’s challenge by achieving the most PRS (personal retail sales – the sum of the retail value of all commissionable products that month).

yay grumpy cat

As you will recall, the prize for the winners was something truly to behold.  Yes, due to Marisol’s efforts, we had earned an online coaching session with top UK Law of Attraction mindset coach, Lola Affirmation!

Bianca proudly messaged us with an e-voucher, and she wanted proof that we had both contacted Lola to sort out redeeming our coaching sessions.

I had taken a look at Lola Affirmation’s page, and really didn’t like what I saw.  She presented this facade of being wonderful, kind and helpful to all network marketers…but that wasn’t the true vibe I was getting.  It seemed that she was actually speaking total manipulative nonsense, in order to get people to pay her – just to tell them their negative mindsets are why they’re failing, of course.

However, to shut Bianca up and stop her pestering me, I contacted Lola.  As you will note from my below screenshot, this is the first and only contact we had with each other, and my gift voucher remains “unredeemed” to this very day.  If anyone wants it, PM me. 😉

Lola Affirmation coaching session law of attraction (2)

I felt like Marisol was going to explode with excitement – she was genuinely happy, and I found that tremendously sad for a variety of reasons.  I was sad because I didn’t share the same enthusiasm that she did, but I was also sad that something so ridiculous as getting a sale from her family members had made her so elated.  I hope her mindset coaching was worth it.

However, now was my time of contemplation.  As you will recall in Chapter 6, my step-sister Danielle had begged me to keep a spreadsheet of all my incomings and outgoings, just so I could keep track of what I was spending.  It felt like the right time to look over it.  I wanted to review how I was doing, whether I was even doing enough, and if there was anything I could do to put things right.

So, I added up all the columns; what I’d spent buying the items, postage, business expenses, the commission I received, the profit margin of what I actually ended up selling the items for…everything.  When I received my answer, my heart sunk.

facepalm headdesk


After all the orders, all the efforts, all the wall-spamming and ridiculous selfies.  Yes, I had “got paid in three hours” from order commission and had money sat in my PayQuicker account…but as a “business”, I was nearly £200 in the red and still had a fucktonne of unsold stock sat in boxes.  After Scarlett had assured me that I’d “easily make the £69 presenter kit money back“, I felt somewhat sick.

To this day, I am glad that I listened to Danielle, and kept track of everything that I put into this sad excuse for a business.  I’ll bet good money that many huns haven’t – they may believe that they’re doing well by reeling the commission in, but are they really recording their true incomings and outgoings?  To any huns reading this – perhaps you should try it, you may be surprised.

As I stared at that minus-figure, I felt a mixture of anger and panic.  How the heck was I going to recoup that money back, and get rid of this unwanted stock?  

This is when the penny finally began its descent – there was this awful acknowledgement gnawing at the back of my head: You’ve been an idiot, Elle.

shame cat

However, dwelling on this mistake was not going to help the matter.  It was time for action stations.  I could still pull this back, couldn’t I?  I had built up some Y-cash (presenter credit towards half-price/free items, as explained in Chapter 7), and made sure I used all that up by ordering the more popular sellers such as mascara, brow pencils etc, so I could sell those on for a profit.

I also recalled the raffle discussion from Chapter 5, when Scarlett was still our upline.  Here’s a reminder of what she had said…

“[Raffles are] a fabulous way to get sales and boost your monthly PRS, especially if people are reluctant to buy something at full-price.  Just make sure you keep the raffle in your closed group, hun!” Scarlett had warned.

“Why is that?” I had asked.

“Because technically you could get suspended as a presenter, babe, and lose your business.  Plus, you could also get in trouble for holding an unlicensed raffle.  Its against the terms of your presenter agreement, didn’t you read it??”


I didn’t like the idea of holding a raffle in my closed VIP Group, especially if there was a risk of getting in trouble for it.  However, it was still an option.

In some of the fellow Butterfly groups I had been a member of, there were presenters doing auction-style posts.  For example, they would offer a lipstick and “start the bidding off” at £1.00 for example, and then get people to comment to bid in set increments (i.e. 50p, £1.00 etc).  Again, it was bordering on the territory of unlicensed raffles, but still a possibility.

I had to give it a go, right?  It wasn’t like I was intending to make a habit out of it, but my mind was made up – I wanted to get rid of this unwanted stock, and I wanted to do it as soon as humanly possible.

lets do this

I was going to need help to successfully run a raffle.  This is where Kerri’s advice was needed.  (Also, back in Chapter 12 I said I would elaborate further on raffles in an upcoming instalment – no time like the present).

“Kerri, I think I’m going to need your advice with this raffle stuff,” I messaged her.

“Sure, they’re not too hard to do, 🙂 ❤ ” she replied.

Thus began the lesson on hun-raffles.

Kerri showed me an example raffle she ran a few months back.  Here is the screenshot:

Kerri raffle page

In this example, Kerri decided to offer the prize as a £90 spend on her website as opposed to an actual product.  You will note that she decided to offer 30 numbers, at £3.00 a number – in my opinion, that seems a bit steep for a bit of a gamble.  Turns out that Kerri had to reduce the amount of numbers in the end, as she struggled to sell all 30!

Kerri said that all customers paid for their numbers via PayPal using the Friends & Family option (although as far as I am aware, PayPal frowns upon their service being used in such a way).  As PayPal users will be aware, when a payment is made via Friends & Family, there is no buyer protection and no fees involved.

“Oh, if another presenter is running a raffle at the same time as you, you can also do number swaps! 🙂 ” said Kerri.  “That means, they get a number on your raffle in exchange for you having a number on their raffle! 😮 ❤ “

That seemed quite obvious, but thanks, Kerri.  Seemed a bit weird that a presenter would want to take part in another presenter’s raffle, but I supposed it was a way for them to get further stock to make profit on etc.

Once all numbers have been sold, its then time to do the raffle draw.

“Its best to do a video when you’re doing the draw,” elaborated Kerri.  “That way, people can see you’re doing it in an honest way.  I either go old-school and put the numbers into a hat, or sometimes I film the screen when I use a random number generator, like on  Either way, once you’ve got your winners, you sort out the prize with them.  Easy as that.”

It was worth a shot, I suppose.

I made this ridiculous photo-collage, and decided to sell 45 numbers at £1 a go – that way, I’d be getting rid of some unwanted stock, covering postage but still making a little bit of a profit.

raffle by elle beau

It took a reasonable amount of pushiness and not-so-subtle begging in my VIP Group, but I managed to get those numbers sold.  I didn’t want to use my PayPal account just in case, but fortunately my online banking meant I could be paid via my mobile number.

My draw was done via the old-school names/numbers in a hat, via a video filmed by the exasperated James.  I haven’t touched on James’s opinions of my time with Poonique too much (yet), but I can tell you that he was getting fed up with it all.  At least he humoured me by helping with the prize draw.

Salima was overjoyed to have won the first prize, with my other lurking VIP members bagging themselves the other prizes.  

I attempted one of the auction-style raffles to get rid of the lipsticks in my stock, also.  I figured they wouldn’t be as tempting as a raffle prize, as folk tend to be particular about their shades etc.

Another ridiculous photo-collage was created.

auction lipstick conceited

I did this for the three lipsticks that still sat in my stockpile after all this time.  They sold for the grand totals of £8.00, £9.00 and £7.00 respectively, two of which were won by the same customer.  It was a tiny profit on the original cost to me, at least.

I didn’t tell anyone what I was truly trying to do.  Not even Kerri knew why I was suddenly making this huge push in my VIP groups.  Tania was in there lurking as a “supervisor”, and posted a status about me to her main wall – it proclaimed how proud she was to watch me “rocking my business“, interacting with customers and “getting the products out there“.  She didn’t know that I was doing my utmost to get out of this damn “business” with as little financial damage as possible.

So, I had managed to shift a handful of unwanted stock using the raffle technique, so I attempted a second raffle.  This time, with an ambitious 60 numbers and yet another silly photo-collage.  This included a boxed makeup organiser I had purchased from a discount store and never ended up using.

raffle 2 by elle beau

Unfortunately, my VIP group had run out of enthusiasm for my raffles by then.  I struggled to shift those 60 numbers, and had to approach people on my friends-list that weren’t even part of my VIP group.  I felt embarrassed by it – I hadn’t spoken or interacted with some of these people for a long time, and here I was popping up just to ask them to take part in my bloody raffle.

Even poor Pip (remember mascaragate of Chapter 11?) agreed to buy a couple of numbers, but I think it was because she almost pitied me.

It took a week of frustration, but finally those numbers shifted and I was able to ditch more unwanted items as prizes.  I was seriously done with raffles and auctions by this point…there had to be another way.

winnie the pooh think

It was lucky I had a good memory.  There were some particular snippets of information I recalled.  One came from Chapter 6, when I was grumbling about the prospect of us making our own samples.

“…Apparently, there was also a “secret” Facebook group by invitation only, where Younique presenters were selling their own little sample kits they had created, to other Younique presenters only.  Scarlett assured me that she’d invite me in if I needed the help….”

The other memory came from Scarlett’s video-rant of Chapter 14, where she condemned Camilla and Tania.  It was the part where she had said this:

“…I also know why Tania manages to maintain her Elite Green Status.  Yes, Tania – I know all about how you’re bulk-buying products, and then selling them at cut-price to other presenters in closed-privacy Facebook groups.  The world of Younique presenters is smaller than you think….” 

I think I had found the answer – I needed to get myself an invite into those groups and sell the rest of my unwanted crap, but now Scarlett had deserted the Y-life, I had lost that particular invite.

I figured Tania would be a good starting point, but how could I get her to add me into these closed-privacy presenter groups, without rousing her suspicion?

Well, if there was one thing my time in the Butterfly Babes had taught me, it was the fine art of bullshit.  So that was exactly what I had to do.

bullshit a bullshitter

I messaged our Green Imperial Elite Overlord, cringing at myself for the incessant crap that was flowing from my keyboard.

“Hi Tania, thank you so much for your recent shoutouts, 🙂 ” I simpered.

“You’re very welcome babe, did your training session with Lola Affirmation help change your mindset? ❤ ❤ “

oh shit ted

Yeah…I had completely forgot about redeeming my wonderful prize.

“Oh, haven’t had a chance to book some time with Lola yet, as our schedules have been sooooooo busy!” I said.  “We’ll have our coaching session I am sure, I am so looking forward to it!”

“Okay hun.  Well, how can I help you today? ❤ ❤ “

“I want to try and take my business more seriously.  You know, actually getting hold of sample packs for prospective customers etc.  I remember Scarlett mentioned there are special presenter-only groups where you can get stuff like this – can you add me into any?”


“Oh fantastic hun, I am so pleased that you want to push forward with your business.  Perhaps it was Scarlett holding you back, as I’ve noticed you’re coming on leaps and bounds now she’s gone! ❤ ❤ ❤  Yes, there are actually several groups I can add you into – would you like me to add you into all of them?”

“Oh yes please! 😀 ” I said, resisting the temptation to punch myself in the face.

“Okay, but I must make you aware – these groups are ultra-secret, hun!  Technically, stock-swap groups are against Younique’s compliance, so please keep these to yourself. ❤ “

“Of course.  My lips are sealed. 😉 “

And so we have it, I was invited into a shedload of Younique presenter-only Facebook groups – all with secret privacy.  In fact, I forgot I was a member of this particular one – would you like a look at the group and its description?  

Well here it is anyway: 😉

presenter only group

Here are the rules…eeeek.

presenter only group description

Ah yes, this was the perfect place to finally shift my unwanted crud.  No more raffles, no more stupid auctions – I could just make back as much money as I could, and leave.

kudos for sale

These secret Facebook groups were a mixture of worldwide, Europe-only and UK-only presenters.  All were the same though: full of huns trying to flog excess stock, undercutting each other on prices and selling for far, far less than the RRP.  

Huns also had to prove they were not mis-selling, by ensuring all photos displayed a handwritten note of their name and the date.  Like this very, very recent example here, where they’re already trying to flog their awful August 2017 kudos.  This image was very kindly sent to me by a page follower, Maz Carrah (watch this space for more on Maz – she’s new blood in the anti-MLM movement, and has a lot to say!)

Back to my mission – get rid of all my unwanted Poonique stock.  So I did.  Using my trusted spreadsheet, I calculated how much all this stock had cost me, how much the other presenters were selling their nonsense for, and comparing how much I’d have to charge to ensure I still made a profit.  That gave me a headache, but it was worth it to make sure I didn’t come out with minus figures.

On the pretence of “having a stock clear-out” I flogged literally everything: the presenter box, what was left of my foundation samples, catalogues, leaflets, exclusive bags, even half-used demo items…I got rid of every scrap of that damn makeup that I could.  

shadow paletteThere were some exceptions though – I decided to hold on to two of the Moodstruck Addiction Shadow Palettes, as I had already began using them when I started as a presenter.  

Even though they are ridiculously overpriced at £38 each, I will give them credit – they have lasted.  Mine are still going strong now…but when they do run out, I’ll be heading to my nearest department store for something of far better value!

When the last stock bundle was sold and posted, I worked out that I had eaten into that minus figure enough to make approx £167.  There – that was my Poonique profit after 7 months.  Just over £150 bloody quid, and that was just from being savvy in these secret Facebook groups.

It was amazing how quick these other presenters were lapping up each other’s cheap products.  Why are they doing it?

Likely, a lot of the hardcore huns will sell them on at a profit.  Yes, some of them even sell cut-price via eBay and Amazon, just so they can keep their qualified presenter status for the month.  It was really, really sad to see, and thus enforced my decision – I had to get out of this damn company.

My Y-cash was used up, my PayQuicker account had been emptied (oh, including bearing the brunt of their ridiculous fees!) and my unwanted items were now winging their way to new homes.  But what’s this?  A message in my ‘Others’ inbox from one of the presenter-only group members?

I thought it may have been a straggler who wanted to buy my remaining items but was too late.  I was wrong.  Instead, it was so much more delightful.

Screenshot_20161114-190729 Maelle Hun Faelle Edited

Well now, it would seem that Maëlle huns were lurking around in these presenter groups too, looking to recruit fed-up Youniquers into their downline.  Needless to say, I did not respond  to that message.  Upon looking at “Jane’s” profile, it would seem that things with Faëlle really worked out for her (but they will rise again, huns – rumour has it!!) 

No, I was absolutely and unashamedly done with network marketing.  I never wanted to touch that shit ever again.

How did I feel?  I felt relieved at my decision, but I also completely drained.  It was over, at least.  Well, there was one final thing I needed to do – I wasn’t going to wait to go inactive, I wanted to make sure that my presenter status was fully terminated.

So I emailed their compliance department.  The response I got was something along the lines of:

“…We can definitely cancel your account as a Younique Presenter. However, I also want to ensure your experience with Younique is a positive one.

Are there any questions or concerns I could assist you with, or issues that have not been resolved…?

 Oh goodness, where do I even begin with this one?

I was brutally honest – honesty is the only thing I had left.  I told them the products were disgustingly overpriced, the reps were full of nonsense about their income, and it was turning me into a person I really didn’t like.

Naturally, I got the “we’re sorry to see you go” generic response, but also more interestingly, this:

“…As you have decided to terminate your Younique business, we would also suggest reviewing Section 10.6.3. This policy does not allow the use of any social media site through which you have promoted your Younique business as a means of recruiting for another direct selling or network marketing program.

We would also encourage you to review Section of your agreement, which states that any domain name used to redirect to your Younique website must be removed or forwarded to after your account has been cancelled…”

The reason I mention this, is because I recall Bianca eventually jumping ship to Valentus (oh boy, the fun that we’ve had in the UK with Valentusgate!)  She was quite crafty, in that she kept her Younique social media page, and simply changed everything to reflect her coffee crap “business” – I wonder what on earth Younique’s compliance could actually do about that?  Not a lot now I reckon, considering Valentus’ current standing in the UK. 😉

Back to the matter in hand – Tania was known to watch her back office like a hawk (this is explained in Chapter 12.5).  She would soon notice that I was no longer part of the fold, there was no doubt about that.  I was going to have to tell her, and I did feel a sense of dread.

“Hi Tania,” I ventured.  “Is it okay if I have a quick word?”

“Of course, hun – what’s wrong?”

“Well…I just wanted to let you know that I’m no longer a presenter.”

“Oh no, is it something I’ve done?? 😥 😥 😥 “

I felt guilty.  I don’t know if Tania just happened to be very good at manipulation, but in that moment she made me feel like a terrible person.

i feel bad

“No, its nothing you’ve done, you’ve been great! 🙂 ” I offered.

I wasn’t really feeling up to crushing her spirit, even if she was a Queen #Bossbabe.

“Oh, I’m glad it isn’t my fault.  I do always hate to see you girls go, 😦 ” she said.  “I am sure you have your reasons, but it is a great shame.  Isn’t there anything I can do? 😥 “

“No, I’ve requested for my account be deactivated,” I said.  “I don’t think network marketing is for me, that’s all.  Plus, I really don’t like the person its turning me into…perhaps I’m just not cut out for this.”

“That’s fair enough, hun,” said Tania.  “Please don’t forget me if you ever want to place an order, or come back as a presenter. ❤ ❤ “

“Of course, 🙂 ” I said.

The rest of the Butterflies weren’t so supportive – nobody likes a “traitor” to the Y-life, after all.

Tania had instantly reported my departure to Deputy Bianca, who then ensured I was swiftly removed from all training groups and chats.  Kerri noticed, and was instantly flapping away in my inbox.

“Why has Bianca kicked you out, Elle?? 😮 “

“I’m no longer a presenter,” I told her.

“Whaaaaat??  I didn’t even think you were anywhere near going inactive?”

“I wasn’t.  I asked compliance to terminate my account.”

“Whyyyyyyyy? 😦 😦 “

“Because I just don’t want to do this shit anymore.”

fuck this shit

Kerri knew how to make me feel so much better.

“Bianca and all that lot are going on and on in the chat – saying you’re a failure, and that you didn’t work hard enough at the opportunity, 😦 ” said Kerri.  

“Even Marisol? :/

“No, she actually tried to defend you, but the others just talked her down.”

“That’s nice of them,” I said, feeling annoyed.

I should have expected it really.  They ripped Scarlett to pieces, then Camilla, now me.  Those bitches.

bitchy flakes

I went through my friends-list and deleted every Butterfly that ever added me, even Marisol.  I kept Kerri though, for old time’s sake.

It was actually over.  My time in the hun-life was well and truly done with.  Now was the time for making amends with all those who had been avoiding me like the plague.

Like my step-sister, Danielle.

“I have stopped selling Younique now, Dani,” I messaged her.  “I know I’ve made a mistake, can we talk?”

And with that first olive-branch, I worked on getting the friendship with my sister back.


A few days after sending that message, we met for a coffee and talked it over.

“I wasn’t happy about you selling that crap,” she said, taking a sip from her mug.  “I know that these schemes are no good – I’ve seen enough Ann Summers and Juice Plus reps to figure that one out.”

She was right, I knew she was right – but it felt really shit having to admit I had made a mistake.

“You know what hurt me the most, Elle?  Not being able to have a conversation with you, without you bringing your bloody ‘business’ up.  It felt like you didn’t care about my news or seeing how I was doing.  All you wanted to try and do was sell shit to me.”

Fuck, I could see why she thought that.  In our training groups, the uplines were drumming it into us to bring up the opportunity wherever possible – in reality, we were royally pissing people off.

“You’ve got to realise with these pyramid schemes, the only winners are the people sitting at the top.  The people rubbing their hands with glee, whilst all the idiotic minions underneath them do the dirty work for them.  Honestly – you’re so smart, why did you fall for that shit?” 

i dont know

Well, that’s not entirely true.  I did know – its predominantly because I saw Scarlett projecting this image of being a successful businesswoman and making good money, and I wanted some of that for myself.  Of course, it was all a lie.  

“It changed you, and not in a good way.  How you were always posting inspirational trite, posing in those damn makeup selfies.  That’s just not you, Elle.”

“Dani…I’m…I’m just so sorry.”

That lead me to my next train of thought – the disgust with myself, at bullshitting my own friends in turn.  People that trusted me, like Mia, Salima and Pip – I’d persuaded them to spend good money on shit makeup, just so I could get a paltry, pathetic commission.  What sort of person did that make me?



At the time, whilst all these thoughts were dashing around my head, I resented Scarlett.  I was angry at her – how could she deceive us like that?  We were meant to be her friends.

Nowadays, I can see that Scarlett was merely mimicking the behaviour she’d witnessed from Camilla, and in turn, Camilla had witnessed the same from her upline.  See how the “fake it til you make it” mentality spreads like a virus?

In seriousness, it tore me up inside knowing the effect I’d had on my loved ones.  Pip, James’s little sister, had always looked up to me.  Now, I had shaken the confidence she had.  Jackie, my future mother-in-law, was also wary – so sad, when we had previously had such a good relationship.  Then, there was the effect on acquaintances like Trinity (who I visited in Chapter 11) – I looked like an ignorant joke to people who barely knew me.

It was going to take me a long time to build up that trust again – all thanks to the fact I thought it would be a good idea to get involved MLM selling.

And what about James, my partner – what did he think?  We sat down and discussed how shit I was feeling about it all.  

“Elle, I feel like I’m partly to blame,” James said.

“How on earth is it your fault?  I was the idiot who chose to sign up!”

Now, James has actually asked me if he can write a guest post on here, where he gives his perspective on when your partner is involved in MLM, but for now I’ll give a brief overview on why he feels that way.  (Read James’ full thoughts here!)

Way back in Chapter 1, James recalled saying the below:

“What about what Kerri and Scarlett are doing?  I saw Kerri post something the other day about waking up to a nice little payday in her inbox.”

James feels like he encouraged me somewhat, but I don’t blame him.  How could I?  He wasn’t the one that signed me up – I did that all by myself.  No one had a gun to my head.

As the weeks went on, I felt twisted up inside.  I was working on rebuilding my relationships with my loved ones, but I still felt pretty wretched about what had happened.  That’s when I discovered the anti-MLM writers that are out there – thanks to a  Facebook friend sharing a post on my newsfeed, I found Bot Watch and Timeless Vie.

yas queen 2.gif

It was amazing – I had stumbled across a group of people who were speaking out against MLMs.  As I poured my eyes across their articles, I began to realise something – I wasn’t the only person who had been shafted by these companies.  It wasn’t because of my negative mindset or not working hard enough – it was because 99.9% of people are doomed to fail.

I found myself messaging them, and they all kindly gave me their time to talk about my experience with Younique.  These people, they listened.  They helped me deconstruct what had happened, and they made me realise it really wasn’t my fault.

The wonderful person behind Bot Watch gave me some fantastic food for thought – they said to bear in mind that we are all victims of MLM.  Even the unscrupulous uplines – they may not realise it yet, but they are victims too.  They’re so desperate for sales and recruits, they will do and say almost anything.  Like I said, the fake-it mentality spreads like a plague.

With this fresh outlook, I eventually stopped feeling angry at Scarlett.  I realised just how much of a victim she was too.  I even found an overwhelming sense of pity for Bethany, Harriet and even Kerri.  It was almost cathartic, to have this bitterness lifted from my shoulders (I felt like a damn #negferret beforehand). 😉

Bot Watch and Timeless Vie inspired me and helped me let things go; I wanted to do my bit too.  If I could share the ugly truth of what MLMs did to me, perhaps it would stop others from falling into the same trap.

let it go

Both Bot Watch and Timeless Vie suggested getting my experience down in writing, perhaps through an article or feature.  However, I am a creative writer at heart – I wanted to tell my story, in my way.  That’s how this blog was born.

Bot Watch and Timeless Vie both kindly gave me a helping hand by sharing the early chapters, but I never expected it to have the reach that it does now.  Its grown slowly, and is now being read by my UK brethren, and way across the pond – to the USA and Canada, and down-under to Australia.  I’m even welcoming readers from Europe and Asia, who are getting plagued by MLMs in their own countries of residence.

I set up Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so that I could interact with my followers between blog posts.  I’m now in touch with some fantastic people, and its great to know that an anti-MLM movement is developing.

When I started to receive messages like this (before my #Poonique story had even finished), that’s how I knew I was doing the right thing:

So what happens now, that I have shared this final chapter with you all?  

Well, I’m not going anywhere – I am part of the anti-MLM movement whether I like it or not!

There are still articles to write and knowledge to share.  I have some guest posts in the pipeline (look out for new anti-MLM writer Maz Carrah!) and will also be sharing stories that other former MLM reps would like to be heard.  This blog will continue to be a source of anti-MLM information, and I hope you will all continue to be a part of it.  MLMs are a bigger problem than some folk will give them credit for, and I will do my bit to fight them – to stop more Bethanies, Harriets and even Scarletts from getting financially and mentally shafted.

Speaking of them, some folk are curious to know – what happened to the rest of the Butterflies?  I will collectively answer your concerns the best I can…


Bethany – She seemed to strike a chord with many of you, as she was a young mum in a vulnerable position.  Although she deleted every one of us, I did have a look at her Facebook profile – she looks happy and refreshed in her profile photo, and it appears her hubby is still right there by her side.  I hope this alleviates your concerns for this lady.

Harriet – Not sure on Harriet – she was removed from my friends-list when I went on my deleting spree.  Again, I had a nosey at her profile, she looks well, and has no sign of getting involved with any other MLMs.

Marisol – Well, all I can tell you is, Marisol appears to have jumped ship from her beloved Younique to Acti-Labs.  Yes, that’s yet another MLM.  I took some great screenshots from her profile, which can be seen in one of my Poonique epilogues: Whatever Became of Marisol?

Kerri – She’s still in my friend-circle.  She stopped pushing Younique so much on her profile, and just ended up placing orders for herself and her mum.  She’s since gone inactive, and admits that generally it was a waste of her time being a presenter, 

Scarlett – I am pleased to say that Scarlett and I are back in contact with one another – I kept thinking about her, and reached out.  She is aware of my blog, there are no hard feelings, and has given it her blessing – in her words “it was all a bit of a big fuck-up, wasn’t it!”  In fact, she kindly provided an interview in my Poonique epilogue. She took some time out due to mental health, became a qualified MUA (makeup artist) and has since launched indie-brand Kapow Cosmetics – that’s what she’s good at, after all.

Camilla – Obviously, Faëlle didn’t work out for her.  A quick nose of her social media accounts tells me she’s jumped ship to LipSense…say no more.

Tania – Has stopped posting about Younique, appears to have started peddling Valentus coffee crap along with Bianca…obviously they’ve now removed any mention of Valentus from their profiles. 😉

Mia – Has forgiven me for my sins, after we had a heart-to-heart and I grovelled.  She’s cool, we’re still pals, and she’s become an active anti-MLMer.

I think that’s everyone of import – if I have forgotten anyone, let me know in the comments.

If you have enjoyed my story and anti-MLM mission thus far, please consider becoming my Patron. Any and all support is very much appreciated.


What’s next for Elle Beau?

On reflection, I do feel that I would like to rewrite my Poonique story into a proper novella – whether its an ebook, or if I find someone who would put me in print.  The main reason being, I missed out “the smaller stuff” for the purpose of keeping the reader interested and driving the tale forward.  When I wrote this blog, I wanted to mainly focus on the dodgy tactics I experienced, but on reflection I would like to talk more in-depth about everything I can remember.  

I would like to rewrite my tale with the spreadsheet as more of a prominent reference point – it will also help me recall things in chronological order (i.e. when certain monthly kudos were released, little paltry orders etc).  Mia is still lurking in some of the training groups, and is finding me screenshots to illustrate certain chapters.  So, as well as writing anti-MLM articles, I will be working on producing a full, comprehensive story in the interim.

If you like the anti-MLM aims I am working towards, please consider supporting me via Patreon.  Anything is gratefully received.

I think that wraps up my final chapter of my #Poonique tale – what a ride, and thanks for sticking with me.  Stay subscribed for upcoming anti-MLM news and articles, and of course the ever-popular #ShitHunsSay screenshots.

I can’t believe the #Poonique tale is over…but its definitely not the end of Elle Beau’s mission. 😉

that's not all folks.png

Don’t forget to join the MLM fight on social media – if you’re on Twitter, please give @ElleBeauBlog a follow (and help me get the #Poonique hashtag trending again!).  Alternatively, join in the discussion with Elle Beau, the Anti-Blogger on Facebook.  I am also on Instagram now – look for @ellebeaublog!


Are you stuck in a MLM and are looking for a way to leave?  My friends at Bot Watch have produced a fantastic guide on how to get out – read it here.

Or, are any of you concerned for a loved one who is totally and utterly wrapped up in MLM?  Bot Watch have advice for you on what to do and how to remain supportive – read it here.

Please, also check out the good work of the people of Bot WatchJuice Plus/MLM Lies Exposed and Timeless Vie.  They work tirelessly to expose the truth and lies of the MLM industry, so anyone considering this line of work can make a fair, informed decision .  In fact, I now have a Recommended Reading page for Anti-MLM writers and interesting lifestyle bloggers I think you will enjoy, such as Chammy in Real Life.

For something a little different to pyramid schemes, I would also recommend a look at what Bad Psychics are up to.  Award-winning and seen-on-TV, they have worked to expose false claims made by psychics, mediums and the paranormal since 2003.




  1. I was riveted. You’re a great writer, and I’m glad you’re taking this further. I’ve noticed an uptick in anti-MLM stories in the media lately– maybe put a note/special section on your blog about being contacted by writers and journalists for quotes for stories? Not many people who have actually been part of MLMs are speaking out, and your voice is valuable.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Please carry on writing, I would definitely read an extended version of your story. I’ve not personally been involved in any MLM scams, but have facepalmed at the number of my friends who have, I just find the whole phenomenon fascinating

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Omg I’m late for work but I just couldn’t stop reading! I’m so glad this final installment came out so quickly, and I’m grateful for the epilogue on your other Butterflies.

    I’m glad to hear you ended up in the black at the end of it all. I was worried you had lost money.

    Looking forward to your partner’s post and I would absolutely buy a print novella if you came out with one (cat memes please!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I found my way to your site from a mom group posting about our disappointments with MLMs and seeing our friends/family getting sucked down the rabbit hole that is MLMs. I’m reading from the midwest in the states and I want to thank you. Many of your readers were likely ex-MLMers or friends of current MLMers, looking for ways to help their loved ones. I appreciate your step-sister’s help and support for you after you left and hope others out there receive the same. Bless you for fighting the good fight, Elle Beau!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh I’m so happy to hear you’re back in contact with Scarlett! Funny thing, I actually stumbled across a reblog of a post by Scarlett ages ago on botwatch (or timeless vie?) and as I was reading your story I was like “wait…doesn’t this Scarlett character sound familiar…?” I remember taking a gander at Scarlett’s instagram and being like “damn, girl has skills”. It always makes me happy to see people escaping from MLMs and living up to their true potential 🙂

    (sorry if this sounds creepy…I was just like “whoaaa!”” at making that connection haha. I read too many anti-MLM blogs for my own good because despite never being involved with MLM or knowing a single person who’s been involved with MLM I just find that whole world fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way…sort of like scientology, you know?)

    Anyway, thank you so much for sharing this story – you are a natural at writing and I would love to see what else you end up creating because seriously, I was hanging on the edge of my seat at the end of every chapter. I think you could do awesome as a freelance writer or novelist, you definitely have the talent!


  6. I’ve just discovered your blog and binge read the whole thing. It’s always intrigued me how people have fallen for MLM’s so thank you for this. You are an amazing writer!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you so much for writing this blog, I didn’t even know half of these MLM existed before my first started school now I see so many of them on my feed through Mummy friends. I would love to tell many of them they are being scammed but some are so entrenched to listen. As someone with more than a little knowledge of biochemistry the weight loss coffees/teas and juice-fucking-plus make me twitch uncontrollably. I have adored the honesty here and on FB (sadly can’t like the FB posts the drama isn’t worth it) and I’ll continue to read both.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for the blog, it helped convince my wife falling for a similar scheme that was so blatantly a pyramid scheme it wasn’t funny.

    As much as I pointed it out the more she dug her heels in convinced it was the thing for her and it was getting to the point where I was starting to feel like a bit of a dick. Hearing about all this from a third party really helped.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I went from this blog to my Facebook to see friends posting the afore mentioned memes. She’s even talking about the laws of attraction. I’ll admit that I laughed but it’s really not funny, is it? It’s frightening how people are sucked in by the facade.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So I am a former MLM bot and this particular MLM is about to launch in Europe and the UK. If you would like I would love to share my story with signing up and why I left in case it will help others from signing up.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I read through all 15 chapters of this crazy tale in one afternoon and my god! I had no idea Younique was this nuts! My cousin became a presented in 2015 and she hasn’t been the same since. She snapped at my mom when she asked to be removed from all the silly Younique groups and their relationship has never been the same. She scammed my aunt (who survives on meager disability checks) into buying hundreds of dollars of products that are now sitting in her makeup drawer, all because my aunt wanted to “support her niece’s business asperations”. She is constantly posting inspirational baloney and she has really become self obsessed since the whole venture started. I hope she realizes someday that it was all a huge mistake. Thank you for writing all of this, it opened my eyes to what a crazy crock of shit this whole company is!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Crock of shit is too kind a description! 😉 I am so, so sorry to hear of the effect Poonique is having on your family…MLMs truly are evil companies that bring out the worst in people. I can only suggest checking out the advice I put at the end of every post, and hope that you can all make her see the destructive path she’s going down. Good luck to you all.


  12. Marathoned your Poonique story in 24 hours – wow. A distant relative of mine did (does?) the Younique thing, and so much of what you said sounded like her. Another friend of mine did It Works, and managed to get me to sign on as a “VIP buyer” for a handful of months. I knew it was a crock even then, but I wanted to support my friend. I even went to a convention with her! It was bad. Real bad.

    Anyway, you’re the first blog I’m watching. 🙂 I look forward to sticking around!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. i stayed up til 1 am reading this whole thing.

    This reads like a fantastic YA (or “chick lit” though I’m not into that term) novel. I love the humor and self-awareness and compassion you use to write about weighty topics.

    Thanks for writing this — I’d never heard of MLMs and now I know to stay far far away

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I found you via reddit, read everything today, I just felt empty inside. I’d never heard of this company before but I don’t doubt you for a second that the whole experience was awful. Great work putting this out there, hopefully you can help others come to their senses.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This made a fabulous reading! I binge read this in one go.
    I never believed in the whole MLM thing, but was curious how people get involved in it.
    You really should make it into a novel.
    I must say I’m sorry you and others had go through it, but it was fascinating to read. Especially that one of my uni mates resigned from uni to work under similar scheme but dealing with electricity, phones etc… I tried telling him to be very careful, research everything twice, not to believe in everything he’s being told and definitely do not quit uni… it didn’t work tho… he just wanted to recruit me… it’s actually sad thinking about it but since then he never got in touch…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I also marathoned your posts and wanted to thank you for sharing your experiences in such an entertaining and engaging format. It takes a big person to publicly air their mistakes to hopefully dissuade others against going down a similar path.
    Even though I have no personal gripes with MLMs, my husband did recently lose two friends to a religious cult. I definitely see similarities in their recruitment techniques; emulating enviable lifestyles, providing a sense of community… It’s definitely disturbing to see how effective these methods can be in luring in even the “smartest” of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. So I’m currently involved in a MLM that isn’t makeup related. I can definitely see many of the things you’ve spoken about – there are some truly batty people involved in these. With that being said, I’ve had a mostly good experience with mine. I had a no-bullshit attitude going into it. I knew they were going to push me to recruit people, I knew they were going to push me to buy extra stuff. I flat out refused to recruit – I have a full time job. Since then I have “recruited” one person who asked me about it, but I don’t push her or expect her to do anything that she doesn’t want to do. So far she hasn’t sold anything, and I’m fine with that. She’s my friend – I’m not looking to make money off of her. Whatever she decides to do is fine with me.

    I have a small Facebook group – I do use it to post inspirational quotes and jokes, but that is because that truly is my personality. I was (at first) sucked into the #bossbabe movement, but I have stopped using that hashtag and now I look up REAL inspirational quotes, not ones related to do with making money or MLMs. I post that kind of inspirational stuff on my personal page anyway, so it feels natural to do it in the group. The biggest thing with my group is that I’m actually invested in the people in it. I could care less if they never buy something from me. I just like them as people. I didn’t add ANYONE to my group (other than my mom lol), and I have to approve anyone who joins, so that prevents anyone from just being randomly added. I can’t stand when that happens to me, so I don’t do it to others.

    I do NOT post about my MLM (I refuse to call it “my business” because we all know it’s not MY business) on any of my personal social media accounts. It drives me insane when my friends do it, so I refuse. I actually rarely post about my products even in my closed FB group. I realize that people aren’t on Facebook to be sold to – they’re on Facebook to laugh. I feel (and hope) that I have the reputation among those in my group that I’m someone who just so happens to sell a product that they can buy *when they want to* with no pressure from me. It’s unfortunate, because some MLMs actually do have GOOD products that I enjoy using. It’s the insane “consultants” that make it the obnoxious shithole that it is.

    P.S. I have the Younique liquid foundation, BB cream, Fiberlash mascara, and the other mascara. I actually really like the mascaras, but I will be going back to my old foundation and mascaras when they’re done. It’s just not worth the prices that they charge.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts – if only all MLM sellers had the same attitude and thought process that you do. As I always say, everyone’s experience of MLMs will differ, positively or negatively, so I hope yours continues to treat you well. 👍🏻


  18. Thank you so much for writing this! I just finished reading all of this and… this was me, albeit under a different product. *I* could have written this because almost everything you went through *I* went through; almost everything you did, *I* did. I joined under a friend; our friendship is now non-existent. I spent my own money on products I didn’t even like and alienated friends and family with the constant barrage of posts and messages. The groups, the fake friends, the “you’re not trying hard enough” even though I was bending over backwards doing EXACTLY what I was told to do… it was too much. I still cringe whenever I hear people talk about the company or see it somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Really interesting and well written blog. I’ve long been aware that mlm schemes are scams but reading your blog got me thinking that there’s more to it than that. Very few of the participants are concioulsy scamming, they’ve just been sucked in by the hype and brainwashing. Cult might be a more accurate label than scam. It’s even within the realms of possibility that nobody at all, not even the founders, started out with the explicit intent to rip people off, maybe it’s just a terrible virus-like business model that keeps mutating.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Guess who just spent a couple of hours reading 15 chapters, “babe”? 🙂
    Reddit, AskReddit more specific, brought me here.

    I agree, this should all be in ebook/novella format.

    I had my share of mlm when I was young(er), with a “business” called California Fitness. Health supplements, rather new in in my country. It just didn’t feel right, left after 6 months.

    Thank you for writing about your adventure with younique. Your opinion: any mlm out there that’s worth it? Or worth it a bit more than the others, at least?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Gene! Honest opinion, no MLM is worth it. Not at all. If there are people who want to work from home, they need to consider embracing what they are talented at, whether building, crafts, writing services, planning, anything like that. As long as it’s their idea, their passion, and not selling someone else’s overpriced shite. 😔


  21. I don’t have much to say besides that you’re a fantastic writer and that I binge-read the whole thing all in one night! I’m glad you were able to get out of the “business venture” without significant damage to your finances and social life. I had no idea that mlm schemes could be so horrible.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi,

    I just finished reading your saga and I wanted to let you know it was really entertaining. Informative too. If someone close to me was getting sucked into an MLM I would send them here to read your story straight away. Your writing is fun and breezy but still gets across how damaging an MLM scheme can be to one’s self esteem, relationships, and wallet.

    Great job.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I stumbled upon this blog very accidentally. I’ve never been involved in a MLM, but I have always had an intense hatred for them, especially the super annoying fb posts. I don’t usually comment on blogs, but I really, really enjoyed reading all of these posts and wanted to let you know. I found your blog to be a riveting, fun, involving, and highly entertaining read. You are a fantastic writer, and I would love to read more from you in the future. Thanks for the great read!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I’ve just read all your #poonique story- I was given the link from a mum page I’m on as they ban MLM posts. Oh my god did it bring back bad memories – I’m a former younique ‘presenter’ ( god just that word winds me up lol) and I joined around the same time as you as I remember all the hoo ha about the liquid gold foundation being out of stock and then then wanting everyone to push the cloud 9 collection instead. And I remember being added to a million Facebook groups and the insane messenger chats 🙈 I ‘hit’ yellow status but only because I did raffles – the rest was me buying products on my bloody credit card – what an idiot!! My upline was black status and still apparently makes a lot of money out of it but she was literally one of the first presenters and I think that’s why as she’s at the top of the pyramid. I cringe now when I think of all the stupid inspirational quotes I used to post and badgering ppl on my friends lists to buy stuff. the Facebook time hop memories for those posts are so embarrassing!!

    Sorry I’ve totally rambled there but I love your blog and think the anti mlm movement is fantastic. You should totally turn it into a book as I’d love to read it xx

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I linked to your blog from an AskReddit post, “Even if you had unlimited money, what would you never buy?” I I read the entire 15 chapters in one sitting. You are an excellent writer, Elle! I look forward to reading more from you.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Found this blog from Reddit and have to say what an awesome read. Ive been hooked for two hours. Thank you for writing this. Ive lost friends over them pushing MLM and could never understand. Now it makes sense a bit more. Passing this blog on to friends who may enjoy the read.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. This whole thing was a well written insight into the MLM experience that I didn’t really understand before. You did a great job at making me feel anxiety every set of the way, to the point that I unexpectedly spent the last few hours reading all of this.

    As mentioned in a previous comment, I feel sad for friends and family involved in MLM businesses instead of general contempt and disgust. Thank you for sharing your story. Keep writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I did Stella and Dot it’s a jewelry MLM and everything you said is sooo true. Those people don’t care about me at all other than to make money off me. The day I decided to be done they stopped talking to me. Luckily I came away with lots of cute jewelery and made my money back plus some. loved your blog. Being an American I didn’t understand some thing but all in all super good!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Wow! Your story telling is great. I was hooked right away and read all the chapters today. I am interested in reading it again if you ever rewrite it with more details. I will be sharing this on my social media because I know a lot of people who are lost in these MLMs and it is so awful to watch. I hope that in posting your blog will bring more light to these kind of scams that reel in honest people who are just trying to make a living.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I just binge-read your entire #Poonique saga in less than 24 hours and loved it. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to share your experiences! I was relatively naive to the world of modern MLMs (though I distinctly remember my mother attending and hosting Mary Kay and Tupperware parties in the early 1990s) until I rejoined Facebook last December and started my current job in February. I feel like all the women around me are trying to sell me shit ALL the time. I have co-workers selling for Young Living, Thirty-One, and some shitty skin care company I can’t remember the name of. And, mind you, all these co-workers are registered nurses who earn an average of $65,000 a year, so it isn’t like they’re hurting for cash. In 10 months, I have been invited to no less than seven different “parties,” and I ended up getting tricked into what was I thought was going to be a coffee date but turned into a Young Living sales pitch by someone I thought would become a friend. She tried her damndest to push me into buying their $150 starter kit, containing 5 essential oils that I already had, albeit NOT purchased from any MLM company but from a local health food store, and an essential oil diffuser, which I already have from last year’s Christmas. She then told me that if I could get my mother or sister to sign up, I’d get $50. I left with a handful of pamphlets and a feeling of deep displeasure. I don’t like feeling as though I can’t have a friendship with someone unless I buy something from them.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to reading more!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve spent all morning binge-reading your story, when I’m meant to be doing my dissertation! Please do a novella about it. You’ve got such an engaging narrative, and a way of telling even the cringiest of stories in a hilarious way!! You seem like a really cool person. If anyone I know gets drawn into an MLM I’ll point them in the direction of your blog!!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Ugh… I’m going to be honest here, I don’t get how you’re on good terms with Scarlett or Danielle. Scarlett acted like a terror towards everyone, and Danielle did nothing to get you out of that mess. She didn’t explain to you why it was terrible idea, she just ghosted you and left you to burn. That’s not helping, that’s abandoning. Scarlett manipulated you and everyone else, then she had the audacity to block you after all she did. She constantly nipped at your self esteem, all the while she knew it was a sham. Really inexcusable in my opinion.


    • It’s a fair and valid observation, Anon! I was angry at Scarlett for a while, but in fairness? Life is too damn short, and the more I spoke to Bot Watch and Timeless Vie, the more I realised that she and all these other women were victims too. We talked it out and she’s just as ashamed, but there’s no point dwelling, we have to keep moving forward, and at least we can help others by sharing our experiences now.

      In respect of Dani – I have spoken to many of my followers in a similar position to her (when a loved one is in MLM and won’t see sense). Families often feel frustrated, powerless and like their loved one has become a stranger…in her case, I can only assume this was no different. She dealt with it the only way she could at the time. No harm done, as the most important thing to me is that I realise that MLM schemes are no good and never to be dabbled in again. 😁


  33. This is the most cringe worthy thing I have ever read. Given the chance to lie and to stab your family and friends in the back – for a few quid – you jumped at it. Business woman my arse! You are a greedy dishonest person who lacks basic common sense. I really believe if you have another chance to fuck-over people you’d take it.


    • Who on earth are you referring to? Me? 😂 How fantastically wrong you are. I would go into all the reasons why, but I think the anti-MLM movement pretty much speaks for itself. 😁


  34. What a wild ride this was! I’m glad you (and Bethany and Harriet and Scarlett) are well out of it, and I’m glad you took the time to write it up. Keep fighting the good fight.


  35. Hope you someday get to write this in novel form.
    It’s an interesting and very informative read, written in an easily digested style.
    i’ll deffo buy the book when it’s available.
    Good Luck

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Wow, Elle. I’ve stayed up til 1:00 in the morning binge-reading your blog, and I wanted to say you’re an excellent writer. This should definitely be a book; the pacing, the voice, and the memes were all brilliant.

    I have a rather unique (no pun intended, I swear!) perspective on MLMs having just come out of nearly two years working as a salaried regional sales employee in one such company’s corporate headquarters. As such, I was technically barred from creating my own “business” within our organisation, but in my role I worked in close contact with field associates of all levels in my territory and developed personal relationships with them.

    Before going into more detail, I should say that when I found the job, I had no idea what MLMs were either– my only exposure being my parents’ neighbor who had a pink Cadillac at one time. It was kind of crazy, though, that as soon as I was hired there, I started seeing all sorts of hunbots popping up in my Facebook newsfeed hawking their wraps and skin creams and other sundry products. This fad seems to have really taken off amongst my peers in the past 2-3 years after a hiatus from its heyday during the years just before I was born.

    Anyway, I’m sort of shocked they even hired me given my naturally skeptical personality and the fact that I never considered myself a “salesy” person, but the experience was definitely an eye-opening, if surreal, one.

    I think I got lucky to stumble across a company which seemed to take great pains to conduct itself ethically, as they were very keen on putting our disclaimers front and center and educating the field associates not to stray from our compliance department’s guidelines when presenting both the products and the business opportunity.

    On a few occasions, I even interacted with the cofounders and their son, who was about my own age. They seemed like good people (the son in particular being surprisingly down-to-earth) who truly cared about creating a trustworthy, financially rewarding company with good products. The culture of the company was very positive (though I sort of hate that term because of how often it got thrown around there, along with that same taboo toward “negativity”) with a focus on helping people improve their health. With a few exceptions, it seemed largely devoid of that shark-like attitude you’ve described here (and which I observed at some of our competitors).

    Being on the sales team, I got to attend our company’s major events, which were exhausting but honestly a lot of fun. It gave me a chance to interact with the people I was coaching, from associates just starting out to some of our top earners. I got to hobnob with some *very* wealthy people (and I could see anyone’s monthly earnings at any time in our system, so I could verify that these associates were making money which made me want to weep sometimes), many of whom were some of the most generous, down-to-earth people I’ve ever met in my life. And since we offered products aimed at improving people’s overall health, I actually observed several people’s physical transformations in addition to their financial growth.

    All that being said, I could never shake this feeling that it was all sort of weird and unbelievable, even though I was witnessing the successes with my own eyes. There were a couple of things I observed in people I admired which diminished some of the respect I had for them; nothing egregious, but still enough to dim the glow a bit. As the company went through its growing pains and kept striving to break through a major annual revenue threshold, I started to feel a cultural shift away from people toward profits. And there was definitely the annoying “mindset mantra” there too; despite the real successes I saw, I also observed a lot of tragic figures who seemed stuck in a loop, addicted to the communal aspect of the industry, hanging on every repetitive word and bit of advice from gurus (which ranges from either complete bullshit to just plain common sense, in my opinion), but never really taking any concrete action. My work Facebook account (where I would keep these acquaintances separate from my personal life) was littered with many of the eye-roll-inducing, amateurish posts of the sort you’ll find on the /AntiMLM Reddit which led me here, especially the (un)inspirational quotes and blatant “gimmicks to “intrigue people.”

    I ended up leaving on really good terms to pursue a longtime educational goal of mine, which ended up sadly not working out. Since I’m now back home looking for a job again, I’ve considered getting involved on the associate side with that company since I have 2 years of inside experience with the products (which I really enjoyed) and compensation plan. I know the company’s culture and major players inside and out, so it feels like that investment of time and knowledge would otherwise be going to waste if I didn’t use it. If I were to make the attempt, I would stay far, far away from my “warm market” (which I always thought was a horrible place to start, anyway) and treat it like a traditional business in terms of marketing, but I don’t think you can really escape attaching your very self to a brand within this industry, and that gives me pause. I know what’s possible financially because I lived it from the privileged position of a corporate employee, but because of that “behind the curtain” view, I also know how much work it actually entails and how so many people get into this with absolutely no idea that it is indeed sales and how ill-prepared they are to attempt that career path.

    Anyway, sorry for the novel-length post. Reading your story was really rewarding because I could relate to so much of it on some levels. I’m feeling sort of conflicted because I know there are so many smarmy companies out there with unscrupulous practices, yet I also lived a very personal experience from the inside-out at an MLM which by all observable measures seemed like a bit of an outlier. I was always very aware of the Kool-Aid effect, so I sometimes wonder whether I was oblivious to some deeper abuses, but I have a pretty good intuition– it’s just in this case, it felt a bit like holding a compass which is mostly reliable but goes on the fritz in certain spots due to some unseen electromagnetic interference.

    I regret that your experience was so awful, though, and I’m really glad you shared it in such a compelling way. It has definitely given me more food for thought about an industry I’ve had a chance encounter with, but one whose inherent structure I’m still skeptical about.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Just read this in 12 hours (as well as mum stuff) it definitely is an eye opener! I always see those posts and wondered if it really was that great, you’ve confirmed what I always thought… it’s bullshit!! Great writing, love your little quips along the way, good luck with bringing down the MLMs. Blogs like this are more productive then people being told it’s shite, you’ve shown how easy it is to get drawn in and how hard it is to actually get a decent pay packet from it 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Just read all of this at once, at work. I couldn’t stop reading! Super interesting to get a glimpse into this process and the mindset of people involved in MLMs. I applaud you for sharing all of the totally embarrassing and cringey things you did…that takes guts!

    Liked by 1 person

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