For those of you that followed my #Poonique saga, you saw how the Butterflies were made to feel inadequate. The uplines were always at hand to tell us that our negative mindsets were causing us to fail.
The purpose of this article is to observe the hun-behaviour witnessed on social media, and provide my opinions on how they conduct themselves (based on my own experiences as an ex-presenter).
One of my followers emailed me this collection of screenshots, and it made me feel so, so sad. They were also kind enough to scrub out any names and photos, but I have added colour coding for ease of identifying each person.
My follower was a bit anxious about protecting identities and didn’t elaborate on context, but I believe that this conversation was held in a predominantly USA-based Facebook closed-privacy group (possibly for support networking).
I will provide my narrative to these screenshots. It all began with this post from a lady I will refer to as ‘Purple’…
Purple is a Younique presenter, and is about to go inactive. In these few words, you can see how this eventuality has had a huge knock on her confidence. “Still nobody interested…” she says, and there’s “no way I’m going to get my account back active…”
Yes, she’s devastated, but to me, the worst part of her post is her lament of “I guess I can kiss my makeup business goodbye…”
I have an issue with presenters acting like small business owners, because I did so myself (and yes, I cringe about that quite frequently).
My thoughts on this will have to be saved for another article, but there are some really good published opinions on this matter. Here’s a small sample to read at your leisure…
- Dear MLM Rep: You Are Not a Small Business Owner by Sammiches & Psych Meds
- Why MLM is NOT a Business by Lazy Man & Money
- 3 Obvious Reasons You’re Not an Entrepreneur if You Work for a MLM by Anyman Fitness
I digress for now, but this is certainly an area I want to later add my viewpoint on.
In respect of the Purple lady in question, I feel sad for her – no doubt her uplines spouted similar shite to what I heard in my time. This line of work has led her to believe that she is a genuine business owner, hence her devastation.
I hoped that someone perhaps stepped in and offered her some words of advice or emotional support. This lady needs to know that the “failure” (I use that term loosely) is not her fault. After all, the odds are stacked against you when you join a MLM – check out the facts from Bot Watch in this article.
However, this delightful soul is on hand to shed some light on the situation. Yes, she uses the words “its not your fault“, but look at the context…
That’s right – its not her fault that she doesn’t know how to market! Then, the delightful Pink lady throws in the Law of Attraction mindset nonsense we all know and love. I know exactly what she means by “attraction marketing” – basically, fake it til you make it. That’s how Jade/Scarlett lured me in to Poonique way back in Chapter 1 – she gave the illusion of loving life, and having a booming business, when it was anything but.
Either way, the message from Pink is clear – your upline wasn’t supportive enough, but you can redeem yourself by watching all my wonderful and inspirational motivation videos! When Pink talks about being consistent and doing this “5 day challenge“, what she is referring to is “annoy the shit out of your friends by posting utter tosh on social media“. Remember the seven daily tasks mentioned in Chapter 7 of my #Poonique tale?
I do have to give Pink lady some credit though – she was persistent in wanting to help our hun in distress. She offers to take Purple under her training wing…
Even if her training tips will likely be questionable, I give Pink kudos for trying. Orange isn’t helping matters though – yes, I know you’re trying to give the lady a boost, but really Purple needs to be flipping Younique off and embrace going inactive.
Surely someone has some helpful advice? Anything to lift Purple’s mood would be good.
*sigh* I said helpful.
Light Blue blames the time of year – apparently Christmas will be a much better time for presenters.
Dark Blue tells her to “just keep going when you feel like giving up…” – easier said than done, dear. That’s almost as helpful as telling a depression sufferer to “just snap out of it”. All is not lost though – Dark Blue assures us that hosting parties is clearly the answer. [SPOILER ALERT: It isn’t.]
Come on, there’s got to be some better comments.
“Network marketing is never easy…” I agree with you there, Yellow Hun. When you say “make friends because in the end friendship will lead to business too…” that’s not so good. MLMs encourage the reps to view their friends and family as cash cows – I think my #Poonique tale made that quite clear.
Yellow also throws in some hun-cliches, such as “you’ve got this“, mentioning self-development and encouraging our hun to get herself some “mindset CDs“. Don’t get me wrong, Yellow sounds like she’s trying really hard to uplift, empower and validate…but in all the wrong ways.
Peach Hun has some words of wisdom to offer.
As you can see, Peach is also alluding to the essential daily tasks I discussed in Chapter 7. As we know, “forming relationships with people” involves constantly “liking” and commenting on their social media posts. As Jade/Scarlett said:
“…You need to be adding at LEAST five new Facebook friends a day, and making sure you like and comment on all of their posts to ensure you appear in their newsfeed… ❤ “
Oh, and that be consistent phrase also makes an appearance too. I don’t think Peach has quite realised she’s stuck in a cycle of swindle either.
Some huns just want to offer their sympathy to Purple, though…
Lime Hun says “…Younique is hard to sell. There are so many people selling it…” – she isn’t wrong – just search for a presenter near you, and you’ll likely see what your area is saturated with them. I question how many of these presenters are actually “selling” to genuine customers, as opposed to just buying “stock” for themselves?
Fortunately, Purple is not alone with her difficulties in selling Younique…
This Hun had such a difficult time with Younique that she decided to jump ship to Avon. She also accompanies her comment with a subtle link to her eStore. That’s very helpful advice there.
Someone else comes forward to assure Purple she’s definitely not the only one to have trouble selling Younique.
Monat Hun acknowledges there’s a saturated market for Younique sellers. However, she also sneakily alludes to the fact that the hun may have better luck with her MLM (view the Monat site here).
However, I am not sure what Dark Blue is talking about when she says “making the shift” – any ideas? Shifting away to yet another MLM, perhaps? Ah, and there’s another delusion of grandeur with “how are you marketing your business?” Again though, we’ll save the discussion on that for another time.
Montat Hun seems to have set a precedent though – suddenly, other MLM presenters are circling like vultures around a carcass.
What’s this? Khaki Hun makes an attempt to recruit our damsel in distress, to her MLM Damsel in Defense. If they are “still very ground floor“, perhaps we anti-MLM writers need to keep an eye out? Sounds a bit like that Safe Girl company that Timeless Vie have done a fantastic job of raising awareness about.
Khaki Hun uses the argument that “…geography is not an issue…” and most importantly, “…we are not overrun with consultants…” Well, that’s a fantastic piece of advice for Purple – there seems to be more little waves of encouragement for her to give up on Younique, and focus on yet another MLM instead.
Purple is evidently vulnerable and upset, because she thinks she has “failed”. That makes her a key target for the vultures – see how they try and raise her spirits with more invites to join their teams?
Grey Hun has an exciting proposition. No joining fee, no website fees and 57% commission, you say? I had a quick Google for further information, based the screenshot that Grey posted. It appears to be a company called Asirvia, who promote Bluetooth devices for businesses. You can read more about Behind MLM‘s opinion of them here – let’s just say, I am not struck by this business model, and I sincerely hope Purple isn’t either.
I am also sad to see that Magnolia Hun is a glutton for punishment – like Purple, she’s facing going inactive as Younique presenter, but she’s wanting to buy a new kit after the waiting period (I believe it’s three months, but correct me if I’m wrong). Magnolia, please don’t do it! Cut your losses, and stay well away from companies like this. 😦
However, the “job offers” are still coming in thick and fast for Purple:
So, she’s had offerings for Avon, Asirvia and now Oriflame. I am not sure what Brown and Violet Hun’s MLMs are, but they sound very similar to Asirvia from what I can see here.
At this point, I should get myself a MLM Bingo board and cross off all the MLMs she gets offered to join.
Navy Hun isn’t going to make a sales pitch, but she is going to brag about making “750 to 1000 a month“. In what? Potatoes? Enemies? I’ll cross off Pink Zebra on my bingo board.
Teal Hun is going in at a slightly different angle though, and its not through a “join my MLM” spiel. She says she is “willing to provide an extra boost for any Younique presenters looking for helpful tips!” What she means is, she’s one of those so-called Law of Attraction mindset coaches (like Lola Affirmation).
In a nutshell, she wants Purple to pay her to tell her why she’s failing. Teal hun isn’t the only mindset coach lurking on this thread, though…
Whilst one Hun is encouraging her not to “give up on direct sales” (with a not-so-subtle “join my team” pitch), Green Hun is determined to lure her in to receive more mindset coaching. Yes, Green’s videos are free to view, but after that? Of course she wants Purple to pay her money – to be told on a weekly basis why her negative mindset is causing her to fail in her “business”.
There’s more to cross off on my bingo board, we’re not quite done yet.
Burgundy Hun starts off with some realistic advice, but then spoils it by trying to recruit Purple into her MLM. In typical fashion, she chooses not to mention the name, but when she says it “has NO COMPETITION” and “it’s wearable technology” I can only assume she is yet another Asirvia presenter.
Paparazzi Hun is another who decided to jump ship, and name-drop her new MLM. In this case, it’s Paparazzi Accessories. That’s another for the bingo board.
Pink Hun from earlier pops up again, with more words of wisdom and attraction marketing inspiration. According to this philosopher, “don’t give up because that’s when you fail…” No, I do not agree with that. It will be a huge learning curve, like it was for me, but I will never class it as a failure.
Here, we have a suspected Juice Plus Hun who wants Purple to “join me in getting healthy from the inside out and helping others do the same thing…” and of course, “making money!!!!!!” with the raised hand emojis.
I love the sassy person who commented underneath.
I also get to cross LimeLight by Alcone off of my board!
However, the last one to be crossed off is LipSense Hun.
I don’t think these were the responses that poor Purple Hun was looking for. Being pestered into mindset coaching or joining another MLM is the last thing she needs. However, Legging Army Hun is here to (attempt to) save the day.
Instead of trying to recruit Purple into her Legging Army MLM (I haven’t heard of them until now, but I can only assume they are competitors to lawsuit-happy LulaRoe), she suggests a “party swap”. A Perfectly Posh Hun also pipes up, saying “I’d totally do a party swap!“
Now, I never covered party swaps in my #Poonique tale, as I never experienced them. However, after sharing experiences with other ex-MLMers such as Maz Carrah, I understand they operated in various strange manners.
Party swaps are typically an arrangement between two presenters in non-competing MLMs (for example, a Jamberry rep and a Juice Plus rep). They can agree to host an at-home or online party for one another, thus tapping into each other’s client base and “spreading the love of the products” of course.
In some cases, the huns can form a “syndicate”, like how this hun describes below. As you can see, she mentions that a group of 12 different MLM reps were formed, with each rep committing to “buy a min. of $25 to help each other out” once a month, for a minimum of 12 months!
This is generally what reps tend to do when they’re trying to hit personal targets, or simply stay active as a presenter. In the above example, this is what the responder states – “I have done them when I am working towards a sales goal or an incentive trip“.
You may also hear of “stock swaps” – again, this will be when two reps of non-competing MLMs agree to purchase a set amount of products from each other – say, a Forever Living rep and Stella & Dot rep agree to visiting their respective websites to buy £50 worth of products each.
Let it be known, there is a LOT of this going on behind the hun-scenes. Just Google “direct sales party swaps” and you will see the discussion is quite widespread.
So, I hope that explains why the Legging Army and Perfectly Posh Huns tried to save the day for Purple. No one has offered her any genuinely helpful advice. Although, I did have a glimmer of hope with this one.
The Lavender Hun offers a helping hand, stating “we’d love to help you out” and also asking “do we have to buy or just look?“
I like the sentiment behind your helping hand, Lavender, but “just looking” really isn’t going to help Purple retain her Younique presenter status.
Sky Blue Hun (probably shilling Herbalife or Ariix) acknowledges how difficult it can be to cold-message people (its the new cold-calling, after all)! Despite the fact that she sells a “health product“, she also acknowledges how difficult it is to support her makeup selling friends, “especially if its more than drugstore prices“. Her only real piece of advice for Purple is to use Instagram.
However, Tango Hun is trying her best to offer words of encouragement and support, saying “you can still do makeup hunnie“. Yes, she could, but preferably not MLM makeup, though.
There’s one final, strange “join my team” offering for Purple though.
“Have you ever thought about being a Travel Agent?”
I kid you not.
Forget about the shameless plug for Country Scents Candles, someone has actually come forward with a genuine job position that isn’t MLM…or have they?
As soon as I read “…It’s not a hard sell because people are always travelling…” and “I can share info about the amazing company I’ve partnered with…” I became disappointed. So, it appears that there are actually travel agent MLMs out there.
Again, after quick Google, I am going to assume that the MLM in question is Travelution, as the rep has declined to state the name. Looks remarkably triangular-shaped, but that’s just me. Judging by that linked article, I hope Purple isn’t tempted by that, either.
As this article draws to a close, I lost faith as to whether Purple would get some decent advice that didn’t involve joining another MLM. It sickened me to see a comment from a hun blaming her slow “legging business” on Hurricane Irma.
I know her comment was probably made off the cuff, but seriously now? Perhaps business is slow because people are getting wiser to the over-inflated prices and sub-par quality around MLM products? You can’t be blaming seasons, school terms, or natural disasters.
In closing, the question is, did Purple get any decent advice?
The answer is: not really. But, if you asked me to pick from the cesspool of comments, it would have to be this offering from Bronze Hun.
That is probably the wisest thing I saw in this thread.
“…Making money from home is not always going to pay off right away, and you should be financially ready to handle that fact…”
The reply to this thread also implies that Purple is failing because she’s expecting an overnight success, and likely because she’s not enjoying it either. Again, a bit unfair to say to someone who is in a vulnerable position. However, Bronze Hun needs some kind of medal for being the only one in that thread to comment with half-sensible advice.
And thus ends my commentary. I don’t know how Purple got on – did she keep her presenter status, or did she go inactive? I have no way of finding out, but I do hope that somewhere down the line, she finds some of us anti-MLM writers and the helpful advice we have to share.
To Purple – its not your fault you’re “failing”, because you’re not. Like me, you thought you could succeed in a “business” where you’re set up to fail. Don’t be duped by the promises of Law of Attraction mindset coaches, or other such nonsense.
To the other people encouraging her to join your teams, I hope you wise up to what a swindle this industry truly is. You’re all victims in this, whether you know it or not.
Thank you to the person who submitted these screenshots to me via inbox. Please keep sending your submissions, and if you have your own anti-MLM tale to tell, you can tell it here. 🙂
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. I hope to set up a Kickstarter for this once I have an idea of costings.
If you like the anti-MLM aims I am working towards, please consider supporting me via Patreon. Anything is gratefully received.
Stay subscribed for upcoming anti-MLM news and articles, and of course the ever-popular #ShitHunsSay screenshots.
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!
Please, also check out the good work of the people of Bot Watch, Juice 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 and my first Patreon, @yourolly.
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.