Let me preface this conversation with a little anecdote. (My apologies for being so vague but I am redacting any names to protect those mentioned. So let’s refer to the person in question as Bartholomew.) This past weekend I was approached by a man who works for a “marketing agency” which also sells term life insurance. When I met Bartholomew he was very apprehensive to tell me exactly where he worked or what he specifically did, but Bartholomew repeated that they were in marketing, which we all know is extremely vague.
After digging up his Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn I come across the name of the actual company Bartholomew worked for and looked up this brand’s Facebook as well as their website. This company in question uses term life insurance policies as their product. The company’s recruitment video starts by explaining how much more money you could make by being an “entrepreneur” and how the president himself is an entrepreneur who has traveled the world and done all these amazing things thanks to the opportunities brought to him through the financial industry…
Further investigation led me to a half dozen stories or so of people who were approached to be a part of the company, or even signed up for it. They go on to explain how this company does their on-boarding process and start performing sales. Before starting, you must first purchase your own term life policy. The stories go on to explain how after they bought the policy they were left to their own accord and had no further training to perform their own sales. The main source of income for their sales people is actually at these recruitment meetings where people who were just brought on last week to sell the ones this week. Not only do I find that as a terrible business practice, but I get even angrier when someone tries to pass this business model as “being your own boss” or as being an “entrepreneur”. It’s a complete farce.
The amount of times I have been approached to “become an entrepreneur” or “own my own business” and sell someone’s BS product and then sign up others underneath me is way too high. If your business tells people to sign up with them and “be your own boss” you are not your own boss.
At the end of the day I have nothing but respect for anyone who puts in the hustle to reach their goals. If you are at the top of the pyramid you make amazing money, but I don’t see it as being a sustainable business model, nor do I find it terribly moral. There are a handful of companies that I have yet to find any complaints about when it comes to the authenticity of their business that I cannot complain about such as Primerica, but I have zero respect for the ones who thrive on individuals in financial rough spots to give the rest of their money in hopes to solve their problems.
“A real entrepreneur is one who takes chances, makes mistakes, puts their own skin in the game…”
A real entrepreneur should be trying to sell their product/service. A real entrepreneur shouldn’t be promoting how much money their employee’s make. A real entrepreneur is one who takes chances, makes mistakes, puts their own skin in the game to invest in a service or product to then bring to market. If you just signed a paper and paid some on-boarding fee of $600-$2500 to get started you are NOT an entrepreneur. You are in fact an employee to whomever you just signed your life away to. A common misconception from others is that being a business person is easy or simple which it really isn’t. I feel as though the general public doesn’t understand the stress and pressure brought on by investing your own hard earned money into an idea that may or may not work. They don’t see the hours and days put in networking with people to help make your ideas happen. They don’t realize the sheer amount of work going on behind the scenes beyond the obvious. Real entrepreneurs and business owners have to deal with staffing, payroll, inventory, HR, marketing, product and brand development, financial growth, social media, and of course sales.
There is so much more to being an entrepreneur and business owner rather than just paying an on-boarding fee and signing up others to do the same. I personally absolutely despise MLM, “network marketing”, or any other type of pyramid scheme. Keep your term life insurance and energy drinks…