Pyramids, Network Marketing and Cults

As a fitness professional and entrepreneur, I notice that I’m getting more sales pitches coming my way. I understand that everybody is trying to earn a living these days, as am I. I just believe that it should be done with some integrity. Especially if you offer a service, I think it’s critical to believe in what you are selling. I believe in what I do and understand the benefits of exercise, when executed properly. Additionally, I can see value in nutritional supplements that will help people to stay in shape and live healthier. Does that mean I’m going to try to up-sell them on useless merchandise and supplements that are destructive to the body? No, it does not.

There are plenty of supplements and companies out there that are marketed as healthy and when I read the labels, I don’t see anything healthy about them. There are artificial ingredients, artificial sweeteners and other items that are red flags for me. I personally wouldn’t take any of these products, nor would I recommend them to anyone. That said, I wouldn’t try to recruit anyone to sell them either. It seems that one of the marketing strategies is to recruit people to sell products in order to earn more commission. Dare I say pyramid. It seems as if everything is a pyramid scheme these days. Don’t get me wrong, there is basically a pyramid structure to every company and government, which is another story entirely. The part where it becomes tricky is when it comes down to recruiting more people to sell that same product or service.

You become a contractor for this company and still have to purchase products from them, attend meetings without compensation and possibly even chant the company name. You may become distant from family and friends since your main goal is trying to get them to join your team. They may think you are in a cult but you will vehemently defend those allegations since you are a “free thinker”. I’ve experienced many sales tactics from different companies and some are creative in a sense but most are flat out annoying.

I recently got a call from an internet radio station show to be a guest for the fitness segment of the show. I accepted the invitation and was scheduled to have a phone interview with the host of the show. We had the call at the time we scheduled. I completed the segment, then we ended the call. I got a call back from the station telling me that the host rated my segment 9.5 out of 10 and that the phones were ringing off the hook with callers asking about me. At this time, they told me I could purchase five thirty minute segments of air time for $5,000. I asked them to sent me more info through email and I was told that he can answer all my questions and they don’t have anything to send me. Then the representative started offering drastic price reductions. At this point I ended the call. I had no interest in purchasing radio time and even less after that call.

Is it possible to go a day without having someone ask me to join their team? It is if I avoid human interaction and don’t answer my phone or check social media. Is it possible to post on Instagram without getting an automated message about becoming a sponsored athlete? I don’t think so. I keep blocking them and they keep creating more pages. Looking into a company like dreaming elegance, you have to pay for their merchandise, which is not how sponsorship works. They also have an F rating with the better business bureau. Is it possible to find a fitness or martial arts class that doesn’t feel like a cult? Yes it is possible as I have experienced both. If the instructor seems to be possessive and there are chants during the class, that’s reason enough for me not to go back.