No, Lifetree World, that is wrong.

Update-  10th March 2017. 

Lifetree World has now been liquidated, leaving many creditors. A lot of members had purchased goods and never received them, and many had bought into programs that promised more profit for them. They have all lost their money now. The only assets the company had when it was closed down was a car that still had finance on and some pretend money in a ‘Gateway’ account. This amounted to -£885 in assets and a total of £454,319 owing to everyone. Companies House have all the documents if you want to look at the details.

We won’t have heard the last of them though. Previous players in this company have gone on to form another MLM and another MLM team which moves people from MLM to MLM, ensuring a few of them will always be at the top of a pyramid somewhere. More on this in future blog posts.

 

Some things that LTW have done or said that may not be accurate.

Their prize cars

Every month members can pay to attend a meeting where they will be entered into a draw for a car, as long as they have spent the required amount of money in LTW by a specified date. Here is one of the prize cars.

Screenshot 2016-07-09 19.38.08

A bit of research shows there is outstanding finance on this vehicle-

Screenshot 2016-07-09 19.42.58

This means that when the car was ‘won’, it had not been paid for. It should not have been given as a prize. The winner cannot sell the car. It could be taken off them if whoever is responsible for the car debt stops paying.

 

LTW do not have affiliation with the DSA.

They were going through the process of application but no longer appear on the DSA’s webpage of prospective members. I am not accusing them of lying here, just that their impending membership was touted as proof they were a legitimate company.

Here is a common recruiting message used by LTW people-

Screenshot 2016-07-09 20.35.37.png

The DSA is not anything to do with the government, it is just a trade association. They have a code of ethics which members claim to adhere to. Much is made of this code and how LTW adhere to it. They obviously don’t adhere to it enough.

Here, an LTW adherent is explaining the £35 membership fee as a payment to the DSA. I wonder if there will be no fee now?

Screenshot 2016-07-09 21.14.43.png

Their ‘affiliation’ to Sky TV.

This affiliation has suddenly been announced and used as evidence that LTW is indeed a legitimate company. Surely Sky wouldn’t get involved in a dodgy company? That is what is claimed. Let’s see what LTW are saying. You could visit their ‘Sky portal page’ at SkyTvEurope . Here are the prices shown. It says at the bottom for LTW prices, you need to fill in a form and an ‘expert’ will contact you with a price. Why? Why not say what the price is?

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I had a look at Sky’s actual page and found their prices to be a bit different.

Screenshot 2016-07-09 23.11.26

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The movies and sports bundles with Sky are a lot cheaper than through LTW. But LTW do say that you can get a cheaper deal if you register your interest with them. So I clicked on the ‘register’ button. I got this form to complete-

Screenshot 2016-07-09 23.15.42.png

That’s a lot of personal information to be giving to someone to find out a price of a product. I looked for the privacy information to see what happens to my data. There is no privacy information. What will happen with all that data? Why do they need it to tell you their prices?

I found an LTW training video where they tell you the prices of the packages. Here they are

Screenshot 2016-07-09 23.26.26Screenshot 2016-07-09 23.26.52Screenshot 2016-07-09 23.27.14

The prices here are much cheaper than Sky! They are offered through a company called Ipik solutions, not directly through Sky as suggested by LTW people.

Who are Ipik Solutions? Their web page looks exactly like the LTW page, just with ‘Ipik Solutions’ instead of ‘skytveurope’ at the top. There are no contact details, no address. They are not registered at Companies House. Does this sound at all dodgy to anyone? The language used on this website is poor. I don’t mean rude, just badly written. Except for the bits that they have copied directly from Sky.

I have found a company called Ipik Solutions that are based in London on UKlisting.net. They say this-

About and Description

We are an independent satellite and TV aerial installer and wholesale electronic accessories expert. For more information please inbox us now!

We are an independent satellite and TV aerial installer and wholesale electronic accessories expert. For more information please inbox or call us on 03334440112 now! We are your local SKY expert offering customize services & advice on your TV, Phone & Broadband needs. We let you pick the bespoke packages & installations within your budget.”

 

Sounds like it could be them. They have a Facebook page too. There is an Ipik Solutions based in India but I have been unable to establish if there are any links between the two companies.

At the bottom of SkyEuropeTV’s website is this information.

Screenshot 2016-07-18 20.30.31

Apex Junction are registered at Companies House and Bilal Awan is the director. He is also the director of Sky TV Europe Ltd. They were both registered last summer. Interestingly, Bilal is in the MLM called ACN, as is Rizwan Gohar (more on him later).

And then there is this message we received from SKY.

Screenshot 2016-07-19 12.48.38.png

 

 

Their little dispute with a perfume company

LTW had a disagreement with a company called Per-Scent which ended up with LTW owing Per-Scent money. It looks like this ended in Per-Scent issuing a petition in the courts to have LTW wound down. This means that they wanted LTW to be dissolved and the money owed to them finally be paid. We know this petition was served and the case came to court.

LTW maintained that it had all been sorted out before the court date and the case would not be heard. It would be scrubbed from the Gazzette they said. Here is a FB status from one of LTW’s shills.

Screenshot 2016-07-15 22.23.32.png

It did come to court and the case WAS heard.

Screenshot 2016-07-15 22.02.25

This website explains what a winding up petition is and what happens. Interestingly, one of the things that happens once a petition is advertised is that bank accounts are frozen, meaning suppliers and employees can’t be paid.

This could possibly explain the problems experienced by some people in LTW not being paid their bonuses this month. Look at this You Tube clip at 9 minutes where a shill is explaining what she has been told.

The products

The issues with the products are covered in this post towards the end.

Essentially, LTW claim that they are making deals directly with the suppliers, cutting out all the expensive stages in between and then passing on the savings to members. A little digging revealed that their stock was all end of line stuff. You cannot purchase these products in normal shops as they have been replaced with more upto date packaging. The very basic idea behind the whole enterprise turned out to be false.

 

Rizwan Gohar

I have avoided commenting on this man because he seemed to be an IBO with LTW and his shady past was not directly affecting anyone. But now it seems, evidence is appearing that he may be playing a bigger part in the company than ‘just an IBO’.

His shady past involves having four convictions before being caught and sentenced to prison for stealing cars worth more than £150,000. He was caught on a ferry on the way to Ireland with one of the stolen cars. Part of this crime involved the set up of a fraudulent, fake company and using stolen credit cards. Read the Stoke Sentinel for the story.

Rizwan seems to have been in on LTW from the beginning. He was involved in setting it up. Here is evidence he set up the websites for LTW. He owns the websites.

Screenshot 2016-07-15 12.57.18.png

 

Disgruntled LTW members have been emailing LTW and complaining about the company. Rizwan Gohar has been replying to these people.

 

Screenshot 2016-07-15 15.29.26.png

 

Rizwan has been the subject of a bankruptcy order in relation to a failed business he was a director of.

Screenshot 2016-07-15 15.41.59.png

Here are some companies he has been involved in by holding an officership. All these companies have been dissolved.

Screenshot 2016-07-15 20.06.03.png

Should Rizwan really be holding such a position of responsibility and LTW lying about his role in the whole scheme? Would you trust him with your details? Would you give money to a company he is involved in?

Conclusion

Please think carefully before getting involved in LTW. As they say in MLM, do your due dilligence. But don’t then ignore what you find.

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Critique of a Slenderiix paper

The paper can be found here.

This paper has been given by people peddling Ariix products as evidence that it works. Here are the products mentionned in the paper.

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So that is what is claimed by Ariix. They also claim this-

Screenshot 2016-05-11 10.25.11.png

Let’s not just take their word for it, let’s have a look at the actual paper and evaluate it properly. I would like to point out that I have been trained in how to analyse a research paper and even worked in clinical research for a year.

Context of the study

  • The publication that the study appeared in. This paper was given to me as a pdf and no journal is mentioned on it. Where did this paper appear? Was it peer reviewed? Normally a paper is submitted to a journal and it then goes through a vigorous process of reading and checking by experts in the field. Only if the experts agree that the study is a good one, will it be published. Different journals have different levels of credibility and expertise. It would be useful to know which journal it appeared in (If any).

If it has not been in a peer-reviewed journal, this immediately casts doubt onto its                credibility.

Who did the study?

It is useful to know the background of the researchers. Do they have the proper expertise? What papers have they published in the past? Are they credible? What institution do they work for? It is common practice to research the authors of papers as this is all relevant.

There is no mention of who carried out the research or where. This is extremely unusual in a research paper. In fact, when research is quoted, you start with the names of the authors. There is a mention of someone called Dr Hurt who interviewed the participants. I initially googled ‘Dr Hurt’ and found this-

Screenshot 2016-05-11 19.56.50.png

He is a character from Batman. I assumed it wasn’t him that wrote the paper. He’s a psychiatrist.

 

Googling ‘Dr Hurt ariix’ reveals this-

Screenshot 2016-05-11 14.51.29.png

Dr Hurt worked for Ariix. She seemed to have a part in designing the products. She is not the best person to be testing these products. She will not be non-biased at all. In fact, normally research papers have a section where authors declare interests that might conflict with the study. There is no such section here.

Dr Hurt’s qualifications

It is normal practice to examine the qualifications of authors of papers. It is standard practice for CVs to be submitted to Journals when papers are being submitted to a journal. It is normal for critical readers to examine the available evidence of an author’s qualifications and job role. I am not getting personal or nasty here, I am just doing what is expected in a thorough review.

Dr Hurt is the only name mentioned in the paper so I can only look at her information. Here is her LinkedIn profile-

Screenshot 2016-05-13 10.21.33

Ah, it says this on her profile-

Screenshot 2016-05-13 10.22.56

So she was the only person involved in the study. OK, let’s look at her qualifications.

Screenshot 2016-05-13 10.23.34

What is a ‘Fellow, functional Endocrinology’? A quick goole tells me a ‘fellowship’ is obtained in the US by a physician or dentist undertaking about a year of additional medical training. More details can be found here about the qualification. It is open to people with a phd and is an online course.

Dr Hart’s phd was gained in Kingdom College of Natural Health. Is this an acredited college? No. This is from their own website.

Screenshot 2016-05-13 10.42.00

The KCNH just do distance and online courses. It is possible to get a degree there in 30 days if you already think you know the subject! You can just take the test and skip the course.Screenshot 2016-05-13 10.59.40.png

Screenshot 2016-05-13 10.56.17.png

I do not know if Marlisa got her doctorate this way or if she studied hard for years. Either way, it isn’t recognised by the US Education Department.

What about Liberty University where she got her Bachelor’s degree? This is a very Christian University where their programs are ‘Christ-centred’. Her degree is in Human ecology which is the study of humans in their environment.

Is someone with a ‘Christ-centred’ degree in human ecology and a non-accredited phd the best person to be conducting a clinical trial?

 

When was the article written/ published?

Normally, papers have the date mentioned somewhere on it. It is important to know the date so the research can be put in context. Also, studies are normally referred to by author and year published as a way of identifying it. This is how a research paper should be referenced-

Screenshot 2016-05-13 09.33.52

Note that the information contains the names of the authors, date, title, journal it was in. Every single piece of this information is missing from the Slenderiix study.

Note also that the above example was taken from the reference list of the Slenderiix paper. It was one of the few that was correctly referenced. Most of the other references were of a very poor standard, well below that expected of an A-Level student (for our non-UK readers, A-Levels are undertaken by 16-18 year olds).

 

What is being studied?

  • Normally I would look at the title of the paper next to see what it was examining. There is no title. This is very unusual for a proper scientific paper.

 

  • This is mentioned in the abstract- “Exploring the relationship of an exclusive homeopathic weight loss tincture combined with therapeutic nutrition in relation to reversal of visceral adipose fat tissue stores and serum inflammatory markers, which indicate risk factors for leading causes of death, including congestive heart disease and hormone-related cancers.”

The dependent variable here (the thing that you are trying to effect) is amount of visceral adipose fat tissue stores and serum inflammatory markers.

The independent variable here (the thing you have control over and are tweaking) is the homeopathic weight loss tincture and therapeutic nutrition.

Right, so we’ve managed to work out what they are testing. Let’s see how they went about it.

Design of the study

  • In the Abstract the phrase “A Randomized, Blind, Placebo-Controlled Cross-Over Study:” is used. This is good news. This is nearly the gold standard for research studies.
  • Randomised means that people are allocated to groups randomly, not chosen by a researcher which might bias the results.
  • Blind means that the participants don’t know if they are in the experimental or control group. This is supposed to weed out any placebo effect. This is not a double-blind study, where the researchers don’t know who is in what group. When it is not double-blinded, there is the possibility of researchers interpreting information in a biased way.
  • Placebo-controlled means that there was a group of participants who had exactly the same treatment as the experimental group except they were given products without active ingredients. The participants themselves wouldn’t know if they were having the active ingredients or an inactive substance. It is important that the products taken look and feel the same. They would be treated the same by the researchers as well if it was a double-blind trial but this isn’t one of those.
  • Cross-over means that the same people were put through being in the placebo group and experimental group.  They essentially act as their own control. This would factor out any differences found being down to individual differences in the participants. For example, if you have a young person and an old person in the group, their age wouldn’t affect anything because they would be in the control group and experimental group. Old control vs olds experimental and young control vs young experimental. Their age would become irrelevant.

 

Is the study Placebo controlled?

  • If the study is placebo controlled, then there should be an experimental group where they try the product/method and a placebo group where the participants have exactly the same as the experimental group except their products do not contain any of the active ingredients. Because it is a cross-over study, each person should be in each group over a period of time.  This should mean we can see if it is these specific products that have made the difference, rather than just being involved in a study and having the help and support of the researchers.

Having a look at the paper  though, they describe their groups like this-

Screenshot 2016-05-11 11.42.19

There is no mention at all of a placebo group. There is mention that the people in group C have a placebo instead of Slenderiix. But they are still having the other two elements of the program so this is not a placebo group. Each group appears to just be doing different components of the weight loss program. These groups might be useful when trying to determine which element is having any effect, but it would be an entirely different study to the one that is presumably being done.

Later the groups are referred to like this

Screenshot 2016-05-11 11.58.50

Group C seems to be labelled as a placebo group now. This is not a placebo group at all. This is quite deceptive in my opinion.

Then these two pieces of information appear-

Screenshot 2016-05-11 12.03.04.png

This sounds like a control group where the participants had no diet. Where did this group come from? How many people were in it?

Screenshot 2016-05-11 12.02.06.png

Now there is a diet only group as well. Where has this come from? Note Group C is still being referred to as a placebo group. Where are the people who had no diet?

From the information given, it is very unclear exactly who is in what group. There doesn’t appear to be a proper placebo group.

 

Is the study a cross-over study?

The study does not appear to be a proper cross-over study where all the participants serve in all the groups so they are their own control. The paper has this to say about it-

Screenshot 2016-05-11 13.34.09.png

This means that for the first 4 weeks there were groups A,B,C and D (plus the mysterious diet only and no diet groups) and for the remaining 8 weeks, A,B and C joined D. On the charts the people stayed in their labelled groups even though they had changed regimes. All very confusing.

This is not a cross-over study.

 

What do we know about the particpants?

The paper has this to say-

Screenshot 2016-05-11 12.12.55.png

Only 19 of the participants completed the experiment. This is an extremely small group and is not representative of the population. The men:women ratio is very uneven, why not just choose one sex to study? Or do half and half?

Because the study is a crossover study it should not need as many participants because each person will be used in each group. However, as this is not a true cross-over study that is irrelevant.

19 participants is an extremely low number to use. There is no reason to use such a small number of people in this study. It just undermines any results found.

 

 

Results

What did they find in relation to the initial research question? I.e. visceral fat stores and inflammatory markers?

  • visceral fat stores.

The most accurate way to measure visceral fat stores in with CT imaging. I would expect a proper clinical trial testing a product to use this most accurate method. There other, less accurate ways to measure it according to this health website.

Screenshot 2016-05-11 14.05.31.png

So there’s a few ways to measure it- each becoming less accurate. They are- CT, Bioelectrical impedence machines, waist to hip ratio.

Which method did this study use to measure visceral fat?

They talk about weight loss amounts and produce charts and graphs but this is irrelevant to the question being asked. We want to know about visceral fat, the dangerous type that can increase your chances of having health problems. Normal weight loss is not a good indicator of this.

In the write up of results there is mention of some measurements taken. There are no figures, no statistical analysis. There is some anecdotal information thrown in too.

Screenshot 2016-05-11 14.21.49.png

There does not seem to be any attempt to measure waist-hip ratios which would have given some idea of visceral fat loss. (The third best way to measure this fat.) I am suspicious as to why the researchers have not done a thorough analysis and made their results properly known, seeing as this is what they initially set out to test.

 

  • serum inflammatory markers.

The best way to measure these according to Patient is to measure three things-

Screenshot 2016-05-11 14.16.37.png

The study reports that over half of the participants did not have their blood tests repeated after the 12 weeks. This is a major concern and seriously puts any results into jeopardy. There were only 19 participants anyway, to lose half of them at this stage is catastrophic! They blame the participants’ own doctors because they were supposed to be doing the tests. Why are the researchers not doing the blood tests? This all sounds a bit odd!

Anyway, what blood tests were done on the remaining 10 participants?

These are the tests that were done on the people in the non-placebo groups.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 14.35.16

ESR and PV are not tested for. CRP is though. The CRP levels have been shown to reduce in the non placebo people and this is statistically significant.

What about in comparison to the placebo group then? Which is the comparison we are here to make. They don’t mention the placebo group on their own, but lump all the post-study blood together here and say they all improved.Screenshot 2016-05-11 14.40.17

Serum inflammatory markers have not been tested for adequately or compared between the groups at all. In fact, only one of the markers was tested, and then not properly compared.

Analysis of the paper’s conclusions

The conclusion does not mention at all the results of what hey set out to test. This is the bit where the original question is revisited, the results related back to this and meaningful conclusions drawn as to what the results might mean. Instead there is a rambling essay of things that were discovered along the way but this is meaningless if it was not studied properly.

 

Other observations

Many statements are included in the paper that are not backed up with research. This is very poor for a scientific study. If you are going to state something as a fact in a paper, you need to back it up. It is not enough to just include a list of references at the end. You need to annotate points as they arise. Sometimes this is done, mostly it is not.

There are many pages of irrelevant details that serve as descriptions of Ariix products. This is totally unnecessary.

The aim of the paper. Why was it written? This is offered in the introduction-

Screenshot 2016-05-13 10.05.07

I would have to conclude, after examining the evidence, that this is not a proper study at all, it is a very poor attempt at one. The inclusion of statements such as this one

Screenshot 2016-05-13 10.08.44.png

ring alarm bells at the assumptions being made. It is my considered opinion that this paper is psuedoscientific.

 

Conclusions

This is not in a peer-reviewed journal which means it has not been checked by experts. (As happens with normal research)

It is written by someone working for the company and she may also have been involved in making the product. Her professional qualifications are doubtful.

It is not placebo controlled as claimed in the paper.

It is not a cross-over study as claimed in the paper.

They set out to test visceral fat stores and inflammatory markers. They didn’t test visceral fat stores. Only half the people had inflammatory markers tested.

Only 23 people started the study, 19 completed it, 10 had blood tests done.

There are many pages of irrelevant information about the products.

The study is rambling, and disjointed. Groups of participants appear and disappear with no explanation. It is not properly referenced and follows very few basic scientific paper standards.

This study cannot be trusted in any way. No meaningful conclusions can be made from it. IT DOES NOT SHOW THAT SLENDERIIX IS EFFECTIVE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forever Living using sick children, Great Ormond Street Hospital and a charity to make unsubstantiated health claims.

Have you seen any claims from Forever Living (FL) salespeople about their products and links with Great Ormond Street Hospital? Or with the skin condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB)?

In case you haven’t heard of EB, here is some information from an NHS website.

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Here are some examples of Forever Living distributors making health claims using GOSH/ sick children/ EB in order to sell their creams.

From a distributor’s blog

Screenshot 2016-05-04 23.28.08

 

Here is someone from FLP trying to get sufferers of EB to use the products on Facebook. There weren’t any replies to the question.

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Here a distributor is making claims about Gelly being used in the burns department at GOSH.

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Here, a distributor is making claims in a local publication to promote the company.

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I have personally heard a Forever distributor say that FL products are used at GOSH for putting on burns. I thought at the time that this didn’t sound right but kept quiet because I was at my friend’s house and it was her ‘launch party’.

This charity worker also heard of these claims. Her name is Janice and she seems to have worked/ works for DEBRA, a charity supporting patients and their families with EB. She became concerned about claims that were being made to people with EB and other DEBRA workers.

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These are the claims she was talking about. This is the message that was sent from someone selling these products.

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This document can be found here. I’m not sure of its context, it seems to just be floating around the internet on its own.

I decided to do a bit of investigating of the issue myself.

 

I found this on page 16 of Forever Living’s ad pack where they say what statements their salespeople are allowed to use.

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With regards to the first statement of money being raised, I found this in Company check that makes the information at Companies House available to the public. It is taken from their records for 2001.

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Was this statement audited? Is there footage of giant cheques being presented? Or was it just a statement put in the introduction with no need to prove it?

Timeless Vie, on behalf of Bot Watch, asked Forever Living Products (UK) to verify the facts mentioned in the ad pack. They did not reply. They asked again. No answers.

So I asked Great Ormond Street Hospital if they had received any money for funding these nurses. This was their reply.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 23.17.50.png

Maybe Forever Living’s distributors did raise that money. There is no evidence for it, but none against it either.

 

What about the other claims in that ad pack?

Janice (the woman who was researching the spurious claims) got a reply from the specialist EB dietician at GOSH about the Forever Living claims-

Screenshot 2016-05-04 22.02.51

I asked Great Ormond Street more questions. This is their reply. Their answers are in bold type.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 23.01.36

 

I asked DEBRA what their thoughts were on these claims. This is what they said-

Screenshot 2016-05-04 23.15.28

 

In conclusion,

Forever Living’s distributors are claiming their products have been used in research on EB at Great Ormond Street Hospital. They imply it was successful, so successful in fact, that you can get their product from the dermatology department there. They have associated themselves with DEBRA.

GOSH have no records of any research being carried out there, their creme wasn’t available there and it is not available there now. DEBRA do not endorse any products.

The health claims surrounding EB and Propolis creme are endorsed by FL themselves. There is no evidence to support these claims.

Using sick children, a well known NHS Children’s hospital and a charity to sell moisturiser is unacceptable. No health claims should be being made for this product as it is not licenced by the MHRA. For more on this issue, visit my other blog posts on it- Part one and part two.

If you sell these products, please stop making fraudulent claims.

 

Update- Since publishing this article it has come to light that Forever Living have told their distributors to stop associating them with GOSH. This was on a Mumsnet thread discussing the issue-

Screenshot 2016-05-05 09.08.50

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I’d be happy to add a comment from Forever Living themselves if they want to leave one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MLM Expectation vs Reality

Screenshot 2016-05-03 20.03.15

There are endless statistics out there about how you will not earn money in an MLM, the evidence is overwhelmingly against joining one of these schemes.  But still people join. They respond to adverts, they listen to their friends and relatives who tell them it is a great opportunity. They are told all sorts of things.

This blog post examines the reality experienced by people who have left an MLM, namely Forever Living, although I suspect these experiences are shared across many MLMs. If you are thinking of joining an MLM, please take a moment to read what the reality is like. As described by successful MLMers who were being paid full time wages.

 

The Expectation- The hours will be part time. A typical claim is 5-10 hours a week.

The Reality- Much, much more than this.To get anywhere, to earn anything you need to put in serious hours. 12 hours a day is normal, 18 hours is not considered too much. This is every day, with no days off. This adds up to 126 hours a week.

 

The Expectation- Spend more time with your family than if you were in a traditional job.

The Reality- People are encouraged to put their children in nursery to spend more time on the ‘business’. Every social situation is a prospecting opportunity. You can’t relax and enjoy your child because you should be doing an MLM related activity- one-to-ones, training sessions, preparing for presentations, putting out social media. Every fun family thing you get involved in needs to be photographed so you can say how amazing it is that you are spending time with your child.

Evenings with a partner are non-existent. That is when you are doing online training, checking up on your team, reading emails, making videos, planning for yourself, helping others plan. You might be hosting webinars, attending meetings, visiting team members, working on your mindset.

 

The Expectation- Work from home.

The Reality- Most of it was out of the house, dragging the kids around a lot of the time. Training days, success days, BP meetings, one on ones, building up relationships with prospects, searching for prospects, card dropping.

 

The Expectation-No targets

The Reality- There are targets if you want to earn any money. You have to do 4CC a month to be paid your bonus. You could either retail hundreds of pounds of stock or recruit 2 people and sell some stock. Very very difficult to achieve. The pressure is put on by yourself and by your upline who needs you to do your 4CC so they get their bonuses. Sometimes the only way to meet these targets was to buy the stock yourself.

 

The Expectation- You are your own boss with no one telling you what to do. Complete control over your work.

The Reality- Constant demands from uplines. Lots of obligations hoisted on you- talking at presentations, online training, participating in team events. Targets set by the company, lots of obligations set out in the contract. Promotions given by the company, termination is a real possibility. You are questioned by your upline if you don’t perform as well as expected and accused of not trying hard enough. This environment has been described as more pressured than a well paid corporate job. All without the safety of a regular income.

 

The Expectation- The products will sell themselves. All you need to do is to be seen to be using the products and people will be asking about them. They are great products so it is easy to sell them.

The Reality- Very difficult to sell. The products are very expensive for what they are.

 

The Expectation- Friendly environment. Much is made of the ‘Forever Family’ and it seems from the outside that it is all very friendly and supportive.

The Reality- Cut throat, Mean Girls environment. Lots of bullying.

 

The Expectation- Recruits are easy to find.

The Reality- You can go months and months without recruiting anyone. Friends block you. Invitations start dropping off. You become unpopular.

 

The Expectation- It is cheap to start up and run.

The Reality- There are many expenses that all add up. See below.

 

Typical expenses over a month, as described by an ex-FLP member.

MONTHLY COSTS-
£12 FLP360 site
£7 QLS site
£2.99 smart pod / PowerPod
£20 Business Cards
£20 fliers
£80 accountant
£100 – to hire room for BP
£120 (at least on personal use products)
£50 success day tickets (hotel fees, transport, food, parking on top of this)
Team incentives £varies (one month we were all encouraged to buy an iPad mini for a team incentive, products, books and CD’s are also common incentive prizes)
£30 teas and coffees at 1-2-1’s
If you can’t retail / struggle to recruit and you are a manager you will have to buy your 4cc!
£50 on books/ audio / mindset training
£80 on products for Trial baskets
£40 – office stationary / phone bill
£other training events

The £300 costs were once a quarter for team parties

Success days are now £50 and when in Birmingham or London you have to pay for travel accommodation food etc so it soon adds up

Out team trainings cost £20 a time out of our own pocket these were held 5 times a year

Mindset weekends were approx £250 twice a year

Plus costs of running the business travel costs trial products, business cards advertising, paying for room hire for business presentations and team trainings

£300 a quarter for team parties

Total- £687 to £1470 (this figure takes into account the frequency of the training/ events.)

 

And from another ex-FLP member-

“Monthly costs for me were at worst just over £500 per month as some months customers wouldn’t order as products do last and if I was unable to recruit despite working really hard I would have to buy my case credits just to get paid my leadership bonus.”
But the costs don’t matter if the earnings are great do they?  Here’s an enlightening quote from one of the above people- “I used to earn about £1800 per month but put in a lot of hours…. that money dropped every month as people left. When it dropped to £800 I had to stop as my costs were more than I was earning. I couldn’t sustain it.”

We keep hearing about all the time that it takes to put into this scheme to get anything back. What does a typical day look like? Here is one woman’s experience…

“Told to do mindset from 6 but started at 7

Then from 9am after sorting my children I would be making calls prospecting people.
Commenting on team posts on facebook…. motivating others….
Sending out messages asking if people were interested in trying the products. Noone was interested really I got the odd lead but hated bothering people

I neglected my family at times as I was so wrapped up in Forever it takes over your whole life . Then I was out or working at home every evening. Online business presentations, actual live business presentations, one to ones with people.
Training up a new person so planning with them.
Team get togethers it was constant.”

And another…

“How time is spent over an average day:

6am: Alarm 6:05: headphones in to listen to mindset training

6:30: Check team pages & business page / answer messages

7am: shower, dressed, makeup, lunches for family

8:10: school run 9am back from school run and will have morning with my youngest child. I usually tried to go somewhere I could meet “new friends” – shopping centres, play groups, the park. Post on FB/ Instagram Carding / fliers being given out and a lot of time my 3 year old was handed food / iPad to keep him quiet.

1pm: school pickup

1:40pm: home and lunch for kids / homework / after school activities (retailing and prospecting on my way)

4pm: prep team training, catch up with team, message some customers and Post on FB / Instagram

5pm: start dinner, iron hubbies work shirt. Watch training while I do these things.

After I get my children to bed at 8pm I start working on my social media. I would have a list of people pre written on a Sunday and I profile and take time to engage with them trying to build rapport to see if they are interested in the business / products. Some evenings I would have launches / pamper parties / sizzles to attend. The local BP would be attended once a week. I hosted an online webinar once a week. Online events were at least once a month too. So evenings were really full.

11pm: evening mindset training & gratitudes.”

I asked her what ‘gratitudes’ are.

“Gratitudes- where you sit and think of things you are grateful for that day. It’s part of mindset.
I was absolutely shattered. I’m still recovering.
I found myself snappy, irritable and my anxiety was through the roof. If the team didn’t have a good month I would beat myself up.”

 

I find all this really, really sad. These women are stretched financially, time-wise, energy-wise, friend-wise and they are fighting a losing battle where the odds are stacked against them. And they are told to be grateful.