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Many people aspire to have personal freedom and financial independence. Depending on the capital available, some go to trading (buy and sell), open a small neighborhood store or eatery, get a franchise kiosk, or become a multi-level marketing (MLM) distributor.
MLM, also known as network marketing, is a modern direct sales compensation plan where distributors are paid depending on their personal sales and sales of their recruits. They improve their income source from the efforts of others, liberalizing what used to be available only to employed sales managers and sales supervisors.
MLM is not the same as pyramiding, an illegal business method where compensation is derived from either simple recruitment (without sales) or complex recruitment (balancing a pair of recruits, as in a binary plan, not allowed by the Consumer Code of the Philippines and Department of Trade and Industry’s Administrative Order No.8).
I am a firm believer of MLM because I have personally seen how it offers income and is a career equalizer to the likes of Cristy Santos, a college dropout; Isabel Gaytano, a former supermarket merchandiser who has gone past the age preferred by employers; Rico Bulatao, a former OFW now reunited with his family; and Lerma Nepomuceno, a former bankrupt entrepreneur now given a second chance to reverse her family fortune.
They have experienced growth for themselves and their families without having to be “prisoners” manning small stores, being employed forever, or being forced to be stay-at-home retirees. There is inclusive growth for the lost, the last, and the least.
MLM has also attracted many professionals and fresh graduates, having seen how the system can benefit them in creating a better future. It is also called People’s Franchise because it offers a road to success without the huge capital needed in traditional franchising.
Independent distributors focus on selling, sponsoring other people to sell, and conducting related activities like training, managing and motivating downlines (the recruits), while the company handles other operations like sourcing, delivery, service and commission payout—thus making MLM much easier to master than starting one’s own business.
When choosing an MLM company, go with an official member of the Direct Selling Association of the Philippines (DSAP). Avoid companies using bad binary plans that ask members to balance their recruits. Avoid companies that ask members to invest heavily by buying positions or business centers, a de facto unlicensed investment not allowed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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