Written by Rochelle Burnside | Last Updated October 29th, 2019Rochelle Burnside is a Content Management Specialist for Best Company. She is hungry for knowledge, travel deals, and a big spicy bowl of chili.
“Aside from religion and politics, there aren’t many other topics people seem to have such strong opinions about as they do network marketing.”
Mother and daughter pair Janine Finney and Lory Muirhead, authors of The Flip-Flop CEO and Does the Shoe Fit?, make a compelling statement. If you Google multi-level marketing, you’ll be assaulted with a slew of negative opinion pieces on the vexations of network marketing distributors and their never-ending sales pitches. And many of these opinion pieces have a point — some marketers are selling nothing but a scam. “[People] think that [network marketing] isn’t fair because their assumption about the way it works is that one person sits on top, making all the money, while everyone below them does all the work,” Janine and Lory explain in Does the Shoe Fit?
Does the term pyramid scheme ring a bell? This is the phenomenon their description depicts, one that the Federal Trade Commission deems illegal. These pyramid schemes are the bad apples Lory and Janine hope to steer prospective distributors away from with their books. And as part of this work, they are hoping to help readers find legitimate opportunity and productive business strategies. As Janine said in an interview with BestCompany, “It’s the perfect time for this business. With traditional advertising going away, word-of-mouth advertising really does reign supreme.”
Also read: How to Tell the Good from the Bad: Multi-Level Marketing (2019 Guide)
“A [network marketer’s] job is to provide accurate, honest information, not debate or try to convince; simply educate,” Janine and Lory state in one of their books. Is this much like the multi-level marketers you know? Possibly not, because your network marketing friends and family might have fallen prey to the pitfalls of over passionate marketing, pushing their products and opportunity on the local mailman or drugstore cashier when they’ve already offered a polite “no.” However, Janine and Lory note that pushy sales pitches are one of the biggest network marketing dangers remaining. “Today there are trade associations and watchdog groups galore helping to regulate and keep the NM industry on the up and up,” they write.
These assurances in Does the Shoe Fit? and The Flip-Flop CEO follow my own pattern of research. Being a skeptic myself, I picked up these books to understand if MLM was right for anyone, concerned by the information I have received about the industry’s fraudulent activity. And resources like these have been instrumental in teaching me the argument for MLM.
In network marketing, you are instantly in business for yourself, but not by yourself.
Janine and Lory describe how network marketing has improved their lifestyles. They have been in network marketing for about fifteen years, and as they say in The Flip-Flop CEO, “This profession has given us the gift of a lifetime — the ability to plan our work around our lives rather than our lives around our work.” However, Janine and Lory also cover crucial topics like typical pyramid scheme red flags and how MLM is an opportunity for every demographic group.
Two key groups that have high potential for network marketing success are two categories the traditional workforce might shun: Boomers and women. As Janine said in an interview, “[The Baby Boomer audience] is one of the hardest to speak to. We are the people who had an experience many years ago with a network marketing company, and it was a negative experience. A lot of people like myself have that experience stuck in their minds. The truth is for that audience of people, network marketing is perfect. A baby boomer is someone who has a network of people. A lot of baby boomers, they’re hardworking people.”
And as for women, “They’re trying to do it all, and this is a business that gives them the opportunity to do all these things with ease and grace. This is an even playing field. Women love locking arms with other women and showing them how to be successful.” Janine is passionate about teaching these groups why network marketing can work for them.
The resources Janine and Lory provide are generic and could apply to any network marketing situation, and they don’t believe in promoting their own MLM in these books. As Janine explained, “We keep specific companies out of the books because we believe there’s a lot of great companies. We don’t want it to be about companies; we want it to be about the business model of network marketing. The books are meant to relate to the skeptics too.”
What about product specifics? When I asked Janine if she believed there were any product-selling industries that had no viable opportunity for MLM, she answered that “As long as the product is consumable, there’s an opportunity for ongoing income.” Does the Shoe Fit? says, “Typically, to create residual income, you want to find a product or service that is consumable and requires regular purchasing.”
The mother and daughter pair are passionate about connecting network marketers, no matter their associated MLM. The two run a Twitter (@TheFlipFlopCEO) and Facebook account that provide motivation for aspiring and active multi-level marketers.
When preparing to leap into MLM, I recommend these books and Janine and Lory’s social media accounts as resources to help potential distributors weigh their options. The Flip-Flop CEO provides a great general overview of network marketing and its potential benefits, and Does the Shoe Fit? will help readers determine the good from the bad. It gives readers realistic expectations. Janine warns of this obstacle for potential distributors: “Because the risk is low to get in, they get out too quickly. It requires delayed gratification, just like working out, just like a diet.”
The books are quick reads available on Amazon and the authors’ website, and they pack a punch for your money. The information Janine and Lory provide about compensation, promotion, and other tools of the trade are factual.
You can use the code CLARITY on theflipflopceo.com to receive $3 off a single book or book bundle.
Janine Finney (@TheFlipFlopCEO) is author of The Flip-Flop CEO and Does the Shoe Fit? and a network marketing professional herself. You can find more information about her work on Janine Finney and Lory Muirhead’s website.