Suddenly my Facebook newsfeed is full of friends and acquaintances 'living the dream' and 'starting their own business'.
Is yours the same?
The reason behind all of these sickly motivational posts is a company called 'Forever Living'. They are a multi-level marketing company whose unique selling point are the health benefits of aloe vera.
The first time I heard about Forever Living was about 4 months ago, through one of my Facebook friends and work colleagues plugging their C9 programme, a detox programme which can also lead to weight loss (though they don't confirm you will definitely lose weight). The 'results' posted seemed astounding, but the cynic in me wondered whether it was all a load of BS to get people to buy into the craze.
Surely enough after only a few months my news feed is absolutely flooded with 'Forever Living', not only telling me how wonderful the products are (but never giving the prices!) but also telling me how fantastic it is to 'own your own business', 'be your own boss' and 'plan your own future'.
But... I just don't get it...
Surely people realise that the more people flood the market to become their own boss, the less money there is to go around? Sure, if you're early to jump on the band-wagon, by recruiting others you can make a bit of money, but don't people have a thought for the people who sign into the brand later on, when it's more difficult to get a network of buyers, let alone to recruit others too!
I also find it ridiculous that people are paying out money for 'starter business owner packs', which I understand are £200, which they may never see again if they are unable to build up a network of buyers.
And for those who go from strength to strength with Forever Living, are they not made aware of the 'other' side of being self employed. Being your own boss means no cushy holiday pay and sickness pay, company pensions are out the window. You only earn when you work, and welcome to the dreaded tax returns. Are they even aware they need to declare all of this additional income?
The promotions and events also seem to beggar belief. Huge waves of 'business owners' gathering for seminars in conference venues on how to sell the idea of being a business owner, but then giving out awards and promotions to people, promoting teamwork to help benefit others to benefit yourself. Over a two month period, one of my work colleagues has become a 'Forever Supervisor', 'Assistant Manager' and then 'Manager'. It seems to me that by making it look like people are successful, it helps the company twofold, by keeping those recruits happy, thinking they're climbing the career ladder, and by sharing their 'experiences' so that others buy into the belief that they too can start earning thousands of pounds a month by putting in as little as 5-10 hours of work in that said month!
To me, if it sounds too good to be true it usually is, good on those people who are making some extra money in the short term, but to me it can only be sustained for so long. I worry for those who are duped into joining, thinking they've found an easy way to make money, and for those who are sold products thinking they will cure all sorts of ailments, when there is no scientific evidence to support this. In fact, it is possible that it is just the placebo effect which makes people feel better.
Let me know what you think on the subject? Has anyone had any issues with Forever Living, or is it really as good as it sounds?