To be fair, I should disclose that I have been in numerous MLM's over the past seven years. I still am in several, and they send me checks every month. On the other hand, our Vitabase brand is my primary focus. We actually sell a number of MLM products, but choose to be involved in MLM only when the actual product being sold has strong retail potential.

In other words, we are involved in MLM only to sell legitimate products. That is as far as we go. We are not actively signing up new distributors under us or trying to build a downline. Sometimes that happens automatically, and for that I am thankful.

About six years ago, I joined a certain MLM. I sponsored only one person and never did anything else with the business. Over the next several years, I started getting a check every month that rose to an unbelievable amount. Eventually, somebody came along and wanted to buy my distributorship. The price he paid me is still astounding to me.

In addition to that MLM, I have had many more successes in several MLM's simply because I sell MLM products on the Internet. The result of selling a lot of products is that a downline naturally forms. My goal has always been to sell product rather than build a downline, but I am thankful for the secondary benefits I have received.

There is no doubt that I am a success story in the MLM industry. I am one of those few people you hear about who have made a lot of money in MLM. In spite of that, I am wary about the industry, and for very good reasons. Those reasons are why I have practically rejected the MLM industry to start my own supplement company, which by the way, is not an MLM.

Before I start discussing it, I should mention that I have not always felt the way I do now. In fact, at one point, I used to sell a book online about how to use the Internet for MLM. There was a time where I was pretty hooked on MLM, and if you look, you will likely find some writing on the Internet by me that is pro-MLM. This post reflects my current thinking regardless of what I have said in the past.

Here are the two main problems I have with MLM:

1) It promotes money and status over relationships. This is a huge issue for me. All of you know what I am talking about because you have either a) been pressured by your family or friends to join an MLM or b) actively pressured your friends and family to join an MLM.

MLM zealots are frankly very annoying. You want to duck or hide when you see them because you know they are either going to try to sell you overpriced products or sign you up. They also always know more than you do. They know that they have the magic product that will solve every health problem you have and they have the secret to solve your financial situation too.

MLM breaks up families. It causes friends to stop being friends. It creates tensions in churches. It is a cancer to relationships.

I have known many successful MLM'ers. I have noticed over the years that full time MLM'ers are really only comfortable around other MLM'ers. If you go to their meetings, they will tell you that you need to eliminate people from your life that are negative and "holding you back." This teaching destroys many relationships. A person has no right to abandon relationships for those reasons.

Eventually, this kind of teaching and all of the tension takes a big toll. Many if not most successful MLM'ers completely replace all of their old relationships with new relationships with their MLM partners. That is a shame. The only family and old friends that they still talk to are the suckers they recruited into their "opportunity."

2) It does not work for the normal person because the normal person does not like recruiting or selling. I am a big believer in the philosophy that people are not good at things they do not like doing. I can look at my own life and see that truth.

Most people do not like selling, and as a result, they are not good at selling. Most people do not like recruiting, and they are not good at that either. When I say most people, I mean probably at least 80%.

Let me give you some very good advice. If you do not enjoy and are not good at these two aspects of MLM, do not bother trying to get rich in MLM. You will not succeed. You will force yourself to try a little selling and recruiting, but after taking a few hard knocks, you will give up.

Let's say that you are one of those people who do like selling and recruiting and let's say that you are good at it. In that case, I would say get involved in MLM if you want to, but don't sacrifice your relationships in the process. That means you need to recruit and sell in a "cold market", meaning to people you do not already know.

By the way, that is how I have always done it. I have never tried to recruit a friend or family member into an MLM. In fact, most people I know do not even know that I have been involved in MLM in the past. Relationships are far more important than money. I do not want people hiding from me when they see me coming.

Author's Bio: 

Greg Howlett is an owner of Vitabase, a leading online health supplement retailer. Having started several successful businesses, Greg is widely recognized as an internet marketing expert.

Greg lives in Monroe, GA with his wife and four children. He is also a professional Christian pianist.