Some time ago, My sister had thrown a massive holiday party at my parents house where a collective of hooligans coalesced, and where I had met a past friend. We’ll call him Colin.
Colin seemed just like all the other chill post high school kids around, but he took a strange liking to me. He asked me several questions about what I like to do, giving me a strange case of interviewee syndrome. “Do you like to read?” He asked. This was right at the beginning of my journey of self development and I had taken a very sharp turn into the world of books and reading. I responded explaining that, and he immediately said he had a book for me to read if I was interested. I said sure. The book he gave me was Rich Dad Poor Dad’s Cash Flow Quadrant.
Me and Colin had followed up later that week and he asked if I would want to get together sometime. I said sure, not thinking much of it. He came over to my house and we had dinner and beers, and after bull-shitting about books for a while, he had suddenly asked me for a pen. He began drawing up on a sheet of paper what I would come to find later as “the plan”. It was very interesting to me at the time, so I agreed to learn more about it.
A couple weeks later I went to his “mentors” house where there were tons of people in suits, wearing what seemed more like delusions of grandour. I was observing their nervous body language and overly fake confidence, and I was really confused about what I was about to watch.
Enter the plan. Enter excessive materialism. Enter dream world.
The main topic of the whole meeting was the dream. What can you have in this business? What does it take for you to have it all? How much better would your life be and everyone else around you if you had a private jet, 3 vacation properties and corporate retreats to a fucking island, and all the free time in the known universe? Why in the world would you want to do anything else in life?
And I won’t bullshit you, I was honestly enticed. It really doesn’t sound so bad at first.
Why would you do anything else?
But I was still confused about how the process works and a little bit unsure about it all. My friend Colin kept urging me to come around. He invited me to come chill, have some beers, go out and practice talking to people. Oh, and why don’t you come to this event! Dream night is coming up, its the same bullshit you’ve been to 7 times already but theres a dinner and “insert double Dimond here” is going to be there! And even better, we might get to talk with him personally! Bring your notes!
Why are you working a job, when you could just go around showing the plan to people, make passive income and having all the free time in the world to spend with your perfect wife and friends? You’re just a unionized, corporate climbing, pension praying piece of lard who doesn’t believe in himself.
If you don’t have it, keep going. If you don’t believe it, keep learning. If you think I’m just bragging and showing off, I really promise you I’m just trying to show what I can offer to solve every little want and desire within you. This business can be whatever you make it.
Dream night for me was the last straw. I went in hopes that there would be some new info, new insight, some sort of purpose for what we were supposed to be doing. nothing. I was really starting to get irritated, and worse, the group of people I was around were all just as jazzed up every time. What the hell is going on?
When we got to his car to take me back to mine back at his place, he asked of what I thought about it. I couldn’t hold it in any longer.
Theres nothing tangible about this business. Theres no purpose. All this shit is just jacking off everyones ego and weighing on everyones insecurities and desires. And whats worse, they tell everyone they don’t need them. They act like theres nothing that could ever bring them down. They blur the line between true dreams and achievements and false heroism. Sure, you can make connection after connection and make a bunch of money and “help people” if you stick around with this bullshit long enough, but what about after that?
I did the honest thing and told him I didn’t want to go to events anymore and really had no desire in Amway, but was down to have a friendship and talk about self development and go out, and you know what he told me? “Yeah, you know man I’m going to be really busy with all this, I hope you the best, and have fun on your trip to New Zealand.”
We both knew I wasn’t leaving for New Zealand for over a month, and it really only took me a couple of seconds to pick up on the underlying intention behind what he was saying to me: Goodbye. You no longer fulfill the unspoken condition in our relationship.
If I was really honest, looking back over it all, I always had these thoughts and perceptions of him and his intentions. The red flags. But I ignored them. You know why? Because I too had shitty intentions. I also had underlying conditions in our friendship. I thought he had something to offer me. But as soon as I stopped caring about the conditions, the friendship ended. Coincidence?
We we were decent buddies for about a year.
The organization I was in was the mighty Amway. The Amway business model, which is just straight forward network marketing works in a simple fashion:
– Be shown the business model
– Attend events and meetings
– Show that you’re motivated, get sponsored and become an Independent Business Owner who buys from himself
– Wash, rinse, repeat. Reproduce yourself until you’re wiping your ass with Benjamins face.
Its very straight forward and simple. Meet people. target people that are desperate for change in their lives. Bring them along and be their friend. Get them to do the same bullshit constantly until they forget all their old “working class” family and friends.
Pretty much every cult and extreme following of any cause shares these traits. You can’t necessarily prove them right or wrong. They’re not polarizable. You either believe it or you don’t, and you’re with it or against it.
And let me be clear on another thing really quick, not every single breathing vessel that I met in network marketing displayed these traits. But it was the case on a very large and common basis. Every conversation I had felt like a fucking interview. Pretty much everyone was just working some piece of shit job or worse unemployed, and banking on the fact that they were going to go big in network marketing.
Sure, you could make it big if you weather enough rejections to fill the fucking Noah’s Ark. Sure, you can make a ton of money if you maintain your roster. Sure, you can potentially never “work” another day in your life, whatever that actually means.
But theres several caveats here. You can’t have it all; you always lose in areas relative to what you gain in others. You aren’t honestly becoming who you want to be through someone else’s path.
So uh, yeah. 6 reasons you shouldn’t get involved with network marketing.
Network marketing encourages conditional relationships
Have you ever been talking to someone, or maybe its even a good friend or family member, and they keep pointing their questions in a direction that make you sort of uneasy? And then they finally come out and say they need 500 dollars, or they want you to get them that job, or finish your sandwich?
Yeah, we all fucking hate that. Especially when the only time they come around or get a hold of you is when theres something in it for them.
If we know and trust the person, we usually feel more comfortable or okay with it, even though it should still be questioned if its a regular occurrence. And it usually doesn’t fly well with strangers.
Intentions are transcribed subconsciously through means of things like vocal tonality, body language, and where and when specific statements are dropped. The more carefully placed, the more obvious they become. If you’re consciously looking for a certain outcome or reward in a friendship or conversation, your intentions and expectations won’t last long under the radar. We’re wired to pick up on these things, and we’re also wired to feel uneasy if they don’t align with our own intentions and expectations, if we even have any.
But this isn’t the only place we see conditions. We see it in all sorts of relationships.
Boyfriends. Girlfriends. Your neighbor. Your friends. Your parents. The fucking cat. Just stop.
This is why I feel like a lot of these Amway kids aren’t doing so hot. They’re ill equipped. They’re told they can have their dreams, the big house, the yacht, the world travel, and all you have to do is convince 10 people and have those 10 people convince 10 people and so on.
What they didn’t tell them is that if you walk around with such heavy intentions and expectations with every person you meet, well, you’re going to have a high rate of rejection. Most people aren’t looking for anything from you, and 99.999% of the time they aren’t looking to give anything to you.
Whats worse is at some point in the process they start subduing all their loved ones and dear friends to this “be apart of my legacy or get out of my way” mind set. They won’t ever admit it, but thats exactly how they run their social life. People are either with them or against them. Everyone around them is just a catalyst for their delusional aspirations. They’re already committing social harakiri before they even see any sort of celestial altitude.
You’re friends with people because you genuinely enjoy your time with them. Or you’re genuinely interested in their skill or knowledge in something particular. Or you look at them and they’re just so beautiful you start smiling into their existence until they ask “what?”. Thats unconditional relation. You aren’t looking for anything from anyone, just enjoying the sense of curiosity, the feeling of being.
And then we go back to petting that damn cat, until next time.
fulfillment and Identity isn’t won in the game of money
Theres a treasury of tragic lotto winner stories, literally. And what the good fuck is fulfillment really, honestly, even like? What the hell is wrong with a big house? so you’re saying having everything I could ever want isn’t the answer?
Well, I guess none of us really find out till its too late.
But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.
Money is a tool of society. We all need or want something someone else has, and money simplifies that transaction on a global scale. Its insanely useful and incredibly efficient.
Theres a lot I’ve been through to make it to my 6 figure career in construction. but now that I’ve gotten to those numbers and experienced the inverse relationship between time and money, as well as the simple fact that the more you have of anything, the less meaning it posses; has dragged my desire for money down to personally record low levels. 98% of the population understands the concept of not enough money, but what about too much? Hardly any of us even have the experience or wherewithal to conclude that, including me.
In few words: Fulfillment is completing a marathon. Fulfillment is raising a child and seeing them do the things they always wanted to do because they wanted to do them. Struggle and worry and pain and sometimes down-right agony that results in overcome is what brings fulfillment. But you have to start from a place of curiosity, and a place of very little expectations.
“But Dillon, I’m using this as a gate way to achieve the other things Ive always wanted to pursue!”
Admirable, but I call bull-fucking-shit. Nobody ever forced out love and passion without it inevitably backfiring them right back to where they started, and they also never resisted the over powering urge to go get something that they just couldn’t resist finding out if it was meant for them or not.
You also don’t need a bunch of passive income or insane abundance of money to pursue a passion unless you just so happen to be seriously into private space crafts or you really, really find a money mattresses far superior to the spring peasantry. And even then, if those are the things you really want, then focus on those things. If you aren’t focusing on them, you must not actually want them that bad.
I discovered this about music when I was 21 after like 8 years of playing. I just liked the identity of being a guitarist. I just liked the feedback. I just liked the dream of playing break downs and chugging riffs to moshing fans. I realized I just really love the sound of a good guitar, a good song. Not actually putting out the work to play it.
There are things money can and cannot buy. You can buy a huge house and a ball’n yacht, but you can’t buy honest friends that care about that you, the real you. You can’t buy loving parents that helped you through your career or supported you through whatever academic success you sought. You can’t buy honest passions and complete obsessions.
Most of us have very few of these things, and once you neglect or destroy them, at worst they’re gone forever, and at best you get to fight tooth and nail for them back, and usually not in the condition of which they began. And the funny thing is we don’t even have complete control over these these things to begin with, all we can do care, influence, and take responsibility for our own actions.
So uh, what the fuck makes you think money is going to save you?
Materialism becomes your metric of success
We all have our own metrics and values behind what drives our life style, friendships, and relationships. Some of us care about honesty, some about political correctness. Most of us are really great and really bad at a lot of different things, and thats what causes the most genuine love and humor among our peers.
And thats the thing about it; they’re the things inside of us, not the things we possess, or the excess of.
Money helps your quality of life a great deal up until about 80k/y. After that its just extras and after that it just gets a little messy for most, unless that money was a side effect of achieving some other motive.
This is why excessive materialism is dangerous for a plethora of reasons, discussed in some depth in the previous item. But theres something to be said about metrics of success.
We often ponder what makes us a successful human being, and we constantly compare ourselves to others, in healthy and unhealthy ways. If there was a collective of horrible metrics to compare and judge yourselves and others by, I would consider a number of them to be statics; things that aren’t totally in your control. But theres also things that can change in an instant that are also heavily judged upon, money and possessions being a popular one.
Judging from this perspective is an illusion, a complete bending of false light that makes us like shit people and laugh at honest ones. Sure, sometimes theres a real well off dude thats also very modest and has good morals and intentions. then theres also sometimes that dude with 7 dollars in his checking account and also in fact a lazy sack of shit and blames the world for his problems. But those are extremes, while most of us reside in the middle of the bellcurve; just going off our next best guess, just sort of getting by.
When a lavish and opulent life style becomes the only thing you care about, or worse the only people you care to be around, you automatically rule out more than 98% of the population of worthiness and your respect, with the only second chance being they become rich and materialistic themselves. I mean, common, really? I don’t know what else to say.
A breeding ground of false apathy and cognitive biases
You know those times when you remind yourself more than once in any 10 minute period about how you “don’t give a fuck” about something? Or you’re listening to your buddy tell you about how he’s disappointed about some chick he was dating and constantly reminds you that it doesn’t bother him? Breaking news: it does. So I made up a term for it: False Apathy.
The shittiest part about false apathy is that its incredibly difficult to detect within oneself, even if you would consider yourself very self aware. I had a soul crushing awakening to my false apathy some time ago. And let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. All that time I actually cared way to much. Pretending I didn’t care and convincing myself of that was easier than facing the overwhelming confusion about my desires.
Real apathy is a lack of motivation of absence of emotion.
False apathy is a constant reminder to oneself that they are not emotionally invested in any given issue, when they in fact – are.
So here you’ve got Colin and every other network marketer, talking to every person that they come into contact with. And they constantly says they don’t care if they get rejected or not, or how the conversation goes. If they get rejected or told some well thought out opinion such as mine, you know what they do? They literally laugh at you. They’re so convinced and have been conditioned by their “mentor” that they are right and destined for greatness and anyone that opposes their ideals are wrong, so they shouldn’t care.
And they’ve heard them all. They constantly present with perfect cognitive biases and confirmations to support their beliefs. But people do this everywhere, with their religions, their political views, even all the new sexual orientations out there which I’m not even entirely sure what they are. “This is what I believe and theres no way anyone could prove me wrong or convince me otherwise”, says the subconsciously corrupted mind.
Of course, I could be wrong about all this. But don’t tell that to the guy who’s in Amway.
A distorted sense of self sufficiency
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from people in network marketing, especially the higher echelon, that they don’t need anyone. They don’t need to be having these network get-togethers and them coalescing with us is their way of giving back and how we shouldn’t be wasting their time or ours and blah blah blah. I had a thought- oh yeah, what a load of horse shit.
Your career, life style, legacy, and finances don’t manage theirselves. Thats a fairy tale. These guys need us to bring people in. They need us to keep coming around and staying involved and buying products from Amway under his endorsement because, holy shit, marketing 101.
If even 50% of the people in the network stopped buying products within the business, there would be bad news. If he just got some people in and just hoped they worked out and stuck around forever, I don’t think he would have made it this far. So he has to keep people involved. Keep coming back. Show up to these events and stay involved. Keep investing your time here. Buy products from Amway, because they give a sliver back.
Im not saying the business model doesn’t work, because it obviously does. the problem isn’t in the business, the problem is in the soul. Does saying this shit to people really honestly get them to stick around? How fucking needy.
We are always going to need other people. Theres a big bold line between self sufficiency and believing you don’t need anyone. And as soon as you need to start stating you don’t need anyone, it sounds an awful lot like false apathy.
False sense of heroism
While we’re at all this big dreaming, house owning, yacht riding, conditional communicating, shit morals and values cluster-fuck, why not take it a step further? Why would we really give a shit about being super rich in the first place? Why do I want to be the biggest hottest baddest shit ever dropped since Hiroshima AND have that to offer to everyone around me?
Glad you asked.
We all want to be remembered for something. We all deny death in our own ways, be it through leading revolutions, writing a book, playing on stage to thousands of screaming fans, being elected president, starting or finishing a war, raising 12 children, revealing in success of a start up, shooting up a school, or holding a god hates fags sign in public. All these things reach lots of eyes and ears in positive and negative ways.
Which way it polarizes isn’t necessarily as important as that we impacted other peoples lives or left a behind a memory or monument of ourselves. We are finding ways to extend ourselves passed the expiration date of our bodies. You do it. I do it. Dylan Roof did it. We all do it. We are all attracted to being a part of something bigger than ourselves, which extends ourselves. And it takes a lot of effort and planning and, you guessed it, a lot of straight up shit.
But network marketing is easy! All you gotta do is get 10 people to do it, and those 10 people to do it, show up to these meetings and talk about the same thing, and, gosh, I’m getting exhausted just telling you about it! but It almost feels like I didn’t even do anything! But you guys just really gotta persevere! Keep doing the same thing you always do and just get good people in those doors!
All these guys seem oblivious to this fact; they didn’t make anything at all.
The big guys and the up and comers are all the same. They followed the same exact plan with the same exact corporation. This is whats so ironic and esoteric about the “why would you want to build someone else dream?” argument they always preach. They’re doing it too. They didn’t fucking make Amway or network marketing. Just like how I didn’t make Central Steel. Just like how I didn’t invent the blog.
And this is where the false sense comes in. You didn’t actually accomplish or persevere anything. You didn’t actually save anyone. If anything, you just threw away all your other passions and obsessions in the name of free enterprise. You just showed up to some thing that jacked off your wildest dreams and egos and circled it around to every other person you know and are going to meet. You’re entitled to get everything you ever wanted, and the sick part is that you actually could be. And the disgusting part is you forgot that the whole point of life is accepting what sucks, holding on to love, working so hard and so persistently at something you’re obsessed about that you forget what time it is, letting go of someone thats not right for you, and ultimately, becoming your ideal self.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some damn shopping mall across the street to build.