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In this episode, one woman ranks the worst MLM-recruitment messaging she's seen on social media.

Through weekly video essays, "Making It Work" showcases how *real* people have upgraded their personal or financial lives in some meaningful way. Making your life work for you doesn't mean getting rich just for the sake of it. It means making the most of what you have to build a life you love, both in your present and in your future. And while managing money is a crucial life skill for everyone, there's no one "right way" to go about it — you have to figure out what works best for *you,* full stop.

Based on an article by Jazmine Reed-Clark:

Video by Grace Lee

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Since learning about girl power forwards MLMs, I've become intrigued by the culture as a whole.

From their cult-like tactics to recruit new team members, to ex-Huns getting out stories, after some reflection and examination the rhetoric spewed by MLM Huns is no different than the toxic rhetoric and messaging used by girlboss pandering companies that we're beginning to tear down. Both groups are making their money from corporate feminism, or a pink washed package of capitalism.

Each grooms their employees with manipulation tactics, trend-forward jargon, and aspiration advertising. Both groups tug at a woman's need to feel worthy and provide for her family. They are a breeding ground for yes queen slay business advice, defending themselves against valid arguments with sass and gaslighting, a.k.a. sass-lighting.

These are the phrases I find most toxic and prevalent within the world of girlboss culture and MLMs, ranked. Number four, if your loved ones don't support your business they don't support you. Eye roll rating, one out of two eyeballs.

In the regular world, this advice can help, but in the MLM world, this is an isolation tactic. Pointing out flawed business practices or inquiring about a business model's health isn't a sign of disloyalty. Based on some getting out stories I watched on YouTube, MLM sellers are encouraged to block and disassociate themselves with naysayers and even people who leave the MLM.

You're encouraged to remain in an echo chamber of fellow boss babes who are drinking the same Kool-Aid and won't challenge any harmful practices. This is why MLMs and hustle culture obsessed employers feel like a cult. Obviously, if this is being used as a tactic, the utility is to isolate and manipulate.

However, in situations where psychological abuse isn't at play, at least not intentionally, we should set the expectation that relationships are multidimensional. Healthy dialogue and conflict communication should be part of any relational foundation. Progress is moving toward empowering others with coping mechanisms and tools to communicate frustrations effectively.

Number three, if you want something bad enough, you'll make time not excuses. Eye roll rating, one out of two eyeballs in the back of my head. I understand what they're getting at, but this phrasing shifts all blame for missed goals or missed opportunities to the person who's working to better themselves and their circumstances.

While accountability and radical self-responsibility are important and vital to success with any goal, the idea that passion alone is the single deciding factor of success, or whether or not you have time, is misleading. When we internalize failure and success in this way, we're prone to overwork, obsessively compare, and sacrifice important areas of life, like family and friends, to achieve work-related goals. This advice was the precursor to toxic hustle culture.

To put it in a different context, imagine telling a friend you didn't get a job offer and she responded, you just didn't want it bad enough. I prefer this advice instead, keep consistent with the hard work you're putting in despite your setbacks. This acknowledges the ebbs and flow of life.

It doesn't glorify perfection or dangle the idea you can achieve a blemish free life if you just want it bad enough. Number two, if you have time to scroll you have time to start a business. Eye roll rating, two out of two eyeballs.

This message shames us for resting and doing an activity that isn't metrics-focused. Instagram can be a place that is meant for memes and re-sharing TikToks, it doesn't need to be another stream of income if that's not your vision. Also, this reduces the challenges of business ownership to merely having time and drive.

Two important things, but skimming over nuances of entrepreneurship is dangerous. You can have time and drive, but you also need capital, a business development plan, and KPIs to start. Also, not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur.

In a capitalist country, it's not shocking that we glamorize a lifestyle of busy schedules and making deals while wearing Louboutins. But why are we encouraging young adults to strive for a life where success is being too busy to sit with yourself and your phone for 20 minutes? Instead, I wish we normalized the idea of taking breaks, hydrating our spirits, and not waiting until we crash into a wall to get the help we needed.

We should evolve past the point of condemning people for not being on 24/7. The success of your life cannot be dismantled in a 30-minute sitting of a television show. Number one, just put the money to join an MLM on your credit card.

Eye roll rating, three out of two. Even my third eye is rolling. For starters, encouraging anyone to go into avoidable debt is a problem.

Debt isn't free money, and this messaging diminishes taking on debt to a self confidence building moment asking, don't you believe you can make the money back? Or my favorite, why don't you believe you're worth this investment? Seriously, screw off with that energy.

As someone who is an unapologetic believer in The Secret, I do not like the misuse of manifestation or inner work to manipulate others into a purchase. Ultimately, if we're looking at it on a spectrum, my feelings towards MLM Huns are closest to empathy. As someone who has lost casual friendships to MLMs, I believe most sellers are well-intentioned people.

They're victims of a business strategy that preys on vulnerability and the idea that you can have it all. And these four phrases are just used as bait to catch those they can devour.