Posted by: garispang | June 8, 2009

Is MLM an answer to Economic Recession?

pyramid_eyeMLM is certainly one of the best solutions to tide over one’s financial crisis in this economic downturn. Are you hardworking? Are you innovative? Do you like interacting with people offline/online? If you can answer an astounding “YES” to all of these questions, you certainly qualify as a Team player. Not only can you and your team members make a comfortable income if properly planned and executed. Many of us and have seen thousands of people making fortunes with MLM companies.

But we also know the universal fact that only 15-20% make decent money in MLM while others drop out soon after starting up. Many join MLM companies because they see what their upline sponsors and top leaders are earning, but they soon forget how much hard work and effort that person has put it in to earn, even if they realize what is required and try to duplicate it. They soon get de-motivated when friends and people in their warm circles refuse to join. This is quite normal. I have attended many MLM training classes a decade back (when MLM used offline) and trainings were purely motivational.

I still remember quotes like “A successful MLMer is one who can listen to 100 No’s and still remain motivated and get one signup” and a popular Chinese proverb “A 1000 mile journey starts with your first step” or “Rome was not built in a day”.

Some passive workers go lucky if they join under heavy hitters or lucky enough to get a worker under them and their team grows. But this is always not the case. One in 100 may be lucky enough while others get desperate in a month or two and drop out. If the dropout percentage is more than new members in a particular team, that team ultimately collapses.

In order to overcome this, regular motivational classes, calls, conferences are absolutely necessary and the team leader and member need to span out and bring in new people and motivate them to work. Dropouts will happen and cannot be stopped.

Is there an easier way for a person to earn being passive in MLM? The answer is big NO. This can only happen if that person is lucky enough to join under a big hitter or has a big recruiter under him.

We have had many team build programs organized in the past where we all come together in one thread in a moneymaking forum and work as a team. We have failed because many think that the team will do the work and their matrix will grow without realizing that they are part of the team.

So we began to look for a way out where every one can start earning in due course and all passives can come together under one umbrella and earn. All they have to do is invite their contacts to the team build and let the team builder/coordinator manage the rest. First, new members should keep in touch with the team and reinvestment. They should be remain contactable off & online to assist with the growth.

My opinion is that hard work and innovation never goes to waste. Yes, you get de-motivated at a time, but you also come back with double effort/energy and work towards your goal. The following will give you a better example of what I want to emphasize upon.

butterfly cocoonOne day, a small opening showed up in a cocoon, and a man sat down and watched for hours the little butterfly while she was struggling to come out through this little hole.

A few hours later it seemed like the butterfly has stopped trying. She did what she could and did not go any further.

The man decided to help her. He took a pair of scissors and widely opened the cocoon. The butterfly came out. But her body was sickly and her wings were wizened.

The man kept watching, waiting for the little wings to open. She would grow and become strong enough to hold the butterfly’s body.

But, the butterfly spent her whole life walking around slowly, supporting her sickly body with great difficulty. She was never able to fly.

The man in his kindness and good will, failed to understand that the limitation of the cocoon and the necessary struggle that the butterfly should do for breaking it, would force the fluids of her body move towards her wings making her ready to fly as soon as she would break the cocoon.

You see, sometimes, struggle is exactly what we need in our life.

If God allow us to spend our life without any difficulties this will ‘paralyze’ us. We will never become as strong as we could become. We will never be able to ‘fly’.

I asked for strength….And God gave me enough difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for wisdom…And God gave me enough problems to solve.

I asked for prosperity… And God gave me brains and health so I can work.

I asked for courage… And God gave me obstacles to overcome.

I asked for love… And God gave me people who are in pain, so I can help them.

I asked for favours … And God gave me opportunities.

I never got anything I asked, yet I got everything I needed!

‘Superfood’ Promoted on Oprah’s Site Robs Amazon Poor of Staple


May 14 (Bloomberg) — Rising U.S. sales of acai, a purple Amazon berry promoted as a “superfood” on Oprah Winfrey’s Web site, are depriving Brazilian jungle dwellers of a protein-rich nutrient they’ve relied on for generations.

U.S. consumers are turning a “a typical poor people’s food into something like a delicacy,” said Oscar Nogueira, who specializes in the fruit at Embrapa, Brazil’s agricultural research company.

Spending on acai-based products by Americans seeking to lose weight, gain energy or slow aging doubled to $104 million last year, according to SPINS, a Schaumburg, Illinois-based market research firm. Since U.S. demand took off early this decade, the fruit’s wholesale price in Brazil has jumped about 60-fold, Embrapa data show.

In 2008, exports from Para, the South American country’s main producing state, climbed 53 percent to account for about a quarter of output, according to the local government. Production, though, has increased little in the past five years.

Winfrey, 55, discussed the berry with Mehmet Oz on her TV talk show in February 2008, when the New York cardiologist presented his “anti-aging checklist.” It includes acai, blueberries and tomatoes.

“It has twice the antioxidant content of a blueberry,” said Oz, 48.

Winfrey’s site publishes dermatologist Nicholas Perricone’s “10 Superfoods List,” which includes the Brazilian fruit. Meriden, Connecticut-based Perricone, 60, sells skin-care items and food supplements, including a powder that contains the berry, according to his Web page.

Winfrey Disclaimer

Oz declined to be interviewed for this article. Perricone didn’t reply to e-mail and telephone requests for comment.

Perricone’s list on Winfrey’s site includes a link to a statement saying she isn’t associated with any acai product.

“We are pursuing unauthorized uses of Ms. Winfrey’s name associated to acai-based products, none of which she has endorsed,” said Don Halcombe, a spokesman for Harpo Inc., Winfrey’s production company. Chicago-based Harpo is turning over complaints about such items to the Illinois Attorney General’s office, Halcombe said in a telephone interview.

Halcombe declined to comment on the effect increased U.S. demand is having on traditional consumers in Brazil.

In Igarape-Miri, an Amazon village 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) north of Brasilia, Francisca Neves, who sells manioc flour to neighbors and restaurants, says the bitter pulp she used to eat twice a day is now a luxury.

“Our granddaughter is turning 3 and we’re going to have family coming to our house,” said Neves, 68, as she paid 20 reais ($9.40), or about 7 percent of her monthly household income, for 2 liters (2 quarts) of the thick mush at a local street market.

Palm Trees

Acai grows on palm trees and looks like a blueberry. In the Amazon, it is beaten, diluted in water and eaten with manioc, meat, fish or dried shrimp.

The pulp provides more protein in relation to its weight than eggs and milk, and has high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant, as well as vitamins E and B1, potassium, iron and calcium, according to Embrapa.

The Para government recommends its consumption. The berry is popularly associated with bone and muscular strength, longevity and a healthy immune system, said Lucival Cardoso, the state’s chief health inspector.

“We encourage families to give acai to children as young as 6 months,” Cardoso said. “It’s also very filling; that’s why it’s traditionally associated with low-income family diets.”

No FDA Review

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t reviewed any acai-based products for safety or purported health benefits, Susan Cruzan, an FDA spokeswoman based in White Oak, Maryland, said in an e-mail.

Pills and other merchandise made with the fruit’s extracts are sold in health food stores across America. Energy drinks containing the juice are sold by the supermarket chains Safeway Inc., Publix Super Markets Inc. and Kroger Co., and by natural- food retailer Whole Foods Market Inc.

Some U.S. Web sites say the berry can help with weight loss, sexual dysfunction, fighting cancer cells and regenerating muscles.

MonaVie LLC of South Jordan, Utah, offers a 25-ounce bottle of its MonaVie Original acai juice blend that distributors sell for $45. Its Web site says the drink provides the “phytonutrients and antioxidants needed to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.”

Independent Distributors

The company is struggling with independent distributors who promote the juice as a miracle drug, said Randy Larsen, executive vice president.

“We are very regulated here about what claims we can make or not make,” Larsen said in a telephone interview.

Attempts in Brazil to boost production to meet demand have had little success because of the difficulty in obtaining land alongside riverbeds, said Alfredo Oyama Homma, an Embrapa rural economist based in Belem, Para’s capital.

“The acai palm trees are most productive when surrounded by other trees, and they also need lots of water,” Homma said.

In Brazil’s southeast, where the country’s most populated cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are located, the berry’s pulp is sold at juice bars and health clubs as smoothies, mixed with sugar or sweeteners and other fruits.

That’s how Ryan Black, chief executive officer of San Clemente, California-based Sambazon Inc., which makes acai-based pulp, energy drinks and supplements, discovered the berry in 1999.

Flavor and Energy

“I was hooked on the flavor and energy,” said Black, 34, who traveled to Rio with Ed Nichols, who is now his business partner. “We thought California would be a perfect market.”

Black and Nichols, 34, shipped their first container of frozen pulp to California in 2000 and built a factory in Amapa, another state in the Amazon, six years later. In 2008, Sambazon’s revenue rose 67 percent to $25 million, Black said.

Sambazon, short for Saving and Managing the Brazilian Amazon, sells its products at 15,000 locations across the U.S., Black said.

In Brazil, farmers traditionally sell their harvest in wicker baskets that hold about 14 kilograms (31 pounds) of fruit. Since 2000, the wholesale price of a basket has risen from one real to as much as 60 reais, Embrapa data show.

Neves says she and her fellow villagers, who call Igarape- Miri the world capital of acai, are paying the price of the berry’s international fame.

“We are happy that people on the other side of the world are able to enjoy our acai, but we don’t want to have to go without it,” Neves said. “Why should we suffer so people who don’t even know anything about the fruit can have their acai pills?”

To contact the reporter on this story: Adriana Brasileiro in Rio de Janeiro at

Last Updated: May 14, 2009 00:01 EDT

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