Should I work for a multi-level company?

by Robert John Stevens, September 29, 2016

Someone on a forum today asked if they should work at a multi-level company.

We need good, honest and ethical people in leadership positions everywhere. BYU graduates represent some of the best. The greatest good can occur from within. To rephrase President Hinckley’s quote, you can make bad businesses good and good businesses better.

Think of a good company as diamond shaped where the majority of the income is distributed to its hard-working employees.

The distribution of wealth in a healthy nation is also diamond shaped.

The most successful MLM in history is the Federal Reserve–a private group of bankers, organized in 1913, whose business model was to monetize debt. Their down lines are member banks and those who keep them in power, and share in the wealth plunder. Their August 2016 balance sheet reports $4.64 trillion assets (see page 4).

Their product is debt monetization which is best achieved by growing the size of governments via regulations, overspending and endless wars.

Besides for a brief period from 1862 to 1872 to pay for the Civil War, The Federal Income Tax rate was 0% until 1913. Tax Freedom Day in 2016 was April 24th, i.e., you worked from January 1st to April 24th just to pay your taxes. Pre-1913 there were almost no regulations in the United States.

MLM founders may have great and noble intentions as do most traditional company employees. There are good people everywhere.

Re-read the Book of Mormon just to study the effect the Gadianton Robbers had and the case studies on the proper role of government. That may help in deciding where you want to work and what companies you want to support.

I interviewed with similar companies and decided my conscience will not let me support any multi-level scam.

Every one of them claims to be different but all of them have
commonality—their products aren’t superior or they wouldn’t need a pyramid scheme to sell them, the founders often amass wealth, and the majority of participants do not.

Life’s decisions require deciding what rackets we aren’t going to support.

A cause-based job where you are dedicated to a mission will provide the
highest satisfaction; hence, that’s why teachers are willing to work so hard for so little.

Having said that, free agency declares it is your decision. Consider
weighting it against the 12th Article of Faith:

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

MLM interviews I accepted this year:

1. Modere in Springville (formally NewWays). Their development team maintains about two dozen similar code bases due to language- and nation-specific distributors. I didn’t think that sounded fun and I sensed neither did they.

2. Young Family Living: They generated more than $1 billion in revenues last year. During my interview with the development manager, he diffused essential oils into the air. I didn’t smell oils in the working areas though.

7 Tips to Quit Your Job and Become an Entrepreneur

by Robert John Stevens, June 20, 2016

  1. Only work with totally honest and highly ethical co-founders to avoid costly legal fees, broken promises, failed dreams and a great deal of stress. Discuss how you all will behave given a variety of unforeseen situations. Write it all down and have each co-founder sign every page.

  2. Experience the pain or need yourself—If you have your chances of success will be much higher especially if you are committed to solving the problem so nobody else will feel the pain as you did, and to provide a simple, elegant solution.

  3. Work with an entrepreneur who has succeeded. Learn all you can from him or her. Startups require a very different mentality than working for corporations.

  4. Choose something that enhances your skills to set you apart from the masses should you need to bail and get a job.

  5. Plan to spend most of your time doing tasks outside of your core skill set. The first thing I discovered after resigning from my cushy programming job at WordPerfect and building WriteExpress was that I had relied upon teammates.

    Without their help I had to learn to program software installations, write documentation and sales copy, build websites, create and test release candidates, replicate CDs, design retail boxes and CD faces, manage my online store, create shareware versions, design, test and manage online advertisement, work with partners, sell, listen to customers, support customers, ship product and more.

    Over time I lost interest in running an online store. I prefer a low-maintenance, scalable, re-occurring income model.

  6. Make sure you have sufficient money to focus. This doesn’t mean you need a competitive or high salary—just enough so you and your family do not stress.

    If no salary is offered, give yourself a set amount of time to succeed and don’t go over without future income. You may decide to burn through so much of your own funds for a given time and then some more to find a job should you need to bail. When I co-founded I had WordPerfect stock options, some other stocks and savings. Decide up front how much money you may lose.

    Get yourself out of debt and reduce your monthly expenditures. Now may be the perfect time to sell a home or assets into strength. Rent if it saves you money and frees up cash.

  7. Plan to get a job before you run out of money—you will have a great start on your new business and can finish it part time. Bankruptcies, foreclosures, short sales, and divorces happen when entrepreneurs gamble.

  8. Get something into your customer’s hands ASAP. They will help you perfect it.

More Tips

Commit to eating healthy, going to bed early, rising early, exercising daily, maintaining your spirituality, and working somewhere where you can focus. Failure in any one of these will cost you.

Most importantly don’t ever ignore your children. Whenever they request your attention stop whatever you are doing and give them your full attention. It is sometimes difficult to do so you must decide ahead of time to do it. Failure to do so may likely result in wayward children.

No startup success will compensate for failure at home. No sane person on their deathbed who has wayward children wishes they made more money in life.

Traveling for Work May Lead to Wayward Children

by Robert John Stevens, June 16, 2016

A BYU student named Nathan recently asked if he should take a job that requires up to 35% travel. Here’s my response to him:

Dear Nathan,

Take the job and risk having wayward kids.

If success is measured by how well your kids turn out, whether they love each other and their parents, and if they get accepted to BYU, then I attribute our success to working at home—four of our kids attend BYU and I suspect the rest will too.

The grand secret I learned is that whenever they needed my attention I had to stop whatever I was doing and give them my full attention. In most cases after 30 seconds to two minutes they were satisfied. How will you do that if you are absent?

I’ve also seen kids devastated when dads don’t show up for plays and daddy-donut events.

Go away for 35% of your workweek and/or ignore your kids and you’ll start noticing behavior problems. They and your wife will learn to live without you and you may not like the outcome.

I know Peter Priesthood and Mollie Mormon families who on the surface seem perfect but are devastated by how their kids turned out. The fathers spent much of their time traveling. It just wasn’t worth it and now they can’t repair the damage.

I’m sure it doesn’t always work out so badly for all but why risk it? You’ve heard David O McKay’s quote, “No failure can compensate for failure in the home.”

Work as close to home as possible so you can spend more time with your family. Give them your full attention whenever they need it. Be there for the moments that matter. I’ve heard of nobody on their deathbed who said they wished they traveled more for work.