It was almost 20 years ago but I remember the day well, I had just been invited into the inner circle of the NuSkin elite, the distributor advisory board.
It seemed like a dream since 2 ½ years before that I had been struggling to try to learn the elusive business of network marketing and had probably quit at least 6 times in the first 6 months and then I hit my stride and became a NuSkin Blue Diamond and then a Hawaiian Blue Diamond (now known as “Team Elite”) in about 30 months.
It had been a dizzying ride as the company exploded into their momentum growth curve moving from about $50 million to almost half a billion and then a billion in the blink of an eye.
It was the stuff dreams are made of, checks going up over 35% a month, your downline exploding, life was good.
Now I had been invited into the inner sanctum of the NuSkin advisory board with 11 other company leaders. We sat there with the company founders Blake Rhoney and Steve Lund, and they gave us some office memento gifts and then brought in balloons filled with helium, handed us the strings, and gave us a pin to pop them.
I think Jerry Campisi went first and “Boom” out dropped a little rolled up certificate telling you the amount of your NuSkin check that month.
As we all popped the balloons and looked at the amounts in shock, (my check below was pretty darn exciting) they told us we had just broken all company records and had enrolled over 40,000 distributors in NuSkin that month alone.
Now that should have been a “yahoo” moment, I mean lets face it, things were good, very good. But in that instant I had a sinking feeling, kind of like being on the 5th day of a 7 day ship cruise and things are really getting good and then you realize that in 2 days you have to go home.
That brings us to the question at issue here, can a network marketing company or any company for that matter go straight up forever? Is there and ending point, and if there is what does that even mean in the world of network marketing?
If we are to believe the leaders in the company, that are making huge amounts of money off of their large organizations are telling you, then you would believe that “the sky’s the limit”.
Now for them, that may be true, because once you have a large stable organization you are pretty well locked in, but what about the newbie? The distributor that is just joining a billion dollar company today, what does it mean for them?
My MLM reverie was brought about because the other day someone called to prospect me into NuSkin.
Now they obviously did not know that I had already been in NuSkin, and that I had retired from active involvement years ago and had given my interest in the distributorship to my kids, but it brought up a good question because in today’s depressing business markets all network marketing companies, even the old giants are seeing renewed growth.
NuSkin vs The MLM Success Curve
There has been a lot of buzz in the industry in the last few months about NuSkin! They are after all taking another run at the golden gauntlet, or should we call it the golden ceiling of MLM companies.
Its somewhere around a billion dollars a year in North America.
If a company hits the mark in the MLM world and knocks the cover off the ball, they go through one of those S shaped growth curves I frequently use in presentations. I show how companies pick up speed as they grow in popularity until they hit about $50 million a year in the North American market, at which point they break through a threshold point and explode.
Then the go-go days of momentum growth where the company growth goes vertical and so do the paychecks of distributors who are well positioned.
These are the glory days in which just the sight of a FedEx truck driving down the street can make your heart start pounding like a jackhammer, and unleash a feeling of total euphoria.
(MLM companies like Nuskin love to showcase success by sending top reps their checks by FedEx when then get over $5000 a month or so) .
Then it happens! Bam!
You hit the inevitable Golden ceiling of network marketing when the company hits about a billion dollars in volume. The company growth, at least in the North American market starts to slow and then plateau.
I wrote about this in a recent blog post on another MLM Success story MonaVie.
Standard Network Marketing companies like NuSkin, as opposed to Top Tier MLM companies, rely heavily on duplication and the development of huge organizations to generate the type of big dollars the top earners make, but once that explosive growth slows so does the income.
When they hit a growth plateau most companies fall back about 15% to 25% in overall volume and then kind of sit there at billion or so.
Not a bad neighborhood really, and if you were one of the lucky distributors who were well positioned, this is your MLM pink slip, your retirement notice. You worked hard, go cash those checks and travel or something, or maybe take up a hobby.
In the MLM world of yesterday, you had 4 options at that point.
- Retire and cash your checks: Stay in the game just enough to make your appearances at conventions and rally’s, and talk about the good old days with other fortunate people in your group.
- Cash your check and move on: If you were not making enough when it stopped, or if your passion is just the excitement of building, then go off and find a newer version of your old company. You must of course leave your downline alone or the company will cut off your check.
- Go International: Buy a copy of Rosetta Stone and start studying those foreign languages. The action will now be mostly be international as the company expands into market after market, and you have the opportunity to feel the joy again as you position for momentum growth in each of those markets. Now the problem is you are pretty much going to have to move there, so pick somewhere nice like Thailand or Australia.
- Keep Building: Then there are the die hards! They just don’t know when to stop. They keep building and pushing harder waiting for the 2nd momentum spurt, you know the one that takes the company to $5 billion. The problem here is that there are extremely few examples of this ever happening.
In the market today, lets face it, things are a little different, and of course part of the fallacy of all business or financial forecasting is using the past to predict the future. It works sometimes, and sometimes not.
Lets examine today’s market. First, lets face it the economy is not good, and record numbers of people are literally being forced into re inventing themselves, and into self employment. Also network marketing is much more accepted today than it was even several years ago.
Second, there are companies who have broken the golden ceiling such as Amway, who is somewhere around $8 billion in worldwide revenue. However I do believe most of that is international.
NuSkin May Have An Edge
In all fairness to NuSkin, if anyone can do it they probably can.
Having worked for several MLM’s, I would have to say that NuSkin stands out head and shoulders above them, they are a class A+ operation. They constantly have been able to reinvent themselves over the years but most of the true growth has been international.
However in the past NuSkin tried to push continued growth in North America by creating separate divisions, that distributors pretty much pitched as separate companies. There are been a long line of these: IDN, QIQ Connections, Big Planet, Pharmanex, Pharmanex Medical, and Photomax.
Each of these NuSkin divisions did do well initially but then seemed to hit the wall in continued growth. However, it may be that the product types they used for the divisions were part of the problem here.
Standard nutritional supplements are not emotional products, lets face it no one every took a vitamin pill, no matter how high quality and woke up the next morning and said “ Wow do I feel good”.
Technology products such as Big Planet has are even worse, there is no emotional attachment at all with these products and if there is, the love affair is short.
In building with those product types your organization can become a revolving door after a few years as distributors cycle from business builders, to product users, to gone.
However this time may be different, this time NuSkin is cycling back to their original product line Skin Care and Anti Aging.
In my book skin care being a visual, emotional, consumable product is probably one of the best of not the best product type you have have in a Network Marketing company, as long as the company does not have a culture that excludes men. If you do, then you eliminate half of your target market for distributors, not a good move.
NuSkin was always unique in that respect. I would estimate half of the distributors, even in the old days were men, most other skin care companies have not been able to achieve that type of culture.
Well it will be interesting to watch, NuSkin has their guns loaded this time. They have a lot of excitement going with the “Galvanic Spa” and they are rolling out yet another exclusive product, “Ageloc” that they are rallying the troops around. They have even motivated many of the retired NuSkin leaders who were already making crazy amounts of money to get back in the game.
One note of caution here, NuSkin’s comp plan pays big bucks, but can be harder than most. If you truly want to be successful, develop an effective marketing system and plan on bringing in at least 6 to 8 reps per month. The best way to do this in todays market is to use internet marketing approaches and systems like My Lead System Pro to tap into the huge traffic flow that is online every day searching for opportunity.
Want to learn how to develop and use a marketing approaches that can tap both local and international markets and help you join that top earner status in NuSkin or your current company.
Learn how I used online marketing and generated over 3000 leads, sponsored over 50 new reps and generated over $30,000 in affiliate commissions in just my first 5 months using this killer system? For a inside look at some of these powerful marketing strategies check out the video….
There are many great opportunities in the MLM world today, and regardless of the company you choose to join, it’s critically important that you learn how to market properly. Too many people in network marketing base the success of their business on pure luck and company momentum to make it happen for them. If you truly want to be successful in this industry then take the time to learn how to successfully market you business and don’t leave your success to chance.
For free training on successful internet marketing strategies visit