Why I’ve Turned Down Over 20 Multi-Million Dollar Deals
Yes, you saw that title correctly. I have turned down over 20 deals, each with promises of over a million dollars. But why would I do that? Let me give you some background. (Side note: It’s crazy, I feel like I’ve written this post in my head so many times over the years, but it’s the first time in text.)
Isn’t it great to find a message from an old friend in your messages? That’s hardly the case nowadays. Instead of reconnecting with friends, your friends may have ulterior motives.
Not too long ago, I received a friend request from an old friend followed by a message… “Hey Randy! How are you?” I read the message in excitement, I hadn’t talked with this friend in years!
I felt like I had so many questions to ask and so much catching up to do! I immediately began the conversation with this old friend, and even invited them out to lunch. The friend replied that they had messaged me to do the same thing! I felt that the feeling was mutual, and that we would pick up right where we left off several years before.
Upon arriving to lunch a few days later, I noticed that my friend had brought a laptop, a pad folio, and some literature along with them. I already knew the direction our conversation would take. Turns out, my old friend had no intention of catching up with me as I did with him. Our many years of friendship was summed up in “catching up” for only 2 minutes before I was slammed with a sales pitch.
Since this incident, I must have turned down 20 multi-million dollar deals (that’s a joke… yes, I am being facetious), because over the next few years, this same scenario happened over 20 different times, with different companies, different friends, and different promises.
Without question, I know that these friends have good intentions, and I am by no means questioning that. What I am questioning is our level of friendship. Yes, I felt like a giant dollar sign, mainly because I know that I was a part of each of their plans to grow their business, and make more money. I felt lied to, not because of the product or business, but because I have been invited to lunch/dinner/etc to “catch up” when there were self-serving and underlying reasons behind it.
Now, when friends message me out of the blue, I already know what to expect. It’s a sad thought, isn’t it? I have now learned to ask the right questions so that they will quit while they are ahead.
If you are reading this or offended by this, I’m sorry, but many people like me are equally offended by any of the reasons listed above. If you feel the need to unfriend me, then I’m sorry you feel that way and I hate to see you go, but chances are we are more acquaintances anyways.
This is not about bashing a business, or a product… I’m not writing to convince you that some business model are junk. I’m simply writing because of the absolutely disingenuous strategy/model that exists here. The commercialization of family and friendship relations is a destructive element and very unhealthy for individuals involved. Capitalizing upon family ties and loyalties of friendships in order to build a business can destroy ones social foundation. It places stress on relationships that may never return to their original bases of love, loyalty and support. Beyond its destructive social aspects, experience shows that few people enjoy or appreciate being solicited by friends and relatives.
Another thing is that you have to remember that I am in sales too, so I understand the argument that you have to start within your network to start a business. I agree wholeheartedly with that concept, except there is a right way to do this and a wrong way. If you find yourself in this position, re-evaluate how you might approach your friends and family, and re-evaluate the (relationship) cost associated with soliciting your closest network of family and friends. The fact is that it’s easy to see right through disingenuous motives, and that you really need to learn where to draw the line.
Another reason why I have turned down these deals (apart from them not being real) is when these same people try to sell you purely off of their own addiction to materialism. It is absolutely insane to think about what materialism can do, and the exchange that happens when this comes at the expense of family and friends. Hey man, I’m over here trying to make positive change in this world, and you are over here trying to scam your family while making a quick buck. Ever wonder why there’s always a brochure or some sort of shot of a large new home, a luxury car, a boat, or perhaps a beautiful couple boarding a jet. It just reminds me a little bit more of the problem that many people face of wanting to take shortcuts without putting in the hard work. As I am sitting there with this brochure in my hand I’m promising myself that I will never do any future business with this person. Especially since 9 times out of 10 they aren’t even picking up the lunch tab… classy.
Speaking about 9 times out of 10… If you truly understand how these businesses actually work, then you realize that there is a low success rate and a high rate of failure. For every 10 people that this person recruits, 9 of them will fail. Furthermore, the 9 who fail live in fear of being exposed to this failure, so they keep paying their fees and make excuses to why they haven’t done anything with it because “maybe one day I will get to it,” or “I don’t want to look like I have failed.” Well, which is it? Are we recruiting “winners” to build a real business, or planning by design to profit off of “losers” who buy into our “confidence”? Ask anybody, the profits are made out of the 9 losers, multiplied by the 9 losers who were recruited by the 1 winner, and so on until you’ve got 90 losers under your hierarchy, and 10 winners. Yes, go ahead and congratulate yourself on making 10 winners, it only took you 90 losers to get there. I hope that yacht makes you feel good about yourself. Oh wait… You need to find 900 losers to get the yacht, cha-ching!
By the way, if you are one of the losers I am talking about, don’t be offended. We have all tried something and failed and we have all lost at some point. You live and learn. And hopefully you’ve learned enough to not be fooled twice.
If you had as much fun reading those last few paragraphs as I had writing them, you should hear me talk about this over a glass of wine. We would surely have a good time.
I am not about to trample on so many losers to obtain success in my business. (And BTW… MLMers aren’t entrepreneurs) My mission is to empower entrepreneurs and leaders to lead my generation into a positive direction. The millennial generation is a generation that has a mission to change the world in so many ways. Boats, planes, and mansions are nice, but our mission goes much deeper than what money can buy. It’s about changing this world and leaving it in a better condition than we found it. It’s about changing lives and leading with integrity every single day. It’s about not leaving people behind, but helping them live a fulfilled life. Changing the world is so much greater than making money, and the feeling of satisfaction that comes with changing lives is incomparable to anything else.
Lastly, I have 5 tips for all of us…
1. Reach out to an old friend today with no motives behind it. Just to catch up! No strings!
2. If you are guilty of the above… for the sake of your personal friends and family, make a business page (Or a LinkedIn page)! Your personal connections should be for personal connections, between friends! They have business pages for a reason, and for me, I sure would love to connect with you on a personal level.
3. If you are the recipient of the above, I know how you feel! Sadly, I almost considered posting a “No Soliciting” sign/cover photo on my Facebook page to keep my “friends” from their solicitation. (Believe me, I would much rather use that space to share some family photos, etc. with my friends and family!) And maybe that’s a good sign that I need to clean out my friend’s list, but being the guy that I am I enjoy seeing what all my old friend’s are up to… Silly me.
4. There is great value in establishing and keeping personal connections! Enjoy it! I love seeing families, babies, pictures, events, hilarious updates, opinions on topics, etc. on social media. But what I don’t like to see is a great big page of 100% solicitation, rather than a friend. Facebook shouldn’t be the baseline for us being friends or not, it should be a mutual feeling of friendship that goes further than social media.
5. I hear that person already… “If you don’t like it then unfriend and unfollow me!” The truth is, I probably already did! But it really really sucks because I would have rather been your friend than a customer.