MLM Brainwashing: Is Everyone in MLM Brainwashed?

What is MLM brainwashing? And is everyone in the network marketing industry brainwashed? These are the two questions I want to address in today’s post.

Let me start by defining brainwashing.  Brainwashing is defined as “to make (someone) adopt radically different beliefs by using systematic and often forcible pressure.” If I had to define it in my own words, I would define it as “altering someone’s beliefs” or “convincing someone to a certain way of thinking.”

I define MLM brainwashing as reprogramming someone’s thoughts to think a certain way. It’s changing people’s beliefs and thoughts about business, life, what they think and what they want in life.

Do I think some people in network marketing are brainwashed? Of course I do! But, not everyone is. Some people are taught to hate their job.  Or they are so HYPED up about financial freedom that they come across as crazy.  But just because someone gets excited about a business opportunity, and thinks positively about their future doesn’t mean they are brainwashed.

If anything, they are simply different from most people who have accepted their lot in life, hate what they do, and live day to day with no hope of the future.

I will be the first to admit that if you want to achieve success in this great industry, you will need to reprogram some of your thoughts. For example, most folks have been taught to go to college, get a good job with a big company with good benefits, and work until they are 65 or older.  Most people have never been taught to be an entrepreneur.

So when some of these folks get involved with our industry, they will need to learn to think differently. They will need to learn to think like an entrepreneur, not an employee. They will need to learn how to set goals, how to develop their people skills, how to develop a positive mental attitude, etc.  For some people, this takes major reprogramming.

One common method of MLM brainwashing I’ve noticed is when distributors are taught to disown friends and family who don’t join their business opportunity or become a customer. They’re told to avoid the “naysayers” and stay away from negative people at all costs.  To clarify, I do not agree with this way of thinking.

While I don’t think anyone should avoid or disown family and friends who don’t join their business opportunity or become a customer, I do believe there are some merits to avoiding negative people; even some negative family members.  After all, we are who we associate with.

Other people in our industry are taught to hate their jobs.  I don’t necessarily agree with this, although most people have been brainwashed by their parents and schools to get a job.  I don’t think jobs are bad, but they are definitely not the best or only way to make a living.

It’s a proven fact that “how and what you think” will determine what you accomplish in life. If you want to make major changes in your life, you will need to associate with positive, successful people who uplift you and encourage you.  After all, we are where we are in life right now because of the books we’ve read and the people we’ve hung out with in the past.

If you want to change your life in the next five years, you will need to hang out with new types of people and read new books. But, that doesn’t mean you have to stop being friends with your current friends.

Another common example of MLM brainwashing (that people consider brainwashing) is at the corporate conventions. Many distributors sing songs together, stand on chairs, participate in team-building events, and do other activities that come across as brainwashing. Personally, I consider this “team-building” not brainwashing. But, I can definitely see how some people perceive it as brainwashing.

On the other hand, you could easily argue that people do the same things at sporting events. People wear jerseys of their favorite team, paint up their face, shout at the refs, and get excited or angry based upon their team’s performance.

Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with getting excited about your own future.  I think that’s 10x smarter than getting excited about sports team or sporting event that has ZERO impact on your financial future.  

I truly believe that it is up to each of us to control our own thoughts. We are responsible for what goes into our brain and what comes out. You should never follow anyone blindly. You should question and validate what you are told. That is just common sense.

But that doesn’t just apply to network marketing.  That applies to anything in life!

I will be the first to admit that if you want to succeed at MLM, or anything else in life, you might need to reprogram some of your thoughts.  I have “altered” my beliefs, values and mindset since I first joined the network marketing industry thirteen years ago.  And it has been completely life changing.

When I first got involved with MLM I was cynical and negative. Now, I am a positive thinking, success minded person. When I first got started I had no plans for my future.  Now, I know my life’s purpose.  When I first joined the industry I didn’t like myself.  Now, I do.  Does that mean I was brainwashed? Maybe. But if so, I’m glad I was brainwashed.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that network marketing is its own unique culture.  People are taught to become business minded.  They’re taught to set goals, to help others and improve themselves! They’re taught to take responsibility for their life.  They’re taught to stretch out of their comfort zones and take control of their financial future.  If some people consider that brainwashing, then let me be brainwashed!

What do you think? What are your experiences with MLM brainwashing?  Leave a comment and let us know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Chuck Holmes
Phone: (352) 503-4816 EST (my home office/no texts)

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5 thoughts on “MLM Brainwashing: Is Everyone in MLM Brainwashed?”

  1. I will not support MLM businesses on principle. I believe the one getting rich are the ones pushing products regardless of results or effectiveness. If someone is selling you something (even an idea) always question objective. There is no magic berry containing secret ingredients. It is a perfectly respectable way to earn a living if you so choose, but know this: It’s NOT special, it may work but not necessarily because it is special, and there is a less expensive way to get healthy vitamins and nutrients without any of the processed garbage preservatives. Trade marked terms do not make your product certifiably anything but a made up word.

    1. Sorry you feel that way. We are all entitled to our own opinion, and I respect that. Sadly, we have a lot of people in our industry who are amateurs and unprofessional and ruin it for everyone else in the industry. Sounds like you had a bad experience?

  2. I love how you put all of this together with the many other things in life. Essentially, to me it takes a weak mind to be brainwashed in a bad way. With that said, I will say that there is a good brainwashing and a bad brainwashing. When we are trying to change bad habits, we actually have to brainwash ourselves to react differently. I do not agree with some of the “roller coaster” techniques that happen in some MLM events. It is true that these kind of things happen also at sport events and church events. If we keep ourselves at an even keel, we will, I believe, think more clearly.

  3. Your testimony about how your attitude has been changed in the past decade or so since joining MLM is great. You are right: if something changes your outlook to a happy, positive, healthy one, then how can that be a bad thing. The term “brainwashing” has such a negative tone. “Improved” or “Empowered” might be a better explanation of what success in an MLM business can do for a person.

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