Get in on the ground floor — plus other home business lies

Image courtesy of and David Castillo Dominici


I’ve been looking into different Direct Sales companies to join because I really want to start my own business. I don’t quite have the money yet to get started, but people are pressuring me to sign up, saying I’m going to miss out because it’s a new company and they’re growing really quickly. And it seems to be true. I’ve seen their growth charts! What do you think? Should I just take the jump now, or should I wait a bit until I’m really ready to start a business?

Who wouldn’t want to be ahead of a trend? Being the first investors or employees of a company like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, or Apple creates a position of lifelong financial security. Of course, no one knows what the next big thing will be, which is why it’s always amusing when those in the home-based-business opportunity field pitch their latest endeavor using tried and true buzzwords:

“We’re positioned to be the #1 company in our industry”

“<insert large name magazine here> has ranked us as the fastest growing company for <insert year here>”

“No one is doing what we’re doing.”

“The company is new, but the founders have a history of success with several other companies”

“There are only a certain number of spots available, and they’re filling up fast!”

“You can get in on the ground floor of an amazing opportunity”

These phrases are usually uttered by people who are seduced by the potential of an opportunity, rather than the substance of a valid business model. Direct Sales, MLM, and Network Marketing companies do have great business models – they are basically like franchising, but without the high initial financial investment. These types of businesses give people with an entrepreneurial heart a chance to thrive within a system…to own their own business, but not have to go at it alone. Unfortunately, people with good intentions fall prey to the urgency of getting started now, without doing their due diligence.

Starting and growing a business takes a marathon-mentality…it’s not a sprint. Take a look at the actual meaning behind the words used and what they really reveal:

“We’re positioned to be the #1 company in our industry”
The word, “positioned” gives the idea of potential. They’re not actually the #1 company…they just have the ability to be the #1 company. Many times reps will just come out and say that they’re the #1 company…but according to whom? By what standards? If you think about it, any company can be ranked #1 for something if the demographics are specific enough. Who knows, maybe your potential company is ranked #1 among 34-42 year old males in the Denver, Colorado area who like to eat peas for dinner and have a pet gerbil. Whoo-hoo! You’re #1!

“<insert large name magazine here> has named us as the fastest growing company for <insert year here>”
So what? You’re a new direct sales company…of course you’re going to grow quickly as new reps join the business. If you start with 10 people, and 10 more join within the next year, that’s 100% growth! If you gain 100 people, that’s 500% growth. Obviously you’re a fast growing company when you start out small. New reps should be concerned with sales and industry use of the products (doctor recommendations, health reports, customer praise, etc) not how quickly your sales force can grow. At one point Beanie Babies and Cabbage Patch doll were fast growing products. Heck, AOL used to dominate the Internet. Where are they now?

“No one is doing what we’re doing.”
Do not be so egotistical to think that there isn’t another company out there that rivals you. Yes, there are others like you. And they might even have better products, better compensation, and better marketing guidelines. It’s more impressive to state knowledge of your competitors and how you differ than to egotistically proclaim that you’re 100% unique. Because, you’re not.

“The company is new, but the founders have a history of success with several other companies”
This is the one that sets off many red flags. If you’re going to buy into a business, you really want to invest in one with a proven track record. Find one that has been around for at least 3-5 years so that the kinks have been worked out. Plus, if the founders have gone through several other companies, then who is to say that they won’t just jump ship once they get bored again?

“There are only a certain number of spots available, and they’re filling up fast”
This phrase is uttered to create a sense of urgency. Our human minds always think that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and we’ll miss out if we don’t hop that fence now. Additionally, we long to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. If we feel like we’re missing out, we’re more prompted to take action. When you start a business you need to have time to do your research and develop your marketing plan. If someone is pressuring you to get started now, they’re more concerned about meeting their quota than your success.

“You can get in on the ground floor of an amazing opportunity”
This is the default plea of any new home-based-business opportunity. They feed on the concept of “lack” and “belonging” and make you feel that you will miss out if you don’t get in now. Because, obviously, if you wait too long, everyone who ever existed will sign up and there will be no one left for you to sell the products to…or other reps to find.

Many people didn’t get in on the ground floor of Tupperware, or Mary Kay, or Avon. Chances are, you may not have been alive when these companies were founded…yet it is still very possible to build a successful business with any of them, if you chose to.

Getting in on the ground floor doesn’t matter. Taking the time to research the company, gain knowledge about the business and products, and develop a solid business plan does. There will always be customers and other entrepreneurs who are interested in your business no matter when you decide to start.


Think about all the extra money you could make by being a mystery shopper, starting your own business, or working from home for a legitimate company. Take control of your income and check out our LEARN page for a list of classes, books, and more!

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