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June 06, 2021

College first to offer degree in multi-level marketing

Judging from the increasing calls I get these days, a tight job market and a desire to earn a bit of extra cash seems to be encouraging even more people to give multilevel marketing a try.

Good luck with that.

In case you missed it, multilevel, or network marketing, is a business structure in which salespeople are compensated partly based on how many other salespeople they can recruit.

Although a few distributors make a killing and some a living, the thousands at the bottom of the pyramid generally struggle to break even. As a result, the churn rate in most MLM setups, which critics label as nothing more than pyramid schemes, is pretty terrible.

The majority of distributors drop out of their respective company within a couple of years at best – disillusioned, out of pocket and usually wondering how to move a garage full of unsold product.

But help is at hand.

Kansas-based Bethany College is now offering students a chance to spend four years learning not only how to succeed as a Melaleuca or Amway distributor, but how to do it right.

“Entrepreneurs have not been taught how to correctly use network marketing,” says Bethany’s Robert Carlson. “This has led to many using unethical, unsustainable, and nonproductive network marketing business models. We want to fill the education gap and teach students how to use the foundations of servant leadership to successfully and honorably operate a network marketing business.”

Fine words indeed – providing you’re in on the ground floor.

What’s your experience with network marketing, either as a distributor or customer? Is it all a cultish pyramid scheme or a low-cost way to own your own business?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money

* Follow Gordon on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...