Thrive Life is a company that sells high-quality food storage and emergency supplies. I became a Thrive Life consultant a while ago and have been very happy working with them.
Of course, I get a lot of questions about what I do with them, and whether they are in fact a MLM company or a pyramid scheme. So, below are some details to give you more information about Thrive Life.
Is Thrive Life a pyramid scheme?
Thrive Life is not a pyramid scheme at all. Pyramid schemes are in fact illegal, and what they are doing is not only legal – but is helping many people, like me.
A pyramid scheme (by the legal definition) does not reward its distributors for selling products but instead rewards them for recruiting others into the pyramid of distributors. In many cases, there is no real product being sold at all.
If they do have a product, it is typically sub-par and/or sold only to those within the pyramid, not the general public. In other words, there is a “fee” that you must pay to “join” before you can purchase the product (if there is a product at all).
This fee is typically quite substantial.
So, if you were to join a pyramid scheme, you are not rewarded for selling products but are instead rewarded for getting others to “join” the selling pyramid. Once people realize that the promises of a great product are untrue, they quit. There is no sustainability in a pyramid scheme and they are absolutely illegal.
Thrive Life has hundreds of high-quality products that its consultants sell to the general public. In fact, the vast majority of those who purchase Thrive Life products are not consultants. This one fact alone means they are absolutely not a pyramid scheme.
So that question is very simple to answer, the next one is a bit more complicated.
Is Thrive Life an MLM?
Yes, by definition Thrive Life is in fact an MLM.
But, do not let that scare you off!
What is an MLM?
MLM stands for “Multi-Level-Marketing.” Basically, if you are a distributor/consultant for an MLM company, you are rewarded for (1) selling the product AND (2) for recruiting others to sell the product.
The compensation you earn from your “team,” or “downline” (those you recruit to sell the product with you) can come in two forms. Some MLMs reward you in both ways, while others only reward you in one way or the other.
The two ways are usually:
- A reward simply for having a certain number of people on your team
- A percentage of the product your team sells
When I first learned of Thrive Life in July 2010 (it was actually called Shelf Reliance then), I was very interested in their food. I had no interest in becoming a consultant.
My reason? I had a fear of all multi-level-marketing companies (aka MLMs).
Before attending law school, my husband had worked for a different MLM for nearly 8 years. He did not sell their products as an independent consultant/distributor, he actually worked for the main company. His job was to monitor all the independent distributors in the United States and parts of Asia to make sure they were selling the products legally and according to company policy.
He saw firsthand how very difficult it can be to become successful in an MLM. I also had friends who were distributors for various MLMs and I watched them struggle with their businesses.
For those two reasons, there were a lot of things that concerned me about joining an MLM. In fact, it took me nearly 4 months to decide to join Thrive Life as my husband and I worked through our concerns.
My Thrive Life concerns
I’d like to take a minute to share with you the concerns I had – and the answers I found to put my concerns to rest.
Before I list out all my concerns about MLMs, I’d like to insert a little disclaimer.
There are many, many good and legitimate companies out there that market their products through some sort of MLM plan. For various reasons, none of those companies worked for me in my life and circumstances and with my personality. But that does not mean that they haven’t or can’t work for others. Some of my concerns may not bother you and that is okay.
I simply want to tell my story and why this particular opportunity worked best for me!
Is THRIVE Life’s Commission plan overwhelming?
Most compensation plans that I have seen for MLMs are very difficult to understand.
There are often 10+ ways to make money. A few examples: Commission up to 10 or more levels, bonuses for starting quickly, rebates, car packages, matching bonuses, leadership bonuses, “fast track” advancements, group volume bonuses, team volume bonuses etc.
In addition, you often have to meet all sorts requirements in order to earn anything. This might include minimum # of parties or events, minimum number of consultants on your team, a minimum # of certain consultants with a certain number of people on their team etc.
It can be very overwhelming and disheartening.
The THRIVE Life commission plan is very simple.
I could explain it to you in 5 minutes or less. In addition THRIVE Life provides a very realistic “commission calculator” as part of their training program. Using this calculator, you can enter what you plan to do as a consultant (# of parties you will have each month, # of Qs you think you will sell etc) and it will tell you how much you will earn over time. As you change what you plan to do, your projected earnings change. This can be very helpful in understanding exactly what you need to focus on each month in order to earn!
Do I have to be “at the top” to make money?
This is a claim often made by those who do not trust the MLM idea. I used to be one of these people! And the truth is, it does seem to be true and quite unfair!
Those who have only been in the business for a few months or even a year aren’t making much compared to those “at the top” with large teams.
In some MLMs this occurs because the company limits the number of people you can “enroll” directly underneath you. This means that the only way to earn money is to create a TRUE pyramid (you enroll 5 who all enroll 5 who all enroll 5 and so on). But since you only earn a small percentage of your “team’s” sales (say 1%-7% typically), only someone “at the very top” of a LOT of people earns a real income.
Thrive Life lets you enroll as many people directly under you as you wish, or you can enroll none at all. My Thrive Life team is actually an upside down “pyramid” meaning I have a LOT more people directly under me than I do a few levels deep.
With the THRIVE Life commission plan, you can easily be profitable in month #1. And even if you never decide to “build a team,” you can still make a great supplemental income (a couple of car payments each month) on just your own sales.
Don’t MLMs have crazy product claims?
Some do. But not Thrive Life.
They are very transparent with their products, how they are made, and what the nutritional value is for your family. They do not make false promises or talk up anything at all. It is one of the reasons I was really drawn to them.
Don’t MLM products cost a lot?
It is true that many products are sold through MLMs at very inflated prices. Lotions, cleaning supplies, candles, vitamins, etc. can all be found at the grocery store for significantly less than what you’d pay for a similar item through a MLM.
For example, I love NuSkin products, especially the face wash. I get it for free because my sister-in-law works there. But if I were to buy it on my own, I’d pay nearly 500% more than face wash at the grocery store.
Thrive Life pays 10% commission on most purchases. Yet their products are reasonably priced compared to similar products on the market (other freeze dried foods / emergency supplies), meaning most everyone can afford to purchase them instead of a competing product.
Plus, you are selling food and everyone needs food! Thrive essentially eliminates food waste because of its shelf life, so customers can actually save money on their grocery bill each month by swapping out some of the more perishable products.
Won’t I have to keep finding new parties to sell the product?
If the MLM sells a non-consumable product like jewelry, kitchen gadgets etc., then yes you will need to keep working at it to find new sales outlets. I have many, many “kitchen gadget” products from a certain MLM and I love them! They are a fantastic quality, so much so, that once I’ve bought what I need I never need to purchase again.
But the poor consultant I purchased from is now looking for a new customer!
As a Thrive Life consultant, you are selling food! Thrive is the ultimate “healthy convenience food.” It allows people to serve healthy meals to their family in half the time without sacrificing taste or spending more each month.
Because of that, people use the food and then need to buy more: regularly! In fact, there is an auto ship program customers can join. They choose recipes they like and the food for those recipes gets shipped to them each month.
You are not constantly looking for new customers! Unless you want to make a lot more money of course.
After about 4 months of research I was able to remove all of my concerns.
I realized that Thrive Life was not a typical MLM. None of the concerns I had were a part of how Thrive Life did business.
I decided it was “safe” to join, but was still cautious. I was really only hoping to earn $50-$100 in free products each month. I was not even thinking about “building a team”. But things went really well.
I held 3 parties in my first week and a half as a consultant which completely paid for the cost of my starter kit and start-up costs. I used the food I got for samples at my next parties. Within about 6 months, I still hadn’t added anyone to my “team,” but I made around $800 from just my own personal sales.
And I had 4 kids ages 0-3 so I didn’t have an enormous amount of time to invest. It was at that point (about 6 months in) that I truly became converted that this was a “work from home” opportunity that would really work for me.