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The Perils of MLMs: Insights from Business Coach and Web Designer Lindsey Riel

As the multi-level marketing (MLM) industry grapples with recent upheavals, entrepreneurs are increasingly questioning the viability and risks associated with MLM ventures. Lindsey Riel, a passionate web designer and enthusiastic business coach with 20 years of experience, sheds light on the stark realities and hidden pitfalls of MLMs.

A Sobering Reality

Riel, who has dedicated her career to helping entrepreneurs build their dream digital presence, doesn’t mince words when discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in MLM businesses. “In the past year alone, several prominent MLM companies shut down, leaving their distributors in a precarious position,” she notes. “These individuals, who dedicated their time and effort to building their businesses, suddenly found themselves without the support they once relied on and the income they worked so hard for.”

Riel’s insights reflect the broader industry trends, where reliance on a single MLM company can result in sudden financial instability. Her advice to business owners is clear: diversify and maintain control over your own brand and assets.

The Power of Ownership

Riel emphasizes the importance of shifting from being a mere distributor to becoming a business owner. “One of the most empowering steps you can take is to transition from being a distributor to being a business owner,” she asserts. “You don’t need a product; you are the product. Start by identifying products or services you are genuinely passionate about. Refine and tap into your unique selling proposition and create a brand that reflects your values and vision.”

This shift is not just about financial security but also about personal empowerment. Riel’s journey from a young military wife learning graphic design on a hand-me-down computer to founding successful businesses underscores the potential of taking ownership of one’s career.

Building Your Brand

For Riel, the cornerstone of a successful transition from MLM to independent business is building a strong digital presence. “Having a website and a newsletter isn’t just about visibility; it’s about control and longevity,” she explains. “These platforms allow you to nurture relationships with your audience directly, independent of any MLM company’s decisions.”

Riel’s approach is holistic, combining her expertise in web design with practical business coaching. She encourages entrepreneurs to leverage affiliate marketing, which she describes as “the original influencer marketing,” to create passive income streams. “You’re sharing your favorite things, and you can make a few bucks along the way. With a blog, it’s there forever just making you money while you go on about your day.”

The Risks of MLMs

The volatility of MLM businesses is a recurring theme in Riel’s advice. She highlights the recent closures of several MLM companies as a stark reminder of the risks involved. “It’s a sobering reality highlighting the vulnerability of solely relying on someone else’s platform and products,” she says. This vulnerability is exacerbated by the often unpredictable nature of MLM companies, which can leave distributors without recourse in the event of a sudden shutdown.

The Perils of MLMs

                                                                               Image Source:  Reddit

A Path Forward

Riel’s message is ultimately one of hope and empowerment. She believes that with the right mindset and tools, anyone can transition from the uncertainty of MLMs to the stability of owning their own business. “You are smart enough, you are savvy enough, you are driven and determined. You can do absolutely anything you set your mind to,” she encourages.

Her advice is actionable: build a website, cultivate a newsletter list, and create content that resonates with your audience. This approach not only helps in building a resilient business but also fosters a deeper connection with customers.

Collaboration and Growth

Riel also advocates for collaboration among entrepreneurs. She envisions a collaborative platform where MLM entrepreneurs can support each other in building resilient businesses. “By combining your knowledge of MLM dynamics with strategies from corporate America, you can forge a path that prioritizes sustainability and self-reliance while building a community of fellow driven entrepreneurs,” she says.


The MLM industry offers flexibility and income potential, but it also comes with risks that can impact your livelihood unexpectedly. Lindsey Riel’s insights highlight the importance of taking ownership of your business journey, building a digital presence, and creating multiple streams of income. “Remember, you are not just a distributor; you are a brand builder, an entrepreneur, and a storyteller,” she emphasizes.

But if you are into business networking and MLM…

For more insights on leveraging business networking within the MLM industry, check out Lindsay’s article: Fail-Proof Your MLM Success Strategy. Discover practical tips to ensure the resilience and success of your MLM business.

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