MLM Scams, Pyramids, Ponzi Schemes, Fads and Just Plain Bad Business Practices

I had a revealing conversation with a Network Engineer a few days ago. He tried to convince me of three things. First, he said he is an entrepreneur. It turned out that he is an employee who has never started a business. He’d traded his time (working for free) as a network administrator for a 1% equity interest in a startup that didn’t start. Second, he said he is an expert in networks, franchises and business ownership. Having never started or owned a successful traditional business, network or franchise, his ideas were at best uninformed opinions. He had no first hand knowledge and no expertise as an entrepreneur. He had lots of ideas but no facts. Third, he explained that he had data why networking doesn’t work. When I asked for the data and his sources, it turned out he had read up on franchising and assumed the industries were the same. An incorrect assumption.


Just because someone thought it or felt it doesn’t make it true. Just because someone has an idea or an opinion doesn’t make it true. Even if someone looks at ALL the REAL data (which most never do) certainly doesn’t mean their interpretation is correct, valid or not twisted by limiting beliefs and personal agendas.


I am always shocked at how poor most people’s discernment is. The first business I looked at, I did my “research”.  What a joke. I surveyed employees and self-employed people that had no success at leveraging good franchising systems and creating residual income. Today people “Google” something and wrongfully assume that what they read is true. Others read the opinions of people that failed at something and now have the time to write negative articles or blogs about the businesses they didn’t build or school they didn’t complete or job they were fired from. The questions to ask: Are they speaking the truth and or just spewing their own opinions? Defending a poor work ethic? Protecting an ego? Blaming others for an unwillingness to learn?


How sad it is that our society surveys the opinions of others who have no success in an area and, by doing so, limit their own futures by accepting the fears and doubts of others as reality.


Let’s get into reality.

– If you have the courage to lead and finish!


Is it something everybody will have in the next 2-5 years? Is it based on a hero product? Weight Loss? Water Quality? A Limited Nutritional Line? Launching a new currency? Services the company doesn’t own the rights to? Something that will be in Costco in the next 5 years? A luxury that people stop buying in a bad economy?



– Crowd Funding?

– Let the Network do the advertising, then put the product in Retail stores and close the Network.

– The Owners create an IPO and sell the Network when it gets big enough.

– The Owners are underfunded or inexperienced and freak out & quit when it gets tough.



– Defame the competition?

– High Pressure Closes?

– Big Startup Costs?

– Buy in at Higher Levels?



– Owners make the vast majority of profits?

– Signup Bonuses with little residual (very common).

– Super inflated pricing? (Captive Audience)

– Contract You have no say in? (They own you)



– Sign people up on Your Mom’s credit card

– Hold a Spot to sell later

– Get Rich at home

– You don’t need to learn or grow

– Do it your way (don’t duplicate what works)



– People try to sell leads, sell their downline, sell a downline they lured away from someone else, get signing bonuses, or get a beneficial position. All things they didn’t earn (but will take credit for).

– Very few people have built a large team (1000 to 100,000 people) on their own efforts.



– If You have 1 Team chances are You didn’t do it (you’re not the leader)

– If You have 2 Teams You might have done it (you could be the leader)

– If You have 3 Big Teams, It’s YOU, You did it (You are a Leader)



– That don’t finish – You lose.

– That can’t do math – You lose.

– That are weak under stress – You lose.

– That have poor discernment – You lose.

– That are ego driven – You lose.

– That see people as a benefit to themselves – You lose.

– That are Super Talented w/ a poor system – You still lose.


Many businesses have systems. That doesn’t mean the system works or creates a real residual income. “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber is a great read on this issue. If you’re going the wrong direction, speeding up won’t help!






Is it based on something everyone can do?

Like Bonvera:

– “Eat, Drink, Shop – Make Money”

– “Retail & Refer others to do the same – Make More Money”

– “Leverage the XO System – Create a Residual Income”

– Market Pricing

– Transparent

– You Own Your Business

– A Field Elected, Field Run Board

– A Replacement Driven Leadership Training System


As in EVERY industry there are a few Good companies and 1 or 2 GREAT Companies!

Learn the differences, Discernment (Wisdom) is still the most important skill to always be developing.


Welcome to the Future of E-commerce!

Welcome to Bonvera powered by XO!

– Chris Mattis

26 comments on “MLM Scams, Pyramids, Ponzi Schemes, Fads and Just Plain Bad Business Practices

  1. Kammy Kenman says:

    Great post Chris…people do amaze me sometimes. You have given everyone lots to think about.

  2. Jim Mosher says:

    Awesome! Spot on!

  3. Ivonne says:

    Awesome article, very well put and easy to understand!!

  4. #TRUTH. Sometimes people can’t handle the truth or they believe in “opinions” of unsuccessful people instead of the facts. Real entrepreneurs get the concept of “what if it works” instead of waiting to see others become successful at it then they hop on that train. I’m a firm believer that they’ll eventually get it. God has a way of revealing things to people in due time. I’m just glad God revealed this to me early. Proud to own my own Bonvera business. Thanks for all you insights and support Chris.

  5. Joshua says:

    Love the insights and wisdom you carry with you! Chris is a great example of leadership at its finest. Thank you for everything you do for the BIG picture, and your willingness to stand alone for what’s right if necessary!

  6. Allen Knight says:

    A ‘Fruit Check’ is the easiest way to discern a great company!
    Bonvera powered by XO rocks
    Thanks for always breaking it
    down so clearly Chris.

  7. Bobbi King says:

    YES! Great information to share!

    “…our society surveys the opinions of others who have no success in an area and, by doing so, limit their own futures…”

    At Bonvera, we “share” what works from people that have current fruit!

  8. Robert says:

    Awesome. Discernment wisdom.

    Just like king Solomonin the bible who asked God for nothing but wisdom and god still have him riches and fame and all the other blessings he never asked for. “Humbling experience”
    Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might Daniel 2:20

  9. Will Knight says:

    What is the old saying “You can lead people to truth but you can’t make them think.” But this is nothing new the first century Christians faced the same type of a problem. Thanks Chris for helping us stay focused on facts not “ignorance trying to express itself.”

  10. Lesley Carrier says:

    This is AWESOME!! Thank-you for taking the time to figure out what thoughts keep people stuck. And for taking the time to write about it.
    It’s amazing to me, the ridicule written and spoken about those who are creating an enormous difference in society…you, Tim Marks, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Travis Kalanick to name just a few. In fact, a good friend read an article out loud to me about Travis Kalanick, founder and principle owner of Uber. I was astounded to hear the “journalists” gossipy, negative, jaded perspective. I kept wondering “is the journalists jealous?” Never once did he mention how remarkable Travis is for pushing forward despite enormous obstacles or how greatly he has helped countless individuals to stay afloat financially, to stay off of welfare in addition to the number of lives spared due to drunk drivers opting for Uber. My goodness!! When did it become hip to diss success?!?

    “No one has ever erected a statue to a critic”

    Thank-you Chris!!

  11. marilyn says:

    thanks for a provocative, thoughtful blog. If we’re looking for an excuse to not do something, it’s easy to find or make up, and even make pseudo-credible. what amazes me are the determined ones who work hard and profit in companies with poor compensation plans, opportunistic leadership, over-priced products, items not necessities, etc. yet it happens all the time, but doesn’t make the news or into the consciousness of the person described. so what can happen when a determined person meets up with an awesome company with a great compensation plan, selfless leaders who have a vision, and products that enhance life and/or everybody needs? it’s a win-win-win!!!!

  12. Words of wisdom, as always. Keep them coming, Chris!

  13. jazapara says:

    Excellent article Chris , thanks for laying out the truth in a simple way Jeannie

    Sent from my iPhone


  14. Kerri Duncan says:

    Wow this is spot on and mostly what I deal with. Those with few facts have a lot to say on the subject. I also have a number of people who are silently supportive, so they said. We’ll have to keep showing everyone the facts with our actions.

  15. Kevan Manges says:

    Discernment really does matter! Really enjoyed what you had to say Chris.

  16. Mark Williams says:

    Great insight Chris. #RealTruth
    Thanks for breaking it down. A must read for ALL new associates 👍🏽

  17. Roman Rivera says:

    Chris, one thing I learned about Truth, when it surfaces and presents itself everyone knows it. I am definitely picking up what your putting down. Bravo!

  18. Carly Pottenger says:

    As someone who has been in this industry for a while, I wish I had the wisdom & discernment at the beginning of the journey to properly evaluate the good, the bad & the ugly.
    Your blog shines a spotlight on key components to seek when evaluating great business leaders & the opportunities they are offering.
    Given the character & industry experience of the founding leaders of Bonvera & the XO Training System, I have never been more confident to have found the right people & the right opportunity intersecting with indisputable market trends.
    These leaders have fixed the flaws that have plagued this industry, & created a prototype that will revolutionize it.
    Given that most founders are not so willing to share the profits so generously, I have a hard time imagining a business model that will compete with what we have our hands on.
    Fired Up!

  19. Nice😁! Everything written out to be seen and read. IMO, that makes a pretty good case, addresses a lot of issues for those wondering🤔…Time to get some things done, made to last. Create a strong stream, when you open that faucet.

  20. Jeff wolf says:

    Some will say it’s just another one of those things
    The ones who read it will say that makes sense
    The real question is are you happy doing what your doing and will it get you where you want to be !!!

  21. Teresa Thompson says:

    There is a lot of truth in this article and it has all been out there at one time or another. I have seen and been in other businesses. I am committed to Bonvera. This is the only business that I have felt will work for me. All of the leaders are transparent and only want what is best for everyone. I personally have witnessed that. Thank you for an eye opening comparison of what we have our hands on and what other people are doing.

  22. Knight says:

    Thank you Chris, for being so consistently effectual in your ability to put things into words. Clear, simple and ungetaroundable. People are amazing! What a bright future we have.


    Thank you for posting some truth around the industry and the things to watch out for. So many people are getting dooped by the ignorance around the industry . Thank you for sharing your wisdom around it!

  24. Arkila Covington says:

    I enjoy this article on several levels. First, it was easy to read and understand. Until this entry there was no place to make an informed comparison about the difference in business models. Also, the language was relatable to an individual that studied business and/or marketing.

    On a personal level, it was a great reminder of what separates leaders from managers. I’ve never had a supervisor take time to educate me on the company, our allies (funding sources) or the competition. Chris you are someone I admire and respect greatly. I know you wrote this because you care deeply about others and about their future. I felt this was a personal letter to me. Thank you. Much Love AJC

  25. Christine says:

    Well written article. Thanks for sharing Chris!

  26. Deborah Borlase says:

    Great article Chris. I only just had someone go online to do his “research” and left before even finishing hearing what this business was about, not paying any attention to who he was giving Truth to in his life…wow…goes to show how we can be influenced by, and how they have their own agenda for us. Negativity comes at us from many different directions, and can mess with our heads and our lives. Thank you for speaking Truth…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s