If you’re new to BOTTLESOUP, welcome! We’ve been known to write quite a few posts analyzing direct sales companies. But up until now, we haven’t really addressed direct sales or MLM culture head-on.
Now, we’ve come to a point in our blog history where we think that type of post may be necessary. Enter the hunbot analysis.
What is a hunbot?
According to lots of anti-MLM bloggers and podcasts, a hunbot is a direct sales or MLM enthusiast who calls everyone hun.
Here’s an example:
Why we’ve avoided talking about “hunbots”
I’ve struggled with writing new direct sales / MLM posts for a while. Part of the reason is that while I have yet to ever see a direct sales or MLM company be a legitimate business opportunity, I don’t like putting ambitious women down.
I really empathize with women who are looking for an opportunity to improve their family’s finances without adding daycare costs or other issues to the mix.
And thus I’ve struggled. I’ve struggled with writing content, because I am snarky by nature. And as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that just because those who know me understand my bark is worse than my bite, some people on the Internet don’t understand that.
Because I recognize the power of my words, I’ve struggled a lot with the word “hunbot,” which is a slur designed to ridicule women who are desperate for a better life for themselves and their families.
But…I’m also a horrible person and not nearly as mature as I’d like to be. Because I also love the word hunbot. Sadly, I think it’s an accurate description of how women involved with direct sales companies act. So, if you would indulge me (and prospective or existing hunbots) for a moment, I would like to do some education.
I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Urban Dictionary has a pretty good definition of what people consider to be a hunbot:
How to avoid the hunbot trap
The first step is don’t sign up to be a direct sales or MLM consultant. I mean this in the sincerest, least condescending way possible.
If you’re a part of a direct sales company, you probably think you’re on a path to financial freedom. But you need a wakeup call. If you are so arrogant in the face of conversation and facts, you need an intervention.
How will I know if I am a hunbot?
So, you either didn’t see the warning signs or you boldly went against all logical advice. Either way, you’ve found yourself a part of the direct sales machine.
Here’s how you’ll know if you’ve gone too far:
If you’re posting an excessive amount of emojis, dreaming about your downline, and your friends and family members have stopped inviting you anywhere, you may be a hunbot.
If you think you own your own business, yet you have little to no control over your inventory, advertising, profit margins, or other owner-like decisions, you may be a hunbot.
If you are bragging about all the things you can buy thanks to your amazing job where you get to work from home, and those things come from the dollar store, you may be a hunbot.
If you’re claiming you’ve quit your job and retired your husband as a desperate scheme to sell products, you may be a hunbot. (Okay, at this stage, it’s no longer a “may be.” You have drunk the Flavor Aid. And yes, it’s Flavor Aid.)
Sidenote: There are Income Disclosure Statements you can find and examine to determine if these types of results are achievable.
If you’ve paid for a conference and are pretending it’s an all expenses paid perk, you may be a hunbot.
If you have so much “inventory” you could open a store (but sidenote: you’re actually not allowed to do that as per the terms of your agreement), you may be a hunbot.
If more than one person has told you what you’re doing is a scam, you may be a hunbot.
And if you’re convinced that if you just recruit a few more people into your downline you’ll be richer than a Koch brother, you may be a hunbot.
Steps to take to get back into your loved one’s good graces
As is the case with many hunbots, you may find yourself suddenly isolated from relatives and loved ones.
To repair your relationships, you must:
- Immediately quit trying to sell your friends and family on your “opportunity” or “products.”
- Apologize, publicly, for attempting to defraud everyone on your social media lists.
- Go one step further and speak out against these types of things.
The reason women keep falling prey into these schemes is not because women are stupid. It’s because the loudest voices are those insisting these types of opportunities are legitimate, real ways to earn income.
If you are or have ever been a hunbot, but have begun to see the light, please share your revelation with others. Comment below. Share articles like this. Speak up.
But B, I’m not a hunbot. I just like making fun of hunbots.
Congratulations on believing you’re better than a hunbot. Sure, you haven’t become a direct sales consultant. (Or maybe you’ve fully recovered from being one.) But what are you doing to educate and assist potential hunbot victims?
I mean this in all seriousness: we need to do better.
Hunbots are mostly women. MLMs and direct sales companies prey on women. And as a women, it’s time that we work together to help others avoid these traps.
I’m rolling my eyes now
Look, I’m going to break down the fourth wall and be real with you.
There have been times in my life where I’ve been a huge bitch.
It was my schtick for a while. I actually got some serious notoriety for it.
And while it was entertaining and a real rah-rah rally cry for some people in my audience, it was unsubstantial.
What good is my voice if it doesn’t improve the lives of others?
Being snarky is fun, but sometimes it just drives a deeper divide between women who are desperate and struggling to find a way to help their families and those who don’t understand that pain.
And that’s not cool.
Why are you getting preachy with me, B?
I’m not suggesting we all sing kumbaya and have a weird come-to-Jesus moment. What I am suggesting is that with our knowledge, we come together as a force for good.
The women who fall prey to direct sales and MLM schemes are otherwise rational people. They’re friends of yours, sisters of yours, mothers of yours…you get the idea.
What drives these otherwise sane individuals to make radical and irrational decisions?
It’s not that these women are bad people. It’s that these women are being sold an idea. They’re being sold a dream.
And the women who buy into this “opportunity” the hardest are those who are in the worst situations. They’re the women who are struggling to pay the bills. They’re the women who have tried their best in the work world or with their families, and they keep coming up short.
No woman is born a hunbot.
So, what should we do about hunbots?
Look, you’re here reading this blog. I have the ability to reach people like you. People who understand that direct sales and MLM companies are harming people. People who realize the hunbot army is not just a concept to poke fun at but a real issue to address.
And I’m asking for your help.
What can we do to better educate women? How can we help women who are looking for opportunities avoid the trap of direct sales and MLMs?
Are there laws we want to see passed?
Are there scholarships we want to help ambitious women get?
Are there things we want to teach women to help them avoid falling prey to these scams in the future?
We can change the world.
It’s really true.
There’s a micro and a macro for everything. In economics, the differences are clear but the two are closely connected.
Your world may be micro, but within that environment your actions have shaped and changed situations.
Micro decisions can make a macro difference.
You have a voice. I’ve seen many of you unite and come together on social media. With tens of thousands of you in agreement that these direct sales companies are evil, there are enough of us to drive change.
And I have a voice. It’s 2 million+ strong.
Let’s work together and defeat the huns.
Yes, I am still going to write snarky articles about direct sales companies. My focus will be on analyzing direct sales and MLM companies, and making fun of those companies and their policies. But I am going to make a conscious effort not to make fun of women who are victims of these companies. Ya feel me?