Hi there. Bottlesoup, here. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I cover direct sales/MLM companies. My most well-known articles are about LuLaRoe, and those were quoted in Quartz, BuzzFeed, Forbes, and Business Insider.
You also know it’s been a while since I got passionate about analyzing a direct sales company. Sure, I’ve put out a few pieces. But a heavy hitting article? I haven’t been so inspired.
Thanks to Thrive Life for giving me something to get passionate about. And get ready. Things are about to get weird.
What is Thrive Life?
If you’ve heard of Thrive Life before and are like, “Bottlesoup, you’re way late to the game.” I apologize. But, I just learned about this recently. And people are still actively trying to sell and recruit for this company.
Thrive Life is a direct sales company. Their product is a meal delivery service. But unlike most popular meal delivery services that feature fresh, whole ingredients, Thrive Life’s meal deliveries are unique.
How so? Their food is freeze dried.
That’s right, people. Thrive Life is delivering astronaut food to your home. And they want you to like it, dammit.
Where is Thrive Life headquartered?
Like pretty much every other direct sales/MLM company, Thrive Life is HQ’d in Utah. Shocker!
Who started Thrive Life?
Two white men who think they’ve done something great for “mom,” who apparently is the only person in the history of ever to cook dinner. Seriously. Watch their borderline offensive video here.
What’s so bad about Thrive Life?
Aside from the terrible video? Pretty much everything that’s wrong with direct sales is what’s happening here with Thrive Life.
This company preys on women, specifically moms. And it sells itself as a company that helps women out. When, in reality, it does little to advance women.
But less women at the top? That’s true everywhere, isn’t it?
Yes, it is. But the issue is that women are being sold on the idea of this company being a place for women to lead. And the example they have is of women being inferior. They’re not giving genuine opportunities to women; they’re making women their customers.
Thrive Life’s Customers
Speaking of customers, the video and other literature suggest that because the product is food, everyone is a potential Thrive Life customer.
But Thrive Life’s favorite customer is the consultant. That’s right. Consultants are customers.
Although consultants are told they get a “piece of the pie” and are “starting their own business,” what they’re really doing is becoming the primary consumer of Thrive Life’s product.
Which is fine, if the product is good and you know that’s what you’re getting out of it. But what people believe is that they’ll be able to make some sort of income from becoming a consultant.
Can you make money selling Thrive Life?
Short answer: Yes. Otherwise, Thrive Life would be a scam. And an illegal pyramid scheme. But since Thrive Life sells a product, it is not a scam or an illegal pyramid scheme. It is simply a really complicated and weird company with a low likelihood of profitability.
Translation: It’s highly unlikely to make any profit from selling Thrive Life as a consultant.
Ok, but in theory, how much could you make selling Thrive Life?
That’s hard to say considering their policies and procedures do not outline compensation or provide an income disclosure statement. However, on their website, they have a “commissions chart.”
Note that you start as a Consultant and stay as a consultant until you have one person under you, a $50 personal delivery each month, $1,500 in sales, and $3,000 in sales, total. And, after all that, you only get to add 1% of your recruit’s sales to your commission.
For the purposes of this exercise, we’re going to do what we always do:
- Assume you’re an entry level consultant
- Assume no one is under you
- Assume you’d like to replace a minimum wage job with your income from Thrive Life
But, I want to make more than minimum wage with Thrive Life.
While I’m sure that’s the intention, the reason we use minimum wage as a measurement is because it gives you a baseline. You’ll learn just how hard you have to work, and how much you have to sell, to earn minimum wage through this direct sales opportunity.
How much Thrive Life product do you need to sell to earn the equivalent of minimum wage
Using our Direct Sales Calculator, we’re able to make an estimate.
Before you start selling Thrive Life, you’ll need to purchase a starter kit:
We’ll assume you opt for the Social Seller Starter Kit at $135.
And we’ll be generous and say you sell every customer a $19 Simple Plate, though many of Thrive Life’s products are available for much less than $19.
Furthermore, we’ll assume you make the top possible commission of 32% per sale.
You need to sell 217 $19 products to earn minimum wage through Thrive Life
And that assumes you earn 32% commission. If you earn just 20% commission, you’ll need to sell 346 Thrive Life Simple Plates to earn the equivalent of minimum wage.
“But I just want to earn a couple hundred dollars a month,” you say.
Fair enough. You’ll need to sell 56 Thrive Life Simple Plates at 32% commission to earn $200. At 20%, you’ll need to sell 89 Thrive Life Simple Plates.
So what am I supposed to do if I want to earn some extra income?
Look, I get it. I know what it’s like to pinch pennies and desperately need some extra cash. But instead of spending money on a starter kit with a direct sales or MLM company, invest that money in yourself.
Start your own business, for real. You can start selling things on Etsy at no cost. Sell some unused goods on eBay. Start freelance writing. Babysit. Follow a completely different path and start your own blog. (Note: that is not a get-rich-quick option. Blogging is hard work.)
Or just take the starter kit money and put it aside. (And if you were going to put it on your credit card, put that money toward your debt instead.)
Bottom line: the choice is yours
Look, you “can” make money from direct sales. But the question is: Is the money you’ll make worth your time? That’s a question you need to answer yourself, understanding the risks. Most people never turn a profit in direct sales or MLMs. Most people pay the $135 Starter Kit, and never earn any money or enough to cover the Starter Kit.
In fact, just to cover the cost of the Starter Kit, you need to sell 36 of those $19 Simple Plates to recover your investment. That’s before you even earn a profit.
Just some non-freeze dried food for thought.
Until next time,