After the heavy mileages of July, I'm still feeling a little worn down and have backed off my evening and weekend riding distances. I've only put in about 50 miles this week so far. I have started running again and will try to balance out a few runs in the mornings now.
With less time on the bikes, I had more time to take in some documentaries on Netflix.
One interesting one was called Icarus, which was a documentary on an amateur cyclist who wanted to do a documentary on doping in cycling, doping himself in the process. He trained for a pretty serious amateur race that was about the equal to the hardest 7 days of the Tour de France, all in a row.
It was an interesting look into the secretive side of cycling and doping for performance improvements and attaining elite levels. The cyclist gets in touch with an expert in Russia, who just happens to be behind a major cover-up for the Olympic athletes in Russia. It is a pretty wild documentary that goes from watching about how doping works, to how doping REALLY gets covered up. I read about this one online and really enjoyed this documentary in the end.
The other documentary I watched was Betting on Zero, which covered a business investor's deep look into a nutritional supplement company, Herbalife. The deep discoveries into the business and the way it is promoted and told how to operate was a little eye-opening, but not really surprising either.
The company is a multi-level marketing one, much like many, many other home-based businesses are in their structure. To many, the advantage of being an independent distributor for these businesses is to mainly get savings on the products themselves, and then also to make a small profit by selling products to retail customers.
The argument goes back and forth on whether or not they are a 'pyramid scheme' business or not, in which I say yes it is, but so are many others that have similar structures of trying to recruit people to start their own at-home businesses instead of moving product. Basically the products get moved by the new recruits buying it for themselves, and not really profiting from it on their own. However their 'upline' profits from their downline's purchases.
I've been a part of a few MLM companies back in my fitness training days and after my fitness training days.
These companies have been Unicity (not sure if they are around, or just known as something else now), Beachbody, and Organo Gold, a coffee company. I am now a part of AdvoCare, which compared to the others, I like their structure better than the previous ones.
I got started with Unicity when I moved to Ohio, but didn't really get into selling it to anyone since I was struggling with the job I had out there, plus when I moved again shortly within a year, I got focused on other things and just dropped it.
Beachbody I really got into for about a good year or so, but I grew tired and weary of their ever-present forcing of buying products each month in order to 'remain' in a certain level, PLUS I would still end up paying a $15/month fee just to sell their products through a special site. I was trying to sell $120 programs and only making $30 if I ever sold anything. Programs like P90X, which were already sold in the millions, were usually available as used items for far less than I could sell it for. It seemed like everyone I talked to about it, they usually got a copy from a friend for far less anyway. Very discouraging.
In the end I really got turned off by their products and what seemed like a complete arrogance about their own products. Some of the workouts are fine, but others I feel were very ill-advised and not put well together (not a fan of Insanity, sorry for those who are. Dance instructors should not be coming up with sports performance actions and calling it extreme fitness!).
I ended up finding out about other programs to sell, such as ones by Craig Ballantyne that I've talked about numerous times here, which actually allows me to earn more money per sale on his programs than I would ever earn with Beachbody's methods. I decided to go with this route since a) it was free to sell as an affiliate and b) it offered better value for my readership and c) it was far less than most programs I used try to sell with BB.
I also used Mike Whitfield's programs, who is a Ballantyne TT Trainer, and who also has a great, true life story of weight loss to share. Mike's and Craig's programs are innovative on their own and very affordable to sell to others who may benefit.
About 4 years ago I got introduced to AdvoCare and became a distributor, adding it as an option to my training blogs and sites that I kept up after I got out of training. I never really got into selling it big time though.
I heard about Organo Gold about 2 years ago, but couldn't really get that going and found it difficult to sell coffee pods that were almost $2 a K-cup, even at my 'discounted' price. The instant coffee that was the least expensive was okay, but still a hard sell in the day and age of K-cup makers. I dropped that after about a year of trying.
I then realized I was still an AdvoCare distributor and looked more into its structure. I wanted a solid lineup of products to sell and they made it pretty easy to setup an at-home operation.
I've posted many times about my journey after trying their 24 Day Challenge out and also other products, including the new FIT Line. The new Pre, Intra, and Post system with the FIT Line work very well together, especially Pre and Intra. Out of all 3, I feel the Intra alone is a great addition for my long 1-2 hour bike rides. The product lineup is a great fit into my active lifestyle now.
Another great structure of AdvoCare is I feel it isn't 'pushy' onto customers. I always felt that I had to sell the business opp whenever I talked to potential customers of other companies I sold for.
AdvoCare at least has the Preferred Customer option, which lets customers get a great discount and do it for a low cost per year with their PC Membership. You don't have to create a home business with this option and still allows you get some great savings on the products.
If someone wants to get into the home business aspect of it, the incentives are there as well. Either options of being a retail, Preferred Customer, or Distributor allows anyone to experience the benefits of the products.
The home business tools are great things to use if you are a Distributor, especially their programs like DebtBuster and numerous videos to watch if you are unsure how to present the products or talk about them with others on the fly.
Back to the documentary: It was pretty scary how some of these companies use crazy tactics to just recruit, recruit, recruit, and seem to force new recruits to purchase thousands of dollars in products.
I guess I like AdvoCare the most out of all the past ones I've done because it doesn't push people into constantly finding more and more people. I know there are some that always seem to push the opportunity before the products. I'd rather tell you about the products and see who will be a great fit for whichever opportunity exists out there for them. If you want some discounts, great, I have an option to tell you about. If you are interested in selling them for a nice at-home business, I have that option to tell you about too.
For me, it pairs up well with the other stuff I sell on my blog here, such as my own Kindle guides, and other trainers products. I'm not sure about you, but for me, I'll take it as the best option I can find out there for my needs.
I suggest watching both documentaries if you are interested in the enhanced performance methods discussed about in Icarus, and the eye opening info of Betting on Zero. Both are available on Netflix.