Income Disclosures… 4 Reasons Why They Are Misleading

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Hey guys, Jusstin here and I have a question for you. Have you ever seen a post on social media, that had a little line of text like this: “blah blah blah results not typical. Your success will depend on hard work, diligence and leadership yada yada.” That little blurb is called an Income Disclosure and I hate them!

OK, OK, hate is a strong word so that’s not true but I do dislike them though. Income Disclosures are a ridiculous misrepresentation of the truth. At its root an income disclosure is designed to protect a network marketing company from FTC complaints of enticement. On the surface it sounds like a good idea but they are just a waste of a time for many reasons listed below.

#1 Network marketing is for the most part a self-regulated industry.

The way the government looks at it as long as we keep each other inline. And nobody is getting scammed out of their money they try to leave us alone. The problem with self-regulation is that income disclosure standards change from company to company. There is no standard definition of a customer or distributor. Likewise, there are no standard distinctions between an actual distributor who is busting their ass to make their business grow. And someone that got in, thought it was going to be easy, and gave up after their first hurdle. Depending on the company they all get lumped into one chart and then you have one that looks like THIS:ids it works

Problem is this skews the conversation to “look how many people make little to no money.” This makes no sense because MOST people fail at everything. School, the gym, business, life, what have you, a small percentage of people do  well. Network marketing is no different beast.

#2 The FTC gives ZERO shits about your income disclosure.

Once upon a time there was an amazing company named Vemma. Vemma sold nutritional products and an energy drink called Verve. Verve was quite popular among the younger crowd and exploded on the college scene. The drink was so popular that many kids dropped out of school to pursue a home-based business promoting the drink. The income disclosures were in place online and repeated in every video or opportunity presentation. According to the ID most people didn’t make more than a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars in a year. It didn’t stop people from trying. Over the years parents, students and influential people filed several complaints with the FTC. In August of 2015, the FTC raided Vemma freezing their assets and the paychecks of their affiliates for several months. They claimed Vemma was an illegal pyramid scheme. Left without a paycheck a large amount of distributors left for greener pastures. The worst part of it all? Vemma survived the lawsuit and we’re ruled legal after all (barring a few changes to operations and compensation). But did the government have to compensate Vemma for the damages they caused? Nope. Did the ID save Vemma from the FTC witch hunt? Nope…

#3 Income disclosures don’t deter scammers from making outrageous claims of lavish lifestyles with big houses, cars, and clothes.

An income disclosure is like a window lock, “it keeps honest people honest.” If someone wants to deceive you, or if someone wants to break into your house… they will. Their income disclosure even sounds sketchy. “John is the youngest triple star ultra black diamond in the company. He made 7 figures his first year with no experience, all he did was just following the simple system. Of course, results are not typical.” Most people didn’t even hear that last part. It should say “John had no experience so he busted his ass for hours and hours day in and day out for a year. He made it to the top doing anything within his power to achieve success. Between you and me you’re not going to work that hard. But it’s possible…”

#4 Income disclosures focus on averages.

This is my biggest pet peeve about the whole thing. In this world the average person is financially struggling, overweight, unhappy, mentally stressed, and physically burnt out. Why should you care what the average person does? You’re trying to achieve an above average goal so what average people are doing is irrelevant. Similar disclaimers should be everywhere. At the gym, “ the average person stops coming to the gym but keeps paying for it for months.” At school, “the average graduate is tens of thousands of dollars in debt and doesn’t establish a career in their field of study. Also, it’ll take many years to recover financial.” At McDonald’s, “the average person in America is overweight and our food isn’t considered healthy.” Hmm… on second thought maybe disclosures are a good thing. In all seriousness, these statements don’t matter because your goal isn’t to be average. In any shape or form.

All that being said I can see why income disclosures are popular. The point I wanted to drive home is that if you want to achieve what most people never will. You need to skip the income disclosure. I don’t even look at them anymore since other people’s results don’t determine my hustle. Remember average people do average things and have average results. Commit to not being average and you’re well on your way on the road to success! Signing out!

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