‘Sup W’ Dat? Part Four

EI (Epistemic Irrationality) Factor #3

The ability to serve as a television talk show celebrity or play in the NBA does not qualify an individual to land a fighter jet on an aircraft carrier or build a large organization in MLM.

 I don’t know what there is about MLM that causes rational adults to completely ignore the qualifications and experiences necessary to run a major corporation, but many people abandon all common sense when they decide to join a company.

Read this closely folks…tacit wisdom is not transferable. Either the owners of an MLM company have significant experience in the MLM profession or they don’t. Period. End of the story.

The fact that they are brilliant lawyers or quarterbacked a team that won the Super Bowl or perform as respected celebrities is of zero value when trying to manage an MLM company through hyper growth and international expansion.

Tacit wisdom is gained by significant repetitive execution of specific skills in a specific domain. Mediocre tennis pros can destroy world champion table tennis players on a tennis court.

We all understand that fact intellectually. So why do people join MLM organizations run by people whose successes have been in totally different fields of endeavor? I don’t know, but they do.

In the next blog, we’ll explore three more examples of Epistemic Irrationality.

Until then, may you only consider companies in which the leaders, products and owners have been fully researched. That’s a good start.


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‘Sup W’ Dat? – Part Three

EI (Epistemic Irrationality) Factor #2

Rational adults will generally fall into one of two categories when exposed to an MLM opportunity…either they decide to join a company and sell products with no proof of efficacy beyond absurd testimonials or they refuse to join a company and sell products with stacks of scientific validation until they can themselves “try the product.”

I’ve enjoyed this industry for 25 years and every day it feels more and more like I’ve fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole where everything is backwards and Mad Hatters rule.

I’ve met doctors who join companies that sell magic wands and diet candy and blue collar workers who refuse to join companies selling remarkable technology with hundreds of double blind scientific studies that prove product efficacy. One example should put this in perspective.

I showed a very respected scientist a product line in a ground floor MLM company in mid 2011 with over 90 published articles in scientific journals. In spite of the fact that she needed the product and certainly needed the money, the doctor declined.

A couple of months later, she insisted that I meet her for breakfast so she could talk to me about something critical. I met with her and her husband and after few social niceties she pulled out a small silver wand that looked like a Cross pen and asked the waiter to bring us a lemon.

She told me that her magic wand from a new MLM company would turn the lemon “sweet.” It didn’t and I haven’t heard from her since. Perhaps she thought I would pretend that the lemon tasted sweet. It simply didn’t.

So, remember this. Either the product has been studied scientifically and the results published in legitimate journals or it hasn’t. If it hasn’t, don’t risk your honor and credibility on a handful of biased testimonials.

By age 30, people should be long past the age of believing in magic wands, diet candy or therapeutic foo foo powder from distant countries. But they aren’t. ‘Sup W’ Dat?

Stay tuned for Part Four…

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‘Sup W’ Dat? Part Two

EI (Epistemic Irrationality) Factor #1

Rational adults join stupid companies because total strangers, family members or friends with no verifiable credentials ask them to do so.

I have no idea why rational adults who read labels on virtually everything they eat or drink will buy a business kit and join an MLM company under any relative who calls them even if that relative has never held a job higher than assistant manager of Arby’s.

Some prospects will actually quit good jobs to follow failures with zero business experience into really stupid companies. What’s the solution?

If anyone contacts you about a “big money, free-time MLM opportunity,” ask him or her to either verify their own credentials or put you on the phone with a leader who is making the big money.

If he can’t, you’ve got a problem. Either no one is making the big money or they will not be accessible to you. In either case, you’re hooped.

MLM is a team sport. Without access to a successful coach or competent owners, no team can possibly compete no matter how many individual stars are on the team. The same thing is true in MLM. Without credible mentoring you cannot “luck” your way to $100K a month, no matter how talented you are.

If, on the other hand, you can gain access to company leaders or if your friend or relative has a great track record in the industry, move to the next step of due diligence. Whatever you do, don’t abandon your due diligence yet if you can be mentored by a true expert because that’s one of the most important elements of MLM success.

But remember, even if you gain access to competent leaders, that’s just the beginning. Warren Buffet and Bernie Madoff are both financial planners and investment experts. Let’s just say that one of them is eating a lot more macaroni and spam than the other!

‘Sup W’ Dat? They both managed billions for other people.

Stay tuned for Part Three…


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‘Sup W’ Dat? Part One

After twenty-five years in this industry I feel like I’ve learned enough to explain why some make millions while many others fail.

I will begin by introducing you to two words that you’ve probably never heard or seen. If there were more simple terms I’d use them, but there aren’t. Stay with me because at first I too found these terms a bit complicated.

I learned them in fabulous book written by fifteen of the world’s most respected psychologists/brain experts called, Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid, Yale University Press, 2002.

Those brilliant researchers coined the words Epistemic Irrationality to describe the root cause of stupid decisions.

Simply put, when people decide to take action they usually consider any relevant evidence that could impact their decision. Epistemic irrationality occurs when people refuse to take action even though all available evidence supports the fact that they should or when people take action even though all available evidence suggests that they shouldn’t. That’s when smart people make stupid decisions.

I can assure you that epistemic irrationality is an epidemic in our field.

In fact, were I hired to create a marble entryway with a universal slogan about our profession to be placed above the front entrance of every network marketing corporate office, it would read, “Abandon All Common Sense Ye Who Enter Here.”

Blaming the industry because many people fail to earn big checks is like blaming Orville and Wilbur Wright when the space shuttle blows up.

I can accept the fact that many people fail at MLM. What we need to understand is why they fail and more often than not, failure in MLM can be attributed to epistemic irrationality.

People simply refuse to weigh the preponderance of evidence about a particular company before they either join it or refuse to join it. Then, they blame the industry for their own foolish actions or inactions.

People violate one or more of several specific “common sense” factors. In future blogs, I’ll explain some of them. I call them EI Factors because they all revolve around epistemic irrationality (EI).

Stay tuned for Part 2…


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Upcoming Blogs

Every morning I awaken at 4:30 am. By 5:00 I’m reading a non-fiction book written by some author with excellent credentials. Usually it’s a complicated hardback and the information is fascinating.  By 7:30 I’ve absorbed concepts that a very limited number of people will hear about in a few years, if ever. That doesn’t make me smarter than others in North America, but it does make me well read.

 So I find myself at an intersection of interesting options. To follow path A is to content myself with the accumulation of knowledge for the sake of curiosity and personal wisdom. To follow path B, I must agree to sacrifice precious reading time on a regular basis in order to write a digital summary of my intellectual adventures so that others without the luxury of time freedom might gain from my accumulation of insights.

 After considerable reflection, I’ve chosen path B for two reasons. First I do enjoy writing. Second, I have to believe that a market for intelligent blogs does exit. By market, I’m not refrring to a group from which I might derive a diverse cluster of economic gains, but rather a diverse cluster of intelligent folks who actually appreciate knowledge for knowledge-sake.

You’ll be happy to learn that when I recently turned 60 I made the conscious decision to abandon my efforts to become general manager of the universe although in my youth, especially during my drinking days, I was fairly certain that I would one day achieve that goal.

I don’t want your money so you need not ever fear that by reading my blogs you will be added to a data base and one day asked to join me on a special prosperity cruise for “Yarnell’s Secret Inner Circle.”

 I am not interested in politics, have no new book to sell and could frankly care less about persuading others to believe what I opine. I intend to write for the pure joy of writing and if you like to read, I hope you’ll enjoy my blogs. I also hope that my research will be interesting enough to some readers that they will actually (OMG) buy the book that I’ve written about and read it.

 Of course that’s asking a lot in a world where we can zap bloodthirsty zombies 24/7 on a hand held mini computer more powerful than the ones that put us on the moon. Why exhaust our brains with the effort required to gather information through old fashion reading when we can become wizards in binary wars (not withstanding their sheer irrelevance or the fact that they lead to zero “real world” competencies)?

 I’ll tell you why. Because reading is fun, rewarding and a marvelous strategic advantage to those who prefer to excel in a very competitive global economy. And unlike the results of participation in the digital pandemic, reading real books does not lead to social isolation, diminished spontaneity, stimulus-driven ADHD or cyber emotional abuse, the latter of which is supposedly responsible for a massive increase in teen suicides.

A pandemic is defined as a widespread, fast moving epidemic that affects all people. Unless you have been living in a cave for the past decade, you’ve probably noticed that most people cannot walk down the street without using a hand held screen. At least half the population is tethered to a wireless feed drip of irrelevant minutiae every waking hour.

Therefore, in the next blog I will discuss the marvelous new book by Dr Mack Hicks, founding member of the American Board of Neuropsychology and lead research scientist for the National Institute of Mental Health. The title of his new book is appropriately called The Digital Pandemic: Re-establishing Face-to-face Contact in the Electronic Age.

 Until next week….happy tweeting. Oh, and one final thought – did you turn the stove off?


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