‘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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Correct Link for Webinar

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to a good friend, we just learned that the link in the latest blog posted for The Lotus Code webinar release on Wednesday November 4th does not work.

Here’s one that does!


Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

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NEW RELEASE – Training to Accelerate Your Progress

Something Valerie and I are very proud to unleash on capitalism is about to be previewed through a Networking University webinar.

We would love for you to participate in the pre-launch rollout of our new seminal work, The Lotus Code. Please join us:

Webinar: The Lotus Code – The Secret Path to Networking Wealth
Date: Wednesday November 4, 2009
Time: 6 PM – 7 PM PST
To register (space is limited), please click on the following link:


We are irrevocably convinced that people need to do more than “think” to grow rich in this new global economy.

It’s no longer a secret that proper thinking is a necessary component of most attainment strategies. We all know that. But too often well-meaning people ignore the other five elements of prosperity. It is those five components that are critical for personal achievement regardless of the goal we select.

The Lotus Code is a 2500-year-old philosophy that emphasizes each of six paint-by-numbers elements required for dramatic success in virtually any endeavor.

Wednesday night we will introduce you to our most exciting new project well in advance of its release. You will find the principles interesting and provocative…we can promise you that.

Feel free to invite your own friends and family to our webinar and fasten your seatbelts. This is not some lightweight new sales formula, but rather a substantive approach to accelerated excellence.

Join us and learn how you can take your business and your life to a whole new level.

See you Wednesday.


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Coffee Alert

Now that I’m living in British Columbia, that’s in Canada just toclarify that for my U.S. friends, I am privileged to get informationearly because of the willingness of the media up here to actuallyengage in investigative journalism. The facts I just read were sofrightening that I decided to send them to my readers in a blog. Thisinformation could save your life, so I suggest that you take itseriously.

Itwas recently discovered that a specific coffee drink, a double/double,caramel frappy, somehow causes a mental state similar to that whichresults from two shots of hundred proof vodka.

Evidently,the coffee mixture is problematic enough to have been banned in severalprovinces and thirty foreign countries. In several locations itliterally cannot be consumed legally by drivers.

What’smade this coffee so dangerous has been the media’s unwillingness todisclose these facts until recently. Evidently, research has come tolight that proves that this coffee has caused the deaths of 159 BritishColumbian citizens in just the last year. That’s a published statistic.

Believe it or not, people up here are still drinking this coffee and the publicity about the deaths has made it seem cool.

Aslong as it’s legal, the death toll is bound to rise in spite of thefact that half those who died were innocent victims of some fool whoswerved over the yellow line and hit them head on.

I’mnot sure about whether this particular coffee is being offered in U.S.coffee shops but if it is, please don’t take any chances with itanytime you are planning to operate a motor vehicle. 159 deaths is anunbelievably sad statistic given the small population in one of theCanadian provinces and all of them were needless.

So I must urge my Canadian and U.S. friends to learn from the unnecessary grief thrust painfully into the lives of 159 families.

Waita minute… I apologize. I wrote coffee. What I meant to write was cellphones. Pardon the error. Everything else was accurate.

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Article Published in The Central New York Business Journal

Since The Central New York Business Journal is no longer posting this article we have attached a copy below.

Friends, recently I responded to a self-righteous financial planner who attempted to trash our profession in The Central New York Business Journal.

Check it out: http://tr.im/zrtO

Best Regards,

Another MLM Fairy Tale from an Industry Outsider

By Mark Yarnell


I’ve had about enough self-righteous opinions from financial sector capitalists who, perhaps embarrassed about their own performance, insist on criticizing legitimate professions.

One such asset manager, David John Marotta, took a shot at multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing recently in this journal and his analysis was so flawed, unsubstantiated and preposterous that I simply couldn’t let it slide. Like so many other self-appointed pseudo-experts, Mr. Marotta evidently decided to hold court outside his own domain and, in so doing, embarrassed himself and his profession.

David is probably a wonderful asset manager, but I humbly suggest that he focus his energy on rehabilitating his “Madoff World” and leave multilevel marketing to the experts.

In case you missed his editorial, here are a few of his bits of wisdom.

“MLM is a non-sustainable business model because it simply provides a product that has been marked up in price.”

Sorry David but last year alone, as a matter of public record, Amway did 8.2 billion in sales and Mary Kay, Herbalife and Primerica each did in excess of 2 billion. Those are just a few examples of companies that have been extremely profitable for dozens of decades. So much for non-sustainability.

Oh, and by the way, on planet earth every product that is for sale has been “marked up in price.” You see David, that’s how capitalism works. According to your bio, you do fee-only financial planning. Your fee, David, is a mark-up. Instead of anything tangible, you mark up a service that may help people or wipe them out financially. Either way you make money.

Among other things, David goes on to assert that MLM is “not really a business,” “we offend our friends and families,” create “no real value,” and “endlessly recruit hopefuls who churn at the bottom of a pyramid,” while “only those positioned at the top” collect big checks. He closes by calling our profession a “distraction from a genuine vocational calling.”

Although the editorial rules in this journal request substantiation, Mr. Marotto offered not one shred of support for his Wikipedia-style distortions. Why? Because his ramblings lack credible research and support.

As a best selling author I’ve met thousands of wonderful men and women since 1986 who, like me, joined established MLM companies at the very bottom and became wealthy through hard work and perseverance. We started with no money, special skills, or credentials and delivered superior products and services to people all over the world by word-of-mouth advertising. Many of us have earned millions over the years and given huge amounts to charities and multiple worthy causes.

My international MLM business has taken me to every continent. Unlike financial planners, we don’t just sit at home and collect fees by moving money around, we build international distribution organizations that allow common people with very little capital to prosper based on their own hard work and character. Many of our products and services are far superior to the crap from overseas that people purchase from big-box superstores.

David closed with the following delusional comment, “There are hundreds of legitimate business opportunities available for entrepreneurs who want to build companies that provide real value.” Sorry David, but you need to read a few books by legitimate writers. There are no options for millions of boomers who have been hammered relentlessly into horrible debt loads by unconscionable casino capitalism just in time for retirement. Others have worked diligently for decades only to have their assets “managed” into oblivion by people in your world.

Many have seen their assets converted from 401Ks to 201Ks by people in your profession. The only time I turned over $300,000 to an asset manager it was down the toilet in 3 years thanks to stupid, high-risk investments. Fortunately, I’ve managed the bulk of my MLM income over the years and have been comfortably semi-retired since the late 1980s.

There are good people and bad people in every profession. I’m going to assume that David is more like Warren Buffet than Bernie Madoff because ignorance is not always an indication of malice. So, David why don’t you pick up the phone and ask Mr. Buffet why he calls MLM a great field. Better yet, ask him why he owns The Pampered Chef. He might be able to teach you why so many experienced asset managers regard MLM with respect.

If you are going to offer bogus advice about any additional profession, may I humbly suggest that you do so on blogs and Twitter where everyone expects to read irrelevant minutiae from clueless writers. Why embarrass yourself, your clients and others in your profession by writing in a legitimate journal when you can spread inaccuracies online and even fabricate your identity?

If you enjoy concocting inaccuracies about MLM, think of the fun you can have online by pretending to be any expert in law or medicine. The possibilities are endless. You could write one week about dangerous surgical techniques secretly used by pediatric cardiologists, and the next about legislative challenges in tort reform.

I’d like to end by thanking Adam Rombel, editor of the Central New York Business Journal for his professional integrity. In an age when many periodicals pander only to special interests, his journal is obviously engaged in presenting both sides of issues. It’s refreshing to have access to a legitimate journal with no hidden agenda or stereotypical biases.

Mark Yarnell is author of the Random House bestseller, Your First Year in Network Marketing and former Contributing Editor to Success magazine. Contact him with questions at vbates@telus.net or 250-769-3214.







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