I'm turning 31 this year. 30 was great at first ... until I realized my body was in a rapid state of decline and it was going to require a lot of work to stem the tide. I decided to throw myself a party this year. It will be a 31 Party, if you will. Then I became concerned that people would think that I'm trying to sell them bags. For those that don't know, Thirty-One is a company that utilizes any individual to sell their gift products in an über personal way. It's kind of like Mary Kay ... only for bags, accessories and things like that. Women who are getting ready to say good bye to their middle-age eat this stuff up! It's a great business model for the corporation, but a terrible business model for the individuals. I think that this is a passing trend, but there is a better one on the horizon.
It's Almost a Scam
Remember the Pyramid Schemes of yesteryear? Well, this is not one of them; don't worry. They are very upfront with the business model and the way it works. However, partakers are still taken in by the potential rather than the practical. They see that if they only sell X-number of bags they will make Y% commission and really all that they've done is thrown a party! "Easy Work yields Quick Money." It's the same formula. Honestly the main difference is that the Thirty-One company is completely honest about what's going on. All of the participants know the cost, the benefit and the percent that goes back to the corporation. So, why is it a poor model for the individual?
Easy Come Easy Go
Remember when you where convinced by some marketing spiel that every Facebook "Like" had a value of $X? So, you got everyone you knew to like your Facebook page, and watched anxiously as the like count climbed to an respectable amount. Yet, for some reason, you saw no spike in your sales or donation. Why is this?
Neither of these business models have any sustainability to them. You can get all of your friends to come to a party and buy a bag ... ONCE. Pretty much from then on, your mom is going to ask for one around Christmas and you will give them out as Birthday gifts, but that's about it. You can sell bags because you have a preexisting client base. But, once that resource is tapped, you've got nowhere else to go.
In the same way, you can get 1,000 people you sort-of know on Facebook to like your page, but therein lies the breadth of your influence over that audience. It's a connection of very little value. If you ever meet a guy who "has all the right connections" he probably won't know everyone in the room, but he will be owed a favor by everyone he does know.
The Better Trend
I have a friend who has practically made a living looking for the next $Million idea. That's fine for him and the affiliate marketers, but I think the rest of us are just about ready to get serious. I think that in the coming year(s) you will see a trend of people looking not for cool jobs that will make them rich, but rather steady jobs that will offer them stability. Likewise, I think that that the hyped-up social media for business is going to yet again take a back seat to reliable, sustainable, engaging company websites.