“Under Investigation” : A Warning To Home Business Entrepreneurs

Once upon a time, I was recognized on stage for an achievement.

While I was up there, waiting to receive my award, one of my old mentors introduced me to a friend of his who was another top leader in the company. During that very short conversation, he said something to me that I’ve always remembered.

It went something like this…

“Nice to meet you. I’ve heard a lot of good things about you. When you get to $30,000 a month, I look forward to getting to know you better and spending some more time with you.”

What a strange thing to say to someone you’re meeting for the first time, right?

I remember instantly feeling that I had no desire at all to ever get to know this person better or spend more time with him.

What kind of person predicates friendship on how much money someone is making?

To be fair, it’s true that when you have a lot of influence, your time gets very short and you have to use filters to help you decide who to spend your business time with… so I’m guessing that’s probably (at least partially) what was behind this comment made to me.

Still, it did come off as strange and produce the repulsive effect in me that I described above.

Fast forward a few years, and this same person is a top leader inside another direct sales company.

Last week, I read in an entrepreneurial publication that this particular company is currently under investigation for “less than savory” business practices.

And while you can’t believe everything you read, and the media does seem to be filled with more lies than truth these days, I have to say I wasn’t surprised and my gut tells me there’s some truth behind some of what this article had stated.

Just one week earlier, my wife and I were shopping for a new camp trailer for our family. The sales lady who was helping us asked me what I did for a living. I told her, “I’m in online marketing.” She then asked me if I’d ever heard of affiliate marketing.

I told her, ‘Yes, my company is actually an affiliate marketing company.’ She then asked me if I’d ever heard of ‘so and so,’ and this ‘so and so’ just so happened to be the person I wrote about above.

I told her that I did know this person, and then she asked me what I thought of him and the company he was promoting.

My wife and I looked at each other briefly, and instantly knew we were both thinking the same thing.

Not wanting to disparage anyone or company specifically, I instead talked about how my business philosophy is different from the one found in the company she asked me about.

Specifically, I told her, I’m not a fan of ‘High-Ticket’ affiliate marketing opportunities because many of them seem to take a lot of money from people without delivering on many of the promises, usually made to entice people to join them.

I prefer to market products, services and businesses that have great profit potential, but lower risk so that if people decide the business side of things isn’t for them, they’re still left with great products and a positive experience that hasn’t set them back financially.

This is the best way I’ve found to build something that has the highest probability of helping everyone and hurting no one, which is important to me.

We then changed the conversation and went back to shopping for camp trailers.

Sidenote: We DID find the perfect one for us. WAHOOO! Check it out..

Ok, back to the story…

Just one week later, the exact company the camp-trailer saleslady asked me about, shows up in this news article that was highlighting said company for ‘shady’ business practices.

Coincidental, yes.

Surprising, no.

Since there are some lessons to be learned here, I want to share some of the claims of the article and talk about how these danger zones can be avoided for home business entrepreneurs.

Again, I haven’t verified these claims for myself and it’s possible that there are some innacuracies here. It’s hard to now who and what to believe online these days.

Even if these assertions aren’t 100% accurate, they ARE things I’ve seen many companies and affiliates do, so they’re good to be aware of because they contain relevant and valuable lessons.

So let’s dive in.

Bait And Switch

The first point that seemed to anger customers about this company’s business practices was the fact that they were advertising a very low-cost front-end product (under $10) that then seemed to immediately turn into a very expensive product offer (over $2000) shortly after purchase.

There are some important details here that need to be made clear.

Sometimes I hear people say, ‘I hate upsells,’ which is nothing more than offering another product to a customer who has purchased a product.

“Would you like fries with that?”

In my opinion, upsells, when done right, are a normal and helpful way to serve customers and increase profits.

What this particular company was doing was not just ‘upselling.’

According to the article, here’s where they went off the rails…

First, their so-called ‘low-ticket offer‘ was promising a business-building challenge that was time-specific.

After the customer joined, they were put on the phone with a closer (some what deceptively called a ‘coach‘) and told that if they didn’t buy the $2000 plus package, they wouldn’t be able to complete the challenge.

What about the money they’d already paid?

Too bad I guess.

This practice is called bait and switch.

You offer something with promises to get people to buy, only to change the offer and the promises after the person has purchased in order to get more money from them.

Not good, right?

A simple way to avoid this is to just give people what you promised them when you made the offer.

In our company, we have a couple of lower-cost products that we usually offer on the front end when people are just learning about our company.

We have a $10 product and a $25 product.

After people buy one or both of these products, we do have two more products that they can purchase that are a little higher in cost, but the thing is, if they don’t buy the other products, they still get the full value from the lower-cost products they already purchased.

Can you see how it’s not the upsells that are the problem, but rather how upsells are applied that’s the main issue?

Taking Advantage Of People Who Are Struggling Financially

The second thing some customers were not happy about, as reported in this article, was the fact that the closer (AKA ‘business coach’) told people that this $2000-plus product was so valuable and essential that it would be worth selling their car in order to get the funds to buy the product.


People will say things like,

“C’mon how bad do you want success?”

“Isn’t your family worth making some sacrifices in order to do what it takes to succeed in business?”

“If you could sell your car to start a business that can pay you millions of dollars, you’d be stupid not to do it.”

Sleazy, slimy, and manipulative! (IMO)

The truth about business, both inside and outside the home business profession, is that there are no guarantees of success.

The sales person makes it seem like it’s a guarantee, and yeah, if you were guaranteed a million dollar business to sell your car, it WOULD be dumb not to do it… but in home business…

YOU ARE GAURANTEED NOTHING (on the income side)!

Business has inherent risks, and that’s why it is so profitable for those who do what it takes to win.

If you’re truthful, you know that business has risks and there are no guarantees.

In my view, the only reason you’d ever entice someone to make a poor financial choice so you could get a commission, knowing these facts, is that you care more about your bank account than you do about helping people make good choices and avoiding harm.

In fact, I remember going through a marketing course one time from a popular marketing guru who literally said that the best salespeople are the ones with no moral hangups about making the sale.

Yeah, no thanks.

Here’s a better way to do it, in my opinion.

Always do your best to help people see the potential in the business, themselves, and their futures, and at the same time, help them make the best financial decisions for them.

One of my early mentors used to tell people, ‘If this purchase is going to prevent you from putting food on the table, shoes on your kids’ feet, or keeping a roof over your family’s head, don’t do it.’

Home business is NOT for everyone and it’s not always the right time for everyone to start a home business.

Encouraging people to sacrifice their car, home, or food money to start a home-based business is completely unnecessary and, to me, seems like preying on people who are in poor financial shape and profiting from them instead of actually helping them.

Not good!

WAY Over-Hyping Up The Income Opportunity Side Of The Business

The last main complaint people had about this company, in the article I read, was that affiliates were promoting, in a very heavy manner, how much money could be made from the opportunity.

One affiliate talked about how in just a year, she became a multimillionaire.

The same affiliate, in another TikTok video, was telling people that the average salary of a digital marketer with no experience is $177,566 a year.

Even if these claims are true, which I question, enticing people to join to make millions of dollars or a six-figure salary with no experience and very little time invested is dishonest, hurtful and is NEVER a promise you can keep to people.


Because everyone is different.

If I tell you how much money I’m making and use that, and that alone to get you to join my business, I’m subtly deceiving you.

I’ve been buliding businesses from home for 20 years of my life.

*This was the first time I ever got to speak on stage back in 2011

I’ve invested countless hours in skill improvement, personal development, trust building in the market, value creation, actual work, and so on.

You are not me.

If I tell you how much money I’m making today, and you join because of that, how likely is it that you’re going to replicate my income in the next few weeks or months?

Yeah it’s possible, just not very likely.

For many entrepreneurs, the road is long and filled with effort.

That’s not usually the most attractive message to the masses which is why many choose to take the shortcut by promising easy riches.

But even this, I think, ends up coming back to bite them.

Let’s say you get around the legal dangers of doing this, and skip right over the whole moral side of life (assuming it’s a farse) and conclude there are no spiritual repercussions for lying to people…

In other words, let’s just look at it from a PURELY self interst point of view.

If you tell 100 people they can make $10,000 a month in the next 90 days, they all join, and then in 90 days, 99 of them didn’t make it to your promised income, how do they now feel about you, your company, your promises and your business.

I’ll tell you how – cheated.

And what happens to a customer who feels cheated?

They leave.

And what happens when they leave?

Your income disappears and any hopes of building a residual income and a life of freedom vanish right before your very eyes.

Maybe this is why so many of these “opportunities” don’t even have a residual side to the business and instead focus on getting as much money from people right at the start. 🤔

So what’s the solution here… ?

I’m not God and I’m not perfect and I’m not all-knowing, but I DO have 20 years experience in building businesses from home and I can share with you the best of what I’ve come up with so far.

Instead of constantly focusing on individual income claims and money success stories alone to entice people to join,

How about…

Demonstrating other aspects of value that people can receive if they decide to buy your products or join your company.

For example…

  1. Actually talking about your products and how they can benefit people even if they don’t build the affiliate side of the business.
  2. Highlighting other positive life benefits your customers find on the other side of the purchase decision, like community, personal growth, purpose, a sense of contribution and/or other aspects of life-enhancement.
  3. When you do talk about the income side of things, focus more on the actual compensation plan where you can clearly state “If you do ___________ then you can earn ____________________.” *see how that’s more of an honest way of describing an income opportunity because it includes the fact that the person will have to learn, work, gather customers and actually build a business in order to recieve the income?
  4. You can also talk about business based benefits that people can enjoy which are detatched from specific income claims. Things like “Residual income”, “Time Freedom”, “Leveraged income” etc. These benefits are often very real and associated with many businesses that people can experience, the moment they join. I can have a business that gives me a way to build residual income and time freedom and this can be true the moment I join. Earning a million dollars per year, not so much. That will not happen the moment I join and therefore is a benefit that ZERO to a very small fraction of people will experience the first year of business.

There’s no perfect way to do this, but the main point is to always remember that if all you’re doing is showing people how much money someone else is making, you are almost always offering something that’s not likely to be found (as you’ve described it) on the other side of that purchase decision.

If you want satisfied customers, which seems to be an important requirement for building a residual income, what you offer and what people find on the other side of the purchase must match up in some way.

So while the income opportunity of whatever it is you’re promoting may be exciting and real, you have to remember that it’s always going to play out differently for every single person who joins.

Just remembering this simple fact seems to automatically guide you to tone down the claims you make in your marketing.

Again, there’s no perfect way to do this, but if you have the intentions of helping people and telling the truth, you can figure out a way to do this that works and feels good to you and the people on the other side of your sales communication.

When I first got started in home business, I didn’t do it this way.

I did it the way I was taught, and it took me a lot of years to begin to realize that what I’d been taught, was counterproductive to my goals of growing a stable, long lasting income, helping people and being proud of the work I was doing.

Lies, hype and manipulation are profitable and that’s why people still use these tactics today. The thing so many don’t seem to realize, however, is that they’re profitible short term, and not long term.

Telling the truth and explaining products, services & businesses in an enthusiastically honest way, sometimes doesn’t have the up front sizzle, but it also won’t burn out quick like the sizzle does.

It’s my belief now, after making a change some years ago (btw, I never intentionally lied to people or tried to manipulate them… but I DID perhaps unconciously do some of these things, partly because I’d been trained to “Show the plan” and sell the dream… etc.. )

Anyway, It’s my belief now, backed up by experience and data, that doing things the right way is actually MORE profitible, especially over time.

Trust is hard to build but it’s the foundation that holds people and incomes together for the long haul.

It’s worth building, if you actually want to build a long term future.

And guess what, people eventually notice what’s happening and when they do, it hits them like a ton of bricks that this is a better way.

Case in point…

I wrote back…

And another one of our members wrote this…

So to re-cap…

  1. Only promise what you can deliver, and give people what you promised when they purchase (sometimes more but never-ever something less).
  2. Never use rediculous high pressure sales tactics like encouraging people to sell their car or go without food to buy your products. “Your commission is NEVER more important than someone elses positive life choice.”
  3. Tone down the hype on the opportunity side of things by focusing on the exciting parts of the business that are available to everyone who joins and not dependent on single cases of affiliate success. Really this is just a variation of point #1 but as applied to sharing the income opportunity side.

Hope this post has been valuable and has given you some insight on how you might be able to build your business in a way you can be proud of.

I love the home business profession and it’s given my family a life of freedom we love.

I think it would be great if we could collectivelly heal some of the “black eyes” our profession has been given over the years so that more people could see this for what it is and allow it to be a vehicle they could use to drive to a better future.

This is what “Being the change you wish to see” is all about.

Thanks for reading.

With love & gratitude,

Paul Hutchings

PS: Here’s a little video clip from one our recent new member coaching sessions. This clip is highly relevant to the content in this blog post and I think it’s SOOO worth watching if you’re serious about building a long term, sustainable residual income from home that you can be proud of.

PPS: If you’d like to learn more about the company we started 7 years ago to be the change we wish to see in the home business profession, this is a great place to start.

If you opt in to see the overview, stay tuned for the email I’ll send tomorrow because it has video answers to all the most frequently asked questions about our business.

You can also check out the live overview Karen mentioned in the facebook post above here. It has the rest of the video I shared above.

PPS: Always go for your dreams!

2 thoughts on ““Under Investigation” : A Warning To Home Business Entrepreneurs”

  1. Hey Paul, thank you for this Read. I just turned two leads away that are eager to sign up with me. I did this because both are going through some life changes and really don’t have the funds to do this unless they take funds away from something else they need in their life. They’re both discouraged at first but understand and trust me on this. I’ve learned it’s not about the commission It’s about a safe place, a relationship, etc… Thank you Paul for everything
    Danny Krencisz.

    • Hey Danny,

      Thanks for stopping by for the read!

      And thanks for the great example you set with how you helped those 2 people.

      This story inspired me when you shared it on the mastermind the other day.

      You’re a great man and I’m thankful to be working with you.

      Keep up the great work!



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