FTC vs Vemma Court Ruling September 18 2015

As reported today by the Arizona Republic, for those that have been following the FTC case against Vemma, the court made a ruling today allowing Vemma to sell products to consumers and essentially shutting down their MLM business.

vemma ftc

You can read the entire ruling here and the previously sealed complaint here.

This initial ruling should scare the crap out of the entire network marketing industry. There is a chance the FTC will use this as a precedent to go after everyone.

I have spoken for years about MLM start ups not being product centered. Too many times, leaders in the MLM industry come up with some new compensation program, which is the result of taking other compensation programs, throwing in a tweak and spouting they have the highest payouts in the industry. THEN, they go find a product to use to create this commerce. The question I always ask myself before recommending or promoting a product is, “Would I purchase this product even if an income opportunity was not available?”

Vema ftc rulingI only recommend products that I would use even if there was no marketing business model. It is obvious who I recommend based upon the links on the right. I love the products. I feel better. I share these products with others. Some become customers and some decide to promote them as I do. Clean and honest with no hype.




Dr. Wayne Dyer Passes Away

Dr Wayne Dyer Dies(Click to enlarge)

Earlier today, the image above was posted on Wayne Dyer’s Facebook page. Then all of a sudden, about 15 minutes ago the following was posted on his Facebok page:

Wayne has left his body, passing away through the night. He always said he couldn’t wait for this next adventure to begin and had no fear of dying. Our hearts are broken, but we smile to think of how much our scurvy elephant will enjoy the other side.

We Love You Forever Dad/Wayne

The Dyer Family

And this on his Twitter page:

Wayne has left his body, passing away through the night. He always said he couldn’t wait for this next adventure…

I saw Wayne Dyer live for the first time in 1981 with my friend Brian in Seattle.

Sad but he speaks life even in death


Le-Vel, a direct marketing company with a cloud-based business model

Have you ever driven through Utah on I-15 between Provo and Ogden? This is the “Red Light District” of nutritional network marketing companies. Large business campuses with overhead through the roof. Backlit logos on the sides of the buildings. Impressive! I have actually seen the inside of many of these buildings and manufacturing facilities. The sheer massive infrastructure to run these companies blows my mind. There are but a few direct sales companies that keep a tight reign on their expenses. If you lived in Los Angeles, do you remember the Herbalife Building on the 405 at LAX? They went huge, like their building but over the years their expenses got out of hand.

There was one company that invited me on as a founder. Each of the executives of the company, was on a six figure salary, for a yet to be established company. A little top heavy I thought. They leased an amazing office facility in Provo and spared no expense. They wanted to have this office for “dog and pony shows” to recruit whales. You also call these meetings “Fly Ins”.

Then you have Jason Camper and Paul Gravette who shared a vision for premium products that offer an opportunity to live a premium lifestyle with a cloud-based business model.

From the Le-Vel website:

le-vel cloud thriveThe New Paradigm in Direct Sales Management: The Cloud

The Le-Vel Cloud Management system is the most state of the art, most efficient, and the most lucrative operations infrastructure system ever. It allows Le-Vel to operate with the lowest corporate overhead and yet have one of the fastest response and problem solving operating systems in the market. It allows for efficient manageability with fast pace growth solutions.

From Employees to API Integration

Many bricks and mortar Direct Sales Companies, are bloated with employees that add enormous costs: buildings, w-2s, managers, hiring, firing, staffing, real estate, secretaries, middle managers, utility bills. This adds up to high overhead, high cost of business and results in very low distributors commissions. A huge percentage of overhead is eliminated at Le-Vel, and replaced with Cloud Technology. They do this with less staff, more efficient and dependable results because of their Cloud.

While other companies are bogged down with management that is both costly and inefficient. They are saving money and putting where it needs to be, with their LV Rewards Plan. When it comes to state of the art efficiency, speed, stability and scalability, no other infrastructure beats our Cloud Technology.

Le-Vel Cloud Technology – A solution for large scale, large growth infrastructure:

Order Tracking
Customer & Promoter Support
Team Sales & Calculations
Team Genealogy

I was so impressed I became a Le-Vel Independent Promoter. More information can be found on my free replicated Le-Vel website.





Zillow vs. Realtor.com and others

1) I am a consumer, sitting at home in my drawers, searching for houses. Unlike a few years ago when this search may have taken place on a Realtor’s website or by contacting a Realtor to find me a house or perhaps put me on a daily update from the MLS, I am using Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin or God knows what else to look for homes. Unless I have a preexisting relationship with a Realtor, I am just looking for a house.

Maybe I find that house through one of these services. Do I contact the agent that purchased the upper right corner of the search results? Am I fortunate enough to find the listing agent in that corner because that agent paid for the right to be there? Am I one of the many who do a Google search on the street address to find better information? As a consumer, do I realize 95% of the time I will NOT find the listing agent’s actual listing landing page because the big search companies, brokerages and franchises hold most of the 1st page of Google’s search results?

As a consumer, I don’t care. I want my needs met and I have a short attention span.

2) I am a Realtor. My marketing budget is pulled in many directions. If I spend $500 with R.com, Z.com, T.com, ML.com, BT.com, RG.com or any of the others, which is the best ROI?

If Zillow and/or Realtor.com is making me money, I don’t really care about the politics. I line item my expenses and make sure each one is profitable.

3) I am Z or I am R. What is my mission statement? What do I have to do as a company to turn a profit. Is my priority the consumer, the Realtor or the shareholder? What is the balance?

As a consumer, I am looking for houses.

As a Realtor, I am looking for business.

Just want to eat the steak and not stick my head up the steer’s ass to check it out.


Top Secret Sales Convention Held In The Open

Top Secret EventDue to the NDS I signed, the names and the location have been changed.

Imagine if you will, a major sales convention from a tech company being held at a major hotel and convention center, right in front of the other guests and nobody knows the company or the technology.

The 4,000 attendees are wearing their oversize convention badges. On the badge are three things. The attendee name. A company name, which is actually an event production company and a phrase with a hashtag.

If you researched the company name you maybe found a few pages for a production company with no data on their client list. If you searched the hashtagged words there was nothing on Twitter. Wait! 4,000 people, signage all over the hotel and not one tweet anywhere in the world with this hashtagged phrase?

Setting aside the fact the attendees were told NOT to do anything with social media at this event going which was presenting for the following year’s technologies, I could not believe there was no history with that hashtag. As an experiment I asked somebody overseas to send out a tweet with that hashtag and it never came out on Twitter. I have no proof, but I am led to believe this Fortune 100 company had the power to secure or buy this hashtag from Twitter. If this is the case, not only did Twitter not publish any tweets with this hashtag but would also collect all of the the tweets and report them to their client. Just a what if, but plausible.

There are some other specific measures that were taken for the event, but I will not be disclosing them as they are quite clever. I just thought this Twitter angle was interesting. #topsecret



Le-Vel Thrive Review

Many of you know me as a product based direct marketing consultant. I have never really been too interested in being a “Business Builder”, but in the huge sea of overpriced nutritional products offered through various MLM’s, occasionally I will find products that I would take with or without a marketing plan. If that product line has a direct marketing element I look at it as a bonus because I have an opportunity to get my products for free.

In fact there are a couple of products I take now that I not only get for free but they keep sending me checks every week and all I have done is shared the products I take with a few people. I own an internet marketing company that keeps me very busy full time.

Le-Vel Thrive LeaderAbout a month ago, a friend introduced me to a concept called The Thrive Experience by a company called Le-Vel. The THRIVE Experience is an 8 week premium lifestyle plan, to help individuals experience and reach peak physical and mental levels.

It’s so simple. Two capsules when you get out of bed. A drink mix and a DFT Patch that you wear for 24 hours. All done within an hour after you wake up.

The Thrive Experience promotes:

> Weight Management > Cognitive Performance
> Digestive & Immune Support > Joint Support
> Lean Muscle Support > Aches & Discomfort Relief
> Anti-Aging & Antioxidant Support

I know I sound like a commercial and though most of my reviews are independent, for full disclosure, I liked the product and business model so much I became a Le-Vel Independent Promoter. Here is my free Le-Vel replicated website. Please watch the video on the homepage. The Thrive Experience specifically can be found here.

You have two choices. Become a customer or a Promoter AND there are no sign up fees AND the replicated Le-Vel website is FREE.


29715 Cuthbert Road Malibu, CA 90265 Patrick Dempsey House For Sale

patrick dempsey house for saleI saw a headline at the UK Daily Mail this morning talking about Patrick Dempsey selling his Malibu property and home for $14,500,000 after buying the property in 2009 for $7 million and completely renovating it. . This 3 bedroom, 4 bath 5547 sq ft home sits on 3.23 acres and is located at 29715 Cuthbert Road Malibu, CA 90265.

Between Derek ‘McDreamy’ Shepherd being killed off in Greys Anatomy, Patrick’s divorce from Jillian Fink and now putting their home on the market, makes for busy times.

On a side note, and this has not been verified, but Brian Glascock a famous drummer may have at one time lived at that address. The house was designed by Frank Gehry.

As I was researching this property based on today’s news of the listing, Rachel Clun with Domain News in Australia wrote a piece and it looks like she was first to publish the property address. I found it funny that she notes that, “Located a couple of kilometers from Venice Beach…” when in reality the distance between the property and Venice Beach is 24 miles of 38 Kilometers.




Update on 230 N CARMELINA AVE Tobey Maguire Home for Sale

Back on June 30th of 2013 I wrote a blog post about the home for sale located at 230 N CARMELINA AVE, Los Angeles, CA 90049. At the time, this house, formerly owned by Ricki Lake who had purchased the home from Courtney Cox and David Arquette. Now this home is up for sale again.

In October of 2002 Ricki Lake purchased this Brentwood house for $5.6 Million from The Arquettes who had purchased this home for just over $2.2 Million in 1996.

Based upon Los Angeles County tax records it looks like Tobey Maguire purchased this home for $8.45 Million in January of 2014 for $8.45 million. Now they are selling this house for $10.25 Million just over a year later.

Did the value of this home really go up by just under $2 Million Dollars in just over a year? Zestimate(which I feel is not accurate), says the value is $8.8 Million which is just a few hundred thousand dollars up from the price Tobey originally paid.

I personally feel, with the improving market in West Los Angeles along with the history of its former owners, this house will sell for over $10 Million dollars.


Seagate External Hard Drives are HORRIBLE for your Backup

Seagate Hard Drives Bad FailPrior to so many cloud options available, I used external hard drives for my back ups. 2 years ago I purchased a 1TB Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex which crashed 8 months ago. When plugged into the computer it lights up but then you just hear a clicking noise. After a few moments pass, I get a notification telling me it needs to be re-formatted. If you re-format a hard drive, you of course lose all of the data so that is not an option. I have been sitting on it until needed and I figured I would have to hire a data recovery service.

I also have a 500 gig FreeAgent Desk I have been happy with so I figured I would give Seagate another chance. 6 months ago I purchased a 1TB Seagate Backup Plus portable drive, Model number SRD00F1. 2 months ago it died as well. It lights up and there is a faint click. Via Seagate support #fail, I did the whole dos access thing but I could find no way in. Now Seagate wants to charge me at least $400 as a recovery fee for a device I paid $79 for. They have me over a barrel because I really need that data.

I purchased both from Costco. Maybe these products are coming out of an OEM with poorer quality yet with the Seagate logo so that Costco can sell these for so cheap. Costco is willing to replace it for free which is commendable however I still need the data.

I am not happy with the Seagate product line. I am not happy with the customer support. I have had to move all of my backup data to a cloud storage system as I did not want to purchase more external hard drives to back up my external backup hard drives. Does this make sense?



Sony Hack Could Have Been Prevented

It is one thing to hack an online business and another to hack a brick and mortar business. Target and Home Depot were hacked for hundreds of thousands of credit card numbers. It bothers me our credit card numbers from brick and mortar transactions were accessible via the internet.

Then we have the latest horrible hack on Sony Pictures. It is one thing to hack into their e mail and quite another to hack into a database that was hosted within the same server system their internet communications were hosted on.

These hacks are getting ridiculous. Why did Sony store personal information like social security numbers on a server that could be tapped via the internet?

I have three computers. One for e mail and internet connectivity. One for gaming. And another computer that is not hooked up to the internet. I have three external hard drives that I use for personal storage and I use three encrypted cloud services for business data.

Sure somebody could hack my e mail account but my personal data is unhackible. The moral of the story is to compartmentalize business and personal data and get better security.



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