When I had started my business with the direct sales company 5LINX, I was just running...literally running away from another network marketing deal called ACN. In ACN I had invested a lot of money, time, and blistering, bleeding toes from standing hours in line for their big national conventions. Ask me how much I made in return after building a team of over 20 sales representatives? $4.63. I still have the check. I never cashed it. It hurt to even look at it. I do not know who was more drained exhausted, me or my car from coordinating home ACN meetings all around the city. I felt mentally abused by my "up line" whom I often questioned if he was as rich as he projected. It started to feel as if I were in a cult. When I was told about 5LINX, it was like I saw heaven.
Not totally convinced yet that network marketing in direct sales did not work, something in me was saying give it one more shot with a new company. I looked on YouTube at all of 5LINX’s success stories. One young woman by the name of Tishina Pettiford (now Tishina Anderson) was an inspiration to watch before I had actually coughed up my initial investment of $249. You could tell she was an around-the-way-girl who did not grow up with money, but she was strong and leading a massive team. Her home was absolutely gorgeous, she drove a BMW and a Bentley courtesy of 5LINX, she took her sons on fun vacations, retired her mother, and was living the life of freedom and luxury.
I met with two young sales reps from 5LINX at a Starbucks. I let them go through the presentation, even though I was ready to sign up as soon as I sat down. They gave me my representative identification number and I was ready to roll. On my drive home, I started calling up everyone I had recruited in ACN. I was so excited and I felt like nothing could stop me in 5LINX. The compensation plan was far simpler than ACN and I could see earning a living with 5LINX. Within 60 days I was promoted to Executive Trainer and then Executive Director, earning $1,500. Money makes anybody a believer. I was all-in!
Learning from Tishina Anderson from a far and being blessed with an amazing mentor in the business who understood business development, I started doing presentations and training events at the W Hotel. My events were packed. I made money at the door by charging sales representatives to attend. I was promoted to National Director within nine months. I became a respected leader in my market building a team of over 300 across of the country and having a blast. 5LINX was what I had been looking for with additional income coming in. Life was good.
However, the realities of the industry began to rear its ugly head the closer I got to the Senior Vice President promotion. No one prepared me for the politics within my own team. What I thought was a family was actually crabs-in-a-barrel. After investing thousands of dollars into helping us succeed as a team, a handful of my own team members set out to destroy everything I built. I thought we all had the same vision, but I was sadly mistaken and majority of my organization imploded.
5LINX then began to change its compensation plan every time I looked up. It got to a point where I could not wrap my brain around the presentation. We went from a service based company to pushing more products like health shakes and supplements. 5LINX was becoming that multi level marketing company I would run from. A company that was well on its way to becoming a billion dollar empire, it seemed harder and harder to make money. They raised the initial investment to get in to making a choice between a $499 package or a $999 package. Huge jump from $249. The monthly maintenance to keep up your website up along with all of the shakes and supplements came to about $300 a month. Heaven was getting dark.
Then one of 5LINX’s top earning representatives started appearing on a ratchet style reality show called Married To Medicine. Lisa Nicole Cloud was also an inspiration in my early days of 5LINX. She was a self made millionaire and pretty. I was stunned at Cloud’s behavior. She had always painted such a perfect picture of herself and her family. The Bravo TV network completely exposed her and her husband for owing the IRS $100,000. If you’re in 5LINX. Why did you owe the IRS? Just write the check and get it off your hands. What was the problem? Cloud’s prior arrest for battery assault also came out on the show. What was most shocking was her physical altercation with a cast member in a public restaurant. I was at a lost for words! This was not 5LINX.
The changes just kept rolling in. Out of nowhere, CEO Craig Jerabeck resigned from 5LINX which sent concern throughout the entire company. He had been there since the doors opened and helped the company reach great heights. Jerabeck explained he did not like the direction the company was going in and decided to part ways from co-founders Jeb Tyler and Jason Guck. Tyler and Guck continued on, appointing their North American Vice President of Sales William Faucette to the CEO position. Faucette, who was also a sale representative, came from the world of politics prior to coming aboard 5LINX, so he knows how to play the game. It was rumored that one of his "downline" found loopholes in the guidelines of the company and bought customers in order to collect fatter monthly residuals and maintain his Platinum Senior Vice President position. This allegedly put the company in the red that Jerebeck desperately attempted to get them out of before his departure.
It did not sit too well with many of the top producers in 5LINX when they learned the newly appointed CEO was allegedly benefiting from income that was attained "illegally" outside of the 5LINX policies and guidelines. The top earning sale representative began a mad exodus in September and October of 2015. I checked in on Tishina Anderson via social media to see how she was surviving the loss of so many key players in her organization. The departure of a good portion of her team came after she was promoted to the highest position within the company Diamond Senior Vice President. I was so happy for her, after watching her journey from afar. But then I felt bad for her because everything she worked so hard for, the money and time she invested in people were now gone. With a snap of the finger, just like that.
With her husband Curt by her side, the two of them are determined to keep growing and helping others to succeed in 5LINX. I am cheering for her from a far. But I cannot help but wonder what is going on with 5LINX? An abrupt change in the CEO was pretty telling. I have heard that they made the compensation simple again which is great for new representatives starting new. The rumors that the company is still struggling to stay afloat is still a concern for many. How could such a successful company suddenly find itself in alleged trouble?
All I know is I miss the old days with 5LINX when there was not any politics and we were having a blast building our business and making money. What happened, 5LINX?