(UPDATE: BE SURE TO SKIP TO THE END TO SEE THE RETALIATION I RECEIVED DUE TO THIS HONEST WRITING OF WHAT WAS MY EXPERIENCE IN COACHING. GET YOUR BIBLES OUT PEOPLE AND POP SOME POPCORN...)
I truly believe there is a reason and a season for everything in life and whether it be bad or good, there's always a lesson to garner from it. I learned a lot through Coaching. This is NOT a post to smear Beachbody, but only to shed light on what it’s truly like to be a Beachbody Coach, and the pros and cons as I experienced them. I wouldn’t trade the 2+ years I spent Coaching. I grew as a person exponentially through the experience of working in Network Marketing in general. I learned SO much about myself. I learned my self worth and what treatment I would and wouldn’t take from people. I grew thick skin, and not in some narcissistic overly confident way, but just with a healthy dose of self awareness. This new self awareness and confidence helped me grow in my conviction to walk in my truth in many respects, even outside of Beachbody. Quite frankly, I learned to not give a royal rats ass what other people thought of me as long as at the end of the day I was happy with myself. It’s hard to believe that Direct Sales or Network Marketing could be such a life changer, but in fact it was. Being my own boss had me hungry and motivated in a way I’ve never felt before.
I found Coaching when I was at a real low, a depressed and thirty pounds overweight housewife. I saw my girfriend getting in great shape and running her Coaching business so I ordered the 21 Day Fix through her and I was off to the races. The private Facebook accountability group was AMAZING and the 21 Day Fix Portion Control Containers were a game changer for me. I’ve made lifelong friends through the challenge group and through coaching that I can’t imagine not having in my life today. They ARE the silver lining to this whole experience.
I wholeheartedly believe in the workouts, and mission of Beachbody working to get people to lead happier healthier lives. I know my health and well being improved tremendously through the support of the group, portion control, and the workouts. Within a month of starting the program I looked like a completely different person.
That was when I decided without even talking to my upline first to just go and sign up to Coach under her! I kept hearing that great money was to be made and in a relatively short amount of time if I committed wholeheartedly and did the vital behaviors as I was told. That peaked my interest for sure. If I could make an income helping people transform their lives and body the way I had that would be a win win. I had been a stay at home Mom for over a decade and was desperately in need of being able to help provide for my family financially. In this day and age, even with my husband making a good living, it’s hard to have the life you want without a dual income.
So I jumped in head first! I went ALL IN.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!
LEARN YOUR VITAL BEHAVIORS-
1. ADD ADD ADD
Add to your facebook friends. So, well, I did! I added anyone that I had 20 or more mutual friends with. This goes back to the silver lining. I’ve made such awesome friends from getting to know people that I went to school with and knew of, but didn’t necessarily know personally. Beside that feeling weird as hell in the beginning, I’m glad I did it and don’t feel weird doing it now. I love connecting with other people and have learned, that gosh darn it, people like me!!
2. INVITE INVITE INVITE!
You will be told to do ‘Hey Girl’ messages and ‘Cold Invites’. A lot of Coaches will do ‘hey girl’ messages to people to ‘form with them’. I NEVER did the Hey girl angle, and quite personally I find them totally fucking disgusting. You comment to connect with them on on their timeline and then message them. For example, “OMG, your puppy is so cute!!! How long have you had him!”. So ya, you basically stalk their timeline and find something to fulfill your agenda. ICKY. I didn’t send one Hey girl message in my time as a coach. Funny enough, I just had some broad contact me the other day chatting me up like we were besties ‘forming’ the hell out of my ass. I wanted to write back “Stop forming me. It’s disgusting”, but of course I didn’t. To each their own. The Hey Girl tactic didn’t work for me, because one thing you should know about me is I’m not fake. I’m as real as it gets. Emailing someone with the pretense of gaining their trust to then fulfill some end goal to me is so fucking disgusting. Never did it. NEVER WILL.
However, I DID do the cold invite messages. It was painful at first, but I figured I’m not beating around the bush. I’m offering a service, and if they want it they know where to get it. I’ve met some of my best friends from my ‘cold invite’ and it just happened to be what they needed in their life at the time. I knew that I had helped people get their health back so if I annoyed a few people here and there that was OK, because if I could help one person feel better about themselves like the challenge group had done for me, it was worth it. I’d fall on that sword. I also had big income goals, so it was power for the course. You’ll be told to invite 3-5 people a day and add 3-5 people a day to your network if you want to do just OK in the business, but realistically if you were to only invite that many people a day you would never even make a sale. If you were a goal crusher like me that wanted to be making 6 figures in the next year or two you need to invite upwards to 30-50 people a day to a fitness Challenge Group and/or coaching opportunity, if not more. So I did. I invited my ass off. Most people never even wrote back which is fine, and then of course you’d get your responses with Gifs of people flipping you off or whatever. My skin was so thick by that point I could really give a damn about those responses. It came with the territory.
You need to do some type of personal development daily whether it’s a book or listening to an audible. For the most part when I would reach out for help to my uplines the response was are you doing enough PD? PD is the end all, be all in Direct Sales. I’ve actually grown to really like personal development, so there’s another silver lining.
One of the first things you can expect when you sign up is they will tell you to immediately sign your spouse up too. You’ll be told most likely to place them on your weak leg (the leg of your business that has less volume on it) So that you can manipulate your income by building the volume on that leg by placing coaches under your spouse. It’s a great tactic and I’m not knocking it at all. Your goal is to get to Emerald level as fast as you can so you can start earning team cycle bonuses on your team’s volume. An emerald has one coach on each of their legs within their business center. The part that totally blows, is that well, it costs you money to be a coach. So if you do that you’ve just doubled your overhead and are now hustling for not just one difficult business, but two. Not only that, I’ve seen so many people tell their downlines to sign up multiple family members so they can build their downlines to a 5 Star business. They don’t give a shit how you rank up, they just want your ass to rank up so they rank up and make more money as well. What is the purpose of doing that when at the end of the day you know your rank was built through manipulation. Unfortunately, this business is set up in such a way that ranking up is extremely hard so that’s what people do. Another major downside of this business is that your ranking is TOTALLY dependant on your downline. It’s hard as hell to find runners and people that will really work their asses off and work 80 hours like myself, and quite frankly you have to work that hard to make it in this business. So with your ranking becoming totally dependant on your downline it breeds dissention and frustration among the ranks. If you drop rank you could potential make your uplines rank fall like a house of cards. No pressure… no pressure at all!
Without going into major details here’s a very broad and basic breakdown of what you can expect to pay as coach and is not to the penny. This is just simply for the purposes of giving you a basic understanding of the costs to Coach.
Monthly Costs to be a coach:
$15.00- Coach Fees (used to run your websites etc)
$106.00--90PV Requirement. At Emerald level you’re required to purchase or sell a certain amount of personal Volume to maintain rank, get free leads, and customers. Basically, order Shakeology every month to fulfill your 90 PV requirement. If you sign up your spouse or family member and they never rank past Coach their PV requirement will be 50PV, which is approximately $50 of product needed to be ordered or sold. Worth noting, the PV requirement will go up as you rank up to Diamond and beyond .
$10.00-for the All Access On Demand System (charged quarterly, but averages to about $10 a month)
Grand Monthly Total: Approximately $131 a month. If you sign up your spouse on your weak leg you’re now up to $262. So off the top you’ll be paying approximately $1,500-$3,200 a year to coach. Don’t forget the wear and share clothing you need to purchase so that people can ask you about P90x when they see your shirt. All the programs you need to purchase to be a product of the product. The flights and costs to go to the yearly convention called Summit. We were pretty much shamed if we didn’t go and deemed not serious about our business if we didn’t go. I never had any takeaways or earth shattering revelations at any of these events. Albeit, it was fun as hell to have a few days of girl time to run about like free little birds! So tack on a good $1,500 for that trip with flight and food etc. Yes, they are right offs, but you’re still spending the money.
Your goal is to reach ‘Success Club 5’. Success Club is a point system. You get 2 points if you sell a challenge pack (fitness program and Shakeology on monthly Auto Ship) and 1 point if someone orders Shakeology on Auto ship. Right there should have been a red flag for me. My goal is to only have 3 sales per month? Yes, your minimum goal is three sales per month. Why? Because this shit is mother fucking hard to sell! You only make about $50 commission per sale of a challenge pack. So obviously the money isn't in sales, it's in building a team. The problem is recruiting in this business is extremely hard and retention of coaches is nearly impossible once they realize the time commitment and work load. There were many months after sending out hundreds and hundreds of cold invites, working 12+ hour days (mind you as a wife and mother of 2 young children), running free groups to show them the value of a challenge group in hopes of converting them to paid customers, that I didn’t make even one sale. Getting people to make a lifestyle change is HARD. Not only that in this MLM your work starts AT the sale. You now have become someone’s shrink, life coach, or sponsor. You are expected to check into your groups daily and keep in touch with all of your customers and come hell or high water keep them on the Shakeology because that’s your residual income. You’ll make $30 a month commision if they stay on it. It costs $142 a month for your challengers to stay on Shakeology. Obviously, not many do. I was never one of those coaches that made it a requirement to be in my group. As a matter of fact I would loan my DVD’s to those that couldn’t afford it, but most coaches make Shakeology a requirement. I never became strong in recruiting because ultimately, I couldn't in good conscience tell people this was their answer to time and financial freedom.
THE PITFALLS AND DROP IN SELF ESTEEM
I felt like I needed to look a certain way as a Coach. Trying to maintain my own weight and physique started to really weigh on me, figuratively and literally. The weight started to creep back on. I was so busy trying to recruit coaches into my organization, drag the coaches I HAD signed on to my team to do anything with their own businesses so I could finally rank up and make more money, be motivating and encouraging to my customers, all the while running multiple groups and ALWAYS trying to come up with a new fresh angle to finding and attracting people. The hours I was working were insane. As a matter of fact I was ALWAYS working. Finding the time to do what I kept telling other people to do, move your ass for 30 minutes a day, was proving difficult for me! The Coach! Then I just started to feel like a fraud. I loved coaching for about a year. After that I just felt like I was spinning my wheels. I did make it to the Diamond level which is the leadership level. It felt good, but unfortunately this business is NOT duplicatable, being that there are so many elements to coaching and so many balls in the air, groups to run, and trainings you need to make for your new coaches etc., it proved difficult for your downline to hold rank long enough for you to stay at your own rank. It was utterly exhausting.
I was exhausted and had managed to get right back up to the weight I was when I had originally started. My self esteem nose dived. Not only was my business not growing I was making NO money! I had more success in the first few months of my business than I did after 2 years of bleeding blue for the company. The only thing that was growing was my gut and my fucking ass. I started becoming non-social for fear of running into people and feeling judged. I started to really realize that this profession wasn’t doing me any favors in the body confidence department. I’d keep thinking I must be doing something wrong? There must be an easy fix and I would extend quitting by two more months or three more months to see if I’d finally figure it out. After two years of my tax preparer showing me how much I was actually PAYING to coach I knew it was time to tap out, and call time of death on this gig.
I had gone through these ups and downs with fellow coaches going through the same experiences and we had grown a major bond in that time. Enter into the story Natalie and Emily. Emily is this little ball of fire that can hustle like nobody's business, and Natalie, a vivacious vegan go getter with a soft voice and an even softer heart. We were all considering moving on. We had all worked so hard in our businesses and just weren't seeing the payoff. The dynamic of our team had become cold and ruthless, quite honestly. It wasn't uncommon to see the Creators of the team literally bullying people on posts within the team. Also, it was common knowledge that one of them was using photoshop on her abs and she blatantly lies about her income on the daily! She claims she makes six figures when in reality she's probably lucky to be making $30k a year. It was becoming something that really none of us wanted to be associated with. Honestly, it's like we woke up and were ready to leave the cult and stop drinking the Kool Aid. All the posts from coaches claiming how amazing their life was in their skimpy sports bras holding their Shakeology. They were all lies. None of them were making any damn money and were broke beyond measure. The 3 of us just couldn't do it anymore.
Natalie decided to branch off and start her own life coaching business. She's a freaking naturally gifted person in this arena. I was excited to see her off doing something she was passionate about. We all kept our coaching businesses open, but weren't actively recruiting or taking on new customers. In the following months a new policy was started within Beachbody that you are no longer allowed to do ANY other MLM's while being a Beachbody Coach. There begins what we will call 'The Witch Hunt'. We kept our business open, and quite frankly even though I was doing a new business I felt I deserved the random checks I would get for all the blood sweat and tears I had put into my business for two years. The Creators of our Team found out that Natalie was no longer coaching for Beachbody and the shit hit the fan. The Smear Natalie Campaign started. I'm really not sure why, but in this industry if you leave you're shamed and hated instead of blessed and released. The leaders started having people contact any of us that they thought were either leaving Coaching or working another business and try to act as though they were friends, but really were just digging for information against us. They wanted to shut down as many of us as possible so that our coaches would then bump up to them. The Witch Hunt was INSANE. Emily was turned into Compliance because she was Discount Buyer of Essential Oils. Natalie was turned in for starting her own life coaching business, which isn't against compliance. They should have done due diligence to figure that out before smearing her name.
So when they found out Natalie wasn't coaching anymore the Photoshop using Income liar went LIVE in our team page. She proceeded to rip Natalie apart and basically did a character assassination, all the while the other co-creator of the team was commenting during the video and was so excited to see her previous 'friend' ripped apart live on a public forum. She made comments like "OMG, you are getting me so fired up!!" "YES! You go girl!" and on and on. They ripped her apart for offering trainings on how to organize yourself, or hone your vision in your life or career, and basically in so many words that nobody on the team had better go to her for any trainings or else. It was the most fucking bizarre, limiting beliefs, bullying tactics I had ever seen. It was unbelievable how one day Natalie was a respected leader that provided tons of team trainings and value to our team and the next day she was a discredited, traitor, and a Coach poacher. Why they would characterize her as a Coach Poacher who was "stealing their network" when she wasn't trying to poach anyone is beyond me. She wasn't even in an MLM? She was just minding her own business running her own business that offers services to Boss Babes to better their lives and businesses. Their downline could have gained skills and they themselves could have supported their friends new career path, but clearly that's not how they roll. Then after they preceded to do that in the Team page the Photoshop using income liar went and did the same psychotic rant on her personal page. I’m not exactly sure what the hell she thought she’d gain from going onto her personal page and explaining to her entire network her anger that a former Coach had decided to go another route from Beachbody coaching. I’m pretty sure anyone that had been considering joining her team in that moment thought, what a fucking lunatic! Ya, I don’t think I’ll sign up under that unprofessional loose canon!? The funniest ass part was after her rant she seemed to switch personalities and with a little grin decides to announce she had 3 spots left in her next Challenge Group. What the what??? Gross. Another thing I find hilarious is that she's basically being played like a puppet on a string. The other leader wouldn't dare do these things herself because she is so far up in the company she has way too much to lose. So the Photoshop using Income Liar is her mouth piece and I doubt this broad even realizes it, and how stupid it makes her look.
When you see people you love and respect being publicly shamed for deciding that Beachbody isn’t their path you realize you ARE in some kind of cult like environment. It reminded me of the book The Firm. Where your life is taken over by this entity and every decision you make is by way of The Firm. Creepy. I had a lot of respect for the creator of our team. She is very successful at a very young age, but when I saw how ultimately brutal and disrespectful she could be, all respect was lost. I pretty much just lost my shit. I’m not one to like drama or start unnecessary shit, but if you know me at all you know I am one of the most loyal friends you will ever have, and I will be the first one to have your back. So, ya, I had Natalie’s back. I kinda maybe went rogue. I realize two wrongs don’t make a right, but before I exited stage left I wanted my voice to be heard. This wasn't the first time I had seen bullying happening within the team page and read totally inappropriate and downright mean comments to people from them. For instance our Team Creator, who’s never even pumped a child out of her body mind you, shaming a new mom that was struggling in her business and was finding it hard to find time to work her business and telling her “All I hear are excuses. Crystal on our team can do it with 3 kids, so so can you. You can nurse while you invite”. Are you fucking kidding me?? So now you’re supposed to latch your kid to your teat like a fucking dairy cow and get back to work. That chick has a rude awakening coming when she has children. And if that IS how she is going to parent, then I feel sorry for her future child. The whole point of doing this business was to give you time freedom. Not to become such a slave to it that you need to ignore your newborn and stare at your iPhone as opposed to bond with your child while breast feeding. If that isn’t the lowest of disgusting I don’t know what is. I get the impression that her extreme level of success has numbed her perspective on her appreciation of people, life, and moments. So wrapped up in making a buck she’s lost all sense of what’s most important in life. In the end that’s very sad and I can only feel empathy for her in that respect. You can have all the money in the world, but without deep seeded friendships and relationships, what DO you really have? I’d rather live in a dirt floor shack with people I love and cherish and make memories, than live in financial excess devoid of connection and humanity.
So back to me losing my shit...I went live in the team page. That’s right folks. It’s called a revolution. I went live and told them they should be ashamed of themselves for treating people so poorly, especially Natalie, an amazing leader of our team that had done so much for everyone’s downlines, and that I wanted absolutely nothing to do with the team anymore, or to even be associated with it. Then the massive hate campaign was started on us. Our entire team was told to unfriend/block us and to not associate with us. I was flabbergasted to see people I thought were my friends support these women, their bullying tactics, and actually block me. It was then that I realized...shit, my husband was right. I joined a fucking cult and the Shakeology was the damn Kool-Aid! That IS exactly how these people acted. As if they had no fucking brain, no backbone of their own to stand on, and they just did what they were told by their relentless cult leader. I’m really not sure why? She can’t take them down or hurt their business. At the end of the day I don’t want anything to do with any type of dynamic like that. Why are they allowing someone else to manipulate what they do in their personal life? I was so perplexed! However, with my new thick skin I really didn’t give a shit and turned on my heel and went my merry way. What a bunch of low life bullies. Good riddance. We wrote into Compliance, but it became apparent that due to the level of success our upline had they really didn’t give a shit. I was done. I wouldn’t want to work for a company that allows such treatment of others, and quite frankly the finality of finally making a decision was a huge relief. There’s still a couple people on the team that message me, but I feel like our friendships have to be some undercover clandestine meeting in messenger. Lame. With great excitement I had joined The Epic Dream Team, and when I left it would only be known by me as The Epic Disgrace Team.
On a positive note though, I did travel to places I otherwise wouldn’t have. Went to Nashville twice for Summit as well as qualified for the Success Club Cruise through the Caribbean. Had the best time with my team and met all the celebrity trainers. A great time was had! Those were great experiences and I have great memories from it.