Life is a great big game of persuasion. Always someone or something persuading us to try something new, most of the time affecting our growth. Thus, making everyone that enters our lives a recruiter of some sort.
At this point in life, I’ve lost count of the number of recruiters I’ve encountered.
Nevertheless, there are three types of recruiters that have stuck out in my mind. Those that have provided me with many valuable lessons. Those of which can provide you too with many valuable lessons if you so choose to be led by them.
I list them below in great detail, with the hopes that you will avoid the mistakes others and I have made. But in the end, I can only give you my recollection and opinion. It is still up to you to decide what experiences and lessons you would like for yourself.
1. The Savior Church Recruiters – On a mission to save the entire world before Armageddon, these guys will stop at nothing to convert everyone into members of their church. They are the holier than holy. Those for whom everyone else, according to the “good book”, is going to hell. Most will preach to you about free will, but are the first ones to impose upon your own free will, as they try to cram their teachings down your throat and threaten you with fear, hell, and damnation. I won’t name names, but I will give you a hint. The initials of one of the more prominent groups are JW. There are quite a few more out there that I’m sure we’ve all encountered at one time or another. They will show up at your door unnanounced, uninvited, and unwelcome and proceed to preach “the good news” to you.
Some will catch you on the transit and try to invite you to a function. Others will approach you while walking down the street minding your own business. Sometimes they’ll try to stop you at the mall, and other times outside Target in the parking lot… You get my drift.
I personally got involved with one of these types of quack groups back in my senior year in high school. Still running strong today, this group caters to the local tri-state area. They are known to frequent the local colleges when on the prowl for new recruits, and particularly enjoy recruiting those at a tender age, as it is easiest to mold a mind when still young, trusting, and malleable.
Going through a very unstable and vulnerable circumstance at the time, I allowed them to sell me a place I could call home, warm caring friends I could call family, some much needed emotional support, and total “unconditional” love and acceptance, as long as I remained faithful to them and that vengeful God they were worshipping.
I clearly remember the rigorous training and extreme expectations they had of all members. Once involved, it became extremely difficult to see the forest for the trees, as they proceeded to micro-manage everyone’s life. They told you who to talk to, who to date, what to wear, where to go, what to do, when to do it, what to think, etc.
Of course if you are young, naive, inexperienced, and haven’t yet developed much of a voice to speak for yourself, you simply allow them to take over your life.
Luckily, I mustered up the courage to walk away after about three months of such nonsense, and at the time I truly thought I would be struck by lightning for doing so. Which goes to show how much brainwashing I had endured for those three months. It’s obvious I’m still standing today.
The experience proved to be a valuable one though, for it was my first lesson in walking away when something just didn’t feel right amongst a string of similar future scenarios. I believe there were many other lessons to be learned, those of which totally went past my head. As they always say, if you don’t learn the lesson the first time around, it will repeat itself to you. And so to make up for those lessons that I missed, similar scenarios have presented themselves to me afterwards. Of course in other unique forms, but nevertheless the same lesson.
The one particular lesson I got from this experience was how to run for my life whenever any similar church group approached me, and to run quickly!
2. The MLM Reps/Network Marketing Recruiters – Oh, where should I start with this one? These are the individuals that many times you know them personally. They could be a friend, neighbor, relative, co-worker, and sometimes maybe a stranger. They approach you innocently with certain products they are selling, but long before you can figure out the product, they’re onto pitching you a business opportunity at a higher cost. At times they are even more discreet about their intentions by inviting you to a “fun little get-together” where you unknowingly show up to be pitched their business opportunity. Always concocting the best tactics to override your free will, they are trained to lead the blind and the financially vulnerable. They exist to sell you visions of grandeur, promises of freedom, a place on their team, and to get rich on your efforts. Operating under the pretense that they’re there for you, it is only because they are hoping you will be the one that will “blow this thing up for them”. (That’s MLM for: “bringing in a boatload of recruits to make them rich”.)
In recent years, I’ve had the pleasure of getting personally involved with three of these types of “opportunities”. To start off, I have to say that not all MLM companies are scams, pyramid schemes, or sell bogus products to the public. Many out there are legit businesses selling great products or services at fair prices. The three I was involved in (again I won’t name names) sold awesome products that I can actually still vouch for today.
Since these products are not advertised or sold in stores, the companies depend upon their reps to do their bidding for them. Over the years, many have earned quite a lucrative income being the mouthpiece for these companies. The problem lies not so much in the products, but more in the company culture and the trained reps, who through their own desperate mission to escape the rat race and financial hardship, seek to divert other people’s paths by convincing them to follow theirs. Since the majority of people are in the midst of financial struggle, many will follow. In effect, sending many off on a wild goose chase after a pot of gold.
To put it bluntly, MLM is a job that requires some real hard selling skills. You have to know how to force yourself. You then have to force others. You then have to teach others how to force themselves so that they could in turn start to force others. And so on, and so forth.
Much like any other career option, it is not for everyone. But to most MLM reps, everyone was born for their business opportunity. They are blinded by the money at the end of the finish line and take no consideration for what one truly wants out of life or for any kind of personal Divine calling one has. They are driven by dollar signs and numbers, so to an MLM rep their “opportunity” will always lead someone to their path! And so the end always justifies the means. Similar to the savior churches, they believe everyone needs to be saved, but this time it’s from their financial woes. Thus making their company’s money-making opportunity as the one true salvation.
The culture around many of these organizations are also very much like the savior churches, consisting of special events, a hierarchy of leaders, one-to-one peer counseling, catch phrases, never taking the name of your company in vain, and of course the worship of a Deity, which in this case is money. There was also the competition between the different companies. Very much like the rivalry between church denominations, you will come across the “my company’s better than your company” mindset. There’s always someone trying to convert you over to their side, or vice-versa, you trying to convert someone to your side. I tell you, just way too many similarities!
I remember attending my last training event and feeling like I was 17 all over again at one of those church events. The leaders on stage weave their magic spells on the crowd, creating hysteria and pride in being part of such an elite group of future millionaires. The crowd goes wild and everyone is yelling “We’re gonna get paid!!!” Very much like the “Oh yes, thank you Jesus!” that they would yell at the church. Throughout the entire event, the lady sitting behind me kept nodding and saying, “Um-hmm” each time the leader on stage said something that she thought made perfect sense. The righteousness in the room was deafening! The folks at church use to act in the same way, as they all sat in their holy seats believing they were one of the lucky few. What folly and frenzy our egos put us through to mask the pain of poverty.
Again there’s much rigorous training and high expectations, many times at your own expense. It’s a steep climb, with high quotas to meet, and the company is betting on not everyone making it. Otherwise, how would they be able to turn everyone into millionaires without going bankrupt? Nevertheless, you are shown the financial possibilities for yourself, you are told stories of how others are earning six-figure incomes, thus awakening the greedy beast that lies in most of us.
Some will make it. Most won’t. For you have to be a master of words and a master of charm to succeed in convincing others to abandon their personal paths to follow yours. You must also be a true leader of robotic recruiting (the art of teaching people to recruit exactly how you do it), for duplication is key in this industry. There’s very little room for creativity or for people to do things their way. It’s either the standard way or the highway. In the end if you do succeed, you are a highly paid robot who abandoned their personal calling to help a large corporation make money. I didn’t see the difference between that and the “go-to-college-to-get-a-good-high-payin-job” concept.
I have to admit that I myself was taken over by the illusions of grandeur. (How else could I have gotten so entrenched in such a situation?) Towards the end, and much against company policy, I found myself so desperate, I was composing some serious Garage Band jingles in order to generate leads. I would spend my nights howling in front of my computer, rehearsing for my big debut, believing I was a Mariah Carey or some sort. My plan was to serenade the folks out on the streets and subways of New York and possibly YouTube. Those grand illusions of fame and fortune never did come to fruition because that’s when it hit me. I decided I no longer wanted to be restrained. I was just way too dedicated to having fun and getting creative for this boring business.
It took me three tries (with not one recruit) to realize what an infringement it was on my creativity and Divine calling, and to see it for the straight-jacket it truly was. I finally managed to break away vowing that the only thing in life that I will ever rely on for prosperity is my God Self.
I now look back and simply ask myself, “What was that all about???” 😉
I consider it just another wacky experience from my past with many lessons learned.
So the next time you are approached by one of these fast-talkin’ reps, think carefully if this “opportunity” is for you, and if unleashing the greedy beast in others is a way you would like to spend your time. If it isn’t, then you know what to do.
3. The Military Recruiters- I was never personally recruited into the military, but being the mother of three young adult males, I have plenty to say about it.
In the United States, the military, will always make a best attempt to pre-enlist teens without a parent’s knowledge or consent. In their opinion, a parent shouldn’t get involved for they ultimately have the power to kill the deal. These recruiters are trained in the art of sales and psychology, and know exactly how to influence a young mind.
Not only at career and college fairs, they also prowl the streets of communities, engaging in conversation with the youth, while appearing all too friendly and charismatic.
Never judge by appearances, for they are simply another breed of predators who prey on the young and impressionable, as they make promises of free college money, travel, camaraderie, privileges, honor, heroism, and the works.
My oldest son was encouraged to be discreet about his interactions with his recruiter. He can speak first hand of his personal brush and close call with the service. As a parent, if you are not aware, and if you are not warning your child daily, he/she may end up befriending one of these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” who will eventually convince him/her to enlist.
When attempting to recruit adults the same type of glamorous bait is laid out. Once again, if the individual finds themselves in dire circumstances, it’s an offer that may sound all too enticing. This is where the price of your freedom comes into play, for once you are property of the military it is not as easy to opt out as you can from some silly church or MLM. Once enlisted, your life becomes of no value to your new master, for you are now cannon fodder and a killing machine ready to fight one of his pre-fabricated wars. Sometimes making it back in one piece, other times not.
Joining such a charade is an act of surrendering your God-given destiny, power, and free will to someone else. It is casting your precious life out to the wind, as well as completely devaluing your worth. No opportunity or future glory could be that important. It simply isn’t worth it.
Run I say! Run!