How to Evaluate a Home-Based Business Opportunity

Image

Picture from Direct Sales Leads

The beginning of a new year is when many people decide to have an extra income source from a home-based business opportunity. If you choose a good one, you can make extra money. If you pick a bad one then you can end up losing a lot of money and time.

The first and most important thing is that when listening to a presentation on it, ask yourself if what they are saying applies to this company or can it apply to any company or business opportunity. Say that a woman is considering dating a man and asks him to tell about himself. He then says that he is a man and then starts to tell you what is good about men.

He then tells how  Tom Cruise, John Travolta and George Clooney are men and they have a lot of talent and money so you should date him since he is also a man. This does not help you to decide if you want to date this man. One method of distracting you from the above is to tell you about the industry that it is in. For example he may say that this is in a $50 billion industry. Now this does not matter at all. One company can sell $100 million a year in a $500 million industry and another company can sell $10,000 a year in a $80 billion dollar industry.

Direct Sales, Multi-level Marketing (MLM) and Network Marketing

Another way to distract you from telling you specifically what they are all about is to tell you what they are not about. Like they may say it involves no selling, no buying, no begging, borrowing or stealing. Most home-based businesses are in the direct selling industry. Most of these are in multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing.

In the latter you can just sell to people if that is all that you want to do. You can also recruit other people into your group and you can make money on what they sell or the sales of people that they bring in. Also the difference between a direct sales company and an MLM company is a fine line. Most direct sales companies allow you to recruit others when you have done a certain amount of selling. In MLM you can recruit others without being good at selling.

Here is a list of the top 100 direct selling companies in the world from Direct Selling News for 2013. It tells how much business they did in 2013. A company can say that they will be selling a trillion dollars a year, but the future cannot be predicted. On the other hand it is easy to see what a company has done in the past.

Number one is Amway (MLM company) that does $11 billion a year. I once went to an Amway meeting in a hotel that had a group mostly of doctor and lawyers (and their wives). They sell supplements and other things.

Number two is Avon that is a direct sales company with catalogs. It does about $11 billion a year in sales. Number 3 is Herbalife. It is an MLM company that does about $4 billion a year in sales. It is also on the stock market. Its products are made mostly from herbs. Number 4 and 5 are not USA companies like the first 3. Number 6 is Mary Kay that sells cosmetics similar to Avon. It sells about $3 billion a year.

Number 7 is Tupperware that sells about $3 billion a year. People in this company sell mostly with parties. First they find someone that is willing to have a party at their house and invite their friends to it. In exchange for doing this, they get free products. Then at the party the products are demonstrated.

Illegal Pyramid Schemes

Now there are illegal pyramid schemes. These do not sell a product but have people pay like $100 to join. Then they get others that also pay $100 to join and this money is paid to the person who got him in and the person that got that person in and who got that person in. This is known as an upline, while the people in your group that you got in and who they got in is known as your downline.

It is easy to see that something is illegal since there is no product sold. But sometimes they will try to appear legal by selling something. So in the above example, you pay $100 to join. So they make it appear to be legal by giving you a candy bar for your $100. But then the company is taken to court and proved to be an illegal pyramid since the product is inconsequential (meaning not significant or important).

One thing that the illegal pyramid promoters have is a hate for products. Since Shaklee created an eco-friendly cleaner decades before people ever heard of eco-friendly or saving the environment, the haters call it soap. They say that in our MLM company (actually illegal pyramid scheme) we do not sell soap or soapy soap or soapy soap that was cleaned by soap.

Ponzi Scheme

A Ponzi Scheme is illegal. It is an investment deal where you invest money in it and get money (almost like a dividend from a stock) at different intervals of time.  For example you put $100 into it and a month later get back $200. Then 3 months later get back another $200.

The money that you get is from the initial amount that new people put into it. They can keep doing this as long as they keep getting new people into it. Of course people can build on this scheme to make it sound like the money is coming from something else.

One MLM Company That Changed America

There is an MLM company called Forever Living Products. It started many decades ago and is still in business even though I did not see it on the above list. Many decades ago it introduced a single herb or plant for healing to America that no one had ever heard of. They claimed that this plant was a miracle for healing. They put it in many products even including a soap and skin care product.

They claimed that this plant was the best thing for burns even though the FDA does not allow them to claim this since they did not spend millions of dollars to test it against a placebo. But many people grow this plant now in their homes and it is now in thousands (literally) of different personal care products in America. They still grow most of it of it in the United States. The plant is called aloe vera! Here is what Wikipedia says about it:

Aloe vera is a succulent plant species that is found only in cultivation, having no naturally occurring populations, although closely related aloes do occur in northern Africa.[1] The species is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine since the beginning of the first century AD. Extracts from A. vera are widely used in the cosmetics and alternative medicine industries, being marketed as variously having rejuvenating, healing, or soothing properties. There is, however, little scientific evidence of the effectiveness or safety of Aloe vera extracts for either cosmetic or medicinal purposes, and what positive evidence is available is frequently contradicted by other studies.[2][3][4][5]

Here is what WebMD.com says about aloe vera:

Research backs up the ancient use of topical aloe vera as a skin treatment, at least for specific conditions. Studies have shown that aloe gel might be effective in treating psoriasis, seborrhea, dandruff, and minor burns and skin abrasions, as well as radiation-induced skin injuries. Aloe gel also seems helpful in treating the sores caused by genital herpes in men.

There’s also strong evidence that aloe juice (also called latex) taken by mouth is a powerful laxative.

Another Distraction From The Business

Another way to distract you is to tell you about something similar to them. For example you start a software company and tell people to buy stock in it since Microsoft is also a software company and the people buying stock in it at the beginning are now rich. Of course this has nothing to do with your software company. Newer small MLM companies have a lot more room for growth but only one out of 100 MLM companies lasts more than 5 years.

11th on the list is an MLM company, Primerica, that sells insurance if I remember correctly. Shaklee is 18th on the list and has been around for many decades like Amway and they sell supplements and eco-friendly cleaners. I promote TriVita that is number 80 on this list. It has grown significantly from the year before and they are just starting now (January 2014) to add products to their catalog from a company that they merged with a year before this.

It is an MLM company with unique nutritional products (including products made with herbs from the Amazon rainforest) and it mails great looking catalogs every month to everyone in the company (they have their own in-house printing press). For more on it see 2 Product Lines Become One.

To demonstrate how I know about many different ways to make money at home, there are endless variations of selling information through the mail or online. The product can be bought through the mail or online since all it is, is information. You can just mail someone one sheet of paper with the information.

Now a part of the above is selling information about making money. Here is a basic one that is not illegal but I personally consider it unethical. You see an ad in the paper that says “Get thousands of people to send you $5 through the mail. To learn how, send me $5.” Then the information says to just place an ad like the one you answered in enough papers to get thousands of replies and then send them what I just sent you when you receive the money.

Posted in Interesting Stories and Information | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Merger of Two Companies with Powerful Health Products

JohnEasterling_Olivia_726

Trivita Founder and CEO Michael Ellison with his wife, Susan, and Amazon Herb Company Founder John Easterling with his wife, Olivia Newton-John

Independent TriVita Business Owner
Charles Bluestein ID 14645674

This is a rare occurrence. I have never seen two companies with great health product lines merge. These 2 companies decided that they could become much bigger and help many more people by combining their unique strengths. The merger of these two companies happened December 1, 1012.

One company is Amazon Herb Company with health products for different weaknesses in systems of the body. The products are combinations of different wild growing herbs from the Amazon rainforest. It is owned by Amazon John Easterling and his wife Olivia Newton-John who starred in the most popular American musical ever– Grease.

The other company is TriVita that has the best selling vitamin B-12 supplement in the world and juice from a cactus fruit known as prickly pear. They created a blend of fruits and vegetables with this cactus fruit that is very good for inflammation and pain and is listed in the PDR (Physicians Desk Reference).

The Amazon Herb Company works with a dozen tribes in the Amazon rainforest. The business part of it is now run by TriVita since they are better with that. They are using the TriVita website that is much more comprehensive.

Also as far the optional opportunity to make money with it, TriVita is doing TV commercials for their cactus fruit juice blend and people can buy the customers from it. Also they are using TriVita’s marketing plan that is more profitable and the requirements are very easy compared to Amazon Herb Company. An expert had convinced Amazon John to create a marketing plan with tough requirements that some could not achieve and lost money due to it with Amazon Herb Company. Although I cannot complain since this made them more open to the merger with TriVita.

I have been using the Amazon Herb Company products for over 10 years. Olivia Newton-John had been using the Amazon Herb Company products for longer than that with great results. That is what led to her later meeting and marrying Amazon JohnOlivia Newton-John now has a medical center in Australia. She is a breast cancer survivor. On Youtube you can see her on the TV show musical– Glee from last year. Watch this 90 second clip from it. Here is 30 second clip from the song on it. She looks great for being 64 years old (64 years young).

I have been using the cactus fruit juice blend made with prickly pear and I am pleased with it. I feel younger, but inflammation is what makes the age related diseases worse. For example in the article Latest Science on Losing Weight | Calories Not Important, it explains that the hormone leptin increases metabolism and suppresses appetite as you create more fat but inflammation causes it to not work. Also the article, The Truth About the Cholesterol Myth explains that the real problem with arteries is caused by inflammation.

TriVita has just come out with a new product for stress but it has similar benefits as the Amazon Herb Company product that helps people to feel more calm and relaxed. The prickly pear juice blend comes from the Sonoran dessert in southern Arizona that is the most biodiverse dessert in the world. For more information on the products and this new company see Two Powerful Health Product Lines Become One.

Posted in Interesting Stories and Information | 2 Comments

7 Health Benefits of Coffee becomes 8 Health Benefits of Coffee

7 Health Benefits of Coffee just became 8 Health Benefits of Coffee!

This Huffington Post article does say there are serious problems when you drink a lot of coffee but the good outweighs the bad. Note that adding sugar and milk to it are very bad for you. You can add stevia or honey and coconut milk. Below is a link to the full article that goes into more detail with each of these health benefits of drinking coffee.

Note that adding sugar or milk/cream to coffee is very unhealthy. You can sweeten it with stevia or honey and add coconut or almond milk.

7 Health Benefits of Coffee

1. It can help you to correct mistakes that you made in grammar while doing proofreading.

2. It can help lower a woman’s chance of getting depression.

3. It can help your brain to fight off Alzheimer’s disease. But green tea can also so that.

4. It can lower a man’s chance of getting prostate cancer, but vitamin D is what is really good at preventing prostate, colon and breast cancer.

5. Coffee can help fight off skin cancer, the most common cancer in the world.

6. Drinking coffee can lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

7. It can lower your chances of getting Parkinson’s disease by 25%.

8. This was added on March 7, 2012. So this is the last benefit but not the least benefit. According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Coffee May Lower Risk of Breast Cancer.

Coffee May Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

Researchers from Sweden compared lifestyle factors and coffee consumption between women with breast cancer and age-matched women without. They found that the coffee drinkers had a lower incidence of breast cancer than women who rarely drank coffee. However they also found that several lifestyle factors affected breast cancer rates, such as age at menopause, exercise, weight, education, and a family history of breast cancer.

Like the previous article, this article about coffee and breast cancer says that you should limit how much coffee you drink. Also see 11 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Getting Breast Cancer.

I hear that coffee berries are very healthy and high in antioxidants so maybe someday we will be able to buy these. I do not drink coffee except as a sample at Trader Joe’s. I tried making instant coffee but did not continue that after I used the bottle of it. Brewing it is too much trouble for me. Maybe if I brewed it every day, then maybe I would want to continue.

Drinking Tea Can Kill You

If you drink boiling hot tea then it will probably kill you. If you drink any beverage that is too hot, it will hurt you, like giving you mouth and throat cancer. Other than that, no one has bad things to say about the benefits of drinking green tea or yerba mate tea. So these may be better than coffee. Studies show that the more green tea that you drink the better. Both yerba mate and green tea have caffeine. You can sweeten them with stevia.

I have an article on the Health Benefits of Yerba Mate. People can go to the Whole Foods markets where they have their 365 brand of a tea that contains organic green tea, organic yerba mate and organic peppermint. It cost only $4.00 for 40 tea bags. I love the taste of this tea. Plus since it is organic it is not GMO, irradiated or loaded with chemical pesticides.

Green tea has a kind of bland taste but see this: Health Benefits of Green or White Tea, to see all the benefits you get from drinking it. Yerba mate has kind of a bitter taste like coffee but I like the taste of yerba mate. Yerba mate or Jesuit’s tea is the most popular beverage in most of South America. It is the official beverage of Argentina. So with a healthy sweetener the yerba mate tastes great to me. Yerba mate has the highest amount of chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that helps you lose excess weight. Like green tea, yerba mate also has some caffeine.

Here is the stevia that I use (it quotes some of the studies done on it). It comes as a liquid in a 1 fluid ounce bottle. I use 4 drops in a cup of tea. It is convenient to take with you whenever you go to a restaurant or wherever. It is pure stevia. Stevia is a herb with no calories.

In Japan they have used stevia to sweeten soft drinks for decades and they claim that it helps to prevent tooth decay by inhibiting the bacteria that causes it . Stevia is well known for its ability to help the body to control blood sugar levels making it beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.

Posted in Interesting Stories and Information | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Health Benefits of Bacopa Monnieri Herb

Bacopa monnieri is a  plant that grows in marshy areas all around India. Ayurvedic medicine has touted its cognitive enhancing effects for centuries. It is a powerful antioxidant. Studies with rats show that bacopa monnieri (also spelled bacopa monniera) improves the ability to learn.

This herb is mainly used for memory and mental enhancement. No side effects have been noticed from people taking it. A study did show that it decreases depression and anxiety.  They have found that it contains many beneficial phytochemicals like bacoside A and bacopaside X.  A study with Male Wistar rats showed that it can help protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

It is also been seen to improve brain function and enhance concentration. Bacosides in bacopa monnieri play a protective role in the synaptic functions of the nerves in the hippocampus part of the brain, the seat of memory. Nerve impulses are transmitted across the synapses and their degeneration is believed to contribute to impaired memory and cognition.

Some like to take it with other herbs that are good for t he brain like ginkgo biloba, ginseng and gotu Kola. Bacopa monnieri has been used to help epilepsy, stress reduction, amnesia, emotional disturbances and aggressive behaviour.

Posted in Interesting Stories and Information | 2 Comments

10 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Getting Breast Cancer becomes 11 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Getting Breast Cancer

10 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Getting Breast Cancer now becomes 11 Ways to Lower your Risk of Getting Breast Cancer. The 11th way is drinking coffee according to Cancer Treatment Centers of America. For more on this see 8 Health Benefits of Coffee which used to be 7 Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee.

This is from a recent article on Huffington Post. Most of the ways are good for preventing breast cancer. Like exercise has been shown to reduce your chances of getting cancer beyond the weight reducing effect of exercises. Then that is another big one that increases your chances of getting cancer– being overweight. This is also saying that more than one alcoholic drink a day can raise your chances of getting breast cancer by 20-25%.

These 10 ways include maintaining your ideal weight, getting 45 to 60 minutes of exercise 5 days a week or more, limiting your drinking of alcohol, limiting your exposure to estrogen, limiting the use of oral contraceptives, enjoying fruits and vegetables, reducing consumption of high glucose index carbohydrates like cakes, cookies and candies, stop smoking tobacco, reduce your anxiety and stress with something like yoga and do monthly breast exams on yourself.

As far as yoga, it has been growing quickly in America. I have a very popular article called 23 Very Famous Celebrities that do Yoga. It tells about how Hillary Clinton has been doing yoga since she was in law school. Also at that time, Bill Clinton also went the yoga classes with her and did yoga. Then later he became President of the United States.

This article says:

We cannot control our gender, age, race or family history of breast cancer, but early detection can save lives. Performing a monthly breast self-exam is something you can control.

10 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Getting Breast Cancer

It also mentions not using oral contraceptives. But besides breast cancer it can lead to many other problems like obesity, heart attack, depression and what my friend calls broken vagina syndrome.

It mentions eating fruits and vegetables that is very important to reduce your chances of getting breast cancer or cancer in general. It does not mention drinking green tea that greatly reduces your chances of getting cancer. This is beyond the effect of green tea helping you to lose excess weight that was already mentioned.  There are many Health Benefits of Green Tea.

But like I mentioned in the comment, it was missing the advice of taking vitamin D. Dr Oz has a video explaining how vitamin D prevents breast, colon and uterine cancer. Christiane Northrup M.D. has best-selling books on women’s health. She has an article on the Oprah Winfrey website. See this for a link to it: Cancer and the Power of Viamin D.

Doctor of public health, Cedric Garland, said to over 100 scientists and MDs that enough vitamin D would virtually eradicate breast cancer. Also the above article has more on vitamin D preventing breast cancer from Johns Hopkins, Dr. Oz, Harvard Medical School and Andrew Weil M.D.

Posted in Interesting Stories and Information | 1 Comment

8 Low-carb Veggies for Diabetics

I came accross this article. Not only are these veggies good for diabetics, they are also good for preventing cancer. The cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are cabbage family or cruciferous vegetables that help to fight to fight against cancer. Also greens, like spinach are very healthy.

Low-Carb Veggies for Diabetic Diets

Two of the veggies, tomatoes and cucumbers, are also fruits. The lycopene in tomatoes prevents cancer and is also good for cardiovascular health. The silica in cucumber is an essential component of healthy connective tissue, which includes tendons, ligaments, cartilage, muscles and bone. The juice of the cucmber is often recommended as a source of silica to improve the complexion and health of the skin.

It looks like the above article was removed. Probably their lawyer told them that they could get someone trying those veggies and not curing their diabetes and then suing AOL. According to the Doctors TV show there are negative calorie foods that take more calories than they give. This includes raw celery and carrots. The information below was not in the article.

Cinnamon is supposed to help with diabetes since it helps the body to regulate blood sugar better. A study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.

Some recent studies on cinnamon have found that it may have a beneficial effect on blood sugar. One of the first human studies was published in 2003 in a medical journal called Diabetes Care. Sixty people with type 2 diabetes took 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon in pill form daily, an amount equivalent to one quarter of a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

After 40 days of consuming it, all 3 amounts of cinnamon reduced fasting blood glucose by 18 to 29%, triglycerides by 23 to 30%, LDL cholesterol by 7 to 27%, and total cholesterol by 12 to 26%.

There is an herb called stevia that is used for sweetening. Many studies show that it helps the body to regulate blood sugar. I have been using it for  over 20 years. The Japanese put it in their soft drinks. They also say that it helps to prevent cavities due to its anti-bacterial effect.

Posted in Interesting Stories and Information | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Flaws of the Framingham Study

I just read the book Healthy Heart by Michael Mogadam MD (Copyright 2009). He says that the Framingham Study is fine but it is looked at wrong. The risk of cardiovascular event can be low, moderate, high and very high. Recent data shows that two thirds of those at risk for cardiovascular events are considered low risk according to Framingham risk scores.

So this MD says that the problem is that they look at this study with 6 traditional risk factors. But he has found 20 different risk factors that matter. Note that there is (according to this book) good HDL-2 cholesterol and bad HDL-3 cholesterol. Please note that the HDL-1 is just like the vitamin D1. They do not exist. There are 2 types of LDL and the small ones are bad. Triglycerides contain no cholesterol, but cholesterol contains triglycerides.

Number one risk factor is diabetes. There is also abdominal obesity, sedentary lifestyle, Western diet, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, age (45+ for men, women 55+), smoking, chronic kidney disease, chronic inflammation, blood pressure, elevated lipoprotein, family history, homocysteine, negative affect HAD (hostility, anger and depression), too many red blood cells, platelets and high fibrogen levels, sleep apnea or chronic lung disease and low birth weight (less than 5 pounds).

Please note that high levels of homocysteine are strongly linked to not getting enough of certain B vitamins. Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood. Too much of it is definitely related to a higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease (fatty deposits in peripheral arteries).  So make sure that you get enough folic acid (high in green leafy vegetables and beans), vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12.

Good sources of vitamin B-6 are bananas, spinach, cauliflower, celery, broccoli, kale, collard greens, brussels sprouts, chard, bell peppers, cabbage, watermelon, tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, potatoes, onions, grapes, strawberry, avocado and pineapple. Many of these are in salads.

Vitamin B-12 is a complicated issue. Many people, including many who eat a lot of meat, do not get enough of it. It is linked to stress and other thngs. So people should take a supplement of it. It is cheap since you need very tiny amounts of it. They make it by growing it on bacteria.

Posted in Interesting Stories and Information | 2 Comments