4Life International is a huge Direct Sales company that offers an extensive catalog of products and a business opportunity. In this 4Life review, I show you how to evaluate the opportunity to determine your chances of success and if the opportunity is right for you.
Can you make money with 4Life? According to the 4LIFE® Income Disclosure Statement, most distributors do not make money with the 4Life opportunity. 4Life International reported 77% of all distributors worldwide did not make money in 2017 and that less than .08% earned more than $33,600 for the year, BEFORE deducting business expenses.
Most of the information I use to evaluate the 4Life opportunity comes from the 4Life Income Disclosure Statement, and the 4Life Compensation Plan (aka Life Rewards Plan™) published on the 4Life website. The details I reveal in this article may come as a shock.
Take Off the Rose-Colored Glasses.
If you’re looking at the 4Life opportunity in hopes of earning more money, it is essential that you maintain an objective business mindset.
The 4Life opportunity will cost you money before you earn anything. It will cost you time and energy too. Proper due diligence is essential if you hope to make the right decision. It begins with objectively weighing the facts.
Read Why Affiliate Marketing is Better than MLM.
Excitement is Contagious.
In the beginning, it’s easy to get excited about a potential opportunity, particularly if the person trying to recruit you is excited.
However, the person trying to recruit you will profit if you join through them, so naturally, they are trying their best. Also, they might have been trained to be excited when they try to recruit someone because excitement is contagious.
It is highly probable that after reading this review, you will know more about the 4Life business opportunity than the person trying to recruit you.
Also, the 4Life website emphasizes the opportunity’s most positive features while dismissing the negatives. In this 4Life review, I show you the negatives.
If you cannot accept the negatives associated with 4Life, then the opportunity is probably not right for you.
Consult with Someone You Trust.
It is critical to look at the facts as objectively as possible. Consult with a trusted friend or family member too. Let them read this article and listen to their opinion.
Take the Long View.
Judging from information in the 4Life Income Disclosure Statement, it took years for most successful distributors to make their business profitable.
Successful 4Life distributors were able to absorb monthly loses for the first year or two as they built their business and mastered the necessary skills.
While it is possible to earn money by selling 4Life products directly to customers, the most money is paid to distributors who have recruited and built large downlines.
Building a large downline takes time and skills, specifically recruiting and leadership skills.
Protect Your Relationships.
As a 4Life distributor, you might be encouraged to recruit your friends and family. That would be a mistake. Your relationships are far more valuable than the money you might make from them.
If you’re successful, the people closest to you will naturally be interested.
Fortunately, you can use the internet to find people who may be good 4Life prospects. Affiliate marketing skills can give you unlimited prospects without risking personal relationships. To learn affiliate marketing skills, go here.
4Life offers more than 80 products, including nutritional supplements, exercise bands, essential oils, personal hygiene products, livestock, and pet supplies.
The advantage of promoting such an extensive range of products is a prospective customer is probably already using a similar product. It’s easier to persuade a prospect to replace a product they are already using with a 4Life product than to try and convince them they need a product.
A full list of 4Life products and prices is available on the 4Life website. However, as is typical of direct sales companies, the products are expensive compared to similar products that are available from retail outlets.
Because the 4Life products are more expensive than their competition and because similar items are available at most retail outlets, it may be a challenge to sell 4Life products.
If you search for a 4Life product in Amazon, you will often find several competing products that are more affordable.
4Life is Not for Everybody.
Direct sales is a difficult way to make money. It’s not for everyone and only a small fraction of the people who try it make more than they spend.
Let me put that another way because it’s important. Most people who try direct sales lose money. The 4Life Income Disclosure Statement shows this to be true.
Moving forward, if you decide to pursue the 4Life opportunity, you must clearly understand what it will take for you to beat the odds. Otherwise, you won’t have a business; you’ll have a liability that costs you money each month.
The 4Life Income Disclosure Statement.
Below is an excerpt from the 4Life Income Disclosure Statement for 2017. The 4Life Income Disclosure is where the rubber meets the road.
The person trying to recruit you into 4Life will probably show you the 4Life Compensation Plan (aka Life Rewards Plan™) as evidence you can make money. However, the Compensation Plan is hypothetical. It shows what you MIGHT earn if you join 4Life.
On the other hand, the 4Life Income Disclosure Statement is a historical record. It shows the earning averages for all 4Life distributors for the year 2017.
The person trying to recruit you into 4Life probably hasn’t seen the Income Disclosure and may challenge it. If so, be sure to show them that is published on the 4Life website. You’ll find it here.
We can learn a lot from the 4Life Income Disclosure Statement.
First, notice that only the percentage of distributors who earned a commission are reported in the chart. In the text below the chart, we are told that “77% of all distributors received no income at all.”
Since 4Life did not add the percentage of distributors who did not earn anything to the chart, it gives the impression that all distributors made something, which is not true.
Next, notice on the bottom right corner that less than 1% of all 4Life distributors earned at least $33,600 for the year BEFORE deducting business expenses.
99.2% of all 4Life distributors did NOT earn a living wage with the opportunity.
Most 4Life Distributors Lose Money.
Now, consider that to be a 4Life distributor, a person must first pay a $25 membership fee and purchase an Enrollment Pack. Enrollment Packs cost from $138 to $700.
Then, to qualify to earn commissions, a distributor must also purchase a minimum amount of 4Life products each month. The 4Life Compensation Plan states that the minimum products a distributor must purchase each month must equal 100 PV.
How Much is 100 PV in Money?
The monetary value of 100 PV is not defined in the 4Life Compensation Plan. We do know that PV may be a combination of products you purchase for your use or to sell to others.
Be sure to ask the person who introduced you to 4Life how much money equals 100PV. You’ll want to know how much you must spend each month to stay qualified.
For the sake of comparison, I assume 100PV equals $100 US. If 100PV equals $100, then a 4Life distributor must spend $100 a month to stay qualified.
$100 a month works out to $1,200 a year.
If this is true, your 4Life business must earn at least $1,200 a year to break even.
98% of All 4Life Distributors Lose Money.
Because all distributors must spend money to join 4Life and then also purchase an Enrollment Pack and buy products each month, the distributors, who did not earn a commission probably lost money.
Since distributors at the rank of Leader only averaged $684 for the year, they probably lost money too if we deducted what they spent on products and other business expenses.
At best, probably only 2% of 4Life distributors did not lose money, which means 98% of all distributor did lose money.
These figures show that only the highest ranks in 4Life make money. In other words, if you want to make money with 4Life, you must achieve the higher ranks.
The Direct Sales Industry.
Jon Taylor conducted the most detailed analysis of the Direct Sales industry, otherwise known as multi-level marketing or networking marketing.
Taylor’s research and analysis are published on the Federal Trade Commission’s website.
In the course of his work, Taylor investigated 300 companies, including 4Life International, and concluded that across the industry less than 1% of all distributors earn more than they spend.
Less than 1% of all distributors earn more than they spend.
By now, I hope I’ve made it clear it’s possible you will lose money when you become a 4Life distributor, at least until you have recruited and built a large downline.
Because a large downline is necessary to earn a living wage with 4Life, I do not recommend it for someone who wants to earn some extra money each month.
I do not recommend the 4Life opportunity for someone who wants to earn some extra money each month.
Five Essential Questions.
Jon Taylor developed a system for evaluating a direct sales business opportunity. He believes direct sales companies are predatory and not an opportunity at all. Taylor calls direct sales companies product-based pyramid schemes.
Because direct sales companies take offense at being called product-based pyramid schemes and tend to threaten bloggers with lawsuits who call them such things, I’ll avoid using that term.
However, the five questions Taylor uses to determine if a business opportunity is legitimate or predatory are useful. To read Jon Taylor’s full system of analysis, go here.
In your assessment of the 4Life opportunity, I encourage you to find the answers to Taylor’s five questions. According to Taylor, the more questions that are answered with “yes,” the more the business model rewards higher ranks at the expense of the lower ranks.
Here are Taylor’s Five Essential Questions;
Is Success with 4Life Dependent on Recruiting?
The 4Life Compensation Plan (aka Life Rewards Plan™), shows that success with 4Life is dependent on recruiting.
When a business is structured with multiple levels, and each level must recruit more levels, the first people to join the business have a huge advantage over the people who join later.
In other words, the people at the top make money at the expense of the people below them.
People at the top make money at the expense of the people below them.
Recruiting, person-to-person is a powerful marketing strategy. When recruitment is combined with unique products, charismatic promoters, and celebrities, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement.
However, when a company is dependent on recruitment, it is often not a genuine opportunity to make money, but instead a chance to lose money.
Does the Company Permit Unlimited Recruiting?
4Life does permit unlimited recruiting. There are no restrictions. A 4Life distributor can recruit anywhere 4Life is licensed to do business.
Unlimited recruiting may at first appear to be an advantage for the new distributor. They might think they are free to recruit the world. However, unlimited recruiting is only an advantage for the first people to join the company. After the first generation of distributors joins the company, it becomes increasingly difficult to recruit new distributors.
When a company permits unlimited recruiting, the market quickly becomes saturated. The more distributors recruited, the more difficult it becomes to recruit.
Unlimited recruiting rewards the higher ranks at the expense of the lower ranks.
Because 4Life is dependent on recruiting, it would be counterproductive for the company and the highest-ranking distributors to limit recruiting. However, it puts the newest distributor at a disadvantage because they are competing with other 4Life distributors.
In comparison, a direct sales company that is dependent on retail sales, instead of recruiting, will protect the territories of its distributors. A protected territory is a benefit for the distributor.
Are 4Life distributors required to spend money to get started and then continue to spend money to qualify for commissions and bonuses?
Yes, a 4Life distributor must spend money to get started and continue to spend money each month to remain qualified.
When a distributor joins 4Life, they are required to pay a $25 membership fee. Then they are encouraged to purchase an Enrollment Pack. The cost for an Enrollment Pack ranges from $138 to $700.
After joining, a distributor is required to purchase a minimum of 100PV of products each month to remain qualified to earn commissions and bonuses.
The requirement to buy products each month creates the residual earnings enjoyed by the higher ranks. This requirement essentially makes each distributor, first and foremost, a customer.
The requirement to purchase products each month also creates a perverse logic that a distributor can make money by spending money.
Once you understand the role of buying products to qualify each month, it’s like looking behind the curtain. With a bit of marketing misdirection, 4Life promises a new distributor a business opportunity but first turns them into a captured customer and revenue source for the upline and the company.
The requirement to purchase products to qualify is the reason most 4Life distributors lose money.
When a sale is made, does someone in the upline who had nothing to do with the sale earn about as much as the person making the sale?
The answer to this question could not be determined from information on the 4Life website. If you are considering the 4Life opportunity, you may ask the person who introduced you to 4Life or their upline.
The answer to this question is essential and may again show that the organizational structure of 4Life rewards higher ranks at the expense of lower ranks.
Because the answer to this question could not be determined from information on the 4Life website, it is not possible to conduct thorough due diligence of the opportunity.
The inability to perform thorough due diligence is a red flag and suggests that 4Life is less than transparent. Lack of transparency is reason enough not to pursue the 4Life business opportunity.
Does 4Life Pay Overrides or Commissions on more than four levels above the distributor who makes the sale or purchase?
When a direct sales company pays overrides or commissions on more than four levels above the distributor making the sale or purchase, the structure enriches the few at the top at the expense of the many in the downline.
As we’ve seen, the vast majority in the downline lose money.
With the largest traditional retail sales companies, the entire United States sales force can be managed with only four levels of management. Typically, a company that is dependent on retail sales will have local managers, district managers, regional managers, and a national sales manager. If a manager is needed for foreign markets, there may be an international manager as well.
More than four or five levels of management are unnecessary and drive up the price of products. Higher priced products cannot compete in the retail market.
When there are more than four levels in a direct sales organization, it encourages recruiting and creates the belief that very large incomes are possible to every distributor. However, only a few distributors at the top levels earn a significant income.
4Life has six management levels above the entry position of Associate. While this is not extreme, it does show that the higher ranks are favored at the expense of the lower ranks.
If you chose to be a 4Life distributor, be prepared to face two daunting challenges. The first challenge is the inherent difficulty of recruiting people. The second challenge is the mathematical difficulty of recruiting enough people to achieve a profitable business.
The 4Life website does not reveal how many people you will need to recruit to be in the top ranks. Critics of this form of marketing suggest it takes a downline the size of a small town to support a top distributor.
A simple math example shows how impossible the numbers quickly become.
If everyone in your downline sponsored nine people, there would be nine distributors under you and 81 under them, and 729 under the third level. With less than 12 levels in your downline, your organization will be more than 31 billion people. That’s four times more than the population of the earth!
Why Affiliate Marketing is Better than MLM
If you found this article helpful or if you have experience with 4Life you would like to share, please leave a comment below. Thank you.