Whenever a direct sales company is shut down by the the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for allegedly operating an illegal pyramid, the entire network marketing industry receives a great deal of scrutiny.

Vemma headquarters, 1621 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ.

Vemma headquarters, 1621 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ.

Well this week the FTC announced the shut down of Vemma.

quote The consumer protection agency said that Vemma told recruits that they could make as much as $50,000 per week selling its nutritional beverage Vemma, energy drink Verge or protein shake Bod-e. An initial investment of $600 was paid for products and business tools and $150 in Vemma products had to be bought each month to receive bonuses. The FTC said Vemma provided little help on how to sell its products and instead rewarded them for recruiting more people.

 I think the Vemma probably got into trouble when they targeted college students.

quoteIn the complaint, the FTC said Vemma employees visited college campuses and told students that selling the beverages was an alternative to a regular job. Its marketing materials features young people in luxury vehicles, jets and yachts, the FTC said.

If you follow my post you might recall that I first wrote about Vemma’s potential problems in an article titled “Is Vemma Targeting College Students and Operating An Illegal Pyramid?”

vemma-logo1What Can We Learn From Vemma’s Shutdown?

Off of the top of my head I can think of two important lessons that we all can learn from Vemma’s misfortune.

Lesson 1. I’ve said it once and will say it again, learn how to properly promote and market your business! Flashing money and making FALSE income claims only lead to trouble. Spamming your friends and family on Facebook and other social media sites will just get you blocked or banned.

Lesson 2. Please learn the importance of branding yourself. If you spend all of your time and efforts promoting Vemma’s Opportunity and products then all you were doing is branding the company not yourself. What happens now that the company is out of business? All of your hard work goes down with the company. So if you didn’t brand yourself as a person of value, create a following or list, then you will have to start all over from scratch each and every time you change companies.

My Message To Vemma Affiliates

I have never been a Vemma affiliate nor have I ever been a customer. I do know some friends that have tried and liked their products. I also have some friends that were affiliates for the company.

If you were a Vemma affiliate I know that you are disappointed and maybe even hurt. Trust me the Vemma shut down hurts all of us no matter what company we represent. I personally know what you are feeling…been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. For some of you this may have been your very first network marketing company and you might be feeling like you were scammed.

Well don’t be keep your head up. The network marketing business model is sound.

Many businesses fail just like many entrepreneurs fail. But just think if Michael Jordan would have given up after he was cut from the High School Basketball team or if Oprah Winfrey would have quit after she was fired from her job as a reporter look what they have become. You see for them quitting when it got a little rough was not an option!

When you have been in this industry as long as I have you will see many companies come and go, don’t worry about it. Keep pressing on and keep your eyes on the prize.

To Your Success!
charles lenoir

Your comments are welcomed below, if you are a Vemma affiliate please share your thoughts on Vemma and this latest development.


While doing a little internet research I came across an interesting article by market watch on Avon.

If you have been involved with  direct sales or network marketing for any length of time then you know the names of legendary companies like Avon.


Well for years Avon (since 2004) has held the number one spot as the Global Direct Sales Company title until now.

The number one spot now belongs to Amway!

Amway a global leader in health, beauty and an outstanding business opportunity for Independent Business Owners.

The Rest Of The List

Here are the other top companies:

3. Herbalife International International is an American company that develops, markets and sells nutrition, weight management and skin-care products globally.

4. Natura Cosmeticos SA is a Brazilian company engaged in the development, manufacture, distribution, and sale of cosmetics, producing a full range of cosmetic products.

5. Mary Kay, Inc. is an American privately owned direct sales company that sells cosmetics products.

Note: The Health & Wellness and Beauty industries are obviously very popular and these companies are doing well implementing the network marketing business model.

Should Avon Representatives Be Concerned

No, I don’t think so. Avon has a very good management and leadership team. They will make the adjustments necessary to remain competitive and at the top for years to come.

To Your Success!
charles lenoir

P.S. Check out my RESOURCES Page to see the programs I recommend and tools I use to generate 20-50 new leads a day!

P.S.S. Not sure what business opportunity is for you, check out what I do to help people get out of debt and make money click here.

Your comments are welcomed below, if you are an Avon rep share your experiences.


Yep it’s true, Wake Up Now or WUN has officially announced their shut down (at least in the United States).

In an open letter by their CEO, Phil Polich, posted on their Facebook page February 17th, 2015, Polich blasts former CEO Kirby Cochran.

quoteAs we made progress, we continued to discover that Kirby Cochran’s deceptive actions had put the company in a position from which it could not recover. In the end, his decisions for a privileged few outweighed the incredible heart and dedication of the many. CEO Phil Polich

Click this link to see the full Wake Up Now Facebook post

Wake Up Now Shut Down

Well all the signs that there was a problem have been there.

wake up nowWUN financials have been in question for awhile.

Wake Up Now generated almost $8 million dollars in losses over 2012 and 2013. Significant losses mean commission payments are in jeopardy.

In a Wake Up Now Business Opportunity review I wrote back in July 2014, I provided links to the company’s 2013 income disclosure statement. WUN admitted that a vast majority of their representatives do not make ANY money!

WUN’s former CEO Kirby Cochran also stepped down last year! Did you know he filed for individual bankruptcy this month?

It Gets A Lot Uglier

Wake Up Now has filed a 70 million dollar lawsuit against their former CEO!

If you really want to know what kind of soap opera was going on behind the scenes at Wake Up Now company headquarters then read or download this legal complaint document filed by the company just click here.

Despite their current state of affairs, Wake Up Now vows to right the ship over time.

quote“We will continue to sell our products, including Awaken Thunder and the WUN Fit line of products. We will diligently work to fulfill all financial obligations of the company. I will continue to work with the creditors and vendors in anticipation of getting all obligations resolved. CEO Phil Polich

Top Three Lessons We Can Learn From Wake Up Now

wake up now shut down

Despite what has happened there are at least three fundamental lessons we can learn from Wake Up Now’s demise:

1) Always research the company, especially the leadership. Read a lot of reviews and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t just jump all in because of the initial hype!

2) Examine the company product, what makes it unique?

3) Make sure the company compensation plan is sound. Be suspicious if they pay commissions primarily on the recruitment of new affiliates.

NOTE: Wake Up Now’s revenue generation relied on constant recruitment effectively making their business model impractical, to add salt to the wound their 22-page compensation plan was really confusing.

ATTN: Former WUN reps and other Network Marketers

WakeUpNow’s closure is a great example of why it is important to brand YOURSELF and not the company you are affiliated with!


Network marketing companies come and go all the time, just like many brick and mortar small businesses do but what I find especially disturbing with this development is the amount of young people that will be adversely affected by WUN being their first network marketing experience.

Wawake up now shut downke Up Now attracted a wave of young entrepreneurs at several colleges and universities.

Many of which dug deep into their pockets in order to get involved in the Wake Up Now business…or the wunlife as they called it!

If you were a WUN rep please keep your head up and do not let this minor stumbling block quench your entrepreneurial spirit and keep you from pursing your dreams of financial freedom.

To Your Success!
charles lenoir

P.S. Check out my RESOURCES Page to see the programs I recommend and tools I use to generate 20-50 new leads a day!

P.S.S. Not sure what business opportunity is for you, check out what I do to help people get out of debt and make money click here.

Your comments are welcomed below, if you were a Wake Up Now IBO please share your experiences.


Are you looking for information about the North American Power (NAP) business opportunity? If so I have some bad news for you…

Important Announcement Regarding the
Thrive and North American Power Opportunity

quote After a lot of thoughtful analysis, discussions, and soul-searching, it is with a heavy heart that we are announcing the end of the Thrive and North American Power opportunity. This was an extremely difficult decision that was not taken lightly.” The Thrive and North American Power Team

It looks like North American Power is no longer in the network marketing business, so once again a company has shut its business opportunity doors for representatives looking to create a life long residual income stream within the energy deregulation industry.

quote Effective immediately, Independent Representatives will be unable to refer new customers or representatives to Thrive or North American Power. All referral sites have been disabled.”

To read more about the NAP important announcement click here.

North American Power sent all its representatives this email:

quote Per the Independent Representative Agreement and Policies and Procedures, Independent Representatives will continue to receive residual payments on customers that have been referred to date.

In addition, once successfully processed, any pending enrollments that have been referred to date will receive the normal up-front commissions.

Independent Representatives that have earned Free Energy will continue to receive Free Energy for as long as they remain qualified.

The NAP leadership is honoring their commitment to pay their reps the benefits they earned from acquiring customers.  Its more than most companies do when they terminate their network marketing arm.

Who is North American Power?

North American Power

FOUNDER(S): Kerry Breitbart (CEO) and Carey Turnbull (Chairman)
WEBSITE: napower.com


The company offers an electricity, gas and wind energy services through third-party utility providers in the US.

I can’t find anywhere the reason why North American Power decided to terminate their network marketing opportunity. Not sure whether it is a financial decision or problems they may have been experiencing with the networking part of the business, or something else….

Complaints Against North American Power

There were two recently filed class-action court cases naming the company as a defendant. 1) Peggy Zahn filed her lawsuit in October 24th, 2014.

This action seeks to redress the deceptive pricing practices of North American Power & Gas, LLC (“North American Power”) that have caused thousands of Illinois consumers to pay considerably more for their electricity than they should otherwise have paid.

2) Michael Tully filed his separate class-action on January 8th, 2015.

Tully’s complaint reads nearly the same to Zahn’s, except that it pertains to Rhode Island.

Both cases are civil contracting disputes and allege North American Power has been overcharging its customers.


There are a few lessons in here for anyone in the network marketing and direct sales industry.

First, network marketing is like any other small business, some companies Succeed, some companies FAIL.

Second, the NAP sudden dismal of their network marketing opportunity is another sterling example of why you should be branding yourself and NOT the company you are with.

And my final thoughts on North American Power

As a member of the network marketing community it I always disheartening to see a company with potential close its doors.  If you were a NAP representative I encourage you not to let this temporary stumbling block cause you to give up on your dreams. Keep you head up and keep moving forward!


To Your Success!

P.S. Before joining any network marketing business download my FREE eBook the Network Marketing Neophyte (see sidebar) on the right.

P.S.S Check out my RESOURCES Page to see the programs I recommend and tools I use to generate 20-50 new leads a day!

P.S.S.S. Not sure what business opportunity is for you, check out what I do to help people get out of debt and make money click here.

Your comments are welcomed below, if you are a NAP representative lease share your thoughts or experiences.


If you have not heard yet, the Kalatu Blogging Platform is in Beta Testing Phase and is expected to be officially released to the masses in early 2015. This is Empower Networks third version of their viral blogging platform.



The first version of Empower Network’s blog (EN1) used the WordPress platform and within a month they had maxed out the WordPress server with the viral growth the company was experiencing. Many members reported their blog post ranking on the 1st page of Google for searches.

The second version of Empower Network’s blog (EN2) also known as Blog Beast was the company’s attempt to create their own blogging platform (Empower dropped the use of WordPress).  The new platform was a complete disaster. Members reported a significant drop in search engine rankings.

Empower Network Founder, David Woods, would later admit that moving away from the WordPress platform was a mistake.

Kalatu is currently in beta testing phase

kalatu blog platformEmpower Network Version 3 (EN3) is known as Kalatu. The new version marks the 3rd anniversary of the company and it’s also bringing multiple changes/improvements to their infrastructure. It is currently in beta testing with a select group of Empower Network members using it.

As part of these changes Empower Network is introducing a new “state of the art” blogging platform that will allow users to take advantage of all of the benefits of a Word press site.

Yes, Empower Network is returning back to WordPress platform.

Why is it called Kalatu?

This particular name was chosen because in the Aboriginal language Kalatu means, “tell a story “, which is what every blogger and specially the daily blogger does when they write.

Some of the Kalatu Features

  • Utilizes latest WordPress 4.0 platform
  • Professionally design website that can be use to sale and market any product or service
  • Multiple easy customizable themes and widgets suited for any small business.
  • Pre-installed plugins, simply activate the ones you want.
  • Low cost only $25 a month (includes hosting)
  • Allow multiple blog creation hosted for same low cost and control your multiple Kalatu Blogs and websites from a central location
  • More options including theme and new specialized plug ins as well.
  • Can be used to promote any product and/or service.
  • No requirement to be an affiliate of the Empower Network to use this new platform.

Kalatu is WordPress based, but without all the technology challenges, hassles, and costs that come with building and hosting your own word press website. Appears to be perfect for the novice blogger. Kalatu blogging platform is a plug and play system that helps inexperienced bloggers avoid the pitfalls associated with creating, building and monetizing a blog.

For the inauguration of Kalatu, Empower Network is starting a 21 day blogging challenge with a specific template to help you brainstorm ideas and create worthy content that will be sure to attract buyers and future prospects to your website. Also if you are new to blogging you will definitely learn a few strategies that will maximize your blogging efforts and get you closer to your desire results.

NOTE: Empower Network is largest blogging communities and publishing platforms online, as well as provides high-level educational products and services to online marketers. The company has created a group of 14 millionaires and over 300 people with reported earnings of $100.000 – $500.000 thousand. Since its initial launched in 2011, the company has paid out over 150 million in commissions to affiliates in just 3 years, an impressive statistic for any company in such a short period of time.

To Your Success!

Have a comment on this post? Please feel free to share your thoughts.


In case you missed it, WakeUpNow recently announced the CEO, Kirby Cochran, has stepped down and COO Phil Polich has replaced him as the new CEO.

Former WakeUpNow CEO, Kirby Cochran

kirby cochran wakeupnowHis short bio from the WakeUpNow website,

quoteKirby Cochran, Chief Executive Officer, had been a career venture capitalist with a long track record of helping lead companies to achieve explosive growth. A professor in the Finance department at the University of Utah, he shared a passion for the mission of helping people improve their financial lives and for building a technology platform capable of delivering outstanding value to consumers.

Kirby drives WakeUpNow’s vision for helping people live life better. His inspirational vision created an opportunity structure unique in the industry and poised to change the world.”

There have not been any official press releases by the company so it is not immediately known exactly why Kirby Cochran stepped down.

New WakeUpNow CEO, Phil Polich

 phil polichShort Bio from the WakeUpNow website,

quotePhil Polich, Chief Operating Officer started his career as a CPA with Ernst & Young, then transitioned to real estate eventually owning and directing one of the largest homebuilders in the Phoenix area, coincidentally one of the hottest construction markets in the U.S. at that time.

Phil understands the complexities that make a company run; he has built companies with staggering valuations and now brings his expertise as an operations executive to WakeUpNow, where his operational leadership is turning a bold vision into a reality each and every day.”

Is WakeUpNow in Trouble???


Here is what we do know about Wake Up Now:

According to the company, WUN actually states the financial survival of the company depends on recruiting affiliates.

Management’s plan of operation is based on three primary objectives (1) further development of its products with specific emphasis on its affiliate network, (2) continued domestic growth of its distributor base, and (3) expansion into international markets. If the company can’t successfully recruit more distributors, it may continue in the red.

In its SEC disclosure under the section, ‘Risks Relating to Our Direct/Network Marketing Methods’ it explained that:

quoteIf we are unable to retain our existing distributors and obtain additional distributors, our revenue will not increase and may even decline. Our distributors may terminate their relationship with us at any time, and, like most network marketing or direct selling companies, we experience high turnover among distributors from year to year. To increase our revenue, we must increase the number of and/or the productivity of our distributors.”

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) goes after companies that primarily base their income operations on recruitment and not retail sales. They call that operating a Pyramid Scheme.

A pyramid scheme is when distributors sell more product to other distributors than to the public or if they make more money from recruiting than they do from selling.

wakeupnowRecently WakeUpNow started selling energy drinks.

Was this a move to avoid being shut down by the FTC?

Is this why they placed a retail minimum on receiving commissions?

The recent step down of Mr. Cochran, the company’s financial woes, none of this looks good for Wake Up Now’s long term future.

But perhaps with the recent change in leadership the company can recover.

Check out my WakeUpNow Business Opportunity Review if you want to know more about the company.
charles lenoir

Your comments are welcomed below, if you are a WakeUpNow IBO please share your thoughts.