Money: poisonous in a sharing environment

Are you poisoning friend relationships with money?

Just in…

Intriguing quote from Larry Lessig’s new book, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy.

Lessig, Stanford professor and lawyer, describes two economies, “commercial and “sharing”. And why money changes everything:

“It would be very odd if a friend apologized for missing lunch and offered you $50 to make it up. And it would very, very odd if your girlfriend, at the end of a great date, offered you $500 to spend the night. Or if Wal-Mart asked all customers to ‘pitch in and help Wal-Mart by sweeping at least one aisle each time you shop’. Or if McDonalds asked you to ‘help out’ by promising to buy hamburgers at least once a month. Money in the sharing economy is not just inappropriate; it is poisonous. And ‘helping out’ is not just rare in the commercial economy. It is downright weird.” Lessig’s book here. Thanks, Chris.

Here’s how that plays out in your life as a network marketer.

If you’ve bought the line that network marketing is like “recommending a movie or restaurant” to a friend, you’ll know why friends react to you the way they do – when it turns out at the end of the lunch, that your product recommendation means they have to give you money (or use your code in the catalog, etc.).

Conversations and recommendations among friends, unless clearly announced beforehand, are in the “shared” economy. Violating the rules of that trust by asking for money in that assumed-by-all-to-be-a-shared-economy (money to be given to you, no less) is indeed poisonous for friendships, as most of you have discovered.

Here’s one way to stop creating poisonous effects among friends, yet STILL talk to your pals about your products and business. It’s in a free ChangeThis report. Just download it here.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Hits home! I refuse to prospect friends and family. They know what I do, and when it is interesting enough for them to ask about it, they do. Just the other day I was prospected by a friend that didn’t know I was in network marketing, although I knew she is. Now, our friendship is different, she looks at me different because I turned her down. This was the first time I’d been prospected by a friend for a long long time, and I’m so glad it doesn’t happen often, just makes our relationship feel uncomfortable.

    Joe Johnson
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  • Great post Kim. ALways refreshing to read your Manifesto-for about the 100th time! Good to remember how to build the best customer base on this planet.

  • More good stuff, Kim. FYI, I will probably use your book Do You Have a Plan B in a class I plan to teach next semester on network marketing. The class will focus on the “why” NM much more than the how. This is a great industry but it does suffer a serious image problem. Thanks!

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