Upline bully?

If networkers recruit people with an offer to “get away from a boss”… how come so many upline people are so bossy?

One gal, call her Lulu, at the Hoorahrah this past June, told me in tears how her upline threatened her with “You can’t come to our team calls or sit with our group at company events” and “We won’t help you if you don’t participate in our system (which included buying leads from her upline leader and selling them to her own new recruits-kk) and the way we do things.”

And in a really low rent but effective move, the upline told Lulu she’d call the gal’s downline and report that “Lulu was not the leader we thought she was, so we are taking over the communications now.”

So unless she attends every event they ask her to, makes her downline come, and buys and sells their leads and their other programs, this is what is what happens to her.

Is this a reason so many people leave our industry with a bad taste in their mouth?

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • I believe none of us joined this business to trade our boss (whom we left behind at our job) for an upline bully. We made the switch to become our own boss and build our business the way we feel comfortable about.

    Lulu’s upline has no right to exclude her from team calls or sitting with the group at company functions. And, he certainly has no right to take over communications with her downline. Lulu is the person who sponsored them, not him.

    The way this bully acts, Lulu might not even want to associate with him and become the upline she wishes she had. She may want to create her “own” group and guide and support them her own way.

    If she is very new, she may want to look somewhere else within the company for a leader/mentor she can connect with to help her and her team. In most companies associates work for a common goal so it doesn’t matter who helps whom because it’s all for the good of everybody.

    I hope this helps, Lulu.

    Have a great week!

    Ilka Flood

  • Yes this is a big reason people leave network marketing with a bad taste for it all.
    This is the reason I stated in an earlier post that I’ve changed what I look for when considering a company. I thought since it was my business the sponsor wasn’t important. I was wrong so now I seek the best sponsor for me the same way I’m seeking the best people to join my own team. I recently interviewed 6 sponsors before finding the one best for me. None of them knew I had experience in network marketing or that I was adding this company to my other business. I didn’t want them to act any different towards me than anyone else looking at their business. It came down to me selecting the one best for me.
    A sponsor is very important even if you do things your own way they can help or hurt you just like this post says.

  • All:

    I asked her why she wanted to stay, versus checking out other options…you know, stay on the product and find another business – and she says she is crazy about the product. It’s a kind of an online photo-thing that she did long before there was a NM company for it…and there is no other product like that out there, from an NM company.

    Very sad situation.

  • Unfortunately, a lot of people end up in this situation. They find out that the company and/or upline is not something they want to work with, but they LOVE the product.

    At some point, you have to ask yourself – Are you in this business to buy a great product or to create an income. This particular product is available all over the internet for free or very low cost.

    Lulu has to do some searching inside herself and decide if this upline is something she can live with. Does the positive outweigh the negative? That’s the ultimate question. If you can live with the bad to have the good – stick with it. If not, cut your losses and go somewhere where your upline appreciates you. Your upline should be there to support you not belittle you. Your sponsor is one of the most important people (besides your spouse/partner) that you will ever pick.

    Roxanne Green

  • I have heard similar stories from other people. I can’t imagine not doing my best to help everyone on my team.

    I think if they have these strict ways of doing their business, they should have told her this before she joined maybe even making her sign a form stating what is required to be on their team.

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