My mother has gotten swept up in the ACN frenzy and it has me concerned; backstory (warning: long):
My mother has owned her primary business for over 27 years and I’ve literally grown up in it since she opened it 3 years before I was born.
She has always had an entrepreneurial and hardworking spirit about her that I admire, and it is part of the reason that I’ve made countless sacrifices to help her and support her in any and all of her endeavors to the best of my ability (forgoing a paycheck, living at home while in college, working in the business full time, cutting down on wants, and much more). I’m also just about out of college with a bachelors degree in Entrepreneurial Business Management which was heavily influenced by her example.
Dad is a teacher in our city’s school district and approaching his 34th year; he is staying on the sidelines and is a silent supporter.
He makes the primary income for the household because the business has taken hits over the years to become unprofitable. Also, for the past 15 years we have all taken care of both of my mother’s and father’s parents in our household and now only my grandmother on my mother’s side is left.
Over the years we have become involved in several different side businesses such as vending machines, real estate, and other business opportunities that crop up to earn a bit of extra money on the side.
Some of them have made back the money that was invested, so we take a fresh eye to everything. Recently though she has been soul searching and became a strong follower of “Science of Getting Rich” and “The Secret”; repeatedly tried to get me to subscribe to the beliefs as well.
When she first saw ACN in September, the local reps were going around to small businesses and showing off the video phone and she couldn’t wait to sign up. September is also one of our peak months within the business (and even a time when I sacrifice schoolwork to make sure everything goes correctly). She took us (Dad, one of her friends and me) to an opportunity meeting and was so excited that she signed herself up that day. I saw the pyramid setup right away and even though I didn’t know much about it, the setup clashed severely against my learning and business instincts.
A week or so later there was a Saturday regional “training” that the up-line strongly suggested she attend; by this time she has registered herself, me, dad, my brother and his friend to be her down-line and has signed us up for several services. She has since had me attend several ACN presentations and “trainings” on local, regional and as of last weekend national levels in a fashion that cut severely into scheduled study time this semester. She has also dedicated portions of the store to weekly presentations and sales of products.
Outwardly, I present a supportive facade because when I broach the topics of cult type behavior or scamming she gets hurt and defends that she’s doing it for the business and the family (which I know is the truth). However, I don’t want to see her enthusiasm and spirit for ACN dismantle the business she’s worked so hard to build or drive the family apart. She has since recruited my uncle who is falling on to hard times with his business as well.
It has created a noticeable rift between us because most of what she wants to talk about relates to ACN. I am currently shielding my social circle from this, and I’m trying as hard as I can to protect my longstanding friendships.
I apologize about the length and just felt it necessary to let my true feelings out somewhere.