Why you need to be cautious about joining Leonie Dawson in doTERRA
Thinking of joining Leonie Dawson in her exciting new doTERRA adventure? Find out why she’s not being 0.5% honest, and why we believe you need to steer clear!
If you’ve been reading our site for a while, you’ll know how passionately we feel about MLMs, and why we believe everyone should steer clear of their pyramid-shaped earning structures. (If you haven’t, scroll down to see how little you can earn from companies like Arbonne, Stella&Dot and Herbalife.)
And one MLM we’ve heard horror stories (including several involving dubious ethics) about is doTERRA. In 2014, it was even warned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration against marketing its products as a treatment for ebola.
Read the 10 ugly truths MLMs don’t want you to know
How much can you earn with doTERRA?
For those of you not in the know, doTERRA is an essential oils company (it was covered recently in a less-than-flattering feature in The New Yorker). And like every other network marketing/MLM company we have come across, it offers very little in financial reward for its representatives.
Indeed, according to its 2016 earnings disclosure summary, “Entry-level Wellness Advcoates… earn from $350 to $1,370 annually in commissions and account for 17 percent of all doTERRA members.” As with all MLM income disclosures, this is commission, and doesn’t include expenses. So the true income earned by reps will actually be lower.
The highest levels in the commission ranks are leadership ranks – but according to the 2016 disclosure these account for a tiny 0.5% of all representatives.
Are doTERRA oils overpriced?
Aside from the dubious business model, another problem with MLMs is that their products are often overpriced compared to high street alternatives. And doTERRA is no different.
To demonstrate this, let’s investigate what you get in an AromaTouch® Diffused Kit from doTERRA: 8 x 5ml bottles of essential oils, 4ml of fractionated coconut oil and a diffuser for a total of US$200 (or $150 if you enrol).
However, you can easily buy essential oils and a diffuser for much less elsewhere. To give you an example, you can buy 8 x 10ml bottles (so DOUBLE the quantity) of pure, therapeutic grade essential oils plus diffuser from art naturals for just US$36.95. You can also buy 4oz of fractionated coconut oil for as little as US5.99 on Amazon.
So that makes a total of US$42.94 – a quarter of the retail price, and a third of the wholesale price of doTERRA. And remember, this is for DOUBLE the quantity of oil!
Given this, why would anyone buy oils from doTERRA, let alone sign up to sell them? (Read here to find out why doTERRA oils are no different to high street alternatives, despite their attempts to claim otherwise.)
We were shocked to see Leonie Dawson selling doTERRA
So we were completely stunned to discover this week that Leonie Dawson has now jumped on the pyramid bandwagon, and signed up to MLM doTERRA.
We first came across Leonie a few years ago when a friend raved about her annual planner. Curious, we bought one and loved it too. It was a wonderful mix of business planning and tie-dye hippy fun.
Leonie’s emails were just as crazily wise. She appeared to run an abundant, successful business which she loved, while raising her children – and shared the ups and downs of her journey, along with business wisdom in her emails.
Leonie seemed honest and ethical – and not in a million years the kind of woman who would use her status and fan base to recruit women into an MLM. And yet that is exactly what she’s now doing. And, it appears, not in an entirely transparent way.
Why Leonie isn’t being 0.5% honest about doTERRA
If you look at Leonie’s doTERRA page, she raves about doTERRA’s products and the business opportunity, claiming: “It’s actually really doable for committed people to earn 6 figures.” (Her bolding.) She also says:
“My original intention was to coach go-getters to hit 6 figures within 12 months. I’ve already helped some committed builders hit it within 9 months of starting, so we are well on track.”
To back this up, she reproduces a doTERRA earnings chart:
And this is where we really have a problem. You see, while she links to doTERRA’s 2015 earnings disclosure, at no point does Leonie clarify that the doTERRA average earnings chart she shares relates only to leadership ranks. Instead, she simply says: “Check out the income levels below.”
On Leoni’s Team Unicorn Wiki doTERRA page she shares the same chart under the headline: “So how much can you earn in doTERRA?” Again with no explanation that this relates to just 0.5% of reps.
On its own, without clarification, as it appears on Leonie’s pages, it looks like this is an earnings chart for the average rep. And it looks good – with the bottom 65% alone earning an average of $2,200 a month flogging oils from home, who wouldn’t be interested?
Why Leonie WILL make easy money with doTERRA
Leonie makes no bones about the fact that she’s in this to make BIG money:
“Babes, there would be no way I’d even be able to consider this thing if it wasn’t going to be at least a million dollar a year revenue stream for me.”
And if you’ve read any of our other articles on MLMs you’ll know that the only way to make big money (and very, very few people do) is to sign up thousands of people in your downline. Many of whom will earn little or lose money.
However, this will be easy for Leonie.
Over the years she’s built up a pretty hefty fan base (over 136,000 people have liked her Facebook page alone). Most of whom, like us, would have liked and trusted her. And many of whom follow her for insights and inspiration on how to make money from home.
So it won’t be hard to quickly build a downline. And in fact, if her emails are to believed, she’s already cultivated a pretty large one:
But most of the people who sign up to doTERRA won’t be as lucky – not even with Leonie’s help. Not everyone can be “one of the fastest business builders in history.” In fact, doTERRA’s own statistics and the MLM industry pattern show that most will make very little money, or even lose money.
If you’re in any doubt, don’TERRA
So if you’re a fan of Leonie and considering joining her doTERRA opportunity, please take this as an informed warning and steer clear! Yes Leonie will be successful at the business – she has the online business acumen, the large following and the apparent desire to succeed at any cost needed to do so.
But the reality for many of the women who sign up will be very different from the abundance promised. It’s much more likely to be more heartache, and possibly even debt. So if you’re any any doubt, please don’TERRA!
Leonie Dawson is a fan of network marketing (aka MLM)
In hindsight, it perhaps shouldn’t have come as shock that Leonie Dawson would push an MLM onto her followers. In an episode of her podcast on how to make money from home during lockdown, she shares 33 money making ideas, including:
“Share a product that you love – from Thermomix to essential oils to makeup to clothes and build a network marketing business.”
In the transcript of the podcast episode she boasts:
“You can share a product that you love from Thermomix to doTERRA, essential oils to make up to clothes and build a network marketing business. And you can do this online. I built one online. I was the fastest person in the world to build to doTERRA’s highest rank, um, just by doing and sharing online.”
Again, we are incredibly disappointed with Leonie for trying to recruit her followers into what many believe is a pyramid scheme. (Thermomix also has a troubling reputation.) To be clear, network marketing is the same thing as MLM.
And quite frankly, we find the arrogance and ignorance in that quote incredible worrying, given she positions herself as someone who “can teach you everything I know about creating success soulfully”. Encouraging your fans to join an MLM is pretty much the opposite of what she claims to want to do, in our opinion.
Why you won’t make much money in any MLM
Before you consider parting with your money to join any network marketing/MLM company, please read these articles and be informed: