Stay Away From These Businesses: Part Two In A Series

Stay Away From These Sketchy Businesses That Want You To Promote Them On Social Media: Part 2

In Part 2, we discuss the basic levels of companies that are designated as pyramid schemes

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In part one, we discussed understanding the basics of pyramid schemes and why they may seem appealing for people to join. Many companies that you may have already heard of and thought were reputable companies actually may be one that is participating in this marketing style. Now, technically the "business" word for a pyramid scheme is "multi-level marketing" and is something that someone that sells for these companies will recite till they're blue in the face if you ever tell them what they are actually participating in.

Now, in saying that, if someone that you know is participating in one of these pyramid schemes, talk to them. They honestly may not even know what they are contributing too - because the advertising for these companies is sneaky - and can sound appealing to people who do not have a whole lot of time on their hands.

It Works is a multi-level marking company that focuses on the weight loss market. The company sells things such as keto coffee, weight loss pills, tummy wraps, and protein shakes. These products appeal to women (and possibly men) that want to lose weight but do not want (or do not have time) to go to the gym or participate in any type of normal weight loss. They usually advertise that their products help you lose weight fast and advertise that their products will help you live a healthier and longer life.

These products are targeted to sell to the same women that want to help sell the products - women that live a busy life and are short on time. For the women buying the products, they are busy with work or having a family, or going to school, and do not have time to focus on eating right or spend time in the gym. For the women selling the products, they are busy with the same thing and are wanting a way to make money fast and with little to minimal effort - which no one can fault them for.

Mary Kay and LuLaRoe are companies that also focused on selling makeup and clothing products, respectively, to women that are busy in their daily lives and want something that is easy to buy and can make them feel good about themselves. Mary Kay focuses on selling makeup and hosting events in order to target new recruits as well as possibly have them purchase some of their products. LuLaRoe focuses on selling leggings and hosting marketing events. In order to become a LuLaRoe consultant (which is want the multi-level marketing companies to call their "resellers"), you have to pay upwards of $1,000 and to sell the leggings you've purchased at a high markup in order to show that you should be able to stay with the company.

These companies may seem like they are something that you want to participate in, but it is not fair to you as a worker to have to pay for the products you have to then turn around and sell. If you cannot turn a profit, you're going to be suffering a heavy loss. Why does it seem that these pyramid schemes target women? How can you help out a friend that is stuck in one of these? Find out these things in Part three.

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Why Working With Special Populations Doesn't Make Me A Good Person

What you're missing from the bigger picture.
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"What do you do?" might be one of my least favorite questions. Let me tell you why.

I am currently a registered behavior technician at a wonderful program (MAP) nestled in the heart of North Carolina. Usually, when I tell someone what I do, their response is either an uncertain nod or a plain look of confusion. At that time, I break it down by saying, “Basically, I work with children who have autism."

Now, more times than not, the response I receive is along the lines of, “Wow, that's so amazing of you", or my personal favorite, “Good for you. I could NEVER do that."

I understand that working with special populations isn't for everyone, just like being a neurosurgeon isn't for everyone. But, working with special needs children doesn't make me a good person, a saint, or a hero. Every time someone tells you he/she is a teacher, do you gasp and express how much you could NOT be a teacher?

What about when you meet a pediatrician? These people work with children just like I do. I'm certain if you spent one day in my shoes you would see just how much you COULD do my job.

Maybe not all of the technical work, but after a day with these children, you would be humbled by how much you could learn from them.

After all, these children are just children. They want to be accepted just like every other child.

They want to be understood and to be part of a community just like the rest of us.

My job has given me the opportunity to get to know a handful of the more than 3.5 million Americans on the spectrum. I've gotten to know each of their personalities, their quirks, and what makes them unique. I can't help but imagine a world where everyone gets to know these individuals as I have.

A world where we accept all of those who might appear or act different from us and educate ourselves on these populations. A world where that education helps us see that they aren't so different from us after all.

Working with individuals with special needs doesn't make me a good person, because I do it for selfish reasons.

I work with them because I don't know what my life would be like without them. They have taught me so much and changed my life in so many ways. I get to play a small hand in these children's lives. I get to help them learn fundamental life skills you and I take for granted.

But, I also get to leave work every day having learned a lesson. These children have taught me to be a better version of myself and to appreciate even the smallest of things life has to offer. Each day they challenge me to laugh more, have more fun, and not take myself so seriously. They show me more love than I ever knew possible. Maybe it isn't with their words. Maybe it's with the smiles and giggles when we're singing their favorite song, or the way they look at me when they finally get something they have been working so hard to learn.

The hugs, the kisses, and the moments where our two worlds collide and we finally connect; these are the moments that remind me how much these children have to offer the rest of us. If only we would take the time to let them teach us, we would be more selfless, less judgmental, and have a greater appreciation for life.

April is National Autism Awareness Month.

My hope is that this month we work to spread awareness for Autism, as well as other special needs. We take this time to learn something new, to help educate others, and to stop looking at these individuals as though they need special people in their lives to help teach them and focus more on opening our minds to the things they can teach us.

Explore Odyssey's featured Autism Awareness content here.

Cover Image Credit: Katharine Smith

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4 Essentials You Need In The Elizabeth Holmes Starter Pack

Here are key artifacts that worked to conjure up such an individual.

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Elizabeth Holmes is one of the most infamous entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley. Her company, Theranos, which was once heralded as a groundbreaking health-care changer, deceived thousands of people, giving them false blood results and examinations.

What stunned people all over the globe, was Elizabeth herself. Her image, her demeanor, and her overall haunting presence became the center of several documentaries and past news articles. Here are 4 key artifacts that worked to conjure up such an individual.

1. Makeup 

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Ms. Holmes' beauty routine is quite consistent and easy-to-follow. For special occasions and public-speaking events, Elizabeth wears her signature black eyeliner, smeared all over the upper eyelid, and a muted red-colored shade of lipstick. Her eyebrows and face remain minimal, as the enhancement of Ms. Holmes' ice-blue eyes is the centerpiece of the look.

2. Black turtlenecks

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Several news outlets and documentaries make note of Elizabeth Holmes' obsession with Apple creator, Steve Jobs. In the midst of building her billion-dollar scheme, Holmes would adapt Job's characteristics and professional practices, such as live product launches and copying Apple's style of commercials. However, the most obvious form of imitation was Elizabeth wearing black turtlenecks every single workday.

3. Green juice

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Since Ms. Holmes worked long hours, she followed a diet that she believed would provide her energy and health. Theranos insiders reported that Elizabeth was never seen without her green juice, either in her hand or on her desk. At home, her personal chef would whip up a small dish of vegetables for dinner, giving the fraud a one-way ticket to malnutrition.

4. A deep baritone voice

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Of all the mysterious anecdotes written and said about the Silicon Valley scam, the most bewildering tale derives from Elizabeth Holmes' deep baritone voice. Luminaries who knew Elizabeth during her time at Stanford claimed that her speaking voice was high-pitched, typical of a young white female. As years passed, when Elizabeth was quickly gaining fame and momentum, her voice dropped a couple of octaves when she made public appearances. According to Theranos employees, when Elizabeth drank at company parties, her voice slipped back into the high-pitched tone.

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