How to Approach Multi-Level Marketing the Right Way

The Nail Polish Dilemma

As a busy mom with three kids under three, a freelance writer working on a book, and the wife of a frequently traveling businessman, I often find myself lamenting to friends, “I just want to paint my nails without them smudging within seconds.” Despite my best efforts, finding a solution has been elusive. But I love having painted nails. See my dilemma?

Recently, a friend suggested a product that might suit my busy lifestyle. That same week, she was one of three people I encountered who were involved in direct-selling or multi-level marketing.

Diverse Views on Direct-Selling and MLMs

Opinions on these types of businesses vary widely, from complete disdain to full support. Personally, with limited experience, I remain neutral. I’ve benefited from family and friends in these ventures. I appreciate Mary Kay makeup for its convenience, use my Thirty-One bag as a diaper bag, and frequently recommend the Pampered Chef wooden spoons I received as a wedding gift.

However, I do feel discomfort when my social media feeds are overwhelmed with product promotions from friends. Sometimes, I just want to see updates on their personal lives instead of advertisements.

Work as a Gift, Not a Burden

Direct-selling and multi-level marketing aren’t inherently problematic. Work, in any form, is a good thing—a gift from God and an integral part of our identity as His image bearers. For some, these businesses provide a way to contribute financially while staying home with the kids. But like all work, these ventures can be distorted by our sinful nature. Here are three principles to keep in mind to avoid common pitfalls:

  1. Don’t Sideline Your Church Community

A friend of mine, whose mother sold Premier jewelry successfully for years, advised her daughters to keep their business separate from their church life. This can be challenging when your customer base overlaps with your church community. On Sunday mornings, for example, professionals might be sought for free advice, while business consultants might view Bible study friends as potential clients.

Such scenarios risk turning church gatherings into business opportunities rather than places for worship and community. The church should remain a space free from personal agendas, focused on worship and fellowship.

  1. Prioritize Relationships Over Sales

Another friend, reflecting on her MLM experience, emphasized the importance of not pushing your network too hard. When business starts to strain relationships, it’s time to reassess. She found fulfillment in seeing her product help women, not in exploiting her connections.

Our work should glorify God and benefit our neighbors. When my friend introduced me to her nail product, she was genuinely trying to help, not just make a sale. This approach—viewing work as a means to serve others—should guide our actions.

  1. Keep Financial Ambitions in Check

In the MLM world, it’s easy to get caught up in financial success. A stay-at-home mom might quickly turn into a top earner, which can shift priorities. However, it’s crucial to remember that all work, whether paid or unpaid, has value. Both contributing financially and managing a household are important.


With millions involved in direct-selling and MLMs, these businesses aren’t going away. Instead of dismissing them outright, we should adopt a balanced perspective. As Christians, we believe all work has value. Whether selling beauty products or pursuing another career, our work should reflect our love for our neighbors. By focusing on serving others, we can ensure our work aligns with our values—even if it’s just helping a busy mom keep her nail polish from smudging.

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