An Educational Website for Direct Sales and MLM Entrepreneurs with articles by MLM Consultant Michael L. Sheffield, MLM Attorney Jeffrey Babener and other expert contributors.

Introduction by MLM Consultant Michael L. Sheffield

Multilevel Marketing began more than 60 years ago as part of the direct selling industry and has served a significant role in the introduction of many new consumer products and services to the marketplace. MLM, also known as network marketing, has had particular success as a vehicle to introduce many of the "new to the world” concepts in natural

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health products, weight loss and skin care products that we now consider commonplace in our everyday life. As an MLM consultant for more than 26 years, I have witnessed much of the recent rapid growth of the MLM industry. The MLM industry currently consists of well over 2,000 companies in the United States, with sales of more than $28 billion annually. According to the Direct Selling Association (DSA), approximately 13 million Americans participate in this industry as independent sales people, and the number is growing every day as more and more individuals take part in the entrepreneurial explosion that is reshaping every sector of the economy.

As a certified MLM consultant to the industry for many years, I am happy to have played a contributing part to the development of this ever growing and beneficial marketing system of distribution.

This web site is dedicated to educating it's visitors about the fascinating Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) business. Please feel free to come as often as you would like to draw upon the knowledge available within the articles posted here by this MLM Consultant and others.


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Michael L. Sheffield (MLM Consultant) is President of The Sheffield Group, an internationally recognized Direct Sales and Multi-Level Marketing consulting firm focusing on startup operations, compensation plan design and product line development. His firm has provided marketing and management consulting to over 800 MLM, Party Plan and Direct Selling companies in the U.S. and abroad. He has worked internationally assisting companies in Norway, England, Germany, Russia, Holland, South Africa, Philippines, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, India, Thailand, Japan and China.

Mr. Sheffield began his career as a successful distributor and later founded two successful Network Marketing companies with combined sales exceeding $30,000,000.

As a leading spokesperson for the MLM industry, Mr. Sheffield conducts seminars and lectures worldwide. He has to his credit numerous appearances on television as well as radio including the Business Radio Network as expert MLM business analyst. He has also appeared as guest lecturer at the Schools of Business at Arizona State University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Cincinnati, California Lutheran University, the University of Texas, and Anderson University. In addition, Mr. Sheffield has been a staff instructor on MLM compensation plans and marketing strategies at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 1998, he was selected to make a presentation on behalf of Multi-Level Marketing at the Harvard Business School Association Symposium.

Mr. Sheffield is one of the few Certified Professional Consultants To Management (CPCM) with specific emphasis on the Network Marketing Industry. Certification is granted by the National Bureau Of Professional Management Consultants. He is frequently called upon to serve as an expert MLM witness in MLM legal cases.

For over 27 years, he has directed his attention to serving in one or more areas as chief consultant, compensation plan developer and analyst, new product advisor, and resource agent for many prestigious companies including Alticor/Amway, Nikken, NuSkin, AOL, Home Shopping Network, The Fuller Brush Company, Time Warner and The Service Master Corporation to name a few. His writings have appeared in many national publications including Network Marketing Lifestyles, The Direct Sales Journal, WealthBuilding Magazine, MLM News Magazine, Product Launch Magazine, Powerline Magazine, and Money Maker’s Monthly. His regular Money Maker’s Monthly column, called “Product of the Month”, has served as an independent review of the product lines of over 100 U.S. and foreign based MLM companies over the past fifteen years. He has been the subject of feature articles in Success Magazine, Network Marketing Lifestyles, and Business Start-Ups, published by Entrepreneur Magazine. He also serves as the Direct Sales and MLM expert for Entrepreneur Magazine’s website,

Mr. Sheffield has received numerous honors including MLMIA’s Presidents Award for Industry Support as well as the Association’s prestigious Consultant of the Year award. He can be contacted at 480-968-6199, The Sheffield Group, 2239 N. Hayden Road, Suite 103, Scottsdale, AZ. 85257, website address:


Jeffrey A. Babener is the principal attorney in the law firm of Babener & Associates. Mr. Babener is a graduate of the University of Southern California Law School and a member of both the California and Oregon State Bars. Mr. Babener was a member of the editorial board of the University of Southern California Law Review and has served on various state and American Bar Association committees, including chairmanship of the Oregon State Bar Committee on Judicial Administration.

He has represented many members of the Washington, D.C. based Direct Selling Association where he serves on the Lawyer's Council and Government Relations Committee and he is corporate counsel for the industry's other trade association, the Multi-Level Marketing International Association of Irvine, California.

Mr. Babener has lectured and published extensively on multilevel marketing law. He has been interviewed on the industry in such publications as Money, Inc., Atlantic Monthly, Success, Entrepreneur, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Home Office Computer and Business Start-Ups. He is editor of the industry publication, Direct Sales Legaline. Mr. Babener is also the author of the books, Tax Guide for MLM/Direct Selling Distributors, Network Marketer's Guide to Success, The MLM Corporate Handbook and Network Marketing: Window of Opportunity. He is cosponsor of Starting and Running The Successful MLM Company conference. He can be contacted at (503) 226-6600, The Sheffield Group, Babener & Associates, 121 SW Morrison St, Suite 1020, Portland, OR 97204, website address:


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