Wave 4: Network Marketing in the 21st Century

by Richard Poe

Published by Prima Publishing

336 pages, 1999


Buy it online





A Wave of Many Levels

Reviewed by Kent Barrett


It would seem that even in Marxist China, the People are not in the mood to be told how they can and cannot make money, now that they've had a taste of it. They are not in the mood to have their deepest hopes and dreams smashed.

Blood was running in the streets. Angry mobs toppled cars, smashed windows, seized hostages and stormed government offices. Violence raged through several cities across China. When it ended, ten people lay dead and more than a hundred injured.

Was this a scene from the Boxer Rebellion? Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution? The massacre at Tienanmen Square? No. It was the Chinese people's reaction, just last April, to a government ban on Network Marketing and all other forms of direct selling.

But it's not only in totalitarian regimes that Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) has had a rocky birth.

Only twenty years ago, our government questioned the very right of this industry to exist. Today, the world's greatest superpower champions network marketing across the globe.

Indeed, it was only in 1979 that the distribution process introduced by Nutrilite in 1945 was declared a legal business in the United States, but by 1998 it had become such a force in the economy, that Wang Zhongfu's condemnation of MLM in China touched off a storm of protest from direct marketers in the U.S. so loud that President Clinton made the issue one of the five priority items on the agenda for his June 1998 state visit there. (Subsequently, the Chinese ban has largely been repealed, and all remaining restrictions are to be lifted by the end of 2002.)

...In the years ahead, the Wave 4 Revolution will shake our economy to its roots. It will leave this world a freer and more prosperous place. And it will transform network marketing into one of the most potent business forces of the new millennium.

This is Poe's conviction. In his earlier Wave 3 books, Richard Poe's undisguised fascination with and enthusiastic support for the phenomenon called MLM has made him a hero to millions of network marketers. Wave 4 will cement his superstar status among the faithful, and make believers out of the skeptics. He lays out in simple, straightforward language everything you ever wanted to know about MLM but were afraid to ask because you might be captured by them, the droning, smiling, oily, degenerate recruiters.

Poe himself has never been personally involved with any MLM, but he was the first ranking business journalist to cover the phenomenon in a positive way (perhaps because he was the first to do serious research on the topic) when in 1990, as senior editor at Success magazine he wrote an article "Network Marketing: The Most Powerful Way To Reach Consumers in the '90s", which has become the single most copied and widely distributed essay in the history of magazine publishing, according to John Milton Fogg, cofounder of Network Marketing Lifestyles magazine.

Now, ten years later, Poe's Wave 3 predictions have all come true with a resounding boom -- remarkable for any seer -- and, with this latest wave, he turns his insight to the 00s and beyond and sees economic liberty on the cyber-frontier. He details the forces that are at work today that will change the business model of virtually every company on earth, now and forever and that will inevitably change the way people work and live.

Wave 4 is a complete primer: what MLM is; how it works; how to get started; how to advance and what to avoid. Poe explains just what leverage does for you and how the various compensation plans work. It is an up-to-the-millisecond MLM bible, full of instructive tales, trials, tribulations and testimonials. If it relates to MLM, it's in here.

Poe's research is impeccable and his style is readable, engaging and even compelling. He writes about real people and real situations. If you are in MLM, new or old, read this book. If you are thinking of starting a business of any type, read this book. If you're thinking of investing in university courses for an MBA, read this book. If you've read Wave 3, you've probably already pre-ordered this book, so enjoy. | November 1999


Kent Barrett is a writer and journalist with ridiculous opinions on most topics. You can observe the effect firsthand at his den of nonsense at http://www.yes.net/generality. He lives alone in Vancouver, Canada with Land Rights, his cat, and Salmon Agreement, his Alsatian puppy.