doTERRA US Founder Deals With Son’s Burn Tragedy… By Shilling Products?

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DoTerra Founder Sons AccidentWatching your son get third-degree burns all over his body is the type of family tragedy that every parent fears. But for one dad (who also happens to be a midlevel marketing pro), this is also an opportunity to tout the magic of his products.

Andy Goddard is a “Presidential Diamond” seller, and US Founder, of doTERRA oils. On July 2 his son, 15-year-old Max Goddard, was the victim of a horrific explosion. Goddard has been sharing the family’s response to this tragedy on It has been an occasion to document the progress of his recovery. But it’s also been a great venue for marketing his company’s products.

According to Goddard’s website there was an explosion, his son caught on fire, and he ended up with third degree burns on 30% of his body (with second degree burns on another 10% of his body). What happens next is more confusing. Rather than take him directly to the hospital, his parents doused him with doTERRA essential oils, gave him a bath, and then drove to the hospital.

According to the website:

original post oilsThe posting has since been edited to read:

“He took his clothes off in the kitchen and we put him in our bathtub under cold water. He said an explosion went off and He was blinded by the light and stumbled around, then ran into the house.

While he was in the tub, Markus and I gave him a priesthood blessing. I carried him to the van and we rushed him to the AF hospital.”

The posts on the site go on to document the ways that doTERRA products have aided in Max’s recovery. As one of the very few people at the tippy top of the doTERRA pyramid, Goddard has done extremely well with the company – Presidential Diamond sellers averaged $1,372,000 per year in 2013.

Selling doTerra last year (facebook)DoTERRA sells essential oils , aromatic oils that are used for holistic treatments.  There is evidence that aromatherapy and essential oils may effectively help with a variety of ailments, including anxiety, menstrual pain, colds, and breathing problems.  The problem is not that essential oils aren’t effective, or are harmful, but instead, the claims of their miraculous properties wildly outstrip their proven usages.  It is said that essential oils treat or even “cure” cancer , heart disease , strokes  and, of course, burns.

DoTERRA is a multi-level marketing company, which relies not just on its salespeople to sell the oil, but also to sell the company to other people so that they can become salespeople and sell the oil, too (Some popular companies of this sort are Avon, Mary Kay, and The Pampered Chef).  Somebody who sells the product can earn a small commission. Somebody who convinces somebody else to sign up under them can earn a small commission on their recruit’s sales, as well as on their own.  The more recruits you have, the more money you make.

To become a Presidential Diamond of doTERRA , the salesperson must have recruited six people who have reached the Platinum level. Each of those six people must have led three people to the Silver level (in order to reach Platinum).  Each of those people, in order to become Silver, must have recruited three people to the Elite level, and each of those people must have recruited 15 people to sell the product in order to become Elite.  While many people sign up for these types of companies because they love the product (I myself sold Usborne Books for a short time, and still love the children’s books I got out of it), those who are looking to become rich must be savvy about selling the business, not just selling the oils.

Perhaps you have somebody (or somebodies) in your news feed – “Start your own business, set your own hours, make money doing what you love!” – a seemingly constant stream of “my life is amazing because of this company” with no mention of the fact that what they want to do in order to make money is to get you to do what they are doing (recruiting people under them). To be hugely successful at these types of companies, the bottom line has to supersede personal relationships. Every person that you see or meet is a potential recruit. Every interaction is a potential sale. I can’t be the only person who has seen inappropriate sales pitches on Facebook – somebody pours their heart out about being depressed, and a good friend or relative turns it around and says “you know what would help with depression?  Owning your own business!  Setting your own hours!”

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