Beware of Family First Life: Review

Family First Life is a multilevel marketing company that specializes in life insurance. 

Shawn Meaike is the CEO and President of the firm.

Shawn Meaike, the founder of 'Family First Life' explains journey to the  top – Independent Newspaper Nigeria

Per Meaike’s LinkedIn profile: 

“I secured a position with the state of Connecticut as a social worker after receiving my Masters Degree, and I also earned a real estate license to augment my income. I worked two jobs for 15 years simply to keep my head above water. When I originally learned about this possibility, I was ecstatic about one aspect. NAA had hundreds of leads filled out and signed by people who WANTED insurance, and I was paid $550 on average for each individual I assisted. 

In 2008, I worked part-time for NAA and made $296,000 in my first year… I was enraged!! I resigned from both jobs to work full-time for NAA, and the following year I made $602,000. Last year, I earned 1.4 million dollars.

I never saw myself as a billionaire; I wanted to assist people and was frightened of becoming poor. Andy Albright, NAA’s president, and CEO, personally coached me and taught me how to use the straightforward system that NAA has in place.” 

“NAA” stands for National Agents Alliance, a life insurance MLM. 

While Maike’s LinkedIn page may appear glowing, his separation from NAA in 2013 was acrimonious. 

According to the NAA: 

“Meaike told NAA on December 12, 2013, that he was ending his job. NAA contends that before leaving NAA, Meaike founded FFL and actively solicited other NAA agents to join FFL.” 

Later that month, Superior Performers, the parent company of NAA, filed an action against Maike and other former NAA agents. 

NAA asserted in its lawsuit: 

“Each Defendant violated the Agent Agreements by soliciting NAA’s agents. Meaike, (Marc) Meade, and (Bryant) Stone have also individually breached the non-competition clauses of their Management Agreements, based on information and belief.” 

Meade is a highly successful Family First Life affiliate. I was unable to locate any recent information about Bryant Stone. 

The NAA’s complaint against Meaike lasted over 400 pages. 

The lawsuit was resolved in January 2017 following mediation. 

NAA filed a second trademark infringement complaint against Family First Life in May 2014. 

That lawsuit was quickly dropped in February 2015. 

Naturally, Meaike’s time at NAA impacted the creation of Family First Life. 

Meaike is emphatic in marketing presentations that he is running the business independently. 

Stay tuned for a comprehensive analysis of Family First Life’s multilevel marketing opportunity.

What’s Up With The Products?

Family First Life sells life insurance plans arranged through third-party providers. 

Family First Life’s website does not include any information regarding its life insurance coverage. 

This website is instead focused on promoting Family First Life’s earning potential. 

The Compensation Plan

Family First Life’s website does not include a copy of their compensation plan. 

I attempted to get this information elsewhere but came up empty-handed. 

The only information provided by Family First Life is a hazy explanation of their compensation plan. 

Here’s what I discovered after cross-referencing this with official marketing videos.

First Year Policy Commissions

Each insurance sold by a Family First Life associate earns the first-year commission. 

Per the company’s website, a 90 percent commission is given on first-year monthly premium rates. 

Further study indicates that Family First Life’s first-year insurance commission rate fluctuates between 80% and 140%. 

Monthly personal policy volume or total downline monthly policy volume is used to establish specific first-year policy commission rates. 

Notably, a commission rate is qualified in both circumstances by meeting the requisite insurance volume requirement for two consecutive months. 

Commission rates for personal volume first-year policies range from 80% to 110%. 

  • Generate $5000 in monthly commissions for two consecutive months and earn 85%;
  • Generate $10,000 in monthly commissions for two consecutive months and earn 90%;
  • Generate $15,000 in monthly commissions for two consecutive months and earn 95%;
  • Generate $20,000 in monthly commissions for two consecutive months and earn 100%;
  • Generate $30,000 in monthly commissions for two consecutive months and earn 105%;
  • Generate $30,000 in monthly commissions for two consecutive months and earn 100 %;
  • Generate $30,000 in monthly commissions for two consecutive months and earn 110%.

A uni-level compensation system is used to track downline volume first-year policy commission rates. 

A uni-level pay system positions an affiliate at the top of a uni-level team, immediately below whoever they individually recruit.

If any level 1 affiliates bring in new members, they are automatically put on the level 2 team of the original affiliate. 

If any level 2 affiliates bring in new members, they are automatically promoted to level 3 and so on down a theoretically limitless number of levels. 

Downline volume (GV) is restricted to up to 50% of the needed volume for each uni-level team leg. It also covers the policy volume of an affiliate. 

  • Generate $15,000 GV for two consecutive months and earn a 90% first-year policy commission rate;
  • Generate $20,000 GV for two consecutive months and earn 95%;
  • Generate $25,000 GV for two consecutive months and earn 100%;
  • Generate $75,000 GV for two consecutive months and earn 105 %;
  • Generate $100,000 GV for two consecutive months and earn 110 %;
  • Generate $125,000 GV for two consecutive months and earn 115 %; 
  • Generate $150,000 GV in two months and earn 120 %;
  • Generate $200,000 GV in two months and earn 125 %;
  • Generate $250,000 GV in two months and earn 130 %;
  • Generate $300,000 GV in two months and earn 135 %;
  • Generate $350,000 GV in two months and earn 140 %.

Family First Life calculates direct commissions based on the total yearly fee payment. 

A total of 75% of the estimated yearly insurance commission is paid in advance. 

The remaining 25% is spread out across the policy’s 10 to twelve monthly payments. 

For 100 % or above commission rates, some “borrowing” of insurance fee payments likely occurs beyond the first year.

Second Year Policy Commissions 

When it comes to commissions paid on plans purchased after the first year, Family First Life is ambiguous:

“Renewal commissions are paid on certain types of insurance on an annual basis when the contract renews at the end of the year. The usual renewal commission is 5% of the annual fee “premium.” 

Commissions are only paid on “certain” insurance and specify no percentages. 

Commissions on Recurring Sales 

Family First Life is likewise evasive regarding its MLM operations. 

We know residual commissions are paid as overrides, in which higher-ranked affiliates earn percentage differences from lower-ranked affiliates in their downline, but specifics are not provided. 

“On average, the override commission is 15% of the annual revenue “repulsive.” 

This would imply that the 90% figure reported for First-Year Policy Commissions is not set in stone. 

Typically, commissions in the override style are connected to rank. Although Family First Life has ranks, specifics about them are not available on its website. 

Incentives In one of my Family First Life marketing videos, I quoted Shawn Meaike on bonuses provided to affiliates when their subordinates achieve a commission rate of 140 percent. 

Beyond that, no other information was offered.

Joining Family First Life

It is entirely free to become a Family First Life affiliate member. 

The firm underlines that none of its affiliates must sign any contracts.

Summing Up

As I saw in the Family First Life films, Shawn Meaike appears to be a straightforward individual. 

Even though I haven’t seen him in person, he comes off as open about his company’s financial situation. Yet why isn’t there more information about the compensation? 

This struck me as odd, given that Meaike was otherwise forthright about different business metrics. 

The primary business plan of Family First Life is to sign up, acquire leads, and sell life insurance products. 

The leads are allegedly offered by outside parties, with Meaike asserting that Family First Life is not participating. 

Meaike boasts that Family First Life affiliates have access to “hundreds of thousands of leads,” implying that this is an effective marketing approach. 

“[9:02] We receive millions (of leads). I mean, we can generate leads like we couldn’t hire… We’d have enough leads if a hundred thousand people viewed this and everyone joined and sold.” 

Meaike argues that they are warm leads, implying that the “leads came to us.” 

This is accompanied by what the firm refers to as “aggressive compensation,” which may go up to 140 percent depending on the insurance. According to Family First Life, the “average payout per policy is $675,” which is “far over the industry norm.” 

What distinguishes Family First Life as an MLM opportunity is your ability to capitalize on the leads offered. Alternatively, persuade your downline to do so. 

Personal policy sales can only take you so far. You’ll need to create a downline if you want to maximize Family First Life’s compensation scheme. 

After all, this is an MLM firm, so that’s not a bad thing. 

Family First Life might perhaps cross the line into pyramid scheme territory if most policyholders are affiliates. 

Given the company’s heavy emphasis on “buy leads, sell to leads” marketing, I doubt that is the case. Even if you attempted it, it would be a significant task given the needed policy volume. 

I cannot vouch for or quantify the lead quality generated by Family First Life (provided through undisclosed third parties). 

And this brings us to a pitfall that you should be very aware of. With Meaike extolling the virtues of providing leads, this lays the scenario for “it’s not us, it’s you.” 

While this may hold true in specific cases (selling life insurance is not for everyone), it can also trap people in an eternal loop of purchasing leads that never materialize (for whatever reason). 

While joining Family First Life is free, purchasing leads isn’t. And this is a financial trap to avoid. 

Set precise lead purchasing targets for a few months based on your budget.

Look at where you are now and make an assessment. If your leads aren’t converting, don’t get hung up on blaming them. It may be you, or it could be one of the leads. It may be either. 

You should cut your losses and move forward. 

Needless to say, Family First Life isn’t for you if you’re not comfortable purchasing leads and following up on them. That is their business model, and it will not change. 

Another thing to remember is that a 140 percent commission does not appear out of anywhere. You’re counting on your customers to retain their insurance for at least a year. 

If that doesn’t happen, you’ll be liable for a clawback (remember that 75 percent commission is paid out upfront). 

I’d want to see more clarity on the Family First Life website about their compensation scheme. I understand that insurance is complicated, but even simple fundamentals would go a long way. 

To demonstrate how this might cause misunderstanding, consider the compensation scenario presented on Family First Life’s website, which outlines a 90 percent commission. 

Meaike flatly denied this figure in a September 2020 Family First Life marketing film. 

“[0:31] I didn’t want someone to be paid forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, or ninety percent of their salary. I don’t care where you go, but if you’re making that much money, you should resign.” 

Perhaps that isn’t the message you want to send when the single commission example on your company’s website is 90%. 

The upkeep of Family First Life’s YouTube channel is something they excel at. It’s jam-packed with information and instruction. 

At the absolute least, please give it a test run before committing to anything. It should offer you an idea of the company’s culture. 

Finally, keep an eye out for affiliates attempting to recruit you in the hopes that you will do all of the work. 

Ascertain that anybody you sign up with genuinely generates monthly personal insurance volume; otherwise, you risk joining a dead end. 

Shawn Meaike states that Family First Life’s typical personal monthly insurance volume is $9200. (September 2020). 

In general, insurance MLMs are sophisticated, and there is a lot to take in. Stay cautious.

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