Scam And Pyramid Scheme Accusations About Empower Network In 2013: Are They True?

Scam And Pyramid Scheme Accusations About Empower Network In 2013

Let me be clear from the start:  As I’m writing this post, I DO NOT own every product within Empower Network.

I currently own:

…and no that doesn’t qualify me as some “wussy” either lol.

My intent is not to “hype” you into signing up under me, but to inform you of my personal experience with this company.

Sure having a title like this one may pull in some extra traffic to my site, but what can I say?

People seem to LOVE controversy.

Why do you think a lot of EN members create posts or even domains that have “Empower Network Scam” tagged to them?


It generates traffic.

Which is ok because everyone who creates a blog wants to drive traffic to it.

That’s not the problem.

The problem is when someone creates an Empower Network scam blog post only to have someone click on it and see that it’s nothing but a huge sales pitch.

Now you don’t have to go crazy and just bash the company, but at least point out the negatives and be HONEST about it.

It’s silly to act as if there’s nothing wrong with any company in hopes of getting a few signups.

Marketing makes it sound EASY.

In reality, it takes HARD work.

It’s said that 85% of the population makes decisions based off emotion while the remaining 15% make decisions based off logic.

85% emotion.

15% logic.

Who do you think Empower Network and other companies are marketing to?

Most marketing campaigns are designed to tap into those emotions and get you to eventually BUY SOMETHING.

That’s not really the issue because most companies do this.

That’s just the way it works in the world of marketing.

Empower Network’s Compensation Plan: Is It Really 100% Commissions?

Close…but no cigar.

There are a few points that I’ll talk about concerning the compensation plan.

Do you really make 100% commissions?

Not quite…and there’s a catch.

Actually, there’s a few catches.

They’re called fees and pass-ups.

There are processing fees within Empower Network commission payout structure.

Here’s an example in this photo in my back office:

Scam And Pyramid Scheme Accusations About Empower Network In 2013

Here it shows that out of the total amount of $25 dollars paid, there’s a $2.38 processing fee.

Not shown is the $2.50 that is placed on a Holdback period.

Holdback Period: 10% of the total purchase price is with-held from commissions, and released on a six month cycle. Sometimes people who aren’t familiar with merchant processing ask why we do this – it’s because we have a 10% reserve on our merchant account, that is released to us every six months.

As those funds are released to us – they are immediately payed to you. It’s kind of nice, because if you earn $50,000 this month (as an example) you’ll know that when the holdback from this month is released six months later – you’ll have $5,000 dispersed to your E-Wallet.


In other words – we simply pass the fees to you, so we can continue to pay 100% commissions and remain a viable, profitable company.

So as you can see, you will not receive the full $25.00 for each member sign-up.

*The same type of fees will apply to the other products as well*

Now this may upset some of you and you may even want to say that it’s false advertisement, but let’s be fair and say that most companies do this all of the time.

Take a look at most advertisements on TV.

They say you can buy something for $0.99, $9.99, $99, and so on.

Is that the exact amount?

Most of the time it’s not because the taxes are left out.

Like I said earlier, that’s just the way most marketing works.

It’s just sounds “cooler” if you see that you can make 100% commissions deposited directly into your bank account rather than seeing you can make 100% commissions, but we really mean that after all of the processing fees and stuff you’ll get about 80% commissions.


I mean, why not be straight forward and honest?

Could it potentially scare away a few customers?


It depends on what a company like Empower Network really wants.

Do they want get as many people as possible to join – through the hype…


Only people that are serious about building their business?

Quality or Quantity?

The Mysterious Pass-Ups

Ah yes…the commission pass-ups that are part of the EN compensation plan.

So how would they affect you as an affiliate?

Don’t worry, it’s not like there’s a boogeyman waiting in the shadows, ready to take your hard-earned money.

It’s only your direct sponsor.Smile

It’s not their fault either, it’s just the way the pay plan is structured.

You will pass-up every 2nd, 4th, 6th and every 5th sale of each product.

Look at it this way:

Let’s say you sponsor Bob.

Now Bob starts making sales, so his 2nd, 4th, 6th, and every 5th sale after (on the products you own) will pass up to you…as long as they remain a member.

Just remember that you must own the product in order to qualify for the pass-up sales, otherwise it will go up to the next qualifying person.

Some people would even argue that it’s really only 50% commissions rather than a 100% since you’re passing up every other sale, which is understandable because that does kinda suck.

Sure you can get those commissions back on the pass-ups, but that’s based on whether the people you sponsor produce or not.

The truth is, most won’t.

If you have the time, watch this breakdown of the comp plan from David Wood himself.

*Warning: He claims to punch “wussies” in the face*


Is the Viral Blogging System still…viral?

empower network viral blogging system

Ok, here’s the Empower Network blog:

*Drum Roll*

I don’t use it as much as I used to when I first joined EN.

It’s not that it isn’t a good blogging platform, I just felt that it was becoming more of a “me too” type website.

Sorta like MLM companies that give you a replicated website when you sign-up.

It’s your “business”, but you’re stuck promoting their domain.

I wasn’t feeling that ya know?

I was already familiar with WordPress and I wanted to have full control over my blog.

While EN has stepped it up a notch with giving you the ability to customize your blog’s theme a little more, I still felt like I could do more with my self-hosted blog.


  • I can add my own plugins
  • I am promoting my domain, not Empower’s
  • People can visit my site without automatically thinking I’m another Empower Network cheerleader because of my blog’s theme.

With that said, I still believe the EN blogging system is a great way for a newcomer to have an authority site up and running within a few minutes of signing up.

Sure it takes away a lot of the hassle, but eventually I believe you’ll benefit in the long run from learning how to build you’re own site.

It is still very possible to get your own blog ranked in the search engines, so don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise.

You can see how I did it by going here.

The “How Much Does It Cost To Get Started” Dilemma

Like I said earlier, everything comes down to marketing.

What will grab and hold your attention?

“Get Started For Only $25!”


“Get Started For $25, But We Will Surprise You Will Other Fees When You Sign Up!”


I’ve seen a few complaints online about how much it really costs to join EN, but the truth is that it DOES ONLY COST $25 to join and get your blog.

Here’s where the problem comes in:

Most people are marketing Empower Network as an income opportunity, so when they say you can get started for $25, there’s one tiny detail that is left out…

It’s $25 to get started with your blog, but another $19.95 per month to become an affiliate.

So it’s actually $45 to get started…if you want to be able to earn commissions.

and let’s be real…most people want to earn money with Empower Network.

That’s fine, but I just feel that in order not to piss people off, some of this info should be given upfront.

You don’t want to get someone excited about the $25 dollar opportunity, only to find out they have to pay an additional $19.95 to earn commissions.

But on the flipside, $20 extra dollars shouldn’t bother you much if you’re going to be serious about building this business.Smile

A few thoughts on the Empower Network’s “Inner Circle”

Empower Network Inner Circle

So what’s the Inner Circle?

Is it some secret society group within Empower Network that members can join if they pay an extra $100 bucks per month?

The Illuminati Network maybe?


Ok enough of the conspiracy theory stuff, let’s get down to a few details:

Basically when you join the Inner Circle, you get two things.

Access to audio trainings from the top leaders in Empower Network and also the right to earn recurring $100 dollar commissions (minus the fees I talked about earlier) from the people you sponsor.

A lot of people would think that listening to audio trainings is overrated, but I’d have to disagree.

I know it may not be as sexy as the technical, “how to” video trainings, but it is very important to have the right mindset in order for your business to survive during the “lean” moments (beginning stages).

Instead of listening to a bunch of crap on the radio…and it IS crap, why not listen to something that will keep you in the right frame of mind for building your business?

That’s where these audios come into play.

Now some people will argue if the Inner Circle is worth the price point of $100 dollars every month, which I’d say is a fair argument.

I say this because a handful of these audios are actually FREE to the public if they just dial in on Monday’s Empower Hour Call.

Paying for something that can be heard for free doesn’t vibe well with me.

If anything, the $100 is somewhat of a convenience fee to be able to log into your back office and access a year and a half worth of audio trainings from different EN leaders.

But, you can’t just listen to an audio training once and move on.

You have to absorb the information by listening to them at least 5-10 times each, so having access to download them makes it a little easier…

Remember, reading is fundamental…

I mean, sharing is caring…

Nevermind…I can’t think of any good one liners for audio.

This is more of a side note, but when you listen to the Inner Circle audios as much as I have, you’ll probably be tired of hearing the homeless van man and former drug addict stories…

I’m just saying lol.

It sorta reminds me of a rapper / artist that comes out with their 1st album that talks about how they came from the streets and was involved in gangs, drugs, etc.

Then when the 2nd album drops a few years later, they’re still talking about how they’re still out there in the streets.

Umm…no you’re not…you’re rich and famous now, so the “I grew up in the hood” story is somewhat irrelevant now don’t cha think?

Especially if you’re a handful of years removed from that situation.


*Bows and does back flip off the soapbox*

The Costa Rica Mastermind Intensive

Empower Network Costa Rica Mastermind Intensive

This was a training that was recorded back before Empower Network came into existence.

The presentation and quality alone got my attention right off the bat.

It has 11 high definition videos, breaking down topics such as outsourcing, viral sustainability, selling to different personalities, and a whole lot more that will help you in your business.

This is where this business can get a little pricey for some people, given that it’s a one-time payment of $500 dollars.

However, once you purchase this course you get to receive $500 commissions (minus the fees) for reselling it to others.

What I thought about the Costa Rica Mastermind Intensive:

If you’re looking for a “hold my hand and do this step-by-step” training, you may be somewhat disappointed.

“What!? But I paid $500 friggin’ dollars!!!”

Some of you may be expecting more from a $500 course, but just keep in mind that the students that attended the live event paid $2997 to attend.

True enough this is a solid course, but it’s geared more towards the overview of internet/network marketing concepts rather than the “show me how” courses in the 15K Formula.

I think this is training that will more likely help you lay out a solid business plan for exactly what you’re trying to accomplish in your niche.

Since the internet seems to always be changing, I’m pretty sure that the Double Dave’s (not the pizza) will probably update this course in the future.

This is very important because you don’t want to be caught in a situation where a product is not really benefiting you, but for the sake of making larger commissions you buy it anyway.

The 15K Formula and the Master’s Retreat Course

Obviously I can’t get into too much detail about these courses since I don’t own them yet, but I will say this:

Even though the Master’s Retreat is the top product (price wise) in Empower Network, I keep hearing more people raving about the 15K Formula.

Why is this?

Stories and business concepts are great, but most people that are willing to learn want to be taken through step-by-step tutorials that are highly detailed…and I believe the 15K Formula accomplishes this.

Remember, this is based purely on speculation

Most of you may ask: Are these products worth $1000 and $3500?

The huge upfront price points of these products are enough to make anyone cringe (myself included), but you would hope that with spending that amount of money these better be DAMN GOOD products.

Most members who’ve purchased them and are trying to resell them may be more inclined to say YES, but I won’t know until I purchase them myself.

…and yes I plan on doing this in the very near future, so I’ll provide a more unbiased review — without all the cheerleader hype.

So is David Wood and Dave Sharpe scamming people all over the internet?

I wouldn’t go that far, but I’ll say this:

Love ’em or hate ’em, these guys have built one of the fastest growing and most profitable businesses that this industry has seen in awhile.

People are making incredible incomes, some are walking away from their jobs, and some are making money online for the first time in their lives.


Out of the 150,000+ affiliates that joined, you gotta ask how many are actually doing well?

How many are still paying members?

Are the products worth the price of admission?

While I can give you details based on my personal experience, I won’t say that it’s a scam.

Sure there’s questionable marketing tactics by some affiliates, vulgar language used (calling people wussies, wearing out the term “badass”), but you won’t really know unless you actually join and see for yourself.

“Eh…was that a sales pitch Mike?”

Not really, I’m just being honest with you.

You can’t call a car a piece of crap until you actually drive it right?

Ok, I’m done here…so if you felt like I’ve left something out, please feel free to leave it in the comment area below.



Empower Network Realist,

Mike Harris

Mike Harris and Lawrence Tam





About Mike Harris

Mike Harris is the owner and creator of He is a Manufacturing Engineering Tech that builds his online business part-time through the use of systems. *On a side note...he's a huge Call of Duty junkie.*


  1. john says:

    Nice , I like all of ur blog posts 🙂

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