Ufirst Financial: This is What a Collapsing Pyramid Looks Like

The demise of United First Financial is apparently imminent. The company has had anemic sales for more than a year, and it seemed it was only a matter of time before Ufirst folded. The end is coming nearer, as people at the top of the pyramid are looking to  the best people (not those bad ones who just get drain cash from the company every time they get a commission check) to find a new way to sell this crappy software via an MLM model.

Witness this email from Rich Schaffer, a pyramid-topper who gives excellent details about just how awful U1st Financial is doing!

Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2010 10:59 PM
Subject: Proposal for a New Company!
From: Richard Schaffer

In lieu of all the challenges and difficulties that we have all been struggling with over the last 12-18/m,  I genuinely believe that it is time that we all accept a few very harsh realities. But before I get into that, the primary reason for this e-mail is that I have an idea, a proposal really, that I truly believe with everything in my soul can absolutely change the direction of our Company moving forward!

What I am about to say is not intended for anyone (nor has it been shared with anyone) not included in this e-mail. But I think it’s time that someone said what everyone is already thinking – but everyone is apparently afraid to actually say out loud. Let me begin by trying to set the stage with 10 main points regarding what is really happening, how everyone (actually) feels, and what is going to inevitably occur if we don’t take some very drastic measures fast!

  • The ‘Network’ is dead, and it’s not coming back. This is not intended to be negative, it is simple being honest and realistic. I don’t think it even matters if we launch V5, complete ‘Step’ 3, change the Company/Product name or change our comp plan or the MLM commission platform. There has simply been too much damage done for too long. That is no one’s fault in particular. Sometimes business is like life and relationships; even with all the best of intentions and even between 2 people that are ‘right’ for each other, the timing or the circumstances are simply not right. Or a relationship ends because the couple simply shares too much ‘reality’ due to all that has happened and it dies – and it can never be the same.
  • I believe Private Labeling and HR have tremendous potential!
  • I believe as much as ever that our product is awesome – and needed more than ever in the marketplace!
  • We are unfortunately (legally) stuck paying far too many people O.R. Commissions that don’t do anything or provide any value to the Company – which is sucking up commission dollars that could otherwise be paying the (few) active Leaders in the Field that matter.
  • The Private Label and HR Initiatives will end up capturing most all of our truly ‘key’ people. This is both good – and bad. Good for the obvious reason. Bad, because in the process it will ultimately cannibalize the ‘Network’ and cause some very real friction (if not lawsuits – or both) in the Field when Leaders/Uplines begin to accuse the Company of ‘taking’ their key people that they recruited, trained etc and end up NOT getting pd for their future efforts/production.
  • Compromising by paying a few levels will NOT solve the problem (as regardless of how many levels you do pay – it will always be one too few for someone!) Also, in so doing, we will effectively dilute the entire basis of what we are looking to accomplish with those Campaigns to begin with! So it will end up being counterintuitive.
  • We cannot rush the release of V5 at the risk of it being anything but perfect! There is FAR too much riding on it with large Company’s on the line! We will have ONE shot to get that right! So, we need to (collectively) buy as much time as necessary to do so!
  • The Company is no doubt literally hemorrhaging cash right now. And we have to do everything possible to keep it from getting any worse than can be helped by keeping as many people active as possible. Including keeping key potential PL and HR candidates into play (at least on the sidelines as spectators) until they are fully ready to go.
  • Corporate is no longer ‘in love’ with the Network – and unfortunately, neither are the key Leaders. It is simply a fact. Therefore, none of us will probably ever really get behind it the way that would be necessary for it to work – at least not enough to really make it worth it.
  • We cannot either justify financially or logistically having a National Convention at this time. Both due to finances and the negative perspective that having only 300-400 people attend would create. Instead we should set a date (say Oct) that the 10 of us along with 25-50 from each Organization come together to LAUNCH our NEW direction! This would allow us to bring together maybe 100, maybe even 250 of the very BEST Leaders and Agents that we have hand selected to be a part of our NEW COMPANY!!

I think if you are all being completely honest with yourselves, you cannot help but agree with most, if not all of what I just stated above. Therefore, I propose that instead of just sitting back and watching the Network die like a rabbit that you just ran over on the side of the road; that we collectively take ownership of it – and PROACTIVELY phase it out! Strategize it so that we can effectively ‘spin’ it in a positive direction of OUR choosing instead of the one that will inevitably be created by the Field.

We take the Top 5 most visible and identifiable Leaders in the Field; Steve, Dave, George, Mike and Myself, and we go thru our entire Company and collectively SELECT each of our TOP 20,25 even 50 people in our Organizations and we divide them among the Leaders just mentioned. NOT as ‘level’ agents in a ‘Network’ but rather specifically to market our Program thru the HR and PL platforms. They would report to us directly just like account executives. This may apply primarily to the PL Initiative as we may have to structure the HR component somewhat differently. But we would clearly play major roles in that Campaign as well. We would take possibly $1.00 from EVERY P.L. Deal and put it into a Pool for the 5 of us to encourage everyone to work together and to avoid any backbiting etc. We would also want a limited equity stake in at least the P.L. Initiative and some degree of nominal subsidy during the next 3-6/m while we are building this new platform and completing this process.

There are numerous details that we’d have to obvious sort out, but you hopefully get the idea. This would address nearly every issue that we have – and will inevitably face within the next 6/m. It would also keep the top Leaders in the game (very key) keep as many agents producing during this ‘transition’ as possible – and ‘buy’ us the time necessary to complete all of the tools and resources required to ensure that those Initiatives are successful. It also allows us to trim the fat and (legally) carve out anyone that, quite frankly, we simply don’t want anymore. But more importantly, allow us to cherry pick the very best! Those that we actually like, trust, respect and know are genuinely capable of helping us to be successful with our new direction.

I am also VERY confident that with the Leaders behind it, we CAN ‘sell’ this in a very positive way!! This IS the best overall solution to the numerous challenges that we are all struggling with – I believe it in the depths of my soul!!

I would like to suggest that we try to get EVERYONE (at the SAME time) on a call to discuss this ASAP!! Time unfortunately is NOT on our side right now. And I just don’t want to see us blow this chance when we still have some very key people on board that could ensure that this is a major success

Please consider this with a very open mind and take the time to fully digest the overall picture that I have tried to paint here. This could truly be the best way for us to salvage what we have – and maximize what we’re looking to do.



  1. Calvin

    “I believe as much as ever that our product is awesome – and needed more than ever in the marketplace!”

    well, we see that they still haven’t identified their core issue. Their product is terrible, and probably overpriced by 4 or 5 decimal places….at least.

    1. Richard J Schaffer

      No actually; more accurately that it was fraudulently obtained and disiminated (much like most of your post). And the e-mail itself was only partially (and of course selectively and intentionally) posted to try and misrepresent it’s actual content. No doubt why you never returned my phone call?! But naturally I doubt you will ever actually post this of course – only the one-sided views that you like to have presented. No worry; I have a data base of 19,000 people (no doubt far more than even access your ‘blogs’). So I’ll be sure to send it out anyay. But I would love for once to see you have the courage to post an actual rebuttle?! :/ Richard Schaffer

  2. Late2Game

    Hmm, could the context have been, “The next email I send will be completely false. I’m going to send it anyway, but even though it sounds honest and sincere, please ignore it.”

    Somehow I don’t think so.

    Tracy, if you want to do a follow up post to the average income an agent can expect, the 2009 UFF income disclosure is located here (registration required):

    I have downloaded a copy of the spreadsheet and placed it here:

  3. Craig Hansen

    I can see how “The ‘Network’ is dead, and it’s not coming back” could really mean “The ‘Network’ is alive, and it’s only getting stronger.”

    Actually, no I can’t. The network is dead.

  4. Craig Hansen

    Despite Rich’s proposal, UFirst have finally rescheduled their annual convention for September 24-25 in Las Vegas. We’ll see if Richard was right and people notice just how the turnout will have shrunk from previous years, or if UFirst can spin it in such a way that people think they are on the verge of a comeback, instead of a collapse.

  5. Pingback: Money Merge Account Analysis Pt 35 » JoeTaxpayer

  6. Tracy Coenen

    I don’t recall ever receiving a phone call from you Richard. However, I have to admit that when MLM nutbags call me, I don’t even listen to their entire voicemail. I suppose if you identified yourself as such, I just pressed delete and went about my day.

    I was not aware that this wasn’t the entire email. If you’d like to send over the entire email, I’d be happy to post it.

  7. Craig Hansen

    Sorry, Richard. That was the entire email. It was sent to me as well. It has a beginning, a middle, and a conclusion. It is, absolutely, the entire email. Unedited, unchanged, and exactly as you sent it to Matt Lovelady, Jonathan Bonette, Skyler Witman, and John Washenko, and CC’ed to Steve at equitybuildersmg.com, Dave Montgomery, George Veronis and Mike Krach.

    The next time you speak to these gentlemen, please pass along my condolences on the death of their scam.

  8. Just passing through

    “But I would love for once to see you have the courage to post an actual rebuttle?! :/ Richard Schaffer”

    The word you wanted is “rebuttal.” Seriously, why do all of these MLM jokers write like they never passed the ninth grade?

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