The Creator Economy Is An MLM

Not all of it — just the part you’re thinking about right now.

John Gorman
6 min readMay 7, 2023
Photo by Jenny Ueberberg on Unsplash

Look. What I’m about to tell you isn’t, like, a new idea. Ain’t even new to me, but today we’re going to talk about “making it.”

I’ve been rolling this around since college — right around the time I first watched Matthew Lesko hawk free federal grant money in his bullhorn-loud Riddler-meets-Bill Nye getup, promising you riches if you paid him $49.99 for his book.

Okay, here goes:

[*clears throat*]

Ever notice that entrepreneurs who talk about being successful entrepreneurs appear to make their money by … talking about being entrepreneurs? Ever wonder why?

How Did We Get Here?

People get rich by teaching other people to get rich — a tale as old as time. I’ve spent a lot of time on the internet and a lot of time in marketing and boy howdy, do I see the same wash-rinse-repeat template play itself out ad nauseum.

Here’s the usual blueprint:

  1. A person who’s — and this next part is weirdly key here — not horribly unattractive writes succinct, confident, and utterly boring prose about being successful as a [content creator/entrepreneur/freelancer].



John Gorman

Yarn Spinner + Brand Builder + Renegade. Award-winning storyteller with several million served. For inquiries: