Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The "Business" Mentality?

One of the things many Amway IBOs "think" they possess, but in reality they are far from it, is "Business Mentality". It is not necessarily the fault of the IBOs. Many are sponsored into Amway by trusted friends and lacking business experience, they will "submit" to upline as they are advised and will try to learn about the Amway business. The problem is that many upline leaders teach self serving business practices such as hard core dedication to their tools system, from which they often handsomely profit. And these leader profit from your sysem purchases no matter how much money you make or lose. Let's examine some of the questionable practices.

"Buy from yourself". If you have a business owner mentality, you only buy from yourself if it's beneficial to your business. Many IBOs talk about ridiculous things like a McDonald's owner would never eat at Burger King. That's baloney. Just because I own a McDonald's doesn't mean I am eating Big Macs the rest of my life. You cannot spend yourself to prosperity. If I sold pens for $1.00 and my cost was .50, and my competitor had a special on the same pens at 3 for $1.00, I'm buying them from my competition. Also, buying from yourself makes you a customer, not a business owner. This is a big misconception made my IBOs.

"Ignore facts if you have a dream". This is probably the biggest heap of baloney taught by some upline. I have seen this spouted in particular by IBOs downline from WWDB and BWW leaders. A business owner studies the facts, not ignores them. Any REAL business owner wants to know how much he is bringing in and how much is going out. That's how you detect the heartbeat of your business. A site visitor, on this site, recently posted a profit/loss statement from her real business. Naturally, IBOs were at a loss to discuss it because it was foreign material to them.

"Submit to upline" Another load of hogwash. Why should someone submit to upline simply because they "sponsored me" or whatever? A real business owner would think independently and make business decisions based on facts and numbers, not on the advice of someone upline who hasn't taken the time to assess each IBO on a personal level to be able to give advice on an IBO's "Independent Business", or worse, advice on their personal lives". What credentials does your sponsor have to be able to give you business or life advice? What if I'm 50 years old and got sponsored by my son? He's suddenly in a position to give advice to you father?

"Dedication to the system". Silly advice as well. What dedication does the system have for an IBO? If an IBO succeeds (which is very rare), the system takes credit, but for the more than 99% of people who never make a significant income, it is their own fault if they don't make it. Amway apologists will defend this by saying that many may not have signed up wanting a significant income. While that may be partially true, tell me where people show "plans" designed for the guy who wants an extra $100 a month? The plans shown are always (AFAIK) to go platinum or diamond.

IBOs and information seekers, does any of this sound familiar? Is this a part of your experience? If so, I encourage you to ask questions here and get more information before proceeding with any more "business" activity.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

How "Rich" Is Your Diamond?

One of the things so many Amway IBOs and others do is assume that their upline diamond is rich beyond belief. At meetings, the speaker would be introduced as being in the top one tenth of one percent income bracket. While it may or may not be true, nobody ever questioned it, they just assumed it was true because people saw pictures of mansions and copies of 5 year old bonus checks. Even I never went and studied how the diamond bonuses worked. Most people just assumed that the money would be huge at the diamond level. But looking back, I can recall some things that make me believe that the diamonds were cutting corners and needed their platinums working free at meetings and functions in order to maximize profits.

The diamonds in our group often did not stay in hotels when visiting for meetings, but in the home of another diamond or some lucky downline platinum. The diamonds rarely rented a car. Instead, a downline platinum or higher would be lucky enough to be the unpaid and uncompensated chauffeur for the weekend. The platinums basically were the doormen and ushers at the functions and in many cases, probably didn't even get to hear the speakers since they were busy working. Their reward for their troubles was "spending time" with their uplines.

The downline are like unpaid volunteers. For example, ever see diamonds actually renting a moving van and hiring movers? I believe most of them had downline groupies who did the work for free, just for the honor of being near their upline. Just my opinion, but if these folks had mountains of cash, why wouldn't you hire movers so your downline didn't have to use up a valuable Saturday or Sunday to do that work? That's like owning a chain of stores but having all of their stores closed. No products sold, no new recruits prospected. If Ray Kroc moved his residence, would all the nearby McDonald's owners close their stores to help him move?

Another things IBOs and prospects should note is that pictures of mansions, sports cars and jet skis doesn't mean someone is wealthy. Someone could have all those things on credit or rented after all. And many people who truly are wealthy, do not show off their wealth. It is possible that many diamonds live mundane middle class lives on their income but need to portray wealth to lure in new IBOs. While your upline diamonds may act and look rich, how would you really know? I can take a homeless guy, clean him up an put him in a suit and a sports car and he would probably look like a diamond.

If your uplines are implying that they are so wealthy ask them to verify some of the claims. I'm not talking about their personal income, but in business, verifying business income is very common. If you are being invited into the business and a business system such as WWDB, BWW or N21, you have every right to check your upline's credentials. Avoidance of the truth, or an answer such as "none of your business" should be a red flag. It is your business if you are being asked to join, invest your time and money, and follow upline advice.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Amway And Dreams?

One of the things that Amway uplines talk about is fulfilling dreams. They want to show IBOs and prospects "what is possible". But what is possible is like showing off the winners of lotteries because the reality of the Amway business is many will lose so a few can win. A simple analysis of the 6-4-2 plan or whatever version your group uses will reveal that the lower layers of IBOs are losing money, and they lose more if they are subscribing to various tools such as voicemail, standing order, and attending functions and meetings. It is nearly impossible, save for an exceptional sales person who can move Amway products (highly priced, average in quality) who might squeak out a small profit.

So whose dream are fulfilled? Based on projected income from Amway bonuses and income from selling the tools, I would have to say that only the dreams of your upline get fulfilled by your hardcore dedication to the tools system. Even someone at 1000 to 2500 PV will be losing money if they are hardcore sold out to the system. Of course some of this might depend on where you live and how far you must travel to attend functions. But in general, many Amway IBOs are being advised to "reinvest" any of their bonuses into tools and functions. Ironically, reinvesting into the tools is why these IBOs end up with a net loss.

Another sad chain of events is that upline will ask for your trust. That they have your best interest at heart and want your trust. Do as they advise and you are assured of success. Then if you do everything you are told, your upline will blame you for failure or teach you to blame yourself for a lck of effort. Uplines as far as I know have never been accountable for advice that they pass downline. But they are quick to take credit for the limited success that is grinded out of the system. It is puzzling to see shameless apologists like IBOFB continue to defend and promote an opportunity where the vast majority end up with a net loss. In some cases where downline have sold out to the system, the losses can mount into tens of thousands of dollars over a short period of time.

Last month and into this month, there will be a function called Dream Night. A function where you might see slide shows of mansions, yachts, sports cars, exclusive vacations and other trappings of wealth. The diamonds may say do as we say and you can have what we have. What goes unnoticed in all this is that the diamonds may not in fact own or have some or all of the goodies shown in the slide shows. They might not have the income you think. Some may have financial difficulties but one thing seems clear to me. That downline's dedication and tool purchases help the upline diamond's to fulfill their own dreams.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Get Rich Quick?

One thing many Amway IBOs will talk about is how they were told that they would have to work hard and that they would not get rich quick in the Amway business. That Amway was not a get rich quick scheme. I do believe this, but what many Amway IBOs and Amway enthusiasts will not mention is that somewhere in the plan or when they were recruited, they were either directly told or implied that they would eventually "get rich" by joining Amway, whether it was "quick" or not. Some IBOs are told that Amway is "get rich slow", which is also a lie because the vast majority of IBOs make nothing or lose money. Those numbers can be verified by looking at Amway's income disclosures.

If people were told that they would not get rich/wealthy and that they would have to work hard and that they would have to overcome the name reputation, how many people would join? As evidence to prove my point, many IBOs and former IBOs know about a major function occurring around this time of the year called "Winter Conference" or "Dream Night". A handful of diamonds would host a dinner and they would show slideshows of extravagant wealth. Since in my days, IBOs were told there was NO PROFIT IN TOOLS, it was implied that all the luxurious trappings were a result of Amway income.

The slide show was shown while the song "I wanna be rich" was playing in the background. There were pictures of jet skis, yachts, boats, jets, fancy cars, golf courses and designer suits and mansions. The audience was told that diamonds paid for everything in cash. The diamonds would stand on stage and tell the audience that they will work 24/7 but it was so worth it to go diamond. That you could catch up on sleep when you are a diamond. That the IBOs in the audience needed to hurry up and join them so they would have more playmates.

Looking back, it was a nice function. It got people to dream of having all of this material wealth. Sadly, I don't think a single one of the audience I was in ever got close to achieving that kind of success. In fact, the LOS I was in, WWDB, didn't have many new diamonds since I left Amway and in fact I think some diamonds have disappeared! Maybe they became negative losers?

Yes, when you are prospected in Amway, the speaker may tell you that Amway is not get rich quick.

What they don't tell you is that you probably won't become rich at all. They also don't tell you that you are more likely to lose money than to make a cent of profit.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Facts About The Opportunity?

So many people get duped into thinking that they will somehow get wealthy by becoming an Amway IBO. Many recruiters will tell stories about how they were once broke, but signed up, endured challenges and now they are diamonds enjoying untold wealth and luxuries. People get caught up in "dreams" and are often encouraged to ignore the facts. People running businesses should pay close attention to the facts because it tells you much about your business and your likelihood of success. But what are some facts about the Amway business that many people don't know about? I have outlined a few important ones for those who harbor dreams of going diamond.

1. The average diamond, according to Amway, earns less than $150,000 a year. Yes, some of this may be supplemented with money from the sale of tools, but after taxes and business expenses such as travel to and from the many functions that a diamond attends would leave a diamond living an ordinary middle class lifestyle, not one with mansions and sports cars as portrayed in many functions or meetings. Update: Now Amway lists the average earnings at nearly $600k, but that is for Q12 diamonds (qualify diamond for all 12 months in Amway fiscal year). Q12 diamonds are the exception and not the normal in Amway. Amway no longer mentions "regular" diamonds but I have no reason to believe that the average diamond in Amway increased or decreased significantly.

2. Most IBOs are NEVER able to sponsor a single downline. Pretty hard to develop six (6) downline platinums when most people cannot sponsor anyone. And how do you grow and maintain a group when most of your group won't be able to sponsor anyone despite all of the training?

3. Most Amway products are purchased by IBOs and not necessarily sold to customers. Name a real business that sustains itself by having it's own workers or sales force purchase most of the goods. MLM is probably the only business where this occurs. Understandably, it explains why 99%+ Amwayers lose money.

4. For most IBOs, the cost of functions, standing orders and other support materials represent the reason why most business building IBOs lose money and it also represents a significant profit for some of the diamonds who sell the materials. Because Amway doesn't say which diamonds are currently qualified, you easily could have "former" diamonds who are still speaking at functions who make more on tools and functions than from Amway.

5. Not working hard is not necessarily the reason for someone's failure. But conversely, working hard does not equate success in Amway. I would guess that out of those who work hard, it is still a fraction of 1% of hard working IBOs that even attain a significant profit. Doing nothing won't get you anywhere, but in this business, working hard often gets you nowhere as well. It is my informed opinion that the cost of the support materials is the direct reason why so many IBOs lose money, even out of those who work very hard.

I could go on and on, but these are a handful of facts that IBOs and information seekers should be aware of. I welcome differing thoughts and opinions, unlike many pro Amway supporters.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Amway Or Minimum Wage?

Some big companies and some private entrepreneurs have been accused of being "sweat shop owners". This is when they exploit their workers, often in foreign countries by having them work for a very small wage for long hours and under poor working conditions. For example, a foreign operation may have a warehouse full of women and children working all day in some factory for a few bucks a day. The owners of these operations can rake in the dough as they save a ton of money in labor costs. There are some big American corporations that have been accused of this.

Some uplines operate just like sweat shop owners, but in many cases, they are worse then sweat shop owners because even exploited workers earn something. At the end of the month, they have a net gain, even if it might be small. In the case of many Amway IBOs, they spend money on Amway products, and uplines take the lion's share of the rebate/bonus that is generated by those sales, and then in turn, these same uplines try to get many of their downline to also become customers of their system of cds, books, voicemail and seminars or functions. In many, probably most cases, uplines will make just as much if not more income from the system, than from Amway. Most downline IBOs would be far more profitable if they simply worked a part time minimum wage job instead of building an Amway Empire.

These same upline will also teach fierce loyalty to the system. Never miss a function. Make sacrifices to buy more books or cds/audios, and make sure you are always looking for people to sponsor to add to the system. Joining the system almost guarantees that you will suffer a net loss in the Amway business. It is why I continue to write about what IBOs and prospects should look for when they are being recruited or indoctrinated into these systems. It is why there are so many defenders of Amway, most of whom are losing money, but think they are still successful because it is what upline teaches. If only the IBOs and prospects could just step back and look at things objectively instead of blindly believing what their upline teaches them.

I know most IBOs won't believe this, but I will say it anyway. IBOs on the system are probably worse off than sweat shop employees because they are paying their upline to do their work. At least sweat shop employees get a small salary. Upline will teach you that it is an honor to drive them around, or to do tasks for them. They claim that you benefit by "associating" with them but you are no more associating with them than the cleaning lady does when she is working. I saw this firsthand and have no doubt that some or all of it exists today. Many platinums works are free doormen and ushers at meetings and functions. Upline benefits by maximizing profits from functions. It is pure downline exploitation and I hope eventually that more and more IBOs will recognize this. It is clear for those who are willing to look at it objectively.

For most, a part time minimum wage is a much better proposition than Amway.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Your Car Salesman Upline?

When I saw the Amway plan, it made perfect sense at the time, because the diamond who made the presentation made everything seem sensible. Make money and/or save money. On the surface, you would have to be nuts to not want to make or save some money. But it is the reality that is the problem. The reality is for business building IBOs is financial damage or financial disaster from the ongoing costs of the system expenses. I saw crosslines go bankrupt and more than one couple lost their homes to foreclosure by "doing whatever it takes" to get to the next function.

Our group (WWDB) edified people who bought extraordinary amounts of extra tapes/cds, extra function tickets and made superhuman efforts to get to functions. Looking back, I remember an IBO who was edified for coming all the way to a family reunion function in Portland Oregon when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The speaker said he could have been miserable spending time at home but here he was making a difference in people's lives. WTF? I wrote a post earlier this month about how IBOs think they are saving the world and helping people when in reality, the masses of IBOs are only "helping" their diamonds to attain material wealth by purchasing function tickets, voicemail, standing orders and other materials.

I would agree that some training and information can be helpful for new IBOs but I do not see any value in a never ending supply of cds and and endless number of meetings and functions. The very thing (support materials) that uplines claim is your key to success is the very thing that nearly guarantees business building IBOs to financial struggles. Our upline wanted IBOs to be out of debt, which is good, but they would also say in the same breath that it was okay to go into hock if it was to attend functions or to purchase additional support materials. WTH? Sadly, many IBOs do not see through this self serving advice.

Most people, including myself are very wary when we deal with car salesmen. We are wary because we know that the salesman is out to make money off of us and will try to sell us every option in the book. Thus we negotiate and reject the car options that we don't really need to or. Guess what? Your uplines are like car salesmen except that they sell you different options such as premier club, standing order, book of the month, function tickets, voicemail, open meeting tickets. Just like a car buying customer, taking all the options maximizes the car salesman's commission and the car dealer's profit. Buying all the support materials increases your upline's profits. Imagine the car salesman telling you that the extended warranty was vital to owning the car. You'd think twice about buying it. (If the car is so good, why do I need an extended warranty?) But uplines will tell you that functions are vital to your Amway business and many IBOs buy it hook line and sinker. I hope this analogy will encourage IBOs to think of support materials as options on the car. You don't need any options to make the car work. Just as you don't really need support materials to buy and sell Amway products, and to get some downline to do the same.

We are wary of car salesmen. In my opinion, downline and prospects should be just as wary of uplines who promote tools as "vital" to your success in Amway. Keep in mind that a sponsor is obligated to help train any downline, regardless of whether they are on the system or not.