Friday, December 14, 2018

Amway And Dreams?

One of the things that Amway leaders use to attract new IBOs is to talk about the dreams that these folks have. They may talk about how having a job will wear you out and dreams that you once had as a child or young adult gets suppressed and/or completely forgotten. They try to revive some of these dreams in the hopes that they can convince prospects that Amway is the only way, or the easiest or best way to accomplish these dreams. They also try to instill the notion that people can choose to succeed in Amway. Being that success in Amway has so many variables out of the direct control of an IBO, nobody can simply choose to make it big in Amway anymore than they can choose to win the lottery. And by the way, the chances of going diamond and maintaining it is about as remote as winning a lottery.

What is somewhat cruel is reviving dreams that for many, will never come to fruition, no matter how much work is done, and no matter how many tools are consumed. There are many instances where no matter how big the dream, it will never come to pass because of physical and financial limitations. For example, as a child, many of us had dreams of playing professional football, hockey or basketball, and living in the glory of winning. However, no matter how many hours you put in and no matter how hard you work, the vast majority of people will never be pro athletes. And even out of the ones who become pro athletes, very few are considered "elite".

Yet the Amway promoters will have people believe that just buying a few products and selling a few products and 2-5 years of "hard" work, people will join the financially elite in the world. As if home care, beauty and nutritional products moved from person to person is going to make you achieve your dreams. That you will quit your jobs and walk the beaches of the world while the cash rolls in by the barrel full. Sadly, many young people become attracted to a proposition that allows them a shortcut to retirement instead of working until age 62 or whatever the standard retirement age is. They are basically promoting false hopes and promises to the vast majority of people who get involved. I believe those who are deemed as "dream stealers" might be doing their family and friends a favor by stealing their dream, which will not come to pass anyway.

With about 1 out of 240 IBOs reaching platinum (the alleged break even point) and about 1 in 20,000 IBOs reaching diamond, the dream is a stretch indeed. Even for the select few who can overcome major challenges and hurdles, maintaining their status often becomes impossible and and not worthwhile (many diamonds have quit).
Also, if you do make it, you will leave behind a trail of people who could not or did not come close to that level of success. It means that in many cases, your success will come at the expense of those you sponsor. It is why many claim that Amway is a legal pyramid.

Having dreams and goals is a good thing. But do you want to accomplish your ultimate dream by hurting (financially) those who trusted you and agreed to be your downline? Is it your dream to go diamond and have 500 to 1000 or more downline IBOs losing money? Is it your dream to be wealthy by exploiting people who trust you and believe that they can achieve the same level of success, when the opposite is true?

What is your dream? Are you willing to hurt others to achieve it?

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Choosing To Succeed In Amway?

Many Amway IBOs seem to think that success in business or in other aspects of life is simply a choice. They mistakenly believe that you can actually choose to succeed or not. They apparently believe that persistence and choosing to win will eventually land them a premiere spot at diamond club. If that were truly the case, wouldn't we see hoards of new diamonds each and every year? Instead, we see one here and one there, and while there are a few new diamonds in the US every so often, we see others quitting, dropping out or leaving Amway for greener pastures. Make you wonder if the prize is worth pursuing in the first place.

But IBOs and information seekers should understand quite clearly. You cannot simply "choose" to win or succeed. In a football game, both sides can believe and choose to win, but still, only one can be the victor. In Amway, it is common for a platinum to have 100 to 200 downline. Thus to be a platinum, you need to be in the top one half of one percent of IBOs. To be a diamond, you will need to be in the top 600 to 1200 IBOs, not counting the masses of IBOs who register and do nothing or register and do a little and quit. Only one in about ten to twenty thousand will ever reach diamond in North America.

Sure, of the Amway speakers at functions may highlight some touching story like the movie "Rudy". Basically a nobody who dreamed of playing football for Notre Dame. He busted his butt and did whatever it took to make the team and the movie ends with him getting in a game, making a sack and being carried off the field by his teammates in a blaze of glory. A great and inspiring movie. But what you don't see is the possible tens of thousands of young men who had the same dream, may have worked every bit as hard but circumstances and situations prevented them from achieving the same limited success. Uplines want you to think these kinds of stories can happen to everyone, but the fact is that there is only a little room at the top. If stories like Rudy were common, then there would have been nothing special about it. An elite athlete like a Michael Jordan or a Tiger Woods only comes along once or twice in a lifetime. It is like achieving diamond. It happens but it is a rare occasion, especially in North America where Amway appears to be shrinking instead of growing.

In the Amway business, many prospects and IBOs are motivated and driven to succeed. Many of them are fine young men and women who want more in life. But the vast majority of those who try will not achieve their dreams via the Amway opportunity no matter how hard they work and no matter how badly they want it. The reason is because there are too many variables that are not in direct control of the IBO. The Amway reputation in North America is spotty at best so sponsoring downline is nearly impossible. And when you can sponsor, chances are your downline will do little or nothing. Many new IBOs will work hard, but quit because they are faced with the challenges I just mentioned. And even if you can overcome the overwhelming odds, you still need to keeping working hard constantly to maintain the business, all for an unstable average diamond income of $146,995, which doesn't consider taxes, medical insurance and other perks you may receive at a job. All told, I believe the diamond income is not all it's cracked up to be when you consider the charade you must play to display the diamond lifestyle. Do the math and you will be able to see for yourself.

In the end, it seems as though the prize isn't as great as it seems, and the trail to success is one that most cannot endure. And even if you achieve diamond, you can lose it quite easily as others have discovered. The bottom line is that you cannot simply choose to succeed in Amway or any other endeavor. Good luck if you decide to attempt it anyway.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Amway "Catch"?

In the Amway business, most active IBOs are advused to trust upline. To think of upline as a coach or a mentor. These upline mentors or coaches are supposed to have your best interest at heart and they will guide you to success if only you will be open to learning. Many uplines, including my former uplines used to coin the term "copy" or duplicate. If you can do that you will be successful. Even the simplest of people can copy. The upline may crack a joke about getting thru school by copying. Thus, many IBOs follow exactly what their upline advises them to do.

But then uplines turn the responsibility away from themselves. Many Amway defenders will also claim that downline should not simply follow the advice of upline. They may make a ridiculous claim that standing orders and functions contain advice that must be discerned. That information is like a buffet. You pick and choose what you need and discard the rest. If you are a new IBO or prospect, let me tell you that is a load of guano (bird crap) that is being heaped on you. Your upline is touted as having experience and wisdom in the Amway business, which is why you are paying good money for voicemail, books, cds/audio files, and functions. So why would their advice be something you pick and choose? How would a new IBO know what to pick and choose?

Imagine hiring a guide for a trek in the wilderness. The guide is supposed to be an experienced outdoorsman, perhaps an expert. So if he recommends that you eat certain plants or fruits, you trust that he is going to guide you right. Imagine eating something that made you sick to your stomach, only to have the guide tell you that he just points out plants and fruits and you have to discern which is good for you and which is not. You would fire the guide and tell everyone you know not to use that guide anymore.

But here we have these "systems" such as Network 21, WWDB or BWW that have been "guiding" IBOs for up to 20 years or more in some cases, and the number of diamonds are negligible. Sure there might be new platinums, but many tool consuming platinums have been found to be losing money or making very little money for their efforts. What's more, it would appear that Amway is losing ground in sales. Amway's sales dropped from 11.8 billion in 2013 down to 8.6 billion in 2017. One can reasonably guess that any new platinums that break are simply replacing the volume for a platinum that no longer exists or a platinum that no longer qualifies. My former upline diamond appears to have all new qualifying platinums from the time I was in the business and here's the kicker. My former diamond had 6 downline rubies. As far as I know, none of these rubies are qualified as platinum anymore, much even in the business.

Uplines also program their downline to take responsibility for the failure. Thus you have IBOs who did everything that was asked of them, only to fail. Yet these IBOs often blame themselves for their failure. It is my opinion that former IBOs who did everything asked of them only to fail should file a formal complaint against their LOS with the better business bureau. Amway defenders like to think that a lack of formal complaints means that the system works when clearly, there is no unbiased substantial evidence to suggest that the system works. It looks like some succeed in spite of the system, not because of.

The catch in all this is uplines skirting responsibility for the outcomes of those they "mentor" and profit from. IBOs should ask if upline really cared about their success, why do you have to pay for any help that you receive from your upline diamond?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Amway Or A J-O-B?

One of the things Amway leaders apparently do is to disparage people with jobs. Oh, they would say we needed people to wait on our tables and clean our toilets, but in general, jobs were put down and basically the group was told that Amway is their best chance at achieving financial freedom, giving them the ability to flush their jobs. Ironically, IBO's jobs are what funds their Amway businesses. Most IBOs would be out of business within weeks if not for their job income funding their Amway businesses.

The key selling point appears to be the 2-5 years of part time work rather than working a job for 30 - 40 years and then retiring on social security which may or may not be there when you retire. This plants a fear in people about the future and then the Amway opportunity is presented in a positive light because the Amway opportunity comes with a low start up cost. What uplines do not mention is how the opportunity can become a money pit as the monthly defacto 100 PV quota starts to add up. It is my guess that if people only bought items they truly needed, these IBOs would likely move 100 PV every three months, unless they are actively selling goods to non IBO customers, which does not appear to be very common.

When an IBO finally agrees to register, it is then that the hidden costs are revealed. Many uplines will introduce standing orders and functions and present these tools as vital to IBO success. Most new IBOs don't know better and feel subtle pressure to conform and give it a try. Some upline may loan some tools to downline in the beginning but eventually, the IBO will be encouraged to be a "serious" business owner who should be purchasing their own tools to loan to their downline and the cycle goes on. Upline relies on people joining and giving the business a go and the churn of new people is what keeps the business flowing, although long term sustainability is difficult unless you are working the business in the trenches non stop.

If you examine some version of the Amway recruitment plan, you will see that most IBOs are at the 100 PV level, which will reward you with a monthly bonus of about $10 or so. If that same IBO subscribes to the tools system, than IBO will likely be losing over $100 a month not including the product purchases. And because many IBOs have been convinced that working a job is so horrible, that they can be convinced that this condition of losing money is temporary and that untold wealth is right around the corner. Sadly, for most, this condition is the norm and even the sponsorship of a few downline, the losses continue to mount. Yet many are convinced that this is better than a job because they are hopeful that the Amway business will deliver the promises that they hear from the leaders.

Ironically, a job allows people to pay their monthly bills, feed their families and many people enjoy their work and co workers. While upline leaders may convince you otherwise, it is this very same excuse upline leaders use when asked why they are still working instead of walking the beaches of the world collecting massive amounts of residual income. I would encourage IBOs to truly analyze their efforts in Amway and determine if it is beneficial to your finances. In most cases, your Amway efforts ONLY benefits your upline's finances. For most who get involved, the Amway opportunity is not better than a job. Analyze the facts, not the hype.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Are Amway Diamonds "Broke"?

I recently read an article on what constitutes wealth. Some say an annual income of $100,000 would make them wealthy, some say assets exceeding $4 million would do it, and some estimated that $2 million would make them "rich". Of course, everything is relative and someone earning $25,000 a year would think that $100,000 a year is wealth, etc. College students might think $40,000 a year is awesome because many have little money to begin with. I'm sure someone like Bill Gates would not consider $4 million to be astonishing. It's all relative. If you are content with what you have, you are likely relatively well off already.

But let's talk about Amway diamonds. I say diamond because it is basically the pinnacle of success. It is the crowning achievement of the 6-4-2 plan (or other variations) that many groups show. The average diamond earns about $150,000, according to Amway. Now $150,000 sounds like a lot of money to young people or to those with lower wage types of jobs, or those who are just starting out in their careers. But we also know that diamonds earn income from the sale of tools. Some groups advertise (verbally) that someone might earn $100,000 a year from the tools/speaking income.

Let's be generous and say the diamond earns $300,000 a year from Amway and tools income. Income tax and medical insurance for the family will eat up about 40% of that right off the top, leaving about $180,000. Fantastic you might say? Well, a diamond certainly would live in a million dollar mansion, which would give you about a $6000 a month mortgage or $72,000 a year, leaving $108,000. (Although many - a - diamond pays for their homes in cash) Fantastic right? Well, diamonds are constantly traveling to various functions, flying first class and staying only at 5 star hotels right? So an average of 1 trip per month with a family, first class and a 5 star hotel would probably cost about $5000 or more per trip, or about $60,000 a year, now leaving $68,000 for this diamond's yearly budget. A good diamond with a family surely consumes 300 PV per month for household goods, or about $900 a month or about $11,000 a year, leaving $57,000 for the rest of the year. A good diamond is often a Christian who would faithfully tithe 10% of his income, or about $30,000 a year, leaving the diamond with $27,000 a year, or about $2250 a month to pay for their monthly electric and utility bills, gas, car payments, meals and entertainment.

Yes, some expenses may be slightly higher or lower, but what I am trying to illustrate is that even an above average diamond with tools income is more likely to be broke than wealthy if they live the lifestyles porttrayed at functions such as dream night or other major functions. Do the math. It is unlikely that diamonds pay cash for everything and it is unlikely that fabulous lifestyles can be sustained on a diamond income. There is plenty of evidence out there. Diamond's homes foreclosed, diamonds behind on income taxes, a prominent triple diamond in bankruptcy proceeding, many diamonds selling off their homes in a bad real estate market.

I truly believe that it is quite possible for many diamonds to be broke. Living a "diamond" lifestyle is a life of excess and simply doesn't appear to be sustainable on diamond income. Some tenured long time diamonds might be okay but newer diamonds are very likely not rolling in money as they would have you believe.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Trading Hours For Dollars?

One of the things I heard as an Amway IBO, and I believe still taught today is that a job is a disaster, or "just over broke". Uplines apparently use this tactic as a means to get prospects and IBOs to buy into the concept that a job limits your earning potential and that a business mentality doesn't look at an hourly wage. While it may be true that many business owners do not earn a wage, you can bet that they are aware of how much time they put into their business against how much they take in. A true business owner, if he determines that he isn't earning enough for his return on his investment of time and money, will often make adjustments to what is done to become more efficient, or fold up the business and start another one, or may even get a job. Amway IBOs conversely, are told to spend more on training and functions when they are succeeding, which is a powerfully bad business practice.

It appears to me, that the context in which IBOs are told not to look at their business as a job is because many/most IBOs don't earn a net profit, and the few that do, probably earn less than a minimum wage equivalent when factoring in the hours spent building the business and costs associated with doing so. But hey, it's ok because you think like a "business owner", right? This appears to be just another distraction given to IBOs so they overlook monthly losses, just as how IBOs think the business is about being a nicer person, or that running the business actually makes you a better spouse or parent, when in fact, the opposite may be true.

In this day and age, there is nothing wrong with having a job. There is nothing wrong with earning an honest living trading hours for dollars. Many people live comfortable lives and have even amassed wealth with a job. The problem for many, as I see it is that they do not currently earn enough to fulfill the dreams that they see displayed on the stage at a function. For example, a job that pays $10 an hour will gross you about $1600 or $1700 a month. Certainly not enough to retire at the age of 30. But what if you earned $1000 an hour. That would bring you $160,000 to $170,000 a month. Would that make a job enticing? Of course! So the problem is not that you trade hours for dollars, the important factor is how much you earn per hour. The same goes for a business.

Real business owners look at the bottom line. For example, if you earned $6,000 a month in a business, but you spent 80 hours a week to earn that, then your hourly pay is less than $20 an hour. But if you spent 10 hours a week to earn that, you are now getting about $150 an hour equivalent. Many Amway promoters will tell you that the business will take up 10 to 15 hours per week, but the average IBO, according to Amway, earns just about $115 a month (and most earn less than that), which averages out to less than $3.00 per hour on average. This is why your upline might be saying don't look at an hourly wage as a way to rate your business, because the income is embarrassing.

IBOs and information seekers, do the math. Ask tough questions and demand answers. Don't be discouraged if you have a job. Most IBOs have jobs, Don't worry about trading hours for dollars. It is very likely that trading hours for dollars is a more efficient way of earning money than what you are being presented with.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Why Amway Isn't Sustainable?

One thing that is very clear to me after having researched and blogged about the subject of Amway and the Amway Motivational Organizations (AMOs) is that most Amway businesses are not sustainable. It is why I believe there is such a high drop out rate and why there are so many people who have formed a bad opinion about Amway. Now a real business relies on income from customers. The customers purchase goods and services from a business, and it they like it and/or find value in the goods and services, they become repeat customers and as long as there continues to be value in the goods and services, sales are made.

In the Amway, business, there appears to be a "perceived" value to the goods and services. In many groups (such as BWW or WWDB), the perceived value is that the purchase and use of Amway products will lead to untold wealth and the possibility of early retirement. Sadly for most IBOs, the reality sets and and the IBOs end up quitting, and more often than not, the products that had great value and price to an IBO, suddenly becomes expensive and irrelevant to non IBOs. If former IBOs had continued to buy Amway products, the company growth would be significant even with the high attrition rate. It appears that the dreams and aspirations of a new IBO are directly related to their dedication to Amway products.

But why aren't most Amway businesses sustainable? Isn't it simple? Do your 100 PV and get others to do the same? In my opinion, this is what has destroyed the Amway reputation. All too many IBOs in the past have done all kinds of crazy and in some cases, deceitful or unethical things in an attempt to recruit other IBOs. What probably in mentioned, but not a meaningful way is the absolute need for IBOs to get customers, and plenty of them. Even groups that may teach some need to get customers do not advise IBOs focus primarily on customers. They still advise many/most IBOs to sponsor downline. The lack of customers means that the diamond wealth seen on stage at functions comes primarily from IBO purchases of Amway goods and business support materials (standing order, voicemail and functions)

But you may wonder why a diamond appears so successful? It's because a diamond business has many customers. All downline who purchase voicemail, standing orders, books and functions are all customers of the diamonds. The are all generally repaet customers as well. A diamond or higher may have hundreds to even thousands of downline who purchase support materials (on the diamond's advice). That is why in many cases, a diamond will seem successful, because they have all their downline as customers or potential customers. However, with the apparent illusion of a diamond lifestyle, even that diamond income may not be enough to sustain the "diamond lifestyle". It appears that the downturn of growth in north america may have affected the north american diamonds (bankruptcy, foreclosures, etc).

And if a diamond may not have enough customers to sustain their business and lifestyle, what chance do you have with little or no downline, and little sales to people who are not IBOs? I suspect if you're reading this, you already know the answer.