Friday, August 26, 2016

Amway IBOs Fail By Design?

So many IBOs quit and fail, I think the Amway corporation might need a calculator to keep track. And of the IBOs who work and try hard, most of those IBOs also end up in failure and losing money. After years of blogging about Amway, I believe it is because the uplines and the tools they sell to help IBOs are ineffective. When I was an IBO, I don't recall many tools that contained information teaching me how to run a business or how to run an Amway business. There was no talk about tracking income and expenses. In fact, our group was advised to ignore the facts. The scary thing about this is that it is evident that some groups are still teaching this.

Many IBOs and prospects are lured into the business by displays of wealth and not because of bonafide and verified business credentials. A friend of mine sold his franchise business a few years ago and part of what he provided to the prospective buyer was the last three years of his tax returns, personal and business returns. But try asking an upline to even see a business profit loss statement or a schedule C business tax return and you are likely to be told it is none of your business. Instead, upline may show off a photocopy of a bonus check which may be an annual or a once in a lifetime bonus. Or upline may show off a sports car as evidence that they are successful. Sadly, some of these uplines might be broke, they may owe back taxes to the IRS and/or they may even be in debt but simply showing off wealth.

Some uplines have the nerve to discourage young people from furthering their education because they would rather they channel their money into Amway and tools. Some people are told to make family sacrifices to attend more functions or to buy more standing orders. I will grant that not all uplines do this but based on my experience, I would say more uplines do this than not. They will apply subtle pressure on new IBOs and the newbies probably don't know much about Amway or business so they basically have to choice but to trust a diamond who has allegedly achieved the pinnavle of success in Amway. Then uplines will often betray their disciples by saying that failure is the personal responsibility of teh IBO. That advice needs to be discerned by the new IBO and bad advice should be discarded, as if a new IBO would know what is good or bad advice.

I aso see experienced IBOs who don't seem to know how taxes work. I see IBOs who were given the impression that Amway is easy and that they will work once and enjoy the fruits of their labor forever. Oddly, I don't know of a single IBO who did the work once and sat back collecting residual income forever. I find it odd that even tenured crown ambassadors continue to keep busy work schedules. I suppose they could just enjoy this lifestyle but still I find it odd that nobody I know of could specifically name an IBO who achieved diamond and higher and sat back collecting income while enjoying the beaches of the world.

Seems that IBO turnover and failure is more common than not in the AMO world. It also appears that incoming IBOs are like fuel to a fire. Without continuous recruitment and replacement of IBOs who quit, the organization would eventually fall apart along with the bonuses that the higher ups enjoy. It is my informed opinion that many IBOs fail because they aren't taught sound business principles. Despite the constant flow of cds, voice messages and functions and meetings, it doesn't seem as if any practical information is passed from upline to downline. Only messages of never quitting and continuing to dedicate themselves to the system. The result is inevitable and the expected result is failure. That failure is by design, expect the IBOs don't see it.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Amway Dreams Or Reality?

One of the things that many IBOs are badly misguided on is the concept of dreams and fighting for dreams. A dream is basically a long term goal. Someone might dream about playing in the National Football League. To accomplish that dream, one might play high school and/or college level football. For most, the dream will end unsuccessfully. No matter how much someone wants to play in the NFL, only so many people are proficient enough to be able to make the team. Even fewer are elite players that become stars. So while you might fight for your dreams, there is also an alternate reality.

In the Amway business, via the "systems" such as WWDB or Network 21, the leaders will often sell hopes and dreams to the downline. That the downline can be retired at the age of 29, walking the beaches of the world while the income just rolls in forever and ever. These kinds of "dreams" would be the same as hoping to win the powerball lottery. You may have seen a few who did it but the chance of you duplicating it is very unlikely. Slim to none is your chance in reality.

Another things uplines will often do is tell anecdotal stories about crabs keeping each other in a bucket when one tries to escape, or about monkeys preventing each other from grabbing bananas at the top of the pole. While the stories may be interesting and even true, it doesn't necessarily apply to the Amway business. While it is true that an IBO may have friends and family who are skeptical about Amway, it is with good reason. Many people have gone through the Amway business with no success. Many people have lost money doing everyting they were advised to do by upline. There is a track record of financial disasters associated with Amway and the attached "systems". It's not like there's a long list of people who have walked away from Amway with the cash rolling in and not a care in the world. Ever wonder why none of the crown ambassadors have exercised the option to "walk away"?

I think people should have dreams. I think people should pursue their dreams. I also think people need to know that certain dreams can come true. There also needs to be a degree of reality in their dreams. There will always be some inspirational person such as a "Rudy" who overcame great odds to accomplish a dream, but the untold reality is that there were probably many many young men who dreamed of playing for Notre Dame that year. Likely, no one else accomplished the unlikely dream like a Rudy. What I am saying is that earning a nice income and having the option of early retirement can be acomplished in many ways. You might be choosing to use Amway to accomplish your financial dreams and that is your right. But the reality is that very few people have made all their financial dreams come true due to the Amway opportunity, as compared to the tens of millions who have tried.

Keep fighting for your dreams, but keep in mind that you might need a plan B and a dose of reality.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Amway And WWDB?

In looking back at my IBO days, I can now laugh at some of the weird stuff we did, and believe it or not, I have reason to believe that my old LOS, WWDB still teaches some of this and some other major groups also teach it. I believe some of these practices were the reason why some people refer to the Amway business as cult or having cult like qualities. If you recognize some of these practices, you might be in an unethical group and you should ask your upline the tough questions and possibly reconsider or reprioritize your involvement in the business, especially if you can't get straight answers to your questions.

Submission to upline was one of the things we were told. Our group was told that upline would never purposely lead us astray so we should trust them and never try anything without checking upline. Afterall, upline had experience and probably had all the answers. Some of this checking upline included asking permission to get married, buy a car or a home, or even something as small as purchasing a camera. The upline said maybe someone upline might have advice on how to get a good deal on a camera so no harm in checking upline before making a purchase. It is my guess that upline didn't want your disposable income being spent on anything other than standing orders and functions.

Late meetings. Our upline was into late meetings, many occuring after midnight. I suppose it was a show of loyalty and dedication to the upline and the system. In reality, it made most people angry at their jobs because they had to wake up early to go to work. For me it made me mad at our upline because the meetings taught us nothing of substance and it just made us tired. Our upline used to talk about time being important but it was never important enough to make him show up on time for his own late night meetings. Another cult like factor - sleep deprivation.

Secrets. Anytime we asked about how much income uplines may have been earning, we were either told it's none of our business or shown a photocopy of a 5 year old bonus check that someone upline may have received. Our proof that the business worked was upline showing off pictures of sports cars and mansions. Of course we now find that some WWDB diamonds had homes foreclosed, and one prominent triple diamond had some dealings in bankruptcy court. Looking back, I suspect that many diamonds have mortgages, which would be nor problem except that these leaders scoffed at the sutpidity of having a loan. That diamonds pay cash for everything, including homes. My former sponsor still lives in a run down rented home beause he won't purchase a home unless he's got the cash. My former sponsor is a physician so I find his position on buying a home preposterous. His oldest child, a son probably grew up deprived of his parents because of dedication to the system and the functions.

Losing money is success. Many times, our group was told that losing money was a sign of success. It was success because we were investing in our futures. That the business really is not about money but about friendships. I suppose upline taught this because everyone was losing money so it was nice to hear that success was around the corner, and that we were all nicer people and on our way to success if we just attended more functions and bought more standing orders. People who sold off some of their personal property were edified if they did so to attend a function. Obviously these folks were not advised to run their business within their means. Upline even said that going into debt was okay, but only if the debt was to invest in the business or to buy extra function tickets.

While some of these practices seem bizarre, I believe it is because the upline advice was self serving and meant to channel their downline's dollars into tool purchases. It is the only conclusion I can make.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Amway Upline Conmen?

The really insidious part about some of the LOS leaders, such as the ones I had in WWDB, is that they apparently are cutthroat ruthless businessmen with nice suits, and disguised as your mentors and friends. They get you to trust them, and they will tell you that they have your best interest at heart, or that they would never purposely lead you astray. On the surface, you may think this is true, but look at their actions and you can easily discern that some of these uplines are absolutely ruthless businessmen who would take every cent from you if they could. I was in WWDB and I have good reasons to believe that they are still doing this, based on a WWDB IBO blog. On this blog, I see all the same teachings today, that I heard as an IBO and some of the same claims such as buying homes in cash. It's scary.

As an IBO, the diamonds would tell you to never miss a function, ever. The only good reason for missing a function was for your own funeral. I recall some crossline IBOs rearranging pre-planned anniverssary parties, weddings, and other special family events in the name of being core and attending all functions. Some IBOs actually did quit their jobs to attend functions and they very well may have done so because some uplines taught this. IBOs were also encouraged and told to go into debt to attend a function. This was okay because it was an investment into your business.

Our group was also strongly encouraged to buy extra cds every week. To be core, you needed to listen to a cd each day and you cannot listen to the same one each day right? Couples were told to buy their own seperate standing orders. Brad Duncen even had a true north tape (cd) that said sponsors were to eat the standing orders for downlines who quit because it was too much trouble to call upline who calls upline who calls upline to cancel a standing order. Oddly enough, they didn't mind upline calling upline calling upline to add a standing order.

In the end, I was lucky enough to have been progressing up the pin ranks so my losses were not that devastating. I ended up losing in my early months of the business but mostly broke even when I was at 4000 PV. Sadly though, my crossline did not fare so well. I know of one couple who declared bankruptcy. I don't know how much their WWDB involvement contributed to bankruptcy, but I am certain it was a major factor and I know of two couples who had homes foreclosed, and I believe that their allegiance to WWDB was a factor in those foreclosures. But I guess hey, two WWDB diamonds had homes foreclosed so maybe they were duplicating?

Do not be fooled. The diamonds may have a nice smile and a nice suit, but they are ruthless businessmen who will take your last dime if you allow them to.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Unseen Part Of Amway?

I was in discussion on another forum and a comment was made about Amway being an iceberg, because you see the shiny clean ice on the top but you do not see the majority of the iceberg. Or in other words, the diamonds show you the fancy suits, jewelry, cars, mansions, jets and what you don't see is the financial carnage that takes place in their downlines at times. My former upline would tell audiences that they could skip meals to buy more standing orders because you might hear the one thing that could make your business explode.

Sure, on standing orders, you won't hear too much of the unethical and "wrong" teaching, because some of this is monitored by Amway, but it's the night owls and smaller group meetings where the real teaching is disseminated. This is where you are told to practically sell your soul to achieve in Amway. This is where the teaching comes in where you should be purchasing excessive amounts of tools in order to succeed. This is where you are told to never miss a function unless it's for your own funeral. A newbie or casual observer won't see these things but if you ever commit to becoming a business builder, this is likely to become your world.

You don't see the backstage at functions and meetings. Former rubies and platinums have made commentary about the diamonds literall laughing about how gullible the downline are. You don't see the where the cash collected at the meetings and functions go. There had been some past comments about literally, suitcases of cash leaving the premises. If your upline has a mansion and a fleet of nice cars, it's likely that your tools money played a significant part in your diamond obtaining it.

It's a simple conclusion. The tools have a higher markup than Amway products and have fewer beneficiaries to split up the bonus. A $7.00 Amway product might cost $3.00 or so to make and the rest will be bonus money split up by the layers of IBOs. Whereas a $7.00 cd might take 50 cents to produce and only platinums and higher receive any compensation from this srouce of income. But rank and file IBOs rarely ever see a true and transparent picture of this business. It is shrouded in secrecy, just like the underside of an iceberg. I challenge IBOs to be real businessmen and women and ask upline the tough questions about where the money is made. Do not accpet rhetoric and anecdotal stories. In real business, schedule C business tax returns are the normal way for verification of business income. If you are going to "invest" your hard earned money into the system to the benfit of upline, you should demand this information.

Would any of you purchase a conventional business from someone without proof that it is profitable? Why would an Amway business be any different?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Quitting Amway = Winning?

I often see commentary about people quitting Amway and Amway loyalists are quick to call them broke, losers, lazy, lacking guts. Ironically, these same lazy and loser types of people were "sharp" and motivated prospects before they signed up for the Amway opportunity. Someone recently left a comment on my blog about how AMOs should conduct exit interviews with departing IBOs to get to the root of the problems. I think these exit interviews would reveal that people are working hard and applying the AMo teaching, only to lose money,

Based on my years of blogging and Amway experiences, I can honestly say I believe that people quit Amway primarily for one reason. The money isn't there. Amway's own numbers show that the average IBO earns just over $200 a month and that is before taxes and expenses, and that number excludes inactive IBOs. Business building IBOs earn most of the bonuses, but business building IBOs generally have the most expenses, often participating in the system of standing orders, voicemail, books and functions.

When I was an IBO, I did as upline advised and I achieved a fairly significant level (4000 PV), but due to the expenses associated with tools and helping downline, I didn't earn net profit. This is confirmed by a study done by the Wisconsin attroney general who examined the tax returns of platinume and found that they averaged a net loss of about $1000 a year. While the study was a bit dated, I would suggest it is still very valid as platinums today, have more tools (business building materials) that they are expected to buy from upline. If I made nothing at 4000 PV, anyone with half a brain can conclude that IBOs below 4000 PV and fully participating on the system would end up with a net loss because their expenses would be similar to mine, but with less bonus money.

The bottom line is that people are very likely quitting because they aren't profitable. If people made a few hundred a month with 8-15 hours of work per week, they would continue to run their businesses. But those who work and make nothing or lose money have no reason or motivation to continue. Thus they simply make a wise business decision and quit. What seemed like a good idea during the presentation simply did not pan out when reality set in. It's also reasonable to conclude that the products are that great either because if they were, those who quit would become loyal customers, thus even if the sales force turned over, sales would consistently rise as former IBOs would become customers. It's apparent that most former IBOs do not become loyal Amway customers. In fact, for those who later discover they were lied to or deceived about the Amway opportunity, become critical of Amway instead.

Why do people quit Amway? I think the answer is crystal clear. The quitters are the winners!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Amway To Retirement?

One of the things upline 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 their financial 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 (Approximately $300) plus the cost of tools (cds, books, voicemail, functions) 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 appears to be rare.

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 evemtually, 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.

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.

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. A job provides a regular paycheck. An Amway business provides a negative cash flow for most who try it.