Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Trading Your Time For Dollars?

One of the ways that upline diamonds would put down jobs was to toss in the phrase that a job was simply trading hours for dollars. As if it were demeaning to have a job where you got paid for your time. I believe it's all relative. Being that many IBos are young and maybe working in more entry level types of jobs, then yeah, your hours wage might not be that great. If you earn say $10 an hour, then you might be struggling financially and it may take time before your skills and knowledge increase to a point where your experience is worth more money. What if you had a job paying $1000 an hour and earned $160,000 a month? Is that a lousy deal trading hours for dollars? I think your perspective would change if that were the case.

Conversely, having a business can be good or bad also. If you have an Amway business earning less than $100 a month and you spend $200 on functions, standing orders and other training and motivational materials, then you are losing money. You would be better off working for free. That is still a better alternative than working a business where you are losing money. I think most people agree that a platinum group typically has a 100 or more IBOs. Thus a platinum is in the top 1% of all IBOs. I have heard that the platinum level is where you start to break even or make a little profit, depending on your level of tool consumption. If platinums are barely making a profit, then the other 99+% of IBOs are likely losing money. How much is that worth per hour?

I think uplines cleverly trick IBOs into thinking that a job is bad. Trading hours for dollars, after all, sounds like some kind of indentured servant of sorts. But in the end, what matters is your bottom line. If you are an IBO with little or no downline, and/or not much in terms of sales to non IBOs/customers, then you are losing money each and every month if you are attending functions and buying standing orders. Your 10-12 hours a week of Amway work is costing you money! But if you spend 10-12 hours a week, even at minimum wage, then you might be making about 300 to 350 a month gross income. After taxes, you make about 250 to 300. At least trading hours for dollars gets you a guaranteed net gain at the end of the month.

Uplines trick you into a "business mentality" where you think that working for a net loss is just a part of business. IBOs should realize that a business promoted as low risk and no overhead should be one where you can profit right away. Instead, IBOs are taught to delay gratification, or to reinvest any profit back into their business in the form of tools and functions, which results in a net loss. If that's the case I would choose trading hours for dollars.

Remember, trading hours for dollars is not a bad deal if you are making enough dollars per hour. And even those who make less, are better off that those who "run a business" but end up with a net loss. It's all relative and hopefully, this message will help new or prospective IBOs who are being enticed to join the Amway business opportunity. Good luck to those with jobs and those with businesses. You can be successful either way. Remember that!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Making Money In Amway?

One of the secrets that most IBOs don't figure out about Amway is how the money is made. This is because your upline probably hasn't been forthcoming about their secrets. Tens or maybe close to a hundred million people over the years have seen the Amway plan either at a coffee shop, someone's living room, or maybe in a convention center or hotel ballroom. In my day, Amway was promoted as a way to make money and save money. I doubt that this has changed very much over the years and things I still see online seem to confirm my belief.

But let's get real. Do you really think you can get rich selling basically vitamins and household products person to person and to your family and friends? I would venture a guess that many people struggle to meet the 100 PV minimum defacto quota. And that 100 PV bracket is likely to get you a whopping $10 bonus. Apologists will claim that it's $10 more than you get from Walmart or Costco. Let's examine that. If I spend $300 at Walmart or Costco, my cashback credit card gives me about $3.00. Not a lot, but still I am "paid" to shop. Next, I can get 36 rolls of Kirkland toilet paper for $11.99. If you buy Meadow Brook toilet paper, I am already ahead of you in overall savings and that doesn't include the savings from other common or similar products. Never mind the time you spend finding customers and downline, plus the expenses associated with running a business. Obviously you won't likely make a lot of money selling Amway products person to person, which is why new Amway IBOs are trying desperately to sponsor downline, which helps to leverage your volume.

So how do these diamonds earn what appears to be a sizable income? The answer is simple. They sell voicemail, premiere club memberships, standing orders and audios, books, seminars and open meeting tickets and other materials. While a rare individual may actually move up the ranks to become an emerald or diamond once in a while, the rest of the rank and file IBOs end up with a net loss directly attributable to the purchase of these tools. Selling tools to a group of thousands can be a huge source of income and might be able to sustain the sports cars and other luxuries that are shown off. The tools have a larger profit margin than Amway products, and unlike Amway products, the rank and file IBOs do not receive any cash bonus or rebate from the sale of tools.

The very sad, and often unseen reality though, is that the system doesn't work. It never did apparently work and there is no documented unbiased evidence that the system does anything to help Amway business owners to succeed and thrive. If it did, there should be new diamonds emerging every month. In North America, there were maybe a handful of new diamonds in the last ten years or so, give or take a few. But no steady progression of success. Instead, the same old tired diamonds are still on stage selling their wares (tools), with little notable success growing beneath them. Every so often a new diamond will emerge, but overall, the system is just ineffective at churning out success.

Can someone make money in Amway? The answer is yes. But the truth is that you can earn much much more selling tools. Amway defenders like to say "anyone" can succeed in Amway. To that I say "anyone" can win the power ball lottery. While Amway is not a game of chance, there have been more power ball lottery winners in the US than new diamonds in Amway. And power ball lottery winners did far less work, and probably spent less money than someone seriously trying to build an Amway business.
:-)

Monday, March 18, 2019

Are Amway Diamonds Fake?

One of the things I distinctly remember being taught at a function was to "fake it till you make it". This was to give the impression of being successful. It was said that you are going to be successful because of Amway so you may as well act the part. I believe this is taught today as well. Amway IBOs like to make an impression on prospects so the want to appear successful. It is also a part of why IBOs wear suits. They want everyone to be under the impression that they are in a multi million dollar business. Guess what? WalMart is a multi billion dollar business but their employees don't wear suits!

What I find really interesting about this is that I honestly believe the biggest fakers are probably the diamonds. In the past several months, all over the country, there were functions called "Dream Night". A function with a sit down dinner where the diamonds and other Amway heroes show off slide shows of mansions, jets sports cars, golf club memberships, fabulous vacations, and shopping sprees. I honestly believe that many of the diamonds are the biggest fakers out there. A diamond income, which seems big, and supplemented with tools income, most likely cannot sustain the lifestyles portrayed in these functions. Simple math bears it out.

A diamond income (non Q12), even with tool income might be $250 or $300K. While that may seem huge compared to a working stiff who earns %40K or $50K per year, keep in mind that a diamond business has many expenses. How much do you think it would cost a (diamond) family of four (4) to travel to say 5 or 6 functions, first class? Four people flying first class say from Hawaii to California would cost over $1000 per person, round trip. A diamond who speaks at functions would make several of these flights each year. Thus this particular business expense (if the diamond flies first class) would eat up a significant portion of a diamond's income. Keep in mind that the $250 or $300K I spoke about is before taxes and business expenses.

Then, much of that diamond income goes to taxes and business expenses? I challenge IBOs to sit down and figure this out. After taxes, medical insurance and business expenses are taken into consideration, I would guess that a diamond lives a very ordinary and middle class lifestyle. Amway advocates will argue that this is without a 9-5 job, but an Amway business needs constant attention as IBOs up and quit every day. Some who do sign up never do a thing. Replacing IBOs is a never ending task. It is why you do not see or hear of any diamonds who "walked away" to collect residual income forever and ever.

Here's another take on fake it till you make it. Isn't this simply lying and hoping you will one day succeed?

Friday, March 15, 2019

Why Amway IBOs Fail?

Over the years, there must have been tens of millions of IBOs who had some experience with Amway. Obviously, not all of these folks got involved in a system or had the intention of trying to make millions of dollars. But looking at the business as a whole, the number of people who make a significant income from Amway is a tiny fraction of 1%. If a typical platinum has about 100 IBOs in a group, then you can conclude that platinum is in the top 1% of all IBOs. And we know that many IBOs quit and go through the business each year. The attrition rate can be staggering for bigger pins who need to keep working to replace those who quit.

But the question that seems to be ignored is why so many IBOs end up failing? Now for the sake of this discussion, let's exclude IBOs who do nothing and quit. Let's talk about IBOs who make an earnest effort. Often, the serious IBOs will be on the system consisting of voicemail, standing order, functions, books and other meetings. These all come at a cost, therefore, IBOs need to make several hundred dollars a month or more just to break even. I might add that a rank and file IBO who earns about $200 a month from Amway is way above average and the vast majority make far less than $200. Amway reports that the average income of active IBOs is about $200 a month but that includes the diamonds and other big pins. Therefore, the average business building IBO is operating at a loss.

Let's look at some of the reasons why IBOs cannot succeed. In general, Amway product pricing is higher than local big box retailers. Amway pays bonuses, therefore the bonus payout is included in the price of the products. I suppose a platinum gets a good deal, being at the 25% level, but a platinum is in the top 1% of IBOs. The majority of the rest receive a paltry 3% which leaves them at a loss when business expenses are factored in.

Past IBO abuse and past IBO behavior makes it nearly impossible, at least in North America, to find potential downline IBOs and customers. Seems everyone knows of someone who was tricked into an Amway meeting or was deceived about Amway in some manner. I believe Amway has seen a decline in sales in North America, with foreign countries being responsible for any current growth in business.

Another factor is that IBOs are taught by uplines to engage in too many activities that do not produce income. Attending meetings, listening to cds/audios, reading books and other functions cost the IBO money. They do not result in more sales to customers. These non income producing activities seem to be the majority of an IBO's activities, thus it's easy to see why so many IBOs fail. While system leaders claim that their system works, there is no reasonable evidence to support this claim. Just the fact that new diamonds and emeralds are so rare these days suggest that the system, with their severely limited success is producing less success these days.

All told, an IBO's chance of succeeding in earning long term sustainable income is so tiny that IBOs seriously would be better off buying lottery tickets instead of buying tools such as standing orders and function tickets. At least buying lottery tickets would not use up 10-15 hours per week of your time, and your chance of winning is about the same. The system doesn't work, it is why most IBOs fail.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

How To Defend Amway?

I've been blogging for many years now and one of the conclusions I have made is that there really is no defense for debating the merits of an Amway business when the IBO is participating in a system such as WWDB or Network 21. I have no issues with IBOs who sign up and sell actual products to non IBO customers, but these sales oriented IBOs are very rare. Most IBOs who are entrenched in a system are often focused on sponsoring downline because that is the only way an IBO can achieve certain levels such as emerald or diamond. The emerald or diamond level is the goal of many because it is allegedly the level where an IBO can "walk away" and enjoy barrels of cash rolling in for the rest of their lives. I find it ironic that even crown ambassadors keep busy schedules and have not walked away into a quiet life of retirement and uncountable amounts of money. Instead we read about these crowns passing away while still on the (Amway) job.

In general, it would take about 100 IBOs or so to make up a platinum level business. That's 1% at best and even less when you factor in IBOs who do nothing or IBOs who start and quit. In my estimation, a very dedicated hard core IBO would only begin to break even or make a little bit of income at the 4000 PV or platinum level. Of course, your business structure would be a factor in determining how much you can earn. Sponsoring width gives you more profit and sponsoring depth allegedly gives you some stability. Thus you could reasonably argue that about a fraction of 1% of IBOs break even or make a little bit of income. What real businessman would even consider opening a business where your chance of making a profit is less than 1%? Yes, you can argue that Amway is a business and not a game of chance, but a prudent decision also factors in your realistic chances of success.

Other factors that would make Amway unattractive is that the products are priced higher (in general) than comparable or the same products that are available at people's local retailers. Yes, Amway folks will argue quality and concentration factors but those arguments are simply justification for the higher prices. The vast majority of people are satisfied getting cheaper prices at Walmart. And seriously, WalMart products aren't of a lesser quality than most products you get from Amway in the first place. Also, IBOs are restricted from advertising their goods, thus are relegated to person to person advertising, which is probably the least effective method of getting the word out to the masses. Higher prices and unfamiliar products results in what many groups have - IBOs who "buy from themselves" in order to earn their bonuses. Also, any bonus that is earned by most IBOs is just a partial refund on having overpaid for a product. Not to mention unless you are at a higher level in the business, your upline(s) get most of the bonus, whether they helped you or not.

Yes, it is possible for some people to make some money in Amway. Yes, some people do make some good money from Amway. It is not possible for all IBOs to make money unless they are selling products to non IBOs and we know that most IBOs don't sell anything or sell just a few items to others. We also know that the tools systems generally eat away any small bonuses IBOs earn and leave them with a net loss. For the truly dedicated IBOs, the losses can mount into thousands of dollars and more, depending on you consumption and dedication level.

Can someone make a living with Amway? The answer is that it's possible but not likely. But as to whether the Amway business and associated tools is a good idea? For that there is no reasonable defense.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Time And Money?

One of the things that Amway uplines do when recruiting new IBOs is to talk about how jobs are dead end, that someday you may be fired, that you have no control of a job, or that you are never paid what you are worth. They convince you that working a job is a crime and tha your boss probably works the longest hours. They may even say that those who make good money working a job often works so much that they don't have time to enjoy it. My former upline used to say that true freedom is the control of time and money. The irony in that is diamonds still need to be at certain places at certain times (functions and meetings) for money, which is not that much different than a job.

What I was also told was that in the real world, generally the guys who have enough money are usually so busy working that they don't have time. Or that a broke guy who's got time on his hands is broke so he can't do much of anything. That's when they would convince prospects that only through Amway can you have both. You can have both time and money. You build it right and build it once, and the (Amway) business will pay you for the rest of your life. That's how it was presented to me and looking back, it was a total lie. I have a challenge for any IBO or Amway defender. Amway's been around for more than 50 years. Can anyone name a dozen people who have actually built an Amway business and then stopped working it but continued to collect a significant income that was actually passed onto their heirs? Can anyone name even one or two? Keep in mind that tens of millions of people have come and gone through the business. Also keep in mind that Amway doesn't make these claims. Maybe someone should ask Amway?

It makes me wonder why crown ambassadors don't even walk away and collect money forever. These crown ambassadors are all old (or have passed away) and have been around seemingly forever yet they continue to work their groups and attend all the functions. Sure, maybe their day to day lives aren't as busy as a 9-5 employee with young kids, but still it makes me wonder why not even double diamonds and above (as far as I know) have exercised the option to walk away and enjoy mountains of residual cash rolling in. I also wonder why there are stories of diamonds quitting and resigning if there was an option to walk away and enjoy lifelong residual income. We also know that diamonds fall out of qualification and we know that many platinums fall out of qualification, providing ample evidence that an Amway business is unstable and that without constant attention, your business is likely to fall apart.

Let me close with this. We know that a typical platinum business has about 100 or more downline IBOs. That doesn't include those who quit. Thus a platinum is already in the top 1% of all Amway businesses and that platinums might not even make that much net income when considering that platinums have many expenses which may include eating losses on tools refunds for the upline diamonds.

Yes, true financial freedom is having complete control of time and money. The problem is that very few people ever achieve financial freedom but it would appear that even fewer Amway business owners achieve that same financial freedom because of the Amway opportunity. Also, showing pictures of mansions and sports cars is not solid evidence of financial freedom. So do Amway diamonds control time and money? It would appear the answer is no.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

What It's Like To Hit 4000 PV?

I wanted to give people a glimpse into what it was like in Amway at the 4000 PV level and what my experience was. Although Amway and WWDB apologists will claim this doesn't happen, or that it doesn't happen anymore, I have reasons to believe that very little has changed in WWDB since I was an IBO. The only major difference was that we did call in and product pick up back then. Apparently, some WWDB leaders still talk about buying homes in cash and teaching the same old stuff. And of course, now you order products online. Aside from that, I don't believe much has changed. And why would it?

How many hours per week did I work? I would say up to 30 hours a week was spent on business related issues. Granted, product pick up consumed an entire afternoon and evening, generally on Thursdays. I would have to call in my order to the platinum on Tuesday or Wednesday and then pick up the stuff on Thursday afternoon. Then I had to rush home and distribute the stuff to my downline. My upline platinum was not good at filling orders so it was a real pain. I'd say pick up and associated paperwork costed me maybe 8 hours a week. One good benefit today is that Amway issues the bonuses. In the old days, you as an upline had to cut checks to downline for their bonuses. (This is an area where I agree that Amway made good progress) I did hear though, that WWDB still has call in and pick up for standing orders and other tools. If this is true, then they undid the progress that Amway had made. Also, as an up and coming leader, my platinum expected me to absorb some of the cost of returned tools, such as absorbing losses if someone on standing order quit. (Brad Duncan cut a true north tape at the time that basically said IBOs absorb the cost of standing orders for downlines who quit - too much trouble to call upline who called upline to cancel a standing order. They didn't mind though, calling upline who called upline to add a standing order)

As a 4000 pin, I had to show the plan or attend plans for my front line IBOs. If the platinum was showing the plan. I'd say 4 nights per week we showed the plan for a downline or a downline in depth. Of course after the plan, we might "hang out" with downline and have some night owl teaching. Some people call this association or whatever. Depending on the length of the drive, this might take 3-4 hours 4 nights per week. Sometimes it was shorter when you had no shows.

We counseled with downline and upline. I spent some individual time with my upline and also with downline who wanted one on one time to get ideas on how to improve their Amway business. We looked over their group parameters and of course, tool flow. There was a WWDB counseling sheet for this purpose. Looking back, I"m not sure what this really accomplished except for the big pins to know which leaders are selling the most tools.

Then we had open meetings and functions. One local function each month and generally one or two open meetings where a diamond or emerald would show the plan. Of course, my sponsor (platinum) did not feel right unless he augmented our function with his own night owl meetings. We also had three long distance functions on the mainland. These functions were (at the time) called Leadership, Family Reunion and Free Enterprise day. Being from Hawaii, these functions costed me, as a single, at least $1,000 or more for each trip because it was airfare during peak travel times, hotel, rental cars and the function ticket. I hate to think what couples paid.

Because of my status as up and coming leader, I had the privilege of attending special meetings where our diamond would teach or show house plans. I even had the "honor" or driving the diamond to a house plan. Damn, how can anyone live without such an honor?

For my troubles, I had a business at 4000 PV, with eagle parameters. I was considered a "mover and shaker". Lots of people knew me. My sponsor wanted so badly to break a downline platinum. He sat down with me one afternoon and told me I could really push to platinum and ruby easily if I would only ditch my girlfriend (fiancee' at the time). He told me that he would ditch his wife if the upline diamond told him to do so. He said a single (ruby or higher) could easily attract a lot of eligible women. It was after that meeting when I decided to quit.

I had reached 4000 PV. I was making very little or losing some money because of the tools and functions. I did not see prospects of making money even at platinum and now my upline wanted control of my life. I told my group the truth and all of them quit except 1 or 2 of them who were brainwashed enough to stay involved. That was my story and I have no regrets about my decision to quit. I hope this story helps a prospect or a current IBO to hear about life at the 4000 level.