Friday, January 30, 2015

Being "Amway" Positive?

Recently, there's been some debate between critics and Amway supporters over an issue regarding a WWDB function called 'Dream Night". A WWDB IBO reported that the function was sold out but would not disclose the amount of a Dream Night ticket. He later posted an article saying that he was sorry for being "negative". Now as a former IBO from WWDB, I was taught to be only positive, That we have too much negative in our lives and that we need the positive. But there's a difference between being positive and being "Amway" positive. For example, if you got sick and caught a "cold", they would say they caught a "warm"

Now I agree that having only "negatives" in our lives would be detrimental. That eventually, we would be worn down by only negative. But conversely, the teaching of having only positive in your life can be equally damaging. I recall an old Twilight Zone episode where a guy allegedly dies and he thinks he went to heaven as a man in white came to him and offered to grant him what he wanted. He asked for girls and to be a winner in gambling. Well, the man could never lose a single bet. He won every single time and he had girls all over him. He found it to be no challenge and found life so mundane and predictable that he asked the man in white if he could lose once in a while or be challenged. The man in white basically said "no" and the man (I believe his name was Rocky) Rocky, said how come heaven was so lame (not verbatim). The man in white proceeded to tell him "what makes you think you're in heaven" and laughed incessantly while the Twilight Zone music ended the show.

Now being positive and having a good attitude is a good idea and probably good for your business, but having only positive and shutting out all negatives is a ridiculous thing and it seems as if WWDB leaders are still teaching it. What happens if your business gets audited? You tell the IRS man you can't speak to him if it's not "positive news"? What if you go to the doctor? You tell him don't let you know what's going on unless it's positive news? If there's a natural disaster in your town, you turn off the news because it's not "positive"? What if your body could not feel pain? Would that be positive for you? It might but the reality is that not feeling pain or having zero stress is likely to be detrimental to your health. It's a fact that people need some degree of stress in their lives. Too much or too little can actually cause you problems.

In my informed and experienced opinion, I believe that some Amway and WWDB leaders teach you to shut out negative in your life is because lots and lots and lots of people have negative experiences and things to say about Amway and WWDB. If you doubt me, ask about Greg Duncan, Dave Shores, Brad Wolgamott, Dean Kosage and some others. Ask your sponsor or your upline what happened to these folks. If they tell you nothing or that it's negative, I challenge you to google search and find out for yourself. If your upline still denies it or says you should shut out negative, maybe you should find out what they are hiding by shutting out all negative in their lives?

Having only positive in your life is probably "weird". Is that what you want to be?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Illusion Of Amway?

One of the things my upline taught us ad nauseum was that we needed to have faith in our business and in our upline. That we needed to believe that we were going to be successful. IBOs are told that they should act successful even if they are still working their way up the ranks in the business. It is why they ask (require) IBOs to wear suits and business attire to all meetings and functions. This is one of the weird quirks about the business in my opinion. I live in Hawaii and I remember a function they held in the middle of July in a high school auditorium and there was no air conditioning. I think my suit needed special cleaning because it was completely saturated with persiration.

Anyway, with this part of the year, soon there will be thousands of IBOs shuffling off to a function called dream night, or in some cases, winter conference. The tickets are about $60 to $80 and includes a dinner. What IBOs are often unaware of is that many venues will allow you to run these conferences for $20 to $25 per person. The rest of that ticket prices goes directly into your upline's pockets. Anyway, the dream night function will feature slide shows of mansions, yachts, jet skis, sports cars, fabulous vacations and other trappings of wealth.

What many IBOs don't realize is that this display of wealth is just that. There is no bonafide evidence to indicate that these diamonds actually own all of those toys and goodies. The diamonds probably won't verbally confirm it either, because these toys and goodies may not really be owned by them. It could be rented, or maybe some upline corwn ambassador may own the mansion, but IBOs will assume that these trappings of wealth are common once you reach diamond. As an IBO, I never actually knew how much a diamond really earned. I just assumed it was a lot because we were shown all of these goodies and just assumed all diamonds had these kinds of lifestyles.

If I posted a picture of a mansion and a jet and said I owe it all to my earnings as a blogger, people would cry foul, that I am lying or making things up. And they would be right. Well, I would guess that many diamonds are doing the very same thing if they appear on stage and implying that they have jets and mansions. As I said, someone may own a mansion and a jet, but to imply that this is a part of the typical diamond lifestyle is a stretch. The evidence is there. Some diamonds have lost their homes to foreclosure. My old LOS diamonds (WWDB) taught us that diamonds pay cash for everything, including homes. Now confirmed as a blatant lie. Who knows what else they may have misrepresented?

I ask IBOs and prospects who may be attending dream night, to watch with a critical eye. What is being implied with the display of wealth? Analyze if those goodies can be purchased with a diamond income ($150,000 plus some tool income). Ask yourself if this lifestyle is truly sustainable? Ask yourself if you can live with yourself if deception is a part of earning your diamond lifestyle?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Is Your Amway Upline Just A Salesman?

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 neverending 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 saleman telling you that the extended warranty was vital to owning the car. You'd think twice about it, yet 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.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Retired Amway Diamonds And Other Myths?

I was watching a show on Discovery channel the other night about Sasquatch. It was followed by a show about evidence of UFOs. It made me start to think about these phenomena. It seems like everyone has heard about or knows something about Sasquatch (Big foot) and/or UFOs. There are many documentaries showing pictures and evidence of both, but to date, there is no bonafide evidence that these things exist. You'd think that a body or bones of a Sasquatch would turn up somewhere, sooner or later, or we would find compelling evidence of a spaceship from another galaxy.

It sounds just like stories of people who built a diamondship, then "walked away" from their businesses, retired in the lap of luxury and did nothing while the money kept rolling in. I heard numerous scenarios about this happening, but looking back, all the diamonds kept working and since Joecool left the business, the diamond either kept working, or quit or got terminated. But I never heard anyone name some higher up Amway pin who built a business, and then walked away from it to travel the beaches of the world while hundreds of thousands of dollars kept rolling in. Many have heard about it but nobody seems to be able to name any of these folks. I mean after over 50 years in existence, you'd think some of these folks would exist, especially when it seems to be a selling point of the business for many AMOs.

It is my opinion that Sasquatch, UFOs and retired Amways diamonds (with significant Amway income) are non existent. If these folks existed, there should be at least some shred of evidence of it. The lack of evidence indicates to me that it is either non existent or so rare that nobody can display bonafide proof. I mean there aren't any T-Rexs roaming the earth anymore but fossil evidence proves that they existed at one time.

Keeping in mind that the Amway business has a high attrition rate, coupled with low sales to non IBOs and you can easily conclude that residual and significant income is nearly impossible. An Amway business that is left alone will deteriorate like a sandcastle does as the waves wash it away. You (in theory) could possible walk away from an Amway business for a while and collect some income, but you won't be collecting enough income to live the "diamond lifestyle" as portrayed by diamonds in their functions and open meetings. I'm not even sure that active diamonds can comfortably afford that lifestyle even when building their businesses. There is ample evidence to support my claim. Diamonds losing homes to foreclosure, former diamonds revealing secrets about their income. If you really believe you can walk away from your Amway business and collect untold wealth, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. :-)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Advancing Yourself In Amway?

So many eager young people join Amway with the hopes that they will retire early, live a life of luxury and basically enjoy life with no worries. Most of the people who join Amway are very likely to be motivated, hard working and wanting more out of life. Their intentions are great but it leads to the question of why do so few people actually get anywhere in Amway and why are there so few new diamonds, at least in the US and Canada?

I think part of the problem is that the folks who recruit new prospects into Amway often imply that everyone has a chance to be a diamond and they also imply that it's not that difficult. I heard comments once that going platinum was so easy that someone's dog could do it. It's obviously not true when less than one percent of IBOs ever reach the platinum level and even those who do often are unable to maintain that level of volume.

Now let's break it down to numbers. A platinum group is often typically 100 to 150 IBOs. Of course not all of them are busy moving products or recruiting downline. A diamond group is six platinum groups plus some side volume, thus a diamond group is likely to have 750 to 1000 IBOs. Being a platinum can be compared to being the manager of a company and a diamond is like being a CEO of a big organization. In a job, you can work your way up and eventually become a manager or CEO. Some IBOs think they can never achieve those goals at work, but they mistakenly think they can surpass their sponsors in Amway so it's a better deal. But even if you earn more than your sponsor, does that mean you will eventually reach platinum or diamond? I think a better gauge of success would be those who go diamond. Diamond is often portrayed as the pinnacle of success and is the target shown in "the plan".

However, as I stated, going diamond would also be like achieving the level of CEO in a company. There is only so much room at the top. That is true. While there can be many diamonds, you would still need to have about 100 to 150 downline to achieve platinum and you would still need six platinum downline groups equating about 750 to 1000 downline IBOs to be diamond, plus your personal group. Thus a diamond is like a CEO who creates his own company. Factor in that half your group is likely to quit each year, thus you must replace hundreds of IBOs every year to maintain the minimum qualification of platinum or diamond. Add the in name "Amway" that makes some people cringe and maintaining a group is a daunting task. Imagine being a CEO of a company that loses half of their employees every year. That's what a diamond "lifestyle" includes.

It is my informed opinion that a diamond lifestyle is one of hectic schedules, constantly working to help your groups maintain volume and bringing in new IBOs, plus sponsoring and maintaining your own personal group of 2500 PV volume. If you cannot maintain 2500 PV personal volume, I believe you would not qualify for some of the bonuses paid by Amway. Also, because the rest of the workers normally works 8-5 or so, a diamond is out working the night shift and odd hours trying to keep the group intact. Also, factor in the travel to functions for speaking engagements and a constant churning of meetings and you have little time to actually work your business and spend time with family. Sadly, many people join to gain more time and money and they often end up with less time and less money because of their involvement with the constant meetings and functions.

So can someone succeed in Amway? Certainly it has been done, but I believe that many diamonds are possibly busier working odd hours than someone with a job with regular hours. The diamond lifestyle may be shown as fabulous, but I believe the reality is not as nice a picture. See my previous post about visiting with a diamond.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The CORE Program?

What is CORE? CORE is a program designed by some LOS to help you achieve higher levels in the business. But upon closer inspection, it seems that most steps are more beneficial to upline that the IBO.

Breakdown of CORE and why it doesn’t work. Here are the CORE steps. Some groups may have variations of CORE, but this is generally what many groups use:

1 - Show the Plan (10-15 per month)
2 - Retail the Products (10 customers @10 PV each)
3 – Tapes/cds
4 - Books
5 - Functions (attend all)
6 - Accountability
7 - Counsel with Upline (Be teachable!)
8 - Buy 100% of your own products
9 – Communikate

Many upline will tell you that your success is nearly 100% guaranteed if you follow these steps for 2-5 years. Some Amway enthusiasts will tell you that 6 months of this activity will nearly assure you of a platinum level business. Certain steps are within the IBO’s control, such as reading every day and listening to cds, and attending functions. It is also easy enough to be accountable, counsel with upline, buy your own products, and use KATE (voicemail).

Here’s where an IBO’s efforts will break down. Showing the plan and retailing products. And remember, if you cannot do these steps then you are not considered “CORE” and your upline will likely tell you that it is your own fault and that you simply haven’t been CORE, therefore you did not achieve success. There is some truth in this but let me expose the system in a different angle.

Amway has a spotty reputation in the US. I don’t think anyone can dispute this fact. Therefore, for the vast majority of people, being able to show the plan 10-15 times per month is a nearly impossible task. If you are able to do this, you are a really good salesman or a good liar. In this scenario, the IBO is already successful, but not because of CORE, but simply because the IBO has the gift of being able to convince people into seeing the plan. But for many IBOs, they may contact hundreds of people and not be able to get anyone to see the plan. Even IBOs who follow upline advice on how to contact will probably not be able to show 10-15 plans per month. Thus this IBO, who is doing the work, will not be able to succeed. The system will blame the IBO, but the reality is that the IBO has too big of a disadvantage to overcome.

Secondly, with high prices (on average) and with a spotty reputation, most IBOs are unable to retail products. Amway itself has admitted that less than 4% of Amway products are sold to customers (non IBOs). Thus most IBOs are unable to sell products, therefore they are not CORE, therefore upline will blame the IBO for failure..

What if an IBO contacts 1000 people and cannot get 10 people to see the plan? Upline will claim that IBO is not CORE and therefore it is personal failure of the IBO. IMO, the only reason why upline can claim that CORE works is because in order to do the CORE steps consistently, you have to already be at a certain level of success. The vast majority of IBOs cannot and will never be able to reach that level.

That is the myth and the deception that many uplines will use to attract recruits. That each IBO can do the CORE steps. When only a fraction of 1% ever reach the level of platinum or higher, the numbers strongly support what is written here. Apologists are welcome to try and prove me wrong, but they can't.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Amway IBOs Need Motivation Because They Don't Make Money?

I believe that Amway IBOs have approximately a 50% attrition rate for the first year alone. If you look at a 5 year window, I believe the attrition rate is something like 95%. So what we're saying is that out of 100 IBOs, only 5 will be around in 5 years, or out of 1000 IBOs, 50 will remain after 5 years. This is extremely significant because if you are a business builder, you will need to replace half of your IBOs every single year. For this reason, I am very doubtful that there are IBOs who "built the business right and built it once", who no longer do Amway related work, but still collect significant residual income. I would guess that significant income could be defined as being enough to live a lifestyle in the top tax bracket (for the US) without having to report to a J-O-B.

Now I understand that some IBOs take it personally when I bring up subjects like this. It is because they have been deceived by some upline diamond or big pin who has sold them on a dream of financial prosperity for life if they will only work hard for 2-5 years. I once thought so too, but realized that there isn't a single diamond that I know of who built the business right and walked away to enjoy the beaches of the world while truckloads of money rolls in. Kinda makes you wonder why you see Crowns still working, and diamonds actually quitting or resigning. I have asked the question many times and it has never been answered. Can anyone name a few people who built their business right and built it once who is currently enjoying these lifelong residuals? Also, if that were a benefit, why doesn't Amway say so?

Instead, you have a constant and endless flow of motivation being sold to IBOs. This motivation comes in the form of cds, books, meetings, functions and other things like voicemail messages. It's sad that IBOs have to continue to pay through the nose for motivation and "teaching" about the Amway business when there are cheaper and more efficient means of communication. For example, why would you need an expensive voicemail when a facebook group account can disseminate messages to your group in seconds at no cost? It is because the uplines want to extract every possible sent from their downline. Because of the internet, I believe people are starting to figure things out and avoid the systems altogether. I hope Joecool's blog contributes to this.

All the motivation IBOs truly need is to see a net profit at the end of the month. If IBOs actually earned an extra $200 a month, or $50 a month, or $600 a month as advertised, there would be no need for motivational speeches. The IBOs would simply look at the growth in their finances and they would keep going. The poor retention rate is easy to explain. IBOs are losing money because of the system expenses and they lose their motivation to continue. If you are an IBO or a prospect, stop and think for a minute. If you are making an extra $200 a month with minimal effort, would you need functions and other materials to motivate you? Or would you have intrinsic motivation from the profit? All the motivation you will ever need is a net profit. Take that to the bank