Monday, September 29, 2014

After The Amway Honeymoon Is Over?

I send this message to inform IBOs tha they should be aware of their circumstances in business. What I mean is when you are a new IBO, it is common for you to buy/sell your 100 PV, and perhaps listen to some cds. If you basically did what your sponsor or upline advised, you made your 100 PV bonus level and you will receive a bonus from Amway for about $10. If you did as advised by your upline/sponsor, then you likely made a namelist and started contacting some potential business partners aka prospects. You're probably a bit excited because things are going as you expected. You did your part and a bonus is on it's way to your doorstep. Heck, you may have even sponsored a friend or relative because of your newly found excitement and enthusiasm. It's new and shiny like being on a honeymoon for newlyweds.

But what happens after a few months? If you are still doing 100 PV and have no downline, then what are the chances that you will ever achieve anything? Your excitement is wearing off and now the Amway opportunity is becoming "work". You are also starting to notice that it is starting to get expensive to continue to purchase products, many of which you never purchased before. For example, were you buying cases of energy drinks and "high end" vitamins before Amway? Did you buy $50 cases of bottled water before Amway? Supposedly their laundry soap and other cleaners are highly concentrated, therefore your consumables are the nutrition/vitamin products.

Even if you managed to find some downline, are they duplicating what you do? Are they also moving volume and sponsoring downline? If not, what are your chances of fulfilling the 6-4-2 plan or some similar version of it. When I saw the plan, I thought it was reasonable and I was on my way to platinum. What I discovered though, is that as you progress, upline has greater expectations of you and that includes more tool purchases. (I was in WWDB). In the end, my recommended tool purchases ate up any profits I had and at the 4000 level, I was just about breaking even, which means I was at a loss when factoring in my time spent and other miscellaneous expenses such as gas money.

Where are you at? If you're been in for more than a year, are you on schedule to become platinum or are you at 200 PV with one downline? Maybe you have a small group with 600 PV? You still aren't close to a net profit. For the vast majority of people, success is not right around the corner. What's around the corner for most is more time lost, more money expended, and no progress. If your group is now growing each and every month, you are sliding backwards. If you don't constantly have new IBOs coming into the group, you are probably stagnant. With about half of IBOs dropping out each year, keeping a group together is a tremendous task.

IBOs, where are you at after a few months? Where are you at after a year? If you haven't gone platinum, it is nearly a certainty that it will never happen, despite what your upline might say. The facts are there, it's a matter of whether you want to believe it or not.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

IBOs Take Amway's Risk?

This makes perfect sense from an manufacturers point. You dont pay Advertising. That way, Amway has no risk. The IBOs bear the burden for Amway.

In a way, Amway IBOs donate/dedicate much or most of their free time to doing advertising for Amway's products and services. They give absolutely free advertising to Amway at work, at school, in the office, at their church, at family barbeques, by trying to start a (fake) friendly conversation with a stranger at the local Barnes and Noble, or at local eateries, or the local supermarket. Some have coined the term "stalking" when refering to IBOs on the prowl for new prospects.

The first is, well yes, that's wonderful for Amway. But where in the world did you get the idea it was good for you? If Walmart or Costco could sell you products for a marked-up cost, and ALSO get you to do all their advertising for them, for free then why wouldn't they?

Most customers/consumers would notice that their time has value, and remember to tack it onto the cost of the products they're paying. Eventually, they would say: "Oh wait! I'm paying more for the product and donating free advertising to the company! In addition to free advertising, it is also the IBOs who recruit other salespeople to join the business and to advertise and push products for Amway.

In Amway's case, most people won't notice this because they have dollar-signs in their eyes. They have "dreams" of walking the beaches while cash rolls in forever. Amway and AMOs such as WWDB or Network 21 convinces people that they're actually making themselves rich by this behavior, not going into debt. They apparently convince people to ignore obvious facts such as your business taking a loss due to standing orders and functions. It will be cleverly diguised as investing in your business, or that you are becoming a better person, or that true success is right around the corner.

Amway now pays for advertising, but I believe it is mainly to give their IBOs some credibility. They can say "see, Amway advertises on national TV. how can they be a scam"? In reality, I don't believe that Amway advertising dollars have made a significant difference in most IBO's bottom lines.

Recently, Amway and some of their supporters reported that IBO retention is up in North America. But their report doesn't provide any evidence or even imply that IBOs are profitable.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Your Upline's Credentials?

I recently read a comment from an Amway zealot. She mentions that someone's credentials must be considered when looking at information that is presented. I will comment that showing me a sports car or a fancy suit is not proof of financial success. Strange how they question credentials of everyone except their beloved leaders, some of whom told bold faced lies in the past.

I find this subject ironic because not one single upline leader, as far as I know, has ever supplied bonafide credentials about themselves. The audience assumes that the person on stage has high credentials, but do they really? Certainly, if someone is wearing a diamond pin for example, that this person has at least achieved the diamond level as recognized by Amway, but the level may not be current, and the level doesn't indicate the kind of income this person earns from Amway. Also, the diamond pin is one that is like a lifetime achievement, meaning you could have been diamond for 6 months in 1982 and never qualified again, but you can still wear the pin as you are still recognized as having achieved diamond status. I guess Joecool should be refered to as 4000 PV if that is the case.

What many people wrongly assume is that the diamonds buy homes and cars in cash, that they wake up at noon every day and participate in leisure activities all day while the cash rolls in. I have heard from some new IBOs, that their upline makes more money taking a crap in the morning than a critic makes in a whole year at a job. That IBO became quiet when some critics offered to take that bet. I doubt that any diamonds would take that bet.

But the truth of the matter is that as far as I know, only former diamonds have come clean about their Amway income. They are the only ones who spoke of credentials and accomplishments. Even critics of Amway will often openly speak about their experiences and achieved levels in the business. In the REAL business world, showing business tax returns and credentials are a normal part of doing business. It appears that only in the world of Amway is the supply of credentials and financial statements a big secret. Now I am not suggesting that IBOs or upline leaders should disclose their financials to the entire world, but certainly prospects and some downline should be able to see what their upline is doing financially, especially if that is the basis for purchasing their standing orders and function tickets. And I refer to business (Amway and Tools) income and expenses only, not from other personal sources.

I believe that IBOs and upline leaders do not disclose that information because it would not be beneficial to them. If it were, they would likely publish it freely, just as they flash around copies of checks. IBOs and prospects should take this to heart and ask upline the tough questions

Monday, September 22, 2014

What's The Real Chance Of Succeeding In Amway?

One thing that many Amway promoters don't like to talk about is what your realistic chances of success are. I will define success as Diamond because that is what the outcome of the 6-4-2 and 2-5 year plan. Of course you may be able to earn some income at lower levels, but my understanding is that diamond is where the real money from Amway and the tools start rolling in. And I can also understand why people promoting Amway do not discuss your realistic chances of winning. Afterall, lottery promoters do not show you the millions of losers, they only parade the winners in front of you.

Many people, including Amway enthusiasts will agree that many IBO do little or nothing. Some people never even place an order or make any attempt to do any business. For the purpose of this article, I am not speaking about these folks. I am talking about people who actually put in some effort to the business.

For many people who want to make an earnest effort, they will purchase and hopefully sell a few items with the goal of reaching 100 PV. For that effort, you will receive approximately $10 from Amway and whatever profit you might have earned by selling products. Here's the catch. You will likely need to pay website fees in excess of the $10 you earn from Amway. For the more dedicated IBOs, you may be payin for voicemail, standing orders, book of the month, and possibly attending functions. These expenses will exceed your income month after month unless you are able to increase your volume by selling enough products and/or sponsoring downline who buy and sell products.

Because Amway has to include the IBO bonuses in their prices, the products come at a premium price. Thus sales to non IBOs are relatively low. Without sales to non IBOs, the only other way to generate more volume is to sponsor people who will buy and sell products. But due to past unethical IBO behavior, getting people to see the Amway sales and marketing plan may be a challenge. Also, most IBOs are unable to sponsor a single downline.

Some Amway enthusiasts will claim that if you do their CORE steps for 2-5 years consistently, that you are likely to succeed. Sound easy, but becaue of the factors I have identified, some of these steps are impossible to do consistently. It's not like walking a mile each day where you have control of the step. People will likely fail in showing the plan and sponsoring others because they cannot find enough people who are willing to see an Amway plan. Many, possibly most other IBOs can and will do certain steps consistently such as listening to a CD daily and reading a success book. But because of a spotty reputation in the US, IBOs will very likely fail to be able to show enough plans to succeed.

Your realistic chance of success? My informed guess is less than 1 tenth of 1 percent. That's the likelihood of going diamond. Your chance of going platinum? My informed guess will be less than 1/2 of 1 percent. If you think you can beat those odds, go for it. For most people, it might be wise to look into other opportunities.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Amway Will "Set You Free"?

When I was an IBO, I often saw my upline diamond driving around town dressed in a business suit. I used to wonder why he keeps working if he can "walk away" and collect residual income? My sponsor told me that the diamond only works because he cares about his downline and wants to help them. So there are two possible scenarios, the diamond is working to help his downline out of a genuine concern for them, or possibly he is working because he has to! The only difference now is that the diamond works the nite and/or graveyard shift, because many IBOs are building the business after the complete their day jobs. This is probably why diamonds sleep until the "crack of noon", because they are working all night!

Now Amway has stated that the average diamond earns about $147,000 a year. That is a decent income, but after yaxes and paying for basic expenses such as medical and dental insurance, the average diamond probably lives a very middle class lifestyle. Keep in mind that a large portion of a diamond's income comes in the form of an annual bonus, thus a diamond's monthly income may be quite small. Yes, diamonds may have other sources of income such as speaking engagements and income from standing orders and functions. But this income depends on the diamond's continued appearances and efforts.

So is it likely that a diamond is "free"? I would have to conclude that a diamond is not free, and may actually have to spend more time maintaining his group than if the diamond simply had a 9-5 job. For one thing, a diamond needs to maintain a personal group to keep qualifying for bonuses. With a poor retention rate in Amway, I am fairly sure that a diamond spends much time recruiting personally sponsored IBOs to maintain this group. Additionally, a diamond must help his six or more groups of downline platinums to maintain their businesses or face the possibility of falling out of qualification. My former diamond dropped down to the emerald level but has since re-qualified at diamond. A diamond must also dedicate time to reward up and coming movers and shakers, to keep them motivated. I got to spend time with my upline diamond when I was considered a promising up and coming pin.

In order to continue to receive tools income, a diamond must also travel to numerous functions and speaking engagements. Although the tools income allegedly doubles a diamond's income, it also adds a lot of expenses, especially if the diamond and his family travel first class to show off the diamond lifestyle, and stays in 5 star hotels. It is probably why diamonds need free transportation to and from the airport and why they stay with friends when traveling as much as possible.

After breaking down projected income and considering projected expenses, I can only conclude that a diamond probably lives a middle to upper middle class lifestyle, and probably works as much as a man with a 9-5 job, except that a diamond works nites and weekends. A good portrait of this is shown in Ruth Carter's book (Amway Motivational Organizations: Behind The Smoke and Mirrors). In the book, the diamond had a net income of over $300,000, but lived in debt, could barely pay his mortgage, and was always on the run from one function to the next. It is very expensive and time consuming to travel from city to city showing off your freedom and diamond lifestyle.

Is this the freedom you are seeking?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Amway And Motivation?

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.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Amway Friends?

You hang out with friends, generally people you like and have similar interests. You have good and bad times, but your true friends are there for you when you need them. You move residences, your friends are there to help you move. They may play a round of golf with you, or watch some sporting events, dinners, backyard barbeques, etc. These are folks you will likely end up retiring with and enjoying your golden years. Sure, circumstance may break apart some friendships. or moves made out of necessity. But these folks will likely remainas your friends for a long time to come.

But suddenly, you get enticed to join Amway. You see the "chance" to get rich, with a shortcut (not get rich quick, but a "shortcut"). You sign up and your sponsor is your new "best" friend. Most of the people you enjoyed being with think Amway is a questionable venture to get involved in. Suddenly, because of what you have been told or taught, you view these same nice people as "broke" or "losers", simply because they do not share the same ambition of untold wealth working 12-15 hours a weeek. Suddenly, you friends become prospects, or people you want to sponsor so you start recruiting them. Some may join, but most won't. Suddenly you are immersed in recruitment meetings, functions, and avoiding "negative", which is people and events that do not support your Amway business.

Now you are missing birthday parties, barbeques, and other social events. Your social events are now recruitment meetings, seminars and Amway business related events. You are taught that these events can be put off and your gratification delayed. You can do whatever you want when you go diamond. (Even though there me be only one (1) diamond out of every ten or twenty thousand IBOs) Your dedication will pay off right? Sadly, for most people, even very dedicated people, all they will see is losses on their yearly tax returns, mainly due to the purchase of cds, books, voicemail and function tickets. But these are your "friends" right?

Here's my take on it. Try missing a few meetings or functions. Stop buying cds and see how many "friends" remain from the business. It is likely that your upline will claim that you walked away from the friendship by slowing down on the "system". If that happens, then you have conditional friends, or fairweather friends. They are your "friends" while you are pursuing the same cause. They are your friends when you are attending functions. Are they there for you in bad times?

A short while after I attended my last function (I was still an IBO, just not a business builder), my dad passed away. Not a single one of my IBO "friends" bothered to attend the memorial service. Not a single one of my IBO friends called or dropped by the home to pay their respects. All of my "real" friends, who saw through the AMO smoke and mirrors called to talk to me and/or attended the memorial service.

Are your IBO friends conditional friends? Mine were.