Friday, August 29, 2014

How You Get "Sucked" Into Amway?

If you have ever sat through an Amway presentation and the follow up teachings as I did, you can get a clear picture of how the uplines slowly suck people into the system. The speaker will be introduced as a picture of success. Possibly introduced as being in the top 1/10 of 1% in income (But with no proof). They will talk about how taxes, insurance, and inflation eat away at your paycheck. More than likely they will say they suffered the same way until they figured out how to defeat these issues by making more money. Of course they will eventually drop the "A" bomb on you and say it's Amway. Very likely they will say that you should not care what it is if it gets results.

You are then shown the plan and many people think that 2-5 years and "finding six" is something very manageable for the results they promote (walking the beaches while residual income flows in). At the very least they say, you will make some money and save some money. Who can argue with that kind of logic? They will also likely mention that Amway is low risk or no risk with little or no start up costs. Again, how can you argue with that logic?

You finally convince yourself that you can do this. You sign up and you are likely told that it is important to get some tools because after all, a carpenter can't build homes without a hammer and saw and that any business owner would have to make some investment into their own business. So now because of the tools, you are operating at a loss. You may then be told that business owners normally operate at a loss for years and that it might also be wise to channel your bonuses back into your business by purchasing more tools.

Before you know it, months or years may pass before you start to realize that you are on a treadmill. You keep walking but end up going nowhere. Then your upline may tell you that the business is not about money but more about making lifelong friendships.

In my opinion, this whole system is a cleverly designed systematic way for uplines to slowly drain your resources and making you think that you are successful despite showing no profits. Your upline may edify small things like showing the plan or making a sacrifice to attend a function. Sadly, you will rarely see someone edified for actually making a net profit.

It's a slow process, but most people slowly get sucked into the system, just like quicksand. I hope IBOs and information seekers are able to recognize the scheme if and when it happens to them.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Amway Mentors Are Ruthless?

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 great, 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. The bar is slowly raised as your trust goes up until you to immersed in the tool system. The tool system will drain your bank account one cd, one book or one function at a time.

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 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. Going into debt for an Amway business is insanity as your business is not even generating enough income to pay for the tools or products you consume (for the vast majority).

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 Duncan 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.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Amway IBOs Judge Others?

One of the things that my upline taught, and I believe is still taught today in various groups is that winners join Amway and losers do not. Or that you were a winner because you were doing something to better your financial future and those who didn't were losers. or broke minded. Of course the upline who said this had no knowledge about those who were not in Amway. Some of them may already have been financially sound or may have been doing something to better their financial future. I'm not sure why these uplines, who promote "positive", had to resort to calling people losers simpy because they did not agree that Amway was the greatest thing since sliced bread. It's only positive if it's Amway related and anything non Amway is negative. Anyone see a problem with this?

In many games or sporting events, there will be someone or a team that wins the game and someone or a team that loses the game. Losing a game doesn't make you a loser and certainly, a team that wins the game would not say the losing team were losers. Can you imagine a Superbowl winning team's coach taking the podium after a game and saying his team won because the other team was a bunch or broke minded gutless losers? That would never happen, yet we see that frequently in the Amway/IBO world. The owner of Amway, Rich DeVos had once said in a recorded message that just because people do not agree with you (paraphrased) about Amway, does not make them losers and that IBOs should not call people losers. I believe this has been crafted by upline to apply pressure to downline IBOs to "never quit'.

In all of this, people's jobs are also criticized. That a job stands for "just over broke" or "jackass of the boss" and other insults. Many IBO's goals and dreams consist of ditching their job so they can sleep until "the crack of noon" and live a life of luxury. Ironically, it is most IBO's jobs that continue to produce income so they can pay their bills and feed their family. It is also an IBO's job that funds their Amway and AMO expenses such as product purchases and functions and voicemail, etc. Without having a job, most people could not even join Amway or pay for any tools. Sadly, most IBOs won't make any money in Amway either, and will have to continue to work at their jobs. I do not believe that someone earning an honest living working a job is a loser. Ironically, many of the folks calling people losers and broke are not even netting a profit from their Amway business!

Yes, in this business or the sports world, there will be winners and there will be losers. The question is whether you are the one who is allowed to be the judge of who is and who isn't. I would also suggest that IBOs are completely shutting down potential future business by their behavior. What if I went to a store to purchase something but the item was not available on that particular day, so I don't purchase anything and leave. As I leave, the store owner says I am a loser for not buying something there. Will I go back? Very unlikely. If an IBO truly sees themselves as a store owner, all prospects should be seen as potential business, whether future or present. If your upline tells you that people not interested are losers, you should hand him a mirror. Or inform your upline that when you point a finger at someone, there are even more fingers pointing back at you.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Amway IBOs Are........?

IBO = Independent Business Owner. Most Amway folks consider themselves IBOs, or independent business owners. To some, owning a business sounds cool. It sounds like you are achieving something and it may even seem that there is status involved in being a business owner. It is one of the reasons that may compel someone into signing up for the Amway opportunity. It was a small factor in gaining my interest some years aho when I was pitched the "plan".

Based on what I see and hear from Amway related blogs and forums, most people involved in the Amway opoprtunity are not business owners. They are simply customers. They are customers of Amway and they are customers of the system, consisting of voicemail, cds, books, and seminars. Does this sound confusing? Think about it. Many groups teach "buy from yourself" and get others to do the same. If you belong to one of these groups, you are being taught to be an Amway and system customer, nothing more and nothing less. Both Amway and the system profit from your loyal purchases and they fool you into thinking you are getting a good deal by giving you a tiny rebate each month. Only if you are able to lure enough gullible people into your downline will you finally be able to leverage their purchases to make a small profit. If you can get a large following, then you might make some nice coin, but it will come at the expense of the people who trusted you enough to sign up and follow you.

If you stop for a minute and truly think about a business, what business can thrive without customers? I cannot think of any businesses where there are little or no customers. Why would the Amway opportunity be any different? If you are your only, or your own best customer, then maybe you are not even a business owner, but simply a customer of Amway and a customer of the system. Think about this for a moment.

Without any sales to customers, or to people who are not Amway IBOs, any profit simply comes out of the pockets of the people in the Amway system. When you receive a rebate, you are simply getting some of your own money back. You have not generated any real profit. The only way to generate real profits is to sell to outside customers. This brings money into the system or Amway economy if you will. If not, an IBO is just a glorified customer bringing profits to Amway and the tools systems.

So are you a business owner or a customer?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Amway Is Get Rich Slow?

One of the things upline used to say was that Amway is not "get rich quick". I suppose they say this because most people would more likely think scam if they promoted it that way. But when you stop and think about it, 2-5 years, build it right and you have willable, residual income for life while walking the beaches of the world? That's not get rich quick? Or is it more of a disclaimer so that the opportunity doesn't sound "too good to be true"? One thing is for sure, even if uplines tell you that it's not get rich quick, it's obvious that IBOs think they will eventually get rich, even if it's not quick. Sadly, the only ones getting rich appear to be the ones who are getting a share of the money generated from the sale of tools and functions.

What most IBOs don't figure out quickly enough, is that they are unlikely to break even , much less make a profit, let alone getting rich in Amway. How many of these peoplle exist? Where are all of these retired Amway IBOs who built a business in 2-5 years and then walked away from their business and will be collecting a significant residual income for many years to come afterwards? I don't know of a single person who has done this and none of the Amway defenders and zealots I have encountered over the years has been able to supply this information either. Recently, two crown ambassadors passed away and they were still working until they passed. You can argue whether their works was easy or not, but having to be somewhere at a certain date and time is still the criticism against people's jobs.

I can acknowledge that Amway is a business opportunity and will definitely take some work to be able to achieve something. But thinking realistically, what business could you actually be able to walk away in 5 years and not work again? More than likely that business doesn't exist, whether it's Amway or not. Say you opened a conventional business. There wouldn't be many scenarios where you could walk away after a number of years. The business would still require work and maintenance. But for some reason, people are mislead to believe that you can do this in Amway where there is a high attrition rate and where your business can only expand by person to person. How can you actually build a business when most people who join either do nothing or do little and quit in the first year?

Sadly, many of the people who are attracted to the Amway opportunity are often young people looking to get more out of life. They are often ambitious but may lack a means to gain wealth, thus the appeal of the opportunity is there. Unfortunately, these nice young people are more likely to end up channeling their hard earned dollars into standing orders and functions which will almost guarantee that they end up with a net loss. The bottom line is that not only is Amway not get rich quick. The more likely scenario is that your involvement with Amway will very likely be not getting rich at all. A net loss is the most likely result. I challenge anyone to try and prove me wrong on this point.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fighting For Your Amway Dreams?

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. 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 20, 2014

Amway's Defense?

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.

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 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. Also, IBOs are restricted from advertising their goods, thus are relegated to person to person advertising, which is probably the least effective methos of getting the word out. 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.

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 thet there is no defense.