Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Amway Business Expenses?

Many uplines will use slightly deceptive recruitment tactics when getting new people to see or register into the Amway business. One of the common things was how joining Amway has very little risk, no or very little overhead. This is true, if an IBO is not involved in any of th system related training. However, it is the goal of many if not most uplines to get as many IBOs involved in the system as possible. This is probably because selling standing orders, voicemails and seminars has a higher profit margin for some uplines than the actual movement of Amway volume. So some newbies might join thinking Amway won't cost them much, only to find out that 100 PV might run them more than $300. They may not be aware that standing orders and functions never end and can add an additional cost of up to several hundreds of dollars more. Uplines will then justify the expense by saying the IBO is investing in his/her business.

New IBOs, and especially IBOs who are single should seriously think about the cost of being a business building IBO before joining. Many or most prospects don't know that building an Amway business using system tools and "coaching" can cost them up to $500 or more each month. A single person more than likely cannot possibly consume 100 PV worth or products on a monthly basis unless they almost exclusively consume XS drinks and Nutrilite vitamins. And secondly, how many singles or prospects were consuming cases of energy drinks and vitamins ($300 monthly) before being presented with the Amway business? How many people were willing to fork out hundreds of dollars for a weekend function that may require airfare and hotel stay? I don't think too many people like this exist. But I believe they do so because they have been sold a dream of financial freedom, of early retirement and not having to work a job anymore. But the evidence would suggest that once the dream disappears or reality sets in, how many (former) IBOs continue to purchase Amway products and attend seminars?

I know of many former IBOs and I don't know of any who purchase Amway products on a regular basis and I don't know of ANYONE who has ever forked out money to attend an Amway/AMO function after they stopped being an IBO. Amway's numbers bear out this claim as there is very little sales to people who are not IBOs. The IBO salesforce is responsible for consuming the lion's share of Amway's products and services. I myself have purchased an Amway product or two since I left the business. But I did so only to humor friends who were still in the business. They have all since quit. It is very reasonable to conclude that once the desire to build the business stops, the desire to purchase Amway products also stops.

Most eager young and motivated people who sign up often do not realize that these IBO expenses exist. While Amway acknowledges that these tools and systems expenses are optional, the uplines who promote the tools may suggest that it is insanity to attempt to build an Amway business without the tools or strongly encourage new IBOs to partake. A common statement was that we "needed" to be at the next function no matter what. Missing it would set your business back six months. New IBOs and prospects don't know better so they will often conform. Sadly, there is ZERO unbiased evidence that the tools and seminars do anything to increase IBO volume and/or the sponsorship rate. In my informed and experienced opinion, the tools are ineffective and the vast majority if IBOs would be better off handing their upline a monthly check for $100 and not building the business or buying any products.

IBOs and information seekers should be awar of these potential IBO expenses and determine if the expenses would be worth your while. Keep in mind that someone upline profits handsomely from the tools, even if you do not make a cent from your Amway business. You should have your best interest at heart, no matter what your upline tells you.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Do You Know Your Amway Upline?

One thing that I was unaware of as an IBO was that our uplines were massively profiting from our tools purchases. I was in WWDB at the time and I was told very clearly that nobody made money from the tools and in fact, I was also told that WWDB was a non profit organization. Both of these statements were bold lies told by WWDB leaders and they have never been held accountable. We were told that upline cared about us and our success, thus they spent their own money to fly to functions to teach us how to succeed. Turns out they were all lies.

Eventually, the internet amd other media made it impossible to cover up these lies and uplines finally admitted that they profitted from tools. However, it looks like they downplayed the magnitude of the tools profits. I believe some upline may have made most of their income from tools, especially leaders who may have fallen out of qualification. Now days, the upline admits they make some profits from tools, but there is still a great deal of secrecy in the tools business. What makes the whole thing ironic is that the uplines allegeldy are not supposed to entice Amway prospects into joining by using the tools money as a draw, but at the same time, they are told that tools are vital to their success. Uplines also show off trappings and lifestyles to attract recruits, but I believe that these trappings were likely obtained with tool income. Tool income has a higher profit margin than Amway products and fewer people in the pay plan so it makes perfect sense.

I wonder how many prospects or IBOs would be fired up about buying tools if they knew that their uplines might not currently be qualified at the level they claim to be, and knowing that the uplines will make a ton of money whether or not you make a cent as an IBO? Also, some uplines are shameless in pushing the tools on downline. Sure they might cut the newest guy a break and loan them some cds, but once that IBO decides to start building downline, they are likely to be told that a real business owner buys their own tools, or that a business owner needs to be a leader and purchase extra tools for their downline.

How would you feel uf your upline is touting themselves as a financial genious but in the background, their homes are foreclosed or they have financial difficulties? What if your upline touts their morals and you find out they are divorced or getting a divorce? What if your upline said Amway saves marriages? Your upline certainly won't say they are perfect, but conversely, they should be held to the highest standards if they are using their status to be able to sell tools and make large profits.

Friday, November 27, 2015

My (Fair Weather) 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, movies, etc. These are folks you will likely end up retiring with and enjoying your golden years.

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. Sadly, many of these "negative" people were likely what you previously thought of as "good friends".

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 (birthday parties, etc.) can be put off and your gratification delayed. You can do whatever you want when you go diamond. (Even though there might 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 fair weather 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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Don't Quit Your Day Job!

So many IBOs have grandiose dreams of untold wealth, financial freedom. They think they will "build it once' and sit back on the beaches of the world sipping exotic drinks while the 6 figure checks keep coming in the mail. Sure it's a nice thought, but not a single IBO I have encountered can name a single IBO who achieved diamond, and walked away from the business to enjoy freedom while the money pours into their bank accounts. It is very likely that nobody like this exists. I suppose someone could go diamond and walk away from the business and still earn some bonuses, but very quickly, that business would likely fall out of qualification and the bonuses would shrink to nothing very quickly. Also, to earn bonuses, I believe an IBO needs to have side volume exceeding 2500 PV, which is roughly $7500 monthly in personal group volume. With normal attrition, it's easy to see how a diamond business can fall apart faster than a cheap suit without maintenance.

I also see and hear many IBOs popping off about how someone in their upline is earning $60,000 a year. While it may seem like a nice income to someone who has a low paying or entry level job, that income is gross and may not leave much left after taxes and associated business expenses. Even a diamond with an average income of $150,000 in a year likely has a very low monthly income from Amway as much of that income comes in the form of an annual bonus. As a former emerald once told me, you needed to budget out that annual bonus or you could be in financial trouble later in the year, if Amway is your sole source of income.

Also, you may have seen diamond showing off sports cars and other displays of wealth. My former LOS, WWDB has a function called "Dream nite" where they show off lavish displays of wealth. Well, it is my informed guess that most diamonds cannot afford the lifestyles and toys that they show off in these functions. If you do the math, you can see that after taxes and other expenses, a diamond lifestyle is likely to be quite ordinary. Normally, nobody would care about this but since diamonds use this display of wealth to recruit IBOs and to sell tools, it is significant for IBOs to know.

While it is great for someone to have dreams and goals, it is also important to have achievable goals. It is simply impossible for a room of IBOs to go diamond and to earn the kind of income that is shown in "the plan". Amway recruiters will show you "what's possible", but not "what's likely". To put perspective on that, it's "possible" that you can start a software company that puts microsoft out of business, but it's not likely. It's possible for you to win the lottery, but not likely. My advice to IBOs is not to quit your day jobs - ever. Your dreams and goals can be accomplished in many ways, but it is unlikely to be achieved with an Amway business.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Amway Recruits?

One thing is clear. Many Amway recruits are shown fancy cars and toys, along with luxurious vacations and trappings. This is a way to get prospects excited and interested in signing up for the Amway opportunity. Many sign up, and the excitement fades and they quit. Many do little or nothing. But what many people do not understand or realize is that there is a reason for this. Many do little or nothing, I suspect because the business is much harder to build than adevrtised.

Because Amway has a stigma in the US (and growing in other locations), finding prospects is a daunting task. Add in the high prices of Amway products and you have major challenges that IBOs simply cannot overcome. Most simply quit and fade away into society. Some, like myself were lied to and abused, with upline leaders (WWDB)who were never held accountable for their actions. Thus I blog so others may share my experiences and can decide if they wish to climb insurmountable challenges for a miniscule chance of financial success. Maybe they will realize they are being fed the same lies I heard as an IBO. Maybe some little nugget of information will get through and help a prospect or ongoing IBO.

What many leaders do is evolve their teachings. They start to teach their IBOs that the Amway opportunity may have made them nicer people, better fathers or husbands and other nice to hear stories because it covers up the fact that these IBOs are not making money. Sometimes I wonder how someone can be a better person by deceiving others about the business opportunity, or how you can be a better father or husband when Amway meetings become a priority over your family and friends? Or how you can be a nicer person and leave threatening messages on forums with those who disagree about Amway being a great business opportunity?

Rather that justifying your involvement or looking ar side benefits, IBOs should be looking at their bottom line. If your Amway "Business" is not generating enough money to pay for your voicemail and other expenses and leaving you with a net profit, then what exactly is your upline teaching you that is worth the ongoing expense? If you are like most, you are told that Amway has no overhead and has little risk. Well, that becomes untrue after months pass by and you have spent hundreds if not thousands on support materials that do not deliver you a net profit. Are you being taught that you're successful simply by showing up for a function?

Are you new or a tenured IBO? Has your teaching from upline evolved away from making money as the bottom line? If so, what do you do next?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Amway And College?

Many IBOs justify their involvement in the system of cds, tapes, books and seminars by comparing it to college. They claim they need this education and that it is much cheaper when compared to a college or university. Of course this is the upline propaganda that IBOs are fed, much like the concept that a job is a bad idea. If recruiters are encouraging you to build Amway and to drop college, I would run away as fast as possible. It is well documented that college graduates in general, earn much more than non college graduates. I'd also mention that college was a fun experience for me.

In college, it is true that not everyone graduates, but approximately half of those who start college end up graduating. Those who do not graduate still benefit from their education on a year to year or course by course basis. When you are job seeking, a college degree will give you more options than those who don't educate. This claim cannot be made by Amway IBOs. The education an IBO receives by seminars and cds do not even equate to success in Amway, much less in other venues in life. Only a small fraction of IBOs ever reach platinum, which supposedly is the break even point. So as an IBO, you have less than one half of a one percent chance to break even as compared to approximately a 50% chance of graduating college.

Also, once you graduate and receive your degree/diploma, it is complete. You have your degree and no more education is required. In Amway, your education will never end. You'll be expected to invest in the tools and functions forever. Also, in Amway, there are many many many examples of people who reached levels as high as diamond or above who could not maintain the level. There are also many examples of diamonds who quit Amway. If there were such a thing as "residual" income, why would anyone quit when they could sit back and watch the cash roll in. I think the answer is quite obvious. Residual income is a myth. I believe that diamonds might be working full time to maintain their groups. With people quitting daily, it takes a lot of effort to replace the quitters with new recruits.

There is also no evidence (as far as I know) that your Amway related education of cds and seminars actually work. The tiny fraction of 1% of successful IBOs is not a good case for arguing the success of the system. Colleges on the other hand, have accreditation standards, which is nothing like the ineffective Amway accreditation of groups such as BWW, WWDB or Network 21. The results are quite telling if you look at them analytically.

The fact that IBOs even dare to compare a college education to their teaching in Amway is a joke. Try telling a prospective employer about your Amway education and see what that gets you. LOL

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Your Odds Of Success In Amway?

Many people consider the platinum level in Amway as a significant achievement in Amway. While it may be nice to achieve that level and gain recognition from the Amway corporation, I will point out that there was a study done in Wisconsin where the attorney general analyzed and found that platinums on average, lost money. The study is somewhat dated, but I will also point out that today, there are MORE expenses associated with running an Amway business than before. (Voicemail, books, functions, standing orders, shipping). I would guess that it's possible that platinums lose more today than when the Wisconsin study was done. In that study, the top1% of IBOs were examined and it was found that they averaged a net loss of about $900 each.

A typical platinum group often has 100 or more downline IBOs. Thus a logical conclusion is that less than 1% of IBOs can reach that level. And that isn't even factoring in all the people who sign up and quit. It is also, apparently rare to maintain the level of platinum. Factoring in people who quit, one can conclude that only a small fraction of 1% ever reach platinum. My former upline diamond had 7 frontline platinums in his heyday. Actually, 6 of them were ruby level. None of them hold the platinum level today and I'm not sure that any of them are even in the business today. So you have a less than 1% chance of reaching platinum and then you are even less likely to be able to maintain that level.

What serious prospective business owner would even consider opening a business where you have such a tiny chance of success? Even those who achieve platinum are likely to lose that level. If platinums cannot maintain their level, then it's easy to see why there are former diamonds as well. It seems that people are willing to take a chance on an Amway business because the start up cost is low. But what is the point of doing all of that when the chance of making money is negligible? A real business owner would look at the risk and reward and while you could argue that Amway is relatively low risk, it can also b said that the rewards are basically non existent, save for a very few elite who can overcome the overwhelming odds to make a significant income.

To compound the problem, many IBOs spend a lot of time and money building an Amway business that is unlikely to give them any return on their investment. I'd guess that the average serious IBO would spend $250 a month or more on tools. That money invested over a number of years in mutual funds would give you a much better chance of achieving some dreams. Even putting the money in the bank would make you better off than the vast majority of IBOs. A serious business owner would want to know their realistic chance of making money. For some strange reason, prospects and IBOs seem to ignore this reality. They dream of only the best case scenario or what is possible. They seem to ignore what is likely and what is reality.

It is because uplines are in the business of selling tools and distributorships. They are not truly interested in your long term sustainable success. If you don't believe me, try to stop purchasing standing orders and function tickets and see how much longer you are edified and given help from upline. Seriously, would a real business owner be interested in a less than 1% chance of success?