Friday, July 29, 2016

The Amway Dream Stealers?

Some debates over Amway recently churned up some accusations once again about critics being "dream stealers". I thought I would address this but first I wanted to print the definition of a dream from dictionary.com:

dream  
[dreem] Show IPA noun, verb, dreamed or dreamt, dream⋅ing, adjective
Use dreams in a Sentence
–noun
1. a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.
2. the sleeping state in which this occurs.
3. an object seen in a dream.
4. an involuntary vision occurring to a person when awake.
5. a vision voluntarily indulged in while awake; daydream; reverie.
6. an aspiration; goal; aim: A trip to Europe is his dream.
7. a wild or vain fancy.
8. something of an unreal beauty, charm, or excellence.

–verb (used without object) 9. to have a dream.
10. to indulge in daydreams or reveries: He dreamed about vacation plans when he should have been working.
11. to think or conceive of something in a very remote way (usually fol. by of): I wouldn't dream of asking them.

–verb (used with object) 12. to see or imagine in sleep or in a vision.
13. to imagine as if in a dream; fancy; suppose.
14. to pass or spend (time) in dreaming (often fol. by away): to dream away the afternoon.

–adjective 15. most desirable; ideal: a dream vacation.

—Verb phrase
16. dream up, to form in the imagination; devise: They dreamed up the most impossible plan.

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Based on these definitions, I do not see how it is possible for anyone to steal a dream. This dream stealing verbage is just more upline propaganda designed to get IBOs to shut off their critical thinking skills and to blindly commit themselves to buying more standing orders and function tickets, whose profit goes into the pockets of your beloved upline leaders. It the the upline's concern likely because the upline is selling dreams! Selling unrealistic dreams of retiring and walking the beaches of the world. Dreams that will never come true for the vast majority of IBOs.

I believe #6 is the most appropriate definition for an IBO. A long term goal. But if an IBO's long term goal is retirement and riches, they should analyze their involvement in the Amway business and determine if that is the appropriate vehicle to achieve their goals. For the vast majority of people, this is not the appropriate vehicle and facts confirm this. It's a matter of whether or not an IBO was told to ignore the facts by his/her upline.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Amway Walk Away Income and Other Myths?

One of the things that many IBOs mistakenly believe is that they will build their Amway business and then they will have the ability to "walk away" from the business while the income continues to flow in. I believe if there was such an incredible benefit such as lifelong residual income that could be achieved from Amway, I'm fairly certain that Amway would advertise this as a benefit of being an IBO. But Amway does not. It is very likely that your LOS such as BWW, WWDB or one of the others will promote this benefit while telling you that your best chance to achieve it is by subscribing to their "system".

One thing that goes unnnoticed all too often is that there seems to be nobody who is actually retired and living off the efforts of having built a big Amway business once upon a time. Seems that even the crown ambassadors still have busy lifestyles running from function to function and participating in other business related activities. A couple of crowns recently died while still on the job. While many of these leaders may claim they love their downlines or some other bunk, it is my belief that these leaders keep working their Amway businesses for one reason only. That is they need to keep working in order to keep the income flowing in. If people are retired from Amway residual income, where are they?

The diamond lifestyle that is often portrayed may seem like a great goal or dream to achieve, but the fact of the matter is that a "diamond lifestyle" cannot be sustained on diamond income. The average diamond, according to Amway, earns about $150,000 a year. While that may seem like a great amount of income, it's not nearly enough to sustain the kind of lifestyle portrayed by diamonds. Even if that income is supplemented by income from the sale of tools, you can't fly your family around the country first class to do all kinds of functions and still end up with much leftover to own fancy homes and cars.

If I deposited $1000 in the bank and never touch the money, the bank would pay me a certain amount of interest each year, guaranteed. That is residual income. In Amway, you can basically earn income in two ways. You can sell products for a profit, but there are problems with this. First off, Amway products in general are more expensive than local retailers. It is why you hear so many justifications about quality and concentration, because you are hard pressed to argue cost. Secondly, you are severely restricted from advertising, thus selling can be difficult. The other way to generate more income is to build a downline in hopes that the downline will help you to leverage your volume. But then your downline will have the same problem that you had in moving products. That being said, even if you achieve some level such as emerald or diamond, your business will immediately begin to fall apart once you stop working because attrition will take its toll. It is why there are hoards of "former" platinums. If platinums are not sustainable, then neither is any other level, including emerald or diamond.

There are many many instances of diamonds quitting, resigning, or falling out of qualification. People come and go in this business every day. Do you really think you can bank on retirement and residual income under these circumstances? If you believe that, I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Chance Of Success 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. Sounds easy, but because 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 steps. 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? According to Amway's disclosures, it's .26% or about 1/4 of 1 percent, or 1 in about 400. If you think you can beat those odds, go for it. For most people, it might be wise to look into other opportunities.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Amway Upline And Downline Failure?

One of the disturbing things I have noticed about Amway IBOs and IBO leaders is how they wlll tell downline to trust them. To trust them as they have already blazed a trail. No need to re-invent the wheel. Just ride the coattails of your upline to success. The system is proven. Many IBOs take this to heart and put forth tremendous effort. Then when they fail, upline will shun them and tell them that the failure is their own. That they are personally responsible for failure.

Now I am not talking about IBOs who sign up and do nothing, or never place an order. I do believe that the fact that many IBOs sign up and do nothing brings concerns about how these IBOs were recruited, but I do not recall ever seeing an IBO do nothing and then complain that Amway was a scam or anything like that.

I have found, however, that many people who are critical of Amway and the systems, put forth much effort, did everything they were told, and did not find the success that upline promoted, or in some cases, guaranteed. My former sponsor is still active, last I heard and has been in Amway for over 20 years. I do not believe he has ever gone beyond platinum, and I know that he was never a Q12 platinum. Some Amway apologists might see being a platinum as a bonus, but when you are hard core sold out to the systems, platinum is a break even proposition. A study in Wisconsin, while dated, looked at the tax returns of the top 1% of IBOs in Amway and they had an average net loss of $900 annually. Factor in that time spent by a single or husband and wife and these folks are breaking even or taking losses. Is this the dream that will allow you to buy mansions with a cash payment?

What is also disturbing is how people will tout the system as responsible for any success, but hide the vast majority that the system doesn't help. Sure, some will succeed in Amway, but for every success, there are hundreds if not thousands who fail. And if you consider diamond as the benchmark of success, the failures could be in the millions. As I said, some succeed, but very very few in relation to the number who try. Going diamond is probably less common in the US than winning the lottery.

Succeed and the systems and upline take credit, but fail or quit and it is your own responsibility. Are these the kinds of leaders or mentors you want advice from? I will pass.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Why Amway Sucks?

In my opninion, Amway sucks. I'm speaking from direct personal experience as I was an IBO. I was considered an up and coming IBO leader. I got in and got to work and sponsored a bunch of people and I moved up the ranks from 0 PV to 4000 PV. I was "changing pins" at the functions and even got the notice from the upline diamond as I was able to attend some "special" meetings and board plans with the diamond. That was all nice and seemed exciting because spending time with the diamond was coveted by many by experienved by few. A large part of why my business was growing was out of excitement. My group was growing and I figured I would "go direct" in the near future.

But I finaly figured out that Amway sucks. Now what does that mean? Well, I always had some suspicion about the functions and although the diamonds lied about making no profit on tools and functions, I figured that money had to be made in these big functions where more than 10,000 were in attendance. I started askiing questions and my upline swore that nobody made money. That profits were channeled back into helping IBOs. I used to wonder what that meant since they always seemed to be pushing the tools on us pretty hard.

Aside from my suspicion of the tools scam, I noticed that even though I was movng more volume, I still made no net profits and actually sustain losses when the major functions came around because of the tools and the functions expenses. I live in Hawaii so certain functions required us to travel by air and to pay for hotels, rental cars, etc. I started to calculate in my head and came to the conclusion that even going platinum wasn't going to result in me netting a profit. That's when I started to think about my involvement in Amway.

I started to honestly assess things and was able to admit that the products costed way too much and they weren't "special" as we tried to promote them. The tools seemed scammy but I didn't find out the entire truth until I had left the business. Even as a growing up and coming IBO, there was no money there, despite upline asurances that there would be. My upline also demanded to be consulted for things like purchasing a car, dating someone, or buying a home. I presume it's because they don't want you to waste your money on a car or a girlfriend when you could be buying more cds or function tickets. The final straw came when my sponsor told me to dump my girlfriend because I could build the business faster as a single (that girlfriend and I celebrated our 20th anniverssary recently).

When my sponsor told me that, I up and had a meeting with my group. I told them what had happened to me, I explained all my suspicions and that I had decided to quit. As a result, my sponsor has blown out a 4000 PV leg. All but 2 of my downline quit with me so my sponsor did not qualify as platinum and I don't think he ever regained his platinum ststus. Overall, IMO, Amway sucks. The products are average with a premium price and there's no money for the rank and file. The only ones making money are the ones who speak on stage and get a cut from the tools and functions. The rest are just "slaves" helping to build the pyramid.

In a recent and possibly landmark ruling, the FTC basically hammered Herbalife. WHile they did not pursure closing the business as a pyramid, Herbalife has a great number of restrictions that prevent pyramid like actions. They will be monitored against income claims at their functions, and they must prove that they have actualy non affilaited customers. It wil be interesting to see if Herbalife survives these new rules and to see if Amway will also be subject to them later. Stay tuned.....

Friday, July 22, 2016

Amway And The "Rich Dad"?

Based on my experience in Amway, my blogging experience, and observation of other people who give financial advice such as real estate gurus who teach you to buy property with no money down, or others such as Robert Kiyosaki for that matter, all show testimonials of sucessful people. Obviously they do not show you the vast majority of people who try their systems and fail. I believe failure is the norm for people using these system, although they will show off the rare successes and pass them off as the norm.

It is my informed opinion that whether it is Amway, WWDB, BWW, N21, real estate or the cashflow business, the vast majority of people who try these systems do not make any kind of significant income. Sure, some do, and those are shown as the possibilities. But if you watch infomercials, you will see in small print on the bottom of the screen, "unique experience", your results may vary. I believe that a similar message used to be at the end of Amway diamond recordings as well. If success is a unique experience, then what is the typical experience? The typical experience is probably a loss.

These systems in general do not work for various reasons. Many people simply do not have the acumen to work the system. Or the system has too many variables for the system to work, or the system calls for things beyond your control. For example, success in Amway generally requires you to sponsor others, something that is beyond the control of most people. Add in the lazy and people who are hoping for a quick score and it is understandable that most will fail. But these systems are often set up where the majority simply cannot all succeed. Nowhere is that more true than the Amway business where the pyramidal compensation plan nearly guarantees failure for the lower level IBOs. In multi level marketing, many comp plans are set up just that way. You need the lower levels to work and eat losses so you can profit. It's shown quite apparently when you the plan, such as Amway's 6-4-2 plan. Just a cursory review of Amway's common 6-4-2 or other similar version plans show a few prospering and the masses are not.

So what can someone do? Well, it may no be as sexy or attractive but a part time job and investing and saving might be something to think about. Even a part time business where you focus on selling products for a profit might work. It just seems prudent to avoid these "systems" as the primary beneficiary of these "systems" are the ones who directly profit from them.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Opposing Views Of Amway?

One of the things I find curious and humorous at the same time is how people who defend Amway often will not allow opposing viewpoints on their Amway propaganda blogs and forums. They will post an article and allow no comments or will not allow comments unless their are positive and paint a rosy picture about Amway. Amway's biggest defender IBOFightback, banned me from his truth about amway blog/forum for no reason. In fact I posted only two comments there in years and both were respectful and truthful, yet he felt my presence needed to be excluded from his blog perhaps because the truth itself is negative about Amway. I suppose though, that David Steadson's (IBOFB) lack of credibility (in my book) makes the banning a minor issue. His website is filled with pro Amway folks who back up Amway, even bad practices at times. I guess when you see the world through rose colored glasses. you don't see the reality.

I also had an exchange not too long ago with an IBO via email. He also runs a pro Amway blog but hasn't been active recently. He doesn't allow comments on his blog unless they praise Amway. I just don't understand why the need to put spin on the truth. It is a fact that the average Amway IBO earns very little and that most IBOs make little or nothing. Many who participate in the training sessions end up losing money. Those are tidbits that match up with my experience. It is usually former IBOs who can verify this claim. Seems that current IBOs do not admit they are losing money. As an IBO, I was taught "fake it till you make it". That suggests that you appear successful until you actually go diamond or whatever. In the end, a pig with lipstick on it is still a pig.

Joecool allows opposing views on this blog. Even some comments that are critical of me are allowed. I even had some (I presume) IBOs who left threats on this blog. I suspect that one or some of them also sent me threats via email. Still, I allow most comments on here. I do not allow racist or extremely hateful comments, or comments with spam. I have nothing to hide when it comes to my views on Amway. So what do Amway apologists and IBOs have to hide? Would it be damaging to have the truth on your blog or forum? Is the internet already inundated with negative Amway information and comments?

I believe Amway is partly to blame. The AMOs (Amway Motivational Organiztions) such as Network 21, WWDB or BWW are the ones who say and do unethical things. Amway is the only entity who can take action against these groups but it appears that substantial action is lacking and therefore, these groups continue to teach bad business practices which filter down to many IBOs and contributes to Amway having a bad reputation. I guess Amway is sleeping in the bed they made. Until some bad practices are stopped or corrected, there will continue to be people who had a bad experience in Amway. It is what it is.