Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Amway Challenge?

I often hear stories and testimonies about how some people (usually newbies) have this incredible belief in Amway, their sponsors and their LOS, such as WWDB or Network 21. Being that many, possibly most IBOs are sponsored by a friend or family member, means that there is an inherent trust in the sponsor or upline. If that were not true, then we would likely see many more complaints about Amway and/or the uplines and lines of sponsorship.

But an important facet of being an IBO is to have a dream. Don't let "naysayers" steal your dream, is what many IBOs are told. But what is that dream? Is is a dream (a long term attainable goal) or a wish such as winning the powerball lottery? Many prospects and IBOs want to succeed. They are willing to work hard, and are very dedicated, I would say that these folks usually will end up failing, not for lack of effort, but for a flawed MLM/Amway system that cannot possibly reward more than a few. The famed 6-4-2, 6-4-3 or some other variation of the plan will illustrate that only 1 in 100 or so can be "platinum". And that's with nobody quitting. Factor in attrition and "do nothings" and it might be 1 in 200 who can reach platinum. Even if the whole world signed up for Amway, that fact doesn't change.

Do you really believe in Amway and your line of sponsorship such as WWDB or Network 21? If you truly believe in Amway and your mentors, I challenge you to do one of these things. If you can't or won't, then I question your level of commitment. I question your belief. I'm not here to steal your dream. I am just challenging you.

Take your 6-4-2 or 9-4-2 or 6-4-3 plan to a loan officer at a bank and show them the plan. (Hey, it will help you be CORE) Ask the loan officer for their opinion of the plan and see if you can get a business loan based on the Amway plan. If not that, try seeking the advice of a real millionaire (Someone who has a net worth of a million bucks) and see if they think the 6-4-2 or other Amway (version) plans can work and whether they think Amway is a good idea. Heck, try asking your church Pastor. My church Pastor said Amway had too many false hopes and promises to be considered a viable business option.

Another consideration is to ask a successful business owner what they actually think about Amway and the 6-4-2 plan. I think IBOs would be shocked by the answer.

How strong is your belief in Amway? Strong enough to take my challenge? Or will you ignore this and go on fooling yourself?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Proven System?

Many uplines and IBOs will talk about their system. More often than not, the various systems such as WWDB or Network 21 will tout themselves as the best, fastest growing, proven, and most profitable. I know that was promoted when I was an IBO and I believe it is still promoted this way. There are many comments on the internet from IBOs and recently former IBOs that indicate that this is true. But let's take a look at these claims.

How does one determine the best? You really can't. The best is an opinion unless there are established criteria on what constitutes the best. Of course, every upline will think their group is the best, but what can factually be derived from that claim? If you are an IBO or prospect of Amway, try asking that question. Based on what do you make the claim of being the "best" group or system?

Fastest growing can be proven or disproved. But for the most part, we know that Amway isn't growing by leaps and bounds in North America. During the Quixtar tenure, it appeared that Amway sales in NA either stagnated or even shrank. Amway supporters cite overall Amway sales going up, but it's reasonable to conclude that the increase in sales is primarily in foreign countries. For some odd reason, Amway no longer reports North American sales, but simply lumps everyhing into a global sales figure.

As for any system to be making claims of proven, all these systems have basically done is proven that they are dismal failures. Based on Amway's own figures, we can deduce that less than half of one percent of IBOs ever reach the platinum level. The platinum level is approximately where you might see a small profit if that platinum is CORE. There is some documentation indicating that platinums might lose money at that level. While the study is dated, the expenses associated with being a platinum have gone up significantly since that study (Wisconsin Attorney General) so it can be very possible that platinums continue to see a net loss these days. It's also very visible that there are fewer diamonds in north America today than a dozen years ago. Diamonds have quit and some were terminated. It appears that most new diamonds come from foreign countries where Amway has not ye suffered reputation issues.

Makng claims of fastest growing is also one that can be proven. However, try asking your sponsor or upline for evidence of this claim. Also, is the growth occuring in your area? Are you from the US or Canada? Citing growth in Korea for example, is unlikely to mean anything for the vast majority of IBOs. And even if there is some growth, how does that translate as leverage or an advantage for you? Aks these questions and see what answer you receive, if any.

The system is proven for sure. But it's proven to be a failure. The numbers supplied by Amway clearly back up this claim.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Upline Responsibility?

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 di 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 was still active, last I heard and has been in Amway for over 15 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 or make a small profit business. Factor in that time spent by husband and wife and these folks are breaking even or making a fraction of minumum wage. 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? Where's the personal responsibility of the leaders and mentors? There are many stories of IBOs doing exactly what they were advised, only to lose money and/or fail. Where's the responsibility of the leaders? The tools system is win win for the upline leaders with the downlines getting a lose lose situation.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Fruit On The Tree?

When I was an IBO, I often heard that phrase "look at the fruit on the tree". I came from the LOS WWDB, or Worldwide Dream Builders, or Worldwide Group. Back in the 1990's, Amway and WWDB were doing quite well. Amway was expanding into foreign countries and it seemed as if Amway and WWDB had gained a great deal of momentum. I recall hearing the term "look at the fruit on the tree" and it was somewhat true. There were new diamonds emerging in Amway WWDB and Amway had experienced worldwide growth.

Then Amway turned into Quixtar and it was comical to see Amway IBOs denying that Quixtar = Amway. The terms "Ecommerce" and "private franchising" became common but it didn't fool many people. This was a time when Amway folks were very active in defending Amway and Amway related blogs and forums were all over the Internet.

But let's look at the "fruit on the tree". Where are all the new diamonds? Sure there were 1 or 2 new diamond couples in the US since the 1990s', but what other fruit is on that tree? Brad Wolgamott, who said "WWDB saves marriages", got divorced, and Greg Duncan declared chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009. David Shores had a home foreclosed around 2009 or 2010. Jim and Betty Jean Brooks got divorced, Ron Puryear passed way (condolences to his family) but Ron, a crown ambassador worked until he passed. Where's the freedom?

Sure, a diamond may not have a tough life working but you still need to be somewhere at a particular time to earn money. That's not much different from a job. Where is even a single person or couple who built it once and built it right, and walked away to enjoy "financial freedom" amd lifelong "residual income" from Amway? Why can't anyone for all my blogging years, show clear evidence of a diamond or emerald who built it once and built it right, who walked away from Amway and is living in luxury while collecting just collecting bonus checks in the mail?

Maybe there is no fruit on he Amway/WWDB tree and there is no residual income? If that were a true possibility, why has nobody opted for that? The answer is clear. There is no true residual income from Amway due to the high attrition rate and there is littl to no fruit on the WWDB tree. The tree is bare and barely surviving.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Real Amway Pitch?

Many people have experienced some kind of pitch by an Amway IBO. My first Amway pitch was an invitation to a beer bust while I was in college. I arrived to the meeting expecting beer and pizza only to see people in suits giving a presentation. THey spoke about how you could generate income by eliminating the middle man from product distribution. Creating efficiencies was a way to generate money and Amway was it. On the surface, it can seem as if everything the speaker said made sense, although real life practice doesn't bear it out.

Sell and use consumables. Consumables need to be re-purchased so obviously it is a good way to run a small business. What wasn't discussed was the higher prices of the products. What manny people do not see is that Amway's generous bonuses have to be built into the price of the products. For this reason, Amway cannot compete with big retailers who don't have to add sales people bonuses into their prices.

But if you look beyond all of this and still think Amway is a good opportunity, then the real Amway pitch comes in. People get excited about working part time, 2-5 years to earn will able and residual income which will allow someone to retire early and leave a legacy to future generations. This is the point where the Amway presenter makes the pitch about people needing training.

You need tools. After all, a carpenter can't build a house without tools right? So many people who think Amway will make them rich, start to invest in their "tools". Sure, the Amway functions and some other materials can make you feel good or motivated, but in the end, the tools are supposed to help you generate sales and to increase your business revenue. What goes unnoticed in many cases is that the Amway tools are the reason for an IBO's net losses. The upline will justify this by telling stories about how success is right around the corner or that you should never quit and you will eventually make it.

All of this rhetoric from Upline is nice, but people who don't quit have no assurance of making it. Look at the fruit on the tree.
My former LOS, WWDB, has fewer diamonds now than when I was an IBO 20 years ago. My former sponsor is still active in Amway after 25 years and he's not even a platinum. You don't see many new diamonds except for in foreign countries. To me, this is evidence that Amway is saturated and there is little chance of future success. This is why there are mostly tired old diamonds working until they pass away. If the diamonds were so "awesome", why aren't all of their kids and close friends also in diamond club?

The answer is that the Amway pitch can sound good, but it doesn't work. From 2013 to now, Amway revenues are down abot 25%. From a peak of 11.8 billion in 2013 to 8.6 billion in 2017. I believe Amway is a sinking ship. Beware of the Amway pitch,

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Amway Still Sucks?

Sorry gang, I was enjoying life in fabulous Las Vegas for the last week. I got to enjoy great food and great company. I also got to visit IKEA, the Grand Canyon and Hoover dam. It is amazing how the people of Ls Vegas have rallied around the Las Vegas Knights hockey team. The New York hotel had a Knights uniform draped around the Statue of Liberty. Weather was pretty nice and I came home with more money than I went up to Vegas with, thanks to a bit of luck. I had an amazing Cuban sandwich and some other Cunard delights. While Las Vegas is not anywhere near my dream vacation, it was a fun vacation. Next year my life will be filled with travel scheduled which may require me to ignore this blog for a bit.

But as I return and get re-acclimated to life, I realize that Amway still sucks. Nothing changes. Despite the fact that Amway IBOs insist that things are better and different than before, and that Amway is different, my observation is that not much has changed at all. The "plan" is still the same and people are still trying to hide the Amway name by trying to pretend that Amway is something that it isn't. Does anyone remember when Amway was "Quixtar"? The IBOs insisted that Amway and Quixtar were very different to which I asked why "Quixtar" sold Amway products and Quixtar IOS received bonuses from Amway corporation.

I then realized that Amway sucks. They sucked then and not much has changed, therefore you could say that Amway still sucks. People still lose money in hoards and a few "diamonds" get to parade around while showing off weath as they convince prospects to join and trust them. All the while these diamonds are basically peddling their tools and business support materials to hopeful prospects who want to get rich in a short time span. (2-5 years). The multitudes of hopeful prospects spend their hard earned dollars in the hopes that they will also strike gold and "make it". Sadly, they eventually realize the scam, snap out of their Amway induced trance and quit.

Even more sadly, some people like my former sponsor get hooked so badly that they stay involved for 20 years or more, chasing the end of a rainbow that they will never attain. My former idolized our diamond and he did anything an everything to please him. Alas, my former diamond moved away from Hawaii and my former sponsor is still chasing the dream with fewer contacts with the diamond. All I can emphasize is that Amway used to suck and they still suck. Nobody has yet proven me wrong.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Money For Nothing?

In my opinion, Amway is a product pyramid scheme. They have not been found to be illegal, but still a product pyramid. The reason why they remain legal, apparently is because they do not pay anyone for direct;y recruiting downline and they claim to sell products to actual customers. But most everyone has been, or knows someone who was recruited by a zealous Amway IBO. The emphasis of most active IBOs is on recruiting and much of the teaching by upline is on techniques to recruit and/or how to talk to people without tipping their hat to reveal the Amway name. Most IBOs are not very good at this and they stick out like sore thumbs in many cases. It's also comical when uplines teach crazy antics, like how some IBOs use to deny that Amway and Quixtar were even remotely connected, or if anyone remembers the "perfect water" fiasco a number of years back.

One of the reasons IBOs use to justify their involvement in the product pyramid is that they can earn more than their sponsor. While that is true, it is only because everyone below the emerald or diamond level is basically expendable, or a slave in the pyramid. There are many many IBOs who achieve fairly high levels who quit, or had upline wreck their businesses. Thus even platinums are expendable to upline. In fact an upline might make more money by removing the platinum. For new IBOs or recruits, do you really believe that you are going to ever surpass your current upline diamond or higher? If you believe that, you are sadly mistaken.

And for those who dream of achieving diamond and walking the beaches of the world. How do you think you can ever achieve that? You don't get something for nothing unless someone gets nothing for something. In order for you to receive income for little or no efforts, your downline IBOs must keep purchasing products and replacing IBOs who quit. If your downlines cannot keep up with the attrition rate, your business will collapse in a hurry. Come to think of it, if a diamond can walk away and collect a large income forever, why hasn't anyone done it? I mean we still see crown ambassadors still busy working functions and I don't know of any who walked away to spend their lives jet setting on the beaches of the world.

The sad reality is that you see new faces at meetings and functions, just as often as you see familiar faces disappear. With that kind of attrition rate, you may have to work even harder at the higher levels just to keep your business status quo. In Egypt, the slaves built the pyramids. Do you have enough slaves? What many Egyptologists find amazing is how the Egyptians were able to motivate the slaves to keep on going, doing backbreaking work all of their lives. The same can be said of a diamond level business (or higher)