One of the things upline used to say in meetings was that they (upline) don't make any money until you (downline) do. Of course we know that is a full blown lie in most cases because once you register (many groups have a starter kit including products), upline makes some money. Once you purchase a cd, a book, or pay to attend a function, upline has also made some money off of you.
It would appear that most uplines will try to lure prospects into Amway by showing them the best case scenario of going diamond or higher, and all the alleged trappings available at the diamond level such as mansions and fancy cars. Once they get a prospect excited about the possibility of not working while cash rolls in, they then pitch their "foolproof" system of voicemail, cds, tapes, books and seminars. Although it is VERY RARE for any IBO to reach a level where they can net a profit, much less buy mansions, the upline will convince you that these goals are only attainable through the system teaching.
The sad reality is the upline makes money if you succeed, fail or do nothing, as long as you continue to purchase tools from them. However, you may be edified as being a committed IBO. It is why they may tell you that the most important person to get to the function or meeting is yourself. In an open meeting, there really is no point in attending if you have no prospects as your business cannot grow as a result of your attendance, but your attendence costs time and money.
If you as an IBO or a prospect really observes carefully, you will find many activities that will cost you time and money and will not result in your business volume growing. For example, reading a book might be good for you, but it is a non income producing activity. Attending an open meeting without prospects is another good example. Listening to standing order is another example. With all of these activities, an IBO is expending resources and not getting a return. Frankly the worst investment is attending an out of town function where your expenses are great whiley your business is left unattended to at home with no growth in downline or in product volume.
Don't buy it. Your upline makes money from you when you buy tools, whether you do a lot, a little, or nothing.