When I was an IBO, my upline told us a story about how you put a frog in a pot and make the water warm. It relaxes the frog and you keep slowly raising the heat and then when it's too late, you boil the frog. My upline was refering to your job. You work and invest some years working a job and eventually, you end up broke, is what we were taught. What my upline never mentioned is that 401Ks, saving, and other investments can still pay off with a job. It is how many people with jobs are able to accumulate a nest egg for their golden years.
I would guess that an upline speaking to prospects and new IBOs is a better analogy for boiling a frog in a pot. The upline will warm the water and relax the prospects and newbies by talking about how they were once broke and downtrodden, and how they somehow discovered Amway and after some work, they are now the pinnacle of success and you can do it if you will only listen to their advice and follow the system (sound familiar?).
Your sponsor or upline may talk about the "optional" tools and may even loan you some cds or they may pay for you to attend some meetings. (The water's getting warmer) Pretty soon you are excited and fired up about Amway because you are shown nice cars, and you hear about how so and so's wife doesn't work anymore, or you see someone's mansion. You may even be told that the mansion was paid for in cash, along with many other trappings that you dream of. You start to believe that everyone in the audience will have these luxuries. (The water is getting hot now)
Then at some point, you are told that a real or a serious business owner needs to start buying their own tools. You get your own standing order, pay for your own functions. But you look at your bottom line and you are still losing money. What is happening? Your leaders then start to teach you that Amway makes you a better person, or that Amway or your AMO (i.e. WWDB, BWW, N21) helps save marriages, or that the business is more than money. It is lifelong friendships.
At this point, you have invested some time and money into the venture. Some people wake up and escape the pot before the water boils. Some folks believe they have too much invested and that success is right around the corner. Afterall, you don't want to quit when you could be on the brink of "making it". So many IBOs push on and they get boiled, just like the frog in the pot.