Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Free Enterprise Day?

As an IBO, I attended a function called Free Enterprise Day (FED). It was held in a convention center in San Diego. I remember being excited when attending, and participating in the hype. But looking back with an objective eye, I can honestly say that it did nothing to help build my business. Sure, we got some motivation out of it, but being from Hawaii, a mainland trip in October, plus rental cars and hotel costed me over $1,000. It simply is not worth the expense versus what my business got out of it. I would rather have enjoyed a vacation somewhere else.

Also, the Amway business as an IBO is not free enterprise. An IBO is a commissioned salesperson with no guaranteed salary and no fringe benefits. Hard work does not equal success jus as in other sales occupations. It is possible to work very hard to receive zero dollars. What's more, much of an IBO's business expenses are not for business but for training and motivation. An Amway IBO's duties are to sell goods and to sponsor downline. Basically that's it in a nutshell but IBOs have fooled themselves into thinking that they are real business owners with real expenses. If only more IBOs knew this, they could actually make a net profit (without tools) and they would be motivated by net monthly ptofits.

Sadly, upline leaders lure their downlines into thinking that IBOs are engaged in free enterprise when they are not. At best an IBO is a middleman distributor and at worst, a commissioned salesperson. That is not free enterprise. What is also sad is that I did some research about renting space or convention centers and these can be rented or leased free or even cheap if the convention will bring many tourists to town. Go check for yourself. If it is free enterprise, it is your upline's tools business that is free enterprise. Sadly, for IBOs, free enterprise day is not free.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

All Means All?

One of the things Amway defenders will spout is how tools are optional in the Amway business. While Amway says this, many Amway AMO leaders do not. One of the things I remember hearing was how an IBO "needed" to attend "all" functions. So many IBOs asked the upline questions such as what if by brothers is getting married and the wedding is on the sAme day as a function? Or what if my kid has a soccer game or an event that was scheduled on the same day as a function? The answer from upline was simple. "All means all".

So upline may teach you that God is #1, spouse is #2, kids #3, job #4 and Amway is a distant #5. That's what they said but that isn't what they meant. Anytime there was a conflict with anything, I heard the same thing: "all means all". Meaning that one needed to attend all functions. Amway defenders are quick to jump in and claim this doesn't happen or that they have never heard it, yet I continue to see stories and testimonies indicating that this is still happening in most of not all AMO groups. Sure some upline might be more lenient than others, but in the end, it seems that most uplines want their downlines to attend all functions, regardless of whether an IBO is profitable or not.

I recall even an IBO who had worked hard and was not profitable. He was given the same answer about "all means all". Some upline want you to believe that hard work equals success, but in Amway, hard work doesn't guarantee success. And I believe it is because an Amway IBO is basically a commissioned salesperson amd in that kind of business, hard work can go unrewarded. It is not a matter of working hard, and even working hard and smart can go unrewarded at times. It is because Amway's prodcuts are difficult to sell and Amway IBOs previously unthethical behavior makes it hard to find people who are interested in Amway. Thus even finding someone willing to see the Amway sales plan is a great challenge.

What does your upline say about attending meetings and functions? Do they advise you to pick and choose the ones you can afford or do they tell you that you should attend "all". Do they look at your business profitability before advising you to do they ask you to trust their guidance and leadership? Do they also advise you to buy other tools in the same manner? That is advising you to be on voicemail or standing order without knowing about your business parameters? Do they really want your auccess or their own? Keep in mind that some upline make much more money from tools than from Amway. What say you now?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beware Of The IBO 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.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

An Amway Business Or A Joke?

I find it sad that many uplines will ask/demand loyalty from their downline and then lead them to run a joke instead of a business. Many IBOs are young, motivated, hard working and simply wanting more out of life, but some unethical uplines exploit their downline and basically suck the life out of these IBOs while making the IBOs think they are running a business and succeeding. Because many new Amway IBOs have little or zero business experience, they tend to trust upline and will do as they are told because they don't know any better and upline will portray themselves as wealthy and knowledgeable even if it may or may not be true. (Some diamonds had their homes foreclosed and a prominent triple diamond was in bankruptcy proceedings)

One of the things many groups teach their IBOs is to "buy from themselves". Many people do not like or are not good at selling products, thus many groups tell their IBOs to be their b own best customer, and in some cases, the IBO is their only customer. Those who run business this way might be running an illegal business because the only way to generate profits is to continue to recruit downlines who will then allow you to generate more volume, provided that these new IBOs purchase their own goods as you do. Given Amway's generally uncompetitive prices, it's no wonder that most IBOs have trouble maintaining sales to non IBOs, save for some family and friends. Even IBOs who claim they focus on selling do not appear to have more than a handful of non IBO customers. (How many non IBOs would pay nearly $80 for a month's supply of Amway's famous double x vitamins?)

Another thing IBOs are taught is that the business is not about money. It is making friends and becoming a nicer person that is important. Some groups such as WWDB apparently teach that their involvement with WWDB or Amway can save marriages. Oddly, these claims are made even when some of their leaders are divorced themselves. I read on the blog of a WWDB IBO who says that the US has a 60% divorce rate while those in WWDB have a 2% divorce rate. This is completely fabricated information and I heard it as an IBO 12 years ago but it is apparently still taught today. Amway defenders like to claim that critics are outdated but the evidence supports the claim that things are more the same today than not.

Another thing many IBOs may be taught is that all of the support materials they purchase are tax deductible. That is not necessaily true. The materials have to be used to help you to increase your business. If you are attending functions and buying standing orders, the IRS may not see it as a legitimate tax deduction unless it is resulting in increased sales and profits. If not, the IRS may deem that you have an Amway hobby and not a business. I laugh when IBOs talk about how great their business is doing and then talk about the great "tax return" they received because of their Amway business. The joke is on them but they sadly do not know it.

So IBOs, are you tracking your income and expenses? Are you realizing profits as a result of the tools you are purchasing or are the tools the very reason you see losses month after month? Sit down and think objectively about what is written here. Are you running a legitimate business or a joke?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chasing The Dream?

One of the cruel things done by some uplines is to fill starry eyed Amway prospects with dreams that they know will go unfulfilled. I have heard statements from some former platinums and higher who mentioned that some upline actually think of their audience as a bunch of suckers chasing a dream and making them rich by purchasing standing orders and function tickets. A common dream is for folks to retire before the age of 30 and to walk the beaches of the world. Others dream of mansions, sports cars and other trappings of wealth.

Sadly, the cast majority of prospects and IBOs will never get close to achieving anything they dreamed of when they first saw the Amway plan. Most IBOs would have a better chance of attaining wealth by purchasing lottery tickets instead of trying to build an Amway diamondship. Amway defenders such as IBOFightback like to jump in and squawk that the Amway business is not a game of chance like the lottery. While that is true, that makes things much much worse. Let me explain. In a lottery, you simply purchase the tickets and you wait to see the results. The results are completly out of your control. The vast majority of lottery participants will end up losing money while a few lucky ones will win. The reason I feel that the Amway business is worse is because it is not a game of chance. Many of the steps of CORE, are within the control of an IBO and even with much time and effort spent by many business building IBOs, the end result of all that time and effort is basically the same miserable result as a lottery. Many many people participating but very few end up happy. The difference is that lottery players genreally don't expect to win. Conversely, many IBOs are motivated and hard working, and will put in a fair effort, only to fail and worse, to be blamed for their failure despite doing everything their upline advised.

There is nothing wrong with having goals and dreams. Everyone should have something they are aiming for. But it seems cruel to promote dreams and goals at other's expenses when you really have no means to help more than a select few out of thousands or possibly millions of people to succeed. Yes, Amway is not a game of chance but the reality that long term and significant Amway success is about as common as someone hitting the powerball lottery. The rest of the IBOs who attempted to build a business end up quitting and fading into the sunset. Most will not complain as it is common to be sponsored by friends and family.

In the end, most people are simply chasing a dream that will never come to be. It's a sad situation because as I said, many prospects and IBOs are nice, motivated and hard working people. But in all walks of society, people can be fooled. I believe the upline leaders are simply getting their downline to chase dreams that will never come to pass. I challenge IBOs to look at their business financials. Do you have a net gain at the end of the month? If not, what dreams can you achieve with a loss of income?

Friday, October 15, 2010

How Upline Passes Bad Advice Downline?

Based on my personal experience, and based on having read numerous acconts from other former IBOs, it's pretty clear that the higher uplines, absolve themselves of issues and problems by having others do their dirty work. While some leaders are bold enough to make dumb statements on stage, many uplines will have their "eagles" or platinums do their dirty work, which is to pass bad and often self serving advice to their downline. Advice that will help them (upline) to profit directly from the losses suffered by downline.

For example, a diamond may stand on stage and talk about the merits of getting out of debt. Now getting out of debt is a good thing and nobody should get caught up in credit card debt and other piles of debt. But so many times, I sat in meetings where the group was told they needed to be at the next funtion - no matter what. Do whatever it takes to get there, even if it meant selling personal belongings. Ironically, the solution to getting to the next major function did not involve selling Amway products. So many IBOs made sacrifices of time and money to get to the next function, but their business did not experience any growth in volume or downline. I saw many crossline IBOs attend meeting after meeting and function after function without any downline. They faithfully spent their time and money chasing a dream based on lies by the upline leaders. Our group was told that upline made zero profit on tools. While some groups now admit that profit is made on tools, there is still a lack of transparency about the tools profits and as far as I know, there are no formal written agreements with regards to the tool profits.

I also recall our platinums having platinum and above meetings while we were at major functions and it seemed that the platinums always had something to teach the group that was contrary to what we had just heard on stage and the platinum would tell us that he had the freshest information from the meeting. It's like the platinum was just a henchman for the diamonds and carried out their dirty deeds. Another example is how the diamonds taught vertical alignment where God is first, then your spouse, your kids, your job and in 5th place was your Amway business. But anytime an event such as a friend's wedding or an anniversary dinner or your kid's soccer game conflicted with an Amway event, the group was told "attend all meetings". All means all, is what our group was told. That is directly contrary to the concept of vertical alignment. In fact, the Amway IBOs became less useful to their communities and churches as they are constantly attending meetings and functions and unable to serve in other capacities. I also wondered whether the Amway business and tools consumption took away their abililty to tithe and give to the local charities. Our upline would tell us to go diamond and then send in $10,000checks as if that made it okay not to serve others and help the needy.

It is my informed opinion that this still goes on today, despite the claims of Amway appologists that my experience is twelve years old. There is ample evidence suggesting that very little has changed from 20 years ago. In fact, many of the leaders from my IBO days are still teaching unethical things to this day. Many Upline passes bad advice downline, but they do it in sneaky ways such as having their downline leaders pass the information on. This is also how Amway itself can skirt some of their issues, as IBOs are not Amway employees, they are "independent". But most people in North America now know the truth and hopefully this article shines some light on that truth.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Amway - The Bottom Line?

In my point of view. one of the most critical mistakes that many IBOs make is to ignore the bottom line when analyzing their Amway businesses. Most business building IBOs, sadly, are taught by their uplines to ignore losses, or to view losses as investments into their businesses, or that money is really not important. Some upline may teach that the business is more about making friends or being a nicer person. All of these things may be nice side benefits of reading personal development books, etc., but when running a business, the most important goal should be to turn a profit.

For many IBOs, their businesses consist of listening to standing orders, attending functions and meetings, but not focused on selling products and earning a net profit. And for most IBOs, nobody can blame them as upline may give them bad advice and because the Amway business is person to person selling, it is so inefficient that many groups end up teaching IBOs to simply buy their own volume and get others to join the business. For groups who operate primarily in this manner, you are probably running an illegal business because new and existing IBOs can profit only by continuing to add more downline IBOs in the hope that they too, will buy their own volume and sponsor others.

When you look carefully at the business plan, whether it is 6-4-2, 9-4-2 or some other variation, the majority of these business building IBOs will have low volume and likely to earn only about $10 a month. But to earn that $10 a month, you are likely to have to spend $300 on products, and if you are on standing order, voicemail and functions, then you likely spend anywhere from $150 to $250 monthly to participate in the teaching system. Thus these IBO's bottom line is a net loss! It is only when you are able to sponsor many downline that your losses will get smaller and you will only profit when you have a sizable downline. That means your bottom line is a loss. And while Amway defender will argue that Walmart doesn't even give you $10 a month, you can certainly get more products from Walmart for $300 than you can get from Amway for the same price. Walmart will match any advertised price on a product that they and a competitor may carry. Also, Walmart's advertising reaching millions of people, which is much more effective than person to person. While Amway runs some ads now days, they do not directly drive customers to IBOs. The vast majority of IBO business is still to themselves and their downline, and not to non IBO customers.

I challenge IBOs to look objectively at their bottom lines. It is likely a new loss. If it is, ask your upline how long this is expected to last. Set hard goals and if you are doing what is advised by upline and results to not improve, you may have to ask yourself what willl change to make your business profitable. Basically, if you aren't adding active downlines and customers regularly, you aren't gooing anywhere and are likely to be running your business at a loss month after month after month. It won't take long before you realize that you have lost thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars.

As a former IBO with a 4000 PV business with eagle parameters, I was not making a net profit. I saw my bottom line and although doing and achieving what my upline advised, there was no money. I decided the effort, time and money invested wasn't worth it. Plus my upline started to interfere in my personal life. I saw my bottom line and wasn't satisfied, and I left Amway. I later discovered the lies my upline had fed me to keep me in the business and to keep me buying tools. It is why I started blogging. For now, my bottom line is to get the truth out about the tools scam run by upline. That is Joecool's bottom line.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Amway - Return On Your Investment?

So many IBOs are taught that they need to invest in their businesses. The investments however, aren't on equipment, employees, rent, or on advertising. In a typical Amway business, the investments that uplines often refer to are voicemail subcription, standing order, website fees, seminars and books. In many cases, an IBO keeps on investing in these materials without making an assessment on whether or not the investment was worth the money or if they are actually generating more business as a result of the investment.

I find it ironic that many Amway recruiters will hype the Amway business as one of low risk and little or no overhead. But when an IBO starts to get truly interested, suddenly an investment of money is vital to the success of their business. IBOs get caught up in the excitement of starting a business and they pour money into their shiny new Amway businesses, often without understanding the purpose of the investment, because they are following the advice of their experienced uplines. Eventually, most IBOs will realize that they aren't making money so they stop building the business and eventually quit. This is confirmed by the fact that over 90% of IBOs do not last 5 years and less than half of registered IBOs last even a full year.

For most, they will never recoup even their first month's worth of investments, even with a honest and earnest effort of building the business. Most IBOs never even make enough income to cover their voicemail bills. It is sad that uplines dupe their faithful followers into believing that their tools will help them succeed as IBOs. There is ZERO unbiased evidence that voicemail, functions and other materials do anything to help an IBO to make a substantial profit from the Amway business. It is my educated opinion that training materials sold by uplines have the exact opposite effect. The training materials and functions suck money out of an IBO's business and goes to the upline in the form of support materials profits.

For most IBOs, there is little to no return on their investment. What has voicemail or a standing order done for your business? Ask yourself an honest question. What tangible result have you seen in your business as a result of attending a function or listening to a standing order? If there was any result, is it a one time phenomena or are the functions resulting in continued growth of downline and business volume? Even if you did see a small increase in volume for example, was it enough to justify taking a perhaps out of town trip by air and hotel expenses just for a small volume increase? Do the never ending standing orders result in your downline and volume growing or simply your bank account shrinking?

Any real business owner will look at expenses and make sure that any investments into their business results in more customers or more revenue. If not, then that expense is shut down and other options looked at. Since many IBOs don't have any customers or very few customers, is it worth your time and money to attend functions? Is standing order increasing your monthly volume or bonuses? This is not to persuade IBOs to quit, but simply food for thought so that IBOs will truly use their "business mentality" and decide for themselves if support materials vis a vis an "investment" in their Amway business is paying off or not. If not, you are enjoying a hobby called Amway. Hobbies cost you money, but they rarely make you money. Good luck in whatever you decide.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Amway - What Is The Average IBO Income?

One of the things that Amway defenders like to criticize Joecool for is writing about things that are "outdated". I find it humorous that despite their silly outdated information defense, there is plenty of evidence that leaders from more than ten years ago teach the same old stuff such as dedication to the tools and doing whatever it takes to attend functions. They still show off luxuries as a way to entice new prospects and they want people to think that they can earn unlimited income from Amway. Well, the same can be said of their beloved corporation. Amway reported that the average "active" IBO earned $115 a month and that was based on a survey Amway did in 2001. That is nine years ago. Seems Amway is guilty of what Amway defenders criticize.

Anyway, I believe that Amway's average income claim is inflated by diamonds or other big pins. To prove this point just takes basic math. Keep in mind that Amway's $115 a month average did not include IBOs who "did nothing". But lets examine "the plan" that many IBOs show in recruitment meetings. In many groups, they show a 6-4-2 plan which includes a total of 79 IBOs. The plan also assumes that all IBOs do 100 PV. Thus the group PV would be 7900.

7900 PV is about equal to 23,700 BV. PV to BV ratio is about 3 to 1. 23,700 BV would generate a bonus of about %5,925. $5.925 is 25% of the 23,700 BV. Well, with 79 IBOs generating a bonus of $5.925, the average income of all of these active IBOs is $75 per month. There you have it. Bonafide mathematical proof, based on the
6-4+2 marketing plan that the average IBO income as reported by Amway may very well be inflated by the income of some big pins (diamond and higher). Even if you factor in the annual platinum bonus, the group average income still doesn't add up to $115 a month. And keep in mind that this is assuming that all IBOs in the group do 100 PV.

So what is the average IBO income? I cannot say for sure as there are many factors, but it is my informed opinion that the average IBO income is likely to be less than $115 a month. I also believe if we were to look at median income, where the highest and lowest amounts were disregarded, that would probably be less than $36 a month. So IBOs, what kind of bonuses are you receiving? Keep in mind that these incomes are gross and income taxes and business expenses have not yet been factored in. When factoring in expenses such as voicemail and functions, the vast majority of business building IBOs will realize a net loss.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Amway Tools Systems - A Money Pit?

I've been blogging about Amway for a number of years now and I've learned quite a bit about Amway and how the system works. It is my absolute conclusion that the vast majority of IBOs lose money because the system consisting of standing order, book of the month, voicemail and functions are a money pit. The system can never be satisfied. It must constantly drain money out of IBO's pockets in order to sustain itself along with the lavish lifestyles that some diamonds and upline leaders like to portray. Sadly, the system is promoted as the key to IBO success but the reality is that the system is the very reason why so many IBOs suffer net losses. IBOs often do not realize that they are systematically being drained of their money because it is done one standing order or one function at a time. What some uplines do to disguise this is to start teaching that the Amway business is about investing in your business, lifelong friendships, or making an IBO a nicer person, etc.

Let's look at some system components. Voicemail is absolutely unnecessary. With email, text messages, twitter, or even facebook to transmit messages for free, it is ridiculous for IBOs to pay for a technologically outdated means of communication. The functions are also a waste of money. With telecommunications, there is no need for so many meetings and functions. These functions, especially the ones where air travel and accommodations are needed set back many IBOs financially and they never recover. While I agree in general that open meetings are more effective in person, these are generally regional and not cost prohibitive as out of town functions. Standing orders are generally recorded at functions so when that happens, IBOs are paying twice to hear the same information. Book of the month I don’t have too much objection except that some of the books may be basically propaganda promoting the AMOs and the systems. The ones that talk about success principles are generally okay. But overall, I believe the return on investment is poor and in many cases, a group of IBOs will actually spend more on tools than the amount of bonuses generated from Amway.

Uplines avoid the discussion of scam by talking about the opportunity being hard work. Thus IBOs don’t get the idea that it is too good to be true. Meanwhile they are often strongly encouraged to be on the system. Some IBOs are shunned if they don’t purchase tools, which might be against Amway rules. However, the shunned IBO might be better off because the ones who do invest in tools often find that the system is simply a money pit where money goes in and nothing comes out. As far as I know, there is zero unbiased evidence that the system produces any tangible results. If you in the US, you might be hard pressed to find newly emerging diamonds. Sure there are some new platinums, but there is evidence that system platinums make very little or lose money, and many of them are not able to maintain that level of volume. The system is basically sucking money from the IBOs and channeling them to certain uplines, probably the ones who show off their new sports cars and fancy suits. Does this appeal to you?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Amway - The Truth Hurts?

One Amway defender has recently accused me of posting "misinformation" on this blog. Oddly, over my blogging career, many Amway defenders have falsely accused me of posting lies and misinformation. I find it humorous that each time I asked these Amway defenders to point out what was wrong or misleading, the question is met head on by dead silence. A commenter from Scarborough Ontario Canada recently began making idle threats to me on this blog over the last year or two but is too cowardly to make contact with me or reveal his identity. He thinks his comments will shut down my blog. Well, he is dead wrong. In fact it is people like this that strengthen my resolve.

I can only conclude that the truth hurts. My friend from Canada must have had his feelings hurt, thus his only solution is to kick his dog and make disparaging comments about the blog author rather than actually having a civil debate to talk about the real issues. Anytime I have been wrong on this blog, I have been quick to admit any errors and to make corrections. However, our anonymous coward from Canada is unable to point out what is misinformation or what is wrong. I wonder if this joker is even an IBO or simply a troll looking to make trouble. His comments show his apparent lack of any business acumen so I cannot conclude with certainty that he is an IBO.

I guess if you look at the Amway business objectively, the facts leave me with only one conclusion. Let's look at some facts. The average IBO earns $115 a month gross income and that is before taxes and expenses. We also know that a new IBO who moves 100 PV volume will get about $10, thus that average $115 is including the mega diamonds who drive up the average. Also, it is not a secret that most sales are to IBOs themselves and we also know that most IBOs stop using Amway products once their dream of going diamond goes away. The biggest concern is that most system IBOs lose money, primarily because of the tools. In some groups, the expenditures on tools exceeds the amount of bonus the group collectively receives. Building an Amway business with downline to a point where significant profit is realized is nearly impossible and there have been more diamonds quitting or leaving than new ones in the US. I believe Amway's reputation has been damaged by IBO behavior to a point where the damage cannot be undone. Just the mention of Amway can get you funny looks in some venues in the US.

So my anonymous friend in Canada, you are welcome to actually point out any errors on this blog. But there are enough facts that prove my point. A business opportunity where the vast majority make nothing or lose money simply cannot be considered a good one. I'm sorry if the truth hurts. You are welcome to try and prove me wrong with facts, but your idle threats only make you and the Amway opportunity look bad. That's the truth once again and apparently the truth hurts.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Amway - Why Success Is Unlikely

So many eager young people join Amway with the hopes that they will retire early, live a life of luxury and basically enjoy life with no worries. Most of the people who join Amway are very likely to be motivated, hard working and wanting more out of life. Their intentions are great but it leads to the question of why do so few people actually get anywhere in Amway and why are there so few new diamonds, at least in the US and Canada?

I think part of the problem is that the folks who recruit new prospects into Amway often imply that everyone has a chance to be a diamond and they also imply that it's not that difficult. I heard comments once that going platinum was so easy that someone's dog could do it. It's obviously not true when less than one percent of IBOs ever reach the platinum level and even those who do often are unable to maintain that level of volume.

Now let's break it down to numbers. A platinum group is often typically 100 to 150 IBOs. Of course not all of them are busy moving products or recruiting downline. A diamond group is six platinum groups plus some side volume, thus a diamond group is likely to have 750 to 1000 IBOs. Being a platinum can be compared to being the manager of a company and a diamond is like being a CEO of a big organization. In a job, you can work your way up and eventually become a manager or CEO. Some IBOs think they can never achieve those goals at work, but they mistakenly think they can surpass their sponsors in Amway so it's a better deal. But even if you earn more than your sponsor, does that mean you will eventually reach platinum or diamond? I think a better gauge of success would be those who go diamond. Diamond is often portrayed as the pinnacle of success and is the target shown in "the plan".

However, as I stated, going diamond would also be like achieving the level of CEO in a company. There is only so much room at the top. That is true. While there can be many diamonds, you would still need to have about 100 to 150 downline to achieve platinum and you would still need six platinum downline groups equating about 750 to 1000 downline IBOs to be diamond, plus your personal group. Thus a diamond is like a CEO who creates his own company. Factor in that half your group is likely to quit each year, thus you must replace hundreds of IBOs every year to maintain the minimum qualification of platinum or diamond. Add the in name "Amway" that makes some people cringe and maintaining a group is a daunting task. Imagine being a CEO of a company that loses half of their employees every year. That's what a diamond "lifestyle" includes.

It is my informed opinion that a diamond lifestyle is one of hectic schedules, constantly working to help your groups maintain volume and bringing in new IBOs, plus sponsoring and maintaining your own personal group of 2500 PV volume. If you cannot maintain 2500 PV personal volume, I believe you would not qualify for some of the bonuses paid by Amway. Also, because the rest of the workers normally works 8-5 or so, a diamond is out working the night shift and odd hours trying to keep the group intact. Also, factor in the travel to functions for speaking engagements and a constant churning of meetings and you have little time to actually work your business and spend time with family. Sadly, many people join to gain more time and money and they often end up with less time and less money because of their involvement with the constant meetings and functions.

So can someone succeed in Amway? Certainly it has been done, but I believe that many diamonds are possibly busier working odd hours than someone with a job with regular hours. The diamond lifestyle may be shown as fabulous, but I believe the reality is not as nice a picture. See my previous post about visiting with a diamond.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Amway - Visiting A Diamond?

Some blog visitors have in the past, and recently, advised me to go and visit with a diamond or a platinum. That spending time with someone in the business would give me a different perspective. I'm not sure what my visitors thought I would accomplish by doing this. As an IBO, I spent countless hours with my upline platinum and on many occasions, my upline diamond. My honest opnion is that they were just average everyday people who made their living in a different manner than most. Their homes weren't fancier, they didn't drive special cars, they didn't have the kind of material wealth that's often portrayed in functions and meetings. and that's fine.

What I would challenge prospects and IBOs to do is just that. Ask to spend time with your upline platinum and/or diamond. You are likely to find ordinary people with ordinary lives outside of the business. So many people think that the upline platinums and higher live in the lap of luxury and it's not true, unless they are living beyond their means. I do believe that many upline leaders do live beyond their means. It is because showing off material wealth is a vital part in attracting and retaining IBOs. You show them material wealth and get people to dream about achieving the same thing in order to sign them up for Amway and the associated tools and training business. Sadly, the vast majority who register and attempt to build an empire will end up quitting, and most of them, especially the ones who attended the functions will end up with a net loss, even if they put in extraordinary amounts of time and effort. Sure, some people may eventually achieve higher levels in the business but they are the exception and not the rule.

In normal and in real business, one way to prove your results is to open your books and show your financial details. Your upline of course, will tell you that it is none of your business, but if you are being asked to invest your time and money into a business opportunity, you have every right to demand this information. If your prospective sponsor refuses to supply this information, it should be a red flag that they have something to hies. It seems that many IBOs emebllish their income claims or try to change the discussion. They may even produce a photo copy of an upline's bonus check, but that proves nothing. What prospects and IBOs should demand is a profit and loss statement. It would give an idea of what expenses someone can expect as an IBO and what kind of income can be expected at various levels.

Joecool has no reason to visit a diamond. But I would certainly say that IBOs and prospects should do so. You might be surprised to find that a diamond is not "all that" when you see them up close and personal.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Amway - Amway Zealot Making Idle Threats?

Over the last year or so, there's someone, possibly an IBO (but I'm not sure) who has been occasionally leaving idle threats on Joecool's blog. He claims to know my true identity outside of my Joecool Persona and also mistakenly thinks I am also the person who goes by the handle of "Tex" and he is again sorely mistaken. Tex is a known liar and has made numerous racist statements on other blogs. Also, Joecool is from Hawaii and not from Plano Texas.

This anonymous claims to have additional information about me that he is sending to Amway and some other authorities. Here's what the anonymous coward from Canada posted a few months back. I have been documenting these "idle threats" in case the anonymous coward tries to make good on any of these idle threats. Here's the post:

Anonymous said...
"Just go and hang yourself or shoot a bullet through your empty skull. You speak like someone who quit and is bitter in life. Your posts are misleading and you want to do nothing less than kill people's dreams and hopes for a better life. You're an irresponsible man in all of your life dealings and quick at throwing the dead cat from your garden to your neighboor's. Oh, it's not me, it's you, it's him, it's them whatever. Lack of discipline and not accepting responsibility. That's why you didn't make it in Amway and for that matter in any other past or future businesses."

Anonymous said...
"How about I punch you in the face to make you stop"

There are more statements like this one but I will not publish all of them. I have reason to believe that this may be the same anonymous person who left me a threat just about two years ago. IBOFightback aka David Steadson lied when he claimed that I said Amway IBOs threatened me. I clearly said a "zealot". I never once said an IBO or anyone affiliated with Amway sent me anything threatening. IBOFightback also thinks I lied about the threats previously because he wasn't forwarded copies of what was said. IBOFightback also lied about completing an investigation that revealed all of the truth because he never contacted me about all of this. His investigation apprently consisted of reading comments on his own forum/blog. I wasn't previously able to verify the person's ID as I had just installed a site tracker and was not adept at identifying an IP address to the post. Well, this is it:

Rogers Cable ( IP address
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada