Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Weird Upline Practices?

Looking back at my IBO days, I can now laugh at some of the weird stuff we did and believe it or not, I have reason to believe that my old LOS, WWDB still teaches some of this and some other major groups also teach it. I believe some of these practices were the reason why some people refer to the Amway business as cult or having cult like qualities. If you recognize some of these practices, you might be in an unethical group and you should ask your upline the tough questions and possibly reconsider or reprioritize your involvement in the business.

Submission to upline was one of the things we were told. Our group was told that upline would never purposely lead us astray so we should trust them and never try anything without checking upline. Afterall, upline had experience and probably had all the answers. Some of this checking upline included asking permission to get married, buy a car or a home, or even something as small as purchasing a camera. The upline said maybe someone upline might have advice on how to get a good deal on a camera so no harm in checking upline before making a purchase. It is my guess that upline didn't want your disposable income being spent on anything other than standing orders and functions.

Late meetings. Our upline was into late meetings, many occuring after midnight. I suppose it was a show of loyalty and dedication to the upline and the system. In reality, it made most people angry at their jobs because they had to wake up early to go to work. For me it made me mad at our upline because the meetings taught us nothing of substance and it just made us tired. Our upline used to talk about time being important but it was never important enough to make him show up on time for his own late night meetings. Another cult like factor - sleep deprivation.

Secrets. Anytime we asked about how much income uplines may have been earning, we were either told it's none of our business or shown a photocopy of a 5 year old bonus check that someone upline may have received. Our proof that the business worked was upline showing off pictures of sports cars and mansions. Of course we now find that some WWDB diamonds had homes foreclosed, and one prominent triple diamond had some dealings in bankruptcy court. Looking back, I suspect that many diamonds have mortgages, which would be nor problem except that these leaders scoffed at the sutpidity of having a loan. That diamonds pay cash for everything, including homes. My former sponsor still lives in a run down rented home beause he won't purchase a home unless he's got the cash. My former sponsor is a physician so I find his position on buying a home preposterous. His oldest child, a son probably grew up deprived of his parents because of dedication to the system and the functions.

Losing money is success. Many times, our group was told that losing money was a sign of success. It was success because we were investing in our futures. That the business really is not about money but about friendships. I suppose upline taught this because everyone was losing money so it was nice to hear that success was around the corner, and that we were all nicer people and on our way to success if we just attended more functions and bought more standing orders. People who sold off some of their personal property were edified if they did so to attend a function. Obviously these folks were not advised to run their business within their means. Upline even said that going into debt was okay, but only if the debt was to invest in the business or to buy extra function tickets.

While some of these practices seem bizarre, I believe it is because the upline advice was self serving and meant to channel their downline's dollars into tool purchases. It is the only conclusion I can make. What's your conclusion?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Avoiding Negative?

One of the silly things taught by uplines is for IBOs to avoid negative. This was commong practice when I was an IBO, and apparently, still taught by some leaders and groups. Don't read the newspaper, don't watch TV, and avoid people in general, who are negative about the Amway business. My upline would say that the world is too negative so our minds needed to be filtered with positive thoughts so that we can flourish in the Amway business. I believe this is one of the reasons why some people associate Amway and the AMOs (Amway Motivational Organizations) as cults. Tell people how they should think and then bombard them with only happy thoughts about Amway. Everything else is "negative" and should be filtered out.

Sadly, many IBOs buy into this and start avoiding family and friends simply because they may not view Amway in a positive light. Certainly, some IBOs don't shut out family and friends, but it seems that enough of them do, at least while they are involved in building a big business. It was my experience and I still see evidence that this is not uncommon practice even today. If these AMOs were churning out new and sustainable success stories, we would probably not be talking about this but instead, IBOs and prospects get used and abused and spit out by the system, all under the guise of being mentored by uplines. Most IBOs, even those who put in an earnest effort end up with a net loss, despite their dedication to the system and adherence to upline advice. I don't know of anyone who has been able to name more than a dozen new diamonds from the US in the last 10 years or so. It sure looks like Amway in the US and Canada is shrinking,, save for some pockets and areas where there is the appearance of "growth".

I would point out the functions as evidence of shrinkage. My former sponsor told me of an FED where IBOs filled the (at the time) Seattle Kingdome. 50,000+ IBOs in attendance. I also attended a family reunion function at the Rose Garden in Portland where there were 15 - 20,000 IBOs in attendance. Dream Night was held in nevies that sat about 2500 people and more and more, we are seeing smaller venues for these types of functions. Maybe people are simply more aware of what being an IBO entails and simply avoid it? Maybe it's just a coincidence?

But hopefully, someone out there who reads this will understand that avoiding all negative is a silly thing to teach. Unless you live in some Utopian society, there will always be some negative. That's just life. Avoiding the news or only taking in positive can make you apathetic. How would you be able to vote or know what the current events are? Do you rely on your upline for this? Are you living in an Amway/AMO world where you only associate with IBOs and "happy" people? Do you argue and attack opposing views? If you're about avoiding negative, you should take this message to heart and seriously think about what you are being taught by your (well compensated) mentors.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What Prospects Often Don't Know

One thing that I was unaware of as an IBO was that our uplines were profiting from our tools purchases. I was in WWDB at the time and I was told very clearly that nobody made money from the tools and in fact, I was also told that WWDB was a non profit organization. Both of these statements were bold lies told by WWDB leaders and they have never been held accountable. We were told that upline cared about us and our success, thus they spent their own money to fly to functions to teach us how to succeed.

Eventually, the internet amd other media made it impossible to cover up these lies and uplines funally admitted that they profitted from tools. However, it looks like they downplayed the magnitude of the tools profits. I believe some upline may have made most of their income fro tools, especially leaders who may have fallen out of qualification. Now the upline admits they make some profits from tools, but there is still a great deal of secrecy in the tools business. What makes the whole thing ironic is that the uplines allegeldy are not supposed to entice Amway prospects into joining by using the tools money as a draw, but at the same time, they are told that tools are vital to their success.

I wonder how many prospects or IBOs would be fired up about buying tools if they knew that their uplines might not currently be qualified at the level they claim to be, and knowing that the uplines will make a ton of money whether or not you make a cent as an IBO? Also, some uplines are shameless is pushing the tools on downline. Sure they might cut the newest guy a break and loan them some cds, but once that IBO decides to start building downline, they are likely to be told that a real business owner buys their own tools, or that a business owner needs to be a leader and purchase extra tools for their downline.

How would you feel uf your upline is touting themselves as a financial genious but in the background, their homes are foreclosed or they have financial difficulties? What if your upline touts their morals and you find out they are divorced or getting a divorce? What if your upline said Amway saves marriages? Your upline certainly won't say they are perfect, but conversely, they should be held to the highest standards if they are using their status to be able to sell tools and make large profits.

Many prospects and IBOs don't know this, but I hope they take it to heart.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Paying In Cash?

When I was an IBO, I was always taught that diamonds pay cash for everything. That one day, after following the foolproof WWDB system, that I too, would be strolling on the beaches of the world, with cash rolling into my bank account with no worries in the world. We were told that diamonds pay cash for all purchases, even homes and other large ticket items. As evidence, the diamonds would show slideshows of mansions and sports cars, golf club memberships and other lavish items. All paid for in cash we were told. I have reason to believe that WWDB still teaches this except that it is probably a bunch of lies.

First of all, in looking back, the group really had no way of knowing what was paid for or not. We just assumed that diamond paid so much money that everything the diamonds spoke of were true. However, there have been events, some very recent that exposed some of the apparent lies told by these diamonds. There were two (2) diamonds whose home foreclosures became public knowledge and a prominent triple diamond who was involved in bankruptcy proceedings. Now your home cannot be foreclosed if it's paid for in cach right? Technically, nobody would care whether a diamond's home was mortgaged or paid for, but when diamonds parade in front of a crowd bragging about wealth, and then telling the audience that they too will achieve the same success by following the system and upline advice, well that's a bit misleading in my opinion. So many people in the audience are practically crying because they want what the diamonds are flaunting, except that possibly, many of these diamonds don't even have what they are selling.

A average diamond might make about $150,000 (according to Amway) and let's just say another $150,000 from selling support materials. When you factor in taxes and business expenses such as travel to and from functions, what's left over certainly is not going to allow you tp purchase million dollar mansions. Some higher up pins might make a bit more, but still, purchasing mansions and other luxuries in cash is a stretch. It would be my guess that most diamonds indeed have a mortgage on their homes and may even have car payments. That's not a crime but it is unethical to lie about your income in order to recruit new downlines.

For IBOs and other newbies, if your uplines are bragging about paying for homes and other things in cash, ask them to show proof of these claims. I can show you pictures of multi million dollar mansions and sports cars, it doesn't mean that I paid for them in cash. But then again, admitting to having a mortgage or having monthly car payments are quite as attractive or exciting as paying for these things in cash.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Where Are They?

One of the things many IBOs hope for is the dream of receiving income from having built a big Amway business, and then "walking away" from the business and retiring young while enjoying a life of luxury. To "prove" that this is possible, some diamonds may shows off pictures of cars, mansions, and other luxuries, all allegedly attained by having built a big Amway business. And sadly, many young people get trapped into believing that they can all achieve this a with 2+5 years of work. It's basically a myth.

But where are these mysterious people who built sizable Amway businesses and simply "walked away" while the money kept rolling in? There are several issues to think about for people who believe that people "walked away" from an Amway business and continue to collect a significant income.

First of all, if someone truly could walk away and live in luxury, why are there countless stories of diamonds, double diamonds and some higher, who quit or resigned from Amway? Why did they not exercise the option of walking away? For certain Amway bonuses, there is a "side volume" requirement. How do "retired" IBOs continue to meet this requirement? None of their downline ever quits despite the fact that an overwhelming number of IBOs quit each year. Who helps these downline while their upline is walking the beaches of the world and how can anyone maintain a certain volume after walking away? Most IBOs find their business fall apart immediately after they stop adding downline. Also, how do you meet the minimum sales/customer PV if you are sitting on the beaches drinking Mai Tais?

I believe the answer is simple. There aren't people walking the beaches of the world while Amway cash rolls in by the truckload. Sure, some people might still be earning some income by having repeat customers or having some downline who remain active when you leave the business, but I seriously doubt that there are people jetsetting and traveling to the beaches of the world with no financial worries simply by working 2-5 years as often suggested in recruitment or open meetings. If these people exist, why can't anyone name even a single one of them? Why do crown ambassadors keep working busy schedules? Why are diamonds always scrambling from function to function if they could truly walk away and enjoy life with income pouring in from Amway? Why are there stories of diamonds having homes foreclosed and a prominent triple diamond involved in bankruptcy proceedings a few years back?

I think the answer is quite obvious. It's because someone walking away from an Amway business while income pours in is like chasing the end of a rainbow. You can see it but you can never grab it. If not, where are all of these mysterious people?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Opposing Views Are Welcome

One thing that many IBOs and Amway supporters seem to shy away from is opposing views. Recently, a WWDB IBO who runs his own blog decided to disallow any comments on his blog. And that certainly is his right as a blog owner, but it seems to be common among Amway defenders. Amway's biggest defender and self proclaimed Amway spokesperson IBOFightback is like this also. While he might say he welcomes opposing views, his actions suggest otherwise. He banned Joecool (without warning) from posting on his website simply because I pointed out that Amway's disclosure of the average IBO income did not include IBOs that are considered to be inactive.

But on this blog, I allow any comments, even if they are contrary to my opinion. Amway supporters and critics alike are welcome to have healthy debates over what I see as issues with the Amway business. I believe that open debate can sometimes result in solutions, and can also allow some self discovery for IBOs and critics alike. For those who only allow comments in line with your own opinions, is well, like living in some sheltered community and those who do so often have trouble coping with the real world.

Another valuable benefit is for iformation seekers. Since Amway appears to have very limited information about being an IBO and IBO experiences, this blog can be valuable for many and over the years, I have received positive comments confirming that. Over the years, my former (and other groups) uplines told many lies and deceived downline about tools, tool profits and other things. This went unchallenged until the internet exposed many of these lies. Sadly, many IBOs simply deny or refuse to believe the obvious. That their upline leaders may have taken advantage of them. I also believe that many IBOs to thise day are taken advantage of by their upline, but refuse to deal with it.

It looks like however, that Amway is declining in the US and Canada. And I believe that free flowing information is a big part of that. Uplines have difficulty in covering up recruitment tactics that might be less than honest. Blogs and forums have also played a part in providing sunshine in important areas. It is why Joecool has not walked away from blogging yet. I believe Amway has made some progress in addressing some of these issues, especially with their newest Amway Answers blog, but until the lying uplines are confined, Joecool's blog and opposing views will continue to exist.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Another Fallacy Perpetutated By AMOs?

There has been much debate by both critics and Amway IBOs and supporters recently over an issue regarding a WWDB Dream Night function. The issue was an honest question over the cost of a Dream Night Ticket. Well, needless to say, the IBO in question ended up deciding that his blog will no longer accept comments. And while that is certainly his right, he made a statement that IBOs may be told, but makes no sense. Here is the statement:

"Here is a tip when doing research, if you have a question about a company why not give the actual company a call? Wow what a concept."

While on the surface, that me seem logical. If you have a question about how a company works, that might make perfect sense. But the Amway opportunity, along with the attached motivational tools companies, make that a touchy situation. What are you supposed to do? Call WWDB and ask if they are a good company? Call WWDB and ask if they scam downline? What if you call and ask WWDB if most IBOs on their system make money or lose money? If you look at the average income of the majority of IBOs amd factor in expenses such as voicemail, satnding orders and functions, I can only conclude that the vast majority of IBOs on the system have to be losing money. The longer you stay in the system, the more you lose. Furthermore, I believe there are more people winning the powerball lottery in the US than the number of new WWDB diamonds emerging in the US in the last dozen years ago or so.

Imagine if you had questions and simply asked the person? Hello? Mr. Al Capone, I heard you were a gangster in charge of organized crime. But I thought it would only be fair if I got the answer directly from you. What's that? You're not a gangster and you go to church? Okay, I see. Well that clears that up. Mr. Capone is not a gangster, I confirmed that by asking him. Do you see the ridiculous justification of just asking the person in question? Isn't a better way to ask a neutral thrid party?

Many IBOs will also suggest that you check the better business bureau. Well, Amway has a good mark from the better business bureau. But Amway isn't selling you voicemail and other support materials right? That would be WWDB or some other motivational group, or a particular double or triple diamond, whose business may not have been registered or known to the better business bureau.

I believe IBOs, information seekers, and prospects can find a ton of information on the internet using google. Upline leaders disourage this because too much frank and disparaging information exists about the Amway opportunity. But much of that information is real life true experiences. I was an up and coming "mover and shaker" in WWDB. This blog relects much of my real experiences and the realizations I came to after having left Amway and WWDB. Sadly, my experience was not a good one, but more and more I see evidence that what I was taught a dozen years ago is still taught today, and by some of the same leaders. I hope my experience can help others.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Amway Makes Progress?

One of the things that Amway has been criticized for in the past was for what appeared to be a complete lack of action when violations of rules were reported. It also appeared that many things were shrouded in secrecy and covered up. Any lawsuits were settled with no information forthcoming. It seemed that even high up diamonds got away with things and it certainly had the appearance that the corporation did nothing. While some actions may have been taken by Amway, nothing was disclosed, thus the appearance of inaction.

While the battle between critics and supporters raged, Amway launched an accreditation program and a PR campaign. However, having been blogging and researching information on Amway, and having contact with real IBOs via social networking gave me the impression that while there was accreditation, the same old upline leaders had still found a way to get their (unethical) messages to downline. Despite accreditation, IBOs were apparently still taught to "buy from themselves". or to "submit to upline" or to "vote republican". Not all groups did this obviously, but I had contact with IBOs from various groups and many of them were taught these things. My old upline, WWDB apparently still teaches the buy home in cash mantra, I suppose to pretend that WWDB diamonds have money to burn. To sum it up, all of these efforts by Amway seemed to be cosmetic with no real change forthcoming. Even the PR campaign with commercials didn't seem to do anything to help Amway's image, at least in the US.

In 2008 -2009, the critics and Amway supporters were at it again because Amway sales were reported globally and US figures were not released. It is my guess that Amway sales in the US were not so great and I believe it's because the Quixtar project was not effective in reclaiming Amway's image. Thus the eventual change to Amway Global and back to Amway.

I was however, encouraged by a fairly recent action taken by Amway. And that was their openness to start this blog: http://blogs.amway.com/answers/
While the blog is not the answer to everything Amway, at least it candidly gives some real information to information seekers and IBOs. A good example was when the blog author said IBOs should not use "passive income" as a term when promoting the business. That is something that most or maybe even all major LOS's were guilty of. While there is a lot more that can be done, this was one of the biggest steps Amway has taken and I give them credit for it. Now if they could only get IBOFighback to stop his rants and insults all over the net and we'd really have something.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Once A Diamond, Always A Diamond?

I've seen some interesting discussion recently about how a diamond pin is like winning a gold medal. That you don't get it taken away from you later even if you don't qualify anymore. The discussion also flowed as to where they mentioned that former US President Jimmy Carter is still addressed as Mr. President. Or that someone with a superbowl ring can be addressed as a superbowl champion. While I agree with that to some degree, I think the issue of diamond or former diamond is significant and different from former President Carter or a former Superbowl Champion. Terry Bradshaw or Joe Montana don't parade around as if they just won the superbowl last year.

The diamond pin is a significant achievement for sure. Seems that recently, it's even harder to achieve in North America. I don't know of more than a few new diamonds emerging in the last ten years or so in the US. But if say a diamond qualified in 1988 and never qualified again, how would you as an IBO feel about paying to see this diamond speak function after function and how many would continue to buy standing orders from a guy who may have achieved diamond 20 years ago and never again? Would the audiences be "fired up" to see these speakers? I find this ironic also, because many Amway defenders like to criticize Amway critics for having an outdated experience. Well, conversely, a one time diamond would be basically the same thing. If not then Joecool should command the respect of a 4000 PV Eagle since that was my highest level.

I actually have no issue with Amway allowing the achiever to carry their highest pin as a recognized achievement, but I do believe that those who use their former pin status to exploit and profit from new IBOs and prospects should be stopped. I know I would not have been so excited attending a function where the keynote speaker went diamond for 6 months a decade ago and was no longer qualified. Else, by upline's definition, he will teach me to go diamond and fall apart? I believe there are fewer North American diamonds now than ten years ago. Some diamonds resigned and some outright quit. So much for residual/passive income. Obviously if these things existed, then nobody would quit or walk away from residual income.

BTW, a recent article on an Amway Corporate website says this about passive income:
"Passive income is a term we do not permit distributors to use and it’s not a term the Corporation uses. In our business, there is no such thing as doing no work, and expecting money to still come in.” Link:

Still think there's a free ride at the end of the tunnel?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Being Positive Can Be "Weird"?

Recently, there's been debate between critics and Amway supporters over an issue regarding a WWDB function called 'Dream Night". A WWDB IBO reported that the function was sold out but did not disclose the amount of a Dream Night ticket. He later posted an article saying that he was sorry for being "negative". Now as a former IBO from WWDB, I was taught to be only positive, That we have too much negative in our lives and that we need the positive.

Now I agree that having only "negatives" in our lives would be detrimental. That eventually, we would be worn down by only negative. But conversely, the teaching of having only positive in your life can be equally damaging. I recall an old Twilight Zone episode where a guy allegedly dies and he thinks he went to heaven as a man in white came to him and offered to grant him what he wanted. He asked for girls and to be a winner in gambling. Well, the man could never lose a single bet. He won every single time and he had girls all over him. He found it to be no challenge and found life so mundane and predictable that he asked the man in white if he could lose once in a while or be challenged. The man in white basically said "no" and the man (I believe his name was Rocky) Rocky, said how come heaven was so lame (not verbatim). The man in white proceeded to tell him "what makes you think you're in heaven" and laughed incessantly while the Twilight Zone music ended the show.

Now being positive and having a good attitude is a good idea and probably good for your business, but having only positive and shutting out all negatives is a ridiculous thing and it seems as if WWDB leaders are still teaching it. What happens if your business gets audited? You tell the IRS man you can't speak to him if it's not "positive news"? What if you go to the doctor? You tell him don't let you know what's going on unless it's positive news? If there's a natural disaster in your town, you turn off the news because it's not "positive"? What if your body could not feel pain? Would that be positive for you? It might but the reality is that not feeling pain or having zero stress is likely to be detrimental to your health.

In my informed and experienced opinion, I believe that some Amway and WWDB leaders teach you to shut out negative in your life is because lots and lots and lots of people have negative experiences and things to say about Amway and WWDB. If you doubt me, ask about Greg Duncan, Dave Shores, Brad Wolgamott, Dean Kosage and some others. Ask your sponsor or your upline what happened to these folks. If they tell you nothing or that it's negative, I challenge you to google search and find out for yourself. If your upline still denies or says you should shut out negative, maybe you should find out what they are hiding by shutting out all negative in their lives.

Having only positive in your life is probably "weird". Is that what you want to be?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why Can't IBOs Just GIve A Straight Answer?

There's been a big debate between Amway critics and an Amway and a WWDB blogger. The debate began when someone asked how much a ticket to the WWDB Dream Night Function costed. Rather than a simple answer of $75 a ticket, or whatever the cost was, the person asking the question was referred to the WWDB website where you apparently needed a password to login and purchase tickets, etc. But a valid question is why do so many IBOs have to give vague answers rather than answering the question. Many IBOs are deceptive about what they do in the first place which often prompts the question: Is this Amway?

Of course the IBO could have simply stated that he did not wish to disclose the information but instead gives a roundabout non answer. I mean if the Dream Night was so great, inspiring and helpful, why would it be limited only to IBOs? What would be wrong with someone finding out about it and attending? Does the upline have something to hide? Is there some sacred trade secret given out at Dream Night? If there was some magic secret given out, it certainly doesn't help many IBOs. In the US and Canada, I don't know of more than a pitiful few new diamonds that have emerged in the last ten years, despite the millions of IBOs who signed up to try.

Why do IBOs have to talk about having an ecommerce business or some business projects? Why this insistence on a curiosity approach? Many people, when it comes to money related matters, prefer a direct and honest approach. If you avoid mentioning Amway until the presentation is given, most people will be ticked off, not interested. Are IBOs ashamed of being associated with Amway? That appears to be the case. If Amway were as great as advertised, people would line up to sign up but instead, many people must be tricked into attending meetings or recruitment pitches. It makes IBOs look pathetic and it is probably why Amway has built a shoddy reputation over the years in North America. It is also most likely why Amway sees growth outside of North America, because the reputation hasn't been damaged yet.

Next time there's a discussion on Amway or WWDB, are you giving your prospect a straight answer or a sneaky one? Do upline leaders teach deception or straight up honesty? In my tenure with WWDB, we were taught to be deceptive. I have reason to believe that nothing has changed and I posted it a few days ago. So IBOs and recruits, are you upfront or sneaky? Now you know why it's so hard to get new people involved.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Become Free In 8-12 Hours Per Week?

One of the myths that upline used to, and likely still perpetuate is the claim that you can build an Amway mega empire on 8-12 hours per week. I'm venturing an educated guess that this number is used because while it still represents time, it is probably less hours than working a part time job. But let's take a closer look at this 8-12 hours per week.

If you listen to one (1) cd per day as recommended by upline and read one of their "success" books 15 minutes each day, you already close to nine hours of time used and neither of these activities produces any income for your Amway business. In fact, both activities cost you money and produce no tangible result. If you spend another 15 minutes a day contacting people, you are close to 12 hours per week. Where will you find additional time to show the plan and to expand your name and contact list? What about servicing customers, at least for IBOs who actually may have some customers.

What about attending meetings and functions? These are also non income producing activities. It's no wonder the vast majority of IBOs don't make money. Their upline has them running around participating in activities that produce no income for their businesses. Ironically, there non income producing activities such as listening to a cd, produces a lot of income for certain iplines who produce and sell them. To me, it is just an elaborate game of bait and switch played by upline.

You sell the prospect the dream of financial freedom. You tell that that Amway is their best chance. You tell them that you can help them and that the tools of the business (standing order, voicemail, books, functions) are the ket to their success. Those who are serious enough to commit to the system likely won't quit without making some effort and will allow uplines to earn some nice profits before these downline eventually realize they aren't profitable and quit. Because many IBos are sponsored by family and friends, you don't see too many formal complaints about the business. Most people chalk it up as a life lesson and do not complain.

But IBOs and information seekers, do not be fooled into thinking that you will create a financial empire by working 8-12 hours a week. That would be far fetched.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

WWDB 12 Years Later - Nothing Has Changed?

There's one Amway apologist named Bridgett Baron who continually likes to use "old" and "outdated" as her source of criticism against Amway critics. She uses this feeble excuse as a means to defend Amway and WWDB. She claims that things have changed and that critic's experiences are old and invalid. She says some of these things despite the fact that she participates on the blog of a WWDB IBO who is saying the same things I heard as an IBO over 12 years ago. Bridgett is either wrong or purposely distorting the truth, apparently. I recently had a WWDB IBO email me with current WWDB documents and I will be posting the details below. It is exactly the same stuff I was told as an IBO more than 12 years ago. Old habits die hard I guess. The only difference is that as an IBO, we did not use the internet. Basically the rest is the same VERBATIM. So much for Bridgett Baron's credibility. Not that she had credibility..... I don't think she's very smart. :-)

Here's the details from the WWDB IBO's documents:

1. Membership with Amway Global
2. Meet the Bigger Team
3. Ditto on the First
4. Check your Team Website Daily and Listen to LIT Updates sent through e-mail

Build your business 5 nights a week!


1. STP 3-5x Each Week
2. Personal Circle (150PV Single/300PV Couples)
3. Customers (50PV Minimum)
4. Membership CD.s- Listen Daily
5. Read a Book from the Book List 15 min. Daily
6. Attend ALL Events / Game Day.s
7. Associate & Counsel regularly
8. Integrity & Accountability
9. Check your Team Website Daily and Listen to LIT Updates sent through e-mail

1. Power of Agreement . this means be willing to listen & learn, submit your ego & be teachable.
2. Power of Unity . unity with your growing upline & the bigger Dream Team
3. Power of the Spoken Word . speak positively, expecting the best from yourself & your business

1. Never mess with anyone's money (Is bankruptcy messing with someone's money?)
2. Never mess with anyone's ego
3. Never mess with anyone's spouse

1. Never embarrass your upline, downline, or crossline
2. Never pass negative downline or crossline
3. Never do anything for the first time without checking upline

Dream Night?

Across many US cities, IBOs are buying tickets for a major function called "Dream Night". It used to cost about $65 but I believe it now costs anywhere from $75 to $100 per person. I read an IBO blog recently where the IBO says that 1200 to 1300 people signed up so fast that they scheduled a second Dream Night. FYI, these events where you have a ballroom and a nice dinner can be purchased for about $25 to $30 per person. The rest of that money goes directly into the Diamond's pockets, just like all of the other functions and meetings with a cost. So much for diamonds working for the "love" of their groups.

At dream night, the diamonds will show displays of wealth. Allegedly, these luxuries are attained by building an Amway business but many diamonds will not mention that the luxuries they show off might not have been attained by Amway income. For some diamonds and above, their luxuries and alleged wealth are often attained by income sources outside of Amway, such as other businesses and investments, or from income received by selling voicemail, standing orders, book of the month and functions such as Dream Night.

I remember the diamonds urging people on. That everyone needed to "hurry up" and join them living in the lap of luxury. If only you would do as they do, you would have what they have. I was shown slideshows of yachts, sports cars, mansions, jet skis and jewelry. It was implied that building the Amway business would lead you to these trappings of wealth. All we needed to do was commit ourselves to the system and never quit. What went unnoticed, was how the speakers were few and the audience was large. And that's how it will always be. A platinum will often have 100 IBOs or more in their groups and a diamonds has at least six of these legs in their group. It is not true that everyone can eventually go diamond and be on stage.

Dream Night is like an advertisement for the lottery. You show the excessive luxuries of life and imply that the Amway oportunity can provide all of this. While some people may obtain wealth from Amway, they are the very rare exception and not a common experience. Just as showing lottery winners sitting in mansions is common. What goes unseen is that many end up losing so a few can win. For many IBOs, it is the tools themselves that ultimately doom most IBOs to a net loss. Ironic because the tools are promoted as the key to IBO success. Sadly, hard work and perserverence more often leads to massive losses than success in Amway.

So IBOs and guests attending Dream Night, have a nice dinner but know that the dreams that are being fulfilled aren't likely to be your dreams. It is the speakers whose dreams you are fulfilling by paying and attending their Dream Night function.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Amway Settles Lawsuit?


Amway settles lawsuit by former members

By Ed Brayton 11/4/10 7:54 AM Michigan-based Amway (aka Quixtar, aka Alticor) has settled a lawsuit brought against it by a large group of former distributors who accused the company of a range of illegal activities for $56 million. The Grand Rapids Press reports:

Amway this morning announced a deal to pay $34 million in cash and provide $22 million worth of products to settle a 2007 class-action suit alleging the company and some of its top-level distributors operate an illegal pyramid scheme.

The case was filed in California by former distributors for Quixtar, the name Amway used for its U.S.-based operation at the time…

The plaintiffs said the company used unfair and illegal business practices that mislead distributors about their ability to make money and how much it would cost to be part of the business.

The settlement with the former distributors, or Independent Business Owners as Amway calls them, does not constitute an admission of guilt. But the company “stipulates that certain reforms in its business instituted after the filing of this action have been motivated” by the case.

Translation: “We didn’t do anything wrong but we promise not to do it again.”


Joe's Opinion (Commentary): It appears by its actions that Amway is footing the bill and paying to cover the problems caused by upline leaders. It also looks like an admission that Amway has been aware of, but ineffective in monitoring the activities of the "kingpin" leaders who promote Amway as a means to gain wealth and obtain luxurious lifestyles. I wonder what happens next?

Friday, November 5, 2010

IBOs MIss The Point?

There are still a handful of Amway defenders who continue to defend Amway as if it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. No doubt that Amway works wonders for their owners, who are billionaires, and a select few leaders who make handsome profits from selling tools (standing orders, functions, voicemail) as well as Amway bonuses. But the main point seems to get lost.

The main point is that, even if the Amway owners and some Amway leaders make a nice income from Amway, it doesn't change the fact that the masses lose a lot of money attempting to build an Amway empire. What's more, many of these leaders earn money directly from the pockets of their trusting and faithful downline. The downline are taught to trust the leaders and to do what is advised. Often, that advice is to buy more and more tools regardless of how an IBO's business is progressing.

Failures in Amway appear to be rampant, but leaders absolve themselves of blame by claimng that the failures are the result of laziness, not enough effort, not doing things right, or lack of follow through on the part of the IBO. Sadly, many IBOs believe this and blame themselves, even if they did work hard and follow upline's sage advice. I believe that over the years, billions of dollars have been lost by millions of IBOs who chase the dream sold by upline. Because many IBOs are sponsored by friends and family, those who quit tend to fade away without much fanfare, leaving Amway and the upline leaders clear of any responsibility.

Too many IBOs miss that point. Hard work and following upline advice doesn't necessarily lead to success, and in fact, more people end up at a loss than those who gain a positive experience in the Amway business. I challenge IBOs to analyze their efforts and their income versus expenses. You are more likely to be expending more on support materials than the amount of income that is received. That's the real point and too many IBOs miss it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How To Stop Amway Criticism?

To this day, Amway has many critics and supporters. Many supporters become critics if they leave the Amway business. Some Amway apologists are claiming victory recently as they say there are few new internet critics. But yet, it doesn't appear that Amway is suddenly growing by leaps and bounds. The name Amway doesn't bring visions of sugarplums in most people's heads.

What does the Amway name bring? People often think of "pyramid" or "scam". Some people are negative about the Amway opportunity and they don't even know why. Many people however, were involved in Amway at one time, or knows someone who had a bad experience. While many people's experience may have little to do with the Amway corporation, surely the motivational groups such as N21, BWW, or WWDB has had an impact on people's experience with Amway. Getting tricked into attending meetings or being lied to will lead to a bad experience. So will ridiculous snake oil campaigns like perfect water.

But has Amway done anything significant about IBO abuses? Surely they must know something about this. Someone from Amway routinely visits my blog to see what I am writing. But as far as I know, even the most abusive uplines have gone unpunished.

I have some suggestions to curb Amway criticism. Transparency. Why not inform prospects of how many diamonds are currently qualified? Why not say how many IBOs are active or registered? Why not report North American sales? Why not say what the typical IBO earns? It would prevent critics and supporters from extrapolating information and making their own possibly inaccurate conclusions. Of course Amway is a private company and therefore will probably release only information that is required by law. And that is their right. But if that is the case, then criticism will continue.

Like the AMO saying goes, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. With no apparent changes forthcoming from Amway, the valid criticism continues........

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Amway Makes You Rich?

Amway can make you rich. Many IBOs say they were told that Amway was not "get rich quick". But obviously, someone must have given them the impression that Amway would eventually make them rich, otherwise, why would anyone join? Why would anyone want to work that hard and embarrass themselves in front to friends and family to promote a business that will more likely get you funny looks than money. But can Amway actually make you rich?

Well, yeah, Amway can make you rich if you are a diamond selling voicemail services, books, standing orders and function tickets. Amway can make you rich if you own Amway and sell to millions of IBOs who "buy from themselves". Amway can make you rich if you write a book that millions of IBOs purchase. Amway can make you rich if you can get enough loyal downline to keep purchasing products so that you can get the bonuses. But aside from these few people who I just described, the Amway opportunity is more likely to make you broke, or at least lighter in the pockets.

Most IBOs do not even earn enough to cover their monthly voicemail expenditures, much less the other support materials that are pushed on the downline in groups such as WWDB or BWW, or N21. These materials are touted as the "key to success" in Amway when in reality, it is the key to success for the uplines who share in the profits from these materials. The real kicker is despite claims that these materials are key to success, the uplines get their followers to blame themselves if the system doesn't work for them. Kind of like tossing a coin and saying "heads I win, tails you lose". Upline wins as long as you buy support materials from them, and your results are of no consequence to them. In fact they probably don't want new diamonds as they would then have to share the tool money.

So can Amway make you rich? I would guess it is possible, but it is also possible for you to win the powerball lottery. It takes normally, over 100 downline IBOs to create a platinumship. And a platinumship occurs less than once in 200 IBOs. And at that level, you likely make little profit or break even. That tells me a whole lot. What does it tell you?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not Working Hard Enough?

One of the things IBOs are taught is to blame themselves for is not working the business hard enough or not doing things right, exactly as upline advised. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. It's just that uplines want to be absolved from any responsibility so they teach downline that failure in Amway is their own (The downline's) fault. Upline is also quick to take credit for any success, of course.

But the reason is why hard work doesn't equal success is because an Amway IBO is basically a commissioned sales person. In commissioned sales, one can work hard for no reward and at times, little effort may reap large rewards. But in Amway, with a spotty reputation, Amway IBOs are dealth with a handicap that most simply cannot overcome. Getting new people to recruitment meetings is hard enough, not even factoring in the abililty to sponsor others. When factoring in these tidbits, it's easy to see why uplines teach buy from yourself and selling is not needed.

The work involved is very simple. Sell products and get other IBOs in your downline to be able to leverage your volume. Many IBOs work hard and attend all of the functions and do all of the steps as outlined by upline, but very few reap rewards and most quit when they realize that the system doesn't work. It is sad that on top of losing money, that IBOs are also taught to blame themselves for their demise. Where is the upline when IBOs bust their butts working har and get no rewards? On top of that, to make it worse, uplines profit from selling training and motivation to their downlines. Why aren't they held acountable?

I've read comments by some Amway defenders wanting to sue Amway critics for a potential loss of business. But most critics, like myself are simply stating our experiences and opinions. Many of which are true and still happening today. So I will ask, what about the millions of former IBOs who may have lost billions of dollars because of false claims which led them to believe that they would get rich following upline advice? Maybe former IBOs should unite and file claims against unethical upline leaders who led them astray?

In any case, hard work doesn't equate success in Amway and I dare anyone to try to prove me wrong.