Monday, February 28, 2011

Amway Products Have Superior Quality?

Check out this excerpt from the USA Today! Look at what Consumer reports says about some Amway products! Consumer reports is very credible!

"The problem so many have is their prices aren't competitive in the real world," says Lou Abbott, who works in multilevel marketing and owns the industry site

When it comes to detergent, Consumer Reports program manager Pat Slaven agrees. She did blind testing of detergents last year and ranked versions of Amway's Legacy of Clean detergents ninth and 18th of 20 detergents tested. She recommends against buying them because consumers can "go to the grocery store and get something that performs a whole lot better for a whole lot less money." The highly concentrated Amway brands cost 23 cents and 28 cents a load, respectively. Five of the eight recommended brands cost less.

A 31-day supply of Amway's Nutrilite Double X multivitamins is $75. Supplement retailer GNC's most comparable product, Ultra Mega Green multivitamins, cost $40 for a 60-day supply.

Amway North American managing director Steve Lieberman says, "The quality of our products (is) reflected in our pricing."

Roland Whitsell, a former business professor who spent 40 years researching and teaching the pitfalls of multilevel marketing, says it's little surprise Amway's big growth is now outside of the U.S. He says the "direct selling" in multilevel marketing is needed in countries with "primitive distribution systems and limited choices in retail stores," but its potential is "seriously limited" here.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Amway - Whose Dreams Were Built?

As an IBO, I was a member of Worldwide Dream Builders, or WWDB. We often told prospects, when recruiting, that we were with WWDB and did not mention Amway unless the prospect asked. If the prospect didn't ask, then we didn't tell. Apparently, part of the appeal of WWDB was to appear successful, even if you were not. It is probably why in some functions, we were taught to "fake it till you make it". Basically, the premise was to appear successful until you actually became successful. Sadly, there were very few who were "successful".

WWDB also scheduled a major function called "Dream Night". This was a one evening function with a sit down dinner at a cost or about $65 to $75 per person. A major portion of the function was a slide show of he diamond lifestyle. We saw mansions, yachts, jetskis, sports cars and fabulous trips, jewelry and all kinds of extravagant luxuries not intended for the mortal man. But, all of this was yours if only you would follow the foolproof WWDB system. I thought it was real when I was an IBO, but I now wonder if these luxuries were really owned by the diamonds. I suspect they may not have been. The money these diamonds supposedly earned was unlimited, or so we thought. I know know that a diamond lifestyle isn't as rosy as they want you to think.

Diamonds apparently must keep working. Even if some of them might collect Amway income for a while without much effort, I believe their lucrative tools and functions income would stop the moment they stopped working the business. I know there are reports from Amway that sales are up and retention of IBOs is up, including the North American market. (I kinda wonder who true those reports are)

Anyway, getting back to the subject, I ask this question. How many dreams have been built as a result of someone's involvement with Worldwide Dreambuilders? David Shores apparently had his homeforeclosed. Greg Duncan apparently suffered the same fate plus some involvement with bankruptcy. Brad Wolgamott is not with his wife or WWDB anymore, along with Dean Kosage. I don't see reports of any new WWDB diamonds and in fact, I believe there are fewer diamonds in WWDB now than when I was an IBO. Where are the diamonds? Where are the dreams? Whose dreams have been built? Conversely, I have seen people's finances wrecked with WWDB being a major contributor to that problem.

If you are being prospected or seeking information on WWDB or other LOS groups, ask them where the success is. Do not accept pictures of checks or pictures of sports cars as proof. Ask for bonafide financial records like real business owners do. If you need more information, my contact information is on my profile. Good luck!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Amway - Life Goes On?

As I said in a previous post, I am a former Amway distributor, or IBO. While I was active, my life was consumed by Amway and Amway related activities. If I wasn't at a meeting or showing the plan, I was at coffee shops or at other public places looking to meet potential recruits to add to my group. I was in Worldwide Group at the time and I was always taught that we were "helping people". I dedicated my life to the "cause".

Looking back, we didn't help anyone who didn't join the business. Even those who joined didn't actually receive "help". The help that my upline refered to was simply someone upline showing the plan and helping active IBOs to recruit others. Sometimes this was done for free and sometimes you paid (for open meetings). Every opportunity was used to look for recruits, even weddings and other social events. We never provided anything unless prospects were interested in Amway. If they were not interested, that was end of any help they received. My sponsor would say "They're not bad people, but they just don't get it", meaning they don't see Amway as their financial savior.

When I finally realized that the Amway opportunity was not going to deliver lifelong residual income for me, and due to some conflict with my sponsor, I decided to leave the business. Well, all my lifelong Amway friends never spoke to me again. Most of my group quit except a few of them. Allegedly, one of them continued on in the business and allegedly reached the platinum level. All that means to me is this person continued to be brainwashed and spent tens of thousands of dollars on tools.

The really strange thing for me was after I left the Amway opportunity and Worldwide group, I suddenly realized how much extra time I had on my hands. I also realized that I had extra cash to save as my income wasn't being consumed by PV and support materials. I was able to save and invest some of that surplus and I am glad that I did today. At of this writing, I am living very comfortably because of my J-O-B.

As time passed, I also read and heard about some of my crossline friends losing their homes and/or going bankrupt. I am fairly certain that their consumption of standing orders and function attendance was a major factor in their lives. I also discovered through various media that our WWDB leaders had lied to the downline about tool profits. They had said nobody made a profit from tools. I later found that some of them made most of their income from tools. These leaders have never been held accountable for their lies.

I also discovered later that some uplines lied about paying for their homes in cash, and who knows what they may be lying about today. I believe upline greed has led to many of the problems the business opportunity faces today. I started to learn about some of this back in 2003 - 2004 and I eventually registered as a member on Quixtar blog. I have been debating Amway since then.

The best discovery I have made was that life goes on quite nicely after Amway!

Amway Is Pleasing To God????

One of the things some diamond leaders would proclaim at major functions, in front of tens of thousands of IBOs, was that Amway was a God pleasing business. That Amwayers were saving the world and thus, making God happy. Amway major functions generally have a non denominational service on Sundays before they wrap up the weekend. I believe much of this still applies to major functins today.

As an IBO, I never thought much of the emphasis on God and I even attended the Sunday service. I honestly thought IBOs were doing good and bought into the lies told by upline. Looking back at my time in the business actually made me realize that some of our uplines were basically systematically ripping off their downlines in the name of God. I suppose one day these leaders will stand on front of God and be made accountable. They certainly have never been held accountable by their downlines.

I wonder how God would feel about downlines being lied to about their chances of making an honest buck in Amway? I wonder how God would feel about honest hard working people being misled to the benefit of those who claim to own mansions and jets? I wonder if these diamond leaders actually give ten percent of their take to the church? Actually that is irrelevent because the Pharisees in the Bible were careful to tithe 10% but many of the parables in the Bible imply that the Pharisees were headed towards destruction.

I also wondered how IBOs actually helped others? Muc of our spare time and money was concentrated on Amway related activites. While the congregation at church was in service and/or helping with community projects, the Amway faithful are at functions or out in malls stalking new prospects. I don't think I did much that was useful to the community or for others when I was an IBO because I was too busy. I was misled into thinking we stood for something good.

One day after church, I asked the Pastor for a minute of his time and asked what he thought about Amway (after I had quit). The Pastor said Amway and multi level in general are not good ideas because ultimately, too many people are filled with false promises and will end up worse off financially than if they simply took a second job. I believe he was spot on then and I share that same opinion. For those who believe Amway is the only way, try asking your church Pastor, if you attend church. You might be surpised to hear the answer.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Amway Business Owner Or Amway Customer - Which Are You?

IBO = Independent Business Owner. Most Amway folks consider themselves IBOs, or independent business owners. To some, owning a business sounds cool. It sounds like you are achieving something and it may even seem that there is status involved in being a business owner. It is one of the reasons that may compel someone into signing up for the Amway opportunity. It was a small factor in gaining my interest some years aho when I was pitched the "plan".

Based on what I see and hear from Amway related blogs and forums, most people involved in the Amway opoprtunity are not business owners. They are simply customers. They are customers of Amway and they are customers of the system, consisting of voicemail, cds, books, and seminars. Does this sound confusing? Think about it. Many groups teach "buy from yourself" and get others to do the same. If you belong to one of these groups, you are being taught to be an Amway and system customer, nothing more and nothing less. Both Amway and the system profit from your loyal purchases and they fool you into thinking you are getting a good deal by giving you a tiny rebate each month. Only if you are able to lure enough gullible people into your downline will you finally be able to leverage their purchases to make a small profit. If you can get a large following, then you might make some nice coin, but it will come at the expense of the people who trusted you enough to sign up and follow you.

If you stop for a minute and truly think about a business, what business can thrive without customers? I cannot think of any businesses where there are little or no customers. Why would the Amway opportunity be any different? If you are your only, or your own best customer, then maybe you are not even a business owner, but simply a customer of Amway and a customer of the system. Think about this for a moment.

Without any sales to customers, or to people who are not Amway IBOs, any profit simply comes out of the pockets of the people in the Amway system. When you receive a rebate, you are simply getting some of your own money back. You have not generated any real profit. The only way to generate real profits is to sell to outside customers. This brings money into the system or Amway economy if you will. If not, an IBO is just a glorified customer bringing profits to Amway and the tools systems.

So are you a business owner or a customer?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Amway, Kiyosaki and Other Financial Systems?

Based on my experience in Amway, my blogging experience, and observation of other people who give financial advice such as real estate gurus who teach you to buy property with no money down, or others such as Robert Kiyosaki for that matter, all show testimonials of sucessful people. Obviously they do not show you the vast majority of people who try their systems and fail.

It is my informed opinion that whether it is Amway, WWDB, BWW, N21, real estate or the cashflow business, the vast majority of people who try these systems do not make any kind of significant income. Sure, some do, and those are shown as the possibilities. But if you watch infomercials, you will see in small print on the bottom of the screen, "unique experience", you results may vary. I believe that a similar message used to be at the end of Amway diamond recordings as well.

These systems in general do not work for various reasons. Many people simply do not have the acumen to work the system. Or the system has too many variables for the system to work, or the system calls for things beyond your control. For example, success in Amway generally requires you to sponsor others, something that is beyond the control of most people. Add in the lazy and people who are hoipng for a quick score and it is understandable that most will fail. But these systems are often set up where the majority simply cannot all succeed. Nowhere is that more true than the Amway business where the pyramidal compensation plan nearly guarantees failure for the lower level IBOs.

So what can someone do? Well, it may no be as sexy or attractive but a part time job and investing and saving might be something to think about. Even a part time business where you focus on selling products for a profit might work. It just seems prudent to avoid these "systems" as the primary beneficiary of these "systems" are the ones who directly profit from them.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Amway - Taking Personal Responsibility?

One of the disturbing things I have noticed about Amway IBOs and IBO leaders is how they wlll tell downline to trust them. To trust them as they have already blazed a trail. No need to re-invent the wheel. Just ride the coattails of your upline to success. The system is proven. Many IBOs take this to heart and put forth tremendous effort. Then when they fail, upline will shun them and tell them that the failure is their own. That they are personally responsible for failure.

Now I am not talking about IBOs who sign up and do nothing, or never place an order. I do believe that the fact that many IBOs sign up and do nothing brings concerns about how these IBOs were recruited, but I do not recall ever seeing an IBO do nothing and then complain that Amway was a scam or anything like that.

I have found, however, that many people who are critical of Amway and the systems, put forth much effort, did everything they were told, and did not find the success that upline promoted, or in some cases, guaranteed. My former sponsor was still active, last I heard and has been in Amway for over 15 years. I do not believe he has ever gone beyond platinum, and I know that he was never a Q12 platinum. Some Amway apologists might see being a platinum as a bonus, but when you are hard core sold out to the systems, platinum is a break even or make a small profit business. Factor in that time spent by husband and wife and these folks are breaking even or making a fraction of minumum wage. Is this the dream that will allow you to buy mansions with a cash payment?

What is also disturbing is how people will tout the system as responsible for any success, but hide the vast majority that the system doesn't help. Sure, some will succeed in Amway, but for every success, there are hundreds if not thousands who fail. And if you consider diamond as the benchmark of success, the failures could be in the millions. As I said, some succeed, but very very few in relation to the number who try. Going diamond is probably less common in the US than winning the lottery.

Succeed and the systems and upline take credit, but fail or quit and it is your own responsibility. Are these the kinds of leaders or mentors you want advice from?
I will pass.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Too Much Invested To Quit?

One thing that many IBOs likely suffer from is having invested too much into the business to quit. They may have spent months or even years working the system hard and they start to realize that the system isn't working or that the business is just not producing the results that were advertised. You see obvious problems in the business, but you reach a very tough fork in the road.

To quit would mean failure, as presented by many uplines. To quit is to be broke for life. To give up hope. Quitters are failures and are labeled as losers by the amway IBOs. What hopes do you have of retirement and walking the beaches once you quit? Are your dreams of success shattered? This is a very difficult decision that must be dealt with by IBOs, or maybe even those considering the business.

I encourage IBOs and/or prospects to completely take the emotion out of this decision. Do not think about dreams, walking the beaches and early retirement. Do not think about what you upline may or may not have promised you. Stop and think only about your Amway business and the results that it has produced or not produced. Has your business been increasing towards your goal of financial independence or are you seeing losses month after month? Do the math. Are you on target to reach your financial goals or are you headed towards bankruptcy? Don't think only about what happens if you quit. Think about what happens if you continue. Are there prospects of making a profit or is that next major function around the corner and likely to put you deeper in the hole?

This post is not about encouraging people to quit or to walk from the business. But certainly, business owners should think like business owners and they should make an honest and realistic assessment about their continued participation, especially if their bottom line is red ink. Food luck in whatever you decide.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Amway - "Negative" Or The Truth?

One of the silly things many IBOs are taught is to avoid negative. I believe this is taught today by uplines and it was certainly a point of emphasis even in my days as an IBO. The upline diamond would say that the world of full of negatives and that we as people take in too much of these negatives. Therefore, the IBOs were told to avoid television, newspapers and other forms of communication with the outside world. The group was also told to avoid people who speak negatively about Amway. For this reason, many people have considered Amway groups such as WWDB or N21 as cultish or cult-like. (information deprevation or information control).

I can agree that you surely don't want to only take in negatives as it can wear you down, but not seeing the news or reading about current events in the paper simply makes you apathetic and uninformed. For example, wouldn't you want and need to know if there was a storm heading your way? I live in Hawaii and we occasionally have hurricanes. Avoiding news could be very detrimental to your family and home. If you lived in the midwest of the US, wouldn't you want and need to know if a tornado was headed your way? Do you avoid the doctor because his assessment of your health might not be "positive"? For these reasons, I believe that many Amwayers walk around wearing a mask with a false smile, trying to overly positive.

Another important thing that many IBOs cannot distinguish is the difference between negative and the truth. If your wife asks you if her new dress makes her look fat, the truth might be that the new dress indeed makes her appear fat. That answer may be uncomfortable for you to deliver, but the truth is the truth. The truth at times can be positive or negative but it is still the truth.

Most IBOs earn less than $100 a month. That is the truth. Most IBOs lose money if they participate in functions and standing orders and such. That is the truth. Most IBOs will never even sponsor a downline. That is the truth. Most IBOs, filled with motivation and dreams, will never see those dreams fulfilled. That is the truth. Many upline diamonds, who advise IBOs to purchase tools and attend functions, and fill the IBO's heads full of dreams, make significant incomes from the sale of tools and functions. That is also the truth. In a 1 year timespan, approximately 50% of IBOs will quit. That is the truth.

Is it negative to tell the truth? Or can IBOs not handle the truth?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Trading Hours For Dollars?

One of the ways that upline diamonds would put down jobs was to toss in the phrase that a job was simply trading hours for dollars. As if it were demeaning to have a job where you got paid for your time. I believe it's all relative. Being that many IBos are young and maybe working in more entry level types of jobs, then yeah, your hours wage might not be that great. If you earn say $10 an hour, then you might be struggling financially and it may take time before your skills and knowledge increase to a point where your experience is worth more money. What if you had a job paying $1000 an hour and earned $160,000 a month? Is that a lousy deal trading hours for dollars? I think not!

Conversely, having a business can be good or bad also. If you have an Amway business earnning less than $100 a month and you spend $200 on functions, standing orders and other training and motivational materials, then you are losing money. You would be better off working for free. That is still a better alternative than working a business where you are losing money. I think most people agree that a platinum group typically has a 100 or more IBOs. Thus a platinum is in the top 1% of all IBOs. I have heard that the platinum level is where you start to break even or make a little profit, depending on your level of tool consumption. If platinums are barely making a profit, then the other 99+% of IBOs are likely losing money. How much is that worth per hour?

I think uplines cleverly trick IBOs into thinking that a job is bad. Trading hours for dollars, afterall, sounds like some kind of indentured servant of sorts. But in the ned, what matters is your bottom line. If you are an IBO with little or no downline, and/or not much in terms of sales to non IBOs/customers, then you are losing money each and every month if you are attending functions and buying standing orders. Your 10-12 hours a week of Amway work is costing you money! But if you spend 10-12 hours a week, even at minimum wage, then you might be making about 300 to 350 a month groww income. After taxes, you make about 250 to 300. At least trading hours for dollars gets you a guaranteed net gain at the end of the month.

Uplines trick you into a "business mentality" where you think that working for a net loss is just a part of business. IBOs should realize that a business promoted as low risk and no overhead should be one where you can profir right away. Instead, IBos are taught to delay gratification, or to reinvest any profit back into their business in the form of tools and functions, which results in a net loss. If that's the case I would choose trading hours for dollars.

Remember, trading hours for dollars is not a bad deal if you are making enough dollars per hour. And even those who make less, are better off that those who "run a business" but end up with a net loss. It's all relative and hopefully, this message will help new or prospective IBOs who are being enticed to join the Amway business opportunity. Good luck to those with jobs and those with businesses. You can be successful either way. Remember that!

Why Do IBOs Judge Those Who Aren't In Amway?

One of the things that my upline taught, and I believe is still taught today in various groups is that winners join Amway and losers do not. Or that you were a winner because you were doing something to better your financial future and those who didn't were losers. or broke minded. Of course the upline who said this had no knowledge about those who were not in Amway. Some of them may already have been financially sound or may have been doing something to better their financial future. I'm not sure why these uplines, who promote "positive", had to resort to calling people losers simpy because they did not agree that Amway was the greatest thing since sliced bread. It's only positive if it's Amway related and anything non Amway is negative. Anyone see a problem with this?

In many games or sporting events, there will be someone or a team that wins the game and someone or a team that loses the game. Losing a game doesn't make you a loser and certainly, a team that wins the game would not say the losing team were losers. Can you imagine a Superbowl winning team's coach taking the podium after a game and saying his team won because the other team was a bunch or broke minded gutless losers? That would never happen, yet we see that frequently in the Amway/IBO world. The owner of Amway, Rich DeVos had once said in a recorded message that just because people do not agree with you (paraphrased) about Amway, does not make them losers and that IBOs should not call people losers. I believe this has been crafted by upline to apply pressure to downline IBOs to "never quit'.

In all of this, people's jobs are also criticized. That a job stands for "just over broke" or "jackass of the boss" and other insults. Many IBO's goals and dreams consist of ditching their job so they can sleep until "the crack of noon" and live a life of luxury. Ironically, it is most IBO's jobs that continue to produce income so they can pay their bills and feed their family. It is also an IBO's job that funds their Amway and AMO expenses such as product purchases and functions and voicemail, etc. Without having a job, most people could not even join Amway or pay for any tools. Sadly, most IBOs won't make any money in Amway either, and will have to continue to work at their jobs. I do not believe that someone earning an honest living working a job is a loser. Ironically, many of the folks calling people losers and broke are not even netting a profit from their Amway business!

Yes, in this business or the sports world, there will be winners and there will be losers. The question is whether you are the one who is allowed to be the judge of who is and who isn't. I would also suggest that IBOs are completely shutting down potential future business by their behavior. What if I went to a store to purchase something but the item was not available on that particular day, so I don't purchase anything and leave. As I leave, the store owner says I am a loser for not buying something there. Will I go back? Very unlikely. If an IBO truly sees themselves as a store owner, all prospects should be seen as potential business, whether future or present. If your upline tells you that people not interested are losers, you should hand him a mirror. Or inform your upline that when you point a finger at someone, there are even more fingers pointing back at you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

WWDB Cutthroat Businessmen Posing As Your Mentors And Friends?

The really insidious part about some of the LOS leaders, such as the ones I had in WWDB, is that they apparently are cutthroat ruthless businessmen with nice suits, and disguised as your mentors and friends. They get you to trust them, and they will tell you that they have your best interest at heart, or that they would never purposely lead you astray. On the surface, you may think this is true, but look at their actions and you can easily discern that some of these uplines are absolutely ruthless businessmen who would take every cent from you if they could. I was in WWDB and I have good reasons to believe that they are still doing this, based on a WWDB IBO blog. On this blog, I see all the same teachings today, that I heard as an IBO and some of the same claims such as buying homes in cash. It's scary.

As an IBO, the diamonds would tell you to never miss a function, ever. The only good reason for missing a function was for your own funeral. I recall some crossline IBOs rearranging pre-planned anniverssary parties, weddings, and other special family events in the name of being core and attending all functions. Some IBOs actually did quit their jobs to attend functions and they very well may have done so because some uplines taught this. IBOs were also encouraged and told to go into debt to attend a function. This was okay because it was an investment into your business.

Our group was also strongly encouraged to buy extra cds every week. To be core, you needed to listen to a cd each day and you cannot listen to the same one each day right? Couples were told to buy their own seperate standing orders. Brad Duncen even had a true north tape (cd) that said sponsors were to eat the standing orders for downlines who quit because it was too much trouble to call upline who calls upline who calls upline to cancel a standing order. Oddly enough, they didn't mind upline calling upline calling upline to add a standing order.

In the end, I was lucky enough to have been progressing up the pin ranks so my losses were not that devastating. I ended up losing in my early months of the business but mostly broke even when I was at 4000 PV. Sadly though, my crossline did not fare so well. I know of one couple who declared bankruptcy. I don't know how much their WWDB involvement contributed to bankruptcy, but I am certain it was a major factor and I know of two couples who had homes foreclosed, and I believe that their allegiance to WWDB was a factor in those foreclosures. But I guess hey, two WWDB diamonds had homes foreclosed so maybe they were duplicating?

Do not be fooled. The diamonds may have a nice smile and a nice suit, but they are ruthless businessmen who will take your last dime if you allow them to.

Monday, February 14, 2011

IBOs Deny The Undeniable?

One thing that appears to be common amongst IBOs is how IBOs are in denial. They truly believe that their uplines are working in their best interest and that upline wants their success. I don't believe that to be true. If uplines were truly making a fortune from Amway, why would an downline IBO have to pay for practically every bit of help they get from upline leaders? Why are there endless numbers of cds and meetings at cost, to learn to buy and sell, and to recruit others. Is Amway that complicated that IBOs mist be continually trained or is it because uplines make the most profits fromt tools?

To show the plan, you would need to pay to attend an open meeting, and pay for your guests, even if they do not register as a result of the presentation. You pay for voicemail to communikate with your upline and downlines. You pay for standing orders and you may end up paying twice if you were in attendance at the function when the standing order was recorded. You pay for books and other materials as well. And there is no end. If you are in Amway for ten years, you would get ten years worth of this material. If you are in for thirty years, you would get thirty years of this material.

What's more, many IBOs turn their heads when ugly facts rear their heads. For example, some IBOs deny that a prominent triple diamond was involved in bankruptcy proceedings. They continue to edify and pay for financial advice from someone who could not even manage his own finances. They believe that Amway saves marriages even when the leaders who speak this may be getting divorced. It's like upline simply revises history and downlines buy it without question. Many IBOs do not even see it as a problem that some upline boldy lied and said there were no profits from tools in the past. I find this odd because tool profits are still shrouded in secrecy and downline simply believe that they will eventually get a cut, even without a written compensation plan and agreement.

I believe too many IBOs are simply in denial. They give upline their trust and upline abuses it. IBOs are told they are successful for attending a function even when they might be losing money month after month. They may be told that the Amway business is not about money but about making friends. They may be told that they are nicer people because of their participation in Amway. What too many IBOs do not see is that they are in denial about their business. Most IBOs are losing money, a little at a time, perhaps $100 or $150 a month. For the hardcore, maybe more. But they are taught to ignore these simple facts and deny that there is a problem. They cling to hopes that success is right around the corner or that they will succeed if ony they will never quit. Most of this advice only serves the upline and not the IBOs. It is a sad thing.

It is my hope that exposure of some of these tactics will be beneficial to information seekers and perhaps new IBOs who have not yet been fully indoctrinated. I encourage people to ask tough questions, demand answers and use due diligence when checking out this opportunity. The fact is that very few people every make a profit and people should know this before getting involved. Don't deny the obvious. If the details don't add up, keep researching. The interenet is chock full of information about Amway. This website is just one source, but look high and low before committing your time and money. The fact is that less than 1% of IBOs make any money out of this opportunity. Don't deny the undeniable. Get the facts and act on them!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

All The Motivation You Will Ever Need?

I believe that Amway IBOs have approximately a 50% attrition rate for the first year alone. If you look at a 5 year window, I believe the attrition rate is something like 95%. So what we're saying is that out of 100 IBOs, only 5 will be around in 5 years, or out of 1000 IBOs, 50 will remain after 5 years. This is extremely significant because if you are a business builder, you will need to replace half of your IBOs every single year. For this reason, I am very doubtful that there are IBOs who "built the business right and built it once", who no longer do Amway related work, but still collect significant residual income. I would guess that significant income could be defined as being enough to live a lifestyle in the top tax bracket (for the US) without having to report to a J-O-B.

Now I understand that some IBOs take it personally when I bring up subjects like this. It is because they have been deceived by some upline diamond or big pin who has sold them on a dream of financial prosperity for life if they will only work hard for 2-5 years. I once thought so too, but realized that there isn't a single diamond that I know of who built the business right and walked away to enjoy the beaches of the world while truckloads of money rolls in. Kinda makes you wonder why you see Crowns still working, and diamonds actually quitting or resigning. I have asked the question many times and it has never been answered. Can anyone name a few people who built their business right and built it once who is currently enjoying these lifelong residuals? Also, if that were a benefit, why doesn't Amway say so?

Instead, you have a constant and endless flow of motivation being sold to IBOs. This motivation comes in the form of cds, books, meetings, functions and other things like voicemail messages. It's sad that IBOs have to continue to pay through the nose for motivation and "teaching" about the Amway business when there are cheaper and more efficient means of communication. For example, why would you need an expensive voicemail when a facebook group account can disseminate messages to your group in seconds at no cost? It is because the uplines want to extract every possible sent from their downline. Because of the internet, I believe people are starting to figure things out and avoid the systems altogether. I hope Joecool's blog contributes to this.

All the motivation IBOs truly need is to see a net profit at the end of the month. If IBOs actually earned an extra $200 a month, or $50 a month, or $600 a month as advertised, there would be no need for motivational speeches. The IBOs would simply look at the growth in their finances and they would keep going. The poor retention rate is easy to explain. IBOs are losing money because of the system expenses and they lose their motivation to continue. If you are an IBO or a prospect, stop and think for a minute. If you are making an extra $200 a month with minimal effort, would you need functions and other materials to motivate you? Or would you have intrinsic motivation from the profit? All the motivation you will ever need is a net profit. Take that to the bank.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Cost Of Edification?

Edification. During my time in the Amway business, we saw many IBOs get edified, including myself. Of course it felt great when your upline platinum or diamond would say something that made you stand out in the crowd. For example, I remember an IBO being exalted because he quit his job to attend a major function. His boss wouldn't allow him to use vacation time so he quit to attend the function. I remember Brad Wolgamott telling people it's just a job, attend the function and get another one (job). I remember at a family reunion function, a man was edified by the diamonds because he was diagnosed with terminal cancer but instead of being at home and bitching and moaning, there he was at an Amway function, making a difference in the world they would say. But looking back, I truly believe that the upline's intentions were to uplift those who went thru extraordinary efforts to spend money on tools or functions.

In other words, you are buying your edification. Of course when I say you are buying your edification, you are not necessarily doing so in dollars. It can either be in dollars or in time. For example, you may have been edified for listening to 15 standing orders in one day, or you may be edified for driving the miles to show plans, even if the guest was a no-show. I also recall some IBOs in the group being edified for 1000 PV personal use in a month. I honestly don't know who anyone can possibly do 1000 PV in personal use without the purchase of some big ticket items. I mean how much SA8 or LOC can anyone use in the month? I suppose that you could make Nutrilite vitamins your main source of food or something like that and move a lot of PV, but it's ridiculous to spend that much on personal use.

So to what extent are you willing to go to get ediified? For my upline sponsor, it was what he lived for. My sponsor was/is a physician and he therefore could have a nice lifestyle without Amway but he was more interested in the recognition and edification. He ate it up when he was asked to speak at a function once. He told the group in a nite owl that the dream of being on stage as a diamond was more important to him than the money. Sadly, he never got beyond the platinum level as far as I know and last I heard, he was below 4000 PV. Whatever your dream or reason for building Amway, I honestly believe you need to look at the cost of it. For example, you wouldn't sell your soul to the devil in order to go diamond. I actually wonder how my former sponsor feels these days now that our upline diamond (his hero) has moved to Washington and he cannot spend much time with him anymore?

The cost of edification in Amway is high. Are you willing to foot that bill? I'm glad I woke up and decided that there are much better ways to spend my time, money and efforts. Joecool's blog is one of the better things. :-)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Amway/WWDB Leaders Killing The Golden Goose?

The Story Of the Golden Goose:

Avianus and Caxton tell different stories of a goose that lays a golden egg, where other versions have a hen, as in Townsend: "A cottager and his wife had a Hen that laid a golden egg every day. They supposed that the Hen must contain a great lump of gold in its inside, and in order to get the gold they killed it. Having done so, they found to their surprise that the Hen differed in no respect from their other hens. The foolish pair, thus hoping to become rich all at once, deprived themselves of the gain of which they were assured day by day.


I recently read a blog post about a WWDB function held last month in Canada. Apparently, WWDB held three Dream Nights in the same venue in Canada, apparently on consecutive nights. There was speculation about whether or not there were actually enough IBOs to fill up the three functions, or whether downlines were actually encouraged to attend all three functions. I would guess that not all IBOs would attend the three functions, but conversely, I'll bet money that the leaders and some others certainly were encouraged to do so. If this is true, it would appear that WWDB leaders are going to end up killing their golden goose. If true, the WWDB leaders are trying to squeeze more money out of their faithful downline and I'm fairly cerain that this will eventually lead to even more IBOs quitting down the road. They will realize that they are chasing an impossible dream and going broke while doing it.

It certainly makes sense and can be explained by the evidence. It appears that Amway sales have been shrinking in the US and Canada. There are few new IBO or critics blogs. This suggests that the internet information is working both ways. Because IBOs can make informed decisions, there are likely fewer people signing up, which contributes to less sales, less IBOs and less critics. WWDB is on shaky grounds as some of their dynamic leaders have left, and a couple of WWDB leaders had homes foreclosed, and a triple diamond was involved in Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings, although I do not know how that story ended. But when you add up these factors and think about it for a minute, it all adds up and makes sense. With less sales and fewer IBOs, the Amway income and tool income would also shrink. Thus one way to make up for ir is to have the remaining IBOs pick up the slack by attending more functions. It probably costs WWDB $20 to $25 per head to run a Dream Night so the rest of the ticket is profit. If you can get people to attend all three functions, you triple your profit.

Makes me wonder if WWDB is teaching IBOs to buy more standing orders and other cds and materials? When I was an IBO, we were encouraged to buy extra tickets for functions and we were strongly encouraged to buy 5-7 additional tapes (cds) each and every week in addition to standing order. With sales down, I cannot imagine anything has changed except that maybe there is even more pressure on downlines to consume tools. I wonder if anyone in my audience can confirm this?

If it's true, then surely, WWDB is killing their golden goose.

Is Amway The Least Efficient Way To Move Product?

I remember seeing the plan as a prospect back over a dozen years ago. I remember the speaker talking about how you can capitalize on distribution efficiencies to make money. We as IBOs would simply cut out the middleman and that savings would be psssed onto us as IBOs. In its simplest form, it made sense and and misconception passed onto the audience that you will actually save money by ourchasing Amway products. I even remember the speakers saying that even if the whole world signed up for Amway, even the last guy getting would would have the benefir of saving money. Looking back now, much of it was deception and lies. And to think, people now and back then paid good money for training on how to become, in my opinion, the least efficient manner in which to move products.

We recently enjoyed the Superbowl. And as you know, superbowl commercials can cost millions of dollars. But do you know why? It's because hundreds of millions of people across the world are tuned into the superbowl. Companies probably have their best staff working on developing these commercials because they want to leave a lasting impression on their viewers. And it apparently works because people today are still willing to shell out serious coin for these commercials.

Amway IBOs advertise person to person, one person at a time.

What are the chances of an IBO ever moving a significant amount of products or being able to reach out to potential new downline when they prospect person to person, face to face, one at a time? To me, that is the most inefficient manner of expanding business. And let's face it, Amway's rules don't help when you are not supposed to advertise online without special permissions and you are not supposed to sell product on Ebay or Craigslist. In today's technological society, it seems almost crippling to be so inefficient.

And even your beloved uplines, at your expense, run the most inefficient manner of doing business. Who needs voicemail when we have facebook, email, twitter or text messaging? Not to mention the added expense IBOs face by these outdated technologies. Also, with video conferencing, skype, or webcams, why do people need to travel long distances for meetings and functions? The answer is simple, your upline might not want your success, they simply might just want your money. All of the training and motivation is a profit center for upline and modernizing would simply reduce their tool profits.

Try asking that of your upline. Why do we keep using the most expensive and inefficient means of doing business and communicating? I'd be curious to hear that answer.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How To Justify Yourself?

I remember how our upline diamond used to talk about how people justify themselves. They'll compare themselves to a neighbor or a co-worker and justify that they are doing okay. Or they may say that they went to public school, therefore public school is good enough for their kids. Or a man might respond to a wife's request to see Alaska by telling his wife to look in the freezer if she wants to see ice. We justify ourselves by finding someone equal or worse off than ourselves. It makes us feel better to know that we aren't that bad off.

Then uplines will tell you that you should strive to bet better, which is good. Ironically, they'll also tell you that the way to do better is to join Amway and to dive into the tool system. While there might be initial excitement and euphoria, it wears out quickly, especially when the quick profits and advancement in the business never materializes for most. It is then that the uplines cleverly inject subtle pressure to keep you active by labeling people who quit as losers or failures. Their tools will tell you to never quit, or that you will eventually make it if you keep pressing on. The standing orders are filled with stories of guys who were broke, signed up for Amway, had struggles, but they never quit and now they are diamonds living large and only working functions out of the love for their downline. Don't you ever wonder why nobody can name people who actually built a diamond business, and then walked away, collecting hoards of cash and living happily ever after? I do not believe these people actually exist.

The sadly, but ironically, the IBOs begin to justify their business losses. The phrases are common. I am a nicer person, I am a better father and husband. I am doing God's work (Amway is God's work?). I learned about business from being in Amway. There are many nice reasons people give to explain their involvement in Amway and the systems, but making a nice income is rarely ever one of the reasons. I do hear some outrageous income claims, but not a single IBO has provided any evidence or proof of this income.

Another justification that IBOs make is that Amway products are the best, therefore they cost the most. They also justify the cost with the concentration factor (I hope you don't spill any). Of course, product quality is subjective and secondly, many people are not concerned about quality when it comes to ordinary household goods such as bar soap. Most people look at price and value, which is why WalMart and Costco are wildly successful. It's really humourous at times when you see IBOs in action justifying their products and their business opportunity.

Obviously, it's a tough sell in North American where it appears that Amway sales have gone down and even with the national advertising campaign, I'm not sure a significant impact was made. Here's food for thought. WalMart's slogan is Live better, save money. Amway's slogan is "Now you know". Nuff said!

Fly Like An "Eagle"?

Eagle Parameters:
Signed Counsel Sheet to Upline Diamond
300 PV personal use/retail for couples, 200 PV personal use/retail for singles
6-5-3 (PB/SO/MF) - Explained below
6 legs at 100 PV or higher
5 legs on standing order
3 legs attending major functions

Being An Eagle Is Profitable? I think not!

I have listed the parameters for the eagle program above. I will provide an analysis and some comments about the WWDB Eagle program. In my opinion, the Eagle program is basically just a program where upline assures themselves of a certain amount of tools sales. The IBO with the eagle parameters is likely losing a ton of money.

First of all, an Eagle with minimum parameters/legs would be at about 1000 PV. That would equate to about $200 to $300 a month in PV bonus from Amway, with differences based on width, total number of legs moving volume, etc. For this example, I will asume the Eagle receives $300 in PV bonus.

200 PV for singles, 300 PV for couples. That’s $600 to $900 in personal use and retail sales. While IBOs may attempt to sell products, we know that many IBOs sell little or nothing. Even if an IBO manages to sell 50 PV to customers, that IBO would still be spending $450 to $750 a month on personal use, and perhaps earning $100 a month for selling 50 PV.

6 legs at 100 PV or higher. That is approximately $1800 a month in personal consumption and retail for these downlines. Assuming they each qualify at 3%, they would get about $10 in PV bonus each month. The $10 does not factor in business expenses.

5 legs on standing order. Depending on whether an IBO is on the premier club, their cost might be about $60 to $75 a month (or more) for standing order, and may vary if extra cds are purchased.

3 legs attending major functions. Major functions generally cost about $125 per person, per event. And the expenses does not include transportation which may include round trip airfare during peak travel months, rental cars, hotels, etc etc.

Let’s look at a single IBO with eagle parameters. And I will use “best case” scenario. Income might be $400 with the 1000 PV bonus plus the retail profit for selling 50 PV. $400 sounds like a nice tidy sum, especially for a single person. But looking deeper, we see that this person also had to consume $450 worth of goods for him or herself ($450 = approximate cost of 150 PV). Yes, he or she received products, but seriously, how many single people actually spend $450 a month on laundry soap, shampoo and other consumables when simply “changing your shopping habits?

Additionally, an “Eagle” would have to be a leader. More than likely, simply buying standing order is not sufficient. A leader should be consuming more cds as you cannot listen to the same cd every day. Factor in the books, monthly open meetings, average out the cost of major functions, gas money, and other business expenses. I would say it is safe to say that an “Eagle” would easily spend $300 a month (or more) on tools and other business related expenses (Tools = Books, cds, standing order, meetings, functions, voicemail workshops). If this Eagle has to fly to major functions, then that cost may be significantly higher on average.

So let’s summarize. In a “best case” scenario, an Eagle IBO would spend about $750 a month on products and tools. I understand that products are not a business expense, but if a single person is expected to consume/sell twice as much PV, I would say half of that expense is a business expense as it would be unlikely that a single person would ever use 150 or 200 PV worth of goods in a month. So lets use that case and say that an Eagle has $475 in expenses per month ($175 for PV and $300 for tools). The Eagle receives $400 a month in bonuses and retail income (best case scenario) with the IBO selling 50 PV worth of goods (which is not common).

In a best case scenario, an Eagle loses money! And what’s more, all of his or her downline, if they are also using tools, will also lose money! The only ones profiting from the Eagle program is Amway in the form of product sales, and the upline in the form of PV bonuses and the profit from the sale of tools!

Do you still want to be an Eagle?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

False Income Claims Or Lying?

One of the things that is so common on this blog and others is IBOs passing by, making big income claims without a shred of evidence. IBOs will tell you that it's none of your business, or that what they earn is not reflective of what you might earn. I believe it's very relevent. As a prospect, I would want to know what the typical IBO might earn. If I were going to open a Subway franchise, I would want to know what my likely earnings would be. In Amway, they only show you best case scenario and not what is likely or typical. Of course this is to make the oppportunity more attractive than it really is in hope of getting you to sign up.

Look at a recent comment from an anonymous blogger from India:

"Hi i wish to tell you that i am a scientist and full time into research. I have the time for my hobbies like bowling, horse riding etc. But the big news is that i am also at emerald level in Amway. Now what do you have to say about that Mr Joe(un)cool?????????"

If you'll notice, the commenter is basically sayiing he has a full time job, but enjoys his hobbies all the while running an emeral business. Then he also tosses in a minor insult towards Joecool while he's at it. Now we know there is documentation that many platinums do not make any money (net), therefore, an emerald likely doesn't make that much from Amway. I'm sure a decent job will net you more money than the average emerald.

Also, I call BS on this claim. Someone who is emerald would likely be burning the midnite oil churning out new IBOs to maintain the business and trying to push towards diamond. I'll give the anon one things. the name of Amway hasn't been completely ruined in India as it basically has been in the US and Canada. But I'll toss in one more thing. An emerald, even if making a net profit, likely has several hundreds of downline who are losing money because of functions and other tools that ironically, are designed to help an IBO succeed.

I wonder why IBOs are taught to be deceptive? Why can't they speak honestly about Amway and what they earn from Amway? Is it against Amway rules or do the uplines want to hide something that is paindfully obvious? I know that WWDB, my former LOS, taught IBOs to "fake it till you make it". Translated, that meant to lie about your Amway income and to make yourself look successful, even if you had no money to put food on your table.

So which is it? False/inflated income claims or outright lying? You decide.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Vertical Alignment - Spending Time With Those Who Matter?

Check out this blog, written by a WWDB IBO named Shaun. Shaun seems like a nice guy and all, but I think his way of thinking may have been negatively affected by upline teaching. He is saying the superbowl isn't that important and that he will be spending time with family. And I agree! In the big picture of things, the superbowl is just a game. Sure, one of the biggest events of the year, but when it's said and done, it still is just a game. I mean if you had to choose between an important family matter and a game, there's not much choice.

See "Shaun's" post:

An excerpt: Sports are there for our enjoyment and there is nothing wrong with that, but when it comes between spending quality time with my wife or soon to be kid, that’s where I’ll draw a line. I think if people cared more about their family life instead of the damn football maybe there would be less divorce, maybe there would be less fighting, maybe less family pain? Who knows, I don’t have the answers but I can tell you it would be a start that’s for sure

The interesting aspect of this blog post you see, is that Shaun's upline leaders were the same ones I had as an IBO. We were told things like never miss a function, unless it was for a funeral - your funeral. Or we should attend ALL meetings and functions. All means all, what don't you understand about that? Some folks ended up missing or cancelling important family events to be able to attend Amway functions. IBOs skip church and important church events for Amway meetings.

I wonder what will happen if Shaun's anniverssary falls on the same weekend as a major function? What about a child's birthday? Or your's kid's hockey games? I have a strange feeling that it's perfectly okay to reschedule or miss something like that if it's for an Amway function or meeting. I wonder what Shaun will tell his upline or downline when they have family events conflicting with an Amway/WWDB function? If you truly value your family as he is saying, then you would miss the Amway WWDB function if there is a conflict with family matters. Not reschedule them. I have heard many IBOs justify missing church or cancelling or rescheduling family outings because of business meetings. Where's the vertical alignment then?

So what really matters? Your family or that next Amway/WWDB function?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Amway And The Superbowl?

One of the things I thankfully never missed because of my involvement with Amway was a superbowl party. It truly is an event that I enjoy. We hang out with friends for the afternoon. Lots of great food and great fun! But as an IBO, I remember the upline always wanting everyone to make sacrifices in the name of the business. For example, my sponsor told me that he gave up on all of his hobbies in order to focus on Amway. That the delayed gratification would eventually pay off. Sadly, my former sponsor is still active in Amway, 18 years worth. I don't know if his hobbies are still on hold, but I remember people being edified for dumping their golf clubs, their tennis club memberships and other sacrifices.

I remember people would say how they would one day travel the world to play golf, or to fly and play tennis in worl famous venues. That idle time spent with family and friends would not be missed but one day would pay off big when they had diamond groups. That one day, they too could stand on stage, tell about their selfless sacrifices and how it propelled them to diamond. They would look back and realize how small of a sacrifice it really was.

The reality is that IBOs often ended up sacrificing valuable time with their families, their kids, and their friends for nothing. Not a single IBO from my days in the business ever hit the emerald level. I saw kids who grew up with their parent missing important events in their lives in the name of Amway and the dream of financial freedom. The diamonds would say that when the kids are sleeping, you can be showing the plan. But sadly, time passes quickly and can never be replayed. I wonder how some parents, who finally quit after a number of years, were able to explain to their kids about the dreams and unfulfilled promises? I hope honesty was involved in these cases. I truly do.

Luckily for me, my involvement was about a year or less. My damage was minimal. But I feel for people who neglected family and friends to chase a dream that will never come. Hopefully, the family and friends of IBOs who quit will be patient and understanding. Maybe this article will help someone cope. Hopefully, the word will get out so fewer people sell their souls to the upline. I hope everyone has a safe and happy superbowl party and gets to and from their parties safely.

P.S. I think Green Bay might have an edge, but it's hard to pick against a team with 6 superbowl titles. Enjoy the game everyone!

Friends For Life?

You hang out with friends, generally people you like and have similar interests. You have good and bad times, but your true friends are there for you when you need them. You move residences, your friends are there to help you move. They may play a round of golf with you, or watch some sporting events, dinners, backyard barbeques, etc. These are folks you will likely end up retiring with and enjoying your golden years. Sure, circumstance may break apart some friendships. or moves made out of necessity. But these folks will likely remainas your friends for a long time to come.

But suddenly, you get enticed to join Amway. You see the "chance" to get rich, with a shortcut (not get rich quick, but a "shortcut"). You sign up and your sponsor is your new "best" friend. Most of the people you enjoyed being with think Amway is a questionable venture to get involved in. Suddenly, because of what you have been told or taught, you view these same nice people as "broke" or "losers", simply because they do not share the same ambition of untold wealth working 12-15 hours a weeek. Suddenly, you friends become prospects, or people you want to sponsor so you start recruiting them. Some may join, but most won't. Suddenly you are immersed in recruitment meetings, functions, and avoiding "negative", which is people and events that do not support your Amway business.

Now you are missing birthday parties, barbeques, and other social events. Your social events are now recruitment meetings, seminars and Amway business related events. You are taught that these events can be put off and your gratification delayed. You can do whatever you want when you go diamond. (Even though there me be only one (1) diamond out of every ten or twenty thousand IBOs) Your dedication will pay off right? Sadly, for most people, even very dedicated people, all they will see is losses on their yearly tax returns, mainly due to the purchase of cds, books, voicemail and function tickets. But these are your "friends" right?

Here's my take on it. Try missing a few meetings or functions. Stop buying cds and see how many "friends" remain from the business. It is likely that your upline will claim that you walked away from the friendship by slowing down on the "system". If that happens, then you have conditional friends, or fairweather friends. They are your "friends" while you are pursuing the same cause. They are your friends when you are attending functions. Are they there for you in bad times?

A short while after I attended my last function (I was still an IBO, just not a business builder), my dad passed away. Not a single one of my IBO "friends" bothered to attend the memorial service. Not a single one of my IBO friends called or dropped by the home to pay their respects. All of my "real" friends, who saw through the AMO smoke and mirrors called to talk to me and/or attended the memorial service.

Are your IBO friends conditional friends? Mine were.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Joecool Or Your Upline? Who Helps People?

Who does more good as a whole for society? Joecool, who posts personal experiences, facts, and opinions about Amway, which allows IBOs to make informed decisions about whether or not to get involved in the Amway opportunity, or an upline who fills a prospect's head full of dreams and fantasies that will never come true? I certainly do not encourage anyone to quit or not to join, my goal is to provide information which will allow an IBO or information seeker to have full disclosure before committing time and/or money into this business venture. I feel I am qualified to speak on the matter, having been an IBO and having built my business to the 4000 PV level.

When you think about it, an IBOs can actully unintentionally contribute to a downturn in their local economy. You see, an IBO now spends about $300 a month or more on products that they get from Amway, a Michigan based company. Those purchases would otherwise have been able to go to local grocery stores or local retailers. Those purchases would help pay the local workers. Secondarily, IBOs who spend several hundreds of dollars on conventions and meetings and standing orders, voicemail, etc, end up channeling more money to their uplines somewhere. Thus, instead of movies or a sit down dinner, IBOs send that money elsewhere and that also affects the local economy. It's great for Amway but I'm fairly certain that the impact on the local economy can add up after some time passes.

This would be different if many IBOs actually made tons of money to be able to enjoy luxuries at home and to be able to bless local charities. I have heard many times about IBOs being told to defer donating time and money to charity because when they eventually go diamond, they can then donate ten thousand dollar checks to their church. Sadly, so few people ever make a significant income from Amway, and out of those who do, I wonder how many ever make good on that promise to donate ten thousand dollar checks? I suspect the answer is very very few. Instead, it appears that many diamonds would rather provide for their own pleasure based on the kinds of toys and luxuries they show off at functions.

So who does more good? A Joecool who provides free information that can help people? Or uplines who may lie or deceive people into joining so they can make hefty profits from selling them tools? You decide.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How Uplines Suck You Into The System

If you have ever sat through an Amway presentation and the follow up teachings as I did, you can get a clear picture of how the uplines slowly suck people into the system. The speaker will be introduced as a picture of success. Possibly introduced as being in the top 1/10 of 1% in income (But with no proof). They will talk about how taxes, insurance, and inflation eat away at your paycheck. More than likely they will say they suffered the same way until they figured out how to defeat these issues by making more money. Of course they will eventually drop the "A" bomb on you and say it's Amway. Very likely they will say that you should not care what it is if it gets results.

You are then shown the plan and many people think that 2-5 years and "finding six" is something very manageable for the results they promote (walking the beaches while residual income flows in). At the very least they say, you will make some money and save some money. Who can argue with that kind of logic? They will also likely mention that Amway is low risk or no risk with little or no start up costs. Again, how can you argue with that logic?

You finally convince yourself that you can do this. You sign up and you are likely told that it is important to get some tools because after all, a carpenter can't build homes without a hammer and saw and that any business owner would have to make some investment into their own business. So now because of the tools, you are operating at a loss. You may then be told that business owners normally operate at a loss for years and that it might also be wise to channel your bonuses back into your business by purchasing more tools.

Before you know it, months or years may pass before you start to realize that you are on a treadmill. You keep walking but end up going nowhere. Then your upline may tell you that the business is not about money but more about making lifelong friendships.

In my opinion, this whole system is a cleverly designed systematic way for uplines to slowly drain your resources and making you think that you are successful despite showing no profits. Your upline may edify small things like showing the plan or making a sacrifice to attend a function. Sadly, you will rarely see someone edified for actually making a net profit.

It's a slow process, but most people slowly get sucked into the system, just like quicksand. I hope IBOs and information seekers are able to recognize the scheme if and when it happens to them.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Success Is Guaranteed?

One of the things my upline used to say was that success was guaranteed if you were participating in the system of standing orders, voicemail, books and functions. And I suppose to some degree, it is completely true. However, what the downline IBOs don't realize is that the success is only guaranteed for the people who profit from selling the system. Because the system materials carry a higher profit margin than the Amway products, your upline gets to profit from your Amway volume, and then get an even bigger profit when you buy voicemail, standing order and function tickets from them.

Amway had reported that an average diamond earned about $150,000 a year. A nice income, but not an income that can sustain the lifestyles portrayed at Dream Night or other big functions. However, add in another $200,000 a year or more and that "diamond lifestyle" looks to be a bit more attainable. The sad thing is that so few people ever reach the diamond level in the US, and even those who reach that level are often unable to sustain it. I believe the diamond club function in Hswaii for US/Canadadian diamonds had a total of 160 diamond-ships. Pretty sad for a business that has been around for so long. I also wonder how many fewer diamonds there might be today? It looks like Amway sales in north america has slipped in recent years so it's reasonable to believe there would be fewer diamonds. I wish Amway would just publish the number, but they don't so we are left to speculate and make educated guesses.

New IBOs nearly guarantee themselves of losses if they buy all the business building tools. The newbie IBOs who move 100 PV get about $10 in bonuses. That doesn't cover the cost of their voicemail, let alone the other tools. And since most IBOs are unable to sponsor downline, these IBOs are filled with dreams that will never come true. It is why the attrition rate is so high. Logically speaking, if IBOs were making money, they would stick around. But since most are losing money they quit. Also, IBOs who were deceived or lied to about the tools, will often quit and have ill feelings towards Amway. The Amway Answer Blog recently wrote an article saying they do not turn a blind eye to these abuses, yet we continue to see and hear of IBOs who were deceived by upline. I believe the only solution is for Amway to provide the training and tools. Less conflict of interest that way.

If you are seeking information or are being prospected to Amway, make sure you do thorough research and ask questions. If you hear that success is guaranteed, ask for proof, such as a business tax return (schedule C). Slide shows of mansions and cars are not proof of wealth or success. Keep in mind that the purchase of tools only guarantees success for the tool sellers, not the tool purchasers. I invite as usual, anyone to prove me wrong.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why "Playing" Amway Can Be A Dangerous Game?

One thing my sponsor often told the group was that many of us were "playing" Amway. What he meant was that many people can listen to a tape or CD every day, read a success book 15-30 minutes each day, attend all the functions, use and/or sell 100 PV or more each month, but never make progress in the business. Basically what he was saying was unless you are showing the plan and sponsoring downline, you are just playing Amway. And while I agree, I honestly believe that most IBOs simply "play" Amway.

They can do most of the CORE steps such as listening to standing orders or cds each day. They can read every day and attend all the functions. They can even use and sell Amway products. But because of previous IBO behavior, many people cannot get anyone to see the plan, let alone sponsor others. Seems like everyone (at least in the US and Canada) know of someone who was lied to, or tricked into attending an Amway meeting. This alone has given Amway a shady reputation and just the mention of the name Amway can send people running. I was tricked into a meeting once, and as an IBO, I saw people get up, cuss and leave the meeting because they were lied to or tricked into attending a meeting based on the curiosity approach.

I do not believe that IBOs in general are dishonest or deceitful. I believe that most of them are probably motivated, wanting more in life, and hard working. But they are taught to duplicate or copy their uplines. I believe it is some of the tenured leaders who teach bad business practices that are duplicated and spreads a bad reputation like an infectious disease. I believe that because of this, Amway's North American sales tanked and now they don't even report the North American sales seperately from Global sales.

When you stop and take a deep breath, you see the signs of weakness and the chinks in the armor of the once untouchable and "divine" diamonds. We see diamonds suing other diamonds and Amway. We see diamonds losing their homes to foreclosure (so much for paying cash). A triple diamond was in chapter 7 bankruptcy and hoards of diamonds leaving their LOS along with their "awesome" mentors and lifelong friends to form their own LOS. Why is this happening? I believe it is because of greed. Why else would you leave a "mentor" and "lifelong friend" to start your own LOS? It's all about the money.

Sadly, while all of this goes on, most IBOs come and go, lose money and "play Amway" along the way. It truly saddens me that this has gone on for so long, and it looks like (in my opinion), that my former LOS, WWDB, seems to have been the worst of the bunch with no apparent improvement in the last 15 years or so.

You can "play Amway" hard, but you most likely won't make enough net profit to buy a value meal a McDonald's. Of course you are welcome to prove me wrong.

Amway And A College Education?

One of the things I've seen in recent years, is some examples of young people being discouraged from attending college. Instead they are told, to simply run and Amway business. These motivated young people may also be told that Amway is simply on the job training. Why bother paying tens of thousands of dollars for a formal education when they can join Amway and learn what they need for a fraction of a cost.

I honestly believe that uplines who discourage a young person from going to college in order to build an Amway business should be run out of town. These uplines obviously have their own interests at heart and not that of their downlines. They may cite an example of perhaps, a Bill Gates who left college to run Microsoft. While that is a great example, how many Bill Gates are there in the world? These uplines always want to promote the bext case scenario as if that were the norm. However, in real life, the likely scenario is just that. In those big functions, there are a handful of people on stage and masses of people in the audience. That's how it has been and that's how it will always be. Dreams and delusions on grandeur do not change the facts.

It is well documented that a formal college education will result in greater earning power for most people. Yes, there are exceptions but as a whole, college graduates fare much better that those who do not attend college. IBOs and information seekers should pay special attention to this next line: There is no unbiased documentation to indicate that running an Amway business and participating in a teaching system such as WWDB or Network 21 provides any tangible and sustainable financial rewards.

Amway's fiercest defender, IBOFB made a claim that over the years, hundreds of thousands of people have made full time incomes via the Amway business. This was a claim that Cindy Droog, an Amway representative said cannot be substantiated. Who are you going to believe? I trust what Amway says.

If you are being discouraged from participating in college by an upline, please look very carefully at this post and please do ample research before making a decision that could negatively affect your life. While you may be shown picture of yachts and mansions, you have no way of knowing who owns those yachts and mansions. this has been proven beyond a doubt for me in light of some diamond home foreclosures and a triple diamond who was involved in chapter 7 bankruptcy.