Saturday, April 30, 2011

Just Make More Money?

One of the things my (WWDB) upline frequently told us, was to "just make more money". This was about how our lives are impacted by rising prices of things. For example, a friend of mine who works for a gas company has said the price of gas in the US is likely to keep rising until it exceeds $6.00 a gallon. Your Amway upline will probably just say you need to make more money by working your business harder. My upline certainly did.

Now for most IBOs, you are likely losing money due to the "system" consisting of books, meetings, standing orders, and functions. You cannot simply "make more money" just because you want you. There was a time when I had that mindset, because it was taught by WWDB leaders. Amway was supposed to be the answer to that problem, but for most, the Amway opportunity ends up being the reason for more debt rather than a way for people to make more money. You are programmed to think you just earn more money to solve financial issues, if only you will "be core" and work your business hard. Sadly, most hard working IBOs will end up with "less money" because of the advice of their trusted "mentors and business coaches".

Ironically, in WWDB (my former LOS), some of the leaders and mentors may have been exposed as frauds as some of them experienced financial problems, including home foreclosures, thus exposing them as liars and frauds as many of these very leaders stood on a large stage claiming that WWDB diamonds pay cash for everything and that people who make loans are "stupid". Makes you wonder about the integrity if such leaders. These leaders are for the most part, still teaching this garbage today.

You may thinkg earning more money is the simple answer to many of your problems, but you are unlikely to solve these problems by attending fuctions and listening to standing orders. Seriously.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

IBOFightback Desperation?

IBOFightback says: "So I assume that means you believe Joecool is paid anti-amway shill?"

A desperate attempt to divert attention onto Joecool. LOL. Joecool is not compensated in any way, shape or manner for running Joecool's blogs. The reason why I blog and share my experiences is to provide information to unsuspecting prospects. Many many people over the years have written to me to express gratitude over the information I have shared with them.

While my former LOS, WWDB has supporters who claim that "things are different", there is much evidence that nothing has changed at all. While there is online ordering, the system still consists of voicemail (WTF - who needs voicemail these days?), staning orders, books and functions. Seems as if the same tired old leaders are teaching the same stuff.

The system is pushed pretty hard. Leaders still try to entice prospects by showing off wealth. Leaders apparently still teach the mantra that diamonds pay cash for everything.

The amount of damage to people's lives and finances is part of the reason why I blog. The lies and deception I've seen from LOS leaders have not been stopped. While I cannot stop it myself, I can provide information through this blog, which has built a sizable amount of traffic. IBOFB has debated with me for many years and I believe he has lost because I stand on the truth and on my own experiences. He has mainly anecdotal stories and the memories of an allegedly sizable business he once built, which he apparently "gave" to his (ex) wife in a settlement. You'd think if Amway was so precious to David/IBOFB, he would cling to his Amway business at all cost.

Anyway, in a desperate attempt to divert attention from himself, he wants to imply that Joecool is a paid anti amway blogger? LOL First of all, I'm more anti LOS than anti Amway. And secondly, how can you defend a business where the failure rate is staggering? What kind of person can do that? I'll let my readers decide that one.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

IBOFightback's Rebuttal?

I am assuming that this is David Steadson/IBOFB. Here is his rebuttal to "Mr. Million's" blog post:

David Steadson said...

Below is the reply I posted on "millions" website, which he initially refused to publish, but has now. You of course can hide behind the US's ridiculous CDA law which makes it perfectly acceptable to publish false and defamatory material. No surprise that you have a complete lack of integrity and do so.

1. Neither I nor any of my companies/businesses are paid by Amway or anyone else, either directly or indirectly, to promote them on Wikipedia or any of my sites. This is already clearly stated on my main sites. You know this and have willfully ignored it.

2. I have never knowingly stated anything false (that is, lied) on ''any'' website, including my Amway related sites. I fully admit to being human and occasionally saying something that turned out to be wrong. Mea culpa.

3. I do not "post heavily biased contributions" to sites like wikipedia, nor attempt to "character assassinate" people I may disagree with. In truth and fact I have ''"originated"'' and written a deal of the "negative" information on Amway and some related companies on Wikipedia. Unlike yourself, who has to the best of my research not contributed a single "positive" edit to the Amway related articles, I'm attempting to provide actual facts and a truly balanced picture.

4. A year or more ago I considered starting a company to provide reputation management services to direct selling companies. I believe(d) there was a market for such services and most companies were doing it poorly. A mockup website was created but never finished (hence the amount of "lorem ipsum" text in the site) and the concept was never proceeded with. The company was never formed, never marketed, and never had any clients. The sites and names are now a division of another company I part-own, which has nothing to do with direct sales, and will be focused on internet community building.

3. My wife did not leave me, a claim I see you now removed. Not that it was any of your damn business.

4. My original Amway Australia business reached a significantly higher level than 3%. To state or imply otherwise is false. The recognition you are citing is not for that business, which exists to this day, generating an income for my former wife.

5. The vast majority of the websites you claim I "run" have not been updated in years, if ever. Several were simply "grabbed" when the domain names became available for whatever reason, others were automatically created when accounts were required to comment on other blogs hosted by the same providers. A number were created when I was having trouble getting google to pickup my website updates. When this problem was solved I stopped updating them. To claim I am actively maintaining these sites is false.

6. Any material I have posted on websites that has not already been publicly available, including videos, is usually available to IBOs in private areas of Amway websites, on Amway DVDs, or via email lists. I have registered as an IBO in several countries, in part so that I have access to this material for my websites. Naturally I have made contact with many "insiders" at Amway and associated BSM companies thanks to my websites. ''Very'' rarely I have been provided with other information in advance by these "insiders". Amway has in fact asked me to remove several videos from my youtube channel as they were no longer approved.

7. I do not have "at least one JOB" and have not been an employee for anyone since around 1998. I have done occasional contract and consulting work in a range of fields but have been primarily involved in my own entrepreneurial endeavours.

Virtually your entire post, including it's prime thesis that I'm a "paid shill" is false and defamatory.

April 26, 2011 9:56 AM

Monday, April 25, 2011

IBOFightback A Paid Schill?

Nice Article. Could not resist posting it:

The real truth about Amway is that Insider is A Paid Shill - IBOFightback has been exposed.

Massive News for those familiar with the history of decietful Amway business practices, it's finally confirmed: David Steadson AKA IBOFightback / IBOFB / Insider / Insider201283 who for years everyone has suspected to be paid by Amway has finally been exposed as a professional shill / public relations imposter and we have proof!

Talk about "selling your soul" for the almighty dollar.

For those who are not aware of David Steadson, his ignorance is only matched by his arrogance. He'll go to any lengths to make his point no matter how stupid or false. Constantly lying and spinning the truth, which appears is actually what he does for a living.
For those who are not aware of David Steadson he is pretty much the only pro-Amway person on the internet. He runs at least 20 (we found 23+) sites dedicated to attempting to improve the public image of Amway, Network 21 and Multi Level Marketing schemes in general, and cover up any material that does not paint these companies with a super positive point of view.

What is already known about his role as a distributor?
In one source from November 2008 it was claimed IBOFB was not building an Amway business and was last fully active in 1999. "This business" was handed over to his ex-wife. We find that a "David Steadson" had a 100 PV business in Australia in 2008. On the Amway Australia website data reported IBO number 6195154 David Steadson from QLD Australia qualified for the minimum bonus level in 2008!
How does this contradiction occur? "I've operated 6 different and separate Amway businesses" IBOFB says.
Why would anyone operate that many Amway businesses? Cause for suspicion.
On Dec 17, 2009 he stated "I currently have three" when asked about his many Amway businesses.
That is not even more than a year and a half ago, yet last night we were informed of this interesting claim by Insider made only the other day "More than a decade ago I actively built an Amway distributorship, I have not done so for many years and that business was transferred to my former wife. Like many other people I continue to maintain a membership primarily for the purpose of getting Amway products" It seems the truth about Amway and David Steadson changes whenever it suits him, yet another lie and deceiving behaviour.

Some of his propaganda sites include: / / - Network 21 promo site Copyright issues?!/ibofb

and these are just the ones we found with a few minutes research, there are possibly many more.
The name is a bit of a slip up anyway, "Insider", a reference to working from the inside of the company, not just an IBO, or perhaps a reference to the movie about the real life situation of big tabacco companies, law suits, coverups and public relations gone mad?

Why would you, and what would motivate someone to run so many sites dedicated to one cause? Running a hobby site or 2 is way more effort dedicated than most people would want to waste time on, 20 is beyond obsession, more like profession. His close minded verbose rants on Wikipedia are enough for a part time job in themselves. I don't have the time nor inclination to read and dissect his over 2000 contributions / propaganda efforts, mostly on Amway, Network 21 and MLM related articles under the alias Insider201283, but the truth is obvious to any half intelligent person that reads any of his edits.
In particular I have been made aware of:

He is posting heavily biased contributions, attempting to remove or play down all negative aspects

Rewording things to sound much better than they are in reality (like replacing the term pyramid scheme, or attempting to remove it all together etc)

Outright lying

Posting press releases, sometimes with data not yet even available to public (which is proof enough of some dubious inside connection).

Generally making the articles sound like promotional material and advertisement brouchures.

Posting his own sites as references, then lying through his teeth saying he has not.

Attempting to discredit and character assasinate anyone with a valid fact that does not meet his not so hidden agenda, one of the lowest forms of debate, and indicative of someone who's argument holds no ground.

As a result of his arguments holding no water, he uses these tactics a lot on Wikipedia and on all of his sites and other people's. Smart people can filter out this cheap trickery, however it may work on a certain demographic, such as those less intelligent, more desperate in life people that pyramid schemes seem to attract that are not by nature critical thinkers but more like easily led sheep.

There seems to be a couple of minor efforts to keep him in check, but I think most people have better things to do with their time than sit on Wikipedia and makes hundreds and thousands of edits childishly arguing the rules to the same extent and a few other people on there do. Whatever the case, that is one sad excuse for a life.

So where is the smoking gun evidence that David Steadson is paid to promote such companies, and trawl the internet all day attempting to fix their image?

There is a mountain of circumstancial evidence, as mentioned by others in the past, made obvious in his own posts, and little things like Amway/Network 21 removing other people's videos due to copyright claims, yet allowing "Insider201283" to post all of these official Amway videos (and who do you think gives him these videos in the first place?):

Our attention was recently directed to these mysterious sites discovered:

Registered to one:David Steadson
Phone Contact: +46.732536211 Email:

From these sites:
"Reputation management in the Internet Age"
"TribeTech provides professional internet community development, monitoring, reputation research and crisis response services"
"Whether you like it or not, you and your company are being discussed on the Internet. With our unique cross-discipline experience in internet technologies, public relations, social media, and marketing we can help you build a positive brand presence on the internet, and in the marketplace.

Funny, isn't that the description of exactly what he is already doing for Amway? Sounds pretty guilty to us. That is clear admission, and evidence he is a public relations paid shill.

When you're already dedicating enough effort to your tonne of Amway sites, arguing on the internet, doing legal document research and constantly corresponding with official Amway employees, enough to easily be a part time (if not full time) job, where do you get time to run your reputation management / propaganda business? Easy, you combine the two! Everyone on honest and legitimate Amway blogs and websites have long been making these accusations, as it just looks obvious, but there was never any hard proof apart from his completely disengenous posts that are not at all believable to anyone with a brain. People have for years been disproving his lies and credibility (and reporting his honest level in the Amway business), and know not to trust a word of what he says ever, especially when he disguises his warped opinion in facts and an undeserved authoritative tone.

Now it makes perfect sense that some part of the Amway organisation is paying Mr Steadson, and if you ask us, the fact he has a site offering his services for these exact accusations is pretty damning proof!

So who pays the money to Mr Steadson for his efforts, is it Amway Global, Network 21, Jim Dornan, Alticor or perhaps some obscure shady Delaware corporation? It is doubtful he will ever come clean and admit who pays him for his reputation management services, but my money would be on the IBOAI, or some other general Multi Level Marketing association or other Amway front group. Just another tick in the box for these merchants of deception.

Now it all makes perfect sense, and the final piece of the puzzle has been put in place, not that he had any credibility to begin with.

Operating these businesses, and working in other IT fields as reported on his other sites is proof enough that the Amway system is a failure. After more than 10 years being in Amway he obviously is not living on an island paradise, but is in fact working at least one JOB, constantly busy, and his wife has left him, not really the picture of a successful Amway person is it? Can you believe this guy is basically the public face of, and self proclaimed expert on Amway?

Even if we didn't prove Amway was paying David Steadson, and for
arguments sake let's just imagine he had no vested interest, and honestly was just doing it for the love of the company, success or not. At best, he is a crazed zealot, likely to have some kind of serious mental disorder. What sane person would champion Amway so fiercly, and waste so much time with all those websites, trying to fix their tattered image as a complete business scam for tools. You'd have to be not quite right in the head and not have a shred of integrity to be living such a lie.

Let's pretend for once his lies and deceit were true and he was just legitimately sticking up for Multi Level Marketing Scam groups (though only selectively for obvious reasons), he still would be the biggest loser in the world. What a tragic excuse for a life.

Now, even if Mr Steadson came out and admitted he was on the payroll as a paid representative or employee of Amway (even if technically disguised in reality as a 3rd party consultant), he is doing such a poor job, spreading lies, stretching the truth, and giving such a dishonest representation of the truth that anyone can see through the marketing hype. When your stories, research and lies you present as facts seem so fake, do not seem at all genuine, it's a wonder why Amway would pay (or even allow for free) anyone to stuff up their reputation so badly. He is doing a lot more harm than good, which is hilariously ironic if they are the ones paying for such poor service.

Very special thanks to those who wrote in and helped provide damning evidence and research and Wikipedia references, I can't use it all unfortunately. We've had a surprising spike in feedback lately, and we appreciate it all, from the poorly typed insults and rebuttals from scammers, spammers and brainwashed idiots, to the cries for help from those family members who feel their loved ones have been suckered in, and of course all the helpful feedback and support.

Amway New And Different?

When I was a young IBO, I saw the plan and thought it was realistic to go direct and to find six (6) downlines who could do the same thing. I didn't know the realistic chances of doing this, but the presentation made sense so I went with it. I basically built my group on excitement and it seemed like the system could work. Sadly, as I climbed the ranks, my bottom line did not change. I did not "net" $200 at the 1000 PV level, and I did not "net" $1000 a month at 4000 PV as my upline taught. I had the parameters they taught, but the reality was my leaders taught everyone to pump what little profits we earned into buying more tools.

My leaders also taught people to get out of debt, which was good advice on the surface, but at the same time, any disposable income left over was to be channeled into tools, and for those who did not escape debt, they were told it was okay to go deeper in debt, but only if it was to "invest" in their businesses by purchasing more tools. Thus it certainly appears that upline's advice was purely self serving and had nothing to do with an IBO's individual success.

I was in WWDB and they (upline) said that WWDB was breaking the most new diamonds and that WWDB diamonds were the most profitable. So here it is a dozen years later, where are all these new diamonds? Aside from from foreign diamonds, there are (I believe) less than 4 new diamonds from WWDB in the US from the time I left the business. Now I may be wrong, but even it was a few more than 4 new diamonds, that is a miserable success rate given the amount of cash spent by downline on tools and the claims made my upline about the tools.

We have also seen some WWDB diamonds end up in home foreclosures. Where is the integrity and financial acumen these leaders boasted about? Where is the success and long term financial security available to everyone that was touted? I believe more diamonds and emeralds fell out of qualification than new pins emerged. The business was promoted as one that would stand the test of time. Sadly, I believe WWDB and the Amway opportunity as promoted by WWDB has been a miserable failure.
There is little success to speak of, just he same old tired diamonds showing off a lifestyle that some of them apparently can no longer afford. Where is the success?

It is years later and we are still waiting.......

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Amway - WWDB Eagle Parameters?

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!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Amway Mind Game?

This was a comment left on this blog. It is a very good description of what many IBOs experience and how uplines manipulate them:

Amway is totally a mind game. Controlling your mind is the name of the game. Each and everything that is said from the stage, in the done for a reason. When you are in it, you dont think u are being manipulated. Rather you are made to feel like you are a winner..and you are exceptionally better off than the average outside(non-amway) people, whereas in reality you are loosing every day- loosing in the sense, you are not getting the results for the efforts u are putting.

Every possible negative situation that could happen is thought of and covered from the stage, and the cd. For eg: let's say u have been in the business for 5 years and not making profit. You will listen to a cd where the speaker says nothing happened to them for the first 5 years of business- so u will be like, this is so similar to my story..if I stay a little more time, it is going to work for me.

The job world and the outside people (non-amway people) is painted in such a negative color in the system, so u will be like business is not working..but jobs dont work either...let me stick it out and make it in the business...anyway i will not be able to even spend any time with people outside, let me stay in the business.

You are encouraged to have bigger dreams and get pictures of your dreams on your fridge or have a dream board. In a way this keeps u in the biz, b'coz it is your dream and u are like, how can i choose to leave the biz and these dreams.

Big time stroking of ego happens in all associations. At all associations, whoever that is getting results at that time is promoted through the roof. Sometimes when u are not getting any results, some of the big pins, wont even acknowledge ur presence. U will be like...i will show it to u, what i am capable of and will stay in the biz some more time.

The main goal of the system is to keep u in the biz for some more time, until that next function or seminar comes to pump u up or give u hope. In the meantime u will be buying 300PV worth of product and increase Amway's business and will be buying tools and be inncreasing your system's income.

If u have a few people in your group, quitting becomes even more difficult, u will be can i tell these people, whom i gave dreams and got them in...that i am not going to pursue.

If ur upline is in the local area, if u tell them that u dont want to continue, they will come to ur house, spend hours with u and will use every technique in the book to keep u in.

For those of u who have read "How to win Friends and Influence people"- two main techniques are used from that book in amway business:
1) Appeal to Nobler cause- There is no real money in Amway for most people- so what do they appeal to - Impacting people, better marriages, great families, Free Enterprise, Intagible benefits like becoming a better person etc etc etc.

2)Dramatize your ideas- This is what happens in the function- whereas everything is dramatized--incredible fear about economy, job world is put in your mind and incredible rewards achieved by people in the business is constantly talked about( in a crowd of 3000 in a function, at the most 20 so called successful people talk-so there is your ratio of sucess.)

So, how does this business run? why do people stay in? for HOPE...HOPE of making it one day..HOPE of achieving their dreams...They stay afloat with HOPE

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

IBOs = Free Advertising For Amway?

This makes perfect sense from an manufacturers point. You dont pay Advertising.

In a way, Amway IBOs donate/dedicate much or most of their free time to doing advertising for Amway's products and services. They give absolutely free advertising to Amway at work, at school, in the office, at their church, at family barbeques, by trying to start a (fake) friendly conversation with a stranger at the local Barnes and Noble, or at local eateries, or the local supermarket. Some have coined the term "stalking" when refering to IBOs on the prowl for new prospects.

The first is, well yes, that's wonderful for Amway. But where in the world did you get the idea it was good for you? If Walmart or Costco could sell you products for a marked-up cost, and ALSO get you to do all their advertising for them, for free then why wouldn't they?

Most customers/consumers would notice that their time has value, and remember to tack it onto the cost of the products they're paying. Eventually, they would say: "Oh wait! I'm paying more for the product and donating free advertising to the company! In addition to free advertising, it is also the IBOs who recruit other salespeople to join the business and to advertise and push products for Amway.

In Amway's case, most people won't notice this because they have dollar-signs in their eyes. They have "dreams" of walking the beaches while cash rolls in forever. Amway and AMOs such as WWDB or Network 21 convinces people that they're actually making themselves rich by this behavior, not going into debt. They apparently convince people to ignore obvious facts such as your business taking a loss due to standing orders and functions. It will be cleverly diguised as investing in your business, or that you are becoming a better person, or that true success is right around the corner.

Amway now pays for advertising, but I believe it is mainly to give their IBOs some credibility. They can say "see, Amway advertises on national TV. how can they be a scam"? In reality, I don't believe that Amway advertising dollars have made a significant difference in most IBO's bottom lines.

Recently, Amway and some of their supporters reported that IBO retention is up in North America. But their report doesn't provide any evidence or even imply that IBOs are profitable.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Is Amway A Job?

Amway IBOs like to call themselves "Independent Business Owners". But when you sit down and think about this for a minute, I believe that the Amway opportunity is more like a job. As an IBO, you are basically acting as a commissioned salesperson without any benefits coming from the Amway corporation. It's great for Amway as they only pay you for products that are moved.

The Amway corporation can sit back, and simply issue bonuses to downline IBOs. It is the IBOs themselves who recruit others, train others and move the products. Many IBOs are fiercely loyal to Amway products even when they could get the exact same product or a similar product, in many cases, at a fraction of the cost at a big box retailer, or even a local retailer.

Uplines get you to see the world differently. That you do not equate an hourly wage with your business. But if IBOs did think of their earnings that way, they would easily see that they are working to lose money or to make pennies an hour. For the larger majority of IBOs, working minimum wage would be far more lucrative than spending countless hours and money chasing an Amway dream that is very unlikely to materialize. Uplines also get you to think you are "investing" in your business by purchasing tools, but in reality, you are just a customer of your upline's tool business.

You dedicate yourself to attending meetings, working the phones, meeting with uplines and downlines. You drive a lot of miles. But what many IBOs do not notice is that the priority in building a business should be a focus on getting more customers and expanding sales. But because Amway products can be hard to sell, most IBOs are focused on expanding their business by recruiting others. An endless chain of recruitment, which is why many people think of Amway as a pyramid scheme. Whether it's legal or not as is, is not my call.

But the bottom line in my view, is that Amway is more like a job than an independent business. Call it what you will, but in either case, business or job, it doesn't pay well for most.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Why Did You Join Amway?

For people who have already joined Amway and are trying to make a buck, only to see net losses month after month, you have to wonder at times why you joined Amway. As an IBO, I initially joined as it was pitched to me that I could easily earn a couple of hundred dollars a month, which could make a big impact on my life at the time. Of course it made sense that I needed to invest a little bit of money to get started and to learn about how to run a business.

WhenI got started, there was a lot of hype and excitement in my business. I sponsored people and my business was on its way. I was touted as a mover and shaker and even got to attend some home board plans with my upline diamond. Even though I did as I was advised, had the parameters in the business that were recommended, I noticed that any cash I had earned still resulted in a loss, or if I made some money, the "next major function" ate it up and then some. As you should know, there are four major functions and a bunch of regional ones. But for many, the major functions take place out of your area, requiring travel, sometimes by air.

It was at the function called "family reunion" where I started to figure out what was happening. My upline platinum was having us "hang out" after the function at about 1:30 am. He started talking about how the business has nothing to do with money. That we made friends, became nicer people, better spouses or parents, and that money was the least important aspect of the business. While many nodded in agreement, I was thinking WTF???
I wouldn't have joined and "invested" that much time and money into a business where I was "moving and shaking" but not making money.

Many IBOs are at a point where it may be hard to quit. You may have invested some time, money, and effort into your business and you may have been programmed to think that quitting is failure or that success is right around the corner and you don't want to quit too soon. But I urge you to look at facts. What is your bottom line net income? It is red numbers? Is it a recurring loss, primarily because of tool and function purchases? If that is true, ask yourself why you joined. Was it to be a nicer person or to earn some money?

What are your prospects of making a net profit soon if you are breaking even or taking losses? Amway leaders themselves have often said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Where are you at?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Getting Rid Of Debt?

One of the things that many uplines will talk about with their downline is debt. Many IBOs and prospects join Amway, hoping that Amway will help them eliminate debt, by providing some extra income. What many IBOs find out though, is that they end up more deeply in debt, not because of Amway necessarily, but often because of the pressure to purchase tools and function tickets.

Eliminating debt on the surface, is a good thing. However, I believe that many uplines only want IBOs to eliminate debt so they can free up discretionary monies that can be channeled into tool purchases, which uplines profit from. So while the advice seems sound, it still ends up as a self serving pice of advice. If you are an IBO or a prospect, is your upline advising you to eliminate debt and then turning around and telling you to attend "all" functions?

As a WWDB IBO, I heard the mantra about getting rid of debt. It sounded good to me, but I was floored when the same upline told us it was okay to go deeper in hock if it was to further our business, or in other words, to buy more standing orders or to attend functions. I could not understand why it was okay to create more debt, but only to "invest" in your business. If debt is bad, then functions and other tools should be cut as well, until the IBO can reasonably afford to participate in the system. IBOs, in my opinion. should be using profits from the business in order to purchase tools. If there is no net profit, then that IBO needs to decide whether or not the tools are worthy of an investment. Even if an IBO has some profits, the IBOs should determine whether to bank the profit or to channel them towards tool purchases.

Too many IBOs trust their upline and make initial and ongoing purchases of tools, and then continue to do so without seeing tangible results. I believe this is why IBOs are taught to trust and have faith. Or that success is right around the corner. It keeps an IBO going, even in the absence of results. Hopefully a post like this can bring awareness to IBOs and potential IBOs. Good luck to those who disregard this information.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Comment By A "Serious IBO"?

This comment was left on my blog the other day with the commenter naming himself as "serious ibo". It's a great read and much of the classic tapespeak is included. Enjoy!

"Amway works. The question is will you make it work. A scam. LOL!!! This is not a job where you trade hours for dollars. This is a business. If you are not willing to BUILD your own income then this is not for you. A 25 year old Ibo went platinum with 28 IBO's in his group. All you have to do is get family and friends to support you by buying a product that they already use, just switching to a better brand. once people see your getting a 400 dollar check for selling some products, the 400 dollar check will sponsor people for you and you wont have to go out and find a bunch of people. very simple business model. if you couldnt make it work its probably because you were focusing on the OLD business model of sponsor sponsor sponsor. Its pretty hard to build it that way. I tried to build it that way for 8 months and talked to over 150 people people and no one got started. I got frustrated.

BUT When you focus on selling products (like the avon and mary kay businesses do) sponsoring will happen when people see your excitement and your checks. if you sponsor only 5 people and they sponsor only 5 people and those ibos do 300 pv personal circle with customers and personal volume, your a new silver producer. 7500 pv! IF you focus on selling products. you dont need 100 people to go platinum anymore!! I'll be retiring my wife in 2 years. right after she graduates. im 23 she's 22. Thanks Amway!"

By Serious IBO

Monday, April 11, 2011

Trust Your Upline?

Over the years, I have encountered many IBOs and they often have a common theme. They trust their upline and in some cases, consider them mentors. Now in a business venture, it might be good to have a mentor or someone to guide you, but in the Amway opportunity, most of the upline mentors make money off those who they mentor. That is a major conflict of interest but IBOs simply fail to see it.

When an IBO sees the plan in a big meeting, the speaker will often be built up as a financial guru, and possibly as an expert on how to succeed in Amway. An IBO may headr something about the trail was already blazed by upline and you just need to follow the trail. Don't re-invent the wheel, just copy what upline did. But as I have said many times before, duplication sounds easy and looks good on paper, but in real life, the vast majority of IBOs run into problems that they simply cannot overcome, such as the bad reputation that the Amway name has in the US.

What is troubling however, is that IBOs are taught to trust upline and do as they say (defacto requirement), but they are also taught that failure is their own shortcomings, even when they do exactly what upline told them. It is also troubling that many uplines will tell their faithful followers that they need to purchase more and more tools (voicemail, cds, seminar tickets). In some cases, an upline may advise their downline to sacrifice basic family needs to buy these tools. Some IBOs were advised to skip meals to buy a cd, or skip paying the mortgage to be able to attend the next big function.

I might also add that as a newer IBO or prospect, you may have heard that "everyone starts at zero", or that it's a level playing field. It is not. As a new IBO, you will likely be in the 100 PV bracket. Since Amway pays out about 31% in bonuses, your upline(s) will split up about 28% in bonuses off your efforts while you get a 3%bonus. That doesn't sound very level to me.

So each IBO should look at things objectively and see if your upline is helping you or simply helping himself by giving you advice that ends up in profit for himself with little or nothing for you.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Amway Business Mentality?

One of the things IBOs "think" they possess, but in reality they are far from it, is "Business Mentality". It is not necessarily the fault of the IBOs. Many are sponsored into Amway by trusted friends and lacking business experience, they will "submit" to upline as they are advised and will try to learn about the Amway business. The problem is that many upline leaders teach self serving business practices such as hard core dedication to their tools system, from which they often handsomely profit. Let's examine some of the questionabley practices.

"Buy from yourself". If you have a business owner mentality, you only buy from yourself if it's beneficial to your business. Many IBOs talk about ridiculous things like a McDonald's owner would never eat at Burger King. That's bull crap. Just because I own a McDonald's doesn't mean I am eating Big Macs the rest of my life. You cannot spend yourself to prosperity. If I sold pens for $1.00 and my cost was .50, and my competitor had a special on the same pens at 3 for $1.00, I'm buying them from my competition. Also, buying from yourself makes you a customer, not a business owner.

"Ignore facts if you have a dream". This is probably the biggest heap of bull crap taught by some upline. I have seen this spouted in particular by IBOs downline from WWDB and BWW leaders. A business owner studies the facts, not ignores them. Any REAL business owner wants to know how much he is bringing in and how much is going out. That's how you detect the heartbeat of your business. A site visitor named Gina on this site, recently posted a profit/loss statement from her real business. Naturally, IBOs were at a loss to discuss it because it was foreign material to them.

"Submit to upline" Another load of hogwash. Why should someone submit to upline simply because they "sponsored me" or whatever? A real business owner would think independently and make business decisions based on facts and numbers, not on the advice of someone upline who hasn't taken the time to assess each IBO on a personal level to be able to give advice on an IBO's "Indepdendent Business", or worse, advice on their personal lives".

"Dedication to the system". Silly advice as well. What dedication does the system have for an IBO? If an IBO succeeds (which is very rare), the system takes credit, but for the more than 99% of people who never make a significant income, it is their own fault if they don't make it. Amway apologists will defend this by saying that many may not have signed up wanting a significant income. While that may be partially true, tell me where people show "plans" designed for the guy who wants an extra $100 a month? The plans shown are always (AFAIK) to go platinum or diamond.

IBOs and information seekers, does any of this sound familiar? Is this a part of your experience? If so, I encourage you to ask questions here and get more information before proceeding with any more "business" activity.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Amway - A Million Dollar Business?

So many IBOs mistakenly believe they will work for 2-5 years, own a million dollar business and retire from their jobs walking the beaches of the world while cash rolls into their bank accounts. Sadly, most IBOs won't get anywhere near to the dreams they were sold as prospects into the business. This in my opinion is the crime in all of this. To fill someone's head with false dreams and hopes and then profit off them by selling them tools that will not help to fulfill those dreams. In fact, the cost of tools is what sometimes leads to financial ruin for some IBOs.

Most IBOs will never sponsor a downline and many IBOs will not even have a single customer. What kind of business can become wildly successful and profitable without a lot of customers? It seems that only in Amway and some other MLM offshoots do we see this warped teaching of buying from yourself as a means to become successful in a business. Many people, desperately wanting it to be true, will buy in and give the business a try. Then after a while when progress stall or it becomes painfully obvious that things aren't working out as promoted, they get discouraged and quit. Most quit and never complain, partly out of shame, or perhaps these former IBOs don't want to complain about the friends and family who sponsored them.

I would challenge prospects to go and look at a million dollar business. Go to the mall and see what some bigger businesses look like. Does your Amway business resemble it in any way? Do you have customers in proportion to a million dollar business? Heck for that matter, does your upline diamond really have what looks like a millio dollar business or is their real business selling you standing orders and function tickets? It would appear that standing orders and functions are a million dollar business. Many unsuspecting IBOs are the customers of the tool and functions. Unfortunately, there is no unbiased documented evidence that the tools do anything other making your upline's wealthy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm A Winner, You're A Loser?

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.

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 sports 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.

In all of this, people's jobs are also criticized. That a job stand for "just over broke" or "jackass of the boss" and other blurbs. Many IBO's goals and dreams consist of ditching their job so they can sleep all day 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, the folks calling people losers are often 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 ask him how much cash he's netting from Amway. You might be surprised at the answer!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Amway And Tax Time?

One of the things that I have observed is how IBOs are so misguided by their upline, that they think that their business losses, which result in a tax refund is somewhat like a profit, or that they are getting a free pass with the government footing the bill for their standing orders and functions. In the past, IBOs have been audited and had many business deductions disallowed because the tax department ruled that they were not truly running a business, but participating in a hobby called Amway. Sadly, this only made some IBO's losses even worse as they had their losses magnified because of their participation in Amway and the systems.

I know that most IBOs are deducting the cost of their training materials on their taxes, but the issue at hand is whether the training materials are resulting in increased sales for your business. If you are running a "buy from yourself" business, then there is a strong possibility that your expenses may not be valid deductions come tax time. If you are not selling products to customers for a profit, then there is a chance that your expenses are not valid deductions. It would be sad indeed to be audited at tax time a few years after you have been an Amway business owner, only to find out that your expenses are not valid and that you may owe tens of thousands of dollars in back taxes.

Another apparently common mistake of IBOs is to think that their business expenses are basically free from the government because they may end up with a tax return. Your expenses are deductible from your taxable income. Thus if you had $10,000 in business expenses, your return would depend on your tax bracket. If you are in the 15% tax bracket, then $10,000 in expenses would get you about a $1,500 tax return, depending on other deductions you may have. But IBOs get duped into thinking they made a score and now get back $1,500 when they may not have had a refund in the past. Obviously in this case, the IBO would have been better off saving the $10,000 and never getting involved in Amway. Some IBOs proudly proclaim their refunds as basically a windfall, almost like it is a profit. That is truly scary.

Folks, there is no free ride. If you are spending money on legitimate business expenses with an intent to make a profit, then there is nothing wrong with that. But if you are traveling to conventions hoping to learn the secret of sponsoring more downline, you could be walking on thin ice should the IRS ever decide to audit your business. There have been many cases in the past where not only did IBOs lose their shirts due to the business support materials they purchaed, but they got double whammied later when the IRS disallowed tax deductions, leaving them in financial ruin. I truly hope you aren't on that path.

Check out this link:

"TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT have always been areas of abuse. Sections 162, 262, and 274 are always applicable and sometimes Section 183. Since most of the travel is primarily to attend social gatherings for entertainment and motivational purposes, any real business purpose is suspect. Unless the taxpayer can show that attending seminars, meetings, etc., meets the requirement of Section 162, the travel should be disallowed. Amway people have been unable to show that attending these meetinqs increased their sales. The agendas of these meetings appear to be primarily for entertainment, socializing, and listening to motivational speeches. The meetings have nothing to do with promoting the sale of Amway products to the general public. In fact, Amway distributors are specifically warned aqainst mentioning either Amway or selling when recruitinq potential downline people. Since it is not likely that the taxpayer will increase his sales by attending these functions, then there is not a reasonable business purpose for the trips"