When I was an IBO, and even now, there is ample evidence that uplines continue to teach contradictory and poor business practices. I believe the abuse of downline continues because nobody has ever corrected or held upline accountable for their bad advice or even outright lies, such as the previous claim that nobody made a profit from tools. While some of the teaching might make sense on the surface, I believe that much of the upline teaching has an under current designed to profit the upline at the expense of those they are advising.
For example, upline may teach you to get out of debt and live below your means. While that may seem like good advice, it is rendered meaningless if your sacrifices and savings are spent on purchasing tools. I've recently been following the blog of an IBO who got out of debt by selling his home and cashing out his 401K. I believe he was advised by upline to do this. The sad thing is that I believe he is overspending on tools and products with the savings he realized by wiping out (most of) his debts. The upline likely wants you to live below your means and eliminate debt so your disposable cash can be channeled towards tools. I seriousbly doubt that the hard tool pushers really care whether IBOs profit or not, as long as they buy tools. It is why a failure to progress in business often leads an upline to advise the IBO to buy more tools.
A really interesting piece of advice would be to get into vertical alignment. Which is God = #1, Spouse #2, family #3, job #4 and Amway #5. Yet anytime a conflict comes up with a function or a business meeting, the "priorities" somehow turn out where the Amway meeting becomes #1. Sadly, I have seen some dedicated IBOs miss their kids childhood days chasing the Amway dream and they never earn a net profit. If your upline teaches this, I would urge you to consider keeping Amway at #5 and not reschedule family or church gatherings.
Selling products are vital to running a business, yet many uplines do not place emphasis on this aspect. Many IBOs are taught to self consume products. If this happens, then the only way for IBOs to earn an income is to recruit downline. This borders on the parameters of legal. Also, it creates an artificial need for Amway products. How many former IBOs consistently use 100 to 300 PV? How many current IBOs actually use that much without being taught it? How many of you spent over $100 a month on vitamins? How many if you drank energy drinks or $48 for a case of (perfect) water?
Some uplines also emphasize the "side benefits" of the business such as you being a nicer person, which may or may not be true, depending on the perspective of others. They may say that they are your friends for life, at least until you miss a function. They may claim that Amway saves marriages, while not talking about IBOs who may have divorced BECAUSE of the Amway opportunity. Try this, stop being CORE and see how long some of those lifelong friendships last. Once I stopped being CORE, I never heard a peep from any of my lifelong Amway friends.
Many uplines will teach downline IBOs things that benefit the upline and not the IBOs themselves. If you see or hear some of these ideas or others. I urge you to ask tough questions about why the teaching may be contradictory to the princioples of business or of what they are teaching. If you are taught to get out of debt, I do not believe your savings from doing this should be spent on functions. You should seriously reconsider adding debt to build your business, afterall, you were probably told that the Amway business has little to no risk or overhead. Hold your upline to their promises. Do not allow them to manipulate it for their own benefit.
Good luck to IBOs and prospects, but seriously think about teaching that does not add up.