Monday, January 31, 2011

Dead Or Broke By Age 65?

As an IBO, one thing I constantly heard was that 98% of people will be dead or broke by the age of 65. I recently googled this subject and while it appears that tragically, in the US, almost 10-11% of senior citizens live in poverty. I do find that a sad statistic, but it is a far cry from uplines who convince their downline IBOs that everyone will be dead or broke at retirement age. Here are some excerpts from my research:

" ● For people 65 and older and those 18 to 64, the poverty rate remained statistically unchanged at 9.7 percent and 10.9 percent, respectively. For children younger than 18, the poverty rate increased from 17.4 percent in 2006 to 18.0 percent in 2007."

One reason also given was that people are living longer, thus their resources dry up and they end up having to live on social security or some kind of government assistance. While it's true that there are quite a number of people in this situation, the question is how can becoming an Amwa IBO change this?

Since most IBOs never earn a net profit, I fail to see how you could avoid becoming a statistic by joining Amway. The average IBO, including crown ambassadors, and excluding IBOs who "do nothing" earn an average of $115 a month gross income. Dedicated IBOs who attend functions and purchase other training materials are nearly guaranteed to end up with a net loss.

I know many retired people and most have their homes paid off, and they live rather comfortably. My mother is 68 years old, with no mortgage and she received social security income along with a pension. She also has investments that she draws on when she needs to. She travels several times a year with friends who are also retired and living approximately the same lifestyle. While there are some struggling seniors, many are comfortable in their golden years.

So why do uplines use this tactic? I believe they want to scare people into thinking their best hope is to join Amway and earn residual income. Sadly, most people end up with less time and money as a result. By writing this post, I am hoping that people will plan for their golden years. Save and invest, and perhaps work for a company that has a retirement plan or pension to supplement your retirement years. Now I cannot tell you what the "best" way to prepare for your retirement years, but it is my hope that this post will provoke some thought.

Good luck!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Experience At 4000 PV

I wanted to give people a glimpse into what it was like at the 4000 PV level and what my experience was. Although Amway and WWDB apologists will claim this doesn't happen, or that it doesn't happen anymore, I have reasons to believe that very little has changed in WWDB since I was an IBO. The only major difference was that we did call in and product pick up back then. Apparently, some WWDB leaders still talk about buying homes in cash and teaching the same old stuff.

How many hours per week did I work? I would say up to 30 hours a week was spent on business related issues. Granted, product pick up consumed an entire afternoon and evening, generally on Thursdays. I would have to call in my order to the platinum and then pick up the stuff on Thursday afternoon. Then I had to rush home and distribute the stuff to my downline. My upline platinum was not good at filling orders so it was a real pain. I'd say pick up and associated paperwork costed me maybe 8 hours a week. One good benefit today is that Amway issues the bonuses. In the old days, you as an upline had to do so. (This is an area where I agree that Amway made good progress) I did hear though, that WWDB still has call in and pick up for standing orders and such. If this is true, then they undid the progress that Amway had made. Also, as a up and coming leader, my platinum expected me to absorb some of the cost of returned tools, such as absorbing losses if someone on standing order quit. (Brad Duncan cut a true north tape at the time that basically said IBOs absorb the cost of standing orders for downlines who quit)

As a 4000 pin, I had to show the plan or attend plans for my frontline, if the platinum was showing the plan. I'd say 4 nights per week we showed the plan for a downline or a downline in depth. Of course after the plan, we might "hang out" with downline and have some night owl teaching. Some people call this association or whatever. Depending on the length of the drive, this might take 3-4 hours 4 nights per week. Sometimes it was shorter when you had no shows.

We counseled with downline and upline. I spent some individual time with my upline and also with downline who wanted one on one time to get ideas on how to improve their Amway business. We looked over their group parameters and of course, tools flow. There was a WWDB counseling sheet for this purpose. Looking back, I"m not sure what this really accomplished except for the big pins to know which leaders are selling the most tools.

Then we had open meetings and functions. One local function each month and generally one or two open meetings where a diamond or emerald would show the plan. Of course, my sponsor (platinum) did not feel right unless he augmented our function with his own night owl meetings. We also had three long distance functions on the mainland. These functions were (at the time) called Leadership, Family Reunion and Free Enterprise day. Being from Hawaii, these functions costed me, as a single, at least $1,000 or more for each trip because it was airfare during peak travel times, hotel, rental cars and the function ticket. I hate to think what couples paid.

Because of my status as up and coming leader, I had the privilege of attending special meetings where our diamond would teach or show house plans. I even had the honor or driving the diamond to a house plan. Damn, how can anyone live without such an honor?

For my troubles, I had a business at 4000 PV, with eagle parameters. I was considered a "mover and shaker". Lots of people knew me and my sponsor wanted so badly to break a downline platinum. He sat down with me one afternoon and told me I could really push to platinum and ruby easily if I would only ditch my girlfriend (fiancee' at the time). He told me that he would ditch his wife if the upline diamond told him to do so. He said a single (ruby or higher) could easily attract a lot of eligible women. It was after that meeting when I decided to quit.

I had reached 4000 PV. I was making very little or losing some money because of the tools and functions. I did not see prospects of making money even at platinum and now my upline wanted control of my life. I told my group the truth and all of them quit except 1 or 2 of them who were brainwashed enough to stay involved. That was my story and I have no regrets about my decision to quit. I truly hope this story helps a prospect or a current IBO.

I Wanna Be Rich!

Below, I have posted the lyrics to the song "I Wanna Be Rich". It was a song performed by a group called "Calloway". It was often played at Amway or WWDB functions. Ironically, I believe the group that performed this song was deemed a "one hit wonder". I guess they had one hit song and never hit the top 40 again. I wonder how many diamonds are one hit wonders, making the qualification and never seeing diamond club again? I wonder how many diamonds wish they were "rich"? This past month, many groups experienced a function called Dream Night where the diamonds show off slide shows of mansions, cars and other displayed of wealth. But I wonder how many diamonds can actually sustain that lifestyle with their Amway income? I suspect the answer is little to none. But enjoy the song. It's quite fun!

Cash, cold, that's what I need
Big bill collectors they ring my phone
They bother me when I'm not at home
Ain't go no time to be fooling round
Feet hit the floor, then I get head on down, you see

I want money lots and lots of money
I want the pie in the sky
I want money lots and lots of money
So don't be asking me why

I wanna be rich oh
I wanna be rich oh
I wanna be rich oh
I wanna be rich, full of love, peace and happiness

I want my cake wanna eat it too
I want the stars and the silver moon
I spend my money on lottery
My favourite number is 1 2 3, you see


Every way rich
Love, peace and happiness

I want all the things that lovers do
A pocket full of dreams come true
Even things you cannot find
Want you by my side to keep you satisfied and rich

Here is what we're gonna do
Say oh I say uh uh
Whoooaaa Whoaaaaa
Got to be baby
I just wanna to be rich
I just wanna be, just wanna be
Cause baby


I wanna be rich
You know what I mean baby
I wanna be rich
Everyday and everyway
I wanna be rich, full of love, peace and happiness
Play, honey, there's lots and lots for everyone
Be rich, I wanna be rich

Friday, January 28, 2011

Taking Action Can Curb Criticism

One thing that is certain, based on my blogging experience is that Amway is a highly debatable issue. There are some established critics of Amway, as well as established Amway defenders. The difference between the two however, differ significantly. Most critics point out flaws with the business opportunity and the ineffective training systems. Amway's biggest defenders have at times resorted to personal attacks and side tracking the discussions. One of Amway's biggest defenders was even called a "cyber bully" by an Amway corporate blogger. Many issues are very plain for all to see. I will elaborate on these issues.

The compensation plan is set up for many downline to support a few upline. Many IBOs at the platinum level report that they have approximately 100 downline. This supports the notion that only about 1% of IBOs ever reach platinum, and only a small fraction of 1% ever reach levels above platinum. Thus your realistic chance of reaching platinum is much less than 1% when factoring in people who sign up and do nothing or people who sign up and quickly walk away.

The tools systems are highly ineffective. Not counting people who do nothing, even the most dedicated of IBOs have a less than a 1% chance of achieving any significant income from Amway, even if they do what is advised by upline. This is easy to ascertain when looking at the groups as a whole.

Uplines often abuse their downline financially. There is much evidence that some upline teach bad business practices, for which they are rewarded (tool profit). Some of this bad advice is to buy from yourself, channel any profits into buying more tools, and simply advising a failing IBO to continue to dedicate themselves to the system. Amway defenders make ridiculous claims that these abuses don't exist simply because of a lack of testimonies on the internet by former IBOs. We know that functions across the country may have hundreds of thousands of IBOs who hear the same bad advice, but because of shame or because they were sponsored by family and friends, they walk away and do not share their bad experiences.

Amway is apparently aware of some of these abuses, but there is no visible evidence that abuses have been dealt with in any significant manner. (See Postma Memo or Directly Speaking). Although some measures were taken such as accreditation, these measures appear to be cosmetic. The fact that Amway reported that there are about 4 IBOs to every one customer indicates that they must know that IBOs are not making enough sales to qualify for their bonuses. But I have yet to hear about an IBO who was denied a bonus for not meeting the sales requirement.

These are the real issues. If these issues are addressed, most critics, including myself, will go away. In my informed opinion, Amway doesn't need defenders, they need to look at taking corrective actions.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Do Any "Systems" Work?

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. They hightlight a few "successful" people and put a disclaimer in such as "unique experience" for folks who actually made some money. They do not claim that the income however, is long term sustainable.

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 may, 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. That the system may work for some people, but "your results may vary".

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

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Amway Is Not "Get Rich Quick"?

One of the things upline used to say was that Amway is not "get rich quick". I suppose they say this because most people would more likely think scam if they promoted it that way. But when you stop and think about it, 2-5 years, build it right and you have willable, residual income for like while walking the beaches of the world? That's not get rich quick? Or is ot more of a disclaimer so that the opportunity doesn't sound "too good to be true"? One thing is for sure, even if uplines tell you that it's not get rich quick, it's obvious that IBOs think they will eventually get rich, even if it's not quick.

What most IBOs don't figure out quickly enough, is that they are unlikely to even make a profit, let alone getting rich in Amway. How many of these peoplle exist? Wherea re all of these retired Amway IBOs who built a business in 2-5 years and then walked away from their business and will be collecting a significant residual income for many years to come afterwards? I don't know of a single person who has done this and none of the Amway defenders and zealots I have encountered over the years has been able to supply this information either.

I can acknowledge that Amway is a business opportunity and will definitely take some work to be able to achieve something. But thinking realistically, what business could you actually be able to walk away in 5 years and not work again? More than likely that business doesn't exist, whether it's Amway or not. Say you opened a conventional business. There wouldn't be many scenarios where you could walk away after a number of years. The business would still require work and maintenance. But form some reason, people are mislead to believe that you can do this in Amway where there is a high attrition rate and where your business can only expand by person to person.

Sadly, many of the people who are attracted to the Amway opportunity are often young people looking to get more out of life. They are often ambitious but may lack a means to gain wealth, thus the appeal of the opportunity is there. Unfortunately, these nice young people are more likely to end up channeling their hard earned dollars into standing orders and functions which will almost guarantee that they end up with a net loss. The bottom line is that not only is Amway not get rich quick. The more likely scenario is that your involvement with Amway will very likely be not getting rich at all. A net loss is the most likely result. I challenge anyone to try and prove me wrong on this point.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Who's The Real Loser?

One of the things I recall as an IBO was thinking how sorry I felt for people who were not IBOs because we were all going to be rich and everyone else was a loser. Our upline used to tell us that we were winners - and if you weren't a winner, then obviously, you are a loser. Many times, the term "broke" was attached to the term loser. That was my mindset back then, but having been out of the system more than ten years, I can look back and laugh, realizing that the losers were the ones buying stuff they don't need, stalking people at malls and bookstores, and wasting their time and money on tapes (cds), books and functions.

What goes unnoticed in many cases, is how much time and money really goes down the drain for IBOs who work the system. Your life revolves around the business if you are dedicated and hard core. You are always looking for prospects and people to show the plan to, and you have to rearrange your schedules, or outright skip social or family gatherings because of the neverending number of meetings and functions, many of which teach you nothing about running a profitable business. When I first left the Amway business, I was sort of angry at the time and effort that was wasted, along with the cahs I threw down the crapper.

But after I did finally cut ties with the business and the people associated with it, I got back into a routine of sorts. I focused on my job and after some years of gaining experience and working my way up the corporate ladder, I received some promotions and I am scheduled to be retired before the age of 60 with a decent retirement income and will likely have my home paid off by then. So while I did have to work a dreaded job to be able to retire, pretty much all IBOs are also working a job or business PLUS having to expend their time and money to run their Amway business which has little to no chance of providing a long term stable and significant income. And if I may add, it is the systems such as WWDB or N21 that usually end up costing the IBOs the most money because of things like the functions.

So I will ask the question. Who's the real loser? The person diligently working and saving for their future or the person chasing a dream that is unlikely to materialize? Factoring in the expenditure of time also makes the systems even more costly than it appears on the surface.


Financial Freedom! That was one of the major battle cries when I was recruited for the Amway business. You gain control of time and money by creating residual or passive income. That is true financial freedom. You wake up at noon, no job, and just do whatever you please, whenever you please. I remember the speaker saying that broke/unemployed people also had freedom, but it was different because they were broke and could not afford to go golfing or do other activities that required money on a regular basis.

I am assuming that this is still the case for many IBOs. Of course, upline leaders may toss in a disclaimer that you don't get rich quick as an IBO, but the pitch apparently still contains the financial freedom and residual income theme, based on my experiences with IBOs. IBOs still think they will be rich. Also, 2-5 years sounds like "get rich quick" to me.

But hey, financial freedom would be a great thing, don't get me wrong. Who wouldn't want to be 35 years old with enough cash to never have to work again? I mean I could spend some time imagining how fun that would be. It would also be fun to imagine what you would do with all the cash if you hit the powerball lottery as well. But for the starry eyed IBOs, I simply have a few questions for you to ponder. A few realistic questions that you should be asking yourself. The answers to these questions will tell you a lot.

1. Who in your group or upline truly has achieved financial freedom? Have you seen their financials or simply a display of wealth such as mansions and fancy cars? Mansions and fancy cars could just be a massive pile of debt. Not too long ago, there apparently were diamonds who had their homes foreclosed, and a triple diamond who was in bankruptcy proceedings. Find out if anyone in your group/upline has actually achieved the success that they are using to recruit you. Also, if they are financially free, why do they work at function after function? Traveling and speaking might not be a traditional job, but it is still work, nonetheless.

2. Even if you find someone who is retired and golfing everyday because of Amway residual income, ask yourself what the likelihood is that you will be able to achieve the same results. If diamonds are still working, what chance do you have of success if you are new or experienced in Amway, and have few or no downline. More than likely, your chance of winning the lottery will be greater than your chance of achieving a significant residual income from your Amway business. Also, I don't know of any Amway retirees who built their business once and walked away with any significant residual income from Amway. Do you?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Where Are The Amway Retirees?

I have heard or read that Amway has something like 3 million IBOs worldwide and several hundreds of thousands of IBOs in the US and Canada. Over 50 plus years, Amway must have had tens of millions of IBOs. One of the selling points that many people use in promoting Amway is how you can build your business once (and right) and walk away from the business and collect residual income forever, willable to your future generations and recession proof. At least that's how it was presented, and still apparently presented these days.

What I find extremely odd is how these Amway retirees seem to vanish off the face of the earth. I mean the diamonds either quit, resign, or continue to work. Even all the crown ambassasdors are still working. Seems odd that someone can have the option of walking away from their Amway business while boatloads of cash keep rolling in. Freedom to golf, travel, have fun and do anything you want, whenever you feel like it. But why do diamonds quit or resign? Why don't any of the big pins exercise the option to walk away? Various defenders of Amway claim there are many people who have excerised this option but nobody has been able to name ever a few of them. Keep in mind that the folks making this claim are likely lying or making it up because only Amway would know who is getting paid, although Amway wouldn't know what kind of effort was made to maintain the business. In other words, claims of people building an Amway business and then collecting significant residual income is a claim that cannot be substantiated, not even by Amway. And I will say this: Amway doesn't advertise this as an IBO benefit. Current IBOs and prospects should think long and hard about this.

I know of retired firefighters, teachers, lawyers, doctors, government workers, accountants, business owners and just about any occupation you can think of. A friend of mine recently retired from a construction material salesman position. Most of them have their homes paid off, and live comfortably on pensions, savings and other assets and investments. They are not dead or broke by age 65. Sure I do know of some people who are around the age of 65 who are not doing as well financially, but none of them are starving, needing government assistance or working at WalMart out of necessity. I believe ths is a scare tactic used by Amway promoters who want you to think that your only hope for financial security is by running an Amway business. Sadly, for most, the result is net losses because of the "systems".

I've asked before, I'll ask again. 50 plus years, possibly tens or hundreds of millions of IBOs. Where are these Amway IBO retirees? Do they actually exist or are they as legendary as the Sasquatch?

Amway Makes Me "Nicer"?

Many IBOs "think" they have become nicer people as a result of their association with other IBOs and because a part of the system they are with advises them to read self help books. They are also taught that as a side benefit of the Amway business, that they are nicer people. Of course, many IBOs mistakenly think that they started a business not to make money, but to become "nicer".

I certainly agree that some people can benefit from positive books and association with others, but for many, it is not a genuine "nicer" person, but simply a phony personna that is put on in order to recruit potential Amway downlines. That is how my former sponsor appeared to me. Because I had known him for a long time, the "nicer" looked as phony as phony can be. There are many examples of phony niceness that some IBOs profess. Even Amway's biggest defender was apparently called a "cyber bully" by an Amway corporate blogger and some others for making disparaging comments about those with opposing views. Others have resorted to calling people broke or losers simply because they did not agree that Amway was their savior.

On this very blog, there are comments, I assume by IBOs, that make implied or subtle threats. Some of these comments are not subtle at all. In fact, in my blogging experience, it is usually the IBOs and Amway defenders that resort to name calling. I suspect that is because the facts are on the side of the Amway critics. For example, it is a fact that most IBOs never make a dime, even if you don't count the ones who "do nothing". If you look at system IBOs, then the vast majority never make enough to pay their voicemail expenses.

Even the coveted diamond level appears to be a facade, especially seeing diamonds quit, resign and simply walk away from the business without the lifelong passive income. A recent triple diamond's bankruptcy revealed some financials and it wasn't all that impressive considering the size of his business plus longevity in the business.

So IBOs, are you a nicer person? Is it evident by your words and actions? It doesn't appear to be very clear to me, especially IBOs such as David Steadson or Bridgett Baron. :-)

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Reality Of Being An IBO?

One of the things that keeps some IBOs going is the "harsh reality". What I mean by that is for some IBOs, once you have been in Amway for a while, it can be hard to quit. You were possibly recruited with dreams of lifelong residual income and walking on all of the exotic beaches of the world. Retiring young and spending that time with your wife and family. To quit means an IBO would have to face the reality that these dreams will not come true, at least not with the Amway busines. The fact is that the Amway opportunity probably would not have delivered those dreams anyway. Even a diamond more than likely cannot afford those dreams. In fact I would estimate that most diamonds, if they flaunt some excessive lifestyle, are near broke or in heavy debt as a diamond income cannot sustain a jetset lifestyle, save for a founders crown ambassador or something similar. I believe the prominent WWDB triple diamond bankruptcy shed a lot of light into the finances of an upper level pin and it wasn't as impressive as I would have thought.

But what really is the harsh reality? It's working hard only to drift between 100 and 500 PV. It's finally sponsoring a new IBO only to have a downline quit. It's talking to people about Amway and getting laughed at or getting rejected. It's your upline or sponsor pushing you to do more. Possibly your upline is one who questions your manhood if you aren't working hard enough. It's your upline or sponsor reminding you that a winner doesn't miss functions, especially the major ones. It's staying up late for team meetings or nite owls when you need a good nite's rest to do your job the next day. It's driving the miles to show a plan, only to have your prospect not show up. It's having to be deceptive about what you are doing. It's skipping functions with family and friends so you can be core to the business.

As IBOs, do you see any of this? I saw some of this during my involvement. While I have not been an IBO in some years now, I still see many testimonies and comments by more current and even some active IBOs to indicate that a lot of this still goes on. While Amway defenders will deny it, I see no reason why any of this would have changed over the years since Amway has made no significant changes to stop abusive uplines. If Amway did make any changes, they are not immediately apparent and the continuous string of comments and testimonies do not confirm that any clean up has been done.

For active IBOs or prospects, these are the harsh realities that may be attached with the Amway oppportunity. Much of it is because of motivational groups such as WWDB, but if you are seeing these traits in your group, ask the tough questions. If you happen to decide that the Amway opportunity is not for you, take heart! There are other ways to achieve your financial goals and dreams and there are moe efficent ways out there. Sometimes, quitting something that isn't working is a wise business decisions and sometimes you can lose more by not quitting. Good luck in whatever you decide.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fake It Till You Make It?

One of the things I distinctly remember being taught at a function was to fake it till you make it. This was to give the impression of being successful. It was said that you are going to be successful so you may as well act the part. I believe this is taught today as well. IBOs like to make an impression on prospects so the want to appear successful. It is also a part of why IBOs wear suits. They want everyone to be under the impression that they are in a multi million dollar business. Guess what? WalMart is a multi billion dollar business but their employees don't wear suits!

What I find really interesting about this is that I honestly believe the biggest fakers are probably the diamonds. This past month, all over the country, there were functions called "Dream Night". A function with a sit down dinner where the diamonds and other Amway heroes show off slide shows of mansions, jets sports cars, golf club memberships, fabulous vacations, and shopping sprees. I honestly believe that many of the diamonds are the biggest fakers out there. A diamond income, which seems big, and supplemented with tools income, most likely cannot sustain the lifestyles portrayed in these functions. Simple math bears it out.

A dismond income, even with tool income might be $250 or $300K. While that mey seem huge comapred to a working stiff who eanrs %40K or $50K per year, keep in mind that a diamond business has many expenses. How much do you think it would cost a (diamond) family of four (4) to travel to say 5 or 6 functions, first class? How much of that income goes to taxes? I challenge IBOs to sit down and figure this out. After taxes, medical insurance and business expenses are taken into consideration, I would guess that a diamond lives a middle class lifestyle. Amway advocates will argue that this is sans a 9-5 jobm but an Amway business needs constant attention as IBOs up and quit every day. Some who do sign up never do a thing. Replacing IBOs is a neverending task. It is why you do not see or hear of any diamonds who "walked away" to collect residual income forever and ever.

Here's another take on fake it till you make it. Isn't this simply lying and hoping you will one day succeed?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Your Amway Business And Tax Returns?

I always get a kick when IBOs talk about how they get bigger tax refunds because of their Amway business. To me, a bigger tax refund is most likely the result of suffering losses in Amway. If you did not have a job and taxes withheld from your paycheck, and your only revenue was from Amway, you could only break even at best with no tax return, unless Amway corporation was withholding taxes for you. Most IBOs have jobs and their bigger tax refund is very likely because they reduced their tax liability by losing money in their Amway business.

It might be a good idea for IBOs to consult with a tax professional because they are likely assuming that anything associated with their Amway business is a legitimate tax deduction. In the past, many IBOs who were audited by the IRS had tax deductions disallowed because the deductions claimed by the IBOs were not seen as legitimate deductions by the IRS. Look at functions for example. They can be seen as a social event rather than a business convention. Did your business grow as a result of that function? Did your sales increase? For many IBOs, the answer is "no" and that could mean that your deduction is not a legitimate one. When you hear a standing order about some guy who was down and out but never quit and later went diamond. A nice and touching story, but did your sales increase as a result of that cd? If not, it may not be a legitimate deduction. The IRS is not in the business of handing out deductions because the expense was related to your Amway business. More than likely, you need to show that your expenses somehow helped to increase your business. As I said, it is probably wise for IBOs to seek tax advice from a tax professional rather than blindly following your upline's advice.

But IBOs, please do not try to fool everyone into thinking that you have a profitable Amway business if you are reconciling your taxes at the end of the year and then getting a larger tax refund as a result of your Amway business profits. You are more than likely gaining a bigger tax refund because your lost money running your Amway business and the business losses reduces your tax liability from the income you earned from your job. If you were making some money in Amway, after subtracting expenses, you would have to pay more taxes, at least in the US. The more you make, the more Uncle Sam takes. All too often I have seen IBOs brag about their profits from their Amway business and in the same breath, they talk about getting a bigger tax refund. It doesn't add up.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Less Than A 1% Chance Of Success?

Many people consider the platinum level in Amway as a significant achievement in Amway. While it may be nice to achieve that level and gain recognition from the Amway corporation, I will point out that there was a study done in Wisconsin where the attorney general analyzed and found that platinums on average, lost money. The study is somewhat dated, but I will also point out that today, there are MORE expenses associated with running an Amway business than before. (Voicemail, books, functions, standing orders, shipping). I would guess that it's possible that platinums lose more today than when the Wisconsin study was done.

A typical platinum group often has 100 ore more downline IBOs. Thus a logical conclusion is that less than 1% of IBOs can reach that level. It is also, apparently rare to maintain that level. My former upline diamond had 7 frontline platinums in his heyday. Actually, 6 of them were ruby level. None of them hold the platinum level today. So you have a less than 1% chance of reaching platinum and then you are unlikely to be able to maintain that level.

What serious prospective business owner would even consider opening a business where you have such a tiny chance of success? Even those who achieve platinum are likely to lose that level. If platinums cannot maintain their level, then it's easy to see why there are former diamonds as well. It seems that people are willing to take a chance on an Amway business because the start up cost is low. But what is the point of doing all of that when the chance of making money is negligible?

To compound the problem, many IBOs spend a lot of time and money building an Amway business that is unlikely to give them any return on their investment. I'd guess that the average serious IBO would spend $250 a month of more on tools. That money invested over a number of years in mutual funds would give you a much better chance of achieving some dreams. Even putting the money in the bank would make you better off than the vast majority of IBOs. A serious business owner would want to know their realistic chance of making money. For some strange reason, prospects and IBOs seem to ignore this reality.

It is because uplines are in the business of selling tools and distributorships. They are not truly interested in your long term sustainable success. If you don't believe me, try to stop purchasing standing orders and function tickets and see how much longer you are edified and given help from upline. Seriously, would a real business owner be interested in a less than 1% chance of success?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Getting Rich In Amway?

So many IBOs apparently get involved in Amway because they are under the impression that one day they will get rich. That much is clear. The uplines are smart enough, though, to say the right thing such as Amway is not gt rich quick. By doing this, the new IBOs or prospects can think they are in a legitimate business because they have been told it is not a get rich quick scheme. In fact they may even be told that Amway is hard work. But the bottom line is that they must have been told they will eventually get rich or that they willl make it if they will only follow the system.

By saying that Amway is not get rich quick, the upline can also hook you into the tools systems for several years. They will say you need tools, just as a carpenter needs a saw and a hammer. But an Amway IBO's role is simple. Sell products, buy products, sponsor downline. You wouldn't need a 500 page manual and a bunch of cds to learn how to turn on a television would you? Yet so many people get sucked into functions and standing orders under the false idea that these are investments into your business. But still, people will do this because they have been sold on the idea that they will eventually get rich in Amway. 2-5 years to achieve financial freedom seems like a get rich scheme to me.

I may be repeating some of these questions ad nauseum but it should reveal an answer that IBOs and prospects need. Where are the people who built their business right in 2-5 years and chose the option of walking away and njoying financial freedom while the money keeps rolling in? In over 50 years of existence, I don't know of anyone, save for Amway's owners, who can walk away and have significant income. Also, If this were an IBO benefit, why doesn't Amway list this as a benefit? Maybe it doesn't exist?

Do you really believe that all the diamonds could be anywhere in the world with anyone they choose, but they simply choose to be at your function because they love you? Isn't it more likely that all those diamonds at your function are there because they love your money (from ticket sales)? Seriously, if all the diamonds could be walking the beaches of the world with unlimited money rolling in, I'm sure some of them would choose that option instead of being in Edmonton or Portland for a Dream Night in January.

If you believe you truly will get rich in Amway, remember that Amway says the average active IBO earns $115 a month. If you do get rich in Amway one day, you;ll have many downline losing money in order for you to be successful. Can you get rich in Amway? For most I seriously doubt it. You are more likely to fill your garage with stuff and lose money from attending functions than the possibility of getting rich in a person to person business.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Compelling Evidence Against The "Systems"

It is my observation that people who join Amway usually end up losing money in the end. They may get involved to make a few bucks or because they are mistakenly led to believe that they will become millionaires in Amway in 2-5 years. I know my sponsor convinced me that we would be millionaires in a few years. These folks who recruit new IBOs into Amway are often associated with a "system" such as Worldwide Dreambuilders (WWDB)or Network 21 (N21). These system promoters, often diamonds, may mislead the recruits by showing them pictures of mansions or other luxuries, implying that they attained these goods with their Amway business. In many cases, it is a deception, especially when we know for a fact that some diamond leaders who proclaimed that they only make cash purchases, had their homes foreclosed. Without the hype, I am sure there would be fewer sign ups. But what is the evidence?

It is simple. Amway reports that the average active IBO earns about $115 a month in gross income. This average includes diamonds and other higher end IBOs. I believe if you calculated the median, the average would be much lower.

But what makes IBOs operate at a loss is the system expenses. The system generally consists of voicemail, standing orders, cds, functions, books and other materials. An average business building IBO might spend an average of $250 a month or so on these expenses. Amway defenders like to decry the amount, but there are couples who would likely spend more and IBOs who must travel by air to functions would spend more. Single IBOs who buy only the minimum might spend a bit less. Some IBOs with abusive uplines might spend much much more than $250 a month on tools. I believe my former sponsor probably spent easily an average of $1000 a month on average. (I am from Hawaii so the average cost of functions is greater due to long distance travel)

Thus if the average IBO earns $115 a month but the same average IBO spends $250 a month on tools, the average active IBO is losing $135 a month, with lower level IBOs (i.e. 100 PV) would lose more.

Look at a group of 100 IBOs at 100 PV. (This is just a model). If a 100 business building IBOs average $250 a month on tools, they as a group would expend $25,000 a month on tools. Their volume would be 10,000 PV, or about 30,000 BV. This would generate about $7500 in bonuses per month. Thus this group spent $25,000 to learn and be motivated while the group splits up $7500 a month in bonuses. The platinum would get the lion's share of the bonus but most of the rest of the group will suffer net losses. As the group grows, the bonus may grow, but so will their expenditures on tools.

The only way the group can make money as a whole is to avoid participation in the tools altogether. The evidence is right here with simple math. The systems do not work because the cost of the system is likely to consume all of the Amway generated bonuses and more. I gladly challenge anyone to explain in detail how this post is not reflective of the reality of being in Amway and a system such as WWDB or Network21.

The facts speak for themselves.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Crabs In A Pot?

Another funny story told by my uplines, and apparently still told today is the story of the crabs in a pot. That crabs will prevent other crabs who want to escape the pot by pulling them back in or pulling them down. The story goes that people in the working world also do this, by stepping on others to get ahead. I've never actually seen for myself if crabs actually pull each other down if one of them tries to escape, but I suppose it might be true. I do know of some people who will do anything to get ahead and they can be ruthless.

But the people who are willing to sacrifice others to get ahead do not appear to the the majority, but the exception. Many people are willing to work a career job and maybe over time, they move up the corporate ladder. Many people do this without having to "pull people down" in order to succeed. I believe this crab in the pot is just another ploy by uplines to get IBOs to think that their friends and family, by warning them of the potential perils of Amway, are just crabs pulling you back into the pot. It simply isn't true. Think about it, why are there so many negative stories and experiences floating around out there about Amway and the tool systems? Why is there a lack of new success continuosly emerging fro Amway? Who do diamonds quit or walk away from the business under unfriendly terms? Where are all the people who retired and walk the beaches of the world? Why do crown ambassadors keep working?

Maybe the success you think there is in Amway simply doesn't exist. Let me repeat. Maybe the success you were led to believe exists in Amway, just isn't there. Amway's been around more than 50 years. Why can't anyone name a dozen or so people who built their Amway business once, then walked away, collecting significant income since? I wonder why Amway doesn't advertise this as a benefit of being an IBO?

Speaking of crabs in a pot. Ever wonder why all these virtuous diamonds break away from their beloved mentors to form their own groups? Ever wonder why there are countless issues of diamonds suing diamonds over tool income? If the money coming in is uncountable, why can't these diamonds come to a peaceful agreement? Why use lawyers which many diamonds talk about a evil because lawsuits are often about getting something for nothing.

Maybe it is the diamonds themselves who are crabs in the pot, all pulling each other down whenever one of them is on the verge of success?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How To Boil A Frog?

One of the stories my upline used to tell, and I believe is still told today is how to boil a frog. Basically, the idea is that you can't just drop a frog in hot water, they will react and jump out of the pot. You need to place them in cool water, and the little by little, raise the temperature. When the water gets warmer and warmer, the frog will slowly relax and their muscles will get so relaxed that eventually when you start to boil the water, the frog will basically be paralyzed and will cook. Of course this story isn't really true since a frog would likely have to be gutted and cleaned before cooking, but hey, I get the point.

Now uplines used this story to relate to a man in the working world. Where you get into a routine and you go to work, pay your bills, take your annual vacation, raise your kids, etc. Next thing you know you are close to age 60, close to retirement and you realize you don't have enough money. The sad result they say, is senior citizens working at WalMart, working jobs because they have to. While I suppose some senior citizens might be financially strapped for money, there are many many people I know of who live quite comfortably. Their homes are paid off, they take trips every other month and do not have any apparent financial problems. I know a few senior citizens who do volunteer work to keep busy, and some who do part time work at something they enjoy. For example, I know of a guy who works 2 days a week at a local golf course and in addition to a pay check, he receives free golf on weekdays. That's a great benefit!

So while uplines relate having a job to boiling a frog, what goes unnoticed is that IBOs are the frogs being boiled. Many newbies might be told that meetings are optional, and tools are optional. Your sponsor or upline might even loan you cds. They may even give you some of theirs. If you show signs of interest, then the temperature of your water is being raised. You might be told that a serious business owner buys their own cds, or that a serious business owner attends "all" functions and meetings. At first, it will seem like you are simply doing what is necessary in order to succeed. It's all an investment into the 2-5 year plan and you're likely to be assured of success. Your upline might even edify you if you are sold out to the system, and/or if you bring in some downline. Then like the analogy of the frogs, your water is now boiling. You have reached the crossroads.

You have already put in some serious time and effort. You more than likely have not made any serious money, and certainly not even enough to cover your standing order, voicemail, functions and other expenses. If you quit, you will have wasted all that time and effort and expense, but at the same time, if you continue, you are likely to be throwing more money in the pit. It is at this point that most serious business people end up quitting, thus cutting their losses. For some of the hard core, they press on. A rare few may end up going platinum or higher, but the vast majority will end up losing possibly tens of thousands of dollars, not including the money spent on purchases. Your upline has successfully put you in a pot, got you to relax and then boiled you alive.

My former sponsor and some of his downline are still active. From 1994 or so until now, fully CORE, dedicated to the system. My former sponsor reached the platinum level back in 1997 or so. He has never been Q12. He is a physician and because of functions, he probably closes his practice an extra day each month. It is my guess that he has lost more than $500,000 in lost wages, and expenditures for cds, functions, and other training materials. Last I heard my former sponsor was at the 2500 level or so and he had sponsored over 100 downline during his time.

How do you boil a frog? You sponsor them and sell them tools.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How To Silence A Critic?

Over the years I have been blogging, I've had threats, insults and personal attacks against me ad nauseum. One site visitor, from Scarborough Canada, continues to visit this site even after having left threats on this blog more than once. IBOfightback aka David Steadson and his creepy sidekick Bridgett Baron, continue to attack and accuse me of running all the anti Amway blog on the internet under fake personnas. Of course they are wrong but just won't admit it. They of course, have no evidence of this, just as no IBO that I know of has ever produced evidence that they make a net profit in Amway after factoring in business expenses.

Of course I realize that some IBOs make money. Some of them make a lot of money. It is my contention that the vast majority of IBOs do not operate with a net profit if they are participating in the "system", which consists of standing orders, functions, voicemail, books and other motivational and training materials. Simple math can bear this out. But for some reason, many rank and file IBOs continue to make claims that they are making a nice living from their Amway business without supplying any evidence. Most cannot even anecdotally describe the parameters of their business. I get a kick when an IBO talks about the big tax refund they received because of their invoilvement in the Amway business. (If you actually made money, a big refund is unlikely. More likely your losses gave you more deductibles against the income tax withheld from your job income).

But an honest question for IBOs and Amway defenders/ How can you silence a critic? Simple answer - tranparency. Let's see a higher up pin opne their books. I'm not talking about all of their intimate tax details and personals, I'm talking only about their Amway income and expenses. Not a single site visitor has ever been able to show evidence that they actually have customers and downline, resulting in a net profit after the tools expenses were factored in. Instead they refer to copies of someone's diamond bonus or some other silly means of displaying "proof" that the Amway business works for them. Even claims about lifelong residual and willable income are made, but nobody can name any of these folks who walked off into the sunset and continue to collect significant incomes from Amway. IBOfightback aka David Steadson claims that over the years, hundred of thousands of people at some point in time, made a full time income and more. When this question was posed to Amway corporation, their representative said that Amway could not substantiate this claim.

Many critics are simply sharing their experiences and view points on Amway. Because of some unethical leaders, some bad business practices were taught and then executed by downline, such as deceiving people about the Amway opportunity. Or about faking income claims, apparently to make IBOs look more successful than they really are. That's because most IBOs are not successful. The business plan bears this out. In 6-4-2 or whatever version your group shows, there is always a layer of majority IBOs who make little income, thus netting a loss when factoring in expenses. The IBOs justify this by claiming that they will eventually be rich. There is no factual evidence to suggest a diamond is all that wealthy. Picture of mansions and cars don't convince me.

How to silence a critic? Transparency.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bring It On!

My good friend, aka Anonymous from Scarborough Canada has resurfaced. He is still vilifying jobs and singing the praises of Amway. Ahd he's certainly welcome to his (misguided) opinion. This particular anon has been visiting Joecool's blog for more than 3 years now. That is more than enough time to have made something out of an Amway business. So anon from Canada, why don't you once and for all prove it? Your idle threats and false income claims haven't shut down Joecool's blog.

In fact, the IBOs and Amway defenders who exaggerate income claims do more damage to Amway's reputation than any critic. Many critics are generally sharing their experience, which often includes talking about the wacko things their former upline did. What I find absolutely comical is when an Amway defender will say that a critic's experience is old, or that their LOS doesn't do that. Then bingo, like clockwork you often find some IBO on a forum talking about the very thing that was denied. For example, a creepy Amway defender, Bridgett Baron swears that her beloved WWDB is reformed and that they are different now than from a dozen years ago. Then I stumble onto a WWDB IBO blog who sees the Duncans at functions and he (the IBO) talks about buying a home in cash and that WWDBers have a 2% divorce rate compared to 60% for the rest of the world. It never fails.

So IBOs, I say bring it on. But if you bring claims, I challenge you to back them up. Where is the money you claim is there? Where are these individuals who are no longer involved with Amway but continue to live large off residual income? If they are out there, why can't anyone name a new? How come none of the crown ambassadors have exercised the option of walking away and collecting income? Why doesn't Amway advertise residual and willable income if that really was a benefit of being an IBO? Why do people have to justify high prices and allegedly better quality? Why aren't there more customers for these top grade products? Why do people have to be tricked into attending meetings? Why did some WWDB diamonds have their homes foreclosed? Why do Amway defenders make things personal by attacking the messenger instead of the message? Why is there no unbiased documented success if the system is proven?

For information seekers, I hope this message gives you an alternative viewpoint, and that you can see the questions that are shrouded in secrecy. I hope this message gives you food for thought. That your thought process will be stimulated if you are thinking about getting involved in Amway or another MLM. Until I see evidence that things are actually changing for the better, Joecool's blog will exist.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why Most IBOs Fail

Over the years, there must have been tens of millions of IBOs who had some experience with Amway. Obviously, not all of these folks got involved in a system or had the intention of trying to make millions of dollars. But looking at the business as a whole, the number of people who make a significant income from Amway is a tiny fraction of 1%. If a typical platinum has about 100 IBOs in a group, then you can conclude that platinum is in the top 1% of all IBOs. And we know that many IBOs quit and go through the business each year. The attrition rate can be staggering for bigger pins who need to keep working to replace those who quit.

But the question that seems to be ignored is why so many IBOs end up failing? Now for the sake of this discussion, let's exclude IBOs who do nothing and quit. Let's talk about IBOs who make an earnest effort. Often, the serious IBOs will be on the system consisting of voicemail, standing order, functions, books and other meetings. These all come at a cost, therefore, IBOs need to make several hundred dollars a month just to break even. Amway reports that the average income of active IBOs is $115 a month. Therefore, the average business building IBO is operating at a loss.

Let's look at some of the reasons why IBOs cannot succeed. In general, Amway product pricing is higher than local big box retailers. Amway pays bonuses, therefore the bonus payout is included in the price of the products. I suppose a platinum gets a good deal, being at the 25% level, but a platinum is in the top 1% of IBOs. The majority of the rest receive a paltry 3% which leaves them at a loss when business expenses are factored in.

Past IBO abuse and past IBO behavior makes it nearly impossible, at least in North America, to find potential downline IBOs and customers. Seems everyone knows of someone who was tricked into an Amway meeting or was deceived about Amway in some manner. I believe Amway has seen a decline in sales in North America, with foreign countries being responsible for any current growth in business.

Another factor is that IBOs are taught by uplines to engage in too many activities that do not produce income. Attending meetings, listening to cds, reading books and other functions cost the IBO money. They do not result in more sales to customers. These non income producing activities seem to be the majority of an IBO's activities, thus it's easy to see why so many IBOs fail. While system leaders claim that their system works, there is no reasonable evidence to support this claim. Just the fact that new diamonds and emeralds are so rare these days suggest that the system, with their severly limited success is producing less success these days.

All told, an IBO's chance of succeeding in earning long term sustainable income is so tiny that IBOs seriously would be better off buying lottery tickets instead of buying tools such as standing orders and function tickets. At least buying lottery tickets would not use up 10-15 hours per week of your time, and your chance of winning is about the same. The system doesn't work, it is why most IBOs fail.

P.S. Joecool's blog just celebrated their 100,000th visitor just yesterday, in 2 years of business!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Control Of Time And Money?

One of the things that uplines do when recruiting new IBOs is to talk about how jobs are dead end, that someday you may be fired, that you have no control of a job, or that you are never paid what you are worth. They convince you that working a job is a crime and tha your boss probably works the longest hours. They may even say that those who make good money working a job often works so much that they don't have time to enjoy it. My former upline used to say that true freedom is the control of time and money. .

What I was also told that that in the real world, generally the guys who have enough money are usually so busy working that they don't have time. Or that a broke guy who's got time on his hands is broke so he can't do much of anything. That's when they would convince prospects that only through Amway can you have both. You can have both time and money. You build it right and build it once, and the (Amway) business will pay you for the rest of your life. That's how it was presented to me and looking back, it was a total lie. I have a challenge for any IBO or Amway defender. Amway's been around for more than 50 years. Can anyone name a dozen people who have actually built an Amway business and then stopped workig it but continued to collect a significant income that was actually passed onto their heirs? Can anyone name even one or two? Keep in mind that tens of millions of people have come and gone through the business. Also keep in mind that Amway doesn't make these claims. Maybe someone should ask Amway?

It makes me wonder why crown ambassadors don't even walk away and collect money forever. These crown ambassadors are all old and have been around forever yet they continue to work their groups and attend all the functions. Sure, maybe their day to day lives aren't as busy as a 9-5 employee with young kids, but still it makes me wonder why not even double diamonds and above (as far as I know) have exercised the option to walk away and enjoy mountains of residual cash rolling in. I also wonder why there are stories of diamonds quitting and resigning if there was an option to walk away and enjoy lifelong residual income. We also know that diamonds fall out of qualification and we know that many platinums fall out of quallification, providing ample evidence that an Amway business is unstable and that without constant attention, your business is likely to fall apart.

Let me close with this. We know that a typical platinum business has about 100 or more downline IBOs. That doesn't include those who quit. Thus a platinum is already in the top 1% of all Amway businesses and that platinums might not even make that much net income when considering that platinums have many expenses which may include eating losses on tools refunds for the upline diamonds.

Yes, true financial freedom is having complete control of time and money. The problem is that very few people ever achieve financial freedom but it would appear that even fewer Amway business owners achieve that same financial freedom because of the Amway opportunity. Also, showing pictures of mansions and sports cars is not proof of financial freedom.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

How To Make Money In Amway

One of the secrets that most IBOs don't figure out about Amway is how the money is made. This is because your upline probably hasn't been forthcoming about their secrets. Tens or maybe close to a hundred million people over the years have seen the Amway plan either at a coffee shop, someone's living room, or maybe in a convention center or hotel ballroom. In my day, Amway was promoted as a way to make money and save money. I doubt that this has changed very much over the years.

But let's get real. Do you really think you can get rich selling basically vitamins and household products person to person and to your family and friends? I would venture a guess that many people struggle to meet the 100 PV minimum defacto quota. And that 100 PV bracket is likely to get you a whopping $10 bonus. Apologists will claim that it's $10 more than you get from Walmart or Costco. Let's examine that. If I spend $300 at Walmart or Costco, my cashback credit card gives me about $3.00. Not a lot, but still I am "paid" to shop. Next, I can get 36 rolls of kirkland toilet paper for $11.99. If you buy meadowbrook toilet paper, I am already ahead of you in overall savings and that doesn't include the savings from other common or similar products. Never mind the time you spend fnding customers and downline, plus the expenses associated with running a business. Obviously you won't likely mae a lot of money selling products person to person.

So how do these diamonds earn what appears to be a sizable income? The answer is simple. They sell voicemail, premiere club membership, standing orders, book, seminar and opne meeting tickets and other materials. While a rare individual may actually move up the ranks to become an emerald or diamond once in a while, the rest of the rank and file IBOs end up with a net loss directly attributable to the purchase of these tools. Selling tools to a group of thousands can be a huge source of income and might be able to sustain the sports cars and other luxuries that are shown off.

The very sad, and often unseen reality though, is that the system doesn't work. It never did apparently work and there is no documented unbiased evidence that the system does anything to help Amway business owners to succeed and thrive. If it did, there should be new diamonds emerging every month. In North America, there were maybe a handful of new diamonds in the last ten years or so, give or take a few. But no steady progression of success. Instead, the same old tired diamonds are still on stage selling their wares (tools), with little notable success growing beneath them.

Can someone make money in Amway? The answer is yes. But the truth is that you can earn much much more selling tools. Amway defenders like to say "anyone" can succeed in Amway. To that I say "anyone" can win the powerball lottery. While Amway is not a game of chance, there have been more powerball lottery winners in the US than new diamonds in Amway. And powerball lottery winners did far less work.

Friday, January 7, 2011

False Income Claims?

One of the things I have seen over and over from IBOs and Amway enthusiasts were either false income claims or unsubstantiated income claims. I have yet to see any IBO be forthcoming about their Amway income versus their business expenses. We know that some diamonds teach that they pay for homes in cash. Some of these diamonds were embarrassed when their homes were FORECLOSED! I've also seen IBOs run past a blog saying they are new but earning $6000 a month or other nonsense like that.

What IBOs and information seekers should be aware of is if the information did not come from Amway, then you should verify the truthfulness of that information. For example, Amway doesn't claim that they are a franchise opportunity, or that they are potential source of residual and willable income. While these would be great benefits to enjoy, Amway doesn't promote them. If Amway doesn't promote these benefits, they may not exist. Sadly, systems such as WWDB or Network 21 may promote these questionable claims.

Here's a great example of a questionable claim by Amway's most famous internet defender:
Entry #92 - IBOFightback

"There are hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have made full-time incomes and more with a part-time Amway business, including many millionaires."

Here's an Amway rep's response:

Cindy Droog
January 7, 2011 at 09:27

1. This claim would not be possible for us to capture or substantiate, given that people’s definition of “full-time income replacement” varies so widely around the world, even within the borders of the same country

IBOs and information seekers, beware of false claims about Amway!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

IBOs Are Doomed For Failure

Even though diamonds and big pins in Amway like to show off fancy material goods such as sports cars and mansions, the vast majority of rank and file IBOs will never get close to attaining those kinds of trappings. In fact, once an IBO agrees to get on standing order and to attend functions, that IBO is more than likely doomed for failure. Most business building IBOs don't even make enough income to cover the expense of their voicemail subscription. When you take a look at the Amway business presentation, you will see that maost IBOs who qualify for a bonus will earn something like $10 a month. Thus all those lower level IBOs are guaranteed a net loss by participating in the system.

One could argue that simply consuming 100 PV would put you at a loss, except that technically, it's not really a business expense. But it can be a business expense if you are buying products just to familiarize yourself with the products and/or to reach your PV bracket. In other words if you are buying stuff that you don't need in the name of earning a bonus. I had a fellow crossline IBO who actually went and purchased 1000 PV in a month because our upline diamond had a 1000 pin playday and this IBO had no downline. Thus he likely purchased most of if not all of that 1000 PV by himself.

Because of a spotty Amway reputation and the fact that it's very hard to sponsor downline and get retail customers, most IBOs will be doomed for failure once they sign on to become IBOs. Their problems and financial losses mount and get exponentially worse once they agree to sign on and dedicate themselves to the system. While the system expenses may seem benign at first, IBOs often find that losses can reach or exceed tens of thousands of dollars in a relatively short period of time.

In my opinion, what makes all of this so sickening and somewhat even evil is that an IBO or prospect will be told that the system is proven. That you are practically guaranteed success by following the system. Then after spending thousands of dollars and not making a dime, these same IBOs might be told that they are at fault for not making it big in Amway. That failure is the fault of the IBO. Or that the IBO did not follow the system as prescribed. I know that many IBOs, whether they work hard or follow the system or not, are still doomed for failure because the system doesn't work. There is no bonafide and unbiased evidence of any kind that indicate that the system works. The system only works if you are one who profits by selling the system. The rest of the herd ends up losing money. There is no question about it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Getting Out Of Debt?

Getting out of debt sounds like good advice. On the surface it is because people should not be racking up consumer debt or committing large sums of their income for cars they cannot afford. But what does it mean for an IBO? I know my former upline taught our group to get out of debt. However, I believe my former uplines had self serving intentions when they taught this. Let me translate what I believe they meant:

"You should not have any debt because it would affect your ability to buy more PV and tools. If you have debt, it affects my cashflow"

Ironically, for many, maybe most IBOs, although taught to get "get out of debt", the bottom line result is more debt. There is more debt because the cost of products and tools begin to mount. How many families actually spend $300 a month (approximate cost of 100 PV) on household products? And then to add onto that expense, IBOs who are trying to be "successful" need tools which cost anywhere from $150 a month up to more than $500 a month depending on whether the IBO is married, single and the level of commitment. Thus IBOs are now spending at least several hundreds of dollars that they never spent before.

Most IBOs, especially new IBOs, generally earn less than $50 a month. In fact, $50 a month income in this business would make you quite exceptional. Most IBOs earn less than $20 a month. With that kind of income and with the expenses I listed above (tools = voicemail, books, standing orders, and functions), nearly all "serious" IBOs operate in the red and never turn a profit. The only way an IBO can turn a profit is to sell Amway products like crazy (which I have never witnessed) or to sponsor enough downline to absorb the losses for them. The only true success stories are the ones who sell the tools.

The reason why I believe that my former uplines (who are still in WWDB and apparently teach the same things now as they did back when I was an IBO) are teaching self serving advice because although they said to "get out of debt", they made an exception to this and said it was perfectly okay to go in debt to attend functions or to buy more standing orders. IBOs were also told to do "whatever it takes" to get to the next function or to buy more tools. It is why I witnessed some crosslines go bankrupt, more than one couple lost their homes following upline advice. And these couples were told they shouldn't worry because they can pay cash for their homes when they go diamond. Another apparent lie told by WWDB leaders, especially those who had their own homes foreclosed.

Let's be perfectly real here. If you join Amway and participate in the system consisting of voicemail, books, standing orders and functions, you are far more likely to get into debt or increase your debt rather than making money and getting out of debt. The math bears it out if you are willing to look at it objectively.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fighting For Dreams?

One of the things that many IBOs are badly misguided on is the concept of dreams and fighting for dreams. A dream is basically a long term goal. Someone might dream about playing in the National Football League. To accomplish that dream, one might play high school and/or college level football. For most, the dream will end. No matter how much someone wants to play in the NFL, only so many people are proficient enough to be able to make the team. Even fewer are elite players that become stars. So while you might fight for your dreams, there is also an alternate reality.

In the Amway business, via the "systems" such as WWDB or Network 21, the leaders will often sell hopes and dreams to the downline. That the downline can be retired at the age of 29, walking the beaches of the world while the income just rolls in forever and ever. These kinds of "dreams" would be the same as hoping to win the powerball lottery. You may have seen a few who did it but the chance of you duplicating it is very unlikely. Slim to none is your chance in reality.

Another things uplines will often do is tell anecdotal stories about crabs keeping each other in a bucket when one tries to escape, or about monkeys preventing each other from grabbing bananas at the top of the pole. While the stories may be interesting and even true, it doesn't necessarily apply to the Amway business. While it is true that an IBO may have friends and family who are skeptical about Amway, it is with good reason. Many people have gone through the Amway business with no success. Many people have lost money doing everyting they were advised to do by upline. There is a track record of financial disasters associated with Amway and the attached "systems". It's not like there's a long list of people who have walked away from Amway with the cash rolling in and not a care in the world. Ever wonder why none of the crown ambassadors have exercised the option to "walk away"?

I think people should have dreams. I think people should pursue their dreams. I also think people need to know that certain dreams can come true. There also needs to be a degree of reality in their dreams. There will always be some inspirational person such as a "Rudy" who overcame great odds to accomplish a dream, but the untold reality is that there were probably many many young men who dreamed of playing for Notre Dame that year. Likely, no one else accomplished the unlikely dream like a Rudy. What I am saying is that earning a nice income and having the option of early retirement can be acomplished in many ways. You might be choosing to use Amway to accomplish your financial dreams and that is your right. But the reality is that very few people have made all their financial dreams come true due to the Amway opportunity, as compared to the tens of millions who have tried.

Keep fighting for your dreams, but keep in mind that you might need a plan B and a dose of reality.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Amway - There Is No Defense?

I've been blogging for many years now and one of the conclusions I have made is that there really is no defense for debating the merits of an Amway business when the IBO is participating in a system such as WWDB or Network 21. I have no issues with IBOs who sign up and sell actual products to non IBO customers, but these sales oriented IBOs are very rare. Most IBOs who are entrenched in a system are often focused on sponsoring downline because that is the only way an IBO can achieve certain levels such as emerald or diamond. The emerald or diamond level is the goal of many because it is allegedly the level where an IBO can "walk away" and enjoy barrels of cash rolling in for the rest of their lives. I find it ironic that even crown ambassadors keep busy schedules and have not walked away into a quiet life of retirement and uncountable amounts of money.

In general, it would take about 100 IBOs or so to make up a platinum level business. That's 1% at best and even less when you factor in IBOs who do nothing or IBOs who start and quit. In my estimation, a very dedicated hard core IBO would only begin to break even or make a little bit of income at the 4000 PV or platinum level. Of course, your business structure would be a factor in determining how much you can earn. Sponsoring width gives you more profit and sponsoring depth allegedly gives you some stability. Thus you could reasonably argue that about a fraction of 1% of IBOs break even or make a little bit of income. What real businessman would even consider opening a business where your chance of making a profit is less than 1%? Yes, you can argue that Amway is a business and not a game of chance, but a prudent decision also factors in your chances of success.

Other factors that would make Amway unattractive is that the products are priced higher (in general) than comparable or the same products that are available at people's local retailers. Yes, Amway folks will argue quality and concentration factors but those arguments are simply justification for the higher prices. The vast majority of people are satisfied getting cheaper prices at Walmart. Also, IBOs are restricted from advertising their goods, thus are relegated to person to person advertising, which is probably the least effective methos of getting the word out. Higher prices and unfamiliar products results in what many groups have - IBOs who "buy from themselves" in order to earn their bonuses. Also, any bonus that is earned by most IBOs is just a partial refund on having overpaid for a product. Not to mention unless you are at a higher level in the business, your upline(s) get most of the bonus, whether they helped you or not.

Yes, it is possible for some people to make some money in Amway. Yes, some people do make some good money from Amway. It is not possible for all IBOs to make money unless they are selling products to non IBOs and we know that most IBOs don't sell anything or sell just a few items to others. We also know that the tools systems generally eat away any small bonuses IBOs earn and leave them with a net loss. For the truly dedicated IBOs, the losses can mount into thousands of dollars and more.

Can someone make a living with Amway? The answer is that it's possible but not likely. But as to whether the Amway business and associated tools is a good idea? For thet there is no defense.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Working For Love?

One of the things I heard WWDB speakers say on more than one occasion was that nobody "loves" their job. They claimed that if you loved your job, you would do it for free. Currently, IBOFightback aka David Steadson and his mentally challenged sidekick Bridgett Baron have once again falsely accused me (without evidence or proof) of being the author of the "Married An Ambot" blog. They also accuse Joecool of being "obsessed".

Truth be told, I am somewhat obsessed about giving information to Amway prospects and information seekers because I don't want them to get ripped off based on lies and deception by upline leaders, who apparently still teach the same old junk today, that was taught many years ago. Amway apologists such as Bridgett Baron has her head so far up her fanny (ass) that she cannot tell up from down. She claims that WWDB is changing for the better, despite participating on a blog by a WWDB IBO who repeats the same garbage I heard as an IBO 13 - 14 years ago. There's a seemingly nice kid named Shaun who runs his blog as a journal of his WWDB experiences. There he speaks about getting out of debt (No apparent thanks to Amway income) and saving up to purchase a home in cash, getting a bigger tax refund (despite claiming to make money in Amway) and he also mentioned that IBOs have a 2% divorce rate versus the rest of the world with a 60% divorce rate. All of these things were taught by WWDB uplines back in 1997 and 1998 when I was an IBO. It's all there for everyone to see, yet stupid people like Bridgett Baron continue to deny it. What is their agenda? Clearly, the vast majority of people who join Amway either do little or nothing and those who work hard usually end up losing money because of the system expenses such as voicemail, functions and standing orders. That is a fact. IBOFB and Bridgett Baron are apparently not interested in facts but they want to promote their version of the "Truth About Amway".

I would also like to point out that my former uplines and WWDB leaders such as Greg Duncan and Brad Duncan apparently did not work out of love. Even though some WWDB leaders outright lied and said Diamonds did not earn anything from tools, we now know that they lied and that they are/were likely compensated for every single appearance and that rank and file struggling IBOs footed the bill.

Yes, people don't work their jobs out of love. Everyone needs to earn a living, but don't be fooled. Diamonds do not work for love either. They work, likely because they also have to earn a living, just like people who have jobs. Just because they may show you pictures of mansions and sports cars doesn't mean they own them outright or that they can even comfortably afford them.

It is very sad that so may people over the years, possibly tens of millions have suffered financial losses as a result of inaccurate information or deception and lies used to recruit people into Amway. While it may not be (directly) Amway's fault, the fact is that many many these people had bad experiences and financial losses. The facts are there for those who seek the facts. It is why Joecool hasn't yet quit the blogging community.

I would also like to note that IBOFightback and Bridgett Baron really should stop slandering/libeling Joecool with their false accusations without proof or evidence. There are lawyers in Hawaii too. Anna Banana, if you read this post, you can help show that IBOFB and Bridgett Baron are just obsessed Amway defenders who are wrong once again with their accusations.

I wonder if IBOFB aka David Steadson and Bridgett Baron work for love - or for Amway? :-) (Note the smiley?)