Thursday, May 30, 2013

An Amway IBO's Monthly Routine?

I send this message to inform IBOs tha they should be aware of their circumstances in business. What I mean is when you are a new IBO, it is common for you to buy/sell your 100 PV, and perhaps listen to some cds. If you basically did what your sponsor or upline advised, you made your 100 PV bonus level and you will receive a bonus from Amway for about $10. If you did as advised by your upline/sponsor, then you likely made a namelist and started contacting some potential business partners aka prospects. You're probably a bit excited because things are going as you expected. You did your part and a bonus is on it's way to your doorstep. Heck, you may have even sponsored a friend or relative because of your newly found excitement and enthusiasm.

But what happens after a few months? If you are still doing 100 PV and have no downline, then what are the chances that you will ever achieve anything? Your excitement is wearing off and now the Amway opportunity is becoming "work". You are also starting to notice that it is starting to get expensive to continue to purchase products, many of which you never purchased before. For example, were you buying cases of energy drinks and "high end" vitamins before Amway? Did you buy $50 cases of bottled water before Amway? Supposedly their laundry soap and other cleaners are highly concentrated, therefore your consumables are the nutrition/vitamin products.

Even if you managed to find some downline, are they duplicating what you do? Are they also moving volume and sponsoring downline? If not, what are your chances of fulfilling the 6-4-2 plan or some similar version of it. When I saw the plan, I thought it was reasonable and I was on my way to platinum. What I discovered though, is that as you progress, upline has greater expectations of you and that includes more tool purchases. (I was in WWDB). In the end, my recommended tool purchases ate up any profits I had and at the 4000 level, I was just about breaking even, which means I was at a loss when factoring in my time spent and other miscellaneous expenses such as gas money.

Where are you at? If you're been in for more than a year, are you on schedule to become platinum or are you at 200 PV with one downline? Maybe you have a small group with 600 PV? You still aren't close to a net profit. For the vast majority of people, success is not right around the corner. What's around the corner for most is more time lost, more money expended, and no progress. If your group is now growing each and every month, you are sliding backwards. If you don't constantly have new IBOs coming into the group, you are probably stagnant. With about half of IBOs dropping out each year, keeping a group together is a tremendous task.

IBOs, where are you at after a few months? Where are you at after a year? If you haven't gone platinum, it is nearly a certainty that it will never happen, despite what your upline might say. The facts are there, it's a matter of whether you want to believe it or not.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The New Amway?

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 that my leaders taught everyone to pump what little profits we earned into buying more tools. We were also told that this was the new Amway, not the Amway that people had known all these years.

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 guess this was the "new" Amway?

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 more than a dozen years later, where are all these new diamonds? Aside from from foreign diamonds, there are (I believe) less than a handful of 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 a handful of 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?

I'm still to see this "new" Amway.........

Friday, May 24, 2013

No Negative In The Amway Business?

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Amway Family Member Testimony

This comment was sent to me by a site visitor. He speaks of an Amway IBO's expenses and some of the trials his family member has gone through.

Hey Joe. Love the blog, read it every week. I have a family member in "the biz" and due to various reasons it frustrates me but i support this person no matter what decisions they choose to make. I have been to a few meetings, a few get togethers, and have been encouraged to join the "biz" and attend functions on several occasions. I have a decent job, I make decent money and I have no interest in selling crap to people in my spare time.

The products sold by the way are items that are purchased daily by consumers everywhere in the city at various storefronts. There is no shipment to wait for and whether its toothpaste or vitamins, there is a store for that. Honestly, how can you really compete?

Anyway, I could go on and on but I would like to share with you some things I have seen from these ibo weirdos that are expenses. So yeah, I went to a few meetings and wow, what a bunch of bs. They want you to buy cd's and books etc. from motivational speakers (yes I have listened to a few breifly) that basically make people feel bad about themselves and how they live (thats all i hear anyways)....and the ibo weirdos eat it up and actuall BUY it. The stuff isnt cheap either so if you had profit you are losing some there. These people drive to meetings every week, and pay an entrance fee so they can watch videos on how you can get rich, listen to motivational assholes (they actually take notes) and actually purchase new products so they can try them out for themselves.

All I see there is expenses....tally it up, entrance fee, gas money, babysitters, stationary items, books, cds, and hell even the clothing they show up in to project their image of success....its all an expense. I was invited to a couple of functions and on the cheap side, it would have cost anywhere from $300 to 500 just to get wherever it was and to get in the door....and for what? I was told to get the information I needed to succeed. Ha! What information? It's all just some rich (or rich acting) person flaunting the shiny new shit they supposedly have and telling you to your face more or less that you are a useless bag of shit unless you are like me. More expenses for nothing. Wow. Ibo weirdos also like to buy(through the biz none the less) fancy new electronics that will help them to make more money by working the internet angle. Ummm....BIG expense, how long till it pays for itself? I have gone to a few bbqs and get together type deals because I was invited (only cause they have to invite me due to family ties lol) and ill tell ya, not one home i have seen is that of someone successful. We are talking some low income housing my friend, and guess what you ALWAYS notice? Huge dry erase boards, filing cabinets, books and cds galore, projection monitors hooked up to computers ( with some amway logo as the screensaver), amway products displayed in every room, and yes even home phone "business" lines......ALL of them expenses.

Yet, in these homes sadly there is little else. I mean, damn you have to live a little. Your entire life can't become engulfed in this crap can it? These ibo weirdos hate me, that's for sure. I refuse to be a part of their "biz" and I have a large furnished home, several toys, vehicles, and cash in my pocket, and I do it all because I have a JOB, and you know what? There are no expenses and i do better than any of the members in their team! Oh yeah, does amway provide any dental, vision, or medical? EXPENSE! The biggest expense I see is the amount of time they lose with their families. Every spare moment is used on a phone call, on the internet, at a function, at a meeting, setting up to display items at different locations, throwing crappy house parties to get more suckers, etc. etc. Talk about freedom huh? So, I will continue to support my family member, as I am not her "owner" and want her do what she pleases and what makes her happy. But it works for me because each time I have to attend a crappy bbq (no more meetings though, we came to an agreement lol) or some get together functions, it is a great reality check for me. I always walk away knowing I am doing something right, that i truly am successful, my family members are all taken care of, and my expenses are 3/4 of a tank of gas a week. what do you think joe? What ibo expenses have I missed?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Who's The "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.

Monday, May 20, 2013

What Are Your Amway IBO Expenses?

Many uplines will use slightly deceptive recruitment tactics when getting new people to see or register into the Amway business. One of the common things was how joining Amway has very little risk, no or very little overhead. This is true, if an IBO is not involved in any of th system related training. However, it is the goal of many if not most uplines to get as many IBOs involved in the system as possible. This is probably because selling standing orders, voicemails and seminars has a higher profit margin for some uplines than the actual movement of Amway volume. So some newbies might join thinking Amway won't cost them much, only to find out that 100 PV might run them more than $300. They may not be aware that standing orders and functions never end and can add an additional cost of up to several hundreds of dollars more. Uplines will then justify the expense by saying the IBO is investing in his/her business.

New IBOs, and especially IBOs who are single should seriously think about the cost of being a business building IBO before joining. Many or most prospects don't know that building an Amway business using system tools and "coaching" can cost them up to$500 or more each month. A single person more than likely cannot possibly consume 100 PV worth or products on a monthly basis unless they almost exclusively consume XS drinks and Nutrilite vitamins. And secondly, how many singles or prospects were consuming cases of energy drinks and vitamins ($300 monthly) before being presented with the Amway business? How many people were willing to fork out hundreds of dollars for a weekend function that may require airfare and hotel stay? I don't think too many people like this exist. But I believe they do so because they have been sold a dream of financial freedom, of early retirement and not having to work a job anymore. But the evidence would suggest that once the dream disappears or reality sets in, how many (former) IBOs continue to purchase Amway products and attend seminars?

I know of many former IBOs and I don't know of any who purchase Amway products on a regular basis and I don't know of ANYONE who has ever forked out money to attend an Amway/AMO function after they stopped being an IBO. Amway's numbers bear out this claim as there is very little sales to people who are not IBOs. The IBO salesforce is responsible for consuming the lion's share of Amway's products and services. I myself have purchased an Amway product or two since I left the business. But I did so only to humor friends who were still in the business. They have all since quit. It is very reasonable to conclude that once the desire to build the business stops, the desire to purchase Amway products also stops.

Most eager young and motivated people who sign up often do not realize that these IBO expenses exist. While Amway acknowledges that these tools and systems expenses are optional, the uplines who promote the tools may suggest that it is insanity to attempt to build an Amway business without the tools or strongly encourage new IBOs to partake. A common statement was that we "needed" to be at the next function no matter what. Missing it would set your business back six months. New IBOs and prospects don't know better so they will often conform. Sadly, there is ZERO unbiased evidence that the tools and seminars do anything to increase IBO volume and/or the sponsorship rate. In my informed and experienced opinion, the tools are ineffective and the vast majority if IBOs would be better off handing their upline a monthly check for $100 and not building the business or buying any products.

IBOs and information seekers should be awar of these potential IBO expenses and determine if the expenses would be worth your while. Keep in mind that someone upline profits handsomely from the tools, even if you do not make a cent from your Amway business. You should have your best interest at heart, no matter what your upline tells you.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

You Amway Upline's Credentials?

I recently read a comment from an Amway zealot on another blog. She mentions that someone's credentials must be considered when looking at information that is presented. I will comment that showing me a sports car or a fancy suit is not proof of financial success. We now know that some Amway leaders have gone bankrupt, lost homes to foreclosure, and some of these high and mighty diamonds are living in dent, only showing the illusion of Amway wealth. No better than a cheap carnival magician.

I find this subject ironic because not one single upline leader, as far as I know, has ever supplied bonafide credentials about themselves. The audience assumes that the person on stage has certain credentials, but do they really? I will say that certainly, if someone is wearing a diamond pin for example, that this person has at least achieved the diamond level as recognized by Amway, but the level may not be current, and the level doesn't indicate the kind of income this person earns from Amway. (Joecool is criticized for being outdated even though I was at 4000 PV at one point in my Amway career)

What many people assume is that the diamonds buy homes and cars in cash, that they wake up at noon every day and participate in leisure activities all day while the cash rolls in. I have heard from some new IBOs, that their upline makes more money taking a crap in the morning than a critic makes in a whole year at a job. That IBO became quiet when some critics offered to take that bet.

But the truth of the matter is that as far as I know, only former diamonds have come clean about their Amway income. They are the only ones who spoke of credentials and accomplishments. Even critics of Amway will often openly speak about their experiences and achieved levels in the business. In the REAL business world, showing business tax returns and credentials are a normal part of doing business. It appears that only in the world of Amway is the supply of credentials and financial statements a big secret. Now I am not suggesting that IBOs or upline leaders should disclose their personal financials to the entire world, but certainly prospects and some downline should be able to see what their upline is doing financially (in Amway), especially if that is the basis for purchasing their standing orders and function tickets. And I refer to business (Amway and Tools) income and expenses only, not from other personal sources.

I believe that IBOs and upline leaders do not disclose that information because it would not be beneficial to them. We would see diamonds losing money, in debt, or having other financial issues. I'll bet most diamonds aren't paying for homes in cash. If diamonds were raking it in, they would likely publish it freely, just as they flash around copies of checks. IBOs and prospects should take this to heart and ask upline the tough questions.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Amway And Personal Responsibility?

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 13, 2013

Do You "Believe" In Amway?

I often hear stories and testimonies about how some people (usually newbies) have this incredible belief in Amway, their sponsors and their LOS, such as WWDB or Network 21. Being that many, possibly most IBOs are sponsored by a friend or family member, means that there is an inherent trust in the sponsor or upline. If that were not true, then we would likely see many more complaints about Amway and/or the uplines and lines of sponsorship.

But an important facet of being an IBO is to have a dream. Don't let "naysayers" steal your dream, is what many IBOs are told. But what is that dream? Is is a dream (a long term attainable goal) or a wish such as winning the powerball lottery? Many prospects and IBOs want to succeed. They are willing to work hard, and are very dedicated, I would say that these folks usually will end up failing, not for lack of effort, but for a flawed MLM/Amway system that cannot possibly reward more than a few. The famed 6-4-2, 6-4-3 or some other variation of the plan will illustrate that only 1 in 100 or so can be "platinum". And that's with nobody quitting. Factor in attrition and "do nothings" and it might be 1 in 200 who can reach platinum. Even if the whole world signed up for Amway, that fact doesn't change.

Do you really believe in Amway and your line of sponsorship such as WWDB or Network 21? If you truly believe in Amway and your metors, I challenge you to do one of these things. If you can't or won't, then I question your level of commitment. I question your belief. I'm not here to steal your dream. I am just challenging you.

Take your 6-4-2 or 9-4-2 or 6-4-3 plan to a loan officer at a bank and show them the plan. (Hey, it will help you be CORE) Ask the loan officer for their opinion of the plan and see if you can get a business loan based on the Amway plan. If not that, try seeking the advice of a real millionaire (Someone who has a net worth of a million bucks) and see if they think the 6-4-2 or other Amway (version) plans can work and whether they think Amway is a good idea. Heck, try asking your church Pastor. My church Pastor said Amway had too many false hopes and promises to be considered a viable business option.

How strong is your belief in Amway? Strong enough to take my challenge? Or will you ignore this and go on fooling yourself?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Amway Pleases God?

One of the things some diamond leaders would proclaim at major functions, in front of tens of thousands of IBOs, was that Amway was a God pleasing business. That Amwayers were saving the world and thus, making God happy. Amway major functions generally have a non denominational service on Sundays before they wrap up the weekend. I believe much of this still applies to major functins today. The speakers want to make it look as if joining the business was like taking the moral high ground. There's a lot of irony in that if you think about it.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Returning Amway Products And Tools?

When I was recruited into Amway, one of the catch phrases was that you are now a business owner. It sounds cool to be a business owner, but in reality, it appears that IBOs are simply salesmen for Amway who are afforded no guaranteed wage or any fringe benefits. In fact, many Amway salesmen do Amway a favor and go out recruiting other salesmen for Amway without any compensation. It makes sense though, because to attain levels of significance, you need to have downline. While it is possible (but nearly impossible) to reach platinum and even ruby without downline, any levels higher will require you to have downline.

So as an Amway salesman, you have no minimum sales requirement. That may seem like a good thing but many uplines will impose a defacto 100 PV requirement for "serious" IBOs. If you are planning to sponsor someone, your upline will likely tell you that your downline will duplicate your efforts, therefore the 100 PV "requirement". 100 PV will cost about $300. While it is possible to sell some products, it would seem that most IBOs simply buy their own goods and do not sell to non IBOs. It's puzzling to me that so many IBOs argue about Amway's superior quality of products, yet so few former IBOs continue to use Amway products at all once they are not IBOs and even those that do, would rarely ever attain 100 PV. So much for that argument.

What many IBOs do not realize is that their upline diamonds are also salesmen. In addition to moving Amway volume, they will be selling you voicemail, standing orders, premiere club, functions, book of the month. All of these materials brings in a higher profit margin than Amway products. Thus it would only make sense that your upline salesmen would want to sell tools more than Amway products because it has more profit. Where this gets shady is when your upline tells you that they have your best interest at heart or that you virtually cannot succeed without these tools. Imagine your reaction if a vacuum cleaner salesman told you that he has your best interest at heart and that you cannot possibly clean your home without his vacuum. In an odd way, that is exactly what is happening when you purchase tools from upline. What's even worse is that the tools rarely ever work out for the IBOs who buy them. What if you bought a vacuum that didn't work? You would return it for a refund. What if the salesman said you can't return it because you used it?

I find it odd that IBOs accept this BS from upline. That you can only return unused tools. You should be able to return a product because it didn't work! Did that standing order actually help you to sponsor new people? Did you sell more products because you attended a function? Whether a tool is used or unused should not matter. You should be able to get a full refund if the tools didn't work. If not, IBOs who cannot return tools should complain to Amway and the better business bureau, and file formal complaints. Many IBOs simply quit and walk away, giving the tool sellers a break. If the tools don't work, you should return them on that basis and demand a refund. I challenge IBOs and former IBOs to do this.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Amway Quitters Are Winners?

I often see commentary about people quitting Amway and Amway loyalists are quick to call them broke, losers, lazy, lacking guts. Ironically, these same lazy and loser types of people were "sharp" and motivated prospects before they signed up for the Amway opportunity. Someone recently left a comment on my blog about how AMOs should conduct exit interviews with departing IBOs to get to the root of the problems. I think these exit interviews would reveal that people are working hard and applying the AMo teaching, only to lose money,

Based on my years of blogging and Amway experiences, I can honestly say I believe that people quit Amway primarily for one reason. The money isn't there. Amway's own numbers show that the average IBO earns just over $200 a month and that is before taxes and expenses, and that number excludes inactive IBOs. Business building IBOs earn most of the bonuses, but business building IBOs generally have the most expenses, often participating in the system of standing orders, voicemail, books and functions.

When I was an IBO, I did as upline advised and I achieved a fairly significant level (4000 PV), but due to the expenses associated with tools and helping downline, I didn't earn net profit. This is confirmed by a study done by the Wisconsin attroney general who examined the tax returns of platinume and found that they averaged a net loss of about $1000 a year. While the study was a bit dated, I would suggest it is still very valid as platinums today, have more tools (business building materials) that they are expected to buy from upline. If I made nothing at 4000 PV, anyone with half a brain can conclude that IBOs below 4000 PV and fully participating on the system would end up with a net loss because their expenses would be similar to mine, but with less bonus money.

The bottom line is that people are very likely quitting because they aren't profitable. If people made a few hundred a month with 8-15 hours of work per week, they would continue to run their businesses. But those who work and make nothing or lose money have no reason or motivation to continue. Thus they simply make a wise business decision and quit. What seemed like a good idea during the presentation simply did not pan out when reality set in. It's also reasonable to conclude that the products are that great either because if they were, those who quit would become loyal customers, thus even if the sales force turned over, sales would consistently rise as former IBOs would become customers. It's apparent that most former IBOs do not become loyal Amway customers. In fact, for those who later discover they were lied to or deceived about the Amway opportunity, become critical of Amway instead.

Why do people quit Amway? I think the answer is crystal clear. The quitters are the winners!

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Reality Of The Amway Business?

One of the things that attracts many IBOs to the Amway opportunity is the idea that they can work part time, 2-5 years and gain a "shortcut" to ongoing and voluminous wealth. Many of the prospects don't have the kind of income or resources that they would like, so the possibility of a shortcut to these trappings sounds like a good idea. They sign up and get started, and then the realities of the business sets in.

100 PV, is the defacto minimum quota for business building IBOs. It costs about $300 to purchase 100 PV worth of products. How many young and single people or couples for that matter, use and/or need $300 worth of household products each month? How many of these same people can actually afford to expend that much cash on household products? The pitch is to change where you shop but how many people were buying these kinds of good prior to Amway? My guess is none. I know I purchased many items, including vitamins, and I didn't need or use before Amway. But my desire to be teachable and to be an example to my downline kept me buying the goods, and trying to pawn off some stuff on friends and relatives to lessen my PV burden.

I also found that getting people to see the plan was no easy task. While my business was growing, it took more and more effort to recruit downline and I can see where many IBOs would reach the saturation point where there simply aren't anymore viable recruits and they might need to resort to cold contacting in order to generate potential prospects. This is probably why there are stories of IBOs stalking people in bookstores, malls and supermarkets. Even when people saw the plan, there wasn't a high percentage of new people signing up. It is why building and maintaining a business is a nearly impossible task, and it is why I believe there aren't people who retire, walk away from their Amway businesses and enjoy six figure residual incomes for life.

The more likely scenario is an IBO signing up, buy and using the products and tools and slowly but surely build up debt. There are countless stories of ex IBOs who got fired up, started building the business and fouond that in a relatively short period of time, found themselves in thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in debt. All the while upline was encouraging them to buy more tools and attend more function, even when they were not profitable. In my opinion, this is confirmation that uplines care more about their tools profits that they do about downline success. I sat in functions where upline would teach about reducing debt, but in the same breath, say it was okay to go deeper in debt if it was to purchase more tools. Self serving advice.

It is why I believe this opportunity, along with the tools system, will nearly guarantee IBO failure. It is sad, but it is also a reality.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Amway Business At 4000 PV

Joecool 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 defenders will claim this doesn't happen, or that it doesn't happen anymore, I have good 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.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What Is Amway Success?

Success is very subjective. For example, someone making ten dollars might be considered successful, for others, nothing less than a barrel of cash will suffice. One other important point is that there are undoubtably some very successful people in Amway. I am sure that some Amway diamonds are quite well off and enjoy some of the finer things in life. But the reality is that these successes are very very rare and many of these success apparently are not sustainable as many people are led to believe.

But the bigger issue in the Amway opportunity is where the success comes from. Sure, many people want to "go diamond" and live in luxury while barrels of cash roll in. But what is unknown to many, is that the few who enjoy the lifestyle and trappings do so at the expense of their downline. The downline move the volume and the downline purchases the system materials, both of which is profitable for the upline. Because Amway products, admittedly are not commonly sold to people who are not IBOs, then anyone can conclude that upline success comes from the pockets of the downline. Most downline would be better off writing a check for $100 each month to their upline and not participating in the business or buying products at all.

This in itself would not be such an issue if the system actually churned out new successes frequently AND if the downline were not led to believe that the system is the key to their success. But less than one half of one percent of IBOs ever reach platinum and out of those who do, only a tiny fraction of one percent ever attain the diamond level. But the business has tens of millions of people who tried and could never achieve what was promoted. Lack of effort may be a factor, but when that many people try and fail, it's evident that the system is flawed as well.

To summarize, it is possible for someone to achieve a level of success in Amway, but it is so difficult and so rare that IBOs probably have a better chance of winning the lottery or being struck by lightning than they do of achieving a significant level in the Amway business. Some people are successful, but it is usually at the expense of their downline. The catch is that uplines will teach their faithful downline IBOs that attending a function or buying a standing order is success, regardless of whether an IBO is earning a profit. So many IBOs think they're successful but they are simply fooling themselves with the help of their upline.

Success is undeniable, but sadly for the vast majority of IBOs, it is also unattainable, at least in the Amway opportunity.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Did You Join Amway To Make Money Or Not?

Other than Amway, I cannot think of any business where sales people or IBOs feel a need to justify and defend their lack of success. I hear all kinds of crazy things such as how Amway saved a marriage or how an IBO has become a better person as a result of the Amway business. Now if your involvement in Amway did indeed save your marriage or made you a better person, that is a great side benefit. But the Amway opportunity is supposed to be a business and a business exists to make a profit. This is something that IBOs seem to overlook when they are involved.

I believe these "side benefits" are mentioned by upline as a diversion away from the fact that these IBOs aren't making any money. My upline used to say you get in for money but you stay in for friendships. They may also use the line that the Amway opportunity is not get rich quick. I believe that is because the upline wants you to stay in and expect you to purchase tools for a while. These "side" benefits that IBO's claim to receive can easily be received in other venues, some of which would be much cheaper than the Amway support materials.

A very important question is why IBOs need to constantly justify their lack of success? Is it a good idea to be involved in an opportunity where you aren't turning a profit and need to justify the lack of success? Many IBOs blame themselves despite the fact that your upline may have asked for your trust and blind loyalty. You do what you are told but the upline leaders never take responsibility for an IBO's failure. It like playing a game of heads I win and tails you lose. I know of IBO's who worked very hard and did what they were told for years, only to have losses.

If you are new in the business, nobody expects you to be making a fortune overnight, but certainly a business that promotes low or no overhead and a low start up cost, why shouldn't you be able to turn a profit within a few months? It is likely the tools that suck resources from IBO's, resulting in net losses.

Why do IBOs have to resort to rationalizing their products with claims of concentration and/or quality? Apparently the general public doesn't agree, based on the low sales to non IBOs. Seems the only ones who see a benefit in regular consumption of Amway goods are IBOs, who are hoping to reap financial rewards for doing so. Either your business is growing or it's not. No amount of justifying or rationalizing will change your bottom line. I just hope more IBOs and prospects will see this before it is too late.