Thursday, July 31, 2014

Amway Related "Tools"?

Buy products, sell products, sponsor others. That is the Amway business in a nutshell. If you have bought and sold Amway products, you already possess the main skills needed to run an Amway business. If you have also sponsored downline, you probably have all the skills needed to build an Amway business. So the question is how much training and tools are needed? Is the investment in tools worth the price for what you get in return? In my informed opinion, I would have to resoundingly say "no".

For many IBOs, the tools are the reason why they are unable to profit. Voicemail for example, is an outdated tool that costs more than most IBO's bonuses. With the ability for IBOs to use email, twitter, or facebook, voicemail is an outdated and frankly, less efficient manner for an upline to communicate with their groups. Standing orders, while some training and advice may be helpful to IBOs, a weekly subcription quickly becomes an expense that an IBO can do without. My upline swore that tapes/cds were vital in sponsoring other, but I had never sponsored, or knew of other crossline who used a tape/cd to sponsor someone. As I said, if you already sold a product and sponsored downline, you probably already possess the skills needed to build an Amway business.

Functions, especially the ones that require airline travel are the most costly and gives the least return on investment. You leave your home and business to attend a function somewhere. You incur a lot of cost and while you are gone, your business is closed. For most IBOs, they will never recoup the expense of one of these functions, let alone having multiple functions througout the year. Also, the functions appear to be more of a social event than an actual business seminar. Sure, the bright lights and touching speeches may inspire you, but how does that translate into business growth? I never observed appreciable growth in my group or crossline as a result of a big function. Sure, there may be exceptions, but overall, the functions were just a drain on IBO resources.

It is my observation that when uplines talk about tools being "needed", they are saying it because upline needs you to buy tools. For many uplines, the tools business is their primary business with Amway being secondary. Some uplines earn far more from the tools sales than from Amway. For that reason, the tools sales are "needed". If you are new or seeking information, try asking upline or your sponsor, what tangible benefit can be received by attending a big function. My sponsor told me that he could not describe the event, that I simply "needed" to attend it in person and see for myself. After my first major function, I did not see what the big deal was. I had to use time off from work, incur some fairly large expenses for travel and it did not result in business growth.

So are tools needed? It is my opinion that some tools may be helpful to an IBO, but if the tools do not directly teach you to sell Amway products or result in you being able to sponsor downline, the tools purchases can be questionable as it won't help your bottom line. However, your continued tool purchases greatly benefits your upline diamond's bottom line. Beware.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Real Amway Business?

I have been reading some ongoing debates about whether the system income for higher pins is more than their Amway bonuses. I believe the systems such as BWW, WWDB, N21 or LTD, does generate more profit for upline than the sale of Amway products. How the system income is divided though, is still a mystery as it doesn't appear that there are bonafide written contracts explaining how tools income is split up among the higher pins. There is also the debate of whether diamonds themselves or their "corporations" receive the profit, which is laughable as a defense.

But it's very easy to determine that more income is made from the system than from Amway. If you move $100 worth of Amway products, Amway will pay about $33 back in the form of bonuses. These bonuses will be split among the Amway IBOs (middlemen), depending on your level. On the other hand, if your group bought say 20 cds at $5.00each, the system will profit about $90 as cds cost about 50 cents each to produce in bulk. Some Amway apologists will cite the fact that some groups sell cds for $2.50 or $3.00. While this is true, there is a "member's fee" which must be paid. And when you add in the member's fee, the profit for the system is the same or possibly higher! Even when you factor in the system employees, you can easily see the math and determine where the real money is made.

If you buy a major function ticket for $125, the cost of that function might be in the neighborhood of $25 to $30 per attendee, so the system may generate $100 profit on a $125 sale. I believe the smaller functions such as open meetings, books and voicemail have smaller profit margins, but still overall, it's easy to conclude that the profit from the system is greater than profits generated by moving Amway products. I might add that the sales on these functions are often made in cash, thus who knows if the diamonds are even paying the IRS taxes on these sales.

The only question is how much each individual earns. I have "heard" that platinums get a discount on the sale of standing orders and cds, but I have never heard of a platinum sharing any profit for functions, voicemail, or any of the other materials. This is puzzling to me as I believe the platinums do the most work in the system, helping downlines.

So for the lower level IBOs, if you move $300 in Amway sales (Approximately 100 PV), you will receive about $10 or 3% while upline enjoys the rest of the $90+ in bonuses from Amway. And then when you purchase and move tools volume, you receive nothing and some of your uplines enjoy all of the profit. While I don't see any problem in upline making a profit for selling training materials, I see a problem in the fact that the tools don't work. So few IBOs progress to levels where an actual profit is earned that the use of tools cannot be justified. Amway supporters will point out the new platinums emerging each year, but do not mention the platinums who do not re-qualify.

Based on my observations, I can only conclude (quite easily) that there is substantially more profit from the sale of support materials for upline to enjoy, and I can also conclude that the support materials are ineffective in training downline IBOs so they can progress to higher levels of the business. But as PT Barnum once said, a sucker is born every minute.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Retired Amway Diamonds A Myth?

I was watching a show on Discovery channel the other night about Sasquatch. It was followed by a show about evidence of UFOs. It made me start to think about these phenomena. It seems like everyone has heard about or knows something about Sasquatch (Big foot) and/or UFOs. There are many documentaries showing pictures and evidence of both, but to date, there is no bonafide evidence that these things exist. You'd think that a body or bones of a Sasquatch would turn up somewhere, sooner or later, or we would find compelling evidence of a spaceship from another galaxy. I mean a Sasquatch would have a mother and father and sooner or later, some of them would die. Why have no bodies ever turned up? Why have we never found nothing tangible about a UFO?

It sounds just like stories of people who built a diamondship, then "walked away" from their businesses, retired in the lap of luxury and did nothing while the money kept rolling in. I heard numerous scenarios about this happening, but looking back, all the diamonds kept working and since Joecool left the business, the diamond either kept working, or quit or got terminated. But I never heard anyone name some higher up Amway pin who built a business, and then walked away from it to travel the beaches of the world while hundreds of thousands of dollars kept rolling in. Many have heard about it but nobody seems to be able to name any of these folks. I mean after over 50 years in existence, you'd think some of these folks would exist, especially when it seems to be a selling point of the business for many AMOs.

It is my opinion that Sasquatch, UFOs and retired Amways diamonds (with significant Amway income) are non existent. If these folks existed, there should be at least some shred of evidence of it. The lack of evidence indicates to me that it is either non existent or so rare that nobody can display bonafide proof. I mean there aren't any T-Rexs roaming the earth anymore but fossil evidence proves that they existed at one time.

Keeping in mind that the Amway business has a high attrition rate, coupled with low sales to non IBOs and you can easily conclude that residual and significant income is nearly impossible. An Amway business that is left alone will deteriorate like a sandcastle does as the waves wash it away. You (in theory) could possible walk away from an Amway business for a while and collect some income, but you won't be collecting enough income to live the "diamond lifestyle" as portrayed by diamonds in their functions and open meetings. I'm not even sure that active diamonds can comfortably afford that lifestyle even when building their businesses. There is ample evidence to support my claim. Diamonds losing homes to foreclosure, former diamonds revealing secrets about their income. If you really believe you can walk away from your Amway business and collect untold wealth, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. :-)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Believe In Amway?

Many IBOs cannot be convinced that Amway is not the best opportunity in the world, because they want to believe the lies/deception that is often used when they are recruited. They want to believe that 2-5 years of part time effort will result in lifelong residual income and that they will be traveling to the beaches of the world while cash keeps rolling in. They want to believe that they can ditch their (often) less than adequate jobs. They want to believe that a part time soap business will make all of this possible. The people (upline) who claim to have everyone's best interest at heart will sell them a proven system of success and all they need to do is follow the steps to success.

Many people sign up for Amway and do abosultely nothing. They may not ever order or try products. But these folks do not complain about Amway and the expenses they may incur are minimal. Most do not even bother to seek a refund on their starter kit. It makes me wonder why these folks even bother to sign up. Although, there are stories of people being pestered into registering. Anyway, the part where this business gets dicey is when people register and do put in an earnest effort, only to end up with financial losses. Sometimes the losses are in the tens of thousands of dollars. You get squeezed for a couple of hundreds of dollars a month and after a few years of effort, you can find yourself drowning in debt, even after doing everything your upline advised. The fact that uplines don't disclose their busienss financials speaks volumes. Former uplines who have come forward have shown that most of their income was from hawking standing orders and seminars, and not from Amway sales as they would imply.

I bought into the hype at one time. I believed the lies. I believed my upline that no profit was made from tools. At the time I was an IBO, I too, wanted to believe that I could work part time for 2-5 years and ditch my job. That I would retire at the age of 35 and live in luxury forever. I wanted to believe that. But having reached the 4000 PV level, the precipice of platinum, I also realized that I had no profit. I sat down and did the math and realized that they would be little profit at platinum. I cam to the realization that a second job would have suited me better. I finally quit when I realized this, along with my upline wanting total control of my life. But I hung in as long as I did because I wanted to believe that Amway would be the vehicle that delivered my financial freedom.

Having dropped out of Amway, my life quickly got back to normal. Friends that I had avoided returned to my life. My disposable income increased and my cashflow was positive once again, now that I was no longer obligated to purchase tools. I also noticed years later, that the same old leaders on stage were still working as hard as ever, and none of them had taken the option to retire and walk the beaches of the world. Perhaps these leaders also want to - or have to believe in Amway because they have already invested too much time and effort to call it quits and start something else. I wanted to believe, but the fact is that people were not succeeding. People were not getting free. What I saw was home foreclosures, bankruptcies and financial struggles made worse for people because of Amway and the tool systems. And apparently, these same issues apply to the diamonds. Do your research and you will likely find the same conclusion that I did. That Amway is a nearly impossible dream.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Amway And Integrity?

I used to follow the blog of a WWDB IBO named "Shaun". He ran the blog called "Expeditions Of Truth" Shaun recently disappeared. I'm fairly certain his Amway business has now gone dormant or belly up. He was a fired up IBO in 2009 and I'm sure he had dreams of going diamond and retiring early, based on his blog posts. I do wish him well.

Shaun seemed to think that not only is he in business with people full of integrity, he also thought that he was going to retire in November 2011. Is this now July 2014. I'm sure Shaun would have kept his blog running and would have posted any significant success stories. But back to integrity. While I think doing business with people of integrity is a good thing, I also know of many successful people in business who are ruthless. So are Amway and in particular, WWDB people full of integrty or are they just as ruthless as other business people? Does it matter? In my opinion, it doesn't matter except for the fact that WWDB people seem to think that they have integrity filled leaders. What if a guy was some punk and got recruited into Amway and WWDB, does he suddenly have integrity> Think about that one for a while.

Well, lets look at some of these Amway/WWDB leaders. Back in the 1990's, the current batch of WWDB leaders swore that nobody made a profit on tools. Nobody knew the truth at the time. We now know that this was a lie. Is this integrity? We know that Triple Diamond Greg Duncan was in chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings. Not paying for your obligations is integrity? We know that Greg Duncan and David Shores had homes foreclosed (Public information). Is that a move filled with integrity? With the tons of money Duncan and Shores make, couldn't they have made an effort to pay off their debts?

If you look at a blog linked to this one "Rocket's Rants", there's a youtube video of "crown" Brad Duncan telling rank and file IBOs that they can make "hundreds of thousands of dollars" a month. First of all, I wonder if Brad Duncan has achieved this himself, let alone any others? Even if someone had achieved it, it would be illegal or unethical to portray that kind of success as achieveable to a prospect. Is this integrity? To lead someone onto expectations that will not be fulfilled?

Former Amway/WWDB leader Brad Wolgamott used to talk about how WWDB had a low divorce rate. Is it full on integrity for WWDB leaders to seperate or divorce when they talk about integrity and how Amway and WWDB saves marriages? What about Dean Kosage? Another divorcee? Are they full of integrity? What say you Shaun Guthrie of WWDB? What about Howie Danzik whose website doesn't mention that he was once married to Susan? Is it integrity to say you built the business as a single when Howie previously built the business with his former wife? IBOs may counter argue that these leaders are human. And that's true. But leaders who lie are not laden with integrity.

Amway's owner Rich DeVos ackowledged that the "tools" were likely a pyramid scam and Amway did nothing after sales dropped following some attempts to clean it up. Is that an integrity move? I don't know but
it sure seems as if WWDB and Amway have issues where integrity is concerned. One of the things our diamond leaders once said that evil will rule where good men stand and do nothing. Seems that is the case here. While Amway, at least on the surface has made some attempts to clean up some problems, I have yet to see any significant leaders booted out, or stories of discipline exacted. I question this because some of the same issues still pop up on the internet.

So if you hear stories of integrity, stop and think about what it really means.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Typical Amway Excuses?

I've been a blogger now for a number of years. I've debated with Amway apologists and they ultimately resort to excuses and/or personal attacks when they run out of defenses. Food for thought, when you have to make excuses about why your opportunity isn't a scam or a pyramid scheme, that should already make you stop and think for a minute. The easy excuse is to say that "my group isn't like that". Or "We don' do that anymore" Or "Amway is new and different". Yet I see testimonies and statements that indicate to me that things have not changed, even in all the years since I left the Amway business myself.

Even the product's prices need to be justified. That there is concentration or other factors that really make Amway stuff a better value. Strange how that better value doesn't seem to translate further once an IBO realizes that there is no residual income at the end of the rainbow. Many IBOs don't seem to mind paying for Amway stuff when they believe that they will one day walk the beaches of the world while more money than they can count will keep rolling in. When the dream fades, so does the desire to purchase these awesome products. If not, with tens of millions of former IBOs, Amway sales should be through the roof after all these years. But it hasn't. Although Amway recently reported an increase in north american sales, that wasn't the case in the last 10 years. Amway apologists even have excuses about why that is the case.

Amway also reported recently, that they have updated their average IBO income. While it is still miserable, it has gone up, although a clear explanation as to how and why they calculated the "average income" was not apparently given. At a glance, it look like Amway simply declared more IBO's as inactive, thus bringing the average up. So the debate continues. Critics analyzing and predicting how and why, and Amway apologists making excuses and justifying their position. Why not just be transparent and end the debate once and for all? I think most people know the answer. The bottom line for most is whether or not they make a net profit. For the vast majority of IBOs, especially the ones on the system, the answer is a net loss. It is predictable and easy to conclude. The 6-4-2 or any other version of the compensation plan clearly shows that very few people can make any decent money. If a platinum IBO typically has 100 or more IBOs, that is your answer there. It should be noted that a platinum might not even be very profitable if they are sold out on buying system tools.

So IBOs and Amway defenders, are you making money (net profit)? Or are you just making excuses?

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Letter To Amway

This is an open letter basically explaining Joecool's position and why in my opinion, criticism of Amway doesn't stop. (Reprinted from 2011)

Dear Amway,

Why does criticism of Amway continue Ad Nauseum? Because you have not taken any apparent visible action(s) against higher level IBOs who make their living by ripping off unsuspecting prospects and faithful downline by feeding them lines about how easy it is to build an Amway business and how they can ditch their jobs and live on easy street. I saw it and there are countless testimonies and experiences posted on the internet.

When I was an IBO in WWDB, we were fed outright lies by upline. Nobody made any money from tools being the biggest. Downline were taught how long they could string out their mortgages or electric bills so they can attend functions and buy more tools. Yes, IBOs have culpability as well, but the culture of these groups is one of trust and loyalty to the diamonds. Amway's owner, Mr. DeVos acknowledged this in his 1983 speech "directly speaking". But despite the speech, no apparent visible action was taken, thus status quo continued. Even the accreditation system which seemed nice on the surface appears to be a farce. I believe that possibly millions of people over the years have been adversely affected financially because of some of these Amway IBO leaders.

Many of the same leaders who lied to benefit themselves are still at it. A fellow blogger named "Rocket" at one time, reported a possible violation where crown ambassador and IBOAI member, Brad Duncan is caught on tape claiming that IBOs can make "hundreds of thousands of dollars" a month in Amway. Your response was to make non sensical remarks and then eventually no response when pressed for one. I also reported a WWDB IBO who was making disparaging and false statements about some competitor's products while making misleading positive statements about Amway products. Your response was no response and my comment wasn't even published on your "Amway Answers" blog. Ironically, one of the topics on that blog was about how Amway doesn't turn a blind eye to problems. Yeah, you can say it but your actions show something else.

Maybe someone can explain why actions in other countries indicate that the folks who sell Amway tools are scammers. For some reason, the regulatory agencies in the US have not taken notice of the tools business. The Dateline segment in 2004 exposed the tools and systems. It became a big debate on the internet with critics and proponents. While Amway can claim innocence because the unethical actions were taken by IBOs, or "independent" business owners, I still believe that Amway has a responsibility to reign is some of the sales force that represents them.

Food for thought: Joe Paterno was an assistant and head coach, an icon at Penn State University for more than 60 years. He was fired some time ago because he had knowledge of child abuse occuring at the program under his watch. While he was not personally guilty of this, and did many good things for Penn State and the community, still his inactions may have caused harm to befall innocent children. Ultimately, he had the ability and power to stop the wrongdoing but did not. It is a sad ending for a man who many consider a legend. I wish his family well.

Amway can reign in the tool abuse and take control of some of the bad leaders, but apparently has not and will not. The fight goes on.....

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Amway Job

Amway IBOs like to call themselves "Independent Business Owners". But when you sit down and think about this for a minute, I believe that the Amway opportunity is more like a job. As an IBO, you are basically acting as a commissioned salesperson without any benefits coming from the Amway corporation. It's great for Amway as they only pay you for products that are moved. If you work very hard but sell little or nothing, Amway pays you little or nothing. Even if you work hard but move less than 100 PV, Amway pays you nothing.

The Amway corporation can sit back, and simply issue bonuses to downline IBOs. It is the IBOs themselves who recruit others, train others and move the products. Many IBOs are fiercely loyal to Amway products even when they could get the exact same product or a similar product, in many cases, at a fraction of the cost at a big box retailer, or even a local retailer. Take a look at Amway's flagship vitamin (double x). Do you really need to pay $75 or more for a one month supply of multi vitamins? That isn't t say Amway has no products of value, but overall, you can get much more product at less cost by shopping at a retail outlet. Amway must add the cost of IBO bonuses to their prices, therefore their prices are abound to be higher than competing products.

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

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

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

Monday, July 14, 2014

Amway Will Set You Free?

When I was an IBO, I often saw my upline diamond driving around town dressed in a business suit. I used to wonder why he keeps working if he can "walk away" and collect residual income? My sponsor told me that the diamond only works because he cares about his downline and wants to help them. So there are two possible scenarios, the diamond is working to help his downline out of a genuine concern for them, or possibly he is working because he has to! The only difference now is that the diamond works the nite and/or graveyard shift, because many IBOs are building the business after the complete their day jobs. This is probably why diamonds sleep until the "crack of noon", because they are working all night!

Now Amway has stated that the average diamond earns about $147,000 a year. That is a decent income, but after taxes and paying for basic expenses such as medical and dental insurance, the average diamond probably lives a very middle class lifestyle. Keep in mind that a large portion of a diamond's income comes in the form of an annual bonus, thus a diamond's monthly income may be quite small. Yes, diamonds may have other sources of income such as speaking engagements and income from standing orders and functions. But this income depends on the diamond's continued appearances and efforts.

So is it likely that a diamond is "free"? I would have to conclude that a diamond is not free, and may actually have to spend more time maintaining his group than if the diamond simply had a 9-5 job. For one thing, a diamond needs to maintain a personal group to keep qualifying for bonuses. With a poor retention rate in Amway, I am fairly sure that a diamond spends much time recruiting personally sponsored IBOs to maintain this group. Additionally, a diamond must help his six or more groups of downline platinums to maintain their businesses or face the possibility of falling out of qualification. My former diamond dropped down to the emerald level but has since re-qualified at diamond. A diamond must also dedicate time to reward up and coming movers and shakers, to keep them motivated. I got to spend time with my upline diamond when I was considered a promising up and coming pin.

In order to continue to receive tools income, a diamond must also travel to numerous functions and speaking engagements. Although the tools income allegedly doubles a diamond's income, it also adds a lot of expenses, especially if the diamond and his family travel first class to show off the diamond lifestyle, and stays in 5 star hotels. It is probably why diamonds need free transportation to and from the airport and why they stay with friends when traveling as much as possible.

After breaking down projected income and considering projected expenses, I can only conclude that a diamond probably lives a middle to upper middle class lifestyle, and probably works as much as a man with a 9-5 job, except that a diamond works nites and weekends. A good portrait of this is shown in Ruth Carter's book (Amway Motivational Organizations: Behind The Smoke and Mirrors). In the book, the diamond had a net income of over $300,000, but lived in debt, could barely pay his mortgage, and was always on the run from one function to the next. It is very expensive and time consuming to travel from city to city showing off your freedom and diamond lifestyle.

Is this the freedom you are seeking?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I've Been In Amway For A Few Months Now?

I send this message to inform IBOs tha they should be aware of their circumstances in this 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 and attend some functions. 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 if 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. With those concentrated products, how often are you needing to re-order?

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 thought 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, and other business related expenses.

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 not 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. As each month passes, you see more and more money leaving your bank account with no real prospects of a profit coming your way.

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. The idea of never quitting is silly. Quitting Amway is not the same and quitting on trying to develop more income. You would simply seek a better way to do it. That might include a second job or some other kind of business. Buying and selling things on the internet is nowhere near exclusive to Amway and can be done in many cheaper and more efficient ways. Go out and find it!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Amway IBOs Avoid Negatives?

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Succeed In Amway?

So many eager young people join Amway with the hopes that they will retire early, live a life of luxury and basically enjoy life with no worries. Most of the people who join Amway are very likely to be motivated, hard working and wanting more out of life. Their intentions are great but it leads to the question of why do so few people actually get anywhere in Amway and why are there so few new diamonds, at least in the US and Canada?

I think part of the problem is that the folks who recruit new prospects into Amway often imply that everyone has a chance to be a diamond and they also imply that it's not that difficult. I heard comments once that going platinum was so easy that someone's dog could do it. It's obviously not true when less than one percent of IBOs ever reach the platinum level and even those who do often are unable to maintain that level of volume.

Now let's break it down to numbers. A platinum group is often typically 100 to 150 IBOs. Of course not all of them are busy moving products or recruiting downline. A diamond group is six platinum groups plus some side volume, thus a diamond group is likely to have 750 to 1000 IBOs. Being a platinum can be compared to being the manager of a company and a diamond is like being a CEO of a big organization. In a job, you can work your way up and eventually become a manager or CEO. Some IBOs think they can never achieve those goals at work, but they mistakenly think they can surpass their sponsors in Amway so it's a better deal. But even if you earn more than your sponsor, does that mean you will eventually reach platinum or diamond? I think a better gauge of success would be those who go diamond. Diamond is often portrayed as the pinnacle of success and is the target shown in "the plan".

However, as I stated, going diamond would also be like achieving the level of CEO in a company. There is only so much room at the top. That is true. While there can be many diamonds, you would still need to have about 100 to 150 downline to achieve platinum and you would still need six platinum downline groups equating about 750 to 1000 downline IBOs to be diamond, plus your personal group. Thus a diamond is like a CEO who creates his own company. Factor in that half your group is likely to quit each year, thus you must replace hundreds of IBOs every year to maintain the minimum qualification of platinum or diamond. Add the in name "Amway" that makes some people cringe and maintaining a group is a daunting task. Imagine being a CEO of a company that loses half of their employees every year. That's what a diamond "lifestyle" includes.

It is my informed opinion that a diamond lifestyle is one of hectic schedules, constantly working to help your groups maintain volume and bringing in new IBOs, plus sponsoring and maintaining your own personal group of 2500 PV volume. If you cannot maintain 2500 PV personal volume, I believe you would not qualify for some of the bonuses paid by Amway. Also, because the rest of the workers normally works 8-5 or so, a diamond is out working the night shift and odd hours trying to keep the group intact. Also, factor in the travel to functions for speaking engagements and a constant churning of meetings and you have little time to actually work your business and spend time with family. Sadly, many people join to gain more time and money and they often end up with less time and less money because of their involvement with the constant meetings and functions.

So can someone succeed in Amway? Certainly it has been done, but I believe that many diamonds are possibly busier working odd hours than someone with a job with regular hours. The diamond lifestyle may be shown as fabulous, but I believe the reality is not as nice a picture. See my previous post about visiting with a diamond.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Is Amway A Scam?

I've seen many debates recently on why some people think Amway is a scam. Normally a defense of all this is that the abuses or the scam part of business, being the tools, is not the fault of Amway. It is true that Amway the corporation does not scam anyone, or sell them these tools. However, the groups such as WWDB, BWW, or Network 21 are run by IBOs. They are run by Amway IBOs. Even though the Amway corporation is a seperate entity from these tool companies, these tool comapnies are still run by Amway IBOs and they use the Amway opportunity to capitalize on the downline as customers of the tools.

While there is nothing wrong with some personal development and motivation, I believe there is a lack of honesty and tranparency in how the tools business is administered. For example, how many IBOs actually know exactly how to qualify for a cut of the tools income and is there a specific compensation plan for these tools? Allegedly, there are some documents explaining this but I do not believe the rank and file IBOs know about the details. In cases where diamond income was revealed, diamonds made significant income from the sale of tools. Some diamonds make a lot more from tools than from Amway. Also, since a diamond recognition is forever, even non qualifying diamonds can be getting significant income from Amway.

So why the label of scam? Because so few people actually make money from the Amway opportunity. Amway defenders like to cite that most IBOs simply do nothing. While iy may be true, this in itself represents a problem with the recruitment process or the recruiters. Even if you examine a big function where there may be tens of thousands in attendance, I wonder how many have a net gain after expenses? I would guess the answer to that is a fraction of 1%. Amway's own numbers reveal this. $115 a month average gross income. And .5 (one half of one percent) of IBOs reach the Gold/Platinum level where you earn about $1000 a month gross income, or near the equivalent of full time minimum wage.

And to gain this full time minimum wage proposition, you must overcome incredible challenges, including being able to replace IBOs who quit, and to replace them ast enough so your volume doesn't diappear. Thus some IBOs, desperate to sponsor, resort to tricks and deception to get people to see the plan. I experienced it myself. These actions, coupled with a low success rate, make it seem like a scam for most, especially when the tools are claimed (by the tool sellers) to be a bonafide means to success in Amway. Add all of these up, and over the years, you develop the reputation of "scam". Amway can do more to restore their reputation, but it is unknown to the public in general what and if anything is being done about the abuses.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Amway Mind Game?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Family Reunion Function?

Very soon, many IBOs, particularly in WWDB, will be gearing up for, or recently attended a major function called "family reunion". I still recall attending this function as an IBO. It was held in the Rose Garden in Portland Oregon. The Rose garden seats between 15 to 20 thousand people. Although the area behind the stage is closed off, the court area is full of seats so it could possibly hold up to 20,000 IBOs or more. Amway apologists like to denounce the experience of critics but they conveniently overlook the fact that many critics sat in crowds in tens of thousands of IBOs. My sponsor, in the years before I joined, spoke of an FED function at the (then) Seattle Kingdome where there were about 50,000 IBOs in attendance.

For me, family reunion was the most expensive function I had attended. The ticket itself was $250 and being in Hawaii, a round trip airfare ticket was quite expensive as July is peak travel. We also had to dish out for hotels, rental cars and meals. I believe my total expenditure for this function was more than $1200 when it was said and done. Now I know that not all IBOs live in Hawaii but even if you live in California, you likely had to fly or drive some serious miles to get to this function. I'm not sure where the function is held now as my understanding is that there aren't nearly as many IBOs attending anymore.

The function was about hype and excitement. The speakers told tales of struggles that was overcome by perserverence and the never quit attitude. That you will make it one day if only you will sitck it out and never quit. Of course what goes on unnoticed by many is that in a crowd of 15 to 20 thousand IBOs, only a handful of diamonds can be supported by a group of that size. At the time, I didn't stop to do the math myself or I would have seen through the line that anyone can go diamond.

The Saturday evening portion of the function was about some diamonds flaunting their alleged wealth. We saw displays of jewelry, fabulous vacaations, mansions and sports cars. Of course, the diamonds never said they actually owned these goodies. Makes me wonder if some of them rented fancy cars to bring to the function as some of the diamonds probably could not afford it. After the function ended for the night, our upline expected the group to go without sleep trying to "associate" with the diamonds and other pins. We were told that their success would somehow transfer to us if we spent enough time with them.

Of course everyone went home all fired up but within a week or two, it was business as usual with no noticeable growth in anyone's group.

My question to IBOs or information seekers. Did you get what was sold with these functions? Did your PV go up in a sustainable manner? Did you start getting a flow of new downline? Was the money spent on this function ever made up by increased business? If you cannot answer yes to these questions, then what was the purpose of attending? Looking back, I'd have to say that in a business sense, the function was a waste of time and money, which is ironically what most people join the business for, but end up with less of when they get involved.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Amway Winners?

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

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

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

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