When I was an IBO, I often saw my upline diamond driving around town dressed in a business suit. I used to think why does he keep 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, or is it possible 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, thus a diamond ends up working nights?
Now Amway has stated that the average diamond (non Q12) earns about $150,000 a year. That is a decent income, but after taxes and paying for basic monthly 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. Is that freedom?
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 worked a 9-5 job. For one thing, a diamond needs to maintain personal group volume 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 I believe he 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. But up and coming pins shine and drop out regularly like so many other IBOs. The diamond's effort must be endless.
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 to attend out of town functions.
After breaking down projected income and considering projected expenses, I can only conclude that a diamond probably lives a 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. Is that what you consider "freedom"?