Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Amway Pyramid?

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.


Anonymous said...

You have put your finger on something very important about Amway -- something that goes to the heart of the basic deception and fakery of the entire scheme. Many years ago, when my cousin gave me the Amway shpiel, the one thing about it all that appealed to me was the suggestion that after one had achieved a high level of ranking in Amway, with lots of IBOs in multiple lines underneath you, you would never have to work again. All you had to do at that point was sit back and collect money, like a wealthy man clipping coupons from his bonds, or getting dividends from his stock portfolio.

This notion appeals to the normal human desire for leisure and affluence. Every person would like to be "free" and able to follow whatever hobby or amusement in life happens to appeal to him. That is a natural human aspiration. You can live a fully human life when you are unshackled by work obligations, and have ample cash to do whatever you prefer doing. When my cousin promised those things to me, I was of course intrigued.

But the reality of Amway turns out to be quite different. As is abundantly clear from this blog and others, actual success in Amway only happens to the small minority of IBOs who are fanatically dedicated to WORK, WORK, WORK at the expense of anything else in their lives. They never have any leisure time. They never can rest. They never can just be laid back and relaxed and cool. For them, Amway is a cruel taskmaster that controls every aspect of their time, thought, and energy.

So where is the "freedom" and "leisure" that my cousin promised me? These were his exact words: "You and I certainly don't want to spend our lives selling soap. But this Amway opportunity is a way for us to get rich in a relatively short period of time, and then quit forever!" Well, he was right about one thing: the prospect of selling soap (and The Plan) to potential Ambots for the rest of my life was hardly appealing. Yet he was very wrong about Amway being a temporary road to wealth and leisure. Amway is for fanatical, driven, overenthused workaholics who can't even conceive of what a leisured life is.

Leisure and freedom? What a complete lie. The brute reality is that in Amway you have to work forever, like a deranged lunatic, to even begin to approach success, and even then you must maintain and continue that intense energy output all of your days, under the lash of your up-line. You can never "retire." If you did, your down-line would shrivel up in a few months, and your income would disappear.

This is the real explanation for those endless "meetings" that you have to attend, and those stupid mass gatherings at stadiums where Dexter Yager or some other schmuck gives you a scream-punctured glorified pep talk like a football coach on amphetamines. Amway can only survive on BRAINLESS ENTHUSIASM, revved up over and over again by your up-line. No one is allowed to be calm. No one is allowed to think coolly and reflect. No one is allowed to be relaxed and easygoing. No one is allowed to have an unorthodox opinion or any doubts. In Amway, you have to be a supercharged live wire, ALL THE TIME.

In such a world, leisure and freedom are a joke.

Joecool said...

Great comment. My understanding is that if you become a diamond, you become a slave to the system and the upline. You may have to work even harder and odd hours because the rest of your downline have 9-5 jobs and can't met with you during the day.

The diamonds must also travel to do meetings and functions. I do not believe they receive income from the functions unless they are working them. Now we can argue that speaking is easier than reporting to a job but having to be at a certain time and place because you want the money is still like a job and you are not financially free.

People quit Amway regularly so if you don't replace them, the income you receive will begin to drop.

Do the math on a function. $125 per person. 25,000 IBOs in attendance.
Figure out how much to rent a venue and set up some sound systems and some janitors. It's pretty lucrative.

If people could really work 2-5 years and retire in leisure while money keeps coming in, why hasn't anyone taken that option? Instead we see diamonds quitting or working the business until they die.

Is that the freedom IBOs are seeking?