Monday, November 30, 2015

Do You Know Your Amway Upline?

One thing that I was unaware of as an IBO was that our uplines were massively profiting from our tools purchases. I was in WWDB at the time and I was told very clearly that nobody made money from the tools and in fact, I was also told that WWDB was a non profit organization. Both of these statements were bold lies told by WWDB leaders and they have never been held accountable. We were told that upline cared about us and our success, thus they spent their own money to fly to functions to teach us how to succeed. Turns out they were all lies.

Eventually, the internet amd other media made it impossible to cover up these lies and uplines finally admitted that they profitted from tools. However, it looks like they downplayed the magnitude of the tools profits. I believe some upline may have made most of their income from tools, especially leaders who may have fallen out of qualification. Now days, the upline admits they make some profits from tools, but there is still a great deal of secrecy in the tools business. What makes the whole thing ironic is that the uplines allegeldy are not supposed to entice Amway prospects into joining by using the tools money as a draw, but at the same time, they are told that tools are vital to their success. Uplines also show off trappings and lifestyles to attract recruits, but I believe that these trappings were likely obtained with tool income. Tool income has a higher profit margin than Amway products and fewer people in the pay plan so it makes perfect sense.

I wonder how many prospects or IBOs would be fired up about buying tools if they knew that their uplines might not currently be qualified at the level they claim to be, and knowing that the uplines will make a ton of money whether or not you make a cent as an IBO? Also, some uplines are shameless in pushing the tools on downline. Sure they might cut the newest guy a break and loan them some cds, but once that IBO decides to start building downline, they are likely to be told that a real business owner buys their own tools, or that a business owner needs to be a leader and purchase extra tools for their downline.

How would you feel uf your upline is touting themselves as a financial genious but in the background, their homes are foreclosed or they have financial difficulties? What if your upline touts their morals and you find out they are divorced or getting a divorce? What if your upline said Amway saves marriages? Your upline certainly won't say they are perfect, but conversely, they should be held to the highest standards if they are using their status to be able to sell tools and make large profits.

Friday, November 27, 2015

My (Fair Weather) Amway Friends?

You hang out with friends, generally people you like and have similar interests. You have good and bad times, but your true friends are there for you when you need them. You move residences, your friends are there to help you move. They may play a round of golf with you, or watch some sporting events, dinners, backyard barbeques, movies, etc. These are folks you will likely end up retiring with and enjoying your golden years.

But suddenly, you get enticed to join Amway. You see the "chance" to get rich, with a shortcut (not get rich quick, but a "shortcut"). You sign up and your sponsor is your new "best" friend. Most of the people you enjoyed being with think Amway is a questionable venture to get involved in. Suddenly, because of what you have been told or taught, you view these same nice people as "broke" or "losers", simply because they do not share the same ambition of untold wealth working 12-15 hours a weeek. Suddenly, you friends become prospects, or people you want to sponsor so you start recruiting them. Some may join, but most won't. Suddenly you are immersed in recruitment meetings, functions, and avoiding "negative", which is people and events that do not support your Amway business. Sadly, many of these "negative" people were likely what you previously thought of as "good friends".

Now you are missing birthday parties, barbeques, and other social events. Your social events are now recruitment meetings, seminars and Amway business related events. You are taught that these events (birthday parties, etc.) can be put off and your gratification delayed. You can do whatever you want when you go diamond. (Even though there might be only one (1) diamond out of every ten or twenty thousand IBOs) Your dedication will pay off right? Sadly, for most people, even very dedicated people, all they will see is losses on their yearly tax returns, mainly due to the purchase of cds, books, voicemail and function tickets. But these are your "friends" right?

Here's my take on it. Try missing a few meetings or functions. Stop buying cds and see how many "friends" remain from the business. It is likely that your upline will claim that you walked away from the friendship by slowing down on the "system". If that happens, then you have conditional friends, or fair weather friends. They are your "friends" while you are pursuing the same cause. They are your friends when you are attending functions. Are they there for you in bad times?

A short while after I attended my last function (I was still an IBO, just not a business builder), my dad passed away. Not a single one of my IBO "friends" bothered to attend the memorial service. Not a single one of my IBO friends called or dropped by the home to pay their respects. All of my "real" friends, who saw through the AMO smoke and mirrors called to talk to me and/or attended the memorial service.

Are your IBO friends conditional friends? Mine were.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Don't Quit Your Day Job!

So many IBOs have grandiose dreams of untold wealth, financial freedom. They think they will "build it once' and sit back on the beaches of the world sipping exotic drinks while the 6 figure checks keep coming in the mail. Sure it's a nice thought, but not a single IBO I have encountered can name a single IBO who achieved diamond, and walked away from the business to enjoy freedom while the money pours into their bank accounts. It is very likely that nobody like this exists. I suppose someone could go diamond and walk away from the business and still earn some bonuses, but very quickly, that business would likely fall out of qualification and the bonuses would shrink to nothing very quickly. Also, to earn bonuses, I believe an IBO needs to have side volume exceeding 2500 PV, which is roughly $7500 monthly in personal group volume. With normal attrition, it's easy to see how a diamond business can fall apart faster than a cheap suit without maintenance.

I also see and hear many IBOs popping off about how someone in their upline is earning $60,000 a year. While it may seem like a nice income to someone who has a low paying or entry level job, that income is gross and may not leave much left after taxes and associated business expenses. Even a diamond with an average income of $150,000 in a year likely has a very low monthly income from Amway as much of that income comes in the form of an annual bonus. As a former emerald once told me, you needed to budget out that annual bonus or you could be in financial trouble later in the year, if Amway is your sole source of income.

Also, you may have seen diamond showing off sports cars and other displays of wealth. My former LOS, WWDB has a function called "Dream nite" where they show off lavish displays of wealth. Well, it is my informed guess that most diamonds cannot afford the lifestyles and toys that they show off in these functions. If you do the math, you can see that after taxes and other expenses, a diamond lifestyle is likely to be quite ordinary. Normally, nobody would care about this but since diamonds use this display of wealth to recruit IBOs and to sell tools, it is significant for IBOs to know.

While it is great for someone to have dreams and goals, it is also important to have achievable goals. It is simply impossible for a room of IBOs to go diamond and to earn the kind of income that is shown in "the plan". Amway recruiters will show you "what's possible", but not "what's likely". To put perspective on that, it's "possible" that you can start a software company that puts microsoft out of business, but it's not likely. It's possible for you to win the lottery, but not likely. My advice to IBOs is not to quit your day jobs - ever. Your dreams and goals can be accomplished in many ways, but it is unlikely to be achieved with an Amway business.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Amway Recruits?

One thing is clear. Many Amway recruits are shown fancy cars and toys, along with luxurious vacations and trappings. This is a way to get prospects excited and interested in signing up for the Amway opportunity. Many sign up, and the excitement fades and they quit. Many do little or nothing. But what many people do not understand or realize is that there is a reason for this. Many do little or nothing, I suspect because the business is much harder to build than adevrtised.

Because Amway has a stigma in the US (and growing in other locations), finding prospects is a daunting task. Add in the high prices of Amway products and you have major challenges that IBOs simply cannot overcome. Most simply quit and fade away into society. Some, like myself were lied to and abused, with upline leaders (WWDB)who were never held accountable for their actions. Thus I blog so others may share my experiences and can decide if they wish to climb insurmountable challenges for a miniscule chance of financial success. Maybe they will realize they are being fed the same lies I heard as an IBO. Maybe some little nugget of information will get through and help a prospect or ongoing IBO.

What many leaders do is evolve their teachings. They start to teach their IBOs that the Amway opportunity may have made them nicer people, better fathers or husbands and other nice to hear stories because it covers up the fact that these IBOs are not making money. Sometimes I wonder how someone can be a better person by deceiving others about the business opportunity, or how you can be a better father or husband when Amway meetings become a priority over your family and friends? Or how you can be a nicer person and leave threatening messages on forums with those who disagree about Amway being a great business opportunity?

Rather that justifying your involvement or looking ar side benefits, IBOs should be looking at their bottom line. If your Amway "Business" is not generating enough money to pay for your voicemail and other expenses and leaving you with a net profit, then what exactly is your upline teaching you that is worth the ongoing expense? If you are like most, you are told that Amway has no overhead and has little risk. Well, that becomes untrue after months pass by and you have spent hundreds if not thousands on support materials that do not deliver you a net profit. Are you being taught that you're successful simply by showing up for a function?

Are you new or a tenured IBO? Has your teaching from upline evolved away from making money as the bottom line? If so, what do you do next?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Amway And College?

Many IBOs justify their involvement in the system of cds, tapes, books and seminars by comparing it to college. They claim they need this education and that it is much cheaper when compared to a college or university. Of course this is the upline propaganda that IBOs are fed, much like the concept that a job is a bad idea. If recruiters are encouraging you to build Amway and to drop college, I would run away as fast as possible. It is well documented that college graduates in general, earn much more than non college graduates. I'd also mention that college was a fun experience for me.

In college, it is true that not everyone graduates, but approximately half of those who start college end up graduating. Those who do not graduate still benefit from their education on a year to year or course by course basis. When you are job seeking, a college degree will give you more options than those who don't educate. This claim cannot be made by Amway IBOs. The education an IBO receives by seminars and cds do not even equate to success in Amway, much less in other venues in life. Only a small fraction of IBOs ever reach platinum, which supposedly is the break even point. So as an IBO, you have less than one half of a one percent chance to break even as compared to approximately a 50% chance of graduating college.

Also, once you graduate and receive your degree/diploma, it is complete. You have your degree and no more education is required. In Amway, your education will never end. You'll be expected to invest in the tools and functions forever. Also, in Amway, there are many many many examples of people who reached levels as high as diamond or above who could not maintain the level. There are also many examples of diamonds who quit Amway. If there were such a thing as "residual" income, why would anyone quit when they could sit back and watch the cash roll in. I think the answer is quite obvious. Residual income is a myth. I believe that diamonds might be working full time to maintain their groups. With people quitting daily, it takes a lot of effort to replace the quitters with new recruits.

There is also no evidence (as far as I know) that your Amway related education of cds and seminars actually work. The tiny fraction of 1% of successful IBOs is not a good case for arguing the success of the system. Colleges on the other hand, have accreditation standards, which is nothing like the ineffective Amway accreditation of groups such as BWW, WWDB or Network 21. The results are quite telling if you look at them analytically.

The fact that IBOs even dare to compare a college education to their teaching in Amway is a joke. Try telling a prospective employer about your Amway education and see what that gets you. LOL

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Your Odds Of Success In Amway?

Many people consider the platinum level in Amway as a significant achievement in Amway. While it may be nice to achieve that level and gain recognition from the Amway corporation, I will point out that there was a study done in Wisconsin where the attorney general analyzed and found that platinums on average, lost money. The study is somewhat dated, but I will also point out that today, there are MORE expenses associated with running an Amway business than before. (Voicemail, books, functions, standing orders, shipping). I would guess that it's possible that platinums lose more today than when the Wisconsin study was done. In that study, the top1% of IBOs were examined and it was found that they averaged a net loss of about $900 each.

A typical platinum group often has 100 or more downline IBOs. Thus a logical conclusion is that less than 1% of IBOs can reach that level. And that isn't even factoring in all the people who sign up and quit. It is also, apparently rare to maintain the level of platinum. Factoring in people who quit, one can conclude that only a small fraction of 1% ever reach platinum. My former upline diamond had 7 frontline platinums in his heyday. Actually, 6 of them were ruby level. None of them hold the platinum level today and I'm not sure that any of them are even in the business today. So you have a less than 1% chance of reaching platinum and then you are even less likely to be able to maintain that level.

What serious prospective business owner would even consider opening a business where you have such a tiny chance of success? Even those who achieve platinum are likely to lose that level. If platinums cannot maintain their level, then it's easy to see why there are former diamonds as well. It seems that people are willing to take a chance on an Amway business because the start up cost is low. But what is the point of doing all of that when the chance of making money is negligible? A real business owner would look at the risk and reward and while you could argue that Amway is relatively low risk, it can also b said that the rewards are basically non existent, save for a very few elite who can overcome the overwhelming odds to make a significant income.

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

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Amway And CORE?

Breakdown of CORE and why it doesn’t work. Here are the CORE steps. Some groups may have variations of CORE, but this is generally what many groups use:

1 - Show the Plan (10-15 per month)
2 - Retail the Products (10 customers @10 PV each)
3 – Tapes/cds
4 - Books
5- Functions (attend all)
6 - Accountability
7 - Counsel with Upline (Be teachable!)
8 - Buy 100% of your own products
9 – Communikate

Many upline will tell you that your success is nearly 100% guaranteed if you follow these steps for 2-5 years. Some Amway enthusiasts will tell you that 6 months of this activity will nearly assure you of a platinum level business. Certain steps are within the IBO’s control, such as reading every day and listening to cds, and attending functions. It is also easy enough to be accountable, counsel with upline, buy your own products, and use KATE (voicemail).

Here’s where an IBO’s efforts will break down. Showing the plan and retailing products. And remember, if you cannot do these steps then you are not considered “CORE” and your upline will likely tell you that it is your own fault and that you simply haven’t been CORE, therefore you did not achieve success. There is some truth in this but let me expose the system in a different angle.

Amway has a spotty reputation in the US. I don’t think anyone can dispute this fact. Therefore, for the vast majority of people, being able to show the plan 10-15 times per month is a nearly impossible task. If you are able to do this, you are a really good salesman or a good liar. In this scenario, the IBO is already successful, but not because of CORE, but simply because the IBO has the gift of being able to convince people into seeing the plan. But for many IBOs, they may contact hundreds of people and not be able to get anyone to see the plan. Even IBOs who follow upline advice on how to contact will probably not be able to show 10-15 plans per month. Thus this IBO, who is doing the work, will not be able to succeed. The system will blame the IBO, but the reality is that the IBO has too big of a disadvantage to overcome.

Secondly, with high prices (on average) and with a spotty reputation, most IBOs are unable to retail products. Amway itself has admitted that less than 4% of Amway products are sold to customers (non IBOs). Thus most IBOs are unable to sell products, therefore they are not CORE, therefore upline will blame the IBO for failure..

What if an IBO contacts 1000 people and cannot get 10 people to see the plan? Upline will claim that IBO is not CORE and therefore it is personal failure of the IBO. IMO, the only reason why upline can claim that CORE works is because in order to do the CORE steps consistently, you have to already be at a certain level of success. The vast majority of IBOs cannot and will never be able to reach that level.

That is the myth and the deception that many uplines will use to attract recruits. That each IBO can do the CORE steps. When only a fraction of 1% ever reach the level of platinum or higher, the numbers strongly support what is written here. Apologists are welcome to try and prove me wrong, but they can't.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

How To Boil A Frog (Amway IBO)?

I heard a story about how someone boils a frog. They slowly warm up the water until the frog is relaxed and then when the frog is relaxed and muscles all soft, you turn up the heat and boil the frog. Amway leaders once told this story to describe how we as people, become complacent in life and how we can get into a rut. We relax and slowly, the bills add up and next thing you know, you're working harder than ever but living in debt.

That's because we live in a society where keeping up with the Joneses and consumerism with no delayed graitification is prevalent in US society. Your friend buys a new car and you not only want a new car, you probably want a better one. It's very common in the US, which is why so many Americans are living in debt, paycheck to paycheck. Thst doesn't make anyone a bad person, but it makes you a paycheck away from financial disaster.

I recently went to a retirement planning seminar and saw that many people don't or won't even have $100K saved up for retirement. It's a sad state of affairs and one that isn't likely to change anytime soon. I hope our readers here keep that in mind and plan accordingly.

But what does this have to do with Amway? Well, what Amway leaders are doing is boiling frogs. Or, if you will, boiling their downline. They get you to relax and trust them and then suddenly, you need to be a serious business owner, attending ALL seminars and buying ALL tools. They'll also lure you into commitment by showing you pictures of their alleged diamond lifestyle. They might show you a copy of someone's bonus check, but they won't show you a profit loss statement. They'll show you a picture of a Ferarri, but won't show you the ownership papers. They'll show you a mansion, but not the mortgage papers they signed.

The diamonds will likely make you think they are financially free, living on their terms with no financial worries in the world when the reality may reveal a very different picture. When you consider that a diamond who might earn $500,000 a year is worshipped, but when you factor in taxes, business expenses, medical insurance, etc, what's left is not a jetset lifestyle, but one closer to middle class, where you need to keep working. You could argue about how hard a diamond's "job" is, but having to be somewhere at particular time to earn money is not financial freedom.

So IBOs are actually the frogs being boiled, one function or one cd at a time. They just don't realize it.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Joecool Is Taking A Break

To my dedicated readers, Joecool will be doing some traveling and won't be avaiable to update the blog for a few weeks.

In the meantime, please enjoy some of the classic stories you can find in my archives.

There doesn't seem to be much going on in the Amway world right now. The same old recruiting everyone with a pulse and trying to sell them tools. Hopefully there is enough exposure on the internet to shine lights ipon what was once a dark secret. The diamonds can't hide behind their lies anymore and it seems that meeting and function venues are shrinking.

I hope my blog has provided some valuable information for prospects seeking information in order to be able to make an informed chose about whether to get involved or not.

I will be back to update the blog in a few weeks. Until then, have a great November bloggers!