Monday, February 8, 2016

No "Negative" In Amway?

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 eventually, 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 deadly 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?

39 comments:

Mike Bronstein said...

Hey Joe,

So I just spent the last 2 and a half days reading Merchants of Deception. I am starting to realize a common thread between your post topics, and the subjects that "John Jacob" brings up in his book. I like the fact that you open conversations about these very controversial and necessary topics for people who may not want to sit and read a 300 page autobiography of this guy's experience. Thank you for revisiting these subjects.

On the subject of truth, it is hard for most to encounter the tougher truths without some form of cognitive dissonance (another subject "John" brings up in his book). Cognitive dissonance is a very real and very necessary function in order to keep the sanity. We trigger it daily without realizing it, because we are constantly bombarded with topics we either don't agree with, or don't want to accept as the norm. An example of this can be as simple as, a Volkswagen ad promoting their new car as the cheaper eco-friendly model in comparison to the others. Even though the stats reflect they have a superior car, a Toyota fan might not acknowledge the car commercial even aired by immediately blocking it out of memory, or go back to a time in which Volkswagen had significant pollution issues (recent news can enlighten some on the topic), and then validate why they would still buy a Toyota over a Volkswagen. Sometimes, avoiding the truth, as you put it, can be a very necessary device in order to prevent day to day traumas.

The definition of trauma is not being able to connect to events to a narrative. This means that when two events of your life cannot possibly make any sense when put together. An example of this is the mental shift of believing you are fighting for a just cause (Military sends you to Afghanistan), only to find out the guys you are fighting against are being supplied with weapons to kill your troop by our government. This can become traumatic because the truth of why you are fighting becomes conflicted with the actual messages being sent out. Everyone has a narrative that they write every moment they are functioning. Cognitive dissonance is essential to keep people as technically sane as possible in an insane situation, and the more you bombard them with information that does not match up to their narrative the more traumatic the break can be, or the more cognitive dissonance can be activated.

It is essential to find a way to guide them in the right direction, without shoveling disparaging information down their proverbial throats. I have yet to find a way without getting outrageously into details about the blasphemous acts their organization is responsible for. I encourage anyone to step forward with any solutions that can help bring truth, without bringing SEVERE trauma.

Anonymous said...

A lot of this "don't say or think negative" goes back to a truly stupid book written by Norman Vincent Peale many years ago. The book's title is "The Power of Positive Thinking," and it was a best-seller even though every reputable psychologist in the country said that the book was shallow and facile.

Amway promoters always recommend Peale's book, along with a lot of clones produced by various hack writers. All of these overhyped books are nothing more than pep talks about being upbeat all the time, smiling bravely, and never slipping into pessimism. It's all "rah-rah-let's-go-team!"

Joe is quite correct. People in Amway can't distinguish the "negative" from simple truth. Anything that casts doubt on Amway's promises is "negative," and therefore must be false by definition. This is why if you express the slightest skepticism about anything (no matter how crazy) that your up-line says, you will be viciously excoriated as "a negative loser" or worse. Some morons in Amway actually claim that Nutrilite vitamins cure cancer. If you give the merest hint of disbelief in that absurd notion, watch out. You'll be on the receiving end of some very nasty feedback from Amway freaks.

Joecool said...

Yes, I believe most IBOs have cognitive dissonance because there is no other explanation for their actions. Amway doesn't add up on paper and in real life, yet people will go to the ends of the earth defending Amway while they are in Amway. I myself did it once upon a time.

I read merchants of deception and I could believe the stories in there such as down line having mob loyalty and up line getting so pushy to sell tools or trips that make money for themselves to the detriment of their down line.

I started this blog to point out some of up lines tricks and lies in the hope that some people will come to self actualization and snap out of it.

Anonymous said...

Amway 2015 sales rediced 14% to 9.5 billion $. This is after an 8% reduction in 2014. So almost one quarter reduction now compared to 2013. However north america sales apparently grew strongly.

Anonymous said...

Most of the time, when a person is told the truth, truth really hurts and that is the reason, most people, (including me) react badly when truth comes out of the open.

Truth, does not paint a rosy picture, but rather it shows us an unpleasant reality, the reality that if you choose to continue in this kind of so-called business, you will go nowhere but that is the truth.

Anonymous said...

Excellent reasoning! The reason that "positive thinking advice" works because "positive thinking" appeals to groups of people who are at the disadvantage situation such as "depression", "isolation", loss of hope, lost opportunity for improvement, poverty and many more. Therefore, it makes sense that uplines wanted to sell hopes and dreams to the disadvantage who wants to escape the miseries in life. (Correct me if I am wrong)

Anonymous said...

What is negative? Anything that hinders them from participating in the "business".

So, anyone even families that disagrees with the "business opportunity" are viewed as opposition and should be avoided in the eyes of any IBO.

Even telling them the truth is considered "negative". Therefore, truth really hurts to the bone but applied truth sets the IBO free. Although painful.

Joecool said...

IBOs believe the scam because they want to believe you can work 2-5 years and retire wealthy.

Joecool said...

Amway doesn't report sales for North America. There's a reason for that.

Joecool said...

That's a cult like aspect of Amway. They get you to shun family and friends if they are not positive about Amway.

Anonymous said...

If you are not the son of VanAndel or DeVos, then sales of even 10 billion dollars are NOT significant.

Anonymous said...

You made the right choice, Joe, to snap out when your upline crossed the line by messing with your relationship with your girlfriend.

Joecool said...

Spot on. IBOs like to brag about Amway sales but if you're an IBO struggling to sell $100 a month, Amway's 10 billion in sales means nothing. It's great for Amway but not for you.

Joecool said...

Thanks! I was a growing leg going up to 4000 PV but I always suspected that up line was lying about no profit in tools and when I did the math, I figured it out. I hope prospects and IBOs read my posts and figure it out too.

Anonymous said...

BELIEVE, BELIEVE, BELIEVE! That's the mantra repeated over and over again in the rotten core of Amway.

Joecool said...

The other mantra is to never quit. As if putting money into a money pit helps your business. What IBOs need to realize is that you can quit Amway and still be successful in another business venture.

Anonymous said...

Believe you won't achieve your dreams & goals.. You will be right... Believe you will... You will... Has nothing to do with Amway... Amway provides platform for each IBO--same products, same partner stores, same opportunity....
And doesn't matter which business you start you will be doing what we teach to IBO's via experience of successful IBO's , Books of successful people & Association of Community of entrepreneurs working together.... Reason most don't get the concept easily is they don't have any comparison outside of "business owners working collobaratively".

Joecool said...

Problem is that Amway's platform is a poor one. Most people would be better off doing nothing than doing Amway and losing money on business expenses/

Association is a joke. You're hanging out with other IBOs who are also losing money.

Anonymous said...

I thought you are smart enough to know if that would have been the case the business opportunity wouldn't have grown to 100 countries and for almost 57 years...
Sorry to hear your bad experience & hope it won't lead to those reading your experience take it as their own...
School,College, Teachers teaching are same , it's upto each Individual(the "I" in IBO) to build a better future... Some fail, some quit and from the same class some become legends.... Depends on each "I".

Joecool said...

Sorry, the "I" in IBO is not independent. Amway's rules are quire restrictive and you are at their mercy.

Amway's growing primarily in foreign countries because the foreigners don't recognize the scam yet. That's why things have slowed down in the US, where most people know the deal about Amway/

Sorry to inform you, but many people have had and are still having the same kind of experience that I had.

What have you done in Amway? I'll bet you have a net loss.

Anonymous said...

Those who think they do in Amway don't get what the opportunity is all about, Those who understand what business opportunity is about do WITH Amway...
Every business has rules/guidelines to run, nothing different here.

Foreign governments who approve the products and business plan don't recognize and you do... Sorry seems you lack some basic understanding about the business opportunity.
JoeCool this is Information Age ,most have access to Internet and can go and study Amway website, watch videos of products on Amway's website... Local association of successful IBO's who meet and share their experiences and empower each other.
I have team of entrepreneurs in different cities who work collobaratively with local teams and empower others to become entrepreneurs(without disturbing what they do for living) and those who are not yet ready, we serve them with world class quality products, In between I do try to learn from bad experience of folks like you had for whatever reason- wrong information,mis-information, wrong guidance from the person who sponsored them..(don't blame Amway for that, Amway don't come and sponsor new IBO)

The business plan starts from where a normal customer options stop-- either retail or at the most wholesale...we offer all 3 options--retail,wholesaler plus distributorship and opportunity to help others start their own business.

Joecool said...

Just because Amway is recognized as legal doesn't mean it's a good business and it doesn't mean IBOs operate ethically. There's plenty of evidence and testimony that Amway IBOs deceive and operate unethically. Smoking, drinking and gambling are legal in most states but it's not good for your health and well being.

Secondly, IBOs are not entrepreneurs. They are commission only sales people who take all the risk for Amway. They promote and use/sell products and only get paid if they use/sell products with a minimum defacto 100 PV quota.

Don't blame Amway? That's a legal convenience isn't it? Especially when only Amway can discipline bad IBO behavior.

Anonymous said...

People are classified as good or bad , should not lead you to classify business opportunity as bad.

How you define entrepreneurs? Everyone in Sales is commission only... Walton Family, company where you have job if you are employed...
No one takes risk for Amway, we promote the opportunity as low risk anyway..with 180 day satisfaction on products in North American market and 90 days for business registration.
Everyone of us use those core products , difference is where we buy from (indirect or direct) , nothing different from other sales -- only get paid if sales happen... Ask the place where you have job from where the salary is coming? (FYI from the "commission" your company makes from the sales to its customer)....
There's is no quota...and there is no compulsion.. Those who have ownership mindset understand why they need to be loyal to the products they have in their e-mall... Infact we offer over million products in NA market (High quality core products are only around 450 at this time) you can make PV on them too..

IBO's are not employees of Amway, As for bad behavior, they can and they do (as per the guidelines setup in the Business Reference Guide which is sent to each IBO and also available on website, you should read that it came in your kit) when they are notified and investigation finds the allegations are true... You can learn more on Amway website for dispute resolution or IBOAI.com(NA IBO's).

Joecool said...

From the dictionary: and entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

That does not describe an Amway distributor. IBOs take no initiative.

And yes, IBOs do take the risk for Amway. IBOs promote Amway products at their own time and expense and get paid nothing from Amway unless they are able to sell at least 100 PV. IBOs also recruit other IBOs at their own time and expense and Amway pays nothing for this either.

Odd how only IBOs seem to have the opinion that Amway products are of high quality. To the rest of the world, Amway is generic in nature with premium prices. Truth be told, if Amway products were as good as IBOs claim they are, Amway could market them to the world without an MLM model and make far more money than they do now. But Amway can't compete so have loyal IBOs chasing dreams who purchase most of Amway's sales. When the dreams of wealth fade away, so goes the desire for Amway products.

Yes, Amway has rules but they are not actively enforced by the corporation as far as anyone can see.

What is an ownership mindset? That sounds like some innocuous term used by IBOs.

Anonymous said...

Risk in terms of what?..Every one is promoting .. How you think Mark Zuckerberg makes money?.. Difference people do FOR other businesses.. We educate them do WITH those that benefit them..con-Sumer vs pro-Sumer.

We don't recruit-that's in employment world, we offer partnership with the IBO who sponsor hence its a win-win as the sponsored IBO has same privileges as the one who sponsored.
Go and check Amway website to learn cost per use, experience products, read labels to understand what quality is on offer, with profit sharing option and with distribution rights.

They do now as Internet allows them to go direct to both IBO and Customers, customers can buy direct from the website at RETAIL price but from the very beginning 1959 the best way to build business is by sharing product experience & offering opportunity to share the same.
Amway is Direct Selling.. MLM are indirect selling companies where they have multi levels before customer get the product.

They do make money and they distribute back to those who perform , where you think bonus (over 50 billion dollars so far) comes from?.
That fading of dream maybe true for you, not for all IBO's and you can revive your too as its upto each I (IBO).
Well as for enforcing that's your understanding again, I don't share the view.
BBB, DSA and WFDSA are other organizations/associations that are industry watchdogs.

What is ownership mindset-- simple think like this-- is Toyota a bad car?.. No.. Then when Honda company owner decided to start his company and made that choice ...there is a life dream beyond just the product(they-products are means to them), and will you see him driving Toyota?..
It's a mindset,no physical difference in employee or entrepreneur.






Anonymous said...

The title should be "No Negative in Life"... Live a Positive Life.

Joecool said...

Amway is a poor business opportunity. Amway's own stats show it. The real average income of IBOs is about $100 a month. Most IBOs do nothing and out of the ones who do, most lose money when business expenses are factored im.

Only about 1 in 400 ever reach platinum, which is where you might begin to make some money when business expenses are factored in.

Joining Amway nearly assures that business building IBOs will lose money.

Anonymous said...

Joe, it looks like you really got under the skin of several Amway freaks with this particular thread. It's unusual for them to post so many desperate attempts at rebuttal here.

All of what they say is the typical canned Amway-speak. They can't come up with a single cogent argument against what you have said.

Anonymous said...

Again that's your perspective...it might have been poor for you, not for an IBO who is a platinum, a diamond or beyond....having the same opportunity as anyone else.
Real average or otherwise income of a customer=0, again you are just proving my point that it's upto each "I"... If they don't do nothing they make nothing..like any other activity (or inactivity).
Joining Business Opportunity is like joining a gym, and then deciding not to go for regular exercise and expect a fit body... Not going to happen...hence the role of education via associations of successful IBO's, audio streaming, Books...products are same, difference is the mindset...

Mike Bronstein said...

I can't really discern much of what this Anonymous is talking about, but I am going to try and make a couple reaches here.

1st his use of analogies to draw comparisons I would assume is off base compared to the topic at hand, because every analogy used by IBO's is wildly incorrect. (ex. pony is to horse as car is to helicopter) Yes a car is a smaller motorized vehicle, but when you really look at the two they don't share anything in common whereas the pony and horse are clearly the same species and one is younger than the other. The comparison is inaccurate at best.

BBB DSA and WFDSA are not government recognized agencies, and they look out for their best interest before caring about any legalities. In fact the DSA has consistently been referred to as a poor source for gathering valuable information, and MLM's have been scarred from being related to their opinions.

50 billion dollars paid out over more than 50 years is not impressive. Blue chip companies have paid out far bigger amounts of moneys to their employees in shorter periods of time.

Direct sales is better than MLM because it actually focuses on selling a product rather than recruiting others and PRAYING that they are able to sell a product so that you can make a commission off of it. MLM is a marketing technique to encourage others to focus their energies on teaching others how to utilize a portion of their capital on their own purchasing through the parent company while converting others to do the same. It should be easier since they only have to spend a certain amount of money, but the products are always grossly overpriced and often times less than satisfactory compared to their competitors in the same fields. This is the biggest problem with getting MLM to work outside of the tool companies that leach onto them. They also don't see worthwhile commissions until they have taught an enormous amount of people to convert their purchases to the new company rather than use their competitors products, which in turn will lead to a larger group of people making nothing in commissions while a select few make a little bit.

I don't understand the mindset comparison with the Honda owner using a Toyota product. It seems completely contradictory to the point he is trying to make with MLM. MLM strives to make sure people only use MLM products so that they can in turn make a commission off of the products they teach downline to use. If a Honda owner decides he won't use the product that he is making in the same category, then he is devaluing his organization and teaching them not to use the products they are being trained to use and sell. This mindset is completely backwards and has the adverse affect of the point he is trying to convey.

Joecool said...

Yes, it's common for pro Amway folks to come here and debate, but not a single one can refute Amway's own numbers. Average income of all IBOs is less than $100 a month and that includes diamonds and crowns that drive up the average.

1 in about 400 go platinum. Someone with an actual
"business mentality" wouldn't even consider joining such a poor opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Well then go join another opportunity that helps you build better future for your generations to come, and use this platform to promote that... Your Digital Footprints will remain for your generations to see , I hope you want them to look upto you in admiration..

Anonymous said...

See what I mean, Joe? All this guy can do is suggest that you stop leaving "Digital Footprints" for others to see. The translation of that jargon is this: Stop saying bad things about Amway!

Joecool said...

In a few years, I'll be retired from working but this blog will go on without me.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you are right that is up to the "I" in IBO whether to make or fail at the "business". What Joecool and other former IBOs are saying is that statistically speaking most IBOs don't become successful at the business. And if you are the kind that can be successful at Amway, then odds are that you can be successful at any other business that you can probably start yourself and actually make a lot more money than what Amway makes it possible for you.

If Amway was indeed a great business opportunity, everyone in the world should be on Amway by now.

People want to join Amway because it's supposedly a low cost, low time investment way to start your own business. Problem is that a business can't be run that way. Most successful businesses required their owners to spend significant time on it. This claim that a few hours a week can help you build a great business is simply false. The supposedly "successful" IBOs spend significantly more time on their "business".

If Amway is indeed a great opportunity, I challenge any IBO out there to pitch it to any venture fund or even on Shark Tank and obtain some sort of investment! That'll prove to the world that Amway is at least a business worth venturing into, let alone whether one becomes successful in it or not.

Mike Bronstein said...

That is really funny that you brought up the Shark Tank comment as I have made a similar one in the past. Of course the breakdown would be tragic and the trauma would be severe as they get ripped to shreds.

The first thing the sharks ask is how much money they had in sales last year. Typical IBO response, we are not in the business in sales we are in the business of team building and teaching people to change their shopping habits. The shark would respond, so how many lives did you change and turn into money in your pocket? Typical IBO response would say, that is not what this is about, to which every shark would laugh.

The second thing the sharks would ask is what is the profit margin. The typical IBO response would be...huh? Not realizing their reimbursement checks resemble 3-6% of the products they use. The sharks would again laugh at the horrible margins, and they are quickly swept away by constant expenses on tools, seminars and travel expenses.

The third thing the sharks would ask is what is proprietary about the business. The IBO would say, nothing and that's the beauty of it because anyone can do it. This business is designed to be duplicate able. The sharks would again laugh and say why don't we just start our own business with better margins? The IBO responds by breaking into disgruntled murmurs and a lack of faith.

The fourth and final thing the sharks would ask is, Are you ready to commit 100%? To which the IBO would reply, of course not this is only meant to be a part time income source until I can retire from my job. This is when the sharks become stunned, and literally get security to escort the IBO out of the building.

Joecool said...

LOL, good post Mike

Anonymous said...

My wife and I recently left Amway (about 4 months ago). The straw that broke the camel's back was a comment made by my upline. The comment was, "Don't worry about whether or not you are leaving your new born son at home, he does not even know you are gone right now." It was in that moment that I began to question some of the ideas that Amway had presented. The business was tearing apart my relationship with my wife, even more than I realized. She informed me that she was scared that divorce was eventually on the horizon. Thankfully, once the baby came I had no desire to spend more time away from my wife and kid. I came to my senses and realized that being around family and friends and cultivating great relationships with those people was indeed the most important thing I could do. I did not sever relationships with my friends and we still went to bbq's and out to eat with people closest to use, but my upline also stated that I needed to give those things up if I truly cared about my family's success.
With all that being said, I have no problem with the actual Amway products or the leadership tools that are provided through WWDB. The Amway products were great and in fact we will probably order some through our former upline. The leadership tools and success principles are fantastic and apply to any career. I happen to be reading through some of the books as I begin my Master in Administration. The underlying problem is that there are too many lies and deceit with the people who are presenting the information. I was informed, in a roundabout way, that many people will go ahead and purchase 150pv in products and then simply claim 50 pv as customer retail. This is just one example of the deceitfulness of some people in the business. I was sucked into the business at a vulnerable time for my wife and I financially and thankfully we are in a better place now that we are out of the business than we were when we started Amway.

Joecool said...

It's good that you were able to gain some good from Amway, even if not financial. But that same teaching still exists today. That your kids won't even notice you missing. And that's not true. Kids will remember as they get older.

The reason why you're told to focus on Amway instead of your friends and family is because they don't want you wasting your time and discretionary income on non Amway related activities.

As an upline, if you can get an unpaid army to dedicate their time and money into building your business, you can truly live the diamond lifestyle while your downlines only dream about it.