Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Your Upline Helps (Not You) Who?

Over the years, I have encountered many IBOs and they often have a very common theme. They trust their upline and in some cases, consider them mentors. Now in a business venture, it might be good to have a mentor or someone to guide you, but in the Amway opportunity, most of the upline mentors make money off those who they mentor. That is a major conflict of interest but IBOs simply fail to see it. Just about any "help" you receive results in compensation for someone upline. It makes your "mentor" more like a aid consultant. A paid consultant who makes money even if you lose your shirt.

When an IBO sees the plan in a big meeting or function, the speaker will often be built up as a financial guru, and possibly as an expert on how to succeed in Amway. An IBO may hear something about the trail was already blazed by upline and you just need to follow the trail. Don't re-invent the wheel, just copy what upline did. But as I have said many times before, duplication sounds easy and looks good on paper, but in real life, the vast majority of IBOs run into problems that they simply cannot overcome, such as the bad reputation that the Amway name has in the US. High prices for products don't help either. The bad reputation makes it difficult to show the plan and to sponsor downline.

What is very troubling however, is that IBOs are taught to trust upline and do as they say (defacto requirement), but they are also taught that failure is their own shortcomings, even when they do exactly what upline told them. It is also troubling that many uplines will tell their faithful followers that they need to purchase more and more tools (voicemail, cds, books, seminar tickets). In some cases, an upline may advise their downline to sacrifice basic family needs to buy these tools. I saw some IBOs who were advised to skip meals to buy a cd, or skip paying the mortgage to be able to attend the next big function. The results are devastating for some. IN what business would anyone be given that kind of advice? I can only think of Amway.

I might also add that as a newer IBO or prospect, you may have heard that "everyone starts at zero", or that it's a level playing field. It is not. As a new IBO, you will likely be in the 100 PV bracket. Since Amway pays out about 30+% in bonuses, your upline(s) will split up about 27+% in bonuses off your efforts while you get a 3% bonus. That doesn't sound very level to me. In addition, you as an IBO are paying for this priviledge when you buy tools.

So each IBO should look at things objectively and see if your upline is actually helping you or simply helping himself by giving you advice that ends up in profit for himself with little or nothing for you.


Anonymous said...

What's really scary, as Anna Banana has pointed out many times, is the incredibly strong psychological hold that up-line mentors often have over the IBOs below them. This hold is so powerful that they can easily convince IBOs to do things that are self-destructive and financially stupid.

That is, by its very nature, a sick relationship of dominance and submission. But it is rooted in a non-rational, religious link. When we read the parable of the man who sacrifices all that he has to purchase "The Pearl of Great Price," we can see what motivates many Amway freaks. They'll do anything -- ANYTHING! -- to achieve the Amway dream, even if that means selling their house, dumping their property and investments, going into debt, skipping mortgage payments, and spending huge sums on "Tools" and "Functions."

You only do something crazy like this if you have some sort of irrational, pseudo-religious motivation to do so. That's why, despite years of cogent criticism of Amway at this blog and many others, there are still thousands of glassy-eyed people out there who refuse to be convinced that Amway is a fraud and a cheat. They won't believe the facts, and they won't believe their eyes.

This is why any really effective criticism of Amway will have to be aimed at its cult-like nature. Amway is a substitute religion for thousands of "true believers." That irrational, cult-like faith has to be destroyed before we can get anywhere.

Joecool said...

The upline uses clever psychology to gain the downline's trust. There are real dreams of wealth that anyone can obtain and the diamonds know how you can do it too and will gladly teach you the secrets to untold wealth and financial freedom. All you need to do is learn and heed the words of upline and you will eventually "make it".

The brainwashing is so strong that even fairly new IBOs have a fierce loyalty to these upline. They will even shun trusted family and friends because the upline said so.

The IBOs bite the bait hard because deep down in their hearts, they want it to be true. They want to believe that you can work 2-5 years and become financially free.

For these reasons, most people cannot reason with the IBOs. The IBOs must come to self actualization and snap out of it on their own. Even close friends have difficulty in convincing them otherwise.

Anonymous said...

The clever psychology you mentioned, works well on people at the disadvantaged margin or marginalized people, these people are willing to do anything to seek a better living, so enticing them with trappings of wealth is effective sales pitch.

Anonymous said...

Well then, it seems to me that your blog has two purposes: First, to warn off potential recruits who might be tempted to join the Amway scam; and second, to perhaps provide the final impetus to IBOs who are dissatisfied with Amway to break out of their hypnotic trance and leave the phony business.

I believe, however, that it is very hard to get people out of Amway who have been members for several years. They have become addicted to the "hope" that Amway dangles in front of them, and it would be incredibly painful to wrench themselves free from this silly dream after they have spent years of their time and thousands of their dollars on it.

Of course, the Amway up-line depends on this addiction to hope, just as drug-pushers depend on heroin and cocaine dependence in their regular customers. That's why they tell dissatisfied IBOs "You can't quit now! Success is just around the corner!"

Joecool said...

It works on some prospects because they truly deep in their hearts want to believe that Amway is their financial savior. The upline will relate by talking about perhaps having a few hundred dollars extra each month to pay bills or to buy some luxuries, then the later will drop in the 2-5 years, buying houses in cash and early retirement. They send out the bait then set the hook later.

Joecool said...

Absolutely! It's very difficult to quit when people not in Amway are called broke losers, broke minded, etc. To quit, you would have to categorize yourself that way. Add in the "success is right around the corner" and it's hard to let go.

However, once people do let go, I doubt they ever regret it.

Anonymous said...

It's been mentioned many times here and at other blogs that most recruits leave Amway anywhere from six months to a year after being signed up. In these cases they probably haven't lost a great deal of money, and they just sort of "fade out" from the business gradually.

In such cases, what happened is that they were seized by a momentary enthusiasm, generated by some charismatic speaker at a meeting, or by the encouragement of friends who sang the praises of Amway to them. And then in the course of a few months, the enthusiasm just wore off.

Enthusiasm is contagious, but thank God it's only temporary for most of us.

The unlucky ones are the "true believer" types, who get hooked on Amway's phony promises and are bled dry for years and tears by their up-line. They are very much like those pathetic people who go every week to their local bodega to buy fifty bucks worth of lottery tickets.

Joecool said...

Your analysis is spot on!