Thursday, June 9, 2016

Joecool's Amway Sponsor?

This blog post is about my old Amway sponsor who started sometime in 1993 or 1994 and last I heard, he was still active in Amway. At one time, he reached the level of Gold direct. I believe he peaked there and has never surpassed that level. I don't know where he's currently at but I can confirm he's still active and I can confirm that one of my former cross line, who was one of his loyal downline, is still active. My sponsor was/is a physician and I knew someone who had contact with his office so I had some information passed on from time to time.

My sponsor (Let's call him Jim) approached me to join shortly after he joined and I declined his offer to join, telling him to visit again if he made any money. He came back some time later as a Gold direct and I joined (my story is on this blog). I am of the belief that if you repeat a lie long enough, you begin to believe it. My sponsor, while probably not making much from tools, pushed them hard. He also helped to perpetuate the lie (at the time) that nobody made money on tools. He was a good soldier. He kept repeating what upline told him and never let up and never quit.

I believe my sponsor may not have been in Amway only for the money. I mean, he wanted to go diamond and leave his medical practice behind, but for him, it was more important to receive adulation from the group and he told me he really wanted to be on stage because he has always dreamed about speaking to a large audience and being treated like a rockstar. For that reason, he was really pushing me hard because he thought I would be his first downline direct.

During my tenure as IBO, I was growing quickly and my sponsor was in contact with me almost daily. He would even drop by my house at midnight sometimes, to see if I was home or out building the business. As my business grew, he became more and more "controlling" of my activities. He wanted to be involved in every decision I made. He told me I should ask for advice even for things like buying a new car, or even getting married. At the time, I had a girlfriend and he told me to ditch her, build the business to diamond and I could choose any of the single ladies in my group. At that point, I knew he went off the deep end and I thought about it and quit. At 4000 PV, I wasn't making any net money despite upline promises that I would. I told my group I was leaving and explained why. They all went with me except 1 or 2 IBOs who had developed loyalty to the upline. (That girlfriend has now been married to me for more than 20 years).

After I left Amway, my sponsor Jim called a few times, asking how I've been and whether he could help me with anything. This is a technique called "stirring the pot" and was taught by a diamond (possibly Dave Severn) and the intent was to stir the pot just to see if there was any renewed interest or curiosity that you can capitalize on. I wasn't biting and I shortly after, got on with my life and forgot all about Amway. I tried to keep tabs on Jim just to see if he would wake up or keep going. Well, from all accounts I could access, he was going as strong as ever, but not making any progress. That didn't surprise me at all.

Then in 2001, my wife and I were purchasing a house (without asking anyone's permission!) and our real estate agent was also an acquaintance with Jim. After we purchased our house for about $300K, our agent asked Jim if he would also like to look at homes. Jim declined, saying it was a bad idea to pay interest on loans and would buy a home when he could pay cash. (Typical Amway teaching). So as of today, Jim, a physician is still renting a home, and me, a former quitter, and bitter broke loser, owns a home recently appraised at more than 800K. (Hawaii has a real estate boom between 2002 and 2007). That's quite a good appreciation on my investment, which Jim missed out on because of adherence to bad Amway upline advice.

I last ran into my sponsor Jim about a year ago. We just said hi and exchanged some pleasantries. I later told my wife, I feel sorry for him. He sold out 1000% on Amway. He probably did everything upline asked of him. He sold out on the system. I know he drove the miles and worked the system hard. I know he did this for more than 2-5 years. I know his kids grew up missing a lot of his spare time, likely due to functions and meetings. While I'm sure a physician can still provide well for his family financially, I wonder what he missed while he was, and is still chasing an impossible dream?








10 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's just speculation on my part, but it seems that your sponsor "Jim" simply dislikes being a doctor. Perhaps he was forced into that profession by pushy parents. Doctors make excellent money for the most part, so he can't have joined Amway for financial reasons. In fact, from what you say, being in Amway actually reduced his income as a physician.

Wanting to be on stage, and be adulated as a "rock star," is an utterly pathetic desire. I'd expect that sort of idiocy from a dimwitted teenager, not a professional man. Being an excellent doctor is one of the highest callings on earth. Being a "celebrity" rock-star is actually contemptible and petty in comparison. Would you rather be Jonas Salk, or a piece of shit like Kim Kardashian?

So, to speculate further, let me say this: your friend "Jim" has a deep character flaw. He's being driven to financial self-destruction by it, and it has already (as you suggest) had a negative impact on his family life. At this point his situation is probably hopeless, since his commitment to "being a star" is now decades old.

The Greeks called this thing a "tragic flaw," which led a man to catastrophe. In "Jim's" case, his flaw is his need for adulation and praise and the attention and respect of others. He is a made-to-order sucker for Amway, with the cult's practice of "edifying" good IBOs, and the far-off dream or going on stage at some function to be cheered by a mob of maniacs.

Poor Jim.

Joecool said...

Yes, I feel sorry for Jim. One thing I forget to mention is that Jim was originally against Amway but his wife was really into it and he finally bit hook line and sinker too. Sometimes I wonder if the wife was still gung ho about Amway after all these years? Maybe she saw the problems but could not suggest quitting after she got them involved in it anyway.

You're right, by friend Jim really thought he would enjoy the big stage and the attention. Actually from what I know, he's regarded as a good doctor. But maybe he's just narcissistic and like attention.

One thing I can note. He used to close his practice at least 1 day a month to attend local functions and a few days a month for out of town functions. Over the decades, how much lost income is that for a doctor? By now it must add up to a full year's income.

Jerry D. said...

Wow. Great story, Joe! Thank you so much for blogging about that. Was it coincidence that I asked you a day ago to blog about that, or did you accommodate my request? : ) Thank you! I think people who stay in Amway for over 20 years like Jim are looking for something more than money. In his case it was adulation and being on a stage as you explained. For most others like Jim, it's that they hate their job and always wanted the excitement of the business world, even if it's a fake business like Amway. For some, it's the friendships they've formed, and the excitement of meeting new people, especially of the opposite sex. But for most, it's that they are manipulated by master con artists in their upline, who know how to push their buttons, and make them dread leaving, for fear of being ostracized and labelled a loser, and all that other psychological manipulation bullshit they've honed over the years at Amway motivational organizations.

Ben Dover said...

Joe,

I just read this ridiculous article in FORBES of all places that suggested MLM is a great retirement strategy...When I saw the title I had to know what the heck was going on. This guy wrote an article, and padded it with some vague nonsense from brainwashed IBO's, but focused more on the positive psychology of an MLM. I felt like I was in the twilight zone as the article went out of its way to suggest money is not the most important thing for a successful retirement. According to the article it is more so about giving yourself a renewed sense of purpose, and keeping yourself around a group of people (I can think of MANY different things that cost far less and can give you purpose with a group of people other than MLM).

The reason for why I brought that point up is, you mentioned that your upline was in Amway for reasons other than money (huge red flag). He suggested this would be a great way to satisfy his ego by going on stage and putting on a show (the reason for why I suggested he wasn't interested in actually helping people, but rather putting on a show is, he's already a FRIGGIN DOCTOR so clearly he has a massive ego). That is both strange and sad, because he should be getting more than enough adulation from his profession.

I'll attach a link to the article, because I would love to get your take on it...to say I was mystified would be an understatement. Forbes should probably look into these guest writers, and make sure that they aren't putting up BS that could get them into trouble.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlaura/2014/08/29/would-you-join-a-multi-level-marketing-company-for-retirement-income/#102f7353769a

Joecool said...

Thaks Ben,

I'll check out the article you linked!

Joecool said...

Your comment inspired the story. I thought it was worth posting. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Forbes publishes a lot of brainless puff-pieces, designed to do nothing except provide mental chewing gum for its less intelligent readers.

They needed to fill up some space in an upcoming issue, so some airhead editor said "Hey -- why not a piece on MLMs?" And a sub-editor called up some thirty-something shithead and offered to pay him for a non-controversial essay on the subject. This guy then did some superficial research, talked to a few MLM enthusiasts, and produced the stupid thing.

That's how commercial magazines work these days. Don't expect anything better.

Jerry D. said...

Thanks, buddy! You seem to have been influenced also by URASucker's blogging style of telling stories of interactions with sponsor and upline. These are really telling stories and have so many valuable lessons. Thanks!

Mrmaximum said...

Joecool thank you for posting this. This was my most feared dream while I was in Amway years ago. To spend far too long building a business and making sacrifices which didn’t amount to anything. Right before I left for good, I realized that building this business was going to take a superhuman effort on my part. Didn’t know it at the time, but I had ADHD, (diagnosed in 2007) and I felt that there was something about my lack of discipline and my issues with holding to any sort of routine. I felt this business was the answer right around the time Quixtar was making waves. I knew that I didn’t want to be the guy who had been in ‘too long’ who would give Dexter Yager’s reply of ‘just getting started’ when asked about his tenure so I took steps.

I would interview up and comers amongst all the members of DIBG for some nugget of information, actually recording them so I could listen to them repeatedly. I then went over the notes from previous trainings and functions as well as numerous tapes (CD’s now at that time) for the same thing. My goal was even the slightest bit of information, something which would be the difference between the guy who was sponsoring and retaining IBO’s, vs the guy who was sacrificing anything and everything but not making ANY headway.

It was about a year since I had made that choice when I realized that I was getting the same rhetoric over and over. I was simply told exactly what is spouted on stage and I walked away thinking that Amway (then Quixtar) wasn’t for me. Not going to lie, I gave it one more kick at the can and came back almost a year later to an open meeting. The Quixtar bug had hit Toronto BIG TIME, and when I’d left, Phil Davies was in Emerald Qualification, when I came back….he was a Qualified Diamond, DIBG now had a Platinum Section for Open Meetings, and there were almost 1,000 people at this new DIBG centre EVERY open!! My former upline 7,000 pin (yes we recognized him as that) was now a Ruby who had broken a Ruby in depth. All of Phil’s Personals where at Platinum or above.

The IBO in me was flabbergasted and happy to see this success and I wondered if I came too late and maybe I was wrong. There was a nagging though, and I couldn’t quite tell if AmQuix’s time had actually come, or was this simply the excitement of the internet winning over people who had never heard of Quixtar. In the end, I simply didn’t want to be the guy three years in with nothing to show for it much less the better part of two decades!!

As you already know for Amquix, there was an issue within Phil’s group and three of his personals quit. I have my former upline on my Facebook. They added me as they’re involved in yet another MLM. One of Phil’s personals started a now defunct Facebook group; ‘Life After DIBG’. For an up and comer in Toronto, I’ve heard very little of DIBG since then. I simply can’t even fathom being in AmQuix for the better part of two decades and having nothing to show for it.

This business can steal your life, sadly this isn’t an exaggeration.

Joecool said...

Mrmaximum,

Thank you for sharing your comments and story. Yes, Amway can really take over your life for the worst if you let it. It's really sad.