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?