Thursday, May 31, 2018

Eliminating Debt?

One of the things that many uplines will talk about with their downline is debt. Many IBOs and prospects join Amway, hoping that Amway will help them eliminate debt, by providing some extra income. What many IBOs find out though, is that they end up more deeply in debt, not because of Amway necessarily, but often because of the pressure to purchase tools and function tickets. While getting out of debt is a good idea, the same upline may advise that person to go deeper in hock to participate in Amway and the functions and tools systems.

Eliminating debt on the surface, is a good thing. However, I believe that many uplines only want IBOs to eliminate debt so they can free up discretionary monies that can be channeled into tool purchases, which uplines profit from. So while the advice seems sound, it still ends up as a self serving piece of advice. If you are an IBO or a prospect, is your upline advising you to eliminate debt and then turning around and telling you to attend "all" functions?

As a WWDB IBO, I heard the mantra about getting rid of debt. It sounded good to me, but I was floored when the same upline told us it was okay to go deeper in hock if it was to further our business, or in other words, to buy more standing orders or to attend functions. I could not understand why it was okay to create more debt, but only to "invest" in your business. If debt is bad, then functions and other tools should be cut as well, until the IBO can reasonably afford to participate in the system. IBOs, in my opinion. should be using profits from the business in order to purchase tools. If there is no net profit, then that IBO needs to decide whether or not the tools are worthy of an investment. Even if an IBO has some profits, the IBOs should determine whether to bank the profit or to channel them towards tool purchases.

Too many IBOs trust their upline and make initial and ongoing purchases of tools, and then continue to do so without seeing tangible results. I believe this is why IBOs are taught to trust and have faith. Or that success is right around the corner. It keeps an IBO going, even in the absence of results. Hopefully a post like this can bring awareness to IBOs and potential IBOs. Good luck to those who disregard this information.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Who's The Loser?

One of the things I recall as an IBO was thinking how sorry I felt for people who were not Amway IBOs because we were all going to be rich and everyone else was a loser. Our upline used to tell us that we were winners - and if you weren't a winner, then obviously, you are a loser. Many times, the term "broke" was attached to the term loser. That was my mindset back then, but having been out of the system more than ten years, I can look back and laugh, realizing that the losers were the ones buying stuff they don't need, stalking people at malls and bookstores, and wasting their time and money on tapes (cds), books and functions.

What goes unnoticed in many cases, is how much time and money really goes down the drain for IBOs who work the system. Your life revolves around the business if you are dedicated and hard core. You are always looking for prospects and people to show the plan to, and you have to rearrange your schedules, or outright skip social or family gatherings because of the neverending number of meetings and functions, many of which teach you nothing about running a profitable business. When I first left the Amway business, I was sort of angry at the time and effort that was wasted, along with the cahs I threw down the crapper.

But after I did finally cut ties with the business and the people associated with it, I got back into a routine of sorts. I focused on my job and after some years of gaining experience and working my way up the corporate ladder, I received some promotions and I am scheduled to be retired before the age of 60 with a decent retirement income and will likely have my home paid off by then. So while I did have to work a dreaded job to be able to retire, pretty much all IBOs are also working a job or business PLUS having to expend their time and money to run their Amway business which has little to no chance of providing a long term stable and significant income. And if I may add, it is the systems such as WWDB or N21 that usually end up costing the IBOs the most money because of things like the functions.

So I will ask the question. Who's the real loser? The person diligently working and saving for their future or the person chasing a dream that is unlikely to materialize? Factoring in the expenditure of time also makes the systems even more costly than it appears on the surface.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Realistic Expectations?

One thing that many Amway promoters don't like to talk about is what your realistic chances of success are. I will define success as Diamond because that is what the outcome of the 6-4-2 and 2-5 year plan. Of course you may be able to earn some income at lower levels, but my understanding is that diamond is where the real money from Amway and the tools start rolling in. And I can also understand why people promoting Amway do not discuss your realistic chances of winning. Afterall, lottery promoters do not show you the millions of losers, they only parade the winners in front of you.

Many people, including Amway enthusiasts will agree that many IBO do little or nothing. Some people never even place an order or make any attempt to do any business. For the purpose of this article, I am not speaking about these folks. I am talking about people who actually put in some effort to the business. This is about people who actually invest time and money into this business.

For many people who want to make an earnest effort, they will purchase and hopefully sell a few items with the goal of reaching 100 PV. For that effort, you will receive approximately $10 from Amway and whatever profit you might have earned by selling products. Here's the catch. You will likely need to pay website fees in excess of the $10 you earn from Amway. For the more dedicated IBOs, you may be payin for voicemail, standing orders, book of the month, and possibly attending functions. These expenses will exceed your income month after month unless you are able to increase your volume by selling enough products and/or sponsoring downline who buy and sell products.

Because Amway has to include the IBO bonuses in their prices, the products come at a premium price. Thus sales to non IBOs are relatively low. Without sales to non IBOs, the only other way to generate more volume is to sponsor people who will buy and sell products. But due to past unethical IBO behavior, getting people to see the Amway sales and marketing plan may be a challenge. Also, most IBOs are unable to sponsor a single downline.

Some Amway enthusiasts will claim that if you do their CORE steps for 2-5 years consistently, that you are likely to succeed. Sound easy, but becaue of the factors I have identified, some of these steps are impossible to do consistently. It's not like walking a mile each day where you have control of the step. People will likely fail in showing the plan and sponsoring others because they cannot find enough people who are willing to see an Amway plan. Many, possibly most other IBOs can and will do certain steps consistently such as listening to a CD daily and reading a success book. But because of a spotty reputation in the US, IBOs will very likely fail to be able to show enough plans to succeed.

Your realistic chance of success? My informed guess is less than 1 tenth of 1 percent. That's the likelihood of going diamond. Your chance of going platinum? My informed guess will be about 1/4 of 1 percent (1 in 400: Source If you think you can beat those odds, go for it. For most people, it might be wise to look into other opportunities.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Amway The Unwinnable Game?

When people see the Amway plan, it sort of makes sense. You need to find six people to go direct, in 2-5 years and you have residual and willable income for life. You are then financially free and can spend your days walking on exotic beaches while checks keep coming in. This is what lures many prospects to take a better look and maybe even test the waters and give Amway a shot. After all, who wouldn't be interested in financial freedom and the ability to fulfill some of your ultimate dreams? Only a fool would turn down such an opportunity right?

While Amway looks good on paper, too many things derail this plan for financial freedom and untold wealth. Over the years I've been blogging, I've challenged Amway supporters to name a couple of people who are financially free and walking the beaches while income rolls in. Very predictably, nobody has identified a single person who achieved some high level in Amway and is sitting back relaxing while money keeps coming. We even see crown ambassadors passing away while still working the business.

So why can't IBOs achieve what they aspire to? Because in my opinion, the odds are stacked against them. Sure, a rare individual might go diamond but the occurrence is very rare and almost as rare as winning the lottery, even though Amway is not a game of chance. I will go and list the reasons why IBOs are playing a game they can't win, even though they think they can. That is the sad part, that the upline is motivating downline to "never quit" even though they will "never succeed".

The system is set up for very few to succeed. Even in the common 6-4-2 plan where everyone did enough to earn a bonus, there is one person at the highest level with 78 downline who earn less. In real life, most IBOs do little or nothing. At, you can see income disclosures that show how few people reach the higher levels. It's a tiny fraction of 1% that reach the higher levels. Even reaching platinum is a lofty achievement and platinums might not even see a net profit due to business expenses.

Business expenses such as product packs, catalogs, cds, books, voicemail and functions add up to significant expenses in the course of a month. If you're hoping to achieve financial freedom, you'll be expected to participate in the teaching system and more than likely, these expenses will be the reason for your business losses. Beware of upline who encourage you to go in debt to purchase training.

The products in general are not competitive. Sure, the Amway IBOs may give you some pitch about products being concentrated or of high quality but let's face it, consumers don't care about high quality soaps and household cleaners. There is nothing wrong with the similar products that you can purchase at Target or WalMart at a fraction of the cost. When your products can't compete on a level playing field, on what basis do you expect to sell these products? For that reason, many IBOs become "self consumers" and wind up with no actual customers.

Amway's reputation is soured. Most people know or know someone who had a bad experience with Amway. Due to past IBO behavior, people have developed a negative view of Amway. People being tricked or lied to in the past may have contributed to this issue. Add that to the fact that so few people actually make money turns this business into an almost insurmountable challenge. Even those who achieve often find themselves out of qualification shortly after.

For these reasons, my conclusion is that the Amway opportunity is a game that IBOs simply cannot win, even for those who learn from upline and put forth tremendous effort. And the longer you play. the bigger your losses become. Do your due diligence before undertaking any business opportunity.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Alternatives To Amway?

One of the humorous things that IBOs say on my blog is if Amway isn't such a great deal, then why don't we offer a better solution? I guess it's not enough that there are facts and experiences posted here so that information seekers can find and make informed decisions about joining or not joining Amway, but we must also suggest better options? Well, I will offer some. I am not advising anyone to listen to my thoughts and opinions and I think you should not act on what you read what's here without doing your due diligence and your own soul searching. That said, here are my opinions on what may be better than Amway:

1. Be a better steward of the money you already have. Many people have enough income to live comfortably but simply channel too much of it to things they don't need. A daily $5 cup of starbucks for example. Disciplined saving and investing. Eliminating certain optional expenses can add up to a lot of money over the course of a month or a year.

2. Get a second job and set aside a portion for saving and investing. You will not only have more discretionary cash, but also more to be able to set aside for your golden years. Try to find a job that's not so stressful and something you may have fun with. For example, working part time at a sporting goods store or golf course would be something that I might enjoy.

3. Start your own small business. The biggest issue with Amway, in my opinion is the endless supply of training that uplines sell. It causes most "serious" IBOs to end up with a net loss. You can find a niche product and sell it on ebay or craigslist, unlike Amway products. Another type of small business might be something like learning to do minor household repairs or installing hardwood flooring. These kinds of services are quite common and can be lucrative.

4. Do nothing. Since most business building IBOs lose money, doing nothing, although comical, actually makes you better financially off than losing money because of functions and standing orders. Isn't it funny that sitting on your couch watching TV makes you better off than most "serious" Amway IBOs?

5. Spend more time with your family. Ironically, many IBOs have this as a goal, but actually spend less time with family because of Amway related activities.

There you have it folks. There are some ideas of what might be better than spending your time and money participating in the Amway business and the Amway motivational organizations. While these are only ideas, only you can decide what is best for you and your family. In whatever you decide to do, I wish you well.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Amway Challenge?

I often hear stories and testimonies about how some people (usually newbies) have this incredible belief in Amway, their sponsors and their LOS, such as WWDB or Network 21. Being that many, possibly most IBOs are sponsored by a friend or family member, means that there is an inherent trust in the sponsor or upline. If that were not true, then we would likely see many more complaints about Amway and/or the uplines and lines of sponsorship.

But an important facet of being an IBO is to have a dream. Don't let "naysayers" steal your dream, is what many IBOs are told. But what is that dream? Is a dream (a long term attainable goal) or a wish such as winning the power ball lottery? Many prospects and IBOs want to succeed. They are willing to work hard, and are very dedicated, I would say that these folks usually will end up failing, not for lack of effort, but for a flawed MLM/Amway system that cannot possibly reward more than a few. The famed 6-4-2, 6-4-3 or some other variation of the plan will illustrate that only 1 in 100 or so can be "platinum". And that's with nobody quitting. Factor in attrition and "do nothings" and it might be 1 in 200 who can reach platinum. Even if the whole world signed up for Amway, that fact doesn't change.

Do you really believe in Amway and your line of sponsorship such as WWDB or Network 21? If you truly believe in Amway and your mentors, I challenge you to do one of these things. If you can't or won't, then I question your level of commitment. I question your belief. I'm not here to steal your dream. I am just challenging you.

Take your 6-4-2 or 9-4-2 or 6-4-3 plan to a loan officer at a bank and show them the plan. (Hey, it will help you be CORE) Ask the loan officer for their opinion of the plan and see if you can get a business loan based on the Amway plan. If not that, try seeking the advice of a real millionaire (Someone who has a net worth of a million bucks) and see if they think the 6-4-2 or other Amway (version) plans can work and whether they think Amway is a good idea. Heck, try asking your church Pastor. My church Pastor said Amway had too many false hopes and promises to be considered a viable business option.

Another consideration is to ask a successful business owner what they actually think about Amway and the 6-4-2 plan. I think IBOs would be shocked by the answer.

How strong is your belief in Amway? Strong enough to take my challenge? Or will you ignore this and go on fooling yourself?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Proven System?

Many uplines and IBOs will talk about their system. More often than not, the various systems such as WWDB or Network 21 will tout themselves as the best, fastest growing, proven, and most profitable. I know that was promoted when I was an IBO and I believe it is still promoted this way. There are many comments on the internet from IBOs and recently former IBOs that indicate that this is true. But let's take a look at these claims.

How does one determine the best? You really can't. The best is an opinion unless there are established criteria on what constitutes the best. Of course, every upline will think their group is the best, but what can factually be derived from that claim? If you are an IBO or prospect of Amway, try asking that question. Based on what do you make the claim of being the "best" group or system?

Fastest growing can be proven or disproved. But for the most part, we know that Amway isn't growing by leaps and bounds in North America. During the Quixtar tenure, it appeared that Amway sales in NA either stagnated or even shrank. Amway supporters cite overall Amway sales going up, but it's reasonable to conclude that the increase in sales is primarily in foreign countries. For some odd reason, Amway no longer reports North American sales, but simply lumps everyhing into a global sales figure.

As for any system to be making claims of proven, all these systems have basically done is proven that they are dismal failures. Based on Amway's own figures, we can deduce that less than half of one percent of IBOs ever reach the platinum level. The platinum level is approximately where you might see a small profit if that platinum is CORE. There is some documentation indicating that platinums might lose money at that level. While the study is dated, the expenses associated with being a platinum have gone up significantly since that study (Wisconsin Attorney General) so it can be very possible that platinums continue to see a net loss these days. It's also very visible that there are fewer diamonds in north America today than a dozen years ago. Diamonds have quit and some were terminated. It appears that most new diamonds come from foreign countries where Amway has not ye suffered reputation issues.

Makng claims of fastest growing is also one that can be proven. However, try asking your sponsor or upline for evidence of this claim. Also, is the growth occuring in your area? Are you from the US or Canada? Citing growth in Korea for example, is unlikely to mean anything for the vast majority of IBOs. And even if there is some growth, how does that translate as leverage or an advantage for you? Aks these questions and see what answer you receive, if any.

The system is proven for sure. But it's proven to be a failure. The numbers supplied by Amway clearly back up this claim.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Upline Responsibility?

One of the disturbing things I have noticed about Amway IBOs and IBO leaders is how they wlll tell downline to trust them. To trust them as they have already blazed a trail. No need to re-invent the wheel. Just ride the coattails of your upline to success. The system is proven. Many IBOs take this to heart and put forth tremendous effort. Then when they fail, upline will shun them and tell them that the failure is their own. That they are personally responsible for failure.

Now I am not talking about IBOs who sign up and do nothing, or never place an order. I do believe that the fact that many IBOs sign up and do nothing brings concerns about how these IBOs were recruited, but I di not recall ever seeing an IBO do nothing and then complain that Amway was a scam or anything like that.

I have found, however, that many people who are critical of Amway and the systems, put forth much effort, did everything they were told, and did not find the success that upline promoted, or in some cases, guaranteed. My former sponsor was still active, last I heard and has been in Amway for over 15 years. I do not believe he has ever gone beyond platinum, and I know that he was never a Q12 platinum. Some Amway apologists might see being a platinum as a bonus, but when you are hard core sold out to the systems, platinum is a break even or make a small profit business. Factor in that time spent by husband and wife and these folks are breaking even or making a fraction of minumum wage. Is this the dream that will allow you to buy mansions with a cash payment?

What is also disturbing is how people will tout the system as responsible for any success, but hide the vast majority that the system doesn't help. Sure, some will succeed in Amway, but for every success, there are hundreds if not thousands who fail. And if you consider diamond as the benchmark of success, the failures could be in the millions. As I said, some succeed, but very very few in relation to the number who try. Going diamond is probably less common in the US than winning the lottery.

Succeed and the systems and upline take credit, but fail or quit and it is your own responsibility. Are these the kinds of leaders or mentors you want advice from? Where's the personal responsibility of the leaders and mentors? There are many stories of IBOs doing exactly what they were advised, only to lose money and/or fail. Where's the responsibility of the leaders? The tools system is win win for the upline leaders with the downlines getting a lose lose situation.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Fruit On The Tree?

When I was an IBO, I often heard that phrase "look at the fruit on the tree". I came from the LOS WWDB, or Worldwide Dream Builders, or Worldwide Group. Back in the 1990's, Amway and WWDB were doing quite well. Amway was expanding into foreign countries and it seemed as if Amway and WWDB had gained a great deal of momentum. I recall hearing the term "look at the fruit on the tree" and it was somewhat true. There were new diamonds emerging in Amway WWDB and Amway had experienced worldwide growth.

Then Amway turned into Quixtar and it was comical to see Amway IBOs denying that Quixtar = Amway. The terms "Ecommerce" and "private franchising" became common but it didn't fool many people. This was a time when Amway folks were very active in defending Amway and Amway related blogs and forums were all over the Internet.

But let's look at the "fruit on the tree". Where are all the new diamonds? Sure there were 1 or 2 new diamond couples in the US since the 1990s', but what other fruit is on that tree? Brad Wolgamott, who said "WWDB saves marriages", got divorced, and Greg Duncan declared chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009. David Shores had a home foreclosed around 2009 or 2010. Jim and Betty Jean Brooks got divorced, Ron Puryear passed way (condolences to his family) but Ron, a crown ambassador worked until he passed. Where's the freedom?

Sure, a diamond may not have a tough life working but you still need to be somewhere at a particular time to earn money. That's not much different from a job. Where is even a single person or couple who built it once and built it right, and walked away to enjoy "financial freedom" amd lifelong "residual income" from Amway? Why can't anyone for all my blogging years, show clear evidence of a diamond or emerald who built it once and built it right, who walked away from Amway and is living in luxury while collecting just collecting bonus checks in the mail?

Maybe there is no fruit on he Amway/WWDB tree and there is no residual income? If that were a true possibility, why has nobody opted for that? The answer is clear. There is no true residual income from Amway due to the high attrition rate and there is littl to no fruit on the WWDB tree. The tree is bare and barely surviving.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Real Amway Pitch?

Many people have experienced some kind of pitch by an Amway IBO. My first Amway pitch was an invitation to a beer bust while I was in college. I arrived to the meeting expecting beer and pizza only to see people in suits giving a presentation. THey spoke about how you could generate income by eliminating the middle man from product distribution. Creating efficiencies was a way to generate money and Amway was it. On the surface, it can seem as if everything the speaker said made sense, although real life practice doesn't bear it out.

Sell and use consumables. Consumables need to be re-purchased so obviously it is a good way to run a small business. What wasn't discussed was the higher prices of the products. What manny people do not see is that Amway's generous bonuses have to be built into the price of the products. For this reason, Amway cannot compete with big retailers who don't have to add sales people bonuses into their prices.

But if you look beyond all of this and still think Amway is a good opportunity, then the real Amway pitch comes in. People get excited about working part time, 2-5 years to earn will able and residual income which will allow someone to retire early and leave a legacy to future generations. This is the point where the Amway presenter makes the pitch about people needing training.

You need tools. After all, a carpenter can't build a house without tools right? So many people who think Amway will make them rich, start to invest in their "tools". Sure, the Amway functions and some other materials can make you feel good or motivated, but in the end, the tools are supposed to help you generate sales and to increase your business revenue. What goes unnoticed in many cases is that the Amway tools are the reason for an IBO's net losses. The upline will justify this by telling stories about how success is right around the corner or that you should never quit and you will eventually make it.

All of this rhetoric from Upline is nice, but people who don't quit have no assurance of making it. Look at the fruit on the tree.
My former LOS, WWDB, has fewer diamonds now than when I was an IBO 20 years ago. My former sponsor is still active in Amway after 25 years and he's not even a platinum. You don't see many new diamonds except for in foreign countries. To me, this is evidence that Amway is saturated and there is little chance of future success. This is why there are mostly tired old diamonds working until they pass away. If the diamonds were so "awesome", why aren't all of their kids and close friends also in diamond club?

The answer is that the Amway pitch can sound good, but it doesn't work. From 2013 to now, Amway revenues are down abot 25%. From a peak of 11.8 billion in 2013 to 8.6 billion in 2017. I believe Amway is a sinking ship. Beware of the Amway pitch,

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Amway Still Sucks?

Sorry gang, I was enjoying life in fabulous Las Vegas for the last week. I got to enjoy great food and great company. I also got to visit IKEA, the Grand Canyon and Hoover dam. It is amazing how the people of Ls Vegas have rallied around the Las Vegas Knights hockey team. The New York hotel had a Knights uniform draped around the Statue of Liberty. Weather was pretty nice and I came home with more money than I went up to Vegas with, thanks to a bit of luck. I had an amazing Cuban sandwich and some other Cunard delights. While Las Vegas is not anywhere near my dream vacation, it was a fun vacation. Next year my life will be filled with travel scheduled which may require me to ignore this blog for a bit.

But as I return and get re-acclimated to life, I realize that Amway still sucks. Nothing changes. Despite the fact that Amway IBOs insist that things are better and different than before, and that Amway is different, my observation is that not much has changed at all. The "plan" is still the same and people are still trying to hide the Amway name by trying to pretend that Amway is something that it isn't. Does anyone remember when Amway was "Quixtar"? The IBOs insisted that Amway and Quixtar were very different to which I asked why "Quixtar" sold Amway products and Quixtar IOS received bonuses from Amway corporation.

I then realized that Amway sucks. They sucked then and not much has changed, therefore you could say that Amway still sucks. People still lose money in hoards and a few "diamonds" get to parade around while showing off weath as they convince prospects to join and trust them. All the while these diamonds are basically peddling their tools and business support materials to hopeful prospects who want to get rich in a short time span. (2-5 years). The multitudes of hopeful prospects spend their hard earned dollars in the hopes that they will also strike gold and "make it". Sadly, they eventually realize the scam, snap out of their Amway induced trance and quit.

Even more sadly, some people like my former sponsor get hooked so badly that they stay involved for 20 years or more, chasing the end of a rainbow that they will never attain. My former idolized our diamond and he did anything an everything to please him. Alas, my former diamond moved away from Hawaii and my former sponsor is still chasing the dream with fewer contacts with the diamond. All I can emphasize is that Amway used to suck and they still suck. Nobody has yet proven me wrong.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Money For Nothing?

In my opinion, Amway is a product pyramid scheme. They have not been found to be illegal, but still a product pyramid. The reason why they remain legal, apparently is because they do not pay anyone for direct;y recruiting downline and they claim to sell products to actual customers. But most everyone has been, or knows someone who was recruited by a zealous Amway IBO. The emphasis of most active IBOs is on recruiting and much of the teaching by upline is on techniques to recruit and/or how to talk to people without tipping their hat to reveal the Amway name. Most IBOs are not very good at this and they stick out like sore thumbs in many cases. It's also comical when uplines teach crazy antics, like how some IBOs use to deny that Amway and Quixtar were even remotely connected, or if anyone remembers the "perfect water" fiasco a number of years back.

One of the reasons IBOs use to justify their involvement in the product pyramid is that they can earn more than their sponsor. While that is true, it is only because everyone below the emerald or diamond level is basically expendable, or a slave in the pyramid. There are many many IBOs who achieve fairly high levels who quit, or had upline wreck their businesses. Thus even platinums are expendable to upline. In fact an upline might make more money by removing the platinum. For new IBOs or recruits, do you really believe that you are going to ever surpass your current upline diamond or higher? If you believe that, you are sadly mistaken.

And for those who dream of achieving diamond and walking the beaches of the world. How do you think you can ever achieve that? You don't get something for nothing unless someone gets nothing for something. In order for you to receive income for little or no efforts, your downline IBOs must keep purchasing products and replacing IBOs who quit. If your downlines cannot keep up with the attrition rate, your business will collapse in a hurry. Come to think of it, if a diamond can walk away and collect a large income forever, why hasn't anyone done it? I mean we still see crown ambassadors still busy working functions and I don't know of any who walked away to spend their lives jet setting on the beaches of the world.

The sad reality is that you see new faces at meetings and functions, just as often as you see familiar faces disappear. With that kind of attrition rate, you may have to work even harder at the higher levels just to keep your business status quo. In Egypt, the slaves built the pyramids. Do you have enough slaves? What many Egyptologists find amazing is how the Egyptians were able to motivate the slaves to keep on going, doing backbreaking work all of their lives. The same can be said of a diamond level business (or higher)

Monday, May 7, 2018

In Your Best Interest?

The really insidious part about some of the Amway LOS leaders, such as the ones I had in WWDB, is that they apparently are cutthroat businessmen with nice suits and nice smiles. They are disguised as your mentors and friends. They get you to trust them, and they will tell you that they have your best interest at heart, or that they would never purposely lead you astray. On the surface, you may think this is true, but look at their actions and you can easily discern that some of these uplines are absolutely ruthless businessmen who would take every cent from you if they could. I was in WWDB and I have good reasons to believe that they are still doing this, based on a WWDB IBO blog and some other bitt of information I am privy to. On this blog, I see all the same teachings today, that I heard as an IBO and some of the same claims such as buying homes in cash. It's scary.

As an IBO, the diamonds would tell you to never miss a function, ever. The only good reason for missing a function was for your own funeral. I recall some crossline IBOs rearranging pre-planned anniverssary parties, weddings, and other special family events in the name of being core and attending all functions. Some IBOs actually did quit their jobs to attend functions and they very well may have done so because some uplines taught this. I know of an IBO who did just that. He quit his job to attend a major function and got into all kinds of financial problems when they got back to real life. IBOs were also encouraged and told to go into debt to attend a function. This was okay because it was an "investment into your business". This is scary advice and why I maintain this blog.

Our group was also strongly encouraged to buy 5-7 extra cds (tapes) every week (or more). To be core, you needed to listen to a cd (tape) each day and you cannot listen to the same one each day right? Couples were told to buy their own separate standing orders. Brad Duncen even had a true north tape (cd) that said sponsors were to eat the standing orders for downlines who quit because it was too much trouble to call upline who calls upline who calls upline to cancel a standing order. Oddly enough, they didn't mind upline calling upline calling upline to add a standing order.

In the end, I was lucky enough to have been progressing up the pin ranks so my losses were not that devastating. I ended up losing in my early months of the business but mostly broke even when I was at 4000 PV. Sadly though, my crossline did not fare so well. I know of one couple who declared bankruptcy. I don't know how much their WWDB involvement contributed to bankruptcy, but I am certain it was a major factor and I know of two couples who had homes foreclosed, and I believe that their allegiance to WWDB was a factor in those foreclosures. But I guess hey, two WWDB diamonds had homes foreclosed so maybe they were duplicating?

Do not be fooled. The diamonds may have a nice smile and a nice suit, but they are ruthless businessmen who will take your last dime if you allow them to.

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Real Business?

I have been reading some ongoing debates about whether the system income for higher pins is more than their Amway bonuses. I believe the systems such as BWW, WWDB, N21 or LTD, does generate more profit for upline than the sale of Amway products. How the system income is divided though, is still a mystery as it doesn't appear that there are bonafide written contracts explaining how tools income is split up among the higher pins. There is also the debate of whether diamonds themselves or their "corporations" receive the profit, which is laughable as a defense.

But it's very easy to determine that more income is made from the system than from Amway. If you move $100 worth of Amway products, Amway will pay about $33 back in the form of bonuses. These bonuses will be split among the Amway IBOs (middlemen), depending on your level. On the other hand, if your group bought say 20 cds at $5.00each, the system will profit about $90 as cds cost about 50 cents each to produce in bulk. Some Amway apologists will cite the fact that some groups sell cds for $2.50 or $3.00. While this is true, there is a "member's fee" which must be paid. And when you add in the member's fee, the profit for the system is the same or possibly higher! Even when you factor in the system employees, you can easily see the math and determine where the real money is made.

If you buy a major function ticket for $125, the cost of that function might be in the neighborhood of $25 to $30 per attendee, so the system may generate $100 profit on a $125 sale. I believe the smaller functions such as open meetings, books and voicemail have smaller profit margins, but still overall, it's easy to conclude that the profit from the system is greater than profits generated by moving Amway products. I might add that the sales on these functions are often made in cash, thus who knows if the diamonds are even paying the IRS taxes on these sales.

The only question is how much each individual earns. I have "heard" that platinums get a discount on the sale of standing orders and cds, but I have never heard of a platinum sharing any profit for functions, voicemail, or any of the other materials. This is puzzling to me as I believe the platinums do the most work in the system, helping downlines.

So for the lower level IBOs, if you move $300 in Amway sales (Approximately 100 PV), you will receive about $10 or 3% while upline enjoys the rest of the $90+ in bonuses from Amway. And then when you purchase and move tools volume, you receive nothing and some of your uplines enjoy all of the profit. While I don't see any problem in upline making a profit for selling training materials, I see a problem in the fact that the tools don't work. So few IBOs progress to levels where an actual profit is earned that the use of tools cannot be justified. Amway supporters will point out the new platinums emerging each year, but do not mention the platinums who do not re-qualify.

Based on my observations, I can only conclude (quite easily) that there is substantially more profit from the sale of support materials for upline to enjoy, and I can also conclude that the support materials are ineffective in training downline IBOs so they can progress to higher levels of the business. But as PT Barnum once said, a sucker is born every minute.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Truth About Amway Is Negative?

One of the silly things many Amway 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). It's ridiculous to be apathetic about current events and important local news because you deem it as "negative". If you live in the Midwest, you certainly need to know if a tornado is heading your way. Or if you live in Hawaii like me, you need to know if a hurricane is heading your way. To avoid news because you see it as "negative" is stupid and ignorant.

I can agree that you surely don't want to only take in negatives as it can wear you down, 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 an escaped criminal roaming your neighborhood? Avoiding news could be very detrimental to your family and home. 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. But this behavior is detrimental to IBOs, not helpful.

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. IBOs seem to be unable to make this distinction.

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 all IBOs will quit. That is the truth. You can't build a business with residual income where 50% of people constantly quit. That is also the truth.

Is it negative to tell the truth? Or can IBOs not handle the truth?

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Upline Hypocrites?

Now that the internet is so accessible, information flows freely and some of the dark secrets of the Lines Of Sponsorship have been exposed. Also, as times passes, it is becoming clear that a bunch of upline leaders are major hypocrites, apparently motivated by greed and personal gain. I believe this trend will continue as well. It appears that these same leaders have managed to get around Amway's accreditation guidelines, which appears to be toothless.

Many upline leaders appeal to their audience by talking about how the Amway business can save marriages. I remember sitting in an audience when some diamonds spoke about how couples who build the business have a less than 2% divorce rate as compared to the national figure of 50% or so. One major reason cited was the financial stress that J-O-B people had (not enough cash). But now we see some upline diamond leaders getting divorced and in some cases, no explanation is offered, as if the missing spouse was beamed up by aliens. Many leaders simply revise history or deny that certain events happened. Some leaders just pretend nothing happened and it seems like IBOs are very forgiving, thus no real accountability has ever been applied to upline leaders.

People also found that some diamonds make a lot of money from tools. When I was an IBO, we were told very clearly, that nobody made profits from tools. That profits went back into the functions to make them better and cheaper. (Has any function gotten cheaper in the last 20 years?) In fact, when I was an IBO, I was told that WWDB was a non-profit entity, which was a bold lie. I will admit that upline later changed their story to WWDB was a for profit company, but nobody kept profits, thus the channeling money to make events better and cheaper. Again, when have events ever been cheaper? Now I don't think that events should be run pro bono, but the leaders should be transparent about it rather than the lies and shroud of secrecy that often accompanies talk about tools and tool income.

Some upline leaders also spoke of how utterly stupid it was to take out a loan as the banks make so much money off the interest. We now see some of these very leaders having their homes foreclosed! Some of these diamonds were the very ones who said their pay cash for everything, including their homes and cars. It is not in the hopes for these folks to suffer, but it is exposing the lies and deception that leaders used to entice IBOs to join and to purachse tools that were supposed to help IBOs to attain the same lifestyle as the diamonds. However, rather that more diamonds, I believe WWDB and some other LOSs, at least in the US, have fewer diamonds now than 15 years ago. Where's the evidence of success?

What's even more amazing is how the hypocrisy of some of these leaders are exposed to downline and the downline simply ignores it and continues to follow blindly without an explantion or questioning the leaders after the incidents are exposed.

IBOs should ask their leaders questions when these kinds of issues arise. And you should think twice if the answer you receive is silence or deflections.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Amway And Excuses?

I've been a blogger now for a number of years. I've debated with Amway apologists and they ultimately resort to excuses and/or personal attacks when they run out of defenses. Food for thought, when you have to make excuses about why your opportunity isn't a scam or a pyramid scheme, that should already make you stop and think for a minute. The easy excuse is to say that "my group isn't like that". Yet I see testimonies and statements that indicate to me that things have not changed, even in all the years since I left the Amway business myself.

Even the product's prices need to be justified. That there is concentration or other factors that really make Amway stuff a better value. Strange how that better value doesn't seem to translate further once an IBO realizes that there is no residual income at the end of the rainbow. Many IBOs don't seem to mind paying for Amway stuff when they believe that they will one day walk the beaches of the world while more money than they can count will keep rolling in. When the dream fades, so does the desire to purchase these awesome products. If not, with tens of millions of former IBOs, Amway sales should be through the roof after all these years. But it hasn't. Although Amway recently reported an increase in north american sales, that wasn't the case in the last 10 years. Amway apologists even have excuses about why that is the case.

Amway also reported some years back, that they have updated their average IBO income. While it is still miserable, it has gone up, although a clear explanation as to how and why they calculated the "average income" was not apparently given. One thing was clear, the average income went up after Amway discarded IBOs that they didn't consider "active". So the debate continues. Critics analyzing and predicting how and why, and Amway apologists making excuses and justifying their position. Why not just be transparent and end the debate once and for all? I think most people know the answer. The bottom line for most is whether or not they make a net profit. For the vast majority of IBOs, especially the ones on the system, the answer is a net loss. It is predictable and easy to conclude. The 6-4-2 or any other version of the compensation plan clearly shows that very few people can make any decent money. If a platinum IBO typically has 100 or more IBOs, that is your answer there. It should be noted that a platinum might not even be very profitable if they are sold out on buying system tools.

Amway defenders can make justifications and excuses but I've not seen a single comprehensive argument as to why the Amway business is a good idea and how it can be profitable.

So IBOs and Amway defenders, are you making money (net profit)? Or are you just making excuses?