Friday, June 29, 2018

Charity?

I know Amway defenders will talk about some of the sales they make, and that's fine and good, but when I look at the kinds of sales they make, it is usually insignificant. I recently read some comments that sort of made me laugh. A prospect apparently was invited to an Amway recruitment meeting by a friend, and out of courtesy, sat through the presentation (which nobody else attended) and politely declined to register. The commenter went on to say that after the meeting, he felt sorry for his friend and purchased something off of his friend's IBO website, and it felt like making a charitable contribution. Makes me wonder since Amway's products are mostly consumed by IBOs themselves and I believe less than 5% of Amway good actually made it into the hands of a non IBO customer. Even those who subscribe to Amway teaching may have heard how you should find yourself 10 customers. Now ask yourself what store can survive having only 10 customers?

But I wonder out of the tiny amount of IBO retail sales, how many of those sales are basically charitable contributions made to IBOs by family and friends who simply feel sorry for their acquainted IBO? When I first declined to join Amway under my eventual sponsor, they did ask me to buy some of their goods. But being a single male, my age group demographic didn't really match me with the products they were pushing. If I remember correctly, I ended up buying the liquid Amway car wax. While the car wax worked as well as the other leading brands, I recall that I paid about $12 for it back in 1995 or so. I can currently get a jumbo sized bottle od Nu-Finish or Astroshield liquid car wax for $8.99 at Target or other local retailers, and at times, the store puts them on special sales for $5.99. So basically, I am getting about twice as much car wax for the price if I purchase my car wax on a store special. I know Amway zealots will want to compare the price with an online source but as I said, I make my purchase in person and wait for store soecials which occurs every couple of months.

I know at times, I have seen other family and friends involved in MLM. And while I was once there, I now see their attempts as somewhat pathetic, especially when they are basically walking the same path I did about 12 years ago as an IBO. I do not discourage them, but simply decline to see their plan or register as a downline. I have at times, also made charitable contributions to some friends who had become involved in MLM. If nothing else, just to be supportive of a friend. Ultimately, these MLM friends eventually figured things out on their own and quit as I did. Some of them follow my blog and some just quietly faded into the sunset. They do not run an informative blog as I do, but not everyone can or will. (Sound familar?)

However, after reading the comments about the polite friend who bought an Amway product from a friend, I have to wonder whether IBOs are making true retail sales or merely receiving charitable contributions from friends and family in the form of Amway product purchases?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Alternatives To Amway?

One of the humorous things that IBOs often bring up is that someone who sees Amway in a critical eye should bring up viable alternatives. I mean if someone prevents you from falling over a cliff, they should have warned you and given you alternatives right? If I recognized you getting conned by a conman, I should find viable financial investments for you before warning you of the potential scam you are about to walk into? It sounds completely ridiculous but Amway IBOs have actually made those comments on this blog and some other Amway related websites.

Well, let's explore a few anyway just for fun. How about you stay home and do nothing? For most IBOs, you would be better off financially than committing your time and resources into Amway's products and their ineffective training materials and functions. If you are really dedicated to tools, sending your upline a check for $50 monthly and not buying Amway goods or related training materials would make you better off.

A second job where you actually receive a paycheck is a better alternative. While there's no hype and hopes of getting rich in 2-5 years, you can do much for your future by saving a portion of that paycheck each month. If you are young, this especially applies to you. But anyone can help their future by saving and investing. Even someone who pan handles is more likely to have more net cash than most Amway IBOs. The vast majority of business building IBOs actually have a net loss because of the expenses they incur with training materials such as cds and seminars.

Sure, some people do make money in Amway and some make a lot of money. The problem is they make money by exploiting their downlines and those hopeful downlines basically have no hope. In other words, you profit by selling false hope and false dreams. Basically, you can gain wealth in Amway by being a conman. Can you live with yourself in order to profit at any cost? They sell you on Amway as a financial vehicle but they turn around and tell you that cds, books and functions are the key to success and then make significant profits from those materials whether even if you make nothing or suffer huge business losses.

I haven't even gone into the amount of time lost chasing prospects and attending functions. Your time might be the most valuable commodity that is lost chasing the 2-5 year dream. Ask yourself this question. Where are these diamonds who did the 2-5 year plan living in luxury and doing nothing? I don't know of any/ Do you?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Business Expenses?

Many uplines will use slightly deceptive recruitment tactics when getting new people to see or register into the Amway business. One of the common things was how joining Amway has very little risk, no or very little overhead. This is true, if an IBO is not involved in any of th system related training. However, it is the goal of many if not most uplines to get as many IBOs involved in the system as possible. This is probably because selling standing orders, voicemails and seminars has a higher profit margin for some uplines than the actual movement of Amway volume. So some newbies might join thinking Amway won't cost them much, only to find out that 100 PV might run them more than $300. They may not be aware that standing orders and functions never end and can add an additional cost of up to several hundreds of dollars more. Uplines will then justify the expense by saying the IBO is investing in his/her business.

New IBOs, and especially IBOs who are single should seriously think about the cost of being a business building IBO before joining. Many or most prospects don't know that building an Amway business using system tools and "coaching" can cost them up to $500 or more each month. A single person more than likely cannot possibly consume 100 PV worth or products on a monthly basis unless they almost exclusively consume XS drinks and Nutrilite vitamins. And secondly, how many singles or prospects were consuming cases of energy drinks and vitamins ($300 monthly) before being presented with the Amway business? How many people were willing to fork out hundreds of dollars for a weekend function that may require airfare and hotel stay? I don't think too many people like this exist. But I believe they do so because they have been sold a dream of financial freedom, of early retirement and not having to work a job anymore. But the evidence would suggest that once the dream disappears or reality sets in, how many (former) IBOs continue to purchase Amway products and attend seminars?

I know of many former IBOs and I don't know of any who purchase Amway products on a regular basis and I don't know of ANYONE who has ever forked out money to attend an Amway/AMO function after they stopped being an IBO. Amway's numbers bear out this claim as there is very little sales to people who are not IBOs. The IBO salesforce is responsible for consuming the lion's share of Amway's products and services. I myself have purchased an Amway product or two since I left the business. But I did so only to humor friends who were still in the business. They have all since quit. It is very reasonable to conclude that once the desire to build the business stops, the desire to purchase Amway products also stops.

Most eager young and motivated people who sign up often do not realize that these IBO expenses exist. While Amway acknowledges that these tools and systems expenses are optional, the uplines who promote the tools may suggest that it is insanity to attempt to build an Amway business without the tools or strongly encourage new IBOs to partake. A common statement was that we "needed" to be at the next function no matter what. Missing it would set your business back six months. New IBOs and prospects don't know better so they will often conform. Sadly, there is ZERO unbiased evidence that the tools and seminars do anything to increase IBO volume and/or the sponsorship rate. In my informed and experienced opinion, the tools are ineffective and the vast majority if IBOs would be better off handing their upline a monthly check for $100 and not building the business or buying any products.

IBOs and information seekers should be awar of these potential IBO expenses and determine if the expenses would be worth your while. Keep in mind that someone upline profits handsomely from the tools, even if you do not make a cent from your Amway business. You should have your best interest at heart, no matter what your upline tells you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Trading Hours For Losses?

One of the ways that upline diamonds would put down jobs was to toss in the phrase that a job was simply trading hours for dollars. As if it were demeaning to have a job where you got paid for your time. I believe it's all relative. Being that many IBos are young and maybe working in more entry level types of jobs, then yeah, your hour's wage might not be that great. If you earn say $10 an hour, then you might be struggling financially and it may take time before your skills and knowledge increase to a point where your experience is worth more money. What if you had a job paying $1000 an hour and earned $160,000 a month? Is that a lousy deal trading hours for dollars?

Conversely, having a business can be good or bad also. If you have an Amway business earning less than $100 a month and you spend $200 on functions, standing orders and other training and motivational materials, then you are losing money. You are now trading hours for losses. You would be better off working for free. That is still a better alternative than working a business where you are losing money. I think most people agree that a platinum group typically has a 100 or more IBOs. Thus a platinum is in the top one half of 1% of all IBOs. I have heard that the platinum level is where you start to break even or make a little profit, depending on your level of tool consumption. If platinums are barely making a profit, then the other 99+% of IBOs are likely losing money. How much is that worth per hour?

I think uplines cleverly trick IBOs into thinking that a job is bad. Trading hours for dollars, afterall, sounds like some kind of indentured servant of sorts. But in the end, what matters is your bottom line. If you are an IBO with little or no downline, and/or not much in terms of sales to non IBOs/customers, then you are losing money each and every month if you are attending functions and buying standing orders. Your 10-12 hours a week of Amway work is costing you money! But if you spend 10-12 hours a week, even at minimum wage, then you might be making about 300 to 350 a month groww income. After taxes, you make about 250 to 300. At least trading hours for dollars gets you a guaranteed net gain at the end of the month.

Uplines trick you into a "business mentality" where you think that working for a net loss is just a part of business. IBOs should realize that a business promoted as low risk and no overhead should be one where you can profir right away. Instead, IBos are taught to delay gratification, or to reinvest any profit back into their business in the form of tools and functions, which results in a net loss. If that's the case I would choose trading hours for dollars.

Remember, trading hours for dollars is not a bad deal if you are making enough dollars per hour. And even those who make less, are better off that those who "run a business" but end up with a net loss. It's all relative and hopefully, this message will help new or prospective IBOs who are being enticed to join the Amway business opportunity. Good luck to those with jobs and those with businesses. You can be successful either way. Remember that!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Reality?

One of the things that attracts many IBOs to the Amway opportunity is the idea that they can work part time, 2-5 years and gain a "shortcut" to ongoing and voluminous wealth. Many of the prospects don't have the kind of income or resources that they would like, so the possibility of a shortcut to these trappings sounds like a good idea. They sign up and get started, and then the realities of the business sets in. It's almost like the story of how to boil a frog, except that IBOs don't realize that they are the frogs.

100 PV, is the defacto minimum quota for business building IBOs. It costs about $300 to purchase 100 PV worth of products. How many young and single people or couples for that matter, use and/or need $300 worth of household products each month? How many of these same people can actually afford to expend that much cash on household products? The pitch is to change where you shop but how many people were buying these kinds of good prior to Amway? My guess is none. I know I purchased many items, including vitamins, and I didn't need or use before Amway. But my desire to be teachable and to be an example to my downline kept me buying the goods, and trying to pawn off some stuff on friends and relatives to lessen my PV burden.

I also found that getting people to see the plan was no easy task. While my business was growing, it took more and more effort to recruit downline and I can see where many IBOs would reach the saturation point where there simply aren't anymore viable recruits and they might need to resort to cold contacting in order to generate potential prospects. This is probably why there are stories of IBOs stalking people in bookstores, malls and supermarkets. Even when people saw the plan, there wasn't a high percentage of new people signing up. It is why building and maintaining a business is a nearly impossible task, and it is why I believe there aren't people who retire, walk away from their Amway businesses and enjoy six figure residual incomes for life.

The more likely scenario is an IBO signing up, buy and using the products and tools and slowly but surely build up debt. There are countless stories of ex IBOs who got fired up, started building the business and fouond that in a relatively short period of time, found themselves in thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in debt. All the while upline was encouraging them to buy more tools and attend more function, even when they were not profitable. In my opinion, this is confirmation that uplines care more about their tools profits that they do about downline success. I sat in functions where upline would teach about reducing debt, but in the same breath, say it was okay to go deeper in debt if it was to purchase more tools. Self serving advice.

It is why I believe this opportunity, along with the tools system, will nearly guarantee IBO failure. It is sad, but it is also a reality.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Amway/WWDB CORE Steps?

Breakdown of CORE and why it doesn’t work. Here are the CORE steps. Some groups may have variations of CORE, but this is generally what many groups use:

1 - Show the Plan (10-15 per month)
2 - Retail the Products (10 customers @10 PV each)
3 – Tapes/cds
4 - Books
5 - Functions (attend all)
6 - Accountability
7 - Counsel with Upline (Be teachable!)
8 - Buy 100% of your own products
9 – Communikate

Many upline will tell you that your success is nearly 100% guaranteed if you follow these steps for 2-5 years. Some Amway enthusiasts will tell you that 6 months of this activity will nearly assure you of a platinum level business. Certain steps are within the IBO’s control, such as reading every day and listening to cds, and attending functions. It is also easy enough to be accountable, counsel with upline, buy your own products, and use KATE (voicemail).

Here’s where an IBO’s efforts will break down. Showing the plan and retailing products. And remember, if you cannot do these steps then you are not considered “CORE” and your upline will likely tell you that it is your own fault and that you simply haven’t been CORE, therefore you did not achieve success. There is some truth in this but let me expose the system in a different angle.

Amway has a spotty reputation in the US. I don’t think anyone can dispute this fact. Therefore, for the vast majority of people, being able to show the plan 10-15 times per month is a nearly impossible task. If you are able to do this, you are a really good salesman or a good liar. In this scenario, the IBO is already successful, but not because of CORE, but simply because the IBO has the gift of being able to convince people into seeing the plan. But for many IBOs, they may contact hundreds of people and not be able to get anyone to see the plan. Even IBOs who follow upline advice on how to contact will probably not be able to show 10-15 plans per month. Thus this IBO, who is doing the work, will not be able to succeed. The system will blame the IBO, but the reality is that the IBO has too big of a disadvantage to overcome.

Secondly, with high prices (on average) and with a spotty reputation, most IBOs are unable to retail products. Amway itself has admitted that less than 4% of Amway products are sold to customers (non IBOs). Thus most IBOs are unable to sell products, therefore they are not CORE, therefore upline will blame the IBO for failure..

What if an IBO contacts 1000 people and cannot get 10 people to see the plan? Upline will claim that IBO is not CORE and therefore it is personal failure of the IBO. IMO, the only reason why upline can claim that CORE works is because in order to do the CORE steps consistently, you have to already be at a certain level of success. The vast majority of IBOs cannot and will never be able to reach that level.

That is the myth and the deception that many uplines will use to attract recruits. That each IBO can do the CORE steps. When only a fraction of 1% ever reach the level of platinum or higher, the numbers strongly support what is written here. Apologists are welcome to try and prove me wrong, but they can't.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Amway Diamond Secrets?

One thing that I was unaware of as an IBO was that our uplines were massively profiting from our tools purchases. I was in WWDB at the time and I was told very clearly that nobody made money from the tools and in fact, I was also told that WWDB was a non profit organization. Both of these statements were bold lies told by WWDB leaders and they have never been held accountable. We were told that upline cared about us and our success, thus they spent their own money to fly to functions to teach us how to succeed. Turns out they were all lies.

Eventually, the internet amd other media made it impossible to cover up these lies and uplines finally admitted that they profitted from tools. However, it looks like the upline downplayed the magnitude of the tools profits. I believe some upline may have made most of their income from tools, especially leaders who may have fallen out of qualification. Now days, the upline admits they make some profits from tools, but there is still a great deal of secrecy in the tools business. Has anyone ever seen a written agreement on tools compensation? So say you qualify diamond and your crown ambassador decides you don't get tool money, what legal recourse do you have?

What makes the whole thing with tools ironic is that the uplines are not supposed to entice Amway prospects into joining by using the tools money as a draw, but at the same time, they are told that tools are vital to their success. Uplines also show off trappings and lifestyles to attract recruits, but I believe that these trappings were likely obtained with supplemental tool income. I often wonder if the diamonds actually own the toys they show off? I suspect that some rent cars or houses to make the show attractive. And tool income has a higher profit margin than Amway products and fewer people participate in the pay plan so it makes perfect sense. Let's take Dream Night. It costs about $75 per person, but I can schedule a fancy dinner in a hotel for about $25 to $30 per head. The rest is profit. Same with FED, but FED probably costs less as there's no dinner and the fee is about $125. That's where the real money is made.

I wonder how many prospects or IBOs would be fired up about buying tools if they knew that their uplines might not currently be qualified at the level they claim to be. Amway recognizes a diamond forever, or once a diamond, always a diamond. How would you feel knowing that the uplines will make a ton of money whether or not you make a cent as an IBO? Also, some uplines are shameless in pushing the tools on downline. Sure they might cut the newest guy a break and loan them some cds, but once that IBO decides to start building downline, they are likely to be told that a real business owner buys their own tools, or that a business owner needs to be a leader and purchase extra tools for their downline.

How would you feel if your upline is touting themselves as a financial genius but in the background, their homes are foreclosed or they have financial difficulties? What if your upline touts their morals and you find out they are divorced or getting a divorce? What if your upline said Amway saves marriages? Your upline certainly won't say they are perfect, but conversely, they should be held to the highest standards if they are using their status to be able to sell tools and make large profits.

These are some Amway secrets that your upline doesn't want you to know about.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Amway Teaching?

One thing is clear. Many Amway recruits are shown fancy cars and toys, along with luxurious vacations and trappings. This is a way to get prospects excited and interested in signing up for the Amway opportunity. Many sign up, and the excitement fades and they quit. Many do little or nothing. But what many people do not understand or realize is that there is a reason for this. Many do little or nothing, I suspect because the business is much harder to build than adevrtised.

Because Amway has a stigma in the US (and growing in other locations), finding prospects is a daunting task. Add in the high prices of Amway products and you have major challenges that IBOs simply cannot overcome. Most simply quit and fade away into society. Some, like myself were lied to and abused, with upline leaders (WWDB)who were never held accountable for their actions. Thus I blog so others may share my experiences and can decide if they wish to climb insurmountable challenges for a miniscule chance of financial success. Maybe they will realize they are being fed the same lies I heard as an IBO. Maybe some little nugget of information will get through and help a prospect or ongoing IBO.

What many leaders do is evolve their teachings. They start to teach their IBOs that the Amway opportunity may have made them nicer people, better fathers or husbands and other nice to hear stories because it covers up the fact that these IBOs are not making money. Sometimes I wonder how someone can be a better person by deceiving others about the business opportunity, or how you can be a better father or husband when Amway meetings become a priority over your family and friends? Or how you can be a nicer person and leave threatening messages on forums with those who disagree about Amway being a great business opportunity?

Rather that justifying your involvement or looking ar side benefits, IBOs should be looking at their bottom line. If your Amway "Business" is not generating enough money to pay for your voicemail and other expenses and leaving you with a net profit, then what exactly is your upline teaching you that is worth the ongoing expense? If you are like most, you are told that Amway has no overhead and has little risk. Well, that becomes untrue after months pass by and you have spent hundreds if not thousands on support materials that do not deliver you a net profit. Are you being taught that you're successful simply by showing up for a function?

Are you new or a tenured IBO? Has your teaching from upline evolved away from making money as the bottom line? If so, what do you do next?

Monday, June 18, 2018

College Or Amway?

Many Amway IBOs justify their involvement in the system of cds, podcasts, books and seminars by comparing it to college. They claim they need this education and that it is much cheaper when compared to a college or university. Of course this is the upline propaganda that IBOs are fed, much like the concept that a job is a bad idea. If recruiters are encouraging you to build Amway and to drop college, I would run away as fast as possible. It is well documented that college graduates in general, earn much more than non college graduates. I'd also mention that college was a fun experience for me. It really gets my ire when I hear stories of your students being encouraged to drop college in pursuit of an Amway business, which gives you a fraction of 1% chance of success.

In college, it is true that not everyone graduates, but approximately half of those who start college end up graduating. Those who do not graduate still benefit from their education on a year to year or course by course basis. When you are job seeking, a college degree will give you more options than those who don't educate. This claim cannot be made by Amway IBOs. The education an IBO receives by seminars and cds do not even equate to success in Amway, much less in other venues in life. Only a small fraction of IBOs ever reach platinum, which supposedly is the break even point. So as an IBO, you have less than one half of a one percent chance to break even as compared to approximately a 50% chance of graduating college. It's also very possible to do everything your upline advises and still fail in Amway. It is unlikely you could achieve all that an academic adviser asks of you and still fail.

Also, once you graduate and receive your degree/diploma, it is complete. You have your degree and no more education is required. In Amway, your education will never end. You'll be expected to invest in the tools and functions forever. Also, in Amway, there are many many many examples of people who reached levels as high as diamond or above who could not maintain the level. There are also many examples of diamonds who quit Amway. If there were such a thing as "residual" income, why would anyone quit when they could sit back and watch the cash roll in. I think the answer is quite obvious. Residual income is a myth. I believe that diamonds might be working full time to maintain their groups. With people quitting daily, it takes a lot of effort to replace the quitters with new recruits.

There is also no evidence (as far as I know) that your Amway related education of cds and seminars actually work. The tiny fraction of 1% of successful IBOs is not a good case for arguing the success of the system. Colleges on the other hand, have accreditation standards, which is nothing like the ineffective Amway accreditation of groups such as BWW, WWDB or Network 21. The results are quite telling if you look at them analytically.

The fact that IBOs even dare to compare a college education to their teaching in Amway is a joke. Try telling a prospective employer about your Amway education and see what that gets you. LOL

Friday, June 15, 2018

Amway University?

Many IBOs justify their involvement in the system of cds, tapes, books and seminars by comparing it to college. They claim they need this education and that it is much cheaper when compared to a college or university. Of course this is the upline propaganda that IBOs are fed, much like the concept that a job is a bad idea. If recruiters are encouraging you to build Amway and to drop college, I would run away as fast as possible. It is well documented that college graduates in general, earn much more than non college graduates. I'd also mention that college was a fun experience for me.

In college, it is true that not everyone graduates, but approximately half of those who start college end up graduating. Those who do not graduate still benefit from their education on a year to year or course by course basis. When you are job seeking, a college degree will give you more options than those who don't educate. This claim cannot be made by Amway IBOs. The education an IBO receives by seminars and cds do not even equate to success in Amway, much less in other venues in life. Only a small fraction of IBOs ever reach platinum, which supposedly is the break even point. So as an IBO, you have less than one half of a one percent chance to break even as compared to approximately a 50% chance of graduating college.

Also, once you graduate and receive your degree/diploma, it is complete. You have your degree and no more education is required. In Amway, your education will never end. You'll be expected to invest in the tools and functions forever. Also, in Amway, there are many many many examples of people who reached levels as high as diamond or above who could not maintain the level. There are also many examples of diamonds who quit Amway. If there were such a thing as "residual" income, why would anyone quit when they could sit back and watch the cash roll in. I think the answer is quite obvious. Residual income is a myth. I believe that diamonds might be working full time to maintain their groups. With people quitting daily, it takes a lot of effort to replace the quitters with new recruits.

There is also no evidence (as far as I know) that your Amway related education of cds and seminars actually work. The tiny fraction of 1% of successful IBOs is not a good case for arguing the success of the system. Colleges on the other hand, have accreditation standards, which is nothing like the ineffective Amway accreditation of groups such as BWW, WWDB or Network 21. The results are quite telling if you look at them analytically.

The fact that IBOs even dare to compare a college education to their teaching in Amway is a joke. Try telling a prospective employer about your Amway education and see what that gets you. LOL

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Amway Conditional Friends?

You hang out with friends, generally people you like and have similar interests. You have good and bad times, but your true friends are there for you when you need them. You move residences, your friends are there to help you move. They may play a round of golf with you, or watch some sporting events, dinners, backyard barbeques, movies, etc. These are folks you will likely end up retiring with and enjoying your golden years.

But suddenly, you get enticed to join Amway. You see the "chance" to get rich, with a shortcut (not get rich quick, but a "shortcut"). You sign up and your sponsor is your new "best" friend. Most of the people you enjoyed being with think Amway is a questionable venture to get involved in. Suddenly, because of what you have been told or taught, you view these same nice people as "broke" or "losers", simply because they do not share the same ambition of untold wealth working 12-15 hours a weeek. Suddenly, you friends become prospects, or people you want to sponsor so you start recruiting them. Some may join, but most won't. Suddenly you are immersed in recruitment meetings, functions, and avoiding "negative", which is people and events that do not support your Amway business. Sadly, many of these "negative" people were likely what you previously thought of as "good friends".

Now you are missing birthday parties, barbeques, and other social events. Your social events are now recruitment meetings, seminars and Amway business related events. You are taught that these events (birthday parties, etc.) can be put off and your gratification delayed. You can do whatever you want when you go diamond. (Even though there might be only one (1) diamond out of every ten or twenty thousand IBOs) Your dedication will pay off right? Sadly, for most people, even very dedicated people, all they will see is losses on their yearly tax returns, mainly due to the purchase of cds, books, voicemail and function tickets. But these are your "friends" right?

Here's my take on it. Try missing a few meetings or functions. Stop buying cds and see how many "friends" remain from the business. It is likely that your upline will claim that you walked away from the friendship by slowing down on the "system". If that happens, then you have conditional friends, or fair weather friends. They are your "friends" while you are pursuing the same cause. They are your friends when you are attending functions. Are they there for you in bad times?

A short while after I attended my last function (I was still an IBO, just not a business builder), my dad passed away. Not a single one of my IBO "friends" bothered to attend the memorial service. Not a single one of my IBO friends called or dropped by the home to pay their respects. All of my "real" friends, who saw through the AMO smoke and mirrors called to talk to me and/or attended the memorial service.

Are your IBO friends conditional friends? Mine were.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Don't Quit Your Job?

So many IBOs have grandiose dreams of untold wealth, financial freedom. They think they will "build it once' and sit back on the beaches of the world sipping exotic drinks while the 6 figure checks keep coming in the mail. Sure it's a nice thought, but not a single IBO I have encountered can name a single IBO who achieved diamond, and walked away from the business to enjoy freedom while the money pours into their bank accounts. It is very likely that nobody like this exists. I suppose someone could go diamond and walk away from the business and still earn some bonuses, but very quickly, that business would likely fall out of qualification and the bonuses would shrink to nothing very quickly. Also, to earn bonuses, I believe an IBO needs to have side volume exceeding 2500 PV, which is roughly $7500 monthly in personal group volume. With normal attrition, it's easy to see how a diamond business can fall apart faster than a cheap suit without maintenance.

I also see and hear many Amway IBOs popping off about how someone in their upline is earning $60,000 a year or more. While it may seem like a nice income to someone who has a low paying or entry level job, that income is gross and may not leave much left after taxes and associated business expenses. Even a diamond with an average income of $150,000 in a year likely has a very low monthly income from Amway as much of that income comes in the form of an annual bonus. As a former emerald once told me, you needed to budget out that annual bonus or you could be in financial trouble later in the year, if Amway is your sole source of income.

Also, you may have seen diamond showing off sports cars and other displays of wealth. My former LOS, WWDB has a function called "Dream nite" where they show off lavish displays of wealth. Well, it is my informed guess that most diamonds cannot afford the lifestyles and toys that they show off in these functions. If you do the math, you can see that after taxes and other expenses, a diamond lifestyle is likely to be quite ordinary. Normally, nobody would care about this but since diamonds use this display of wealth to recruit IBOs and to sell tools, it is significant for IBOs to know. What likely happens is the most tenured diamond may have some nice trappings and the slides will feature the goodies owned or rented by a diamond, as if all diamonds live the same way.

While it is great for someone to have dreams and goals, it is also important to have achievable goals. It is simply impossible for a room of IBOs to go diamond and to earn the kind of income that is shown in "the plan". Amway recruiters will show you "what's possible", but not "what's likely". To put perspective on that, it's "possible" that you can start a software company that puts Microsoft out of business, but it's not likely. It's possible for you to win the lottery, but not likely. My advice to IBOs is not to quit your day jobs - ever. Your dreams and goals can be accomplished in many ways, but it is unlikely to be achieved with an Amway business.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What Are The Odds?

Many people consider the platinum level in Amway as a significant achievement in Amway. While it may be nice to achieve that level and gain recognition from the Amway corporation, I will point out that there was a study done in Wisconsin where the attorney general analyzed and found that platinums on average, lost money. The study is somewhat dated, but I will also point out that today, there are MORE expenses associated with running an Amway business than before. (Voicemail, books, functions, standing orders, shipping). I would guess that it's possible that platinums lose more today than when the Wisconsin study was done. In that study, the top1% of IBOs were examined and it was found that they averaged a net loss of about $900 each.

A typical platinum group often has 100 or more downline IBOs. Thus a logical conclusion is that less than 1% of IBOs can reach that level. And that isn't even factoring in all the people who sign up and quit. It is also, apparently rare to maintain the level of platinum. Factoring in people who quit, one can conclude that only a small fraction of 1% ever reach platinum. My former upline diamond had 7 frontline platinums in his heyday. Actually, 6 of them were ruby level. None of them hold the platinum level today and I'm not sure that any of them are even in the business today. So you have a less than 1% chance of reaching platinum and then you are even less likely to be able to maintain that level.

What serious prospective business owner would even consider opening a business where you have such a tiny chance of success? Even those who achieve platinum are likely to lose that level. If platinums cannot maintain their level, then it's easy to see why there are former diamonds as well. It seems that people are willing to take a chance on an Amway business because the start up cost is low. But what is the point of doing all of that when the chance of making money is negligible? A real business owner would look at the risk and reward and while you could argue that Amway is relatively low risk, it can also b said that the rewards are basically non existent, save for a very few elite who can overcome the overwhelming odds to make a significant income.

To compound the problem, many IBOs spend a lot of time and money building an Amway business that is unlikely to give them any return on their investment. I'd guess that the average serious IBO would spend $250 a month or more on tools. That money invested over a number of years in mutual funds would give you a much better chance of achieving some dreams. Even putting the money in the bank would make you better off than the vast majority of IBOs. A serious business owner would want to know their realistic chance of making money. For some strange reason, prospects and IBOs seem to ignore this reality. They dream of only the best case scenario or what is possible. They seem to ignore what is likely and what is reality.

It is because uplines are in the business of selling tools and distributorships. They are not truly interested in your long term sustainable success. If you don't believe me, try to stop purchasing standing orders and function tickets and see how much longer you are edified and given help from upline. Seriously, would a real business owner be interested in a less than 1% chance of success?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Boiling A Frog?

I heard a story about how someone boils a frog. They slowly warm up the water until the frog is relaxed and then when the frog is relaxed and muscles all soft, you turn up the heat and boil the frog. Amway leaders once told this story to describe how we as people, become complacent in life and how we can get into a rut. We relax and slowly, the bills add up and next thing you know, you're working harder than ever but living in debt. And by then it's probably too late and you can never catch up - unless you join Amway of course.

That's because we live in a society where keeping up with the Joneses and consumerism with no delayed graitification is prevalent in US society. Your friend buys a new car and you not only want a new car, you probably want a better one. It's very common in the US, which is why so many Americans are living in debt, paycheck to paycheck. That doesn't make anyone a bad person, but it makes you a paycheck away from financial disaster. Many people who join Amway are young and possibly working at more entry level types of jobs and far away from conventional retirement.

I recently went to a retirement planning seminar and saw that many people don't or won't even have $100K saved up for retirement. It's a sad state of affairs and one that isn't likely to change anytime soon. I hope our readers here keep that in mind and plan accordingly. And ask yourself honestly, is Amway going to help that situation or not? Losing money certainly doesn't help your bottom line.

But what does this have to do with Amway? Well, what Amway leaders are doing is boiling frogs. Or, if you will, boiling their downline. They get you to relax and trust them and then suddenly, you need to be a serious business owner, attending ALL seminars and buying ALL tools. They'll also lure you into commitment by showing you pictures of their alleged diamond lifestyle. They might show you a copy of someone's bonus check, but they won't show you a profit loss statement. They'll show you a picture of a Ferarri, but won't show you the ownership papers. They'll show you a mansion, but not the mortgage papers they signed. I believe the diamonds show an illusion of wealth.

The diamonds will likely make you think they are financially free, living on their terms with no financial worries in the world when the reality may reveal a very different picture. When you consider that a diamond who might earn $500,000 a year is worshipped. But when you factor in taxes, business expenses, medical insurance, etc, what's left is not a jet set lifestyle, but one closer to middle class, where you need to keep working. You could argue about how hard a diamond's "job" is, but having to be somewhere at particular time to earn money is not financial freedom. And if a diamond's bonus checks were to stop, they would be in deep trouble soon after. In other words, not much different than someone with a 9-5 job.

So IBOs are actually the frogs being boiled, one function or one cd at a time. They just don't realize it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

IBO Or Customer Of Amway?

I've been debating with others about the concept of customers. Amway's most prolific defender argues that IBOs are customers and holds the position that there are alot of people who register with Amway simply to be customers. Now I don't know how anyone can possibly make that determination, but regardless of whether it's true or not, these folks are still considered IBOs. I don't want to debate the legal ramifications about the 1979 FTC ruling and the 70& rule, although the spirit of the rule was to prevent IBOs from buying their bonus. in the 2016 FTC ruling against Herbalife, the FTC said sales to distributors do not count as retail sales and required Herbalife to changes their operations because of this rule.

Amway apologists apparently contends that IBOs who purchase and then resell to downline are meeting the sales requirements and the downline are customers. Okay, let's go with that. But wait, IBOs do not buy and then resell to their downline. IBOs order directly from Amway do they not? If IBOs order directly from Amway, their upline gets some volume credit for downline purchases but the upline doesn't buy and then resell anything to downline. So are IBOs actually making any sales to non IBOs, save for sympathetic friends and family?

If in fact, IBOs are not selling their goods, and are primarily self consuming them, it means that most of the upline bonus is basically generated from the pockets of the downline. I believe the tools business is a product pyramid as only IBOs are buying standing orders and attending functions. The lack of selling Amway products to the public would put the Amway business opportunity in pretty much the same category. I wonder what the FTC would rule today if that were the case? I wonder what the FTC would rule on the tools systems as it is today?

Something to think seriously about. If you are an Amway business owner, and you are selling little or nothing, where do you think your bonus comes from? It either comes from your own pockets, or it comes from taking advantage of your downline, who then pony up a portion of your bonus from their pockets. In a system such as this, the only way to maximize your bonus is to recruit as many downline as possible. Because the more people you can leverage, the more bonus you can get. The problem with this system is that people realize they aren't making money, and that paying in some cases, ridiculous high prices for "prestigious" soap and vitamins is not worth it, and they quit. When these folks lose their Amway dream of mansions and jets, they somehow lose their desire to keep making purchases.

If former IBOs kept on buying Amway goods, then Amway sales would climb pretty much every year as the former IBO's purchases coupled with current IBO purchases should keep going up, not down. But that's not really the case is it? In what business can the employees or company owners be the primary customers and prosper. The answer is none and Amway is not an exception.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Losing Your ASSets While In Amway?

One of the issues I have with the Amway plan is that the newest IBO, possibly the one who does the most "Work", receives the smallest compensation. Amway pays about 30+% of their revenue back in the form of bonuses. An IBO who does 100 PV receives a 3% bonus and somewhere, uplines and sponsors receive the rest. Some of the upline may not have even met the IBO who actually did the work. Is that really fair and is that a level playing field? What do some of these uplines do to deserve the lion's share of the bonus you worked to get? Yes, the upline diamond may show the plan in an open meeting, which may help you, but then again, you pay for entrance into that meeting plus you pay for your guests.

Many uplines will talk about dreams and fulfilling your dreams. But if an IBO would stop and think for a moment, you can easily see that you are building the dreams of your upline, and not your own. You receive a tiny portion of the bonus for the volume that you move, and then in addition, if you are on the system, then you are also paying upline in the form of tool purchases for the priviledge of giving them bonuses with your product purchases. How is that a good business deal in any way, shape or form?

It is why your upline diamonds can parade around on stage with designer suits and show you their fancy cars and mansions and other toys. It is because they are cashing in on your efforts. You are making their dreams come true. Your dedication to moving volume and purchasing standing orders are fulfilling dreams. The upline dreams. Yes, someday you can hope to have your own group of downline to exploit for your own benefit, but unless you are adding members to your group regularly, you will never achieve the kinds of dreams that uplines talk about. In the meantime though, you are definitely helping someone upline achieve their dreams with every function you attend. Ironically, the upline leaders will tell you to never quit, even if they don't know your personal circumstances.

Here's a challenge for IBOs and/or prospects who are being recruited into the Amway business. 100 PV will cost around $300 a month and dedication to the tools system will cost you anywhere from $100 to $500 or more, depending on your level of commitment. Would you not be better off simply writing a check to your upline for $100 and not even joining? Would you not be better off staying home and watching television instead of joining? If you read all of the information available on this blog and still decide to join, good luck to you, but remember this: Whose dreams are being fulfilled by your participation? Yours or your upline diamond, who profits from tool sales?

Monday, June 4, 2018

Amway "Mentors"?

In the Amway business, many active IBOs are advised to trust upline. To think of upline as a coach or a mentor. These upline mentors or coaches are supposed to have your best interest at heart and they will guide you to success if only you will be open to learning. Many uplines, including my former uplines used to coin the term "copy" or duplicate. If you can do that you will be successful. Even the simplest of people can copy. The upline may crack a joke about getting thru school by copying. Thus, many IBOs follow exactly what their upline advises them to do.

But then uplines turn the responsibility away from themselves. Many Amway defenders will also claim that downline should not simply follow the advice of upline. They may make a ridiculous claim that standing orders and functions contain advice that must be discerned. That information is like a buffet. You pick and choose what you need and discard the rest. If you are a new IBO or prospect, let me tell you that is a load of guano (crap) that is being heaped on you. Your upline is touted as having experience and wisdom in the Amway business, which is why you are paying good money for voicemail, books, cds, and functions. So why would their advice be something you pick and choose? How would a new IBO know what to pick and choose?

Imagine hiring a guide for a trek in the wilderness. The guide is supposed to be an experienced outdoorsman, perhaps an expert. So if he recommends that you eat certain plants or fruits, you trust that he is going to guide you right. Imagine eating something that made you sick to your stomach, only to have the guide tell you that he just points out plants and fruits and you have to discern which is good for you and which is not. You would fire the guide and tell everyone you know not to use that guide anymore.

But here we have these "systems" such as Network 21, WWDB or BWW that have been "guiding" IBOs for many many years, and yet in some cases, and the number of diamonds are negligible. Sure there are many new platinums, but many tool consuming platinums have been found to be losing money or making very little money for their efforts. What's more, it would appear that Amway is losing ground based on sales. One can reasonably guess that any new platinums that break are simply replacing the volume for a platinum that no longer exists or a platinum that no longer qualifies. My former upline diamond appears to have all new qualifying platinums from the time I was in the business and here's the kicker. My former diamond had 6 downline rubies. As far as I know, none of these rubies are qualified as platinum anymore, although I have heard that some of these are still active.

Uplines also program their downline to take responsibility for the failure. Thus you have IBOs who did everything that was asked of them, only to fail. Yet these IBOs often blame themselves for their failure. It is my opinion that former IBOs who did everything asked of them only to fail should file a formal complaint against their LOS with the better business bureau. Amway defenders like to think that a lack of formal complaints means that the system works when clearly, there is no unbiased substantial evidence to suggest that the system works. It looks like some succeed in spite of the system, not because of.

The catch in all this is uplines skirting responsibility for the outcomes of those they "mentor" and profit from. IBOs should ask if upline really cared about their success, why do you have to pay for any help that you receive from your upline diamond?

Friday, June 1, 2018

Freedom!

Financial Freedom! That was one of the major battle cries when I was recruited for the Amway business. You gain control of time and money by creating residual or passive income. That is true financial freedom. You wake up at noon, no job, and just do whatever you please, whenever you please. I remember the speaker saying that broke/unemployed people also had freedom, but it was different because they were broke and could not afford to go golfing or do other activities that required money on a regular basis.

I am assuming that this is still the case for many IBOs. Of course, upline leaders may toss in a disclaimer that you don't get rich quick as an IBO, but the pitch apparently still contains the financial freedom and residual income theme, based on my experiences with IBOs. IBOs still think they will be rich. Also, 2-5 years sounds like "get rich quick" to me.

But hey, financial freedom would be a great thing, don't get me wrong. Who wouldn't want to be 35 years old with enough cash to never have to work again? I mean I could spend some time imagining how fun that would be. It would also be fun to imagine what you would do with all the cash if you hit the powerball lottery as well. But for the starry eyed IBOs, I simply have a few questions for you to ponder. A few realistic questions that you should be asking yourself. The answers to these questions will tell you a lot.

1. Who in your group or upline truly has achieved financial freedom? Have you seen their financials or simply a display of wealth such as mansions and fancy cars? Mansions and fancy cars could just be a massive pile of debt. Not too long ago, there apparently were diamonds who had their homes foreclosed, and a triple diamond who was in bankruptcy proceedings. Find out if anyone in your group/upline has actually achieved the success that they are using to recruit you. Also, if they are financially free, why do they work at function after function? Traveling and speaking might not be a traditional job, but it is still work, nonetheless.

2. Even if you find someone who is retired and golfing everyday because of Amway residual income, ask yourself what the likelihood is that you will be able to achieve the same results. If diamonds are still working, what chance do you have of success if you are new or experienced in Amway, and have few or no downline. More than likely, your chance of winning the lottery will be greater than your chance of achieving a significant residual income from your Amway business. Also, I don't know of any Amway retirees who built their business once and walked away with any significant residual income from Amway. Do you?