One of the things that many Amway defenders will cite is that the people who don't succeed didn't work hard enough or didn't put in enough effort. While I agree that one must work hard to succeed in many endeavors, I will also state my informed opinion that working hard and success in Amway is not related. I say this because I have seen so many testimonies of people who worked the Amway business hard and achieved little or no results. With Amway's miniscule success rate, I cannot believe that it is simply a lack of effort on people's part. Amway's low success rate seems to be systemic.
Part of the problem is that many uplines emphasize recruiting as their focus, even though there is no direct compensation for doing so. In fact, recruiting downline often comes with much expenses such as gas, babysitters, and the false belief that an IBO needs standing orders and seminars to learn this. Also, Amway has a spotty reputation in the US, thus making recruiting potential downline a very difficult task. Even finding someone willing to see the Amway plan can prove to be a daunting task. Think about it. People often can do most of the "core" steps that are supposed to be the key to Amway success. But anyone can read a book daily or attend all the meetings. Where they cannot remain core is finding enough people to see the plan, let along sponsoring any downline.
An important part of any business is to find customers to buy your goods. Because IBOs already spend much of their time recruiting and not selling, they are already at a disadvantage over many other businesses. Add in the seemingly uncompetetive prices of Amway and Amway partner store products and you give IBOs yet another disadvantage over most other businesses. If there were better value in these goods and services, then IBOs who sell instead of recruit would be much more common. Also, the Amway compensation plan often rewards uplines rather than the IBOs who actually do the work of moving the volume. Basically, hard work is ineffective because the Amway business comes with too many handicaps for most people to overcome.
I also believe that the Amway business is so outdated and inefficient. While you may have a website to sell your goods, you have restrictions that severely limit the ability of an IBO to drive traffic to their website. The person to person touch may sound nice and flowery, but it is the most inefficient way to make sales. It is why people pay millions to advertise during the Superbowl, because you may have a hundred million people watching the adervtisement and can drive up your name recognition and sales.
While working hard is definitely important to succeeding in any venture, I don't believe there is any bonafide correlation that working hard equals success in the Amway business for the reasons I have outlined in this post.