Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Trusting Upline?

Over the years, I have encountered many Amway IBOs and they often have a common theme. They trust their upline and in some cases, consider them mentors. Now in a business venture, it might be good to have a mentor or someone to guide you, but in the Amway opportunity, most of the upline mentors make money off those who they mentor. That is a major conflict of interest but IBOs simply fail to see it. Rather than mentors, maybe a paid consultant is a better description of the relationship. What IBOs also fail to see, is that there is an utter lack of success overall in the field of rank and file IBOs.

When an IBO sees the plan in a big meeting, the speaker will often be built up as a financial guru, and possibly as an expert on how to succeed in Amway. An IBO may have heard something about the trail was already blazed by upline and you just need to follow the trail. Don't re-invent the wheel, just copy what upline did. But as I have said many times before, duplication sounds easy and looks good on paper, but in real life, the vast majority of IBOs run into problems that they simply cannot overcome, such as the bad reputation that the Amway name has in the US. Add that to the less than competitive prices that Amway products sell for, and you have a problem.

What is troubling however, is that IBOs are taught to trust upline and do as they say (defacto requirement), but they are also taught that failure is due to their own shortcomings, even when they do exactly what upline told them. It is also troubling that many uplines will tell their faithful followers that they need to purchase more and more tools (voicemail, cds, seminar tickets). In some cases, an upline may advise their downline to sacrifice basic family needs to buy these tools. Some IBOs were advised to skip meals to buy a cd, or skip paying the mortgage/rent to be able to attend the next big function. How is that good advice?

I might also add that as a newer IBO or prospect, you may have heard that "everyone starts at zero", or that it's a level playing field. It is not. As a new IBO, you will likely be in the 100 PV bracket. Since Amway pays out about 30+% in bonuses, your upline(s) will split up the lion's share in bonuses off your efforts while you get a 3 %bonus. That doesn't sound very level to me. And upline is entitled to that because they were in Amway before you?

So each IBO should look at things objectively and see if your upline is helping you or simply helping himself by giving you advice that ends up in profit for himself with little or nothing for you.


Anonymous said...

If one realizes that Amway is a religious cult and not a business, then all of what you have described becomes understandable.

"Trust up-line" is just another way of saying "Do what the priests and ministers tell you to do."

Always pay your dues, even if it means personal sacrifice, is a purely religious idea. You are expected to tithe to your church, no matter how much it may cost you personally.

"If you fail in this business, it's due to your own shortcomings" is just another way of saying "You alone are responsible for your ultimate salvation!"

The Church of Amway. That's what it is. It's not a business.

Experienced Emerald said...

This is a very accurate post. As an innocent new IBO I trusted my upline and looked at him as an expert in every area. My wife and I were able to build a very successful business. I believe it was in more on our common sense, work ethic and ability than it ever was because of my upline. We had 3 legs over 7500 and had 25 downline silver, gold, platinums and Q-12 in our organization. This was between 1992-1998 where we saw the majority of our success. We personally stayed Q-12 Achievers until 2009. I saw the business begin to slowly crumble around 1999-2000. When the business started it's decline our upline put a big emphasis on tools. Obviously, now I understand why. PV was shrinking, but there was always tool and function profit. Because of this blind "upline trust" many people spent money on homemade tools that were never part of the true system. Flip charts, function t-shirts...just about anything to profit off of the people. We had a function one time and some of the IBOs lived 500 feet from the hotel. When, I went to my crooked dishonest upline and told him they were going to sleep in their own beds, I was told they had to stay at the hotel to participate. Like a sheep I went back to them and told them they could not stay in their own home and had to stay at the hotel. Of course, later I found out they were making 25.00 per night off the rooms. I began to see more and more of these types of rip offs going on. We ended up changing lines of affiliation because I no longer trusted the crooks upline. It's interesting because, even though our PV still counted toward their business. They never spoke to us again, probably because we weren't supporting their tools anymore. I am not sure how we went from them always telling us they" loved" us to not even knowing we exist. Actually, now I think it's hilarious. I am still very close with many former IBO's because relationships are not based on how much money people are spending with you. My Diamonds ended up being very lonely people when everyone saw right through them. Many people waste their lives chasing this ridiculous dream and the less intelligent ones listen to their upline as they encourage them to only hang out with positive Amway people. They end up disapointed and before they know it 20 years has gone by. They have no friends outside of Amway and are truly socially awkward around normal people.

Joecool said...

Experienced Emerald, thanks for sharing your perspective.

Anonymous said...

I'm a new IBO. I appreciate your point of view. What would you say to me who knows their upline personally, for almost 20yrs, outside of the business. They were in this business the whole time. They, including their next big upline (platinum maybe) don't push you to waste money on products if you can save a bunch of money elsewhere or prospect people you wouldn't want to be friends and hang out with. They coach, get to know people, if their content in life or searching for something different or better than what they have now. Don't stress yourself out but try to grow by getting out of you comfort zone talking to people. I see that big talk in the functions but chalk alot of that up to putting on a bit of a show. My one on one experience with my uplines is much more subdued. Focus on paying it forward, help others be successful and you will be too.

Straight shooter said...

Experienced Emerald, are you still in the Amway/WWDB business?

Joecool said...

Anonymous at 2:23 pm. What would I say to you? I'd say that your upline has made a fortune by exploiting downline. That's what happens in the Amway business. If you break down the math, which I've done numerous times on this website, it's easy to see that the masses of rank and file's expenditures on training is how the emeralds, diamonds and other big pins make the money to fun the "lifestyle" that they show off.

Experienced Emerald said...

Straight Shooter,

I am still a registered IBO and because of a few customers and a downline I still run volume every month. My checks range from 500.00 to 800.00 per month. I have 7 front line ordering legs. The business is on the way down because none of my IBOs are building so eventually it will stop producing revenue. I have no contact with any current IBOS. My last activity was in 2008. It has been paying me ever since. Its funny, when you spend no money on functions, tools or scams, it actually is a profitable and residual business. I was never part of the WWDB organization. I was part of Internet and moved to LTD. I thought LTD was much more professionally ran. There were actually 4 diamonds between us and Internet itself. I never had issues with most of them. My immediate upline diamond was the bad egg. I do extremely well outside of Amway so it gives me a great perspective. There are many ways to succeed in America. I do feel sorry for the IBOs that are shut off from the rest of the world intentionally by their upline to protect their selfish financial interest. If the truth were to be told, the majority of diamonds have not built the business in years and are living off of tool money and functions not "NEW" PV. I know of Emeralds in qualification for Diamond right now who are orchestrating the buying of PV to get the pin done. (Making their run). Supposedly, it will create belief in their organization but it is not sustainable. So much deception goes on. The post above where anonymous says he is personal friends with his sponsor for 20 years, that may be true but he is not personal friends with the uplines, uplines, upline. He has kind of a narrow view.

Any other questions you have, ask away. I have seen it all first hand and I am still profiting. It's a great blog.

Experienced Emerald

Straight Shooter said...

Joecool, from what I've been told and read,all the WWDB training material profits are split evenly across all Diamonds and only the Diamonds. Not one gets more than the other. Emeralds don't get anything from training. That's why everyones goal should be to achieve Diamond, not less.

Joecool said...

Straight shooter, the emeralds also share in some of the tool income, Direct distributors (platinums) get a discount on standing orders. And diamonds receive function money based on how many downline are attending, which is why WWDB had the IBOs write their names on the tickets. That system may have changed but that was my general understanding of how the compensation worked. I actually received a worksheet with the computation factors from a former higher up in WWDB at the time.