Friday, December 15, 2017

The Illusion?

One of the things my upline taught us ad nauseum was that we needed to have undying faith in our business and in our upline. That we needed to believe that we were going to be successful. IBOs are told that they should act successful even if they are still working their way up the ranks in the business. It is why they ask (require) IBOs to wear suits and business attire to all meetings and functions. This is one of the weird quirks about the business in my opinion. I live in Hawaii and I remember a function they held in the middle of July in a high school auditorium and there was no air conditioning. I think my suit needed special cleaning because it was completely saturated with persiration.

Anyway, with this part of the year, soon there will be thousands of IBOs shuffling off to a function called dream night, or in some cases, winter conference. The tickets are about $60 to $80 and includes a dinner. What IBOs are often unaware of is that many venues will allow you to run these conferences for $20 to $25 per person. The rest of that ticket prices goes directly into your upline's pockets. Anyway, the dream night function will feature slide shows of mansions, yachts, jet skis, sports cars, fabulous vacations and other trappings of wealth.

What many IBOs don't realize is that this display of wealth is just that. There is no bonafide evidence to indicate that these diamonds actually own all of those toys and goodies. The diamonds probably won't verbally confirm it either, because these toys and goodies may not really be owned by them. It could be rented, or maybe some upline corwn ambassador may own the mansion, but IBOs will assume that these trappings of wealth are common once you reach diamond. As an IBO, I never actually knew how much a diamond really earned. I just assumed it was a lot because we were shown all of these goodies and just assumed all diamonds had these kinds of lifestyles.

If I posted a picture of a mansion and a jet and said I owe it all to my earnings as a blogger, people would cry foul, that I am lying and making things up. And they would be right. Well, I would guess that many diamonds are doing the very same thing if they appear on stage and implying that they have jets and mansions. As I said, someone may own a mansion and a jet, but to imply that this is a part of the typical diamond lifestyle is a stretch. The evidence is there. Some diamonds have lost their homes to foreclosure. My old LOS diamonds (WWDB) taught us that diamonds pay cash for everything, including homes. Now confirmed as a blatant lie. Who knows what else they may have misrepresented?

I ask IBOs and prospects who may be attending dream night, to watch with a critical eye. What is being implied with the display of wealth? Analyze if those goodies can be purchased with a diamond income ($150,000 plus some tool income). Ask yourself if this lifestyle is truly sustainable? Ask yourself if you can live with yourself if deception is a part of earning your diamond lifestyle?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Is Amway Fair?

One of the things my upline always taught was how the Amway business was fair. Everyone starts at zero, we were told. Everyone does start at zero, but it is hardly fair when you break down the compensation and the layers of people between you and your uplines. I will also speak about how the sponsoring is somewhat cloudy as well. Despite the claim that you will be paid if you "do the work", it is not necessarily true. These are catch phrases that upline uses to make it seem as if Amway is fair.

The sponsoring system that Amway uses is a hit or miss. You could have tons of business acumen and insight on running a business, but your sponsor and others upline will always be your upline and will always profit on your efforts - simply because they signed up before you and for no other reason. In many cases, a sponsor has nothing to offer a downline. They are in no way shape or form able to advise or give sound business advice to you as their downline. But as long as they remain in the business, they get to profit from your efforts simply because they signed up before you. Does that sound fair to you?

Also, let's take a new IBO for example. If that new IBO sells and consumes 100 PV, that new IBO will receive a 3% bonus. Amway pays about 32% to 33% of their take in bonuses. Thus the new IBO who "did the work" gets 3% and somewhere in the layers of upline, 29% to 30% gets split up among the upline. Some of the upline don't even know that the new IBO exists, but they get a portion of the bonus, simply because they sign up for Amway first. The new IBO has done the work and some of the uplines have done nothing to help this new IBO, but they enjoy a percentage of that IBO's bonus. Does that sound fair?

Tenured upline may also sell business support materials such as voicemail, websites, books, cds, and seminars. None of these materials have been proven to be effective in assisting IBOs in building a business. In fact, some of the biggest crown ambassador types built their Amway businesses before these materials existed. But because they were there first, they now claim to have the expertise on how to build a successful Amway business. Based on some numbers that Amway has provided, we can conclude that only about 1 in 400 IBOs ever reach platinum and out of those who reach platinum, less than 1% ever reach diamond. Not much evidence that the system works. Yes, I acknowledge that some people don't follow the system, but out of these ones who do follow the system, the success rate is still miserably low. If the system is so diffcult to follow and succeed, is it fair for IBOs to have to keep paying for a system that will not help them?

All of the above are reasons a new IBO has the deck stacked unfairly against them. Yes, some IBOs can overcome overwhelming challenges and succeed, but they are few and far between. Is this business set up in a fair manner? I don't believe it is.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Broken Dreams?

One of the things Amway promoters commonly use to entice prospects into joining is to get them to think about financial dreams and goals that they would like to accomplish. After all, who wouldn't want to be retired at age 35 and walking on the exotic beaches of the world while sipping mai tais? Or who wouldn't want to live a life of leisure and excitement with unlimited barrels of cash rolling in to finance all of the fun and frivolity? Of course most people get excited by this.

Sadly, the things that people get excited by, or the things that people join for, often become less accessible because of people's involvement in Amway. Because of the leach organizations that attach themselves to the Amway business, many IBOs get their bank accounts drained ad wind up quitting with broken dreams. These organizations such as WWBD or BWW will promote their materials as the key to success in Amway. But in reality, these organizations reap handsome profits while basically bankrupting the downline IBOs. What is also sad is that the system does not deliver the success that is promoted. Less than one half of one percent even reach the platinum level, which is allegedly the level where you break even or make a small profit. That's nothing to brag about is it? Where's the fruit on the tree that upline leaders speak of?

During my tenure in the business, uplines taught us to buy all the materials. Books, standing order tapes/cds, functions, and other materials. In fact, in addition to standing order, upline wanted IBOs to purchase an additional 5-7 tapes or cds each week. Afterall, you should be listening to new material daily right? In fact, upline wanted people to "invest" or spend all of their income on these materials. In an open meeting setting, a diamond said that your family could skip a meal to get another tape/cd because the information was so valuable that you might hear the one thing that propels you to diamond. Almost as if buying a tape/cd was like some lottery ticket.

And sadly, some IBOs did go "all in". They bought tools like there was no tomorrow. In my crossline, there was a couple who went bankrupt and a couple whose home was foreclosed. Now was this financial difficulty all due to their involvement in Amway? I don't know, but certainly, buying hundreds of dollars of materials on a monthly basis cas certainly contribute to someone's financial problems. And these IBOs did this on upline's advice. Thus upline advised this even when they likely knew that these IBOs were in financial difficulty. If they would tell you to starve your kids, then surely they will not be concerned about your other issues. I also sat in a function where a diamond taught about how long you can put off paying a mortgage before foreclosure would occur. Probably so people could go in hock to attend a major function.

It is a sad thing indeed when uplines will try to sell you dreams. What's worse is when they are actually selling you broken dreams.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Playing The "Amway" Game?

One thing my sponsor often told the group was that many of us were "playing" Amway. What he meant was that many people can listen to a tape or CD every day, read a success book 15-30 minutes each day, attend all the functions, use and/or sell 100 PV or more each month, but never make progress in the business. Basically what he was saying was unless you are showing the plan and sponsoring downline, you are just playing Amway. And while I agree, I honestly believe that most IBOs simply "play" Amway. Because of reputation and other issues, it's just not that simple to get people to see the plan. Thus many IBOs end up playing a game called Amway.

They can do most of the CORE steps such as listening to standing orders or cds each day. They can read every day and attend all the functions. They can even use and sell Amway products. But because of previous IBO behavior, many people cannot get anyone to see the plan, let alone sponsor others. Seems like everyone (at least in the US and Canada) know of someone who was lied to, or tricked into attending an Amway meeting. This alone has given Amway a shady reputation and just the mention of the name Amway can send people running. I was tricked into a meeting once, and as an IBO, I saw people get up, cuss and leave the meeting because they were lied to or tricked into attending a meeting based on the curiosity approach.

I do not believe that IBOs in general are dishonest or deceitful. I believe that most of them are probably motivated, wanting more in life, and hard working, which is why they signed up in the first place. But they are taught to duplicate or copy their uplines. I believe it is some of the tenured leaders who teach bad business practices that are duplicated and spreads a bad reputation like an infectious disease. I believe that because of this, Amway's North American reputation took severe blows. It looks like Amway is trying to repair the image but IBO's still do some funky things.

When you stop and take a deep breath, you see the signs of weakness and the chinks in the armor of the once untouchable and "divine" diamonds. We see diamonds suing other diamonds and Amway. We see diamonds losing their homes to foreclosure (so much for paying cash). A triple diamond was in chapter 7 bankruptcy and hoards of diamonds leaving their LOS along with their "awesome" mentors and lifelong friends to form their own LOS. Why is this happening? I believe it is because of greed. Why else would you leave a "mentor" and "lifelong friend" to start your own LOS? It's all about the money.

Sadly, while all of this goes on, most IBOs come and go, lose money and "play Amway" along the way. It truly saddens me that this has gone on for so long, and it looks like (in my opinion), that my former LOS, WWDB, seems to have been the worst of the bunch with no apparent improvement in the last 15 years or so.

You can "play Amway" hard, but you most likely won't make enough net profit to buy a value meal a McDonald's. Of course you are welcome to prove me wrong.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Putting Down Your Job?

One of the ways that Amway 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? I don't think so!

Conversely, having a business can be good or bad also. If you have an Amway business earnning less than $100 a month and you spend $200-$300 on functions, standing orders and other training and motivational materials, then you are losing money. 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 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 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 gross 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. You have money that can pay for your bills and expenses instead of the Amway business, which is simply false hope for most.

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!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Amway Hypocrites?

Now that the internet is so accessible, tons of information flows freely and some of the dark secrets of the Amway 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. It appears that these same Amway 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 WWDB 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. (As if the stress of losing money in Amway doesn't hurt marriages either?)

People also found that some Amway 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. When you do the math for these conventions, you can easily see that millions can be made in a single weekend. (i.e. 20,000 IBOs attending a function and paying $125 each is 2.5 million gross, not including sales of cds and other materials that get peddled at the function)

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 purchase tools that were supposed to help IBOs to attain the same lifestyle as the diamonds. However, rather than more diamonds, I believe WWDB and some other LOSs, at least in the US, have fewer diamonds now than 15-20 years ago. Where's the evidence of success? Where's the "fruit" on the tree that they talk about?

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 explanation 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

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Amway Retirement?

One of the things that many Amway IBOs mistakenly believe is that they will build their Amway business and then they will have the ability to "walk away" from the business while the income continues to flow in. I believe if there was such an incredible benefit such as lifelong residual income that could be achieved from Amway, I'm fairly certain that Amway would advertise this as a benefit of being an IBO. But Amway does not. It is very likely that your LOS such as WWDB or one of the others will promote this benefit while telling you that your bext chance to achieve it is by subscribing to their "system". Considering that Amway's own disclosures show that only about 1 in 400 reach the platinum level, I'd say that people succeed in Amway despite the system, not because of the system.

One thing that goes unnoticed all too often is that there seems to be nobody who is actually retired and living off the efforts of having built a big Amway business once upon a time. Seems that even the crown ambassadors still have busy lifestyles running from function to function and participating in other business related activities. While many of these leaders may claim they love their downlines or some other bunk, it is my belief that these leaders keep working their Amway businesses for one reason only. That is they need to keep working in order to keep the income flowing in.

The diamond lifestyle that is often portrayed may seem like a great goal or dream to achieve, but the fact of the matter is that a "diamond lifestyle" cannot be sustained on diamond income. The average diamond, according to Amway, earns about $150,000 a year. While that may seem like a great amount of income, it's not nearly enough to sustain the kind of lifestyle portrayed by diamonds. Even if that income is supplemented by income from the sale of tools, you can't fly your family around the country first class to do all kinds of functions and still end up with much leftover to own fancy homes and cars. Amway defenders like to point out that diamonds make 600K, but that is a "founders" diamond, which is the rare exception and not the rule.

If I deposited $1000 in the bank and never touched the money, the bank would pay me a certain amount of interest each year, guaranteed. That is residual income. In Amway, you can basically earn income in two ways. You can sell products for a profit, but there are problems with this. First off, Amway products in general, are more expensive than local retailers. It is why you hear so many justifications about quality and concentration, because you are hard pressed to argue cost. Secondly, you are severely restricted from advertising, thus selling can be difficult. The other way to generate more income is to build a downline in hopes that the downline will help you to leverage your volume. But then your downline will have the same problem that you had in moving products. That being said, even if you achieve some level such as emerald or diamond, your business will immediately begin to fall apart once you stop working because attrition will take its toll. It is why there are hoards of "former" platinums. If platinums are not sustainable, then neither is any other level.

There are many many instances of diamonds quitting, resigning, or falling out of qualification. People come and go in this business every day. Do you really think you can bank on retirement and residual income under these circumstances? If you believe that, I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you.