Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Is The Truth "Negative"?

One of the silly things many 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).

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 a storm heading your way? I live in Hawaii and we occasionally have hurricanes. Avoiding news could be very detrimental to your family and home. If you lived in the midwest of the US, wouldn't you want and need to know if a tornado was headed your way? 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.

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.

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 IBOs will quit. That is the truth.

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Are You "Playing Amway"?

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.

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. 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 sales tanked and now they don't even report the North American sales seperately from Global sales.

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.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Join Amway To Decrease Efficiency?

Is Amway The Least Efficient Way To Move Product?


I remember seeing the plan as a prospect back over a dozen years ago. I remember the speaker talking about how you can capitalize on distribution efficiencies to make money. We as IBOs would simply cut out the middleman and that savings would be passed onto us as IBOs. In its simplest form, it made sense and the misconception passed onto the audience was that you will actually save money by purchasing Amway products. I even remember the speakers saying that even if the whole world signed up for Amway, even the last guy getting would would have the benefir of saving money. Looking back now, much of it was deception and lies. And to think, people now and back then paid good money for training on how to become, in my opinion, the least efficient manner in which to move products.

We recently enjoyed the Superbowl. And as you know, superbowl commercials can cost millions of dollars. But do you know why? It's because hundreds of millions of people across the world are tuned into the superbowl. Companies probably have their best staff working on developing these commercials because they want to leave a lasting impression on their viewers. And it apparently works because people today are still willing to shell out serious coin for these commercials.

Amway IBOs advertise person to person, one person at a time.

What are the chances of an IBO ever moving a significant amount of products or being able to reach out to potential new downline when they prospect person to person, face to face, one at a time? To me, that is the most inefficient manner of expanding business. And let's face it, Amway's rules don't help when you are not supposed to advertise online without special permissions and you are not supposed to sell product on Ebay or Craigslist. In today's technological society, it seems almost crippling to be so inefficient.

And even your beloved uplines, at your expense, run the most inefficient manner of doing business. Who needs voicemail when we have facebook, email, twitter or text messaging? Not to mention the added expense IBOs face by these outdated technologies. Also, with video conferencing, skype, or webcams, why do people need to travel long distances for meetings and functions? The answer is simple, your upline might not want your success, they simply might just want your money. All of the training and motivation is a profit center for upline and modernizing would simply reduce their tool profits.

Try asking that of your upline. Why do we keep using the most expensive and inefficient means of doing business and communicating? I'd be curious to hear that answer.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Amway Sales Down Again?

http://globalnews.amway.com/pressroom/news-release/news/amway-announces-2016-sales

ADA, MICH., USA (Feb. 8, 2017) – Amway today announced sales of $8.8 billion USD for the year ending Dec. 31, 2016, a decline of 7 percent when compared to 2015 figures. The direct seller increased sales in seven of its top 10 markets, but experienced softening market conditions in China.

“Across the world, Amway did well in 2016,” said Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel. “We experienced sales growth in several top markets, saw double-digit percentage growth in nine additional markets, and continued to evolve the business in China as we seek to take advantage of shifting market conditions and achieve the market’s long-term growth potential.
- See more at: http://globalnews.amway.com/pressroom/news-release/news/amway-announces-2016-sales#sthash.4g213ipz.dpuf

I find it interesting how Amway spins a 7% decline into a positive. Amway sales were at 11.8 billion in 2013. The Amway defenders were shouting from the rooftops that this was proof that Amway had arrived and they were going to "explode". Well, Always sales in 2014 was 10.8 billion. Their sales totaled 9.5 billion in 2015, a 12% decline, and now 8.8 billion, another 7% decline.

I honestly don't know exactly what to attribute the big decline to. It could be that Amway is reaching market saturation and because information is easily accessible, people are finding relevant information and making wise decisions.

In any case, it will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years. With less sales, I would assume that there are ewer big pins and less tool money for the diamonds. I had heard that some functions were moving to smaller venues which could mean that tools income could be shrinking and maybe diamonds are not rolling in cash anymore. Anyway, stay tuned. Time will tell.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Amway Motivation?

I believe that Amway IBOs have approximately a 50% attrition rate for the first year alone. If you look at a 5 year window, I believe the attrition rate is something like 95%. So what we're saying is that out of 100 IBOs, only 5 will be around in 5 years, or out of 1000 IBOs, 50 will remain after 5 years. This is extremely significant because if you are a business builder, you will need to replace half of your IBOs every single year. For this reason, I am very doubtful that there are IBOs who "built the business right and built it once", who no longer do Amway related work, but still collect significant residual income. I would guess that significant income could be defined as being enough to live a lifestyle in the top tax bracket (for the US) without having to report to a J-O-B.

Now I understand that some IBOs take it personally when I bring up subjects like this. It is because they have been deceived by some upline diamond or big pin who has sold them on a dream of financial prosperity for life if they will only work hard for 2-5 years. I once thought so too, but realized that there isn't a single diamond that I know of who built the business right and walked away to enjoy the beaches of the world while truckloads of money rolls in. Kinda makes you wonder why you see Crowns still working, and diamonds actually quitting or resigning. I have asked the question many times and it has never been answered. Can anyone name a few people who built their business right and built it once who is currently enjoying these lifelong residuals? Also, if that were a benefit, why doesn't Amway say so?

Instead, you have a constant and endless flow of motivation being sold to IBOs. This motivation comes in the form of cds, books, meetings, functions and other things like voicemail messages. It's sad that IBOs have to continue to pay through the nose for motivation and "teaching" about the Amway business when there are cheaper and more efficient means of communication. For example, why would you need an expensive voicemail when a facebook group account can disseminate messages to your group in seconds at no cost? It is because the uplines want to extract every possible sent from their downline. Because of the internet, I believe people are starting to figure things out and avoid the systems altogether. I hope Joecool's blog contributes to this.

All the motivation IBOs truly need is to see a net profit at the end of the month. If IBOs actually earned an extra $200 a month, or $50 a month, or $600 a month as advertised, there would be no need for motivational speeches. The IBOs would simply look at the growth in their finances and they would keep going. The poor retention rate is easy to explain. IBOs are losing money because of the system expenses and they lose their motivation to continue. If you are an IBO or a prospect, stop and think for a minute. If you are making an extra $200 a month with minimal effort, would you need functions and other materials to motivate you? Or would you have intrinsic motivation from the profit? All the motivation you will ever need is a net profit. Take that to the bank.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ruthless Amway "Mentors"?

The really insidious part about some of the LOS leaders, such as the ones I had in WWDB, is that they apparently are cutthroat ruthless businessmen with nice suits, and 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. 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. 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.

Our group was also strongly encouraged to buy extra cds every week. To be core, you needed to listen to a cd each day and you cannot listen to the same one each day right? Couples were told to buy their own seperate 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.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Are You A Glorified Amway Customer?

IBO = Independent Business Owner. Most Amway folks consider themselves IBOs, or independent business owners. To some, owning a business sounds cool. It sounds like you are achieving something and it may even seem that there is status involved in being a business owner. It is one of the reasons that may compel someone into signing up for the Amway opportunity. It was a small factor in gaining my interest many years ago when I was pitched the "plan".

Based on what I see and hear from Amway related blogs and forums, most people involved in the Amway opoprtunity are not business owners. They are simply Amway customers. They are customers of Amway and they are customers of the system consisting of voicemail, cds, books, and seminars. Does this sound confusing? Think about it. Many groups teach "buy from yourself" and get others to do the same. If you belong to one of these groups, you are being taught to be an Amway and system customer, nothing more and nothing less. Both Amway and the system profit from your loyal purchases and they fool you into thinking you are getting a good deal by giving you a tiny rebate each month. Only if you are able to lure enough gullible people into your downline will you finally be able to leverage their purchases to make a small profit. If you can get a large following, then you might make some nice coin, but it will come at the expense of the people who trusted you enough to sign up and follow you. It is unlikely to come from product sales since Amway products generally are generic in nature but premium in price.

If you stop for a minute and truly think about a business, what business can thrive without a whole lot of customers? I cannot think of any businesses where there are little or no customers. Why would the Amway opportunity be any different? If you are your only, or your own best customer, then maybe you are not even a business owner, but simply a customer of Amway and a customer of the system. Think about this for a moment. Certainly WalMart or Target would be out of business if they relied on sales nearly exclusively from their employees.

Without any sales to customers, or to people who are not Amway IBOs, any profit simply comes out of the pockets of the people in the Amway system. When you receive a rebate, you are simply getting some of your own money back. You have not generated any real profit. The only way to generate real profits is to sell to outside customers. This brings money into the system or Amway economy if you will. If not, an IBO is just a glorified customer bringing profits to Amway and the tools systems.