Friday, March 16, 2018

Personal Responsibility?

One of the disturbing things I have noticed about Amway IBOs and IBO leaders is how they wlll tell downline to trust them. To trust them as they have already blazed a trail. No need to re-invent the wheel. Just ride the coattails of your upline to success. The system is proven. Many IBOs take this to heart and put forth tremendous effort. Then when they fail, upline will shun them and tell them that the failure is their own. That they are personally responsible for failure. Why should IBOs trust in their upline and then be held accountable for failure even if they did everything they were asked to do?

Now I am not talking about IBOs who sign up and do nothing, or never place an order. I do believe that the fact that many IBOs sign up and do nothing brings concerns about how these IBOs were recruited, but I do not recall ever seeing an IBO do nothing and then complain that Amway was a scam or anything like that. But many IBOs who put forth real effort should see success if they do as they are advised. But still, this doesn't seem to be the case when you analyze Amway in depth.

I have found, however, that many people who are critical of Amway and the systems, put forth much effort, did everything they were told, and did not find the success that upline promoted, or in some cases, guaranteed. My former sponsor was still active last I heard and has been in Amway for over 20 years. I do not believe he has ever gone beyond platinum, and I know that he was never a Q12 platinum. Some Amway apologists might see being a platinum as a bonus, but when you are hard core sold out to the systems, platinum is a break even or make a small profit business at best. . Factor in that time spent by husband and wife and these folks are breaking even or making a fraction of minumum wage or even taking losses, depending on your level of commitment.. Is this the dream that will allow you to buy mansions with a cash payment? A couple working for break even money is wasting their time. Their kids lose valuable time with parents and the net result is negligible. How many people will actually look back at their time in Amway and say the time was well spent?

What is also disturbing is how people will tout the system as responsible for any success, but hide the vast majority that the system doesn't help. Sure, some will succeed in Amway, but for every success, there are hundreds or more likely thousands who fail. And if you consider diamond as the benchmark of success, the failures could be in the millions. As I said, some succeed, but very very few in relation to the number who try. Going diamond is probably less common in the US than winning the power ball lottery. I've heard of more big lottery winners than new diamonds emerging in Amway North America.

Succeed and the systems and upline take credit, but fail or quit and it is your own responsibility even if you did the work. Are these the kinds of leaders or mentors you want advice from?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

JoeCool Published On Forbes

One thing I recall one of our upline diamonds saying was that Forbes had credibility because they had published something that was somewhat positive about Amway, although this was back in the 1990's. This article is a re-print but one that I believe is very relevant and worthwhile because it's about taxes (and we are in tax season) and because the article in Forbes directly quotes an article written by yours truly. I have provided a link and the quoted portion of my blog article:

The article was written by Peter Reilly who quoted my article. It's about how the tax courts basically hose Amway IBOs who try to use functions and other excessive tools as tax write off, which are promoted by some upline. Mr. Reilly states that the tax courts seems to align with what critics (such as JoeCool) says:

""Tax Court Seems To Align With The Critics

What I found most intriguing about this decision, is that way that it mirrors critiques of the Amway experience, which seem to have their own section of the blogosphere. For example Joecool of Amway - The Dream Or The Scheme? recently wrote in a post called Amway Success?""

Submission to upline was one of the things we were told. Our group was told that upline would never purposely lead us astray so we should trust them and never try anything without checking upline.

Our group was taught to reduce debt, but ironically, upline said it was okay to go deeper in debt if it was to attend a function or to buy more cds.

Anytime we asked about how much income uplines may have been earning, we were either told it's none of our business or shown a photocopy of a 10 year old bonus check that someone upline may have received. Our proof that the business worked was upline showing off pictures of sports cars and mansions.

Losing money is success. Many times, our group was told that losing money was a sign of success. It was success because we were investing in our futures. That the business really is not about money but about friendships. I suppose upline taught this because everyone was losing money so it was nice to hear that success was around the corner, and that we were all nicer people and on our way to success if we just attended more functions and bought more standing orders.

JoeCool is on Forbes. I guess that makes me legit!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Amway Diamonds Are Free?

When I was an Amway IBO, I often saw my upline diamond driving around town dressed in a business suit. I used to think why does he keep working if he can walk away and collect residual income? My sponsor told me that the diamond only works because he cares about his downline and wants to help them. So there are two possible scenarios, the diamond is working to help his downline out of a genuine concern, or possibly he is working because he has to! The only difference now is that the diamond works the night and/or graveyard shift, because many IBOs are building the business after they complete their day jobs. **We should also note that my former upline diamond dropped down to the emerald level around 2005 and has since re-established his diamond level. And this diamond moved from Hawaii to Washington State (Due to a lower cost of living???)

Now Amway once stated that the average diamond (non founders)earns about $150,000 a year. That is a decent income, but after taxes and paying for basic expenses such as medical and dental insurance, the average diamond probably lives a very middle class lifestyle. Keep in mind that a large portion of a diamond's income comes in the form of an annual bonus, thus a diamond's monthly income may be quite small. Yes, diamonds may have other sources of income such as speaking engagements and income from standing orders and functions. But income from speaking engagements and other functions depends on the diamond's continued appearances and efforts.

So is it likely that a diamond is "free"? I can only conclude that a diamond is not free, and may actually have to spend more time maintaining his group than if the diamond simply had a 9-5 job. (You could argue that a diamond's duties are preferable to a 9-5 job I suppose) For one thing, a diamond needs to maintain a personal group to keep qualifying for bonuses. With a poor retention rate in Amway, I am fairly sure that a diamond spends much time recruiting personally sponsored IBOs to maintain this group. Additionally, a diamond must help his six or more groups of downline platinums to maintain their businesses or face the possibility of falling out of qualification. My former diamond dropped down to the emerald level but apparently later re-qualified at diamond. A diamond must also dedicate time to reward up and coming movers and shakers, to keep them motivated. I got to spend time with my upline diamond when I was considered a promising up and coming pin. All of this takes up valuable time and diamonds can get spread pretty thin at times.

In order to continue to receive tools income, a diamond must also travel to numerous functions and speaking engagements. Although the tools income allegedly doubles a diamond's income, it also adds a lot of expenses, especially if the diamond and his family travel first class and/or take fancy vacations to show off the diamond lifestyle.

After breaking down projected income and considering projected expenses, I can only conclude that a diamond probably lives a middle class lifestyle, and probably works as much as a man with a 9-5 job, except that a diamond works nights and weekends. A good portrait of this is shown in Ruth Carter's book (Amway Motivational Organizations: Behind The Smoke and Mirrors). In the book, the diamond had a net income of over $300,000, but lived in debt, could barely pay his mortgage, and was always on the run from one function to the next. A high income means nothing if you live beyond your means.

I believe that diamonds may actually be busier at the diamond level than an average Joe who has a 9-5 J-O-B. The difference is that the diamond works the night shift. Is this the freedom you are seeking?

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Ineffective Amway Tool System?

In the Amway business, most 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 up to 20 years or more 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 in North America 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, March 9, 2018

Things To Do Besides Amway?

One of the humorous things that Amway 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 were 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 right? 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 of these alternatives 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. Isn't it ironic that
doing nothing makes you better off than Amway?

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 pay check each month. If you are young, this especially applies to you. But anyone can help their future by saving and investing. Even someone who panhandles is more likely to have more net cash than most Amway IBOs since most Amway IBOs make nothing or lose money.

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? What the upline does is extract $100 or a few hundred dollars a month from a lot of people.

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 have asked this over the years numerous times and not a single Amway defender can name someone and provide a shred of evidence that it's true.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

No Profit For 5 Years?

One of the things I heard as an Amway IBO and I believe is still said in some Amway meetings is that conventional businesses do not profit for up to five years. That's bogus. Conventional businesses make a profit as soon as they sell their first product. They may not have a net profit right away because of the initial investment into equipment and rental property, but they do profit by selling goods. The same principle would apply to an Amway business except that Amway IBOs have difficulty selling products. If you opened an Amway catalog and compared their prices to local retailers, you would know what I'm talking about.

Despite the small start up costs and the little to no overhead costs, most IBOs never turn a profit. I will acknowledge that many IBOs probably never do a single thing once they sign up. I believe there is an underlying story behind this as well, but I will move on. Out of the more serious IBOs, even in this group, most of them will never make a net profit if they are using tools. Factoring the cost of the website, the voicemail, standing orders, books and functions and cds, IBOs simply get drained of their money a couple hundred of bucks a month at a time. Amway uplines meanwhile, are earning nice profits on product purchases and someone upline are also earning profits on the tools. The tools carry a higher profit margin so it would make sense that some uplines earn more from tools than from Amway.

Toss in other challenges such as high prices for many products (higher than local retailers) and a crappy reputation from IBO behavior such as tricking people into meetings and you have an opportunity with nearly insurmountable handicaps. Yes, a rare few and usually charismatic people can overcome these odds, but only one or two out of tens of thousands are able to do so. And even those who reach the pinnacle of diamond, may not be able to maintain qualification. It's very common for someone to reach the level of emerald or diamond only to backslide and not qualify the following year. So much for residual income and walking the beaches of the world.

So I don't know all of the detailed statistics about how long it takes for a conventional business to turn a net profit. It may take up to five years. But based on my experiences and some number crunching, I'd have to say that the vast majority of Amway Business Owners NEVER TURN A PROFIT - EVER, and most of them ending up with net losses when business expenses are factored in. And toss in the fact that Amway allegedly has little or no overhead costs and I can only conclude that the Amway opportunity sucks.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Amway Or College?

Many Amway 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. I might add that nobody is going to guarantee you in writing that Amway will make you better off.

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.

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. There is no question that a college education and the college experience will be far more rewarding and beneficial to your life than running an Amway business. I know which choice I would make if I have to pick one or the other. College wins hands down.

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