Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Why Amway Isn't Sustainable?

One of the selling points of the Amway business is for people to do the work once and then reap financial benefits for life. But that simply does not happen for the vast majority of IBOs. The reason why most IBOs do not have a sustainable business is because their business is not based on sales to genuine customers with a genuine need. Most IBOs themselves will not buy Amway products once their affiliation to Amway is over. They don't mind paying inflated prices while they have dreams of untold wealth, but their desire for those products fade as their dreams fade.

If you are an IBO doing your 100 PV monthly, then your only way to increase volume is to sponsor downline in hopes that they will also do their 100 PV as shown in the plan. And even if you are somehow able to accomplish this and sponsor a bunch of people as shown in the plan, chances are that many IBOs will "do nothing" and of the remaining, some will move 100 PV, but they will likely quit in one year or less.

In many or possibly most cases, IBOs are only selling the Amway opportunity and not Amway products. They sell the possibility or hope that they will build a business, walk away and collect untold wealth for the rest of their lives. It isn't going to happen. Say for example, you sold 100 PV monthly on a consistent basis to customers. These customers will automatically go online and make purchases when they run out of their products. If you are lucky, they will also refer friends to make purchases. But most IBOs do not sell products, they are selling the opportunity. Making residual income sounds like a good idea, but paying for overpriced vitamins and other goods "wears out its welcome" once an IBO realizes that their Amway business will not deliver lifelong residual income.

That brings up the next point about why an Amway business is not sustainable for most. The products cost more than most other retailers. That will limit the potential for customers and referals. Amway defenders like to cite quality issues, but most customers who shop online aren't familiar with Amway products and have no way to know whether Amway has quality products or not. That leaves them to decide based on prices. And Amway in general, costs much more than Walmart for the same or similar products. A tough sell indeed. And quality is subjective, so most people will decide on price alone. And on that basis, Amway cannot compete.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Job Pyramid?

One of ths things I take issue with is how uplines will create an us versus them mentality in the business. Thus friends and family who care about you suddenly become "negative" and association with them should be limited. In some cases, people are discouraged from excellence in their jobs or professions because it takes the focus off of their Amway business. What I was told was to do my job, but my radar should always be on for new prospects. Some crossline IBOs turned down promotions at work because they did not want to have to work longer hours or take the focus off of their Amway businesses.

In some cases, the speaker at open meetings or functions will put down people's jobs. A commonly used acronym was J-O-B = "Just Over Broke". Some leaders also would say that my job was a pyramid because you will never earn more than the boss. A completely ridiculous comparison because someone's job has no relationship with how people view the Amway business (i.e. an Amway pyramid) and in a job, every employee gets paid and has a net gain at the end of the month. Not true in Amway. If IBOs only use KATE for example, an IBO at 100 PV or less will already be at a loss, and that is not considering any other expenses that IBO may have. And while a job may have a hierarchy, or chain of command, the business owner and CEO or manager earns their salary from customers, not directly from the pockets of their employees.

Some uplines will laugh about people's jobs, stating that they wake up at the "crack of noon". What these same uplines may not tell you is that they wake up at noon because they are up at 3:00 in the morning doing nite owls for their groups and looking for recruits. These same uplines possibly can't do much with their downlines since their downlines mostly tend to have 9-5 jobs.

So if you are of the opinion that nobody should criticize the Amway opportunity
or IBO behavior, maybe uplines and IBOs should not criticize family and friends who disagree with or are not interested in the opportunity, and maybe the same uplines and IBOs should not criticize people who choose to work jobs. Don't most IBOs rely on their jobs as their Amway income is not sufficient to even pay for their Amway business related expenses?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Amway Prosperity Preachers?

I remember pretty clearly, some of the things touted by upline to sell IBOs and recruits on the Amway business was to stress family values. That the man would do the work and that the wife would care for the children. I also heard prosperity preaching from various uplines as they spoke about how God wants you to be rich, or that Amway is a God pleasing business. Or that the business is more about friendships than about money.

I wonder how God would feel about uplines who lied to their groups about tools profits? I wonder how God would feel about uplines taking advantage of their downline in order to prosper? I wonder how God would feel about uplines advising downline to skip paying their rent or mortgages to pay for a function. Or how about having your family skip meals so you can buy more standing orders? I wonder how God would feel about IBOs worshipping the diamonds and money/material goods? As crazy as this sounds, these are actual things I heard as an IBO, and what’s crazier is that I believe some of these things are still taught today. There is ample evindence and testimony out there to indicate that many of these practices occur today.

The Good book (The Bible) says the love of money leads to all kinds of evils. (Timothy) I believe that the upline at one time truly wanted to develop training for their business. But what happened was GREED took over and corrupted the systems. It is why there are many lawsuits of diamonds versus diamonds. Diamonds moving their entire groups to form their own training systems, or diamonds even moving a another MLM altogether. It is quite evident that many uplines hearts are full of greed. It is why you hear blanket statements like never quit, or do what it takes to get to that next function, or that nobody can succeed without tools.

Power and adoration can be alluring. I believe many – a – diamond has become corrupt and greedy. Their needs come before those they pretend to serve. They are wolves with a nice suit and a nice smile. Their greed knows no bounds. They will tell you touching stories to tug on your heart. They will tell you anything that will increase their bottom line.

The most disturbing thing about these leaders is that they do these evil deeds under the pretense that they are serving God and/or promoting family values.

• Proverbs 22:16 - "He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich — both come to poverty."

• 1 Timothy 6:7-10 - "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

• Luke 18:22-25 - "... it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

• 1 Timothy 6:3-5 - "If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain."

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Amway Presentation?

I’m not sure whether this plan was carefully crafted out or whether it just evolved, but the way some uplines show the plan is cleverly designed to suck people into their systems. If you aren’t aware or careful, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the presentation. The presentation is full of deception and I will try to point out these items in my analysis.

The speaker may talk about how he once thought he was “doing okay” in life. That he was making a living and able to meet his financial obligations. But he thought there might be more. One day he saw the plan and it changed his life. He did not realize he had gotten into a rut of going to work and going home every day and looking forward to his 2 weeks off each year. (This is relatable for many) That time and money are so important in life. Control of time and money is the key to success. Many people have lots of money but work all day and nite. Or people have time but are broke and can’t do much. The speaker might mention dreams or goals such as having an extra $500 a month or more. What would you do for an extra $500 a month. What about an extra $50,000 a year? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the wife stay home with the kids instead of leaving the family to go to work? Like the “Leave it to Beaver” days? (This gets the women excited)

The speaker will likely mention something about the economy and how prices always go up. The speaker may mention the 4 “I’s” that suck money out of your paycheck. The four I’s are Interest, Income Tax, Insurance and Inflation. The speaker may talk about how the government will take their cut and so on until you get your “net”. The speaker may mention how so many Americans are dead or broke by age 65, and that social security will collapse. (This instills fear in many people).

The speaker might also go on to mention how so many marriages are falling apart in the US because of financial stress. That couples work so hard that they have no family time and it hurts marriages. That people work so many hours these days that they are married to their desks. The “manager” of the office is the first one there and the last one to go home. That despite all of this work and effort, people are falling into debt. Credit cards maxed out, loans, trying to keep up with the Joneses. (Many people can relate to this)

But now, because he was looking for opportunity/open minded one day, he saw an opportunity. This opportunity changed his life and can do the same for you! The speaker now wakes up at the crack of noon. His wife stays home with him and the kids. They take nice vacations and they do what they want when they want. (Of course, who doesn’t? But is this true?) The opportunity takes advantage of the internet and allows you to leverage your time and money so that you can create a residual walk away income. (But nobody walks away do they?)

This is approximately the point in the presentation where they mention “Amway” At this point, the speaker will defend Amway, stating that if you can make money, does it matter.? If you can save money, does it matter? The speaker may go into the product line and mention partner stores and will likely show a 6-4-2 plan or a variation of it. In every case, they will show a best case scenario, not what is likely. Many prospects will leave thinking “all I need is six”. They don’t understand how unlikely it is to sponsor six platinums and there is no mention of the retention rates, the income most IBOs can expect, and firm questions will be deflected to the prospect’s inviter. The speaker may also discourage you from speaking to friends and family as they may have a bad experience but the diamond is successful and knows more about Amway than your family and friends.

Joe’s commentary: So the speaker becomes very relatable from the start. His situation in life will be like many in the audience. He will talk about doing okay,. But wanting more or looking for more. He talks about debts and many in the audience will also relate. They get people to think about dream cars or vacations. He talks about walk away income, but doesn’t mention that very very few ever make significant money and apparently, not many actually walk away either. They say you will make money and save money by doing the business. It’s hard to argue against that,.except most people will not make money or save money. In fact most people, if they participate fully or partially in the training system, they will lose money. For the dedicated IBOs, many of them LOSE LOTS OF MONEY. The plan is crafted out to sound sensible and relatable, but many IBOs will give it a try and shortly after, will realize that the system doesn’t work, that the reputation of Amway IBOs is soiled and sponsoring people or even getting people to see the plan is a barrier that most people simply cannot overcome. At least if you know what’s going on, you may be able to avoid the trap.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Get Rich Quick?

One thing many IBOs will talk about is how they were told that they would have to work hard and that they would not get rich quick in the Amway business. That Amway was not a get rich quick scheme. I do believe this, but what many Amway IBOs and Amway enthusiasts will not mention is that somewhere in the plan or when they were recruited, they were either directly told or implied that they would eventually "get rich" by joining Amway, whether it was "quick" or not.

If people were told that they would not get rich/wealthy and that they would have to work hard and that they would have to overcome the name reputation, how many people would join? As evidence to prove my point, many IBOs and former IBOs know about a major function occuring around this time of the year called "Winter Conference". Back in my IBO days, it was called "Dream Night". A handful of diamonds would host a dinner and they would show slideshows of extravagant wealth. Since in my days, IBOs were told there was NO PROFIT IN TOOLS, it was implied that all the luxurious trappings were a result of Amway income. (We now know that to be false)

The slide show was shown while the song "I wanna be rich" was playing in the background. There were pictures of jet skis, yachts, boats, jets, fancy cars, golf courses and designer suits and mansions. The audience was told that diamonds paid for everything in cash. The diamonds would stand on stage and tell the audience that they will work 24/7 but it was so worth it to go diamond. That you could catch up on sleep when you are a diamond. That the IBOs in the audience needed to hurry up and join them so they would have more playmates.

Looking back, it was a nice function. It got people to dream of having all of this material wealth. Sadly, I don't think a single one of the audience I was in ever got close to achieving that kind of success. In fact, the line of sponsorship I was in, WWDB, didn't have many new diamonds since I left Amway and in fact I think some diamonds have disappeared! Maybe they became negative losers like myself?

Yes, when you are prospected in Amway, the speaker may tell you that Amway is not
get rich quick.

What they don't tell you is that you won't become rich at all.

Monday, November 28, 2016

AmwayTools?

I recently saw commentary which I thought was very significant about the Amway "educational" system. This system is not run by Amway, but the for profit motivational systems such as BWW, WWDB, LTD, N21 etal. In many cases, these systems are touted as the key to an IBO's success. Unfortunately, there is no unbiased evidence that I know of to suggest that these materials do anything to help an IBO progress towards their business goals. Furthermore, these materials cost money. If upline didn't succeed until downline succeeds, woudn't they want everyone moving along, tools or not? As far as I know, uplines don't offer much help unless you are on tools. Do they rally want your success or do they simply want your money?

Also, what is interesting is that IBOs do not have a indivudual training plan. Uplines are often refered to as "mentors". I disagree. A mentor would work with someone one on one and make an assessment as to how to train someone. That isn't what happens for most IBOs. IBOs receive generic information from the diamonds and are expected to know what information to use and what not to use. Some refer to the information as a "buffet" where you pick and choose what you want and need. But how can an inexperienced prospect or IBO know what is useful or not? The label "mentor" sounds like total BS to me. There is little individual attention given to IBOs.

Instead the upline will generalize all of their downline and tell them that that books, tapes/cds and seminars is how they should learn. That eliminates many people from succeeding already. Many people do not learn in these types of learning environments. Many people have difficulty in picking up information from a tape or cd. Some upline may not be good at transfering information to downline in this manner as well. After all, what qualifies someone to teach? They signed up before you and achieved some level of success, even if you can't verify that they are currently qualified.

But still, upline convinces the masses that a one size fits all teaching system. They may also encourage some people to overspend on these materials, without any regard to an IBO's finances or progression in the business. Techinically, a sponsor is supposed to train any downline without cost, yet the downlines literally spend millions to get "trained" but very few people actually make a net profit.

I wonder what sincere efforts your uplines make to train and to mentor downline? Flying to a seminar where they might make $100,000 for a weekend doesn't seem like much personal attention when perhaps over 10,000 may be in attendance.

These training materials might be the key to success. But that success is much more likely to be enjoyed by the people who are profiting by selling these materials, and not those who are purchasing them. That much I'm certain of.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Amway Friends?

You hang out with friends. Generally, they are people you like and have similar interests. You have good and bad times, but your true friends are there for you when you need them. You move residences, your friends are there to help you move. They may play a round of golf with you, or watch some sporting events, dinners, backyard barbeques, etc. These are folks you will likely end up retiring with and enjoying your golden years.

But suddenly, you get enticed to join Amway. You see the "chance" to get rich, with a shortcut (not get rich quick, but a "shortcut"). You sign up and your sponsor is your new "best" friend. Most of the people you enjoyed being with think Amway is a questionable venture to get involved in. Suddenly, because of what you have been told or taught, you view these same nice people as "broke" or "losers", simply because they do not share the same ambition of untold wealth working 12-15 hours a weeek. Suddenly, you friends become prospects, or people you want to sponsor so you start recruiting them. Some may join, but most won't. Suddenly you are immersed in recruitment meetings, functions, and avoiding "negative", which is people and events that do not support your Amway business.

Now you are missing birthday parties, barbeques, and other social events. Your social events are now recruitment meetings, seminars and Amway business related events. You are taught that these events can be put off and your gratification delayed. You can do whatever you want when you go diamond. (Even though there me be only one (1) diamond out of every ten or twenty thousand IBOs) Your dedication will pay off right? Sadly, for most people, even very dedicated people, all they will see is losses on their yearly tax returns, mainly due to the purchase of cds, books, voicemail and function tickets. But these are your "friends" right?

Here's my take on it. Try missing a few meetings or functions. Stop buying cds and see how many "friends" remain from the business. It is likely that your upline will claim that you walked away from the friendship by slowing down on the "system". If that happens, then you have conditional friends, or fairweather friends. They are your "friends" while you are pursuing the same cause. They are your friends when you are attending functions. Are they there for you in bad times?

A short while after I attended my last function (I was still an IBO, just not a business builder), my dad passed away. Not a single one of my IBO "friends" bothered to attend the memorial service. Not a single one of my IBO friends called or dropped by the home to pay their respects. All of my "real" friends, who saw through the AMO smoke and mirrors called to talk to me and/or attended the memorial service.

Are your IBO friends conditional friends? Mine were.