Monday, August 21, 2017

Never Quit!

"Never Quit" was one of the things I often heard when I was an Amway IBO. To quit seemed like the kiss of death as an IBO. I believe that the never quit mantra can be useful if the saying was meant to read as never quit trying, or never quit trying to better yourself. But in the Amway business, when uplines talk about never quit, what they mean is never quit doing 100 PV and never quit buying tools. Sometimes the wisest business decision is to quit and do something else.

I find it ironic that so many IBOs think of the diamonds on stage as being mentors to them. In fact, these diamonds don't know most of their faithful downline IBOs or don't know them well. They don't know their personal circumstances or whether they are progressing in building their business, thus a blanket "never quit" statement is insincere at best. It seems that the never quit saying is a self serving thought, especially since the upline diamond benefits financially by an IBO staying on board with the Amway and the tools program.

When you stop and think for a moment, your upline benefits financially from almost every aspect of the business. You move 100 PV and you get 3% while somewhere upline, about 28 - 30% bonus gets shared by your sponsor and further uplines. Your voicemail account is profit for upline. Your website profits upline, standing order, book of the month and functions all pour money into your upline's pockets. In fact, it seems that IBOs pay through their teeth for almost every bit of information they receive, regardless of any success in Amway.

If your upline truly had vital information that would make your business grow, why would they want to withhold that information from downline? Maybe your uplines don't truly want your success? Maybe they only want your money? Is that why the "never quit" battle cry is made? Does your upline diamond take the time to get to know as many IBOs as possible on a personal level? Do they know your individual circumstances? Do they truly care about your success? If they did care, how could they stand on a stage and shout "never quit"?

Ironically, many - a - diamond did not take their own advice. Many a diamond has quit in recent years. Makes you wonder why someone would quit after achieving diamond? Makes you wonder why someone would quit when you can "walk the beaches" and continue to collect an income. Maybe this opportunity is not all that you have been led to believe?

Friday, August 18, 2017

AccordingTo Amway.....

I was debating with (apparently) an Amway IBO last week. I had quoted the average income of an Amway IBO as $202 a month. I decided to verify this and when I visited Amway.com, I saw that the most recent update stated that the average income of "active" Amway IBOs is $183 a month. However, only 53% of IBOs are active. So if we were to count the true average income of all IBOs, that income would be under $100 a month. I might add that the average income also includes diamonds, emeralds and crown ambassadors. Imagine that, with all those Amway "gazillionaires", the average income is $183 a month.

But I will concede that averages can be misleading. My net worth would be multiple billions if you averaged my bet worth with Bill Gates. I believe that the median income, or the average minus the top and bottom 10%. If we were to do that, it is my belief that the average income would be under $20 a month. When you see the common 6-4-2 plan, or some other similar version, that lowest level is the majority and if these IBOs moved 100 PV, they would earn about $10 a month on average. The top IBOs would be disregarded along with the ones who did nothing.

Many Amway defenders will claim that they are different or that they will stick it out and succeed. And that's fine and dandy. I know that some people succeed in Amway and make decent money. But what is the likelihood of that happening for some prospect who joins today? Someone joining today has effective zero percent chance to succeed when rounding to the nearest whole number. The products are not priced competitively, and the Amway name has a damaged reputation in countries where Amway operates. If you can't recruit downline, you can never achieve the highest levels in Amway. People do try to succeed, that's why newbies are calling everyone they know to try and find people to see the plan.

But even if you can manage to show some plans and sponsor some downline, your chances us success are still close to zero because nearly half of all IBOs do nothing and quit. And the majority of IBOs never sponsor any downline. If you can't recruit downline and the products are overpriced, you have such a huge handicap that it's like trying to swim with lead weights tied to your body. You might swim for a while but the weight will eventually win and you'll sink. Same with a new IBO trying to build a business.

The magical goal is to achieve residual passive income. And that brings me to the main point. Residual passive income is like chasing the end of a rainbow. YOu can see it but never touch it. Or it's like Sasquatch (Bigfoot). Nearly everyone has heard about it. Allegedly some people have seen and claimed to have encountered the creature, but there is zero bonafide evidence that they really exist, just like an Amway diamond who built the business, walked away and is living off residual passive income from Amway. Over the years, not one single IBO or Amway defender has been able to name and substantiate a single IBO who's achieved this. I"m still waiting, but not holding my breath.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Not Working Hard Enough?

One of the things Amway IBOs are taught is to blame themselves for is not working the business hard enough or not doing things right, even if they do exactly as upline advised. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. It's just that uplines want to be absolved from any responsibility so they teach downline that failure in Amway is their own (The downline's) fault. Upline is also quick to take credit for any success, of course. Sort of a case of flipping a coin and playing "heads I win and tails you lose".

But the reason is why hard work doesn't equal success is because an Amway IBO is basically a commissioned sales person. In commissioned sales, one can work hard for no reward and at times, little effort may reap large rewards. But in Amway, with a spotty reputation, Amway IBOs are given a handicap that most simply cannot overcome. Getting new people to recruitment meetings is hard enough, not even factoring in the abililty to sponsor others. When factoring in these tidbits, it's easy to see why uplines teach buy from yourself and selling is not important. It deflects the fact that selling is nearly impossible with less than competitive prices (in general).

Amway IBOs like to argue how Amway products have magical qualities or have premium features. But the fact is that Amway is basically a generic brand that carries a premium price. That's a tough sell. And to be honest, if you're selling cleaning products or laundry soap, most people don't care about paying extra for dish soap. They are content buying a gallon for $5 at Costco rather than shelling out $10 for a liter of dish drops.

The work involved is very simple. Sell products and sponsor other IBOs in your downline to be able to leverage your volume. Many IBOs work hard and attend all of the functions and do all of the steps as outlined by upline, but very few reap rewards and most quit when they realize that the system doesn't work. It is sad that on top of losing money, that IBOs are also taught to blame themselves for their demise. Where is the upline when IBOs bust their butts working har and get no rewards? On top of that, to make it worse, uplines profit from selling training and motivation to their downlines. Why aren't they held acountable?

I've read comments by some Amway defenders wanting to sue Amway critics for a potential loss of business. But most critics, like myself are simply stating our experiences and opinions. Many of which are true and still happening today. So I will ask, what about the millions of former IBOs who may have lost billions of dollars because of false claims which led them to believe that they would get rich following upline advice? Maybe former IBOs should unite and file claims against unethical upline leaders who led them astray?

In any case, hard work doesn't equate success in Amway and I dare anyone to try to prove me wrong.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Amway IBOs Taught That Losng Money Is Success?

Looking back at my Amway IBO days, I can now laugh at some of the weird stuff we did, and believe it or not, I have reason to believe that my old LOS, WWDB, still teaches some of this and some other major groups also teach it. I believe some of these practices were the reason why some people refer to the Amway business as cult or having cult like qualities. If you recognize some of these practices, you might be in an unethical group and you should ask your upline the tough questions and possibly reconsider or reprioritize your involvement in the business.

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. Afterall, upline had experience and probably had all the answers. Some of this checking upline included asking permission to get married, buy a car or a home, or even something as small as purchasing a camera. The upline said maybe someone upline might have advice on how to get a good deal on a camera so no harm in checking upline before making a purchase. It is my guess that upline didn't want your disposable income being spent on anything other than standing orders and functions.

Late meetings. Our upline was into late meetings, many occuring after midnight. I suppose it was a show of loyalty and dedication to the upline and the system. In reality, it made most people angry at their jobs because they had to wake up early to go to work. For me it made me mad at our upline because the meetings taught us nothing of substance and it just made us tired. Our upline used to talk about time being important but it was never important enough to make him show up on time for his own late night meetings. Another cult like factor - sleep deprivation.

Secrets. 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 5 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. Of course we now find that some WWDB diamonds had homes foreclosed, and one prominent triple diamond had some dealings in bankruptcy court. Looking back, I suspect that many diamonds have mortgages, which would be nor problem except that these leaders scoffed at the sutpidity of having a loan. That diamonds pay cash for everything, including homes. My former sponsor still lives in a run down rented home beause he won't purchase a home unless he's got the cash. My former sponsor is a physician so I find his position on buying a home preposterous. His oldest child, a son probably grew up deprived of his parents because of dedication to the system and the functions.

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. People who sold off some of their personal property were edified if they did so to attend a function. Obviously these folks were not advised to run their business within their means. Upline even said that going into debt was okay, but only if the debt was to invest in the business or to buy extra function tickets.

While some of these practices seem bizarre, I believe it is because the upline advice was self serving and meant to channel their downline's dollars into tool purchases. It is the only conclusion I can make. What's your conclusion?

Monday, August 14, 2017

"CORE" Is Not The Secret To Amway Success?

Breakdown of CORE and why it doesn’t work. Here are the CORE steps. Some groups may have variations of CORE, but this is generally what many groups use. Some things may have changed but the general premise is likely the same:

1 - Show the Plan (10-15 per month)

2 - Retail the Products (10 customers @10 PV each)

3 – Tapes/cds

4 - Books

5 - Functions (attend all)

6 - Accountability

7 - Counsel with Upline (Be teachable!)

8 - Buy 100% of your own products

9 – Communikate



Many upline will tell you that your success is 100% guaranteed if you follow these steps for 2-5 years. Some Amway enthusiasts will tell you that 6 months of this activity will nearly assure you of a platinum level business. Certain steps are within the IBO’s control, such as reading every day and listening to cds, and attending functions. It is also easy enough to be accountable, counsel with upline, buy your own products, and use KATE (voicemail).

Here’s where an IBO’s efforts will break down. Showing the plan and retailing products. And remember, if you cannot do these steps then you are not considered “CORE” and your upline will likely tell you that it is your own fault and that you simply haven’t been CORE, therefore you did not achieve success. There is some truth in this but let me expose the system in a different angle.

Amway has a spotty reputation in the US. I don’t think anyone can dispute this fact. Therefore, for the vast majority of people, being able to show the plan 10-15 times per month is a nearly impossible task. If you are able to do this, you are a really good salesman or a good liar. In this scenario, the IBO is already successful, but not because of CORE, but simply because the IBO has the gift of being able to convince people into seeing the plan. But for many IBOs, they may contact hundreds of people and not be able to get anyone to see the plan. Even IBOs who follow upline advice on how to contact will probably not be able to show 10-15 plans per month. Thus this IBO, who is doing the work, will not be able to succeed. The system will blame the IBO, but the reality is that the IBO has too big of a disadvantage to overcome.

Secondly, with high prices (on average) and with a spotty reputation, most IBOs are unable to retail products. Amway itself has admitted that less than 4% of Amway products are sold to customers (non IBOs). Thus most IBOs are unable to sell products, therefore they are not CORE, therefore upline will blame the IBO for failure..

What if an IBO contacts 1000 people and cannot get 10 people to see the plan? Upline will claim that IBO is not CORE and therefore it is personal failure of the IBO. IMO, the only reason why upline can claim that CORE works is because in order to do the CORE steps consistently, you have to already be at a certain level of success. The vast majority of IBOs cannot and will never be able to reach that level.

That is the myth and the deception that many uplines will use to attract recruits. That each IBO can do the CORE steps. When only a fraction of 1% ever reach the level of platinum or higher, the numbers strongly support what is written here. Apologists are welcome to try and prove me wrong, but they can't. :D

Friday, August 11, 2017

What's The Big Deal About Amway?

Over the years I have been debating with Amway supporters, I cannot see what is so great about the Amway opportunity. Are some of these Amway defenders that stupid or dense that they truly believe that a business where one out of a few hundred people might make a profit and most of the remaining IBOs will lose money is a good opportunity? I'm not talking about people who sign up and "do nothing". Many IBOs sign up and put in a great deal of time, effort and money, only to find out that the system simply does not work (especially in the US) and they make a business decision to quit and/or to do something else.

Of course there are some people who make money in Amway. If nobody made money, then the opportunity would cease to exist. But it is basically exploitation of the downline that accounts for most of upline success. Thus, upline make their income from their downline's PV volume, and on tool purchases. I mean even a lottery has winners. Even ponzi schemes and other questionable opportunities have some winners. This is not to suggest that Amway in not legal, but the way the opportunity is set up, those who profit, primarily do so at the expense of their trusted downline.

There are no groups that I know of where all the IBOs can win and earn a profit. I would guess that there might be a few rogue groups who only focus on retail sales, and while these groups can be profitable as a group, they are either non existent, or few and far between. This is because most IBOs fall under an LOS such as WWDB, BWW, LTD or N21, and these groups all seemingly focus on recruiting of new IBOs. Yes, they may sprinkle in some suggeestions about selling goods, but generally speaking, their "training" materials consist of motivation speeches, feel good stories (whether true or not), and the theme of never quitting while continuing to purchase more tools. The primary purpose of the tools is to motivate you and teach you to recruit more IBOs, which is vital to Amway's existence.

Some upline have the nerve to start teaching downline that their Amway business is not about making money, but to save your marriage, make you a nicer person, or some other diversion to make you forget that you are losing money month after month after month. Some groups even mix in religion and politics into their functions and meetings. As far as I can see, the typical business buildiing IBO signs up, gets some of the tools and attends a few functions, and finds that the products are hard to sell because they are not priced competetively with other retailers, and that a damaged reputation is nearly impossible to overcome. These IBOs realize they are not going anywhere, and they walk away, chalking up the losses as a life lesson. But apparently, many uplines who lied and deceived in the past are continuing to do so today, often just revising history for their benefit (i.e. lying about making any profit on tools).

Many IBOs, prospects, information seekers and critics read this blog. My question is very simple. What is so great about the Amway opportunity? For most, it is just a bad use of time and money. While some may exist, I don't know of a single person who "did the work once" and sat back collecting barrels of Amway money while sipping Mai Tais on the beaches of Jamaica. I see crown ambassadors working as hard today as they did many years ago, and some dying while still working. Diamonds losing homes to forclosures, a prominent diamond in bankruptcy proceedings, and a hoard of WWDB diamonds apparently selling off mansions that they allegedly paid for in cash. (It is quite apparent to me that their lifestyles are simply not sustainable).

Where is the benefit in the business for the typical IBO? Just as there are some diamonds, there are lottery winners. Displaying a lottery winner doesn't make it prudent to spend your money on lottery tickets. Displaying a diamond's lifestyle doesn't make Amway a good opportunity. While Amway is a business and not a game of chance, the results of either, sadly are eerily similar - that is a few winners and millions (or more) of non winners.

What is so great about the Amway opportunity? I don't see it.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

What's Better Than Amway?

One of the silly comments I often receive on this blog is that Joecool should offer suggestions about what might be better than Amway since I make comments against the Amway opportunity. First of all, I would like to make clear that most of my point of contention is against the tools companies and not Amway itself. Having said that, I believe Amway can and should have done more to prevent IBO abuse by upline and tool selling companies. But I believe Amway has not because the uplines are the ones who recruit new IBOs and teach (defacto) 100 PV quotas to new IBOs, thus keeping Amway sales consistent. Uplines also teach product loyalty.

But what can be better than Amway? Well, since most IBOs earn less than $15 a month, there are many things better than Amway. I might add that the $15 I refer to is gross, not net income. Thus after expenses, the vast majority run their Amway business at a loss. Working part time for minimum wage would be more benefioial to most people who get involved in Amway. Buying and selling items for a profit on Ebay is likely to get you more income than selling Amway products. Heck, a lemonade stand on the roadside is likely to get you more net income than an Amway business. Since most IBOs lose money, staying home and watching TV makes you better off as well.

What makes the Amway business financially dangerous to many, is not Amway and Amway products, but the involvement in Amway training such as voicemail, standing orders, functions and other materials. This training is promoted as the key to Amway success, but as far as I know, there is ZERO unbiased documented evidence that any of this materials work. In my old LOS, Worldwide Dream Builders, or WWDB, the same leaders I saw 12 years ago are still (minus those who left or passed away) there and there are no new diamonds that I know of. I would guess that there were "some" new diamonds, but there are also many diamonds who are no longer in business. Kind of makes me wonder why diamonds would quit or resign from Amway if they could "walk away" and continue to collect "residual income". Perhaps this residual income is a myth prepetuated by your LOS. Afterall, Amway doesn't mention anything about residual income and income from your business would come from Amway.

What is really discouraging is that so many eager and motivated people get caught up thinking their financial dreams and goals will be achieved by their involvement with the Amway opportunity. Sadly, most will end up losing money because of the very training that was supposed to bring them success! Even the fiercest of Amway defenders have no documented proof of success. It appears that Amway success is elusive even to the most dedicated of IBOs.

So what's better than the Amway opportunity? Seems just about anything. In fact if you are involved in the training system, donating $100 a month to charity and doing nothing else would make you better off financially than particpating in Amway and the related training. Doing nothing would make you better off. Watching football games would also likely make you better off financially than Amway and the training systems. My recommendation (but you must make your own decision) is to simply find part time work and invest your extra income wisely. It isn't quick or flashy, but you are likely to benefit long term. Of course, your mileage may vary. Good luck on whatever you choose to do.