Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Amway And Debt?

Getting out of debt sounds like good advice. On the surface it is because people should not be racking up consumer debt or committing large sums of their income for cars they cannot afford. But what does it mean for an IBO? I know my former upline taught our group to get out of debt. However, I believe my former uplines had self serving intentions when they taught this. Let me translate what I believe they meant:

"You should not have any debt because it would affect your ability to buy more PV and tools. If you have debt, it affects my cashflow"

Ironically, for many, maybe most IBOs, although taught to get "get out of debt", the bottom line result is more debt. There is more debt because the cost of products and tools begin to mount. How many families actually spend $300 a month (approximate cost of 100 PV) on household products? And then to add onto that expense, IBOs who are trying to be "successful" need tools which cost anywhere from $150 a month up to more than $500 a month depending on whether the IBO is married, single and the level of commitment. Thus IBOs are now spending at least several hundreds of dollars that they never spent before.

Most IBOs, especially new IBOs, generally earn less than $50 a month. In fact, $50 a month income in this business would make you quite exceptional. Most IBOs earn less than $20 a month. With that kind of income and with the expenses I listed above (tools = voicemail, books, standing orders, and functions), nearly all "serious" IBOs operate in the red and never turn a profit. The only way an IBO can turn a profit is to sell Amway products like crazy (which I have never witnessed) or to sponsor enough downline to absorb the losses for them. The only true success stories are the ones who sell the tools.

The reason why I believe that my former uplines (who are still in WWDB and apparently teach the same things now as they did back when I was an IBO) are teaching self serving advice because although they said to "get out of debt", they made an exception to this and said it was perfectly okay to go in debt to attend functions or to buy more standing orders. IBOs were also told to do "whatever it takes" to get to the next function or to buy more tools. It is why I witnessed some crosslines go bankrupt, more than one couple lost their homes following upline advice. And these couples were told they shouldn't worry because they can pay cash for their homes when they go diamond. Another apparent lie told by WWDB leaders, especially those who had their own homes foreclosed.

Let's be perfectly real here. If you join Amway and participate in the system consisting of voicemail, books, standing orders and functions, you are far more likely to get into debt or increase your debt rather than making money and getting out of debt. The math bears it out if you are willing to look at it objectively.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Something For Nothing?

In my opinion, Amway is a pyramid. They have not been found illegal, but still operate a product pyramid. The reason why they remain legal, apparently is because they do not pay anyone for directly recruiting downline and they claim to sell products to actual customers. But most everyone has been, or knows someone who was recruited by a zealous Amway IBO. The emphasis of most active IBOs is on recruiting and much of the teaching by upline is on techniques to recruit and/or how to talk to people without tipping their hat to reveal the Amway name. Most IBOs are not very good at this and they stick out like sore thumbs in many cases. It's also comical when uplines teach crazy antics, like how some IBOs use to deny that Amway and Quixtar were even remotely connected, or if anyone remembers the "perfect water" fiasco a number of years back.

One of the reasons IBOs use to justify their involvement in the pyramid is that they can earn more than their sponsor. While that is true, it is only because everyone below the emerald or diamond level is basically expendable, or a slave in the pyramid. There are many many IBOs who achieve fairly high levels who quit, or had upline wreck their businesses. Thus even platinums are expendable to upline. In fact an upline might make more money by removing the platinum. For new IBOs or recruits, do you really believe that you are going to ever surpass your current upline diamond or higher? If you believe that, you are sadly mistaken.

And for those who dream of achieving diamond and walking the beaches of the world. How do you think you can ever achieve that? You don't get something for nothing unless someone gets nothing for something. In order for you to receive income for little or no efforts, your downline IBOs must keep purchasing products and replacing IBOs who quit. If your downlines cannot keep up with the attrition rate, your business will collapse in a hurry. Come to think of it, if a diamond can walk away and collect a large income forever, why hasn't anyone done it? I mean we still see crown ambassadors still busy working functions or dying on the job and I don't know of any who walked away to spend their lives jet setting on the beaches of the world.

The sad reality is that you see new faces at meetings and functions, just as often as you see familiar faces disappear. With that kind of attrition rate, you may have to work even harder at the higher levels just to keep your business status quo. In Egypt, the slaves built the pyramids. Do you have enough slaves? What many Egyptologists find amazing is how the Egyptians were able to motivate the slaves to keep on going, doing backbreaking work all of their lives. The same can be said of a diamond level business (or higher)

Monday, April 23, 2018

Life Post-Amway?

When I was a young IBO, I saw the plan and thought it was realistic to go direct and to find six (6) downlines who could do the same thing. I didn't know the realistic chances of doing this, but the presentation made sense so I went with it. I basically built my group on excitement and it seemed like the system could work. Sadly, as I climbed the ranks, my bottom line did not change. I did not "net" $200 at the 1000 PV level, and I did not "net" $1000 a month at 4000 PV as my upline taught. I had the parameters they taught, but the reality was my leaders taught everyone to pump what little profits we earned into buying more tools.

My leaders also taught people to get out of debt, which was good advice on the surface, but at the same time, any disposable income left over was to be channeled into tools, and for those who did not escape debt, they were told it was okay to go deeper in debt, but only if it was to "invest" in their businesses by purchasing more tools. Thus it certainly appears that upline's advice was purely self serving and had nothing to do with an IBO's individual success. Channel your money into tools (your upline's profits) and never mind your own business.

I was in WWDB and they (upline) said that WWDB was breaking the most new diamonds and that WWDB diamonds were the most profitable. So here it is many many years later, where are all these new diamonds? Aside from from foreign diamonds, there are (I believe) less than 4 new diamonds from WWDB in the US from the time I left the business. I might add that some diamonds have left the business. Now I may be wrong, but even it was a few more than 4 new diamonds, that is a miserable success rate given the amount of cash spent by downline on tools and the claims made my upline about the tools.

We have also seen some WWDB diamonds end up in home foreclosures. Where is the integrity and financial acumen these leaders boasted about? Where is the success and long term financial security available to everyone that was touted? I believe more diamonds and emeralds fell out of qualification than new pins emerged. The business was promoted as one that would stand the test of time. Sadly, I believe WWDB and the Amway opportunity as promoted by WWDB has been a miserable failure.

There is little success to speak of, just he same old tired diamonds showing off a lifestyle that some of them apparently can no longer afford. Where is the success?

It is years later and we are still waiting.......

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Real Losers?

One of the things I recall as an Amway IBO was thinking how sorry I felt for people who were not IBOs because we were all going to be rich and everyone else was a loser. Our upline used to tell us that we were winners - and if you weren't a winner, then obviously, you are a loser. Many times, the term "broke" was attached to the term loser. That was my mindset back then, but having been out of the system more than ten years, I can look back and laugh, realizing that the losers were the ones buying stuff they don't need, stalking people at malls and bookstores, and wasting their time and money on tapes (cds), books and functions.

What goes unnoticed in many cases, is how much time and money really goes down the drain for IBOs who work the system. Your life revolves around the business if you are dedicated and hard core. You are always looking for prospects and people to show the plan to, and you have to rearrange your schedules, or outright skip social or family gatherings because of the neverending number of meetings and functions, many of which teach you nothing about running a profitable business. When I first left the Amway business, I was sort of angry at the time and effort that was wasted, along with the cash I threw down the crapper.

But after I did finally cut ties with the business and the people associated with it, I got back into a routine of sorts. I focused on my job and after some years of gaining experience and working my way up the corporate ladder, I received some promotions and I am scheduled to be retired before the age of 60 with a decent retirement income and will likely have my home paid off by then. So while I did have to work a dreaded job to be able to retire, pretty much all IBOs are also working a job or business PLUS having to expend their time and money to run their Amway business which has little to no chance of providing a long term stable and significant income. And if I may add, it is the systems such as WWDB or N21 that usually end up costing the IBOs the most money because of things like the functions.

So I will ask the question. Who's the real loser? The person diligently working and saving for their future or the person chasing a dream that is unlikely to materialize? Factoring in the expenditure of time also makes the systems even more costly than it appears on the surface.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Is The Truth "Negative"?

One of the silly things many IBOs are taught is to avoid anything negative, and that includes family and friends if necessary. 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). The Amway IBOs worship the Diamond leaders, they do not question them and they are treated almost "God like".

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 or watching the news on TV 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. Many things about Amway, unfortunately, are true, even if it may seem negative.

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

Monday, April 16, 2018

Get Rich In Amway?

One of the things upline used to say was that Amway is not "get rich quick". I suppose they say this because most people would more likely think "scam" if they promoted it that way. But when you stop and think about it, 2-5 years, build it right and you have willable, residual income for life while walking the beaches of the world? That's not get rich quick? Or is it more of a disclaimer so that the opportunity doesn't sound "too good to be true"? One thing is for sure, even if uplines tell you that it's not get rich quick, it's obvious that IBOs think they will eventually get rich, even if it's not quick.

What most IBOs don't figure out quickly enough, is that they are unlikely to even make a net profit, let alone getting rich in Amway. How many of these people exist? Where are all of these retired Amway IBOs who built a business in 2-5 years and then walked away from their business and will be collecting a significant residual income for many years to come afterwards? I don't know of a single person who has done this and none of the Amway defenders and zealots I have encountered over the years has been able to supply this information either. When you consider the attrition in Amway (50+% quit each year), it's easy to see why residual income would be extremely difficult to achieve. While some people may have collected residuals for a while, it's pretty clear that attrition would eventually take it's toll on any Amway business sooner or later.

I can acknowledge that Amway is a business opportunity and will definitely take some work to be able to achieve something. But thinking realistically, what business could you actually be able to walk away in 5 years and not work again? More than likely that business doesn't exist, whether it's Amway or not. Say you opened a conventional business. There wouldn't be many scenarios where you could walk away after a number of years. The business would still require work and maintenance. But for some reason, people are mislead to believe that you can do this in Amway where there is a high attrition rate and where your business can only expand by person to person.

Sadly, many of the people who are attracted to the Amway opportunity are often young people looking to get more out of life. They are often ambitious but may lack a means to gain wealth, thus the appeal of the opportunity is there. Unfortunately, these nice young people are more likely to end up channeling their hard earned dollars into standing orders and functions which will almost guarantee that they end up with a net loss. The bottom line is that not only is Amway not get rich quick. The more likely scenario is that your involvement with Amway will very likely be not getting rich at all. A net loss is the most likely result. I challenge anyone to try and prove me wrong on this point.

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Psychology Behind Amway?

The Psychology Behind The Presentation

I’m not sure whether the Amway 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 on products continue to 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 financial fears 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.