Thursday, March 31, 2011

WWDB Works?

Based on my experience in Amway, my blogging experience, and observation of other people who give financial advice such as real estate gurus who teach you to buy property with no money down, or others such as Robert Kiyosaki for that matter, all show testimonials of sucessful people. Obviously they do not show you the vast majority of people who try their systems and fail. The number of people who make a significant income from any of these systems is probably a small fraction of 1%. Is that your surefire path to long term sustainable success?

It is my informed opinion that whether it is Amway, WWDB, BWW, N21, real estate or the cashflow business, the vast majority of people who try these systems do not make any kind of significant income. Sure, some do, and those are shown as the possibilities. But if you watch infomercials, you will see in small print on the bottom of the screen, "unique experience", your results may vary. I believe that a similar message used to be at the end of Amway diamond recordings as well.

These systems in general do not work for various reasons. Many people simply do not have the acumen to work the system. Or the system has too many variables for the system to work, or the system calls for things beyond your control. For example, success in Amway generally requires you to sponsor others, something that is beyond the control of most people. Add in the lazy and people who are hoping for a quick score and it is understandable that most will fail. But these systems are often set up where the majority simply cannot all succeed. Nowhere is that more true than the Amway business where the pyramidal compensation plan nearly guarantees failure for the lower level IBOs. In addition to an unfair compensation plan, IBOs often make their damage worse by purchasing tools.

So what can someone do? Well, it may not be as sexy or attractive but a part time job and investing and saving might be something to think about. Even a part time business where you focus on selling products for a profit might work. It just seems prudent to avoid these "systems" as the primary beneficiary of these "systems" are the ones who directly profit from them, and not the IBOs. Food for thought?

Monday, March 28, 2011

WWDB Success?

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.

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 a dozen 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. 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.......

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WWDB Advice?

We have had some really good discussion on this blog recently about how someone can build a business in Amway without abusing downline. I was an IBO in WWDB, and I was given really bad advice from upline. These uplines are still around and apparently still giving some of the same bad advice to downline. Having said that, I believe there are some factions within WWDB who may be operating differently. I contributor on this blog, James C. has explained in some of his comments, how he operates, contrary to the mainstream WWDB teachings. Thus I was inspired to write this post.

My sponsor and uplines were Harimoto, Wolgamott, Duncan. We were taught that Amway saves marriages, and that the rest of the world gets divorced. Ironically, I believe Wolgamott is now seperated and possibly divorced or in the process of getting divorced. Greg Duncan was touted for his financial acumen and told the audience that only stupid people took out loans, even to purchase a home. Then we find out he was in bankruptcy proceedings with interest only loans. This is just a side bar. I will further explain what other advice was given to rank and file IBOs.

My sponsor and uplines told us that we should never miss a meeting. Period. That missing a meeting was setting a bad example for your group. In fact we should always purchase extra tickets to meetings and functions as an incentive to bring guests. We were taught that in addition to standing order, we should be purchasing 5-7 extra tapes/cds each week. Afterall, you can't listen to the same recording each day if you are core. We were told that if you had downlline who quit, you could not cancel a standing order because it was too much trouble to call upline who called upline who finally reached Greg Duncan to cancel a standing order. I found it ironic that they NEVER complained about calling upline who called upline who finally reached Greg Duncan to ADD a standing order. Our group was also told that nobody made a cent of profit from the tools. A lie that nobody has ever been accountable for to this day. If selling products were ever mentioned, it was only so IBOs could earn money to buy more function tickets and/or standing orders.

Our upline also enjoyed holding meeting after meeting, AFTER the functions. Thus IBOs went home after 3:00 in the morning at times, even on nights when the job was waiting for them the next morning. Our upline also taught more tenured IBOs that money wasn't important in the business because we are friends for life. The group was taught that we could have our families skip meals in order to buy more tapes/cds. IBOs were told that they should NEVER quit, unless they give up on life as they would be doomed for financial failure.

This is some of the bad advice I heard from some WWDB leaders. These leaders are still around today and I believe some of this is still taught. What does your upline advise?

Monday, March 21, 2011

WWDB Saves Marriages?

So many Amway apologists talk about changes, and that critics are outdated, yet we keep seeing exmples of this stuff where it's painfully apparent that WWDB leaders are still teaching things like this. I will edit and add on more testimonies about WWDB saving marriages.

Dreambuilder for life says:
May 6, 2010 at 1:23 pm

For all of you who are being so critical, not once have I ever heard a diamond in Worldwide Dreambuilders claim to be super human or better than anyone else. In fact it is quite the opposite. Worldwide diamonds are constantly saying that they are nothing special, human just like the rest of us. If you put people up on a pedestal you Will be let down because no matter how hard we try, people are not perfect. And here is a nice fact for you; within this organization that many of you are being so critical of, the divorce rate is less than 1% compared to our national rate the ranges anywhere from 60% all the way up to the low 80’s. Get your facts people and quit being so judgemental of other people! I am sure you are not perfect either!

Another WWDB IBO statement:

I’m SICK and tired of all the divorces out there, all the negativity out there, so what’s so wrong about re-educating myself with positive energy where people have AWESOME marriages?? By the way, the divorce rate in the normal job world is over 60%, the divorce rate in our line of business is about 2%.

Joe's commentary: I doubt these IBOs are making this up. They are being taught this crap by WWDB leaders, apparently.

No Selling Required?

Another thing taught by some WWDB leaders was that there was no selling required. You could ask a prospect if they liked selling, and if they said no, you could say "great, this business is perfect for you". I would guess that most people do no enjoy selling things, and if you add in the spotty Amway reputation, then it makes it that much more difficult to move products to non IBO customers.

Some leaders simply taught the philosophy of buying from youself. That way you are moving volume but you don't have to get uncomfortable enough to go out and sell stuff. You just use your own goods each month and try to sponsor people who also want to buy from themselves and get others to do the same. I believe this method of business may border on illegal so it would likely be taught in smaller settings rather than on a major function stage.

Oddly enough, if you stop and think about this for a minute, in what business can anyone earn a nice living without selling a product or service? The answer is there are none, but some uplines trick their downline into thinking they can earn financial freedom from self consumption. I once asked my sponsor how Amway tracked our customer sales to determine who qualified for a bonus and my sponsor said not to worry about it since noone bothered to check. Imagine that?

While there are some IBOs who do sell some goods, I would think that anyone with significant products sales is a rare individual indeed. Looking back, many of my sales were to those who were probably more sympathetic to my cause than a genuine want or need for Amway products. This can be confirmed by the apparent relatively few ex IBOs who continue to buy Amway goods. If ex IBO sales were common, then Amway sales would coninue to skyrocket even if IBOs were dropping like flies.

No selling required? Beware!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Illusion Of Profit?

One of the things taught by WWDB leaders at major functions, and on standing orders was how IBOs could make quick profits. It was to "buy from yourself", but to pay your business full retail. So the IBO markup went into your business account as a profit, along with your bonus checks. Nice, so you take your own money and move it into a separate account and you have a quick profit.

At one time, I was fooled into this thought process. It gave me the illusion that my business account covered some of the costs of doing business. In reality, my business was losing money until I reached about the 4000 PV level, at which time my business was about break even. Some IBOs figured ths out, but uplines justified it by claiming that our dreams should overcome any obstacles, or that we are getting detail-itis. One other thing we were told was that the money will be there when you build it big enough, but that the business was more than money. We now had lifelong friends and were becoming nicer and better people.

I encourage IBOs to take a hard look at their real profits and losses. See if your prospects of turning a net profit are good or not. Make your decisions based on facts, and not on emotions and dreams. Analyze your monthly results. Determine if the "system" is actually helping you or if it's just draining your bank account like it does for most IBOs. Do not fall for the illusion of profit.

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Time In WWDB

I started this blog to share by experience in Amway and WWDB. As a new IBO, I was excited about being in WWDB. They (the leaders) said WWDB was the fastest and most profitable LOS (Aren't they all?) I remember being told that WWDB diamonds made 2-3 time more money than other groups. THat if we the downline "duplicated" what was taught, we too could be rolling in dough and walking the beaches.

I was only involved in Amway for a full year, but seriously active for less than that. However, what I saw and experienced in that timeframe is appalling and downright scary in retrospect. I remember more than one couple going bankrupt, and recall at least two couples who lost their homes by following upline advice to never miss a function. Being in Hawaii, major functions costed a lot because they are normally held during peak travel times, and required round trip tickets from Hawaii to Washington (State) or to Oregon. I witnessed an upline leader teaching about how long you could hold off paying for your mortgage or utilities before action would be taken against you. It's almost evil now that I look back on the whole thing.

The scary thing is that many of the leaders I saw, are still in business and still teaching downline. It looks apparent that the same leaders teach the same old stuff today, that they taught in the past. More to come soon......