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Now Chuck Knows

August 13, 2008

Chuck Lia, the blog administrator on the Speaking of Amway web site published a well-written article on his past concerns about the Amway opportunity and where he sees it and his business going in the future. As an IBO who is building the “business outside of a system context,” Chuck is representative of a newbreed of IBO, one who sees the Amway Global corporation as his primary upline instead of his Amway Motivational Organization (AMO) System.

Chuck points out three areas of concerns that he had about the business at the end of 2007. IBOs please take note this is all coming from a current IBO, and that critics have been raising these problems for years. Don’t blame the messenger when you should be listening to the message!

Lack of balance in the business in relation to the tool systems. … Many tool systems had evolved far beyond their original purpose and now ruled the roost, particularly in terms of income, and often treated the company like a second class citizen. Rest assured, not all tool systems were equally culpable, but all were culpable on some level.

Being a supporter of the business doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything about the business. So, it’s great to see a current IBO like Chuck come flat out and say that there are serious problems with the tools business.

Chuck rationally outlines his issues with Systems in a way that doesn’t make him seem like a frothing at the mouth, crazed man like Tex. More IBOs should listen to IBOs like Chuck and rdknyvr than other Amway supporters.

Mismanagement of the Amway/Quixtar businesses by corporate leadership and the effect its mismanagement had had on its IBOs, its business opportunity, and its product lines.

I have written numerous times that Amway Global was wrong to outsource teaching and training to the AMOs. In addition, I feel that continue to take too much of a passive, wait-and-see, sit on the sidelines approach to dealing with the excesses and indiscretions of the System kingpins.

Chuck mentions that he is still “disappointed the company leadership has not apologized for its failure in this area.” Maybe what the corporation needs is new leadership not named DeVos or Van Andel. Having someone independent come in to shake the status quo might be just what Amway needs to truly reshape itself in the eyes of the public and its distributor force.

The third area of concern was the IBOs themselves. I believed that many IBOs, myself included, had acted irrationally, irresponsibly, and immaturely by allowing the tool systems to sell us a bill of goods on their so-called “proven” systems; and the company to sell us overpriced products with limited customer potential.

Most IBOs working within a System are not really independent business owners but System followers. IBOs who want to succeed need to get themselves unplugged from their “proven” system of success and get plugged into learning real retail business strategies. At the end of the day, IBOs are in the business of selling products.

Chuck’s article has a lot more to say, and I recommend it to both critics and supporters of the business. Readers of this blog will know that my two biggest beefs with Amway are the first two concerns that Chuck raised. While I’m not as confident as Chuck is about the prospects at resolving these two issues, I do want to wish Chuck the best of luck at building his business. In my mind, he’s an example of an IBO building it the right way.

29 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2008 9:07 am

    I compare the “winsome” folks like Chuck to Chamberlain trying to talk reasonably with Hitler.

    I prefer the Reagan approach, “Mr. LCK, tear down this tool scam!”

    If that’s a “frothing at the mouth, crazed man”, I consider myself in good company.

  2. Joecool permalink
    August 13, 2008 10:59 am

    Excellent post! It’s apparent that what you are saying here is accurate. When you review the common criticisms of the business, you will almost always trace the complaint back to the system, or things IBOs says because of what they learned from the system.

  3. rdknyvr permalink
    August 13, 2008 11:14 am

    Amthrax, you said:
    “Maybe what the corporation needs is new leadership not named DeVos or Van Andel. Having someone independent come in to shake the status quo might be just what Amway needs to truly reshape itself in the eyes of the public and its distributor force.”

    But if you’ve been following what Doug DeVos and Steve Van Andel have been doing over the past couple of years as closely as Chuck and I have, you would realized that a ‘shake-up’ is exactly what they’ve introduced, unlike what happened under the previous tenure of Dick DeVos.

    What you are seeing unfold over the past few months, and will continue over the next couple of years and more is a violent shakeup of the status quo in all areas, but since it is spread out in a measured, carefully thought through “order of battle” approach, on any given day it doesn’t seem like that much. Chuck’s view, and mine too, is that the changes are well underway, that our business contracts are with Amwawy Global/ Quixtar, not our system’s, and that is the basis on which we are building, leaving both the Systems and the criticisms behind… but not our brains… one still needs to critically evaluate each step forward and provide feedback on what’s working and what is not.

  4. August 13, 2008 1:53 pm

    rdknyvr,

    We STILL have no idea if or when the tool scams are going away. Everything else is window dressing.

  5. Joecool permalink
    August 13, 2008 3:49 pm

    tex, what is stopping you from building the business now without excessive tools prices? Just have your downline buy tools from ebay like you did.

    Oh yes, because the business doesn’t work, tools or not?

  6. August 13, 2008 4:32 pm

    jc, as I’ve said many times before (except you obviously weren’t paying attention),

    1. I’m not going to involved new folks in something that may get essentially shut down, as it did in the UK, over the tool scam,
    2. I’m not going to involve new folks in a contract that is unconscionable, and
    3. I’m not going to involve new folks with a company that won’t enforce their own rules.

    But FIRST, the tool scam must get shut down.

  7. Joecool permalink
    August 13, 2008 4:36 pm

    Or maybe you just can’t get any new folks?

  8. August 13, 2008 4:38 pm

    tex – why don’t you just walk away from the business? Surely there must be something else that you can do to achieve extra time and income? If you quit, you can let the chips fall where they may and forget about the tool scam once and for all.

  9. Joecool permalink
    August 13, 2008 5:06 pm

    Amthrax, the answer is simple and has been said on other blogs. He’s a troll. Any blog he visits has to moderate or ban him. If not he will redirect every discussion to what he wants – the tools scam. You could write about raising bluebonnets and he will turn the conversation into the tools scam.

    He’s been left unsupervised at QIAC and look what has happened there.

    He basically poisoned by old blog. I was liberal, allowing discussion, but despite numerous warnings, he took over every discussion. Because my old host (lavanet) had problems that did not allow me to ban or moderate, I had no choice but to have the blog deleted.

    Then he did the same thing to my new blog until I finally banned the troll. Order is now restored.

  10. August 13, 2008 5:16 pm

    Amthrax, somebody had to stand up to the LCK’s and shut down the tool scam, and I picked me.

    Too many people have left the discussion/business in disgust, and the tool scam kept on truckin’ along.

    There’s too many people being hurt financially and in other ways for me to walk away.

    jc’s response is complete BS.

  11. Joecool permalink
    August 13, 2008 5:29 pm

    It’s the absolute truth. Go look up the definition of a troll.

  12. August 13, 2008 5:46 pm

    Tex’s comments are now being moderated. Let’s stay on topic. Thank you.

  13. Mike permalink
    August 14, 2008 2:40 am

    To steer this back to the topic at hand.

    As far as the orginal concept of what Rich and Jay started was a sound and worthy idea.

    To give anyone the chance to earn a living or at least to be productive.

    It think the biggest problem that occured it is the abusive nature of greed, which spread throughout the entire business, Amway corp as well as Lines of Sponsership

    Amway as a business needs to address the issues which were for a long time hidden from view.

    Maybe sometime in the future, The name Amway will not be connected to what it is now.

    There may not be unfathomable wealth, but a decent living, so the average person can do something to supplement their income. It may require some training, but not every week and a tape everyday.

    And sure have a big celebration once a year, but only if you can afford it via your business.

  14. August 14, 2008 6:29 am

    Mike,

    I agree, the business was intended primarily as an income supplement for most IBO’s, and a way, over time, to replace income. But the tool scam distorted everything. The primary cost of the major functions is the travel related costs, so if the upline coordinated their functions and confined them to motivation and product teaching (saving technique teaching for the monthly seminars), crossline IBO’s could attend local Major Functions.

  15. Joecool permalink
    August 14, 2008 11:08 am

    So take out the tools and go back to selling LOC out of your radio flyer?

    That’s how the business was back before the tools.

  16. August 14, 2008 12:28 pm

    If someone put you to work building houses, but you had to pay $400 for a hammer, but then complained enough to get the price reduced to $20, would you throw the hammer away and start pushing in nails with the palms of your hands?

  17. August 14, 2008 4:19 pm

    Tex – I don’t think your analogy quite works. Even if the tools were cheaper, the tools companies would want to you to buy another hammer after a month because it’s the latest version. So, you continue to buy hammer after hammer, month after month.

  18. Joecool permalink
    August 14, 2008 4:52 pm

    Agree with Amthrax, but additionally, imagine if your hammer was made of glass. When you hit the nails, the hammer would break. Then you could buy hammer after hammer, week after week, month after month and you would still not be able to effectively pound nails into the wood.

  19. August 14, 2008 5:22 pm

    Imagine you are both grasping for straws. On second thought, we don’t have to imagine, that’s what you’re actually doing.

    My point is the upline invites you to help him build a house for profit (Amway), then makes most of their profit from the workers buying hammers (tools). That is a well documented FACT.

  20. August 14, 2008 7:16 pm

    I think Tex needs to move ASAP to the UK, where he can build the business without tool scam interference. 🙂

  21. August 14, 2008 8:50 pm

    I think Amthrax needs to get a clue, and stop changing the topic after being proven wrong. 🙂

  22. August 14, 2008 9:42 pm

    Maybe what Amthrax needs to do is stop approving Tex’s comments 🙂

    Dude, we’re agreeing with much of what you say about the tool scam. Why don’t you build your business in spite of the tool scam and set an example for other IBOs to follow?

  23. August 15, 2008 7:25 am

    Maybe you should stop approving my comments.

    You’re not agreeing with much of what I say, you just tried to tear down a perfectly good analogy, when you and Eeyore Jr. could have just agreed. That is BS that you agree. You can’t agree AND be disagreeable. I’ve told you why I don’t build the networking part of my business, you can’t get it through your thick skull.

  24. Joecool permalink
    August 15, 2008 9:47 am

    Tex: the upline invites you to help him build a house for profit (Amway), then makes most of their profit from the workers buying hammers (tools). That is a well documented FACT.

    Joe: But the hammers are made of soft material and are not able to drive in the nails.

  25. August 15, 2008 10:18 am

    Maybe you should stop approving my comments.

    Tex – Your wish is my command.

  26. The Big Apple permalink
    August 17, 2008 4:05 pm

    Tex,

    As I believe you know, I agree with you on the tool problem. However, as I mentioned to you in Prague, I don’t concur with you that the solution is the lowering of tool prices. I understand the logic you’re using, and I know how you believe it. However, as I look at the whole picture it misses taking into account one major thing.

    Most of the tools are unnecessary to build the business. The System leaders sell the Plan by showing lots of material possessions and saying if you want them, sit your butt in the seat at the meeting to learn how to do so. And the new IBO does so. But how much of that stuff is really necessary?

    It is if the objective is to sell you on the System and get you, the new IBO, to fill rows of seats. (That’s why I call the System business “the butts in seats business.”) The real objective needs to be to teach someone how build an Amway business, and most of the tools teach little to nothing about that subject, which would start with product knowledge and sales training.

    Therefore, lowering the prices does not solve the problem. The Systems will just get the IBOs to buy more units of the tools at the lower prices to achieve the same revenue.

    There must be control of content, and stopping the lies about the source of income. There is a fundamental methodology about the framework for building the Business in the way it was designed for and in which the Founders expected it to be done. There is room for flexibility within that framework, though.

    One way to control content is to have the Corporation produce and distribute all tools, but allow requests and creative input from the leaders. This was done to an extent years ago when the Company would put out audio and video tapes of major leaders.

    Finally, the notion of telling IBOs to buy only what they need is fallacious. An IBO won’t know what he/she does or doesn’t need until they are in the Business for a long time or have reached a higher level like Platinum and above. Only then will they have the experience to look back and say, “I could have done without that.”

  27. The Big Apple permalink
    August 17, 2008 4:25 pm

    Amthrax,

    Your statement, “Chuck is representative of a new breed of IBO, one who sees the Amway Global corporation as his primary upline instead of his Amway Motivational Organization (AMO) System,” is not quite accurate.

    There is, and always have been a breed of IBOs who see the Corporation as the leader. We call ourselves “Independents” or ‘non-affiliated” IBOs. I am one, as are many, many others. This will become much more evident when the list of Independent IBOs who are PDAP certified are listed this Fall.

    You and most of the rest of the world of System Quixtar/Amway IBOs hasn’t heard of us because we are unorganized. We sell product, we build organizations without a profit-centered BSM System, we encourage those who just want to make an extra $200, $500 or more, we work to get our people making money in the first 90 days they’re in the business, and we have a very high retention rate because of it.

    And because of what I just said, we don’t need to sponsor masses of people. Platinum can happen with 30-50 people in the organization. And, the qualification sticks because it wasn’t done with a bunch of people working to “push” the leader over the top by buying lots of products for personal use that they may not have needed at that moment.

    So, I would welcome Chuck to the realm of Independents.

    And now I must go, because we have a Telephone Training Conference Call in 30 minutes! (No charge.)

  28. Mike permalink
    August 17, 2008 6:58 pm

    “And now I must go, because we have a Telephone Training Conference Call in 30 minutes! (No charge.)”

    I had to grin at that one..:-)

  29. Hershall Sweet permalink
    September 10, 2011 12:04 am

    I sure like this thread! Conversation about alternatives is constructive. The vision I had when introduced to the Mona Vie MLM was that it was your business. Your primary function was to promote products and the sales of the product were the first of several ways to earn income. Then the next ways to qualify for further bonuses were to invite others to become business owners. And Repeat. Ten ways to earn in their compensation plan. People starting out don’t know what to do. They get with the person who invited them and find out what works – everyone on the shoulders of everyone else. The people with the heaviest load on their shoulders end up with the most income.
    Then came the introduction of Team. They talked about growing an organization fast. They had their Team Approach and their “environment”. The emphasis is putting butts in seats. They use the measuring stick of Power Player that counts tickets and system training and then volume. No one I’ve talked to ever signed up to be a Team business owner. There is no Team Income Disclosure Statement. If I am a Mona Vie distributor I might choose to pay to get trained to be the best Mona Vie distributor I could be. But what I’m taught at a Team event or from a Team recording is different. If it’s in the best interest of my upline to help me be the best distributor I could be then there would be little cost or none for their tutelage. Why not a school model? Buy a thick binder with all the tools. A pin holds a teaching session and it’s off to the races until you reach that level. Then the bigger pins teach at a different session and so on. People go every month to try and get a nugget of information to motivate them or take them passed the struggle they face. But the same teaching is given and sent out to everyone. The personal mentoring is after results are achieved. Finally there’s something free! But it’s Team directed when you don’t have a contract with the Team business.
    The changes discussed here make a lot of sense and are why my RADAR has stayed Hot.

    I think Mona Vie might be on to this because, in january, they are introducing a common system for all distributors called MVP. It has yet to be seen what that means. It also has implications for the creation of the L.I.F.E. business.

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