Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: I QUIT (and glad I did)
Here is the third entry in the Ex-TEAM Questions and Answers series. Thanks to long-time commenter, I QUIT (and glad I did) for participating.
Tell us a little bit about your situation prior to joining TEAM?
I will keep the identifying details to a minimum but still try to get the point across. I had been doing the usual working for a living thing and just wanted more. I didn’t know what I could do differently or how but I knew I wanted more.
How were you approached to join TEAM?
I was approached by a co-worker. I already had some respect for him due to his performance on the job so when he approached me about a business idea I figured it wouldn’t hurt to look. He brought up some great points but what really nailed me to the wall was a tape he left with me. By the time I finished it, I was convinced I had a “vehicle” that could get me where I wanted to be.
What attracted you to TEAM?
That’s easy. I was bamboozled by the “dream”. I totally bought into the rhetoric of “You only get what you picture.” “If its to be its up to me.” “If the dream is big enough the facts don’t count.” These are all very true statements, and I thought the Team was the means to implement these principles so I could achieve what I wanted.
At the time you joined, what MLM company was TEAM aligned with? For instance, what products were you trying to sell?
Technically the Team did not exist yet. We were affiliated with Amway. (GASP) The “Team” moniker was several years away at that point.
How much money was told she could/would make and in what time frame (or implied)?
I always heard financial independence in 2-5 years. I figured the large time frame gap was to account for the fact that all of us have a different definition of what would be considered “financial independence”.
Did they entice you with what they were making?
Oh yeah. The thing is- none of the people I worked with in my upline were big yet! They kept pointing to this Orrin guy who was job free, no mortgage etc. etc. Yup, I was really working that dream thing big time. I had to, its all there was!
Was their promises of passive, residual, ongoing income promoted?
Yes. That was the whole point of the business from the monetary perspective. “Pay now, play later” was the saying. Work hard now so you can run the beaches of the world tomorrow. Boy did that turn out to be a lie. Read your own P&Ps Teamunists, you’ll see I’m right.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, how hard would you say you worked the system?
During the active years I fluctuated between 7 & 9. Five and six nights a week. Heck, sometimes seven! 15 plus plans a month. Power Player over and over. Yeah we pounded it hard. Killed a couple vehicles in the process.
Did you attend all the weekly meetings?
Yes. Never missed cuz it was a requirement to qualify power player.
Did you attend all the monthly seminars?
Yup. Same as above.
Did you attend all the quarterly Major Functions?
Again yes. Same as above.
Did you ever miss any meeting? If so, for what reason?
During the active, committed, building with belief years I only missed one due to being sick as a dog.
With all this time spent in meetings, when did you go out and prospect people?
I contacted everyone. I “cold contacted” too. After all, I burned through my list of known people in the first year or so.
What places did you go to do your prospecting?
I contacted everywhere. I learned some techniques from a guy named Bo Short that made it easy. Its all about expanding the team! Everyone is a potential victim er I mean team member!
How much time did you spend working your business each week? Include time spent at meetings and prospecting.
Man if you include drive time it was as much as 35-40 hrs a week after I flushed the job. Before that it was an average of 20-25. That includes meeting time, plans, contacting etc.
Were you aware of websites or individuals critical to TEAM?
What was your opinion of the critics?
I felt that some of their experiences were probably accurate since every team in the overall biz operates a little differently but I didn’t give em much thought.
How did you become aware of websites or individuals critical to TEAM? Did they criticize the critics from stage at every seminar and or just behind the scenes?
I found this site after I had left the biz. I was just googling around one day and ended up here. I was amazed to find other former members with similar experiences and feelings.
Did you shun people who didn’t join TEAM?
I didn’t shun people but I certainly didn’t spend time with them cuz I was too busy building the stupid thing!!
Were the people you now hung out with just TEAM members?
I must admit that 98% of the people I hung out with were Team affiliates. That’s just how it ends up. It wasn’t a conscious decision.
What did you do outside of your TEAM business? For instance, sporting activities, date nights, volunteer work, etc.
I have a specific hobby that I absolutely LOVE and I will never stop. (Yes it’s legal) But I won’t disclose cuz it will probably identify me to the guru putzes and I don’t feel like dealing with them in a legal game. Their pockets are much deeper than mine!
When you joined, did you know that the TEAM leadership made a substantial amount of money from the sale of tools (tapes, CD’s, marketing materials) and function tickets?
No. That idea never even came to mind. If I had, things would have been different. Believe me.
During your time, did TEAM join another MLM company or start selling other company’s products? If so, how was this change communicated? Did you have any problems or concerns regarding this transition?
Yes. I was there when the whole Quixtar fiasco went down. The lawsuits. The counter law suits. This is when Orrin decided that Q was no longer a viable business vehicle so Monavie was promoted instead. It has a better comp plan he said. The products are great he said. You’ll make more money he said. The product pricing is better than Q he said. It all boiled down to Q wanted their share of the Team tool system and Orrin and co. didn’t want to give any up. That of course is only my opinion. I could be wrong but I don’t think I am. Again, just my opinion.
When did you start having doubts about the effectiveness of TEAM and the business opportunity
The doubts began to creep in when I started to notice rewards being given to people with less in the results or performance arenas. You see, Orrin always said its a performance based system. Those with the results get the rewards. By rewards I mean of course money or opportunities to speak at various events. (opens, seminars, men’s leadership etc.) By speaking at opens or seminars one was paid. The better your performance the more opportunities there were to speak. Speaking also gave you more credibility with your group so it was a good thing all around. One issue that I noticed happening very frequently was individuals with lower performance numbers getting stage time at men’s leadership. I know what their numbers were cuz they were in my group and I kept tabs on those numbers! I began to notice that these same individuals were spending lots of time schmoozing the upline. I prefer to call it ass kissing but I won’t. I don’t roll that way. Never have, never will. If my performance ain’t enough then I don’t want or need it.
Another thing that caused my belief to go backwards was when the tool system started having too many specialized packs added. These packs had quite a few duplicate cd’s. Sometimes several packs had the same one or two cds along with others. This was just a way to generate more tool money. Updating the recordings with minor changes such as title or number or a small deletion was another pisser. Now my old stock is obsolete and I need to buy more for my trunk?! It got out of hand.
Do you know your group’s attrition rate? Upline and downline groups.
I can’t assign a definite figure but lets just say it was way high. Build and replace, build and replace. That was the story throughout my entire organization.
How many were ‘on system’ (and got off) out of total numbers in group during your time in TEAM?
I don’t recall the exact number and I pitched all that crap long ago but I will say that my system count definitely dropped.
What finally pushed you over the edge and made you quit TEAM?
There were two things…
#1: When the shift to Monavie happened and I had gotten the details on what the plan should look like and how it was all being put together, and after attending the first major with MV, I realized what a joke the whole thing had become. I won’t try and sell some overpriced, miracle juice. No thanks.
#2: The strong arm tactics that were forced on us and our remaining team by our PC at the end of the 6 month period were unreal. Illegal actions were being encouraged to expedite the re-alignment process into MV. We refused to cooperate and managed to keep our second leg intact and in the original LOS at least. I can’t say the same for our first or primary leg. Boy did that one get butchered. Suffice it to say that a lot of folks got royally screwed. All those years of work down the toilet. Wow. So much for character and integrity. What a farce. Screw you guys, I quit.
Conservatively, how much money did you spend as part of TEAM?
Holy crap I can’t even begin to guess. Including ALL expenses incurred while STP’ing, I averaged at least $1000.00 a month. Conservatively.
How much time did you ultimately spend on the business?
That number would be astronomical. If you factor in all activity that would be considered biz related, the number would be 40 plus hrs. a week. Now multiply that times 400. I’m getting that number from conservatively adding up the number of weeks I built it. The number is higher but I’m allowing for the times when I didn’t work as hard, sickness, family obligation, hobby pursuit etc.
If you knew about the public records of some of the TEAM leadership — bankruptcies, strategic defaults, and foreclosures — would this have hastened your departure from TEAM?
ABSOLUTELY! How can you take financial advice from someone who has failed financially? Check the fruit on the tree is what the “leaders” always said!
What did you do with all of the tools that you purchased?
Every tape was left in the attic of the house I sold. Wonder what the new owner did with all five boxes of em? Every cd was gleefully thrown in a dumpster. Every book written by Owen was gleefully thrown into the same dumpster. I kept the majority of the books and have since re-read many of them. Great stuff if applied in a more productive environment!
Given the choice to join TEAM again, would you do it?
There is a better chance of me voting liberal than of me joining that joke again.
What lessons did you learn from your TEAM experience?
MLM is a cruel business model. You can make a lot of money if you are willing to set aside morals. You are profiting from the losses of your group. PERIOD. Argue all you want but when you break it down that’s where you end up.
What advice would you give to people who have left TEAM?
Stay away. Far away. Not only from Team but MLM in general. Use the positive principles you learned from the “system” in a real, honest, productive environment. There are many other, better ways to pursue greatness.
What advice would you give to current TEAM members?
Get out now. Cut your losses and leave. If you are thinking you can go big in Team while maintaining true character and integrity you’re wrong. Hasn’t this website raised enough questions to at least create doubt in your mind?
Any last words?
I wonder if anti-amthrax will have anything to say about me? What names will he call me? Suggestion: A Quitter. Cuz I am. AND I’M GLAD I DID!
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