Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Memory Lame
Memory Lame provides her testimonial on being a member of TEAM for four years. Pay close attention to the amount of time and money spent; Memory Lame and her husband didn’t dabble in the business; they were heavily invested!
Tell us a little bit about your situation prior to joining TEAM?
My husband (We’ll call him Bob) and I were both working full time. He was working in a job he loved that didn’t make much money yet, but he was respected and in his element. I was working in a job that I tolerated. The benefits and pay were excellent, but I was running out of room for advancement and I don’t sit still long typically, so I was looking and ambitious.
How were you approached to join TEAM?
A guy at my husband’s work went to dinner with Bob and told him about it. All he could tell me when he got home is that it had to do with Kyosaki’s book that I had just read and that we were invited to come together to another meeting.
What attracted you to TEAM?
I really liked some of the thinking in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, so I was interested and willing to try it out. Although Bob was happy in his job, we were talking/praying about having children one day and me being able to stay home with them. We thought this might be the answer to a couple of prayers actually.
At the time you joined, what MLM company was TEAM aligned with? For instance, what products were you trying to sell?
Well, when we started they just said, “TEAM is the business.” or “The business is the business.” I actually read some web sites at that time that said it was Amway, but when I told Bob that, he said that the guy we were working with told him some sites would say that and that we should trust our new friends. It was only months after we got in that we realized this was Quixtar (a part of Amway) and a couple of years to realize that our friend was coached to say what he did versus just being a new guy who didn’t know what he was talking about at first.
We went to the first Major and Bob Dickie preached specifically about testing every spirit, which was exactly what we had prayed for, so we took it as a sign that God was confirming this was right for us…More on that later…
How much money was told she could/would make and in what time frame (or implied)?
2-5 Years/$2,000-$5000 per month.
This was clear in EVERY Tuesday night meeting we EVER attended.
Did they entice you with what they were making?
Yes. Supposedly, the “Emerald” upline in St. Louis had “replaced his income” from a $250,000 a year business. No one mentioned exactly how much he replaced it with. He drove great cars, but had a pretty ragged house because he was “delaying his gratification.”
There were also several nurses and engineers that had “retired” from their work as well.
Was their promises of passive, residual, ongoing income promoted?
ALWAYS. Passive, Pipeline, Residual, Will-able business. Do the work once, get paid for it over and over.
Working The Business
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, how hard would you say you worked the system?
Did you attend all the weekly meetings?
Did you attend all the monthly seminars?
Did you attend all the quarterly Major Functions?
We went to EVERYTHING for over 4 years. Through health issues, work conflicts, family events. We didn’t show the “magic” 15 plans a month though, so here’s where our former upline reading this will say we were just “losers. 95%ers who didn’t do the work”
Did you ever miss any meeting? If so, for what reason?
Either me or Bob were at every meeting for most of that 4 years, until near the end.
DIRTY LITTLE SECRET: If you miss a meeting or two, your head will often start to clear. That’s the real reason they don’t want you to miss.
With all this time spent in meetings, when did you go out and prospect people?
Yes. Plus, I had a big list of people, I had met through my real work.
What places did you go to do your prospecting?
How much time did you spend working your business each week? Include time spent at meetings and prospecting.
I spent a good 20-25 hours per week on TEAM, outside of my normal 60-70 hour workweek.
Were you aware of websites or individuals critical to TEAM?
Yes, but I didn’t read any of them for several years after we were in.
What was your opinion of the critics?
They were all just blind. They were losers with victim entitlement mentality.
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?
Ironically, I became most aware of critical sites when they split from Quixtar. Although our upline’s would say from stage that people should stay away from them, many of them who had become our friends confided in us that they had been reading and posting on those sites critical of Amway/Quixtar.
Did you shun people who didn’t join TEAM?
Some of them. It depended on how they said no. Some people were really gracious about our stupidity and were still encouraging to us personally. Others got in, then faded out. I didn’t purposely shun those people, although I did spend less time with them simply because I didn’t have it anymore.
People who were rude, overly critical, who pretended they would meet with me and then didn’t show up, or who joined but always criticized – I shunned purposely.
Even now, I believe there are good and bad people who join and good and bad people who don’t.
Were the people you now hung out with just TEAM members?
After hours, yes. I still made time to stay in touch with people through out the work week for lunch, business networks, etc.
What did you do outside of your TEAM business? For instance, sporting activities, date nights, volunteer work, etc.
Nothing but an occasional movie at home. There was no time, and less and less money.
Concerns About The Business
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?
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. We went from Quixtar, to just TEAM (which “wasn’t really an opportunity” but we still bought training materials for this “Non-opportunity”
This change was communicated via a phone call on a Tuesday night. It SUCKED! Everything we and other couples had built together was gone within months.
It caused major strife between members of our organization and between our leaders.
When did you start having doubts about the effectiveness of TEAM and the business opportunity?
Honestly, there were a lot of small red flags at first – speakers from our original Top 50 disappearing, more money going out than coming in, leaders that had retired going back to work, not being able to tell prospects the details of this business openly, secrets, secrets, secrets, etc.
Oh, then there was the CD where Chris says, “We ain’t sellin’ no jungle juice!” only to later do exactly that. That CD conveniently disappeared…
I say these were small flags at the time because there was always an excuse for these things.
The first major thing that made me take pause was that LLR book. It was obvious even at the time that they were gaming the best seller list. They as much as said so. But it was a good book (I thought at the time), so what did it matter? 😦
The ongoing MAJOR thing in mine and Bob’s life, was this idea that in order for a man to be fulfilling the “man’s role” in this business, he was supposed to be figuring out how to make more money than me so that I could fulfill the woman’s role to stay home and raise a family right.
On the other hand, the woman’s role was to love and support her husband even if he wasn’t fulfilling their definition of “the man’s role” and going ahead and stepping in to fulfill his role in business leadership as well because “somebody has to lead” my “mentor” would tell me.
It caused a ton of stress in our marriage. Terri Brady would talk about the sanctity of marriage and tell the story of two people who had an affair because they were riding to choir practice together instead of home and/or with their own spouses. Then these hypocrites would encourage single and married women throughout the organization to “run the roads” with their “upline” if necessary to build the business.
If you were a woman who wanted to work, you were selfish, dropping your kids off at kiddie prison every morning to fulfill your own selfish 95% desire.
Do you know your group’s attrition rate? Upline and downline groups.
High! The only members remaining on the TEAM today from our group are the original Emerald, Sapphire, and Gold couples. And NONE of them are at even close to those represented incomes any more. Last I heard all except the Emerald have gone back to work.
How many were ‘on system’ (and got off) out of total numbers in group during your time in TEAM?
Same as above.
What finally pushed you over the edge and made you quit TEAM?
I had a family emergency that took me out for about 2 months. During that time, the fog began to clear. I realized that we were giving up dreams that God had given to us to pursue someone else’s – ironically, the very thing they claimed to be saving us from.
At first, I was still supportive of those whom it would “work for”, but in the months that followed my eyes were opening more and more to the fact that this wasn’t working for anyone but a few. I saw as many or more families destroyed by the TEAM as they claimed to save. I saw Christian people idolizing the leadership, following them from church to church like they were the savior rather than Christ. I saw years and years of time that should have been spent “loving our enemies” that were wasted trying to pursue this “positive” environment that was nothing like what Christ actually called us to pursue.
I was pondering on all these things when I saw Orrin’s post about Bobby Dickie leaving, or at least, Rob Hallstrand coming back. So I started googling and found this site.
The bankruptcies made my blood pressure rise, but the Raquel Peters and Melanie Morgan stories made me hit the roof! We saw the same thing happen to our closest upline, and it was sickening to know that it was not the “misunderstanding” that we had been led to believe.
That started the ball rolling…
Conservatively, how much money did you spend as part of TEAM?
Every bit of $30,000.
How much time did you ultimately spend on the business?
Literally, thousands of hours.
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?
What did you do with all of the tools that you purchased?
Burned. Sold to upline. Trashed.
Given the choice to join TEAM again, would you do it?
No. I would have sought out a good Bible study with older more mature real Christian leadership.
What lessons did you learn from your TEAM experience?
Ask the same questions of ANY MLM, or MORE than you would about any other investment or business.
Don’t just ask what it takes to “get started.”
Don’t just ask for an income statement.
Ask about the total costs of time and money that it takes to be PROFITABLE.
If you make $5000 per month after 2 years, but you’re spending $6000 – you are still losing money.
If you make $60,000 (you won’t) and spend $40,000 ($20,000 profit) and you work 2000 hours in a year, that’s $10 an hour. That’s not going to go very far.
MAKE YOUR UPLINE SHOW YOU HIS/HER FINANCIALS. IF THEY CAN’T, DON’T DO IT.
What advice would you give to people who have left TEAM?
Forgive yourself. Love others enough to tell your story here, and save them the heartache.
What advice would you give to current TEAM members?
Get out now. There are SO MANY other, better, honest ways to reach people. Quit living under the burden of the guilt of this group.
Any last words?
“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” ~Sun Tzu
Thank you to Memory Lame for providing her testimony.
There are more Ex-TEAM member reader stories here. If you are a former member of TEAM/LIFE and want to share your experiences, consider filling out this questionnaire. Your story may help other people decide that the LIFE business opportunity is not the right one for them.
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- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Susan Lovelace TEAM/LIFE Statement
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Memory Lame
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Out in PA TEAM/LIFE Statement
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Jackie Frey’s TEAM/LIFE Statement
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Soon2BOut
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: I QUIT (and glad I did)
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Glad to be Free of the LIFE TEAM
- Ex-TEAM Reader Q&A: Katie