The Problem of Context: Amway and Quixtar – it’s bigger than you think!

con·text     /ˈkɒnt?kst/ –noun
1.    the parts of a written or spoken statement that precede or follow a specific word or passage, usually influencing its meaning or effect: You have misinterpreted my remark because you took it out of context.
2.    the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.
3.    Mycology. the fleshy fibrous body of the pileus in mushrooms.

We humans, naturally enough, interpret the world through our own experiences. Some believe that learning from experience and then being able to share that experience through language, both spoken and written, is what truly delineates Homo Sapiens from other animals.

The down side is we all suffer from what is called Cognitive Bias. We tend to give our own experiences greater weight than perhaps it deserves. We all do this, myself included. So any experience, any report, needs to be set in the right context. Who said it? What are their biases? Are they reporting their experience or something factual? How widespread is this experience?

On various forums, Amway/Quixtar critics often accuse me of claiming peoples "bad" experiences never occurred. I've never done that. What I do often say is "I've never experienced that – this is what I experienced". A critics view of Amway or Quixtar is based upon their context, their experience. Mine is based on my experience. Ironically enough, while claiming Amway/Quixtar supporters like myself claim "bad" experiences don't occur, critics often deride supporters for giving their experiences, with comments like "yeah, yeah, It doesn't happen in your group … heard it before blah blah blah".

What I think is hard for people to grasp is the sheer size of the Amway/Quixtar world. Without this understanding, the context is missing. So let's try to give a little context.

{mosimage} If we look at just Quixtar , last year there were around 9, registered IBOships . Ask anyone with experience and you'll find that most of those did nothing, and no more than around 5% of them renewed. Now if we look here and here at some statistics collected by IBO organizations, we find that out of 8 IBOships, in a growing, healthy organization there'll be 4 or so people attending functions. Now, not every organization is growing and healthy, and that 4 people may be only 2 IBOships if they are all couples.

So of 9, IBOships in Quixtar, there's something like 45, people attending seminars. 45,!

That's a big number. That's a VERY big number. 

In fact it's too big for me to grasp. Let's assume most organizations aren't healthy and growing. Let's assume only 2, people are attending seminars. 

When I point out to "critics" that perhaps their experience is not the most common experience, or perhaps not as widespread as they think, they'll often retort something along the lines of  "I heard this taught at a seminar with 1, people!"

1, people is a big number, a VERY big number.

But it's only 5% of 2,.

1, people sitting in a seminar being told something "wrong" or against Quixtar rules or whatever is a lot of people. But it's still less than 1% of all IBOships, and it's even only a tiny number of active IBOs who are attending seminars.

Context. 

1, seems a BIG number – but put it in context, it's not. Don't get me wrong -it's still a lot of people, and if people are being taught or told "the wrong thing", well, one is too many! But for every IBO or former IBO out there, our experience, our context, is tiny compared to the reality of the Amway/Quixtar world. It's bigger than you think. WAAAYYY bigger than you think.

Now, as I pointed out in an earlier post, with some advice for Amway/Quixtar IBOs, virtually all complaints or criticism of Amway and Quixtar is ultimately the responsibility of IBOs, but when you're reading the bad experiences some people report, remember the Amway/Quixtar Internet Echo Chamber, and always, always remember the context.

It's bigger than you think! 

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