A friend of mine has been an Amway IBO for about 4 years. She’s recently decided to stop with her goal to be Diamond, instead pursuing goals related to environmental change. That’s fine, people’s lives and ambitions change. The thing is, in that four years she was regularly attending major and minor seminars, weekly “open plans”, training sessions, team phone sessions, buying CDs and books. She was “plugged in”. Thousands of dollars spent, hundreds or thousands of hours. She never got past the 6% level. I’ve no doubt a large number of her friends and family have now formed the opinion, based on what they believe to be “evidence” that the Amway business doesn’t work. This friend spent so much time on it! And never made any money! It cost her thousands!
But is that really the truth?
Well yes, it actually is the truth – at least the part about her spending a lot of time and making no money – but it’s also not the whole story. In the group she was affiliated with, for her market, their “system” recommends that if you want to build a profitable Amway business in a reasonable amount of time you need to expose the business plan and/or products to, ideally, at least 15 people/month. This is maybe 30 or 40hrs/mth of work, done properly. Less than you’d need to spend starting up most traditional businesses. The barest minimum you should be doing is 8 “exposures” a month. If you don’t, then it’s very unlikely you can build a profitable business. This “system” also recommends that you take advantage of having an upline team, and sit down at least once a month and go through your business figures. How many “exposures” you’re doing, how many customers you have, how many people you’ve sponsored, how many of them are actively building a business, how much sales volume you’re creating, etc etc. Essentially the kind of monthly business review any successful business is doing.
While she was putting a lot of time and money in to her “business”, she wasn’t doing this last part. And she admitted to me why. Everyone, including her upline, thought she was working hard and was puzzled by her lack of success. She sat down and went through her diary for the previous year and counted up the amount of “exposures” she’d done. 15. Not 15 per month. 15 total. The whole year. What business in the world would be profitable if you only spoke to 15 potential customers in a whole year?
What my friend was doing was being engaged in what’s called “busy work“. Busy work doesn’t have to be time wasting – indeed it can be stuff that is useful, even necessary, towards reaching some goal. Everyone observing, looking on, sees that you’re working hard and spending a lot of time on your project – you look busy. But you’ll never get anywhere. It’s like hopping on a stationary exercise bike when what you want to do is cycle down to the store. It doesn’t matter how much of a sweat you get up, you’re never going to get to the store.
My friend knows why she didn’t succeed with Amway (or at least hasn’t yet, she may come back to it in the future). She knows what she needed to do, and she knows she didn’t do it. She still loves Amway and Amway products. Her friends and family though? “Amway? A friend of mine tried that, it doesn’t work!”