Amway Global Accreditation: transformation or a sad joke?

In general I don’t like being critical of people, and I especially try to avoid being so in public. What’s more, with regards Amway, part of my “mission” with TTAA is to try to provide some balance to the excessive criticism of Amway on the Internet. Sometimes however, I encounter things that I believe are so proactively damaging to Amway’s reputation that I must speak out, even though I’m sure I’ll make some enemies out of friends. This is one of those times.

It’s been said that a part of Amway’s reputation problems aren’t a result of myths or falsehoods, but in what might be termed “negative truths”. I believe this is correct, to a point. Much of what people believe about Amway has it’s origins in reality, and real experiences, but that “reality” rarely has anything to do with Amway, the Amway business model, or Amway’s award winning products. In general it has to do with how Amway’s representatives (known variously as distributors, IBOs, ABOs etc etc) have presented the Amway business to the outside world. If you research Amway on the internet, you’ll encounter quite a few “horror stories”, people talking about how they were conned or fleeced. You’ll see stories of “cult-like” behaviour and claims the whole thing is just a scam. But as I pointed out in Amway is not a scam, but you can still be scammed, it’s not Amway, nor the business model, nor the products doing these things – it’s people.

As a new IBO, I was incredibly frustrated with encountering people who spoke of their experiences in Amway and how they didn’t want anything to do with it again – but their experiences were completely different to mine. I was even more frustrated at people who would search Amway on the Internet and bring me reams of printouts claiming that “this is what you’re involved with” – yet none of it even remotely reflected my experience. Years later it still doesn’t reflect my experience! Now that doesn’t mean it wasn’t other people’s experiences, but it wasn’t the Amway business they were talking about, it was people with Amway businesses. My Amway business, and undoubtedly hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of other Amway businesses, was being damaged by the actions of what appeared likely to be a minority, albeit an extremely visible minority.

I was thus delighted when, back in 2005, Quixtar (now known as Amway Global) announced they were launching an “accreditation” program to encourage the various independent BSM companies to follow certain guidelines in their training and support offerings to Amway business owners. Achieving accreditation required organisations (or individuals) to abide by the following –

  • Provide a professional development curriculum that includes business-building, product training, and personal development components.
  • Use professional development compensation plans that are transparent, written, and contractual.
  • Engage in communications that reflect compliance with the IBO Communications Platform.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to best practices and ongoing education
  • Be in good standing and complying with Amway Global’s Rules of Conduct.

Of these five areas, perhaps the most comprehensive explanation of how Amway expects IBOs to behave is outlined in the IBO Communications Platform document, which summarises it’s content as –

Focus on business.
Treat others as you would like to be treated.

The document continues (my emphasis) –

As this is a business, it is only logical that communications
within the business arena focus on business and not on areas
outside the business arena, such as religion and politics
. And
to “treat others as you would like to be treated” is a long-standing
and widely accepted maxim on human relations.
Taken together, these two concepts reflect the philosophy and
standards of the IBO Communications Platform.

Bravo, I say! Too often when speaking to people about their experiences, or reading others experiences online, they would comment about attending supposed “business” meetings only to be regaled with speeches on religion and politics. Was it a business or a method of evangelising one’s political and religious beliefs? Now, I have a certain respect for people who have the courage to actually go out and act on their beliefs. If you believed that say, electing Barack Obama would result in the United States becoming a “slave state” like North Korea, and you didn’t get out there and campaign for John McCain, then quite frankly you have no right to complain if the worst does happen.

However, there are appropriate times and places for doing such campaigning. What’s more, doing so at appropriate times and places is far, far more effective. Standing outside the Republican National Convention trying to encourage people to vote for John McCain has very little effect. They’re already voting for him. Encouraging people to vote for John McCain outside the Democrat National Convention, telling them Barack Obama is a communist and will turn the United States into North Korea would likely also have very little effect, indeed it will probably p**s them off.

Now, no harm done perhaps. You didn’t get a new vote and you didn’t lose a vote, you just wasted yours and some other folks’ time.

But what if your actual goal wasn’t to change their vote, but to do something entirely different – like get them to buy Amway products or build an Amway business? Do Democrats take nutritional products? Do Democrats use skin care? Do Democrats wash their hair? Do Democrats want more time to spend with their family? Do Democrats want to have better lives? Do Democrats want to achieve their dreams and goals?

Of course they do. They’re all potential “customers” for both Amway products and the Amway business. What kind of lunatic business person would go out of their way to deliberately alienate and p**s off half their potential market?

The answer is here

That links to the youtube channel for Internet Services, the company founded by Amway Crown Ambassador Dexter Yager to support his Amway business. Internet has posted a series of 6 videos of former US Republican Congressman Bob McEwen speaking at Yager Free Enterprise Celebration, held in October 2008. While he carefully tiptoes around naming names, amonsgt other things, McEwen clearly implies that voting Democrat will lead the USA on to the path of being a “slave state” like North Korea. He clearly implies that “the left”, ie Democrats, lack integrity. He directly blames President Clinton for the current US sub-prime mortgage crisis, and not surprisingly, he also attacks the entire Climate Change movement.

The whole speech is an extremely thinly disguised political rant designed to scare people into voting Republican.

Now … I don’t want to get in to a discussion about whether his claims are correct or not. What I want to discuss is the effect of this kind of talk at a seminar where people have spent money to be inspired to and learn how to build a successful Amway business.

I’ll tell you the effect – you deliberately alienate and p**s off (at least) half your potential market. I know this, because you’d p**ss me off. I would have walked out. In my opinion the entire speech was thoroughly dishonest and extremely offensive.  If I had attended this as my first Amway-related seminar, I doubt I ever would have returned. I would have been out of the Amway business. If, like most new folk,  I had not understood the difference between support systems and Amway, there’s every chance this website, The Truth About Amway, would not be a site supportive of Amway, but one extremely critical of Amway. Does Internet Services really want someone like me running anti-Amway sites? Does Amway? As far as Internet Services are concerned, am I not welcome or wanted as an Amway Business Owner? Does Amway not want me as an Amway Business Owner?

It’s not just me. Over on Amway Talk when this Bob McEwen speech was raised, an IBO who was in attendance at the seminar agreed it made him uncomfortable and he was considering asking a refund. In an extremely sad piece of irony, Amway critic Amthrax had this to say about McEwen’s speech –

Why was he using the meeting as a platform to sway people’s votes over to McCain instead of Obama? Why is he speaking about politics at this meeting in the first place?

This is exactly the kind of nonsense that I had to put up with during my time in the Amway/Quixtar business ten years ago. I don’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, whatever, this kind of stuff, along with the religious sermonizing, just doesn’t belong in and is irrelevant to the teaching and building of the business.

Why a sad piece of irony? Because Amthrax wasn’t talking about an Amway related meeting. He was talking about Bob McEwen giving the same speech at a MonaVie meeting held by Orrin Woodward. Amthrax went on to say –

Amway Global has instituted an accreditation program, which supposedly removes such politicking and prosleytizing from stage. It’s obvious that MonaVie nor Team has such restrictions.

Sadly, Amthrax, we were wrong in our suppositions. At the very seminar where McEwen gave this political rant, Amway recognized Internet Services as a newly accredited organization. In my opinion, utterly disgraceful and it makes accreditation a joke.

In discussions on Amway Talk about this, a number of IBOs defended the talk as being within accreditation guidelines, and that offended IBOs need to just learn to ignore what they don’t agree with. The IBO Communications Platform says about politics –

C. Political communications
1. Acceptable

a. Statements about capitalism and the free enterprise system and the importance of preserving it.
b. Statements about the economy and its impact on small businesses, in particular an
independent Quixtar business.
c. The importance of voting and being informed on issues and candidates.
d. Teachings of America’s or Canada’s Founding Fathers and the lessons of history as they relate to
the business climate and economic health of these countries.
e. Character and integrity as important issues in our business and in our elected or appointed
government officials.

2. Unacceptable

a. Endorsement or denouncement of specific candidates, political parties, and/or issues, unless
specifically related to the operation of independent Quixtar® businesses.
b. Inflammatory labels or personal attacks on the character or integrity of government officials
or candidates.

In my opinion, Bob McEwen’s speech very clearly fel into the “Unacceptable” category. The problem is that because of his careful choice of words, he did it all through (extremely obvious) implication rather than directly. If one happens to agree with McEwen’s beliefs, then it’s relatively easy to justify to yourself that his speech fell under the “Acceptable” guidelines. (Though I struggle to see how anyone could not put his attacks on the Climate Change issue under 2a)

But that doesn’t matter!

You are still alienating people like me. People like Amthrax. People like the majority of the United States that voted for Barack Obama. People like the 70-80%+ of folk around the world who supported Barack Obama to win the election and whom are desperately concerned about issues like Climate Change.

You’re going out of you way to alienate a huge segment, indeed potentially a majority, of the marketplace.

And to what purpose? Virtually all of those who you didn’t alienate were voting Republican anyway. You achieved little but to damage your business and the business of others.

Ignore the politics of it. Forget whether you agree with McEwan or not. That’s not the point. It’s a stupid way to operate a business, and even worse it badly damages not just your business, but the businesses of others as well.

Amway – you have no idea how disappointed I was to learn that you are actively endorsing this type of destructive, reputation destroying behaviour.

In my mind it raises serious questions as to the corporations commitment to improve Amway’s reputation. This type of behaviour actively makes it harder for IBOs to build their businesses. Amway has a responsibility to the majority of IBOs, who are not a part of Internet Services, to stop Yager Internet Services and other groups like them from actively damaging our businesses. I knew this stuff was going on in the past, but I had faith that Amway was taking actions to stop it.

Was I wrong?

95 thoughts on “Amway Global Accreditation: transformation or a sad joke?”

  1. Hey guys, I’m a fairly new IBO (been in it about a month now), and I didn’t really have time to read all of the comments but i got half way through and then skimmed the rest. But anyway, I have heard some bad things about Amway and how its a scam from my extended family, but I have found my experience to be nothing but good up to this point. I’m on Marcowitz’s LTD team, and all of my upline to whom i have come into contact with has been nothing but respectful and very professional. Most of my upline are Christians and I feel privilaged that they are so, but it was not the first thing I learned of them, although their character pointed very much so in that direction. they have not gone out of their way to push their beliefs on me. I feel privileged to be on Ruby-going-Platinum Colin Wood’s team. 🙂 Oh, and I’m going to my first function – Impact ’09, and i’m very much looking forward to it!

  2. You are correct. It is very difficult to seperate the passion for FREE Enterprise from the Republican party. Why is that? The Republic party believes that the FREE market can dictate who makes money and does not. That there should be little or no government intervention. And since it is a meeting of Independant Business Owners, many of the platforms a business owner would support are that of the Republican party. FREE Enterprise is the exact opposite of a socialism agenda.

    1. businessbacker, I don’t want to get into a political debate (again), enough of that happened on Amway Talk regarding this topic, however your comments regard socialism and free enterprise only apply to the “extreme left”. The great majority of social democratic political parties and countries around the world, including the Democrats in the US, are fully behind the concept of free enterprise.

  3. It is so refreshing to actually encounter a web site that has actual IBO’s discussing there opinions in a civilized fashion!!
    Briefly browsing some of the comments and lines of conversations above I would like to add that regardless of the negative aspects of this business system. ( which for any intelligent person, realizing that any, even the greatest companies in business, still have very negative aspects and people)It is still a great place for a young, eager mind to learn general, basic business and life lessons. at least in my LOS, which was BWW, and I suppose now LTD. I am a christian man and when I got involved with this group in and around my personnal sponsor they helped me to see what an honest, christian business man should act like, and now many of those foundations that I learned 7 years ago, help all areas of my life. No I am not an active IBO, still have a # but I don’t go to meetings and major functions, (though for a young drifting life they are a great boost for business and life 10,000 excited people is infectious and a needed thing for a developing IBO who is gettings all his NO’s, my LOS made it a great experience.) I am greatly thankful for the system of free enterprise that I was taught,b\c I had not learned it in my prior 21 years( sad huh) and it has helped me be successful in all areas of life.

  4. IBOfight back

    I haven’t read all the 70 comments above and have been out of the loop for a while, so I might be repeating stuff……

    However I am not surprised that a organization, in this case InterNet, got accreditation and still doing things against the regulations. I thought this would happen as soon as accreditation was announced. Why did I think this – because organizations such as InterNet were already doing things that were against the code of conduct. Therefore when the code of conduct changed to accreditation, there was no change in behavior. Why should they – they could pull the wool over Amway’s eyes when they were breaking the code of conduct, so why wouldn’t they do this for the new code?

    1. The Code of Conduct had no real sanctions short of termination. With Accreditation (a) there is a lesser sanction with potential loss of bonuses and perhaps more importantly (b) it affects the entire organisation, not just the rule breaker. This should mean that an accreditation-ignoring organization should slowly but surely die as folk leave for one where they get the additional bonuses.

  5. Rykel,

    #1 Your comments are off-topic for this thread.

    #2 You are in Singapore and I as an American, in the North American market, acutely aware of timeline regarding pricing and TEAM’s exit from Quixtar, can say with confidence that your comments are inaccurate.

    #3 You are affiliated with TEAM, yes? So I believe your comments are colored by your admiration Orrin and Company.

  6. Hi IBOFB,

    Really? Well, if Diamonds are responsible for the lack of incentives for newly sponsored IBOs in my market, then maybe it is time for a change of guards. Maybe the Diamonds still think that the cost of living is what it was 20 years ago, Oh Amway Diamonds, be not jaded!! hehe

    And yes, you are right on the spot… I have been with Amway since 2002 and todate, there is seriously nothing in the Plan in my market for newly enrolled IBOs except Retail Profit, Performance Bonus and non-cash items such as free products. (maybe if Amway offered free Positrim Shakes and Protein Powder as free products for sponsoring new downlines, we might have at least substituted them for real meals – get the intended meaning?) 🙂

    All the SIP all these years in Singapore were primarily for Platinums. No Platinum, no SIP. In the last two years, the so-called SQ Plus bonuses were introduced, only for new IBOs to find out that they do NOT have enough time to easily qualify.

    I am not sure if what you mentioned about Orrin and pricing is totally accurate, since the price reductions did occur only AFTER Orrin’s departure (9 August 2007) – like the recent Tolsom reduction in Australia (2008), but I for one do NOT like the idea of Employee quadrant gals trying to “control” the System, much less to “merge” or “educate” the Systems. Amway should just retreat into the cool shade and continue the perfect role of product manufacturer rather than “MLM trainer”.

    And it really makes me a bit uncomfortable when Amway staff calls their bosses “upline” (yes, they do! In my market at least, but tongue-in-cheek/humorously, of course) and then in the same breath, labeling IBOs as “our salesforce”.

    I just hope that this once great company will not go the way of so many others and end up as a “direct sales” company on the pages of history, and possibly “lose all the distributor force” due to a severe lack of leadership (to quote Orrin), and return to the basic principles of serving “Amway distributors first”.

    As it is, already MonaVie has reached the US$1,000,000,000 threshold in USA and, correct me if I am wrong, there are only two MLMs that have this turnover on American soil, and MonaVie is probably 2/3 former Amway SYSTEM leaders, such as Brig Hart and Orrin. (the other 1/3 being RS of Agel fame) Which means that if MonaVie plays its card well, the SYSTEMS will take MonaVie beyond her wildest dreams, just like how the System has and still continues to take Amway above its highest peak… and not to mention the slight thought that perhaps the simple juice (like the simple LOC) might buy out Amway Global in a near future.

    And this is just MonaVie. I heard that more and more companies are having a heyday picking up the disillusioned IBOs thanks to Amway’s treatment of Team. Of course, whether these other non-MonaVie players can RETAIN Amway System leaders and be good enough to marry them is another matter.

    What does the future hold? (To be continued…) 🙂

    1. A couple of things – MonaVie’s $1billion in sales is (a) global and (b) cumulative – ie, every year since they began added up. In the same time frame Amway’s sales have been something like $25- $30 billion. Indeed, I believe Amway sales grew last year more than MonaVie sales *total* last year. Read the fine print in the MV marketing. They are no where near as large as they like to make folk think – at least when compared to Amway.

      Apart from the appalling “go team go” post, Amway’s treatment of Team was in my opinion exceptionally soft. For some time TEAM had been generating a great number of complaints. Indeed their way of operating (not just the stacking problem btw) verged on being an illegal pyramid. No harsh action was taken for several years and eventually only with 2 IBOs (Woodward & Brady) when it was clear they were planning on going in to competition with Amway. Further terminations only occured when other TEAM leaders attempted blackmail – with a lawsuit they had prepared before the W&B terminations.

      Regarding price reductions, I believe the Simply Nutrilite products were in train before the whole TEAM thing blew up. Amway India and Amway Latin have had entire new lower price product lines introduced – that doesn’t happen without quite a lot of preparation. I think the TEAM debacle certainly sped things up and brought a lot more focus on to the issue, but so did the BERR vs Amway UK situation.

      I agree with you with regard the lack of incentives for new IBOs. Hopefully the new program in the US will work well and inspire them to launch similar programs elsewhere – heck, we don’t even get free products! :'(

  7. Yes, John, it will be great if you add to the positive voices on the internet. However, like IBOFB said, please note that by and large, the positive things you mentioned apply only to one market.

    In Singapore, for example, what a disappointment I had when, in September, I qualified only at the 12%-ter bracket… effectively canceling EVERY single SIP I could have fought for right at the beginning of the new fiscal year.

    And as for new “money” – such as the current SQ Plus bonus of $1700 in my country – it is announced only in January itself, AND you have to maintain 15% volume in the following 2 months in order to receive the small amount of $300.

    It almost feels like Amway is making fun of its distributors, dangling a carrot saying there is money here, but then swinging it away when the people try to bite.

    I trust that with fierce competition and competitors catching up with Amway, the company will humbly realise, more than ever, their need to depend on, and ONLY depend on, Distributors/IBOs. (Did not Orrin try to get the Corp. to lower prices way back in 2007 – only to have been rejected and the price reduction happening now – after they have lost a talent?)

    1. Rykel,
      SIP bonuses are supposedly worked out in close consultation with Diamonds, so it’s not just Amway you should have a chat too 🙂 Quite frankly they often do seem to get them wrong, particularly for the introductory levels. I’ve seen similar things here, with for example incentives obviously targetted to a new IBO – but pretty much unattainable if you hadn’t already joined sometime before they were introduced. Re Woodward and pricing, I believe a number of the changes in the last 2 years were already in the pipeline, the whole “pricing” thing was a load of hogwash. They’re still nowhere near Walmart! 🙂 IMO Woodward was going no matter what happened. I still think accreditation was a significant part of this – he didn’t want things like restrictions on political and religious evangelising, something he’s made clear on his blogs is a big part of his “mission statement”. It’s what he’s about, and Amway wouldn’t allow it anymore.

  8. David,

    Understood! Now lets stir the pot and talk about AmwayGlobal and how exciting it is to have Accreditation which is real in our corner and all the exciting things happening. Lets make light of all the good that has taken place in the last 2 years with turning this large ship which did not just happen overnight. Lets talk about and thank all those people who tirelessly fought the corporation to get back to the principles the founders had in mind. My upline is a multimillionaire who could just walked away from Amway when the going got tough. He worked incredibly hard with the corporation when he really did not have too and fixed this entire thing because he knows what he has learned though this entire process, which really shows heart. So exciting to see and hear about the new Fast Track Money and the $1600 on the table for IBO’s in the first 90 days for doing the plan right. Let’s talk about the new and exciting image that is growing fast and catching wind. Let’s talk about how exciting it is to see the pricing on core line items drop and the retail profit going up. Lets talk about how cool it is to get a $20,000 bonus at Q12 instead of 10K and the bank teller who came out to our meeting last week because of it and got started. Lets talk about how Amway’s image is improving dramatically with the types of people it is using with its advertising and how classy many of them are. There is so much hard work and detail going into who they are looking at to improve moral. Wow check this out my buddy for years at church has wanted nothing to do with my business and the great products, but he clearly knows what I do and where I stand. So he hears John Tesh talk on his favorite radio station about Amway and Nutrilite. Check this out “Never” has he even thought about buying a product from me. He got a hold of me and said how much he likes Mr. Tesh and asked if he could try the vitamins. WHAT? That was crazy I told him but we hooked him up and he loves them. I can only imaging what this is doing all over if my negative friend is now using our product. Well nobody is perfect and I am sure we can point arrows at many bad thing including ourselves but lets talk about all the good that is going on with Amway and the IBOA board who has fought hard to reach the new Leadership at the corporation. This thing is headed in the right direction. What is cool is the Negative Bloggers chatter is down really because anything they say does not hold water anymore. This is exciting and I guess part in part is an applaud to them who helped get the business fixed. Now we are just looking to see where trying to be helpful or just critics of anything people do. We will see which one gets in. When people get down and are loosing it really shows character to those who get up and fight back and that is why I respect you and what the Amway continues to do.

    1. John – could I be so bold as to suggest you start your own blog and start talking about these things? We need more positive voices on the internet, and clearly issues such as you raise here are extremely positive ones – but they also only really apply to IBOs in North America, of which I am not one. I’ve planned to write on the pricing changes and new bonuses for a while, but as someone who isn’t a recipient of them, even potentially, it’s a bit harder for me to speak with as much excitement about them as you just did!

  9. I agree with IBOFIGHTBACK, about importance of the functions and seminars. They are good source of motivation and also provide a big picture. Although they provide more benefits (in terms of knowledge) to new IBOs then to experienced IBOs.

    There are 6 points which, I think, can help Amway and System to make things better for everyone:

    1. Contents or the topics (main points) covered in seminars or meetings needs to be approved by the corporation

    2. Limit the number of functions and meetings can be held in each year.

    3. Make sure that each function and meeting has information about retailing and building business both ways, by retail and by networking. Right now system meeting are always about networking as “more people = more tool money”

    4. Tool sold has to be approved by amway and with newer technology CDs should have more nformation. May be 1 CD a month, which has material equals to 4-5 regular CDs.

    5. Reasonable pricing of the functions and seminars. Better will be if we can have more seminars than major functions. 5-6 hour seminar every 2 months and 2 day function 2 times a year.

    6. Disclosure of income generated and distributed by system to various pin levels, so that people know who is making money.

  10. Hello,

    First I respect what you have been doing for a while supporting the Amway Global business. As an American and business owner living in the USA I am excited about the Changes made to Amway Global business. I write to say please think about what you’re criticizing before you use your stage in a negative manner without knowing what the corporation is and has already done about the matter. It really undercuts so many that have worked so tirelessly to get Accreditation into action to seriously clean up this great opportunity. The Accreditation process was built with so much work and effort by so many to protect and give all IBO’s the same and equal playing field for the future. This was put in place mainly to destroy any corruption in educational tool areas which 95% of all the negativity was talked about. The Accreditation of the LOA’s has proudly been a huge success in so many areas to help propel the future. The Accreditation process has been long and hard and with our organization, now there virtually is way to have funny money or dollars that are not accounted for at all levels. All is tracked online and traceable to every account. The rules on talks and what can be spoke from an Amway stage at major events has been massively transformed by the Accreditation process for the better which was not easy. The board has been notified of the talk and is taking the proper actions for the future which will be dealt with by the board which as you know got rid of many other LOA’s. Please before you use your platform to discredit the largest fix to the business in 50 years please think about what you’re degree of discrediting with out knowing what they are doing because of it. It was real and majorly effective for the future of our great business and I am excited about what it is going to do for all of us in the future here is the USA and around the world. Please keep in mind the Accreditation and the timing of the election in the U.S since this election was different animal than ever before. Dexter Truly cares about this great country and if other negative media was taking the gloves off at all tasteless cases at least Dexter used class with having and educated States Man explain educational facts which major new media turns the blind eye too. As for Bob’s talk, Yes Dexter should have left that good talk for an influential Yeager Leadership of sorts for people who already work very hard and have a large stake in an ownership of any business but off the Corporate Amway stage. I hope you see where I am coming from since this is the least of the problems concerning the need for the Accreditation process.

    1. John,

      With respect, McEwen’s talk was not “educational facts”, much of it was utter BS. As one commentator has pointed out, the guy claimed trees breath out carbon dioxide! He also made various political and economic claims that were just plain wrong, or in the least opinion and not fact. If the excuse is “educating” people then he did an extremely poor job of it. Now, having said that I don’t want to get into a debate on the science and politics of the talk, that’s not the issue. The point is that by their very nature political talks will be controversial, and controversy is not what’s needed in the Amway business, particularly for a general meeting with new folk in attendance.

      With regards the other comments about accreditation, you are correct and I’ve got another post half written already to address these issues. This post I deliberately wrote in a somewhat belligerant manner because I wanted to stir the pot a little and ensure the issue was not ignored. I’m pleased to hear it hasn’t been.

  11. Rykel – Good to c some comments..
    First of all it is not just some company wide training program..
    I wish the global system is operated as sister concern of Amway and is managed by Amway & IBOAI or Amway & the system owners together..The operations of the system don’t change much from what we have now & it is still managed by your local leaders..
    But I am suggesting that there should be no income made by the system leaders & we all sing the same song in the market place by not splitting anymore under different systems…
    This can only happen if Amway takes over and along with system leaders streamlines the systems & the business..
    Where does this take out competition or innovation or recognition?
    An IBO always wants to get recognized for his/her performance & always wants to see his group succeed whether he/she is in own system or global Amway system..
    Also, if any the existing system collapses like TEAM or IBS we all are blamed & all over businesses are affected(example:UK)

    As far as checking my upline I did share this & got a message that this can’t happen something similar to what you guys are saying..
    But Amway is already planning a common system for UK market…

    A system leader who is having a successful Amway business and very healthy system income will never give up his system to merge with a global system where he can’t make money & why should he if Amway allowed uncontrollable system income in the first place(I probably think you belong to this category, my apologies if not)

    We should all worry about the “Amway brand” not our individual system brand, because we join the business to make money from Amway and not from a system that helps to build Amway…

    1. ZZZ, hypothetically, if an Amway leader can make more selling his services to Amway IBOs as a BSM supplier, and there’s no way Amway can stop an independent BSM supplier selling services to IBOs (we can all buy from Tony Robbins) – wouldn’t a “ban” on IBOs being associated with BSM suppliers (ie owners or otherwise profiting) logically mean that top Amway leaders would be better off quitting Amway once they got to a certain level?

  12. Hi all,

    I was just reading thru’ this thread as I am a 100% System guy, & concerned whenever suggestions such as, “let’s merge the Systems and let Amway control it all” arise. (zzz’s idea)

    To zzz I would like to ask, and do sincerely hope to hear a reply: If there are NO Systems in Amway, just a company-wide training programme (of which there are a dime a dozen in MLM land, at least in Singapore! would you like me to name them?), then where is the competition and recognition?

    Is it not obvious that competition brings out the best of men, and that recognition encourages innovation? eg. Would Jim & Nancy Dornan feel better if they are “top IBOs” under the brandless, “Amway” training programme than if they are “top IBOs – founders of the great N21 System”? (ie. “you are just one of the many” vs. “you can’t do it without mine system”)

    zzz I believe you check upline on your thoughts and not take counsel from Crador nor any of the other Chinese crosslining groups (nor their CDs nor stage!) that seem to have affected your thinking with the “benefits” of crosslining aka “we are one big happy Amway family”, hence your intense efforts to “help” ALL other IBOs in Amway. (IF you have been influenced by them, because it sounds like you are from an Asian country. If not, pardon my misconception.)

    Finally, just one thought – how can Amway staff, who are NOT out there showing the Plans, know anything at all about the field to “oversee”/”control” IBOs better than the System leaders who ARE out showing the Plan? (or at least have done so before – least anyone should accuse the leaders of never showing the Plan anymore, use common sense please – would, for example, Jim Dornan or Bill Britt, say no to a curious prospect who asks him about his wealth and lifestyle?)

    I really do not care too much about other issues highlighted here as they are all suggested for the betterment of Amway, but asking Amway to “take over” the Systems, well, that really irks me. I trust that my post will shed some light on how Amway might collapse the moment they try to implement a brandless, “Amway” training programme. (I will not even call it a System, since then there will be no individual IBO ownership already.) 🙂

  13. Prospering IBO,

    Would it be accurate to say that you feel it was appropriate and within the Amway rules for this independant BSM company, created to support IBOs in building their Amway businesses, to engage Mr. McEwen to give his talk at its business conference?

  14. IBOFB,

    You’re doing a fine job. Keep it up..

    I cannot speak for GOD but thank-you for the complement and chuckle:)

    Uncomfortable can be good and bad, it is all in your personal perspective. Offensive speech and behavior should be avoided always.

    Happy New Year! Build your business big!

    Prospering IBO

  15. Accreditation is working and will continue to. Amway Global has and is enforcing it. No worries, 2009-2010 is a great time to be an IBO!

    As far as Mr. McEwen, I consider the man a great American and champion of all of our global businesses and rights to free enterprise. I enjoy listening to the man speak very much and agree with a great deal of what he has to say. On occasion with a few speakers, I have disagreed with a few points and as always I learn something extrordinary.

    Concerns over political and religious statements are very valid and I believe are adhered to for the majority of the Amway universe. Feathers will always be ruffled when passionate men and women are telling “their” stories. It keeps us on our toes and alive. No worries.

    Outside of my business, I have attended “forced against my will” lol, several conferences and seminars for a couple of large national companies for work “JOB” purposes. During which, I have heard similar type talks and speeches from the top dogs and absolutely feathers get ruffled for some and I bet a few quit because of it. NOW the passion level, for most outside of the actual ownership, was non-existent and laughable as well as snoozeable but I always did my best to look for what I could use and teach to the teams we were building and discard the rest.

    OUR formula for our prospering teams of IBO’s:::
    Have an open-mind always, a positive attitude and a smile, an expectation for success always and use what is usable and discard the rest.

    Make this year the absolute best.

    Prospering IBO

    1. So, Prospering IBO, do you therefore agree with a contributor on Amway Talk that I’m not tough enough for Amway? That me being offended is a sign that God doesn’t want me to do Amway? That IBOs should make new IBOs uncomfortable for no good reason at all, with speeches that have nothing to do with Amway?

  16. IBOFB – I agree that different strategies can’t work under one system..But someone has to give up a strategy for the whole unity of all of us..
    I am talking about unity for the better of all of us so that we don’t have future debacles like TEAM, Amway UK situation & critical websites that come up due systems making exorbitant profit..
    Remember we are in a some kind of Franchise business & it doesn’t garauntee absolute freedom to run the business the way you want…
    When N21 adopted the depth approach they didn’t go out all at once.Couple of diamonds tried it speaking to Jim first & found good results. Jim didn’t throw them out of N21.Then Jim himself tried it to his satisfaction & then it was slowly rolled out..If a system as big as N21 has an approach to deal with innovation then why do think the global system created by Amway & all the leaders coming together would have no provision to deal with innovation?

    Also, look what we look to the market place..When we r split in diff systems, when I prospect someone show the Business I tell N21 is the support system, best in the world..etc..etc..Prospect says no..
    2 months later another guy from BWW shows the business to him, says BWW best system in the world..etc..etc..Prospect says no..
    2 weeks later..someone from InterNET shows him the business..By now, the prospect don’t to hear about anymore systems..
    Prospect just thinks Amway is a fraud..
    With a global system, anyone meets the prospect just says the same plan, same strategy, same system, same place where the meetings take place for everyone we sound like a coherent group..

    1. ZZZ, as I said I think there’s plusses and minuses either way. You’ve outlined a few there. You’ve also supported what I’ve been saying. Earlier you said innovation doesn’t really happen in N21 cause it has to go through the “layers” of approval. Now your saying it does, via Dornan and Diamonds. You’re kind of right on both points – and it’s my assertion that the bigger and more monolithic an organisation becomes, the harder it is for innovation to occur. A global Amway system is orders of magnitude bigger than any of the current different systems. Experience with Amway, and reports from many other businesses, support this assertion.

      There are reasons why Amway is so successful. It’s not just age – there’s older MLMs. It’s not just products – other companies have great products too. It’s not just international breadth – others are in more countries. I’d suggest one of the reasons why Amway is successful is because of the systems. Now, it’s had it’s down sides as well, but we don’t want to lose sight of the benefits too.

      I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I think we need more oversight to control the problems, you’d like to take it a whole lot further in that direction.

  17. Nice post!

    LTD (Leadership Team Development) and Larry Winters also has Bob McEwen speak at functions. In fact, they have 2 of his CD’s on sale on their website.

    I was in BWW prior to LTD and they had McEwen and other known Republicans speak at functions.

  18. zigzagzoom, I agree that there should be a global system. Amway has let the kingpins run the company for far too long. At some point, Amway lost all control of its business. And now it has accreditation, which looks good, but like ibofightback pointed out, will it really work? Amway also needs to step up its advertising. Team’s lawyer wrote this about Amway a couple of days ago. Amway needs to figure out how to fix the perception that customers are not distributors. I’m tired of this debate.

    1. Peter, I think what needs changing is the perception that distributors, particularly those who are not trying to earn an income, are not customers. They are, and this is something the FTC has clearly stated is acceptable. The link you gave is little more than yet another attack on Amway by Team using flawed logic.

      With regard the topic – accreditation will work fine, if Amway enforces it!

  19. IBOFB – U have mentioned the innovations that have happened..I am looking at making it available to everyone if it benefits all IBOs..It can only happen if we have global system..
    We both belong to the same system which is one of the biggest in the Amway world..But if you have new idea it is going to take long time to be approved and adopted by N21.(Probably with our time around in the business we may have suggested many ideas but were they implemented very quickly across??). But we haven’t quit our system & uplines for many unique reasons..Then why do you think someone might fallout with the global system which will take the best of everything??
    Also, when we share the intellectual property in N21 (free or at low cost), why can’t we share with everyone else as part of global system & take advantage of there intellectual property as well..
    Thus, if making money from systems is out of question we will have genuine leaders embracing innovations for everyone’s benefit..u will also see the black sheep’s leaving the business..

    If your idea is not accepted by the global Amway system it is actually rejected by not just by Amway but also by the IBO board, your uplines who are governing or a part it with proper reasons…
    If you still want to press on with your idea ignoring the advice experienced uplines & leaders in my view you should quit Amway and start ur own network marketing company…

    We have left a lot of dead bodies in the market place in the last 50yrs with different unscrupulous systems, but lets still not keep doing it…

    1. ZZZ – the problem is the one I mentioned earlier. You simply can’t teach significantly different concepts successfully at the same seminars. If I for example was teaching the team depth approach, and N21 was teaching to go for Ruby width, ala WWDB, I simply don’t think it would be appropriate for me to promote N21 seminars, since they’d be teaching something contrary to what I want to do. As it stands, if N21 teaches something contrary to what I want to do, I can simply stop going, build by own network, and run my own meetings. Small initially, but if I’m successful, eventually large. Amway won’t stop me (if I’m within rules) and N21 can’t stop me.

      If I was not allowed to run my own seminars that simply wouldn’t be an option.

      The larger the central control of any organisation, the less innovation occurs. You can’t make “innovations available to everyone” if they don’t occur in the first place. The Team depth approach, for example, could not have been tried and proved successful under an Amway run single global system. It was tried, and worked, and was shared with other leaders, some elected to use it, others have not.

      There’s a balance point that has to be reached between independence and innovation and control and uniformity. IMO, too far in either direction is detrimental. As it happens I believe there has been too little control by Amway and more oversight is needed.

  20. IBOFB – This is not about stifling any innovation..Remember there is not much room for innovation even in the current systems we are in. If ur upline disapproves ur new idea you are expected not do it. If you are a significant achiever in the system then the system heads will review your idea & if they find a problem with your ways they will ask you to stop doing it or leave the system…
    If they all embrace your idea you still will not be paid anyway for your innovation(atleast for sure in N21)
    In Amway business what more innovation r u expecting after 50 years..There will be slight modifications here & there..but Principles will remain the same..
    If all the elephants join hands and float a global system owned by Amway what is the problem for you or me to follow our uplines..
    Please don’t mention being an Amway employee again, I am not talking anything like that..If you think that a global system will make you feel like an employee I think you are probably thinking as an employee even in the system you are in now..

    If one wants to be paid for the service he/she offers as apart of free enterprise then should every diamond/emerald be paid for the personal counselling they offer to their downlines?

    1. ZZZ – but innovation is occuring. There’s TEAM and the depth strategy, N21 and the international focus, or even on a more plain level things like “starting point” or Channel-21, there’s WWDB and their customer portals and things like “grand openings”, or iTeam and their free MP3 system. Innovation is occuring, and a lot of the different innovations occur because they are different groups. Smaller groups would lead to even more innovation, but then you potentially start to get negative effects of too much innovation on a business that depends on duplication for long-term success. A more homogenous group would lead to less innovation.

      I’m not quite sure your point about being “paid” for innovations. On an individual level we get paid for this through the success of our downlines. At a higher level folk do share what works, which again can result in being paid through downlines. On a broader level, if some group wanted, for example, to use WWDB’s customer portals, then they absolutely should pay them for it. If some individual 9%er comes up with some brilliant idea that revolutionises the business, then he should patent it and make money out of it, or if he likes, give it away to his group and benefit because other innovative ideas come back the other way. This is part of the benefits of being part of a system, you get to share in others intellectual property at low or no cost. Now, if Amway become a more homogenised setup, then this would potentially be of even greater benefit – except for the fact that the more homogeneity, enforced by rules, means less innovation.

      If your part of N21 or WWDB or whatever and comeup with some brilliant idea and your upline doesn’t like it and “asks you to leave”, you don’t have to leave Amway. You’re free to go see if it works. But if Amway says not to do it, or you can’t run seminars showing others how to do it, then you’re screwed.

      There’s an optimal balance somewhere, but even there there’ll be plusses and minuses

      1. I think I get where you were coming from regards getting “paid” for counselling. In general, folk do not “counsel” to people not in their downline. There is no economic market for it. Successfully downline counselling results in rewards through the Amway plan.

        There *is* a market for seminars, tapes, books, speakers etc outside of ones own downline. Once you accept that market has a worth and value, then the only logical outcome is for it to be sold at market value.

        Problems can (and do) occur when the normal mechanisms for judging accurate market value are corrupted.

  21. I do understand the variations in different systems but the whole idea is that all system owners need to sit down with Amway & give up their “My system is the best” attitude & give & take what is best for everyone…
    As far as Width or Depth Strategy goes..Amway is not totally happy about the Depth strategy at all..Now I am hearing news that UK model with slight modifications will slowly get replicated all over the world & hence Depth strategy can’t work.In the UK we are back to building width again..

    Well a global system can beformed if Amway has the will..
    I don’t want to be over system constipated. The system will give independence on how u retail & increase ur PV, but not to level that u become a diamond and start ur own system..
    I sometimes wonder why would a downline leave his LOS’s system and start his own? This actually confuses me on what I have been taught day one in this business – Edification, Check upline on everything you do, teamwork, loyalty etc…
    I know guys there will be initial problems with one global system just like when we adopted depth strategy from width in N21..But try to see the positives – 3.5 million IBO’s or ABO’s all in one team…
    Personally, eventhough I like building depth model I can give up & move back to width if we all are getting together to build width under one global system…

    1. zzz – I don’t think there necessarily is one system that is “best for everyone” and I certainly don’t want to be an Amway employee where there is no room for innovation. The various approval requirements in place now are somewhat slow and draconian enough. If I come up with a great new way to build the business, why I can’t I try it? Why can’t I teach it to my group? Why can’t I earn money selling the idea to others? That’s kind of the heart of free enterprise and operating your own business. As a “licensed distributor” we already contractually give up some freedom in exchange for some benefits, IMO giving up even more risks making us little more than unsalaried employees.

  22. We’ll see. I’ve got an appt. with a friend and her husband Tues. morning. We’ll find out if he likes the product focus-led minimalist presentation as much as she did.

  23. And an enormous amount of “trialing” and “testing” of best approaches, the life-blood of successful innovation, as long as the system organizations themselves don’t stifle reasonable innovation.

    1. precisely, rdk. I think the latter has occured to a certain extent, but more centralization would stifle innovation even further. The different “systems” have brought on certain problems, but they’ve also created the largest network marketing focused company in the world by quite a long way (avon is a special case). The larger systems are individually larger than virtually all network marketing competitors. Heck, a number of the larger pins have bigger businesses than any competitor company.

      Clearly there’s room for improvement, but we don’t want to throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water.

  24. zzz, so what would someone like me do… I don’t want to lead with the business opportunity, as just about all of the Systems do, and as the Corp tends to do as well… they still say that their #1 product is a business opportunity. I agree but I want to lead with a product focus, and if someone gets excited about doing it themselves, then show them the business plan. Under your proposal, I’d be outa luck, and Amway would eventually end up with a sterile, inflexible, non-adapting way of building. I see your points in a sense, but are we not compelled to live with this sort of a dynamic tension, and wouldn’t the business building and plan showing and customer care approaches with the best results be the ones to flourish?

  25. I think u got confused IBOFB..
    I am not talking about a new system that will work..We have enough already..I am talking about uniting everyone under one global system throught the world headed by Amway itself…
    No more InterNET, BWW, N21,Crador..etc..etc..
    Everyone uses the same & Amway completely taking over or buying these systems with mutual settlement & restucturing it with the help of system heads…
    Remember there is nothing free..Example, In N21 not everyone is downline of Jim..They are assosicated to have a global system so that everyone benefits…
    If a diamond doesn’t have a Business in the place where he comes to speak doesn’t mean he/she will not have anyone in the future…”U never know”…
    I am not talking any free system either. It will involve cost..But I am talking about making money from the system.
    One should benefit only from the Amway business he has not from the system he owns to run the Amway business.

    I just want to take it to the next level that more we look like a united company in the market place with transperancey of One global united system better for all of us..

    1. And what if some Diamond wants to do something differently to the way Amway is teaching? Take the example of Team developing the “team depth” approach, now used extensively (in modified form) by N21. You can’t sensibly teach the WWDB ruby strategy and the N21 team depth strategy at the same seminar, or howabout the WWD garage sale approach (if they’re still doing it), or the door-to-door with a trolly of products approach used by some Asian groups. All, done properly, are well within the rules. Forcing an IBO into one “Amway way” removes an enormous amount of independence.

  26. Well, both the UK and TEAM were a wake-up call for the Corp. They had tried voluntary accreditation long before, and it wasn’t until they associated the major Founder Diamond and Emerald bonuses, and a few other things, that the System owners and system member Diamonds started getting onboard. And even at that, you can analyse the list of people and groups who DID get accredited, and see how many suddenly split off from Yager or possible Britt to ensure they didn’t miss out.

    And yes, it is a killer with prospects when they get exposed in a business venue to the religious and political nonsense — and the sometimes overly strong emphasis on the “necessity” of system subscriptions and events. But if you and I don’t like it, we can and should publicly complain in excellent and well-read venues like the one you provide here, and hopefully the public shaming will have some effect, and letting the Corp know that opinion isn’t accepting that off-message behaviour. And we can also just avoid exposing people we sponsor to system stuff that is unacceptable, and move ahead on our own.

    As for people you’ve brought in or who are considering your business proposition, and bail because of the amplification of the nonsense on the Internet, yes, the Corp’s feet should be held to the flames to be serious about their accreditation rules. But don’t forget than up until a few weeks ago, all hands on board were swamped with just processing and validating the initial round of Accreditation applications.

  27. We may be talking at cross-purposes again. My point was that these issues in themselves are not stopping anyone who posts or reads here from moving ahead. I think I was pretty clear in referencing “a genuinely business-minded person. When I’ve shown the plan (leading with a product line) as of late, I pre-emptively discuss, very briefly, why the Amway Global of today is different from what went before. And every time I found those questions and doubts were there, the negative brand image, even if they weren’t sure why they felt that way. When I “surfaced” them, got the unspoken objections on, and then off the table on my terms, I was able to set up a ‘postive posture’, along with the product focus I’m leading with and building on. (Does that sentence make sense?)

    But don’t let me stop you from doing your next post on this. It’s likely that we’re much in agreement. I just don’t think that Amway’s being where it is in the process of change (and people should be critiquing the Bob McEwan kinds of presentations) should be a reason to hold back on building. And if they were to build a Big Brother-sized regulatory bureaucracy, we’d be paying for the added overhead through increased product prices.

    So I think Amway Global’s current approach is a good one — attract (and motivate) the willing worker bees with honey, not vinegar. And if after employing all reasonable forms of encouragement there are still a few horses who want to spit out the bit, then geld them, as they did with TEAM.

    1. rdk, not stopping anyone here (hopefully!) no, but it certainly interferes! I think the honey approach is a good one too – but what happens if someone ignores the rules and “steals” the honey? It’s arguable that the only reason Team finally got gelded was because they did it themselves, with looking for options and threatening the lawsuit to separate. The corp had apparently been “employing all reasonable forms of encouragement” for years to no avail.

  28. I agree with IBOFB that the crap on the net does interfer with everyone’s business..I have had positive guys quit my business reading the stuff found, printouts taken & shown to me during follow ups etc..
    We need to go back & find why all this happened & still happening -Because of Unregulated systems…
    First is how these systems operate & second is amount of money they make..Both have long list of websites critising them in different ways & levels & will definetely convince a new guy to quit Amway..

    First..on how they operate…
    Amway can’t & don’t have the resources to tell who is the black sheep among the 50 systems that are still operating.When one falls down,we all are blamed(UK for example)

    Second..On the money they make…
    A diamond basically starts a system to replace himself, so that the information he/she records in a CD is used by a downline 100 deep to grow his business to make money as quickly as possible with least mistakes…
    A diamond conducts a meeting to share his story to the new people investigating the business that it is smart decision to build this business to acheive ur dreams, to meet new people in the business, to alleviate concerns etc..etc so that his business grows smoothly.

    Question is “why should the diamond personally make money from CDs & Seminar?”
    I feel he shouldn’t..If his/her teaching is correct in the CDs/Seminars & he/she is seriously concerned for his team to make money he shouldn’t make money from the “effort” for creating CDs & Seminar speech..
    The system should only make money to cover the cost of producing the stuff, paying the staff, keep some reserves for any eventuality. But no personal income from the system..

    But there is no end to this on how much one can go to make money when you have found it is bringing good money & no one to stop you in your own floated system..Thats why we are in the situation we are in today..
    So, I feel the time has come for Amway and us to unite everything & under one Banner..I think we all should lobby for that – “One Global System” owned by Amway itself for pricing & policies but goverend by Amway & IBOAI
    This will take time to happen.But it must be done…
    Why can’t Amway and IBOAI brainstrom this and create a system that takes the best of every thing…
    I understand the systems made a major part in making Amway a multi-billion dollar company..But we shouldn’t forget that systems came into existence to duplicate & make any new person to build Amway business faster & not to make money from the system.
    If this happens will eventually silence almost everyone…

    Does Amway have the vision to do it?

    1. zigzagzoom – so what happens if you create a “system” that works really well and someone outside of your downline wants to use it? What happens if a downline Diamond wants to use it? What about a Diamond downline of a Diamond? You make virtually nothing out of their Amway business – why should you be giving this stuff away to them for free?

      And if you accept that it’s OK to charge those people for it – then you have another problem. If your system is that good, folk will want to quit that group so they can get the system for free from you. That then leads to a whole host of problems which would, in my mind, end up resulting in the colllapse of the business as a whole.

      Once you accept that people can sell their expertise to folk outside of their own downline, and you’d be on extremely shaky legal (and ethical) ground if you denied them this, then the only sensible outcome I can envisage is that every individual “customer” of a system is effectively treated the same, ie same base price offered with volume discounts available as per normal economic principles.

  29. Well said rdknyvr, I believe anyone who considers him or herself a Business Builder, needs to do just that. Build our businesses! (myself included) I have definitely been on “cruise control” for too long! Make ’09 your time to shine!

  30. Without creating a huge bureaucracy and associated burdensome overhead, one can’t expect Amway to monitor everything all the time. The initial round of accreditation turned out to require more resources than they had, and thus the extensions for some. The changes they are encouraging (and you can read in your own proportions of “teeth” to “smile” in that characterization) in various ways will take time and I don’t begrudge them that. I go back to what Doug DeVos said in April ’06 I think it was, with respect to the UK situation which had just blown up in their faces, and due, as it accurately turned out, to system abuses: “Never again!” And to get there takes time. I look at one of my favorite business examples, Apple Corp. It took Steve Jobs the better part of 5 years just to get the company stablized after he was brought back in, and now going on 10+ years since, they are roaring on all cylinders in spite of a recession, debt-free, and cash reserves of $24 billion.

    The key is that IBOs (current/past, active/inactive) can talk and posture, or they can double down, take advantage of the new climate and go build something worth talking about. There is nothing in the systems, tools, or even the offensive talk that got this thread going, that will interfere with or inhibit a genuinely business minded person from achieving — as advertised — with this business model and these product lines.

    1. rdk, You’ve slightly preempted my next post, which is to point out this shouldn’t have to be particularly burdensome to Amway in the first place. It ultimately lies at the feet of IBOs to act professionally. As for nothing “interfering” or “inhibiting” someone achieving – I disagree. It’s not (or shouldn’t be) sufficient to stop anyone, but it most certainly interferes. I have absolutely “lost” good people because of the crap on the internet, and much of that crap has it’s origins in the type of unprofessional behaviour we’re talking about. It’s interfering with yours, mine, and everyone elses business. To pretend it doesn’t exist, or just ignore it, is what has happened for far to long.

  31. Just checked ur post and found it very disturbing. I am building my business in the UK putting behind all the troubles we had, also Amway learning what it needs to do & yet I find this kind of virus spreading. What is even more saddening it is from the Yager’s.
    It looks very strange that Amway has let BSM companies grow & become gaints & then shouts “Hey u guys have screwed up something, so u have accredit”…
    This is simply not right how to run a multi-billion dollar company.

    In my view Amway should take over all systems start new system called “Amway Academy” or “IBOAI” or any other name they want.
    All Amway IBOs or ABOs should use this system or build their business without any system.
    No one should make money from the systems anymore…
    Enough with these associations or affiliations…
    One strategy for everyone..
    Thats the way Amway will prosper for next 50 years…
    I wish everyone joins N21 but that will not happen, simple reason “EGO” or losing money from the systems they have….I wonder even if owners of N21 believe in having one system run by Amway?

    1. Apart from everything else, it would likely be illegal, certainly in America, to tell people they could not earn an income from charging other people for their expertise. Furthermore, being so strict on how one builds a supposedly “independent” distributorship would likely attract the attention of taxation authorities as it could be construed that the non-longer independent reps where instead a tax avoidance scheme by the company to avoid paying employee benefits etc.

      Simply put, reputation issues aside, the system to date has made Amway by far the biggest MLM, so clearly it has some benefits. I think “systems” are fine, but they need to be monitored properly. Amway in some markets seems to be angling towards limiting the size of systems and trying to keep them at the level of individual Diamonds. I think this is problematic as you just end up with thousands of different ones and far more difficult to monitor. Most systems are somewhat like this already, with individual Diamonds doing their own thing but under some overall “banner”. N21 is a little unusual, especially internationally, in that pretty much everyone follows the same setup. I think a number of professional, well run, and well monitored systems is a better option. The issue is of course monitoring. Following on from the concerns of InterNET and politicking, an insider with one system that was accredited some time ago tells me there has been virtually no monitoring of their activities since – not a good sign.

      The UK situation provides a example of what can happen without monitoring and enforcement of rules. Clearly courts believe Amway has some responsibilities they haven’t been undertaking.

  32. Visioneer, “crosslining” is an invention of the Systems, it’s not in the Business Compendium. The ONLY thing the Amway rules forbid in this regard is soliciting people not personally sponsored (or in other systems) to sell them motivational materials or training. The way some (not all) the Systems would have you believe it, you can’t even talk to people in an adjoining leg under the same sponsor, about this business, without upline permission — it’s “crosslining.” Since Jeffrey is in effect operating as an “independent” — his LOS is ultimately “Yager” but his LOA is… himself, he should be free to express his views on this public forum. His advice is actually well-taken — review and validate your reasons for attending and shelling out your money vs. the quality of the training and results produced… pretty much the advice the Corp gives in regard to spending on third-party IBO-produced materials and events. And in his last post above, Jeffrey explicitly advises, “If people find value in the seminars, by all means go.” If someone has a problem with Jeffrey’s views as posted here on the ‘net, just tell your people to stay away from the Internet.

    1. rdk, visioneer said nothing about Amway’s rules, he was talking about cross-lining as defined by some systems, and I happen to agree with his request. Jeffrey only gave the more circumspect “advice” after I prompted him to do so. Earlier on he was effectively instructing “everyone” that going to the seminars was a waste of time and if you do so you’re a “sucker” and “pathetic case”. I agree 100% with visioneer that there is value in larger seminars that can’t be obtained in smaller ones, and absolutely cannot be obtained in webinars. I also think some of the things Jeffrey believes should be”taught” in the larger seminars cannot be done so effectively there and are much better addressed in smaller seminars and groups, or indeed webinars, which a number of groups DO use.

      His advice to evaluate value is fair enough. His “advice” that your a sucker and “pathetic case” if you attend – ie you don’t agree with his value assessment – that is not welcome and is obviously potentially damaging and I support visioneer in his request that Jeffrey don’t do it. I’m sure Jeffrey wouldn’t appreciate us telling members of his group that Jeffrey’s methods are stupid and encourage them to ignore him and his methods.

      Jeffrey was clearly telling any members of my group, and their or my prospects, that may be reading this site that they shouldn’t be attending seminars – seminars that I consider would be of great value to them. He has no idea what our seminars are like and no idea of the needs of my group, and, unlike the Yager event under discussion, what we do is not breaking an Amway “rules” or I believe causing any reputation problems. So quite obviously he should butt out of giving advice to my group and prospects!

      ps don’t take too much offence Jeffrey, I don’t mean you to – but visioneer nevertheless has a valid point.

  33. hahaha, hey ibofightback, I think your main point is to keep the seminars on topic about the business and I definitely agree with that.
    As far as Bob Mcewen, I meant to say that I’ve heard him speak at another, church based seminar, and I thought he did an excellent job at that one.

  34. IBOFB,

    As a Christian, I do agree with some of the comments of Bob McEwen. However, I also agree that there is a time and place for these types of talks. I do hope that the corporation is listening in here and will do something about it.


    I agree with IBOFB, on the seminars and functions. I believe they have helped my group to stay motivated and provides some of the “glue” that keeps them in. I would ask that you not crossline and tell others to stop going to the meetings. I appreciate your views, but when you explicitly tell others to do something in this business then you are “crosslining”.
    Also, webinars are valuable to an extent. However, they can never take the place of person to person contact. They can never replace the excitement of 10,000 people in an arena.

    That said, I do hope and pray that your granddaughter will be found soon. And I do appreciate your commitment to this business and your never give up spirit!

    1. visioneer, you’re almost making me want to listen to the McEwen speech again. I actually don’t recall any particular overly religious comments, though there might have been some. Heck, I agree with some of his economic/political comments too! Still, there’s a reason why traditional business ettiquete, not just accreditation, is to not talk religion and politics! You’re virtually guaranteed to say something that annoys someone – and that’s not smart business.

  35. If people find value in the seminars, by all means go. But the functions must adhere to the accreditation guidelines or they should be stopped. I’m all for free enterprise, but Yager’s seminars hurt everybody when they make people mad and leave the business. I also realize that everyone is at a different stage in their life and things happen that can put a hold on business-building. It’s funny to me, though, that most of the time when someone has a crisis in their life and they stop building the business, they don’t stop going to work at their job. I could use the excuse of my missing granddaughter as a reason to stop building, but I’m using it as the reason to build. It is emotionally tough, but I keep going anyway.

    ibofightback, you are not a pathetic case. I admire you for what you are doing. You are doing what the company should be doing. I appreciate very much the time and effort you are putting in to help people see the light. I have some issues with my upline Diamond, my LOS, and the company, but I’ve looked, and believe me, there isn’t anything like this out there. And while I sometimes come across as a real pr**k, I’m really a pretty nice guy that really cares about people and about this business. Sometimes you have to say things that need to be said that aren’t very pleasant, but will create positive results.

  36. My point was that there is too much fluff and not enough stuff about how to build a profitable business at the functions–and besides, what is said at these major functions can be said at a local rally for a fraction of the cost.

    I saw people attending functions year after year and they never got past 3%. If someone needs to spend $600 every 3 months to have “friends”, then that person is a pathetic case and will, most likely, never build the business.

    I don’t like hearing about politics and religion at a business meeting any more than I want to hear about a business opportunity at church or at a political rally. Yager has never figured this out, and since he (the sons now, too) refuses to stop doing this, Amway needs to kick them out. Period. They have been bending the rules ever since they got in. Get rid of them. If he is as rich as he claims he is, let him start his own MLM company. Good riddance.

    1. Jeffrey, I can’t speak of Yager seminars, never been to one, only seen things like the McEwen speech online. As I said however, I find value in Network 21 seminars. Even when not actively building the business, and with no intention at the time of building the business, I have attended them on occasion because I find enough value in them for other aspects of my life – goal setting, motivation, attitude, focus etc etc etc. I hope you don’t consider me “a pathetic case”. 🙂

  37. Good post. I just posted some comments regarding this topic on my site. I think it’s been difficult for the corporation to separate politics from the business due to the close relationship the founding family has with the Republican Party. This is why they have turned a blind eye to the shenanigans on stage — ten years ago when I was in the business and today.

    I’ve tried to give the corporation the benefit of the doubt with accreditation, but as long as these things continue, it’s clear that the more things appear to change the more they stay the same.

    1. Amthrax, I think the reality is that these “shenanigans” are NOT as widespread as they were in the past. The groups that do this type of thing (which all appear to be Yager affiliated in someway) have far less overall influence than they did 25 years ago and the groups that don’t do these things make up a much greater proportion of Amway’s business, especially internationally. However … if you want to build a strong and healthy body, you can’t accept that it’s okay to leave some cancers behind. They need to be cut out. InterNET does not need to have these kind of speeches to be successful. It will have virtually no negative affect on their operations to abide by the spirit, as well as the letter (though that’s arguable) of the Accreditation guidelines. Ada needs to have the courage to say so, and if there’s enough rank and file IBOs voicing their support for it, then perhaps they will.

  38. It’s been many years since I subjected myself to a Yager Free Enterprise, but I’m not surprised by the speaker selection. I think you miss the real problem with the situation. You either have not been in the business long enough or have not reach a sufficiently high enough pin level to understand that the AMOs are indeed as inseparable from Amway as Ada is.

    If you doubt my thesis, let me ask you if anyone from the corporation was a speaker at the event (I’m sure they did, and probably had a DeVoss or VanAndle name too)? When they spoke, was there any condemnation or at least an apology for the McEwan speach? ….. I didn’t think so, and remember this was an event of a newly “accredited” AMO.

    It really doesn’t matter how many people are telling the truth about Amway, 1 in 5000 or 1 in 5. If you in Christ, at one point there was only 12 people in the whole world telling the truth… How many people are spreading the story is not nearly as important as the story.

    1. Couch Coach, I’m not sure what the point of your comments were? Virtually by definition the BSM companies and Amway are “inseparable” to a degree – but I’d note Ada did a good job of “separating” from one of them last year. This doesn’t change the fact that this type of behaviour is not endemic to Amway – there are plenty of other organisations that do not act in the same manner and are highly successful. So it’s not necessary. Secondly, Ada knows from the experience of 1983 what can happen if a big stick is wielded a little too carelessly. Today that’s not such an issue. Internet Services, while significant, are not the force they once were. Other groups have expanded significantly, particularly internationally, and as shown last year with TEAM, Ada can take the hit if necessary.

      Frankly I think the Yager boys, who now run the InterNET show, are probably a little more open to being influenced on this type of thing than their father, so I’m hopeful a post like mine will be a wake up call for them – and the corp. The corp needs to know that other IBOs simply don’t find this acceptable.

  39. I have posted on this a few times on TTAA [old] & AmwayTalk – when the Leader looses sight of the core business and diversifies into plugging their own agenda – then it’s time for the corporation to take control back.

  40. Unfortunately, I am in the Yager LOS and these types of meetings are rampant. I just don’t understand why the corp. cuddles the Yagers so much. Yes, they have a large organization, but those people have done more to damage the reputation of this company more than anything or anybody else.

    I also cannot believe that people are stupid enough to still fall for this stuff, meaning these functions. Have they never heard of webinars that don’t cost anything to attend? The Diamonds refuse to use them. They could give talks and post them to a website for download for free and they and everyone else knows it, yet they continue to bilk people for hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. I guess they know that a sucker is born every minute.

    People need to ask themselves this: Is this function helping me attain a 400 PV to 1000 PV personal circle? Is it showing me the proper way to get started and get profitable in the first 90 days? Is it showing me how to bring people in on a consistant basis and show them how to get started right? Is it showing me the products, explaining their features and benefits, and how to go out and market them to my customers? If you answered “no” to any or all of these questions, then you need to put your money back in your wallet and stay home and build your business. If these meetings were doing what they are supposed to be doing, Yager IBOs would be doing 400 to 1000 PV retail/self use per month, instead of 50. I know a guy that lives on my same block in the Winters LTD group and he talks about going Platinum but he doesn’t even use SA8. All he talks about is the XS Blast Concentrates. I asked him if he uses the Pursue Disinfectant Cleaner and what he thought of it and he didn’t have the faintest idea of what I was talking about. His upline Diamond has been a Diamond 3 years, is not a Founders Diamond and has never got the Q-12 bonus. I am predicting that this Diamond I refer to won’t even bne in the business in 3 years and my friend will be another statistic.

    I spoke with 2 Amway employees about a year ago about the damage the functions are doing and I could tell by the look on their face that they thought I was nuts. The company simply does not get it.

    All I can do is focus on how I am building the business: making it rock-solid by developing a large retail base, 100% self-use, including Partner Stores, helping my new and existing IBOs build at least a 400 PV personal circle, and know that my business will be around to will to my grandchildren because I haven’t milked my people to death with unnecessary tools and functions. Learn the basics, and do them over and over again, people. You do not need a major function every 90 days to build this business, so STOP GOING TO THEM.

    One last point: I am politically active and ran for U.S. Congress in 2002 on the Libertarian Party ticket. Nobody in my group knew it unless they saw me on TV, heard me on the radio, or saw one of my flyers. I kept it totally separate from the business because I didn’t want to offend anyone and have them either quit or report me for breaking the rules. I guess when you’re as big in the business as Yager, I guess you just don’t have to give a rip. It’s too bad. I really wish the company would make him stop.

    1. Jeffrey, I personally find great value in the seminars I attend. I know they have a positive influence both on myself and my group. If they didn’t, I wouldn’t attend them and wouldn’t promote them, simple as that. By the same token, if they regularly included talks like this one by McEwen I would neither attend them nor promote them. Thankfully I’ve never experienced anything remotely like it. The closest thing I encountered was a non-N21 guest speaker at an N21 function (yager downline funnily enough) who made a vaguely political statement and then said something like “I better stop that or I’ll get in trouble with Jim”.

  41. If I felt so inclined I could do an entire website on the many false and/or misleading or downright dumb statements in McEwen’s talk, but really they’re sideline issues to what I’d like people to focus on – the damage this does to EVERYONE’s Amway business, including the folk that agree with him.

    That I think cannot be argued. I imagine some may argue that’s it’s OK to do that in support of something you believe, and to a certain extent I can sympathise with that position.

    If that’s Amway’s official position on this type of talk then that’s their prerogative, but I for one thought “the right to differ” and the Accreditation guidelines said something different.

    Amway’s endorsement of this speech, through accrediting Yager Internet Services, indicates I was mistaken.

  42. There is what some people say they do, and then there is what they do.
    It looks like Amway accreditation is like the intelligence about weapons of truth (apologies mass) destruction.
    You are known by the compnay you keep – spin doctors help you get a reputaion for dishonesty

  43. If anything, you have walked pretty softly in your statements above. In the main part of his speech, McEwan DOES name politicians “with prejudice” including Bill Clinton, he names Barack Obama by referring to him as “the fellow who had only been there three years.” Everyone got the inference. I happen to be in sympathy with aspects of McEwan’s politics and much of the economic analysis he presents, but I DON’T want to hear it in my business. When I know that a bringing a prospect to a major seminar or weekend includes a risk of exposing them to highly slanted political viewpoints, or religious perspectives — from stage — I won’t do it. There is a place for it — I love to read this kind of analysis at — but not as part of the training for my Amway Global business.

    I happen to appreciate the healthcare system we have in Canada, yet McEwan slams it and the way it’s provided. It’s not a perfect system, but I don’t need an American politician sneering about and slamming my choices here in a country that’s not his.

    In the speech you referenced, McEwan also is openly and explicitly tying in his religious views in with his politics. That I find even more abhorent, sullying my beliefs by associating them with ANY political or economic view.

    Now, having said that. it’s interesting that in Rich DeVos’s speech given to a group of business leaders in Michigan last week (linked in a post on your site) he DOES talk about policitians and political/economic approaches quite openly, but he does so in an appropriate venue, not an Amway business training venue. And I have no problem with that. But even Rich isn’t so daft as to associate a vote for a Democrat with voting to bring in a North Korea-like police state, as McEwan openly states.

  44. Having read your comments and explanations on Amway Accreditation: transformation or a joke I couldn’t help but parallel my experiences regarding “cult-like” behaviour. One particular day very close friends of my wife and myself found me with an invitation to attend a very expensive conference venue, plied at first with finger food and wine. All of the time from the invitation to the presentation of the speaker was in complete secrecy. No mention of Amway or its business model. Now I am a very insistant person who needs to know the ins and outs of a prospective business venture. With my friend willing to sacrifice our friendship, he was not willing to share any information prior to the presentation. Even in the lobby, not one mention of Amway, except the large initials BMG, which was the name of the Australian business recruiting IBO’s & ABO’s & distributors. The promises were endless and at the conclusion one felt this enormous feeling of complete empowerment. Only for friendship sake, at a low level we bought in but within 6 months were out as the behaviour took on the cult behaviour of worship, adoration with a religious flavour. Very little was promoted to sell the business model or how to be a successful business owner and provide a good product for a fair profit. All these years later our friends have gone, even their friends were dismissed due to lack of zeal…all for the lack of interest in the product or cultish practises.
    Signed David Chancellor Brisbane Austrlaia.

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