The 12-step shtick was a ready justification for the cult-like regimen of World Wide followers. Like alcoholics, wage junkies had to attend frequent meetings, supplemented with books and tapes, to keep on track; they had to dissociate themselves from bad influences, i.e. “broke” friends and relatives who would try to keep them down; they had to follow “Eight Core Steps” (four of which involved buying stuff from either Amway or World Wide Dreambuilders); and they had to let go of their ego and overcome their fear of change, to open themselves to the counseling of their upline “sponsors.” Sponsoring, as in Alcoholics Anonymous, was an act of love and healing. Your uplines would never mislead you, even if their wisdom might seem strange to your still job-addled mind.
But unlike E2020, which catered to the executive class, Scott offered salvation to the common worker, the middle-level manager, the petit bourgeois professional. Moreover, he offered them something so entrepreneurial, so Third Wave, so purely capitalist that it transcended Darwinian struggle, allowing people to escape into early retirement. He held up a copy of Success magazine trumpeting the “Young and Rich in America.” “It’s still possible to make it in this country,” he declared. “There’s no hammer and sickle over this deal yet!”
Amway’s original product, Liquid Organic Cleaner (L.O.C.™), was one of the first concentrated, biodegradable and environmentally sensitive cleaning products on the market. Since then, with a similarly pioneering and purposeful spirit, Amway has gone from selling simply home products to become a global leader in health and beauty, too. For decades, the company has focused on environmentally sensitive and biodegradable products.
What this simple example tells us is that it is difficult to keep appointing more and more distributors. This is similar to a Ponzi scheme, where for the scheme to keep going more and more newer investors need to keep coming in, so that the older investors whose money is falling due can be paid off. The trouble of course is that that the number of people is not infinite, as the above example shows us.
Yager made a name for himself as the father of the ‘Yager System,’ one of the first and most profitable motivational ‘tools’ businesses run by Amway distributors (also called ‘tools scams’ by detractors). Distributors produce motivational tapes and videos, or ‘tools,’ and sell them directly to their downlines for immediate profit. Tools promote Amway’s free market philosophy but are not themselves Amway products – though the Yager Group is still today an Amway-approved training provider. The Charlotte Observer has said of Yager, ‘He sells not only soap but an ideology and a way of life. Admirers speak of him with reverence, as if his next plateau of Amway achievement were sainthood itself.’ The title of Yager’s first book, Don’t Let Anybody Steal Your Dream, was a Gerard household motto. We said it to one another with a near-religious zeal – like we were speaking in high-fives. I still feel nostalgic for my childhood when I hear it.
Occasionally, though, it can be useful to mention poverty in a certain context. Inspired by the personal and business philosophies of DeVos and Van Andel, Cross spent the ten years after writing Commitment to Excellence researching the two men, culminating in his 1995 self-help book Choices with Clout: How to Make Things Happen – by Making the Right Decisions Every Day of Your Life. Much of the book is compiled from interviews with the Amway founders and top-level distributors. In a passage about excellence, Van Andel outlines the proper way for an Amway distributor to rationalize the issue of poverty:
Of the Amway distributors who testified in the case, Rich says, ‘I have nothing against someone who tries Amway and concludes the business is not for them. But I wish they would take responsibility for their own actions instead of trying to blame the business.’ Likewise naysayers and disgruntled former Amway distributors simply do not understand how business works and are at fault for their own failures because they lack faith in their ability to succeed, and thus the necessary determination.
Richard DeVos and Jay Van Andel who was based in Michigan founded Amway in 1959. Today Amway conducts its business through a number of companies in more than eighty countries worldwide. In 2012 Amway was rewarded the no. 25 position by Forbes for being one of the largest private companies in the U.S. By the year-end in 2012, more than $11 billion sales were recorded, making Amway one of the most successful network marketing companies that have been in business for well over 50 years.
Clockwise, from upper left: Amway cofounders Jay Van Andel (left) and Richard DeVos (center) meet in the Oval Office with President Gerald Ford, who is holding a copy of Richard’s book, “Believe!”; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Richard DeVos during a 2009 event at the Scripps Research Institute; an aerial shot of Dick & Betsy DeVos’s primary residence in Ada, Michigan; Dick & Betsy enjoy their courtside seats at an Orlando Magic game—an NBA team owned by the DeVos family. | National Archives; AP; Getty Images
Amway is not a pyramid scheme. It's very tough to be successful because you have to become a leader and set the example for your downline. The reason why everyone has to attend the meetings and functions are because of 3 reasons: 1) It educates people into having a Business Owner Mindset 2) It keeps people motivated and positive because it's tough and people give a lot of hate 3) Money is raised so that people get paid. Even if there are cons to the the prices and meetings, thats how the business works. You can't change a business if you don't like it. You can't do what you want in regular jobs. You have to work with whatever you have. In addition, in every business there will always be people dominating at the top and people at the bottom. The difference between these people is that the ones at the top used a certain way to get to the top. Working hard doesn't necessarily mean you'll be successful. You also have to work smart. So to finish up, Amway is not a traditional business because you don't need a degree to do it. It is a business though, so you need to work at it the way it has to be worked (MLM) to be successful.
If Engler thought he had anointed a rubber stamp, he quickly learned otherwise. In January 1997, DeVos cleared house, unilaterally firing all of the party’s top directors and pausing all contracts with vendors, blaming them for the party’s losses months earlier. “Betsy regarded the governor’s input as good advice, not an order,” Greg McNeilly, a close associate of Betsy DeVos, told an Engler biographer years later. “That’s when the problems started.”
@cookie1972 I agree this business shows your relationship, you either build it together or your relationship parishes, not because its bad but because one or the other is unwilling to grow, it also has you learn about relationships an example is reading the book about the 5 love langues to IMPROVE your relationship. You only fail the business if you quit, weird how its like the gym, if you go you succeed if you don't you fail, challenge is open.
You WILL be cornered and they WILL try to convince you. Their biggest obstacle is people who have heard a bit about it and don't want to join and their biggest desire is that you join under them. They spend a lot of time practicing this and anyone remotely successful at it will be very difficult to get away from. They'll have all their arguments sorted out, answers to any reason you give, defences to your accusations and will try to flip it around and put you on the defensive, making you have to explain in detail why you won't join shooting each reason down as you try. But it's all BS.
In Amway's eyes, your friends and family are all potential cash cows you should be milking -- you're trained to go after the people closest to you first (to rack up those sweet pity sales). "I was thinking that every friend that didn't join my network didn't want success for himself or me, that he was somehow against me." This crazy train of thought led Kyritsis to harass his loved ones in an attempt to better their lives. Desperate to convince someone of the amazing untapped Amway potential, Kyritsis pushed the Amway rhetoric on anyone who would listen, especially his girlfriend. He would tell her that her studies were pointless when she could be making so much more money, dragging her to seminars and showing her the Amway tapes like a really boring version of The Ring.
Business owners receive education materials and free online training available 24/7 on mobile devices and in multiple languages. Educ and training topics include product information, how to sell them, how to earn income, how to grow a business, and how to be a leader. In addition, Amway offers business tools, including a personalized, mobile-friendly website, apps and customer service support (from real people, in six languages). Compared to the cost of starting almost any other kind of business, the cost to become an Amway IBO is minimal and low-risk.
In 2004, Dateline NBC aired a report, alleging that some high-level Quixtar IBOs make most of their money from selling motivational materials rather than Quixtar products. Quixtar published an official Quixtar Response website where it showed '"Interviews Dateline Didn't Do"'. Quixtar also states on its response site that Dateline declined their request to link to the site.
Thanks to the DeVoses, Michigan’s charter schools enjoy a virtually unregulated existence. Thanks to them, too, the center of the American automotive industry and birthplace of the modern labor movement is now a right-to-work state. They’ve funded campaigns to elect state legislators, established advocacy organizations to lobby them, buttressed their allies and primaried those they disagree with, spending at least $100 million on political campaigns and causes over the past 20 years. “The DeVos family has been far more successful not having the governor’s seat than if they had won it,” says Richard Czuba, the owner of the Glengariff Group, a bipartisan polling firm in Michigan. “They have, to some degree, created a shadow state party. And it’s been pretty darn effective.”