Pyramid scheme or not, Amway is creepy and functions as a cult. These crazies nearly sucked me in. What made me really question them though was when after they explained to me their “business plan”, I told them that i’d take a few days to think about it, to talk with family about it. They immediately tell me not to tell my family about them, that my family would be skeptical about the opportunities amway would bring me, that my family would discourage me from doing it. What kind of shady business doesn’t want you to tell your family about them???
Today, 16 years after the DeVoses’ failed constitutional amendment, this constant push has totally remade Michigan education. The cap on the number of charter schools eliminated and attempts to provide public oversight have been defeated, making Michigan’s charters among the most-plentiful and least-regulated in the nation. About 80 percent of Michigan’s 300 publicly funded charters are operated by for-profit companies, more than any other state. This means that taxpayer dollars that would otherwise go to traditional public schools are instead used to buy supplies such as textbooks and desks that become private property. It is, essentially, a giant experiment in what happens when you shift resources away from public schools.
DeVos quickly realized that the situation was unsustainable. So she hatched a plan designed to surprise Engler just as his opposition had surprised her: She would resign as state GOP chair without notifying him in advance. She chose a date in February 2000 when she knew Engler would be in Washington. Around 9 a.m., she left a message on his phone, informing him that she would announce her resignation at an early-afternoon news conference. Engler quickly changed his itinerary and booked a flight home for his own news conference that evening. Publicly, Engler saved face, but the message from the DeVoses was unmistakable: We are a political force with our own agenda, like it or not.

With AWS Just-in-Time Registration, users are assured their Amway device will talk only to Amway’s AWS IoT platform—not to a different IoT platform or a hacked version that sits in between. For Amway, Just-in-Time Registration ensures a given device truly is an Amway manufactured device, and not a fake. For Amway’s devices, Just-in-Time Registration is handled by the Atmel microprocessor within each unit. “Valid certificates for our air-treatment systems are actually created before they even leave the factory floor,” says Binger.
I don’t know how the CEOs stumbling through E2020 felt about this, but from what I could gather, the prospects for people like me were distinctly mixed. On the one hand, as a customer I’d be awesomely empowered—whole industries would rise and fall according to the butterfly effect generated by tiny shifts in consumer taste. But as a worker I’d be downgraded to “enabled.” I would have to eschew “third party” union representation, sacrifice guaranteed benefits, dispense with government protections, and forgo lifelong employment; instead, I’d accumulate “human capital” to sell in an open labor market. Of course, “change” would repeatedly render that arduously amassed human capital obsolete in the space of a nanosecond, after which I was to uncomplainingly set about accumulating more. This was called “being adaptable.”
But Dream Night brought all the questions back to the surface: If Amway isn’t a scam, why did it seem so much like one? It may win heaps of praise nowadays, but Amway doesn’t seem to have changed much at all. Perhaps what’s changed is us. While Amway is the same as it ever was, the rest of us have made peace with commercial insanity. Maybe capitalism has finally reached the stage of self-parody, unblushingly celebrating a house-of-cards as its highest achievement. And maybe Dream Night, instead of being the ritual of a fringe cult, is the vanguard of the future.
Haven’t you heard that dialogue from a friend before? It turns out to be a typical “Multi Level Marketing” in which you are supposed to pay a certain amount to become a member (and maybe get a gift which costs much lesser than the membership amount) and later refer it to your friends and convince them also to join it. In the process, when the friends pay the membership amount, you are awarded with some partial amount and when they in turn refer to their friends, they will be awarded some money, and since you are their “parent”, you will also get some money. As the process continues recursively, you “end up having a source of unlimited passive income!!”. Although it sounds very rosy, it is practically not possible to sustain this business model. It is unfortunate that most of the aspirants who get their hands burnt in such schemes are ambitious people from the software industry who actually have very good analytical minds but fail to make use of it to evaluate these models.
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.
By the 30th level, the entire population of the earth will be in the system and the last 3 billion people who just entered the system into the 30th level have nobody else to refer. If each member is allowed to refer 6 friends, then the entire world population will be covered by the time it reaches 13th level itself (as illustrated in the chart below). Everybody they try to approach is already a member. The forerunners would have made huge amount of money by now and would go absconding, leading into a fraud.
Edit: Thanks for the answers everyone! Unfortunately, we had a long debate today about it and he is definitely set. Even after I talked about the pyramid scheme esque facts and everything else you guys said. I'm still going to be his friend but I'm definitely not bought. He is very stubborn and wants me to read a book by KIYOSAKI... he also mentioned that they sell products at a price lower than retail price, contrary to what other posters said. Can anyone confirm? 

Besides earning money off your own sales, you also earn a percentage of the income generated by the distributors that you've brought into the program (these are known as your downline). Often there are bonuses for selling particular amounts of product or signing up a certain number of new members; you can earn cars and trips as well as cash. Sounds good, doesn't it? And being part of a well-run MLM business can be a lot like being a member of a large extended family.
Georgia put the game away by halftime with a 42-7 lead that included three touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm, another from freshman signal caller Justin Fields as well as his first career rushing touchdown, and a 100-yard rushing performance from junior tailback Elijah Holyfield, the first of his career as well. Sophomore wideout Jeremiah Holloman turned in a breakout performance with three grabs for 90 yards and a touchdown.
In the 1960s and ’70s, Ed and Elsa Prince advanced God’s Kingdom from the end of a cul-de-sac just a few miles from Lake Michigan. There, they taught their four children—Elisabeth (Betsy), Eileen, Emilie and Erik—a deeply religious, conservative, free-market view of the world, emphasizing the importance of self-reliance and sending them to private schools that would reinforce the values they celebrated at home, small-government conservatism chief among them.
The FTC also cites Amway’s “Buyback Rule” as a feature distiguishing the Business from a pyramid scheme. Distributors can return any “products, literature, or sales aids” for “whatever refund is agreed upon between the departing distributor and his or her sponsor.” The Manual adds this note: “To return Amway literature for credit or refund, the literature must be sent back in its original wrapping, unopened and unused.”
What made Amway different at the time was their combination of direct selling and multi-level marketing. Distributors could make money in both arenas. Distributors can buy Amway products at “wholesale” prices for themselves or to independently sell. This can generate a modest income, but the larger payouts come from recruiting new distributors. Any recruits result in residual pay to the recruiter, hypothetically leading to a lucrative “downline” (income that comes from recruits’ sales). This allows Amway to market to future distributors by offering an easy way to start your own successful business or store. With an average yearly income for active distributors at less than $3,000, Amway has redefined what constitutes a successful business.
Sustainability is a core principle, as well, and has been for decades. Amway controls much of the process, from where ingredients are sourced (some come from nearly 6,000 acres of Amway-owned certified organic farmlands), to where they are manufactured. In addition, 50 percent of the energy powering Amway’s world headquarters in Ada, Michigan, is wind-generated. These are best practices in the industry and they have been a part of Amway’s DNA from day one.
Some friends of mine are into Amway & are showing it to me. I am skeptical, but as I look into it things are looking good. There's some points in one of the first books you read that appear to contradict what the uppers are saying, but that's where that "Ask Questions" part comes in. Anyone can make a company look bad, either by accident or for lolz. Those that only buy their own product aren't necessarily doing it wrong, but they won't make as much as thewy would 'hiring' a 'team'. Essentially the distributor gets points for product sold, then paid on total point value (PV). Anyone can surpass their mentors, so not shaped like a pyramid :)
In the 1960s and ’70s, Ed and Elsa Prince advanced God’s Kingdom from the end of a cul-de-sac just a few miles from Lake Michigan. There, they taught their four children—Elisabeth (Betsy), Eileen, Emilie and Erik—a deeply religious, conservative, free-market view of the world, emphasizing the importance of self-reliance and sending them to private schools that would reinforce the values they celebrated at home, small-government conservatism chief among them.
Methodology: Source Euromonitor International Limited. Claim verification based on Euromonitor research and methodology for Amway Corporation conducted from May through June 2018. Euromonitor determined the highest possible total historical sales of the leading global and/or regional Amway competitors and eliminated those whose total sales are less than double that of Amway's own stated historical total bonuses paid out to distributors historically. Of the remaining companies, Euromonitor eliminated companies whose average share of bonuses and cash incentives paid out totals were less than 70% of Amway's stated historical total of bonuses. No companies remained after this stage. To the extent permissible, Euromonitor does not accept or assume responsibility to any third party in respect of this claim.
Haven’t you heard that dialogue from a friend before? It turns out to be a typical “Multi Level Marketing” in which you are supposed to pay a certain amount to become a member (and maybe get a gift which costs much lesser than the membership amount) and later refer it to your friends and convince them also to join it. In the process, when the friends pay the membership amount, you are awarded with some partial amount and when they in turn refer to their friends, they will be awarded some money, and since you are their “parent”, you will also get some money. As the process continues recursively, you “end up having a source of unlimited passive income!!”. Although it sounds very rosy, it is practically not possible to sustain this business model. It is unfortunate that most of the aspirants who get their hands burnt in such schemes are ambitious people from the software industry who actually have very good analytical minds but fail to make use of it to evaluate these models.
One day, Sherri asked me to attend a meeting at which a “millionaire from the West Coast” was to talk about “business trends of the nineties.” I was not entirely caught by surprise—Sherri had dropped hints about starting her own “distribution business” at about the time that Amway Dish Drops appeared in the E2020 kitchen—and although she didn’t tell me the millionaire was from Amway, it wasn’t difficult to guess which version of the gospel of wealth he’d be preaching. I jumped at the chance to meet this mysterious man of money, although from totally insincere motives—the old anthro major in me was hankering for a bona fide subculture to gawk at. 

In nutrition, a business line representing nearly half of their sales, safety and trust are key issues. “In Asian countries,” Dr. Calvert explained, ‘Made in the USA’ carries cachet because of the safety and traceability of the U.S. food system.” Clearly offshoring food bar production would be the wrong choice. “Similarly, consumers want beauty products from the U.S., France, Japan, or Korea, not from developing nations.”
People, please don't fall for this. It'll cause problems between you and your spouse if you're not both involved because of the conflict. It's a dream that is promised that will never come true. My wife spent money we didn't have investing in this crap and put us in a hole of debt with nothing to show for it. Did Amway come help her financially? No way. Avoid these companies, trust me, they're only out to get your money or get you to make them money.
Under terms of the settlement, Amway will be restating its “income disclosure” to reflect that the figure offered to consumers is a “gross income” not net, meaning that it is not profit and does not reflect costs that consumers incur when they pursue the scheme.  (It should be noted that Amway’s advertised “average income” is also a “mean”, not a median, average, so it factors the high incomes of the few at the peak of the pyramid, skewing the “average” upward. Such a skewed “average” can also mislead consumers to think that the “average” participant actually earns a profit, masking the reality that the vast majority earn no commissions at all or no net profit.)
Today, the Amway Center is one of Orlando's most recognizable buildings. The iconic outline of the arena's 180-foot spire has made a distinguished mark on downtown Orlando. With a decidedly modern look, the Amway Center is spacious and open thanks to a mold-breaking metal and glass exterior design. Inside, an entry lobby welcomes guests with all new materials after they pass through the wide-open entry plaza along Church Street.

Going door-to-door for a school fund-raiser, I walked the winding, Anglophile streets – Kent Drive, Kings Point Drive – that looped around to the Intracoastal Waterway and back again in a closed circuit. The farther I strayed from our street, the larger the houses became. One house looked like an old-time plantation. Another had a waterfall in the center of its circular driveway, and a bright blue roof. I stood in dark foyers and bright, airy kitchens, saw antique furniture and shiny out-of-the-box appliances and mysterious works of art.
And for those of us who had no taste for sales, Scott had fabulous news: A group of Amway millionaires had come up with a sure-fire system for making The Plan work—and had formed World Wide Dreambuilders LLC, a corporation independent of Amway, to teach that system to others. All that was required to ensure an Amwayer’s success, Dreambuilders taught, was that each distributor simply bought $100 of Amway products a month for his own “personal use.” That meant no high-pressure pitches, no Tupperware parties—no sales at all, in fact. You could meet your $100 monthly goal by selling to yourself—at 30 percent off retail to boot! Being an intensive Amway consumer was such a great deal that once we spread the word, our businesses would practically build themselves. We could quickly 6-4-2 to that extra $2,000, and once our six “legs” did likewise, we’d be pulling in $50,000 a month; if we included some other “factors,” more like $100,000! And that was just the beginning: There were some truly spectacular incomes to be made through The Business—which Scott would have told us about but for FTC regulations barring him from doing so.
The funniest part is that Amway specifically takes low income & low education individuals and convinces them that they’re suddenly “entrepreneurs” and “business owners”. These white trash dregs then go on to wear that suit they bought 20 years ago for a funeral. Ill fitting today as it was then when they got it for $40 at Kohl’s and spend their Obama bucks to attend these gatherings. Ahem, these “business meetings”. These meetings that the Marriot probably has to bathe the room in Lysol when these degenerates leave.
The compensation plan is called a “stairstep breakaway,” which requires the business rep to effectively rebuild a leg once it has reached what’s called Platinum status (7500 points). Basically, legs break off once they qualify and the commissions turn into 4% royalties instead of commissioned payouts of ~30%. I asked a former Amway emerald once what it was like having his first leg break-off and his reply was: “it’s awful, you really know how to ask painful questions don’t you.” He went on to explain his commissions dropped by at least 80% when they turned into “royalties.” It should be noted that the royalties technically disappear if the volume in the leg drops below 7500 points, so it’s not really a “permanent” royalty unless you maintain your volume. It is in essence a “punishing” compensation plan that forces you to rebuild a leg once it reaches this trigger volume, effectively causing you to “not” want others to pass you up.

While noting that the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing or liability, Amway acknowledged that it had made changes to its business operations as a result of the lawsuit. The settlement is subject to approval by the court, which was expected in early 2011.[10] The economic value of the settlement, including the changes Amway made to its business model, totals $100 million.[131]
At the time, it seemed like a dead end for a neophyte political candidate. In reality, it was the opening of a new avenue the DeVoses followed to far greater political influence, reshaping Michigan politics and the national Republican scene. “I think that loss really solidified the idea in the DeVoses’ minds that the real way to get what you want is to be behind the scenes,” says Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics.
"Amway is my favourite company ever! It is very popular in my town and has a lot of experience, so I trust it completely. All of its products have high quality and are guaranteed to work well. If you have any problems with your purchase, you can send it back and get either another one or a refund. I like their customer service a lot. I have had issues several times but the representatives of the customer service helped me to resolve them really fast."
As his wealth increased, so did Mr. DeVos’s prominence as a political strategist and donor to the Republican Party and conservative organizations. He supported the Heritage Foundation, the Federalist Society and Focus on the Family, and he was a member of the executive committee of the Council for National Policy, which, starting in the early 1980s, pushed to propel Christian values to the center of Republican activities nationally.
On August 6, 2011, Kerala Police sealed the offices of Amway at Kozhikode, Kannur, Kochi, Kottayam, Thrissur, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram following complaints.[12][120][121] In November 2012, the Economic Offences Wing of Kerala Police conducted searches at the offices of Amway at Kozhikode, Thrissur and Kannur as part of its crackdown on money chain activities and closed down the firm's warehouses at these centres. Products valued at 21.4 million rupees (about US$400,000 at the time) were also seized.[122] Later, Area manager of Amway, P. M. Rajkumar, who was arrested following searches was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.[123]
The top four teams remained the same, with No. 1 Alabama continuing to receive 61 of 64 first-place votes after the Crimson Tide cruised past Arkansas. Georgia retained the No. 2 spot after taking down Vanderbilt. No. 3 Ohio State overcame a sluggish start to put away Indiana and retained one No. 1 vote. Fourth-ranked Clemson, retaining two No. 1 nods, also held steady after its most lopsided result of the season at Wake Forest.
But The Dream’s real concern is far from the key-party-and-polyester image conjured by the airplane game. Marie and her producer had, like many people, noticed her Facebook feed filling up with friends from high school selling leggings, or makeup, or handbags, asking their friends to buy them and sign up as salesmen themselves. They’re all participating in multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes, which anyone involved will tell you are not a pyramid scheme, because pyramid schemes are illegal.

When I got started with Amway Global back in 2006, like you, I too though at first it was a scam or pyramid scheme. But than I decided just to take the dive because it was working for others. I was told by my upline to build or make a list of all my friends, family members, etc and contact them to sell products and present to them the business opportunity. And if possible, schedule a home event or get them to a local hotel meeting, on a 3 way call, or attend a live webinar presentation.
A report in the Daily News and Analysis (DNA) quotes a top official of Economic Affairs Wing (EOW), Kerala as saying "With the call of easy money, they have been luring people to come and invest. And in turn, the new members had to get more people and this was leading to illegal money circulation. As a result, we had received several complaints against the company and we decided to arrest the officials."
As Parloff notes in his article, “The Siege of Herbalife,” there is no law defining a pyramid scheme, nor are there even any regulations on the books. The simple common-sense definition is that a pyramid scheme is a business in which recruits make a payment for the right to recruit others into the network, and whose revenues are more dependent on recruitment than on selling a product.
In 2006, Quixtar, in partnership with the IBOAI (IBO Association International) launched the "Quixtar Accreditation" program in order to address concerns about the companies that provide Business Support Materials to Quixtar IBOs. North American Diamonds (high-level IBOs) and their associated training companies may apply to Quixtar to be accredited by the corporation. Among other things, accreditation specifically states that promotion of particular religious or political viewpoints is unacceptable. Additionally, accredited programs must agree to a range of other guidelines, including "full" transparency in any compensation paid for Business Support Materials. The "full" transparency only applies to the IBO's who are participants in the BSM income, for most groups this means Platinums and above, representing a very small percentage of IBO's. Accreditation lasts two years and is enforced through reviews of materials and surveys of IBOs. The full guidelines are listed in the IBO Communications Platform.[21] In April 2006 "eFinity" became the first Quixtar affiliated support organization to receive accredited status.
Amway North America Managing Director Jim Ayres talks with Rick Neuheisel, former player and coach and current CBS Sports analyst in “Team Building On and Off the Field.” Neuheisel’s approach to leadership is forged by three key questions: Who are we, where are we going, and how are we going to get there? The resulting clear sense of identity and direction – coupled with the active, daily choice to have a positive attitude – makes leaders and their teams relentlessly positive, convinced that anything can and will be accomplished. Watch Now
The FTC also cites Amway’s “Buyback Rule” as a feature distiguishing the Business from a pyramid scheme. Distributors can return any “products, literature, or sales aids” for “whatever refund is agreed upon between the departing distributor and his or her sponsor.” The Manual adds this note: “To return Amway literature for credit or refund, the literature must be sent back in its original wrapping, unopened and unused.”
In looking at U.S. respondents’ abilities and attitudes regarding starting and running a business, the majority (88 percent) perceive themselves as socially supported (compared to 64 percent globally). When it comes to taking risks, 74 percent of U.S. respondents consider themselves to be risk-takers, compared to 47 percent of respondents globally.
“You also need a great trade group. They are worth more than their weight in gold, they are worth their weight in platinum. A fair number of our folks are on the ground in the markets we serve. Global trade compliance is not country-by-country anymore. More and more, the regulatory bodies are talking to each other. If an issue comes up in one nation, it comes up around the world. It is really critical that we extensively document where the components that go into our products come from.”
The compensation plan is called a “stairstep breakaway,” which requires the business rep to effectively rebuild a leg once it has reached what’s called Platinum status (7500 points). Basically, legs break off once they qualify and the commissions turn into 4% royalties instead of commissioned payouts of ~30%. I asked a former Amway emerald once what it was like having his first leg break-off and his reply was: “it’s awful, you really know how to ask painful questions don’t you.” He went on to explain his commissions dropped by at least 80% when they turned into “royalties.” It should be noted that the royalties technically disappear if the volume in the leg drops below 7500 points, so it’s not really a “permanent” royalty unless you maintain your volume. It is in essence a “punishing” compensation plan that forces you to rebuild a leg once it reaches this trigger volume, effectively causing you to “not” want others to pass you up.
Whereas The Plan is supposed to provide a simple means to a desirable end, for Josh, Jean, and Sherri the process of recovery had become an end in itself. Josh and Jean would constantly tell me how World Wide’s books and advice had enriched their marriage and helped them to communicate with each other (the bolstering of marriage and family is a major theme in Amway). The Amway lore is also full of distributors, perhaps abused as children, who “couldn’t even look people in the eye” when they joined, but who were now confidently showing The Plan to all and sundry.
We’re back in the central area. From an adjacent room comes the sound of a television and we make our way toward it. The room is ruby-carpeted with red-and-gray-striped wallpaper, three tapered wall lamps, and a giant projection screen angled downward. A man faces away from us in a floral upholstered recliner. He pauses the television when we come in.
ORLANDO, FL - MAY 25: An general exterior view of the Amway Center on May 25, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Fernandp Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
I am a temp there currently. I work in nutrition. Not only what the title says but the management does nothing but hassle you about little petty things that overall dont matter in the long run. If you do your research, this company sells overly expensive bs products that dont really work. They are SNAKE OIL salesmen and producers. $300 For a small thing of anti aging cream that doesnt really work. Its just placebo! $120 For a small box of "meal replacement" powder that really is just full of soy, powdered milk, and fake "natural" flavoring! They are a scamming mlm company just like younique and all the other ones. AND IF YOU DONT KNOW ALREADY AN MLM IS A PYRAMID SCHEME! The so called "independant" business owners on here are just fake reviews to peddle their "radical new protein powder :DDDDD". The work environment is absolutely terrible. Half the time the lines arent even up and when they are down they want you to clean.... even though everything has been cleaned! I LITTERALLY stood there for an hour and a half cleaning the same spot over and over as id already cleaned the whole line! You cant talk to anyone unless you want the techs to report it to your coordinator. We do it anyways as human interaction is human nature and you cant stop that. The techs WONT LET YOU use your phone if you have nothing to do but check their social media and PLAY GAMES and sit down when their line is running and they have nothing to do! They get onto us about it and its bs! These 2 individuals that keep coming back after they time out (The contract is 1 year 8 months) think that they are gods  more... gift to this green earth and think they are your boss keep causing conflict and undue stress to me and several others but they refuse to fire them because "the techs say they are good workers". I wake up half the time to go to work and puke my guts out due to the stress they put us through. I hate this place. NEVER WORK FOR AN MLM. Say hi to r/antimlm by the way.  less
Amway North America Managing Director Jim Ayres talks with Rick Neuheisel, former player and coach and current CBS Sports analyst in “Team Building On and Off the Field.” Neuheisel’s approach to leadership is forged by three key questions: Who are we, where are we going, and how are we going to get there? The resulting clear sense of identity and direction – coupled with the active, daily choice to have a positive attitude – makes leaders and their teams relentlessly positive, convinced that anything can and will be accomplished. Watch Now
What do u think of Senegence? I was talked in to joining and have a ton of issues with the way the company operates. If I were told that purchasing product would be this stressful I would have never joined. They have sold me products they don't have! Kept my monney for a 2 months at a time and are out of stock on 99% of the items 99% of the time. When they release a Lipsense color the site freezes and by the time(meaning hours) you get in the the product you want is gone. Senegence doesn't put limits on the amount of products one distributor can buy. Growing your business should be the only stressful part of a company NOT GETTING PRODUCTS! at this point I feel as if I've been very mislead and any advice Your be greatly appreciated. Thank you
‘You can see we’re getting the screens fixed,’ the Realtor says, pointing to the men working beyond the glass. She has piercing blue eyes. Processed blonde hair. She has French-tipped nails, diamond rings on all fingers, and a gold-and-diamond necklace. She wears a white semi sheer shirt, black-and-white-printed leisure pants, black eyeliner and heavy mascara. ‘We’re just putting some finishing touches on the place.’
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:
I was sitting next to Elizabeth and couldn’t imagine what she was thinking. (True to form, Brad didn’t mention Amway for over an hour.) At first, she laughed and clapped with the rest of the audience; as the evening wore on, however, there was a lag. Her responses became more tentative as the crowd of hundreds became more wildly, foot-stompingly enthusiastic. Afterwards, she was dazed and hollow-eyed. In the parking lot, Josh, Jean, and Sherri encircled her, urging her to meet with them the next day to learn more about The Business. Cornered, she agreed. After a few minutes in the car with Sherri, however, she regained enough strength to put the meeting off to the indefinite future. (Months later, she was still on Josh’s “hopeful” list.)
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.”
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