Amway: The True Story of the Company That Transformed the Lives of Millions reads like an extended advertisement. Its author, Wilbur Cross, became acquainted with Amway cofounders Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel when they commissioned him to write the first ‘official’ history of the Amway Corporation, Commitment to Excellence, published in 1986. In Amway, Cross repeatedly references the work of Shad Helmstetter, PhD, a ‘motivational expert’ specializing in ‘programming’ yourself to change negative self-talk into positive self-talk. Negativity is expressly verboten in the world of Amway, as it breeds doubt – distributors are advised to get rid of any negative people in their downline as soon as possible if they can’t train them to be positive.
i am a pediatrician from pune, India & i personally know so many poor people ( ex.- a riksha driver – santosh gaikwad, a tyre puncture shop person- bhumkar, a truck driver- vilas ghule , javeri- student & so many ) have changed their life through amway business…. all earning more than Rs. 70000 per month income… so many from other higher professionals also ( Rakshit Bhardwaj sir- vice president-IT company ).. i have no. of examples ( can’t write in detail)
But judging by the Herculean efforts made to seduce me into The Business, the Plan couldn’t be quite as effortless as it sounded. Josh and Jean, who had now thrown themselves into signing me up as one of their “downlines,” had adopted a strategy that consisted mainly of driving me, at untold inconvenience to themselves, to as many meetings as possible (they were all in far-flung suburbs, so I needed the rides). My attempts to find refuge in the back of the car being firmly rebuffed by Jean, I sat captive in the passenger seat while Josh tried out the various small-talk friendship-building techniques he’d learned from World Wide. Our trips always ended with Josh proffering a Sample Kit, a large white box filled with detergents and propaganda, including Promises to Keep, a book by the suggestively named Charles Paul Conn, as well as xeroxed articles explaining why Amway was the most “misunderstood company in the world.” I resisted Josh’s offers; I was reluctant to take the Amway plunge and knew that the real purpose of the kit was to give him an excuse to drop by my house and retrieve it.
Indeed, the F.T.C.’s move against Vemma has caused both sides in the Herbalife battle to claim vindication. Although the F.T.C. has been investigating Herbalife for some 17 months, Timothy S. Ramey, a stock analyst and Herbalife bull, raised his price target for the company, saying Vemma’s business model was clearly different from Herbalife’s. Meanwhile, Ackman prepared a 29-slide deck with side-by-side comparisons of all the ways, in his view at least, Herbalife’s business model was exactly like Vemma’s.
The house is outfitted with an elaborate security system. A small room on the second floor holds the bank of monitors. There are cameras on every corner of the house, and at every outside door, and several around the pool. Three rapid beeps signal a door’s opening. Even though Feather Sound is a very safe neighborhood, Renata says, and she never heard of any home invasions while she was growing up here, people are very particular.
But it turns out to be so much more complicated. In 1979, the F.T.C., after investigating Amway, a multilevel marketing company with a vast product line, decided that the company’s business model passed muster — even though recruitment was at the heart of it — because it claimed to take certain steps that (among other things) supposedly showed that its recruits were selling the company’s products to real customers, not just to other recruits. Very quickly, other multilevel marketing companies adopted the “Amway rules” to stay on the right side of the F.T.C.
It’s one thing to be an advocate and quite another to be a policymaker in a realm where you have little professional training or personal experience—a charge that DeVos’ opponents are quick to lob. If confirmed by the Senate, DeVos would be the first secretary of education in at least 30 years without any experience as a government official, school administrator or teacher. “She’s not someone with an education background—she never went to a public school, never sent a child to a public school,” says Whitmer, who recently announced her candidacy for Michigan governor. “It’s just stunning that they’d want to export the ugliness [the DeVoses] have brought to the education debate in Michigan and send it to the rest of the nation.”
From that point forward it became more demanding and more exhausting. Our lives had been taken away. There were Thursday meetings, Saturday events, Sunday night meetings, conferences, etc. We just lost control of it all. And on top of everything else, we were losing money, not gaining money. Finally, in mid-December, I told our mentors we couldn't do it any longer. Their first response was to blame my father who I had mentioned was skeptical (like any normal person would be). They immediately assumed he had forced us to quit when it was honestly our own decision. My dad was supportive. The next day we were cut out of their delusional lives completely. We were de-friended and blocked on social media and never to speak a word to us again.
There is a good possibility that this point would not have any impact on you, but for me it is a negative aspect. In the training, you will be taught to make a list of friends, family and acquaintances and yes, you guessed correctly – you will have to call them and get them to buy or join your business. I absolutely hate to drag my friends or family into buying something, they will buy, because they love me, but I don’t want to put them in that situation because that’s not what friends and family are for – I might be wrong, and this is merely my opinion.
In the decade since that loss, the DeVos family, with Dick and Betsy at the helm, has emerged as a political force without comparison in Michigan. Their politics are profoundly Christian and conservative—“God, America, Free Enterprise,” to borrow the subtitle of family patriarch Richard DeVos’ 1975 book, Believe!—and their vast resources (the family’s cumulative net worth is estimated at well over $5 billion) assure that they can steamroll their way to victory on issues ranging from education reform to workers’ rights. “At the federal level, when GOP candidates are looking for big donors to back them, they have options,” says Craig Mauger, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. “If you don’t get Sheldon Adelson, you can go to the Koch brothers, and so on. In Michigan, the DeVos family is a class of donor all by themselves.”
This Lady is terribly misinformed… As a Amway IBO we give you plenty of chance to say no and ways out of this. People will always bad mouth things that they don’t understand you know why because its easier tosay something negative than to take the time out of your day to find out what your really talking about and here is just some food for thought. I started this business a few years back and just listened and did what they asked me too. Because of it i was Able to bring my wife home. Successful people will away do what unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do.
I can promise you will lose friends and lovers. If that's worth it to you then go forth, but be aware that for the participant (or victim) in this, your loss of friendships will sometimes be invisible, and occasionally worth much more than you ever thought. It's an honest decision - you shouldn't be friends with someone who treats you this way. Every single person who has fallen into this trap I have seen lose friends in the long run, even if we tried to see past it. It's a black mark of a terrible person. When someone tells you who they are, you should listen to them.
However, I did what my upline and sponsor told me to do… Make a list of friends, family, etc. Talk to them about the products, business opportunity, and invite them to a presentation/meeting or get them on a 3 way call. I got sick and tired of feeling like I was hassling my friends and family, was frustrated and didn’t want to chase them around anymore and begging people (even strangers) to buy products from me or join my business/team.
My parents and I were solidly middle class when we collided with Amway. We owned our home. We lived in a safe neighborhood where I could play outside without supervision and walk home alone after the sun went down. We always kept an excess of food in the house. I got new shoes whenever I outgrew my old pair. I received new toys when my old ones broke and new books when I finished reading the ones I had. I went to gymnastics practice four times a week, singing lessons once a week, camp over the summer, and back-to-school shopping in the fall. We didn’t need Amway.
The Dream is “sort of about pyramid schemes,” as host Jane Marie says at the beginning of the new podcast series, but it takes a moment to figure out just what that means. In the beginning of the first episode, which you can listen to exclusively here, Marie dives into a classic pyramid scheme of the 70s and 80s, the “airplane game,” a trend that became so prevalent among a certain subset in New York and South Florida that The New York Times caught on, calling it “a high-stakes chain letter.”
Today, the FTC announced a settlement with Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM), a company that operated an illegal pyramid scheme disguised as a multilevel marketing program. Over 350,000 people were scammed out of a total of at least $169 million. The settlement bans FHTM from the multilevel marketing business and from deceiving consumers. FHTM will fork over at least $7.7 million, which will be returned to consumers.
Such pandering to heartland values has (along with record-breaking donations from Rich DeVos) endeared Amway to the Republican Party. But the company has also had its share of critics. In the seventies a succession of defectors charged that The Business (as the faithful call it) was a pyramid scheme, a fraudulent enterprise that made money by recruiting new members and channeling their fees to higher-ups in the organization. A 1979 Federal Trade Commission investigation concluded that Amway was not in fact a pyramid scheme—only that some of its claims to prospective distributors were overly optimistic—because most of its revenue came from sales of actual products. But that didn’t end the company’s troubles. During the Reagan years, Amway was the butt of jokes and the target of exposes. Senior distributors set up private “distributor groups,” organizations dealing in motivational materials and notorious mass rallies. Dexter Yager, founder of the Yager Group, was known to leap around stages brandishing a giant gold crucifix.
While this marketing strategies are great, and yes that does work at times, but the conversion rates are very low. And lets face it…is it working for you? No. Do you like chasing around or harrasing your friends, family, and even strangers to join your business or buy you Amway’s products? People who call your business an Amway Scam? No. Is it fun? HECK NO lol
‘There are four hundred single-family homes in Bayou Club,’ she says. ‘No condos, no townhomes – all single-family. Ninety of those homes are in Sago Point. They’re not tract homes – they’re different versions of the same home, and smaller: two thousand to three thousand square feet. Because of the size of the homes and the maintenance, they’ve attracted a lot of second homeowners and empty nesters. Somebody looking for something more children-friendly might move over to Copperleaf, where the homes are a little bit larger and the lots are a little bit larger. You may have three-car garages versus two-car garages. And then you can upgrade to the Estates section, where they’re all custom-built.’
This is not the man who brought my dad in but a man somewhere above him. He was what The Business calls a ‘phony Emerald.’ To meet the criteria for the pin level, he’d force the people in his organization to order extra product in order to grow his volume and push him across the finish line each month – not that he turned much of a profit doing so, as he had to pass it all on to his own upline. ‘Well, the Emerald pin doesn’t mean anything unless your organization is solid,’ said my dad. ‘So you got a pin – you’re not making the money.’ Eventually, my dad says, Vincent was stripped of the Emerald pin because he couldn’t maintain the sales by force alone.
The problem for Amway distributors (or any other genuine MLM company) entering the game late is that it is difficult for them to sponsor new distributors. It is also difficult for them to sell Amway products given that there are so many distributors already operating in the market and they have selling relationships in place. Also, products sold by MLM companies typically tend to be more expensive than similar products being sold in the open market, making it more difficult to get customers willing to buy.
Dreambuilders’ impact on Sherri’s life was far less salutary. Its most tangible financial effect was the used car she had bought with Josh’s advice, which came complete with a weird smell and a glove compartment that didn’t close. But Sherri felt that she had undergone a profound psychic transformation. “Before Amway,” she would say, “I just wasn’t thinking!” Her new clarity made her scornful of mass pursuits: When the E2020 staff went to a Cubs game, she could hardly believe that people would waste their time that way. (Josh counseled her to just sit next to strangers and mingle.) Her “j-o-b,” even with a promotion to Internet Expert, certainly didn’t interest her anymore: She wanted to spend the whole day talking about The Business. And she now regarded unambitious co-workers, family, and friends as, in Scott Coon’s words, “slugs.”