Imagine that you’ve struck a deal with a company to give you discounts for buying in bulk: If you buy $100 worth of stuff, they’ll send you a 3 percent rebate. For $300 or more, it goes up to 6 percent, $600 or more, 9 percent, and so on up to $7,500 and 25 percent. Now, let’s say you’re unable to spend more than $100 a month, but manage to get seventy-four other people to go in with you. Together, you spend $7,500 and divide up the 25 percent rebate. Everyone saves money, and the rebate is shared equally. That’s the idea behind a consumer co-op or wholesale buying club.
The recently published book, No One Would Listen, by whistle blower, Harry Markopolos, dramatically describes how SEC regulators ignored his alerts and allowed the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme to grow to enormous proportions. Their failure to act caused harm to thousands more people, despite his written and detailed warnings, which he brought to the agency five separate times over an eight-year period of investigating the scam. Additionally, the news media such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine also failed to respond to his evidence which he offered them. Madoff was apparetnly treated as “too big to expose.”

You will find yourself being sold a whole life policy by a friend who has one or two "brokers" that they work for, and unspoken is that some of the commission goes to this person - it's structured just like amway, the commissions flow up the chain. There's even an old joke built into the movie groundhog-day. "ned the head! Needlenose ned!" People who know people like ned realize that ned was probably very near killing himself before the main character bought a bunch of insurance from him.
Ultimately, however, he dealt with his catch-22 through simple fantasies of escape. He was adamant that someday he’d be a millionaire, his current predicament no more than a bad memory. His hand would describe a hyperbola as he explained that The Business was hard at first, but if you’d just stick in there, you’d soon enjoy exponential success. This would happen so soon that he wouldn’t have to prospect long enough even to get particularly good at it. “The point is not to get good,” he insisted, “It’s to get done!”
In four years, they built up their downline to something like forty people. It was a cumbersome organization, but the people they were working with, save for one, were all honest. A lot of them had families we’d grown close to – the kids were my friends. I’d go to their houses on the weekends, and after school, and whenever my parents needed a babysitter. After we left Amway, I never saw them again.
Amway and its founders have long had deep ties to the Washington D.C., and particularly the Republican Party. The current House basically has a minor Amway caucus with five former distributors and Amway has been one of the largest donors to the Republican Party since the early 1990s. DeVos’s son, Dick, ran for governor of Michigan in 2006 and his wife, Betsy, is currently the Secretary of Education in the first Trump administration. She has speculated that the DeVos family has donated around $200 million to Republican candidates.
People who sell for Amway literally have no idea what they are getting into because the training system bends over backwards through hoops of fire to try to keep any useful information out of the hands of their representatives. It's actually incredibly hard for most users to know where actual "Amway" begins and ends, because a cottage-industry of other scams have leapt up around Amway's business model like hallucinogenic mushrooms on cow shit. Kyritsis received all of his training through a group called Network Twentyone, who make a tidy profit charging people to teach them how to sell Amway:

[11]At the top, the multi-multi’s seem to attain a Zen of conspicuous consumption. Brad Duncan, brother of the great Double Diamond Greg Duncan, described seeing a dusty Rolls Royce among the many cars in the garage of his upline mentor, Ron Puryear; when he asked what he paid for it, Ron answered, “I don’t know. Whatever the sticker price was.” Brad took him to task for this, until Ron lectured: “That dealership is somebody’s livelihood—somebody with a family. I’m not so hard up that I need to haggle the food out of a child’s mouth.” Brad was chastened, realizing that only small minds pay attention to sticker prices.
The Amway approach supposedly avoids impersonal door-to-door sales, as each distributor need only sell directly to a small customer base of friends and family. Business “growth”—and an ascent to the flashier “bonus levels” (Ruby, Emerald, Diamond, Executive Diamond, Double Diamond, Crown Ambassador)—comes mostly through expanding one’s downline. In theory, this odd marketing system ensures that benefits accrue not to Madison Avenue slicksters, but to ordinary folk capitalizing on their close-knit community ties—a scheme that seemingly reflects the small-town, Protestant populism of Amway’s co-founders, Rich DeVos and Jay VanAndel.

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM? demanded a booming voice. The ballroom went dark and the audience settled in for a fifteen minute video catalogue of the stuff dreams are made of: a blur of luxury cars, sprawling mansions, frolicking children, pristine beaches, hot-dogging jet-skiers, private helipads, and zooming jets—all set to caffeinated, John-Teshy instrumental music. The voice returned: “It’s about family!” (A shot of kids collapsing on an oceanic lawn, love-tackled by Dad.) “It’s about security!” (A shot of a palatial house.) “It’s about you!” (A close-up of toes, gently lapped by the incoming tide, wriggling in white sand.)
In April 1997 Richard DeVos and his wife, Helen, gave $1 million to the Republican National Committee (RNC),[74][76] which at the time was the second-largest soft-money donation ever, behind Amway's 1994 gift of $2.5 million to the RNC.[74] In July 1997, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and House Speaker Newt Gingrich slipped a last-minute provision into a hotly contested compromise tax bill that granted Amway and four other companies a tax break on their Asian branches that totaled $19 million.[74]
Thanks for the information on these company. I have been scam by a company Named Creative Stream or AKA Private Community Creative Enterprises, or AKA CEP Community. They promise to give you money if you recruit people into the company. Get 6 to 8 people get 6 figure salary. They claim an investor was placing the money in a money market account that increase our income. The conference calls had over a thousand people on the line waiting for their return of investment. They even came to the state I live in and did a meeting to confirm they were legit. People took picture of them and with them. I join in September of 2012. The money they took was over $700,000 to $800,000 maybe more. that amount I'm aware of. There were policemen and other people with degrees that got scammed. BE Aware of this company. You can contact me if you have any additional questions.
I had a very good experience with Amway. They have very nice people on website to help you, the employees know about all of the products that they sell. This probably one of the reasons they have been in business for so long. Also, they are a very good company that has top quality products. Amway probably has a large amount of orders to handle every day. However, the prices are very high on most products. They can probably keep the prices this high because all of the people that buy their products are used to paying the higher prices for wonderful products.

@snowsean720 The mp3's are not just for motivation but also knowledge of the business and how to think, multi-millionaires think different from employed people, which is taught through Business of the 21st century it lays the format of how to not think like an employee, being employed is a scam and a pyramid. one you never make more than the ceo, two you pay into social security which you will never see a penny of, that is a ponzi scheme. 


Hi Ben. LTD is a Line of Association or approved provider, not a company. LTD has no rights to require you to purchase any business materials. Everything offered by LTD is optional to IBOs due to the Rules of Conduct which is approved by federal government. But I believe LTD is a really nice LOA, because I know some really intelligent LTD leaders. Amway would not suspend your business for no reasons, because it's not benefitial to Amway either. And the arbitration company you talk about is called Independent Business Owner Association International, which is a non-profit association previously named as American Way Association founded in 1959, not company either. All the IBOAI Board Directors are elected from Diamond IBOs and above by votes from Platinum and above. If you have conflicts with Amway, you may appear for an infromal and formal hearing conciliation in IBOAI, which is held by IBOAI Board Directors not Amway administrators. And the IBOAI will stand out for IBOs' benefits, not Amway's. Amway usually accept IBOAI's recommendation for the results of hearing conciliations. You must understand that Rules of Conduct was writting by both Amway Rules Dept and IBOAI directors, and approved by government. That means the content in the Rules is legal and obeying the Federal Laws and the spirit of the Contitution. Amway has to fight you by the rules, and IBOAI will help you fight back by the rules. However, if you break the rules, nobody can help you. Is this the reason why you wrote your comment like this? And you know what, you can sue Amway Corp, because I know someone who did it and won the case. It has proved that this business has helped a lot of people earning extra income or achieving dreams without violating the Rules Of Conduct. And if your upline overcommitted you something, please don't blame it on this business and other IBOs in this business. Nobody should tell you that you only need 10 hours a week to be successful, nobody can make this statement, and nobody should believe it. I strongly suggest you to contact with me, and I would like to show you what a correct approch to Amway Business is. And I still believe you may find a way to make extra income in this business.

Amway business owners span the globe, from the Americas to Europe, India and Africa to Greater China and the Asia-Pacific region. The company’s low-cost, low-risk business model sets IBOs up to reach their goals. It quickly and efficiently addresses the needs that may vary according to geography and culture. Details large and small, from navigating local selling regulations to product sizes and brand preferences, are coordinated in conjunction with local governments, business owners and consumers.


THIS IS ALL CRAP, EVERYTHING THIS GUY/GIRL IS SAYING IS ALL FAKE ESPECIALLY BECAUSE I AM A CROWN IN THE BUSINESS AND BECAUSE HE IS SAYING THAT IT IS NOT A PYRAMID SCHEME. ESPECIALLY, BECAUSE I HAVE AN UPLINE THAT IS IN THE LEVEL EMERALD AND I AM IN CROWN, EVEN THOUGH HE INVITED ME I PASSED HIM, SO THIS IS ALL CRAP IF ANYONE ONE IS INTERESTED IN THIS WONDERFUL OPERTUNITY CONTACT ME. 

For many people, family and friends are the first place they start to recruit in network marketing. Even if you don't want to sell them anything you can practice your pitch in their presence. Just be sure that you're asking for honest critique and no false pats on the back. Trying out your sales approach will help you grow. If you give them proper information about the company, the odds are they will not suspect any sort of Amway Pyramid Scheme.
 I'm sure that the success stories I heard were all true. The problem is that they build an unrealistic expectation of what is possible.  People hear these rags to riches tales and think 'hey that could be me'.  Unfortunately very few of them will ever make any money at all.  Even fewer will achieve financial freedom from Amway   Joining Amway is extremely easy, making a profit in Amway is extremely difficult.

Amway business owners span the globe, from the Americas to Europe, India and Africa to Greater China and the Asia-Pacific region. The company’s low-cost, low-risk business model sets IBOs up to reach their goals. It quickly and efficiently addresses the needs that may vary according to geography and culture. Details large and small, from navigating local selling regulations to product sizes and brand preferences, are coordinated in conjunction with local governments, business owners and consumers.
I have been experiencing the Amway Opportunity and Teams for 2 years now... best thinks ever happen to me. The best advise I can give to people is don't trust me or any one on internet. The haters probably have their own and very specific reason to be mad at this company but experiment it for yourself and see if it is for you or not! I was so skeptical and I am so bless I didnt listen all the bad things said on this company their ethic and their partnership with N21 made it for me so far the most growing and exciting experience!!! You don't know me but I am someone that needs ethic, equity, respect of human being and every living creature... I found that in so many level through this company!!! Our over consumption and crazy society is (for me) so wrong, it put sens back into my life and I can create my own economy since I am involve in this MLM!!! I love that chance and opportunity. Thanks Amway and all my beautiful team mate I am associate with... So bless to have met you on my path and thanks for your love and support!!
"We were warned never to use the name Amway on the phone; even while showing the business plan, the name would be one of the very last things mentioned. The explanation from our 'sponsors' was that people in the past have misused the name 'Amway,' and people should get a chance to know the 'new Amway' without being prejudiced from things they might have heard."
On September 29, 2006, after years of on-and-off negotiations, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Richard Crotty, and the Orlando Magic announced an agreement on a new arena in downtown Orlando, located at the southwest corner of Church Street and Hughey Avenue. The arena itself cost around $380 million, with an additional $100 million for land and infrastructure, for a total cost of $480 million (as of March 8, 2011 the arena was expected to be within $10 million of the estimated cost[9]). It is part of a $1.05-billion plan to redo the Orlando Centroplex with a new arena, a new $375-million performing arts center, and a $175-million expansion of the Citrus Bowl (Later, declining economic conditions led the improvements to the Citrus Bowl to be delayed until at least 2020). When it was announced in the media on September 29, it was referred to as the "Triple Crown for Downtown".
Days after the 2012 election, Dick DeVos picked up the phone and rallied Republican lawmakers to pass right-to-work in lame duck while they still had the votes, reportedly promising financial support to those members who would find themselves facing tough reelections and suggesting he would back primary campaigns against those who didn’t step in line. “There’s one family who gets these people elected, and consequently, you can assume they can get them unelected, too,” says Gretchen Whitmer, who was the state Senate’s Democratic leader at the time.
Why are these amshit people coming here if they are taught to succeed and if they are already gaining success with scamway? Why are these shitters coming here. U know why? Coz they are already depressed and dont want any new guys googling about amway to know that amway is shit. These "amshit joined guys" want to manipulate you new guys to think that amway is not a bad thing to do. These people want you to think positive about amway so the the billion dollar business gets fueled with new fools and make profits annually so that this business never stops. NO DOUBT AMWAY PRODUCTS ARE GREAT. but this product is just an upper layer on the underlying clever business cult.
There are two ways you can quickly judge Amway. The first is by taking a community college Economics 101 class. MLM relies on obtaining wealth directly from those below you. You’ll hear a lot of Amway people making faulty comparisons to how other companies work – but the fact of the matter is that the growth of employees of, say, McDonalds is due to the outside demand of the wider public while the growth of “Members” of Amway is due to the internal need of Amway to become self-sustaining. There’s a reason why Amway focuses all its energy on its “networks” rather than the products it actually sells. It should be noted, however, that most of what Amway does is COMPLETELY LEGAL. It’s the equivalent of asking your friends to give you a quarter for every dollar they spend and then encourage them to make the same deal with their friends (with you taking an uptop percentage.) This is why Amway does indeed “partner” with large businesses…such large businesses realize the simplicity of Amway and are more than happy to take a portion of that profit! The issue, however, is whether there is an actual career in Amway – and the simple answer is not unless you either got in early or have lots and lots of family, friends, and poor souls you can get to agree to be below you in your “network.”
Hi, I have recently joined Amway, hoping to get a better business life here and it turns out to be really back luck for me. When I first join Amway, they provided me with a "Chart Your Course" which means spending a certain amount of dollar and will get $200 voucher. I did follow the instruction and they said that I will get the voucher via email within 5 business days. I waited for 2 months and there is NO EMAIL sent to me. So I called Amway headquarters to see what's going on. They told me that there is a $200 voucher in my account and expiry date is less than a month (must purchase more than $200 to get the voucher spent out). It is fine. So I went to Amway store which is 30 minutes drive from my place to buy products over $500. When I get to the check out counter, the staff told me that there is NO $200 voucher in my account. I was stunned.... I told the staff that I already called to the headquarters to confirm my voucher, why isn't any voucher in my accounts? So I decided to buy products worth $400 first. So l called the headquarters again the next day to see what is wrong again, and they said there is a $200 voucher, there must be something wrong with the system. I got so frustrated for all this mess. It was 4 more days to the beginning of a new month, so I hope that I could get a 3% point value out of my $600 products and things happened. The store manager told me that they will include my next month and this month purchase so that I can get 3%, but I must come to the store on the 1st of the month. Well, I haven't get my $200 voucher refund yet and you expect me to purchase with my own money first??? Where can I find my own money in 3 days time??? Become a beggar??? You think I do not need to pay for my bills? You think I am rich??? Luckily I still have some money to purchase on the first of the month. Well, I haven't got my 3% yet. Amway decided to send me a free product worth $40 only for compensation. They told me that the order will be there on a specific day so that I can come to the store for collection. The information was wrong. It did not delivered on that specific day. But had been delivered on the next day. End of my complain. Please update your system so there will not be any confusion and please don't tell your client that their product will be delivered on that specific date. All of your information is FAKE. If you are not sure, just tell them that you are not sure. You give me a very hard life since I joined your company.

It may come as a surprise to Jessica and Richard, but 50% of all people are below average. IBOs are successful only if they exploit those that are feeble minded enough to buy Amway's crappy products: i.e cleaning products loaded up with salt. No ethical person would consider doing this. If the average IBO income is only about $200 and the median a lot less ~$30, then the scam is obvious! Perhaps Richard and Jessica always load up on Lotto tickets because the potential return is huge. Richard loves to focus on the good stuff and gets blinded by the false hope. Don't be a sucker, MLM is a scam.
Let us not underestimate the power of ideas. Cross provides examples of distributors who let nothing stand in their way. Just listen to the story of the Upchurch family, who persisted in Amway, making any sacrifices necessary, even after Hurricane Fran destroyed their home. Or the Janzes, who were desperately poor new parents with another child on the way when they learned that Amway was bigger than making money; it was a way to overhaul your lifestyle and live your dreams. Or Dexter Yager, who didn’t let a stroke stop him from achieving success with Amway and continued to operate his business at the same level even as he was learning to walk and speak again.
Amway has phenomenal products, with a low startup cost. You make excellent margins on products 20-40%. You get excellent business training and sales/product training with the Britt System. The atmosphere is always positive, negativity is not allowed. You build great relationships and friendships. It becomes a franchise environment with support from an entire team and business system. You can purchase products at a heavily discounted price. You can expand your business in over 80+ countries world wide. 

This was a “First Look”—the initial meeting where Amwayers bring prospects to scare them about the future—and Scott delivered it with gusto and verve. Sherri had told me to expect an hour-long talk, but two and a half hours barely winded this speaker. He delivered 150 minutes of fast patter without notes, and touched upon such diverse topics as the high divorce rate, the quality of McDonald’s hamburgers, IBM’s strategy of diversification, and the number of cupholders in the minivan he had recently bought with cash. I would later realize that this was a typical Amway speech: somewhere between an infomercial and a sermon, a loosely organized string of riffs that bespoke either improvisational genius or, more likely, countless repetitions.
To sell Amway products, you’ll first need to register as an Independent Business Owner (IBO), which will then give you the opportunity to earn an income through their Compensation Plan. After signing up as an IBO, Amway claims that you’ll never be alone due to their world-class business resources, support, education, training, as well as mentoring. However, despite how great the company makes their business opportunity appear, the fact is that most people never make any money (see Bottom Line section for additional information).
Scott Coon (the millionaire from Seattle), on the other hand, was the genuine article: His breezy small talk projected an illusion of sincere interest, his well-fed face reflected self-assurance. Scott worked the small crowd with consummate slickness. After a mumbled intro from Josh (followed by whoops from the audience), Scott stood beaming at us, rubbing his hands in anticipation.
Sometimes we brought along a camera and took pictures of one another walking around the houses. We saw two or three in a day and then took the film to be developed. Back in our three-bedroom, we looked at the photos together, then stored them in fresh albums. In the photos, we wore the same outfits while the houses around us changed. We were the proud owners of three beautiful homes, the photos said – or this was one big home. One monstrous behemoth of a home comprised of three mansions smashed together.
The Club Level at the Amway Center -- between the Terrace and the Promenade -- splits into several types of premium seating. There are suites, including the Founders Suite which can accommodate 16 and the larger Presidents Suite, each providing a plush and roomy space from which to enjoy the game. Loge seats are among the most popular though, combining great additions like all-inclusive food and drink with a close-to-the-action feel.
On August 10, 2007, Quixtar announced that it had terminated the businesses of fifteen of the plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit,[52] and sought and received a temporary restraining order and preliminary order of injunction in a Michigan court preventing them from interfering with the LOS, soliciting IBOs for their new company, or disparaging Quixtar or the business in any way.[53][54] In mid October 2007, Quixtar argued that the former distributors were in violation of the court order since TEAM continued to have meetings and sell motivational materials. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Quixtar argued that TEAM was using Quixtar's proprietary information to promote its meetings and sell materials. The court held in favor of Woodward and Brady and allowed TEAM to continue to operate.[55]
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.
Than please do enlighten us, what the difference is between Amway, Avon, Oriflame, etc. and the few other 1000 MLM "businesses" out there? All you can see, read, hear if you attend a meeting or not is the same script. Everyone is selling the best products, everyone is making tons of money, everyone is the amazing 2% who are smarter than other people on earth. (Oh and most of the time it turns out they have the same owners, or the name just changed :O suprise) And do not even start with sales. Topshop is one of the biggest TV and online sellers of 90% crap and useless stuff. Is it a business? Yes. Do they make money? Yes. Do they annoy, scam and rip people off? Yes. They have horrible reviews, lawsuits, complaint masses. Something running and some making money out of it does not make it a proper business nor legit. And please do not use the word meeting or training word regarding any of these companies. Getting some random people talking about how their yacht looks like is not a business mindset. Ever tried to make a project? Ever had a project plan and completed it? How many business models can you tell us? And in how many of those have you achieved anything? Please feel free, we would love to see. And having a degree has nothing to do with any business model. A person who was milking cows for a living for 40 years can have a successful business without having finished primary school. And "so to finish up", a real business with real products does not need people to run around and harrass people with their products. And I am not talking about coca cola and friends here. Everyone can find a product they need which is good and for a proper price. Noone needs someone to hold hands while shopping.

Its funny that you should say that because, in my opinion I don't think MLM is going anywhere and the Amway Corporation definitely isn't going anywhere. since the depression in 2008 amway has increased its annual revenue by 1 billion dollars a year, and today stands at 11.8 billion dollars. Now your entitled to your opinion but there are some little facts that all people should be informed of. such as the fact that if your between the ages of 18 and 32, by the time you reach retirement (working a job) you have an 80% chance of being dead, disabled, broke, or financially dependent upon the government to subsidize your income. also by that time statistically you will have changed jobs 32 times. how much do you really think your 401k is really going to worth then. Im just a messenger her but I think a company like Amway is really the best shot any average Joe has of creating financial independence. I love when people say its a pyramid scheme. lets look at the typical job. (trading time for money) who works harder, stock boy at A&P or the CEO at A&P who's probably sitting in his hot tub right now? Obviously the stock boy but no matter how hard the stock boy works he will never out earn the CEO. that in my mind is a pyramid scheme. at least in Amway if you do more work you get more money. But the fact still remains it is not a get rich quick scheme. Its going to take hard works. Lots of hard work. but take it from someone who has worked his way through this system. it is well worth the effort. the ends justify the means because once you make to the top of that system Amway provides you with a life that is unparalleled by any other lifestyle. Its not easy but it does work.

Rich and Jay set up shop in Rich’s basement selling Liquid Organic Cleaner, or L.O.C., Amway’s first original product. With their trust in each other and the support of their loving wives, they’re able to weather all bumps on their ride to the top, including the first federal investigation of Amway, by the Federal Trade Commission in 1975. In a chapter of his memoir titled ‘The Critics Weigh In’ (in Part Two, called ‘Selling America’), Rich says of the suit, ‘[We] considered the suit another government misunderstanding of business principles and an attack on free enterprise.’


In 1983, Rich DeVos, one of Amway's founders, made recordings which, among other things, communicated his displeasure with several issues regarding some of the high ranking distributors/IBOs. These recordings are entitled "Directly Speaking"[45][46] and were addressed to Direct Distributors (now called Platinums), who are considered leaders with various responsibilities for their downline group. In January 1983 Rich DeVos announced that Amway would pay Business Volume (BV) on Amway produced tapes. He expressed concern about the level of income from the sale of Business Support Materials (BSM; tapes, CDs, books, and business conferences/functions) compared to the income the high level distributors were making from Amway products. He stated his legal team was concerned if the tool income exceeded 10% of their Amway income, and stated that BV payouts on tapes can never exceed 20%[47] of the distributor's total Business Volume. 

On the way out, we pass a frame on the wall bearing a quote by Robert Dedman Sr., founder of ClubCorp. My husband stops to read it: ‘‘A club is a haven of refuge and accord in a world torn by strife and discord. A club is a place where kindred spirits gather to have fun and make friends. A club is a place of courtesy, good breeding, and good manners. A club is a place expressly for camaraderie, merriment, goodwill, and good cheer. A club humbles the mighty, draws out the timid, and casts out the sorehead. A club is one of the noblest inventions of mankind.’’
For dinner before a game, there are a number of options at the arena. One thing to keep in mind is that Loge ticket holders are also entitled to dinner at Jernigan's Restaurant on the Club Level and have the exclusive option to reserve a table from 5:30 - 6:30 pm as premium ticket holders. Regardless of when you're going, reservations are recommended.

In the beginning, my parents put between ten and fifteen hours a week into their business – per the company’s recommendation. But over time, my dad’s enthusiasm began to wear off. ‘You say to yourself, ‘What the hell for?’’ he says now. ‘So that somebody can come in and then not return your calls? You take them to a meeting and there’s a jerk up there who’s embarrassing? I had no way, no avenue to get people in there and get them excited.’
Mr. DeVos and Mr. Van Andel left college to serve in the Army Air Corps during World War II. When they returned, they started Wolverine Air Service, their first joint venture. Several more businesses followed, including a failed charter schooner service, which almost led to their drowning, as well as a drive-in restaurant and a distributorship for a California-based marketer of vitamins and nutritional products.
Amway’s founders also created a cult-like environment within the company and among its distributors. Combining evangelical undertones and self-help motivation, they have managed to sell their idea as much as their actual products. Distributors are strongly encouraged to attend seminars and events that can cost thousands of dollars. Both DeVos and Van Andel are best-selling authors and have inspired copycats across the country.
The first we see is in the Estates section. Croton in the front yard, Alexander palms and twisting cypress – all yards are maintained by the Bayou Club’s landscapers, she says. Each yard must coordinate with every other yard, to meet color-palette standards that coordinate with every house. You pay $137 a month for this privilege, another $205 for security and maintenance of common areas.
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.
As its hands reached “midnight,” the Rolex dissolved into a series of video montages depicting the consumer Shangri-La that our own forthcoming Amway success would open for us. We leered as a day in the life of a typical jobholder—all alarm clocks, traffic jams, and dingy cubicles—was contrasted with that of an Amway distributor, who slept in and lounged the day away with his family. We gawked hungrily as real-life Amway millionaires strutted about sprawling estates (proudly referred to as “family compounds”) and explained that such opulence was ours for the asking. We chortled as a highway patrolman stopped an expensive sports car for speeding—only to ride away a moment later with an Amway sample kit strapped to his motorcycle. Our laughter became a roar of delight as the camera zoomed in on the sports car’s bumper sticker: “JOBLESS … AND RICH!”
Even so, among the DeVoses’ skeptics, there are those who strike a hopeful, if cautious, tone. “I think Mrs. DeVos could potentially be a really good secretary of education if she allowed parents and school districts to make policy at the local level,” says Daniel Quinn, executive director of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice, a nonprofit that receives a portion of its funding from the National Education Association. “But at the same time, I’m concerned.”
From an early age, Betsy was pushed to compete. In 1965, she was one of two second-graders to make entries in Holland’s annual tulip festival (a citywide valentine to the area’s Dutch heritage). In middle school, she entered a poster and essay contest about crime prevention. In her teenage years, she was a member of the Holland City Recreation Swim Team. Betsy excelled at the breaststroke. In August 1972, she won the Mid-Michigan Conference Championship, a contest in which younger siblings Emilie and Eileen Prince placed third and fifth, respectively). 
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