[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.
Josh felt that duplication worked in the other direction as well. If he emulated the multi-multi-millionaires (“multi-multi’s” for short) above him—and did exactly what they said they had done—he would succeed as they had. In his mind, his interests were already merged with theirs. He would boast of their accomplishments, tell me how their bonuses just kept “getting better and better all the time!” For him, of course, bigger bonuses for uplines simply meant a more powerful drain on his income. But that kind of self-defeating “stinking thinking” missed the point, as far as Josh was concerned. By “visualizing” great wealth, by worshiping great wealth, and by imitating the consuming habits of the great and wealthy, he would somehow obtain great wealth.
I was surprised at the breadth and depth of their product selections. I had always thought of Amway as just having cleaning products. However, that only scratches the surface. Their cleaning products, such as SA-8, are second to none. Very superior products. We also purchased jewelry. They have a very large collection of original, beautiful designs. I also found Amway's customer service to be extremely customer oriented. But Amway still has a stigma associated with them dating back to the 60s and 70s. That stigma was one of distributors being forced to purchase garages full of products in order to be able to qualify as a direct distributor. However the products themselves have always been thought to be superior. If I could change anything about Amway it would be to improve the perception of the distributing organization, not the manufacturer.
Yes! MLM is not the same as “pyramid scheme” . In every business the people at the top make more. In an MLM anyone can work up to the top, unlike in a pyramid scheme. Some of what is described in the article is very cult-like if it’s true, but I would imagine it is like with any business: it depends on who your upline is. If your upline is a creep, the whole team is going to be creepy. If you have a good upline, the whole team will reflect that. Any business, MLM or otherwise, can isolate people from friends and family. It’s called being a workaholic.
While the whirlwind of meetings and events were great for cultivating denial, they seemed to do little to help distributors develop “strong and profitable businesses.” Nor were they much good for attracting new blood into The Business. With the exception of First Looks, their extreme cultishness was distinctly off-putting to newcomers. Still, Josh, Jean, and Sherri continued to make the mistake of indiscriminately taking prospects to whatever meeting was going on. Even a Second Look (described ominously as more “motivational” and less informational than a First Look) was inadvisable for outsiders, as Sherri discovered when she took her friend Elizabeth to one.
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.