I went to a medical shop today to get a few things. And I knew the owner there for about five six years personally. He knew that I was ‘doing Amway’ (that is how it is termed in India!). Today I just told him I quit Amway and he started asking questions. ‘Tell me sir what happened…’ I briefly told about how efficiently they create false impressions. He started telling his part of story. Sir I have done Amway, Modicare, DXN, Herbalife etc. But Amway is the worst, everyone cheats for their dire status, but Amway is the certified cheater! Of all MLM Amway is the worst he said, he thrashed all his Amway up-lines as quit the business with considerable amount of losses.
I will tell you my up-line’s story. He has been in the business active since 2007. Once you become ‘ active’ or ‘core’ here is the list of expenses.
At least Rs 1000 tools every month
BBS Costing 250 but you might end up going to more than one per month
Life changer major functions including other expenses, 5000 per annum
Petrol expenses of at least Rs 500-750 even during those years
Then eating outside forever for the sake of contacting – Rs 3000
Once you start ‘qualifying’ for your up-line’s night owl it will be again another 1000 bucks per month
Additional tools based on your immediate sign ups, basically on a worst performing month of Rs 500
There might be other stationary, misc expenses or so on – let us say that is another 250 per month
Add up – let us say Rs 5000, even though above list is true and could get only heavier.
With all best case scenarios the bear minimum investment adjusting all expenses to qualify as platinum is Rs 2,00,000 (negative balance!)
Let us assume you become core after you cross 6% and the above expenses are bear minimum for person to achieve 15%.
My up-line was in 9% -12% for 15 months. And with above expenses he definitely must have spent about Rs 80,000 while out of fifteen months assuming he got something – let us say average retail profit of Rs 1000 (never happens every month for anyone if you exclude your own family members) and his income through commission – 3 times 9% and four times 12% and five times 6% – ‘provided’ he has everyone in width (this never happens too) will earn in total of Rs 50000 so you start your higher pin with best case scenario loss of Rs 30000. I excluded all up line goal PVs and forced buys and unnecessary top brand purchases in shopping malls. Also assumed that, he will not have lost anything until he reaches 9% these two are also not in reality.
Now let us talk about his 21% ‘qualification’. You can assume to have added another Rs 2500 per month as he starts spending more on tools and even possibly un subscribed tickets and so on. More plans more books and cds given which are not returned more signup and hence more tools to downlines. He took another eight months reach 21% of Rs 54000 commission which I saw personally. Now assume he maintained 12-15% level for 7months. However, once you start maintaining some level your income reduces! Because you need to start having people in downlines at the same level too make them profitable other wise they will not fight for your silver qualification. Once this happens your income becomes less than that off downlines. I did this when I was at 6%! I say this because he was just an eagle and did not have more than 3working legs! So let us still say he will have earned Rs6000 every month. Starting with zero PV every month Amway is the most inconsistent business! If you do not understand what I say go and do the business and ensure your brain is open while doing the business. That is about another Rs20000 loss – til now totalled up to Rs 50,000 on a best case scenario!
So he became 21% and has not qualified for gold (3months at 21%) for next fifteen months which I knew. Once he is silver he has tools counter at home, all products in artistry lying literally everywhere home. A costly health analysis machine. To show off he has a car along with two bikes. He is a leader now and PASE meeting and all other stuff happening at his home. And he is in the ‘inner circle’ of up line doing more and more! He has to invest 10000 every month in tools, let us say 4000 is sold, so Rs 6000, minimum products of Rs 15000, he has bought for downlines, should have all products all times, etc, he and his wife do spend at least Rs 10,000 on clothes(!, yes I had been with them), Rs 10000 on petrol and vehicles, other expenses like eating outside, travelling on outstation business can easily add up to Rs 50000. Best case a consistent spending of Rs 40000 i have seen for six months! Tell me what is his income. All higher pins and not all 6legs even qualified. Best case income from commission could be put at 30000 every month?? He could have been qualified as platinum, by now, if that was the case! His up line platinum has not yet qualified as founders platinum as yet, I was in business for 22 months, he was a platinum before I joined (and he had silver downline as referred above) Anyways we will take that loss of Rs 10000 for last 15months! So before someone becomes a platinum he has to spend nearly Rs 2,00,000!
So, I had given away all those books and CDs back to my up-line. While asking the questions or you can call ‘counselling’ agin [:)], he told ‘I am frustrated, you have life time to do this business. Everyone goes through difficult phases, then only you can call it as achievement. I did not do any magic in this business. Second month in my platinum qualification one of my downline quit. But I still have the business, I have not lost the world. What happens if you lose your job or why will give control to your boss, with respect to your financial future? What if your wife does not want to go to work? You are going towards slavery leaving out the freedom’.
I had no intentions to fight with him, so I told I could not do business with your vertical alignment structure – “You>Your Spouse>Your Children>Your Parents and family>Your Job>Your business”. And my objective is not dream something outside my medium term horizon. He had told me once, ‘Amway is not built for money but for life style’. I returned the same to him saying, I need money from the business and if a better life style comes that is just a bonus.
He still took me for granted, and said, ‘take the CDs and books back home and we will speak later’. But I had the guts to say a polite ‘No’. I was so relaxed! No pressure of contacting, and no pressure of PV goals, in fact I do not have to take pride in participating in up-line’s goals. Now I do not have to feel guilty if I go home and spend time with my wife and family.
Here is my observation:
If the success rate/probability is 1-2% and you will succeed only if you have all the people skills, leadership skills, ability to follow and put consistent effort why do we do only Amway? When you preach freedom, why your up-line decides whom should you sponsor in-depth or width, when should you take vacation (if ever), when to go to home town/native, which company to work, when to retire from job (!), what to buy, how much should you spend on a daily basis… on an on and on. Whatever prescribed, you should do and you call the person who is obeying the prescriptions as to having freedom. The biggest issue is they hate everyone who is Job but they do not show plan if someone is unemployed! Everywhere it is a complete pseudo ideology and hypocrisy. Within a few weeks of joining I was told by a succesful builder regarding Amway business. He met a guy who was succesful in Amway business having seen him recognised in higher pin on one of the system functions. After couple of years that successful guy became mentally ill and never recovered from a kind of shock. He does not seem to get cured with time or any normal treatments. What did I do? Told the same story to my up-line who said, “Why do you listen to some one who did not do?”.
I was reading in a book, not a system provided one, it said, “You need to learn from others mistakes, understand what works and what does not, spending more time to become a master in a field which is not going to work will only take you downwards”
With that I had faced 28 people saying ‘NO’ to my business! One after another, show the plan return empty-handed, spend on petrol, CDs and books and no investments. We still went 6% a few times and I could get a customer for a handsome amount. So I mustered my way up to some sort of earning from the business. My up-line still kept telling the same thing, ‘do more you are on right track…’! In fact he commented on my down-lines, saying that he had forgotten them and ‘…you do not have a team. So you cannot go any further. Sponsor more people’ and I could not explain my grief of facing 28 successive negatives excluding cancellation of appointments. But again, there was another business building seminar was coming up and he asked me to get more people to the function! This tells you the story of very important factor in the business, books, CDs and functions should also have equally exceptional turnover. I could recall what my trusted down-line had told, about 4-5 months back.
They had even changed the way they ‘show the plan’. Even though I was part of all associations, just because I had no books and CDs and function numbers (apart from myself) most of the information I used to get by default from my up-line had dried up. I was supposed to ask for everything and I was made to look foolish each time. Increasing gap means, less number of phone calls from me to my up-line. He was almost telling me that, I am going to replace you (and he told the same about one of my downline) soon enough. One day, I got late in the office and I could not execute any of the planned appointments, and because my mind still thought destiny is there for in this business only, I called my up-line. He was out of station, having qualified for some promotion and he ridiculed over the phone, ‘hey did you not know this?’. Whatever, I used get to know by default was not accessible and me and my wife were ridiculed by our own so-called ‘mentors’. I sent him an emotional text on his phone, ‘I am desperate to do all activities in the business, I needed god’s help’. I got a shocking reply, ‘I do not want to see any negative sms from you, please do not text me anything like this anymore’.
I got this hit on my face from the person whom I had made centre of my life. He used to tell me when to go to native, what to buy what not buy etc., just six months back. Now every step on I was singled out for all wrong reasons, to an extent I had become point where he could take me for granted to outburst his frustration. He referred my name as a high maintenance IBO several times in groups as well. So, as in cricket, pressure was built over after over. And finally, it took another partiality incident with my wife where we decided to say good-bye to the system.
My wife was called to attend the phone meeting and my wife replied saying, ‘I don’t have fifteen numbers’. But the host lady still asked my wife to attend, once she went there, due to local langauge issues, they had asked my wife to do a call for an unknown lady. In the next week open same host lady asked not to come if you do not have 15 cold contacts for the week! This just showed us that, they were using our skills to build their business. I had almost decided that I would quit. So I called up my trusted downline and explained the whole story. He told a few more truths that were uncovered. So, I had decided to attend one last meeting in his house on a weekend and say good-bye.
So, on the final day I dressed up to the best standard, I was asked to present a demo on a skin care product. I did the phenominal presentation. Came home had lunch, sent a sms to up-line asking his permission to go to his house. Dressed up very casually and packed all CDs and books and landed at his house. And told him I am leaving your business and take all your tools. I did not ask for money but I had the mental relief, not feel guilty every moment, and more importantly I could live the way I want. Amway business was no more a centre of my life! He started asking many questions, and I hardly gave solid answers, as I had no intentions to fight with him. He told that, you have life time to build this business and why are judging things by two years! What a belief from a cult who took things for granted on me. I still had the guts to say no when I had to say no!
By now another we are into third month in the metro city. Having done all the hard work, in fact, adding value to the ‘system’ by qualifying for so many effort recognitions we had nothing to show. The ticket price for open meeting had gone up. Because we were in the business for more than one and half years, when we landed in associations we started getting ready-made smiles from everyone. Meanwhile, we started noticing change in brand names in associations too. Old platinums were fading away, they would just come on stage and say their name and go every week. We also knew that, a 15% pin-holder had quit from my own up-line’s business and when I asked, up-line told, that person has taken a ‘break’. But that was a plain lie. My up-line who went 21% 12 months back, still was not even at a gold pin, which is meant for 3 continuous months of 21%. To be honest, he had the commitment towards the system, people skills, ability to do whatever was told along with his personal contact with platinums, emeralds and even diamonds. His frustrations were starting to show on us.
We attended a team meeting from our super up-line and a few ladies told to have more than 60 customers for their PVs! because we had seen them since they joined the business having married to the people in higher pins, we know it is impossible to have 83 customers in 1.5yrs time. My up-line told once, just like showing the plan everywhere 80:20 rule works. To fix three demos, you need to have contacted 15 people every week. If you show demo to 10 prospects, some 2-3 will buy, out of 10 buyers 2-3 will be repeat buyers. If this is the reality, which looks like one, you would have to have learnt contacting and calling, and being expert in the products and services and competition and met about 1400 people in 75 weeks time! How foolish this calculation is! There is no room for logic or verifying the truth. My wife used to feel the partiality that was going on. Just because husbands are in higher pin, those ladies were given importance in associations, kind of invisible partiality. Similar to men having phone meeting women also had their phone meeting to fix appointment for demo.
If you do not have fifteen numbers you should not go to the phone meeting! That was a half mandated rule for ladies. However my wife realised that, there other ladies at higher pin level could go to the phone meeting even if they had just sit and chit-chat. We realised most of the times PV was coming only from relatives and their own family members and that was claimed to be ‘sales’ and retail! My wife gone zero on books and CDs and because of the bad treatment, she became irregular to functions as well. It only increased pressure on me to increase the effort. System had every other method to make you feel guilty, if you are at home you feel guilty, at the office feel guilty, contacting, is not a part of productivity. Listening to CDs, reading books, attending trainings and functions are not part of productive work!
One day, I was listening to CDs while driving and I ended up falling down as some cab from behind had hit. In the system, whatever that was taught could only be there to build the pressure. I was even questioned for wearing a semi-formal dress for a phone meeting which has completely informal set-up. I noticed an all important thing since beginning, anyone who is not joining Amway, they were laughed at by all the so-called freedom builders or IBOs. Every downline who did do what was told by up-line was a subject of gossip all the time! A person who was my cross-line joined during the same time as us had gone 9% and because, I was present on the day of putting PV, I knew how he got into the pin. Me and my wife were deep into the hole in terms of emotional pulverisation…
So, came back to metro city, having seen time go by, to be precise one and half years after signing up, with an objective of final push so that, I can move up in the business next level. By now I had sponsored 30+ and had less than five to show in my team. But now with the help of my working up-line I got a house which is in a prime are of the city near to all my activities.
Pressure, pressure, pressure… I had to sponsor people and I did sponsor some five people in one months time all cold contacts. And because of my renewed energy some sleeping down lines bought some products too! I also had some people in another once in year celebration that came along. Things looked smooth as I was getting qualified for prescribed number of cold contacts per week, plans per week etc. I asked my up line what else do I need to improve. He said start investing clothes, for example I was expected to buy 3-4 brand new sets of shirts and trousers each pair costing about Rs 300! And I did not buy that, as my finances did not allow. I had just gone through very difficult period of my life both in finances and family concerns. I was supposed to buy a branded jacket costing Rs2000 instead I bought two pieces in local market for Rs 1300. Up-line only said ‘it is local market, there you get cheap products’. I was supposed to think ‘abundance’ irrespective of the financial condition otherwise you look like cheap poor guy who is interested to save money rather than make money. Never ever think of saving small money here and there.
I was told to go by bus to the office so that on the way I could do contacting. When I struggled to show the plans as bus travelling takes time, my up line asked why are you hesitant to take bike. In reality my wife was taking bike and bus facility was not favourable. I declined to buy a particular style of shoes and I noticed I did not follow-up line and was known to be high maintenance IBO for an up-line.
Anyways, I sponsored people and again no one bought products! I still remained at 6% with handful of people buy something here and there. In the plan it is shown all are FMCG products and everyone buys repeatedly. But in reality, there is hardly anything that are real FMCG category, if you exclude supplements and high-end cosmetics. If you buy a toothpaste it will come for 3months for two people and everything else come for 6months to more than one year. How will the PV come every month if you have same set of people, impossible and you literally have to sponsor new people always forever. If you want to maintain 6% then you need to sponsor if you want to maintain diamond in of 60,000PV, how will it differ!
I continued to qualify for contacts but I failed to qualify for 20 plans in a month where it was a promotion. I was missing a chance to meet a diamond! With that, I was almost in state of blood coming down from my eyes no more tears. On the night of the night ‘diamond night owl’ my up-line just re-ignited the pain by asking “hey man, are you not coming, you are not interested to shake hands with diamond, huh?”. He obviously knew what was going on everyday and he only ensured I suffered more pain. Even now I feel angry for such treatments, if you say and preach talking positives, why do you keep hitting on the head with these kind of words every second sentence. I was literally doing everything mentioned in the system, wearing suite to all functions, except wearing red-tie, coming early and leaving late irrespective of the requirement!
I was advised to buy new folders new stationary, new things, never worry about controlling spending, that’s all those small people do! Diamonds do not worry about small things right? If you want to become a diamond you also do same. Within no time tide again started swinging adversely. All activities but no results and could not qualify for a few of the promotions. Sponsored people are not lifting my calls, follow-ups do not happen and so on. After you show the plan, you leave a CD or any relevant materials but they never pick your call, so money spent on those is wasted but you should not think that way. Those were supposed to be small money you need to invest but without counting! No profit and loss account business please…
I tried to share my issues with my working up-line but all that, I received was to think positive talk positive and do more. No real help at all! But whenever possible, he never forgot to hit on my emotions, talking about someone else’s self-image and comparing the same etc. Every week, there used to be a phone meeting at his house, and all of his down lines with their new contact list gathered during the week, went and made calls to fix their appointments. In a phone meeting I said, one part of his has some trouble with network, and he bluntly told, ‘if you have team you can have phone meeting at your house only nah…?’ Get closer to your up-lines guys and if you still had brain by then you will know what is dictionary meaning for humiliation.
Meanwhile, my plans started yielding zero results! And because I was in a new job, I had to stretch in the office. All the my up-line commented was about my work ethics and self talk. In fact whole system preaches you that, just by having some self talk and faith you can become whatever you want! If that is the case why do you do this same thing, giving smile to strangers, snatching their numbers saying extravagant stuff about some business which gets totally different when they join. Dream of a lottery and you might get it, all lotteries have same 1% chance of winning. In this business also, out of about 100 sign-up who remain active only 1% will become platinums.
With all the trouble I had, my relationship with my up-lines started showing signs of distance. Biggest reason was I was never allowed to talk any problems. My wife meanwhile, reduced CDs and books next to nothing. I used to get angry for not qualifying to one more PV goal promotion, we did not put so many enough PVs and so on. Basically distance really started to creep in as, I noticed, my up-line called only when it gets near to month-end. Of course he had the reasoning of not building my business, and I had to build my own business. However, mentorship is preached in the system and when it comes down to you it is mostly position dictates the terms, while hitting on your emotions having built the cult mentality already. Anyway, system does not allow you to think and question!
I was looking for a job change for long time by then. Meanwhile, I got an opportunity to work for public sector undertaking, leaving out corporate world. So what to do next? Ask your up-line and get him involved in every decision you take. I asked a specific question to him. ‘Would you have taken up the job if you were to be in my position, he said ‘yes”. Unfortunately, promise was not kept by the new employer and I was forced to move to a Tier-II city in the same state with the new public sector job. I was given a very good farewell by my working up-line as we left the metro city. Anyways, being in the same state and about an overnight journey, we felt like, the move will not make too much of a difference. More importantly, our working up-line had promised to carry forward the team that I was building previously. With all high hopes of building a business in new place we landed to a completely new place.
We new contacting and thought we can start moving things quickly. That great system was there for any help any time even though we did not have anyone in the same line of sponsorship in the entire city. However, heat again started to fall on us quite quickly. The majority age group of the city was either below 20s or above 45, mostly income was coming from their own businesses. And the population itself was quite less due to flight to metro cities nearby. This made life difficult, forget about 25 contacts, five contacts per week became nearly impossible. Still I kept struggling here and there but I was never able to convey the issue that I was facing there to my working up-line. From the beginning itself I never liked the job in the new environment either. But I could not say anything apart from positives even if they were painful lies.
As I struggled to sponsor new faces, not even one in two months, I found some of my out-station down-lines a little active and interested. My working up-line suggested to visit their places and I said ok. It used to cost quite a few bucks and taxing on the body, because of travelling. Within no time another once a year even came again. There we took people from my out-station business and my up-line did the final effort on my team by taking one person from my team in the metro I stayed previously. It looked good when we had down lines to major functions. But to be honest, down lines were all close relatives of mine who were very young in their lives. So, till date I do not know whether came by their own self or just because they could not say no!
The reason why I wrote last line is important in terms of my fortunes in the business. Within weeks time after returning from the function, first my wife fell sick for long duration and my down lines became in active I managed to sponsor one guy who hardly bought any products. Being a rainy season, my life became standstill. But I had no freedom to talk what I was facing. I got the telephonic counselling, every week, and the same thing was repeated – ‘things are going good only, just sponsor a few, and start building the team’. Boss that’s what I am unable to do because of 100s of reasons. And my out-station business started falling down and my up-line then told, ‘it is usually like this only, you cannot rely much on those, sponsor more things will be alright’. Since joining till date I had sponsored over 25 people and I had no one to duplicate me! And I still had to wear false smile mask all the time. The biggest loss that I suffered was, when I had sponsored people in-depth and whomsoever I worked with, all quit on me! Neither did I make short-term money with them as they were able to go to 6% and I also stayed at 6% as well nor did they build any long term business. I am not sure if I putting a blame on my up-line for not sponsoring them in width. But if you had ever obeyed your up-line who is supposed to be interested in your success, you will know that, you have no freedom to decide who should go in width or who should go in-depth. All that I could do was to continue to listen to rally CDs and get my ‘motivation’ up. Remember, I kept speaking to my ‘working’ up-line in every possible chance.
During the same time, one of my most trusted downline shared some important information regarding history of Amway business. He talked about, rationale behind the education system and he really explained me the concept of financial freedom in the business. He had read the Merchants of Deception and the Business Reference Guide. However, system does not allow you to ask about up-line’s business and also cannot ask anything with cross lines. So he only had to tell in brief and cannot go against my wishes. Even though I did not change my mind to quit, whatever was conveyed by my down-line stayed at the back of my mind. And my business technically became stand-still when a few tragic things (not interested disclose) had happened in my family within couple more months. But I still took an opportunity explain whatever the issues I faced in those four-five months and I successfully convinced my up-line that neither can I build business in that small city, nor have I enjoyed one minute in my job. So I quit the public sector job to pursue better life in the metro city again!
So during my entire tenure in that Tier-II city, I learnt, people keep moving on and you should be there in the inner circle of your up-line to ‘succeed’. With this you know one more thing, wherever you go you need to subscribe to book and CD of the month program, attend all functions and seminars. During these days, I spent more money on travelling and ‘giving away tools’ and I had very little results to show in terms of PV. Of course, it could have been more if not for me halting in between as I was not interested to do too much towards the system, which only advised me to wear false positives all the time.
So after that mega function, my up-line platinum and my working up-line had some ‘work that side’ (where my house was located) and they all lined-up. They started drawing my team. Goals, the real PV Goals! Most of the times I was praised for silly reasons, later I realised that, all of them come from system and ready-made smiles and praises. None of them were anyway near from their heart!
But I was so happy to see them at my home building my business and my future! I did not even understand where these things were heading. But soon enough, I started feeling the pressure of promotions and recognitions. You need to qualify for all of those! First 25 contacts night owl, next five plans and three demos, attending trainings and ‘putting PV’. Start using more cosmetics and more supplements. Without supplements you will not have energy to stay awake till 2AM and get up and go next morning once more! So PVs will come from increased self use, which also meant that whomsoever joined my team should be the ones who were ready to consume and consume more of what was told in the system.
I started showing my own plans people joined and but very few bought products regularly. Still I had some credibility with my down lines and I registered highest number of PVs in second month of free enterprise function. This helped my up-line to qualify for 9% who never qualified more than that for another years time! So now start contacting because my personal list no longer exists! So started contacting 25 people a week for continuously four weeks. During the same time I ended literally putting PV for helping my up-line’s goal. That was 30 minutes before close of the month end orders. It was worth more than Rs 9000! Imagine what is happening, a person who never bought anything without necessity has just ‘invested’ on some one else’s goal without even having an idea of getting the return. However, I was at-least awake next month, did not buy one PV because I had enough stock. I started experiencing the mental trauma as I got closer to up-lines. I had to buy in the beginning of the month because you need to have PV in the system and again during the month some offer gets launched buy them as the price is reasonable and then at the end of the month to reach the goal put the PV again!
So I started qualifying for the night owl that used to happen after weekly function on same nights. There I was told the truth! You are spending best time of your life so spend it properly because you are supposed to succeed in this. Do more every month! One thing needs to be cleared here. A person who qualifies for the night owl is the one who is the core business owner, so if he is core he has to get the results. So mental trauma starts, you see other people always speaking positives and you do not even know whether it is a reality because except your up-line you should not discuss anything about the business. So what you feel, 10 months in the business have not sponsored enough people and not gone up to 9% and you see every one happy except you! One night I was literally humiliated by my super up-line emerald in qualification regarding me not having a bike while building the business. Of course I had to have two-wheeler but why these system guys say so much that could literally put their own(?) people down? And I ended up getting a two-wheeler. Meanwhile my credit card bills started soaring as people whom sponsored had to buy products and I had to get the PV goals closed so I had to use my card! And do what, read motivational stories and listen to CDs and up-lines and all initial struggles were supposed to be steps for success! Slowly but surely I was heading towards cult movement…
And I always had to talk positives, irrespective of the situations as I already had a team of people. So wear the false smile all the time and condition your thinking to ‘going great’. I think this is how someone gets bankrupt! If I start talking about any problem, my up-line always said there is nothing called problems these are challenges… To be honest this was the biggest issue with which I ended up quitting. A business that was promised to be built part-time or spare time of 12-15hours a week ended up becoming the centre of your life. Every other thing becomes secondary and the business became primary. Once you start qualifying for the promotions you have to be there for every other thing that came. First comes effort promotions and the PV promotions. And if you are at home within 7PM to 11PM that means you are not up to the mark. Cults feel guilty by themselves.
It is always preached that, you might get thousands of down-lines but you will have only one up-line. So follow them wherever it is! I started to go for counselling, but all that was told was to do more, that’s all, the counselling is done! And never talk negative this was becoming terrific. But listen to more rally CDs, there everyone will talk about their struggles and you feel happy about relatability. My schedule started getting overwhelming at 6%! Do 25 contacts a week, attend open meeting, night owl if you are qualified, attend phone meeting, sunday meeting and cover dish, product training, show the plan, do the follow-up, and do some sales too. Oh I missed to tell you, I needed to read at least two new books every month and listen to two new CDs everyday day after day, order products deliver them to the customers. If they do not pay on time go again and collect money. If someone signs up go and submit the products, spend time with them. Attend monthly business building seminars promote them, try to qualify for eagle club (three working legs with 6%, 10 people subscribing to the books and CDs, 20 people in major functions etc.) Face negatives and ‘NO’s and people who joined majority did not do much. And there were people quitting officially as well. 10 months in the business not qualified for 9% and not even an ‘Eagle’ which was told to be 90 days programme! All these were apart from my job, on which I had to devote maximum time. So sleep less and feel proud of putting efforts, results will come some day! Once you have a team to duplicate you only have to guide them. Remind you my maximum PV in a month, during entire 22 months, never crossed 800 and reached above 650 twice or thrice, vaguely remember now. And I was told again and again that, as in cricket initial few overs are be difficult, so in Amway business initial period will be difficult, you are on a right track, keep doing more. Never miss any meeting, never miss the association and expenditure that came along never count, these are all small investments you need to make.
If any of you reading this blog, did the work I did will realise what am I talking. Otherwise, I am not sure you will make much sense of cult kind of behaviour that, all these system guys behave. So I started believing in my destiny as Amway success only! Keep listening to CDs and reading books and attending all functions, surely your thinking capacity is vanished and you can relate with my story, quite easily. This is what was taught in CDs with respect to order of priorities in daily life – “You>Your Spouse>Your Children>Your Parents and family>Your Job>Your business”. Now go back and read my schedule again! And you have “no problems at all, only challenges, in hurdle jumping athletes only look at the goal not the hurdles, you are not thinking long-term yaar, you will become what you think, if your hands are empty your brain has lot to think, do more!”… See how guilt can step into your mind!
So, I started struggling again, need to go 300PV! Somehow, sponsored a few more from ‘A list’ and ‘B list’ and because of my personal increased usage couple of sales here and there took me to 6%. With that my wife also started to come to weekly functions occasionally. I was listening to CDs and reading books and my acquaintance continued to use many more people skills and I was almost in trans state of mind. Believing in whatever told… and allowing ‘the system’ to be part of my daily life. I did not understand where it was heading to.
Then came another business building seminar and none else in my team but my wife! I read somewhere that, cult is built not on a single day or a weekend, it is a continued re-enforcement over time. Meanwhile we started to understand more things in terms of ‘building the business’. We continued to run in dreams as we attended another once in a year celebration of free enterprise. Travelled in train and everyone seemingly accommodated us. So by now also started to subscribe for books and CDs. You can imagine the expenditure side now! I still continued to get some money in monthly 6% commission along with bits and pieces of sales. Major issue in my mind was, as usual, returns were not offsetting my expenses. I did not have a vehicle and hence I was taking my working up-line to show plans and follow ups. But I was clearly told that, expenses that are incurred should be treated as ‘investments’. However there was nobody to tell to maintain an income and expenditure account. This is the catch guys, if you call something a business, and you are not maintaining income and expenses or profit and loss account you’re in for a trouble. Only way I managed myself was, by having a reasonable spending pattern and also constantly checking if I am able to finance my function tickets by respective month earnings.
So what next, start learning how to make calls, going out with up-line and learn the basics. Please note that, I read books on people skills and to make calls I was given a readymade script which has been successful over the years, as I was told by my working up-line. I was apprehensive while trying for a few times, even though English is my second language I was courageous!
I was invited for something called once a year opportunity “Summer Conference”. It was supposed to cost me and my wife about Rs 2500 and we were asked to spend money within 8-10 weeks in ‘the business’ in the name of ‘investment’. Me being conservative, and in their terms employee minded, somehow did not attend. And I was received this standard script. “Let us say if you put the money in the bank 7years down the line it will double. However, if you come there and listen to self-made millionaires, you might 100 times more money in the same period. And I know you are apprehensive because, you never saw about what I am talking, however, beauty of any business is, you never know what is in store for you. You just have to ‘trust us’ and come along.” After he came back from the function nothing much happened.
Following month again there was a business building seminar for which my wife declined to come and my friend who joined under my sponsorship turned out. I got impressed by the speaker who told lots of stories and techniques. I almost got into tears when it came to recognition. I saw person who was getting recognised, sitting on a wheel-chair and it was for quite high ‘pin’. There was an old widower too. All these people did not have great education background or any metro city luxuries.
I said, man this is it and my downline is with me and we are going to crack this business down! But to my surprise my friend did not seem to understand neither technique of the business nor money and emotional parts. And that month, we were planning to go 6% (300PV and each PV is equal to Rs 50). My friend never bought anything even after ‘investing’ Rs 250 for the function. So that means I stumbled in no time.
And I continued to sponsor few of my friends, but business is never done by friends and relatives. Meanwhile, I started to find customers here and there and I was not afraid of selling. Even after quitting Amway for outside world we use most of the products for our own family. As long as quality and price is not matched by competing products we can still buy Amway products. Of course we discarded which are too expensive for the said quality. And remember if you do not sell anything you are bound to be debts! I quit Amway business and did not lose too much money. If I look back as profit and loss account I am bound to have debit balance (Loss) but manageable across the period. So, anyone who reads, this I am not at all interested to influence about what you do and decide to do, every individual is free to do whatever it is feasible.