An IBO or an “Independent Business Owner”. Most people involved in the Amway business refer to themselves as IBOs or ABOs, which is an Amway business owner. While this is all good, what does it mean to be an IBO/ABO? It would appear to me that the title is just a trumped up title with little meaning. An Amway business for the vast majority, has no equity. You don’t own your downline, and you probably don’t have much inventory. Your business basically exists only on paper, and if you are like most other IBOs involved in a system, then you are operating at a loss when you factor in business expenses.
For the average person, losing money would cause people to question the system or to make a decision to quit and walk away from the business. I believe this already happens and the theory can be confirmed by the fact that the Amway business doesn’t retain their IBOs. At the end of the first year, you already have about 2/3 of IBOs quitting or not renewing. This indicates to me that the products and the opportunity do not have enough value to maintain the interest of those who sign up. It makes perfect sense. You have presentations where they show how you can earn great riches in a short period of time, and basically retire and walk the beaches of the world. People sign up in the excitement and quickly realize that the business doesn’t produce what was advertised.
Amway is not the only opportunity like this. Many financial gurus sell financial systems promoting an easy path to success, or at least a shortcut to wealth, rather than a more traditional method of working a job and savings for retirement. But looking at the big picture, jobs produce a far greater number of comfortable retirements than Amway or any of these other financial systems. Working a job for 30 – 40 years doesn’t sound appealing, thus these shortcuts appeal to the masses. However, unfortunately, the masses cannot possibly succeed together. A rare individual with exceptional skills may overcome the barriers to succeed at times, but they are few and far between, and likely leave a trail of financial disasters along the way.
I would venture to say that most IBOs are honest, hard working and motivated people. They strive for a better life as most people do, but get lured into the possibility that there is a shortcut to long term success. And while some exceptional and rare people can make the flawed system work, the vast majority of people cannot. Unfortunately, by the time people discover this, they have already invested time and money into the system. At that point, it becomes a tough decision as to whether you press on, hoping for the business to pan out, or to stop and cut your losses.
Fortunately for me, I realized what was happening, and I made a decision to stop. My damage was minimal as compared to some other testimonies I have seen. I blog to help prevent others from falling into the trap.