I was approached to join Amway in January 2003. At the time all the talk of ‘financial freedom’, ‘sacking my boss’ and ‘throwing away my alarm clock’ was just what i wanted to hear. The man who showed me the business plan referred to the business as ‘Y2K’ and made no mention of Amway. I went home with my head full of dreams about fancy cars, yachts, private jets and all the material things in life. I signed up the next day and within a couple of weeks had signed up most of my family. The Monday night meetings became a meeting point for my family and friends; I signed them all up!
For the next three years, i effectively worked two jobs. During the day i worked my usual job as a real estate agent and then at nights I went to meetings, cold called potential prospects and showed the plan to potential clients. I dropped introductional tapes, books and then cd’s all over the city. I bought products that I still havent used just to make up my monthly quota of points. When i was getting close to the 21% bonus level for the first time, i was strongly encouraged by my upline to buy an air filtering machine, using approximately $2,000 of money that i didnt really have, just to hit this target.
This pattern continued for three years and i really didnt advance in the business. Slowly my family and downline drifted out of the business, as success eluded them. My wife got sick and tired of showing the plan and going to endless meetings, all for little result. It put a serious strain on our marriage. When i started to falter, my upline would arrange a ‘dream session’ and i would go hard again for another three months or so. Finally, i missed a Monday night meeting. There was an outcry the next day, with all of my upline ringing me to try and remotivate me. By then, in about April 2006, I had had enough.
During my time in ‘the business’ (as it is referred to) i spent at least $10,000 on mostly worthless junk. I accumulated thousands of tapes, cd’s, motivational books and attended hundreds of meetings, seminars and dream nights. I also showed the plan to hundreds of prospective clients. The largest monthly cheque i ever received was about $160, most were a lot smaller than that. I never made a profit. Every month i spent more than i earned.
Five years after i left the business and all of my downline and a lot of my upline have left Amway. Some diehards are still going and good luck to them. God knows how they keep going.
Looking back, I was totally sold on the idea of being a multi-millionaire and having all of the material things in life. I was convinced that Amway was going to provide that. I believed the stories of fantastic wealth derived from short periods in the business, but never directly saw any evidence of it. The most successful couple that we saw have now been in the business for over 18 years and are still not diamonds. I am told that they are still out showing the plan and going to meetings after nearly two decades since first joining. They must have the strenth of Hercules and the patience of Job. Good luck to them.
Since leaving the business I have re-built most of the relationships that were damaged by my over zealous recruiting attempts. I now enjoy just having one job and being able to go home at night and just watch tv on the couch or relax with friends. No meetings to attend, no book of the month to read, no plans to show and no downline to worry about and try to keep motivated. One thing i do have though is a whole garage full of old cleaning products……