I had never posted our Amway story and thought I should make a post about it. I had dreamed countless times about the glorious story of achievement, I would tell from the stage to a crowd of eager IBOs ready to soak in the nuggets about my achievements in Amway, but that was not the case to be.
We started in 2003 and were active till around end of 2009. By active I mean being out there more than 5 nights a week, showing 3-5 plans a week, attending all associations, flying/driving miles, doing more than 300 pv per month.
I was sponsored by my best friend whom I had known for around 10 years. I was new to the country. I had been in the US for only a month. My friend invited me to a FED in Minneapolis. He told me in no less words that I can forget our friendship if I was not willing to come to the FED and start the business. He in fact paid for my flight tickets, function ticket, starter pack and even paid for me to complete my 100Pv in my first month. Of course, I did repay all of this money, but this is how I got started. I went to the FED reluctantly but a lot of things talked about from the stage appealed to me and I decided to start the business.
Our woes started when my upline Emerlad decided in 2005 that he was going to get Emerald done no matter what and be a part of the upline diamond’s inner circle. So as a part of my upline starting emerald qualification, my sponsor started platinum qualification (Silver)- So we committed (Made to commit) 2500PV to be a part of upline’s goal. When we went 2500PV , we had no associating IBO. We bought more than 2000PV ourselves. We must have done retail about 100PV at the maximum and a few non-associating IBOs bought some big ticket items like e-spring. We bought a lot of jewellery. My wife who is a medical graduate and has a Master’s Degree was encouraged by upline to go to Nail spas and talk to the ladies there and sell jewellery. We had a long distance upline. So she had to do this on her own. When I think about my wife going to spas and selling jewellery for my idiotic upline’s goal-my blood boils even today.
Then we qualified for Ajmani Eagle leadership for the first time in 2005. We had 1 associating IBO who did 100PV and who was on standing order. The rest of the PV cheques we created by buying products and transferring the volume to inactive IBOs to create 5 more PV cheques. We were 8 SOT short to complete our Eagle parameters- So what did we do??? Our upline told us to buy just 8 Standing order CD for 4 weeks and 8 books for a whole month. BWW was not sitting there at the eagle leadership and checking who had 10 SOT or not or if we had 6 pv cheques or not- to this day, I wonder why the heck we were made to buy those extra standing orders and do extra volume to create PV cheques. For this we had to fly to the east coast- so more money had to be shelled out for flight tickets. There we realized many people had qualified like us, since many of the speakers kept saying that now that you have put your grandmother on standing order and have qualified, we want you to go back and fix your structure.
Most of the group my sponsor had put together at this time had vanished and he had decided to complete platinum qualification in 05-06 and be his upline’s third leg for his emeraldship. This meant more trouble for us as being my sponsor’s close friend and the system’s constant programming we were to become the scape goats. So the first month when he restarted platinum qualification we again did more than 2000PV. As soon as we did it, a big fight erupted between me and my wife due to me doing everything upline was telling without any concern for our future. When I talked to my upline emerald in qualification about why he was doing this to us- making us buy so much for his goals, he was so angry that we were questioning him and not being thankful for all the help he was doing- flying to meet us, and did a lot of guilt trip and made it clear that if we question uplines- we would not grow.
Our trust with our uplines had greatly reduced but we still believed that if what we did as told by the system, we will still win. We later realized that pretty much in all lines of sponsorship, the same thing is being done, but the system portrays itself as honest and full of values, so that the IBOs being exploited get the feeling that uplines may be bad but if you follow the system you will still win.
For the next few months there was no pressure and we thought that the uplines had dropped the idea of going platinum and Emerald. We did not realize that they had given us breathing space for a few months. It all started again from April of 06, when you had only 5 months to complete qualifications that year. April and May we again stocked up 1500 PV or more. June 06 was a big month as Kumar Go Diamond event was coming up in July 06 and we were highly encouraged to qualify for that event. At this point of time we had 1 active associating IBO who was on standing order- so the grand total of our standing order count was 2, including ours. In system they always teach from stage that you should have 20 Standing order when you start platinum qualification.
But in close quarters, in night owls uplines used to always tell that you cannot wait till you have 20 standing order and the perfect timing to start platinum qualification. So, finally in June 06 we qualified as Silver by BUYING MORE THAN 6000PV OURSELVES. At this point of time, our credit cards were maxed out because of stocking up products and all the other regular expenses involved with being a 100% core IBO. So what do our honest uplines do - My sponsor loans us $10,000 so that we can stock up products and qualify Silver. My up-upline emerald SMR calls me and this is what he told me verbatim - "You go silver this month and I will make sure you go platinum within the next one year". Guess how many calls I got from him after we went to Kumar go diamond? ZERO! He never called me even to just enquire how we are doing!
All he made sure was that his downline and brother RR qualified as emerald! My upline Emerald had the nerve to even call me in his last month of qualification if we were willing to buy 1000PV worth of jewellery. I still have my BWW calendar from that year, in which all the last days of my upline's emerald qualification were marked "PV deal", meaning my upline was convincing me/making me accountable for the goal we committed at the beginning of the month!
I still don’t know why I stayed in till this point or beyond this point, knowing fully well what crooks my upline were. I can attribute my staying in only to the bombardment of the teachings of the system and some cross line leaders, who seemed genuine and honest!
My sponsor did complete his platinum qualification and my upline his Emerald qualification in 2006. My upline Emerald cut a wonderful cd in where he talks about how he has made it in Amway. Sadly, his wonderful cd with a beautiful story does not tell the ACTUAL story about how many trusting IBOs he has exploited on his way to Emerald, how many IBO's bank balance he has wiped out, how much of a crook he actually is and how low he would stoop to achieve his goals.
Another big thing was our wedding. According the "system" you need to be legally married for people to trust you, so you cannot hang around for too long telling this is my fiancee, girl friend, etc., Since we had some resistance from our families for our wedding, we could not get a traditional Indian wedding done in India when we wanted it. So our uplines recommend us to get secretly married here, which we did. Everything was fine after our wedding, except for the fact that we both were feeling guilty. So we wanted to go to India and get a traditional wedding done. Whenever we talked to upline about this, my upline emerald RR would say "If you want to go to India, you can go for 10 days and come back. But if you want to go platinum in the next 1 year, then forget about it. You cannot go to India for 10 days and then expect to go platinum within the next 1 year. Your platinumship will be delayed by at least 6 more months." The truth was actually not that - it is to keep us here until he qualified emerald. Every time the wedding topic would come, he would pretty much black mail us with the same lines. So we were forced to stay here until he qualified emerald. But after that, he never really cared. The ultimate turn-around was when he told me a few years later he and my sponsor friend were wondering why we did not go to India and get our traditional wedding done any sooner than we did.
Next two years, no pressure to stock up products, though in 2007 in a major fight with uplines, we let them know what we really thought about them. We still believed that if we did what was taught by the system, we could still be financially free.
In 2008, my sponsor decides to start q12 qualification and his upline founders emerald qualification. This time they knew we would not buy a single extra product for their qualification. So, they come up with such a brilliant idea. At this point of time, Amway was giving 20% Pv/BV uplift for all online customer orders worth $75 or if you reported any customer order that you made from your inventory more than $75. My upline gets password for my Amway account and all our downlines and reports everybody’s personal purchase as customer order, so that they would get this 20% uplift. So this way, they exploit Amway’s promotion to get extra free PV. This happened for a couple of months and a few IBOs decided to drop out not wanting to be part of this team. One of my close friends and downline IBOs quit at this time. He at least had enough integrity in him to quit as soon as my uplines started the "real deal" on him and his downlines! I lost a good friend from my life! When I confronted my upline and asked him why he is being so dishonest, he said “Why would Amway have such a promotion if they know that people would misuse it. He said Amway wants people to take advantage of this 20% uplift promotion”. How could you ever argue with somebody who is hard headed and believes what they are doing is right?
Finally towards the end of 2009, when we had a chance due to our international trip to not be a part of system for about 3 weeks, we finally started asking ourselves why we are in it, when we are not making any profit, when our relationship was so sour due to the arguments about this business, when we were made to feel like losers by the system for not making it inspite of all the HARD work that we were putting in with no results to show for, when we were not winning in it and when we were not seeing any chance of winning in the next few years?? We decided we had had enough and not to be active with the system anymore. Even at this time our upline tried to influence us and keep us in the business and we were not willing to agree with him. We are so glad that we made this decision as we are so much happier and we dont have false hopes anymore.
We would have easily invested more than $80K in our Amway journey- with doing 300PV every month- most of these products that we had never used prior to being IBOs and would have NEVER used if we had not been a IBO, with all the flights we had to take to support our long distance groups, all the flight tickets to attend Go diamond leaderships- the money does add up to a staggering number. We had spent more than
$20K just for my upline’s Emerlad qualification. More than the money the time we spent, it pains us to think about the relationships that we had failed to nurture, the careers we had not paid attention to and the mess it created in our personal lives.
We have started our journey back to normal lives and we are glad that we came to our senses atleast now. Life is actually going great now. We took 3 quality vacations, have saved up a lot through our job incomes and are looking ahead for a great future!
And I am not saying you should not join Amway/BWW. Join it and make money honestly. Do not become part of anything dishonest, even if your upline does it and recommends it to you. Just because 100 people are doing something wrong, does not make it right. Have the guts to do it right every step along the way and achieve your dreams!