My first business was a brokerage company where were essentially manufucturers representatives in our market area – usually the State of Minnesota. After buying that company from the owner, my main supplier decided that even though we had increased their business from 1000 units to over 400,000 units in our market in approximately 15 years, they just didn’t feel like paying my company our commission any more. They decided to just go around us, directly to our customers and sell them direct. Kind of like what Walmart has been doing for years.
I spent the decade of my twenties working in that business and trying to buy it. Ninety days later, it was al but gone. I sacrificed college, dating, marriage, family, everything for the sake of a better future, figuring that I would have a very good income in my late 20’s if I did so. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.
It was shortly after this that I was introduced to the Amway business. It was a case where they hit me with the right message at the right time. I was told that if I worked hard, practiced “delayed gratification”, and gave up the next 2-5 years of my life building “the business” that I would then be able to live “the diamond lifestyle”. It seemed like a second chance after having my dreams crushed in my previous venture.
Amway seemed like a the perfect business to me. I had been in sales all of my adult life, so contacting people and showing the plan was easy to me. The tapes said that if I would “show this plan to 100 people, I could have anything in the world I ever wanted.”
Over the course of the next 4-5 years, I went to EVERY meeting they had with the exception of the very first weekend seminar. I had gone to the rally in the afternoon and thought that the evening session was the same thing so I didn’t go. I also missed a Nutilite Vitamin seminar because I mixed up the date. Otherwise my attendance was perfect.
Upon entering the business, I bought every tape on the tape list because I was told that this would be setting a good example, and that the knowledge I would gain from the tapes would help me build the business that much faster. I also bought every book on the tools list. I can say with complete honesty that I have listened to every tape that was available at least once, and many of them I have listened to quite a few times. A couple of my favorites I’m sure I listened to at least 100 times. I have also read every book on their book list except one that was tarteged at wives, as I am a man.
Some people probably do claim to have done these things, but I can honestly say that I have.
I also showed the Amway plan to over 100 people over the course of approximately 4 years. This is one area where I didn’t follow their instructions to the “T”. They said that you should show 100 plans in one year and you would have a foundation for a Ruby level business.
I saw several Diamond speakers at seminars, rallys, etc. who claimed that they never showed the plan even 100 times (to sponsor someone personally, not including plans for their downlines) and they were Diamonds. They also said that they had no people skills before entering the business.
After hearing this one time, it dawned on me that I had, in fact, shown 100 personal plans, and I was NOT a nerd. I had proven in the past to be a successful business person, so I felt that something had to be wrong. I counseled with my upline Direct Distributor about this and he had no answers for me. All he could say was to keep showing the plan. I met with him every 6 months for the next 2 and a half years, and nothing changed. My business wasn’t growing.
If I was the only one experiencing this, I would have had no problem believing that it was I who needed to grow, learn, and do something differently. However, I had been in the business over 5 years, and World Wide Dream Builders had not broken a single diamond in that entire span of time. If everyone was at least TRYING to do the 2-5 year plan, you would think that SOMEONE would have had some success.
The only explanation I ever heard for this was that people weren’t working hard enough. I believe that this was probably true for the majority of distributors, but it couldn’t have been true for everyone.
Finally, it got to the point that I couldn’t justify showing the plan to other people if I didn’t really believe that I was offering them anything that would produce results. My direct distributor is a nice guy, but he has still never given me any reason to believe that the business can work for me other than to say that I just have to believe.
When all was said and done, I had spent another 5-6 years of my life “working for my future” on yet another empty promise. I quit the Amway business with the thought that it was not entirely bad. In fact, I really liked a lot of what they stood for: God, Country, free enterprise, owning your own business, bringing wives home to their children, having time, money, and living my dreams. The only problem was that there wasn’t any money in the business, here you can get payday loans in Florida (US). Needless to say, that’s a pretty important thing. All in all, I have mixed feelings about my time in Amway. The people involved seemed like quality people, and they stood for the right things. It was too bad it didn’t work.
After Amway, I got into the mortgage business, and have spent the last 10 years in that industry. Five years ago, I started my own mortgage company, and had a few very good six figure years. Then the real estate market fell out from under us.
This brings me to today. For the last 5 years, I have thought that it would be nice to find a business like Amway that actually works.
Recently, I was approached by an Herbalife distributor, and decided to got to one of their meetings. I don’t know much about the company, except that they are one of the bigger MLM’s out there, and that I assume their products are of decent quality.
The meeting I went to did not appear near as professional as the Amway meetings I was so used to attending. In fact, I felt that I could probably get up right then and do as good of a job as the speakers they chose. At the same time, they did have a lady and her Mother who worked as a team and who supposedly made approximately $30,000 per month in the business.
My question to all of you is this: Is Herbalife any different than Amway/Quixtar? They claim that they do not charge for training materials like Amway/Quixtar does, but then again, what I saw wasn’t nearly as convincing either.
If I got into this business and worked hard, is it something I could make a go of, or is it just another empty promise?
Please give me honest answers, not just a bunch of “positive hype” or “bitter rhetoric”. Thank you very much in advance for your help.