The other day, I was in Starbucks, working on my laptop, until I said hello to the lady that just came in and sat next to my table and started chatting.
What follows is my story and experience from meeting with an Amway/World Wide Dream builders recruiter.
I will make efforts to be as objective as I can and share with you the short journey that unfolded thereafter.
I met Jen (not her real name), one day at Starbucks. She was friendly and smiling back at me. We started chatting about general things until I asked her: “What do you do?”.
This is when she told me that she helps people become independent and business owners (IBOs). I was intrigued, but she said that it will take time to properly explain to me what she does and that she had to go now because she has an appointment.
We set up another date to meet and continue the discussion.
I was excited and looking forward to this meeting. Jen promised that she will explain to me how she can teach/empower people to become business owners.
I arrived to Starbucks a bit earlier, and then she arrived right on time.
She started telling about her story and how her dad manage to provide all the family needs, including educating her and her sisters in private schools, with this business.
I was becoming excited about what this business or teaching could be?
The more she told me, the less I knew what she is referring to. She always referred to the process as “business”.
Before she left, she gave me the book: “The Business of the 21st Century” by Robert T. Kiyosaki and told me when you finish reading it we will meet again.
The book looked like an easy read (around 100 pages) so I told her to meet again a couple of days later.
I was frustrated because I thought she would answer my questions but instead she brought more questions and gave me a homework to do. But on the other hand, I was looking forward to reading this book about “business” in the hopes of getting my questions answered in the third encounter hopefully.
I went back home, very excited and started reading the book. The more I read in that book, the more excited and curios I became.
Even the book was mysterious and not saying what’s this “business” is all about. It spoke of no tangible business, line of business or a tangible method about conducting business…
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It spoke and taught about the benefits of being an independent business owner (IBO) but it did not disclose how to take that step. I also learned about the cash-flow quadrants . Overall, I did not like the book because it was still vague and sounded purely as a sales pitch.
I met her again to give her the book and in the hope that she finally tells me what I am going to get myself involved with.
I was still hyped from reading the book and wanted to learn from her what is this “business” that Robert K. keeps on talking about in his book.
She asked me if the book made sense to me. I told her it made sense but:
…I could not get anything tangible out of it. Robert K. keeps on telling nice stories that motivate you but it was never clear in the book how to achieve that kind of success.
Jen did not comment on what I had said. She produced a pen and a pad then started explaining to me about our buying habits and how if we buy from ourselves (our own business) we can make money. She told me a bit about Amway and that we buy and consume their products and get paid by them.
She did not elaborate more on what exactly I am supposed to be doing, but she said that I should come to a meeting at her condo:
My dad will be making a small presentation and you will understand more about the business
This time I drove around 33 miles roundtrip during traffic jam hours to attend the meeting at her place.
I went there with work cloth (casual T-shirt and jeans) but when I went inside I felt underdressed. Two men dressed in suits and other couples well dressed as well. I took a chair and sat while waiting like everybody else for the dad (who will be the main presenter) to arrive.
Ten minutes later, Jen’s mom and dad enter the living room. The dad (who shall be named Mike), was also wearing a suit, assumed his presenter pose and started his presentation. The two other guys in suits, pulled their voice recorder and started recording the presentation (apparently, as I learned later, so they can become presenters (of the business plan) as well).
He told his story about how he disliked his numerous jobs and could not wait to quit and become independent.
Mike also told us that because of this business he now enjoys his freedom and the time with his kids and wife. He shared with us many stories and lifestyle examples he is able to afford because of this business.
- I gave my wife her freedom and she does not have to work anymore
- If I want to, I can go play Golf the whole day and not worry about going to the office
…all this is nice talk, full of hope and encouragement. I was excited even more to learn the secret for his success.
Some of the points that Mike covered:
- A successful business is the one that follows a system
- A successful business system should be duplicated
- Franchises are examples of a system that can be duplicated. Starbucks, MacDonald’s and its “The Hamburger University” are among the examples mentioned.
- Inflation and the economy
- A desk job is for those who are not ambitious
- Working for another company is stupid and will never set you free
During his presentation, Mike was drinking an energy drink, holding it in front of us many times and saying: “See, I buy from my own company and I love this product”.
I thought to myself, instead of flashing this energy drink (which he was clearly promoting), and sipping from it in front of us, have the least courtesy and offer us a sample or pretend to offer then say: “sorry, I don’t have samples with me”.
At the end of the meeting, we received introduction packets with some numbers and charts. The packet should contain some information to get us started in the business. I learned that there is a monthly fee and a minimum amount I have to purchase from my own business or sell to friends. I also received a CD to play in my car.
The dad then asked me if I want to learn more about the business. I said yes and we set up a meeting at another Starbucks.
Those folks seem to know all Starbucks in Washington state! (see my other blog post: 7 tips to help you spot Amway / WWDB recruiters in coffee shops)
I put the CD and started listening to it while driving back home. It was 20 minutes long. An older lady was sharing her experience with Amway and how much she sold, the hardship she went through and then how much money she started making after 5 hard working years.
I don’t need a CD full of hope, I want a CD full of “How to”…anyway, I kept my patience and said to myself that I will meet with Mike soon and he will (finally?) tell me what it is about.
This time, Mike and I met again in Starbucks. I arrived with the least excitement this time because I was getting distrustful and disillusioned. I already wasted so much time and nothing was revealed so far.
Again, he started talking in general and not giving direct examples. Jen joined us later on.
I pressed Mike, saying: “Hey Mike, I spent so much time on various meetings and you did not tell me what this thing is really about. I cannot subscribe to something I don’t know about“. He then said: “Okay, let me go grab something from my car”.
He came back with this sheet containing the price and fees to start and operate an Amway business.
As it turns out, I need at least $112 per month to operate this business, followed by many optional but most advised things (motivational tapes) to buy and attend (major functions).
I told him I will think about it and contact him back.
I have to say that I did not like the way they wasted my time because I was sincerely curious and wanted to see what the business is about and how to become an IBO (independent business owner). Any honest business starts with honesty and not with luring, playing on emotions or giving false hopes.
I went back home and started doing my research about Amway and WWDB’s business practices and how they operate.
From my research about Amway, WWDB and other affiliated companies, this “business” does not feel like something I want to be doing. I would rather continue writing books instead.
Here are some sites and other resources talking about what Amway is really about:
- Book: Amway: The Cult of Free Enterprise
- Blog: Married to an Ambot
- Things they will say
- The Truth About Amway
- Amway Scheme
- Cultism in Amway
- Amway = Wrong way
- Is Amway the biggest scam ever?
- Amway: The Untold Story
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