Tuesday, January 26, 2016
In Amway Only Money Matters
A reader shares their story and some wise advice.
I was involved in Amway from May 2012 to March 2013. A friend invited me along to a monthly seminar and while I was overwhelmed with the terrible pop music, in-time clapping, positivity overload and promises of achieving my “dreams” and “goals”. Naively, I assumed my friend invited me for my benefit so I signed up that night.
I played ball for a few months (because I still had a shred of optimism), attended most of the functions (including three weekend conventions), bought stuff from the website, listened to the CDs and even hosted a house/launch party. I got put into a good team of normal people who all seemed supportive.
While some of friends knew it was a scam, I ignored them. Heading towards Christmas, reality finally hit. I lost my job momentarily in November and was limping by on my now meagre savings (thanks to all the money I’d spent on Amway). I was forced to look at the most important things to survive - pay rent and buy food – rather than wasting my time with Amway. Because of this reality check, I started to see through the feelgood bullshit of Amway. While they sell you on reaching your “dreams” and “goals”, the harsh reality is most of the money goes to the big guns: the Diamonds, the Oblongs, the Rectangles etc. Most of those who make it already have oodles of money and saving and don’t need Amway, they’re just being greedy.
Those who are students, low-income earners or who don’t have a secure income, Amway can be potentially damaging, spending money you don’t have on something you don’t need. In my time in Amway, I estimated I spent over $2,000 on various stuff and made less than $100. While I found the online shopping part convenient, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to go down to your local supermarket and buy what you need. While I got my job back in late November, I immediately lost interest after the October conference (as I had to rebuild financially), I took until March to fully quit, mainly because my friend – who was now my “upline” – was away overseas and if I was going to quit, I wanted to do it face-to-face. In the ensuing months, I completely stopped activity: no more CDs, no more shopping, no more functions (I was always able to find a convenient excuse). When the March convention came around, I was upfront with my friend and he was fine with it. I left the convention on the Saturday afternoon and didn’t look back. It was a relief.
Looking back, Amway has had a negative effect on me emotionally. All the feelgood crap, false hope and focus on materialism made me cynical and bitter. Anytime people mention their “dreams” and “goals”, I roll my eyes dramatically. I’m nowhere near as optimistic about life as I was before I joined Amway. The worst part was, had I not been involved with Amway, my brief time out of work would have been more comfortable financially. Like most ‘get rich quick’ schemes, it relies on trickery and lots of materialistic, shallow rubbish. It’s basically saying “money is the only thing that matters.” I call shenanigans. Yes, money is great for peace of mind, but it doesn’t make you happy. If you want financial security, work hard, invest wisely and spend sensibly.