Saturday, February 23, 2008

Strategic Incompetence

I came across the term " Strategic Incompetence" the other day, and felt that was a very fitting title for Amway/Quixtar.

What better way to not deal with something you don't want to deal with than by pretending you don't know about it or understand it?

This is pretty much what Amway has done with the "Kingpins", in that they simply claim ignorance, or that they can't control every distributor when confronted with the problems in their business.

They have rules in place, they just can't enforce them.

They have safeguards in place, they are just ineffective and/or difficult for low level IBO's to utilize.

Must be worth a lot of money to look like a bunch of jackholes to former IBO's and critics alike, because in my opinion, it's quite deliberate.

It just seems to roll off your tongue, doesn't it? Say it with me, "Strategic

Anyway, just a short post today. I was on the road all day yesterday and half the day today, and listened to some more QBlog Radio.

I heard a blog review by Imran and a conversation with Lawdawg about Don Lorencz.

That stuff is gold.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Javert Gone?

Well, looks like Javert has shut his Blogstar - The Quixtar Blog Down.

I wonder what happened? He had laid claim to being a recent Platinum, then he was mad because of the name change back to Amway.

Did he decide to quit blogging and build his business beyond platinum?

Or was he full of shit regarding his pin to begin with?

I dunno. Looks like we'll never know.

There are a number of blogs created by IBO's that simply become dormant, such as Pro-Truth, Pro-Sumer, Pro-Quixtar, along with The IBO Chronicles, Quixtar And The Opportunity, and Quixtar Dream Catcher.

Where do these folks go? Are they still in? Did something happen to them?

I'll tell you what I think. I think that many of them realized what the critics say is perhaps more accurate than what their upline told them.

I feel sorry for them. I really do, if you can dig that?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Money and Power

I've had a lot to post about in the past week, but just wasn't feeling up to the task. It's been really busy at work, and quite frankly, anything I have to offer the conversation has pretty much been said. So this week, despite that there has in fact been a lot going on, I just never got into it. If you were looking forward to a new post, I'm sorry.

Insider's Identity was revealed. That was some good sleuthing by Scott Larsen, and perhaps Mr. Steadson will take it upon himself to be a little less obvious now. Or not. It really doesn't matter to me who insider is, I simply disagree with a number of his ideas. I don't know what his motivation is for defending Quixtar so vehemently, and there doesn't appear to be a connection between him and the corporation. His motivation remains unknown.

On a completely unrelated topic, there is also no correlation between money and the war in Iraq.

In other events, Orrin and Co. have decided to go with Mona Vie. Yes, you read that right. Because of the excessive prices they had to contend with in Quixtar/Amway, they have decided to retail $45 bottles of juice. This seems to be where some former Amway leaders pasture after ending their journey with Amway.

Ready for a rant? If not, you would be well advised to click your ass out of here right now.

For people that left because of the premium prices on the premium products, this is sure a conflicting message to your entire organization. No problem for Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, George & Jill Guzzardo et al. Why? Because they already have groups built beneath them, which will automatically make them money. I don't know for certain, and this is completely speculation, but would you honestly think that Orrin would put someone who was at the 300 PV level in Quixtar above him in Mona Vie? Thought not.

I have learned through my various experiences in life that when something doesn't make sense to follow the money or the power, or both. Where am I going with this? Absolutely nowhere, but I would be very interested in knowing who they sign up under, and the way their groups fall under them.

Do you smell what I'm cooking? There is a bunch of other MLM's that you could go into that have much more seller friendly products, especially if you are looking to be the Wal-Mart of the internet so all of "your people" can be successful. Why would you pick a very limited beverage market? I can only think of a few things, and these are simply personal theories:

a) The fact that it's nothing like most of Amway's products may be to avoid more legal hassles. I would concur that Amway is a bunch of Goddamn Corporate bullies. Trying to push ahead and ignore them in an even remotely competing business under the circumstances would be like trying to ignore a snake in your bathroom sink while you brush your teeth.

b) See the power and money thing above

c) Nobody cares about retailing or the products, they just want to get books and motivation off of the shelves as soon as possible with the least amount of hassle. It has been kind of a lean year for TEAM. What they are going to retail is the furthest thing from their minds.

d) They made a poor decision. For whatever reason. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with Mona Vie. Really. I know during his test, QBlog wasn't leaping tall buildings or saving people on doomed aircraft. He felt it was OK, but he just didn't think it was worth the price.

I just don't get how you can go from wanting a better opportunity for everyone, then go to this. If I was an ex IBO who had been eagerly awaiting this day for months, then found this out, I would be completely flabbergasted. Not angry, not sad, not excited....confused. How is this better? How could you possible sustain an income to support a family when you are selling expensive juices, and a whole bunch of people you know are also doing the same thing?

For all you pro Amway folks out there, don't even get to thinking about the waiting period after you leave Amway and how this applies to avoid situations just like this. My thoughts on the non compete agreement after you leave Amway are separate from this topic, and in my opinion simply reinforces the fact that you don't own your own business. If you sell your regular business to another individual, I can understand the rationale. If you decide to quit your regular business, guess what? You can do whatever you want afterwards, if you want to.

No, don't kid yourself, dear Reader. All the crap going on in MLM is not about helping people lead better lives and have better quality family time.

It's about 2 things. See the title of this post.

It's a good idea to make any and all career or business decisions with that fact in the back of your mind. It will help you understand why some people do what they do.

Hope you had a good week.

P.S. Does Orrin Woodward's constant quoting of books annoy anyone else?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

By The Way...

Lazy Sunday

My job takes me to many places, and yesterday was no exception. There's sometimes not enough hours in a day to get stuff done because of a very wide range of territory. So yesterday I went out on a long drive to get some things done. I left at 8 in the morning and got home at 8 at night.

Fret not, faithful concerned reader, I was on overtime, so it was worth it, and the last 4 hours was putting out a small fire that popped up during the day.

What yesterday entailed for me was driving, smiling, greeting and promoting, which I don't mind, but what I had to do was drive collectively for about 5 hours to do maybe 3 hours of work in between. I don't mind the radio, but sometimes I get a little tired of hearing Mika, Something Corporate, and the news. What to do?

Here's the answer: QBlog Radio. I had to be a Luddite and burn some episodes to a CD because my work vehicle doesn't have the capabilities to listen with anything more advanced, and I haven't a FM transponder for my MP3 player, but no biggie.

No, QBlog has not been doing much podcasting lately, and from conversations with my good friend David Robison (you know, that whacked out ventriloquist?) QBlog has just been too busy to host many podcasts lately.

I listened to QBlog and his wife talk about market saturation after reading a post on the now defunct Instant Franchise Blog. I also listened to a comment from the afore mentioned ventriloquist, a geeky tech conversation with QBlog's buddy "Brown", Orrin Woodward responding to Scott Larsen, the little joke QBlog played on Ty Tribble, some talk of QRush, and last but not least, various audio and written comments. It made the trip more interesting, I didn't feel the need to speed, and felt "plugged in" if you can dig that?

"But Rocket, who gives a crap", you may say?

Nobody, I imagine, but I had to write about something. The Alticor spin machine has already been commented on by a number of different blogs, Scott Larsen easily dispatched the Morrison Lawsuit, and other blogs seem to be writing about the same stuff. I wanted to be different. Sue me.

Here's the thing, and I don't know if many people are aware of this, but I truly believe (and the dummy man agrees with me) that the many changes that have happened in the past few years are directly as a result of QBlog, and a number of the conversations that he facilitated have made a significant impact. I know that after the phone calls from an Amway lawyer, he still continued on with facilitating conversation about Quixtar and Amway, without ever stepping in a courtroom to my knowledge (because of his blogging anyway).

So, the topic of the post is Lazy Sunday. Got nothing to do? Download some podcasts. Many of them are still applicable today, despite being a few years old, which speaks to the quality. Much like The Twilight Zone episodes made nearly 50 years ago, there are still many lessons to learn which are timeless. QBlog is a modern day Rod Serling!

IBO's, maybe for a change of pace, you would want to listen to some of these on your way to the next plan showing or seminar/rally? Won't cost you a dime and you might learn something.

I do have another IBO interview in the works, and if you have any questions you'd like to ask a recent IBO, leave a comment or send me an email. I'll make it happen.

Have a great Sunday.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Twenty Some Odd Questions...Finale

This is the last installment of the Interview I held via email with a former IBO, Chris.

Based on the feedback left, it's been well received. If you've enjoyed this, please take a moment to leave "Chris" a quick thanks in the comments. I know I certainly grew from it and enjoyed getting to know another North American former IBO.

One more thing, if there is any IBO who is active, anyone from the Corporation reading this (I know you are peeking in from time to time), or any other person who has been involved in Amway or Quixtar that doesn't feel that this is an accurate depiction of what happens, I'd be happy to interview you as well in order for you to explain how your experience differed.

Personally, my experience was virtually identical to Chris's, except I didn't reach 4000 PV.

If anyone has any questions for Chris, feel free to leave a comment, and Chris can either leave a comment or get me to post it.

13. Had any big pins quit during your involvement?

Numerous. Platinums & above upline, crossline, and across the board in other lines of affiliation.

14. How was that explained?

It was never mentioned. If anyone would ask, the upline at all levels would respond that they don’t participate in gossip because that’s negative.

15. Who did the leaders of your group recommend getting information from, them or Amway?

Them. Never Amway/Quixtar. That was to go through the upline Platinum in that if we had any issues, we were to bring that to the Platinum’s attention who would supposedly deal with it. We were told that the company would be inundated with too many calls & it was better to let one person handle that.

16. During your tenure, did you see a consistent attendance, a decline, or an increase of people at functions?

It would go in spurts. Around 2002, there was an obvious decline in attendance & that slowly increased until I quit.

17. What was said about the internet, Dateline NBC, and other materials that portrayed the business in a less than positive light? That's kind of a bad question, but other than they were all wrong, was there anything that stands out like someone agreeing that the business isn't perfect?

Mostly it was all identified as garbage and lies. It was explained that all wealthy companies and organizations are targets for being sued or at least bad-mouthed. We were also told that the business isn’t perfect because after all, nothing on the planet is, but it was always followed by the assertion that in spite of that the Amway/Quixtar business opportunity was by far the best available out there.

18. When did you start to consider quitting the business and what were the reasons for that?

Answered in #6 above. I quit the business more because of what I saw happen to good people than what was happening to me. I was outraged by that.

19. What was the reaction of your upline/sponsor/leaders? Were you asked to reconsider?

There was no interaction with me at all. No one mentioned a thing about it. I was not asked to reconsider nor was I asked why I quit.

20. What were the ramifications of doing this business for your personal life now that you've decided not to do it? Is it better/worse?

Better, by far. For a long, long time I felt insulted that I had placed myself in a position to be used like that, and because I was so trusting, I refused to see the truth & the bigger picture a lot sooner. For a long, long time I felt I had betrayed people’s trust by involving them in the business. Over time & a lot of personal introspection, I have resolved those issues. Now, as I look back, I am not at all sorry for any of my involvement. Or the money I “threw in the ditch”. Becoming who I am now made the cost of all that worth it. And I really don’t think I would know as much as I do now about understanding people if I hadn’t had that experience. It all just reinforces my belief that everything happens for a reason. In my experience, those reasons don’t become apparent unless & until a couple of years go by AND one completes a lot of personal introspection. I still think the ideal of the business opportunity/concept is a good one but it fails miserably in its application. I have learned an immense amount of information that I would not have even ventured to without having been actively involved in the business. I have become a walking “lie-detector”, I can spot a con-artist and a manipulator a mile away, I have become much, much less politically correct which in my mind is a form of lying. Although I was a direct communicator before, I have to watch myself because I can be quite brutal at times now. I have very little patience for fools. I have no tolerance for users/abusers of people/systems/organizations. I recognize “spins” when I hear them. I recognize “gas lighting” when I hear it. I know the difference between a wanna-be leader and a true leader. I recognize negative human traits and have learned how to handle them when confronted by them. I find I am quite pleased to see that there is truth in “what goes around comes around” and that there really is such a thing as “natural justice.” “Natural justice” to me is what happens when you can do nothing about something that is just wrong; just leave it alone/be patient, & over time, something always comes along to put things right again. I am now able to “cut through the noise” and focus on/analyze the underlying issues, work on those & things fall into place better now. I recognize that life truly is the best teacher & learning lessons happens in each individual’s time. I strive to attempt to control outcomes a lot less and positively influence more. I become engaged/react to drama/hype way less often. I am able to detach effectively from negative events/people. I laugh much more often and am amused by people’s resistance to live in reality.

21. In your opinion, what type of person is likely to be attracted to the A/Q business opportunity?

I truly believe that the people who are attracted to the business opportunity/concept and become actively involved are basically very good people who truly want to succeed in life and provide the best they can for their families. Because of the negative we are bombarded with on a daily basis in our day-to-day lives, these people are very vulnerable to believing they will be hanging around positive trustworthy people who will truly help them succeed. This vulnerability allows them to be easily manipulated, mind controlled and abused. Unfortunately, as far too many reach upper levels in the business, they allow their personal integrity to become compromised and in their quest to become a true leader, they fail miserably. I think that’s because the focus is on the money instead of the people. When people realize it’s one lie after another, they quit. The retention rate in the business is very, very dismal. That’s not the case in true leadership organizations.