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Amway Forever: The Amazing Story of a Global Business Phenomenon by Kathryn A. Jones

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The Price of Success

So who succeeds in the Amway business and why? Cofounders Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel heard the repeated allegations that some distributors misrepresented the business’s earnings potential, but they insisted that the company doesn’t push Amway as a way to get rich quick and that they can’t control what individual distributors might say.

“If you’ve ever listened to our presentation and done it as the Amway Corporation tells you, you will know that the work will be hard but the disappointments will be many, but if you’re willing to pay the price, there’s a chance for you to improve your lot in life,” DeVos said in the 60 Minutes Amway segment. “A chance. And that’s all we’ve ever presented to people.” An Amway distributor in Europe who spoke on condition of anonymity said that, in time, he came to realize that the vast majority of the people actively complaining about Amway on the Internet were all going to meetings run by particular groups of people. “I was going to meetings run by an entirely different group of people—i.e., different ‘systems,’” the distributor said. “They weren’t lying, they were fairly accurately reporting their experiences. It just wasn’t my experience.” Attending a seminar with 30,000 people can seem huge, he added. “But that 30,000 people represents only a small percentage of Amway IBOs,” he continued. “You’re just getting one tiny window into the huge Amway world. It really is way, way bigger than people think, and no one person’s experience, ...

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