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March 31, 2005
From The Mountain
"And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the Promised Land"
Those are eloquent words. I would not attempt, nor imply, nor infer, that I am in any way as eloquent as the Reverend King. Nor do I want to minimize his message of justice and civil rights for all Americans, but rather I would like to use his words as inspiration for my final entry as a March of Perceptions guest blogger.
If I had the chance, to go back in the history of Quixtar as a corporation, I would not have to travel too far back in time; a mere 6 years; so I would rather decide to travel back into the history of Amway Corporation. Back even before Amway, I would travel into the history of the Ja-Ri Corporation. I'd be there as Rich DeVos struck a deal with Jay Van Andel. The historical one where Rich offered Jay gas money, in exchange for a ride. I would watch as their friendship grew, but I wouldn't stop there. I'd be there when they opened their aviation school, their drive-in restaraunt; I'd be there when their boat sank off the coast of Cuba.
I'd be there when they began their Nutrilite partnership, and I'd be there when they decided Amway would be the answer for their group of distributors.
But I wouldn't stop there — I'd be there as Amway grew. Right up into the 1970s, when Amway offered training for their distributors. Complete programs to sponsor, to sell products, to grow as businessmen.
But I would not stop there; no I would endure the 60 Minutes interview of the 1980s. I would endure the "Fake it Till You Make It" book expose'.
And I would endure my experience in Amway, as a distributor in the 80s as Amway, the training company and products company, gave way to the Amway, that was just a products company and effectively gave all training control to it's distributors. I would witness the birth of these Amway Motivational Organizations.
And I'd be there when Rich and Jay stepped down and their kids took over. I'd be there when Quixtar started.
I would witness the existing IBOs take an idea that was born to provide more independence to the newest IBO, and transfer it back to the motivational systems of Amway.
And after scanning over all the history of corporation, I would ask to remain in this time today.
That's a strange statement I know. Why would I struggle against the mounting information on the Internet about this company? The confusion of motivational organizations clouding information. The deceptions, and even more, the revelations of dishonest practices.
But I am happy to be involved at this time, because I am now forced, as every ethical IBO should be forced, to grapple with these problems. To solve the problems of a company trapped by the bottom line. But it is becoming a problem not of just a "negative presence" on the Internet. The problem has the potential of making the company fade into non-existence on the Internet and in the world.
What does this mean to new IBOs? It means they must research, study and face the realities of the business they have chosen. They must embrace "cross-lining" of information and work together in unity. They must revert back to those days of Rich and Jay. They must provide an opportunity to anyone with the desire to have a business of their own, by duplicating, not a motivational system, but a marketing plan available to anyone that has the ability to comprehend the materials in a small sales and marketing kit.
If it takes the act of blogging. Then we must blog. If it takes the action of setting up like-minded communities on the web, then we shall inform. We must stress the advantages of product sales, of sound business, and open honest discussion and training, not motivation and hero worship.
Somewhere, I read the words, Independent; somewhere I read the words, Business; and somewhere I read the words, Ownership. It's time that we as IBOs become true to those words.
It's alright to talk about the negative comments on the "bathroom walls", but we can not ask the Corporation to clean these walls, we must in fact decide to change, to not be the inspiration for these negative comments. We must not point to the "losers" who quit, but rather we must look at our practices and ourselves lest we become even a worst "loser'. Not a loser who "steals dreams" but a loser who corrupts the original dream of those founders that wanted to provide an opportunity to those desiring to better their lives through simple business ownership.
We don't have to argue with anyone, we don't have to curse anyone. We don't have to answer charges by "critics" of our business, if we are actually running OUR business of being a Quixtar Independent Business Owner. We should not be a pawn of some motivational system that defies corporate policy, or minimizes the infrastructure and principles that the founders originally wanted all IBOs to be a part of.
And if we build organizations of IBOs on these principles, then matters of arbitration, scandal, terminations, Google Bombing and "quitters" will fade into the past. Because the future will be bright for each IBO and the corporation will thrive on the Internet.
The question is not; What will happen to me as an IBO, if I decide to act independently? The question is what will happen to Quixtar Corporation, our business; if we continue to provide the impetus for lawsuits, complaints, and negative websites?
And how will we survive as business owners? That's the question.
Well, I don't know what will happen. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter to me now. Because I have been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like any IBO, I want to be a Diamond; I want to be a Crown Ambassador. But I am not concerned about that now. I just want to run a business within the Rules. And the way it was run by the Founders has allowed me to look back in history, as if I was on a mountain. I have seen how it was once accomplished. I have seen the promised land. I may not get there, with you. But I want you to know that any IBO CAN get there. I'm not worried. I can not fear the future, only change the present. My eyes have seen the "name changes", but my spirit sees real changes.
The "March of Perceptions" is a special Quixtar BLOG project featuring the perceptions of four guest bloggers during the month of March.
Excellently put Dave.
I think that the underlying message here is that if the amway/quixtar owners aren't willing to make the changes, then the IBOs must take it upon themselves to bring about a positive change for the better, by conducting themselves properly to help slowly eradicate the evil MOs.
I'm almost tempted to say, we should all unite, even if we hate Quixtar, and join under Dave. And vault him to Diamond or Crown Ambassor and just let him shake the very foundation of Quixtar and shout the truth. Get rid of the motivational materials, meetings, and social scene, and give people's lives back.
I envision a true internet marketing company with online discussion groups sharing ideas freely , free of charge, while their kids play at their feet, at home. Just think...
Of course many would still not make it financially, that's inherent in MLM. But, at least they wouldn't be so brainwashed they could actually think for themselves and get out to do something else without wasting their life away.
No more pain in their lives and the lives of their loved ones....no more collateral damage.
I think Dave has a good point in creating an organizational culture that does not tolerate the lying, cheating and stealing that has been plauging his franchise for so long.
But I also think that he is naive in thinking that his business will ever be free of criticism. EVERY business will ALWAYS have its critics.
And there is only one way to disprove critics-- irrefutable evidence. So far there hasn't been any evidence to suade THIS critic.
Dave, good luck in your crusade. I think your sucess in that campaign will actually lend itself to your ability to provide good solid evidence against guys like me.
Well Dave u know what u have to do right? Run a business honestly. Whether u go CAM or not, whether u succeed in making Quixtar better or not, if u stay honest, u r a CAM for me ;)
Good luck Dave. Either you are a better man or a fool for trying to do what you are doing. Either way, I wish you the best of success with your Quixtar endeavor and hope you and your way of thinking comes out on top.
Hi Dave -
Thanks for ending MOP on such a thoughtful note. I agree that what you describe is what needs to be done. I just can't say that I believe it will. With Q, any prospect can gather all this info up and "interview" a sponsor before signing, to eliminate or minimize the potential hassles down the road if the LOS does not agree with the prospect's intended path. Yet still today, IBOs in any LOS are warned not to crossline or associate with other LOS members. I see the feat of individual IBOs (who don't even know each other) coming together against their LOS as insurmountable.
Here's a J-O-B example from my own life this month. I just entered Target Corp last year at the HQ. It's a second career for me, and I started at the bottom. We were all told that we could post for jobs at 1 year, to be promoted, etc. Well, just in my department, there are 4 teams - and 4 team leads. My lead let me post a bit early, and I was promoted this week . . . . 2 weeks before I hit the 1 year mark. So I'm off on my career path, back to Executive positions I held before starting over.
Other team members (from other teams) told me that they were forbidden to post for jobs until after the 1 year mark. Not too fair. I'm promoted, while the folks I started with are left in the dust. But in a regular business, all they need to do is bring the issue up 1 level, or go to HR, and it will be fixed. Now, I honestly don't care if they DO it or not, but at least I told them to bring it up so they could be on the same playing field that I was. I pushed for it for 11 months and I got it. I trust (honestly) that if they pushed, they'd have gotten a chance to advance, too.
But what about Q? Can your Sponsor change the 'policies' in your LOS? No. Is there an HR department to hold your LOS accountable? Not really. It's a bit like trying to Unionize a workplace with the Pinkertons at the gate. In this case, the Pinkertons are the Pins and their loyal downline . . . . who are the upline to all the fresh-faced, idealistic IBOs who WISH and HOPE that things WILL be the way that we discuss here. But they aren't - and likely, won't. That's why we left.
And besides, why should they IBOs have to bear the burden? It's not like they own all the stock in Q, or that they'll be compensated. In fact, telling the IBOs that they should do the job that Q, in fact, WON'T do is almost like telling them that they can go Diamond in 5 years following Q MOs . . . . even though it's never been done. Why? Why not just find a company that compensates according to results, and does so fairly for all?
Chris, you've really summed up my feelings about what David is doing.
Maybe it's a great thing to push so hard for integrity in the Quixtar work force and for what-might-have-been were it not for the AQMOs. But if one is going to work that hard for something noble, WHY QUIXTAR? WHY AMWAY? Would the world be so much worse off without A/Q and its products? Certainly the world would be better of without the AQMOs and the devastation they have already caused.
Maybe one person can make the difference. I have trouble believing that in this case, but I applaud David's determination to be that one person.
Ultimately, David, I think this effort will have the same effect as trying to push back the ocean tide. You'll get very wet, most of what you contact will go right through your fingers and the bulk of it will go where it wanted to go in spite of all your efforts. Oh, and watch out that you don't drown.
Well written, thoughtful and to the point. There is no doubt in my mind that you will do well, in whatever business opportunity you choose to invest your time and effort.
This is where I change directions- I'm with Chris- why Amway, uh, Quixtar? You are obviously both intelligent AND sharp (all too often mutually exclusive e.g. many of my college professors ;-) . Why would you take a tricycle to a NASCAR race?
If the confluence of events about which you speak had actually occured 10 years ago, AND I had all of the information that I have today, I may have stayed in the business: out of hope, or unwillingness to give up what I had built, or just downright stubbornness. But after quitting, going back into business for myself in a "business as usual" environment, and experiencing the success that my upline said could never happen "out there", today I would run from the Quixtar business as fast as I could.
You speak eloquently about what the promise could be of Quixtar, "if only." Sadly to say, I don't think "if only" will ever occur, and even if it does, to what end? Do you not read the reports from ex-Amway Emerald and Diamond direct distributors who state that the income at those levels, ex-tools income, is hardly worthwhile? Do you not believe them, or does not the truth make sense?
Look, I'm not trying to steal your dream. I believe so much in MLM, rightly done, that I'm investing substantially in a startup- so don't think that I'm some negative anti-"pyramid" MLM basher- there's plenty of those already on this board :-) . I just find it hard to see what you see in an organisation with such a paltry compensation plan along with an entrenched distributor hierarchy which will only release its' stranglehold on the motivation business when some higher legal authority wrenches it from their greedy, grasping fingers.
Ah, nirvana: to be a low- to mid-level diamond in THAT business.
Anyway, there's my rant. Thanks again for a well written message, even if I do disagree with its premise.
Call it a mission, dogged determination, or just "hard-headedness", but I started something that I want to see through until the end.
That doesn't mean I am choosing to stay in until some undetermined time in the future, I have set parameters.
Also, my career goals are not based solely on my success in Quixtar. (or lack).
As logical and business-like as I try to be, you probably understand that a certain amount of emotion is attached to running a business as well. I have some emotion attached to this Quixtar venture, based on some desire to see a mission completed.
Maybe that will be my downfall in the end, I hope not.
I ran a successful video production house for six years and was forced to sell it due to some family health issues. (I became a full time caretaker to a dying father). That mission wasn't completed.
A certain satisfaction comes from the completion of a job started. In construction, I experienced that when the doors opened for business on a 125,000 sq. ft. cold storage warehouse I was in charge of building.
I don't want to be accused of "paddling the canoe" over the falls, but I have to stay the course... for now.
I want to thank everyone at Qblog for the opportunity to allow me to "rant" as well.
I have no problems with disagreements when executed with thoughtfulness and class; and that is why I continue to be a regular reader and contributor to this blog.
It's a class act.
Easily the most eloquent and respectful blog on the topic - on the Web. I agree, that people over-complicate the business with the "tools". I don no think that those who choose to use the tools should be condemned. It's a choice, and everyone should be free of criticism and harassment to run their business as they wish.