Does everyone know about Amway? It was pretty big in the 90’s. It was a sales model based on a pyramid, promising great income to anyone willing to do the networking with a positive attitude.
Well Amway is back, and this time it’s NEW AGE! Have ya noticed it? The new age world is FULL OF THEM!!!
And they’re making me a little irritated. I wouldn’t normally choose to blog about something that bugs me, (that is SOOOO 2001) but in this case I’m seeing people I like get sucked into the model, and I just want to draw attention to it.
It started when one of my favourite radio shows began having a lot of similar people on air. These people didn’t always identify as psychic, but rather “intuitive coaches” or they’d qualify it: intuitive financial planning, intuitive life coach, heart-centered living, heart-centered business. Most of them have written a book.
It sounds great and it’s almost ALWAYS women.
These presenters all seem to have a specific formula for their pitch: a compelling personal story in which they overcome great adversity to become the happier / healthier / richer person they now are, they casually mention a “six-figure income” and they have a strong spiritual edge to their rhetoric which includes knowing how to talk to the universe in the correct way, so they get the results they want.
The formula works like this: Go on an internet radio show that’s free for people to access and has a regular audience. Offer a special free thing to the listeners to get them to go to your website.
Once the audience goes to the website to exchange their email address for this free thing, they’ll notice another free thing they can sign up for, which is usually a free tele-seminar or webinar. If they didn’t notice it at the time, they’ll soon be getting emails for it.
The seminar does have some useful information; however you have to listen through at least an hour of sales-pitch before they give you anything real. This real, helpful information comes after a more in-depth sharing of their personal story and reiteration of sentiments about having trust in god and faith in yourself enough to take a leap (spend your money.) By the end you kind of feel like a chicken-shit if you *don’t* fork out the hundreds or thousands of dollars for the “Start your dream life!” course this guru is offering, and the guru probably ended the seminar by giving a small amount of useful information with the caveat that “this will make a tiny difference but if you take my course, it will make a HUGE difference!”
Neither my partner nor I have forked out hundreds of dollars for a seminar, but I’ve seen a few of my psychic and animal communicator friends take up the flag. You know what happens? They ruin their facebook feeds! Suddenly, all they talk about is the “heart-centered business”. They post and re-post the same slick graphics and start sending me facebook invites to seminars they’re hosting, where they will share the secrets of running a successful heart-centered business.
Could it be that these thousand-dollar live-your-dream business models are simply about selling how-to-live-your-dream seminars? It seems so, especially when “list-building” comes into effect.
Soon after the seminar invitations, there come the emails asking you to share a link for some free stuff with all of your contacts. This free thing might look *really* good – it might tell you how to stop working a job you hate and start running your own life by running a Heart-Centered Business! But wait, there’s more! If you pass this email along, you’ll get something exclusive and free too, maybe an invitation to a webinar where you’ll learn how to start YOUR OWN Heart-Centered Business!
The tricky thing is that this model actually does work for the people at the top who probably are earning six figures. But is it going to work for my friends who tirelessly exploit their own contact lists? Probably not, because they’re at the base of the pyramid. They’re likely to make a few thousand dollars in a year, which might be enough to string them along for a while, but the thing about a pyramid scheme is there just *has to* be a lot of people at the bottom making next to nothing for it to work.
The crap-part of it is that these Live Your Dream! Business models usually come with “regular monthly support” with one of the top-tier gurus who have a vested interest in keeping you IN THE PYRAMID. They’ll be relentlessly positive about your potential (implication being if you’re feeling skeptical THAT is why you’re failing, because the universe knows you’re don’t really BELIEVE!) They’ll point to other people who became successful in the program quite quickly. They’ll probably invite you to an annual face-to-face gathering.
It’s Amway, folks, and it’s preying upon the hearts and minds of some of the sweetest, most positive, open-hearted people I know, just like Amway did in the 90’s. It’s the Ultra-positive YOU CAN DO IT motivational tapes but repackaged with language like “power of attraction” and “live from your heart”. Worst of all, the subtle underlying message in it all is “If this doesn’t make you rich and happy, it’s because of something YOU did WRONG.”
It has the potential to do way more damage than good, so please be careful, my beautiful internet friends.
Be open, be positive and be SMART. Be discerning, be practical, be grounded.