Share this on Facebook
Share this on Twitter
Share this on Google+
Email this

The 4 Cardinal Rules Of Downline Building (Stolen from Amway)

An auditorium in Long Beach California…

15,000 people, screaming, and a bit mad 

(There’s only one word that can really describe the Amway culture) -


At first glance, I thought that they were a bunch of yahoo’s, broke college kids, and overall ‘losers’ with nothing better to do, but then Bill Britt stood up – voice thundering – the echo reverberating throughout the Long Beach Convention Center…

“Who in here is a Doctor?”  he asked “Stand Up!”

I about crapped my pants when somewhere between 500-1000 people stood up (about 1/20th of the room) – he then went through every profession – lawyers, real estate agents, dentists – all the “big wigs” of society.

(note:  society is mad)

When he was all done, about 1/3 of the room was standing – made up of all the ‘big wig’ professions of society. Then he said something that changed my thinking:

“Any of you standing  who would NOT trade your lifestyle for mine RIGHT NOW – stay standing…”

Right in front of me – I saw 5,000 people who hated their job, who put ‘the hours in’ every week – who are heralded in society as ‘The Great’s‘ sit down, in full admission that they weren’t living the lifestyle of their dreams

…and I realized:

“There’s something about this Scam deal I’m in that’s just… Wickedly cool

And I was hooked.

Although I didn’t have money instantly flowing into my bank account – I learned a lot from Amway – I learned, for example – why people just ‘like’ these little delicious pyramid schemes we’re all in, that we so lovingly call ‘network marketing’.

One of the reasons people like them – is because this industry is more than just a ‘business’ it’s a family - a tribe, with it’s own rules and ethics.  We treat people differently here, and people don’t have that kind of association everywhere – one of the things I really pulled from Amway was…

…The Four Cardinal Rules of Amway:

Cardinal Rule #1:  Never mess with anyone’s money

Cardinal Rule #2:  Never mess with anyone’s Spouse

Cardinal Rule #3:  Never mess with anyone’s Downline

Cardinal Rule #4:  Counsel upline before you try something stupid (talking about marketing)

Let’s talk about the ‘Cardinal Rules‘ here for a second, and why they can create a different kind of culture here – that really, we all want anyways – some of this seems obvious, but isn’t, really – when compared (fruitlessly) with the MADNESS of society…

Rule #1:  Never mess with anyone’s money.  The real reason for this rule – is that in Amway – back in the day before we all had the ‘magical creature’ from Jekyll Island called ‘autoship’ – didn’t.

Lol.  Believe it or not – MLM was invented as a ‘revolution’ in the shipping process, where the company (Amway, Shaklee, or whatever) wouldn’t ship to individuals – they would ship to ‘Direct Distributors‘ (meaning direct to the company) – they would also pay ‘direct distributors’ who would then pay their team.

Obviously – if you’ve earned a check and you don’t get it – you’ll quit, right?  Well, it’s more than that, there’s nothing that shatters relationships faster than money problems – $15 unpaid when due will turn friends into enemies, turn trust into distrust – and destroy years of hard work in this industry.  This could translate to the affiliate world – to a company like MLSP deciding all of the sudden not paying their people – let me share a quick story on the ‘positive’ of this.

One time, MLSP had this issue with their check writing company, where over $70,000 of affiliate commission checks bounced – it wasn’t their fault, and wasn’t even a mistake – the government was investigating a DIFFERENT company that had their checks written from the same organization – and rather than doing something ethical (it’s the government here) they froze ALL of the business account funds being managed by this check writing company – because they happened to also write checks for the company being investigated.

Here’s what MLSP did – they reached into their own pockets and ate $70,000 to pay their affiliates – that’s what you call the right thing to do.  Why?  Because it wasn’t their money in the first place, and those guys are good business people – you can learn more about MLSP by filling in the form on the right or below this post.  Something that could have turned into a disaster INCREASED TRUST because they did the right thing.

Rule #2:  Never mess with anyone’s Spouse.  Again, seems obvious – and now that the world has changed a bit – this could be re-written to say ‘Never mess with anyone’s partner.’

Why does it need to be said?  Because in the corporate world, people purposefully seduce other people’s spouses all the time – and in the words of The Behemoth – “What do you call someone who comes into your house and tries to seduce your wife?  A Scum-Bag.”

People need a place to they can feel safe with the people they love the most – because nothing – not business, not friends – nothing (period) is more important than family.

Rule #3:  Never mess with anyone’s Downline.  This is the one that I really wanted to rant on a bit – folks – your team isn’t just ‘your team’

- it’s the teams of EVERYONE downline from you.  In Amway - they were so strict about this, that even if you attempted to recruit someone in someone else’s team into yours (in the same company) the organizations would kick you out of the meetings and never let you attend again.

Why?  It’s the same scum bag crap of a ‘best friend’ hitting on your spouse that happens all the time because Society is Mad.  In Attraction Marketing – that seems like the goal – to recruit people away from other people’s teams, and to show why you’re the better leader…

…but it’s not.

The purpose of ‘Attraction Marketing‘ is to attract prospects, and make more money – you don’t have to badmouth another leader, ever, to do that – you can stand on your own.  My opinion is – if someone calls you – and they say “I was talking Bob – I was thinking about joining him – I was also thinking of joining you…”  What I do is say – “Join Bob dude – don’t worry about it, you can plug into my stuff anyways.”

What most people do is they talk about all of the virtuous reasons why they’re the best sponsor ever – and even bad mouth the other leader – just to make $100 or whatever it is from enrolling someone new.

Also, this applies to downline raiding (purposefully) and company hopping.  Is it ok to build lots of things at once? Hell yes – I’ve got a few friends that are awesome at it – they’re in 5 things and make six figures in all of them.

Is it ok to raid your whole downline and do everything you can to badmouth the deal you were just in?  Nope.  Remember – that team isn’t just yours – it’s yours, your teams, and everyone in between.

The reality is – if you know how to do this, you don’t need to badmouth anyone to recruit into something else – I believe that it the job of a good upline, that if someone is ‘questioning’ to join their downline or them – to put everything in the favor of the team member and to HELP your team member recruit that person – not to try and pull a fast one and recruit them quickly.

Why?  Because if you’re a leader you have mastery over this space – and you don’t need the recruit – let your team have them.   Let your crossline have them – help people rather than being selfish all the time.

One time, I accidentally sponsored one of my downline’s friends (I didn’t know about it – they just joined automatically somehow)

When I found out – I had the rep moved immediately under the team member – with no questions asked.  Why? Because they’re in my team anyways – I don’t need to enroll the universe – and I’d rather help someone else succeed – in fact – this last month, I gave one of my reps a lead that joined, and brought over 90 people in the team in 2 weeks.  I could have easily recruited that person – but I would rather help others succeed.

People react differently to things – to one person, recruiting a prospect they’ve been working on for months (knowingly) will motivate them.  To most – they’ll want to immediately quit and do something else.

If we create a ‘co-operative’ environment – it’s so much more attractive, it can totally change the game – not just for you and me, for everyone – it’s ok not to recruit every prospect, to instead build a culture of prosperity and synergy.

One time, when I was less cultured – I joined a company (I was totally broke, but had the skill and excitement to do it) and I brought in 15 people my first week – this was years ago, before my internet days – you know what happened?  My upline confused a prospect, who I had worked with for years – giving them reasons why it might be advantageous to join directly with them.

By natureI can be a little hot headed at times, and what this did was hurt my relationship with my friend – I quit the business immediately (even though I liked it) and I went and lived in a Van for a year.  I could have made my upline $20,000 a month if that didn’t happen – it ruined my taste of network marketing and I got out.

Now that was naive and I wouldn’t do that now - but think of your team – most people will react in that exact way when faced with a similar problem – don’t ‘attraction market’ your downline’s team members, or they’ll get pissed, quit, and that stupid $300 you made will cost you $20,000 a month.

Just remember – simple things like edifying another team member rather than pulling some sort of ‘stealth’ to get a few hundred bucks can be the difference between someone quitting, or someone being with you for a long time to come.

Rule #4:  Always counsel upline before trying something dumb.  This one I’ll have to clarify a bit – Amway can be a bit of a cult at times ;) Lol.  I would re-phrase this in a new way – when people are NEW – they should stick to a proven path for a bit while they get off the ground.  All the time, I used to have people call me, ask for help – I’d tell them what to do, and then they’d do whatever they were planning on doing before they called.

I used to be amazed at this, (I was making a damned fortune), and then I realized something – there are very few people that actually want to know what to do.  Most people want to just be a part of something bigger than themselves, and do everything how ‘they know is best’.

While that’s ok – it can mean a tremendous loss of money and time for a new person getting started.  A lot of times, someone with TV ‘experience’ will come in, and want to dump $5,000 into TV commercials without knowing a damned thing about direct response marketing – it’s not smart – most people (when they’re new) don’t have unlimited resources – and they need to do something that will eventually produce their desired result.

Make sense?

The purpose of this article is to ‘help out’ our broken attraction marketing culture – ‘attraction marketing’ does NOT mean ‘vulture’ – got it?

Lol.  Bit of a rant there friends – let’s ask here – what are we really doing this for?

For a few hundred bucks?  Or for life long relationships?

I’ll take the latter - since according to Mike Dillard – the world is ending tomorrow anyways – and apparently, all our dollars will be toilet paper substitutions and ‘kindle’ to start fires ;)

In Prosperity
David Wood

P.S.  Leave me your thoughts friends – is this a bunch of hoopla?  or are you sick of ‘Attraction Marketing Vultures’ and are ready to build with synergy?

P.P.S.  Have you filled in the form yet?

Share this on Facebook
Share this on Twitter
Share this on Google+
Email this

4 Rules that you can use in your everyday life also. Sometimes it's just common sense. Don't do what you don't want done to you. Pretty simple

Sofia Saide
Sofia Saide

David, this has to be one of my favourite articles! It is written with incredible candour and wit. Doing this business with honesty and integrity is something that has also been very important to me. Thank you for sharing :-)


Great post David. Keep the value coming my friend


Hi David Good work. As I've been in Amway for 18 years learning all concerning marketing and friendship and leadership and putting all knowledge together in my traditional business and fortunnately it becomes an international and a well succeded firme...I'm keeping around this industry for as long I got energy and dreams and curiosity to meet people and wisdom and to make of course business inside ethics values. In Amway we use this: ETICA (Portuguese) from ETHIC ( English) E - Enthusiasm T - Transparency I - Intelligence C - Caracter ( frontal) A - Amizade ( friendship) Concerning this David are you going mad with me if I promote your work your videos and posts inside my blogs posts or others using total or parcial contents? Is this ethic or not? Am I helping you or creating damages to you if I atached one of my links together? Is this a way to be inside this industry promoting the work of others sometimes when we've got lac of inspiration? Are you going to answer this or maybe it's a natural conduct inside MLSP? Have a nice day and thanks a lot for your kindness and shared wisdom, Roger

Patricia McKeon
Patricia McKeon

Love this article David....love your honesty..and you know what....this is how I want to build my business....with Integrity..thinking of the next person, never badmouthing..and always keeping in mind the Bigger Picuture not the immediate income...:) thanks!

Glenn Watson
Glenn Watson

The thing for me is how Amway has introduced so many people to the world of network marketing as was the case with me. I quit Amway many years but the concept of Network Marketing never left and I always knew I would come back to it. Amway did have some very good principles and ideas and they started me on the road of personal development and going after your dreams. Thanks Amway and thanks for the article David.

Violet Koncz
Violet Koncz

Great stuff, man! I wish I could have been in that Long Beach auditorium too. You continue to be an inspiration for me. :)

Jamie Gaymon
Jamie Gaymon

Truer words than this have never been spoken: I used to be amazed at this, (I was making a damned fortune), and then I realized something – there are very few people that actually want to know what to do. Most people want to just be a part of something bigger than themselves, and do everything how ‘they know is best’. I loved my time in Amway, and there are many aspects of running a business I still carry with me today, and the Cardinal Rules and Nevers are definitely up there. But at the end of the day, you create an atmosphere where everyone knows they can win, and then you physically work with the ones who are actually committed to doing the work. I've had people in my downline ask me about what works in marketing and what doesn't, and I've told them. Until I realized that most times, they don't want my opinion, they want my approval. It's like when you have a friend that buys a new car, they don't bring it over so you can tell them they got killed on their interest rate, they bring it over so you can validate the decision they've already made. And that's how most downline reps are, they think that counseling upline is asking your opinion on the decision they've already made. When really what they want is acceptance, big difference. Another excellent post Dave!

Michael  Berry
Michael Berry

Appreciate you sharing your The 4 Cardinal Rules Of Downline Building (Stolen from Amway) post David. I love a post that has real value. Take care, Michael

John Chatman
John Chatman

Man Kimosabe.... This one hit REAL close to home partner. I have had these types of things happen to me and on the other end of the stock I have been guilty of them as well. The only thing that we as marketers, builders, and just pain ole flawed humans.

John Chatman
John Chatman

Can do is learn from or mistakes and grow. Thanks for being a great leader and an even better friend.

Email this page

To Name

To Email

From Name

From Email