You probably think I'm kidding. I'm not. If you're at all familiar with my writing, you might think this is another satirical piece. It's not. I think you should join Amway.
I'm going to make the assumption that you're already familiar with Amway. They've been around since the 1950s and have more than 3 million people working with them. They have received their share of controversy over the years and there are many who feel vitriol toward the company (a Google search for "scamway" returned almost 50,000 hits).
So, why in the world would I recommend you join Amway? Let me take you back to when The X Files was on TV, Nirvana was on the radio, and Braveheart was in theaters...
The year was 1995. I was working as a counselor in a group home for children outside of Portland, Oregon. I had a degree in psychology and long hair (trust me, I fit in). I could tell you all about Jung and cognitive-behavioral therapy, but I couldn't tell you a thing about marketing or cash flow. I had absolutely no business education or experience.
A co-worker suggested I come to his house for a presentation about an "exciting business opportunity." This was my first introduction to Amway. A couple of hundred dollars and a week later I was an Amway distributor (they call them Independent Business Owners -- or IBOs -- now).
Suddenly I was in business! I studied the Amway material, listened to tapes, and went to the library to digest more business books. Above and beyond all of the "stuff" I got, I experienced a profound mental change.
One moment I was an employee and the next I was an employee AND a business owner. This is a monumental shift. If you've never had your own business, you can't understand what it feels like to be CEO of a company and to be responsible for marketing, generating clients, cash flow, recruiting, training, and all of the other hats an entrepreneur must wear.
I even got a Franklin Planner to manage my time and calendar better. "Manage your what?" my girlfriend asked. For the first few weeks there wasn't much on the calendar, but it felt good -- no, it felt amazing. This happened 15 years ago but I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. It was powerful. I had a business. Let me repeat. I had a business. I was introverted but I had to go out and talk to people. I had been squandering the other 8 hours, but now I had meetings and appointments. I've always been driven to learn and succeed, but now I was focused.
Okay, so what does this have to do with you? If you want to use the other 8 hours to make more money, but aren't sure where to start, I strongly suggest you look at Amway or even another network marketing company. Why? It is the easiest and quickest way to start your own business. You can read all you want about starting a business, but it's different when you actually have your own business.
I spoke to one of the grandfathers of Amway -- Jim Dornan -- about what new Amway IBOs should expect to learn. "Almost all new IBOs are already working as employees, but many are not used to leading people, inspiring others, or setting goals. Amway can help you learn to lead and work with people more effectively. It can also help you overcome fears such as public speaking or even talking to people."
Jim Dornan also said Amway provides a safe place for new business owners to grow and learn. "We promote positive values and an environment where everyone has an incentive to help others grow and learn."
For $50 (refundable for up to one year), you could own your own business. Do I think network marketing is your fast track to riches? No. Do I think it is for everyone? No, but I think it provides an unbelievable opportunity to learn and to experience what it feels like to be responsible for running a business -- something I couldn't appreciate until I did it.
By the way, I'm not involved with any network marketing company including Amway -- I left in 1996. I was only with Amway for a year, but what I learned and experienced has stayed with me to this day.
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