POSTS CATEGORIZED:
“Perspectives”

Mar.31
2014

“Simply Rich”

Rich DeVos believes that he has achieved much in his life for one simple reason  – focusing on helping others succeed.

“Looking back at 88 years of life, I believe one principle rises above the others,” he writes in his fifth book, “Simply Rich:  Life and Lessons from the Cofounder of Amway.” “People who achieve the highest levels of success are those who place their focus on other people rather than themselves.  I have succeeded only by helping others succeed.”

In “Simply Rich,” the co-founder of Amway shares the story of his remarkable life, from his humble beginnings to his success as a global business leader, and what he learned along the way.  Listen to Rich talk about the inspiration for the book in this trailer for “Simply Rich.”


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“Simply Rich” is available from the Howard Books division of Simon & Schuster and can be found online or in stores starting April 1.  Other titles by Rich DeVos include “Believe!”, “Hope from My Heart” and “Ten Powerful Phrases for Positive People.”

Mar.19
2014

Constant celebration

The U.S. Small Business Administration has declared that March is national Start a Business Month.

At Amway, every month is start a business month, whether in the U.S. or around the world! In fact, every day, we equip new entrepreneurs with the mentorship, confidence, products and training they need to own and run a business.

In the video below,  Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel said, “We’ve never lost sight of our belief in entrepreneurs.  They have been the essential . . . driving force of our business for over 50 years.”

“Entrepreneurs fuel our success, as well as the economies of communities around the world,” added Amway President Doug DeVos. “Today, the spirit of entrepreneurism is alive and well.”

The findings of the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report – which measured the dynamics of entrepreneurism among 26,000 people in 24 countries – reinforces these statements.

In 2014, Amway will continue to study the entrepreneurial landscape, looking at what helps and holds people back from bringing their entrepreneurial ideas to life.

We’ll also be adding 13 new countries to our study this year, including India, Korea, China, Brazil, South Africa and Norway. A total of 37 countries will be surveyed, and the release of our results will coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week in November of this year. (Check out this great video of coverage from last year’s release of the report.)

Until then, follow us on Twitter or Facebook to join the conversation about the role that Amway, and the entire direct selling industry, plays in building and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit around the world. Search for #AGER to find posts specifically about the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report.


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Mar.07
2014

The concern, the cure

Melissophobia is the fear of bees; blennophobia is the fear of slime; and chorophobia is the fear of dancing. In fact, from A to Z, clinical names for numerous fears exist.

In the 2010-2012 editions of Amway’s Entrepreneurship Report, the “fear of failure” was consistently among the highest obstacles to becoming self-employed. We believe this fear leads to a high gap between people who can imagine starting their own business and those who actually do.

So in our 2013 report, we took a closer look. We wanted to know: Did the fear exist because people did not believe in their abilities, their networks and ideas? Or because they did not feel supported by their environment?

Among the polled countries worldwide, 41 percent of respondents feared “financial burdens up to bankruptcy.” For 31 percent, “the economic crisis” turned out to be a considerable obstacle (even truer in the European Union). Non-financial fears included disappointing one’s family, loss of reputation, and and not being unable to handle the high level of responsibility.

The percentage of respondents who are fearful of starting an enterprise is represented below for six of the 24 countries studied.

These fears may not have clinical names, but at Amway we seek to “treat” them with a business model that is low-risk, low-cost and has built-in mentorship and support. And fear not, if it doesn’t meet a person’s expectations, it has a money-back guarantee.

Feb.01
2014

A Simple Stat

According to the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, there is a clear answer to what motivates people toward entrepreneurship: Independence from an employer is a more important driver than income.

Amway works in more than 100 countries around the world to establish or maintain cultures and regulatory environments that value and support entrepreneurship. And most importantly, we do this by offering would-be entrepreneurs a low cost, low risk way to get one step closer to the independence they crave.

Jan.27
2014

Courage, coaching and CEO’ing

Open a closet or cupboard door in many homes around the world and odds are you’ll find at least one product from General Mills, Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, L.L. Bean or Fisher Price. And the leaders of these companies have much to teach us: about transformation, innovation, big data, culture, philanthropy and purpose.

That’s why Robert Reiss, Forbes columnist and longtime host of The CEO Show, brings these leaders on air, and asks them the tough questions about their personal management styles, how they have reinvented their industries, and how to develop best practices while upholding their own values. His show airs weekly and is syndicated in full or in segments in 85 U.S. cities.

The recent interview that Reiss did with Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and Amway President Doug DeVos went live on the show’s website last week. It was an excellent opportunity to amplify Amway’s story, share the entrepreneurial spirit and drive behind direct selling, and have an important conversation about the role of entrepreneurs — people like our Amway Business Owners — in healthy,  growing economies.

In the final minutes of the interview, Reiss asks both men for the advice they have for anyone considering becoming an entrepreneur. Said Steve, “You have to just jump in and try something. It doesn’t always work, but it doesn’t matter. Just keep trying.” Doug added, “Get connected with mentors and other people who’ve done it. . . everyone thinks it’s about money. It’s not. It’s about people and it’s about connecting with others who can give you encouragement. . . ”

Courage and coaching. To us, that sounds about right.

Jan.10
2014

Entrepreneurship in Great Britain

Entrepreneurship is well-liked in Great Britain, especially among the young and educated.

That’s according to the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, which studied views and attitudes toward entrepreneurship and self-employment in 24 countries.

Here are some results from Great Britain:

  • On average, almost 8 out of 10 respondents, or 77%, have a positive attitude toward self-employment. That’s a boost from last year’s 75% and about 7% higher than the international average.
  • Among 18- to 24-year-olds the number grows to 86%. Add a university degree to that group and the number jumps to 91%.
  • On the whole, 88% of the respondents with a college degree report positive feelings toward entrepreneurship. Views dropped among those without a degree to 74%, but that’s still higher than the international average in that group — 67%

So, why do those in Great Britain like the idea of starting a business? Well, it’s not about the money. “Second income prospects” was one of the least important reasons they would consider it. The highest ranked reason was “independence from an employer and being one’s own boss.” The second most appealing reason was “self-fulfillment and possibility to realize own ideas.”

Question asked: In your opinion, which of the following aspects appeal to you as reasons to start up your own business?

Dec.27
2013

Juxtaposing Japan

When placing Japan’s results side by side with those of the 23 other countries studied in the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER), some of the most glaring cultural differences about entrepreneurship become evident.

Others have reported on Japan’s hesitancy to embrace entrepeneurs, who have been viewed as self-promoting in a culture that values group harmony over individual expression. In addition, in Japanese culture, business failure quickly evolves into personal and societal shame, which is in deep contrast to a country like the United States, where failure is often seen as a necessary precursor to success.

The AGER data does not contrast these conventional beliefs, but gives insight into what could make Japan’s would-be entrepreneurs more risk-tolerant.  We learned that:

  • Only 17% of Japanese respondents ranked “independence from an employer” as an important consideration for starting their own business. For the rest of the world, that number was 43% and consistently one of the highest ranking reasons.
  • In Japan, fear of failing with one’s own enterprise was the most prevalent in the world. More than nine out of ten respondents (94%) saw fear to failure as an obstacle to starting a business. This is 24% more than the international average.
  • When participants in Japan were asked what would encourage them to start a business, half said that finding “mentoring and support through business networks” would. This number is twice as high as the international average (24%).

Thankfully, mentoring and support is becoming more prevalant in this nation where career success has traditionally been defined too narrowly to include entrepreneurship. And on the horizon: more entrepreneurial courses offered by top Japanese universities.

We look forward to following Japan’s emerging entrepreneurial culture in the coming years – and doing all that we can to stimulate it.

Dec.20
2013

Reporting on Russia

In just three months, Moscow will play host to the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Congress, an event with goals that are very much aligned to that of our recently released Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER), including:

• To exchange ideas favorable to entrepreneurship.

• To show entrepreneurs how collaborative communities can help them launch and scale.

• To increase global recognition of entrepreneurs for the important role they play in society.

In fact, Russia was one of 24 countries we studied, and our findings could be useful in shaping the nation’s policy, education and image-building for entrepreneurship. For example, we learned that positive attitudes toward self-employment in Russia are declining, down from 73% positive in 2012 to 65% in 2013. And that the Ural and Northwest regions were nearly 20 points lower in positivity than in Siberia and the South.

Alarmingly few females in Russia said they could imagine starting their own business (26%), which is surprising given the independence and mobility of Russian women.

This warrants discussion during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress and beyond about how to strengthen and nurture women’s entrepreneurial spirit and meet the particular needs of would-be female entrepreneurs.

We’re committed to these conversations, to the actions that can come as a result, and most of all, to our amazing Amway Russia Business Owners – people such as Mark and Marina Kaplun and Vladimir and Elena Sidorov. They stay the course, encourage others to define themselves through entrepreneurship and, along with other direct sellers in Russia, help build better economies and communities.

Dec.13
2013

A fair go

The concept of ”a fair go” is uniquely Australian. There, the meaning is deeper than just an opportunity or a chance. It’s part of the country’s value system.

Maybe that’s behind the results found when we studied Australia as part of the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report.

Australia ranked third — behind only Finland and Denmark — with the most positive attitude toward self-employment. In fact, positivity down under is 14% more than the international average. Half of Australians can imaging starting their own business.

Australians are also fearless. While 70% of global respondents cited fear of failure as an obstacle to their own entrepreneurship, only 53% of Australians felt the same.

It makes sense given the entrepreneurial endeavors under Australia’s belt — like the world’s first notepads and pacemakers, penicillin, black box flight recorders and anti-counterfeit technology. Australia’s history of bringing ideas to life is impressive — as is its future with 83% of Millennials stating they would like to be self-employed.

Or, as one Aussie publication worded its headline about the study: “Go get ‘em attitude reigns supreme.”

Dec.09
2013

Shared responsibility

According to Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel, business leaders, policy makers, academics and experts share an important responsibility: to eliminate unnecessary regulations, taxes and other barriers in order to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit.

Van Andel wrote this opinion piece for CNBC and provided a similar view to the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He believes that in order for individual entrepreneurs to flourish and prosper, more business training and entrepreneurship education resources should be available.

His comments were prompted by the findings of the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report released this past November. The report, developed in partnership with the Entrepreneurship Center at University of Munich and GfK Global Research, helped open a global dialogue on fostering the entrepreneurial mindset, something that Van Andel certainly knows a thing or two about.

Photo: Van Andel presents Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report findings at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Ian Wagreich / © U.S. Chamber of Commerce