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.
The Amway Insider has brought you several stories about the Georgetown University Leadership Program, known more commonly as GULP.
The partnership between Amway, Georgetown and the Japanese Times daily newspaper brings Japanese professionals to Washington D.C. and Grand Rapids, Michigan, to get a primer on the American political system and see public-private partnerships in action.
In D.C., they visit prominent attractions and meet with well-known political insiders — most recently former White House Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove. In Michigan, they meet with local politicians, including Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, and visit local attractions, such as Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
Now, over at the Amway Newsroom, we have an in-depth look at the whirlwind program, its history and its impact. The session is only a week long, but Georgetown officials say they can do a lot in that week.
James V. Parenti, senior associate dean for Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies, called GULP “the most energetic international engagement we have (at Georgetown).”
And GULP Principal Instructor Bradley A. Blakeman said the value of education is not judged in time, but in content.
“We can be flexible and nimble and entrepreneurial enough to create programs for a student body that only visits for a week,” Blakeman said. “But the content will last a lifetime.”
Read more at the Amway Newsroom and see a photo album of their recent trip at the Amway Facebook page.
When Amway releases its annual sales, people focus on the big number, sales of USD$11.8 billion for 2013, another record for the company.
But we measure our accomplishments in smaller terms – the individual successes of a lot of ones, twos and threes.
Ones, such as Patrice Deibert of the U.S., who has built a thriving Amway business in Japan.
Twos, including Vladimir and Elena Sidorov of Russia, who found an outlet for their entrepreneurial spirit in Amway.
And threes, like Minnie Wen, Li Man Bong and Roy Li of Hong Kong, each of whom started a promising career but wanted more control over their future.
Millions of people like Patrice, Vladimir and Roy are achieving their potential through their Amway businesses.
That’s why our annual sales are more than a number. They represent the collective achievements of our business owners all over the world, supported by our more than 21,000 employees.
To them, we say thank you, and congratulations on another amazing year.
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.
This definition of “will” is one we can really appreciate: “The power of control the mind has over its own actions; the power of choosing one’s actions and asserting one’s choice.”
In Greece – the world’s 72nd most populous country according to 2012 figures – the findings of the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report revealed that will and determination are as strong as ever, despite the economic recovery being experienced there. We learned:
- More than two thirds (69%) of respondents in Greece have a positive attitude toward self-employment, with extremely positive attitudes coming from respondents under the age of 30 (79%) and students (86%).
- More than half (53%) of respondents can imagine starting their own business – a tiny change from 2012 and proof positive that Greece has great entrepreneurial will.
- To 44% of respondents from Greece, “making a return to the job market” is an extremely appealing motivator for starting a business, likely due to rising unemployment there.
That said, what concerns us greatly is that 85% of respondents in Greece, and 90% of females, see the fear of failing with an enterprise as an obstacle to starting a business. This is 15% more than the worldwide average.
Where Greece makes a statistical and impressive rebound is that it believes its society to be significantly more entrepreneurship-friendly than other countries categorized as crisis-struck, such as Hungary, Romania, Portugal and Spain.
The way they feel could likely be summed up in this man-on-the-street interview: “We are strongly connected to our place . . . and we still think we are the best in the world.”
With a will like that, we look forward to the results from next year’s Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report.
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?
Self-employment is gaining attractiveness in Ukraine, according to the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report. In fact, among Ukrainians under 30 years old, and those living in the West and South regions, positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship are some of the highest in our entire study — at 83%.
Recent advances in infrastructure, agriculture and the business start-up environment in Ukraine are likely contributing to the positive outlook.
- Money talks: When compared to the international average, respondents from Ukraine overwhelmingly state that the most appealing reason to start a business is the prospect of a second income.
- Location matters: Respondents living in Kiev see it differently, choosing “self-fulfillment” as a motivator to starting a business at a higher rate than their fellow countrymen.
- Gender does not: In Ukraine, there is no gender gap in positivity toward entrepreneurship.
- Any age: In contrast to most other countries surveyed, respondents over the age of 30 are just as leary as self employment as a good choice for themselves as their younger countrymen. Maturity and experience do not lessen the fear of failure.
- Business friendly: Ukrainian respondents see “low bureaucracy” as an important factor to the foundation of business. They see their regulatory, media and social environment — despite recent forward momentum — as neither friendly nor unfriendly. (See below.)
Amway looks forward to its second decade of doing business in Ukraine as well as continuing to study, sharpen and socialize ideas for keeping the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well there.
Question asked: If you think about politics, media coverage and the people you know: how entrepreneurship-friendly is the society in Ukraine?
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.
Remember on Nov. 20 when we told you about the 1,400 bikes being assembled at our Spaulding Avenue facility near our World Headquarters for Amway Universal Children’s Day?
Those were being built for Elves & More of West Michigan, a nonprofit that delivers bikes to children in need each Christmas season. The elves were busy over the weekend.
They delivered those 1,400 bikes, plus 1,100 more to children in the neighborhood of Burton Elementary and Middle schools in Grand Rapids. See great coverage of the bike give-away here from WOOD TV. It includes a lot of smiling faces.
More Amway volunteers were on hand to help with the give-away. The gesture had an extra special meaning for them because Amway has long had a partnership with Burton schools, volunteering at Christmas and other times of the year.
Visit our Facebook page for more photos of the give-away.