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 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.”
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%).
In 24 countries and from 26,000 people, Amway recently sought opinions on the attitudes, concerns and desires of would-be entrepreneurs.
Titled the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, the study provides an up-to-date view on self-employment potential and obstacles hindering entrepreneurial activities in Australia, Austria, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.
The good news:
More than two-thirds of respondents (70%) have a positive attitude toward entrepreneurship, a 1% increase over 2012 data. Even more encouraging? Nearly half of them can imagine starting their own businesses.
Respondents from Denmark have the most positive attitude toward self-employment (89%). Finland follows with 87% and the Netherlands rounds out the top three most positive countries.
The rest of the story:
We found that 65% of would-be entrepreneurs were motivated by the desire to be independent. People want to control their time and their futures. They want to set their own hours, goals and priorities — be their own boss.
For years now, our study has shown that fear of failure is the biggest obstacle to becoming self-employed. The fear to fail has lead to the gap between the number of people who can imagine starting their own businesses and the number who actually go for it.
We believe it’s urgent to support the activation of potential entrepreneurs by jointly raising awareness, encouraging further debate and doing anything we can to negate fears.
Amway offers a unique business opportunity and we take seriously our responsibility to engage in the public discussion on entrepreneurship. The Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report is one way we do that. It provides decision-makers in the realm of politics, economics and education with real data to inform actions that encourage the foundation of new businesses.
Inspired by the Edith Rehnborg quote, “Every woman is a self-made work of art,” our colleagues at Amway Korea invited five emerging female artists to interpret a woman’s most beautiful moments through their own unique piece of art.
The 2013 Artist x ARTISTRY Gallery project, lead by actor Daniel Choi, included paintings, sculptures, illustrations and installations from artists Kim Sanyoung, Kim Soyeon, Kim Sohyeon, Kim Hyunjung and Ji Minhe. The artwork was showcased at the Busan International Film Festival in the ARTISTRY Booth at BIFF Village on the beautiful Haeundae beach.
The gallery concept was covered by influential Korean beauty and fashion magazines including Cosmopolitan, Heren, InStyle, Heren, SURE and Woman Joongang. It also was spotlighted by local and regional daily newspapers including JoongAng Ilbo and Maeil Business Newspaper.
Watch the video to see how the artists interpreted the project. So, what does beauty mean to you?
On a recent trip to China, he met with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, several other government officials, top media and distributor leaders.
The theme has been similar in all of these meetings: Our potential is great if we remain true to our values, show leadership and embrace innovation.
“Dad and Rich believed people have an innate desire to make their lives better,” Van Andel said. “And they believed that by empowering others, people would work to reach their greatest potential. At Amway, we offer people the opportunity to own their own business … to pursue a level of success they desire.
“And with commitment and hard work, they can change their lives. Improving people’s lives has been our vision since the beginning. And we believe that ultimately, it’s why Amway’s been so successful.”
It’s a message Van Andel will continue share all over the world as he travels this next year as chairman of both Amway and the U.S. Chamber. We think it has potential – do you agree?
The newly established Asia Beauty Innovation Center puts the right people in new places to explore and better understand the world’s beauty trends. It’s powered by Amway experts in consumer and market research, technical and clinical research, open innovation, concept and product design, and product packaging.
A growing number of our customers live in China and southeast Asia. Converting insights from this region into new product concepts and portfolio strategies is key to developing new products that appeal to our customers – not only there, but throughout the world.
Our tastes are always changing. We look forward to learning from our experts in Seoul what we’ll want next.
In three decades as an Amway business owner – primarily building her business in Japan – Patrice Deibert has learned a thing or two. Last month, she shared those learnings with employees at Amway World Headquarters.
Fascinating facts included:
• The entrepreneurial spirit often lives where you least expect it. Said Pat, “We can never tell who’s going to be successful – there is no specific personality type or DNA.”
• In Japan, an Amway business owner who has reached the Platinum level of achievement has an average of 169 people on their team. “The horizon up to and between different levels of achievement can be a long one. We always tell people the truth about the amount of work it takes,” she said.
• Japan is one of the leading Amway markets in GenY participation. In fact, she says the lobby of Amway Japan’s Plazas are often packed and at their liveliest at 10 o’clock at night.
• More math from Pat’s perspective: “The toughest part about the business is learning to overcome rejection. To sponsor one person [into the business], I talk to 20.”
• Even after 34 years in Amway, no two days are alike!
Pat and her husband both earned master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, and landed in Tokyo when he joined the United States Air Force. They started an Amway business with nine products to offer and zero Japanese language skills.
Owning a new business while adapting to a new culture was a lot to take on – but Pat reminded us that although no two days are ever alike, it’s a different story with people. ”Inside, we’re more similar than we are different.”
A recent YourMoney article reports a sizable boom in the number of young professionals under the age of 25 becoming direct selling representatives in the United Kingdom.
How did they define sizable? A 29% increase from 2011 to 2012. In fact, the UK Direct Selling Association says that under-25s now make up 19% of its direct sales force. That’s 75,000 new entrepreneurs — a figure that might surprise those who think direct selling has lost some of its consumer influence to online shopping. But it does not surprise us here at Amway.
Last year, a study on 2012 Amway applications by generation showed that globally, more than one-third of our new Amway Business Owners (ABOs) were born after 1981. Leading the charge and recruiting the highest percentage of next-generation business owners is Amway Vietnam, followed closely by Australia,Malaysia and Japan.
Lynda Mills, director of the UK DSA, said it well: “For many young people, the jobs market is incredibly difficult to break into and there is a real desire to work for themselves and get up and running quickly. Direct selling offers just that and a chance for people, whatever their age, to be their own boss and make a very successful career.”
A recent study in Canada supports her assertion. It revealed that 30% of young Canadians believe they will be self-employed in the future, and one in four expects to be their own boss within the next five years.
Call it optimism. Call it an economic necessity. We call it reality — and we embrace it!
Disclaimer: The authors of these blogs are Amway employees. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily reviewed in advance by anyone but the individual author. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the view of Amway or any other person or company.