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.
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. . . ”
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.
Walls, flooring, plumbing and ventilation are mostly in place. As those aspects of the job are being completed, leaders are now shifting their attention to the equipment that will actually make the soft gel capsules and tablets for our Nutrilite products around the world.
This week, several members of the engineering team – along with staff from manufacturing and maintenance – are meeting with soft gel equipment manufacturers to complete something called a Factory Acceptance Test.
The manufacturers have created a full production line at their site, setting up the equipment in the same way that it will be installed at the Spaulding Avenue facility. They will use the same or similar raw materials that we will use to simulate a full production run. This extensive review is part of making sure that everything is right, and, if not, fixing any issues before the equipment arrives in Ada.
All other equipment is undergoing similar testing as well, and the efforts don’t end there. Once the equipment arrives, more tests and trials will be run over several months to ensure the highest standard of quality and validation.
Getting it right is what Amway is all about. The Factory Acceptance Test is one more step in helping us get there. Check out more photos of the progress at our Amway Facebook page.
Pull any cleaning product off your shelf at home. Do you know how much that product is quality-tested before it gets to you?
We can tell you, if it’s one of our Amway home care brands.
Amway Quality Assurance lab analysts perform hundreds of tests a day on our surface, dish and laundry care products made in our U.S.-based manufacturing plants to ensure they meet our exacting quality standards.
That amounts to 124,000 tests every year on raw ingredients, finished products and even packaging — just for home products made in Ada, Michigan. Our home care products made in Belgium, China, India and Vietnam are tested with the same rigor. All to ensure our products always look, smell and perform exactly as promised by the scientists who created the formulas — and that they are safe for your family.
We don’t have to be that exacting. No regulatory agency in the world requires that much testing.
We do it for one reason: to ensure the more than 3 million people worldwide who proudly use and sell Amway products are getting the quality they deserve — in every package.
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.
Amway’s manufacturing expansion is well under way. The seven-site, $375 million project is geared toward building an infrastructure that will continue to provide quality nutrition, beauty and home products to the world for decades to come.
Recent visitors to construction sites in the U.S. states of California, Washington and Michigan have seen great advancements, as have visitors to the Tamil Nadu, India site. While there are several months left before these projects begin manufacturing products for consumers, the visible progress is exciting.
And, you don’t have to be on the ground to see the progress. Photo albums of some of the sites are updated regularly, allowing everyone to track the developments. New photos have recently been added to the albums for Buena Park, California, and our new tablet and soft gel facility down the street from our World Headquarters in Michigan.
As work progresses, we’ll soon add photos of our other projects, including China and Vietnam.
It is an exciting time at Amway, as we grow to meet growing demand worldwide.
The traditional gifts that spouses give each other to celebrate a 25th anniversary in the United States include iris flowers and silver jewelry. This month, we are quietly honoring that same milestone for the Women’s Business Ownership Act, which was signed into law in October of 1988.
This landmark legislation allowed women to receive business loans without the co-signature of a male relative; created the National Women’s Business Council; and helped fund Women’s Business Centers - similar to this one in our backyard – all over the country.
As of 2012, the State of Women-Owned Businesses Report estimated that there are more than 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating $1.3 trillion in revenue and employing 7.7 million people.
Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and President Doug DeVos were selected “Business Persons of the Year” for their leadership of Amway as well as efforts to improve their hometown of Grand Rapids. They were lauded for their partnership in leading Amway to unprecedented success, including their commitment to “do the right thing and do it well.”
And Amway Cofounder Rich DeVos and wife Helen were honored for their legacy of community leadership and giving, which literally changed the skyline and future of the city. They were celebrated for being a “catalyst and spark” for the reinvention of Grand Rapids through their “leadership, positive drive and can-do attitude.”
From running a global business in Ada, to giving generously, to leading change in our community, these four meet the criteria for “influence.” And they’ve definitely made a difference in our corner of the world.
This video takes a closer look at Rich and Helen’s contributions.
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.