A Rich DeVos Success Story
Rich DeVos has been recognized as one of the ten wealthiest Americans. He is among the handful of great motivational speakers of all time.
There are very few people who have revolutionized a product, a company, or even an industry, but Rich DeVos has forever changed the way people do business around the world. As a leader of the Amway Corporation, he has a lot to teach us about finding success. Here are his words:
I believe there are three key ingredients in the recipe for success. I call them the “Three As.”
The first “A” is “Atmosphere.” We need an encouraging atmosphere to achieve our potential. I had very little in the way of material possesions growing up during the Depression, but I was fortunate to have a home with parents who expected me to do my best and work hard to achieve my goals. They never let me get away with saying, “I can’t” because they knew I could.
Thanks in large part to my parents, teachers, and other important people in my life who encouraged me, I was able to build a successful business that lets me spend my time encouraging others. When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I’m just a cheerleader. I travel around the world doing as my father taught me. To say to people, “You can do it.” That’s the message people really need to hear to succeed.
The second “A” is “Attitude.” We must believe we can reach our goals, and we must be willing to look beyond obstacles to reach them.
Long before my partner, Jay Van Andel, and I started Amway, we dreamed of owning our own business. Our friendship even began with a business arrangement. I paid Jay 25 cents a week for rides to and from school. We knew that when we found the right opportunity, there would be no stopping us from achieving our dream.
The last “A” is “Action.” Without action, the other two “As” get us nowhere. We have to jump in and make our dream happen.
It’s easy to find reasons not to take action—lack of experience and lack of money are two common excuses. But with the right attitude and atmosphere, we can act despite these roadblocks.
After World War 2, Jay and I started our first business—a flying school and our community’s first drive-in restaurant. We didn’t know anything about either, but we figured that the best way to learn was by doing. We ran these successful businesses for several years before selling them to pursue our next opportunity.
Our next business was selling Nutrilite vitamins person-to-person. We knew nothing about direct selling and even less about vitamins, but we were willing to work hard to learn and to build this business. It was through our experiences with Nutrilite that we developed our plan for Amway.
“Action” also means persevering through setbacks and not giving up just because it would be the easiest thing to do. Jay and I certainly faced our share of problems—like people who thought that “selling soap” would never amount to anything and a fire that destroyed our factory in 1969. It would have been much easier just to let adversity win and get regular jobs like people thought we should. But we never even considered it. And 2.5 million Amway distributors are glad we acted on our dreams instead of our doubts.
I consider myself very blessed to have experienced success. But what is most gratifying about success is the opportunity to help others. When we share our time, money, and experience to help others, we complete the circle of love that leads to our own personal happiness and success.
"It is impossible to win the race unless you venture to run, impossible to win the victory unless you dare to battle." - Richard DeVos