63. “Are We Still Invited for Dinner?”
After years of going to our doctor near our home, we became friends as well as being patients. Dr. Block could see I was slipping downhill with post-encephalitis syndrome. “Bob, you are not going to be able to keep teaching down the road. You should find a source of income that you and Betty can do together, and she can gradually become the breadwinner.”
We had asked him and his wife for dinner before, but he had declined. Then Dr. Block called and asked if the dinner invitation was still open, he would like to come and show us a business opportunity. We had been pitched twice by friends at church with the “business opportunity,” approach for Amway, so Betty responded with, “If it’s Amway, we’re not interested.”
Dr. Block replied, “Can we still come for dinner?” Sure. After dinner, I asked what was the business opportunity he wanted to show us. It turned out to be Amway, and we joined. We joined, not because of the opportunity of Amway, but because we knew Dr. Block was a successful businessman and a high achiever, and we trusted him.
Being an Amway distributor was not easy because the “indirect approach” for recruiting had been established, for which Amway had a bad reputation. There were, however, unexpected serendipities. First, was the personal growth program. The Amway program was to “build” successful people, not just a successful business.
We were encouraged to read personal improvement books and tapes, and attend meetings to learn how to build better relationships with people. Who could forget the three C’s: Do not Criticize, Complain, or Condemn! The leaders spoke of maintaining a positive attitude and positive expectations, and not speaking negative.
We went to the mainland US for major events put on by our upline Diamonds. Betty and I had great times on the trips, being with positive uplifting people who shared a common goal.
It took a while, but I learned one secret of Network Marketing. The business is not to sell products, but to buy products for your own use, and share the idea with others. We did reach the first rank of note —DIRECT DISTRIBUTORS in two years.
New DIRECTS were given a free trip to Amway headquarters at Ada Michigan, only 20 miles from my home near Ionia, so we got to see my folks as well as tour the Amway plant.
Our upline Diamonds were also giving a perk to their DIRECT distributors.
We flew to Seattle, then took a ferry to the Rosario, an old luxury resort on Orcas Island. The resort was an old mansion that had been converted with a motel-like complex of cabins. The “luxury” was the food and the ambiance of being on the water, and watching seals surface to peek at the visitors. The weekend highpoint was an incredible buffet with a huge whole salmon, head and all, cooked, chilled, and mounted in the center — we hated to pick the meat off the magnificent display. I ate 4 pieces of cheesecake!
We have Doctor Block to thank for opening the door for us to learn about Network Marketing. We’ve been doing Network Marketing for 34 years, and have enjoyed ongoing experiences such as cruises and traveling to places we would never have thought possible. We cherish the friendships we’ve made with up-lifting positive people!