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7 June 2016

DeVos: Our focus on people is the Amway ‘difference’

What’s the “something” that has made Amway’s successful?

Amway President Doug DeVos has a simple answer: Focusing on people.

Doug recalls the story of a chemical company that sought to buy Amway years ago. A company representative came to speak with Amway Co-Founders Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel regarding the company’s interest in buying Amway.

Jay and Rich declined the offer, and were told that this company intended to go into direct selling as their competitor and would “put Amway out of business.”

Other business leaders might have ended the conversation then and there. But not Rich and Jay. Doug recalled that they gave the future competitor an Amway starter kit, to make sure they knew the right way to structure their direct selling business.

Years later Rich saw the chairman of that company and learned that their direct selling venture had failed.

Rich asked how that could have happened, since he and Jay provided everything an Amway business owner receives when starting their business.

The chairman turned to Rich and responded, “You may have given us the kit, but I think you left something out.”

That “something” is a focus on helping people.

“Amway is not about a business kit.  Amway is not about a plan even though the plan’s great.  It’s not about products even though the products are great,” explains Doug. “Amway’s about people.  This is a business about people helping people.”

It’s a simple yet powerful concept: Helping people achieve through their Amway businesses is at the center of all we do. As Doug’s story illustrates, it has guided the company since its founding and continues to drive us today.

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