Egypt to America
When Samir came from Egypt to America in 1979, he had $40 in his pocket and a desire to briefly see the land of opportunity. Samir ended up staying in the United States for ten years before he ever went back to visit his family.
Samir started out as a janitor while he went to Bible college. He went on to become a paper carrier while earning his master’s degree in computer science. By the time he saw the independent business ownership plan, he had amassed a comfortable six-figure income through various businesses and real estate. “When I saw the business, I really did not recognize its potential. I basically agreed to buy products and go to a few meetings,” says Samir.
After twenty-two months of doing nothing but buying products and attending some seminars, Samir realized that this business was a great way to achieve financial freedom—so he got busy. With the help and devoted friendship of Brad and Julie Duncan, he went Platinum in seven months and Ruby three months later.
Because Samir was single and debt-free, he was able to retire at the Platinum level from his day-to-day job. Samir overcame a lot to build this business. “I struggled with the language barriers. I was single and did all of the paperwork myself, yet I never let my challenges get in the way of my success,” says Samir.
Samir was in Emerald qualification when he met Theresa. She was also building the business as a single in California when they met. “I was working long hours as a sales representative for a large corporation. I had what most of my peers would consider a great career. I was making good money, had all the corporate perks, and was also pursuing an MBA when the business was presented to me for a second time,” says Theresa.
Although Theresa was doing well compared to most twenty-four-year-olds, she had always envisioned a much more successful lifestyle. “This seemed to be the only vehicle for me to have it all! A great marriage and family, lifestyle, and association with positive, goal-oriented people,” says Theresa.
Samir and Theresa met at a seminar in California and quickly became great friends. They were so focused on their businesses that they were not looking to date, let alone get married in the near future. “I was very impressed with Samir and admired and respected him for what he had accomplished as a single and a foreigner in the business. He also had great family values and incredible integrity,” says Theresa. After about eight months, they decided to date and soon thereafter became engaged. Samir retired Theresa from her career at the ripe young age of twenty-six!
Becoming Better People
“We are so grateful to the World Wide Group support organization and to our dearest friends and mentors, Brad and Julie Duncan, for helping us become better people and for helping us build our Diamondship,” state the Attalahs.
They have great goals to bless their families, especially Samir’s family back home in Egypt. At the Ruby level, Samir was able to buy a new home for his parents and send all seven nieces and nephews to private schools.
Living on a “Street of Dreams”
The Attalahs live in a 4,000-square-foot “Street of Dreams” home in Redmond. “When we moved into the home, we took nothing with us. Instead we completely decorated the home with new furniture and paid cash for everything,” says Theresa. The Attalahs feel very blessed to live in a beautiful home and they will never forget where they came from. “We both lived in old dumpy apartments, had used furniture, and were busted broke. Neither of us ever allowed our struggles to prevent us from thinking long-term. This business requires hard work, but the rewards are so worth it. We cherish our freedom and live a debt-free life with total peace of mind,” says Samir. “We love sharing the business with others and helping them to fulfill their dreams and goals.”
Parents With Time for Their Kids
Samir and Theresa are full-time parents to their three children: “Our children will never know what it is like to have parents that go to a job forty to fifty hours per week, but they will understand what it takes to succeed in your own business,” says Samir.
Anything but Average
The Attalahs’ lifestyle is anything but average. While most people scramble out of their homes early in the morning to get to a job, they begin their day whenever their children wake up. “We spend days together as a family, laughing and playing. In the evening we go out to share the business opportunity with others,” comments Samir.
Today the Attalahs spend a tremendous amount of time with their children. They are very involved in their school and sports. They have huge dreams and goals they continue to work toward, which includes helping their downline fulfill their own dreams.
For Glen and Joya Baker, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for a life-changing opportunity to come into their lives. They were in a desperate situation financially and the stress was beginning to wear on them heavily.
On the surface, they looked like they had it all. An all-American couple, doing what everyone else was doing—working. Joya worked as a dental hygienist and Glen in insurance sales.They were living above their means, leasing cars, and vacationing every weekend. They did all the fun things like hanging out at Newport Beach, waterskiing, jet skiing, snowskiing at Mammoth, golfing at Palm Desert, and always dreaming big but never really thinking they’d have the lifestyle they were living, and a whole lot more.
Behind the scenes, they were borrowing money from their parents to pay off their debts, vowing never to repeat the situation, only to accumulate more debt. They came home from vacation once to learn the IRS had frozen their bank account. Joya’s wages were frozen and they had a lien on their home. Like many people today, they just didn’t realize they were in that much trouble and they definitely didn’t know how to get out of the mess they were in.
Choosing to Believe
When a friend of Glen’s from high school contacted them about a business opportunity and was persistent in meeting with them, they immediately went to a seminar to learn more. Joya says that weekend changed their lives. They chose to believe it would work for them too if they applied themselves and learned as they progressed. They made building their business a high priority and treated it like a million dollar business from the very beginning. Their attitude was contagious and very quickly, their business began to grow. Their belief right from the first was that they could do phenomenally well and they set out to prove it—to themselves, to everyone that joined them, and even those who didn’t believe they could be successful. Everything positive and negative that occurred motivated them.
In their second year, the Bakers were able to pay their bills and by year four, over $100,000 in bills were completely paid off. It was at this point that their lifestyle started changing a lot. Today, they live a first-class lifestyle in every possible way. Their home is on thirteen acres in the wine country of Temecula and Joya was able to decorate their beautiful 5,300-square-foot home exactly the way she chose to. They have made their estate a true “field of dreams” with fruit trees, a tennis court, a three-tee golf course, an incredible 60’ x 40’ swimming pool, two big lakes, and a large barbecue area. Home is their favorite place to be. Their dream of a fabulous home came true exactly as they had visualized and talked about night after night.
A Joyous Family
They tremendously enjoy their children—Summer, Trevor, and his wife Lexi. But even more importantly, Glen and Joya know that their kids have developed character and an attitude for success and leadership. They’ve grown up around great examples and consider their parents their friends. They love hanging with their parents as often as possible. Trevor and Lexi are Founder’s Platinums, and recently reached the Ruby level, while Summer is also actively building her business.
Dreams Coming True
Glen and Joya had a favorite saying early in their business: “See you on the beaches.” Traveling and being able to go first-class has been a dream come true for them. They’ve been to Peter Island eight times, toured Greece on the private Enterprise V Yacht, Africa for an EDC trip, Hawaii numerous times, and visited many other places.
An Opportunity to Change
Glen and Joya are very frank in sharing that they might not still be together if not for what they’ve learned from the mentorship they’ve received from the World Wide Group support organization. Every aspect of their lives has improved and become a success. They were given an opportunity to change their own lives and are now instrumental in helping many others do the same. The insanity has been cleared out of their lives so they can focus on accentuating the positive: “We’ve stopped the insanity.”
Willing to Do What Others Wouldn’t
Many nights when Glen arrived home late at night and all the houses in his neighborhood were dark, he would remind himself that as long as he was willing to do what other people were not willing to do, he would have what they would never have and live the way they would never live. People ask when they managed to create this lifestyle. They simply smile and say, “While you were sleeping.” Their purpose now is to help others achieve their dreams and change the destiny of their own families.
Lexi grew up in Las Vegas, where she enjoyed a very happy childhood and a supportive, Christian home. She was driven as a child to become the best at everything she was involved in, especially in school. She says she was “sold out to school” and the idea that a great education leads to great job opportunities. During her first year in college her parents brought her to her first Free Enterprise Days, which, she says, changed her life forever. She didn’t really understand the details of the business and how much money she could make, but she instantly fell in love with the World Wide Group system and the people who wanted to do amazing things to impact the world. She continued taking college classes and worked two jobs while starting her own Amway business. Her friends and roommates didn’t understand why she didn’t want to party and hang out with them, but she had her sights set on building her future. Trevor and Lexi met at the first Free Enterprise Days that Lexi attended. She was dating someone else at the time, but she quickly realized that the kind of man she wanted to marry was someone who wanted the same things out of life that she did, and that person was Trevor.
Growing Up Diamond
Trevor’s story is a unique one. His parents began building their Amway business when he was 5 years old. At 9 years old he had a full-time mom and dad. Growing up in Temecula, California, he and his sister lived the life of their dreams. “The cars, the travel, the private aircraft ... it was just amazing,” says Trevor. “Through that, I had no real concept of what most people experience.” A huge thing for him was to earn the respect of his parents’ friends and mentors. “My parents always wanted us [Trevor and his sister] to be around the business. They wanted to build a future together.” Trevor and his sister traveled all over the world with their parents, attending multiple business trips, yet what mattered to him most was the opportunity to be with the Diamonds. “I knew who I wanted to spend time with by who I watched [his parents] spend time with,” he says. At 18 years old, Trevor made the personal decision to “stop living with the rewards of the Diamond lifestyle that my parents created.” He wanted to earn the Diamonds’ respect for himself. He didn’t want to be “Glen and Joya’s son,” he wanted to make a name for himself as someone who has paid the price like they did.
When Trevor and Lexi got engaged, they hit the ground running to build their business “hard, strong, and fast.” They built the business even while planning their wedding. They went into Platinum qualification during their honeymoon, at the age of 21! They both worked “business building” jobs that would leave their evenings and weekends free to build the business and pay enough to cover the bills.
Building the Business
Trevor and Lexi encountered many of the same struggles as everyone else as they began building the business together. Family and financial struggles did not evade them. “Life happens as you build this business,” as Lexi says, “so if you stay focused on what you want in your life, it’s amazing the things that can happen.” Soon they felt called to live in Las Vegas, where Lexi grew up. They saw the potential for spreading the idea that life can be much more than partying on the weekends. Soon after, Trevor was able to walk away from his real estate career to pursue the business full-time. The Bakers became parents to twin girls in November 2012, but instead of taking any kind of break, they decided to hit the ground running even harder. In two years’ time, they laid the foundation for a Diamondship. Their passion became wanting to build a legacy for their kids. They became “excuse eliminators,” as they put it, willing to do whatever it takes. Any time someone questioned them or called them crazy, it just got Trevor and Lexi more fired up. “We never put a contingency on what the price would be,” says Trevor. “Whatever the price was, we were going to pay it. We believed with all of our heart that it would happen.”
“The life we have today of being a free family has been awesome,” shares Lexi. They look forward to expanding their family and have been blessed to hire a personal assistant to help with their everyday life. “Freedom is incredible ... you get to dictate your life,” says Lexi. They enjoy being able to take their parents on vacations, not worrying about debt, and living with purpose. “What it comes back to is what you can do for other people,” says Lexi. “We saw an opportunity to run hand in hand with our family and kick butt in life. Not watch things happen, but make things happen.” Trevor adds, “I never said it was going to be easy, but it’s totally worth it.”
Too Good to Pass Up
"This is too good to be true." That's what Francis Cho thought the first time he saw the Amway Business Opportunity on the last day of the year in 2004. "The plan itself was super attractive, and I was confident in myself. However, I thought that there were probably some missing elements I did not count," he recalls. "So, I searched the Web and researched the Amway business plan for five months. His conclusion was, "It may or may not work, but it will be better to check it out myself at least for a year." Francis recalls, "I tried my best to check if it works. If I do not try my best, I could not say whether the business does not work because of the business model itself or because of my effort."
Gangnam Style to Texan Style
Francis and Claire grew up in the Gangnam district of Seoul, Korea, where they attended the same elementary and middle school. Francis loved to play with robots as a research scientist in a Korean national robotics lab, while Claire loved to play with children by running her own special education center for children with mental disabilities. They moved to Austin, Texas, with their two children, Joonhee and Keonhee, in 1992, so that Francis could earn his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.
From High Tech to High Touch
Francis was working for an IT company, after giving up his first start-up company that patented a novel 3D printing technology, when Claire wanted to give the business a try. Her goal was to earn some extra money to help pay for their sons’ private education and perhaps some extracurricular activities. “That’s all we really wanted. I never imagined we would reach this level,” she says about their Diamondship.
Both she and Francis changed a lot throughout the process. "She gained so much confidence as she challenged herself to learn how to become a leader, setting goals for herself every day, and growing in so many ways," says Francis. "She inspired me. I began to realize that the real value in life is with people, not robots and 3D printers."
"Being with so many positive people makes me the happiest," adds Claire. Before launching their business, Claire says she was not at all sure of herself, even with a master's degree in psychology from a top-tier university. "I enjoyed watching movies about other people's lives," she recalls. "Now I feel like I'm starring in my own production."
As for himself, Francis says that he was in a bit of a rut as an engineer. "Every day was the same. Now I challenge myself to strive for something new each day and to do my best to achieve it." Both feel that knowing yourself is essential when starting a business. "Some people overestimate themselves, some underestimate," observes Francis. "You have to know your own heart and believe that you can succeed," says Claire.
Balanced In and Out
They also believe in the power of dreams. "Having a dream will make you live your life more fully," says Francis. "It's like giving sunlight and water to a plant—your dreams will make you blossom."
"We don’t feel that achieving Diamond is the finish line. We feel it’s the starting line," says Claire. Achieving their own goals has brought the couple innumerable pleasures. One example is that they can now travel to Korea more often to see their parents. "Our lives feel very balanced in and out," says Claire. "But this is just the starting point. Our next goal is EDC."
Growing Up in Jamaica (Venessa)
Venessa grew up in Port Antonio (Portland), Jamaica. Her childhood was not the kind of which dreams are made. Her dad passed away when she was still young, and she and her mother had a rocky relationship. There were no role models in her family or in her life. She often felt like an alien in her own family, as she desired more for her life than the negativity in which she was surrounded. Her family didn’t know any different, but Venessa recognized at a young age that mediocrity was not for her. So, after graduating from high school with no ability to pay for college, she moved to Kingston with no money in her pocket, promising her mother that she would make a success out of her life. Fortunately, soon after she moved to Kingston she realized that there was another path in life than the one she was on, going nowhere. That was when she was first introduced to the Amway business. It was the missing piece in her life, as she finally found some mentors and people she could look up to. As a result of the mentors in her life, Venessa was able to learn how to be a better wife and mother—even while still building her business as a single. “This business has encouraged me, has forged me, and has built me up into the human being that I am in love with today,” she says. “Your ability to respond correctly to failures in your life is what will get you ahead in life.” Venessa has never been more excited to be an example that dreams do come true.
Growing up in Oregon (Ty)
Ty had a much different experience growing up. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, he has nothing but fond memories of a fun childhood. However, because he had little direction in his life as a teenager, he never actually finished high school and instead began working several different jobs for the next 8 years. During that time he worked as a pizza maker, he pumped gas, he worked construction, and he spent nights and weekends working as a janitor for several different offices. He soon learned that the more work he could get done in as short amount of time as a janitor, the more time he could have to do the things he wanted to do. This lesson proved to be a valuable one when he was introduced to the Amway business opportunity at the age of 26. He instantly recognized the value in working hard for a shorter amount of time, to gain the time he so desperately desired. Plus, after 8 years of working odd jobs he still had $0 in savings. Ty had never heard of network marketing before, and after going to a few functions, he was able to see the lifestyle of successful people for the first time in his life. When he reached the Platinum level, he started hearing about the Amway business opening up in Jamaica, and he was instantly intrigued. He traveled back and forth to Jamaica many times over the next year or two, and fell in love with the culture there. He also met and fell in love with Venessa, too!
Ty and Venessa were married within just a few months of starting to date. Before this business, Ty wasn’t sure he would ever want to get married because of his previous associations. However, after getting involved in the business and seeing married people who were actually excited about each other and who had passion for their futures together, he quickly changed his mind.
Bright Future Ahead
As Diamonds, the Crandells have been able to bless Venessa’s family in Jamaica in some big and meaningful ways. They are excited to travel around the United States, Canada, and Jamaica, where they can present at major functions. “We pinch ourselves ... like this can’t be real. I remember sitting in meetings like this and thinking, ‘Can I be a Diamond?’ And now it’s happening. You gotta understand that you can do it. You just gotta keep moving forward and keep showing the plan, and you will get there,” says Ty. One of the reasons why he wanted to go Diamond was because of the association with other Diamonds. Now they have that. “Nobody ever had any interest in what I had to say until this business gave me a platform to share. Now we are invited all over the U.S. and Canada to speak about what we have done.” Ty points out that their future looks so bright, they have to put their sunglasses on to see it ... all because of the hard work they put in to get to this point: “The bigger the price that you pay, the bigger the prize.”
It was an exciting year for Howie and Theresa. Several dreams were fulfilled. The first was the birth of their daughter, Elisha Joy Sachi (Sachi means joy in Japanese). Since their engagement, Howie and Theresa have believed and spoken that they would have two boys and a girl. With Isaiah and Gabriel, the birth of Elisha completes their family.
The next dream to come true was the purchase of their third home. This property was the showroom model of the Coconut Plantation Resort where they reside.
“We always wanted a place big enough for my parents or friends and family to be able to stay with us,” says Theresa. This new place has an apartment with a separate entrance, a living area, and a kitchenette. It sits right in front of the beautiful sand-bottom pool and Jacuzzi area next to the barbecue. “It’s perfect!” says Howie.
Another dream of Theresa’s was to go on a cruise. So in November Howie and Theresa took her parents, their three children, nanny, and some of their dearest friends on a Disney Cruise for a week.
An Incredible Lifestyle
The business has provided Howie and Theresa the time and money to live an incredible lifestyle. They are able to travel back and forth to Hawaii where their family resides and then to their home in Colorado. “We have the best of both worlds ... the majestic Rocky Mountains and the blue Pacific,” says Howie.
As a result, the children are exposed to a dynamic lifestyle and get to experience so much more than if Howie and Theresa were working conventional jobs. They are also being educated privately with their own teacher in a classroom in their home. The teacher to student ratio is one-to-one.
Retired at 28
Howie was a physical therapist and was able to retire at the age of 28. The income from his business allowed him to pay off his student loan debt. His biggest dream was to have six Saturdays and a Sunday—and now he has that.
Married with Security
Theresa, who retired from the insurance industry and also got out of debt had a dream to be married and have security—she now has that. “Our marriage is awesome! Howie and I know it’s a direct result of having common visions and dreams with incredible examples from the leadership in this business,” says Theresa. Another blessing is their ability to hire help. Howie and Theresa employ a nanny, office manager, and personal manager.
They are free to do what they love most—spending time with family and serving the people in their organization. “We are so grateful for the opportunity we both received, and we believe it’s our obligation to give back,” says Howie.
Howie and Theresa built their business separately to the Diamond level. They met and were married—which was the first time in the company’s history that two diamonds were married. So, as you can imagine, they see it from a whole different level. They know the business can work for anyone and are so passionate about helping other people reach their dreams.
The Ones Who Went Before Us
“We thank God for everything: our upline Terry and Linda Felber, Matt & Sandee Tsuruda (Theresa’s brother and sister-in-law), all the leadership who have gone before us, Ron and Georgia Lee Puryear, and all the people in the organization … we are truly blessed!” says Howie.
Today, Howie and Theresa have three children; Isaiah, Gabriel, and Elisha-Joy. They are full-time parents and full-time husband and wife.
“One of the greatest rewards is having control of time. Theresa and I love the fact that we can both be home together with our kids. It’s worth every ‘No’,” says Howie. “one of our dreams is that our children want to follow in our footsteps and build the business. That would be such an honor. What continues to drive Howie and Theresa in building the business is their vision to mentor and coach 100 singles and/or couples to have financial freedom.
“We truly believe that this is the best business opportunity in the world and a worthwhile calling. We call it, “lifestyle evangelism.” Living your life in such a way that others see it and want to follow. We have incredible friendships and cherished relationships. We believe that too much is given, much is required... and we have been given so much!”
Prior to the business, Howie was busy earning two Bachelors and a Masters degree in Physical Therapy from top schools in Philadelphia and New York. He graduated with a 4.0 GPA at the top of his class. Although he says he was an average student, he learned to focus and stay disciplined.
“My schooling prepared me for this business. I am proud of my education and encourage people to go to school. I let them know that education has nothing to do with financial success. I got out of school with $65,000 in school debt and a salary of $22,000 a year. I started my own clinic in 1989. The start up was $200,000 I didn’t have, so I borrowed it. At the height of my practice I was making $250,000 a year. Still, I had 17 employees, was working 60-80 hours a week, had $47,000 a month of overhead and was drowning in debt. I was in debt from the loan, school loans, auto loans, mortgage, and credit cards. I was only 26 years old.
A doctor friend named Dick McCreery showed me the plan and introduced me to Terry Felber. I connected with Terry early in my business. I was excited about the freedom and lifestyle that I saw Terry had. Terry coached me, I got focused and I was able to step away from my practice in 1994 and was free at 28!”
Brad Duncan’s independent business came about by accident. A competitive downhill ski racer, Brad injured his leg in a fall while racing. “Any career hopes I had of becoming a champion were gone,” he says. With skiing behind him, Brad gladly moved to Seattle when his brother Greg asked him to come. Brad was barely in the door before Greg, then a medical student, shared the business opportunity. “I was so excited. We stayed up all night talking about building financial freedom together!” Brad remembers. That’s exactly what they did.
As he learned more about the business, Brad knew it was clearly the kind of opportunity he was looking for. Having been an entrepreneur in high school and college, Brad realized something early on: “I found that to be truly successful, I couldn’t be satisfied with a job or profession just because I liked it, but I had to find something that gave me the results I wanted: control of my money and time to spend with my family.”
Persistence & Determination
Brad took a construction job working six days a week, nine hours a day, and built his own business at night, sleeping on the floor because he was too busy and too broke to bother with furniture. His persistence and determination paid off. After one year of consistent effort, Brad had built a profitable Ruby business and was able to retire, never to work for another man again. “I earned $1,000 a month working in construction and after fourteen months in the business and at twenty-three years old, I was making more. I had to retire from construction—I couldn’t afford to work there anymore!” Brad says contentedly.
Finding a Winner
It was when Brad began Emerald qualification that he and Julie met. Brad was showing the plan at the first meeting she attended. Fresh out of college and involved in sales, Julie was hired by a client who was impressed by her hard work managing a restaurant chain. “I was twenty-three and already making good money,” says Julie. “It was really the association with great people that attracted me to this business. I was a frustrated single. I was tired of working seventy hours a week, especially nights and weekends, and of the empty, lonely lifestyle in that status world.” It didn’t take long for Brad and Julie to realize they had each found a winner. Less than one year later they were married.
Since that time, their business has achieved great heights and continues to reach around the world. Today Brad and Julie enjoy a lifestyle that never would have been possible from a construction job or in restaurant management. They have enjoyed many rewards from the business, including luxury automobiles, and the thrill of owning beautiful homes. Their properties include a world-class lake property and lodge in Northern Idaho and a beautiful 4,300 square foot redecorated home for Julie’s mother adjacent to theirs in Spokane.
Their estate in Eastern Washington has a 10,000-square-foot home sitting on 112 acres. “We have thoroughly enjoyed renovations on our home and the building of an 18,000-square-foot ‘toy shed’,” Julie says eagerly. The new building houses a three-bedroom guest home, a state-of the-art exercise/weight room, an 2,400-square-foot classroom for their children, a bunk room that includes a full-sized kitchen, living room, bathroom, and three three-high-stacked queen, lodgepole pine bunk beds, a video/arcade center, and parking space for over thirty vehicles.
We are so thrilled about our property. We are closer to our extended family and it allows us to continue to share so many of the blessings we have received with our leaders and achievers in this business. Our hope would be that everyone will realize that their dreams can come true, and that they can achieve even more than Brad and I have been able to.”
Camping, Without the Tent
Travel to many exotic hideaways has also been a realization of dreams come true. Thailand, Greece, New Zealand, Africa, Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, London, and Paris, France are just a few of the exciting destination spots they have enjoyed: “Travel in this business is a lot different than what we were used to. Living out of a camper or sharing a small room with several family members has changed to luxury transportation and large, spacious suites in five-star hotels with private staff to serve our every need!” Julie says enthusiastically. “We spend over four months a year on a beach somewhere in this great world, enjoying time with family and friends.”
It’s About Time
Everyday occurrences include working with a personal fitness trainer in the privacy of their own athletic facility, household staff helping manage their properties, and providing their children with the finest educational opportunities available. Most important is their personal freedom of time, to spend together and with their children.
Sharing Time and Experiences
Brad and Julie attribute their success to the tremendous support and teaching they have received from their upline, and from being a team player within the World Wide Group support organization. “Following the guidance and unrelenting pace of our sponsors, Greg and Laurie Duncan, having a consistent work habit, a willingness to serve the needs of others first, and knowing from where all of the blessings come are the key elements in our story,” Brad states. “Our true joy comes from helping others achieve their dreams and goals of financial freedom, and in sharing time and experiences with both of our families, who are involved in the business and are very successful.”
Although Brad will never enjoy the accolades of a champion on the ski hill, the Duncans are champions in life. Dreams do come true, and for Brad and Julie, the realization of those dreams has just begun.
A Life on Our Terms
Greg and Laurie started their business during Greg’s last year of medical school. Laurie was working as a dental hygienist, but they had visions of a greater purpose: “The real appeal of being Independent Business Owners was the opportunity it offered for freedom—a life on our terms, not one dictated by unbending schedules and impersonal routines.” “People are so consumed with making a living that they don’t have time to make a life,” exclaims Laurie.
Greg looked at his goals in life: “We were looking for a way to achieve a truly free and independent lifestyle. A doctor’s time is never his own. I imagined my career in medicine would have meant working up to 100 hours per week just to finally get out of debt, only to then die of stress and exhaustion.”
Despite strong peer pressure and the misgivings of many close friends, the Duncans elected to trade the demands of medicine for a business of their own. Three years after leaving the medical profession, Greg and Laurie had developed financial freedom, and six years had become Double Diamonds with no regrets: “Today, a great thrill for us is to see so many others reach their goals and dreams. We have been able to touch more lives in more meaningful ways than we believe we ever could have done in a fast-paced medical practice.”
Sweet Home Montana
Several years ago, the family of four moved from the Seattle area to their beloved Montana. Their rustic, alpine home, Dayspring Lodge, sits on the southern shore of a secluded lake, with fish rising and eagles soaring in the background. Tamarack and birch trees sway in the breeze as Greg and Laurie take in the stunning view from a ski area on one of the several surrounding mountain ranges.
Enjoying Life and Family
Most valued is having time to enjoy life with family. “We have a son and a daughter who are able to grow up knowing their father as well as their mother,” says Laurie. “This business allows us to define our lives by our family, not by our income,” comments Greg.
The added blessing of two full-time private teachers allowed the family to pursue exciting and unusual educational avenues. One of their several lake homes served as “Dayspring Academy.” All the core subjects were covered, but it was the methods by which they learned that departed from the norm.
Learning Spanish for five weeks in a Costa Rican language immersion school one spring was followed the next year by five weeks in a French language immersion course at multiple locations throughout France. The adventure through Europe included clambering around an ancient Roman aqueduct, visiting a super-yacht exhibition in Nice, ascending peaks around Mont Blanc in the French Alps, and attending the opening of the World’s Fair in Lisbon, Portugal.
To bolster their understanding of American frontier history, they read about Custer’s Last Stand, and then attended a vivid re-enactment of it at the actual historic site on the Little Bighorn. To enliven Devin and Whitney’s study of Shakespeare, the children and their parents traveled annually to a Shakespeare festival in Oregon.
History and geography came alive when the classroom moved between Boston, Virginia, Washington D.C., London, Paris, and many more exciting places. Real life application of learning still occurs today as Devin and Whitney incorporate internships and foreign immersion programs into their university experience.
Freedom & Fulfillment
“It’s a great life!” agree the Duncans. “We know that anyone can experience the same freedom and fulfillment that we have found through this business. If you stay focused this business offers a truly wonderful opportunity. No other business has such a forgiving atmosphere. Success in any endeavor will never occur unless one is first willing to fail many times. We are certainly not perfect, but we never gave up. If you just won’t quit, then success in this business is just a matter of time.”
A Drive to Succeed
Tracey and Kimberly both had the competitive drive to succeed in business long before they knew anything about this independent business model. Tracey made his living as an NFL football player for the Atlanta Falcons, and Kimberly had been an NCAA Track & Field athlete for Arizona State University. Within both of them lay a heart and desire for something more than what they were achieving in their careers.
The Fruits of Success
Living a charmed life, Tracey and Kimberly enjoyed the fruits of success. Along with Tracey’s high-profile career and Kimberly’s newly found position as an NFL wife, the couple was blessed financially. Multiple homes, expensive cars, trips all over the world, and the ability to afford anything they desired. Tracey and Kimberly were young and living a life of excitement and financial ease. Unfortunately, their luck ran out nearly as fast as it began.
Due to a knee injury, Tracey retired from football, leaving the couple with a no income household. They continued the lifestyle to which they had so readily become accustomed; this time with no incoming salary. For a short time, life for the Eaton’s was great. They had enough money in savings from Tracey’s football career that sustaining their current lifestyle wasn’t an issue. But it didn’t take long for Kimberly to realize the reality of their situation. Too much money was going out every month and there was nothing to replace it. After a hard decision on Kimberly’s part, she went to her husband to tell him of their financial burden. The money was going fast and they were in dire need of a solution.
Knowing he had to do something to help his family, Tracey followed in his father’s footsteps and became a stockbroker. To the people surrounding Tracey, it seemed he enjoyed his job and was good at it, but deep down, Tracey knew there was something more waiting for him. Brad and Leslie Wolgamott walked into the Eaton’s life and changed everything. The Wolgamott’s set an example of how to achieve financial control through independent business ownership and the Eaton’s were ready and willing to gain this control.
A New Hope
Tracey and Kimberly realized the business opportunity offered them a new hope. The hope that freedom can come from the heart and combine with a “business mind” to achieve great things. Not until he retired from his job as a stockbroker, did Tracey realize he truly had the freedom to do what he wanted for his family and himself. He realized the business opportunity that lay in front of them required something no other business or job could provide, passion. The same passion he felt on the football field, and the same passion Kimberly felt on the track.
Living a Truly Charmed Life
Now that they have achieved the Diamond level, Tracey and Kimberly have control over their finances, allowing them to once again, enjoy a charmed life. Only this time, the business opportunity allows them to live with the freedom both Tracey and Kimberly longed for; time to spend raising their kids, supporting their family, and growing their newest passion, their business!
Best of Friends
Terry and Linda Felber came from very different backgrounds. Terry grew up in a positive “you can do it” environment. His father was a self-made millionaire. Linda grew up in a farming community. But when they met, they quickly became best of friends and found that they shared a common vision of financial freedom.
After getting married, the Felbers embarked on numerous different business ventures, one after another. Both of them worked hard, but they found themselves more and more tied down by their businesses. They had simply bought themselves “another job.” So Terry and Linda kept looking.
When they were approached with the business opportunity, like many other people, they had misconceptions about a business of this type. So they fended off their friend until finally he showed up unannounced and said, “Sit down and be quiet!” They gave him the business plan.
Terry looked out the window in dismay as his friend drew out the marketing plan. He managed, however, to hear something different than he was expecting, and he became very excited. The magic words to Terry were, “We have people who will help you.”
Let’s Get Busy
Terry started showing the business plan six and seven nights a week. Linda was quite negative about getting involved in “another deal,” but she supported Terry despite her disbelief. As Terry puts it, “Linda was against the business but for me.” The Felbers grew quickly in their business and were able to pay off the debts from their previous businesses in a short time. They moved from the 900-square-foot home where they had begun their business in San Diego, to a 4,500-square-foot home with seventeen avocado trees in the front yard.
Then Terry and Linda decided that their girls, Lia and Kristi, and their son, David, needed a more conservative, small-town environment. They had the freedom to live anywhere they wished because of their business, so they moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado.
A Home on the Water
In recent years, the Felbers have become residents of Florida, purchasing a home on the water of the Southwest Coast. The four-bedroom home has twenty palm trees in the front yard, a custom gourmet kitchen, and a 1,500-square-foot Florida Room—a room where the walls and ceiling are screened in. Both the family room and living room have sliders that open up to the Florida Room, creating a wonderful space for entertaining their great friends and business associates. They enjoy picking fresh, ripe grapefruit, mangos, papayas, oranges, and tangerines from their own trees. Often, as they dine in their gazebo on their boat dock, porpoises can be seen swimming ten yards off shore.
Terry and Linda have always had a love for travel. They spend much of their time traveling to places that most people read about.
The Felbers count their business as a double blessing. Not only has it provided them with the financial freedom they were seeking, but it offers them a vehicle where they can touch thousands of people’s lives in an uplifting way.
Terry’s first book on communication skills in which he shares the secrets of the world’s greatest communicators, equipping readers to do everything from participating in a meaningful conversation to successfully consummating a business discussion, was recently published. Through ten essential skills he shows readers how to achieve real communication. Sharing what he has learned is another way of being able to help others: “Writing has always been a dream of mine, and if it weren’t for this business, I may have never achieved that dream.”
When asked if they are rich, Terry and Linda reply: “We are richly blessed.”
Doing Well by Most Standards
When Joe and Norma Foglio saw the Independent Business Ownership Plan, they were doing well by most standards. They lived at a marina in Coronado, California, drove a custom Cadillac convertible, and wore beautiful clothes and expensive jewelry. Would you have shown them the plan? Not only did Jim and Judy Head show them the plan, but they encouraged, and believed in them.
Joe was at a time in his life where he didn’t know if he had the energy or desire to build a new business. He had worked hard all his life in several businesses, including manufactured housing, a restaurant, bar, pizza shop, and so on. You name it—he tried it! In the process, Joe had made several other men wealthy, but discovered that in business as usual, there is only enough room for the boss’s dream.
Finding His Why
The Foglios’ business started out slowly. Joe was working many long hours below the Mexican border building vacation houses. After the devaluation of the peso, he knew he had to build an independent business. Joe would run into the house, shave, shower, put on his suit, and be out the door again to share the business with a new couple.
From the beginning, Norma got excited about the business. She saw something different in Jim and Judy. She could see that they loved and respected each other, a quality that seemed to have faded away in her own marriage. She began to dream of having a close family and a happy marriage. Joe’s excitement soon followed. That is why they feel it is best to show the plan to both husband and wife if they are married.
Challenges Along the Way
The road to Diamond wasn’t easy for the Foglios. They had some challenges along the way. While building their business Norma was in a car accident and fractured her pelvis in five places. Nevertheless she insisted that Joe promise her they would carry on toward Diamond. Joe did, and soon they found themselves in Emerald qualification!
A New Goal
Joe and Norma enjoyed all the benefits of Emerald—Emerald Club, a trip to Peter Island, and traveling all over the country. But Jim and Judy were Diamonds, and the Foglios wanted to be with their sponsors. Up on the mirror went a new goal: Diamond. They put signs everywhere and thought about being Diamond all the time.
In Times of Need
One day they received a phone call from the coroner’s office in San Jose. Their twenty-seven-year-old son, Nick, had been killed in a motorcycle accident. Their own family and the business family helped them through this terrible time in their lives. Nick left them a grandson named Nicky, who is a special blessing in their lives.
Look for the Hope in Their Eyes
For Joe and Norma, the way to Diamond has been filled with many wonderful experiences. It was a blessing to share the business with someone and see that person get a light in their eyes because of the hope of a better future. Joe and Norma learned how to share their lives with others. They got so excited about other people that they forgot to fight with each other. They started getting along, and somewhere along the way they fell in love all over again.
Norma says, “The greatest thing we have received in this business is a wonderful marriage. When we got it together, we believe our family became what God intended it to be. The books, CDs, and association with people who have their lives together helped us. They were examples of what we wanted for our family.”
Joe and Norma spend a lot of time together. They take long walks on the beach, play golf, and spend time with their grandchildren, Nick, Joe Jr., Courtney, Torri, and Jessica.
Build a Dream with a Dream
Joe says, “We have built one of our dream homes. It’s a 6,200-square-foot, three-bedroom Mediterranean home on five acres in Southern California—AND we paid cash for everything. We go where we want, with whom we want, and when we want,” Norma says. “I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to know if anything happened to Joe, this business would still carry on. I wouldn’t have to go get a new job. We have more life and energy with a dream than we had without a dream.”
“Our daughter Charrie graduated from law school. Our son Joe works for us and makes our life easier, so we can be free to spend more time with people. We have all our grandchildren in private schools, making sure they have the right education for each of their special needs. We want our family to have the maximum advantage in life.”
Joe and Norma have a large business—a business full of love. Their prayer every night is for God to expand their hearts and give them the ability to love more people. They give God all the honor and glory for their success. To the Foglios, their business is a lifestyle. It’s a people business, a life-giver. They wish for you to share the business and join them on the beaches of the world.
Scott Harimoto went to college and received a bachelor’s degree in Information and Computer Science because he thought that would create the success he wanted. While working for a Fortune 500 company, looking out his big picture window overlooking Honolulu, Scott realized he wanted more; he wanted to own his own business.
“I got scared looking around the office realizing that no one, including my bosses, had a lifestyle that I wanted.” Scott looked at several business ideas and franchises before ending up at a Brad Wolgamott business meeting. In order to focus his efforts on building his business, Scott put aside three basketball leagues, two tennis leagues, and a lot of fishing and spear fishing. “I figured that if one keeps doing what he has been doing, he will keep having what he already has. I wanted more, so I accepted the fact that I needed to change what I did with my spare time,” says Scott. So he did. Scott retired from his professional job at twenty-eight years old, which was only sixteen months after beginning his independent business.
Not Letting the Years Pass By
“Some people say that you have to like what you do; they are not sure if this business is “for them.” I would do anything honest and legal to have the opportunity to really change my life. I believe that people most often lack a dream for a better life and a mentor in their life, and that is why they fill their time with unproductive, fun things and let the years pass by. I did not have any materialistic goals when I got in the business; I had just two main goals. Number one on my list was to have the most loving wife in the world, and number two was to retire by age thirty from my day-to-day job. I got both,” says Scott with a big smile.
Dreams Take RootCris earned her degree in psychology and worked at a major hotel chain in Hawaii. Much of her work time was spent planning vacations for other people. She decided that she wanted to plan her own exotic trips around the world. Cris was invited to one of Scott’s business meetings, where they met each other for the first time. “She was beautiful and ambitious,” says Scott, and the rest is history.
Having the Same Goals Cris was able to quit her job right after their wedding and today Scott and Cris have four wonderful boys whom they are able to be with full-time. “Life is really exciting when you and your husband have the same goals in life,” says Cris.
Presence vs. Presents
Scott and Cris enjoy being full-time parents. They also enjoy spending time with their own parents, taking them on trips and giving them nice cars, which they would not have otherwise had. Scott says with no hesitation, “The people who benefit the most from us building this business are our kids. Because of this opportunity, we are able to give our kids our daily presence instead of just presents.”
Job-less, in a Good Way
“I haven’t had a regular nine-to-five job for many years because of this great business and the mentorship of my upline,” says Scott. “I kept wondering when would be my last day working at my last job. When a vacation request I submitted was turned down, I knew that was the day.”
“We have had an awesome honeymoon ever since we got married and are living a life of no regrets.” They now have the time and money to enjoy all the activities they temporarily put on the back burner while building their business, as well as hunting, golfing, snowboarding, and traveling around the world with friends and family. Scott and Cris have a goal to golf in every state and also to go fishing in every state. Life to them is about making memories and having great experiences. Once you own your own life, everything becomes an option.
The Harimotos were excited about designing and building their beautiful home. Scott believes that Cris is such a great wife and mom that she deserves to live in the house of her dreams. “I just want to do a better and better job of spoiling her,” says Scott. “God has blessed us with so much and we look forward to using our home in some small way to serve our business family, especially the other Diamonds who have helped us through the years.”
“Building a house is a dream come true but this is certainly not our dream house,” says Scott, who is already thinking about their next home on the water. They want to encourage everyone to invest some of their spare time now, to be able to have these same options for the future.
Total Control of Time & Money
This business has laid the foundation for Scott and Cris to have an incredible lifestyle by having total control of time and money. They have learned that they are happiest when they are accomplishing something important to them.
Scott says each person is in one of four stages in their life—survival, stability, success, and significance. By choosing to live their lives as they have and being an example to many others, they have found their shot at significance. They thank their personal mentors for that and believe that just as every great athlete has a coach, everyone in World Wide Dream Builders has a coach available to them. For them, one of the biggest keys to prosperity has been to admit to themselves that others knew something they didn’t.
When they were offered a hand up, they grabbed on and created a legacy that will outlive them. A legacy of significance has begun!
Bill and Sandy Hawkins met while they were attending college in northern Minnesota. Their backgrounds were similar in that they had both come from upper middle-class families with conservative values, and had attended large suburban Minneapolis high schools.
The similarities ended there, however, and if the statement that “opposites attract” is true, then Bill and Sandy exemplified that principle. Bill was very outgoing, and if his true major in college had been listed on his degree, it would have said, “Partying.” Sandy, on the other hand, was shy and not nearly as social as Bill. “When I first met Bill,” says Sandy, “I was instantly attracted to his outgoing personality.”
Bill and Sandy dated for over two years. During that time Bill graduated and took a job as an English teacher at a Minneapolis high school while Sandy stayed in school. After Bill’s second year of teaching they got married and moved into a ninety-nine-year-old home that they attempted to fix up. “There’s only so much fixing up you can do on a teacher’s salary, however,” says Bill. “Our friends referred to our home as ‘The Pit,’ and in retrospect, it really was!”
Even with less than sterling living conditions and old cars, they still weren’t making enough money. So Sandy took a job as a legal secretary. Being young and desiring upward mobility, they found their situation very frustrating. “My parents had instilled in me the idea that I could really do something great with my life,” says Bill, “and I believed them. The problem was discovering what it was.”
Life Passing By
“Along with my innermost beliefs, there were two things that prepared me for this business. First was the fact that all my friends seemed to be doing a lot better than we were economically, and that bothered me. Secondly, six months before we saw the independent business plan I discovered that I owed the government an extra $600 in taxes, and I had to go to my father to borrow the money. I was twenty-seven years old, driving an old car, living in an old house, and didn’t have $600 to my name. That combination of circumstances really made me realize that life was passing by, and that if I was going to do something with my life, I’d better get on with it.”
Excited About the Possibilities
When introduced to independent business ownership through a neighbor, Bill and Sandy got excited about the possibilities but were naive about how to conduct a business. “It’s a real tribute to the business when two people like us, with no business background, are able to do as well as we have done,” comments Bill. “We decided to work hard for five years and see what would happen. What we discovered was that the reward for our efforts was fantastic.”
In just eight months Sandy quit her job, and in another eleven Bill left his teaching position with an income seven times greater than his previous salary. Bill is quick to add, “I really enjoyed teaching. But when the income was no longer necessary, I found there were other things I could do with my time that I enjoyed even more.” Bill still thinks education is essential and has a lot to do with what makes America great. He feels, however, that education also has its flaws. Even though I have 232 credits in higher education, my first six months in this business taught me more about personal and economic freedom than I had ever learned before.”
Today Bill and Sandy have many rewards to show for their years of diligent effort. Their dream home is located on beautiful acreage, and it was built with top quality materials throughout. They also have a second home on what is considered one of the premier lakes in Minnesota. Bill has had the time and money to build a massive collection of rock n’ roll memorabilia. They drive luxury cars and own boats, personal watercraft, and snowmobiles.
There have been numerous other rewards, but Sandy likes to talk about what is really important to them. “We have two beautiful daughters who would not be here if it weren’t for this business. The freedom of time we have because we’ve built this business has allowed us to be very involved in their lives.
In August 2001, Kristen was married to Adam in the wedding of her dreams. “We are so blessed to have a wonderful son join our family. We are also excited that they have chosen to build this great business.”
“We have hundreds of friends all over the country, many of whom have also earned their own personal freedom. There’s lots of joy in seeing people that you’re involved with achieve their goals and dreams.”
One of the greatest rewards for Bill and Sandy is the amount of time they have for each other and their family. They also have tremendous peace of mind knowing that they have a financially bright future. “Considering where we were when we got into this business,” concludes Sandy, “we feel that our greatest asset is knowing and understanding where all the blessings come from!”
Imagining a Dream
“As I wake up this morning on beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene, with gorgeous clear water and majestic mountains surrounding us, I think back on the hectic life we used to live in southern California—up early, home late, seventy hours per week, seven days a week. We couldn’t even imagine the dream we live today. We often wonder how we were so blessed to have a business that allows us to live anywhere we want in the world. Our dream is to have other people realize a lifestyle like ours so they can enjoy serene surroundings, beautiful mornings, and peaceful days,” explains Jim. “The biggest part of our day is deciding what to do with it. This life wasn’t even a dream before, and now it’s a reality.”
Life Was a Routine
After growing up in Southern California and having his own surf-band, Jim went to college and worked with his family in the mobile home business. While in college Jim met Judy and they were married in 1969.
Within a few years, life had become routine: go to work, go home, go to work, go home, and so on. Jim and Judy lived on a private golf course, drove new cars, and took vacations abroad: “We looked successful to our friends, but I had no freedom and, after ten years of marriage, no long-term security. Everything we had was based on my ability to perform.”
Simple but Great
Then an old elementary school friend showed them the business of a lifetime: “I couldn’t believe something so simple could be so great! He told me about a meeting in Portland called Free Enterprise Days, and on total faith, Judy and I went. Seeing Ron and Georgia Lee Puryear, and twenty other very successful couples speak gave us new dreams. We KNEW it was going to work for us. We believed! I saw men and women who had what I’d been searching for: God, family, and country.”
Never a Dull Moment
Judy also grew up in southern California. She came from a Christian home with two sisters (both involved in the business) and a brother. After high school, Judy was modeling and going to cosmetology school. Then she met Jim. Judy says, “When Jim came around, there was never a dull moment. He had dreams for the future, and I knew he would accomplish them. He was so full of life and energy.” “But he was working as hard as he physically was capable. Even pushing himself so hard he was having health challenges. As his wife, it was hard to watch his dreams begin to fade and frustration and weariness take their place. For me this business was truly an answer to my prayers.”
Living in Dreams
“Our property on Lake Coeur d’Alene is over 190 acres with approximately 2,000 feet of shoreline. There is a guest cottage on the property that was built in 1935. A Thomas Kincaid painting couldn’t reflect the charming atmosphere that welcomes visitors.
"We’ve had a great time redesigning the guest cottage. French antiques were used for the kitchen cabinets and stone floors give the feel of a French countryside cottage. Each room is designed from memories of our trips to France. This property is a dream come true, a retreat, a place where family and friends can gather and share summers and holidays away from the routine of their daily lives. It’s a place where there is time to visit and an atmosphere of peace and restoration for weary souls. On the property there is a separate home for Jim’s mother and a third house for our son Jim and our two grandchildren: Taylor and Ashley.
We built a seventeenth-century styled barn so unique for the area the local paper wrote an article about its design.
Wave-runners, a twenty-four-foot Warlock Euro boat, a 47-foot Meridian Yacht, and bonfires on the beach await our guests!”
Lucky vs. Blessed
“A lot of people say we’re lucky,” explains Judy, “but we don’t feel lucky. Rather, we feel blessed that God allowed us the opportunity to see this business and be rewarded for the time and effort we put into it.” Jim says, “This business has given us the freedom to live anywhere we like, and the income to do just about whatever we wish.” Judy drives an H2 Hummer. Jim can be seen in his “Harbor Blue” ‘57 Chevy convertible, a 39 Ford Woody, or his H1 Hummer.” It’s exciting to have a legacy to pass on to our children and grandchildren.”
Jim and Judy have achieved many of their early goals, as well as expanded their dreams. “Today we couldn’t be happier than we are watching the people in our organization achieve their own dreams,” says Jim. “We knew we were going all the way, but our biggest dream has been to have lots of true friends with us. We’re not naive,” Jim concludes, “We know there are other businesses that can produce a high income. In Lake Arrowhead California, for example, many of our neighbors were rich and famous, but we hardly saw them; they weren’t rich and free. This business has given us both time and money to raise our children and to smell the roses along the way.”
Believing in People
Today Jim and Judy’s heartfelt desire is to help Ron and Georgia Lee Puryear fill coliseums throughout the world to celebrate the free enterprise system and help people to achieve the success that they believe God wants them to have. Their mission statement is “to believe in people more than they believe in themselves, until they believe in themselves more.”
“We give all the glory to our Lord! Our initial goal still stands: to have six Diamond legs! Of course, twelve will be great too!”
Leif grew up in a middle-class household. His father was an electrician, and his mother was a full-time homemaker. Athletics were at the center of his interests in school. The father of one of his friends was an optometrist, and their family had a much better lifestyle than his own. That comparison is what inspired Leif to become an optometrist himself, but he knew he would have to get more serious about school. Leif entered college on a football scholarship, but quickly discovered that the classes he needed required afternoon labs, which interfered with football. His coach suggested that he change his major, but instead he decided it was time to get serious about his studies. “I quit football, which meant giving up my scholarship, and seven years later I graduated as an optometrist.”
Leif was asked to join one of the most successful optometric practices in Oregon. He and his first wife bought a home and started a family, which grew to include six boys. “Everything was going great until after four years my partner decided to limit his time in the office. As a result, I became busier and busier, and over the next four years started to feel pressure.” Leif would come home most nights with a headache. He loved working with his patients, but there was never enough time to interact with them as people. He started asking himself if this is what the rest of his life was going to be like.
Then It Happened
Three local healthcare professionals whom Leif knew had all lost their ability to practice. One died from cancer, one became paralyzed in a car accident, and one had a stroke. Their cash flows immediately ceased and it was terrible to see how drastically their families’ lifestyles changed. “I was making a good living trading hours for dollars, but it offered no security.” Leif never considered quitting his practice, but knew he needed to diversify his income outside of his practice.
Leif tried various investments and had some success with it, but just when things seemed to be going really well his broker called to say, “We’re in trouble.” By that time he was already down $40,000. Leif’s next venture was rental income. He got up to nine rentals and discovered that was nothing but a headache. “I started to realize that it was harder to make money out in the real world than I thought.”
Leif had been praying for a solution and what happened next he believes was truly providential. He received a call from a high school acquaintance who was in Bend, OR, on business and suggested they have lunch and catch up. During lunch his friend just answered questions ... he retired from his day job at age 28, and had traveled all over the country. His last vacation was 96 days long and when he returned he was making more money than when he left. “Optometry doesn’t work that way,” says Leif. Nearly a year later the same acquaintance called again because he was bringing his family to ski at Mount Bachelor. He invited Leif’s family to join them, which meant taking a day away from the optometry practice. Three out of five days a week at the practice went to paying the overhead, so taking a day off meant losing half a week’s income. By the time they returned to their house at midnight, Leif’s curiosity was peaked about what his friend did for a living. After their families went to bed they stayed up and talked. He told Leif how he had become involved in the Amway business and explained how it worked. Leif didn’t really understand it the first time, but his friend left him some literature that showed IBO recognition, and he found a picture of new Emeralds Theron and Darlene Nelsen. He knew Theron was one of the most successful optometrists in Idaho, so Leif decided to call his house the next day to ask him about the Amway business. Darlene answered the phone and Theron wasn’t home. Leif told her who he was and said, “You’re in the Amway business.” Darlene’s reply was, “Can you believe it?” She went on to tell Leif their story about getting involved in the Amway business, and how Theron was able to cut back to three days a week in his practice, and would soon be pursuing their Amway business full time. After that recommendation, Leif was in. Three years later his Amway income was three times his optometry income and he retired from optometry at the age of 35. “I’ve been retired from my optometry practice for 34 years and we’ve been part-time Amway and full-time life. My wife Bonnie of 18 years and I have traveled all over the United States and the world meeting so many wonderful people.” Their favorite thing, though, is spending time on their 91-foot motor yacht, “Feelin Free.” They enjoy sharing it with their friends, family, and business associates every summer in the beautiful waters off British Columbia. “The greatest gratification is having a part in helping others enrich their lives in so many ways, and mentoring them to do the same for others. If you’re looking for a life of significance, this might be it.”
Sharing the American Dream
The American dream is reaching other parts of the world, this time through a very average Korean couple who decided to leave the United States, their home of twenty years, and return to their homeland of Korea to build their own independent business. Their unstoppable passion for success was their only companion. Four short years later, they achieved Double Diamond and acquired the time and money to help others. As they continued to help others, their business grew to Triple Diamond. In 2002, they became 100+ Crown Ambassadors.
Anything Is Possible
Leonard and Esther Kim are a true example of lives changed by this business. Beginning with business cards and a strong determination to succeed, the Kims have expanded their business to an international market that knows no national boundaries. They believe nothing is impossible and even greater things are in store for their future because opportunity continues to arise.
Our Potential Is Unlimited!
Good leaders serve others well. “Often people say that in order to succeed, you must step over others in front of you,” says Leonard. “But this business is truly different. In order for you to succeed in this business, your downline must succeed first.” The Kims have shown the tremendous success that can be achieved by following this principle. They set an exciting new record in the history of the corporation by breaking over 100 new Diamonds in one year. Never before has this tremendous accomplishment been realized. A brand-new level required a brand-new title and the 100+ Crown Ambassador pin was born and awarded for the first time.
Best Record Yet to Come
Later, the Kims broke over 200 new Diamonds, creating another record and another new pin—200+ Founders Crown Ambassadors. A team effort definitely achieved both these goals and created these achievements. Many tens of thousands of people participated and are enjoying the satisfaction of reaching these unprecedented goals. The real victory is how many lives have been improved through the Kims’ effort.
Content with the Future
The Kims are happy with their lives and enjoy being greeted by people everywhere they go in Korea. They like not having to worry about their future and the comfort and freedom of a secure and plentiful life that enables them to take an interest in the security and happiness of others. When asked recently about an anonymous good deed they had done, Leonard and Esther simply said, “We were happy to help others, so we would rather not talk about it.”
Although their twenty years of living in the U.S. prepared them for living abroad, they say that trips they took for the business taught them a lot. Spending two months out of the year abroad, they visited Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, South Africa, Hawaii, China, Europe, the U.S. mainland, and many other countries.
The Kims began branching out to other countries when a speaking engagement in Japan allowed Leonard and a few of his downline an opportunity to look around Japan. Now he has become interested in the Chinese and Hong Kong markets as well.
Leonard and Esther have grown to tremendously value and appreciate the World Wide Group support system. With the help of Ron and Georgia Lee Puryear, Leonard and Esther have helped to develop World Wide Dreambuilders Korea into an active support system that helps unify their business. “We are just a small part of a much larger system that circles the entire world,” comments Leonard, “and without the World Wide Group support organization, our business would not be nearly as successful as it is.”
Life Is Sharing and Helping Others!
The Kims are truly an example of what can happen because they allowed their lives to be used to benefit themselves and many others. As a result of their willingness to help others, their business grew and many blessings have followed. As is true of all real and lasting success, one of the greatest blessings is who they have become through the process of building their own business.
Reviewing their activities in Japan, Hong Kong, and China, Leonard and Esther are convinced that the business has no limits. Their hope is that many others will follow their pattern of establishing a strong foundation in Korea as Founder’s Crown Ambassadors and then branching out to also become leaders in the international market.
Leonard’s motto is: “Winners never give up, and those who give up never succeed.” Esther’s is: “Accept one’s own endless capabilities and act with confidence.” The Kims say that the higher you go in this business, the higher you want to climb. Vowing to devote their lives to ‘making Diamonds,’ they say, “We sincerely hope that many people will discover Leonard and Esther’s world of Diamonds and enjoy the comfortable life and freedom that come with the business.”
People everywhere in the world truly want the benefits of living the American dream—the freedom and the responsibility of owning a successful business and the privilege of helping others along the way. It takes courage to claim a life of victory and Leonard and Esther have demonstrated that a tiny spark of hope in the beginning can grow to include the hopes and dreams of thousands of other people. Ordinary, average people who have become heroes.
Sound, Steady, Solid Business All the Time!“Everyday Christmas!
“We believe God created everyone for greatness. See you at the top!”
When One Door Closes
An electrical engineer by training, Nam-Deuk met Jungyun while working on his master’s and Ph.D. in Iowa. “Back then, we didn’t have the Internet to research schools, so we sent for brochures. Out of 50 schools, my family chose the cheapest,” he replies with a laugh. Jungyun, who earned a bachelor’s degree and worked one year in textile design in Korea, was encouraged by a former professor to seek her master’s in Iowa: “My professor had graduated from there and fashion merchandising was becoming a big industry in Korea.”
After reflecting a moment, she adds, “It’s kind of crazy that Nam-Deuk and I both grew up in Korea but ended up meeting at a church halfway around the world.”
Their shared faith has been the glue that’s held Nam-Deuk and Jungyun together since those days in Iowa: “It’s a large part of who we are and shapes how we try to live our lives.” So naturally, after moving to Oregon where Nam-Deuk landed his “dream job”—designing security features for digital media—the couple’s first order of business was finding a place to worship: “We discovered an awesome church community that became like family to us.”
The Kims also discovered their love for the Northwest. With its mild weather, laid-back lifestyle, and breathtaking scenery, the area proved the ideal place for raising a family. “It was almost like heaven,” says Nam-Deuk. Until, suddenly, it wasn’t: “I got the news that I was being transferred to Boston. My company had acquired another business and needed me to transfer our technology to their product.”
Like the fog that’s so common in the Northwest, the Kims’ dream lifted one day and was gone.
Another Door Opens
“It was painful realizing we were not free to choose where we lived,” Nam-Deuk says. “We missed our friends from church the most.”
As the Kims sought to adjust to their new surroundings, they also began looking at small-business opportunities for Jungyun. “The cost of living was more than we were used to, and we were still making mortgage payments on our Oregon house,” she says. Then Nam-Deuk’s brother—the one who’d repeatedly encouraged them to look at the Amway Global opportunity—called.
“After five years of him asking, we finally agreed,” Nam-Deuk says.
The couple was surprised to find the business “wasn’t what we’d thought it was. We began researching the company—separating fact from opinions, and suddenly we began to see possibilities,” he says. What started out as a plan to keep their heads above water soon turned into something much bigger: “Our initial goal was to make enough to cover the mortgage each month. We hardly dared to hope for more.” However, they soon discovered a large Korean community in Boston. “We also wanted to share the opportunity with our friends in Oregon and others we’d made while in school,” says Nam-Deuk.
Soon the Kims were traveling to the Northwest, the Midwest, and points in between. On weeknights, they presented the business opportunity closer to home. In two-and-a-half short years, they reached Diamond and Nam-Deuk walked away from his job.
Life at Its Best
“We have a 100-square-foot garden,” Nam-Deuk explains. “I plant it and care for it, and Jungyun enjoys harvesting it.”
“What doesn’t get eaten often ends up being given away at business meetings,” he adds, with a wry note of humor in his voice. Nam-Deuk also jokes about the enthusiastic games of baseball and bowling that ensue between him and his sons on their Wii® gaming system. “We put on boxing if we feel we need more exercise,” he laughs.
On the contrary, with the encouragement of his mentor, Nam-Deuk participated in the Orange County Marathon—his first—which was sponsored by Nutrilite. Clearly, he has more energy than he lets on. Good thing, too.
Anticipating that life will soon get a wee bit busier with their growing family, Nam-Deuk takes it all in stride. “Most of our work phone calls, e-mails, and paperwork can be done from our home office while the boys are in school.” About 3:10—the end of the school day—it really gets busy running the boys to music lessons, Tae Kwan Do practice, and art school.”
Dinnertime is family time. Some evenings the Kims take a walk or bike ride together. Other evenings, Nam-Deuk and Jungyun head out to show the plan or attend bible study. “The longer we experience this business, the more we value the opportunity we’ve been given,” he says. “It motivates us to keep building, because that’s the best way to thank those you love.”
They are very involved in their children’s school and sports. They have huge dreams and goals they continue to work toward, which includes helping their downline fulfill their own dreams.
Learning & Growing
Norm and Pam began their business journey after ten years of marriage and after being separated for nearly two years. Their successful reconciliation is a credit to the family values and spiritual strengths gained by association in the World Wide Group support organization. As hope and faith in each other grew, so did their business dreams and goals. Both were hard-working professionals, had achiever attitudes, both liked helping people, and felt they had more potential in them that was not tapped yet. This business would be the vehicle to unleash their destiny.
Norm immediately recognized the brilliance of the business, but Pam was hesitant. Three fears led to her cautious attitude: time commitment, the severe debt they were in, and “what would people think.” How did Pam come around? As she attended meetings and became aware of the professional support organization World Wide Group had put together, her fears were overcome by knowledge and experience. Most of her enthusiasm and joy came because of people just like you! Pam’s faith grew through attending functions and meeting her upline leaders who would help them. She and Norm fell in love with people who would be their business associates, and who saw the genuine desire of their hearts to reach out and encourage others to be the wonderful, unique individuals each of us can be.
A Flicker of Hope
Did Norm and Pam believe right away they would go Diamond? No, but there was a faint flicker of hope that this couple—in debt, with four children, and a strained marital relationship—could maybe, just maybe do it. They knew that if anyone chooses to treat this business professionally and respectfully the way it deserves, and puts in the proper effort, an incredible life can be theirs.
An Opportunity of Freedom
At the Ruby level, and with consistent counsel, Norm retired from his corporate position managing numerous skilled nursing facilities. Two years later the Kizirian family were on a Free Enterprise Day stage holding hands in victory for having attained Diamond.
Trips, Trips, Trips
The Kizirians have taken many blessed and enjoyable trips due to the money and freedom this business affords. Some of the kids’ favorites are Peter Island, Hawaii, Mexico, Europe, Colorado, Disney World, Disneyland, Chicago, Washington D.C., Alaska, New York City, many national parks, and Canada. The family also enjoys their lake cabin near Yosemite National Park, only forty-five minutes from their home.
Home Sweet Home
The Kizirian home is a welcoming two-story, blue and white “Kizirian” Country Tudor with six bedrooms, seven baths, two living rooms, two kitchens, a family room, a parlor, a dining “tea” room, two offices, a multipurpose and pool room, a workout room, a sauna, and five-car garage. The lawn areas are great for many fun games and outdoor dinners. There is a lagoon-style pool, waterfall, and Jacuzzi, and a fire pit that seats twenty. Many cobblestone paths meander through the yards and rose gardens. The front park area has a four-tiered waterfall/pond stocked with koi. The home sits on a hill and twelve acres overlooking two lakes and the ninth hole of a championship golf course.
Strength, Encouragement & Mentoring
Pam’s eyes well up when she thanks Norm for not listening to her when she begged him to quit. Through God’s strength, upline encouragement, mentoring, and Norm’s consistent and persistent effort, they have experienced many serendipities. They’ve had the joy of giving to church and charities, putting their children in private schools and colleges of their choice, owning nice cars, attending sports activities, having financial security, and tackling medical challenges with top health professionals. A true blessing has been to be able to care for Pam’s parents and her developmentally disabled sister, Cheryl, in their own home. Another blessing is having friends with integrity and faith with whom to be in business and who share the vision of a better nation and world.
Was It Worth It?
Norm and Pam are grateful and humbled by the opportunity to travel and speak to thousands of people about the business and World Wide Group. One of the most often asked questions they hear is, “Was it worth it?” Was it worth it to be willing to change for the better, to become accountable and teachable, to associate with wise and prosperous people willing to help them, to read success principle books, to learn to communicate and to appreciate, to become better spouses and parents, to be financially free … to have peace in your heart, yet excited that you are doing a good work—was it worth it? You bet! And it will be for you, too! The most remarkable experience wherever they speak is the incredible abundance of life stories waiting to be shared. They have looked into your faces, eyes, and hearts—they see that sparkle of hope, and the human potential God placed in you to do good works and live a great life. We believe in everyone with all our hearts! We wish for everyone to know that: “This is a simple business plan—just mix it with hopes and dreams from one heart to another. Joyfully pour encouragement into others and you will know it has been worth it for you and the people you help.”
Efforts Pay Off
Bob Kummer is familiar with hard work. As a young man, he worked diligently and gave it his all in an attempt to make the 1984 U.S. Olympic Track Team. Later, he put forth that same effort in his career as an executive in the telecommunications industry and quickly moved up the corporate ladder. When he met Shelly at a hospitality industry function, he fell in love “at first sight” … and found he had to put 100% effort into getting her to go out with him. His effort finally paid off—Bob and Shelly have been happily married for 17 years.
When Bob came home one night and explained to Shelly that he was going to build a big independent business, she was less than enthusiastic. Shelly had grown up surrounded by affluence but had also seen the down side of wealth. She perceived that often the wealthiest people were the most miserable because they had sacrificed their time and relationships in order to achieve a certain standard of living. As a successful executive herself, time was the most precious commodity in Shelly’s life. “Where are you going to find the time to do this new thing?” she demanded of Bob. “We’re working eighty-hour weeks as it is!”
Today, Shelly looks back and is intensely grateful that Bob persevered. He kept at it with his high-powered work ethic, but when he attended a particular Free Enterprise Day weekend it put him over the top in terms of motivation. “I decided then and there that I was going to be one of Dave and Darlene Duncan’s Platinums. I just loved them so much, respected them so much, that I would make a total commitment to be an integral part of their business. We put our hearts into it and within three months we crossed stage as new Platinums. That’s what this business is all about. When you put that kind of energy into it—upline, downline, everybody wins!”
Shelly reflects, “I know I was negative in the beginning, but I’m so glad Bob didn’t let me steal his dream. I can’t describe how much I appreciate the blessings that we enjoy from this business.” The Kummers are debt-free and no longer work at traditional jobs, having been retired from their corporate careers for many years.
Retired at 32!
Shelly enjoys telling about her last day at her job. “Dave and Darlene Duncan (in fact the whole Duncan family), showed up at my office to help escort me into retirement at the tender age of thirty-two! There was confetti … balloons … a limousine. In fact, we created such a sensational procession through downtown Spokane, that some folks actually thought I was a presidential candidate! People on the streets were cheering and yelling—just getting into the spirit of jubilation. Oh, man it was fun! But touching and poignant too … like when we finally pulled up at our house and I saw 700 miniature American flags in my front lawn. I cried. I just cried. I thought, ‘This really is what the American Dream is all about!’”
Other Lives Touched
“Going Diamond” is another exciting milestone for the Kummers, but they count their successes not in pin levels but in numbers of people helped, other lives touched. “We love being able to help other people realize their dreams through this business. That is so exciting. So motivating! We tell people, “Hey, we’re really nothing special—if we can do this, you can do this!”
Living a Fulfilled Life
Despite their personal success and material abundance, Shelly Kummer considers her greatest treasure to be a small book. It is a journal she keeps these days—a record of the daily adventures she is able to share with her children. “To be here, to be able to spend time with my kids, that is the most amazing thing this business has given me. My corporate job would have never allowed me to do this. And that’s the big difference: with this business, you don’t sacrifice your family at the altar of success. Your family, your relationships, your time—those things can be given priority again. To Bob and Shelly, that is the true meaning of living a fulfilled life.”
The Missing Ingredient
When Jeong Lee reflects on why she seized the Amway Global opportunity, she states, “My husband lost his smile, and I wanted to help him get it back.” Warm and witty by nature, Jay had become weighed down by the pressures of running a successful restaurant seven days a week.
“When we came to Canada from South Korea, we had to start all over,” recalls the former accountant. Like many immigrants unable to find work in their field, Jay believed his best option was starting his own business. He opened a small restaurant and put in 12-hour days, creating a popular eatery that grew to employ 40 people: “Even when he was home trying to sleep, he often got called in to deal with a false alarm,” says Jeong.
A teacher by training, Jeong occupied her time raising their two boys, Don, now 18 and attending college in Washington state, and Joon, 14. “I volunteered a lot at the kids’ schools,” she says, “but I always felt there was something missing, something more for us.”
Then one day out of the blue, Jay’s college roommate called. He and his family were vacationing in the area and wanted to get together while they were in town. “Although I’d never met them,” Jeong recalls, “we’d kept in touch over the years. I knew they were doing well in some business venture.” That business turned out to be Amway Global. And Jeong was about to discover what they’d been missing.
Three Steps to Success
“From the moment our sponsors showed us the Amway Global IBO Compensation Plan, I dreamed of building it full time,” comments Jay. “Outsiders may have thought us successful already, but whatever prosperity we enjoyed wasn’t worth the price we had to pay.”
Relying on his business sense and the advice of his trusted friend, Jay saw a proven, duplicable business model in the Plan. If it could work for his friend, then surely it could work for him. Jeong took note of the couple willing to help them. In addition to their financial success, “…they possessed strong leadership skills, enjoyed a good marriage, and had time to spend together as a family. I wanted that for my family,” she admits.
Yet, the three steps their sponsors shared seemed almost too simple. Use the products. Share your story. Follow your upline’s lead: “It was easy to switch to the Amway Global products, because they’re so great!” Jeong says. But even the more difficult aspects of building the business, like prospects who didn’t pan out or juggling evening meetings and childcare for the boys, didn’t deter the Lees in their pursuit of a better life. “Our kids have been very supportive,” says Jeong. In fact, “If we happen to stay home, they’ll say, ‘You’re not going out to help someone?’”
In addition to the impact they’ve have been able to make close to home, the Lees are bringing help and hope internationally, including South Korea. “The business has fulfilled a dream of ours to travel extensively,” Jeong shares.
Marvels Jay, “Not only are our dreams coming true, but we can offer the same vehicle to others and help make their dreams come true, too!” It’s simply a matter of adding that “something missing, something more” ingredient to the recipe of life. Hope.
After many years in their own independent business, Theron and Darlene Nelsen find it exciting to reflect back and analyze the rewards and experiences they enjoy because of their decision to become involved in this Amway Global business.
“Before this business,” says Theron, “we were destined for a mediocre lifestyle by my standards. I realized when I saw the independent business ownership plan that we were not progressing financially. Becoming involved gave us the opportunity not only to improve our lifestyle, but to completely change direction from a predictable routine.”
Life before the business had Darlene teaching in an elementary school and Theron working as a coach and teacher, and later as an optometrist. “But, as with every job, the limitations were obvious,” says Theron. “Coaching offered only limited financial results, and in optometry, as with any service-oriented business, my income was limited by the number of hours I could work.”
The Nelsens tried other business opportunities, with consistently poor results. “My business experiences before have given Darlene and me more appreciation for this business,” says Theron.
Seeing the Rewards
When the Independent Business Opportunity was presented to them, Theron reached out and grabbed it. “My first reaction was very favorable,” he says, “because I respected the individual showing me the business plan and accepted his opinion. After a year in the business I was sold on it, and then proceeded to convince Darlene. She was negative initially, but soon changed her mind as we began to succeed and she could see the rewards.”
Committed to Succeed
Theron’s family was concerned, and actually discouraged his participation in the business. Some of the Nelsens’ friends were also negative and found it difficult to believe that an optometrist would choose to become involved in another business. “I knew I was the one responsible for our financial future,” states Theron, “so comments from other people only made me more committed to succeed and build this business.”
Theron and Darlene believe their success has come from working persistently and consistently with a positive mental attitude, and from having faith in people and in the business.
“My advice to those who wish to change their pin level,” says Theron, “is to formulate a plan and work the plan in a single-minded manner, even though other challenges appear. This business is a solution, not a cause of challenges.”
The Nelsens maintain a balance of marketing and sponsoring, and constantly seek to improve their personal relationships with people. Theron’s objective is to give independent business owners a comfortable climate in which to grow and build their business with his support.
The rewards that the Nelsens have reaped are financial and personal freedom, association with wonderful people, travel to exotic and fascinating places all over the world, and time flexibility to do what they want, when they want.
“Nobody can tell me there’s a better business opportunity,” says Theron. “I had nine and a half years of college and a $30,000 debt when I started my optometry practice. To me, that is a tremendous price to pay for a mediocre lifestyle. This business changed that scenario very quickly, without financial risk.
One Dream at a Time
“We are living our dreams and seeing them materialize one by one. The office, guest house, and barn are completed on the 210-acre ranch in Liberty Lake, Washington. Our field of dreams is coming to life, one dream at a time.”
Theron concludes, “We are holding freedom in our hands. There is no restriction to the freedom of attaining financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual prosperity. Life becomes more exciting each year, thanks to this opportunity for dreams to become reality.”
Visions of Greater Purpose
“Today, because of this business, we have fulfilled many of our dreams,” state Ron and Georgia Lee Puryear. “We have the freedom, the time, and the money to do what we choose, when we choose, and with whom we choose.”
At the time the plan was shown to the Puryears, the road of life resembled a graveled dirt road. Times were rough and rocky as Ron became increasingly dissatisfied with his career as an office accountant and treasurer of a public utility. The low income potential and the lack of freedom were like a thorn in his side. Meanwhile, Georgia Lee was working nights and weekends as a waitress at a Denny’s restaurant, and the unpredictable long hours began taking their toll on her. Ron knew there had to be a better way.
Starting with Hope
Then they saw a business that would help pave the road to financial and personal success for them. At that time, they lived in a 1,500-square-foot home and drove a 1965 Rambler station wagon that leaked oil. “When the business was presented to us, I saw it as a way to replace Georgia Lee’s paycheck and bring her home from work,” says Ron. “I started our business with the hope that we could make an extra $400 a month. That was the amount of money it would take to replace Georgia Lee’s take-home pay. It was a way for her to be at home with the children without a loss of income.” Georgia Lee was against the business at first because she did not really understand it, so it became Ron’s dream. He was very much against Georgia Lee’s job and felt she should be a full-time mother for their two sons, Jim and Brian. He built the business on his own for the first six months and did well enough that Georgia Lee was able to quit her job.
With Help, Effort Pays OffOnce Georgia Lee was free, she began to appreciate and gain respect for the business and began helping Ron. The Puryears’ efforts paid off. “The next reward we got from our efforts in the business was getting our bills paid off and buying a bigger home,” explains Georgia Lee. “With the new home came a new car, a swimming pool, and many other dreams, all paid for with cash.”
Within three years the family retired from the rat race of life when Ron quit his job. “We were making about four times as much from our part-time business as Ron was making full-time in his job,” says Georgia Lee. “Since we already had our bills paid off and had accumulated a lot of new material things, we decided it would be fantastic to have Ron home as a full-time father at age thirty-five.”
River of DreamsRon had a vision several years ago. He wanted to build a masterpiece not just for his family, but for all World Wide Dream Builders IBOs, as a testament to how dreams can and do come true.
Over the years, Ron’s dream has become a reality. What is now called “The Riverhouse” is a grandiose family compound spanning some 26,000-square-feet on view acreage above the Spokane River. The Riverhouse has four separate residences (for he and Georgia Lee, each of their two children’s families, and a full-time resident overseer), a weight room, private theater, virtual skeet-shooting and golf, outdoor putting green, a basketball court, tennis court, and a pool area that rivals a luxury resort.
But like most dreams, this one needed to be shared. That’s why they open their home to all IBOs who meet the “River Rendezvous” qualifications. Why? Because dreams do come true, and the Puryears believe in sharing theirs.
Two years later, the Puryears reached the Executive Diamond level and became totally free from financial and personal demands. “We were a phenomenon in America at age thirty-seven,” asserts Ron. “We were financially independent with both time and money under our control instead of someone else’s. Five years later we had reached the Double Diamond level and then onto Founders Crown, and a lifestyle that is totally unbelievable.”
Ron and Georgia Lee admit to being proud of their material possessions because they acquired them through their own honest efforts in a business of their own, while building their success upon the success of others.
“Having special time with our children, grandchildren, and friends is a blessing from this business,” says Ron. “Being able to travel, golf, or just spend time at our Riverhouse family estate are extra benefits you can’t get anywhere else.”
“We can have most anything we want,” says Georgia Lee. “But we have discovered that we have so much more in our lives than just the material things that money can buy. Our special time with our two sons and their families, our time with our business friends, and our personal freedom mean so much more.”
“As far as material rewards,” says Ron, “we don’t drive the Rambler anymore. When we travel, we can choose from first-class airfare, motor home, yacht, or six different cars. We now enjoy a beautiful 5,000-square-foot home with a swimming pool on a golf course, and we have built a 26,000-square-foot second home (a family compound) on six and a half acres of river front property just fifteen minutes from our permanent home. The dreams are still alive in my family.”
“We now have a ‘cause’ in our lives to do everything we can to preserve the free enterprise system and this business opportunity to keep the American dream alive. We do this for our sons and daughters-in-law, our grandchildren, and others in America who have a dream to better their lives and the courage to work hard for it by serving the needs of others first.”
The Teacher Appeared
“When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear.” That saying describes how the Independent Business Plan came into the lives of Dave and Jan Severn.
After a tour in the army, Dave joined an international accounting firm as a certified public accountant, but by age thirty-two he had peaked out in his career and had to settle for annual cost-of-living wage increases while waiting for a promotion opening.
“I was tired of working 100+ hours per week and being paid for only forty,” says Dave, “and frustrated by performing at the next level while being paid at my present level and by taxes and inflation eating up most of my income.”
The Severns were driving a rusty 1967 Chevy. Because they couldn’t meet living expenses, Jan had gone back to work. “I had done everything I had been advised to do,” says Dave. “A degree, a professional license, and hard work. We had to do something and not sit around hoping things would change.” Enter this business. The pupil (Dave) was ready, and the teacher (Ron Puryear) appeared as if by magic.
Going for the Big Business
“We were busy people,” explains Dave. “Fully involved in business and community activities. No extra time. But the business looked too good to miss. We didn’t know much about it, but we believed in its potential and we knew we could put forth the required effort. We figured the Independent Business Plan would solve our financial problems, so we decided to build a big business!”
The Severns launched their future and fell flat on their faces. Most friends and relatives either laughed or told them they were crazy. Dave’s professional accounting associates warned that he would be throwing away his profession if he didn’t quit his side business. But Dave and Jan kept their dreams bigger than their struggles and, most importantly, they took business advice only from their upline and stopped listening to criticism.
Our Commitment Was Planted
Even so, six months after starting their business, the Severns had no business volume and no profitability. They finally plugged into the support system and went to a Family Reunion. “We saw what it was really all about,” says Dave. “Love, caring, and sharing among people of all walks of life. We saw what lies beyond the products. Our commitment was planted at that function when we saw the lifestyle that was possible and the caliber of people with whom we were going to build our future. From that point, it was just a matter of time.”
Living by Choice
In six more months, when the earnings were double her salary, Jan quit her job to stay home. By learning how to set goals, consistently working the business with the same seriousness given their jobs, and following upline counsel, the Severns built their business rapidly. Eleven months after Jan’s Independence Day, Dave, by choice, walked away from his profession with an annual income four times his CPA salary.
Controlling Our Decisions
The Severns’ income has grown steadily since Dave’s freedom day. As full-time independent business owners, Dave and Jan choose each day exactly what they want to do, who they want to do it with, where they want to be, and how long they want to stay. The family enjoys world travel, vacations, and first-class clothing and accommodations. Time and money no longer control their decisions.
The Severns live on a 138-acre estate with a river, ponds, and a lake. Fish and wildlife abound in their paradise. They also own a 160-acre ranch in Idaho that they enjoy as a business operation and a family recreational area. Caretakers and a housekeeper share the workload to free up the Severns’ time for playing.
Dreaming Great Dreams
“The rewards of Diamond are worth many more times the effort that it took to build it,” Dave says. “Financial independence allows our family to enjoy the number-one lifestyle in America today. All we did was dream great dreams, say ‘yes’ to our dreams, and then work our business.
“It has been a labor of love that never feels like working—and has allowed us to be financially free for many years. Some of the greatest rewards have been the ability to provide expensive, specialized schooling for our son, care for our parents, outside investments, and travel to far-off places with our entire family.”
“We can’t imagine doing anything better to serve others more than this magnificent business! Our Christian values apply to every aspect, and we give all the glory for our success to our God. But the best thing is that the same business and benefits are still there for you,” says Dave.
In September of 2011, Dave’s beloved wife, Jan, ended a four-year battle with cancer. Dave and Jan were married 42 wonderful years, and spent 35 of those years building their very successful Amway Business. Dave’s passion for the Amway business and the people they’ve come to know through this business has never wavered. He continues to work hard to mentor future leaders and grow the business that was such an important part of his and Jan’s life together.
Radically Different Backgrounds
“Although Matt and Sandee were both building successful businesses as singles before they met, they came from radically different backgrounds. “I was average in everything I did,” says Matt, who was born and raised in Hawaii. “I just did what everybody else was doing. I played a number of sports, but I also got involved with some of the wrong things like drugs and alcohol.”
By the time Matt reached college he already felt beaten down by the system. He could see that people all around him weren’t making it financially no matter what they had chosen for a career. He saw couples getting married and having to move back in with their parents because of the high cost of living in Hawaii. Others were getting more and more into debt, and everyone was always complaining about money. “Partying, drugs, and alcohol were my way of escaping reality,” he explains.
Heart to Heart
Two weeks before he saw the Independent Business Plan, Matt sat down and had a heart to heart talk with his mom. “What should I do with my life, Mom?” he asked. “It’s going nowhere. Jobs aren’t paying and I don’t know where I’m headed.” For the first time his mother didn’t have an answer for him. Two weeks later, when Matt saw the Business Plan, he got excited even though he didn’t understand it very well. He jumped right in and started doing the steps necessary to build it. The absolute unwavering conviction of his upline mentor was so strong that Matt began to change and grow and apply what he learned. “I took a lot of nos,” he remembers. “My friends and family didn’t really take me seriously until I hit the Ruby level and started getting monthly bonus checks for $10,000. That’s when my business really started to grow because people figured that if a twenty-two-year-old bartender who had never finished college could do it, then they could do it too.”
Sandee, on the other hand, had always been self-sufficient financially from a very young age. She was twelve when she got her first job and by the time she turned nineteen, a bank had offered her a position as assistant manager. “Things were going great for me,” she recalls. “I was on my own, debt-free except for the mortgage on my condominium, and I was making a lot more money than any of my friends.” When Sandee made the decision to move from California to Honolulu, things began to go downhill. She took a huge cut in pay and at the same time found that the cost of living in Hawaii was much higher. At one point she even sold her car to pay off debt. For the first time in her life, Sandee was financially broke. “I was very depressed and extremely stressed out,” she admits, “but right at that time I saw the Independent Business Ownership Plan and immediately got excited. I saw this business as a way to supplement my income at work and eventually retire at a young age. It was wonderful to be around positive people and to see everyone shooting for a common goal.”
Sandee and Matt met at a Free Enterprise Day function in California and four months later they were married. At the time, Matt was a Ruby and Sandee was a 4,000 Pin. They struggled initially in their marriage but they have learned to celebrate their differences and even laugh about the early times as husband and wife. Together they quickly went on to Emerald, and Diamond. They know the power of sharing the same vision. One of the greatest joys for them was when they were recognized on stage and heard the words, “Welcome to Diamond Club.”
The World Wide Group support organization provided the teaching and support they needed to achieve their success. Their unfailing desire gave them the energy to work hard, the will to change and overcome their challenges, and to be the people they needed to be.
The Tsurudas have been retired from their traditional jobs for many years now. “When we tell people that, they can’t believe it,” laughs Sandee. “They can’t imagine what a young couple would do all day without normal jobs. For Matt and me, our freedom means choices.”
Love Is Spelled: T-I-M-E
“More importantly, our freedom allows us to be full-time parents—both Mommy and Daddy, to our three girls! In our opinion, being able to raise our own children, instead of having someone else do it, is one of the greatest blessings this business has given us. Our kids spell love T-I-M-E. Our lifestyle is great! The financial legacy we’ve been able to create will be passed down from generation to generation. That is peace of mind! Because of a dream, our upline’s help, and the World Wide support, we know that the best is yet to come!” Sandee believes that for her the greatest blessing of being free will come one day when she sees her children facing something difficult in their own lives and watching them make the right decisions because of the foundation of values she and Matt were able to instill in them.
Recently Matt ran in the Honolulu Marathon, which he says is one of the top ten experiences in his life. He sees many parallels to building their business. Not always are we prepared or properly trained to be successful as we begin: “We all have seeds of doubt at times that we need to persevere through. There is always a wall that we hit and must break through and at times we may stop and feel sorry for ourselves but we must choose to pick ourselves up and keep moving, even if it’s slow at times and we then finish the race that we began. The true victory comes when we look back and say ‘I finished the race.’”
His advice to all is to finish your own race to Diamond and join the most exclusive club in the world. Going Diamond for Matt and Sandee has meant their own freedom, associating with people they admire and respect, and having a cause to fight for. They love having the ability to help others and give of their time and money. Diamond and beyond is the best plan for one of the most rewarding lifestyles in the world!
Dean and Marcie were just leaving university when they were introduced to the business opportunity. Dean was completing his university basketball career at the University of Alberta and was planning to go overseas and play professionally in Europe. When Mike and Brandie Wagner showed them the plan, Dean decided not to go overseas and to stay in Edmonton to build a future for him and Marcie. He recognized that a couple of years in Europe playing basketball would be a great experience but that ultimately he would return to Canada broke, likely in more debt, and be no further ahead. He knew if they stayed and took coaching from the Wagners as they built this business that he could potentially achieve a far greater result than by playing professional basketball. As Julie Duncan, one of Dean and Marcie’s mentors, says, “Sometimes you have to give up the life that is planned to get the life that’s waiting for you.”
Dean got a job in outside sales from nine to five so he could build the business in the evenings and on weekends. Marcie took a job teaching in a K–12 school in a small town north of Edmonton and commuted three hours, two to three times a week, into Edmonton to help Dean build the business. After a year and a half of persistence and determination, Marcie was able to leave her teaching position, and after three years, Dean walked away from his sales job to become a full-time husband and business builder.
Living a Blessed Life
Now Dean and Marcie spend their days with their two little girls, Isabelle and Adalee. They love to have dance parties, go swimming, and go to the park. The Whalens are debt free, which has allowed them to pay cash for vehicles, send their parents on cruises and to Hawaii, and contribute regularly to causes that are close to their hearts. Every morning when they wake up, they give thanks for an incredible life and for Mike and Brandie, to whom they are forever grateful.
Building a Strong Marriage
When Dean and Marcie met Mike and Brandie, they were dating and had a rocky relationship. Dean and Marcie wanted to have a great relationship but didn’t know how to mesh their opposite personalities. One of the things that intrigued them the most about the Wagners was how incredible their marriage was. Dean and Marcie wanted to have a marriage like theirs. “Without Mike and Brandie’s example and their incredible patience and love, there is no way Dean and I would have gotten married,” says Marcie. “We are so grateful for their mentorship and guidance in teaching us how to unify and to ultimately be best friends. Our joke was that we were in love but we didn’t like each other. Mike and Brandie taught us that opposite personalities can work as long as we shared the same values and vision.”
And a huge vision is what Dean and Marcie have. “We see this business changing our city, our province, our country, and the world,” says Dean. “By getting into the living rooms of people across North America, we can help people start to dream and build businesses for themselves and for their families,” he adds. Dean and Marcie joke about creating a new pin called Emperor because they never want to limit the growth potential of the leaders in their organization. “We want to break multiple legs of Diamonds and have a major function in every major city in Canada,” says Marcie. “That’s the best and only way we know how to pay back the incredible blessings we have been given by our upline in the Amway business.”
As we all know, life is always changing. Presently Brad Wolgamott is seeking to add value to people outside the World Wide Dreambuilders system while Leslie continues to work with World Wide Dreambuilders in building a great future. The nature of their relationship has changed, but they have an amazing story from their past.
Trying the Corporate World
Brad and Leslie Wolgamott were your typical young couple, climbing the corporate ladder when the business opportunity entered their lives for the second time. Their first attempt had been two years earlier, but they had left the business with a very defeated and skeptical mind. At that time they made up their minds to succeed in the corporate world instead.
Brad was in the employment recruiting business, and Leslie worked for a major airline as an Airfares Analyst. To most people they looked as though they were doing well. But compared to their soon-to-be sponsors, Brad and Julie Duncan, they were time broke and money broke.
Second Time’s the Charm
When Brad and Leslie started a business for the second and final time, little did they know how much different this time would be. Their first year was still a year of overcoming excuses: What would their friends and family think of them? What if they failed again? Did they really have time to build it with their heavy work schedules? These and many other excuses had to be dealt with, but deep down they knew that the business was the answer to all of their problems.
Over the next four and a half years, they persistently and consistently worked at building their business. The many long nights, the miles driven, and the changes and learning experiences they went through were not easy, but were definitely worth it.
Life as a Family
Even more important than all of the time and material rewards they’ve achieved is their life as a family. They have been blessed with four beautiful children who have a father and mother who are able to spend every minute of the day doing whatever they choose. Few, if any, business opportunities allow both mom and dad to spend most of their time being parents like Brad and Leslie do!
How’d They Do It?
So how did a young couple with very little education and very little credibility build this business? “First,” says Brad, “we developed and continued to expand our dreams and desires in life. Many people want more out of life but are not motivated enough to go out and get the job done no matter how long it takes and how tough it is. And second, we studied and plugged in tight to our upline sponsors, Brad and Julie Duncan, and the incredible World Wide Group support organization of leaders who are the key to training and motivation. They are why we are where we are!”
Climbing the Corporate Ladder
Mike and Michi Woods met while working at a large resort hotel on Waikiki Beach. “We were both career-oriented managers climbing the corporate ladder by working twelve-hour days,” says Michi. “However, the glamour of corporate life was starting to fade. We looked at the lifestyles of those higher up on the corporate ladder and didn’t like what we saw. They had no personal life, no time for family, and were expected to make incredible sacrifices for the company.”
Although they came to the realization that what they had chosen for a career wasn’t really what they wanted out of life, they had no idea what career could provide the lifestyle they sought.
A Balanced Life
“I was shown the business by someone I met at a Dale Carnegie course,” says Mike. “I got really excited about the potential earnings this business had to offer. But equally as important, I got excited about the balanced life I saw my sponsors living. These people weren’t the ‘living-dead corporate zombies’ I was used to dealing with. They were enthusiastic about life and about each other and were excited about helping us succeed.”
When Mike returned home and told Michi that he had seen a new business, she was less than thrilled. Michi says, “Mike assured me there was more to the business than what I was seeing, so I decided to check it out.” That was all it took. Once she met the people involved in the business, she was hooked.
They both dove in head-first. “The most important part of our business,” says Mike, “was the personal growth we underwent by plugging into the incredible support organization of World Wide Group. We learned that to become truly successful you don’t have to be great people, you just have to make great decisions. We made the decision that we were in this business for life.”
The greatest turning point in their business was a Free Enterprise Day weekend. The Woods went into that weekend with no volume and no profitability, but they were looking for the key to success. They found what they were looking for: “To succeed in this business,” explains Mike, “you take your eyes off yourself and you focus on others by helping them achieve their goals.” With this new focus, ninety days later the Woods were in qualification as Platinum Independent Business Owners (IBOs).
Focusing on the Dream
Mike and Michi understand that true success is the character one develops during times of struggle. Mike explains, “the first two years of our business were a time of great personal growth for us. Although it appeared that we weren’t growing in our business, we were definitely growing as people. During times of despair we would do what we had been taught—focus more on our dream. I would walk up on a particular mountaintop overlooking the ocean and I would dream of placing my family in a dream home on this ridge.”
The Woods moved into that dream home and live high on a hill overlooking the tropical Pacific Ocean. Both retired from corporate life, they have time to enjoy each other and their seven children: James, Daria, Britt, Brian, Tanner, William, and Noa. “The greatest blessing we have received from this business is our family,” says Michi. “Not only can we afford the nice things for our children, but we can give them something far more precious—lots of time with their parents.”
Sharing with Others
“The best thing of all is that we can share our lifestyle with others. By going out and sharing this opportunity with people, we can open up a whole new world to them—a world that isn’t controlled by time and money or what some corporate entity wants done, a world where people can choose the life they want and can achieve their dreams.”
Work Hard, Work Smart
What happens when you match an “ambitiously lazy” man with a driven former farm girl weary of training men who climbed past her on the corporate ladder of success? In the case of Dan and Sandy Yuen, you get a couple that gains financial independence in their twenties and develops one of the largest private franchising businesses in all of Canada.
Instead of traffic jams, the Yuens enjoy international travel. Instead of work stresses, they are rewarded for helping others develop their own independent businesses. And instead of a life of what ifs, the Yuens embody what is possible when you not only work hard, but also work smart.
Massive Control of Time & Money
This loving Vancouver, British Columbia duo has spent most of their adult lives enjoying massive control of time and money. Along the way, they have been instrumental in mentoring thousands of others to follow their lead. They are thrilled and humbled by the answer to this cherished question: “How many lives will you change in the short time you are here?” Before they could positively influence others, Dan and Sandy first needed to change their old patterns of thinking, particularly when it came to earning money. After being introduced to World Wide Group and seeing the quality and integrity of its leaders, they became dedicated students and applied the “core habits” that are the blueprint of success in this industry.
Leveraging the Power of the System
The Yuens sacrificed short-term pleasure, such as sports and hobbies, for long-term freedom that now allows them to pursue even more sports, hobbies, charities, and other interests.
Without any prior business ownership experience, how did they do it? They consistently talked about the Independent Business Opportunity to friends and strangers alike; they did not let the naysayers discourage them; and they leveraged the power of the World Wide Group support and training organization to guide their fast-growing organization. One year later, Sandy walked away from her traditional job forever, at twenty-six years young. Eighteen months later, when he was twenty-nine, it was Dan’s turn.
“Anyone can succeed like we have, and we’ve been excited to help others do just that,” says Dan. “We’ve been students of this business and followed in the footsteps of great teachers like Ron Puryear. With the development of e-commerce, there’s even more opportunity for people starting out today.”
Now they spend the majority of their time with their children Connor, Kendal, and Carissa, who are home-schooled. They are also a travel-the-world family as they enjoy at least eight family vacations a year.
It’s a far cry from Dan and Sandy’s own childhoods. Although his parents were entrepreneurial, owning a grocery store for seventeen years, Dan saw his family struggle financially. And when his father died while Dan was a young man, Dan agonized over his mother’s lifestyle limitations.
“My parents worked hard and did the best they could, and I saw how tough things were,” says Dan. “I was determined to avoid that, if possible, when I started my family.”
After graduating from BCIT with a diploma of technology in efficiency, Dan worked in a variety of sales positions. Some carried status, such as the stint when he could drive a fancy car home from the car rental agency where he was a manager. In the mid-1980s, he achieved great initial success in the burgeoning cellular phone industry, spending every last cent on material comforts … and saw the early boom days give way to a mediocre way of making a living.
Sandy was born in the province of Saskatchewan and raised on the Canadian prairies. Eager to make her way in the world, she left home at sixteen with a strong work ethic and a desire to get ahead through the traditional corporate ladder. The stress of eighty and ninety-hour workweeks took their toll on Sandy’s health, so she was looking for a way out of the day-to-day grind. She met Dan, and was introduced to the business shortly after being transferred to Vancouver to open a leasing branch for a large financial institution.
Her family did not understand when she began the business, but now they appreciate the blessings of abundant free time and money that she is able to share with them.
“People say I’m busier now than before I was retired, and they’re absolutely right,” says Sandy. “Retirement to me is not sitting in front of the TV watching soap operas and eating truffles!”
Some changes have been easier than others. “I get paid to shop and to tell others to do the same. How hard is that? It sure beats working for someone else until you’re sixty-five and still being controlled by time and money.”
In a 180-degree turn from the years when they were riddled with debt, Dan and Sandy have been blessed as they follow principles espoused by their mentors. One key teaching is to live well below your means and pay for everything as you go. In the Yuens’ case, that includes their luxury cars and their lavish 8,000-square-foot home. Their estate includes a full-size NBA basketball court where Dan plays with his sons. He is also fond of three-on-three challenges with friends that go into the wee hours of the morning. After all, he doesn’t have to wake up to a job.