From Jennifer: Today I am thrilled to present to you a guest post from John Fleming, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Direct Selling News, which is our industry’s professional publication for direct selling executives. This is what the people running your companies read. I’ve had the real privilege of writing for this magazine a few times here, here, and here (often in collaboration with my colleague, Alan Luce), and I always read it from cover to cover.
Recently I learned that Direct Selling News is launching an effort to find 100 People Making a Difference in Direct Selling. These are corporate-level people who are responsible for running your companies, suppliers who offer services that help your companies run better, academics teaching direct selling in colleges, and many others who make these companies the source of the amazing opportunity you have access to. I asked my friends over at Direct Selling News if they’d like to write a bit about what they’re looking to do here, and I’m thrilled that they’ve accepted.
That’s enough from me. Check out what John has to say today:
100 People Making a Difference
by John Fleming, Publisher and Editor in Chief, Direct Selling News
When a magazine decides to take on a huge undertaking, questions are always activated, and many will attempt to define the nature of the project and the objectives. The announcement of the “DSN 100 People Making a Difference” only came after a long and difficult process of determining how best to approach such a project. I must admit, I became convinced that such a project could provide the industry with the identification of many people who, in so many different ways, are truly making a difference in the acceptance of direct selling as a business model and the success of individual companies that choose the business model as the preferred way to distribute products and services.
I was actually in an airport looking through the magazine rack when I saw the issue of Life magazine identifying “100 People Who Changed the World.” I picked the magazine up, started to browse and immediately realized what I did not know. The article was truly educational! I purchased the magazine, and by the time my flight landed, I felt like I had just completed one of the most potent history lessons I had ever experienced. When I got back to the office to discuss my thoughts with the DSN staff, I realized we had found the logic and reasoning for the project—100 People Making a Difference in Direct Selling. We identified the DSN Global 100, which provided all with an opportunity to understand the size of companies in this industry and their relationship to one another. However, we asked ourselves another question: Who are the individuals who are serving and leading the industry to an ever increasing level of acceptance as a very unique business model?
As we pondered the question, we realized that there are so many business leaders supporting direct selling companies with their products and services. There are also so many advocates—possibly even elected officials—who go to bat for our way of doing business when challenged by others, for whom over-regulation is often the first solution to a particular problem. We thought about the academics who have decided that teaching direct selling as a method of doing business is a must in today’s marketing classes. We thought about the consumer advocates who now look to us to help them present solutions to consumer abuse issues and the importance of operating with a high ethical standard. We also thought about the suppliers who become partners with the companies’ strategic objectives, the leaders within the associations and, of course, the leaders of the companies who are making a difference in the way they handle their responsibilities. When we thought about all of this, we realized that a list of “100 People Making a Difference in Direct Selling” would inform thousands about the quality of a great number of people who bring forth the best of what they do to support the growth of the direct selling industry. Of course, it takes many more than 100 to do what is done each year to support people, who, as independent contractors, take advantage of a business model that offers an income earning opportunity, and yes, the possibility of making dreams come true! Direct selling is truly a unique business model, but as we all know, it does not happen without people! We want to identify some and share those people with you.
Most important, you are doing the nominations, not us! To nominate someone, go to www.directsellingnews.com/nominate, and fill out the form. It does not get any more exciting than this!
p.s. From Jennifer: Field representatives (independent consultants) are not eligible to be nominated or nominate someone. However, I encourage you to reach out to the corporate people in your company or supplier members that you know, and let them know about this. And if you’re working at the corporate level of a direct selling company, go nominate someone! I already have. 🙂 And will you please spread the word? Just click the “Share” button below, and let the people in your social networks know. Let’s get the word out, so that the people making it possible for you to have the opportunity you have get recognized!