The Club Level at the Amway Center -- between the Terrace and the Promenade -- splits into several types of premium seating. There are suites, including the Founders Suite which can accommodate 16 and the larger Presidents Suite, each providing a plush and roomy space from which to enjoy the game. Loge seats are among the most popular though, combining great additions like all-inclusive food and drink with a close-to-the-action feel.
It started with a guy I randomly met at Target. Now that I think about it, it's almost as if he was waiting for a prospect right outside the store. He entered the store right behind me and then he entered the aisle I went into shortly after I did. Not that it's relevant, but I was there to buy deodorant because, well, we're not apes anymore. Anyway, he pretended to be interested in the same product that I was looking at and was like "Oh you're a Degree guy too?" I was a bit weirded out at first but I was like, I don't know, he seems harmless. We started talking about success right off the bat and how he wants to live the better life/easy life (yachts and fancy cars). He came off as very ambitious. I am too, I own a small business and I'm looking to grow it, so of course, I related to him, and that's where he thought he had me. That's right, it felt like he was out to get me.
In addition to customer preference, the other driver of where goods are manufactured is economics. “It costs almost nothing to ship a nutrition item around the world, Dr. Calvert said. Transportation is just 0.1 percent of the landed cost of these products. Liquid home care products, which have high weight, have different economics. For these products, 15 percent of the landed cost is based on transport costs. Further, for these products consumers care most about the price value of the product. It just does not make sense to manufacture these kinds of products in the U.S. and then “pay to ship liquid over water.”
‘Shorts are fine here, jeans are fine. Casual attire, golf attire, tennis,’ says Dale. ‘What we train our staff on here, constantly, is the difference between a country club and a normal restaurant. We have a membership: they’re paying X amount of dollars just to walk in the door and come have a hamburger. So, we encourage the staff to make introductions if there are two members sitting here and they don’t know each other. To get them involved, help them meet each other, help them make friends – because that’s what’s going to make them participate more and stay members longer. It’s like a church. Like trying to get your congregation active and engaged and involved.’
In his memoir Simply Rich, Amway cofounder Rich DeVos tells the story of Amway’s origins. The country was in the last gasps of the Great Depression. Rich was fourteen. He was walking two miles through the snow to his high school each day, in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan: wool collar popped high, galoshes squishing, wind in his face. Occasionally he would take the streetcar or city bus – but allowing time for the city bus meant having to rise long before the sun came up. ‘I needed more efficient transportation, and already being an enterprising type, I had an idea,’ he writes.
Amway is the number one direct-selling business in the world, according to the Direct Selling News 2017 Global 100, with more than $8.8 billion in sales revenue. Amway sells a breadth of nutrition, beauty, and home products through a network of millions of independent sales distributors. Despite the company’s huge size and global footprint, however, its initiative to develop Internet-connected products—or Internet of Things (IoT)—began as a grassroots effort within the organization when it was in the process of enhancing its top-of-the-line air-treatment system. “During this process, a cross-functional team identified an opportunity to enhance the user experience by adding Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communication,” says Everett Binger, chief IoT solutions architect at Amway.
And for those of us who had no taste for sales, Scott had fabulous news: A group of Amway millionaires had come up with a sure-fire system for making The Plan work—and had formed World Wide Dreambuilders LLC, a corporation independent of Amway, to teach that system to others. All that was required to ensure an Amwayer’s success, Dreambuilders taught, was that each distributor simply bought $100 of Amway products a month for his own “personal use.” That meant no high-pressure pitches, no Tupperware parties—no sales at all, in fact. You could meet your $100 monthly goal by selling to yourself—at 30 percent off retail to boot! Being an intensive Amway consumer was such a great deal that once we spread the word, our businesses would practically build themselves. We could quickly 6-4-2 to that extra $2,000, and once our six “legs” did likewise, we’d be pulling in $50,000 a month; if we included some other “factors,” more like $100,000! And that was just the beginning: There were some truly spectacular incomes to be made through The Business—which Scott would have told us about but for FTC regulations barring him from doing so.
His tedious auto-encomium was enlivened only by occasional, chilling anecdotes of violence: His mother hit him as a child until, old and strong enough, he could credibly threaten to hit her back; his frat brothers, drunken and rambunctious, tried to shave his head one night, whereupon he barricaded himself in his room, audibly cocked a semiautomatic shotgun, and threatened to kill them; and his family needled him about Amway until, one Thanksgiving, he jumped up and shouted, “I don’t dump on what you do, and if you keep dumping on what I do, I’ll take you outside and knock your block off; and if you’re a woman, I don’t know what I’ll do!”
According to the Amway website, as of 2011 the company operates in over 100 countries and territories, organized into regional markets: the Americas, Europe, greater China, Japan and Korea, and SE Asia/Australia. Amway’s top 10 markets, based on 2017 sales, were China, United States, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, India, Russia, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
I loved the days when we’d go to the Bayou Club as a family. We began going immediately after joining Amway, when I was in second grade. The development was new, still under construction. There was space between the houses and the far stretch of the golf course undulating luxuriously around them. Model homes rose from the landscape like castles, bigger than any houses I’d ever seen – and vacant. Never occupied. Empty dreams, waiting to be filled.