Can You Make It By Starting Small?

From zero to hero….

Can you make it just by starting small or do you have to start big? The fact is, the most successful direct selling companies of all time all started small. That’s why we have done more than 60 conferences on Starting and Running the Successful Direct Selling Company with 5,000-6,000 people in attendance. We have started companies with “moms and pops” at the conference table, and watched some of those companies grow to sell billions of dollars in sales over the years.

A few good stories to inspire everyone….

Look at the history of some of our industry leaders; let’s say you take a company like Amway, a company that sells in excess of $10 billion dollars a year globally. This is a company in which, basically, the owners started mixing biodegradable soap in their bath tub.

Somebody like Doris Christopher, started Pampered Chef, and spent the first few years in her basement. Of course, later on, it was taken over for a huge fortune by Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway.

Longaberger Basket Company, whose sales have been in the billions, was started by creating a small assembly line in the backyard. The owner at the time was a manager of an IGA grocery food store.

Discovery Toys was started by Lane Nemeth. She basically was in early education, and she had a passion for shopping for educational toys when she traveled. She brought the toys back and showed them to her fellow teachers and parents, which resulted in the development of a huge company, built from scratch.

Cheryl Lytle, of Creative Memories, was basically doing demonstrations and supplying various sorts of supplies for scrapbooking and ended up building a company with sales in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Very few people know this, but a young man named David McConnell, around the turn of the century,  was a door-to-door book salesman in the South; and in order to get the ladies to buy the bibles, he gave them a small complimentary bottle of perfume. After a while, he figured out that, actually, the ladies liked the perfume more than the books, and he grew his company from there forward. He named it the “California Perfume Company.” After some consideration, he decided he needed the name to be more upscale. He noticed that Shakespeare plays were performed at Stratford on Avon, and so he renamed the company Avon. More than 100 years later, Avon does better than $10 billion in sales as a New York Stock Exchange traded company in more than 150 countries. So what you really know now is that Avon is actually a door-to-door bible sales company.

Most recently the industry witnessed a tremendous success story.  Two ladies in Kansas started a company called Silpada Jewelry. During their first year, they did less than $100,000 in sales, with a handful of distributors. In just over 10 years, they built their company to hundreds of thousands distributors, hundreds of millions of dollars in sales, and in July of 2010, they were acquired and became part of Avon………… and they were paid $650 million.

Start Small…Think Big….

So if the question is “Can you start small and make it?” ……. With dedication and hard work, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”


For more information, watch the video Factors that Make an MLM Company Successful, or one of our many other MLM, network marketing, direct selling educational videos.

These articles also address ways in which to achieve success in direct selling: “MLM Consulting: Starting Your MLM Company,” “MLM Consulting: How to Build a Successful Direct Selling Company” and “MLM Corporate Startup Essentials: Part II.”

Expert MLM Attorney Jeffrey Babener has authored many books on MLM and direct selling. Check out Network Marketing: What you should know and The Network Marketer’s Guide to Success.

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