Thousands of distributors join Nu Skin every year, but most probably have no idea the amount of courage and tenacity it took for company founders to create and persevere in building the successful business venture Nu Skin is today. Cofounder Blake Roney remembers some of the challenges he and his fellow entrepreneurs faced in those early years—and why he believes new distributors should always understand the power of believing in their vision of success.
When Nu Skin’s small band of founding entrepreneurs started the company, they immediately faced harsh criticism about their new business idea. Most familiar with Nu Skin’s early days are aware of the resistance the owners faced in trying to find a skin care manufacturer that would formulate the products with only beneficial ingredients—a revolutionary idea at the time and one considered far too expensive. Even those with marketing savvy tried to discourage the young owners.
“I thought, here’s the expert,” Blake says when recalling how his college professor dismissed his business idea. “Here’s a marketing expert who just told me it won’t work. I had to pause and say, ‘I wonder what makes me think I might be right,’ because it was sort of counter to [everyone else’s opinion].”
Blake and his cofounders refused to listen to the negative comments they encountered. “I had maybe an unusual trust in my own instincts and my own feelings,” says Blake. “We all did. We all sat around and said, ‘Do you want this product? Yes,’ we answered. ‘This is exactly what I want in my house.’ Then we decided, ‘Okay, I think this is going to work, no matter what they say.’”
Your Belief System Also Requires Courage
Each day the founders put innovation into their evolving growth, not only in the way they formulated their products, but also in how they paid their distributors. Blake points out that the company paid an extraordinarly high percentage of its revenue back to distributors as commissions. Since other companies didn’t have such a generous compensation plan, the owners took a gamble with this bold concept. “‘Could we survive on that little of margin?’” Blake recalls thinking. “We didn’t know. I thought we could...I ran the math...I like numbers, and decided, ‘I think we can stay in business on this.’ So we really broke new ground with that.”
Since Blake and his cofounders didn’t have another company’s plan to follow, their steps were often filled with trepidation. “We constantly chased away thoughts that, ‘We might be wrong.’ And we could have been...we were on some things. We weren’t perfect, but there wasn’t another direct sales company doing what we were doing. Nowhere close.”
Believing in your potential and your vision is paramount to success. Having the courage to remain true to your belief system is just as important—a concept the founders of Nu Skin have proven over and over again as Nu Skin continues to be an industry leader.
“Everything we did that was new and different left us thinking, ‘Maybe there’s a
reason other companies don’t do this, because it might not work.’ But new
distributors come in today and they can see that some people have failed, but they
also see a whole bunch of people who have followed this plan and it worked. We
didn’t have that luxury—plus every day we had some unforeseen problem to
overcome. It was problem solving at its peak for us.”
—Blake M. Roney, cofounder, Nu Skin Enterprises