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2012 DSA Annual Meeting Speech
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Monday
Feb182013

Rule #1: Always Invest In The Entrepreneur First

After speaking recently to two promising direct sales start up companies this week, I began to distill in my mind what constitutes a good investment in direct selling.  And simply put, it begins and ends with the entreprenuer who starts the company.  

You can have an exploding industry, great product, high markup, and great back end, but without the entrepreneur, the maniac on a mission, the enterprise will be hard pressed to meet expectations.  This is the first and most important factor I look for before asking others to invest their money with a company.  

Thinking about this topic brings to mind my former boss,  Bob Goergen, Sr., with whom I worked for 12 years. The Chairman & CEO of Blyth Inc., an entrepreneur himself and a promoter of other entrepreneurs, he knows a thing or two about investing in direct selling start ups.  He turned an approximately $100K investment in a small candle company, into a $1B+ publicly traded company.  About four years ago, he recommended that Blyth invest in a tiny company named ViSalus Inc., which is now one of the fastest growing companies in the direct selling industry.  

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business now has developed the Goergen Entrepreneurial Management Program in which more than 2,000 students and entrepreneurs participate in courses each year.

Listen to this fantastic discussion between two generations of entrepreneurs and self made men.   

Ryan Blair (CEO of ViSalus) and Bob Goergen Sr.  

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