The focus of the nightly news is too often on the things that divide us: We hear about conflicts over national or regional borders, tragedies perpetrated in the name of one religion/philosophy or another, and the persisting onus of gender inequality worldwide—just to name a few ways we humans have chosen to divide ourselves. A person can get really depressed about the human condition simply by watching the news.

But then I come to work in network marketing and I feel a lot better... Our profession is the very essence of inclusion, of equal opportunity for people everywhere in the world, regardless of race, religion, gender or lifestyle. There are no limitations imposed by society on the potential for success of a dedicated network marketer. Our profession is filled with success stories of men and women of all ages, from every country in the world, with varying ethnic and educational backgrounds, abilities and disabilities. It makes me happy each day to know that the profession I have loved for over 40 years does not exclude anybody!

Here are just a couple of specific examples of the benefits of inclusion:

Farmer in Africa harvesting local botanicals for Don’s company. Farmer in Africa harvesting local botanicals for Don’s company.
With friends Izzy Matos (left) and Bill Randall (middle), celebrating the spirit of diversity and inclusion at the 2015 ANMP International Convention. With friends Izzy Matos (left) and Bill Randall (middle), celebrating the spirit of diversity and inclusion at the 2015 ANMP International Convention.

People around the world make good livings with network marketing because our profession includes them, disregarding perceived “limitations” that might keep them out of other businesses. And let’s keep in mind that the “customer base” for our products includes nearly 7 billion people!

Many direct sales companies are in the natural health product field, as is the company I work for. Our “exclusive” first product was based solely on a natural botanical harvested in the United States, and we could probably have built a sustainable business on just this locally harvested product. But it was when we looked toward the inclusion of ingredients from outside our borders that we realized our products’ true potential. We searched worldwide for natural botanicals used by native cultures—many of them in third-world countries—that have for generations supported health naturally. Our testing showed that including these age-proven local botanicals in our products would be beneficial, improving our formulas dramatically. What’s more, the benefits extend not only to our products, our distributors, and our customers; they significantly benefit the natives in these under-developed countries, whose partnership with us in growing and harvesting these botanicals has brought considerable economic advancement to them. We are all so much better off because of this venture into inclusion.

I suggest we all stop watching the nightly news and all its depressing stories about the things that divide us, and instead focus on what unites us as human beings. Let’s embrace our similarities and differences with loving hearts, dedicating ourselves to the spirit of inclusion that will make the world a better place for all of us.

As a member of the DSA, Don Karn joined a group in Washington that drafted The Direct Selling Proclamation and Compact to show legislators and regulators the significant positive impact direct sales has had on the lives of many. As a member of the DSA, Don Karn joined a group in Washington that drafted The Direct Selling Proclamation and Compact to show legislators and regulators the significant positive impact direct sales has had on the lives of many.

 

DON KARN is vice president of North American markets for an international network marketing company. He is a board member of Gabriel Media Group, Inc., publishers of Networking Times, and a board member of the Association of Network Marketing Professionals.