Mark H. Wilson, ARIIX co-founder and president, holds a degree in communications from the University of Utah and more than two decades of experience in the direct selling industry. He is a father of 5, and lives in Wellsville, Utah, USA with his wife of 28 years.
Mark began his business career working for the worlds largest call center operation, Matrixx, now known as Convergys, directing major projects like MCI Friend’s & Family, American Red Cross, and Procter & Gamble campaigns. Shifting his career toward Direct Sales when he was hired as the Director of Inbound Order Express and Data Processing for Melaleuca, Inc. he found his passion for working with independent Representatives who are the lifeblood of this industry. He later left Melaleuca to form Great Basin Marketing, a consulting company specializing in establishing and operating call centers, startups, and direct sales.
Mark’s experience as both an employee and business owner gave him the experience necessary to ultimately become the Executive Vice President of Sales for USANA Health Sciences. At the time of his departure 14 years later, sales had grown from $50 million to more than $550 million in the publically-traded MLM company.
Together with his co-founders, they created ARIIX, an international opportunity company that provides superior, exclusively branded products marketed through independent representatives. To promote healthy living, ARIIX develops toxic-free products through collaboration with world-renowned experts in the health, wellness and fitness industries.
With a devotion to helping others unleash their potential for good, ARIIX provides a global vision, outstanding management experience, driven industry leadership, and a valued partnership that protects its representatives.
This partnership is underscored by a patent-pending compensation plan created to give the greatest benefit to the representative. The ARIIX opportunity and products are available in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong SAR/China, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, Netherlands, Portugal, and soon in Russia and Kazakhstan.
Ted Nuyten had the honor to interview Mark Wilson.
Mark, what was your first experience in the MLM industry?
My wife’s uncle introduced me to a water filter company and I loved the thought of owning my own business. I quickly realized, however, that a product needed to be highly consumable to create long-term residual wealth. A few years later I was introduced to Melaleuca, and my career shifted from Call Center Operations, to working in the greatest industry there is – Direct Sales.
The most exciting thing for me has always been helping the average person realize they can dream again, and that they can achieve a successful future with Direct Sales. When they make the shift from thinking and acting like an employee to thinking and acting like an entrepreneur, WOW!, that’s where it gets really fun!
Were you successful right from the beginning or did you "struggle?”
It’s funny, people tell me all the time “how lucky I am,” and I certainly feel very blessed, but unless you’ve gone out and risked it all you can’t understand the struggles and obstacles that you are faced with to achieve big goals. Sometimes you wonder if it will ever be easy. But being taught to journal years ago, I can look back and say that with every struggle, the most amazing experience always came after pushing through it, even when you thought “there’s no possible way I’m getting past this obstacle!”
Working with some amazing leaders in the industry over the last 23+ years, I’ve learned they all understand that it takes two traits for success: Consistency and Tenacity! Without these, you might get lucky being in the right place at the right time, but that’s living the lottery life and doesn’t guarantee long-term success. These two traits, however, will help make sure your struggles pay off in a big way.
You transitioned from a field leader to the MLM corporate world, why was that?
I’m often asked about experience in the field and at ARIIX you’ll find we are unique in that even though we weren’t big field leaders, we present and have presented side by side every week with our field leaders, thousands of times. We know the plan, the products, the building strategy as well as any of our top leaders. They use us constantly to 3-way calls, or just send an important prospect to us to help in the sales process. You’ll not find a more hands-on leadership team. It’s really the only way you understand what your partners in the field need. You must walk in their shoes and experience what they are experiencing each day.
I ask prospects who are looking at ARIIX: How often does the owner help you present? Do they know your family? Your team? How else can you effectively manage the company in the direction that will reach its potential? For us, we believe in being side by side with our leaders in the field. We’re the last to get paid, the first to step up and help, and fiercely loyal to our field.
Can you give some facts and figures for ARIIX?
Sure, ARIIX is now starting its 3rd calendar year and, with the help of some amazing field leaders, we reached $42 million in sales in 2013. Not too bad for only our 2nd year. In January our sales are at more than double than this time last year, and the trend is continuing to look very strong for 2014 where we are confident that we can reach from $80 million to $100 million in our 3rd year.
Is the USA ARIIX’s main market?
The United States is certainly an important market for us, but our largest market right now is Asia, followed closely by Japan and the United States. We also see Europe coming on strong with the Netherlands leading the way! Our preferred customer base in the Netherlands is one of the strongest we’ve ever seen.
For ARIIX, our leaders determine where our focus and attention is spent as we support them in the growth of their businesses. In fact, we are excited to be opening the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) soon with some amazing leaders who are willing to partner with us in continuing our vision of Unleashing the Human Potential for Good.
What are the biggest reasons that you attribute the success that you and ARIIX management have had in this company’s launch?
We are focused 100% on the field! I know many say this, but when someone actually reads their policy and procedures, their rules, and the one-sided agreement, they realize that we are different. We understand that not everyone will join ARIIX, there are certainly other great companies, but our goal is to create massive competition starting with what we call the ARIIX Bill of Rights.
ARIIX has a focus on the Representative Bill of Rights. Why is that?
When we decided it was time to form ARIIX, we were inspired by years of experience working with field leaders and seeing time and again unfortunate instances where the owners forgot that it was these very same leaders who built the company for them. So rather than just put out a bunch of fancy promises that we too often see forgotten, we put it in writing to guarantee the protections and rights for generations to come. These rights are the foundation of a relationship built on trust and mutual respect for our partners in the field.
It’s crazy to think that in this day and age someone can force you to be loyal! Some think they are winning with this tactic of strong-arming the field with their ever changing policies and terminations, or the threats to do so, but my experience is that you can’t by your field leaders loyalty, love, and passion. The only way is to earn their trust and work hard everyday to keep it!
What are your plans and goals for the future?
Pretty simple, we’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing these last few years and create one of the finest opportunities in the industry, with our goal to be an example and model to follow in the future. If you want to improve an industry, then the best way is to create competition! Competition forces others to step up and makes the entire industry better!
We look forward to the day when the entire industry has a spirit of abundance and cooperation with their field leaders and Representative Rights are truly what they should be, fair and reasonable. The type of treatment that anyone of us would sign and know that we are building legacy business for generations to come, rather than glorified sales people who are forced to conform each time an owners decides to change the rules.
We believe that Direct Sales has a bright future for millions of families around the world and can be a game changer for those who are wanting to Dream Big again. They just need a legitimate vehicle to help them achieve their goals, and we will be honored to work with those who choose ARIIX as their vehicle.