Posts by Joseph Mariano

Fact or Fiction? Let’s Set the Record Straight

Direct Selling Association

Most of us know the game “Telephone” where one person whispers a statement to their neighbor, and that person turns to their neighbor and repeats the statement as they heard it. The further down the line, the more the statement is misinterpreted and altered. In today’s fast-paced digital environment, unchecked or even false information can…

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Direct Selling’s “Re-Defining Moment”

Direct Selling Association

Some years ago, on this page, I wrote about a “defining moment” for direct selling. And during last year’s DSA Annual Meeting, I spoke of the changes that were taking place in direct selling, and those changes I predicted we could see over the next few years. Now, as we move full ahead into 2019,…

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Ethics And Sharpening Our Competitive Edge

Direct Selling Association

We all know how Amazon has impacted competition on the product side of our business, and the emerging gig economy players that rely on independent contractors have brought even more disruption to the marketplace. What makes direct selling so attractive—our commitment to creating a more supportive world for independent contractors—is central to who we are…

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Year of the Independent Contractor

Direct Selling Association

This is the Year of the Independent Contractor, and it is important to recognize that direct selling’s most significant advantages over traditional retail are the independent contractors who have personal, trusted relationships with customers that are virtually impossible to replicate in traditional or online retail. Protecting our independent salesforce and their ability to build a…

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Dear Direct Selling Colleague,

Direct Selling Association

Thank you for being part of the DSA Annual Meeting. Ours is an age marked by transition. As direct selling faces these tides of change, the fight to protect our independent salesforces and their ability to build business on their own terms remains our lynchpin issue. We have taken note of the cultural moment all…

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What’s in a Name?

Direct Selling Association

…That which we call a rose; By any other name would smell as sweet… —William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet Names are essential: They carry meaning derived from the legacy of past actions and an ability to reliably deliver. While names conjure an image that may be easily recognizable, looks alone can deceive. Even Shakespeare notes…

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Stronger Together

Direct Selling Association

“In the long history of humankind,” Charles Darwin observed, “those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” Change and disruption are the story of our times. The direct selling channel isn’t merely adapting by collaborating and improvising, but finding new opportunities to grow. While ill-informed critics sometimes will question the values of…

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The Role of Our Association: Now and into the Future

Direct Selling Association

In Washington, D.C. and across the country, there is an association for everything. Each industry, product or interest group has its own agenda. And there is an association to advocate for each one of those agendas on all levels of government. For Americans, it seems only natural to stand together and advocate for a point…

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2017: A Year in Review

Direct Selling Association

Click here to order the December 2017 issue in which this article appeared. I look back over 2017 with great pride at what the DSA team accomplished on behalf of our industry. We brought member company executives together to share their advice and concerns, to support our vital advocacy efforts, and to commit to ever-higher ethical standards…

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H.R. 3409: A Bill to Protect All

Direct Selling Association

I am proud of how direct selling truly is open to all, with its low risk and ease of entry, no requirement for formal qualifications or training or high capital investment, and with ease of exit should a participant decide it’s not for them. Direct selling can offer a route to entrepreneurialism to anyone who…

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