Posts by Joseph Mariano

The Way Forward

In 2011, the Houston Astros were a struggling franchise with a new general manager, Jeff Luhnow. Some thought he was an unusual choice—he had more of a business background than a successful baseball resume. Jeff introduced high-tech tools and analytics and combined data with baseball IQ. In four years, they played in the post-season after…

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The numbers are in! And they are…

U.S. DSA

Well, I can’t quite say yet publicly, as they are still being refined and digested by the Direct Selling Association Research Committee. But we will be revealing and discussing industry performance at the upcoming DSA Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas June 3-5. And it will be a hot topic. Direct selling, like many businesses, and…

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Annual Meeting and the Way Forward

U.S. DSA

It feels like opening day! Or a Broadway premiere. Or the first day of a new job. The excitement is there, palpable. It’s the future— the potential, excitement, fear, danger, and thrill of something new and unknown. That is what I am hearing from direct selling executives across the country as we take the next…

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Thinking Outside the Bubble

Bubble

We’ve all heard the expression “thinking outside the box.” As direct sellers, innovation drives us, and we must always embrace this thinking. But another type of thinking–“thinking outside the bubble”–is different, and it poses an idea worth considering. Our own corporate cultures breathe life into our brands and shape how our brand ambassadors compete. These…

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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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