read / From the Publisher
The monthly editor's letter offers insights and reflections of what is in each issue and what is happening within the direct selling space.
The Direct Selling Association annual meeting always re-energizes our spirits and elevates our appreciation for the direct selling business model. This year’s annual meeting, held June 5–7, attracted industry executives to a program built around general sessions, workshops and idea labs that covered 28 topics. Jason Dorsey, author of Y-Size Your Business: How Gen Y Employees Can Save You Money and Grow Your Business, reminded everyone that getting the Gen Y message right is critical to the success of all direct selling companies. John Addision, Co-CEO of Primerica, brought the audience back to the importance of leadership in building companies. Ray Chambers, world-renowned entrepreneur, philanthropist and humanitarian, delivered an uplifting message on the power of philanthropy in solving some of the world’s most challenging problems and the importance of direct selling as a channel of distribution. He said, “The direct selling business model can level the playing field and close the gap between the haves and have-nots.”
In this issue, we release the final ranking of the Direct Selling News Global 100 for 2010. The identification of the Top 100 direct selling companies in the world is the culmination of hours of research and the cooperation of dozens of individuals. We extend our acknowledgment and appreciation to all who were a part of this endeavor. The industry comprises many privately held companies that certainly could have chosen not to share any information; however, overall, we found the cooperative spirit that makes this industry so unique and so very different from most. Many readers will benefit from a better understanding of the magnitude of the social and economic contributions that this channel delivers to individuals and communities throughout the world. Transparency will always be an essential component to greater understanding and acceptance of direct selling as a way of doing business. We believe the DSN Global 100 listing contributes to both.
There is much debate and discussion about technology and its impact on direct selling. There is much debate and discussion about technology and its impact on direct selling. The questions and discussions are endless, and the points of view are diverse. I have heard the direct selling industry described as the first industry to embrace social media, meaning direct selling has always been about the importance of personal relationships. While this may be true and agreed upon by most, it does not necessarily mean that all are clear on exactly what is happening today.
As we prepared to go to press with this issue, I received news of the loss of Leslie Campbell, President of TARRAH Cosmetics. A car accident took her from us far too soon. Leslie was a former colleague at Avon and friend throughout the years who gave much of her time to Direct Selling Association activities and committees. I know that TARRAH Cosmetics had many loyal and faithful consultants, and I hope they will be able to continue their journey, for that is what Leslie would have wanted. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go to her husband, family and many friends.
This month’s cover story is, once again, a pleasure to bring to you! One year ago we took on this project for the first time and the result was quite revealing, educational and informative. We ranked the markets that were responsible for $1 billion or more in annual revenues. The stats and facts, as always, are important, but the bigger story is the fact that each market is contributing in excess of $1 billion per year as a result of the direct selling channel. This means so much more than the revenues of the individual companies doing business in a market.