Rudy Revak is the craftsman behind multiple highly successful direct selling companies, including Symmetry and Xyngular, which he founded in 1995 and 2009, respectively.
As the Chairman and Founder of Global Ventures Partners, an investment capital firm committed to creating opportunities for common people to achieve uncommon results, Revak was instrumental in the acquisition and rebranding of PUREhaven in 2016. Born in Altusried, Germany and the son of World War II refugees, Revak is also the author of Iron String, the turbulent true story of a life affected by war.
What inspired you to get involved in a direct selling business?
It’s a pretty easy answer: opportunity. I was born in Germany as a refugee, and when I was five years old, we moved to America. I was raised on a chicken farm in New Jersey, so I didn’t have a lot of opportunity. After three years in the U.S. Army and 13 months in Vietnam, I used the GI Bill to go to college. I thought that would be the answer for me. One day, a stranger called and invited me to a business presentation. There were guys in nice suits at the front of the room, and the first thing they did was write $30,000 on a board, which had my attention instantly. It was quite an investment in those days to start—$3,117—and I came home excited to show my dad. Three weeks later, my dad came to me with a check for $3,117. They had no money, and he had put up his farm and his house for me. It still makes me emotional to this day.
When did you make the commitment that direct selling was the right choice for you?
For the first nine months, I was the most terrific failure in the company. Did I have some doubts? Boy, you bet I did. One of the benefits of that investment is that I could not let my parents down; I had to make it work. Jim Rohn was in the business with us in the beginning, and one of his basic statements was: “For things to change, you have to change—and for things to get better, you have to get better.” That stuck in my mind, and that same philosophy has done well for me over these last 50 years.
What are a few of your most memorable moments?
I was doing well as an area coordinator in Baltimore and attended a conference by the leader of the Bestline company. Chuck Simmons, the International Vice President at that time, went to the front of the room and said, “If any of you in this room want to go international, let me know.” My buddy leaned over and, as a joke, said, “Hey, Rudy speaks German. Send his butt to Germany.” When I got back to Baltimore, my phone was ringing off the hook—this guy says he can’t find me fast enough to try to convince me to go to Europe. I became the sales leader and eventually the head of the German company for Bestline. From there, they sent me to Canada to build a Bestline business there and then Italy to do the same thing. Those were challenging days, but golly were they good days.
What is your outlook for the business model?
I remember when the internet became popular, and people said there wasn’t going to be any more direct sales. The internet was nothing but a tool that people used to share the opportunity and products, and I see that same thing today with social media. Yes, these tools make communication easier, but this business, in my opinion, never changes. It’s still a people business.
What advice would you like to share with our audience?
Have a dream and be willing to go to work. If your vision is big enough and it’s worth it, you’ll be willing to do the work.