In this month’s Executive Connection, Direct Selling News Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming speaks with Gary Raser, Founder, President and CEO of The LIMU Company, about leadership, believing in yourself and doing the right thing.
DSN: What is the one thing you enjoy most about being the President & CEO of The LIMU Company?
GR: There’s no question that seeing people change lives for the better is what gives me more pleasure than anything I’ve done in my professional life. It’s one thing to become successful; it’s another to take your success and use it for a greater good. That’s why I focus so much on helping people get beyond success and on to what really matters, to significance. Every one of us has the opportunity to change lives. Seeing our LIMU Nation take that challenge, and do it for and with others, is a source of huge enjoyment and excitement for me.
DSN: When you think back over the fast-paced nine years of The LIMU Company, what’s the single moment that stands out in your mind as the very best—the time or event you wouldn’t have missed for the world?
GR: The one moment that meant the most to me was when we announced that we would be starting The LIMU Company and 9,000 people faxed their applications in that same day. We didn’t have a product yet. We didn’t even have an office yet or even much of a staff. But those first 9,000 were willing to commit themselves to us and to me, without hesitation. That truly moved me and it’s a moment I will never forget.
DSN: What do you tell The LIMU Company’s distributors to lead and inspire them?
GR: It’s all about belief—believing in your company and your products, but mainly in yourself. Believing that you can, in fact, do this by following in the successful footsteps of every Promoter that has come before you. We attract so many of our new people, most of them without any industry experience, because they can readily see the success that everyday people are having with LIMU. Just as our leaders are inspiring to every new person, the truth is every new person can be an inspiration in their own circle of influence. Our job is to make sure LIMU helps them deliver that in every way they can.
DSN: What is your vision for The LIMU Company?
GR: My vision is to touch millions and millions of lives. To assure that every person that joins LIMU can Be More and can create a life-changing LIMU Experience, whether that’s improved health and vitality, or an improved financial situation. No matter where people come from or where they are in their lives, and even if they have absolutely no experience in our industry, we want to help them create their own destinies. That’s the ultimate goal we have.
DSN: Everybody learns as they go along, no matter how much experience they have. Tell me about something that happened at LIMU that let you get a little smarter.
GR: About two years ago I stepped back and looked at the industry, and I knew we had to do things differently. In hard financial times, you can’t run your business the same old way. People just can’t afford it. So we reinvented ourselves, turned the old ways totally upside down. We call it the LIMU Experience. People don’t like to sell or recruit people. So instead of meetings, we have a lot of fun at our Experience Parties. Most people don’t want another bill in the form of an auto ship. So we created our 3 for Free program to help them get their auto ship for free. We created our 2K VIP level to get people their initial purchase money quickly. Finally, we wanted our LIMU BMW CLUB to be available early on to up-and-coming leaders, not just those at the top. After all, it’s visible proof of success.
DSN: What’s been the most fun?
GR: I love our LIMU Ultimate Experience Parties because they’re just flat out exciting. And even more than that, it’s been fun to read the Experience stories that our people send in. I mean, I’ve gotten emotional reading some of those stories, stories from 6-year-olds to 86-year-olds and everybody in between. Seeing the joy of our people as they run on stage for the prizes they’ve won, it just doesn’t get any more fun than that.
DSN: Is there one basic principle that has governed your leadership at The LIMU Company?
GR: Do the right thing. As a CEO who was once an independent distributor, I tell my staff that every day: We are here to serve our Promoters. Period. Nothing else matters. And we do the right thing by them every time, even if it costs us money. That’s the only way to lead, because I want all of our employees to get that we are successful when we do what’s right, for the benefit of our Promoters.
DSN: What is something few people know about you?
GR: I’m a born entrepreneur but I avoided this industry for a long time. Over 25 years ago, there was a guy that called me day after day to come to one of his meetings. I mean, he harassed me about it and I put him off time after time after time. Finally, just to get him off my back, I agreed to go to a meeting halfway across the country, in a major snowstorm. And that meeting opened my eyes and changed the course of my life forever. That’s what I tell any person in this industry that gets discouraged: Keep working, because the next person you talk to may be the next person whose life you change forever.
DSN: What’s one piece of advice that you’ve found especially useful?
GR: Don’t do for one what you can’t do for all. It takes doing the right thing to the next level. In business it can be tempting to make exceptions, but people are watching and thinking. Are you fair? Are you showing integrity in all you do? Being able to answer yes is hugely important to me, and always has been.
DSN: What’s on your bucket list?
GR: Actually I have my eyes set on a couple of big things. The first is taking my family to Italy for at least a month and maybe longer. I love to cook and I feel I have this quest in my future, to find the best pasta in Italy, the best sauce, the best overall experience with my family. And the second? Well, all my life I’ve loved deep sea fishing and all of its challenges. It’s just you and a really big fish. So one of the top items on my bucket list is to catch a Blue Marlin that tops 1,000 pounds. Not easy to do and I don’t have as much opportunity as I’d like. But someday I’ll get that monster, that much I can assure you of.