When Lowell Martin was 13 years old, his parents made a decision that would change his life in more ways than one.
They were the third generation to run the family shoe store, and Lowell was in line to become the fourth. But when he was 13, they decided to add to their income by becoming Amway Independent Business Owners.
That resulted in regular meetings with another family in the Amway business who had children the same age as Lowell.
“We always would find one another at Amway events, and we kids would hang out while the parents worked,” Lowell said. “We became close friends and, eventually, became family.
“I married their daughter, Karen, right after high school.”
Following in their families’ footsteps, they started their Amway business that year, and Lowell continued to work in the family shoe store.
“When you’re 19 years old, it’s more exciting to be involved in a brick and mortar business than one that’s virtual,” he said. So Karen waitressed and he and his father grew the shoe store business. “It was exciting to be a part of that, but I realized I had a cap on my income and limited access to teamwork.
“I felt trapped going to the shoe store every day. I wanted something more.”
At first their Amway business was a great supplemental income. Karen was doing enough marketing that she was able to quit her job as a waitress.
“But we weren’t putting in the effort to build a team and really make it grow. We wanted to start a family, so we started setting goals,” he said. “We needed the extra money to get to that next chapter in our lives, so I became more intentional about stepping it up with our Amway business.”
Over the next five years, their Amway income grew to rival that from the shoe store. Having both incomes allowed them to become debt-free and invest. Eventually Lowell transitioned out of the shoe store to focus full time on Amway.
“It was good to build it together as a team,” he said. “We steadily grew during that entire period. From that point on, our Amway business produced more income than the shoe store did and with so much more flexibility to enjoy our family.”
And, having worked in a family business that involved overhead, inventory, customer service and many other responsibilities, Lowell appreciated the structural support an Amway business provides.
“Before you start your own Amway business, you don’t have a real sense of the magnitude of what the company does for business owners like me,” he said. “The global investment in R&D, marketing, inventory, supply chain, customer service – I don’t take that for granted.
“Having worked for a business where I had to worry about all of that gives me great perspective. We’re fortunate!”
Paying it forward
The flexibility of their Amway business also allows Lowell to mentor and help others on their entrepreneurial path, something he truly enjoys.
“I love coming alongside people where they are in life, guiding them and then watching them run,” he said. “Especially younger people who have seen the downsizing and distress that corporate America has caused on their parents.
“Entrepreneurship puts them in control of their income, their time, their lives. It’s very empowering.”
The average monthly Gross Income for “active” IBOs was USD $207 (in the U.S.)/CAD $186 (in Canada). Approximately 48% of IBOs in the U.S., and 52% of IBOs in Canada, were “active.” IBOs were considered "active" in months in 2016 when they attempted to make a retail sale, or presented the Amway IBO Compensation Plan, or received bonus money, or attended an Amway or IBO meeting. If someone sustained that level of activity every month for a whole year, their annualized Gross Income would be $2,484(U.S.)/$2,232 (Canada). Of course, not every IBO chooses to be active every month. "Gross Income" means the amount received from retail sales, minus the cost of goods sold, plus monthly bonuses and cash incentives. It excludes all annual bonuses and cash incentives, and all non-cash awards, which may be significant. There may also be significant business expenses, mostly discretionary, that may be greater in relation to income in the first years of operation. For the purposes of the calculation in Canada, individuals who were IBOs for less than the entire year in 2016 were excluded. Before registering as an Independent Business Owner (IBO) powered by Amway, you should read and understand the AMWAY™ Business Overview Brochure, which contains important information for those interested in becoming IBOs.