The final day of Leadership School 2023 “came in for a landing,” as JR would say. No cards were left on the table by the astounding leaders who spoke throughout the seminar, starting with the great Kevin Buckman, Executive Vice President of Asia Pacific, and Director of GMTSS Cullen Haskins. They guided an interactive workshop that allowed attendees to practice prospecting, qualifying, and sponsoring. JR would’ve been proud to see the enthusiasm people exhibited in these exercises! UFOs Elizabeth Weber-Walliser, Lisa Wun, and Steven Hu brought it home. We learned how to launch a successful names list, have confidence in approaching people, and duplicate. Their zeal, I must say, was contagious!
Next, Andrew Weissman, Jim Winkler, and Professional Coordinator Marc Bernacchi initiated lively workshops for UFOs to practice prospecting, onboarding new UFOs, and following up. Everyone was very engaged, and it felt very much that we had gotten back to the basics, just as JR had intended. This led directly to many-leveled Coordinators and Directors speaking. They went over best practices in using the Getting Started Guide and being outspoken about the business. Notably, Director Olivia Li said, “I was not born but made into a leader” — something JR also embodied. Being bold, taking action, and making connections proved to make these UFOs successful, and we can all accomplish that, too.
Then, Allison Abbott, Professional Coordinator, shared how she found and grew her UnFranchise Business. After a decade of running her own business, Allison knew the hours and unpredictability of the brick-and-mortar system were unsustainable long-term. When she met Flushadelphia’s Dritan Hodo, all the pieces came together. The essential practices she shared were: Managing your emotions, having discipline, embracing challenges, and keep believing. “You must change your belief, and that’s what we’re doing here,” she concluded.
After two days filled with emotion and memories, Andrew Weissman’s last presentation of JR’s magic moments was no less poignant. “What is Success?,” the marketing octopus, the Shopping Annuity® spaceship, the wheelbarrow, the hourglass, the television, and breaking the alarm clock — all infamous, all meaningful. It just goes to show that the lessons JR taught us are always relevant, and he knew how to demonstrate concepts in the most instructive and brilliant way.
In his last presentation of the conference, Marc recapped the incredible preparation leading up to this event, and how everything had been executed to JR’s vision. From the new Partner Stores introduced to the field experts speaking, product demonstrations, and site improvements, the 2023 Leadership School encapsulated the stability of the company and the bright prospects of its future. “After 30 years, the company has the best products and services and tens of thousands of people earning an ongoing supplemental income,” Marc said. “We offer you a company that is profitable and stable.” With every ounce of passion he could muster, Marc challenged us to do what it takes to be successful and take the advice and direction we had received there to fervently propel us forward. Market America’s foundation is built upon helping others to help themselves, becoming entrepreneurs with the best blueprint laid out for us. All we need to do is believe and get it done. “Do it like JR Ridinger did it!”
Since Market America’s inception, JR and Loren have been the driving forces behind each event. We were lucky to experience yet another event sprung from their vision, but the absence of JR was deeply felt, especially by Loren. However, when she came on stage as the final speaker of the event — a picture of JR on the screen behind her — there could be no doubt that when she spoke, she did so with his voice in her heart. Loren’s strength and JR’s lasting influence resonated with the audience. “You deserve everything you want,” she said. “I hope you go for it. And I hope you know how much JR and I love you. I don’t want you to quit. I want you to show up for yourself. JR believed in you so much… I hope you use his life and his death to bring you to your destiny.” The conclusion of this event did not mark the ending of something, but the beginning. With such incredible Founders and the Corporate Team behind us, we have every opportunity to succeed. Loren pressed the value of time and the brevity of the dash. Through our grief, our individual problems, and daily trials, we still have each other and our dreams. No one can take away our “Why.” So, as we come in for a landing, don’t forget that “once you know how to do it, you can build a staircase to anywhere you want.” The sky is the limit.