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Review of “The Winner’s Circle”

This book, The Winner’s Circle, starts with the truth of writing, and has some good quotes and valuable background about the beginnings of the Amway corporation. (Note – if you want to bash the Amway company, or any of its subsidiary leadership groups, go start yet another whiny blog, and see how long it lasts. They can pay for good lawyers. Better yet, go start your own multi-billion dollar company.)

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A Few Great Principles

1. It’s a business opportunity. Sign up, reject it, just don’t harangue the people who’ve decided to do it.
2. Winning, like virtues and principles, is not an occasional thing that can be put on and taken off.
3. Know what to throw away, and what to keep.
4. If a job gives you a sense of fulfillment, you’ll stay after they stop paying you.
5. Pioneering is different from exploring. “A pioneer breaks through a barrier, settles there for a while, and opens the way for others to follow.”

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Good Quotes

  • “A freelance writer knows a little something about a lot of things…Being a knowledgeable person is his stock-in-trade…it is the nature of the species never to admit ignorance on any subject of importance.”
  • “It could be argued that a person from inside the Amway World could make a better assessment of it than someone who, like myself, is an outsider. I doubt it. Sociologists call one who attempts to do research that way a “participant-observer”, and the danger of such a posture is that one gradually comes to participate more than he observes.”
  • Rich Get Richer and Poor Get Poorer concept: “Life does have a certain momentum, and those who are succeeding in one arena seem to succeed more easily in another. The obverse of this is also true: People in debt tend to stay that way.”
  • “I have trouble believing in things I can’t touch…Nobody likes to be razzle-dazzled, like a country boy at the fair. That goes double for writers. Writers wrap their skepticism around themselves like a protective blanket – perhaps because they know, better than most, that words can be pretty insubstantial things sometimes.”

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Beyond the great writing quotes, I think the overall sense of this seriously ‘outdated’ book is that business principles are quite simple. It does not take a genius to figure out that helping people to buy lower and sell higher, or feel a sense of hope about their future, are two very important ideas.

Sure, it’s also incredibly important to make sure that the products being sold are quality, so that people keep coming back to buy. (No quality = lack of future sales.) Before Simon Sinek ever developed Start With Why, these direct marketers had it down: most people want to know that their life means more than just going to work for someone else in order to pay bills.

Sometimes, to escape the constant noise of TECHNOLOGY OH GLORIOUS TECHNOLOGY quietly screaming in the background, it’s good to read a book that doesn’t mention iPhones, Facebook, Twitter, or mobile marketing. This book also offers an endearing, nostalgic feel that America is still a country worth living in, because it opens up vast opportunities for the Average Joe. Marketing has to do with offering people what they already want, with a smile. Hope + good products + customer service = thriving business.

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