DETERMINATION: Frank Morales
Son of Mexican migrant workers overcame prejudice to excel in life and as an IBO.
Growing up poor in pre-Korean War America as the son of Mexican migrant workers, Frank Morales experienced prejudice and discrimination at school from not only his classmates, but also from his teachers and coaches.
Instead of allowing the hurtful comments and actions of others to discourage him, Frank used them as motivation to become an honor roll student, a standout multisport athlete, and an inspiration to others.
He took the same approach after graduating, tackling job and life challenges head-on, firmly resolved to overcome the obstacles that he faced and achieve his goals. Today, after more than 30 years as an Amway Independent Business Owner, the energetic 81-year-old is still a frequent motivational speaker and an inspiration to other IBOs, particularly among his fellow Hispanics.
For his efforts, Frank Morales is the recipient of the 2012 Amway Hero Award for Determination.
“Never say quit”
“Be friendly, be determined, and never say quit,” he says. “I think it’s the ‘never say quit’ attitude and what I’ve accomplished that inspires some other people to do what they do. I don’t know.”
He and his wife, Barbara, recently moved from their longtime home in San Juan Capistrano, California, to Lake Elsinore, California. They have five children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild together.
Denice Morales Kennedy says her father has inspired thousands of IBOs and other people around the world.
“Anything my dad puts his mind to comes easy to him,” she says. “That’s why the Determination Award is so perfect for him.”
In 2011, Frank published a memoir, Fields to Freedom: The Links of Life, which offers a message of hope that everyone is capable of taking control of and improving their lives.
“Lead, follow, or get out of the way,” he says. “And if they tell you it can’t be done, you do it just to prove ’em wrong, because you can do anything you want – as long as it’s legal.”
Frank was the third child of his parents, who left Mexico for the United States in 1916. Born in the farm fields of Nebraska, he was raised in Kansas City, Kansas, where he was often taunted for being underprivileged and of Hispanic descent.
“We grew up poor,” he recalls. “If my dad worked, we ate. If he didn’t work, we didn’t eat and we had to kind of scrounge around.”
Life changed when “scared straight”
He got into some legal trouble at age 14 and was “scared straight” by a judge who asked Frank to think about how his actions had hurt his mother.
“That was the lesson that I learned from him,” he says, and made the decision to live his life to make a difference, becoming a star athlete and honor roll student in high school, and a ferociously motivated worker as an adult.
Frank was employed as the director of computer operations at a Fortune 500 company when, at a time in his life when some people start considering retirement, he decided he wanted an entirely different career.
“I was going to turn 50, and I was bored and I was fed up and I’d just had it with corporate structure,” he says.
That was when he learned about the Amway™ business opportunity from his future upline, Leif Johnson, who outlined the plan for him on a napkin.
“I checked it all out with a fine-toothed comb,” Frank says. “I found it was an excellent corporation and I decided to join.”
“Be friendly, be determined, and never say quit.”
— FRANK MORALES
He became an IBO in 1981 and 10 years later achieved Diamond-level status. Frank is still active in his business as an octogenarian survivor of prostate cancer and quadruple bypass surgery. All of his immediate family members have, at some time, been IBOs.
Frank says one of the most rewarding aspects of being a successful IBO is being able to motivate his downline, particularly those who are Hispanic immigrants looking to improve the quality of their lives.
“I think the biggest thing is that his desire to help others has really been what’s driven him,” his daughter says. “Amway was just a tremendous vehicle for him to help more people.”
Hero photos from Achievers 2012 on Flickr: