Nathalie and Raúl Gonzalez
Founders Executive Diamond
Staying Focused on Their Goals – Raúl and Nathalie Gonzalez were among the first IBOs to reach Executive Diamond in the Dominican Republic a few years ago. But instead of taking it easy, reaching that milestone only made them want to work harder. Now, as Founders Executive Diamond, they are busier than ever helping downline IBOs follow in their footsteps, including their daughter, Marjorie, who is at Silver level. Their twin sons, Raúl Alejandro and Raúl Gabriel, are not quite old enough to be IBOs, but at 15, they’re already focused on a future in the family business.
In fact, it was because of their children that Raúl and Nathalie started their business in the first place. “We wanted to earn a little extra income to give them a better life, but we also wanted to be able to spend time with them, which, back then, we did not have,” says Raúl.
Afraid at first
He was selling office supplies and Nathalie was an administrative assistant when they first saw the Amway™ business. But the idea of starting their own business was a little scary to them at first. Raúl was extremely shy and he couldn’t imagine himself presenting the Amway Sales and Marketing Plan. For Nathalie, working as a team with her husband was a challenge. “Life doesn’t really teach you how to do that,” she says, “so I wasn’t sure how to go about it.”
“We struggled a lot at the beginning,” says Raúl, adding that a lack of self-confidence is not uncommon among people in the Dominican because there are very few opportunities for a good education.
With their new business, though, they found plenty of educational resources to help them overcome these obstacles, from training materials to mentoring with leaders in their organization.
“We learned that the power to succeed comes from within,” says Raúl. “And we all have it.”
As they gained confidence, their business began to grow. One thing they learned early on is that the sooner people begin producing income, the more they begin to believe in themselves. So even though their first bonus was just $14, “that small amount gave us hope and clear vision of the possibilities for the future. We knew then that if we worked hard and sold more, we could grow our business faster,” says Raúl.
They teach new IBOs to do the same thing. “We always tell people that one of their primary goals is to earn a check within 30 days,” adds Nathalie. “They need to see the financial rewards right away.”
They feel the best way to do that is first, to learn about Amway products; second, use them; and third, sell them.
“You just need to set your goals and stay focused,” advises Raúl. “That’s what we did. Every day, we would focus on doing whatever we needed to do to accomplish our goals.”
Nothing could stop them
And they refused to let any obstacles get in their way. For example, when they first started out, product delivery was a challenge because at that time, Amway did not have a distribution center in the Dominican Republic. “It was a challenge, but you can do a lot when you’re motivated – and determined,” says Raúl.
Of course, one of their main goals as they were growing their business was to develop new leaders. And they found they really enjoyed the Amway approach to that. “In traditional businesses, developing leaders is often based on giving orders,” observes Raúl. “But with Amway it’s much different. You need to show people respect and earn their trust. You need to educate them and help them develop personally. You need to understand what’s driving their dreams and help them achieve those dreams. Because really, the true meaning of a leader is to help others become successful.”
They feel the most effective leadership tool is simply to lead by example. “That is more effective than anything,” says Raúl.
As for reaching pin levels, both agree that hitting a high level such as Diamond is “not the end of the road. It’s a blessing, yes, but it’s also a huge responsibility,” says Nathalie. “You cannot forget all those who have helped you become Diamond. In fact, you have to strengthen those links and keep working to help others grow, too.”
The blessings continue
That their children have chosen to become IBOs has become one of their greatest sources of satisfaction. Marjorie, who is studying psychology in college, has already seen that very few professions allow the kind of quality time she and her brothers had with their parents while they were growing up. “She became an IBO so that she can practice psychology on her own terms, with more control over her time and her life,” says Nathalie. She adds that “nothing, absolutely nothing,” tops the time they have had to spend time with their family as they worked from home. “It has been our greatest blessing in this business.”
Another aspect of the business they’re thankful for is the chance to meet so many people and make so many friends. Over the years, their business has grown beyond the Dominican Republic to the U.S. and Latin America. They are grateful to be able to offer so many people the opportunities they themselves have had. “To give people hope and empower them to make their dreams come true is wonderful,” says Raúl.
Having the freedom to set our own schedule, to spend time with our children, and to help others are the greatest benefits of an Amway business. – Raúl Gonzalez
Nathalie says they’ve always put a lot of emphasis on relationships. “We stress the importance of being united and also of having a good attitude, which is equally as important,” she adds.
In speaking of their own relationship, which has only grown stronger over the years, they say they have really learned to appreciate one another. While Raúl describes Nathalie as a dedicated mother and generous entrepreneur, she admires his strong leadership skills and ability to really listen to others.
Reaping and sharing the rewards
Both say they have come a long way since those early days, when they were so fearful and apprehensive about starting their business. Looking back, they say even with their struggles, they would not have done anything differently. “This business turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to us,” says Nathalie. “It’s not only provided us with a good income and financial freedom, but it’s allowed us to be good role models for our children. They’ve learned a lot just by watching us.”
The family shares their many blessings with those who are less fortunate by getting involved in charitable causes supported by Amway in the Dominican Republic. Rubén Familia, General Manager of Amway Dominican Republic, notes, “They were the first to reach the goal in a fundraising contest we had a few years ago which benefitted a day care for disadvantaged children. Within one week they raised nearly $3,000 in cash donations.”
“We just thank God we are in an economic position to contribute to causes such as this,” says Raúl. “We have always known it’s better to give than to receive.”
The couple feels blessed in every possible way. And with their strong faith, they credit a higher power for what they’ve achieved. “Everything we have received has come from God; everything we do and have done is in his hands,” says Nathalie. “Without him nothing is possible.”
Diamond Income Disclosure