Deciding Who You Want to Be
Deciding Who You Want to Be
October 01, 2014
As an ambitious and astute businessman, An Nguyen thought he had his career and his family’s future all mapped out. He was well educated—he has a B.S. degree in engineering and an MBA in marketing—and his professional goal was to open a chain of 1,000 Vietnamese restaurants. In fact, he had been working in the restaurant business for more than 10 years before he began building his Nu Skin business. An’s wife, Kieu Dao, had a secure position as a pharmacist, so together they were doing well professionally.
Then they were introduced to Nu Skin and their definition of an ideal career began to change.
An joined Nu Skin after hearing about it from an acquaintance who told him he was working with a company involved in anti-aging. Although An knew nothing about direct selling at the time, he was intrigued and enrolled right away. But he visited the company’s headquarters the following month to do his due diligence.
Initially, An worked his Nu Skin business part-time as he continued to build and manage restaurants and pursue other endeavors. During his first year as a distributor, he focused on “surviving”; he didn’t know too much about the importance of setting goals and taking action in the beginning. A year later, Kieu joined him in the business. Together, they began to set goals, and their business began to accelerate.
Initial Small Goals Lead to Big Long-Term Goals
An believes the key to success is initially to set big, long-term goals. Then, he advises, go backward and set smaller goals with shorter timelines and use those benchmarks to measure your progress. Today, the couple has teams in Canada, Australia, Europe, and Vietnam, as well as in the United States. Because each market has unique qualities, An travels often to visit his teams, to learn from his sideline leaders, and to help his team members. “Staying connected with them daily on conference calls or via webinars and traveling to meet them in person have been instrumental to my success,” says An.
A great example of how An and his team worked together to boost team-wide success started with a disappointing result for the number of team members who were attending the company incentive trip in January 2013. There were only five distributorships qualified to attend. An decided to change those numbers for the next trip. He and his team set a goal to take 40 distributors the next time. In three months, working with those who were committed to the goal, they had 36 qualified. For the trip in July, they set a goal to have 100 distributorships qualified to attend. “When we finished the run, 57 accounts qualified,” he states. “The best way to set a goal is making it so big that you are afraid to sleep at night, worrying that you don’t have enough time. But it’s also important to have people who are committed. The rest is action. There wasn’t a day we didn’t go out and share the business with prospective distributors and consumers.”
The Importance of Creating a Team Culture
Leadership for An is about far more than a person’s pin title or income. It all boils down to becoming the person you want to be—and serving others. He is a big believer in the philosophy that he will succeed by helping others reach their goals. “I ask my leaders to imagine being at the top and [envisioning] who they want to be as a leader,” he explains. “And they must work diligently on themselves every day.” And when people lead by example and live according to the person they want to become, they will start to attract other people, An believes.
Leading by example is a huge part of An and Kieu’s success as Nu Skin Team Elite Executives. “I never ask my team to do something I wouldn’t do,” says An. “It is important to create a team culture and follow through.” He works closely with his team to set high goals, create action plans, and then hold each other accountable.
Today, An and Kieu have found true financial and time freedom with Nu Skin. What excites them the most about their success is the freedom they now enjoy, and they love helping their team members enjoy that reward. An says he has grown personally and has become a better friend, father, and husband thanks to Nu Skin. He also appreciates the fact that he no longer has to manage employees as a restaurant owner and Kieu does not have to work as a pharmacist—careers that are so different from their lives today as Nu Skin distributors. “In traditional business, it’s survival of the fittest,” he explains. “I always had to be better than my competitors. In Nu Skin, my success depends largely on helping other people become successful.” For An, it’s a simple but powerful paradigm shift that he has fully embraced. “Each day I look for people that I can help, not people I can defeat,” he adds. “We are, in short, living a life of quality. The ability to schedule work around my life is a whole lot better than scheduling my life around work.”
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