Exhausted from the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Movement enrichment seminar they attended earlier that day, Mario “Mar” and Evelyn “Babes” Tero just fell asleep and woke up in the latter part of the Amway presentation they were invited to.
Mario recalls they hardly understood anything from the presentation of the global direct-selling company and all they remembered was they could earn big income in just two to three hours a day of doing the business for a year. The Tero couple, however, was not totally lured of the promise since they were busy as medical and drug distributors. “We joined Amway out of respect for our friends,” Mar recalls of the Amway presentation in 1997.
Coming from humble backgrounds, all the couple wanted was to succeed in life. Mar, a Commerce Accountancy graduate from the University of Mindanao, and Babes, who finished a degree in Commerce Marketing and Management from the University of Visayas, always worked hard for their five children. But tests came their way.
Although they joined Amway, Babes remained doubtful about their prospects for eight months. Their friends turned down their invitation to join them since they had misimpressions about it, mistaking Amway as a pyramiding ploy.
Worse, their medical distribution business almost went bankrupt in 2000 due to the Asian financial crisis. They had to downsize and found it hard to settle their payables. Mar had to always pick up Babes from the hospital since the latter got sickly due to their situation.
Selling their dream house, which they had built in 1995, was the only solution they had to get out of their financial troubles. Mar then worked at a construction and real estate business in Manila, leaving his family in Cagayan De Oro, believing that it would augment their income. “But life in Manila became more miserable that I ended up with nothing,” Mar says.
In September 2003, Babes asked Mario to return home because the latter’s father was suffering from osteoporosis. His wife also asked him to help in the Amway business. “I obliged, realizing I had made many wrong decisions,” Mar says.
Their friends, who invited them to join Amway (which started its Philippine operations in 1997), told them that full attention is required for them to succeed as independent business owners (IBOs). “My friends became our Amway mentors and their advice had been a big help,” Mario shares.
So Mar became truly devoted with the Amway business, not only to grow it for his family’s benefits, but also to help their distributors be successful as well, realizing that there are also other IBOs who were troubled like them but found Amway helpful. “After seven years of doing medical distribution, I prayed for a business that required less capital and stress and Amway was the answer,” Mar says.
Income augmentation was one of the benefits they got, Mar says, although it was not obvious in the first few months. From September 2003 to August 2006, the couple’s income rose, earning around P40,000 monthly, enabling them to pay their debts. For echoing the company’s vision of “helping people live better lives,” Mar and Babes bagged the Diamond Honor, the highest recognition Amway awards to its IBOs.
Doug DeVos, president of Alticor Inc., (Amway’s parent company), lauded Amway Philippines, thanks to IBOs like Mar and Babes. “The results showed that more and more Filipinos have begun to appreciate the value of setting up their own businesses. They have shown faith in Amway as their trusted and supportive business partner,” DeVos says in a statement.
Amway’s business model enables the likes of Mar and Babes to become active income earners and have an opportunity to retire early and enjoy life to the fullest.
From financially troubled, the couple now has better options in life. They share that the education of their children is already guaranteed. They can continue their annual dental and medical missions, provide assistance to their church and extended families, and travel in style for free through Amway trips, the most recent of which included Vancouver, Canada; Prague, Czech Republic, and a Mediterranean cruise.
Being financially literate is the lesson they learned from Amway and Mar and Babes now apply best-selling Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki’s financial advice. They invested part of their Amway income to real estate and mutual funds. “We strongly use Kiyosaki’s great idea that we believe we now have a sound financial management,” Mar says.
Now, Mar and Babes cling to another Amway promise: to reach the Founders Diamond and Executive Club honors. “We promise to continue helping our Amway teams to achieve their dreams because in doing so, we will also be rewarded,” Mar ends.
This article is from is MoneySense, the country's first and only personal finance magazine. You can read more financial tips and stories at www.moneysense.com.ph.