A BOOKWORM and movie buff through and through, Ryan Tan considers his story as one of unlikely success in the direct-selling industry.
“I preferred the company of books and the entertainment of film over interaction with other people,” Tan said in a recent one-on-one interview with the BusinessMirror.
It was a 180-degree turn when Tan graduated with a nursing degree from the University of Santo Tomas and became a local distributor of Usana Health Sciences Inc. He even founded his own team.
“I reluctantly joined Usana because I am not a natural sales person, but I believe in the philosophy that all skills in life can be developed,” Tan said. “We just have to get out of our comfort zones.”
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Tan, 28, originally sought to migrate to work in the United States. But a global economic crisis dampened his prospects of landing a job abroad. Securing a visa then would have taken him close to seven years. He got accepted in a nursing migration program in Australia, but the application process was halted midway, as the country also eventually got affected by the crisis.
Tan said he was introduced to Usana by a complete stranger who was already a distributor of another Asian market. The distributor sent Tan information about the Utah-based multilevel marketing company: its profile, product line (various nutritional products and nutraceuticals) and compensation plan. Convinced and impressed with the offer, Tan signed up as a distributor.
Completely oblivious at first, Tan struggled on his first year as a distributor.
“On average I only made P5,000 to P10,000 a month, which was very far from my idea of what a rewarding income should be.”
Tan said he credited his persistence to continue after hearing of the success of other Usana distributors. He said they claim to make 6 figures a month. Tan said one who claimed to be a former room attendant in Makati have made $1,000 a month.
“Then my mind-set could have been either, ‘I quit; I’m simply not cut out for this!’ or ‘What do I still need to learn? In what other aspects of the business do I need to improve in?’” Tan said. “With every temptation to quit I always chose the second that’s why I am where I am right now in the business.”
Tan said he now holds the distinction of “Diamond Director,” which he said entails him to earn a commission of $4,000 for four consecutive weeks.
“People I encounter who are not fully familiar with Usana know that we offer the best nutritional products worldwide and that big money can be made in the business, but they feel they cannot do it,” Tan said. “But I know they can, because I still remember my personality when I was starting was not really cut out for Usana.”
Tan said he aims to help other distributors to enjoy the same success he now enjoys.
“Most people in the country struggle with their health and finances,” he said. “We’re here to tell them they don’t necessarily have to endure either of those and a solution exists.”