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November 01, 2009

Exclusive Interviews

Executive Connection with Mike Potillo, Vice President of Marketing, Ardyss International

Mike PotilloIn this month’s “Executive Connection,” Direct Selling News Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming speaks to Ardyss International Vice President of Marketing and Director of the American Market Mike Potillo about the company’s distributors, his vision and much more.

DSN: What is the one thing you enjoy most about being the top U.S. executive of Ardyss International?

MP: I like being the behind-the-scenes person who can help the owners make amazing decisions that ultimately help create phenomenal incomes for our distributors in the field. I’ve personally bought into the concept that an appointment with Ardyss will change your life.

DSN:What has been your greatest challenge since assuming this position?

MP: The language barrier. Because Ardyss was founded in Mexico, when I came on board, many people in the office only spoke Spanish, although the founders spoke English. Being able to build an English-speaking company to serve Americans was the greatest challenge.

DSN:What’s been the most fun part of the job?

MP: Being able to travel around the country and being around the distributors. Speaking onstage is a thrill, but the most fun I have is sitting down in a hotel lobby and listening to distributors share their stories of success. It’s the most enjoyable part of what I do. I know how hard it is, and I love hearing others’ stories of success.

DSN: How would you describe the ideal Ardyss distributor?

MP:Someone who has a big why. We want your why to make you cry. We want people who may not be leaders right now, but who want to become greater than they are right now.

DSN:What is your vision for Ardyss?

MP: To continue what we’re doing now, following our motto that an appointment with Ardyss will change your life. I want to continue to change people’s lives every day. My goal every day is to do something, personally, that will enhance the life of one of our distributors. Every day, we work very hard. We don’t have normal office hours. We know that everything we do can benefit or hurt distributors, and we want to benefit them. And my personal goal is to be in next year’s Direct Selling News $100 Million Club.

DSN: Is there one basic principle that governs your leadership at Ardyss?

MP:Family. We call ourselves the “great Ardyss family.” That term is an umbrella for shared values, ethics and loyalty. A good family encompasses all those virtues. Ardyss is run as a family business. We know that sometimes families fight, but at the end of the day, they come together for the greater good. That’s exactly what we do at Ardyss.

DSN: Leaders usually draw on something or someone for inspiration, guidance and direction. Do you have a hero or heroine?

MP: God. A lot of our principles are from the Bible. I believe that if you have solid principles and live by the Golden Rule very humbly, it will come back to you in a big way. That’s the way I run my business. Before honor, you have to have humility.

DSN: Which other direct selling company or person do you admire the most, and why?

MP: As corny as it may sound, Mary Kay Ash. She was an amazing woman. Just see what she was able to do in the industry! My personal mentor was Dale Calvert. He gave me my first opportunity to get involved at the corporate level of network marketing, and also as a distributor. He told me what I needed to hear, not what I wanted to hear. That helped me become what I am today in network marketing.

DSN: What do you see as our industry’s greatest challenge?

MP: Our greatest challenge is to better educate distributors on how to present our business. We’re not a get-rich-quick scheme or a pyramid. We need to educate distributors on policies. They’re boring, but they can make or break any company.

DSN: What do you like to do for fun?

MP: The beach. The Mediterranean, the Caribbean—it really doesn’t matter where. If there’s sand, I love it. My baby daughter, Sophia Bay, is named for one of our favorite beaches. My wife, Tiffany, and I have been able to set ourselves up for life through our decisions. To be able to enjoy my family on the beach is the most fun I have.