“Direct selling is increasingly seen as a modern, sustainable professional pursuit, and that means more opportunity for more people over time.” These are the words spoken by Joseph N Mariano, the President of the United States’ Direct Selling Association. This is what drove Said Saiful Fazli Said Aluwi to continue growing his business, above and beyond his initial expectation when he first ventured into the world of direct selling.
What started as his rebellion towards the regimented structure of nine to five work life became a passion that even this Terengganu-born gentleman could not comprehend. Now, Charismatic Leaders Academy (CLA) is 10 years old and has achieved great things, more than what Said had first anticipated.
“What amazes me about direct selling is that, it comes with unlimited potentials for growth and development. It connects people and I think that is the core value that I try to uphold in my business – the power of people.” According to Said, direct-selling is more than just going from door-to-door, trying to convince people to buy a product as it helps a person develop communication and marketing skills. Simultaneously, it also allows a person to have a flexible work structure which in return, creates more opportunity.
That is exactly what Said envisions for CLA to be in the years to come. CLA is more than just a ‘marketplace’ but it is where entrepreneurs in direct-selling can gather together and expand their horizon, improve their skills and create networks. It is a place for people to connect. Successful entrepreneurs should invest their time to understand the power of people. A successful person is someone who believes that “no man is an island”. Everyone needs a community to thrive. People should be your driving force, and your success cannot be a lone effort.
In CLA, Said aspires to provide an avenue for entrepreneurs, especially those involved in direct-selling, to set out their expectations, targets, and goals to be discussed, criticised and improved. Said believes in the power of team work, especially when you are in the line of business that deals with people day in and day out. Said also states that CLA’s focus is to help entrepreneurs in their product and personal development.
When asked about his ability to stay positive and motivated despite the challenges he and CLA face, especially from the stigma of society against direct-selling, Said calmly answers, “If you look at it only from the perspective of making money and for supply and demand, those are the things that wear you out easily. But those weren’t my main concern when I started CLA. I wanted to contribute to people by making them see that there is another way to generate income with the opportunity to create flexible working hours for themselves without having to compromised a comfortable lifestyle.”
Said expresses his concern that there is a very small percentage of those working as independent contractors to earn extraordinary income. However, the opportunity is available for those who are willing to put in the time and effort. Said believes that a common misconception about direct-selling is that making money comes easy. Contrariwise, it does not come easy. However, opportunities come by easily and success belongs to those who grab it.
“We should raise the standards of ourselves, practice rigorous self-regulation and continue to educate the public that we can free the good companies from the public’s poor perception of the direct-selling channel.” Said hopes that through CLA, he is able to manifest his knowledge and experience for others to apply and learn from.
Said is determined to see growth and changes in the direct selling industry and how it could make a difference in the community’s socio-economy especially when job vacancy is at stake. The direct selling model has transformational properties, thus provides opportunities without regard to social standing or education.