The Wellness Revolution
YOUR BUSINESS MAGAZINE- MAY 2008
One of the most lucrative financial opportunities is yours for the taking. Wellness is a $500 billion industry.
By Paul Zane Pilzer
As baby boomers age, they begin to desire the one thing that will allow them to continue to enjoy the wealth they have accumulated—wellness.
What good is a vacation home in the mountains if pain prevents you from skiing, hiking or walking? Or if you can’t inhale enough oxygen to take in a cleansing breath? What good is the ability to travel, if even a short walk to the beach leaves you too tired to enjoy yourself?
As they reach their 60s, wellness is becoming an investment more are turning toward. Health is becoming an investment affordable to almost everyone, and the dividends are priceless.
The Sickness vs. Wellness Industry
We’ve spent years calling doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies the health industry, when in reality these businesses are truly the sickness industry. The $2 trillion we spend on medical care, which represents one-sixth of the U.S. economy, is concerned almost exclusively with treating the symptoms of illness. It has very little to do with preventing illnesses or with making people feel stronger or healthier.
On the other hand, the wellness industry includes products and services that promote wellness rather than respond to illness—this includes nutritional supplements, super foods and juices, personal trainers and “alternative care,” such as chiropractic.
The “New” Wellness Revolution
In the 1990s, I stumbled onto the wellness industry quite by accident. For 10 years (against medical advice) I had put off getting expensive knee surgery. Experiencing chronic pain, I began to take a supplement—glucosamine—and within a year, the cartilage was repaired. My surgeon was positively amazed when he examined my X-rays; I no longer needed surgery.
I began to take a look at the truehealth and wellness products available—pure water, nutritional supplements, juices, pesticide- and hormone-free foods, anti-aging therapies and alternative medical care, to name a few. I was stunned to learn that an industry that had barely existed a decade before was already a $200 billion business—and it was just getting started.
Who Is Interested in Wellness?
Those who are most interested in wellness are a new and growing economic sector. They are primarily wealthy people who, as their financial situation improves, start looking for ways they can be healthier—and they’re doing it outside the medical establishment. They are going to fitness clubs, watching what they eat, taking the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals, and investigating supplements and other products that support their wellness.
Who are these people? Mostly baby boomers: prosperous people from the ages of 40 to 60. Baby boomers are the first generation in history that refuses to blindly accept the aging process. They are also a powerful economic force; they represent only 28 percent of our population—yet they represent 50 percent of our economy.
Is the wellness market serving a large enough segment of the population to be lucrative?
The Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers are definitely looking to improve their performance, and they represent a significant piece of this market. But the baby boomers are a huge part of it. This generation is no longer focused on remembering what it was like to be young—they’re buying things that actually make them feel younger by achieving a healthier body, more acute senses and a sharper mind!
An Economic Revolution
The wellness industry has just begun. As more learn about wellness, this sector of our economy will continue to explode. By 2010 it will have become the next trillion-dollar industry.
Today’s wellness opportunities lie not only in the distribution of products, but even more so in the distribution of information—called intellectual distribution.
The big-box stores, so prevalent in this decade, provide an affordable way to purchase things we already know about and want. But in today’s self-checkout, cash-and-carry world, you will rarely find store employees well informed about the products, or even able to recommend anything that hasn’t been heavily advertised in the media.
While the Internet is a source of useful information, it can only give you information on products you ask about. It cannot tell you about something you don’t know to ask about.
So how do consumers learn about new products? Today, more than ever, consumers learn about the latest products by word-of-mouth.
The Home-Based Business Boom
In the wellness industry, it usually works this way:
Sam has been feeling achy, and therefore cranky, lately. He bumps into Joe, who has pep in his stride and sparkle in his eye. When Joe shares that he’s feeling great due to a new product or service he’s tried, Sam thinks, “If it worked for him, it might work for me!” After getting more information from Joe, Sam tries the product or service. When he gets the same results, he shares the information with Sue and Pat.
The information shared is not only, well, informational, but also experiential—which makes it even more effective.
This word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective means available. The expert passes on not only the “how” and “why,” but also adds personal experience and credibility.
Intellectual distribution becomes a financial opportunity when you begin to benefit from the result of educating the consumer and sharing your personal experience and credibility.
The best system I’ve seen for intellectual distribution is the direct selling business. This home-based business takes intellectual distribution to its pinnacle—creating wealth by helping others. Direct selling provides an opportunity that’s open to absolutely everyone, regardless of background, specialized skills or capital worth.
Owning the Opportunity
Direct selling impresses me because it allows people to begin to captain their own ship; they choose the hours they work, and through their activity levels they choose how and when to increase their income.
And with direct selling, the headaches of traditional business ownership are virtually eliminated. This business offers low startup costs, has no employees or insurance expenses, and the overhead is practically nonexistent. The direct selling business model also uses new technologies, such as the Internet, which help make it easier than ever to own a business.
So, your next steps are:
Investigate a wellness product or service. Make sure it’s a product or service you can become passionate about—and commit to.
Invest in education and training. Your total startup investment in most direct selling businesses will be less than a hundred dollars, low compared to the cost of most startup businesses. This will purchase a business plan and system, as well as access to tools and training, much like a franchise but without the half-million dollars in initial franchise fees.
A Better Quality of Life
While many entrepreneurs choose to own a direct selling business because of the low overhead and flexible (even part-time) hours, most soon discover that it’s the quality of life that keeps them forging ahead.
Direct selling allows you to schedule your work hours around family priorities—to be able to choose yourpriorities and live your values; that’s why you want wealth, right?
Like any opportunity, owning a direct selling business isn’t effortless. But it is simple, and it can create wealth for those who choose to pursue the opportunity.
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