An earthquake is coming. In fact, its preliminary tremors have already begun. The economic foundations are perceptibly trembling; hairline cracks are spidering out along the plaster walls of our domestic spending habits; neatly framed pictures of current fiscal reality are starting to tumble off those walls. But the three-time New York Times best-selling author and economic advisor to two presidential administrations has an uncanny knack for assembling masses of facts and figures and seeing the forests those reams of trees represent. His penetrating insights have attracted the attention of network marketers for over a decade. After two centuries of economic opportunity for the pioneers of manufacturing, we have entered the age of distribution.
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An earthquake is coming. In fact, its preliminary tremors have already begun. The economic foundations are perceptibly trembling; hairline cracks are spidering out along the plaster walls of our domestic spending habits; neatly framed pictures of current fiscal reality are starting to tumble off those walls. But the three-time New York Times best-selling author and economic advisor to two presidential administrations has an uncanny knack for assembling masses of facts and figures and seeing the forests those reams of trees represent.
His penetrating insights have attracted the attention of network marketers for over a decade. After two centuries of economic opportunity for the pioneers of manufacturing, we have entered the age of distribution. NML: Paul, you were the first well-known economist to have anything kind to say about network marketing. What got your attention about the business in the first place? Paul Zane Pilzer: I think it would be more accurate to say that the business found me. It started with my book, Unlimited Wealth, which analyzed different sectors of our economy and projected some interesting changes by the year By , I explained in Unlimited Wealth, the greatest opportunities for wealth were no longer in manufacturing but in distribution.
The book projected that this would continue for the next decade at least. Paul Zane Pilzer: Back in , Sam Walton started a company that was committed to never make its own brand, that would sell only other name brand goods.
By , not only was Walmart the largest retailer in the world, Sam Walton was also the richest person in the world—a man who made his living distributing things that other people made. Sam Walton, by the way, thought very highly of Unlimited Wealth and emphatically endorsed the book. In , Fred Smith was the most successful airline entrepreneur of the day. The only purpose of Federal Express was to move packages: distribution—an unheard-of thought in Ross Perot was one of the wealthiest people in the world in What did EDS do?
I was explaining the book on one of those shows; a man named Donald Held happened to be watching. This guy has no idea what network marketing is—but he knows why it works! I had no idea what Amway was. I was just using empirical data, analyzing distribution in America and the world. In my new book, The Next Trillion, I break distribution into two functions: physical and intellectual. Physical distribution means getting the product to the consumer—products that the consumer already knows he wants.
Up through , the great opportunities to earn fortunes in distribution, the opportunities for the Fred Smiths, Ross Perots, and Sam Waltons were in physical distribution. Today, the great opportunities are in intellectual distribution. Who was it? Jeff Bezos, who revolutionized the distribution of books with amazon. Now, look closer: Jeff Bezos is really in the intellectual distribution business. You read the various reviews, look at other books in the category, you may even log on to find out if there even is a book on the particular topic you want.
The truth is, the great part of the physical distribution boom that I described in Unlimited Wealth has already come and gone; the fortunes to be made there are largely already made. Paul Zane Pilzer: Because that is precisely where the biggest bottleneck is today. There was a time when the two aspects of distribution—physical and intellectual—were commonly combined under the same roof.
No longer. Today, you the consumer are expected to know about the product. But in general, the retailers have completely abandoned the traditional function of teaching people about products. Instead, they have focused on the function of efficiently and inexpensively delivering the product. Not likely. The pace of technological change is rapidly accelerating today, no matter what the industry. By the time you learn about a product and are ready to buy it—guess what? Where do you learn about that one?
Until we found the Amway Corporation in the mids, we were pretty much dead in the water: we had great new products, but no way of telling the consumer that they existed. Paul Zane Pilzer: Network marketing today is almost wholly intellectual distribution. You rely on UPS or some other delivery service to have the product shipped to your consumer. Even more fascinating is that network marketing today is typically done person-to-person by someone who is also a user of the product.
Those companies that prosper in network marketing will focus almost entirely on intellectual distribution, teaching people about new products and services that will improve their lives.
Those that really flourish will have some sort of unique or proprietary technology. And not just unique, but efficacious—better than anything else out there.
How else has your own thinking changed? What is the focus of The Next Trillion? Paul Zane Pilzer: I started to focus on the great needs of America—which led me in some surprising directions. As I carefully studied current conditions, I found that the greatest need in America today is wellness. I had to come up with entirely new definitions. Our medical industry today has very little, if anything, to do with health.
It has very little to do with preventing illness, with being stronger or healthier. To make you stronger, to make you see better, to make you hear better, to fight what we might call the symptoms of aging. Walk into any average home in any average neighborhood, talk to them, see what they need. The primary need for Americans in our first years was economic.
Today we are in the eleventh or twelfth year of an unbelievable economic expansion. Today, the lower the income, the more we see obesity. Obesity is a symptom of poor nutrition. Typically someone who is obese is also vitamin-deficient, suffers from fatigue and arthritis or other ailments that all stem from poor nutrition.
Since , we have more than doubled the percentage of overweight and obese people in our country. Those numbers have increased ten percent in just the past four years and are still growing at beyond epidemic rates. For me, here is the most amazing number: 61 percent of the United States population is overweight. That number, too, has doubled since Paul Zane Pilzer: More than a ray; in fact, as grisly as this situation is, it has also given rise to an entirely new economic sector, a very positive sector—which is where I got the title The Next Trillion.
These two industries feed one another in a fairly insidious way because such a huge part of sickness today is caused by the poor nutrition supplied by the food industry. These two trillion-dollar industries work together to support that horrifying 61 percent overweight number. Looking at those numbers, you might think that one day soon, everyone will be overweight or obese. The 39 percent of the U. These people represent that new economic sector. They are going to fitness clubs, watching their food, taking the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals, and investigating supplements and other products that support their wellness.
When I began to see this trend clearly, I started wondering, is there a business here? The answer stunned me. The Baby Boomers are a powerful economic force; all marketers know that. Baby Boomers represent only 28 percent of our population—yet that group represents 50 percent of our economy. Baby Boomers are the first generation we know of in recorded history who refuse to accept the aging process.
This is fascinating, from a marketing standpoint. Up until now, the Baby Boomer marketing mind has been all about how to make them feel younger, how to help them remember what it was like to be young. Today, Boomers are starting to buy things that actually make them younger! This has only just begun. As the rest of this 50 percent buying-power group learn about wellness, this sector will explode. Paul Zane Pilzer: Oh, all the time. But put it in perspective. Nobody knew what the Internet was in ; consumers were allowed to get on the Internet with their own accounts and private email addresses only in By , the overwhelming amount of new wealth and new millionaires in this country were being created by the Internet.
Given how fast these new industries grow, one trillion in wellness by the year starts to look like a conservative projection. NML: Does that same challenge of the bottleneck, the need for intellectual distribution, apply to the wellness industry, too? Paul Zane Pilzer: Absolutely. By definition, all of wellness is new technology. There is virtually no place to go learn about it. Where does the consumer turn? The only way to learn about wellness is through someone close to you who has had a wellness experience.
You look so healthy—what did you do? I went every year to an orthopedic surgeon about my knee. Within two months, the pain was gone. Now, how could it be that a product like glucosamine, a natural substance which has been around for 50 years primarily as a veterinary product for horses , a product that rebuilds my cartilage and makes me feel so good … how could it be that nobody knows about it?
Paul Zane Pilzer
He has written 11 books and is the founder of six companies, and has been profiled in more than publications including on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. Pilzer's book Unlimited Wealth criticized traditional economic theories as being based on scarcity: that the earth contains a fixed, limited supply of resources and the function of economics i. Pilzer began developing Economic Alchemy in as a graduate student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania when he theologically could not accept his professor's views that God had created a world of growing population but limited resources. Pilzer has also written about employment, U. In , he testified before a United States congressional hearing and since then has promoted the idea that employees should have personal, portable health insurance coverage independent of their employment but funded pre-tax by their employer. From wrote five books on the economics of obesity, health insurance, preventative medicine, and wellness.
The Next Trillion
You are currently using the site but have requested a page in the site. Would you like to change to the site? Paul Zane Pilzer. The New Wellness Revolution, Second Edition includes more guidance and business advice for entrepreneurs, product distributors, physicians, and other wellness professionals.
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