Living My Values: In the Army and Beyond
By: COL (Ret) George Goodwin, MD, U.S. Army
Service, relationships, family.
As I reflect on my military career every Veterans Day, I think of these core beliefs – the main drivers behind my joining the Army in 1992 after 4 years of ROTC. I truly believed the Army was the best place to live out my guiding principles. And while I was right, it wasn’t the only place for me to do so.
In 1996 when I was finishing medical school, I knew that I loved medicine, but I was looking to pursue other missions. After casually chatting with a medical social worker, I heard about becoming an Independent Business Owner (IBO) with Amway. At the time, the opportunity and flexibility that Amway offered was very appealing to me. What I wasn’t expecting was being able to live my core values through being an IBO, with the same vigor as I did in the military. It just looked a little different.
As an Army physician, I was deployed twice – to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in 2005 as chief of internal medicine in the 249th General Hospital Unit and to Balad Air Base in Iraq in 2008 as the clinical officer in charge with the U.S. Special Operations Command.
After my return home, I led a task force dedicated to improving the Army’s disability evaluation system for veterans injured by war. I lived my values throughout my 25-year military career – through my promise to my nation and to my fellow Soldiers who were united in our commitment to serve.
Amway really believes in being in business for yourself but not by yourself. As a new IBO, I met my coach in the business, Jake. Jake, also a fellow veteran, took a deep-rooted interest in my development as an entrepreneur. His guidance and mentorship not only allowed me to succeed as an Amway IBO, but has impacted other areas of my life. He has grown to be one of my closest friends. He has been there through victories and challenges. For example, he drove from North Carolina to Bethesda, Maryland, just so he could be at the hospital when I awoke after undergoing major back surgery.
Amway also allows me to keep servitude at the core of everything I do. I get the privilege of helping others. I have made it my mission to invest in their success just like Jake invested in mine. If I can make a difference in their lives, I consider that a huge win.
Being an IBO has helped me cultivate meaningful relationships, while prioritizing the most important one of all – my family. After a few years of hard work, the extra income earned through my independent business, when coupled with the earnings from my job in the Army, helped me pay down my debt. Soon after, as I was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan, the extra money I was making through Amway helped me with my bills during the time I was deployed. Renee still had a lot to manage with our toddler and infant, but it was great to get a little extra help with the bills. Over the years, being able to bless my family has been an integral part of my core values.
I appreciate the ability to teach my kids the importance of service and what living out my values looks like – through action. With the flexibility Amway has provided, I am able to make time to invest in causes greater than myself, like volunteering with the American Red Cross. This year I served on a 2-week medical outreach mission in Papua New Guinea, and I’m proud to say that my 19-year-old son lived in Papua New Guinea for 9 months and used his skills to serve the community.
Amway has given me flexibility to decide when and how much I dedicate to the business. With that flexibility, I’ve been able to choose the things that really matter – my family and my values – every single day.
For the calendar year 2022, the average income from Amway for all U.S. registered IBOs at the Founders Platinum level and below was $852 before expenses. See www.amway.com/income-disclosure for details. Earnings depend on many factors, including: customer base, business experience, effort, dedication, and quality and performance of an IBO’s sales team.