Women Building Bridges

   

Grace Dyck

Grace DyckIt has been claimed by some scientists, particularly anthropologists and demographers, that peoples of the far North have had to be more inventive in order to survive due to the extremes in temperatures.Perhaps it could even be said that if rugged individualism were to have a geographic epicenter, it would have to be somewhere near the center of the North American continent.Like the city of Winnipeg, for example.
 
435 miles northeast of the Twin Cities of Minnesota, and over 200 miles from the nearest city of 100,000 or more (Fargo, ND), Winnipeg lies in the center of the vast Canadian prairie.It is flat, and subject to both floods and tornados.The temperature, from the hottest day in the summer to the coldest day in the winter, varies as much as 145 degrees, without taking into account the wind chill factor, which would add another 20 degrees to the cold end.

Would it come as any surprise then, that the hardy people who inhabit this area are independent-minded, self-reliant, and well connected to reality?With conservative values, strong family relationships, and giving and expecting loyalty of each other, they know how to take care of themselves and form strong bonds with each other.They don’t need fancy buzzwords or a lot of letters behind their name to know what works and what doesn’t.Ask one of them what they think and you’re likely to get a straight answer.

Take Grace Dyck for example.Grace was born in Winnipeg.Her father came from a family of 14 siblings.Her mother married at a very young age to her father, and they are still alive and well these 60 years later.Family was and is, not only important, but a focal point of everyone’s life.Today there is a huge extended family, and yes, they do have family reunions every four years.

Grace has three sisters, and to hear her tell it, they are all independent-minded, strong-willed women.The family is entrepreneurial by nature.Dad moved them all six hours to the north of Winnipeg after Grace was born, where he owned and operated a road construction company.Grace’s grandparents were immigrants from the Ukraine, and her father had been in business for himself from the age of 14.
 
Growing up in the 60s, Grace learned values from participating in 4H Club, taking piano lessons, and competing in public speaking (first certificate at age six!).She was a member of Student Council by sixth grade and continued with it through high school.She assumed a leadership position with her Church Youth Program at age 14.She appreciates her mother’s contribution to her early development as a young woman, and she credits her stay-at-home Mom for creating a stable home environment where there were three meals a day, reliable laundry, and imbibing from her mother the strength to get through the tough times.Grace believes the value of such early role models is vastly understated in today’s world that disparages stay-at-home moms and their contribution to a better world.
 
At the age of 27, Grace already evinced an interest in women’s developmental issues, and taught a local Bible study course entitled “The Challenge of Being a Woman.”

Like many of the traditionalist generation, Grace’s mother dreamed of her children all getting the university education that she did not, but Grace had other notions.Her oldest sister got straight A’s all the way through school, and obtained her Masters Degree in Education, and today has a brilliant career as a very successful school principal.Grace, on the other hand, got mostly C’s in high school, eventually took the entrepreneurial route, entered the field of network marketing, and today has a downline of over 34,000 distributors.She has learned that one’s GPA is not the only harbinger of success.Building effective teams and leading others is a special talent of its own, and it can be acquired with effort and practice.One of the ironies of life is that Grace could not be a school principal, but she has sat on the Boards of Education that hire them.
 
The geographic center of Winnipeg is the intersection of Portage Avenue and Main St., widely recognized by many as the most famous intersection in Canada. From that intersection a latticework of roads, streets, and alleys spread out to a network of what used to be thirteen separate municipalities.Like many others, Grace’spast and future met at the Amway intersection, where like many others, she did not earn a lot of money, but learned about herself and about the processes of network marketing.In the early days her husband Bob said to her “Someday we’ll do this together full-time”.It was not yet their time.
 
Like a growing city, network marketing is an organic process, and in time it becomes a living, breathing thing.Network marketing is Human Resources at the most vital level.Just as Winnipeg’s 13 neighborhoods eventually merged to become one city without losing their own individual identities, so a downline composed of many people with their individual characteristics forms into a powerful and unified force with a separate character all of its own.This is why every network marketing company is different, with its own culture and characteristics.This is also why some people can fail in one company and be outrageously successful in another.
 
Grace experimented with other network marketing companies, including Shackley and Enrich, both nutritional supplement product lines.At Enrich Grace built an organization of 2800 distributors.It was there that she met Beverly and Gary Hollister, the Morton brothers, Aaron Garrity, and others she was later to work with at XanGo.She was then recruited by a competing company, Rexall, to open up the Canadian market for them.Little did she know that her new company, Rexall, and her old company, Enrich, were in negotiations to merge.
 
When Grace moved over to Rexall, she left behind her downline of 2800 people, because she thought that was the right thing to do.As is common in such situations where close personal relationships exist in business, there was a considerable amount of pain and sense of loss all around.When the merger took place, Grace suddenly found herself back in the same company, under a new name of UniCity, but bizarrely, starting all over without her downline that she had spent years building under the aegis of Enrich.It all sort of fell under the rubric of “No good deed will go unpunished.”
 
This kind of dislocation is fairly common to mergers and acquisitions in any industry, and there is frequently collateral damage to key players in the process due to the Law of Unintended Consequences.For example, Gary Hollister was the CEO of Enrich, and of course he and Beverly knew of the impending merger, but Beverly was unable to warn her friend Grace not to move over to Rexall, because news of the merger was still highly confidential.Similarly, after the merger, Gary Hollister moved on to other things, while his wife Beverly stayed behind at the newly formed UniCity for a time.At this time Grace also took a hiatus from network marketing for a couple years.
 
Burned out on network marketing, Grace looked at alternative careers in personal coaching and selling real estate.She discovered many people were glad to listen to advice but didn’t expect to pay for it, and she could never quite see herself spending the rest of her working life tying real estateballoons onto mailboxes.UniCity tried to get her back, and flew her to Salt Lake City in an effort to persuade her.In time she was approached by XanGo because of her reputation for successful team building.Someone sent her a bottle of XanGo juice, which sat in her refrigerator for five months.Eventually her good friend Beverly Hollister left UniCity to go to XanGo, and one of her first actions was to call Grace and say, ‘C’mon, I want you.!’
 
Her husband Bob bought Grace a bouquet of flowers that said “Work for XanGo”.Grace went.Bob owned a trucking company that sustained them for 20 months while Grace focused on building a XanGo business.And then finally, it was time.Bob sold his business, and today Bob and Grace work together in the network marketing business.
 
Bob and Grace have two sons and a daughter, and Grace wanted quality time with her children during their formative years.Today Grace is a young grandmother and loves it, and now she wants quality time with her four grandchildren.Network marketing has allowed her to live her dream. Like her forebears, Grace has a no-nonsense way of looking at life.She doesn’t believe in exaggerating benefits.She calls herself the CEO of her kitchen table, which is her defacto Boardroom.She has seen up close the damage that can be done to organizations by outsized egos of management, and she has no use for it.She has made new friends, like Carolyn Johnson, who shares her “Get it done!” attitude.Or Barbara King-Schmidt, who also grew up in the Canadian prairies.Grace says all her friends share the common thread of their faith; they all speak the same heart language.They travel together, and Grace says when they went to a cooking class in Tuscany, they all stayed up till three in the morning talking like little girls.
 
Who is Grace Dyck?She is herself.In a world of cynicism and greed, Grace Dyck still believes in doing the right thing. She believes in faith and family, and she believes in finding your own way.She takes herself seriously, but she can still laugh at herself.She believes a little humility goes a long way, and that it is a mistake to start thinking you know it all.She enjoys the good life without “going over the top” in conspicuous consumption.She deeply loves her family life, but also learns from equally dedicated career women.She knows that “all that glitters is not gold.”She is hard to impress.
 
What advice does Grace have for other women?Honor every aspect of yourself.Follow your values.Do what you can believe in. Give yourself permission to create the life you want for yourself.Money cannot be your passion, but rather comes as a by-product of following your passion.Be prepared to work.Don’t wait for someone to do it for you.XanGo is the way.
 
So is it true that the characters of northerners are shaped by the harshness of their climates?You may be surprised to learn that Winnipeg is also the second sunniest city in all of Canada.To look at the joy on Grace Dyck’s face, one could well believe it.