President & Ceo: JR Ridinger

JR founded Market America in 1992 and is the architect of the UnFranchise® Business Development System — a business model that currently rewards more than 180,000 hardworking, independent business owners, more than 300 of whom have become millionaires. The company employs more than 500 employees and currently has operations in six countries. In a time of economic uncertainty, JR has leveraged Market America into a recession-proof business by offering in-demand, market-driven products through the company’s exclusive lines and millions of other items via the company’s online partner stores. Built on product, powered by people®, he has created the ultimate online shopping destination where customers get paid to shop.

Describe yourself in 3 words: Avant-garde, Visionary, Entrepreneur

What is your life motto? Keep Growing! Don’t forget where you came from or you might not be able to find your way back.

When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful? I began pursuing right after college.  I was trained as a biologist, became a marine biologist for NOAA and almost got washed overboard on a resource assessment expedition, quit, went to Bermuda with some college friends, saw the lifestyle of Entrepreneurs, become enamoured by it, and went on a quest to become one. It was a odyssey and journey into entrepreneurism and marketing. Success is a relative thing. Becoming independent or free and not having to work for someone else (earning six figures residual income) was success in the beginning. But it was a series of successes and failures over 10 to 15years that led me to the epiphany to start Market America 18 years ago which has become bigger than us.

How many hours did you dedicate to pursuing your dream? All the time. Some people accuse me of being a workaholic or fanatical. I tell them, you are totally wrong because I am a “ playaholic”.  My work is actually play because we are having fun. We work hard and play hard and I do not know which is which because they overlap and blend together. We are passionate about living.

Describe how difficult the business really is? If business were easy everyone would be a success and that would be wonderful. The truth of the matter is that there really is no competition because most people are not passionate, or practice anticipatory forward thinking as to how what they are doing effects the outcome or result. Instead they drift and become a victim of circumstances rather than making things happen. The key is finding something you are passionate about and identifying a need or a way to shift paradigms, by doing something that is needed more than what is currently available. Then the circumstances, people, money and whatever else is needed will be attracted. It is often said that the ‘devil is in the details’. But actually the devil is in the concept, if the concept is wrong the details do not matter. If the concept is right the details can be worked out.

What is the mistake that taught you an extremely valuable lesson? My biggest mistake (and only regret) was not starting earlier to pursue my vision and entrepreneurial ideas (doubting myself). Instead I was a contractor or number 2 or 3 man for others and went up or down with the ship; even though I saw the same shortcomings or mistakes repeated. It was Loren than challenged me to make it happen on my own and lead the way. I guess her belief caused that ‘billionth of a volt to snap across my cerebral cortex’ to give me the confidence to do it on my own.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date? If you want to be successful, identify a paradigm shifting trend or concept and lead the parade rather than getting in at the tail end of the parade!

What is the piece of advice that you weren’t? Thinking and believing is more powerful than money, the economy or people. Think big, because you will never be bigger than your thoughts. We become what we think about all the time. As a result you will be lead to the answers and circumstances to bring it into reality. Most people accept what they are told and don’t think for themselves very much. They watch TV, gossip, criticize, listen to people tell them that nothing will work and so that is what they get in life. Be careful about what you want (really want – not wish for0 because you are sure to get it.In fact you probably already have it.

In your mind, is formal training essential? It helps and I recommend it, but it is not essential. Following one’s passion and heart is what is essential. I am thankful for a liberal arts education because you learn deductive reasoning and have a broad foundation. So you end up knowing a lot about a little and a little about a lot and can talk intelligently about  almost anything. That came in very handy in my career. And you know how to research and learn anything that you need to know.

What are some steps emerging talent can take to start/further their career? Dream big, because you will never be bigger than your dreams.   Don’t do what people say you should do—follow your passion, intuition, and desires.  Listen to your own good thoughts and intuitions! Seek out and associate with people who are what you want to become. Surround yourself with successful forward looking people. See yourself in your mind’s eye where you want to be or what you want to become. Study what others on that path have done. Determine what you must do for that to become a reality. First you must find what you want (most people don’t have a clue), then you must be able to logically accept that it can happen. To do that you need to break down what you must accomplish, produce or achieve each year, month, week and day. The daily unit should add up to the weekly unit, which equals the monthly requirement, which ultimately achieves the annual milestone, which will eventually achieve the long-term goal. Along the way measure, monitor, adjust, and you will control the result. It works every time. When things go wrong or obstacles detour you, it is because what you were doing was not in line with reality and by adjusting ou are led to the answer or solution.

What kept you going when you felt like giving up? Fear of failure. Facing everyone I told that I was going to make it. Financial destruction. And the knowledge that what I was doing was possible and it was just a matter of time. I burned all bridges and it was all or nothing and we never looked back. Most people stop just shy of the breakthrough or success. It is the universe’s way of testing you.

Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time? I believe that luck is when opportunity meets preparedness. There is no doubt that timing is everything and you need to be able to recognize it. Luck is a function of mathematical probability and when you study reality and line up your actions to work in line with reality (what’s possible going forward), the probability of success increases dramatically. Probability works in your favour when you work with large numbers and have enough possibilities. There is no doubt that from time to time probability or “luck” works in your favour, but it doesn’t prevent success either.

I remember people who told me when i was beginning the venture—“That will never work, you are crazy, you will never make it.” Years later when we were very successful and financially well off and they ran into me they would say: “Wow, JR , look at you now and all of your success—you sure are lucky”. At first I was abashed and taken back and then realized that they were right: “Your absolutely right! I sure am lucky that I didn’t list to you !”(your rear end or ‘ass’)

13 thoughts on “President & Ceo: JR Ridinger

  1. If the concept is right the details can be worked out and JR and Loren keep on fine tuning the concept and making the details easy for us to follow on the road to success, thanks JR and thanks Loren

  2. Some people tell me if i can’t follow jr’s tried and true method, ie market america, than you have no way of doing anything else, because it takes more to lead than follow. Why make another plan when its all laid out. well maybe i can find my own passion, i see you said think big, i just don’t know yet what it is, and fear is my big deterant. i will be looking for a need that is not filled yet, good advice, Thank you,,, in the mean time i am working your plan, it is the best, thank you for all of this help,, i wish to meet you in person someday, hope sooner than later. Ed Downey

  3. This is a true opportunity. I only need to open mind, learn, follow and focus on my actions on the business development as required. I am confidence to make it in this 2-3 year plan with the approved system.

  4. I have been a business professor right from young age and for 12 years now never heard guys in corporate America so truthfully and blunt like JR and the wife. I was sitting with an audience of about 30,000 excited people from every where and convinced of the dream they have and to see others dream(succeed). I met good people from Vietnamese-American community they were so meek and passionate about MA. I listened to several successful people in the business and the diversity in their team(the Chinese,MDs, …wait Elizabeth Weber came on and her energy filled the whole room and read more in this Blog. I am on board and can not wait to join and attend MA next convention with “three tickets” for a start.

    I am open minded person inspite of my degrees(Ph.D/MBA). Along the way I continue to live a practical ethical and moral sound life aiming at hope,love and faith which led me to learn in the Christ Universal school of practical christianity a.k.a Brotherhood of the Cross and Star( Here, enterpreneurship is also highly encouraged along with being led by the Holy Spirit.

    By the way Career confessions rock!

  5. I thank JR and Loren for being pioneers, by paving a way and building something that can benefit so many!! Lives around me have changed physically, mentally and spiritually! I am appreciative of God for planting vision, but the whole key is to put that vision to action!! Thanks again JR and Loren for taking action!!

  6. I was so touched and was tearing when JR shared his reply to the Corporate Sales Agent 10 years ago in the 2010 GALA dinner. He said that MA is built on distributor’s dreams to achieve time and financial freedom. He could not sell MA distributors dreams that did not belong to him. He was in the positon and power to make that decison. Thank God he did not sell our dreams away. If he did, I would not have a chance to dream. He did not know me but I have an opportunity to partcipate in the jouney to dream for things that I could have. I felt so touched that he cares about my dreams and many other people’s dreams too.


  8. Dear J.R.,
    My immediate vision is for you to refer to me on stage. I thought I would help you out in the meantime on how to say it… TAM A THA. Its sounds like Tabitha but with an M.

    Talk to you soon!!

    Your newest partner,
    Tamatha Wolfel

  9. JR, I can identify with everything you have said. I have been there
    and experienced just about everything. I am a visionary, dreamer.
    I tried everything to make it happen. Odds were against me, side
    tracks, opposition, no support, STUFF ! but the dream remained
    and was dormant until the the universe begun to bring this business
    back to me. It just kept coming again and again throuth different
    people. Finally out of curiosity I walked into a meeting un-invited
    and that is when the fires begun to light again. I was ‘nt quite sold
    yet because I needed to know who was responsible for this business.
    Your JR were my final seal on my decision. When I heard you in NC
    2010 convention that I scraped pennies together to get to! I was on
    fire and the fire is still going. My business is growing quickly but even
    in the growth I have to keep the balance, educate myself more about
    the business. Support systems is very important.

    Well, I just want to thank you for listening and obeying your own
    spirit! If you had not, many of us would not be experiencing this
    awesome opportunity! I so long to be able to leave my two sons
    something and to insure my four grandchildren will never lack
    anything especially in education. Thank you for the tools to make
    that happen. I look forward to being on that stage ~~~


    Pat Barrow

  10. Thank you and keep up the good work.

    Ally Shah, Samuel Robbins, Marten Enker, Sarah Giants, Joey Giant, Cynthia Samuel Deloitte, Phylis Bandermann, Augustine Ifeacho, John Nord, Julie Oxford, Gary Circus, Martin Rape Stetson, Pdero Ruiz, Sandy Arnold, Sam Bastian, Kolten Club, Jerome Sammuel, Kelly West, Hitesh End Patel, Pierre Touche

    Accounting, E-Commerce, Finance Consultant, Investment Management, Consultant & Banking

    Feel free to connect on Facebook or Yahoo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s