Paul Zane Pilzer – It's the Age of the Entrepreneur

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Economist Paul Zane Pilzer delivered powerful insights Friday evening at MannaFest. He detailed how the direct selling industry is a really good place to be. He shared how advances in technology are ushering in a revolution that will transform our current healthcare system into a lifestyle-based wellness industry.

Pilzer sees technological advances changing the way we think about health. He sees massive opportunity but massive displacement. “It’s about making the individual productive; making technology for individuals,” he said. Technological change is accelerating so rapidly that by the time you learn about a product, there’s a better one!

“As for food, scientists are creating it so you’ll never stop eating it.” 

Pilzer demonstrated eating a banana. “You love the first one, the second one still tastes good, but the third one loses that newness. So you eat an apple. Then you eat an orange. Your body naturally regulates itself because it knows what nutrients it needs. Now, eat a French fry. They all taste the same, but the third, fourth and fifth still taste good so you keep eating them. This addiction they are creating is causing medical problems.”

Four reasons why direct sellers are in the right place:

  1. Demographics – Baby Boomers refuse to accept the aging process. They want to buy things that actually make them younger, not just feel younger.
  2. Quantity and quality demand – Consumers will make that shift to a company with higher quality. And, there is a propensity to purchase more wellness products.
  3. Unlimited demand for wellness – Why not do something now to slow the aging process with improvements in products and services. The alternative is you are going to age anyway.
  4. Wellness industry is growing at a faster rate – We want things that are going to slow down the aging process. And we’re seeing a crisis in how we’re going to pay for the sick.

“Direct sellers in the wellness industry have the potential to change lives.”

We have so much control over our own bodies. Customers learn about wellness through someone close who has had a wellness experience. You see your college roommate and go, “My God, John, you look great! You look so healthy–what did you do?” You bump into a wellness experience and start to find out that there is a whole wellness industry out there, with all sorts of new products and services.



Later that evening, Paul Zane Pilzer returned to the stage for a question-and-answer session with Dr. Sinnott and Al Bala.

What makes direct selling attractive to millennials? They have control of their environment. They can choose who they spend time with. It’s just a great business model for this demographic. They can control their own destiny. You just can’t lose when you introduce someone and bring them to a meeting. You’re spreading word of hope and energy. This age group wants face-to-face interaction, it’s their belief system.

Are parents steering their children in the wrong direction, toward high-paying careers that technology may replace? I think parents should be steering their children toward people-oriented careers … jobs that have an impact on people’s lives. Anything face-to-face will give them self esteem. Lifestyle will be more important to them than income.

Will direct selling appeal to those retiring? People want to live decent lifestyles after retirement. They don’t want to feel useless. Encourage this group to slow down, but not to give up. This group has a strong need to meet people.

What do think about wellness products like the Fitbit? These technologies are going to be great at collecting health data. Companies will be able to collect data such as heart beat, etc., and feed the information into an ordering system. We’ll be able to tie things together faster and share with everyone. This will give us more control.

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