Dorothy Meigel

Million Dollar Strategy

Dorothy Meigel was afraid she’d never make a sale. Ten years into Leadership, she had earned more than one million dollars.

A few years ago, Dorothy Meigel went out car shopping near her home in Yorba Linda, California. As she sat behind the wheel of a luxury car, she fingered the controls, checked out the CD player, ran her hands along the plush leather seats, and thought about how much she wanted to own that car. But knowing that the timing wasn’t right, rather than saying, “I’ll take it,” she took a picture of the car instead. That photo went into her personal Goal Book alongside a photo of a beach house she’s had her eye on, and several photographs of locations for the women’s empowerment center she plans to open someday. Today, Dorothy has her dream car.

Dorothy looks through her Goal Book every morning and carries the images in her mind throughout the day as she makes calls, attends meetings and works with the hundreds of members in her Downline. Business is good, and soon Dorothy will be able to realize some of her other goals. Her ability to set and visualize goals, Dorothy believes, has gotten her where she is today.

It has been a long and challenging journey. Dorothy, 52, whose family moved from Canada to California when she was four, is the oldest of five children. After her parents separated and her mother became addicted to alcohol, Dorothy helped look after her four siblings. At 19, Dorothy got married but the marriage soon ended and she was left alone to raise her daughter, Laura, now 31. After seven years as a single mom, Dorothy remarried and had two more children, but tragedy struck when her husband, Scott, was diagnosed with cancer. He also physically abused Dorothy, who was forced to seek refuge in a support group for battered women. “Although we decided to live separately, we tried to maintain a healthy environment for the kids, and spent every holiday together until he died seven years ago,” she says.

Taking the First Step
Even before separating from Scott, Dorothy knew that she needed to earn a living. But with three young children to raise, Laura, then 13, Danielle, 2, and an infant, Scotty, the prospect of full-time work was daunting. Then she spotted a classified ad in a newspaper for women interested in becoming Avon Representatives. Although she was apprehensive about her ability to juggle work and family, Dorothy responded to the ad. “She had doubts,” says Division Sales Manager Silva Benlian-Kassabian who was her District Sales Manager at the time. “She had her hands full, but I got the sense that she would be a self-starter. So I said, ‘Try it. What do you have to lose?’” Dorothy agreed, but was dogged by one fear. “I really wondered if anyone would ever purchase anything from me,” she says. “I was afraid I would never have a single Customer.” But, believing that God is always leading her, Dorothy started her Avon business in 1990, and, to her amazement, sales started with a bang. They’ve never stopped. One year later, Avon launched its Leadership program and Dorothy was one of the first Representatives to sign on.

Today, Dorothy is a Senior Executive Unit Leader and ranked No. 2 in the West in Leadership. Last cycle her Total Unit Sales topped $9.7 million. She’s also a President’s Club member and eRepresentative. Dorothy’s success started when she conquered her fear and made that first sale.

Believing in Her Representatives
Dorothy says that the key to her success is simple: She builds good relationships with her Representatives and believes in every one of them. “I find out what their individual goals are and encourage them to dream and make those dreams come true,” she says. She returns again and again to the importance of goal setting. And she reminds Representatives that they must work at their Avon business every day. “Making even one phone call each day keeps the momentum going,” she advises.

Devising strategies for accomplishing goals is something she learned early in life. Dorothy, who has attention deficit disorder, learned how to break up big tasks into small pieces so she could stay focused. As a child, that strategy helped her survive a difficult childhood. As an adult, it’s a good method to get things done. By reducing her job to manageable steps, she’s able to accomplish an enormous amount.

Dorothy helps her Representatives develop their own selling strategies based on their circumstances, skills and goals. “The truth is that not everyone will be able to rise quickly, at least not right away. I understand that people progress at different paces,” she explains. “I make sure that each Representative feels that she is a part of the team, no matter what her level. I help them set reachable goals; then, as they succeed, I help them set new ones.”