From delinquent to victorious – this maybe the shortest description of the life of Mark Hughes, one of the pioneers of multi-level marketing who founded Herbalife, a nutrition and weight management company.
At age 14, Mark’s parents divorced and the boy lived with his mother who was battling emotional problems. Having no source of income, the two survived on welfare payments. After leaving school at age 15, Mark began using drugs and became a delinquent. Later, he was enrolled in a school for troubled youngsters and there, he learned the art of selling as part of the rehabilitation program. During his final years at that institution, he learned that his mother passed away.
In 1976, Mark joined Seyforth Laboratories, a multilevel marketing company that dealt with diet products. After three years, Seyforth was bankrupt so he transferred to Golden Youth, a direct selling company of weight lifting and other physical exercise gadgets.
In 1980 at the age of 24, Mark founded Herbalife International in Los Angeles. Story goes that he started the company at the back of his car! Then employing everything he learned from his experiences in multi-level marketing, he grew the company to become a world leader in the distribution of weight-loss, nutritional, and personal-care products. In 1986, Mark took Herbalife public after battling controversies involving its marketing and labeling practices. In 1999, the company was on track to meet its goal of becoming a billion-dollar business.
Mark Reynolds Hughes was born on January 1, 1956 in California, USA. He died in 2000 at the age of 44. Though he married four times, he had only one son. At the time of his death, his net worth was estimated at $400 million. In 2019, Herbalife earned $4.8 billion in revenues.
Although there were many controversies regarding Mark Hughes and his business style, certain lessons are to be learned here, among which are:
1. No matter what our situation is at present, we can never tell what tomorrow can bring. There is always hope that life can turn around for the better.
2. Never judge a person especially a child. No one knows what his/her future will be.
3. Determination spells the difference between success and failure.
4. Don’t kill drug addicts. Rehabilitate them.