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The Dallas group, Aloe Vera of America, had been trying to sell its product in health food stores with little success.Maughan and his partner believed that the products would benefit from the direct selling method, which relies heavily on demonstrations, testimonials, and word-of-mouth sales.
Growth Accelerates in the 1980s In 1981, Forever Living Products purchased Aloe Vera of America's patents, its cosmetic production plant, and its field processing operations.
From 1980 to 1981, the company's sales more than doubled to more than $71 million, ranking FLP among America's fastest growing firms.
Within just two years, annual sales had increased to more than $30 million.
Feeling confident that he had achieved "financial freedom," a 43-year-old Maughan quit Del Webb to concentrate on Forever Living Products (FLP) full time in 1980.
Maughan, who continued to hold his day job with Del Webb, rented an office in Phoenix and warehoused product in his garage.
From an initial investment of ,000 in 1978, he and his partner recruited about 40 people who sold 0,000 worth of aloe-based products under the Forever Living name that first year.In a 1995 interview with Success magazine's Duncan Maxwell Anderson, the Forever Living founder reflected, "Water purifiers and burglar alarms were very popular, then, but I didn't want anything that wasn't consumable.I was interested in health products and thought other people might be, too.Maughan first got involved with multilevel marketing as a distributor selling gasoline additives in his free time, but soon observed that "most [network marketing companies] seemed to be top-heavy--designed to benefit the guys who founded them.So I started developing my own plan for a company." He and an associate who had some experience in the field drew up a business plan and started recruiting their own downlines in 1978.As Forbes's Christopher Palmeri noted in his August 1995 article on Forever Living Products and its founder, "More money works its way to the top than stays at the bottom.The big money is not in selling the stuff, but in recruiting people to sell the stuff." In 1983, Maughan solidified his position at the top by buying out his partner's half interest.The company owns 5,000 acres of aloe plantations and facilities capable of processing 6,000 gallons of raw aloe each day.Forever Living also owns and operates more than a dozen resorts and attractions, including Dallas's Southfork Ranch.This rapid expansion drew the attention of "dozens" of brokers seeking to take the company public or merge it with another firm. In the mid-1980s, he reflected, "I was not interested then, nor now.I'm still in it to help other people." Of course, every person Maughan "helps" brings him increased profits, too.