Andrew Mason has made a mint with Groupon, so should we refer to his abodes (I’m guessing he has more than one) as the “Groupon Condo” and the “Groupon Mansion”?
On both counts, I don’t think so. So it was rather amusing to read this story about a home next door to Ron and Georgia Lee Puryear’s remarkable 26,000-square-foot home in Post Falls, Idaho. Back in February, fire destroyed that mansion next to the Puryears’ home.
Not only was the devastated home referenced in the opening line as the one “next to the Amway house,” but a few additional mentions of the Puryears’ home cling to that label. I’m sure there are plenty of people in that area who incorrectly think the Puryears own Amway.
The “Amway House” tag is just another illustration that there is very good money to be made working with the multi-billion-dollar Amway business, and that it’s not just the founders/owners of the company (the DeVos and Van Andel families) who benefit.
The label for the Puryear home is also a strong indicator that the couple has attained success, described over the years by Ron as “the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal or dream.”
When they got started, more than 40 years ago, the goal was to bring Georgia Lee home full-time with their two young sons. At the time, she was working as a Denny’s waitress on weekends to help make ends meet.
Although you may not be able to picture something in your future as lavish as the Puryears’ home, millions can identify with the desire to bring one (or both) spouses home from a job so that they can devote more time to raising children and pursuing other family-centric priorities.
Within six months, and without help from Georgia Lee, who at first was negative about Amway, they realized the dream of bringing her home. They began by building a strong retail customer base and eventually mentored others to create their own organizations of distributors, now known as Independent Business Owners.
Once the Puryears reached that first significant step of success, they continued pursuing other goals that they set over time. Several years ago, they reached Founders Crown status, one of the Amway Corporation’s highest levels of success for Independent Business Owners.
In the process, they have helped a variety of other IBOs develop Diamond-and-beyond businesses, as well as thousands of other spouses come home just like Georgia Lee.
Along the way, their dreams grew and in the mid-1990s they built the 26,000-foot mansion that has come to be called the Amway House. They are such big believers in the power of dreaming that in 1977 they helped start World Wide DreamBuilders (WWDB), a training and development organization that has helped many IBOs develop successful businesses with Amway.
For over a decade, in the hopes of helping others visualize the rewards that their own success with Amway could create, the Puryears opened up their home to top achievers for a weekend every year.
Within WWDB, the home is known as The Riverhouse and the event was known as River Rendezvous. Ironically, it was one of the only times of year that you’d find the Puryears there: it’s their second home.
They primarily live a short distance away at a much more modest home, more aligned with their down-to-earth personalities and less than one-tenth the size of The Riverhouse.
Now, as they are entering their golden years, it’s common knowledge that the Puryears have put The Riverhouse on the market. Even after it sells, to many neighbors the property will continue to be known as the Amway House.
But from my perspective, its legacy is much better captured by two other names: The House That Dreams Built and The House That Builds Dreams.