Growing up in the Amway business, Karen Martin had a front row seat watching her parents fulfill their dreams of entrepreneurship. She also experienced first-hand the strong support that comes with being part of an Amway team.

“I remember sitting at the top of the steps listening to my parents downstairs in our living room showing the Amway business plan to friends,” Karen said. “My dad said, ‘I built my business so that if anything ever happens to me, my family could continue growing the business.’

“He was 35 years old and, the very next night, he was killed in a motorcycle accident.”

‘Our Amway network rallied around us.’

Karen never forgot the support her mother received following her father’s death. “Our Amway network rallied around us. They lifted my mother up and she went on growing the business,” Karen said. “She eventually became the first single woman [top level] leader in Amway history.”

It was that type of support that helped Karen overcome her biggest challenge to finding success in her own Amway business—shyness.

Karen and her husband, Lowell Martin, met when they were 14 years old and their parents were working on their Amway businesses together. So it wasn’t a surprise that the couple continued the Amway legacy after they married.

Early obstacles to success

Despite their parents’ success, they found the business a challenge. “People think the second generation is easier, but it wasn’t for us at that time,” Karen said. “It was challenging trying to make it on our own as newlyweds.”

In the beginning, Lowell went to work in his family’s shoe store while Karen began waitressing. The long evening and weekend hours weighed heavily on their young marriage. “I was making $250 a week and wanted to quit, but knew I needed the income to make ends meet,” she said.

Amway offers support in the face of challenges

So she took a new look at their Amway business with support from her husband and team. “Until then, my shyness hindered me,” she said. “I wasn’t goal driven. Amway brought that out in me. I proved to myself that I could be a success.”

With that success came a more flexible schedule, allowing her to quit waitressing and stay home to manage her Amway business and start raising a family, something she always wanted to do.

Paying it forward

Today, with grown children also thriving in Amway, she focuses on mentoring other Amway Independent Business Owners on achieving the same work-life balance she is able to enjoy.

“We have a lot of young women coming into the business,” she said. “I’m passionate about connecting with them and sharing my experience so they can see the rewards of setting goals, living within your means, overcoming fears and achieving success on your own terms.”

See how other Amway IBOs are achieving success on their own terms here.  


The average monthly Gross Income for “active” IBOs was USD $207 (in the U.S.)/CAD $186 (in Canada). Approximately 48% of IBOs in the U.S., and 52% of IBOs in Canada, were “active.” IBOs were considered "active" in months in 2016 when they attempted to make a retail sale, or presented the Amway IBO Compensation Plan, or received bonus money, or attended an Amway or IBO meeting.  If someone sustained that level of activity every month for a whole year, their annualized Gross Income would be $2,484 (U.S.)/$2,232 (Canada).  Of course, not every IBO chooses to be active every month.  "Gross Income" means the amount received from retail sales, minus the cost of goods sold, plus monthly bonuses and cash incentives. It excludes all annual bonuses and cash incentives, and all non-cash awards, which may be significant. There may also be significant business expenses, mostly discretionary, that may be greater in relation to income in the first years of operation. For the purposes of the calculation in Canada, individuals who were IBOs for less than the entire year in 2016 were excluded. Before registering as an Independent Business Owner (IBO) powered by Amway, you should read and understand the AMWAY™ Business Overview Brochure, which contains important information for those interested in becoming IBOs.

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