Yager, Dexter & Birdie
|Steve, Doyle, Jeff, Dexter & Birdie Yager|
|Pin:||Founders Crown Ambassador 65 FAA (2011)|
|Markets:||United States, Canada, India, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala|
|LOS Upline:||Charlie & Elsie Marsh|
- FDSA 1997
- 45 FAA Credits 1998
- FAA Personal Perks 1999
- 50 FAA Credits 1999
- Founders Crown Ambassador 60 FAA 2006
- Founders Crown Ambassador 65 FAA 2011
- Yager, Dexter & Birdie, Founders Crown Ambassador 65 FAA, United States, Canada
- Coniguliaro, Dominick & Pat, Diamond, United States, InterNET, Terminated
- Storms, Ruth & Donald, Crown, United States, InterNET, Terminated
- Lewis, James & Frances, Diamond, United States
- Payne, Tom & Sandra, Triple Diamond, United States, InterNET
- Renard, Tony & Sue, Diamond, United States, InterNET
- Hale, Ron & Toby, Executive Diamond, United States, InterNET
- Reid, Jack & Effie, Executive Diamond, United States, InterNET
- Harteis, Fred & Linda, Double Diamond, United States, InterNET / ITeam Resigned
- Wilson, Don & Nancy, Double Diamond, United States, InterNET / Legacy Business Group Terminated
- Bryan, Tim & Sherri, Founders Diamond, United States, InterNET
- Gilewicz, Hank & Alicia, Diamond, United States, InterNET
- Tenerovich, Frank & Marilyn, Diamond, United States, InterNET
- Boggus, Jerry & Peggy, Diamond, United States, InterNET
- Agard, Jim & Connie, Diamond, United States, InterNET
- Fish, Ted & Naomi, Diamond, United States, InterNET
- Yager, Steve, Diamond, United States, InterNET
Partners in success
IBO Leaders - FAA 65, The Yager Family Don't let anybody steal your dream
Dexter and Birdie Yager and their children are a real-life example of what they’ve always taught others – that with a dream, a mentor, a positive attitude, and the power of knowledge, anything is possible.
Spend a little time sitting around a table with Dexter and Birdie Yager and three of their sons – Jeff, Doyle, and Steve – and their life partners (Quixtar business partners as well) then you’ll discover a whole new meaning to the phrase “family dynamics.” With five distinct and strong personalities all working toward one goal, the Yagers complement and inspire each other as they work together to take their family business to ever-greater heights.
“We’re proud to call our boys ‘sons,’ proud to call them partners,” says Dex enthusiastically. Almost fully recovered from a serious stomach ailment, Dex is and always has been a fighter. From strokes to his most recent illness, he battles every life challenge with determination and a positive attitude. It’s an approach that’s obviously effective, as the sparkle in his eye and the excitement in his voice reveal that Dex is as dynamic and vital as ever. And the affection and respect his family affords him show that he’s every bit the leader and mentor at home that he’s always been in the business.
Warmly respected by his family, yes, but revered from afar, no.
“You’re giving me a look,” Dex says quizzically to Birdie at one point in the conversation.
“You don’t know my looks yet?” Birdie teases her husband, who quickly comes back with a suggestion that she get him a “Birdie Dictionary.”
The ongoing banter and no-holds-barred approach to telling each other like it is – but always with humor, respect, and love – is typical between all family members. And it clearly works for them.
“Our boys are a great team, and the team concept is one of the hardest things for people to learn,” Dex explains. “But there is so much power in teamwork. You can always accomplish more working together than independently, and these guys understand that.”
“Relationships,” says Birdie firmly, when asked about the single most important factor in their success. “It’s always been relationships and it always will be. And none are more important than the ones we share with our family.”
As Dex and Birdie’s partners, Jeff, Doyle, and Steve share in the day-to-day operations of the business. In fact, Dex gives much of the credit for the team’s latest accomplishment, attaining an unprecedented 60 Founders Achievement Awards credits, to his sons’ hard work and dedication.
“We blend really well,” adds Jeff, who divides his time equally among working closely with downline Independent Business Owners (IBOs), as well as general management and financial responsibilities for the family business. He also serves as trustee on the board of a major university in Virginia. Being in such close touch with the IBOs in the organization requires a great deal of travel, as the Yagers have plenty of international business.
Outgoing and a lot like his father in appearance and many of his mannerisms, Jeff is dedicated to his family as well as the family business. He enjoys traveling to build the business but is always glad to come home to his wife, Rhonda, and their five children: Danielle, Jordan, Houston, Logan, and Colton. Whether taking in a Carolina Panthers football game in their home theater, tackling lessons in their spacious home-school room, or tooling around their lakeside property in their golf cart, the family works and plays together. As the children scramble to get their golf cart camera ready – teasing each other the whole time – it’s clear that the entire family demonstrates a sense of humor and work ethic that’s distinctively Yager.
Doyle’s take on the Yager teamwork? “We’re like a basketball team – only shorter,” he laughs. Doyle spends most of his time with IBOs and on product marketing, and serving as primary liaison between the business and the Corporation on products and marketing. He also sits on the board of the North Carolina chapter of Easter Seals, of which Quixtar is a sponsor at the national level as part of the global One By One initiative. “We swap roles to learn all the aspects of the business, and we can each step into any position that needs to be filled, but we have our specialties.”
Doyle takes after his mother in many ways – thoughtful and earnest, yet quick to crack a smile. When not building the business, he enjoys riding his motorcycle or boating with his wife, Holly, their daughter, Brooklyn, and son Aaron (their other son, Justin, is off at college). The family also relishes spending quiet time at home. Holly loves to cook, and they regularly sit down together over one of her special dinners.
Doyle was the first of the three to assume an official role with the business (after daughter April), although every Yager child grew up unpacking orders, stacking shelves, and answering phones in the early years of Dex and Birdie’s business. Most of the couple’s children are involved with the business at different levels today, with Doyle, Steve, and Jeff sharing the business partnership with their parents.
As the boys take on even more leadership, the fourth generation of Yagers is already learning from them. Aaron, one of a few of this next generation to get involved in the business, has already become an IBO. He began showing the Plan and retailing product fairly aggressively several months ago, learning the ropes just like any IBO – including his father and uncles.
“It’s exciting to see this business inspiring the next generation,” says Steve. “Introducing the Plan to new people is one of the most rewarding parts of what we do.”
Completely professional when discussing business, Steve shows a lighter, more playful side when relaxing with his family. He and his wife, Lorryn, relish teasing each other and they’re constantly joking with their two young children, Grace and Noah. The family is most at home cruising on their boat on the lake where they live, or playing at other water sports.
Steve spends most of his time working with IBOs, providing management of the North American and international training system (meetings, materials, and support) and providing global administrative support for the business. Replicating the success they’ve had in the U.S. overseas is a major focus for their business today. This involves significant travel, as well as an open mind toward other cultures and beliefs and an understanding of human nature.
As Dex states in his latest book, The Pursuit: Success Is Hidden in the Journey, “What separates people most is not their background, their race, education or age, it’s the way they think.”
“This business only works if you truly love people and want to help them succeed,” says Dex, with the passion he’s known for – the passion that’s helped drive their success. “We find a lot of differences in people around the world, but the essentials remain the same. Everybody wants to be a winner and, as a leader, you just have to find out what’s holding each person back and help them get over that hurdle.”
Lessons of a lifetime
“Dad and Mom have taught us that we’re all products of our environment,” says Jeff. “If someone’s environment has been negative, you try to help them minimize it. If it’s been positive, you try to help them maximize that. Dad excels at recognizing the potential in people and developing it so that they believe in themselves. And that’s what we do too.”
Among their parents’ other lessons, Doyle cites the importance of attitude. “Mom and Dad instilled in us early on that you can’t always control your circumstances but you can always control your attitude. That is a huge key to success in this business and life.”
“More than anything, I think they gave us a set of principles to live by,” adds Steve. “How to work hard and how to treat other people with respect – these are things we learned from them by their example.”
The three Yager sons aren’t the only ones who’ve learned a thing or two from the business partnership, although they break into laughter when their father is asked what he’s learned from them.
“I’d be surprised if he had an answer for that one!” laughs Jeff.
Dex, however, doesn’t hesitate. “My kids have taught me that everyone is unique,” he says. “Every one of the seven – even the twins – are very different. And you have to accept and appreciate that and just let them be who they are.”
Appreciating the differences among us is a valuable lesson for anyone whose business revolves around people and spans multiple countries.
“People sometimes make the mistake of thinking you can plug anyone into this business and the system and they’ll succeed,” says Doyle. “But every person learns differently, everyone is motivated by different things, and we really try to figure what makes each person tick so that we can provide them personalized tools that will help them succeed.”
Learning is more than just something the Yagers help others do; they’re also firm believers in continuous learning for themselves. Everyone in the family reads the latest inspirational books, sharing them with one another and their groups. They make it a priority, too, to educate themselves about the products that are so important to their business, particularly Nutrilite®, Artistry®, and XS™ Power Nutrition. They don’t bat an eye at mastering the newest technology, such as the Global Positioning System that Birdie deftly manipulates in her new Jaguar sedan. The Yagers are living proof that learning can be a lifelong pursuit.
More important to the family than knowledge, however, is how you treat others.
“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice” reads a large sign in one of Dex’s garages, summing up a key family philosophy. Occasionally, that’s meant letting the criticism of detractors roll off their backs without carrying a grudge.
“There are always going to be people who assume you’ve never really had to work for anything if you work for a family business,” says Jeff. “I ran into a former girlfriend years ago who asked, ‘You’re still working for your dad?’ like I hadn’t grown up and gotten a real job. It’s just like dealing with misperceptions about the business opportunity – you have to rise above it and believe in what you’re doing.”
“People today are looking for genuine people,” says Birdie, whose warm smile and look-you-in-the-eye directness fit the bill. “They’re looking for people who are sincere and honest, and I just think you find them a lot in this business. That’s how we’ve always tried to operate in our life.”
Still, it must occasionally be difficult working with family. The business landscape is littered with many cautionary tales of family businesses soured by infighting, jealousy, or just plain old difference of opinion.
“We have our moments of disagreement, like any family,” acknowledges Steve. “But we’re so much more committed to the business because it is family and because we’re all so invested in it.”
“We would probably be so disconnected from each other if it weren’t for the business,” adds Doyle. “We’re grateful that, because we work together, we get to spend a lot of time together and we share the same goals and the same mindset. That’s what teamwork is all about and it’s gotten us over a lot of obstacles.”
Overcoming obstacles is certainly something the Yagers excel at, from Dex’s stroke 20 years ago, which had doctors predicting he would never walk again, to his more recent health challenge.
“The doctors didn’t know if I’d come home from the hospital, much less ever be able to eat normally again,” Dex says. “But I’ve always believed that anything in life is mostly mental, and I just knew that I would be home soon, living my life.”
Not content to just be out of the hospital, Dex is up and around, active, enjoying the foods he’s always enjoyed, feeling good, and setting an example of strength and optimism for those around him.
“You have to dream big,” says Dex. “It’s the biggest mistake I made when I started and it’s the biggest mistake most people make – not daring to envision what you’re truly capable of achieving. Somebody has to be successful, somebody has to be at the top. Why shouldn’t it be you?”