Riley, Larry & Linda
|Larry & Linda Riley|
|LOS Upline:||Underwood, Frank & Marilyn|
He was a Vietnam veteran who managed a multi-million-dollar budget for a leading pharmaceutical company. She was an account executive for one of the largest public relations firms in the country. They had an eight-year-old son who attended a prestigious private school. By most people's standards, they were doing well.
However, like many in the corporate rat race, long work hours and time away from family had created a stressful lifestyle. So, when Linda was cold-contacted about a business in November 1979, she was intrigued by what the plan had to offer. She invited some friends over to their suburban Maryland townhouse for a meeting, and as Larry jokingly puts it, "Since I lived there, she invited me too!"
Larry and Linda saw the potential of their new business and attacked it with vigour. Six months later, they were Silver Producers, and after just 21 months, they were qualified Emerald Directs. What is surprising to most who are unfamiliar with their story is not that they went Diamond, but that it was not until August of 1996, 15 years after going Emerald.
"Although we were disappointed that we didn't move on to the Diamond level faster, we enjoyed the benefits that the Emerald level afforded us," says Larry. Shortly after going Platinum, Linda was able to leave her job and become a full-time mother to their son, Larry Jr. In 1994, Larry was able to quit his job, as well. They left their townhouse long ago, and now live in a custom-built home and enjoy luxury automobiles, including a Cadillac, Conversion Van, and Jaguar.
As parents, a driving force for Larry and Linda was to provide the best for their son. Knowing his dream to go to the U.S. Air Force Academy, they were able to help him prepare by sending him to a private flight academy.
Travel was also a reward for the family. "Our family trip to Berlin in 1990 was especially important to all of us," says Linda. "It was right after the Berlin Wall came down, so we were able to see first-hand what freedom meant to the people in the East, and how valuable our freedom to build this business really is." While life at the Emerald level was certainly good, Larry and Linda never lost sight of Diamond.
After moving to Atlanta due to a job transfer, they decided to recommit themselves to moving on to Diamond. They wanted to have control over their lives, so that they could never again be forced to move away from friends, business associates, and a city that they enjoyed.
"We are often asked what kept the dream of Diamond alive over the years," says Larry. "We wanted the lifestyle that only Diamond can provide. We wanted the respect of the people that we loved and respected. Most importantly, we wanted to stand out as an example that the American Dream is real, knows no race, colour, religion, or limits, other than those you put on yourself."