Built to Win: Neora’s Seven-Year Clash with the FTC

In this captivating episode of the “Built to Win” podcast, Debra Highs, CEO of New York Co., sits down with the company’s founder and visionary, Jeff Olson, to unveil the extraordinary story of Neora’s seven-year battle against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This David versus Goliath saga is a testament to Olson’s unwavering commitment to building a business with integrity, principles, and a mission to make people better.

Olson’s journey in the direct selling industry has been a distinguished one. Armed with a business degree, a background in finance, and a passion for personal development, he ventured into entrepreneurship, eventually becoming the CEO of a China-based electronics company and founding a successful TV network focused on personal growth. It was during this period that Olson’s daughter, Amber, introduced him to a product that would spark the creation of Neora, a company founded on the principles of “making people better.”

Determined to build the “perfect” direct sales company, Olson and his team set out to create a platform that would empower customers and distributors alike, while prioritizing personal development and a strong sense of community. The company’s meteoric rise, with record-breaking growth and prestigious accolades, including being named the 512th fastest-growing company by Inc. 500, was a testament to its vision and execution.

However, the company’s success caught the attention of the FTC, who launched a civil investigation into Neora. Olson and his team were perplexed, as they believed they had built a model that the industry should emulate, not investigate. Nonetheless, they complied with the FTC’s demands, providing over 6 million documents and enduring 16 rounds of production over three years.

As the investigation progressed, Olson and Highs made a bold decision – they chose to sue the Fan unprecedented movented in the industry. The decision was not an easy one, as the FTC’s tactics of “choking” companies through tactics such as revoking banking and credit card processing privileges, creating a hostile environment, and pressuring executives, were well-known.

Despite the immense challenges and the perslawsuit’s personal tollson and his team remained steadfast in their commitment to their principles and theief in the company’s integrity. They communicated openly with their employees and distributors, rallying the community around their mission and vision, and never wavering in their determination to fight for what they believed was right.

The battle lasted for over seven years, culminating in a historic victory in court, where Neora was exonerated on all five counts brought by the FTC. This landmark rulnly validated Neora’s business practiandalso set a precedent for the industry, demonstrating that companies can stand up to the FTC and prevail.

Olson’s unwavering leadership and the team’s unwavering commitment to their values and vision were crucial in navigating this unprecedented challenge. By staying true to their principles, leaning into their community, and continuously focusing on the future, Neora emerged from the ordeal more robust and more united than ever.

The story of Neora’s journey is a testament to the power of courage, conviction, and a relentless pursuit of doing what is right. It serves as an inspiring example of how a company can weather the most formidable challenges and emerge victorious, all while staying true to its core purpose of “making people better.”

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