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Rich Devos

Rich Devos

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Rich DeVos shares his 'Ten Powerful Phrases' in motivational tomeAmway co-founder, philanthropist and speaker shares 'foundation' of life in latest book.By MICHELE DARGANDaily News Staff WriterWednesday, May 27, 2009(enlarge photo) In 'Ten Powerful Phrases for Positive People' Rich DeVos shares his outlook.

'We're all sinners, but we all have potential for greatness as well,' the author says.

To say Amway co-founder and Manalapan resident Rich DeVos is an optimistic person is an understatement.In his fourth and most recent book, Ten Powerful Phrases for Positive People, DeVos shares his positive outlook on life.It's a philosophy that DeVos said he has always lived by personally and professionally."You can live life forward or backward," DeVos said recently in a telephone interview.

"I just choose to live it forward, and I find that people who live it my way do better than those who don't."Manalapan neighbor and longtime friend Peter Blum has read all of DeVos' books.

Blum said DeVos lives by the words that he writes."His books are a reflection of him," Blum said.

"He is a wonderful man and a wonderful friend.

I've never heard him say a cross word to anyone or about anyone.

We believe in the same politics, and I've never heard him say a bad word about someone on the other side.

He's very kind and very loyal.

He's still good friends with people who he grew up with in Grand Rapids."Chairman of the NBA's Orlando Magic, DeVos, 83, is a successful businessman, philanthropist and motivational speaker.DeVos begins the book with "I'm wrong" — the hardest of the phrases to say — followed in chapter two by another difficult phrase, "I'm sorry."As leader of a multi-billion dollar corporation, DeVos said the phrases "I'm wrong" and "I'm sorry" were not a sign of weakness."We all have weaknesses and to pretend that we can't show that we have weaknesses tells us that we are fooling ourselves," DeVos said.

"To me, a person who can admit their shortcomings is a stronger and a better person than one who acts like he's too good for the rest of us.

When I run my business, if I have to pretend that I never made a mistake, then my people will think I'm a phony.

We need to learn to respect each other despite our short comings."In his chapter on "I Need You," DeVos touches on his needing a heart transplant at 71.

Because of his age, DeVos couldn't get one in the United States.

A doctor in London agreed to take his case, but DeVos was further challenged by his rare blood type, which limited finding a donor.

Another challenge: Because he was a U.S.

citizen, he was only eligible to accept a donor heart that no U.K.

citizen could use.As DeVos grew weaker, his cardiologist found a woman in the same hospital who needed a lung transplant.

She would be getting the lungs from an auto accident victim and the healthy heart from the victim was a surplus.

DeVos describes it in the book as "precious surplus" and a miracle.DeVos said he hopes that people will come away from the book looking at the good in each other.

He advocates telling people the things that you admire and like about them.

That's the philosophy that DeVos and his late partner Jay Van Andel built Amway on 50 years ago.

Today, the company is in 50 countries with 14,000 employees.DeVos is led by his Christian faith and deep faith in God, which is evident throughout all his books."It's the foundation of my life," he said.

"It's the foundation of my business.

We're all sinners, but we all have potential for greatness as well.

The founders of our country realized that we all have potential greed in us.

That's why they set up the government the way they did.


Each one could be the bad Wall Street guy, or the bad business guy or the crooked politician.

We have that within us.

We need forces to try and keep us under control."Edwin J.

Feulner, president of The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., said he has given copies of the book to family and friends and urged them to read it and act on it.

"It speaks directly to the 'me generation' in a way it needs to hear — 'Me' in terms of personal responsibility, accountability and civility," Feulner said.

"I have seen him with entrepreneurs, D.C.

policymakers, including presidents of the United States, and in the locker room in Orlando, and I have seen his ability to build confidence, inspire people and show his trust in them.

For his legion of friends around the world, this little book tells us all how to inspire each other in the same way Rich has done."When one of his previous books, Creative Capitalism, was going to be circulated to Russia, the publisher told DeVos to "clean up the book and take some of the religion out of it.

"So I said, 'don't do the book,' " DeVos said.

"They did the book anyway.

It's in Russia, and I hear it's doing very well."DeVos lives in Manalapan seven months of the year and spends his summers in Michigan."I like warm weather; I like boating," he said.

"I live there because I can have boats at my back door and the ocean at my front door."OPTIMISM, BY THE BOOK1.

I'm Wrong2.

I'm Sorry3.

You Can Do It4.

I Believe in You5.

I'm Proud of You6.

Thank You7.

I Need You8.

I Trust You9.

I Respect You10.

I Love You
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