Over the years, Bill and Peggy have together cared and nurtured their IBO organization. Bill developed leadership traits very early in life due to the hardships he had to face as a child. "Our family was kept in total chaos by my father, who had an alcohol problem," Bill says regretfully.
"We were always uncertain about what he might do during his next alcoholic binge, and we moved several times when he lost jobs because of his problem. I started to support the family at age 11. I carried grocery bags for tips, because I was too young for the store to pay me, and I had two paper routes. As the oldest of eight kids, I became the head of the family. It made me tough," Bill says flatly.
As a child, Bill never had any family life as such. However that was not the case with Peggy who was fortunate to have had a wonderful childhood. "Peggy's dad was great. He was a very humble guy who always made sure that his family was happy and well cared for." Throughout his college life, along with his studies, Bill continued working. He finally earned a degree in engineering and then went on to
accept a prestigious job. “I used to start work early, stay up late, and always did morethan anyone could expect of me and all that this got me was poverty," Bill recalls.
Bill was a city manager for Carrboro, North Carolina, and also a graduate student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, studying for
a Master's degree in Public Administration. In addition to this, he was also serving as an active officer in the National Guard. Peggy was working as a secretary for the North Carolina Heart Association. Peggy feels nostalgic thinking about the days when she had just begun building the Amway business. She reminisces "I never knew when the truck would come. Once, when I was alone at home, a truckload too big to get in the driveway arrived in the middle of the night. I called our downline. We formed a human chain from the truck to the carport. The fact was that we were willing to do whatever it took."
The greatest catalyst in Bill and Peggy's life was their meeting with Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel at their Direct Distributor Seminar in 1970. "Rich asked us to eat with him, and during lunch we became convinced of the integrity of the company and after that, everything changed very quickly," Peggy smiles. They had completed three years in the business when they began breaking many Platinums.