March 2015 Associate Spotlight: Chris Dare
Associates who attended PowerUP! 2013 may remember a young man performing walk-around magic tricks during the cocktail hour. That was Chris Dare, who’s now 22 and one of the youngest Viridian Directors.
Due to a series of fortunate events, starting with being in the right place at the right time to perform a magic trick for Diamond Ambassador Frank Marone, Chris was invited to do a demo for CEO and Founder Michael Fallquist. The result was that Michael asked Chris to perform at that year’s PowerUP!
Chris has been practicing and performing magic since age 7, and it’s served not only to entertain but to open doors, he admits.
“The point of magic is that it looks impossible,” he explains. “Like affordable green energy—that’s insane. That seems impossible. But nothing is impossible.”
Chris represents a new image for Viridian. He has 67 Associates in his organization, and all, except his mom, are under 25. “I think we’re bringing a whole new face to the company,” he says.
More and more young people are coming on board, Chris says. “People are being saddled with student loan debt. The job market is forcing people to become entrepreneurs.”
Chris believes the younger people bring a new energy to Viridian, and he emphasizes that it’s not just about making money but about taking care of the earth. “Forget the money…this mission is so much deeper than the money,” he asserts. “We are the ones who are responsible for what happens to the next generation.”
In Chris’s life, magic showed him not to dismiss something as impossible before exploring it further. He wanted to start his own business but didn’t know how, so he studied business management. During his junior year, he realized that the only thing he was going to get from college was student loan debt. “I was learning business from people who never owned their own business.”
He started looking for a network marketing opportunity, first trying an energy drink company. He reached out to his former high school crew team coach, Associate Eric Stewart, and started showing him the energy drink company’s pitch video. “He stopped me halfway and said, ‘What if I told you I could show you something better?’”
Eric played Viridian’s “Show the Program” video to Chris. “I stopped him halfway through. I said, ‘Sign me up. This is a no-brainer.’”
Chris signed up and got busy, having 10 Customers enroll by his second day. “It was an exciting time.” Then there was a bit of a lull. Things slowed down.
When Chris met Frank Marone, his luck started turning around. Frank and fellow Diamond Ambassador Joe Occhiogrosso both had graduation parties coming up for their sons, and they each asked Chris to perform magic at the parties. Frank and Joe later introduced Chris to Ambassador Jim Kenny and others. He soon found himself being mentored by some of the biggest names in the company. “I wasn’t even a consultant at this point!” Chris recalls.
He said the experience really motivated him, and it was during this period that he fell in love with Viridian as a company and a culture. “They treated me like a superstar. Viridian believed in me before I believed in Viridian,” he shares.
Chris felt recharged, and he started ranking up in the company. “At that point I knew I had to continue to push the envelope,” he says. More people joined Viridian under Chris, some of them just 18, the minimum age for being an Associate. When 19-year-old Monica Keith became a Director with the advancements from this February, Chris was no longer the youngest at that rank.
Chris is trying to organize his peers so they can keep in touch and help each other, and he runs a Facebook group populated with about 150 young Associates so far.
Chris says that he’s sometimes the only person in a room with the ability to perform magic. But he has learned that magic is not his only talent. “My goal is to inspire as many young people my age as I can with this company,” he says. “I have the gift to show other people that they can be amazing, too.”