Category Archives: Network Marketing
Its been a while, and article recently published online titled America desperately needs to redefine ‘college and career ready’ has motivated me to return, because it’s topic close to my heart. If you are at college, or have kids planning to attend college you might be a little concerned, but later in the blog I discuss my own success story, which will provide some comfort and show a new career path too.
One of the key messages in the article, doesn’t read well at all:
For every 100 kids who start college, just 25 get degrees and attractive jobs. Some 45 drop out, and another 30 graduate but end up under- or unemployed, reaching the end of the college rainbow only to find a pot of rejection letters and debt.
Twenty-five percent of kids are not fulfilling their dream; then perhaps we have built the wrong education system.
I remember my own education, I was somewhat of a late bloomer – I sucked at English and Mathematics (and I was in the top classes at school), so I sucked at a high level and that hurt. I liked technical drawing, physics and metalwork, but I was not academically wired and so I left school at 16 years old. One of the reasons I was given permission to leave school was that I was apprenticed in to a top engineering firm and it appeared I was on a path for a mechanical engineering career. Do you remember that math thing, this is where it hurt most; and I was soon lost. Looking back, I have more than 30 years experience in the Chemical Industry, so something did change:
- 1975 Left school, joined engineering company
- 1978 Started at college, studying Physical Sciences
- 1982 Associates degree in Chemistry
- 1984 Final year at college, degree in Chemistry
- 1988 Left college to join, International Scientific Research Facility outside London
- 1996 Left the Research Center, multiple patents and joined chemicals consulting firm in London
- 1998 Transferred from London to Houston, USA
- 2017 I still working for a chemicals consulting firm in Houston; manage a team of consultants
There are more career milestones than described above, however I was fortunate to land a job in my chosen discipline, but it wasn’t easy. I left school with no chemistry training and so for the first few years I had to study hard, studied basic and high level chemistry at the same time. Had a few setbacks too. During that time I had to correct years of math blindness and although I was smart enough, I wasn’t brilliant, however through hard work – I passed.
In 1987, I was interviewed twice to join a prestigious research center – the first time I was rejected. The second time, I was hired into the perfect team and 18 months later I was asking them, why they hired me. It was my Team Leader’s answer that shocked me; and it changed my life completely.
I was hired by my perfect team and 18 months later I was asking them, why they hired me. It was my Team Leader’s answer that shocked me; and it changed my life completely
He said, “we have many smart people working here and they are very good at what they do, but what they don’t ask creative questions. They think they know their stuff, but you keep showing them what they don’t know, enough so that it scares them and they are motivated to find the answers”. By now, you can tell I am not the smartest tool in the box, but I am one of the sharpest – all though my career I have applied one simple skill – ask questions, and then ask why or why not.
This was an important career lesson for me – first success will come if you are focused, determined and somewhat adaptable. I believe success is possible for everyone, but requires a different paths. This last point is critical, and today I can help anyone be successful once we have defined their path. Years later, its all about finding the opportunity, and preparing to jump – even without a parachute. It’s okay, you will land safely…
In closing, how has these lessons impacted my other chosen industry, network marketing, where the path to success is through duplication. Firstly, I believe anyone can succeed in this industry, particularly those with no academic background, the young and old, male and female, any color, any language, the list goes on. However, duplication must be a simple route, so that anyone can follow it – I have noticed that if those around me are not duplicating then my path is either too complicated or worse, there is no path. If there is no path in your business or life, I would be happy to discuss…
In 7 days, it is our 1st year anniversary with Ariix. Many things have happened in this first year, some planned, some not planned. Here are some of our most news worthy events:
- May 1st – Yvonne and Kevin joined Ariix and launched with Yvonne.exploreariix.com
- June – Both of us attended the Ariix Drive convention and met with Ariix President Mark Wilson and CEO Fred Cooper
- June – started working with the Ariix Income System and later Ariix+
- July – Yvonne completed Team Lead, XII and Gold status
- August – Launched the www.yvonnesmith.net website
- November – Launched Jouvé and the www.joinouve.us website
- November – Yvonne and Kevin attended Go Pro Recruitment Mastery 2015 in Las Vegas, NV
- December – Joined the 3X team
- January – Kevin weighed under 200lbs, losing more than 20 pounds in the month – we started spreading the word with www.men3Xfatloss.com
- February – Yvonne attended “be the brand live” in Houston, TX
- March – Kevin jumped 988 feet from the top of the Stratosphere, Las Vegas, NV with Ariix President Mark Wilson
- April – Yvonne met with CEO Fred Cooper and Ian Chandler in Dallas, TX
What will the next 12 months bring us? Who can tell, we have a number of goals to meet in the next few months – one for certain is that we will still be with Ariix, look out for our video blog series “90 days of Ariix” starting May 1st, 2016
Yesterday I was introduced to Tai Lopez; never heard of him before, but he seems a very normal kind of person, but clearly successful. Yvonne Wagoner Smith said to me later in the day that he is probably someone I would like; and it’s possibly true I like successful normal people – I actually consider myself in that category – who want others to achieve more too. I the world of good cop and bad cop; I am probably the bad one. When coaching, I used a term NICE (nothing inside of me cares enough) and I am certainly that, when I am driven to win. It’s important to understand that means, I do care, I really care about people, but I don’t want to hear the excuses – yes, you are down, now get up and back to work, you can do this.
Anyway, I was listening a video of Tai’s and he gave a couple of quotes that I liked and want to share with my you.
The first was from Tony Robbins and the second from Arnold Schwarzenegger
When we fail we ponder, when we succeed we party
When I am in the gym there are people lifting weights and then texting on their phone, those people are never going to build muscle. When I am in the gym, I am there to lift weights (period).
Both are very insightful, because they start us on the path to being successful. Schwarzenegger’s quote is simple, focus only on what you need to do; and do it to the best of your ability, don’t juggle too much or you will fail. To often, entrepreneurs create their own distractions because they want (or need to) to make money, rather than focusing on building their business. They end up diluting their brand, or worse creating no brand. At Ariix, we have six brands, Yvonne and I are working on building a business with one or two brands that complement each other; we work mostly with people aligned with those brands, and that is our recommendation to others. Robbin’s tell us that growth comes from solving problems, gaining knowledge (K), especially personal growth. Again, building our wealth through our businesses has not always been easy, but we have kept focused on overcoming the hurdles that we encounter. Sometimes, that means taking a step backwards. It’s surprising how we will have several conversations about the same problem, because we thought we fixed it, but it wasn’t and it stops us moving on. Yes, we ponder before we party.
I am reminded that we will be spending another evening with Tony Robbins in December 2016
and you can too; just click the button below to learn more
I have often wondered how often people celebrate and why; and it probably isn’t enough. When we were younger, our teachers and parents conditioned us with heaps of praise and recognition. Then we grew up; and started work, the amount of praise we received steadily reduced, and reduced until it became uncomfortable. Most people probably don’t celebrate much now, and yet emotionally, we yearn for our childhood praises.
My good friend, Tony Robbins once said that we “need to learn to celebrate like our team has just won the Superbowl“. I am certain – living in Houston, where they have never played in the final game of the season – we all know how crazy that moment would be. Our energy and adrenaline would be at extreme levels. So, if we know we can get there, why can’t we at other times? Good health requires us to celebrate, because stress is a serious killer. If you want to see the affect of stress in your life, then look in the mirror. It has probably sitting there as fat, or high cholesterol.
So, yesterday, January 15th was my birthday and I decided to celebrated it. I am now, 50-something; and we went to see the Houston Rockets play Lebron James’ Cavaliers. If you watched the game, it was not a celebration of Rocket basketball – on my Facebook account I celebrated that Lebron James attended my birthday party. He actually took over the entertainment. Houston, win or lose, I was the winner.
So it got me thinking, how or what I have celebrated in the past, what events I remember that have built me. Here is a random list of some of the things I remember that were worth celebrating, in no particular order:
- Getting married to Yvonne
- Graduating with a degree (Chemistry)
- Climbing to the top of Austria
- First day at work and paycheck (RHP) and again at BP, Phillip Townsend and IHS
- Successes of Kaitlyn, Ashly and Lei Lani
- Every time I finish a writing a book
- Recruiting a new member into our business
- The peace provided by my mother’s brother
- St. Louis Rams winning the Superbowl XXXIV
- England soccer World Cup 1966
- Passing my driving test (UK and USA) and buying my first car (Ford Escort)
- First trip abroad (Switzerland); first trip abroad on my own (Austria)
- Buying my first apartment (Staines) and then first house (Houston)
- First day living in the USA
- Lasik surgery
The list continues, some of the above deserve celebration, others reflection. I hope you take a moment to think about your last celebration and perhaps you will tell me about it
I have heard it a thousand times, it’s customers that matter most. Customers are our life-blood. Our company is built on an excellent customer experience. I wish I could stop thinking about who said what, when and why. It would have been better if the speakers had added a simple word “some”. Some customers are our life-blood. Our company is built on excellent experience for some customers. It’s some customers that matter most.
And then some throw marketing at you like, 99% of our customers are satisfied – which is impressive. Wait, I have worked with customer satisfaction teams; it’s not true. It’s statistical game – a customer is someone who buys your product or service. Non-satisfied customers, probably don’t buy your products and services and probably aren’t included in the data. Ask if they have ever had someone cancel service or return a product!!! Were they not dissatisfied with something.
Okay, so why has this hit a nerve with me – a recent run of bad customer experiences. It reminds me that while I believe you can’t please everyone, you should try to please some – I am not an advocate of the use customer satisfaction for marketing, but I am for asking for feedback – it should drive improvement. I am also, a loyal customer – ask Sprint!! So let me share three recent experiences, you can decide if I purchased or move on.
- Back in 2008, I switched my house and car insurance to company X. This year, they doubled my auto-premium, I paid it. However, I decided that I wanted to keep them honest, so I called around. Of course, competitors wanted my business gave a better quote. So I called company X back and told them the situation. My customer experience; they agreed I had been a loyal customer and asked me if I would like them to re-quote. Seriously, the representative should be fired – work to keep a loyal customer
- Related to above, we called another company and asked for a quote. This should be easy, take what we have today, see what the number is, check that you can’t offer something better. My customer experience: the representative asked lots of questions, the answer to which is very easy to obtain. In fact, its all in the previous policy. The representative failed to make it easy for me – work harder to win a new customer
- Recently, I subscribed to a new service. I am very pleased with it and based on information provided during enrolling it’s going to get better, or should have. My customer experience: I am still waiting for the extras; and its become frustrating – won a new customer, then deliver against the expectations you set
The last one, is tough – growing businesses often think they have to claim the earth to win your business, they don’t. Network marketing is the worst for this – people will tell you stuff to get you to sign up, buy product, knowing they won’t or can’t deliver. Remember, the “you must sign up now, or you will miss the opportunity of a life-time“. I must admit, I have not and won’t ever use that phrase ever – I am wired with a high integrity – I have made mistakes in the past and its has cost me dearly; and so I don’t plan to repeat them. Another, “I am looking for 2-3 motivated people to join my team (today) this month“. Again, its not true, they will never turn you away, worse they may not even plan to work with you. Let’s be honest, there is a phrase, fake it, ’til you make it. What it really means is “I am in training; and I will make mistakes, please work with me anyway”.
So how can we WOW you? The answer is, it’s tough, but we promise if you become a customer or a member of our team – we will make sure that you are delivered the products you ordered, we will help you find the best deals. We will go to work for you, as much as with you (I should add, we tend not to give up, you might, but we won’t). You won’t be wow’d on day one, but we promise you, we will WOW you eventually.
So 2015, is finally over; Yvonne and I have seen an amazing amount of change this year. Some of it planned; some not so. We have faced big challenges that we didn’t expect; some which will continue into the next year. However, this year has been a better year than the previous.
Today is about looking forward; we are excited that Yvonne will be traveling more in 2016. We have been presented with two or three great opportunities, that we promise we share with you all. We plan to make new friends, new partnerships. We set new goals in Vegas at the Go Pro Recruitment Mastery and we are excited to see how they will be accomplished.
Finally, we hope that your health and wealth are improving like ours. As one of our personal goals we have chosen to help you, if you will help us. Keep watching, and you will be surprised where we pop-up in 2016
Happy New Year from
Yvonne and Kevin
This could be the most important blog I write in 2015; and on the eve of 2016. Please read to the end, you will be thankful if you do.
Spring 1998, I moved to the US; I would say the first thing that I did was put on weight. I know I was smaller when I arrived, because my waist size was under 34 inches – the pain of throwing out those pants has not gone. Also, I was given as a leaving present an England soccer shirt, it was a LARGE (which in UK sizes, probably is an US MEDIUM), but it doesn’t fit me now. I figured the size increase was due to a change of lifestyle and an acceptable result. I was no longer eating Indian food (mostly vegetables). In my first year, single and eating at the bar was normal; I could watch TV sports and have a beer or two. Gradually, my weight crept up; 190 – 200 lbs was normal, well until I broke that barrier and decided to do something about it.
Then, I owned a business with an injection of stress, late night working, bad eating habits, networking drinks and appetizers and slowly the normal became 220 – 225 lbs, but then I am 15 years older. At 30%, that’s a whopping 67 lbs of fat. So, back in 2014 I decided to get a gym membership and to hire personal trainer, by the end of the year I was fitter, but not lighter, little change in the waist size either it was still in the 40-42 inch range – I refuse to buy 44 inch pants. No disrespect to the trainer, they did a good job; it was me that hadn’t completely changed. It wasn’t getting me the results I wanted and so I stopped. You see, for a while I thought the best way to lose weight was to quit drinking beer and to count calories and exercise. If I burned more calories, than I consumed then I would lose weight. I had not completely cut out the beer and clearly it didn’t work.
In June 2015, I was invited to a presentation by Tim Sales in Las Vegas. To cut the story short, he said “the best way for men to lose weight is to NOT exercise”. Mind-blowing; and hard to believe, it was completely the opposite to my educated, scientific thinking. Before you stop exercising, and start losing weight, Tim actually said a lot more and had got my attention; it was the paradigm shift I was looking for and it has allowed me to actually lose weight. You see; if I had thought about it, and acted upon it – the main reason for my weight increase was the American diet that I started back in 1998. Let me try to explain, in the late nineties fast food restaurants in the UK were not something I would entertain, but here in the US they are normal. Restaurant eating here is normal too. I am not saying I am a fast food, convenience junkie, but it illustrates the difference between the two cultures and my probable weight gain.
Tim asked me to listen to some video’s he had made and each one explained why I had but on weight; it all made perfect sense. And then he challenged me to change to a cleaner diet; and BOOM I started to lose weight. I have already lost 8 lbs, in less than a week. Once certified, Tim asked Yvonne and I to share the video with friends, there is one for men and the another for women, because he is determined to help people. Tim said, he had found that men and women lose weight differently; so it makes sense. You are welcome to watch the video; as you watch you will see the paradigm shift too and will want to share….
Recently I had the fortune of watching a series of documentaries and expert interviews put out by Food Matters Television (FMTV). Prior to the “Hungry for Change” movie with Kris Carr, the host, James Colquhoun, shared a compelling experience of his father.
He said, “my father went back home to his family reunion and the initial response from most of the members was, “wow how do you look so good, how did you lose all the weight, and how do you look so young”? People weren’t interested in how he was able to get off all his medications and heal himself. After learning how to do it and literally heal himself, which I thought was the most miraculous part.
I mean my father was able to get off multiple medications and heal himself from chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and anxiety and yet people were more interested in how he was able to look and feel so much younger than he had before and that’s really a side effect of adopting this life style of learning some of the specific tricks and tips that we put together in this film, “Hungry for Change” and it really goes to uncover a lot about body transformation and the diet and weight loss industry as a whole and how we can take steps in our life everyday to improve our overall health and also how to get that body that we really would like and deserve to have.
This is something that is extremely important and its a responsibility that we have as humans, is to educate ourselves about how to properly fuel our bodies and how to look after ourselves because schools are not doing it, universities and colleges and government’s aren’t doing a great; and it’s up to us to take that responsibility ourselves.
A small investment in ourselves now, can prevent possible financial, emotional, and physical hardship in the future; saving you thousands of dollars in expensive medical care or even 10;s of thousands of dollars. The cost of critical care in the western developed world has gone up dramatically over the past few years and we know so much of what can remedy this situation, we are just now gaining access to this information on a broader level”.
As awareness of the costs that medical expenses increases, more and more people are looking at what these cost could be for themselves, let alone family members, people are beginning to take a closer look at their finances and considering what they will have available in the future. The situation is looking pretty grim for most. The Baby Boomers mostly are looking for a solution, but even the generations that follow are taking matters into their own hands and are taking notice of a tool that may leverage this money/time predicament, and it’s called network marketing.
Through the years, I’ve seen my parents and many other families defeated by mounting medical costs. Statistics prove that as we age medical costs inevitably go up, and this doesn’t include unexpected catastrophe’s even before we are up in age. The sudden discovery of cancer as a child, or even as a parent is just one example of something that could set everything back in a family. The point I made earlier is that anyone can start their network marketing business at anytime (provided your at least 18 years of age). I’ve seen 20 somethings do a phenomenal job of growing a business; and I’ve seen many in their 30’s, 40’s, and even their 50’s start and grow a successful business. I even know a few people who are in their 70’s that have created a booming business.
All these people are starting and growing a network marketing business so they can make an extra income for today, but mostly so they’ll have a residual income in their future; we’re talking about making money even while your sleeping, and that income can come from anywhere in the world. When these people consistently grow their business, they generate an income they live on, which of course takes care of their medical costs. Wellness is very important, and so is being able to sustain the costs of maintaining your wellness in the future.
A network marketing company I chose allows you to grow your business on your time with duplicated leadership and training. New to network marketing and are willing to do whatever it takes to turn your ship around?
Contact me, using the form below because I want to help you change things, I care about you and your family.
Every industry has their own taboo language or jargon that is used. In network marketing its “pyramid scheme” and yet the pyramid is an amazingly stable structure. For example, the one-legged or two-legged chairs are very unstable – a concept that is used in business to infer that three or more legged businesses are sound. Of course they are more stable, however the legs need to be of equal length or size. I have worked for companies, where one-leg of the three is dominant, it is very uncomfortable. If you feel that you have been in a pyramid scheme, then I want to “hear your story”, drop me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org, I promise I will respond.
This blog is not about the workings of “pyramid schemes“; as a matter of fact, you should avoid them completely, they are illegal to operate – end of story. The issue with pyramid schemes, is that they eventually collapse and only one person has made money. What I am interested in though are the analogous “pyramid structures”. Most small businesses are based upon some hierarchy, even if it is a simple owner and employee structure; as the company grows, layers develop and the similarities with network marketing begin – multi-levels, multiple team leaders, regional leaders, functional leaders etc, etc.
It’s important to understand how leadership really works; or should work to grow a company (or networks). After all, everyone wants to be a leader, right? Actually that is the first misconception; some people actually prefer being led, something we should address later.
You may disagree with this, but in network marketing leaders are not born, they are created. Unfortunately it’s a performance driven industry and people with no leadership training can be forced to lead others, while others with the skill are left floundering – its a hard lesson the learn. Conventional businesses have a slightly better way; they recruit potentially good leaders, give them some training and remove bad ones. I would say a conventional business can be self-healing, where as a networking business is not. So, if you’re in network marketing company, some kind of leadership training is a must; it’s that piece of personal development that is absolutely necessary. Did they mention that to you in the beginning, prior to you signing up? Probably not.
Anyway the graphic below illustrates the point I’m really wanting to make to you:
Leadership in Network Marketing has not simple as being the boss at work. Firstly, in network marketing you are at the top of our own business pyramid (the CEO), but you are also under the leadership of your sponsor/upline (senior or middle manager) and then you are also at the base of the pyramid too (worker) and so we have to understand and be effective at all these roles at the same-time. In my opinion a few network marketers, get it, a lot don’t and its often the reason why some do not aspire to the income level that wanted on joining.
Worre says in his preferred closing a prospect, a network marketer should ask the following questions, (1) the income goal (2) the time willing to spend working in the business
So in the first few weeks of your network marketing experience; do you need a vision and mission statement for your new small business? Yes, however, you really want to see immediate sales and cash flow, so you need a sales manager to help you and you might need an HR manager to help with recruiting and training too. A few weeks later, and once you have some-kind of team, do you need a business plan? Yes, but now you are the sales manager, who needs to be able to replicate systems with-in the team; what you need is an encouraging sales director. After about six months, you now have people following you, so being able to communicate (company) vision is necessary – Operational Management Skills are needed.
So in the first year, because of their sales record a successful network marketer is promoted up the career ladder at a very fast pace. So what happened to the CEO – you were sold on being the CEO of your own company right? A critical role for creating a successful business, it is needed, but initially can be left to sleep, we have work to do. Once the team as three or four operational managers, then we need some organizational management to run the team effectively. We are now at the level 3 leadership skills and this is the money maker skill; if you can achieve and maintain this level you will survive, replace an income check and maybe head into personal momentum.
How do we guarantee getting into momentum; we find some people who can fulfill and organizational and operational management roles; and bring them all together and lead them as a true CEO; and we drive then to lead people who want to sell products, including ourselves – I should have mentioned being the good self-worker is helpful – the team will respect you and follow your example. So I conclude, leadership is different in network marketing; it is much more challenging because its about being a leader to everyone, while at the same time being a specific leader to one individual and keeping yourself in front of the market/customers.
I have owned my own business, lead product development teams, worked in both planning, operations and production roles. I have sold myself, my team and lemonade. I have closed business at several different levels. I have worked and lived on two continents and lead multi-disciplined, multi-national and diverse people. If you would like to know more about me, drop me a note at email@example.com
I was recently prospected by a multi-millionaire earner in network marketing company. They had just joined a new company and were doing exactly as you would expect, they were calling everybody in their phone; even me – I felt honored that I was still in their phone, we had not spoken for six months. Mine has several hundred numbers; so does Yvonne’s – we could call a few thousand people. Rule one, never change your phone number and try to keep your email address up to date, because I promise I never will ever delete you – and it could cost you thousands of dollars.
While writing this I was reminded about Gnu’s phone call to Lucy; it was to turn their professional relationship in to personal one. He is asking her for a date – every guy knows this is the burn and crash scenario; and its not until later in life you learn to do it better (remember if you don’t care if she says no, then she probably isn’t that special). In network marketing it’s the opposite, but it is the same challenge, we want to change our relationship with you. Watch the video before going on; its worth the reminder of the pain.
Back to the original story, they called; and I was busy. I actually looked at my phone, but left it go to voicemail – I even showed Yvonne and said “I only know of one person in that city”. A few moments later the message was recorded; and my contact information confirmed my thoughts. Then I got a text message asking me to listen to the voicemail. I didn’t listen until latter in the evening, I wasn’t rushed, you are welcome to ask me why.
So when I did; I was a little surprised. Yvonne and I had been talking about voicemail’s; and what do you say, earlier in the day, because we are prospecting ourselves. I had commented to her, that in network marketing its very difficult to teach people what to say because the adrenalin is flowing and people say too much. The caller said too much; I was surprised because they are great mentor.
So here is my tip, when prospecting, be quick and be simple. Remember your PS3 training, it’s universal, every company uses it in some form, or other. First, peak their interest – if the call goes to voicemail. STOP! Either say nothing or grab your voicemail script and only say what is written (and practiced) and then hang-up. If no one calls you back; then change your script, until you they do.