10 09 2009

The benefits of being in a business like ACN extend far beyond the financial. Once you are able to go “full-time” you are able to take control back of your life.

You can choose who you work with.

You don’t have to work with anyone that you DON’T want to work with.

You get to wake up when your body tells you “it’s done sleeping.”

You determine when you eat lunch, how long you want to take to eat and where you want to go.

You get to do all the things that the average person has to squeeze into a two day weekend (theme parks, movies, picnics, etc…); anytime you want.

But whether you are full-time or part-time, one perq comes with being in ACN that the average person does not get to enjoy. TRAVEL.

Four times a year, ACN holds an International Training event where people come from all over North America (and beyond) to learn from the Founders and top money earners of the company. They tend to have two in the West and two on the East Coast. The last one was in Charlotte. Before that? San Diego and Anaheim. This week? Detroit.

I know, I know. You may be saying to yourself “DETROIT?” That’s supposed to be an example of a great traveling opportunity? Ha ha, ok I will grant you that Detroit may not be most people’s idea of the “garden of Eden.” But as someone who has spent far too many years confined to a cubicle? Traveling to Detroit beats fighting 3 hours+ of traffic to get to and from work in LA traffic.

So today is a travel day. Flight left Ontario at 6:50 a.m. (PDT) this morning and I am on my Continental flight as I write this post (sidenote? Props to Continental Airlines for being the one airline that still provides some sort of meal for all their passengers). We land in Detroit at 5:07 p.m. (EDT), so it’s a long time.

At the airport we ran into Lance Schmidt (also in ACN). He and his brother were flying Delta (and getting in an hour ealier…dammit ha ha). But it was fun running into a familiar face (even in the groggy state that I was in at the time).

When we catch our connecting flight in Houston, I’m sure we will be on board with plenty of other ACNers. And that’s fun too. Kinda like traveling on a team charter. The Azusa Pacific University soccer team is on our plane right now and you could see the excitement on their faces as they were boarding.

We have other team members taking the “red eye” from LAX to Detroit tonight and others will be flying in from New Orleans early tomorrow morning (one of the benefits of living in “middle America” I suppose).

The business of recruiting and customer acquisition takes a breather right now. Everyone (including my wife) is passed out on the plane around me. It’s just me, my iPhone, my WordPress app and Ben Kweller (playing on my iPhone) right now. It’s travel day.



9 09 2009

Tomorrow is my middle daughter’s 18th birthday. Birthdays are big things with me. Unfortunately the ACN International Training begins the next day in Detroit. That means that tomorrow is a travel day and I won’t be in town for my daughter’s birthday.

So I took a “Daddy Day Off.” it doesn’t matter that she’s turning 18 and will now be a full-fledged adult. I’ll always be daddy to my three girls.

We went to lunch and then went to see “The Time Traveler’s Wife” (side note: when she was a little girl, my daughter used to always ask if we could go to the Fee-u-ters). I’m secure enough in my own manhood to admit to enjoying the occasional “chick flick.”

For dinner it was chicken wings (the girl is a chip off the old block I tell ya) and banana cream pudding with Nilla Wafers (we never have been a traditional “cake” kind of family).

Next week she leaves for college. Today was important. We always need to remember our priorities. She and her four siblings are the reason I’m in ACN. But today my time was all hers.

I love you Hannah.


8 09 2009

I went to visit a friend of mine from high school today. Louie was two years younger than me, but we knew each other from Marching Band. He was always small guy for his age and so we kind of adopted him as a “little brother” of sorts. The fact that he had a hot older sister that we all liked to flirt with, didn’t hurt.

Until two years ago, I hadn’t seen him in over twenty years. When another friend (and band-mate) of ours passed away suddenly in 2007, it served as an impromptu reunion of sorts. That day I reconnected with Louie and a few other long lost friends. We exchanged pleasantries and business cards. I had no practical use for the (re)connection at the time. But my MLM days in the 90s taught me that “you never know.”

So I’ve been playing telephone tag with Louie now for over a month. He runs an extremely successful commercial development business these days. When he was in town? I was in Louisiana. When I was back in town? He was in D.C. Then he’d be back in town, and I’d be in Las Vegas. And so on and so forth.

We met in the conference room of his corporate offices. I had made arrangements with my upline Team Coordinator (who is in the President’s Club and has been in the top 10 in TC production for several months this year) to be available for the “demo call” for my friend.

Of course (as fate would have it), he was not available to take the call.

It’s moments EXACTLY like these that separate the “determined” from the “hopeful.”

I am a firm believer that we need to treat people respectfully. In this instance, that meant that I owed it to my “friendship” with Louie to spend time getting caught up. I learned a long time ago that everyone’s favorite “subject” to talk about…is themselves. So I asked Louis about his success and how he built his business. He was all too glad to oblige.

I sat and listened to Louie and he gave me the “Reader’s Digest” version of his success. As I sat and listened, it struck me. It’s all about networking!!! Louie attributed so much of his prosperity to “who he knew” and the relationships he had built over the years.

After listening to Louie’s story and giving him his “props” for his success (thus far), it was my turn. I could have just dove in to the ACN 1 – 10 presentation, but I decided to take a different tact. I began telling him MY story. Our meeting was more like two old friends “catching up.”

Along the way in the telling of my story, I mixed in bits of the ACN story. I wove in how I met my upline Team Coordinator (I didn’t refer to him as my “upline” nor as a “Team Coordinator” since neither of these terms mean anything to people who are not in the MLM biz). And I EDIFIED THE CRAP out of my Team Coordinator.

Louie now realizes that he NEEDS to meet my Team Coordinator.

IRIS_3000_homescreenI pulled out the ACN Video Phone and turned it on for Louie. I called a few people, but no one was home. So I turned the privacy button on so Louie could see the quality of the the camera. Louie was floored. He LOVED it. Instantly I could see his mind racing. He began rattling off all the people and places he could get to “buy in” on this amazing new technology.

His assistant came in and informed him that his 11:15 appointment was on his way (we started at 10:30). I took that as my cue to “exit stage right.” I told him that I would set up a time (after we get back from Detroit) for him and my Team Coordinator to have lunch so they could meet. Louie was grateful for the opportunity to network with my friend and thankful for my coming by to show him the Video Phone. I left in a “Success From Home” magazine and was on my way.

It’s all about the networking folks. Whether you are a professional Network Marketer, or a Commercial Developer. It’s all about the networking…


7 09 2009

I’ve been thinking about starting this blog for a few months now. I’ve vacillated because I have wondered if creating and maintaining this blog might become “just another thing” that might get in the way of doing the things that I need to do on a daily basis to feed my family.

I am self-employed. If I don’t work? I don’t earn money. If I don’t earn money? I struggle financially. I won’t say I’ll starve…because I’m a big guy. No one would look at me and EVER worry about me “starving.” But I have to scramble to come up with money. THAT is something that I have learned to do over the years.

MLM groupI am a full-time Professional Network Marketer. I first got involved in MLM in 1991. After making no money for two years in product-oriented companies, I joined a (then) start-up company called ACN. I worked full-time with ACN for five years until I got divorced and then gave up my distributorship to my wife as part of the divorce settlement.

In the eleven years since? I tried to go “straight.” I worked at several sales jobs before I realized that I really, really HATE sales. I then went in to the training field and realized that it was this part of multi-level marketing that I loved (and missed) most.

For the past few years I have been the Training Coordinator for a huge school district. A few months ago, I got a phone call from a friend of mine who I really respect and look up to. Just seeing his name and number pop up on my cell phone made me smile and wonder what I owed the pleasure of the phone call to.

After a few minutes of catching up, he informed me that he had gotten back into ACN. I gulped hard and tried not to laugh out loud. This guy knew that I had built a respectable organization in my five years with the company in the 90s. “When was the last time you even looked at ACN?” I was asked.  I volunteered that it had been about 11 years.

He told me of the success that he and his wife had achieved in their first few months since he had rejoined ACN. It was more money than I ever made in a year with ACN. It got my attention. I went to his house the next night and took a friend of mine who I know is naturally skeptical (as insurance). I told him that if I even began to “hint” that I might be interested in getting back in to ACN, that he was to slap me silly and talk me out of it.

After leaving my buddies house that next night? The friend that I took with me as “insurance” turned to me and said, “you look like someone who really wants to get back in to ACN and is really. really fighting it.”

After talking it over with my wife, we decided to get back in. That was a few months ago. On July 1, 2009, I left my job to do ACN full-time. We have three organizations going now. We are four levels deep. We are nowhere near what my buddies expectations were for us when he first called me a few months ago. I know that.

What really sucks? I know it’s all my fault.

I know this business. It was awkward at first. But within a couple of months, it was second nature again. So was the procrastination. The reason I hated sales? I hated prospecting. I love presenting. I love closing. I hate prospecting. That’s not a good thing to hate if you’re going to pursue a career in network marketing.

So now we have our second International Training coming up this weekend in Detroit, MI. We have six people from our group going. We had three at the last one in Charlotte.

Now is the time to start documenting the run towards RVP.

I never made it to RVP (Regional Vice President) in ACN in the 90s. Back then? You needed to develop Team Coordinators (then called Field Coordinators) in FIVE different organizations. Now? You only need to develop TCs in THREE different organizations. I would have been an RVP if this compensation plan existed back in the 90s. I would have made a LOT more money back then if I had been an RVP.

I will be a Four Star RVP (TCs in four separate legs) by the 2010 Fall International Training. That should be 52-54 weeks from now (they don’t announce the dates of the next International Training until current one is under way).

That’s right. I said it.

What’s more? I believe it.

So many things are different this time around. The one that has not been different? Is my work ethic. I’ve always been naturally talented. This is a blessing. And a curse. My natural ability has been a reason for me to never develop a work ethic. Ugh it is so embarrassing and humbling to admit that (especially as a man in my 40s).

But I’m a grown-ass man now. It’s time for me to go to work. This blog is a public testament to my commitment to doing what it takes to become a Four Star RVP by the 2010 Fall ACN International Training.

And so it begins…