Carolyn JohnsonAnyone who comes to this website with no prior acquaintance with any of us could easily come to the conclusion that we are all female members of the Lucky Genes Club; that we had the great good fortune to be born into the right families in the right places at the right time, complete with the glass slippers. Nothing could be further from the truth, as you will learn by reading our various biographies. In one way or another, we are all graduates summa cum laude of the School of Hard Knocks, and at different times in our lives we have had to bootstrap ourselves out of adversity. We have all tried different avenues to achieve our goals, and we have all had our setbacks, failures, and bad ideas.

If you have glanced through the photos on this site, you could also make the erroneous assumption that this website is a monument of self-aggrandizement, our way of flaunting our success, or grandstanding, pretending we are better than our peers. And we could understand this assumption, because this type of response to success is all too common in the work place, as women cut each other down, to their mutual disadvantage. In other words, we are often our own worst enemies as we compete with each other. Throughout history thousands of cultures have been kept in submission due to their inability to rise above their own petty rivalries and internecine squabbling. Their enemies simply took advantage of the divisions among them. Ladies, we have to stop this behavior and start helping each other. Starting right here, right now.

The above comments notwithstanding, we are not implying that men are the enemy. That would be like saying life is the enemy. Without exception we all have successful relationships with male friends, mentors, spouses, and colleagues. The enemy in most cases is the enemy within, aka ourselves. A philosopher said once he had never seen a subjugated people that didn’t deserve it. In other words, we tend to get what we ask for, or settle for. Our worst enemy can be our own low self-image, the little voices in the back of our head that tell us we are not worthy of anything better than what we have. The enemy within can be our acceptance of the status quo, no matter how miserable, because we lack the imagination, the will, or the courage to change our life.

The photos on this website do not depict our starting points. They are moments along the way, and The Way is dynamic, meaning as long as we are breathing, it is not over, there are more opportunities, more challenges, more choices to be made, more risks to be confronted. The possibility for future failure, and success, is always there. Even wealth is not static; it usually requires more wisdom to preserve wealth than it took to acquire it in the first place. Ask any lottery winner, the ultimate something-for-nothing scheme.

Most of us began life in rather humble circumstances, with often conflicting messages about life, education, and achievement. We don’t mind telling you that most of us never finished college, or did so in fits and spurts. The message is not that we disparage education, but rather that a lack of formal education is not irreversible poor fortune. What really matters is your own personal relationship with reality, with what is, as opposed to wishful thinking, what we wish it was.

For example, finding ourselves in a failed relationship is sometimes the result of poor communication between the parties. More often it is the result of a poor choice of partner in the first place. We may waste years of our life attempting to change, or fix, the other person, before we finally realize we cannot change anyone else; we can only change ourselves and make some of life’s tough choices. If we are not ready to deal with reality, we may delay our moment of awareness, sometimes for many years, because we cannot bear to say No to this person. Of course, a failure to say No to some things prevents us from saying Yes to other things. In the meantime, life, and its opportunities, passes us by.

In the world of corporate America, examples abound of myopic leaders of even giant corporations who got so lost in the grandiosity of their degrees and the complexities of the business world that they missed the obvious. For example, in 1975 the CEO of the then-world’s-largest-retailer, Sears Roebuck, told the graduating class of one of the most prestigious graduate business colleges in the country that retailing in the United States was dead-on-arrival, a no-growth industry. Meanwhile, in a place called Bentonville, Arkansas, there was this guy named Sam Walton . . . How could someone with all the advantages of this Sears captain of industry have misread the situation so completely? In just 25 years (later), WalMart had annual sales four times that of Sears!

A college degree is proof-positive that you made it through four years of college. It is no guarantee of success. In some cases advanced degrees are proof that a person has been educated beyond their intelligence or common sense. Our degrees will not make money for us, and they will not create wealth for us. Business acumen does not come on parchment paper. Can we, and do we, accurately identify the nature of the challenges confronting us? There is a solution to every problem, but there is a price to be paid for every solution. Are we willing to pay the price of dealing with reality, with what is? Getting stuck in life is almost always a case of a failure to properly identify a problem, or an unwillingness to pay the price of fixing it.

This relationship with reality, with what is, is equally important in relationships and in business. All of us on this website are involved with the business of network marketing. It is also called multi-level marketing. It is a non-traditional method of business. But make no mistake about it; it is business. It has some things in common with traditional business, and it has its differences.

For starters, network marketing is about marketing. That means that all network marketing companies are about sales, about getting products or services to market, sold to buyers. In both traditional and network marketing companies, you tend to get out what you put in. In both cases, the 80/20 rule applies; you get 80% of your results from 20% of your participants. In both business models, those who rise to the top are a tiny minority of the total workforce. In both business models, people come to the workforce for a variety of reasons and goals. It doesn’t matter. There is room for all of them. Both models have their part-time and full-time workers. In both models of business, self-discipline, high energy, and product knowledge will enhance your chances of success.

Now let’s talk about the differences. Traditional marketing involves substantial advertising budgets. In network marketing, the advertising is done by word-of-mouth. At its best, with a great product and turned-on distributors, network marketing goes viral and traditional marketing cannot begin to compete with its speed to market. With network marketing, the people are not only the messengers, but part of the message. In traditional, corporate business models, everyone competes with each other in the corporate pyramid as each claw their way above the others in the scramble to the top. Information is closely guarded, and vulnerabilities are kept private. In network marketing, where the people are part of the message, the stories of failures and triumph are the emotional driving force, and success can only be achieved by bringing others along with you. To use industry language, you are only as good as your downline. To neglect them is to assure and accelerate your own financial destruction.

Traditional corporate America is about impression management; maintaining the appearance of success, whereas network marketing is about self-management. The corporate world results in the majority who hates their jobs and lives for the mindless distractions of Friday night; network marketing is about elevating and endorsing the efforts of others, people who are always at work. After all, what self-respecting business person would refuse to take an order or seize an opportunity, because it was after hours? Network marketers are entrepreneurs, not employees.

Traditional, corporate business is management intensive. In a corporate environment, the best and brightest cease as quickly as possible from doing actual work, and status is achieved by watching, reviewing, and evaluating the work of others. Imitating this formula in network marketing is a formula for disaster. You are dealing with entrepreneurial types who are running their businesses from their homes, not from corporate owned bricks and mortar. These people don’t go to work; they relentlessly recruit others, provide them with the training tools they need, and then get out of their way. Successful downlines in network marketing are composed of people who are capable of employing themselves. Those who need to be managed need to stay in the traditional business models, where they can thrive on an environment of memos and meetings, and where they can pretend to like their job better than they really do.

Employees in corporate environments have little if any leverage. Their work and compensation are limited to the hours available to them to work. Network marketing is all about leveraging income through the endless and systematic duplication of effort. In network marketing, there is no payroll, benefits compensation management, advertising budgets, accounts receivable, offices and titles, staff management, or warehouse and inventory cost. You can recruit around the world, and earn money while you are sleeping.

Those who come to network marketing can struggle with several things at the beginning. First of all, they have to lose their proclivity to manage others. Network marketing is a numbers game, so how much time do you have to waste? Those who need you the most will succeed the least. Focus on giving new recruits the tools they need for a quick start-up and turn them loose. If you gave them the right tools, these people need no hand holding. Success is about rapid duplication. Don’t select, but rather, accept those who come to you. You never know who is going to be a winner, and who isn’t. So don’t pre-qualify or pre-judge. Accept, train, and observe. Be available but don’t babysit. Winners don’t need managers or saviors. People needing saved from themselves will suck your time, energy, and life out of you. If that happens, it will be because you allowed it or encouraged it. Don’t get discouraged or depressed. It’s never about you. It wasn’t the right time for them. Maybe next time. If you get depressed, you will fail, because you can’t recruit anyone when you are depressed.

When a refugee comes to network marketing from corporate, they are usually wounded, either from downsizing, reduced opportunities, or seeing the handwriting on the wall. Their self-esteem is often damaged from the experience, and it is very common for them to attempt to salvage their self-esteem by re-instituting those habits that were the mainstays of their status in the corporate world. Such as meetings and memos. Neither are particularly effective in network marketing. Network marketing is a highly personal, face-to-face business, where people come on board because they believe in you, even more so than the product. What your recruits will need from you are tools and perspective. And their start-up fee is no different than a membership at Sam’s Club or Costco.

To be successful, for starters, show commitment and stop apologizing. When was the last time the greeter at Sam’s Club apologized to you for being there? Or apologized when asking to see your membership card? Anything you say or do that minimizes your commitment or passion for the business puts the lie to everything else you say in favor of the business. What is the real message, for example, when you indicate that this is your “spouse’s business” or that it is “just a little side business of yours”? If supporting your family, putting your kids through college, or creating a lifestyle for yourself is a source of shame for you, then why are you doing it? Would being a highly-degreed, laid-off engineer feel better and more socially acceptable to you? What is your connection to reality? This country is filled with people who live in million dollar homes who wonder if they can afford to keep the electric turned on, who drive leased Mercedes they can’t afford in order to make people think they are more affluent than they are. Do the opinions of others mean more to us than our own values, thinking, and conclusions? Remember, there would be no WalMart today if Sam Walton had listened to the CEO of Sears in 1975. Again, what is your relationship with reality? Are you ready to get real?

There is an old Buddhist saying that “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Meaning, each of us will learn only when we are ready. Then, amazingly enough, a teacher always seems to appear. If you are ready, and this is your time, then what we are showing you on this website will resonate deep within you. It will start as curiosity that will develop into a fire in your belly that cannot be ignored. It will continually drive you forward. Where to start?

The Vision

The only vision that really matters is your vision of yourself. You can be your own best friend or worst enemy. What do you want to be? A helpful suggestion is to stop trying to fix yourself. Yes, you heard me. Many of you may recall when the incredibly talented basketball star, Michael Jordan, took a brief hiatus from his sport to try his hand at baseball. Michael never made it in baseball, and eventually came back to basketball, where he finished out his career as most likely the best the world had ever known. Who would even remember Michael Jordan today if he had decided to spend the next ten years of his life trying to improve on his weakness—baseball? He would have been lost in the dustbin of history. The same for every one of us: stop focusing on your weaknesses, and enhance your strengths. Find out what you’re good at, and really, really work it.

Accept Responsibility for Yourself

So you think you’re ready to own your own business? Then start by owning yourself. The glory days of the blame game have to stop. It is not about your husband, your children, your aging parents, your lack of a college degree, your abused childhood—you pick it. That was then, this is now. What are you choosing to do with your life right now? If you can’t honestly get past that last question without reverting to blaming someone, you are not ready. Check back with us in six months. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. There is no problem that is unsolvable. Every solution has a price. Maybe you are not ready to pay the price. Accept that for what it is—a choice. Your chains are paper chains. Their power is in your mind. Our greatest regret, when we finally take action to improve our lives, is that we took so long to do it.

Surround Yourself with Positive People

There will be times when you will need people to believe in you more than you believe in yourself. Find such people right now, and find ways to involve yourself with them. Do not be afraid to take from them; you will in time give back to them. Do not make negative assumptions about what you have to offer others; the fact that you have even begun this journey is eloquent testimony to the worthwhileness of your character. Those who are further along on this journey will recognize and admire what you have begun to do for yourself. Your efforts and success will be ample reward, because you are validating them and their life choices as well.

Get Started, and Get It Done

All of us on this website made our fortunes with the network marketing company called XanGo. You can find more details about this marvelous business opportunity on our respective websites. Here’s what you need to know right now:

The grand vision, the intellectual work to create the products has been done for you.

The analytical work of deciding the methods and systems needed to replicate our efforts has been done for you.

You have to execute. You have to plug into the system, and follow the instructions. Success is in duplicating a proven model of what works. You need to stop talking to the people who don’t know what they are talking about. Like those who bash our most remarkable profession. And you need to start talking to the people who do know what we are talking about. Us.

The culture of like-minded people who applaud the success of others is already in place. We here on this website are part of that culture. The crowds that jam the halls where we speak are part of that culture. We need each other. We help each other. We welcome you to join us.

We have opened the door. We are welcoming you in. The rest is up to you.