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My Funny Story

CHAPTER ONE

As a kid, I was groomed as an entrepreneur early on.

My first jobs were mowing lawns and later on, paper routes. I was paid for the job done not the hours put in. When you learn to work like this you learn to become very efficient. You also learn what it means to do a good job and please your clients in order to prevent going back to do the job over. Doing paper routes in the 1980’s was sorely different than in the 2000’s (explanation of this knowledge is later in the story). As a junior high kid, not only were we responsible for distributing the inventory correctly, but also receiving the inventory, counting and reconciling package list, insuring on time delivery- rain, snow or shine. I also had to go door-to-door each month and collect the newspaper money from customers and send the money into the newspaper company. If I wanted more customers, I would have to solicit new customers within my distribution territory. Other options for extra income was to take on another territory or substitute for other paper carriers. I did have a couple jobs while in high school, but being under someone’s thumb constantly was not my idea of enjoying my job. The longest period I worked for someone else in junior high and high school was 3 months. I had a large paper route gig for 5 years, starting in 8th grade.

CHAPTER TWO

The summer after my first year in college, I traveled across the U.S. in order to attend a week long door-to-door sales training course. The next day I went on to yet another part of the country, knocked on doors in order to find an inexpensive place to live. I found an old lady who rented 1 room and bathroom to me and 2 other roommates (to share!). I spent my summer in Western South Carolina knocking on strangers’ doors with hopes of selling them Encyclopedias. And if that didn’t go over well, I typically could count on them buying at least the cookbook. This area was picked over pretty well by previous door-to-door sales professionals such as myself. My first hint was when the individuals in my solicitation process would say, “Hold on, let me see what I need.” And then come back to the door, kitchen table or sofa (depending on how far I was let in their home) with an armful of books and say,”I bought these last year or the year before… hey these look the same as what you have!”

Yeah, I sold a lot of cookbooks in some locations.

Oh and here was the set up with the roommates who were also door-to-door salespeople. There were 3 of us guys in a 1 bedroom/ 1 bathroom in an upstairs corner of the late 1800’s house. Access to the kitchen was OFF LIMITS. Only one roommate had a car. So 1 guy meandered the streets of a town with a population of roughly 50,000. While yours truly was to hit the surrounding small towns with due diligence and charisma. While the cracka wit da hoopty went rural.

We would start every business morning (which was every frickin morning) with breakfast at Shoney’s. That was pretty much my only meal of the day with one exception. Often, I would go a day or two without selling anything. But on the other hand, I would be invited in for dinner. With no shame in my game, I also would be invited back.

In South Carolina in the 1990’s segregation was still inevitable. The whites would live on one side of town and the blacks on the other. Interestingly, the whites rarely answered the door to a white guy (me). In contrast, the blacks always answered their door when I knocked. The blacks were straight up about buying or not buying. And even if they didn’t buy, I was still invited for dinner or a cookout. When I would have a rough day, I knew I could retreat to the black neighborhood and enjoy soul food and candid conversations.

Every Sunday, my roommates and myself would make the trek across SC to Charleston. Reminder, we were in a hoopty. This car was operating on “maybe brakes.” Meaning, maybe the brakes will work right now or maybe not. This was the second phase in my life where I need I knew I was meant to do something meaningful in my life and experienced miraculous life saving episodes. The other phase was in high school.

I did so well selling books door-to-door that when the summer was over I had enough money to take a Greyhound Bus to either Chicago or Kansas City. Back then, I knew nobody in Chicago. My college dorm room neighbor was from KC, and again miraculously I had my day planner book with his phone number in it. I hung out in KC with his amazing family, which I proudly call my extended family. And to top it all off, my then soon to be fraternity brother failed to register for Fall classes and had to drive up to North Dakota State University the following week to register in person. My ticket home, again by the blessing powers of the universe!

Wow! Now that I reminisce, 1991 was a pivotal year for me. That was also the year I became initiated into a fraternity and made the decision that Mechanical Engineering was not for me, but a Pre-Medicine degree certainly was the answer.

SKIP A COUPLE… CHAPTER 5 or 6 PROBABLY NOW

My hardcore MLM researching began in 2003 when I also joined my first direct sales company. Since then I have seriously looked at a dozen different MLM’s. This involved attending many business presentations, coffee shop talks, phone interviews and tele-seminars as well as internet websites, blogs, videos, webinars.

I have joined four MLM companies between 2003 and 2010. The first company went bankrupt.

The second company, well that was my fault. I didn’t make time to attend the training meetings as I opened and operated my own fitness facility. That damn gym sucked the life out of me as I spent 80 hours out of my week on it.

The third company, I was interested in their innovative brick and mortar idea as a frontline business in selling drink shakes while using business opportunity and additional product as the back door sales. Unfortunately I didn’t do my homework before I signed up and later found that I couldn’t back the products because of the ingredients and quality conflicted with my morals and knowledge of health & fitness and nutrition.

The fourth company I am with now. This one was easy for me. The products are high quality, the price reflects the quality. Nothing is artificial. The company is a steadily growing company with over a decade (nearly two decades now) of business history. The company has consumable products. I had my own life changing experience with the products and my health. Plus, I made money my first month in the company. I never made money from the other companies- I even had product ordering websites. The upline with this last company is supportive but also allows me to be an independent business owner without micro managing.

The fifth company is silly fun, and typically my ice-breaking hit product when I do expo’s and showcase events…

Hey I need a break let me leave you with my take on MLM’s before I go work with the horses and decompress.

Our American SaddleBreds Ready to Chomp at the Bit

There are many great direct sales companies out there that offer products and services that are far superior to what the average consumer could buy at common outlets (i.e. Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club). There are MLM niches for all sorts of interests from nutrition, beauty, travel, discounted products, financial services, foods, home décor, kitchen gadgets, jewelry, handbags and so on. I have a separate website where it is my mission is to help educate you in the business of multi-level marketing. Teaching you how they work, what to look for in a business before starting and tips in how to be successful. More later…

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One Response to “My Funny Story”

  1. I enjoyed your story…..I just started putting some of my photography on Facebook…I also love to paint….I was a news photographer in the 70’s and 80’s and went on to freelance….I am now retired and bored…I love young living products and use them…..right now I am seeing a chiropracter for neck pain…I do want to publish more of my work and my artwork which I love but I am not motivated right now…but I will be hopefully…..I could use the extra money….thanks for your comments….

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