The Luxury of Passion
Sanaz Hooman: The Forensic Networker
By Dr. Josephine Gross
Born in Iran, Sanaz Hooman grew up in Toronto surrounded by a family of entrepreneurs. She always wanted to own a business, but her first experience as a manufacturer left her tired and disappointed. When she discovered network marketing in her early twenties, she jumped at the occasion and started a steep learning curve.
Sanaz quickly learned about time freedom and residual income, both novel and attractive concepts after working herself into exhaustion in her traditional business. While building a new income stream, she was surprised to find that the biggest return came in the form of personal and professional development.
Today, in her early thirties, Sanaz is the top distributor for a six-year-old Canadian designer company that trades in luxury goods. Still an active field leader, she has also joined the corporate team as Vice President, Product Development.
Sanaz enjoys the glamorous lifestyle of a fashion designer who travels the globe in style. Her income and position afford her any luxuries her heart desires, yet her greatest joy comes from doing the work she is most passionate about: creating beautiful products and helping distributors build their dreams in the fifty-two countries in which her company currently operates.
A New Business
Growing up in a family of business owners, Sanaz started working at the age of 12, helping out in her dad’s textile factory. The message she received early on was to finish school and open up a business. All through high school she saved up to start an embroidery factory, and by the time she started college, she owned her own business even while she continued working on a degree in International Business and Marketing.
“I worked hard and my business was doing quite well,” she says, “giving me the financial independence most students only dream of. However, competition from Asian importers was fierce, and two years into it my sales were down.
“I now was working twice as hard and making half the money I was used to. Looking at older business owners around me, I couldn’t help but notice that they looked exhausted. I didn’t want to reach their age and be that tired, so I started to open my mind to other options.”
One day Sanaz was embroidering spa uniforms and a spa owner approached her out of the blue.
“I know you’re busy and you already have a successful business,” she said, “but I was wondering if you’d be willing to take a look at a company I’ve been introduced to. Despite your young age, I respect your opinion. Can you come and tell me what you think?”
Sanaz agreed to attend an opportunity meeting. What immediately piqued her interest was the low start-up investment this new business required, versus the significant overhead she was used to paying in her traditional business. Sanaz decided to join and build a side business.
“I had to really discipline myself to make the time commitment,” she says. “Yet I was so tired of the rat race I was in that I would do whatever it took. I became a dedicated student and observed everything successful people were doing to get started.
“Right away I hit my warm market of family and friends. I made a list and started talking to people. In my first four weeks, I sponsored eight new distributors at the highest level, which earned me an all-expenses-paid trip to Dallas to meet the corporate team. They put me up in an executive suite at the beautiful Gaylord Texan Resort, and that’s what opened my eyes to the power of this new opportunity I had found.”
Sanaz was used to working in her factory with her hair in a ponytail and no make-up, and now she was experiencing a lifestyle of dressing up, meeting people and making presentations, and being paid to travel. What hit home for her was how powerful network marketing was, and she felt blessed to learn about it at her young age.
With Ramin Mesgarlou being interviewed at Toronto International Film Festival.
Building her business in St. Martin while enjoying the island.
Fun in the waters of St. Martin.
Cutting the cake with the executive team at the grand opening of the corporate office.
Receiving the Presidentís Cup as the top distributor of the year.
Training at the product university for her company.
Celebrating a victory with the corporate team.
In the show room with her parents during an advertising campaign.
A night out with the team at the Mr. Vegas concert..
Looking for Guidance
At 21 years of age, Sanaz already had confidence in her ability to run a business. In addition, she held no negative preconceptions regarding network marketing and simply ignored others who came with what she calls “baggage” about the profession.
“If you eat at a bad restaurant, that doesn’t mean every restaurant is bad,” she points out. “The problem is, when people don’t succeed at something, they carry that baggage along with them—and it hurts them. I had an open mind, I was eager to learn and I was ready for change.”
When she saw sales decline in her traditional business, which she had worked so hard to build, she understood the disadvantages of owning that kind of business. “I did the right things using the knowledge I had,” as she puts it, “but I couldn’t compete with other markets that were coming in and taking over.”
Being a natural recruiter, Sanaz quickly built a new income stream, but she didn’t exactly know how to train and lead the people she signed up, so she looked for guidance.
“One of the biggest problems I encountered was unqualified teachers leading the way,” she says, “people who had never successfully built a team and who were just repeating things they had heard or read without any practical understanding. Training is the key to success in this profession. A lot of people are looking for an easy way out and are given the perception that this is the easy way out—and it isn’t. Launching a network marketing business is hard work and there is a learning curve.”
Sanaz got to a point where, after thirty months, she was seeing growth, but her company didn’t have the right duplication system that could propel her business to the next level.
“There was nobody who could tell me what to do, and I felt I had reached an impasse,” she recalls. “I needed to find a qualified teacher or mentor who was going to lead me towards the goals I had set for myself.”
Soon this lack of guidance became compounded by new problems: the company had released a new product that didn’t live up to its promises. Customers were asking for refunds and canceling their automatic monthly orders, and distributor checks were going down.
“It got to a point where many of us were losing belief,” says Sanaz. “There were some unfortunate transitions in the corporate team combined with legal problems, and it was a shaky time for the company.”
Finally, Sanaz resigned from her position. It was a difficult decision which caused her many sleepless nights. She wrote a letter to her team that said, “It’s been a pleasure to work with you. I need to change my course and take a different road. I wish you all the best of luck. Thanks for having been great partners and friends.”
Sanaz says that many of them remain close friends.
“One of the biggest blessings of working with my first company was meeting some phenomenal, like-minded individuals with whom I connected at a heart-and-soul level and who are still part of my life today.”
Finding a Mentor
Sanaz had put tremendous effort into trying to create basic systems for her team. For instance, to protect her brand she set up an online business card system so all her team members had the same business cards. She also created a welcome package for her team so that when new people joined, she could give them basic training materials and a PowerPoint® presentation.
“I strongly advocate that the initial profit you make from a new distributorship should be invested in that new person’s success,” she says. “While I was making money as a distributor, I was spending a lot of it on my team to make sure our training was consistent. When I left my company, I was tired and needed to unwind from doing so many different things.”
Sanaz took a break for about a month and went back to working in her factory. What she missed most wasn’t the extra income so much as the chance to contribute to so many people and see their lives change through her help and support. She missed the success stories and the fun they had together.
As she was catching her breath, Sanaz got a phone call one day from a lady she didn’t know, who said she had Sanaz’s business card from her previous company. She wanted Sanaz to look at a brand new Canadian company. Sanaz said she was not interested and was enjoying some time off.
A few weeks later, another call came in from a gentleman who wanted to introduce Sanaz to the same opportunity, and again she said, “No, the timing isn’t right for me.”
Finally she got a third invitation from a gentleman who wanted to do a three-way call with the CEO of that same company. This time, Sanaz knew the caller: he had credibility and a successful track record in the profession. She agreed to a phone call with CEO and founder Ramin Mesgarlou, but she still didn’t want to get involved.
The fourth phone call came from a lady she had known in her previous company, who was very determined and wouldn’t take no for an answer. She said, “You’ve got to see this. After you see it, if you say no, fine—I’ll respect that. But you can’t say no until you see it. Since you have to eat anyway, let’s do lunch.”
It turned out she set up a lunch meeting with the CEO of the company, whom Sanaz had met over the phone. This time, Sanaz had an inkling she might have found her mentor.
“The first time I sat down with Ramin, I caught a glimpse of his heart and vision,” she says. “I saw his passion for network marketing, and then I saw a phenomenal product and compensation plan.”
Seeing all those factors combined in one opportunity, she told him, “I don’t believe in giving something a try to see what happens. Once I commit, I’m all in.”
She shared her story of what she’d been through and he said, “We are building a corporation that’s going to be the biggest Canadian designer fashion house—and we are looking for talent.”
“When he gave me his big-picture vision,” says Sanaz, “I couldn’t say no, and I joined the company I’m with today.”
Safety in Systems
The day Sanaz met Ramin, his company was having a boot camp at the same venue. Sanaz asked how often the company offered this training program and Ramin’s answer was, “Every month.”
“This totally impressed me,” says Sanaz, “because my previous company offered this kind of training only twice a year, so new people might have to wait for six months to attend their first event.”
As soon as Sanaz came on board, Ramin enrolled her in his company’s systems. He gave her a training manual called The Next 30 Days, a blueprint for what every new person needed to do the first thirty days in the business.
“This was extremely helpful,” says Sanaz. “It included a lot of the action items I had included in my previous program, such as putting your list together and highlighting your superstars. It provided an area for your warm market and a memory jogger for your cold market. It had all the tools you needed to start having success immediately. Reading this book really got me excited. It was put together so well that I knew anyone could follow the steps and create results. I felt as though I was finally going to be able to create duplication, which I knew was the key to my success.”
Her first month in the business Sanaz sponsored thirty-two people, mainly by reconnecting with her team members who had left her previous company with her when she resigned. Many of them had told her, “If you ever join another company, let us know, we’ll come with you. We appreciate your leadership, your heart and everything you’ve done.”
After the initial thirty-two sign-ups many more followed, and at the end of 2006, just six months after she started, Sanaz received the Top Performer of the Year award. In 2007 she was awarded the President’s Cup, which is the most prestigious recognition in her company.
Apart from her previous experience and existing network of contacts, Sanaz says the reason for her rapid success was having a fail-proof system.
“I became a big advocate of Ramin’s Forensic Networker System. Not only did it save me, it also works wonders for the average distributor who gets on board and has no idea what to do, by providing him or her with a track to run on.
“The Forensic Networker System teaches you step by step how to build your business from home. It comes with a daily, weekly and monthly mode of operation and a log for tracking your results. It’s called ‘forensic’ because it’s very detailed. It’s easy to understand and follow, and it can be customized for part-time or full-time networkers. To my knowledge, it is the only system that comes with a built-in tracking device that not only gets you organized but also holds you accountable for the promises you’ve made to yourself.”
Sanaz did so well as a distributor that Ramin started asking for her input in corporate decisions. Coming from a manufacturing and fashion background, Sanaz became an excellent advisor, and in 2007 Ramin asked her to join the corporate team as Director of Operations. Sanaz was instrumental in setting up the corporate offices in Toronto, including hiring staff, designing showrooms and managing inventory.
Last year Sanaz was promoted to Vice President, Product Development. At the time of this interview, she had just returned from an eighteen-day trip to Hong Kong, Korea, China, France and Italy, where she met with local leaders as well as product manufacturers and designers.
“Now my responsibility is to make sure all our products are unique and glamorous, our promo tools are state-of-the-art and our showrooms offer visitors a breathtaking experience. I also work with Ramin on the Advanced Forensic System he is developing. I continue to be active in the field by leading training events, weekly conference calls, webinars and boot camps.”
Sanaz couldn’t be more thrilled to have found a way to follow her initial passion for fashion design through her career in network marketing. The product lines her company offers are attracting a lot of women, many of whom have become top leaders and trainers for her company.
“I love working with women because they are dedicated and patient,” says Sanaz. “Once they find their passion, their commitment is unwavering and they will do whatever it takes. I feel blessed to be able to offer women opportunities to step into leadership positions, especially in parts of the world where this is uncommon. The possibilities for women today are tremendous and I believe our rising economic power has the potential to refuel the economy.
“We are looking at opening up another office in Asia, and Europe will be next. We haven’t made it to my native Iran yet, but we’ve grown into Dubai, which is a neighboring country. Our vision is to grow our company into a billion-dollar corporation that changes lives across continents and creates millionaires around the world.”
Advancing the Profession
Sanaz also has a vision for the network marketing profession at large, for which she has developed a fierce love and appreciation. Her dream is to change some of the cultural stigmas and core beliefs that hinder the growth of the profession.
“People who join network marketing approach it very differently than they would a traditional business. Many see it as joining a social club, a place to go once a week and perhaps drag a friend to ‘see if it’s going to work.’
“My hope is to be able to change that mentality by promoting the Forensic Networker System, because it brings professionalism to network marketing by showing people how to treat it like a business instead of a hobby.
“Can you imagine what would happen if 68 million network marketers in 140 countries started to take their direct sales businesses seriously, and what this would do for our profession—and for the global economy? Imagine the sales, the manufacturing it would generate, the distribution… We could be a tremendous economic power and a force to reckon with.”
Reflecting on her personal goals and aspirations, Sanaz says she feels blessed that from a very young age, she’s had all the material things she could ever want.
“Having more money is not a factor for me. I’ve travelled the world; I have great friends, a great family and a business I love. My personal goal is to give back and help as many leaders as possible succeed and create wealth.
“I don’t think I could ever retire. I love this profession way too much. I enjoy the luxuries in life, but to me what tops all of them is the luxury of wanting to work versus having to work. It raises your life to a whole different ball game.”
Sanaz follows her passion in everything she does. Her company’s products evolve with fashion, and every season she gets to design, create and oversee new product lines.
While this is very exciting and keeps her more than busy, she still mentors students and meets with her team once a month.
“I’ll always keep a foot in the field, because I’ve been there and I’m still a distributor at heart. I know what people go through. That’s why we constantly optimize our trainings and systems for everyday distributors. I delight in helping them as much as I can so they can go out and create their own success stories."