At eight years old, Jordan Adler would cringe when it was time for the sports team captains to pick their teams: “I want you,” the first one would say, pointing to Jordan’s classmate. “I want you,” the other captain would counter as he picked someone else. On and on his classmates were selected for the teams, until Jordan stood embarrassingly alone.

“Although it was a curse at the time, being last wound up being a great gift,” says Jordan, as he recalls the days when sports were not his strong suit. “It started a conversation that ran in my head my whole life: ‘I’ll show you! I’m going to prove to you that I’m worth being on the team.’”

Now, forty years later, not only does he enjoy his chosen sports, but Jordan is number one on his business team. And he delights in building teams with anyone who wants to play.


Humble Beginnings


Building teams was a long time coming for Jordan. In fact, during a ten-year period, he was in and out of eleven network marketing companies, and he never sponsored one representative or made a penny.

“In every company I got involved with,” says Jordan, “I would talk with two or three people who would react negatively, I would think there was something wrong with the company or that I couldn’t do it, and I would quit.

“I had no entrepreneurial models,” adds Jordan, who grew up in a working family. “My dad made probably $28,000 a year at his peak. I worked for a few years in landscape architecture after college, and then landed a corporate training job in the airline industry.” Ten years later, his airline company fell on hard times. Jordan was earning a salary similar to his dad’s—until they cut his pay in half. Fortunately, he was on to his twelfth network marketing company. And the twelfth one was a charm.

Around the time he was introduced to the company, Jordan met a top network marketer whose advice led him to triumph.

“I didn’t know if what he told me was true or not,” says Jordan, “but I believed him because he was a multi-millionaire at age twenty-five, happily married with a new baby, and had the type of home, sports car and lifestyle I wanted.

“He shared some simple distinctions that I paid attention to. He said, ‘In the business of recruiting, it doesn’t matter if you’re in real estate, financial planning, insurance or network marketing, you need to be prepared to recruit twenty to thirty people to find one big hitter.’ He said that of those recruits, one-third will do nothing and you can’t do much about that; one-third will do a little; one-third will do a lot; and one person will drive thousands of people into your business.”

Jordan created a plan and worked it. He would find someone to meet him for lunch every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday while working for the airline. Over lunch, he’d show them the business opportunity.

“My goal was to put the business in front of twelve people and sponsor one distributor every month for two years,” says Jordan. “That would give me twenty-four distributors and put me in the range to make it big.” He stayed focused and committed to his plan, mapping his appointments on a giant wall grid in the rental he shared with two roommates.


A Taste of Success


Jordan’s sixteenth recruit sponsored a student who worked as a secretary, who in her spare time began showing people the plan in her living room. Over the course of a year and a half, she sponsored fifteen people. One of those fifteen rocketed Jordan to success.

“From that one person came about twelve thousand distributors and forty thousand customers,” Jordan laughs. “I made my first million dollars and everyone wanted my autograph. Suddenly I was a genius and everyone wanted to know my secret!”

It was no secret that Jordan had a plan and worked it.

“In the first three years, my income went up and down,” he said, citing his irregular monthly paychecks: $500, $800, $1200, $400. “Between my thirty-third and fortieth month in the business, my check grew from $2,900 to over $40,000 per month. Once it broke loose, it stayed there for six years. It’s no secret how I got there: patience, commitment and consistency led me to the person who took us both over the top.”

Always curious about the best approach, Jordan enjoyed meeting top networkers from other companies and asking them, “How many months have you been in this business? How many people have you personally sponsored?” He learned that in almost every case, the top ten earners sponsored about one person every month. After ten years, eleven companies and about $30,000 spent for his “education,” Jordan applied this knowledge and made just under eight million dollars in company number twelve.


Out of Business


Severe industry changes forced Jordan’s company to close. His monthly income went from high five-figures to zero. But his $23,000/month lifestyle didn’t disappear. He burned through $80,000 in savings in four months.

“Fortunately,” he recalls, “I had bought real estate with my networking income. I wasn’t in a desperate situation, but I couldn’t go on forever without cash flow.”

List brokers had sold the top twenty earners’ names from this now defunct company to thousands and thousands of network marketers around the world. Within the first forty-eight hours, he received so many emails and phone calls that it was impossible to function.

“If my mother called and left a message, I would never get it. For every call I wanted to take, there were eighty calls from people I didn’t know. It was insanity.”

While many of his colleagues were driven to quick action by the fear of losing people who would jump to other companies, Jordan decided to shut off his phones and email and take a few months to get clear about what he wanted.

“Everyone says their company is the best company. The reality is that there are a lot of good companies, and there are some that aren’t so good; but it’s not so much about one company being better than another. Different companies are just better suited to different people’s personalities. There are Jaguars, Escalades, BMWs, Mercedes; I personally wouldn’t drive a Jaguar—it’s a great car, but it’s just not my style. So I wrote down specifically what I was looking for, the criteria that would inspire me again. Then instead of companies coming after me, I could be proactive.”

One of Jordan’s criteria was to work with a service-oriented rather than product-oriented company. During his search, he was introduced to a service that he immediately began using as a customer. He thought the service was so unique and smart, that he naturally began telling people about it. Without a specific intention or plan, one in four people Jordan spoke with wanted to sign up.

“I never gave a business presentation, drew a circle, rented a hotel room or did a video conference call, and people were saying, ‘I have to have this service.’ So I figured out how to sign up as a distributor so I could sign the others up!”


Long Term Strategy


Jordan began working his plan again, introducing the business to one person every day. Ninety-two weeks later, Jordan had signed up eighty-nine people, who in turn brought in 8,500 distributors and 20,000 customers—all in less than two years. His income hit $10,000 in his tenth month, and grew to over $60,000 per month in less than two years.

“I teach people that if you want to create fast income, go wide by personally enrolling ten to twenty people each month. However, the faster you sponsor people, the more volatile your organization. Imagine a eucalyptus tree and an oak tree. Eucalyptus grows like a weed, but its shallow root system makes it unstable, and it dies young. An oak tree grows slower as its deep tap root grows hundreds of feet in the ground, and it lives forever.

“You have to go wide first, but go deep as soon as you’ve found your ‘A’ people who meet these three criteria: 1) they show up for conference calls and trainings without being reminded; 2) they get customers; and 3) they call you for help, so you’re not having to constantly call them.

“When you’ve found your ‘A’ people, help them get started. Your job is not to do it for them or to recruit people under them, but to help them recruit their own people until they can do it on their own.

“I’ve seen people headed for success lose it by working with the same people all the time. You’ve got to help your ‘A’ people get their roots, but once they’ve found their ‘A’ person, you need to be off to help someone new.”

Although he enjoys spending social time with lifelong friends he’s made in his business, he focuses his work time on new people because, as he puts it, “They are the lifeblood of your organization.”

While Jordan works one-on-one with his new recruits, he continues to feed his root system by facilitating thirty-minute weekly conference calls for his entire team, focusing on strategy, training and promotions. He and his leaders design incentive programs that give everyone an opportunity to experience some success, rather than creating programs that give a few top people a shot at a lot of income. By strengthening the roots, everyone wins.


Residual Benefits


“When I think of what I love most about network marketing, it always sounds like a cliché,” says Jordan. “Because it’s true, a lot of people say it: I really enjoy helping people get what they want. I have a handful of people making $10,000 to $30,000 each month. When I met them, they were working people with average incomes. Now their lifestyles bring them lots of joy and excitement.

“Tomorrow I’m flying to San Diego to be with one of my buddies who invited me to his annual holiday party. I’ll be hanging out with him and his 200 employees on a boat in the harbor for the evening. He’s one of my customers.

“I used to wonder who the thousands were who had time to attend huge sporting events, art festivals or just hang out with their friends on the beach during the week. Now I know. I am grateful to make this contribution to so many people’s lives. Also, I am able to financially support organizations I believe in, like Big Brothers and Big Sisters. It’s exciting to think that I give away more each year to charity than I used to make at my last corporate job.

“I’ve never seen anything with as little upfront time and money create substantial residual income, completely freeing you to do what you want to do.”

And it’s clear, from the four hours a day Jordan still puts into his business, that one of the things Jordan loves doing most is building and leading strong teams.