One Family Member at a Time

Roth Family

The Roth Family: Norm, Larry Heddings,Vernon, Norm Sr, Paul and Theresa Carney, April Abraham

By Uma Outka

Larry and Terri Headings Above: Norm Roth Jr., Norm Roth Sr., and April Abraham
Left: Terri and Larry Heddings
Right: Teresa and Paul Carney
Teresa and Paul Carney

As a teacher and coach in a Lutheran school, Norm Roth loved his work and saw networking as a way to supplement the low income. Over the course of several tries with as many companies, Norm brought along his cousin Larry Heddings, his sister Theresa and her husband, Paul Carney.

As each attempt ended badly, the group's fledgling optimism dissipated. Paul promised Theresa he would "never get into one of those deals again ; Larry's attitude wasn't much different.

Norm was discouraged, too, but he held onto a glimmer of hope that there might be a company that he could succeed with. "I've always had a tremendous work ethic, but the vehicle wasn't there, "he says. "I knew I wasn't the problem."

When a colleague from one of his former companies started calling him about something new, Norm wasn't interested at first. She persisted, he agreed to take a look and knew he'd found "the one." That was 1994.

Unfortunately and all things considered, not surprisingly he didn't get much support from family. "Larry hung up on me," he recalls. "Theresa screened my calls for months."

A Family Chain Reaction

Unphased by the refusals, Norm kept leaving messages; meanwhile, he devoted six to ten focused hours per week to his business as he continued teaching. One day, out of the blue, he got a call from Larry prospecting him about a new opportunity. By the end of the conversation, Larry was in.

For Larry's first four months in the business, Norm flew from Wisconsin to California one weekend a month. As his earnings quickly grew, Larry saw the years he'd spent working long hours in roofing and plumbing fade into memory.

Then, a chain reaction started happening throughout the family.

Larry sponsored his father Vernon (Norm's uncle), a life-long farmer who then sponsored his brother, Norman Roth, Sr. (Norm's father), who'd been a steel worker for 33 years. Thanks to his network marketing business, the senior Norm Roth was able to retire three years early.

Theresa didn't know what to make of the fact that her father was suddenly riding around on a new motorcycle and now he'd bought himself a sports car and a motor-home! Norm the Elder approached her about the business; she refused at first. What finally caught Theresa's attention was a product that suppressed her daughter's seizures and helped her own arthritis. Soon she was buying from her father selling by the case to people she knew.

"I argued with him about it," she laughs, "but he kept telling me, 'My CEO won't let me give it to you at wholesale unless you're a business partner. You need to take a look at the business.' I realize now that he knew: it was the only way he'd get me to sign up. I couldn't keep buying all that product at retail!

Theresa and Paul signed up, still somewhat reluctant. They attended one event and their attitudes changed for good. "That's when we started to believe in the company and to believe that we could make this happen." In 22 months, they earned over $100,000.

Meanwhile, Norm (Jr.) was methodically making his way up the income ladder. In 1998, he decided to retire from teaching. "I was already earning close to $300,000," Norm says; "by the time I quit, Uncle Sam was collecting more from my networking income than my entire teaching salary!"

The final family holdout was Theresa and Norm's sister, April. Fine for all the others to be doing this thing, said April but it wasn't for her. After a year and a half of gentle prodding and education from Theresa, she reconsidered. Eventually she, too, quit her job and turned to networking full-time.

Now Paul's nephew is exploring the possibilities... and the chain reaction continues.

Bringing the Family Together

Larry knows that if it weren't for network marketing, he and his cousins wouldn't be close the way they are today. "There was a time when we all went our own ways; this business has brought us together again. My teenage son has seen the difference this business has meant for me; now he wants to get started when he turns 18. I want to help him retire by the time he's 21 and the same thing for my daughter.

The beauty of working together as a family," says Theresa, "is the common denominator of love. We vacation together, work together, play together. It's about caring for each other and focusing on each other's goals, which are all different. It's been the most wonderful experience. It's been a tremendous gift."

Norm, Senior agrees: "I love knowing that with all of us in the business, the minimum I'll see them is twice a year at conventions on stage!"

Theresa’s Tips for Talking to Family About Networking

If They Say No, It Doesn’t Necessarily Mean No Forever.

It may mean not right now. Don’t try to push it down their throat, speak to their heart. Sometimes we want it so bad for people, but sometimes a little education and a lot of love and understanding will make them more open-minded than anything else.

Be A Good Listener.

The business isn’t made for everybody. Just love your family for who they are and where they’re at, sometime along the way you’re going to be able to sense.


If you’re successful, that will change the view. I looked and thought, ‘Wow, Norm can do it, and Larry can do it, but I don’t know if I can do it.’ We all need to develop our own belief.

Only Sponsor Them When They’re Ready.

(This one’s from Larry) To set people up for success, I require a stringent evaluation and education process. I want to be sure they have enough knowledge in advance to know they’re ready and really want this.