Jackie and Mark Ulmer

Starting From Scratch-Again!

Jackie Ulmer Doesn't Overcome Objections Anymore

By Uma Outka

My dad owned his own business; I always thought that was so cool. He used to make us breakfast every morning and come home at lunch; he was always available to be there for any of our activities—and I knew that he could do all that because he was his own boss.
Mark and Jackie Ulmer were both working in the airline industry when they started a family, Mark as a pilot, Jackie in sales and marketing. They both enjoyed their jobs and the travel involved, but with children, such a schedule was no longer sustainable.

“I wanted to stay home and raise my kids myself, but still contribute to the family fund,” explains Jackie. “My dad owned his own business; I always thought that was so cool. He used to make us breakfast every morning and come home at lunch; he was always available to be there for any of our activities—and I knew that he could do all that because he was his own boss. In the back of my mind, I always wanted to do something of my own, too.”

As she began researching possibilities, she kept coming across network marketing, but enough people had made negative remarks that she didn’t consider it seriously. Then Mark flew with a pilot they both respected who was building a network marketing business.

“We saw him as credible; that had a big impact,” says Jackie. She began to study the industry closely. Soon the couple signed up with a telecommunications company and experienced some quick success.

“It was sort of a Cinderella story,” says Jackie Ulmer. “It took right off. Our downline started growing, people were duplicating. We weren’t stellar leaders, but we had a strong sponsor. As our checks began to rise, we got really excited.”

What’s Personal Growth Got to Do With It?

“I kept hearing people talk about self-development, saying things like, ‘Your check will only grow as fast as you grow yourself.’ I would think, That’s all great, but I don’t need any of that stuff. I already have a positive attitude, my glass is three-quarters full—what can I possibly learn?”

She found out soon enough when, after six and a half years with the company, she no longer felt it was the right place for her. She was tired of going to meetings twice a week and wasting time on coffee shop no-shows. Mark had already cut back on his hours with the business because it demanded too much extra time on top of his already busy schedule.

“I knew that the Internet could be a great way to screen people so I would only spend my time with people seriously interested. A market I really wanted to capture was busy professionals who don’t have time to go out in the evening, but could get online at night when the kids are in bed.” The company wasn’t quite ready for that approach; she began to wonder if she were in the wrong industry.

Then she came across Upline magazine. “I would devour the success stories about ordinary people getting started, holding onto a vision and a dream, and moving forward,” she says. “I quickly realized that I’m totally passionate about the industry and started doing more seminars and reading books. I really invested in personal development and I have to say, it’s what’s kept me in the business.”

She made the decision to leave the company, a long list of criteria in hand—along with a personal commitment not to recruit her former organization or any of the other people she’d met in the company over the years. She was starting from scratch; at times it felt overwhelming.

“Having already built something successful and big, it was like standing at the bottom of Mt. Everest in my swimming suit this time, for goodness sake! How could I possibly recreate that?”

After three months, she chose a company and a sponsor, got to work with a solid business plan—and to her surprise and delight, it was easier than she anticipated. Most rewarding was the fact that her instincts about the Internet were confirmed—and because she didn’t tap her old contacts, she’s able to teach people something they can really duplicate.

“I haven’t been to an opportunity meeting in over two years,” Jackie says. “When I sit down with people locally, they’ve already been through the screening process on my Web site. They know it’s network marketing, they know the costs associated with it, we’re just meeting to see if we share like values and can work together. I love it, because I never need to overcome the typical objections anymore. My goal is simply to get people to identify their vision and give them the tools they need to succeed.”

The Power of a Positive Vision

My biggest personal goal is to show my children what’s possible through positive thinking and belief.

My son, Justin, is a great example. Justin plays ice hockey. He played three seasons before he scored his first goal, but he never got discouraged, he was everybody’s best cheerleader. Every day he’d be out on roller blades, practicing after school. One day he was sitting on my desk and read my vision. He started asking me questions about it. I explained to him how powerful your mind is and that whatever you believe and tell yourself is what you can and will accomplish. “Do you think I could make a vision statement for hockey?” he asked. I told him it was a wonderful idea. We sat down and wrote a vision for how he saw himself as a player, participating in the game, being a team sport, and scoring goals. We typed it up on the computer, printed it out, and started reading it every night before he went to bed.

Within a month or two, he scored for the first time—twice in one game—and he went on the next season to be the top scoring kid on his hockey team.