Act Locally--Succeed Globally!
Robert and Tina Slade: Keeping It Simply Successful

By Uma Outka

Robert and Tina

Robert and Tina Slade are quintessential "start with nothing and hit the top" networkers.

From the start--nine years ago, overburdened with debt and close to losing their home--this Australian power couple has made keeping the business simple and local their winning strategy. The highest-ranking distributors in their company worldwide, they have never sponsored anyone who lives more than an hour from their front door, and they make the same presentation today that they did when they started.

"We started network marketing back in January 1994, after our landscaping business went financially bust and left us with a debt of 75,000 Australian dollars," Robert explains. Creditors were harassing them; the sheriff had threatened to take their furniture and car. In fact, when a friend introduced them to their company, they couldn't afford the $80 it cost to join.

"We had to sell some home fitness equipment just to get started," Robert adds.

Their car was horribly unreliable--which the Slades now say was a blessing in disguise: it was that leaky radiator that held them to that one-hour radius. Unable to afford the repair, Tina recalls, they would stock the trunk with many bottles of water so they could keep refilling the radiator as they made their way to presentations.

"What has led us to where we are," says Robert, "is the commitment we made to each other, the goals we set, and our excitement and enthusiasm."

Tina agrees: "We learned as much as we possibly could from watching others, and if we saw something they did that we thought would work for us, we'd yank out little pieces. Our goal was to get out there and learn as much as we could."


A Phenomenal Retention Rate

In their nine years, they have personally sponsored 96 people; 13 of those have dropped out--and the remainder have all achieved leadership positions! To what do they attribute this phenomenal retention rate? They say, it's due to their local focus and the personal connection that face-to-face communication fosters. Indeed, Robert and Tina are surprised by the amazement they typically inspire with their "backyard"
success story.

"Many people have this idea that to be successful in network marketing, they need to travel the world," Robert says. "My question for them is, 'What's the name of your neighbor two doors down?' They say, 'I don't know.' I say, 'That person could be your diamond.' We got to know everyone we could meet locally.

"A lot of people drop out for lack of personal contact," he adds. "If you're not prepared to care for the people you sponsor, please don't sponsor them!"

They point out that in working at a distance, you not only sacrifice personal connection, but you also rack up significant expenses in long distance calls and travel. Building locally gives everyone an affordable place to start. After all, you have control over how many people you know.

As Tina puts it, "It costs nothing to talk to people face to face. It doesn't matter how deeply in debt you are, you can still build this business."

Robert and Tina Keep it Simple

We still do the same presentation today that we did when we first started—a company overview, a flip chart book, and company literature. Anyone can do it!

After we achieve one goal, we always set another. Our next goal is Quin Diamond—45 personally sponsored, qualified breakaway legs. The world has a habit of making room for people who know where they’re going.

People tend to carry the past; we say, enjoy the greatness of the moment you have. Expect incredible things for your future.

Give the members of your organization a chance to feel some self-satisfaction. Many people have been working at jobs for years and never had their boss say, “You’re doing a fantastic job.”

People say it’s so hard; we say, it’s only hard if you make it hard. Don’t let it frustrate you.

Treat it like a business: aim to be better by working on your business—and on yourself—every day.

— R.S. & T.S.

Their experience certainly proves her point: the Slades paid off their debts within their first two years in the business, and have been financially free ever since.

Today, they live in a beautiful home on 235 acres, with several luxury vehicles and a speedboat--all earned through company incentives. Their two daughters, eight and 11, are in private school, and Tina is able to pursue a lifelong dream of breeding horses and riding competitively.

The whole family enjoys having horses: they have seven now, with one filly and two foals on the way--and Tina and the girls ride professionally in shows throughout the country.

"That's a dream that we wanted for a while," Tina says, "but never could have afforded before."

As important to the Slades as their local approach is their mutual personal development. Since they got involved in network marketing, Robert and Tina have attended Bob Proctor's "You Were Born Rich" seminar eight times. They say it provides structure that supports their personal and business growth concurrently. Each time they've attended, they've set new goals--and they have achieved every one.

"The seminar helps us to understand who we are and release the baggage from our past so we can move on and set new goals," Tina explains. "After the experience with our landscaping business, we didn't feel we had the honor to come in and do it again. Growing personally allowed us to let that go and become the better people that we are today."