"Residual Income Means Security"
Miki Crowl: An Anniversary Party for Being Alive
By Uma Outka

On May 21, 2002, Miki Crowl nearly died in an auto accident after losing control of her vehicle on a rural Iowa highway.

She was only about a half hour from her house, and Miki had just called her husband on the cell phone to let him know she would be home soon. After that, she can't remember anything--not the car rolling over, not falling through the driver-side window. Paramedics found Miki 75 feet from her car, unconscious, with a fractured neck, shoulder, and pelvis. She was flown to a hospital where she didn't regain consciousness until several weeks into her month-and-a-half long stay.

First and foremost, Miki is grateful for her second lease on life--and for the chance to throw herself a party--what she calls "an anniversary party for being alive!"

At the same time, Miki recognizes how much more difficult her recovery would have been if not for her network marketing business and the financial peace of mind it has afforded her during the last year. In fact, when the accident occurred, Miki was driving home from Des Moines after attending a Zig Ziglar event with members of her organization. Miki is emphatic and sincere when she repeats the declaration,

"I am so blessed--I am so blessed!"

Miki started her direct selling business more than 18 years ago when the younger of her four children were three and four years old.

"I wanted to be an at-home mom," she says. "My family was my number one priority, yet I also needed to earn an income."

In the early years, the way to move up in her company was to become a district manager, which involved shifting from independent to employee status. As a salesperson, she could earn rewards for recruiting, but the compensation plan did not include sales volume overrides; as
a district manager, she earned a salary and


Networking: The Added Dimension of Freedom

After about five years in that position, the company launched a network marketing program. Miki saw the potential immediately.

"When I was a manager, I truly believed in the program, and it was my job to train the representatives in leadership and recruiting over five counties in Iowa. In the course of training them, I saw some of them starting to make more money than I was! I thought, 'What am I doing this for?' I resigned and went back to being a rep so I could pursue the leadership [networking overrides] opportunity myself. Within a short time, I was earning three times as much as I had as a manager. I gave up the health benefits--but the freedom means so much. I really love it."

This freedom has never meant more to Miki than during her recovery. When she finally came home from the hospital, she didn't have to rush back to a job. With her networking business, she was able to rest as she needed, and to increase her effort incrementally.

At first, she worked only by phone, not leaving the house for meetings or appointments at all. In addition to rehabilitation, she still needed surgery as late as October. It wasn't until the end of December that she was able to drive again.

Despite all of this, incredibly, one would never know from looking at Miki's business that she was checked out for the better part of a year. All the while, the residual income from her business has continued to roll in. Even during her hospital stay, Miki received checks in excess of $3000 every two weeks without fail. Miki's friends from within the company placed orders using her ID number just to be sure she would maintain the minimum personal volume to receive checks.

She was touched by these expressions of generosity--and delighted that it wasn't even necessary. This is a testament to the work she put into her business over the years, but also to the strength of the leaders in her organization. Their efforts kept Miki's business growing even when she couldn't.

Indeed, not only did her business remain intact, it grew. As a Senior Executive, Miki had three Executives in her group before the accident--now she has four.

"My business has a strong foundation," she explains. "I was careful to find good people from the start."

Miki's primary goal now is to help those four reach the Senior Executive level and a handful of others achieve Executive. Her technique? Create incentives. The company typically sponsors short, bi-weekly promotions as well as more challenging, longer-term incentive programs, so Miki tailors her own to enhance the company offerings. For example, she'll tack on a dollar amount as an award to help new representatives afford to advertise their new business, or offer tickets to an upcoming seminar.

"I look for ways to help people keep their energy up and progress toward their goals," Miki says. "I help people set goals by asking, 'Where do you want to be?' A lot of people are still in jobs, or are mothers and their kids are the priority, so we work with whatever hours they have. After all they did for me, I want so much to help them get what they want."