A remarkable man at any age, Joby Weeks at 22 speaks with the wisdom of an elder, attains goals with the tenacity of a seasoned CEO, and plays life hard and fast like the youth he is.
"From my youngest days, I remember my dad introducing me: 'This is my entrepreneur/ philanthropist son.' And I would think, 'What the heck does that mean?' "
At the time, it meant purchasing candy bars cheap from a discount wholesaler, then selling them door to door. An economics teacher, Nat Weeks was a key player in his son's developing entrepreneurial spirit.
"Dad taught me that profits are better than wages. I learned to trade--especially to trade up."
In addition to trading the usual baseball cards and comic books, Joby showed an aptitude for business well beyond his age.
"When I was 14, I bought a guitar for $25; traded it for a $250 car stereo system; sold that for $300 and bought a home theater system--which I sold for $1000. My uncle took the $1000 and gifted me with a $5000 60-inch Pioneer Elite big-screen TV. I sold the TV for $3000 and bought some stock at 98 cents a share, then sold a bunch of it at $14 per share! That's much more fun than working for money!"
Breaking From Tradition
Born to a family of East Coast blue bloods and high-level public servants (including a US Secretary of War and Commerce), Nat Weeks broke ranks from a long chain of Harvard graduates by attending Dartmouth and becoming a Christian schoolteacher. Joby took one giant step further from the lineage when, just weeks before starting college (with textbooks purchased, a place to live and student loans applied for), Joby's mom gave him a copy of Rich Dad Poor Dad. Young Joby's entrepreneurial spirit ignited and he walked away from the education his family had expected of him.
"I didn't want to go to college and have to work for four straight years. I wasn't getting any scholarships, so I knew I'd graduate in debt, qualified to work for someone else 40 hours a week and make them rich for the next 40 years of my life...only to retire on 40 percent of what I wasn't having fun living on in the first place!
"I wanted to have the freedom to do what I want, when I want, wherever I want, for however long I want, with whom I want and not really have to worry about how much it costs. I know that not everyone's willing to put in the hours and sacrifice to have that--but isn't that what everyone really wants?"
Joby had grown up observing his mom, a self-proclaimed "MLM junkie." After joining 14 companies to make the money she never attained, Silence Weeks discovered her 15th and final company; inspired to join purely for the products, she hit gold. ("Go figure," says Joby.) Today, eight years later, she is hailed as one of her company's top income earners, earning more in a month than her husband had been earning in a year!
Says Joby, "I wasn't really interested until I saw there was good money to be made. I remember my dad, who made $20,000 a year, coming home from work one day and looking at the credit card bill on the counter. It said '11,000.' At first he thought it was the year's accumulated frequent flyer miles; then he realized that it was 11,000 dollars for that month! He freaked out: 'Honey, what are you doing?!' That was a significant chunk of what he made in a year--on a single month's bill! And Mom replied matter-of-factly, 'Ah... I've got that covered.' That got my attention. Mom's dinky little home-based business wasn't dinky or little anymore."
Getting Down To Business
Joby's first step was to write a business plan, complete with goals and strategies for one month, three months, one year, three years and five years.
"If you don't have your own plan, you fall into someone else's plan," explains Joby. "Do you realize that most people spend more time planning a wedding or vacation than they do planning their life? How much more important is your life?"
Everywhere he looked, he saw people who needed his products.
"We have great sports products, so I told all my friends on my basketball and soccer teams. We have great health products, so I told one of my friends whose dad was very ill. Four years later, his dad is well, still using our products and telling others about them. I'm getting paid for what I did four years ago!"
Joby built his business wherever he went.
"If you can't build this business because you don't have any friends, go to church! There are tons of people and they're all friendly. I'd listen to prayer requests with a notebook in hand and jot down the names of people in need. After church, I'd go and talk to them. That's the way I started. I didn't really know anything; I just knew I was excited. How many people are really excited about anything in life?"
Indeed, that's what he tells his team: put your excitement to work for you. Do what you love to do; then it doesn't feel like work, and you won't burn out.
"Just be friendly. You can go door to door if you want, telemarket if you want, blast out emails if you want, go to the gym and work out for two hours a day and talk to the owners of the club who will tell the trainers who will tell their clients. Find out if people want to create optimal health, shed some inches, or earn multiple streams of income. Whatever you like to do, do it massively!"
Being a good role model, he enjoys prospecting with a buddy on ski lifts.
"We make 18 runs a day--and we get 18 great prospects," he says with a broad smile. "It's a captive audience!"
Joby coaches his team to say little and ask much.
"People can't say no to something they know nothing about. So don't talk! Instead, ask, 'If I can show you a way to make all your monthly payments without spending a dime of your primary income source, would that be worth 20 minutes of your time to check out this website? To listen to this CD? To listen in on this conference call? To come to this home meeting?' Of course it would! Everyone says yes to this question. It takes eight seconds to ask; don't say anything else!"
At 18, when Joby told his grandfather that he was deferring college to try a network marketing business for a year, his grandfather was so upset, they didn't speak for three months. By the time he was 19, he had earned the distinction of being his company's youngest Presidential Director.
"I started photocopying my checks and sending them to my grandfather so he wouldn't freak out when I told him I was going to defer college for another year. And then another year. And then another. I'll probably go to college one day...like when I'm 90."
At an age when his friends were out partying, Joby stayed focused on achieving his first financial goal of $10,000 per month.
"I figured out how many people I needed to talk to per day to get this many per week to get this many per month. I cut out everything from my life that wasn't getting me closer to that goal. I'd ask myself, 'Would going to a movie get me closer to that 10 grand a month or further away from it? Would partying and having hangovers get me closer or further? Would spending my time with people who aren't interested in their futures get me closer to that goal, or further from it?' "
Joby went two years without seeing a single movie; instead, he read voraciously, attended seminars and listened to hundreds of hours of motivational tapes.
"I haven't listened to the radio in four years," says Joby with satisfaction. "If you invest in your mind, your mind will fill your purse. It doesn't matter if you lose all your money; you can get it back because you have the foundation."
Nat Weeks had told his son, "If you can read and you don't, you have no advantage over someone who can't read at all." Joby adds, "Your mind is like your muscles: if you don't use them, you lose them."
From his mom, Joby learned the power of helping others. "When you're coming from the heart, people know you're sincere. When you help other people get what they want, then you get what you want."
A Young Philanthropist
Joby's passion for making a difference in people's lives shows up in his business, his philosophy and his philanthropy.
"A leader has to be a server first," he shares. "If you can focus on other people's needs, wants, desires, and really help them to achieve it, they'll be with you for the rest of their lives."
"If you're going to live life, why not make a huge impact? You're going to put the time in anyway, so why not build an asset? If I worked a job really hard for ten, or 15 years, I can't even sell it when I want to quit. Why not build a business that's going to pay me for the rest of my life, and then give my kids the comfort they deserve?"
Last year, while trekking around the Himalayas on one of his many global adventures, Joby learned about the plight of young girls who are kidnapped as pre-teens, smuggled into India, and sold as prostitutes. He joined with others dedicated to getting his company's products to children in need, strengthening their health with nutritional supplementation and their minds by teaching them to read.
One ongoing challenge for Joby is people who are obviously in need but don't want to help themselves. "Sometimes you want your friends to succeed more than they want to. A lot of people are stuck in their ways."
When challenges arise, says Joby, "You can choose to look at them as stumbling blocks or as stepping stones."
Joby says the greatest challenge he faced when first building his business was to replace the limiting beliefs he held about his own credibility with a determination to help others. Clearly, it's a challenge he faced--and mastered.
From Goals to Legacies
Huge success and enterprise notwithstanding, Joby still finds ample time to play. An avid snowboarder, he can be found spending as much as 50 days a year with his buddies, riding the Colorado Rockies. Recently he carried a snowboard to the summit of Mt. Elbrus in Chechnya, the tallest mountain in Europe, and cruised all the way down!
And that's not a singular event: Joby intends to ascend the peaks of the highest mountains in each continent. This was only mountain number two out of seven.
"Of the six billion people alive on earth today, only 76 have climbed the seven summits; I'll be the youngest!"
Now that Joby has achieved his initial business goals, moved into his dream home on a lake in Colorado, and spoken in front of audiences in all 50 states and more than 40 countries around the world, he is thinking about the mark he'd like to leave on the world. Citing the impressive legacies left by the various members of his family, he pronounces his obligation to do the same.
One of those legacies is the country he will start someday.
Yes, you read that correctly: he intends one day to start a sovereign country.
Joby recounts meeting a man in Fiji who bought land in Australia, declared war, then later seceded from the nation to start his own country--with 15,000 citizens, currency, stamps and passports. Joby has big plans for his own country, Onamission Island, and you can be sure it will be known and respected for its strong values of wellness, freedom and philanthropy.
Sound farfetched? Here's what Joby says:
"You have to have a dream for a dream to come true. And if you can dream it, you can do it."