At age 23, Stacy Whited and her husband David considered moving from Colorado to Nashville and pursuing Stacy’s lifelong dream of becoming a country singer. They would have fit right in with the tens of thousands of country singer hopefuls who flock to Nashville each year: they were dirt poor and utterly naive about the entertainment business.

Instead, Stacy and David waited until they both turned 30 to make the big move. The delayed-gratification strategy paid off. Now, after only eleven months in Nashville, they have landed themselves a top music producer, a collection of songs written by famous country writers and a CD that came out just last month (you can hear samples at www.networkingtimes.com/link/stacywhited). And have they increased their odds of hitting the big-time in the music business? No question—probably something like from one in 1000 to one in 10.

And regardless of how those odds play, there’s no denying that they’ve put themselves in the enviable position of being able to pursue their dreams without having to sweat about how they’re going to keep a roof over their heads.

 

Humble Beginnings

Seven years earlier, living in Colorado, they were sweating about exactly that. In fact, it wasn’t just the question of a roof—they weren’t sure how they were going to feed themselves and their three-year-old, Colton. Unable to work for the first time because of a pregnancy-related illness, Stacy realized that David’s telemarketing job (which he loathed) wasn’t bringing in enough money to make ends meet. They agreed that he would take on a second job at a dry cleaners.

With David working two jobs and Stacy still ill, they were forced to put Colton into daycare—which cost, of course, more money. Stacy’s rising healthcare costs compounded their problems. Soon David was forced to take on a third job, this one as server at a banquet facility. Yet money still remained so tight that on his days off, David would either give blood for money or work at the local car wash.

“We were desperate,” recalls Stacy. David adds, “If we found, say, five extra dollars in the couch, we considered that a great day.”

 

A Chance Phone Call

In one of those rare moments when David was not at some job or other, he got a phone call from his brother Kelly, who was coming to David and Stacy’s region and was looking to find someone with a sharp, entrepreneurial mind to join his business. Did David know anyone who might be a good fit?

“I said, ‘Yeah—me!’ but he didn’t believe me at first. I had to talk my own brother into believing I was the right man for the job.”

That “job” was, of course, a network marketing business, which brought David face-to-face with two obstacles.

First, he had briefly tried network marketing several years earlier and failed at it. The experience had soured Stacy on the whole idea.

“When I found out he was trying it again, I didn’t speak to him for two weeks!” says Stacy.

Second, despite David’s earlier foray into network marketing, he really had no idea how to build a successful network marketing company. Moreover, since he was the first to take on the product line in Colorado Springs, there was no local training or support.

“There were a lot of things working against me,” David remembers. “But there was one big factor in my favor: I was desperate.”

 

First Steps Down the Road

David immediately started talking to people about his new company; whenever anyone expressed any interest, he immediately got his brother on the phone to fill in everything he didn’t know.

“By listening in, I slowly learned from my brother what to say to people,” says David. “At the same time, after struggling so hard in lousy jobs for years, I started to feel like somebody important long before I was, mostly because my brother made me feel that way.”

Success didn’t come quickly. It took three months for David to make his first $300.

“I would sell blood plasma to make a few bucks, then go straight from there to meet a new prospect,” says David.

Soon, Stacy’s health improved to the point that she could join in the business, and things began to pick up. Within another few months, they were making enough money for David to drop three of his four jobs. Only three months later he was able to drop the last remaining job—the long-despised telemarketing gig.

Less than a year after they had started their new business, they were making over $100,000 per year—four times the largest annual earnings they’d ever seen before.

 

Opening Doors

Now, seven years after stepping into the network marketing world, Stacy and David have enough residual income that they never have to work again, and that’s certainly important to them. Perhaps even more important are the skills they’ve developed from network marketing, skills they can apply to achieving their dream of building a career in country music, with Stacy singing and David managing her career.

What are the most crucial of those skills?

“First,” says David, “be consistent. Even if people come into network marketing without marketing skills, they can still be successful if they stick to it.

“Second,” David continues, “is to be coachable. Listen to people who are already successful.”

“And third,” Stacy adds, “is, put blinders on and go for it! Don’t let fears, don’t let your ego, don’t let what others think hold you back.”

There’s no denying the long odds of making it in the music business. But with a track record of success in business like Stacy and David’s, and with those three crucial skills developed through network marketing now being a core part of who they are, this is one music team we wouldn’t bet against.