“…An incredibly gifted, talented, creative, cool cat, who inspires so many to reach for more … and [whose] tireless work ethic is unmatched… one of the finest leaders I have ever had the honor to work with; a man of integrity, vision and strength that inspires thousands to forge ahead with their dreams.” These are direct quotes from some of Corey Citron’s team mates.

You might think that someone who’s “made it” and gets these sorts of accolades is resting on his laurels. Not Corey Citron. Speaking to me from Chattanooga, Tennessee on his way to give a presentation in Atlanta, he is in the midst of a 20-city tour to support his business builders.

Says Corey, “The world is my playground. I love traveling, I love empowering people to be their best, working with others and watching their dreams come true. Since hitting it big, I can spend the time doing the things I love to do.”

And big his business is: 30,000 people spanning 14 countries, with $2 million per month in volume—all created in less than 24 months.

That’s if you’re not counting Corey’s years of trials and tribulations while learning the ropes.

It All Started…

As early as age nine, Corey was exercising his entrepreneurial muscle by selling pizza to classmates during lunch. Bucking his professional lineage and the jobs awaiting Stanford graduates, 23-year-old Corey opened his own nightclub on Florida’s South Beach. He soon found out it wasn’t all glitz and glamour.

“Employees, overhead, inventory, insurance and long hours made me start to wonder if there might be another way,” recalls Corey. “After watching my father work 12-hour days as a doctor, I knew that even if I were paid a high salary, it would be extremely difficult to create the time freedom and lifestyle I really wanted.”

So when a nurse in Corey’s dad’s office invited him to “a meeting” in 1995, Corey’s mind was open and ready.

“The concept of residual income—to work hard one time and create an income that follows you for the rest of your life—made a huge impression on me,” says Corey. “I thought to myself, ‘What if this could actually work?’ “

One Step Closer to Success

Since that fateful day in 1995, Corey has joined nearly 20 networking companies. He jokes about it: “Sometimes people ask me what companies I’ve been with over the years. I tell them, that’s the wrong question to be asking. The real question is, which companies haven’t I been with?”

He signed up mostly to learn about each company’s products, compensation plan and culture, working only five of those companies for more than a year. After years of struggle, he found his stride with the last two of these five.

“Some people quit when they fail. I see failures as getting me one step closer to success.” Corey chalks up his current success to the fact that he struggled to learn this business. “I had all the questions myself: ‘What do I do? Whom do I talk to? What should I say? What shouldn’t I say?’ “ Reflecting on his learning path, he says, “Smart people learn from their own mistakes. Wise people learn from others’ mistakes.”

A World of Wisdom

Gathering nuggets to share with his team wherever he goes, he constantly asks himself, “How can I take this experience and relate it to helping others?

“It’s like life imitating business,” says Corey. “It’s not work; it’s play…a way of living the profession.”

For example, last spring in Germany, he had the thrill ride of his life: driving 175 miles per hour around a race track.

“You’d think they’d have given us intense training,” exclaims Corey, “but all they did was give us walkie-talkies and a lead driver to follow. We increased our speed each lap. The only thing we were told was to focus on the inside lane, focus on the inside lane, focus on the inside lane. They told us, if we focus on the wall, we will go into the wall!”

Seeing easy analogies to networking, Corey now shares this story in his highly-acclaimed training programs. Follow the leader. Stay in communication. Focus on those going in your direction; ignore those who aren’t doing anything.

What to Do to Be Successful

Corey says there are only two things to do to be successful.

“Expose the business and collect the decision. Period. Challenges arise when people let their past and their emotions get in the way.”

An innovator and early adapter of the Internet, Corey’s first online recruiting system quickly topped the industry by enrolling 100,000 individuals in just 18 months. This was a far cry from his early days in networking, when the big technology of the day was fax-on-demand and “running around putting flyers in phone booths.”

Now, says Corey, the Internet allows him to “separate those who are serious from those who are just curious. It allows me to leverage my time, because I can be making thousands of presentations simultaneously while I’m on the road, or while I’m sleeping.

“Tasks that used to monopolize a large portion of my time are now automated,” he says, “like follow-up. Autoresponders, voice-mail audio dialers and video e-mail make me appear that I am in tens of thousands of places at the same time.”

His ability to make his online system work even for the “technology-handicapped” is one of Corey’s calling cards. “I make it cookie-cutter; people coming on board my team have an instantly duplicable online marketing system with all the bells and whistles.

“The Internet is the ultimate network. If you’re not capitalizing on the Internet, you’re tapping into only 25 percent of what this business has to offer.”

With all that technology can offer, Corey is quick to point out the necessity for personal contact. He personally calls prospects who return to his site multiple times and fill out his online form.

He also conducts live conference calls and speaks at events around the world.

“High tech does not replace personal one-on-one contact,” says Corey. “Belly-to-belly is where the rubber meets the road. That’s why I’m on the road right now. I use high tech, and back it up with high touch.”

Belief is the Key

Regardless of how simple the technology, and how short the “to-do” list, Corey says success is directly proportional to the strength of one’s belief.

“I can teach someone all the skills, be there to support them, do three-ways calls, fly to their city and do an event for them. But if they don’t have the belief, they won’t be able to gather enough people for the events,” says Corey. “To attract the right people, you have to have very solid beliefs in four areas: your products, company, profession and yourself.”

Corey’s initial lack of belief and feelings of embarrassment about being involved in network marketing gave him a slow start. He says, “If someone had told me that I would have gone on from Stanford to build a career in network marketing, I would have told them they were bonkers!”

Now he shows them that such high-caliber businessmen as Warren Buffett and Richard Branson are purchasing or starting up their own direct selling businesses.

“With guys like that involved, do you think I care what someone’s uncle who has all the answers and none of the money says? If Warren Buffett’s spending a billion dollars on a direct selling company, someone might think it’s wise to spend $35 and join mine.”

“I rely heavily on the resources I get from Networking Times,” he says. “It’s no coincidence that the biggest income earners also have the biggest libraries. If you’re not reading Kiyosaki, Pilzer and others, you’re not really in the business. Ignorance on fire is only going to work so long.”

Belief in Your Company and Products

Having researched so many companies, Corey found that those he chose had to align with his desire to help others.

“Some companies are in it only for the money. Don’t get me wrong—you want your company to make a profit! But you also want it to be motivated by a real love of people.”

Corey strongly suggests meeting with the company’s owners and management before committing.

“It’s critical that the people running the company have experience running a multi-million dollar network marketing company. It’s one thing to run a company doing $5 million a month; it’s another to run a business doing $50 million a month. It takes an entirely different mindset.”

Belief in Yourself

Corey spends a good deal of time in what he calls his “traveling university,” listening to audios by motivational trainers such as Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn and Brian Tracey.

“At some point, you’re going to have to face the fact that your check is never going to grow more than you grow personally,” says Corey. “Being comfortable with yourself, not focusing on what other people think…doing what a high-performance athlete like Tiger Woods does.

“Most people have about 5000 thoughts per day. High-performance athletes have about 3000, all focused on enhancing their lives and those around them. They’re not negative, low-self-esteem thoughts.”

Corey suggests hanging out with people who are the high achievers in networking.

“We attract what we become,” he says, “so if you want more than what you have today, you need to become more than what you are today.”

Corey giving his mom, Janice Stieglitz, flowers on stage at a recent convention.

Mother and Partner

One of the great things about this profession, says Corey, is that you get to choose who you work with. Adds Corey, “I chose my mom.”

Supporting herself her whole life, Janice Stieglitz once worked three jobs simultaneously. Like her son, she struggled through the early days of her networking career.

“Now,” says Corey, “she’s achieved the level of success that’s allowed her to go full-time, to realize her dreams, to live life on her own terms.”

When Janice returned from a three-week trip in Europe, her organization had increased by 1000 people and her income by thousands of dollars. In September, she enjoyed a leadership vacation in Thailand where she rode elephants and reveled in traveling the world with her husband and teammates.

“It’s been a pleasure to watch Mom become healthy and wealthy as we work together, travel and speak at conferences. I love that she can take off whenever she wants to visit with my sister’s son, her first grandson.”

With network marketing as his chosen career, Corey has been able to fulfill his own dreams—and to delight in helping those he loves fulfill theirs.