For her first three years in networking, Emma Peters was an enthusiastic consumer of her company’s products, but devoted only lukewarm part-time effort to the business. She could always see the potential, but she neither believed in her ability to realize that potential, nor felt the drive and motivation necessary to do so.

Prayer and soul-searching changed that for Emma. She asked that most fundamental question: “What is the purpose of my life on this earth?” And the answer came in short order: To build orphanages for impoverished children.

Rather than put this insight on the shelf for another day, Emma quit her job and launched an all-out massive-action “blitz” to reach her company’s Presidential level. Without looking back, she achieved that goal in just nine months.

Serving Children, Shaping the Future

Early on, Emma expressed her commitment to the welfare of children by choosing a career as a primary school teacher. Well before starting a networking business, she’d taken that commitment further by spending six months in Brazil working in a children’s orphanage, and for short periods of time on similar charitable projects in India and Mozambique.

“I was drawn to being a teacher because I felt I could mold a child’s life and change generations through children,” Emma says. “Teaching is such an important job, but my perspective on what I want to do with the rest of my life changed when I took the limitations off and comprehended that with financial freedom, I can make an even bigger impact.”

The suffering of the third-world orphans she worked with made a lasting impression on her, as did their resiliency and sweetness. She tapped a wellspring of motivation when she saw that success in networking offered a way to serve these children even when she couldn’t be present with them directly.

“When you spend time with these children and see how they live on the streets…” she searches for a way to end the thought, and says simply, “It has never left me. Because of my experiences with orphans, I know now that building orphanages is my mission in life.”

This realization came when Emma, who lives in London, England, was earning roughly 500 pounds per month from her networking business. She flew to the States for her company’s annual conference and the words of one of the company’s top leaders resonated in her.

“He talked about the importance of believing in ourselves—because we all have the products and the opportunity, the rest is up to us.”

Rising to the Challenge

Emma decided to be one of those who take the products and opportunity and make big things happen. She went home and took a financial risk by quitting her teaching position. Armed with a new level of belief, she drew energy for action from the act of burning her bridges.

“I had a dream board, I knew my goals, and by that point, I firmly believed that I would succeed,” she recalls. “I increased my belief by speaking out two to three pages of affirmations every day and putting my emotions into it. I believe when you put your dream out there, the people come to you and things fall into place.”

Of course, repeating affirmations was only one part of her massive-action strategy. Emma utilized as wide a variety of outreach methods as she could, from basic person-to-person prospecting, to radio advertising, to a television interview with a doctor discussing her product line. She was thrilled to accept an invitation from the same company leader who had so inspired her at the conference to spend ten days of her blitz at his estate in Hawaii.

She utilized the time to the fullest, soaking up whatever she could in the form of mentoring and coaching, while also taking advantage of the chance to have such a successful and willing company leader talk to her prospects and conduct conference calls to aid the growth of her network.

“It was incredibly powerful to be around him and other extremely successful people,” says Emma. “That trip proved very important for me personally as well as for my business.”

Indeed, in the course of the nine months, the naturally shy Emma found herself evolving into a different person—more confident, more driven, more outgoing, more persuasive. As a consequence, she began attracting different types of people than she had as a part-time networker.

The result? Nine months after quitting her job she had quadrupled her networking income. Her organization grew not only in England but also extending into the U.S., Canada and Australia as well. When she attended the annual company event the following year as a Presidential, she spoke in front of 6,000 fellow representatives—something she never could have imagined doing a short time before.

“It’s been an incredible journey,” Emma says. “Network marketing has given me a bigger vision for my life.”

Expanding Her Vision

When Emma outlined the vision that propelled her to Presidential, she set a goal of building twenty-five orphanages, beginning in India. Based on her prior work in orphanages, two strong convictions guided her thought process. First, she believes that the children’s greatest needs are for love, a home, a sense of family and improved nutrition. Second, that a small orphan home, where a group of twelve or fewer children live with a few adults caring for them, is a better setting for serving those needs than the larger institutions.

She decided the most effective role for her was to fund the construction of such homes where there were people in place who shared this vision, were willing and able to run them, and had the ability to fund ongoing operations. In addition, she would provide her company’s nutritional products for children to each of the homes she built.

This approach allows Emma to leverage her funds and her efforts. Since she neither can nor wishes to be on-site in every location where she plans to build homes, finding local, like-minded partners can maximize the impact of the income she devotes to the projects.

Fortunately, from her prior travels and church connections, Emma has enough contacts in and around the child welfare community that finding trustworthy partners is the least of her concerns. Take, for example, the process through which she funded construction of her first orphan home last year in India, south of Bangalore. Emma started there because she has a close friend in the area who was an orphan himself and had articulated a similar vision to her in the past.

“My friend there was brought up in a big institution,” she explains, “so he knows what it feels like not to have a family. I knew he had a goal of seeing small orphanages established all over India, so it was natural for us to join our visions together and support each other’s goals.”

There was already a building in place for girls at this site, and with her friend’s organizational help, Emma funded construction of a companion building for boys, ages six to fourteen. She has sent nutritional products and seen pictures of the completed structure and the boys who have moved in—now she has to plan a trip to see it up close.

Meanwhile, she’s already in the planning phase of building the second home, also in India. In order to combine her vision with that of her contacts there, this project will be on a larger scale, aimed at housing fifty children while still providing a home-style environment. In fact, Emma has no shortage of contacts in India, and could easily complete all the homes she envisions in cooperation with them. Still, she has a strong desire to go into other countries, particularly Africa, using—you guessed it—her word-of-mouth networking skills.

In the course of seeing the first home become reality and laying groundwork for the second, two important things have occurred. For herself, she has expanded her initial goal of building twenty-five orphanages into a vision of building a hundred.

“At first, twenty-five seemed like a huge goal,” Emma says, “but the whole vision has progressed—I couldn’t think on this scale before.”

Perhaps even more importantly, she has inspired many others to share the vision and contribute their own efforts to it.

“When people hear me talk about what we’re doing, it causes them to realize that they can do big things,” she explains. Whatever moves them, whether her vision or another, Emma urges them to identify and work toward it—she’s even working on a CD aimed at helping networkers do just that.

“Setting a goal for a new car or a luxury vacation is fine, but I encourage people to focus on their higher purpose.”

She is particularly happy that her father, mother and sister are actively involved in her business and her vision. Together, they set up a family charity called Acts 1:8 for collecting and distributing the funds with which the orphanages will be built. Emma’s sister recently reached the Presidential level herself, and her parents (who work in one distributorship as a team) are well on their way too.

And now others within her company have started coming forward to help fund the next home and the ongoing supply of nutritional supplements.

Emma realizes, of course, that to support this expanded vision, she has to generate substantially more income from her business—her current challenge. Much like that initial nine-month action blitz that quadrupled her income, she’s spending 2006 in the same mode, this time aiming for Platinum to match her business with the demands of her new goal.

Now that she’s built one home, Emma knows it can work, but to reach her new goal, she’ll have to build five or more per year. To do that, she needs a business that can support multiple projects at once.

“For me, this year is about the balance of it all,” Emma says. “Right now, meeting my income goals has to be my focus. Then the picture will change again and I’ll spend more time traveling and making the necessary connections for setting up the orphanages.”

Emma hopes to inspire others to see that the real potential in leverage is not just the income it can help them produce in the business, but what they can do with that income. She’s capitalizing on that potential by leveraging her time, her income, and her network to make her vision reality.

“It’s about opening your eyes to what’s possible,” she says, “and realizing you can actually achieve it.”