Fifteen years ago, George Ruiz knew how to buy and sell properties. What he didn’t know was how to weather an economic downturn. When Florida real estate took a dive, he was unprepared and lost everything—even his car was repossessed. With four small children to feed, he went searching.

“I read a magazine article about network marketing,” says George, “and it opened my mind. I got excited and called more than a hundred ads from USA Today and various other magazines.” George was about to learn his first lesson about networking—the importance of follow-up. “Amazingly, only seven or eight people called me back,” he says. “Of those, only two called back a second time. I signed up with one of them.”

He didn’t want to tell his sponsor that he had absolutely no money to invest in his new business. Instead, he sold his TV and microwave, and borrowed the rest…from his first prospect!

Getting Started

“My first eighteen months in network marketing were very, very difficult,” George recalls. “We averaged fifty to a hundred dollars a month, not even enough for buying groceries.” When he heard Bob Proctor was coming to his area to teach a success seminar, George thought it might just be what he needed to turn around his business and his life.

“I learned from that seminar that success isn’t so much about what we do to build a business as it is about what we do to build ourselves,” he recalls. “When I learned about the law of attraction, I realized I’d been sabotaging myself with negative thoughts that were creating negative results.”

George eagerly asked questions at the seminar and learned from other participants.

“I soon realized that in sales, I’d learned to fly solo, to be the star of the show,” he says. “But in network marketing, the people who are successful work in teams, with everyone in partnership.”

Ninety days later, everything started to flow.

“My mindset had changed and I was now focused on partnership,” he explains. “For the first time I was attracting the partners I wanted. That was the law of attraction at work. When I gave up the idea that I had to be in control and began delegating, everything shifted. That’s teamwork.”

Amazed at the ease with which his new business was growing, George noticed other benefits of his new attitude.

“I began to trust people and discovered that every person has the potential to be a leader. Most people don’t know this about themselves because of their limiting beliefs. It’s our job to inspire people to discover their potential.”

Building a Team

At one point George reached a high of $10,000 in monthly earnings, but when his company went through some difficulties he decided to leave. (Six months later, the company went bankrupt.) He joined another company, applied what he had learned and built a six-figure income in eight years.

One of his recruits was an older man, Jimmy Smith [see Master Networker, March/April 2005], who had just filed for bankruptcy. Jimmy became one of George’s best friends, best leaders and more.

“I lost my father when I was nineteen,” says George. “Jimmy’s personality reminded me so much of my father’s that he became a father figure to me. That man has so much energy! At seventy-eight he can still dance until three o’clock in the morning.”

A few years later, Jimmy left to join another company. For a while, George worried about him.

“He kept calling me to take a look at his new business and I thought maybe he was getting a little senile,” says George. “Then Jimmy traveled across the country for a visit and when I saw him I thought, ‘Wow! He looks so good. I wonder what he’s doing.’ That’s when I decided to take a look at his new products.”

Now the tables have turned: George is in Jimmy’s downline. By applying what he learned about positive thinking and the law of attraction, George has earned over one million dollars in just three years and a half. He attributes his success to the people he has attracted to his business and the team he has been able to build.

“In traditional businesses, when team members work well together, most of the benefits go to one or a few people at the top,” says George. “In network marketing, a team’s efforts benefit everyone.”

To illustrate his point, George describes a recent home meeting he attended.

“A team of three presenters led the meeting. I sat back and watched, impressed with their posture and power. After the video and brief presentation, an analytically-minded businessman said, ‘This is the best presentation I’ve ever seen!’”

One of the presenters had been in the business for only a month and a half. After the presentation, she was bombarded with questions.

“She became one of the stars of the show,” says George. “I was the highest income earner in the room, but no one even noticed me! That’s great. By sharing the leadership, everyone wins.”

Another benefit of team-building is the close friendships it creates. After that home meeting, even though it was late on a weekday night, thirty-five of the almost fifty in attendance went to dinner together to share their excitement.

Steps to Success

In addition to applying the law of attraction, George focuses on the basics.

“Most people make this business too complex, with fancy auto-responders and web sites. The truth is, network marketing is a simple business with very few steps.”

He goes on to outline the five simple steps he teaches his team.

The first step is, “Use your products.” In the traditional sales world, people who sell a brand may personally use an entirely different brand (for example, a Chevy salesman who drives a Mercedes). This doesn’t work in network marketing. People will notice how you look and feel, and those who visit your home will notice what products you use. If you sell personal care products, don’t have another company’s products on display in your bathrooms!

The second step is, “Share your products and opportunity.” In network marketing you don’t sell, you share your experience. Traditional marketing tries to promote products through advertising; in network marketing, people are attracted by the personal stories you share. When you believe in your products, talking about them is like sharing a gift.

George’s two favorite presentation tools center around stories: a company publication that features both the business and products, and the videos on his company’s website. In addition to face-to-face home meetings held all over the country, his team is experimenting with new technologies that enable broadcasting of presentations in multiple locations simultaneously.

One of his leaders offered to do an online presentation to a couple in another state who then filled their living room with fifty people. They hooked their computer up to their large screen TV and successfully broadcasted his presentation. “The new technology we use has the potential to broadcast a presentation in hundreds of locations at the same time,” claims George.

The third step is, “Follow up.” After sharing his story, George asks a series of questions to identify his prospect’s level of interest, starting with, “What do you love most about what you have seen?”

If the person is not interested, he asks for referrals and says goodbye. For those who express interest, he asks, “What else do you love?” George says he doesn’t want to convince anyone: he wants to make sure his prospects convince themselves.

Then he asks, “Are you ready to take the next step?” or “Can you see yourself doing this?”

George notes, “This is where people usually come up with objections. After you move those out of the way, the person either decides, ‘Yes. Let’s go!’ or…” George smiles, “…it’s ‘Not now, maybe in thirty years.’”

The fourth step is, “Teach others to do the same.”

The fifth step is, “Repeat the process.” All too often, people do steps one through four only once and then move into management mode, says George. He suggests staying with the process until you have created such momentum that you can stop (if you want to) and the team’s momentum will continue to snowball.

Commitment

Along with following the five basic steps, George says one’s proper mental attitude is essential. Some people do all the mechanics, but their re-sults don’t match their intention. That’s when George guides them to look at what they are focusing on.

“People who say they want to be positive and who are always watching the news are putting their attention on the negative,” he says. “Our attention must follow our intention, or the results will be different from what we want.”

For those who say they want to build a business team but find themselves with customers only, George suggests they monitor where they are putting their attention. Are they looking for potential leaders or only for people who are unhealthy and could use their products?

Additionally, George points out that networkers must learn to sustain their focus for the long haul.

“Many people think that if they start their business and do the right things with the right attitude, they will get results right away. This business is like planting seeds,” he explains. “You have to make sure your attention is consistent and be conscious of when it goes to a different place. It is easy to get distracted. That’s why it’s important to be on a constant personal development journey, always reading and listening to uplifting material.”

Among the books George recommends are Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill; Unlimited Power, by Anthony Robbins; and The Science of Success, by James Ray. He reads and listens to everything produced by Bob Proctor. His current favorite is the DVD The Secret. Since his team started watching The Secret, his business has exploded. George now assigns watching The Secret multiple times as homework for all new business associates.

George’s life looks vastly different now from the way it looked fifteen years ago, when he didn’t have enough money to put food on the table. He has moved his family from Florida to the mountains of Utah, loves going to restaurants and not having to look at the right side of the menu, and daily wakes up “of natural causes.”

The freedom he has earned now gives him precious time with his family, including his first grandchild. And while many would retire with an income like his, says George, “I can’t imagine ever stopping. When someone recently asked me, ‘What do you do for fun?’ I said, ‘My business!’”