She was born in St. Paul, Minnesota with an entrepreneurial spirit. The only child of a single mother, she had a burning desire early on to change their financial future. At nineteen, she started her first network marketing business and loved it, got involved with top leadership, and quickly made it to the top herself.

He was born in Romania under communist regime. At nine, he came to the U.S. with his parents and siblings. They did not own a penny to their names nor speak a single word of English.

When Tami met Andre, she recruited him…as a husband first. He knew if he accepted, he would also be joining the business. He did, and two different perspectives came together to birth a vision for the future they set out to accomplish together: to make their mark on the world as a couple by teaching people how to create wealth.

Tami’s Beginnings

From her early teenage years, Tami knew her interest and passion lied in being a free spirit. In Girl Scouts she always won the contest in selling the most cookies and she became a cheerleader, a dancer and an AP student. While she grew up in a family that was career oriented—with several nurses—and instilled in her the importance of having a college degree to fall back on, she knew she wouldn’t be working for someone else any time soon.

She enrolled in college to pursue an interest in fashion but left to go into business with her mom: a Christian dating service franchise. Intended as a small business, it ended up being more of a ministry—a lot of people didn’t pay for their membership—so Tami and her mom had to look for other avenues and resources to make ends meet. That’s why they were immediately interested when one of the members presented them with his network marketing opportunity to help them create additional cash flow.

Tami jumped in with both feet selling and marketing telecommunication services, and in her fifth month she reached an income level of over ten thousand dollars a month. Her check fluctuated, but she built a large organization over several years. She learned the cycles of the business—with waves of people coming in while other groups die down—and the importance of focusing on consistent recruiting efforts.

“You have to go through many people to find leaders,” says Tami. “I learned a lot in the process. I loved helping others make money, coaching them to the point where they were able to replace their income and start dreaming again.”

Falling and Getting Up

Then the telecommunications industry went through some major changes and the company started going down hill. Tami diversified into some other ventures, and right around that time—eight years ago—she met Andre.

“It was Andre’s first exposure to the network marketing world,” Tami remembers, “and we dabbled together for about three months in what was the tail end of my first networking business.”

“I initially had a negative opinion about networking,” Andre recalls, “but when I saw Tami get these checks while she was hardly doing anything, I asked where this money was coming from. I was ready to listen if she would show me how this worked. When I got it, I thought, my goodness, why aren’t we doing this together?”

But unfortunately, the company went under and Tami’s business dried up. Like Tami, Andre had never been an employee but he had a business background with real estate and construction at the core. Together they started a design and construction firm while their networking business was going down. They got clients through referrals and Andre’s connection to Beverly Hills where he had designed and built for celebrities.

“As our own company was growing nicely, we also got involved with a start-up network marketing company in which we made a significant investment, until it folded four months later,” says Tami. “We then stayed away from other opportunities, got approached but had a bad taste in our mouth. We were laser-focused on building our company.”

Tami & Andre Popa in Catalina Island for a day of fun with their Leadership Team.

Andre & Tami Popa driving a Lamborghini Gallardo in Munich, Germany.

Andre & Tami Popa were promoted to a top leadership position in their company.

Finding Their Dream Company

Then, fifteen months ago, Tami’s mom came back from a week-long real estate boot camp that promised to turn people into successful real estate investors for the price of $10,000. Andre had signed up but couldn’t go, so she went in his place. The seminar had inspired her to get involved in real estate investing so she joined a real estate investor’s network and started to learn the ropes, when someone introduced her to a company that offered educational programs in real estate investing. She attended a two-day training and got involved in the direct sales opportunity the company offered.

“She told Andre and me all about it,” says Tami. “Not looking for anything, we agreed to just check it out for her in case it was a scam! At that time we were extremely busy and stressed, working long hours seven days a week to build our company. Our plan was to grow the company bigger, so it was only going to get worse, and we were already burning the candle at both ends.”

“When we sat through the briefing, we thought, wow, this is incredible. If we had each gathered all of our experience to design the perfect company for our personalities and our interests, this was it. We felt it was that perfect.”

“Without much hesitation, we jumped on board,” says Andre. “I thought, if this is even half as good as it looks, it is the solution to all our dreams—and our pains. We came to the business with a certain stress and hunger for change. Every single dream of ours was all of a sudden possible in this company.”

The company’s primary focus is education and Tami and Andre have always dedicated themselves to learning. The real estate part was very familiar to them; they knew we would always do real estate. And the direct sales part was like finding an old friend for Tami.

The Excitement of Changing Lives

“I discovered that direct sales is very much like network marketing,” says Tami. “It reminded me of what I loved in my first company and the other company we did briefly. It stirred back up in me what had excited me about the profession—working together and training others to do the business successfully. Being in direct sales, I loved that the structure was different: you make a lot more money up front. Being in real estate, we had spent the last ten years in design and construction. Today we focus on teaching people how to create wealth through business ownership and real estate investing.”

“That summarizes exactly what we do,” says Andre, “but it started out as a plan b for us. We fell in love with this company and jumped in, but we had no intention of selling our design and construction firm because we put a lot of energy and passion into that. Within a few short months, however, the direct sales opportunity had become more fun, more profitable and a much bigger resource than our own company.”

“We brainstormed about how to get out of our company and set a plan in motion,” says Tami. “We had thirteen jobs going at the time, so this was no small task, but we knew we had to follow our hearts. We were having more fun, less stress and we were changing other people’s lives while changing our own. There is nothing more exciting and rewarding!”

“Once we made our decision, it was easy,” says Andre. “We went about our day with what we had already going on—we both had full schedules—and told the people about the business. We started talking and sharing. While it was mostly ‘ignorance on fire,’ we saw the light at the end of the tunnel. It lit us up and we started telling everybody: our employees, our vendors, our clients.”

Building the Foundation

“We started with our own network,” Tami explains, “and each week we invited personal guests to what we call an investor briefing, where people can see an overview of the opportunity. That’s how we built the business for the first several months. Ninety days into the business we crossed $100K in income. That was the turning point of ‘Wow, this is big!’ After three months, we started doing briefings and trainings ourselves.”

“We market education, college tuition packages and educational tools for real estate investing, business ownership and financial literacy,” says Andre. “We spend our days talking to people. When I think back of how stressed our lives were before, I get butterflies in my stomach because there is such a difference in lifestyles between what we were used to and what our days are like today. We work a lot but we don’t have stress. We surround ourselves with positive-minded people. We are closely connected to the leaders and founders of our company, all of whom are very wealthy and the most giving souls you could meet. We are simply blessed.”

Tami and Andre live in South Redondo Beach with their home office overlooking the ocean. They get up in the morning and hold a short business briefing together over breakfast to set up their call schedule and day. They start calling people they’ve met through the three-foot rule, through advertisement (such as on the back of their cars), newspaper ads, lead programs and networking groups.

“We meet people all the time,” says Tami, “and we have a large warm market we haven’t fully gone through from our previous businesses.”

Tami and Andre also do a lot of coaching and training to help others in their organization reach a level where they start earning income. Several times a week they travel and give guest presentations at meetings organized by people in their group. It is this commitment and dedication, along with their own production, that earned them one of the top leadership positions in the company.

When asked about the secret to their success, the Popas answer it is 80 percent mindset and 20 percent activity. “First, absolutely decide you want to do this,” says Tami. “Then move beyond your fears and work on yourself. The business becomes your own personal development journey. You make money because of who you are, not so much what you do. People buy you.”

The Popas have always been committed to personal growth. They were recently coached by Dave Blanchard from the Og Mandino Group and Jeffrey Combs from More Heart Than Talent. They have also been blessed with the business mentorship of their company’s co-founders Jim Piccolo and Bob Snyder.

“Jim and Bob are both multi-millionaires who don’t work as professional coaches,” says Andre, “but they have taken us under their wing and created a successful track for us to run on. They have given us a lot of business knowledge and marketing tools we have used to reach the next level.”

What Tami likes most about their business is to be in control of her income, to be challenged and the opportunity to work with other leaders who are like-minded, positive people.

“I was born with a desire to teach others and make a difference. That’s been with me throughout my life. I feel that everything we have done and wanted to do has come alive in this business and our potential has been unleashed.”