Luke Krcil first got involved in network marketing thirteen years ago. His initial experience in the business wasn’t very positive, and for the first four years he kept wondering whether he really wanted to be a networking professional.
“I resisted it,” he says, “but network marketing kept finding me. I could see the beauty of people working together as a team and using the power of leverage for wealth-building, but something didn’t feel quite right.”
It wasn’t until he found his current company nine years ago that he felt he’d found a mission and a purpose he could fully get behind.
“Even then, it never occurred to me that I would reach the top in my company,” he says. “I simply focused on my own growth and development, and on falling in love with the master’s journey, meaning I fell in love with the craft more than with the benefit that comes from being a master of the craft.”
According to Luke, success is the natural outcome of the master’s journey—not the focus. He learned this from being involved in twelve-step programs. He believes life is a process of expanding our awareness and cultivating the right relationships to self, to other and to spirit. This also means that we never arrive, because this process is ever-unfolding. The journey is the destination.
Unlike many network marketers, Luke is not living for milestones such as reaching a certain income level or retiring in a particular number of years. Instead, he lives life very much in the present and he can’t imagine retiring any time soon. He enjoys traveling the world, building teams in different cities in the U.S. and Europe, and sharing his life with like-minded people. He says network marketing is the greatest adventure he’s ever been on, in every dimension, and calls it the accelerated game of life.
“The leverage inherent in our business model can be used for any purpose in the world,” says Luke. “People who are concerned about the future of our planet or who want to make a difference need to look at the power of networks and the power of leverage, because they allow us to achieve our goals and dreams much more quickly.”
Luke discovered network marketing in his early teens. His brother had become a distributor for one of the oldest and largest network marketing companies in the world. In college, Luke met some more distributors from the same company, who used to tell him, “Come to our house for a get-together.” When he got there, they would ask him to join their organization. This recruiting approach was a major turn-off for Luke, which led him to hold some misconceptions about the networking profession.
The next time Luke was exposed to network marketing was much later when he was living in Phoenix, Arizona and faced with a health crisis.
“My physical condition suddenly presented extraordinary challenges,” says Luke, “and I was looking for an extraordinary solution. Even though I had done many things right in my life—I had education, I had work history, I had savings—my medical expenses were consuming most of my financial resources, and I had to start all over.”
The solution Luke was looking for needed to include wealth-building and lifestyle freedom.
“My health didn’t allow me to work at the time,” says Luke. “I’d lost fifty-four pounds of muscle weight. I was going to a chiropractic office and that’s where a friend introduced me to what he believed to be a network marketing opportunity, but actually turned out to be a pyramid scheme.”
Luke got involved because his friends convinced him—temporarily—but the closer he looked at the company, the more he became suspicious of its legitimacy. He went to check the law under the state of Arizona, and when he applied it to this so-called network marketing opportunity, it became clear it was an illegal pyramid. He immediately broke the news to his friends, but they said, “Luke, you just don’t see it correctly.”
Luke doubted himself for another three months, then walked into one of their meetings and laid the pyramid scheme law on the table. He popped his friends’ bubble by showing them the truth, and they stopped their meetings. Luke cashed out what remained of his already devastated life savings and repaid everyone he had gotten involved.
“Some of those people ended up joining my current network marketing business,” he says, “and today, thirteen years later, they have made me extremely large amounts of money. I knew at the time that the most precious thing we have—in business and in life—is trust.
“I also took responsibility for other people’s choices in this case, but the result was that they viewed me as a leader and trusted my judgment and discernment even more.”
Finding the Right Opportunity
This early experience helped Luke get crystal clear about what constitutes a legitimate network marketing opportunity and what doesn’t, and the negative impact that illegal pyramids masquerading as network marketing opportunities can have on the profession.
For the next four years, Luke had modest success with various network marketing companies. When he finally found the company he’s been with for the past nine years, he evaluated it for four months before joining. He even tracked down the founder and CEO in a parking lot after a late-night radio show in Phoenix to corner him with questions.
“It was more like an interrogation,” says Luke. “Make this your number one criterion in choosing a network marketing opportunity: look at the founders and make sure you find complete transparency and integrity. Relationships that last, business or personal, are based upon transparency and integrity. No integrity, no trust.
“For the first four years I was dabbling in the profession, I was very impressionable. I took everything at face value, including people’s product and income claims. Growing up in a small, rural community in South Dakota, I was used to being able to trust people, but as I entered the world, I learned that I could not always do that. People who are living on false pretense often believe their own illusions, which can make things even trickier.”
As Luke got to know the CEO of this new company, he discovered a man with impeccable integrity and clarity of vision.
“The company I’m with has a powerful mission, which is focused on saving the rainforest. That’s a cause I personally could completely get behind, which brings me to another important factor in choosing a company: make sure that it has a culture that resonates with who you are. You’re looking for your tribe, in the sense Seth Godin explains in his latest book Tribes. Don’t choose a company just because you feel sold on the quality of the product. If you don’t feel like you’ve found your tribe, it will to be hard to succeed.
“A third key to success is finding good mentorship. Even though anybody can do this business, it becomes a whole lot easier when you find inspiring role models who are willing to teach you. There are learned skills to being a networker, to working with people and leading a team.
“Beyond that, look for some basic components for success in your company, such as a consumable product and a simple system to build the business. I tell new people, ‘Do you know how to build Legos? You build your network like you put together Legos, by following certain steps and duplicating a system.’ ”
A Chance to Grow and Empower Others
Once Luke had found his tribe, he went on to build a large organization and today he is the top distributor in his company.
“I’m a servant leader,” he says. “I’m not motivated by money; however, the more I serve my people and my company, the more my income grows.”
Looking back on his journey, Luke feels he stumbled upon an amazing profession with tremendous rewards that reach much further than his initial desires.
“When I started, I was looking for extraordinary solutions in terms of income and lifestyle, but what made me fall in love with the profession was who I was becoming in the process. I had been an officer in the military and done many different things, but when I found network marketing, it felt like I was back at square one in my life. I quickly realized that whatever buttons were left to be pushed inside me were going to be pushed, and I would be forced to grow. To this day, my deepest yearning is to expand, to evolve and become the highest expression of who I am. Network marketing is providing me with the perfect vehicle for this.
“Another aspect I fell in love with is seeing who other people are becoming and how I can help them step into their power, express themselves and contribute. Empowering others is something I get very passionate about. When people in my team walk across the stage with a look on their faces of ‘Yes, I did it!’ I feel a real thrill knowing that I contributed to that in some way.
“I remember when this profession really clicked for me, I was at a pretty low point in my life. I was going through health and financial
challenges, and there were people who helped and empowered me. When building my team, I look for people who are in a similar place, where they want to contribute but could use some support.
“When we show up in life and offer whatever gifts we have, then life responds in kind and supports us. My way of giving back today is to look for others who may have gone through difficult times and are ready for a fresh start. Having been there, I’ve become very good at discerning when people are at this point. Despite their circumstances, I see them as fully capable and empower them to spread their wings and fly. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing people fly.
“Naturally, in this business I’m richly rewarded for helping others. When I worked in the
nonprofit sector, I invested a lot of time and energy into making a difference—heading up an organic farming project or lobbying on Capitol Hill for environmental issues. I would often feel resentful because I was working for very little money and feeling that I had little impact.
“Network marketing uses business as a positive force in the world. My company and my profession allow me to create a better life for the planet and the human family, while richly rewarding me.”
Luke approaches prospecting and building his team as possibility marketing.
“Everybody I meet is a possibility,” he says. “I never know what’s going to come out of a meeting and I don’t have an agenda. I may tune into a person’s energy and decide that it isn’t someone I want to work with. This is not a judgment; it’s simply a discernment I’ve learned to trust.
“I’m not into accumulating just any new sign-ups. I’ll be working with these people ten, twenty or thirty years, so I don’t want to ‘pick up projects.’ At the same time, I do want to contribute and empower other people, so it’s a delicate balance, but usually there are clear signs, almost like red lights or green lights.
“For example, when I’m at a restaurant and a waiter comes up, and he seems real friendly, I say, ‘You’re a real friendly guy. You ever thought about working for yourself?’ I did this a few weeks ago and it turned out that the waiter’s father was a trainer for a major network marketing company. His son was looking for the right opportunity and a few minutes into our conversation, we had set up a trust relationship that led him to calling me regularly to find out what we are up to with our company. He’s now an emerging leader in my network.
“Another way of connecting with a person might involve sampling the product. I actually gift product: I give away a whole bottle of product to the people I’d like to have on my team. I’ve acquired all my leaders this way. I value people’s time and consider giving them a bottle of juice a small investment for having them evaluate my product and opportunity. The underlying message is that I’m not selling; I’m truly building a relationship based on kindness and respect.
“Some people feel, ‘I can’t afford to give my product away!’ I don’t see it this way. Even in the beginning, when I didn’t have the resources, the question I always asked myself was, how can I afford that?
“Instead of trying to sell someone, I always go for the relationship and build trust. I come from a place of love and contribution, and I gift people with a product that could enhance their health. I don’t randomly gift the public with product; I essentially pre-qualify people by beginning to form a relationship with them.
“For example, I’m in a men’s organization in Los Angeles and I started sharing product with the group. At one point, I asked, ‘Are you guys thinking about your future?’ They were getting downsized at the time, and said, ‘What do you want us to sell for you?’ I said, ‘No! I don’t want you to sell. That’s a sure-fire way to fail.’
“In network marketing, the people who focus on selling have a job—and they work hard at it. Others aren’t going to want to do what they do. I focus on making friends and having fun, offering people options to have a better life—better health, more money, better lifestyle, opportunities for personal development, for travel, for meeting new and exciting people.
“Ultimately, the most important part of building a network marketing business is to enjoy yourself and live in gratitude. The first thing people purchase is me; if I’m not happy, no one will want to hear what I have to say. Today I’ve become a people magnet, but it hasn’t always been this way. When I first got started, I wasn’t exactly happy, but there was something inside me—I like to call it the Forrest Gump principle—that showed others that I was up to something. Even though I had problems, I was passionate and inspired to make a change.”
A Global Mission
Beyond the personal rewards, Luke also has a global agenda for his network marketing career.
“My hope is that my company will somehow impact the whole profession and be a shining example of what’s possible. I’m looking forward to creating a billion-dollar company and making a tremendous contribution to the future of humanity. Our company has a big mission, which is also timely: to stem the tide of rainforest destruction. We have only about ten to twenty years left to turn things around, or we’ll lose the entire rainforest.
“Protecting the Amazon rainforest is crucial for our planet’s climatic stability. Twenty percent of our oxygen comes from the Amazon rainforest; we also have about twenty years worth of fossil fuel tied up in the rainforest canopy, in the form of wood. Scientists predict that if we destroy the rainforest to the point where only 60 percent remains, the Amazon will turn into a savanna and the whole rainforest will disappear. The consequences for the planet would be devastating.
“What better solution to this problem than to use a business model with leverage? Obviously, there’s room for many players to make a positive contribution to the future of the rainforest. It’s important for the entire planet to wake up to the urgency of the situation and take action.
“Our company is just one contributor. Using the model of network marketing and the power of leverage, we can do something of significant proportions quickly. In addition, our company is committed to eco-commerce and sustainability, and also in those areas we can accomplish more and faster using our business model.
“Finally, another personal agenda I have has to do with the profession of network marketing itself and what it can be. I’ve been one of its greatest critics and now I am one of its greatest proponents. Despite all the resistance I’ve had to making it my life’s career, thirteen years later I’m here doing it and having a blast.
“I’ve let go of my negative experiences and I’m applying the energy I used to resist it into creating a profession I am proud to be part of, based upon the values I cherish. These values revolve around trust, honor, love and contribution. These are the things that make my heart sing and give meaning to my relationships and my life."