My life's journey began rather unconventionally, when at the age of 9, I left home to live in an ashram in the mountains of the Philippines. Driven by my innate thirst for knowledge, I found a spiritual master and mentor who taught me some universal principles and practices for finding peace, freedom and fulfillment in life.

When I became involved in network marketing, I was amazed at how many of these principles were the very ones required to truly succeed in this profession.

First of all, our business centers around people. To succeed one needs to develop relationships. Relationships are built on trust, and trust is developed over time through integrity. Integrity comes from within and is reflected in everything we say or do. The foundation for integrity is not laid overnight, but comes as a result of years of self-inquiry and a commitment to character and truth.

If you have lived indifferently all your life, you cannot expect to succeed at gaining trust and building relationships. The people we meet instantly form a mental picture of us based on our actions and behaviors. How they react to us is mostly based on this mental picture, which, to a large extent, we have helped them paint. This image is not easy to change.

In many ways, network marketing serves as a wake-up call. When people accept to join our business, it is reassuring to know that we are doing some things right. When people reject us, we usually already know why!

Life teaches us that we have to be true to ourselves, acknowledge what we don't know and be prepared to learn it—today! Amazingly, this is also the very first lesson every network marketer has to learn.

Network marketing was not a natural choice for me. Like many people in the Philippines, I carried a negative perception of the profession—until I met Dato' Vijay Eswaran (my business partner today). This man did not seem preoccupied with closing a sale or intent on pushing products. Instead, he had a genuine interest in educating me about the business. Meeting him was my defining moment where I made a commitment to take on my leadership responsibility.

Network marketing is all about leadership, responsibility and service. Leadership means to take charge of one's situation and show others what's possible. Taking responsibility in network marketing implies that we provide new team members with the proper training and tools to succeed. A service mindset helps us to joyfully fulfill the duties that emanate from our responsibilities.

Network marketing is based on transparency and cooperation. In order to grow our business, we need to share rather than closely guard the secrets of our success. This is akin to crossing a turbulent river without a bridge: we must unite as a team and help others cross over so we can cross over, too. These are the very principles for creating a fulfilling life.


JOSEPH T. BISMARK is a dynamic business leader,
yoga instructor, bonsai master, tai chi coach,
classical musician and martial arts expert. He is a
founding director of a multinational company operating
diverse business lines in nearly 180 countries.
Joseph just released his first book
The Gem Collection: A Compilation of Wisdom.
Available at