Onyx has always possessed a strong work ethic and drive to succeed. She paid her way through college by waiting tables, then traveled the world in her mid-twenties. She settled in Blenheim, New Zealand, for about a decade, where she built several businesses. Upon her return to Florida, in 1999, she got into real estate.
Over the years, many network marketers approached Onyx about their opportunities, but despite the promises of residual income, time freedom and unlimited wealth, Onyx rebuffed all the offers.
“I never found a company that fit with who I was,” she says. “For years, I was afraid of network marketing—until I finally realized that I was afraid of something I knew nothing about.”
This realization became the catalyst that would change Onyx’s life. Now open to the possibilities of the profession, fate provided her with an opportunity to join. In 2005, the parents of the babysitter who watched Onyx’s daughters introduced her to a wellness company that truly impressed her.
“They knew I was into health,” Onyx says. “Everything about their company aligned with what I was looking for, so I jumped in with both feet.”
Onyx with Sage, Cierra and Neve.
With leaders Megan Wolfenden, Kathy Conti and Alex Wolfenden in Sydney.
Onyx with Keri Ashenfelter at Indi 500 race.
Nothing like a free, company-paid ski vacation.
Ready to go out and have some fun.
Onyx and Ruby Angela Foulds-Cook with all the kids about to board the company’s private plane.
Onyx relaxing with her wonderful man.
Onyx and her sister enjoying Mother’s Day.
Onyx developed a genuine passion for the company’s product and enthusiastically introduced it to her health-conscious friends. But contrary to her expectations, she found that her spirited presentations caused her warm market to flatly decline the offer. Onyx learned from her experience and adjusted her strategy.
“I discovered that less is more,” she says. “I had seen some results in my personal life with the product, so the passion was there. It was a question of how to transfer my passion to others so as to invite them into my opportunity. I had to learn a few skills. My company was still young and didn’t have a formalized training program, so most distributors were just ignorance on fire.”
Realizing that knowledge and in-depth understanding were going to be critical to her success, Onyx began to educate herself about the profession and study her company’s product and pay plan.
“In South Florida there are few big employers, so many people start their own businesses,” says Onyx. “However, most of them have never done network marketing. Just like me, they didn’t understand the business model. I had to figure out how to present the opportunity professionally, and once I got some people to say yes, I had to teach them what to do.”
Onyx developed her expertise by reading network marketing classics, such as Your First Year in Network Marketing by Mark Yarnell and Beach Money by Jordan Adler. Trying to understand her company’s compensation plan proved to be particularly challenging.
“It was like reading French to me,” she says. “Many people I had invited into my business were cerebral and wanted to strategically build their organization, so I had to learn that compensation plan in such a way that I could teach it to others. I also needed to understand why my company’s plan was more lucrative than many other compensation plans and learn how to explain the differences.”
Despite being dyslexic, Onyx ultimately mastered the challenge, partly because she was not afraid of making mistakes.
“I teach my children there is nothing wrong with making mistakes, as long as you learn from them,” she says, and this was exactly the approach she followed. She committed to research, study and practice—without worrying about the results. She had her eye firmly set on her goal: earning the Mercedes her company awarded to its highest achievers.
According to Onyx, the greatest benefit of network marketing is that it offers a clear plan for how to meet your goals.
“My whole life I had been an entrepreneur without a roadmap,” she says. “No one ever told me, ‘Do this and you will succeed.’ When I joined my company, I found that all of a sudden, I had a roadmap. I knew exactly how to earn that Mercedes. I simply needed to take certain steps and move a specific amount of product, and I knew I could meet my goal.”
First of all, Onyx needed to master the art of inviting. Based on her prospects’ initial responses, she knew her presentation style needed work. She created a plan for daily practice and improvement, which was to share her opportunity with two people each day.
“In the beginning I was really bad,” says Onyx. “But at the end of thirty days I had talked to sixty people, and my skills were improving. At the end of sixty days, I had talked to 120 people and I was getting more yeses. I learned to get my message across in a way that felt natural while sharing my passion. I kept it simple. I learned how to read other people and present the opportunity based on their needs rather than my own.”
With practice, Onyx became a master at striking up conversations with strangers she encountered throughout the day, from the checkout girl at the supermarket to mothers on the soccer field where her daughters practiced. She would open with a brief comment, usually a compliment, then ask questions with the intent to get to know the other person. She always made sure to exchange business cards before saying goodbye, and if she felt someone had potential for her business, she would fold the corner of the card and call the person within 24 hours.
“I don’t call to pitch my product,” Onyx says. “I simply say, ‘I really enjoyed our conversation and wanted to finish what we were talking about.’ I rekindle the connection and eventually people will ask what I do. Even then, I give the shortest answer possible and redirect the conversation back to them. What ends up happening is that a perfect stranger becomes interested in knowing about me, my product and my opportunity, because I’m not pushing my agenda on them.”
In addition to her genuine interest in others, Onyx finds that her healthy appearance and happy demeanor works wonders.
“One of the most important skills you can acquire in life is how to be somebody others want to be around,” she says. “If you become that kind of person, you will have more opportunities in life, because you will have more friends—people who want to be in your presence and participate in your life. These friends will bring you chances to connect with others, who may bring you even more opportunities or become great friends for life.
“It all comes down to mastering the art of sales. Most of us are petrified by the very thought of it, yet the reality is that we’re selling ourselves all the time. Every time you walk out your front door, you are selling yourself based on how you look, the car you’re driving and how you interact with the world around you. Everything you do is a sell of who you are. People see me happy and excited. They see that I’m glowing with health. They naturally want to know what I do.”
Onyx’s attraction marketing approach, combined with her sincere passion for her product and the joy she derives from helping others, quickly caused her business to soar. Nine months into the business, she reached the income level and rank that earned her the Mercedes she’d long aspired to own.
Expanding Across Borders
More than simply a new car, Onyx’s Mercedes became the tangible reward she shared with her daughters for the months of hard work she put in. It provided proof that they could accomplish anything if they worked hard enough.
“To reach my goal, I had to aggressively build my business by leading five to six home meetings a week,” Onyx remembers. “I worked my business hard, I mean really hard, for nine months. Then I set a new goal to go international and met that goal within the first year and a half.
“All this didn’t happen without some sacrifices, but it was a great learning experience for my children. After reaching that second milestone, I didn’t have to work quite as hard, and we all got to enjoy the results of Mom’s efforts.”
Onyx’s decision to expand into other markets was strategic and based on a painful learning experience. A major hurricane had devastated South Florida a year and a half before she joined network marketing, and it had wiped out many of her real estate holdings. With her new business, she made sure that should another hurricane hit Florida, she would have a business that continued to pay her.
In the early days, Onyx’s network grew into California through a contact she met at a Robert Kiyosaki event. She also developed teams in Rhode Island and Phoenix, Arizona. She took her organization international by locating leaders in New Zealand and Australia. From there she expanded into Malaysia, Singapore and Korea. European markets soon followed.
“In order to build in an international market,” says Onyx, “you need to find a local leader who’s willing to step up and spearhead an organization. The same principle applies for building out of state: if I live in Florida and want to build a business in Las Vegas, I need to find a leader there.”
Based on her experience of traveling and living abroad, Onyx knew that an awareness of cultural differences was fundamental to her success in worldwide markets. For instance, understanding the difference between family life in the United States and New Zealand became key to her success in that market.
“In New Zealand the average family makes only about US$30,000 a year. Probably 80 percent of the women are stay-at-home moms, many of whom get together on a daily basis for tea and biscuits.
“New Zealanders are also the most ingenious people I’ve ever seen. They can figure out how to take old junk and put it together to make something work. When the wells stop working or the fences break down, the men go out and fix them. They are very resourceful, yet they also rely on community life for help and support.”
Onyx’s international strategy became finding an adept leader who could tailor the business approach to local cultural standards.
“When I get to a new country, I tell the leaders, ‘I don’t know what’s going to work for you. I’m willing to tell you what I’ve done and support you in what you want to do, and we’ll create your success together.’”
The Female Influence
Wherever she speaks, part of Onyx’s message is that network marketing is an ideal profession for women of any nationality, because it thrives on skills women are born with.
“What other profession do you know that actually pays you to talk?” she says. “Women love to talk and build community. We are always looking for connection. We also want to surround ourselves with inspiring role models we can look up to. And ladies, there is no glass ceiling. Sweeeet!
“Not too long ago, women used to congregate in each other’s living rooms and spend the day knitting and drinking tea, as many still do in New Zealand. Today in the Western world we don’t make time to do this, but that doesn’t mean we no longer have this deep need for connection. Yet where do we get this need met in today’s fast-paced world?
“My business offers me the opportunity to listen and talk to women every day. We take time to mentor, empower and support each other in our goals and dreams—and our company pays us to do this!”
Now that her business is mostly self-sustaining, Onyx’s primary activity is opening the world of network marketing up to women through large speaking events as well one-on-one coaching.
She believes that helping each woman reconnect with her true self has the power to transform the world for the better.
“Women are passionate about contributing to others’ well-being. Making money is part of the equation, but for most, it’s a means to an end. Many women derive their deepest joy from serving others through education and care-taking, while many men tend to experience more satisfaction from accumulating wealth itself.
“Some women would be well served by focusing more on making money, because when the money flows, the choices in their lives open up. I know a lot of women who aren’t making enough money to have choices for their children, their relationships or themselves. I believe that if more women made millions, the entire world would change.”
Despite leading a large organization, Onyx still makes time to invite new recruits into her business and give presentations. She stresses the importance of staying visible and active in day-to-day operations, rather than retreating and letting others run the business as it continues to grow.
“In America, I tend to focus on recruiting women because they are natural communicators and love to build teams. But when women become successful, often they want to pull back, which I think is a big mistake.
“I encourage the women in my business to stay actively involved. Their business got off the ground because of the feminine culture, because people wanted to be around that woman and everything she stands for.
“I have nothing against men. I think they are fabulous at building network marketing organizations; some of my best leaders are men. But when you have a business that’s been built by a woman, it’s important to not lose that energetic imprint. The same goes for a business built by a man: you don’t want him to pull back and lose that masculine presence.”
Building the Future by Being Present
As worldwide employment and economic circumstances continue to change, Onyx’s mission is to continue promoting the network marketing profession as a path to a more prosperous, well-rounded lifestyle.
“People are losing their jobs and homes left and right,” she says. “Employment opportunities are more and more sparse, and I believe network marketing is going to fill that gap. The stigma of the profession is going away, and we’re going to see a massive amount of growth in the next five to ten years.”
Onyx believes that more women will rise to prominent leadership positions within the profession in concurrence with this growth period.
“I think more large companies will emerge that truly represent women’s interests,” she says, “where more women participate in running the boards and making the policies.”
Onyx’s goal is to continue growing her network marketing business while facilitating an increase in female leadership by helping women find and express their true selves.
“Network marketing companies are starting to appreciate that 70 to 80 percent of their field force is comprised of women. My hope is that soon the boardrooms will start to reflect this gender ratio.”
As a single mother and businesswoman, Onyx understands the everyday challenges women experience and their resistance to stepping into higher leadership positions. When faced with the dilemma of balancing career and family, Onyx learned that the best way to effectively fulfill all her roles while maintaining her own well-being is to be fully present in whatever she chooses to do.
“As women, we are juggling our children, our finances, our profession and our purpose, trying to find how it all works together. I decided a long time ago that balance is not attainable.
“For years, I’d kick myself, thinking I wasn’t doing a good job balancing work and family–until I finally realized that my job as a woman is simply to show up and be present. Today, if I’m with my children, I’m with them 100 percent. When building my business, I am 100 percent with the people in the room. When I need some alone time to relax and rejuvenate, I’m 100 percent there.
“If the children get two days and network marketing gets four days and I myself get one day, fine, so be it this week. As long as I’ve been completely present in every activity, then I’ve done a great job.”
This practice of being firmly anchored in the moment is what gives Onyx the power to continue making a profound impact on her children, her teams and women around the world.
“It’s much harder to affect or lead someone when you’re not completely there,” she says, “when you’re thinking about the laundry or what’s happening with the kids while giving a presentation. The same is true for leading yourself. If you’re having those kinds of thoughts while getting a massage, you decrease the positive impact of the relaxation and you short yourself of much needed replenishment.
“Always remind yourself to enjoy the moment and receive the blessing so you’ll be ready to go back to the world and give as much of yourself as you can.”