Rhonda and Tony Lucero are top earners in one of the fastest-growing network marketing companies in North America. Based in Nebraska, they are raising their three children with a love for the outdoors, frequently taking them on hiking, rock climbing and snorkeling trips.
Tony is also a professional comedy stage hypnotist who uses laughter and the power of suggestion not only on the stage but also to move his team members into action and free them of limiting beliefs.
People who meet the Luceros often wonder why they are always smiling and bursting with energy. Rhonda just finished her first triathlon and Tony ran the LA marathon in under four hours—accomplishments the couple credits to their company's wellness program.
Another secret to their quick ascent to the top, they say, is that they have always made sure to keep their eyes on the prize—which for them means the ability to give their children a lifestyle that allows them to experience different cultures and make their own choices in life.
In 1984 Tony was serving in the air force when a friend introduced him to his first network marketing company.
"I thought the residual income concept was really cool," he says. "At age 19, I fell in love with the idea of getting paid over and over again for doing something right one time. I caught the bug, and what got me even more excited was the personal development side of the business."
Known among his friends for being passionate about nutrition and health, Tony began building a network of customers while working the business part-time.
"The military doesn't pay very well," he says, "so it was nice to have an extra two or three hundred dollars a month coming in,."
Since this first experience in the mid-eighties, Tony has been involved with several companies, looking to find the right match for his long-term financial and personal goals. He went through some ups and downs, but never gave up on the business model.
The Lucero family with their company-earned cars.
In 2000 he met Rhonda at a company event where he was giving a training.
Rhonda had dabbled in direct sales since the age of 21, but she never made any money at it. After playing softball for the University of Nebraska and getting her college degree, she had worked in the health industry as a chiropractic assistant for several years. When she started a family, she opened a daycare to be home with her children. Her entrepreneurial spirit quickly led her to operate two more daycare centers in addition to owning her own center. She recalls being very busy when she was introduced to network marketing at the age of 30.
"I had sold cosmetics, knives and jewelry," she says, "but no one had explained to me what network marketing was. When I met Tony eleven years ago through this new company I had just joined, that was actually my very first exposure to what multilevel marketing was and how you could earn a living from it. I was very excited and jumped in with both feet."
When Rhonda first saw Tony training on stage, she felt inspired by his charisma and thought, "I want to meet this guy." About ninety days later, they saw each other again, and as they both happened to be going through divorces at the time, they soon became friends.
Celebrating small victories and big achievements with team members.
Tony doing the Colorado Tough Mudder with Team Mojo..
Family vacation in Florida.
Tony performing as a comedy stage hypnotist.
Tony was then living in California and Rhonda was living in Nebraska, but they kept in touch over the phone, and when Tony moved to Chicago, their friendship grew closer.
"We happened to have the same upline in our company," says Rhonda, "so we were sideline to each other. We figured out a way to work together and I ended up moving to Chicago to be with Tony."
When Tony and Rhonda got married, he quit his business to work with her. Soon thereafter, however, their company went bankrupt, and they both moved to Nebraska where Rhonda still had her daycare centers.
A Fresh Start
For a while, both Rhonda and Tony felt bitter about having lost their business and they swore they would never do it again. Tony started selling insurance to replace his lost income, but he had a yearning for something more.
"I had come to a crossroads," he says. "I was 38 years old and unfulfilled with what I was doing. One weekend Rhonda and I were in Las Vegas and we got tickets to a show called Hypnosis Unleashed. Later that day I happened to run into the guy who turned out to be the hypnotist who was performing that night. We started talking and he asked if I was there to see his show. I didn't know who he was, because the poster didn't have his name on it, but we found we had a lot in common. At one point I looked him in the eye and said, 'I would love to learn to do what you do.' He told me to come and meet him after the show. When we connected afterwards, there was something he saw in me, so he said he'd teach me everything he knew. That's how I became a comedy stage hypnotist."
In the meantime, Rhonda had gone back to running her daycare centers, a business she knew inside and out. Now and then, old friends would call to introduce Tony or Rhonda to a new network marketing company, but the couple would tell them they didn't want to get involved again.
In 2006, however, an unexpected call led them to change their minds.
"This opportunity kind of fell into our laps," says Rhonda. "A gentleman whom Tony had done some consulting with when he lived in Chicago came to us and said, 'You've got to look at this company, we think this is the next one.' He knew our passion for health and nutrition, so we said we would take a look. Everything lined up so perfectly that we decided to join."
Tony explains what caused them to reconsider and renew their commitment to network marketing.
"We identified what our goals were," he says. "With both of us having full-time careers, we asked ourselves, why would we want to come home after an eight- or ten-hour day and make phone calls or hold parties? We needed to know what was going to keep us engaged. Looking at our kids and envisioning the lifestyle we wanted to create for them, our why became crystal clear—and we have been passionate and persistent about building our business ever since."
Another reason Tony and Rhonda mention for selecting their current company is that it offered a product that was easy to share and a system that was easy to follow.
"It was very important to have a system in place that was simple enough for anybody to use," says Tony, "whether it's a kid in high school or someone 90 years old. Our company teaches everyone to create a list of at least 150 people you have been in touch with over the years. For Rhonda and me, that meant we immediately had 300 people we could contact. Being business owners, we went after business-minded people who we believed would want to invest in their future from a health and wealth standpoint."
"We never left anyone off the list," Rhonda adds. "It didn't matter how rich or accomplished they were. We included everyone."
Changing the Lingo
Once they had created their list, Tony and Rhonda proceeded to introduce a few people a day to their product and opportunity by sending them some kind of informational tool.
"The tool could be a link to a website, some literature or a sample of the product," says Tony. "Really, it can be anything except you. Rhonda and I became good at promoting the tools our company put together, and not promoting ourselves. We let the tools do the sorting for us. If someone liked what they saw, then we would take them to the next tool in our system."
"Our tools are constantly evolving," Rhonda adds. "Over the years, our company has been featured in several magazines and our websites have expanded. We've had some celebrities and professional athletes endorse our products. Lately, we've also seen an amazing impact on our business by properly utilizing social media."
Tony says the conversion rate of people who view the first piece of information is close to 90 percent. "Because the message is so simple, most people are intrigued and want more information. Our company works hard to make sure that the first tool people see blows them away. The next step is to set up a time to meet so we can answer their questions. With our local contacts, we do this with home parties, but thanks to technology, we can also meet online with anyone 24/7."
At home parties prospects have a choice to become customers or distributors, but Tony and Rhonda don't use this latter term; instead, they call them promoters.
"It's just a different lingo," Rhonda explains. "When people join us, most don't even feel like they're in network marketing, because we don't give off the vibe of wanting to recruit them into a business.
"A lot of people are afraid of being business owners. It sounds like a lot of work and responsibility. Because our terminology is different, people are more inclined to participate."
Instead of asking people to join their business, Tony and Rhonda talk about taking on a 90-day challenge of getting healthy.
"It is much easier to enroll someone in a 90-day challenge than it is to recruit a distributor," says Rhonda. "What tends to happens is on day three, the person calls us and says, 'Hey, I have three people at work who want to do this challenge with me. What do I do?' This person who initially didn't want to do the business is coming back saying, 'I've got friends who want to do it.' Now they're in the business because they're promoting the challenge. It's beautiful."
At the end of the 90-day challenge, most people love the results and sign up for another 90-day challenge to reach their next health or fitness goal.
"Some people are doing it to lose weight or increase muscle mass, or to do a marathon like Tony did or a triathlon like I did," says Rhonda. "We would have never done anything like this if we weren't challenged by our company.
"Before you know it, your income from your networking business starts replacing your other income, and you have to make a decision. For me, a year and half into it I knew I could get rid of the daycare centers. Today we have people on our team who are going full-time a lot faster. For instance, we have a 24-year old who fired his boss his first week, and at the end of his first 90-day challenge he was making five figures a month."
A New Career
While Rhonda has been doing the business full-time for three years now, Tony is still performing occasionally as a hypnotist.
"I started this career nine years ago," he says, "and I'm still extremely passionate about being a performer and creating laughter. Being a hypnotist also goes well with being a health and wellness promoter. Some people who see me perform become fans and followers, so it's natural for me to share with them what I do when on stage."
Tony uses principles of hypnosis for reaching all his goals. He says that's how he helped his organization become one of the fastest-growing in his company.
"I don't have any special control or powers," he says. "The power is simply in the words you use. I know what to say in order to lead people to feel or act a certain way. It's no different from how a good preacher or motivational speaker communicates. Anyone can learn to understand how to use the appropriate words and body language to move people into action."
When giving trainings, Tony has people close their eyes and visualize themselves living the life they deserve—seeing themselves in the car they want to drive, the house they want to live in, the relationship they want to have.
"Hypnosis is nothing more than a state of relaxation," he says. "Once in this receptive state, I can help people focus on what they want and guide them to do what needs to be done. It also makes them feel that they can do it and that nothing is holding them back. They believe they are unstoppable. It's very interesting to see that transformation in someone who's ready. We all want change and better things in life, and through hypnosis we can hit the switch that sets us on fire. People don't have to be in a coma or asleep to benefit from hypnosis. I'm using hypnotic language every single day with whomever I talk to."
Tony used to do 175 shows a year, but today, thanks to his network marketing income, he has the luxury to choose whether he ever wants to perform again.
"I no longer have to travel away from my family for long periods of time," he says. "I don't have to be in comedy clubs I don't want to be in. I can pick and choose where I want to go and what I want to do—that's the beauty of this profession.
"Yet the best part is that you can pay it forward. Six months ago, I called the person who taught me everything about hypnosis and said, 'Michael Johns, it's time.' He said, 'I'm ready.' He joined our business and now he is a six-figure income earner."
Leading a Team
Another reason Tony and Rhonda experience continual growth on their team is that they always have fun with the business.
"We offer a place where people want to come after a long day's work," says Tony. "You have to create an environment where people feel comfortable yet also accountable for following the system and walking the talk."
"What Tony and I are good at," says Rhonda, "is developing other leaders within our organization. Once they hit a certain position, we encourage them to take ownership of their team, and we mentor them and teach them what we know."
Rhonda and Tony hold team calls on Monday nights, which always start out with stories and testimonials to get everyone excited for the week. Then Rhonda focuses on tools and training, while Tony handles the motivational part of the call. He usually takes a quote or an idea from a book and applies it to the business.
Personal growth has always been a top priority for Rhonda and Tony. They often give away books to their team and encourage everyone to schedule time to read.
One of Tony's favorites is Jim Rohn's Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle, as well as Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich and Malcolm Gladwell's books. Rhonda loves The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
"These are books not directly related to network marketing," she says, "but they help people develop themselves. Our passion is to help people find out who they are and be the best they can be. We're all about helping people become fully actualized human beings, and network marketing is a way for us to reach the masses."
Tony believes people are more receptive to this message now than ever.
"Given the current economic situation, most of us have adopted the mindset of 'If it's to be,
it's up to me.' People are looking for a plan B that they feel comfortable with. Today network marketing is well received by business icons such as Warren Buffet, Richard Branson and Donald Trump, so this is the perfect time for us.
"We changed our lingo and method of exposing people to the business because most people have a perception of network marketing based on what their aunt got involved in 35 years ago. I often tell them, 'If you had a bad experience with a girlfriend, would you stop dating? If you had a bad pizza, would you stop eating pizza? Of course not. You simply have to find a business that fits you and then do it.'
"Many of our new team members don't feel like they're in network marketing. It doesn't feel like anything they've experienced in the past, where they had to recruit their friends. In our business, all you do is share a tool and promote a challenge."
A Power Couple
Rhonda and Tony love showing the world that anyone can have a relationship and create a lifestyle that's truly fulfilling.
"We want to be living proof that people can have everything they want," says Tony. "Rhonda and I work every day at developing ourselves and projecting the image of a couple that has it all.
"The way we made it work is by first looking at our individual strengths and weaknesses. I am skilled at being in front of the room and moving people. Rhonda is great at working behind the scenes, organizing and multitasking. We started doing what we each excelled at, and then learned to round out our weaknesses."
"We both could do everything, but we prefer to do certain things," Rhonda adds. "Thanks to Tony's coaching, I'm no longer scared of being in front of the room. Five minutes before I go on stage in front of 5,000 people, I still get butterflies, but I'm more excited about impacting people and the message I have to share."
"Stress and issues come up all the time," says Tony, "but for us, it's always been like a dance. There's been no pulling and tugging. That's how we both realized that this is what we are meant to do, because it's been an amazing process of growth and transformation. Our chi is definitely flowing. We call it our mojo."
Tony's stage name is Mojo Master, and he and Rhonda call their organization Team Mojo, because they want to help others find their own personal magic.
Looking into the future, Tony promises he'll never stop dreaming until the day he dies.
"I will always want to eat at that nice restaurant somewhere in a foreign country," he says. "I'll always want to travel to a place I've never been before, take my family and share Aha moments with them. There's a difference between just going through this life and living. I want to live, to keep my adrenaline going and my heart pumping with passion.
"My ultimate wish is for everyone to discover their potential and their purpose in life. I firmly believe that network marketing is the only business on the planet where anyone can discover their talents and achieve their greatness, where you can truly live as a rock star for the rest of your life and reach any goal you want."
Rhonda and Tony encourage their team to make dream boards as visual reminders, and they are commited to helping them fulfill those dreams.
"We've also taught our children how to be entrepreneurs," says Rhonda, "so they can have choices when they grow up. They can go to college if they wish, or become a doctor, or do whatever it is they want to do. But by understanding what entrepreneurship is, they're all leaning that way now. They are inspired by the lifestyle we have created and they all want to follow in those footsteps."