When Networking Times asked me to write an article describing how growing up with network marketing parents has affected me, I was humbled at the request.

One way I was affected was by my parents' personal examples. My parents joined network marketing so that they could be free to spend more time with me, my brothers, and my sister. It was their new business that allowed my mom and, eventually, my dad, to be free from their jobs. Though my parents are now able to be stay-at-home parents, this didn't happen overnight. It took an investment of time upfront so they could be free later.

With my parents' newfound time and knowledge of people, it was natural for me to pick up on the fantastic books and teaching moments that came along with the adventure. It was almost as if my parents had information oozing out of them at all time, and between their example and the study sessions we have as a family, I was constantly picking up something new or gaining new insights into principles I'd already learned. This allowed me to have an education on success principles that I would never have received otherwise. I am extremely thankful my parents took the time to teach and help (and only occasionally force) me to grow and become better, just like their example.

My parents always stressed the importance of choosing my friends wisely, and have always shared with me their opinions about my choice of friends. My dad says, "If you hang out with dogs, you will get fleas." This is a constant reminder for me to be careful who I hang out with. Most of my friends are in business with my parents, which means they are getting the same principles and worldview as I am. My parents are always talking about having a good worldview and choosing your friends based on the kind of worldview they have.

The principle that stands out most is to always be willing to learn. My parents have taught us from day one to have a learning mentality, and to always be ready to improve by learning from our mistakes. With a learning mentality you can do anything you set your mind on, through the PDCA formula: Plan, Do, Check, and Adjust.

Another great thing that my parents taught us was to have self-discipline. Even with a great process like PDCA, without self-discipline you can't even begin the PDCA process. Self-discipline is water for the seed. You might have the seed and the dirt, but without the water, nothing will grow.

I love it when people ask me what my parents do, because I can honestly say that what they do boils down to helping people. I'm so proud of my parents for choosing network marketing, not just for the money or for the cool vacations, or even for all the free time they have with me and my siblings. I'm proud to be able to say that through network marketing, my parents have been able to help people to become free from their jobs and spend more time with their families. I can't wait until I can be a network marketer with them.

JORDAN WOODWARD, 18, just finished school.
He was home-schooled using Abecka. He plays
the piano and spends most of his time writing
songs and reading. He is just getting started in
his parents' networking business.