When Christy was twenty-three years old, she was working as a cosmetics store and spa manager in an upscale shopping district of Toronto. A neighbor with whom she used to chat on her daily commute started talking to her about nutrition and shared some information about a network marketing company he had found. The company carried a cosmetics line, and he asked Christy for her expert opinion about the products.
"He gave me countless materials and samples to try," says Christy. "We would meet up for coffee and I would offer feedback. After six or seven meetings, I started to see the potential for creating an income in a way I'd never considered before. That's when I said yes to my first network marketing opportunity."
Having a full-time job and a busy schedule, Christy didn't know how to get started or what to do next. Her neighbor was fairly new to the business himself, but, she says, he did one important thing: "He gave me the book Think and Grow Rich and signed it with the date I joined his business. This book became almost like a bible to me."
With family vacationing at Horseshoe Valley Resort.
Christy receiving the Master Ambassador Award, with Jamie, Valerie and Sue Maltman receiving Leadership Awards.
Celebrating the success of her key leadership team at a training event.
With business partners Valerie and Sue Maltman enjoying their luxury cars.
Presenting at the company convention.
Signing autographs at his company convention in 2011.
Taking prospects for high tea at the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong.
Receiving the Corporate Choice Award from the company executives.
Growing up Christy had seen her mom using different network marketing products, but she had been unaware of the income opportunity.
"I definitely saw the value in a lot of the products," she says, "and working in retail, I could see myself making money selling them. But it was only after reading Napoleon Hill's book that I saw the potential of creating residual income."
Christy was excited about this new concept, even though she didn't understand exactly how the compensation plan worked. She introduced her relatives to her new business, and soon her entire family got on board and started building. Christy earned some checks but wasn't achieving any significant level of success, and neither was she putting in the effort to do so.
It so happened that when she got started in the business, she had just been promoted to general manager of a hairdressing school while continuing to run the spa and store. She was managing more than sixty people, working twelve-hour days, teaching students between the ages of eighteen and thirty about acquiring customers, building relationships, and selling product. She had created a curriculum for helping new stylists to succeed in the hairdressing profession. Training and mentoring became her passion, and she could see herself applying her gifts and experience in network marketing at some point. She remained in her first company for about three years with the intent that she would make it work someday.
Crafting the Vision
In 2006, Christy had a unique experience that would change her perspective. It came as a result of a friend inviting her to a party called Come-As- You'll-Be-in-2011.
"The invite came during a seven a.m. call I was used to having with my friend Nicole," says Christy. "Every day we set our promises for the day and our targets of what we wanted to achieve. That morning, Nicole asked if I wanted to go to a party. I said sure. She said, 'There's one catch. Tonight, you can only show up as the person you want to be five years from now. You will talk about what you're doing and what you've achieved."
Christy had been a student of personal development since she was about sixteen. Her mom, a yoga teacher and entrepreneur, had always encouraged her children to work on themselves and given them books such as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Celestine Prophecy, and meditation manuals. Christy had met Nicole at a personal development seminar and they had become instant friends. They had similar visions of what they wanted to achieve, so they decided to become accountability partners.
"We knew that what we measure, we can improve," she says. "If you know you're going to have to tell somebody the next morning what you've achieved that day, you'll be less inclined to procrastinate."
After the call Christy went to work as usual, but as she sat in her office she started to dream. She thought, "What a perfect way to envision and create my success in network marketing!" She decided to write the story about herself succeeding in her new business and spent the entire day picturing what she wanted her life to look like in 2011. She then picked up a copy of Success magazine, laid out her story in columns and added photos so it looked exactly like the other articles. She printed it on glossy paper and inserted her article as one of the lead stories.
"The kicker is that all the things I wrote about in 2006 are true today," she says. "What's uncanny is that Networking Times called me for this interview exactly one week to the day after this party's five-year anniversary! In 2006, I envisioned my story being published in a reputable newsstand publication, and that's exactly what happened.
"The story was not just about me, it was about inspiring others and being recognized for making a difference in others' lives, because that's where my passion for this business came from."
Finding the Right Company
It turned out the Come-As-You'll-Be-in-2011 party didn't have anything to do with network marketing. A group of people who loved personal development had gotten the idea from Jack Canfield. All night Christy spoke about her stellar success in network marketing. Little did she know at the time that it would happen in a brand new company with a completely different product line.
"In my first company, I had never met the person who enrolled my sponsor," she says. "That person was successful, but had just retired. My family was ready to get to work, so my sister-in-law, Monica, called the corporate offices to see if there was anyone else in our sponsorship line who could mentor us and help us move forward. Her efforts remained unanswered."
Christy was too busy to look for a different network marketing opportunity, so her brother Jamie did the looking. Their family believed in the business model, but felt impaired not being connected to the right mentorship. At the beginning of the summer in 2007, Jamie joined a travel network and brought his sister on board.
"This was about two weeks before I left on a journey," says Christy, "cycling across the United States leading Janet Atwood's Passion Test for Kids events for the Boys and Girls Club. I was going to be gone the entire summer, but I joined right before I left, because my brother 'had a position' for me."
When Christy came home in the fall, Jamie had moved on from the travel network and was now working with his third company. This time he was extremely excited because he had "found a ground-floor opportunity," he said. However, Christy was resistant to join.
"Let's see how he does first," she thought. Jamie insisted and after several calls, Christy reluctantly agreed to attend a business presentation. She sat with her arms crossed in the back of the room, and told him after the opportunity meeting that she preferred to wait until the new year. She had just taken a promotion from store manager to national manager for a sub-brand of L'Oreal Canada, and she felt she was at a pivotal point in her career.
"At twenty-seven I had the job all my coworkers desired. I was so excited to finally be working with the CEO of L'Oreal Canada and connecting with successful professionals in an environment that would allow me to grow."
However, she saw a different perspective when she considered her mentor, the VP of her brand, who had the job she eventually wanted to grow into.
"She had been there for twenty-five years—and was still working sixty to seventy hours per week! I thought, 'I can either build an empire for L'Oreal or build a future legacy for my children,' and felt pulled in different directions."
Christy decided for the time being to walk both paths, and in January 2008 she signed up in her third network marketing company.
Rekindling an Old Passion
What convinced Christy to say yes to this new company was seeing the vision of the CEO, Ramin Mesgarlou.
"Ramin was a passionate leader and clearly stood for his distributors' success," she says. "This was extremely appealing after my previous experience, where we weren't getting any support. Ramin had made millions as a distributor, so he also brought lots of field experience to the table. After talking to him, I knew I would get to work closely with him as well as with the other executives who also had extensive experience in network marketing. That's what built my confidence about getting involved."
The other attractor for Christy was the product line, which consisted of designer jewelry and other luxury items, which she found to be a great match for her personality.
"When I was nineteen, I made jewelry and sold it to the people I worked with. Soon a high-end store in Toronto picked up my jewelry line. I've always been passionate about being able to make money and offering something of value to people. I made good money with my jewelry design and had a lot of fun, but I wasn't outsourcing manufacturing to China, so I was hand-crafting every single piece. When someone ordered a hundred pieces of an item, I lost my passion for making them. So when I discovered this company, I felt excited to be able to share beautiful pieces without having to do all the work."
For a year and a half, Christy kept her job at L'Oreal while launching her new business, in which she had partnered with her mom Sue Maltman and younger sister Valerie Maltman. Sue ran her own yoga studio at the time and offered different types of healing, such as Reiki and reflexology. Valerie was going to college for musical jazz and working at a grocery store to put herself through school.
Neither Sue nor Valerie nor Christy knew what to do to get their business off the ground, so they took the basic company training, made a list, and started calling people and inviting them to company presentations.
One significant challenge was that Christy didn't have wheels.
"I lived in downtown Toronto," she says, "and it took me two-and-half hours to get to where the presentations were being held, which meant a five-hour commute by transit in the middle of winter. I was already juggling a sixty- to seventy-hour work week, so those first months were grueling."
Christy's CEO and mentor used to call her a "some-timer": sometimes she did a little bit, sometimes she did nothing—and once in a while she earned a check.
Jumping All In
About four months after she joined, Christy's company held its first annual convention.
"I had never attended a convention with any of the companies I'd worked with before," she says. "My brother convinced me to go. He said it would change everything for me—and he was right! I bought a ticket, took time off from work, and went—and when I saw all the people from different cities and countries, I got inspired."
During the convention, Christy went through a training the CEO had created called Troubleshoot Your Business, which asked distributors to rate themselves for different business activities. When Christy scored herself, she realized she wasn't doing the type of activity that was going to lead to the kind of results she was looking for.
A second eye-opener was the big gala and awards ceremony, where Christy saw her brother Jamie, his wife Monica, and her brother Rene Liaw, who were business partners, receive the highest award, the President's Cup. They had only been in the business for six months and already had many team members from different parts of Canada who were also getting awards.
Christy thought, "Whoa, if my brother, an IT guy in a fashion business, can go from making zero to ten thousand dollars a month in six months, we can do it, too." She looked at her mom and sister and together they decided, "This is our time."
"We poured tons of fuel on the fire," says Christy. "We went on tours, driving to different cities to present and work with our teams. The first time I presented I felt so nervous I was about to throw up. After I made the presentation, we drove to another city to do another one. We did as much as we could possibly do, and the results started to show. Members came on board like crazy, and in the next six weeks we totaled over $10,000 in income."
Christy was still working full-time at L'Oreal, giving presentations at night in her city and trainings on weekends wherever she could drive with her mom and sister, sometimes as far as Niagara Falls.
"We learned what to do on the fly," she says. "We just went full speed ahead and managed to present all the different training systems. Even my little sister, who had never presented in her life, picked up the phone using a script. One day she called someone she had met on a cruise, and the lady joined.
"Seeing the ripple effect of our efforts fueled our excitement and belief, and consistent weekly checks started coming in. This was the first time our whole family was fully engaged in doing the business together."
As Christy's business grew, she was able to purchase her first car, a Jaguar. Today she drives a Range Rover Sport, something she'd had on her vision board for many years.
Another challenge she overcame was submitting herself as a student.
"At my corporate job, I basically knew everything there was to know," she says. "I was the teacher and the commander in chief. In this business, I had to start over and learn different ways of working with people. Moving from the role of manager to that of student was challenging, as was being coached by my brother."
Christy also had to learn to say no to friends who were used to her being around and didn't understand that she now had different priorities.
At the end of her first year Christy wanted to quit her job, so she went to see her manager to resign. Fortunately, he said no.
"Instead, he asked me to work part-time, which allowed me more flexibility to focus on my business. A great benefit was that I was working from home, or otherwise traveling across Canada and the United States. I would stay an extra day in cities where I had a team and use that time to build my business. I would do opportunity meetings in the evening after my day job."
Being employed part-time turned out to be a perfect way to meet new people and constantly expand her contact list.
"Before transitioning into doing the business full-time you want to make sure you have different events set up on a consistent basis to get you out of the house. When your business is taking off, the benefit of working part-time is that you now have a great story to share with people on your daily commute or when picking up lunch. These are great opportunities to network, which you may no longer have after you quit your job. I teach my team to take full advantage of this transition period and to have a solid daily mode of operation and business plan in place before going full-time."
When Christy finally quit her job, a year and a half into the business, she started a new position in the pay plan. "This pushed me to work harder and take more responsibility," she says. "I made sure I was doing daily presentations, working as much as possible, and tracking results. I followed a system called Forensic Networker, which is our CEO's system for creating a six- and seven-figure income."
Today Christy has become one of the top presenters and trainers in her company, and she is regularly asked to do opportunity tours that kick off the yearly convention, something she considers a great honor and privilege.
Becoming one of company's trainers also led Christy to travel overseas. The first international market she helped build was Saint Martin, an island in the Northeast Caribbean.
"Our company flew me there to train new team members," she says. "Seeing their passion and how much they needed this business was an unforgettable experience. Hundreds of locals showed up for our opportunity tours. There I was, on a jet ski in the middle of the ocean, and people were waving me out of the water and asking me to come back and do more presentations! One night I told a couple of people that I had met some prospects and was going to give a quick tour at my hotel. Twenty-five more people showed up that night. I presented to thirty people standing around a flip chart, because there were no chairs or plugs for a computer."
Last summer Christy spent three months in Hong Kong to help her company launch the Asian market.
"It was fascinating to see the unique ways people build in different countries," she says. "In Hong Kong you first have to bond with people and do fun things together before you can do business. One of the most effective ways we found was to hold yacht parties with food and games. After the party, we would go over to our office to do a presentation, and almost everyone signed up right away. We also played the Cashflow® game through meet-up groups my team set up. Putting the relationship first and building trust was paramount for getting people involved.
"Hong Kong has a lot of ex-pats and people who are transient, so they don't necessarily have strong local support networks of family and friends. They are keen on making social connections and open to new possibilities. Even if the business isn't for them, they give us referrals, so there is always a benefit."
One of Christy's dreams had always been to travel and do business internationally. Looking into the future, she envisions having a large family and teaching her children about the world through hands-on experience.
"Every summer I would like to travel internationally with my family to give back to communities. I will ask my kids, 'What do you want to learn about? Wildlife? Let's go to the Galapagos Islands or Peru and volunteer together.'"
Christy's business vision is "to create a global team of a hundred thousand members living elite lifestyles and uplifting humanity."
"By increasing income and time flexibility," she adds, "this will allow people to volunteer for causes that are important to them. Some of the most magical moments I've had in my life were when I was contributing my time, especially to kids."
Christy also wants to help her parents fully retire and live their dreams, which include traveling the world with their grandchildren.
One of the greatest gifts Christy received through her business was to find her soul mate Osman Nur, whom she married in 2009. Originally from Somalia, Osman was the Executive Vice President of the company for the past seven years and still owns a significant share of the company. One of his dreams is to raise funds to help feed and educate children in his home country.
"Osman was my mentor in the business from the beginning and helped me grow tremendously," says Christy. "Together we are going to do a lot of good in the world in the coming years. This wouldn't have been possible without my incredible team in this amazing profession, which provides us with daily opportunities to be the best we can be and give the most of ourselves to everyone around us."