The night I was introduced to network marketing I was working as a maintenance manager at the Barrrel of Fun potato chip plant in Perham, Minnesota. My job was welding, maintaining, and building equipment. I had no knowledge of business and absolutely no sales experience. When my friend asked me to take a look at a business, I assumed he wanted me to check out the equipment or build a display.

I got to my friend's house that night two hours late, still wearing my safety glasses, a hair net, and my uniform, and smelling like potato chips. To this day I can see the two suits from Minneapolis thinking, "We waited two hours for this guy?"

Back then I had absolutely no self-confidence and no self-esteem. Why? I had dyslexia when dyslexia was still pretty much an unknown condition. No matter how hard I tried, I could not read; all the words and letters jumbled together. I remember the humiliation of trying to read out loud in class when the teacher called on me and stumbling through the text in front of my classmates. Finally they decided that I was just slow and stupid, so they put me in special classes and pushed me from grade to grade.

The night I encountered network marketing, all I could see was buying water filters for $120 and selling them for $179. I went door to door in nearby towns, selling my filters after work and on weekends.

I couldn't see why I would want to share this amazing opportunity with anyone else. Why create my own competition? It was not until I went to a conference and a leader explained the concept of leverage that I saw the light. That day my life changed forever.

First, I was amazed that I was treated as an equal. Nobody considered me too slow or too stupid. This truly was a level playing field; I was as good as everyone else.

Then, I was amazed at the business opportunity. I could be in my own business. Maybe, just maybe, I could earn $3,000 a month. Wow! What would I do with all that money?

The most amazing part was that this opportunity of network marketing gave me the hope and the courage to gradually overcome my lack of self-esteem. I could talk to people. I could even stand up in front of the room and lead a meeting. I was amazed one day, when a doctor—yes, a doctor—asked me a question.

Network marketing is far more than money. As Jim Rohn used to say, "It's not about what you earn, it's about who you become."

That is my story: the positive environment of network marketing, the coaching, the mentors, the success stories of everyday people transforming lives. It is an invaluable environment not found in any other profession.

JOHN HAREMZA is a network marketing
veteran with over two decades in the business
and earnings in excess of $12 million. He is the
author of several books and a training program,
and is featured in John Milton Fogg's
The Greatest Networker.