An estimated 95 percent of those who survive ten years in network marketing become wealthy beyond their wildest expectations.

When reading this sentence ten years ago in Mark Yarnell's Your First Year in Network Marketing, I was fascinated with the idea.

"What if this is true?" I thought, "and what exactly would it take to survive ten years in network marketing?"

When heading into my twenties, I didn't embark upon the collegiate route, as did most of my friends. Instead, I became the sole provider and caregiver for my beloved grandmother. I chose to forego pursuing a higher education in order to share priceless time with her in those final years I knew we would never get back.

It was during that time that I discovered network marketing—and immediately embraced it. A sense of optimism filled me when I found out that this model provided a level playing field—that a degree was not necessary and would have no bearing on my future success. That everyone who joins this profession is given the same opportunity to learn and earn at the same time.

It didn't take a math degree to know that a 95 percent success rate meant pretty good odds! I decided to believe Mark Yarnell and took action.

I enrolled myself as a full-time student of network marketing and committed to putting in the time it would take to develop the skills and mindset needed not only to survive those ten years, but to thrive.

Early on I was told that success leaves clues, so I was determined to put myself in the position of gathering as many success clues as possible.

I listened to CDs, attended company events, plugged into conference calls, and attended seminars. I wanted to be anywhere and everywhere that clues might be dropped.

I kept a list of all the books mentors would recommend. I wanted to read what successful people were reading. It didn't come naturally to me in the beginning; however, I developed a true love for reading as I pursued my personal development. I discovered that leading and reading go hand in hand.

I'll often pick up a book that I've read once, twice, maybe even three times, and the fourth time I still gather new insights. There's timeless wisdom found in the classics.

Networking Times has also played a tremendous role in my pursuit of gathering success clues. I call this valuable resource my "mailbox mentor." I'm so thankful to the countless leaders in our profession who give so generously in each issue.

A mentor said, "Work harder on yourself than you do on your business, because your business will grow in direct proportion to how much you grow as a person."

I believe wholeheartedly that success in our profession and education are synonymous.

To the familiar phrase, "You are what you eat," I'd like to add, "You are what you read."

TINA BEER is a top income earner and leader
in her network marketing company. Her passion
is assisting and supporting others in building successful
businesses. She resides in California with her husband.