Dr. Motaz is a network marketing leader of 5.2 million distributors (by far the largest organization we have featured in Networking Times to date) spread out over twenty-one countries, including Syria, Iraq and neighboring Gulf countries, as well as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Mongolia, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, and Côte d'Ivoire.
At age forty-seven, Dr. M, as he calls himself, has been in the business for twelve years. Born in Syria, he moved to Dubai at the age of eleven. After completing high school, he moved to the Philippines to study dentistry. In 1991 he moved back to Dubai and a few years later to Egypt, where he studied pediatric dentistry until 2000, when he was introduced to network marketing by a friend in Dubai.
Dr. M always dreamt of a career that would allow him to fly around the world, away from the limitations of office hours or a fixed infrastructure. He says the values and integrity he inherited from his father became the foundation for his success.
"Second comes duplication," he says, "which forms the backbone of our business and takes it to another dimension. Just as alcoholism or bad manners can duplicate to spoil a society, we can duplicate good morals and success principles to create a thriving community." — J.M.G.
With company director Joseph Bismark.
With brother and top leader Mohannad Qais.
With team members at a training in Antalya, Turkey.
Presenting with United Teams leaders.
Celebrating with participants.
With cofounders of Networking Times at company event in Malaysia, 2011.
What happened in 2000 that got you involved in network marketing?
The year 2000 was a turning point in my life in all aspects. As I was pursuing higher education at the University of Cairo, I was living off my savings and looking for a business venture that would allow me to generate some income.
An old friend from Dubai called me to ask if I was coming back to the U.A.E. anytime soon. I replied that I needed to take care of a few things at the University, but as he insisted, a few months later I returned to Dubai for a visit.
Excited to see me, he showed a passion I had never seen in him before. He invited me to a business presentation, where I quickly became bored with the hype I saw on the board, including the assertion that it was possible to earn more than $2,000 U.S. dollars a day. I was also jaded by a bad past experience: my brother and I had invested in currency trading, but with no experience, we lost big money.
I left the room halfway through the presentation, and my friend followed me out with some of his friends. They asked me, "If we can make a logical argument about our business, would you be willing to listen?" I agreed and they gave me a private presentation, right there outside the hall in the coffee shop of the hotel. The business concept started to make more sense to me, but I still wasn't ready to join.
"I need more time," I told them. We shook hands and as they were leaving, one of them said, "You are in luck, because the directors of the company happen to be in town to open an office here in Dubai. We are going to meet them in the lobby of the Emirates Towers. Why don't you come along and say hello?"
I went and met company directors Dato' Vijay Eswaran and Joseph Bismark. I became intrigued with Dato's words about passion and education, and touched by the way he edified and validated people.
Dato' Vijay is a world-class communicator who creates instant credibility by touching on points that raise people's spirits and uplift their vision of themselves.
That night I went home eager to learn more about the business, wishing I had some books about it. People with an academic background, such as doctors and engineers, love to read books before they decide to get involved in a certain field. I was one of these people; I thought, "I don't have books to read about this subject and there are none available on the shelves in the bookstore. How can I make an informed decision? And how would I succeed in this kind of business?"
Another struggle I had was that I felt I would have to deflate my doctor's ego and fit the image of a salesman.
Both concerns were solved thanks to the support of my grand upline, the upline of my friend who had invited me. He was from the Philippines, where I had lived for many years, and we spoke the same language, in more ways than one.
He called me and said, "What are you doing in life? What are your financial goals?"
I said, "I need money to keep up the prestigious lifestyle of a doctor in Cairo during my specialization in the School of Dentistry."
He said, "This is your chance. You can make money working part-time."
This was the key that made my decision. I signed up that afternoon.
How did you launch your business?
I had no brochures, no materials, and nothing in hand to start my business. For the first two weeks, I was told to research, get organized, and practice how to present. Luckily I had some prior experience in giving presentations for a timeshare I had, and from that experience I taught myself how to make a presentation for this new company.
After two weeks I made my first attempt, which was successful: I signed up one of my friends, partially due to my credibility as a dentist. My friend's response was, "You are from the health sector, a doctor, you will not tell me lies. I'm following you."
I started working with my new sign-up, holding meetings in our newly-opened company office in Dubai, and from there our network grew. My next sign-up, whom I thought would be a leader, quit after two months. By then my brother had also joined me. Skeptical at first, when he saw my first check he said, "Let's sit down and talk, I want to understand how I can make money like you." Today he is one of the strongest pillars in my network, a successful communicator, a great networker, and a humble, first-class leader.
My daily routine was to build my network in the evenings, from 9 p.m. to midnight or later. During the day I would read and educate myself by listening to CDs, and make calls to invite prospects to my evening presentations.
Together with my friend and brother, we decided to take time to study the one book we found about the business, which I consider to be the bible of network marketing, Your First Year in Network Marketing, by Mark Yarnell.
It explains step by step how to make anyone excited about two aspects of the business: 1) one phone call can change your life; and 2) with a modest investment, you can build a $50 million business.
The book also prepares you for the inevitable rejection you will face and gives you the perfect way to handle it. According to Mr. Yarnell, there are two kinds of rejection: internal, which comes from your own judgments; and external, which might come from family or friends. The book then teaches you how to make a presentation, how to condition your mind before the presentation, and what tools to give your prospect for best results.
I studied this book inside and out for a year. I also recommended it to all my new people, as it speaks directly to the average person's heart and mind.
How soon did you start making money and going international?
After three or four months I started earning significant income.
I would invite people to a one-on-one presentation in a coffee shop or a hotel in the evening, and teach my downline to do the same. In three months time we had a team of more than 300 people, and some of them were earning more than my brother, my first sign-up, or I did. This was the point where I really felt the system was working, and just as Yarnell recommends in his book, I decided to commit at least one full year to the business. Many of our leaders made the same commitment when seeing their own success materializing step by step.
At this point I started becoming worried about my network's rapid growth, because we had a lot of sign-ups but no education for the team. Four months into the business, I decided to give a public training once a week. The following month, my leaders started to take over the trainings. I had basically replaced myself and could now focus on international expansion.
First my network expanded into neighboring countries—Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Later it started to spread into Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, then Central Asia. Fortunately I speak Arabic, English, and Tagalog.
Building in the Middle East is different in several key ways.
First, relationships here are based on strong ties of friendship, perhaps more so than in any other culture. To enter into a business relationship, you need to build trust, which takes time.
Second, businesspeople in the Middle East are used to big commissions. If your company doesn't give a good return, people will not join, or if they do, they will soon quit. You must present your opportunity in such a way that people can see immediate and significant earning potential. They are not patient with the notion that residual income will come in the future.
Third, and this is something few people know about the Middle East, women are quite dominant in financial matters and known for their keen business sense. They make great candidates for our business, because they are the decision-makers at home; they are in charge of spending and deciding which business ventures the family will enter. If you want a husband to join you, make sure to ask him to bring his wife along to the presentation.
Women in Saudi Arabia and Dubai who have joined our team are simply wild about our business. They feel this is the best opportunity they have ever come across to create an income without needing to go into an office. Many of them have dreams to visit other countries and say, "We are using our commissions to see the world!"
We had an event in Abu Dhabi last month and I was shocked to see more than 50 percent women in the room.
What made your organization grow so quickly?
I allow and expect my people to take responsibility for coming up with new solutions for their organization. I push them to duplicate their own systems and open up new markets.
A great book I recommend to all my leaders is How to Build a Multi-Level Money Machine, by Randy Gage. Randy says to be successful in network marketing you have to submerge your ego. To my knowledge, he is the only author who talks about the ego in relation to network marketing.
My team is called United Teams because we focus on integrated growth. I don't force my leaders to stick to my system 100 percent. I open the door for them to abide with the purpose of network marketing, but they can adapt their container and their system according to the country and culture they work in. That is why in a single country, like Russia or Kazakhstan, we support four different approaches which can be integrated.
Practically speaking, I run two programs delivered daily via text message to my leaders. One, called the Light of Life, enlightens their pathway to a life of success and significance, including taking care of the poor and the elderly, developing relationships based on love and respect, and submerging the ego. The other program is an ongoing communication with selected leaders to groom them for the next generation of leaders through personal development and timeless wisdom.
United Teams also has its own training camps where we allow no more than 300 participants at a time so they can interact more easily. We have three types of camps: 1) The Change, which focuses on the need for change, how to accept and experience change, and how to achieve results; 2) Face Yourself, where participants address their weaknesses and what's holding them back in order to prepare themselves for higher achievement; and 3) Survival, a physical and experiential training where participants learn mental self-control and endurance for enhanced self-esteem.
United Teams is committed to graduating more and more of its own leaders from these programs; in the future, we will also invite participants from other network marketing organizations to experience our leadership trainings.
One of my dreams is to take this business further by creating network marketing associations in North African and Middle Eastern countries where this kind of thing is sorely missing—for example, in Syria, Egypt, or Tunisia. These associations would support networkers by lobbying their governments for supportive legislation and a better understanding of the business.
There is a great need for these kinds of associations in these parts of the world, for two reasons.
First, in places where we have direct selling associations, legislators often make so many rules for network marketing that it is almost impossible to build residual income. For example, if the company's focus is more on building a distributor network than on selling products, it might be accused of being a pyramid. In order to gain the association's approval, companies will often reevaluate their payment plans and types of products, even if it means lowering the distributor's earning potential.
For the countries where no direct selling associations exist, we need network marketing associations for a different reason, which is that communities don't understand this business. There is no university or school that teaches it. As far as I know, there is no one studying the legal aspects of this business in Central Asia or the Middle East. An association is needed to protect the rights of both networkers and consumers.
What are your goals for the future?
At this point, most of my networking dreams have come true. I've been able to resolve many issues while defending networkers' rights, because our company is open to leaders' suggestions. For instance, different countries sometimes need special kinds of products; when I have suggested this to our company, they have responded promptly by creating new products for those new markets.
I've also made my personal dreams come true. I've driven a few of my dream cars and I have homes in places I visit often. I travel in comfort and style, always flying business class, even for short trips. When I consider a new expense, price is no longer an issue. Instead, I ask myself if it is something I truly need. Before network marketing, I used to ask myself first whether or not I could afford it. This is a very different way of life and true financial freedom.
When I was a student, I experienced some financial struggles, which taught me a big lesson for the future. When I became successful in this business, my heart became very tender for the needy. When I was young, my uncle taught me that money is like air or wind: it comes to people who open their doors and windows to let it in. If I open my hand to the needy and give them financial assistance on a regular basis, then money will flow to both me and them.
I love to surprise people with gifts. For instance, if the children in my family or circle of friends mention they would like to have an iPad or iPhone, I'll keep that in mind and send it to them when they least expect it. Making people happy brings me joy, which is why I dedicate a significant portion of my efforts to buying gifts.
Having attained many of my goals, I believe my responsibility now lies in helping every networker on planet Earth, and I'm committed to this mission for several reasons.
First, I believe life is not fair, but with network marketing we can compensate for this. You don't need thousands of dollars to start a business that can make you that kind of money. Network marketing brings equal opportunity to everyone.
Second, network marketing enhances global prosperity because it circulates money between people. It pushes wonderful products to everyone and boosts commerce, because we spend significant amounts of money on hotels, travel, events, and so on.
Third, network marketing is an indirect way for everyone to educate themselves. People learn how to speak English, use technology, and use the Internet. They learn more sophisticated ways of interacting with others, such as how to solve or win an argument, how to win someone's heart, or how to be a team player.
This is exactly what we need in the twenty-first century, where technology has so often overtaken face-to-face communication. Network marketing brings back the human touch and heart-to-heart connection between people.
Fourth, network marketing is a powerful vehicle for people who lack the funds to pay for their children's education. Nowadays many people make huge sacrifices to send their children to good schools. Through the equal opportunity provided by network marketing, anyone can earn enough to support their children with the best schools.
Fifth, the network marketing business model has a way of unifying society in such a way that allows people to get along better, learn about other cultures, and create harmony instead of conflict. In our community of networkers, we don't care much about each other's nationality. We merge our cultures together and go back to the essence of being human, more than discriminating by religion or ideologies. I have a hard time calling my team "downline" because we are all brothers and sisters.