Kami Dempsey is a young network marketing leader who got started in the business seven years ago. She became her company’s first millionaire and has enjoyed a six-figure monthly income for several years now. During those years Kami and her husband Nathan also had their second and third baby. Today the Dempseys’ children are four, five, and eight.
Before Kami found network marketing, she was a middle school math teacher and Varsity basketball coach. Nathan taught science and coached Varsity football. After the birth of their oldest son, Nathan and Kami found themselves in need of a change. They loved their work, but didn’t like the time it took away from their young family, and neither were their finances flourishing. When they saw the opportunity to apply their skills and strengths to a business that would reward them based on their efforts and allow them to put their family first, they recognized it as a way to fulfill their purpose on earth and jumped all in.
Kami started building the business part time, at first gathering lots of auto-ship customers. Her company is a hybrid of direct selling and network marketing with a customer-distributor ratio of seven to one. When the economic crisis of 2008 hit, Kami found more people interested in the business opportunity and her organization has been growing exponentially ever since.
Kami believes one reason for her success is that she and Nathan are down-to-earth people anyone can relate to. She teaches her leaders to be authentic and find their voice so they can attract likeminded business partners who share a similar vision. She likens her company events to family reunions everyone looks forward to attending. In fact, the company named its evening business opportunity meetings, “Don’t Stop the Party.”
Kami was introduced to network marketing when she was still in middle school.
“In the early nineties, my parents got involved in a company that was poised for growth, just like my current company is today,” she says. “I would attend meetings and trainings in our home, sitting in the back of the room. I got used to hearing business opportunity and personal development CDs at a very young age.”
Seeing the positive effects of the business on her family’s lifestyle, Kami thought network marketing was genius. She remembers money being tight and her dad working two or three jobs to make ends meet—until he became successful in network marketing. She says these humble beginnings helped her understand the value of a dollar and hard work, and also how network marketing offers the average person an opportunity to create wealth.
“Seeds were being planted in me,” she says, “and I had no idea those trainings were preparing me for my future.”
Kami went to college to be a teacher and a coach. Growing up she had wanted to be a professional basketball player, but a car accident that left her with a brain injury put an end to that dream. Her love of children and people in general made her a terrific teacher, and she coached Varsity girls’ basketball for five years.
When Kami and Nathan were expecting their first child, she took a sabbatical and started thinking about options that would allow her to stay home and raise a family. She realized that even with a double income and no children, she and Nathan had no money left at the end of the month, so they would need to find another source of income if she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.
“Running a home business had always been in the back of my mind,” she says. “I had seen firsthand how it changed our family’s future. I was introduced to my current company in college but was not interested at the time. I had not hit that place in life where I realized what we were doing wasn’t going to work any longer.
“Once I was holding my new baby, I couldn’t imagine going back to school and raising other people’s children while somebody was raising mine. Since we could not afford to keep me home, we started looking at home-based businesses and specifically, network marketing companies.”
Kami’s parents had started a network marketing company with a unique weight loss and body-contouring product in 2000. Nathan was sold on the parents company, but Kami felt intimidated by the newness of the product. Kami’s father wanted her to join, knowing she would be an asset to his company, but she was concerned about her lack of experience. She believed in the company, but doubted that she had what it would take to succeed.
“I made a lot of excuses in the beginning,” Kami says. “I knew once I do anything, I go all the way and do it well, so I wrestled with myself for a while. After Landon, our first son, was born in 2006, we finally made a commitment to build a network marketing business and signed up in my parents’ company.”
Receiving a family award at the
Inc. 500/5000 Conference in Maryland.
Even though the company was launched in 2000, it was not well established yet and marketing tools were poor to non-existent.
“We often wondered how we were going to do this,” says Kami. “Yet we knew the company was special. We trusted the owners, obviously. The flagship product was exclusive—it was something people wanted and couldn’t get anywhere else. All the products were high quality and affordable. The compensation plan rewarded individual effort but also encouraged teamwork and helping others. We really felt the company had all the right ingredients to make history. Soon after we signed up, the company became debt free—which grew our confidence even more.”
Kami signed up a dozen customers right away by reaching out to some friends and family, simply asking them for a favor. Unfortunately, no one in her warm market was interested in doing the business. Three months into it, she had only signed up customers.
“One reason there was little business-building activity in the beginning was that I had no experience doing anything like this,” she says. “The company did not have a system in place at the time either.”
Since it was challenging to build a team, Kami and Nathan focused on developing relationships. The company grew slowly and organically, which Kami says gave her time to grow herself.
“The personal development side of the business gave me real thick skin. Attending networking events helped me grow my customer base and plant seeds for my future team, but my business didn’t really take off until the economy started crashing in 2008-2009. All of a sudden we had more people wanting to become business builders, either because they didn’t have a job and were looking for income, or they wanted the product but couldn’t afford it so they became interested in earning it by referring others.”
Kami remembers trying all the traditional marketing methods, from going door to door, hanging flyers on door knobs, and mailing coupons to people’s homes, to running ads in papers and doing radio ads. Her team experienced a significant growth spurt when she and Nathan joined a new church and made a small group of new friends.
“One after another they signed up,” she says. “They’d never done anything like it, but they loved our vision and the opportunity. Several couples joined us even though the company still didn’t offer a lot of support and we were making our own tools, trying to figure out what would work.”
Nathan was still teaching at the time while Kami was on leave so she could stay home with Landon. Her mother and mother-in-law took care of the baby one day a week so Kami would have two days to bring in extra income. She had taken a waitressing job while waiting for her business to blossom.
“We looked at it as small investments into our future rather than sacrifices,” she says. “Some days I would go out to introduce our product to traditional businesses. Other days I would attend meetings in the evening while Nathan watched our son. It definitely was a juggling act, but we would do it all over again.”
As the business grew, and with the help of her family, Kami learned how to be a mom, a wife, and a home business builder all at the same time.
Reflecting on how she was able to juggle such a diverse range of activities, Kami says it’s all about “being flexible, being creative, and time blocking.
“Even five- to fifteen-minute increments are opportunities to build your business, whether it’s following up, making contacts, or getting prepared for an event. It’s really about maximizing every minute. Today, for instance, if I’m going to be at a baseball practice with my son Landon for an hour and a half, I schedule or return calls.”
About a year and a half into her business, Kami was able to quit all her jobs. She remembers the day she told Nathan, “I think I need to let go of one of my waitressing days.”
He looked at her and said, “You really think you can cover what you are making waitressing?”
She said, “I think I can.”
Finances were so tight Kami felt she was taking a significant risk, but less than a month later she let go of her second waitressing day because her business was taking off. She also resigned from her teaching job, which she had kept as a safety net while on sabbatical in case she needed to go back.
That same month, Nathan transitioned from his teaching career into medical sales which allowed him to earn commissions and set his own schedule. This newfound flexibility allowed Kami to go out and build the business while Nathan could watch the kids.
Kami adds, “There is a piece to this business you can’t time block, especially in the early stages, at least temporarily. Things can suddenly change and snowball in a moment, for example when you enroll someone whose business instantly takes off, perhaps because the person brings in a team from a previous company. This brings in a lot of appointments at once and your schedule goes crazy. Trying to keep a balance during those times is even more about being flexible and creative, while also setting boundaries around your priorities.”
Celebrating a team promotion in Seattle, WA.
Recognizing local leaders in front of
the company´s private plane.
Recognition event for Canadian team.
Holiday leadership retreat with top producers in 2012.
Thankfully, just when Kami felt her business was taking over her life, she found a mentor who helped her regain balance—not just in her schedule, but also with her physical and emotional health. His name is Bob Goshen and when Kami shared her challenge with him, he simply took out a generic calendar.
“First things first,” he said. “Write on this calendar the things you cannot change, the things that have to happen no matter what.”
Kami wrote down her primary commitments as a mom and spouse. Bob told her the next step was to get creative and build her business around these standing commitments.
During this time, Kami’s business was growing so fast she needed all the support she could get, so she hired a house cleaner and an administrative assistant. Nathan resigned from his job which allowed him to get actively involved in business building, as well as take on more responsibilities at home.
“We became really good at communicating and juggling around the demands of the business,” Kami says. “Feeling the need to invest every bit of time I could find, I cleared my calendar of anything I could possibly eliminate. For instance, I used to work in the nursery at church, and for a season, I stopped working there, knowing that I couldn’t devote the extra time.
“Eventually you arrive at a place in your business where you get to be in charge of your schedule again because of the repeat income you have created. Then you start time-blocking things you don’t want to compromise, like date nights, participating in your kids’ school activities, and volunteering. Having that time freedom today doesn’t mean I’m not working hard, but I get to decide when I work, how much I work, and what I spend my time working on.”
Kami is very intentional about envisioning the future with her family.
“We love making dream boards,” she says. “It’s our family business, so we set goals together. We also decide how we give back together and do community service. I’m not just balancing family and business, I’m also teaching my children some important life principles early on—values such as responsibility and commitment.
“I teach my children that dreaming is possible. I ask them what they want to do, where they want to go, and what they want it to look like. Giving back teaches them life isn’t just about us, it’s about who we can help along the way. I truly believe there’s no greater way to make a difference in the world, starting in our own families, than through this business model.”
Boundaries and Self Care
One of the lessons Kami learned and teaches is that the business has different seasons.
“In the beginning and for the first couple of years, your mindset should be: anytime anything comes your way that will build your business, you just do it, no ifs or buts about it. It’s all about what can we do to fuel growth now.
“Once your business starts to grow, you have to take a different perspective. Yes, you’re still going to work hard and build your business wholeheartedly, but you have to be careful to protect your time and set boundaries around the things that are important to you.
“Especially when our business went into this crazy momentum and we were in total wealth-creation mode, the mistake I made was not proactively setting boundaries around the things I needed to do.”
Kami says she learned this the hard way, until her mentor told her to look at the areas of life that are the most important: emotional, physical, social, spiritual. When Kami and Nathan looked at these different areas, right away they put a weekly date night back on their calendar, realizing they had sacrificed their time together for a purpose, intentionally investing in their business. But they forgot to put it back in, so their marriage was suffering. The same thing was happening with the children, so Kami started scheduling mommy dates where she would spend one-on-one time with each child.
“I call these high-class problems,” says Kami. “Our business is growing so much I could be in a different city every night of the week, but there have to be limits on that, otherwise I’m sacrificing why I joined this business. I didn’t say I don’t wanted to work; I just wanted to be able to work on my own timetable and still make an terrific income, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Kami says she is still learning the ever-evolving process of setting boundaries to achieve balance.
“I’m not going to pretend I’ve mastered it, because I love people. I love the heart of this business, the connecting part. I love growing and being pushed past my limits. I get to experience and take advantage of that in my business on a regular basis. The key is just being very intentional with your calendar from day one. You have to sacrifice a lot of time to launch your business, and if you’re not doing that it’s not going to grow. That might mean other things get put on the back burner, but there comes a time when you need to put some balance back in place.
“For me right now, I’ve been in this business for seven years, and I’ve put off the exercise element that I need for stress reduction and wellness in general. I pick it back up sometimes, but then I put it on the back burner again. One of my goals for 2014 is to make rest and physical fitness a top priority.”
Kami and Nathan have hired private cooks in the past who came to their home to make sure the family was eating organic and healthy meals.
“We’ve got that part handled, but no one can exercise for you,” she says. “I can invest my time all day long into my team because it’s growing, it’s exciting. It’s my passion and purpose, but at the end of the day I can’t be good for anyone else if I’m not good to myself.
“When you’re young, you think you can do it all. Sometimes I think women live under the lie that we have to do it all. We need to be reminded that we have to take care of ourselves first. This starts with what’s going in our mind. A big focus for me right now is to make sure one of the first things I do in the morning is getting in the Word and really spending time feeding my soul and setting my mind on Truth.
“As women we give, give, give all the time in many areas of life, but if we’re not refilling or refueling, we can become depleted. A mistake we can make in this business is if we hold away from ourselves that which nurtures and restores us.”
Delivering a keynote at company event.
Enjoying her first luxury car with
all the bells and whistles.
When it comes to growing the business, one of Kami’s greatest strengths is her ability to connect with people.
“I believe this business model is not just about commerce,” she says. “The heartbeat of network marketing is connections, which is why I’m always trying to grow my contact list. For instance, recently I joined a new workout facility, and I’m excited to meet a whole new group of people while committing to my personal goals of being healthy and fit. I get involved in school activities so I can connect with other families. I volunteer at my church which is another great way to build relationships with the families there.”
Kami strongly believes in face-to-face networking to expand her circle of influence. She just joined a women’s networking group and attends several other lunch and breakfast groups every month consistently. There have been seasons in her business where she joined a volleyball league, because she loves playing volleyball.
“I need the physical activity and I need to keep meeting new people,” she says. “I still like doing trade shows and expos, because you get out and meet people. This remains a belly-to-belly business, but the Internet has definitely added a whole new layer of possibilities we can’t ignore. Social media has changed this business; it’s like networking on steroids. It’s still about connecting, and network marketers who are advertising through social media completely miss the boat.”
To allow new people to get to know her, Kami often sends them to her YouTube channel, where she posts new videos on a regular basis.
“We make family videos about who we are and what we like to do, and we also showcase the lifestyle this business has afforded us,” she says. “As I said, this business is not just you. It’s like when you get married: you don’t just marry the person, you marry the family. When you get into network marketing you’re not just getting into business with that person, you’re getting into business with their family and friends.
“I also train and teach a lot using videos. I invite people to join the business through video, and I also blog and use social media. I just share thoughts that come up about marketing or whatever is happening, like crafts I might be doing with the kids or a new fitness routine I just started. I share life while I’m looking to make connections—and they happen.”
Some of Kami’s Facebook posts are about her family, some are about things she is learning and what inspires her. Some are all about her company, and how she goes about building her business.
“Take a platform like Instagram,” she says. “Some of the pictures are going to be me with my kids. Some are going to be my husband and I having date nights out. Some are going to be me volunteering at my church, and some are definitely going to be my business. Some are going to be inspirational quotes. It’s just my life on display.”
Kami’s social media strategy has worked extremely well, “because” she says, “the foundation of this business model is people.
“I teach my team all the time, people buy people, not products, and if you’re not being the truest form of who you are, there are people who are not going to join your business because you are not there. I teach my leaders all the time, we’re always growing and evolving, so it’s very important to continue to develop yourself. But don’t grow yourself to be exactly like Kami; that’s not what’s going to build your business. You have to be you.”
With husband Nathan, "Coaches to the core!"
"My pride and joy!"
Even though Kami has reached a significant level of success, she senses there is more. Asking herself what’s next, she feels a stirring in her heart that has to do with contributing on an even larger scale.
“In the beginning you build the business for yourself so you can have the story that it does work,” she says. “Then you turn around and help others get to where you are. One of the biggest challenges I went through was learning to raise up leaders and duplicating myself. That layered leadership is where the true power lies. It’s like being a multiplier of multipliers.
“Sometimes we unintentionally cripple people, because we’re hovering over them. I had to learn how to let go and allow my leaders to spread their wings and fly. Today Nathan and I are talent scouts who help people realize their God-given strengths and how they can uniquely be used to build a business. We’re not just working with our downlines; we’re working with our uplines and sidelines, because we know the better everyone does, the better our company does, and the more we all benefit.”
One way Kami multiplied her leadership in 2013 was through coauthoring a book called Retire Your Husband with one of her business partners. She has plans for writing another book or two in the near future.
Kami and Nathan just built a new home with the intention to put it in service to others they want to mentor.
“Nathan and I are a real couple most people can relate to,” she says. “Before network marketing, there was never any money left at the end of the month. It’s our dream to bring people into our home, allow them to dream, pamper them, educate them, and equip them to go out and do for themselves what we’ve done for us.”
Kami and Nathan are enjoying making an impact in their local community and supporting a few nonprofit organizations they have a passion for.
“But our focus right now is to raise up multipliers while continuing to change people’s lives,” says Kami, “When you’re changing a family, it changes a community; next it changes a city, then a state. This is how we’re going to change the world.
“I know there are other women out there who want to have choices, and the world tells us we don’t have choices, that we have to live within this box that’s been created for us. It’s no longer working, but people are still trying to make it work because they haven’t been shown this amazing vehicle called network marketing.
“The cool thing is, there’s some crazy wealth creation that happens through this vehicle, especially when you’re in a company at the right time. When you find a company in momentum, this wealth creation is happening for masses of people, not just a minority. That’s pretty exciting to be a part of.”