Masa Cemazar and Miguel Montero are a powerful network marketing couple who run a global business from their home in Brisbane, Australia. Both European—Masa is from Slovenia, Miguel is from Spain—they moved to Australia a little over ten years ago.
When they were first introduced to network marketing, Masa was a medical researcher and Miguel was doing odd jobs because, trained as an airline pilot, he wasn’t allowed to practice his profession as a new immigrant. Looking for more free time and money, Masa and Miguel jumped on the opportunity.
Ten years later, after many learning experiences, they built a substantial team spanning 40 countries and five continents. Yet they started out holding home meetings six nights a week to launch a local team, and it’s still what they teach their new team members to do today.
“First, build your income in your city,” says Miguel. “The fastest way to create momentum is to invite people you know to a house meeting, because you can train them the fastest. Make sure you have a stable $10,000 monthly income before you venture out internationally.”
“Network marketing is about finding a company you align with and building a long-term residual income,” Masa adds. “This doesn’t happen in six months and requires a long-term vision and commitment. Once you are making money, invest it wisely so you can build true and lasting financial freedom.”—J.G.
Miguel training Hong Kong team members
in their quarterly "University" program.
Masa training at an event with more than 5,000
people in Bangkok, Thailand.
Who introduced you to the business, and what made you say yes?
MASA:In 2004 I moved to Australia to do medical research for one year—or so I thought. On the way over, I met Miguel on the plane. We stayed in touch and nine months later he came to live with me in Australia. A year after we had been here together, we were introduced to network marketing by a 17-year-old girl we met at a dinner in Brisbane. I went there only to fill in for a friend who could not be there to accept a science award and asked me to receive it for her.
This 17-year-old girl was sitting next to me with her father when we started chatting. She didn’t tell me anything about network marketing, but she developed a good relationship. (Always build strong relationships before telling people about your opportunity!)
A few months later she contacted me to tell us about a business she had started where she helped others build businesses. She came to our house with her mother, who was a Diamond in the company we ended up joining. I had never heard about network marketing, but it sounded good and I got excited. It was a health company, so it worked well with my background in medical research. Miguel and I joined on the spot.
MIGUEL: I was a little more skeptical. I had never heard about network marketing either and wondered what we were getting into. When I see Masa excited, I always think there must be something good about that, so I asked myself, “What is the worst thing that can happen should I not succeed in this business?” The answer was, “Just a little time and effort we put into it.” If it didn’t work, we still had our jobs and life together so there was nothing to lose. Once we decided to get started, we gave it a full go.
MASA: Miguel and I are both well-educated professionals. Miguel is a commercial pilot, and I have a Ph.D. in molecular genetics and we both had successful careers. But we didn’t have a lot of money or time, so we saw the opportunity to have a better lifestyle. The reason we joined is totally different from the reason why we do the business now.
Most people join network marketing for personal reasons—to change their own lives. In the process we discover this business is about so much more. As you do well, you help others do well and create win-win situations. You can reach out to anyone and even build wonderful international friendships.
We spent about two years in our first company, and we were one of the youngest Diamonds there. We built an international business and opened Slovenia, Italy, and Spain for that company. Today our family is still collecting residual income from our efforts. We decided to resign because we found an opportunity that suited us better, which is our current company we’ve been with now for almost seven years.
How did you get started? Where you still employed when you reached Diamond?
MASA: I was working long hours as a researcher and would get home at 6:00 or 7:00 PM and make calls. Life became a lot more complicated before it became uncomplicated—and yes, we did go Diamond doing the business part-time. Our mentors gave us great guidance: make sure your network marketing income is at least double your take-home salary before you quit your job.
MIGUEL: Masa and I sat down and figured out how we were going to do it. Our goal was to become Diamond with that company in the shortest period possible. We looked at what kind of volumes and team we needed to have. We knew exactly what our targets were, then broke it down to what we needed to do each day in addition to our jobs.
We had to find one or two extra hours a day so we cut out watching TV. Instead, we made phone calls to invite people to events. In the beginning we set action goals—calling three to five people every day—whereas later, we set result goals—signing up one person a day or two a week.
MASA: We could have had a lot of reasons not to do this business. We lived in a new country where we had no family or friends. The only people we knew were a few colleagues at work. Our initial contact list was less than 20 people. There were a lot of obstacles and we did not have immediate success. But we kept asking, “How can we do it? What skills do we need? Who has the results that we can model after?”
With company owner Terry LaCore.
With their sponsor Kosta Gara.
With their sponsor Kosta Gara.
Who was your mentor, and how did you transition to your current company?
MASA: Initially it was the mother of the 17-year-old girl. She was wonderful and that company provided solid education. But we came to a point where we started looking for stronger results and higher leverage. In 2008 at a generic training event in Asia we met the gentleman who would become our current sponsor. We first built a friendship for several months and he offered us advice on how we could improve our results where we were. When he was launching a new company he called us because he knew we were looking to make a change.
After careful consideration we agreed to open the Australian market for his company—despite our lack of experience, which was a blessing in disguise, because we totally believed we were ready to do it.
We had no upline, no office, and no corporate support on the continent, but the product distribution worked well, so we had a fast learning curve.
MIGUEL: It was also quite humbling. We had to resign from our old company to start over, which meant giving up a $5,000 to $10,000 monthly check. Our income disappeared overnight, so again we asked ourselves, “How we are we going to do this?” The question brought the answer: one of us has to get a nine-to-five job until we build our income back up. I ended up working as a bank teller for about six months.
MASA: While Miguel was at work, I would attend networking events and find other creative ways to meet new people. I followed up on the phone to build relationships with those people, then invited them over for a presentation. Every night we had a house meeting at 7:00 PM, six nights a week. In Australia house meetings work much better than online events.
We kept inviting and inviting, and in about nine months our house became too small. We had more than 40 people every night and our living room was bursting, so we started to rent a venue.
How did you find 40 guests every night?
MASA: I would meet people one-on-one during the day, and they would each bring one or two contacts. The first couple of months we had only three to five people per night. As soon as some people joined our business, they would bring their guests, and it grew from there.
MIGUEL: Working as a bank teller, I had to be creative when talking about freedom. My story was, “My wife and I have a distribution business that she’s bringing to the country. I think it might be good for you to take a look.” I didn’t make it about me, but about the opportunity Masa was offering.
MASA: Sometimes it’s more powerful to use a third-party story. On three-way calls I would share my sponsor’s story of earning millions of dollars. On evenings where nobody showed up, we just practiced the presentation, which gave us a chance to train each other.
This business is not built overnight; the first six months are rocky. Even if you have some income, it’s not consistent. Within six months we reached $10,000 a month, and within nine months we reached about $9,000 a week. It still wasn’t consistent, but we quickly grew into quite high incomes and even had a $20,000 month here and there. Based on those results we decided Miguel could be more productive talking to people about the business, so he quit his job.
MIGUEL: I always knew my job was a temporary inconvenience, but it was still a very exciting day!
How did you create duplication?
MASA: For the first four to six months we didn’t have anyone who was ready to step up to our level, so we continued to hold meetings at our house every night. New recruits would attend several times a week to hear our presentation, which was consistent and powerful. We slowly identified three to four people who could also present a couple of days a week.
At the end of every home presentation an upline leader from the U.S. or Canada dialed in, even though they had to get up at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning with the time difference. Later we duplicated this with our team: when our new team members started having house meetings here, Miguel and I would dial into meetings from home after their presentation was over.
The real duplication happened after about nine months when we started meeting in a venue once a week. We had several hundred attendees each Friday and our budding leaders who were now starting to earn some income did house presentations the other nights.
We believe training your team too early is counterproductive. It’s important to first let the momentum build. It’s easier for new people to focus on one skill at a time—inviting—rather than burdening them with another skill set, such as presenting and doing house parties.
MIGUEL: Eventually there was at least one live presentation a day in our city. We focused on Brisbane for nine months and didn’t fly to other cities. By the time we moved to the venue, we also had a weekly conference call where we would play a prerecorded presentation. Once we discovered how to leverage technology, the business quickly grew into others parts of Australia, and also into New Zealand, which is just a three-hour flight from here. Since there wasn’t any local leadership yet, we stayed connected through our weekly calls.
We would also live-stream our weekly event to people in New Zealand who watched it from their homes with their guests. At the end of our event, we would have follow-up meetings on the phone from Brisbane. Every upline leader of these new team members in New Zealand would step out after the event and call in to those meetings. We quickly learned to maximize our efforts by using technology and teach our team that there is no need to endlessly repeat yourself or fly into all these cities, which is physically and financially taxing.
MASA: Today technology is even better and cheaper than seven years ago, so don’t fly into cities where you have only two people. Get them connected into your business with videos and live-streamed presentations.
With their Asian leadership team.
How do you communicate your belief to those who lack confidence?
MASA: I believe in sorting through people and helping those who are willing to step forward. I teach my team, “Follow the person who is taking action and bringing you the income right now. Don’t try to convince anyone.”
One concept we’ve taught for years is endless funnel, which means you have to put a lot of prospects into your funnel, but it does not end there. Of the people you sponsor, some will go to the first big rank, and then you have another funnel with who will go to the next rank, and so on.
You’re constantly sorting through people, whether they are prospects, new recruits, or leaders. Invest your time only where you see dedication and action. If somebody’s not taking action, mention it and help them, but if they don’t step forward, accept that they are not ready. Instead of convincing them, find other people. One of the reasons network marketers lose belief and burn out is they try too hard with the wrong people instead of letting go. Your family and friends may not necessarily be ready right now. Our job is to sort through thousands of people and work with the ones who are ready.
The beauty is, you only need very few people to succeed. It’s a common misconception that you need to enroll tons of people in network marketing. Do you have to talk to thousands? Yes. We’ve literally talked to thousands of people in seven years. How many did we sponsor? Around 300. How many of these 300 fully engaged in the business? Less than 40. How many have brought us 95 percent of the business? Our income today mostly comes from six people we personally sponsored.
Those numbers hold up in any compensation plan, in any company, with any leader. Ask any top income earner and they’ll have similar statistics. So don’t be too worried about letting people go and moving fast to find the right ones who are ready now.
Any other recommendations on building internationally?
MIGUEL: First, follow the volume. Before you fly to that foreign country—and we’ve done it the wrong way—you need to see some commitment, not just in words, but in actions and results.
Thanks to today’s technology you can start building in any country in the world from the comfort of your home. You can stay in close touch with people, but they also need to be strong enough to stand on their own, because that’s what it takes to start your own business. It takes a certain kind of person to launch a new market, and the sooner you find out if someone is that type of person, the better.
The worst thing you can do is going into a country where the “leader” hasn’t done any work yet. You arrive there to find out he or she doesn’t have the right personality to be able to stand alone and handle all the objections and the kind of pressure that goes with being the first one to build in that country.
Once you find the right people, give them goals. They can be volume goals or a number of people they need to enroll in their team. Once some goals are reached, schedule a date when you will travel there to have a meeting. Meanwhile, stay in touch through conference calls and Skype so you can see each other. Also dial into their local meetings or home presentations. Make sure to let the business grow to a certain level before you travel there. Work hard, but also work smart.
MASA: This morning I gave one of my leaders an important piece of advice: Never do meetings for somebody who has not signed up. This applies even more to international connections. Our rule is that you have to sign up 100 people at the highest level before we will consider traveling internationally to do a live meeting. We give people guidelines, and as the business grows, these requirements increase. Rather than doing trainings and meetings for everyone you enroll, which is what you have to do locally when you’re first starting, when you’re moving into other cities or internationally, you need to set some standards. At a minimum, never do a meeting for someone who hasn’t joined.
What is it like working in different cultures?
MASA: While every country is different, the challenges are the same—no matter if it’s Slovenia, the U.S., Nigeria, or Australia. Whatever country we travel to, at the end of big events team members invariably come see us and confess how difficult it is to build there. In reality, I believe it’s not more difficult to build a business in any country than in any other. The challenges simply manifest differently.
For instance, building in a first-world country like the U.S. or Australia is very different from building in developing countries. An important factor is how long network marketing has been established. For example, in Africa network marketing is just starting to boom. This kind of boom already happened in Asia ten or fifteen years ago. In the U.S. and Australia it started thirty years ago.
An important question to consider is how many people have Internet access, because that will dictate the types of tools and systems you will implement for your team. For example, for some of our African and Asian countries that don’t have great Internet connectivity we offer our training systems on DVDs. For other regions, we use the online version.
In terms of cultural differences, certain countries stand out. In Thailand, for instance, people communicate indirectly so the way you talk to them, the way you present has to be different. In Japan you need to understand a lot about the culture if you want to have a successful business there. As an international network marketer you can be thrown into a sea of new cultures, and you better do your homework to understand the culture when you recruit people and create systems to support your team.
How did you do your due diligence? Did you read books?
MASA: Yes, plus we learned from local leaders in our team by asking them questions.
MIGUEL: There is also something every country has in common: if you show you care about the person you’re talking to, they will understand and welcome you. When you make an effort to understand their culture, people feel respected and respond. As a rule, when entering a new culture we learn three, four, five words in their language. When the first words you say to people are in their language, it sends the message that you’ve cared enough to learn something about their culture and traditions.
MASA: I think the cultural gap can be overcome with the human aspect. As a good salesperson you know how to build a good relationship. You have to remain aware and open minded. Sometimes we Europeans—and perhaps also Americans—think we’re the center of the world. We need to be able to see from another culture’s perspective. A useful question to ask is, “What is their experience working with foreigners?”
Enjoying life in Sydney, Australia...
... and Valencia, Spain.
How many people do you have on your team, and how to you lead them?
MASA: We have probably around 50,000 active members who are buying product and building the business. Right now we are building teams in more than 20 countries. We have people in more than 40 countries, but in some of them we have only consumers.
Our income in the last 18 months has gone from a steady $40,000-$50,000 a month to now $20,000 a week. “What have you done?” people ask. About two years ago we started to implement simple, efficient systems. We had grown our team pretty organically with some standard rules on how to expand internationally, but we had very few systems supporting us. We realized we’d been repeating ourselves too much, so over the holidays we sat down and focused on creating tools. We built out what we call our Team Fortune Leadership Academy (our team’s name is Team Fortune).
MIGUEL: The more your team grows, the more challenges you face. If you don’t think down the road, you’re going to be repeating yourself over and over in different countries, in different languages. Combine this with booking flights and hotels, traveling, packing and unpacking, and you can quickly exhaust yourself. We almost got to that point, so that’s why we created our system.
MASA: Team Fortune Leadership Academy starts with an eight-lesson basic training program that leads into a Level 2 and Level 3 Leadership Academy. Everyone who signs up goes through that and our leaders enforce it everywhere.
In most countries our team members don’t just listen to the information, they get together in small teams and listen to one lesson a week at someone’s home for eight weeks. They watch the videos and answer the questions in the workbook that comes with it. This group study approach seems very effective for learning and engaging people in the business.
While we’ve created and implemented a lot of different tools and systems, it’s important to point out we didn’t do this on your first day. As a new network marketer, please don’t start making a team website—it’s a waste of time. Focus on building your income and put all your time and effort into finding leaders and building those leaders first. Once you reach a level of income where you see that you’re duplicating, that your team is growing, find some way to support yourself and extend your efforts, because there are only two ways to use leverage in network marketing: leaders and systems/tools.
What are you excited about in the coming years?
MIGUEL: Our dream has always been to create 100 millionaires on our team, so we are working towards that. In terms of personal goals, we feel ready to start a family. We’ve been postponing this for a long time, and now that we have all these systems in place, our workload is more manageable.
In our relationship Masa is the goals-and-numbers person, while I’m the more feeling one. I focus more on what our life is going to look like in the next five years. What I see is a lifestyle we’ve always dreamed of. We believe in using our financial freedom in a smart way, which includes creating other streams of income. One of our long-term goals is to help others outside our team and company succeed in this profession. If 97 percent of the people who start in the business never succeed, that gives us a bad name. If we can raise the bar so an extra 5 percent who join can make it happen, this might make us all look better.
MASA: For this reason we want to reach a wider audience. We are incredibly blessed with the team we have and we’ve been able to impact tens of thousands of people. Now we want to go beyond that and help network marketing become a mainstream profession. Our big goal is to reach 10 million people in the next five years and give them plenty of information to help them not only create a solid income but also sustain that for a long time. That means investing their earnings properly, being able to save, and not living above your means, which is what network marketers tend to do. It’s not just about the big car and the big house, although that comes with it. We need to teach people about long-term freedom, which is why we created PyjamaBosses.com, a generic web site with video blogs and training programs for everyone who wants to build their own business.
We teach how to do network marketing the right way, how to create results, and how to invest the money properly. We also touch upon how to take care of your health, because without your health you have nothing. That’s the overall goal we have with the Pyjama Bosses community and also for our lives.