Based in Jamaica and Houston, Texas, Johnnie Green is a young network marketing professional who leads organizations of several hundred thousand members on six continents. He joined the business as a college student, when the possibility of making an extra thousand dollars a month sounded very exciting. Thinking outside the box, Johnnie saw network marketing as a vehicle to create a different life from the tedious jobs he found himself in and got started by offering the opportunity to fellow students. Originally from Beattyville, Kentucky, he also reached out to low-income families he grew up with, using the tagline, “Invest $200 and let me show you how to make $1,000.”
Johnnie quickly grew a domestic team, but his business really took off when one day he was approached by a networker in Malaysia looking to join a U.S.-based company. Thanks to this one connection, he built a huge team in Asia in 2010 even though he didn’t travel there till 2012.
Enjoying Negril, Jamaica.
Johnnie learned so much from this Asian experience that he became a consultant who now helps companies launch new markets around the world. One key to his success he says is being able to relate to people from all walks of life. He remembers when his team was 100 percent African American, one of his mentors told him to go out and “recruit five people who don’t look like you.”
Johnnie took his advice to heart and focused on creating different success stories, constantly helping his leaders move forward, build their brand, break records, and receive edification. Not a big fan of being in the public eye, Johnnie is passionate about sharing these stories and giving people hope wherever he goes.
Johnnie was introduced to network marketing in 2003 by his friend Jonathan with whom he used to play in basketball tournaments.
“I was working three jobs while also playing three sports,” says Johnnie. “I was a double major in biology and chemistry with a minor in marketing. Like most students, I wanted more money, but I knew getting another job just meant paying more taxes and having even less free time.”
Johnnie had been working at Walgreens for a year when one day his manager pulled him aside to congratulate him, hand him his one-year pin, and give him a pay raise of $0.50. He quickly calculated what the next five years of his life would look like if he continued to climb the ladder at Walgreens all the way to becoming a pharmacist, which was his dream job at the time.
Even though Jonathan was only a little older than Johnnie, they had vastly different lifestyles. Jonathan had just walked away from his job as a software engineer making six figures a year when he asked Johnnie to join his team and sell legal services through network marketing.
“It was $149 to get started, and I only had $150 to my name,” says Johnnie.
“It doesn’t matter what your situation is right now,” Jonathan said. “If you have $1 and a lot of desire, I can show you how to make thousands.”
Skeptical at first, Johnnie attended a meeting and stayed till 1 AM to ask questions. Finally Jonathan asked, “How long do you think it will take you to enroll two new members?” Johnnie said, “I think I can do it in the next 24 hours.” Jonathan said, “Then 24 hours is all it will take you to break even.”
Johnnie sold his first two memberships in the next eight hours, and from then on he felt confident he could do the business. Sharing the service and the opportunity with college students came easy, he says, because everyone wanted to make money. But he wasn’t following any system and wasn’t coachable at the time. He was great at selling, but no one on his team was duplicating his efforts.
“If you want to be successful in network marketing, you can’t rely on your own efforts,” he says. “You have to teach people systems. Most people I signed up didn’t do anything. They kept the membership for awhile, but many canceled after a few months, because college students are not thinking about long-term residual income; they’re thinking about right-now income.”
Johnnie stayed with his first company till 2009, at which point he sold his position. In the meantime, he dabbled in some other network marketing companies. His business allowed him to save some money and when he finished college he continued on to chiropractic school. He remembers getting ostracized and laughed at by his professors and colleagues for selling legal services.
“Why are you riding around with signs for legal services on your car when you are going to be a chiropractor?” they would ask. This made Johnnie think of moving into the wellness industry, which he knew was a fast growing sector. Going to school in Atlanta, Georgia he regularly ran into distributors for an established nutritional company that was based there. It was the first time he came across full-time network marketers. Johnnie was looking at joining their company when a former business partner, Mike Sims, introduced him to a new company based in Utah.
“Why would I want to join this tiny company when I can work with these big leaders here in Atlanta?” Johnnie asked.
Mike answered, “If you talk to 20 people in Atlanta about this local brand, probably 19 have heard of it, and the 20th person will express dislike for it. If you go to the mall on a Saturday and talk to 20 people about this new company, nobody’s heard of it. Where do you think the opportunity lies?”
This opened Johnnie’s eyes and he signed up with Mike’s company in 2007.
Sharing the stage with company founders in Vancouver.
Presenting at company convention in 2014.
Johnnie kept selling legal insurance because he had a knack for it, but he started focusing more on his wellness business. This time he was a little more coachable and started plugging into conference calls. The biggest difference between starting with his second company versus his first company was that he wasn’t selling products; instead, he put his entire focus on building a team.
“At the time everybody in the company was pushing either a $500 or $1,000 package,” he says. “I was having a difficult time in Atlanta, so I decided to go back to Kentucky where I’m from. I looked at the per-capita income across the state from West Virginia to Eastern Kentucky and changed my whole philosophy: I started pushing a $200 package and showing people how to make an extra $500-$1,000.”
Once a few people began making money, his business took off. Seeing results increased people’s belief, and next Johnnie started mentoring them in personal development and leadership.
By this time Johnnie was following a system, part of which was to run ads on Craigslist. He would never mention a company name, but he knew how to draw traffic. He also had CDs, DVDs, and a printed newsletter, which he would pass out and leave at places like Wal-Mart.
“This produced some leads,” he says, “but the main turning point came when I ran into my high-school basketball coach, a gentleman by the name of Dee Hutchins.”
Dee had come to Atlanta and visited with Johnnie, and when it was time to leave, he said, “You’re in chiropractor school. You have a nice car. I know you can’t be making that much money… What are you doing?”
Johnnie told Dee about his business and gave him a CD and a newsletter. Dee listened to the CD while driving and when he came home, he looked at the newsletter, did some research, and called Johnnie.
“I think I have somebody who might be interested in learning more about this product,” Dee said. “How soon can you get down here?”
Johnnie said he could visit on the weekend, but the weather forecast announced heavy rainstorms, so Dee proposed to postpone the meeting.
“It was on July 31, 2008 and we had a promotion that was ending at 11:59 PM,” Johnnie remembers. “I had to sign somebody up in the business to qualify, so I drove through the rain and did a home party at Dee’s house.”
Dee and his wife had invited some neighbors and Johnnie gave a business presentation and answered some questions. He was there for about three hours and when he left, he was too tired to drive.
“I had to pull over at a rest stop and take a nap,” he says. “My coach decided not to sign up at the time. He just wanted to become a customer. His neighbor Chris Estes decided to join the business, so I told Dee, ‘You might want to join, because I’m going to give this business all my focus.’ My coach still didn’t join that day, but ended up joining later. Fast forward and today we’ve built a team of more than 100,000 active members. Chris is currently the number-two income earner in that company and my coach is one of the top-ten income earners. Together we’ve been able to change a lot of lives just from a blue-collar hard work ethic.”
Game planning with the former Miss Singapore.
To grow his team, Johnnie started doing home meetings in different cities.
“The first meeting had maybe three people,” he recalls. “The next meeting had a total of six. Even though my coach was not building the business, because he was a full-time teacher, I was still driving back and forth from Atlanta to Kentucky almost every weekend to do meetings.
“During the week I was in class from 7:30 AM till 4:00 PM. Often I would fly out of the Atlanta airport at night, catch a plane, and go to Houston or some other city to do a meeting. Indianapolis was one of them. I would study and sleep on the plane while coming back either on a red-eye or the early morning flight so I could be back in time for class. For a while I was doing that a couple of days a week. It was exhausting, but at the same time exhilarating because it was working.”
Johnnie says the biggest challenge he had was to keep pace and stay focused, because he had other hobbies he likes to do, such as playing sports and day trading.
“Going to school, I juggled a lot of things, so it was critical to learn how to balance time. One thing I learned growing up as an athlete was I always had to work twice as hard as other students. This made me very productive, and whenever I had all the time in the world to focus on one thing it never really worked for me. But whenever I had two things going on at the same time, I would always go above and beyond and achieve the task.”
Another significant challenge Johnnie had was rejection.
”That was a big one to overcome,” he says, “Rather than talking to friends and family, I began talking to strangers. If they told me no, then guess what? I don’t know them, so no biggie. I would slowly build that cold market, creating my own leads with the three-foot rule. My number one place to prospect was at the airport. When you have layovers, you can talk to people from different cities and states, even from all over the world. Learning how to connect with other travelers was pretty cool.”
Johnnie says the international market is really where he made his name. Through a friend he connected with a gentleman in Malaysia who was looking to join a U.S. company. Johnnie called his company founders and said, “We’ve got to open Malaysia.” But they refused to consider his idea.
“At the time I didn’t understand that in order to go international companies had to be doing a certain amount of revenue or sales, in addition to becoming licensed and having their product approved, which can be a lengthy process.”
In order to find a network marketing company for this Malaysian networker, Johnnie called a few other company owners.
“Every last one of them laughed at me,” he says, “so I ended up just giving them my card. One day I reached out to a gentleman who had launched a nutritional company and when I tried to talk him into going into Malaysia, he agreed to do it. I was shocked, because I had never even been to Malaysia. That was the beginning of what helped me establish myself on the international playing ground.”
The owner and the master distributor of this company flew out to Malaysia and met with Johnnie’s contact.
“The first month we did about $3,000 in sales,” says Johnnie. “The second month was about the same, but by month six we were up to about $1 million a month in sales. It branched out to Thailand, Indonesia, and Hong Kong, then all over the world. This was in 2010, and it was incredible. I’d ever seen so many people enroll in such a short time and learned a lot about the different Asian cultures.”
In Seoul, Korea with team members from the Ace group.
Celebrating his leaders´ rank advancements in Anaheim, CA.
With Young Millionaires group at his company´s first Asia-Pacific conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Johnnie’s leadership was instrumental in that he personally mentored his Malaysian connection. Seeing how well the system was working, he thought Asia might be the place to be. “Asians love the label Made in America, especially if the products work,” he says, “and they love opportunity.”
When he finally had a chance to fly over to Asia in 2012, the experience was unforgettable. “The first meeting nobody signed up, and the second meeting nobody showed up. The third meeting had three of the largest networkers I had ever met with, and none of them signed up. But it was a great cultural experience because it allowed me to understand that if you want to build in Asia you need to be confident and have thick skin. You also have to be willing to work insane hours, because people do meetings at 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 in the morning night after night. Just in Southeast Asia alone, you have 500 million people, many of whom are poor and hungry for change.”
Johnnie applied the same concept he used in Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia, which was to help low-income families create five-figure, then six-figure checks.
“The average income is $200, $300, $500 a month in some of these countries,” he says. “If you can show people how to make an extra $500, that’s life-changing over there. They’re replacing a full-time income, and from there you’re showing them how to make $1,000. Asians also love personal development, and when you’re sharing knowledge, you’re showing that you care. You’re working hard side by side. Sometimes it’s not so much about what you know; it’s your physical presence that gives people hope. You’re inspiring them, showing them a reason to believe everything is possible.”
In 2011 Johnnie’s company changed its compensation plan three times in six months so his income was going down. He told his leaders he was disengaging from the business and to contact him if they needed him. He made sure to keep those relationships open, and when the company withdrew from some of the Asian markets, his leaders reached out to him. Johnnie promised he would find them another company that was ready to go into Malaysia.
“This time I had a little bit more experience,” he says. “Again, I reached out to some owners, and I flew out and met with over 30 CEOs, founders, and presidents. The same scenario repeated itself: they laughed and said it would never work, wondering how this young African American kid was going to build an Asian team. Little did they know I had a trump card in my pocket.”
In 2012 at Art Jonak’s Mastermind event, Johnnie sat down with Ken Seto whom he’d known for many years as a consultant. Around 2012 Johnnie had started his own consulting business offering a turnkey process to help companies get registered and licensed in Asia. He’d never asked Ken which company he was building, but this time he was curious so Ken told him he was building a skincare company based in Houston. It happened to be ten minutes away from Johnnie’s home, so he met with the founders.
“They were traditional businessmen without any network marketing background,” says Johnnie, “but they were competitive, driven, and had a passion for helping people. They had a good product so I became a customer. I had a positive experience so I called a couple of my Asian leaders and told them, ‘I think we might have found a place for you all.’
One leader told Johnnie no, and to this day he’s never joined. Another leader said no eight different times, then the ninth time she said yes. Her name is Dr. Jeannie Chong and together they opened up Asia for this skincare company.
“The founders put a lot of confidence in me,” says Johnnie. “We started working in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, and then branched out into Hong Kong, Thailand, and Taiwan. I remember asking the founders in January 2013 how many Diamonds they had. They said twelve. I set a goal to have twelve Diamonds on our team by the end of 2013. We came up short: we created only ten new Diamonds, but we broke every record and still have the fastest growing team in the company.”
Reflecting on how he became one of the world’s top network marketing leaders at such a young age, Johnnie says he learned from his sports background and other life experiences.
“I had some fast success early on,” he says. “I’ve seen the best and the worst of network marketing. After I had made some money, I made some bad decisions, made some poor investments, and I lost everything. My car was repossessed; I ended up homeless living out of another car, which one day got stolen with everything I owned. With just the clothes on my back, I literally had to start all over.
“What I learned from that experience is that as a leader you have to believe in yourself when nobody believes in you. You must have vision, faith, and confidence. We all have some skill, something we are good at, and once we identify our weaknesses, we can turn them into strengths.
“A leader must learn to lead by example. Just because you’re the superstar doesn’t mean you can’t get back in the field, roll up your sleeves and build organically. You learn that if you want to build anything long term, you can’t just go after all A-players. You have to consistently be looking to help create new success stories, because all great networkers were once just average people.
“A leader is always willing to improve himself. You have to work on your skill set and welcome challenges. You need to have that winning attitude. When I wake up in the morning I think, ‘one more,’ meaning I’m one person away from creating new momentum, from going to the next rank, from making a six- or seven-figure check, whatever the goal is.
“A leader has to take massive action—and has to learn how to fail. There’s nothing wrong with failing; it’s only a problem when you accept failure. I tell people on my team all the time, ‘When you fall down, don’t get comfortable on the ground. You have to get back up as quickly as possible.’
“The last thing I tell people is, ‘Save your money.’ Many networkers who have these amazing stories go out and spend money like there’s no tomorrow. Make sure to save or invest it wisely.”
Johnnie’s goal is to devote more of his time in the future to teaching and mentoring young people.
“Before I do that, I want to create more millionaires,” he says. “The leadership I’m teaching has to be such that it will go on with or without me. I want to have solid organizations that continue to run full force on six different continents. I want to focus on economically challenged markets like Eastern Europe, Latin America, and East Africa—and create real change. In Africa, for example, people have their eye on Nigeria and South Africa, and maybe even Ghana. But nobody’s talking about Botswana, Tanzania, or Sudan. These are places that really intrigue me.
“I’m very involved in the community, in my church. I would love to get back into coaching track and field. I currently sponsor an AAU basketball team. I used to be a mentor for high school students and early college students. I would like to get back into that role and show people there are other options out there.
“Where I come from, not many people are going to college or get degrees. It’s a beautiful area, but it’s limited in terms of jobs and business opportunity. In addition to having the number one team in my company, I want to offer network marketing as a tool to provide extra streams of income for people all over the world.”
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