Born and raised in North Carolina, Jason Buckner lives in Gastonia, NC with his wife Nekoe and their children Ava (eight) and Maddox (three). Jason was first introduced to network marketing in 1992 at age twenty-two. “I started working it part time,” he says, “but the concept of leverage and residual income never left my mind.”

Jason began looking at the business as a career path in 1995 and embarked on a relentless journey to make it work. He ended up building a full-time income over the next ten years, got married, and when he and his wife had their first child, Jason decided to step away from the business to be a stay-at-home dad.

“In 2010, after experiencing a taste of the freedom this business model can provide, I was ready for one more run,” he says. “That’s when I got the call about our current company I’ve been with for the past three years. In ten months I was able to hit one of the top positions and one could say I was a twenty-year overnight success.”

Today Jason leads a growing team spanning all fifty U.S. states, as well as Canada and Mexico. He is excited to continue expanding globally in the coming years and to have the opportunity to travel the world with “some of the coolest people in the world.”

With his mentors Leslie Hocker and Ron Forrester.

Where were you before you got into this business?
I was a college-educated lifeguard, otherwise known as a “professional beach bum.” I had started lifeguarding on the East Coast when I was in college to help cover my expenses and found myself with a degree still on the beach trying to figure out who I wanted to be.

One day my father told me a family friend was doing something I may be interested in learning about. I signed up at my first presentation and later learned I was the easiest recruit my upline ever had. This proves Mark Yarnell’s saying, you can’t say the wrong thing to the right person, or the right thing to the wrong person. I’m grateful to that person to this day, because even though that opportunity was not the one that has given my family the freedom and lifestyle we have today, that first introduction made it possible for me to become a network marketing professional.

How did you get started, and what challenges did you encounter?
In this marketing model, you will hear that you need to be 1) coachable, 2) willing to work, and 3) have a burning desire to be successful—and that is all true. My challenge in the beginning was that I didn’t have a coach, and even though I had the other two qualities, if you’re missing one, it’s difficult—if not impossible—to be successful. I thank my upline Ron Forrester and Leslie Hocker for their brilliance and generosity in pouring into me their time, knowledge, and experience—which I vow to pay forward for as long as I‘m alive.

I also want to give thanks to Jeff Olson for his Slight Edge philosophies and simple systems. Being featured as a rising star in this article is pretty humbling and I want readers to know it’s been a journey that’s well worth whatever time it takes, because the promise is real. I had the normal struggles—no money, no idea what I was doing, no social status, no wealthy family to back me up, and so on. However, I had the three key attributes above and just committed to the process.

With team at White party in Long Beach, California.

What was your daily mode of operation then, and what are your daily actions today?
I was taught a simple system that included a) exposing two people a day to my opportunity or product with a third party-tool—video emails, magazine publications that feature our company, conference calls; and b) following up with two people a day on a three-way phone call.

Over time I learned that saying less to more people was way more effective than talking too much. Today I use basic questions to qualify prospects, such as:

“If the money were right and you could work it into your already busy schedule, would you be open to taking a look at an opportunity?”

What I say depends on who I’m talking to: is it a long time friend I know this business could help in some way, or is it a stranger I just met? When you truly understand how to use third-party tools and start implementing them in your business, everything becomes much easier and it’s a heck of a lot more fun than you having to be the message.

What is your favorite prospecting approach and how do you keep expanding your contact list?
People always want to know the magic words to get others interested in their business. However, it’s never about what you say, it’s how you say it that makes all the difference. This comes down to posture and understanding that people are more curious about your energy and your belief in what you’re doing than in hearing some script. In terms of what I say, it may be as simple as asking someone if they have heard about our product. If they say no, I ask if they would like to try it.

If you want to build a big business, make an effort to go out and make new friends every day and stop trying to “get people in your deal” because this business is all about relationships. Once people join your business, do whatever you can to get them to events. Believe it or not, building a sustainable business requires that we regularly connect belly to belly with others.

Duplicating yourself requires systems. Leadership expert David Byrd, whom I consider one of my mentors, used to say, “People don’t move people forward; systems do.” We work with those who are ready and willing, and we coach them to create a business that is not dependent on any one person. We show them how leading is the only way to accomplish this, through driving a proven system anyone can follow.

With his mentors Leslie Hocker and Ron Forrester.

"My wife has always been a hundred percent
supportive of our business," says Jason.
"She takes care of the kids and makes sure
we are moving forward. She also teaches
skating and has a passion for helping people
develop life skills, which fits right in
with what our business is all about.

Who are some other mentors and which books/programs were formative?
Our family has been blessed by the education and information of amazing speakers, writers, and trainers we have had the opportunity to meet and learn from. The late Jim Rohn is one of my favorites and I mean this for anything he ever said or shared. Another one is the late Paul J. Meyer. A favorite book is Jeff Olson’s The Slight Edge. I have found that leaders are readers and in order to achieve big dreams, you have to O.D. on P.D. (overdose on personnel development).

The reality of our profession is that everyone has the same opportunity with their selected company. They have the same products or services, the same tools, and the same compensation plan. That leaves only one variable for each of us on our journey, and that is the person we are willing to become.

What are your dreams and vision for the future?
It seems like yesterday when all I wanted to make was and extra $500 to $1,000 a month. Today, after getting the money monkey off our backs, those dreams have changed. Our vision is to build a global army of people who provide leadership and systems that will impact thousands of families around the world.

It is my hope to see network marketing in my lifetime become a profession people are extremely proud to be part of, where helping people become better is the focus, because that is the recipe for long-term success.

One of the greatest joys of this business is the fact that I get to see my family and spend time with my kids. After spending just one year in corporate America, I can say that families that build a network marketing business and do it right enjoy a much higher quality of life than those that are stuck in the rat race. My experience is that you can truly build this business around your family, and it’s amazing to watch your children grow from being around the positive, loving, and caring people we work with.

I don’t want to give the wrong impression; there is work we have to do, but we have the ability to do it around your life. The most amazing feeling is when someone tells you, “Thank you, you have made a difference in my life—not just in my business.”

We feel blessed to work with some amazing business partners who make us look good, and because they have trusted us and gone on this journey with us they are also making a ripple in this world. I’d love to be remembered as someone who left things better than I found them. It really comes down to empowering the people around you and believing in them until they believe in themselves.

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