I remember my first network marketing meeting. At 21 years old, I was wondering if I could ever do this business. I’d never heard of personal development or entrepreneurship. I didn’t know anyone who had. I had no vision for my future. I saw going to school and getting a job as an option, but it wasn’t anything I could get excited about, and excited is what I needed to be.

Just six months earlier, I was at a point where I literally had considered taking my life. I felt I had no place in the world, and that I would never amount to anything, let alone anything great. I was born in the poorest country in Central Asia. War, persecution, and poverty were my childhood companions.

We escaped to Germany when I was eight. I was one of nine children and my family’s struggles left me with low self-esteem. I didn’t know who I was inside. I felt ashamed of my life’s story. My parents gave me everything they could, but my personal belief system was more powerful. I worked to survive, not to excel, so personal development was never on the agenda—until I attended that first meeting, which blew me away. I couldn’t believe there were successful people willing to share their success secrets and philosophies with me. This immediately started to change me, but progress was slow. In my first 6 months, my total residual commission was $16.

While my “external economy” was sluggish, my “internal economy” experienced dramatic growth! These first six months set the foundation on which I would build the rest of my life. Instead of standing on sand, with every wave crushing my self-esteem, I was finally on solid ground and able to withstand the storms of life. Thanks to network marketing I began to change from the inside out. I met my beautiful wife Ella, moved to U.S., and committed everything I had to designing my own destiny.

Despite struggling to make my first $100, I stuck with it, and one-and-a-half years later I began to experience the success I now knew I deserved. Everything I learned about living a purposeful and meaningful life came from the personal development I received and the mentors I met in network marketing. Not only did I become a better leader, friend, and human being, I was able to change my limiting beliefs about myself and start living life to the fullest.

And my old life story? It’s now the stepping stone for everything I do. I was transformed from a lost boy into a coauthor of two bestselling books, which allowed me to share some of my journey and hopefully help others as I was helped. Thank you network marketing for coming into my life!

EVAN KLASSEN has been an active network marketer since 2008 and built international teams of over 20,000 distributors in 23 countries. A bestselling author and inspired entrepreneur, he is spearheading a movement in network marketing combining high tech and high touch.

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