Life is full of surprises. Network marketing icon Richard Bliss Brooke and top earner Kimmy Everett are a testament to this. On a sunny December day, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Kimmy got the surprise of a lifetime... and it all happened in the span of a single hour.
At 4:30 p.m., she was soaking up some rays in her backyard. At 5 p.m., Richard asked her to be his wife as they arrived at Kimmy’s mom’s house for what she thought was a simple dinner. Instead, she was greeted by loved ones, a bouquet of white tulips, and romantic guitar music. At 5:30 p.m., the couple said, “I do” to Hawaiian vows overlooking the Pacific.
There hadn’t been time for Kimmy to think about hair, makeup, a guest list, or a flowing white dress. It was perfect. Magical. Kimmy had married her prince charming. For Richard, he not only married the love of his life, but he also became a father to Kimmy’s daughter, Hailey, a role he honors.
Their fairytale began when Richard and Kimmy met at Art Jonak’s Mastermind event in 2012. Kimmy had personally exemplified the process outlined in Richard’s bestselling recruitment book, The Four Year Career®and the two hit it off. They met again the next year while both were speaking at a Sonia Stringer’s Believe event in 2013, and from there, Kimmy participated in Richard’s Vision workshop, which resulted in a professional coaching relationship. Phone calls soon went from once a week to once a day to nonstop talking. They really got to know each other, and as fate would have it, they fell deeply in love.
Individually, Kimmy and Richard have both enjoyed much success in their careers. Richard is a 38-year veteran of network marketing who went from chicken chopper to multimillionaire to CEO of a successful network marketing company, all by the age of 37. He’s a senior member of the DSA Ethics Committee, a world-renowned speaker, coach, author and the man who brought you the unforgettable viral series Super MLM Man.
Five years ago, Kimmy was a struggling single mother. She worked 60 hours a week only to find herself sinking further into debt. She found her path to financial freedom through network marketing. By going full speed ahead in the process of building her own 4-year career, Kimmy quickly created a network of 20,000 members and has never looked back.
Now joined as one, Kimmy and Richard believe the best is yet to come. Together, they are committed to building an extraordinary network marketing company. Their vision is a role model company for inspiring the profession to do it right. Richard’s decades of experience and mastery of network marketing as an art combined with Kimmy’s enthusiasm, spirit, and “have fun while you build” approach creates a powerful synergy.
In addition to building their own network marketing company, Richard and Kimmy have been honored to support many top leaders in other companies through Bliss Business, their coaching and leadership retreat business. Bliss Business also provides a wealth of proven recruitment tools, generic for any company, including Richard’s bestselling The Four Year Career book, widely known as one of the best “first look” prospecting tools.
Richard and Kimmy’s vision is to inspire and educate network marketing leaders to promote, prospect, enroll, and lead in such a way as to create trust, admiration, and respect, and “leave our market place... a better place than we found it.”
A Conversation with Richard and Kimmy Brooke
How were you introduced to network marketing?
Richard: I was introduced to the business by one of my best friends from high school. We were both 22 years old and working at a Foster Farms chicken plant. Neither of us had any college education. What compelled me to take a look at the opportunity was that those who were presenting it were the first people I’d ever met who expressed an interest in what I wanted to do with my life and what was important to me.
The questions they asked were materialistic, like “What kind of car do you want to drive?” “What kind of home do you want to live in?” “How much money do you want to make?” These were exactly the things I was interested in at the time. These network marketers engaged me in a conversation that generated a vision for my future. It wasn’t the product or anything in particular about network marketing that attracted me. I didn’t want to recruit or sell. These people simply asked me the right questions, and what compelled me to join was their commitment to showing me how to get what I wanted out of life.
Kimmy: I was introduced to the business by my sister, Lisa. I was divorced, a single parent, and solely responsible for my daughter Hailey’s finances. My income was $2,000 while my rent was $2,500. Out of desperation, I was considering moving in with my mom.
Lisa and her sister-in-law had just joined a network marketing company, and during a family get-together, that’s all they talked about. I just watched them having a lot of fun—never for a moment seeing myself involved in what they were doing.
The very next week, Hailey was getting ready to spend the summer with Lisa, who was taking her family to Italy. They invited Hailey to join them. I felt guilty for having to pawn my daughter off on my sister for the summer, and was also envious that my whole family was going to Italy while I would be in my cubicle.
The day I took Hailey to the airport was the turning point for me. I realized that if nothing changed in my life, I would never be taking trips like this with my daughter. All I wanted was to make an extra $500 a month and I would be able to pay my rent. After I dropped Hailey off, I went back to my office and enrolled. Just hoping for a change, I had no clue what was in store for me, but I suddenly felt this held some promise.
Four-Year Career workshop, Hawaii 2015.
How did joining the network marketing profession transform you?
Richard: I was fortunate to get recruited into a company whose leaders were all about personal development. The first book they insisted we study was Think and Grow Rich. They gave us very specific coaching and instructions: “Here’s the book. Here’s how you read it. Take a chapter, tear it out, staple the pages together, and carry it with you for a week. Read that chapter over and over.”
Today one of the biggest mistakes I see us make in personal development is trying to read as many books as we can. We had an advantage back then in that there were only about a dozen personal development books available—and most had been written several decades ago, so they were classics already: The Magic of Thinking Big, How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success Through Selling, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Richard Bach’s Jonathon Livingston Seagull and Illusions, and The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles. The company sold us these books and our training program consisted of reading and studying them together. We would tear them apart until we mastered them.
I was indoctrinated with the idea that network marketing was all about discovering and unlocking your potential through an educational environment that was totally unlike our school system. Instead of memorizing answers to pass tests, we studied the material and then went out to practice it. This combination of classroom learning—reading the books and having the conversations—and going out in the playing field makes network marketing the greatest personal development program in existence.
Kimmy: When I joined my first company, I had just attended a 3-day personal development seminar called PSI. I believe this is what propelled me into my network marketing career, because it opened the door to my acceptance of the business.
After this weekend workshop, I signed up for a 7-day seminar. I decided at the last minute and put it on my credit card, which seemed crazy given how broke I was. Right before I arrived at the workshop, I enrolled my first three people. I remember saying to myself, “Why do you only have to get two? I can get all my friends to join me!”
I went into that workshop thinking, “I have found my calling.” I believed in every fiber of my being that I had found the access to financial freedom. It was as though the light had been switched on, and I knew it was going to work.
At the start of that seminar, there was a circle of seats with cards, and you had to find the card with your name on it. When I picked up my card, I recognized it was the goal sheet we had filled out the weekend prior. My card said, “What is your financial goal for the next year?” Originally I had written $100,000. Then I had crossed it out thinking, “I’m going to aim big,” and changed it to $300,000. It’s no coincidence that my first year in network marketing I made exactly $300,000.
I have always attributed a great deal of my success to the work we did at that seminar and I continue to pay it forward by offering team members a chance to go. By now hundreds of people have gone through it, and we all share this common language. It’s been powerful to watch the growth this created within my organization.
Kimmy speaking at Four-Year Career workshop, Hawaii 2015.
What are some of the things you learned in the process of building your business?
Kimmy: When I started in network marketing, the thought of public speaking was terrifying. In my old job as a fundraiser, I was tasked with presenting to a committee consisting of the most famous and wealthiest people in Hawaii. The idea of addressing them from the front of the room gave me a panic attack. My partner and I put our report together, and literally two minutes before it was time for me to do my part I said, “I can’t do it. You have to cover for me.”
The first time I had to get up to tell my story in network marketing, I had made note cards and studied for days. When I got up in front of a group of 40 people, I was shaking and kept using all these superlatives, “It’s awesome,” “It’s exciting,” because I was so nervous I was trying to fill the space with unnecessary words. I would love to see that on film! Now I absolutely thrive on being in front of a room. I love to watch people light up and see the inspiration being passed from me to them.
I attribute this transformation to the journey of network marketing and constantly taking on challenges you normally wouldn’t put yourself through, for instance taking the risk of getting rejected day in and day out by talking to people. That constant risk-taking makes us stronger. I often tell my dearest friends who have no desire to be involved in network marketing, “If I could just for one day inject you into what we’re doing, I would love for you to feel what we experience.”
The learning process continues to amaze me. Yesterday I was sharing with two new business partners how Richard and I are going to do a retreat for women leaders. They looked at me and said, “Why on earth would you need to go do a retreat?” I said, “Because the learning is never-ending. We’re always growing.” There’s always more to strive for. It’s what I love about our profession. We continue to be challenged and pushed and stretched.
Another core belief that changed for me is the realization that I get to choose the way I look at things and how I show up in life. Before I got immersed in personal development I didn’t necessarily have a victim mentality, but I felt I was never going to have more, as if I was undeserving. Through my journey, I realized I am completely responsible for everything that happens to me. Network marketing has helped me see that no one but me chooses my destiny and I can create all I desire! How fantastic and freeing this perspective is.
Richard: I didn’t realize it at the time, but the first way network marketing changed me was in my attitude towards the business. In essence, there are two categories of people who engage in network marketing. The first group is motivated by external sources, meaning their motivation is dependent on what’s going on in their environment. If their last two recruits are excited, they’re motivated. If there’s a contest going on in the company, they’re motivated. If their team is motivated, they’re motivated. If they’re getting recognized, they’re motivated. This characterizes about 95 percent of the network marketing population, and even the self-employed entrepreneurial population. These people are constantly at risk of getting blown out of the business, because all they need is three days or two weeks or a month of unfortunate environmental circumstances to declare, “This is painful. This isn’t working. I can’t do this,” and quit.
The second group covers the other 5 percent of the population. These people get most of their motivation not from what’s going on in their environment, but from their own thoughts and feelings and belief about what they’re building. They hold a vision of inevitability: they don’t believe it’s possible; they believe it’s inevitable. Therefore it doesn’t matter if there’s a contest this month, if the last two people they sponsored quit, if they’re getting recognition, or if their spouse is nice to them. None of that matters, because they sustain a high enough level of self-motivation to enable them to continue moving forward regardless of what’s going on in their environment.
Instead of paying attention to my lack of results, I focused on what I believed I was building and could create. Later I realized this was such an important skill that I wrote a book about it (Mach II With Your Hair on Fire), and to this day I offer seminars teaching people to get their motivation from someplace other than their environment and circumstances.
The second change I experienced was similar to what Kimmy said. I found myself going from being terrified of public speaking to becoming one of the best presenters in the company. I remember for my first presentation I was wearing a three-piece polyester suit, as was the style in the late 70s. My part was three minutes long and I had memorized it word for word. I screamed this script at the audience the entire time, and when I was done, sweat was coming through my coat jacket.
Six months later I was the most sought-after speaker at local opportunity events. Public speaking is not so much a skill as it is a matter of presence. When you’re in front of the room, you’re not present to being terrified. You’re not present to, “Do they like what I’m saying?” You’re present to your content and your intention. The ability to be present to your objective, which is basically your vision, versus being present to your fear, is a function of personal development, which builds self-esteem and confidence.
These two skills, being able to stay self-motivated and being effective in front of the room were huge payoffs for me, because they are worth millions in our business.
With Curtis Broome and Marina Worre at Go Pro event,
Las Vegas 2014.
What did it mean to find true love and how are you “better together”?
Kimmy: Richard and I come from complete opposite worlds as far as our upbringing, our interests, and even some of our individual passions. Network marketing was the common thread that allowed us both to open and expand our worlds. What I’ve found is that when you open yourself to any and all possibilities, they show up. My love with Richard is deeper, greater, and far more meaningful than anything I’ve ever known.
I was completely attracted to Richard’s style before we fell in love. I was drawn to his authenticity, absence of hype, and easy-to-follow method of coaching. When he worked with me privately it was as if he saw into the core of who I was. I had done lots of coaching before, but his was the most intuitive, heart-centered approach I’d ever experienced. I wanted to align myself with his style, as it was so in alignment with what I believed. What we’ve found is the contrast of his knowledge and my current experience brings a powerful dynamic and a richer perspective to everything we do at the corporate level as well as through our trainings.
Richard: Kimmy means so much to me. I love her smile, her giggles, her adventuresome sprit, and the way she loves me. Together we will accomplish and contribute so much more than either of us could alone. I also love to have the chance to impact Hailey’s life with positive coaching and role modeling; it’s a gift I get to offer her. What has surprised me is the gift she offers me. She teaches me patience, awareness, compassion, humor, and provides us both with love and laughter. Who would have imagined this to come to me through network marketing!
I teach people that to be successful in our business you have to fall in love a couple of times. First, you have to fall in love with our business model. You have to study and appreciate it. Second, you have to fall in love with the processes required to be successful. This can take some time. It took me three years before I truly fell in love with prospecting and inviting. I believe that rather than falling in love with your goals and all the money you want to make or the cars you want to drive, you have to fall in love with the daily actions that lead you to those things.
There’s one more thing you don’t have to fall in love with, but it will make a huge difference in your network marketing career if you do—and that is to fall in love with another network marketer. Being in love with Kimmy has taken my vision and enthusiasm for what I do to a whole new level. It’s also making my work more meaningful and fulfilling, because she is “one of us.” She discovered on her own what an extraordinary profession this is, including the transformational experiences we go through. This coming together with similar experiences and beliefs makes it worth it for me to continue to create and contribute for the next thirty years.
Wedding party with (back row) Mark Hemmeter, Bobbie Merrill, Tom Merrill, Deb Reeder, Vivian Windle, (front row) Lisa Hemmeter, Kathy Merrill-Kelley, Hailey Everett, Kirsten Merrill in Honolulu, 2014.
What’s your vision for the future?
Richard & Kimmy: Growth. We feel it is crucial to always be working on ourselves, and we are working with an amazing life coach to help us with our vision and passion for the future.
As partners, we have a goal to build our network marketing company into a role model for all the philosophies taught to tens of thousands of people all over the world in hundreds of different companies through Bliss Business. The essence of our vision is to create a company culture that honors everybody involved, and the person it honors the most, ironically, is the prospect.
If you look at what’s missing in network marketing today, it’s not how we do business. It’s not the products we sell or our compensation plans. It’s not the companies that represent our profession. All those things are stellar. Why do we still struggle? Because in the last 60 years the way most distributors have been prospecting is less than honorably. It leaves the people who say no or “not now” with a bad taste in their mouths. If they felt bad about us before, they feel worse after, because our approach is self-centered. We convey an unspoken message that says, “Whatever you’re doing with your life is wrong, and you should be in my company. Not just in any network marketing company, in my company. If you can’t see that, or if it’s not a priority for you right now, you’re stupid. You’re wrong.”
The Brooke family in Carmel, 2015.
With what we bring to the marketplace, with what we offer individuals in terms of their financial future, we should be a trillion-dollar business. We should be 10 to 100 times bigger than we are—and we’re not because the people we need in order to grow hold us with disgust. Either that, or we’ve been so secretive about how the business works that they don’t even understand what we do.
Our number one commitment for the next year is to grow our company following a path of honorability.
Our second commitment is to help grow the profession we love as a whole through Bliss Business. We don’t have the need to hoard everything we learned just for the benefit of our company. On the contrary, we are firm believers that our company will be more successful to the degree that our entire business sector is more successful. We want every ethical company and its distributors to prosper. Bliss Business allows us to work with leaders from all network marketing companies who are interested in doing things better and inspire them with our tools, training, retreats, and coaching.
Some things in life... are just better together.
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