Based in Sarasota, Florida, Rob and Alina Rinato lead a growing organization in an established wellness company they joined almost six years ago. Both were working as massage therapists, and while they were on call 7 days a week, just to make ends meet Rob would take any kind of handyman job he could find. Whenever they would think about the future, Alina and Rob would realize that if they wanted a house, children, and vacations—the so-called American Dream—something needed to change. They started praying for and visualizing a way to earn income that would give them the financial freedom and lifestyle they desired. They wanted something they could fully get behind and believe in, something that would help others and make a positive impact in the world, but would also allow them to achieve their dreams.

In September 2009, one of Rob’s new massage clients began asking him to use her essential oils during the session. Rob and Alina were both intrigued by the scent—they were very potent! When the client asked Rob to attend a local class to learn more, he pawned it off on Alina, thinking it was something she would be more into.

Alina fell in love with the idea that the oils offered so many options for maintaining a healthy body and a chemical-free home. But her interest was truly piqued when the couple’s future sponsor mentioned she was leaving soon for an all-expenses paid Mediterranean Cruise which she had won through the company that sold the oils. Rob and Alina realized there was more to this than just a unique product line.

Did you jump in right away?
No, we spent two weeks debating the idea of becoming network marketers, researching the company, and trying to decide how we could afford the starter kit. Ultimately, we bought it with one of our high-interest-rate credit cards. Still a little skeptical of the products, Rob reluctantly used them, but it only took a few weeks for him to experience the benefits and fall in love himself. We quickly bought into the idea that if we educated people about the products, they would ultimately “sell themselves,” so Rob began reading more about the business. Our sponsor said, “Even if it took you 10 years working part time to earn $10,000 per month in residual income, wouldn’t it be worth it?” At that time $10,000 per month was an incredible amount of money to us. We said, “Yes, it most certainly would!” and set out to earn it—as fast as we could. We devoured books, audios, webinars, live events—anything we could to learn more about our company and the profession.

How did you launch your business?
This is the first (and only) company we have ever grown a team with. We enrolled with the most popular starter kit—the one we were shown at a product class—and just started experimenting with it. We enrolled in the company’s auto-ship program shortly after joining because we saw the value in transfer buying: purchasing natural products for our home to replace the toxic ones we had been buying elsewhere.

We also saw the value in buying from our own business. The regular use of these products (becoming a product of our products) helped us build belief in the company and the lifestyle which eventually allowed us to believe in the business model.

Once our passion for the products and lifestyle was ignited, we did the most natural thing: we took it to Alina’s mom’s house, and she became our first customer. From there we decided to keep sharing with whoever would give us a chance to show them what we were learning. We looked for ways to connect with our community, make new friends, and offered free meetings where people could come experience and learn about our products.

We realized people needed an education, not only about our products, but also about the network marketing profession, so we began teaching classes about the business as well. Vibrant physical wellness is essential, but we also knew from experience the importance of financial health. While we maintain a product-first approach, we also know the value of relieving financial pressure and helping people change their financial futures.

What were some of the challenges you had to overcome?
Besides mom joining on the spot, we did not get a lot of support from the rest of our warm market initially (most have come around by now, though). We also had just moved to a new town where we didn’t know anyone except a couple of family members. This led us to reach out into our community. We learned to be creative and market our classes on a shoestring budget because we did not have a lot of financial resources to pour into our business. Being so young, we found it hard for people to take us seriously, especially when we presented the opportunity. But we kept sharing our message and refining our communication skills. Eventually we overcame our fear of rejection, fine-tuned our system, and attracted the right people to build with us.

What was your daily mode of operation then, and what are your daily actions today?
In the beginning our days consisted of prospecting on the phone and in person. We found activities that would allow us to connect with our community. We focused on making new connections, building relationships, and scheduling product introduction meetings. We developed a system for following up that allowed us to stay in touch with our new customers, help them gain more product education, and introduce them to the business opportunity.

Today, we continue to stay in recruiting mode, but a lot of energy is also put into supporting our growing organization of 10,000 members. We have a team recognition program for our team members who advance in rank. We offer individual coaching calls for business builders, and webinars and conference calls to maintain the team’s excitement and momentum. We teach two product classes per month locally while also helping new members teach their own intro classes. After five years, we have learned how to balance recruiting new members with supporting our existing team, along with all the other tasks that come with growing a large, expanding organization.

What is your favorite prospecting approach, and how do you keep expanding your contact list?
We continue to offer free, product-focused introductory classes for our community. Leading with the product and then finding our business builders from our product-loving members has helped us grow and duplicate on a large scale. We have found that the people who love the product the most tend to become natural business builders. We also offer monthly classes and occasional webinars where we talk about the incredible opportunity for leverage our profession offers. This class tends to convert many product users to business builders because it helps them discover the vehicle for wealth that they have in their hands.

We continue to grow our list by making new friends, reconnecting with old ones, and finding ways to provide value to others. There are countless ways to share our products with people in our everyday life. Our business is all about making friends and meeting their friends, and helping each meet their needs. The business will come, if you build the relationships. We also like to meet new people at vendor events, whether as a vendor or guest.

How do you create duplication and provide leadership for your team?
We keep our system simple, easy, and fun. Network marketing is an all-volunteer opportunity, so people need to want to do it. It can’t feel like a job or bring more stress into their lives. Our classes are fun and we create a team culture of excitement, support, and recognition. We use tools like The Four Year Career book by Richard Bliss Brooke and Go Pro by Eric Worre to teach our team how to teach their teams. We have a private Facebook group for business builders where we answer questions, offer contests and incentives, provide tips and training, and post team recognition. In addition to offering local meetings, every year we also travel to our growing “hot spots” around the country to support our team leaders.

Which books or programs do you recommend to your team?
We have three favorites we share with new distributors. Number one is Jim Rohn’s Building Your Network Marketing Business audio CD. It was the first business tool our sponsor shared with us and it continues to be one of our all-time favorites. We’ve listened to this audio over and over, as Rohn’s lessons are not only for business, but are valuable life lessons as well.
Next we have a company-specific edition of The Four Year Career. We use this as one of our primary business prospecting and training tools. It’s to the point, dispels myths, and clearly shows the power of network marketing as a solid business for any entrepreneur.

Finally there is Eric Worre’s Go Pro book, a manual for how to become a professional in our field. We use this as our “next step” training guide for our committed business builders.

Early on, we also made a point to attend large generic network marketing training events in addition to all our company’s big events. These are great opportunities to meet and build relationships with successful network marketing professionals. Anytime you can get tips or advice from someone who has achieved what you wish to achieve, it will help you get there faster. We believe the books and audios are essential, but live events are transformational.

Alina and Rob’s Top-5 Tips

Define your why.Your journey will have ups and downs. A burning why will keep you going no matter what. It needs to be something that evokes strong emotion. We encourage our new builders to make a list of things they will be, do, or have when they reach their goals. What will it mean for you and your family to achieve your financial goals?
Educate yourself about the profession. The more you understand and believe in the business model, the more confident you will be when speaking to prospects. A solid understanding of how and why it works will keep you focused on your goals and prevent you from being distracted by naysayers.
Grow yourself. The journey to the top of any pay plan begins with developing your mindset and skills. Invest in books, audios, and live events. Take time to study, practice, and teach. Fifteen percent of your success is due to technical knowledge and 85 percent is due to your attitude and how you respond to the ups and downs of the journey.
Find a partner. This can be an upline leader, downline or crossline team member, family, friend, or spouse. Find someone who will lift you up when you need it, who shares your passion, and has the same spark inside as you do. Having someone to brainstorm, dream, and work with is invaluable for your success, especially early on.
Never give up. Quitting is the most common mistake network marketers make. The ease of entry and the low startup cost leads many people to think it’s no big deal if it doesn’t work out—when in reality, network marketing is the best financial opportunity most people will find in their entire lifetime. To reap the reward, never stop sowing the seed.

What’s it like to build in different cultures?
It’s an incredible feeling to log into your back office and see your team growing in places you’ve only traveled to in your imagination. We were taught if you want to expand your team internationally, grow it strong locally. That’s what we’ve focused on, and now our team members have reached out to family and friends all over the world.

We are learning to bridge language barriers and cultural differences. Tools like Google Translate and Facebook have been helpful. We love to see how open people in other countries are to the business model. Traveling is one of our favorites hobbies, so we are beyond excited to visit and help train our international members in the coming years.

What other visions do you hold for the future?
We like to dream big! Not only do we see ourselves achieving the top rank in our plan, we also envision all the leaders on our team doing the same. Many of our team members have become like family to us and we are excited to share this exceptional lifestyle with them. This profession has set us free, has given us the life of our dreams, and has allowed us to provide a unique childhood for our son.

What we want now, more than anything, is to help others achieve the same freedom and to be ambassadors for our product and profession. We are discovering that this business allows us to become people of influence, and we plan to use our influence to spread an empowering message of wellness, purpose, and abundance.

In our vision, the network marketing profession will become more and more mainstream. People will awaken to the idea of earning income based on the value they bring to the marketplace. As networking professionals continue to teach the power of leverage and residual income, more and more families will realize the infinite possibilities of a career in network marketing.