Armand Puyolt is a legendary network marketing leader, expert, and consultant whose goal is to help as many people as possible raise their quality of life and create a better future. Having experienced severe lack in his childhood, Armand committed himself from an early age to building up his outer resources and inner resourcefulness as an entrepreneur.
Thanks to the vehicle of network marketing, he was able to buy his first home at age 18, became a million-dollar earner at age 20, and a five-million-dollar earner at age 25.
Armand has made it to the top of a dozen companies. At age 40, he earned an eight-figure income (in 2015) and has been the top income earner in his company for several years.
Armand had to overcome many obstacles, including two serious car accidents, two major health crises, and even terminal illness. His tireless dedication to his family and team helped him beat the odds and fueled his passion to help those in need.
Armand and his wife Esther live in Southern California with their six children between the ages of 12 and 24. Their business and family motto is #LeadWithLove.—J.G.
I was born in California to Mexican immigrants. My mom is from Tijuana, my dad from Mexico City. They got divorced when I was very young. My dad was doing well as a business owner. That’s where I got my business acumen. I chose to live with my mom—I couldn’t leave her alone—but I loved to visit my dad as often as I could to see how he grew his business.
My mom worked hard to pay the rent and put food on the table, but finances were always tight. As a single mom she was my hero. She did what she could, but I knew there had to be a better way. These experiences drove me to learn about business.
Whenever I had a chance, I would accompany my dad in his lunch truck, the kind you see on TV now. It would be my perfect day. My dad also had a videography business I used to assist him in on the weekends. We did weddings and other events, and I loved to learn from him.
Network marketing came to me out of a wham. At age 16, I already had a business, selling chocolate and candy out of my backpack in school. One day I took my mother to a home party she was invited to. It was a company that sold little knickknacks and crystals.
Not fond of the product myself, I could see how the people in the room loved it. They picked up the pieces and saw them as collectors’ items, saying things like, “I don’t have this one,” “This is a rare one,” and “This one is a classic!” I immediately recognized a business opportunity that came with a built-in audience, since all these people were my mom’s friends and family. I thought, “If I can find out where to buy this product, I can get it at wholesale and sell it to them.”
After the party, I went up to the hostess and asked, “Where can I buy this so I can start my own business?” She handed me a catalog and said, “Here’s my number. Call me if you need me.” I said, “No, where can I get it direct?” She said, “Just call me, I’ll get it for you.” The way she answered and smirked at me didn’t feel good. I walked away and left with my mom.
Two or three weeks later, I was at a flea market and walked by a lady who was selling the same crystals. I walked up to her and asked, “Where can I buy this wholesale so I can sell it retail? I promise I will not compete with you. I’ll go sell it elsewhere.”
She said, “You need to be sponsored into the business.” I did not understand what she meant, and neither was I happy with her answer. She opened up a binder and started flipping some pages. She showed me the business opportunity and I signed up.
Joining a New Business
When I got my product, I had no idea what to do with it. The manual explained how to do home parties, but that wasn’t going to work for me. I was too young to have credibility, so I had to figure out another way. I hired some girls from school, asked them to wear their school t-shirts and jackets, and we started going door to door. I paid them $4.25 per hour and collected the revenue myself.
Three months later I became the top sales leader in the area. Soon we reached even higher sales volumes, going from neighborhood to neighborhood every day. Next, I got a call from a company representative inviting me to their convention to receive their top sales award.
I went down to the convention, and when they called me up on stage, they asked me to share how I built my business. For most people this would be a memorable moment, but for me it became one of the most horrific moments of my life. I told the audience how I hired people and went door to door. I was not recruiting anyone or doing home parties. I wasn’t doing anything they taught—and I was moving more product than anyone else. Everybody was looking at me as if I came from outer space, and the room filled up with a cold, almost hostile feeling.
After finishing my talk, I walked right off the stage and out of the room. I literally walked out of this convention center and kept walking as far as I could, until I came to a little kiosk café in the lobby where I sat down at a table, feeling devastated.
A gentleman came to sit down next to me. He was the husband of one of the top earners in the company. He said, “Look, everything you’re doing is correct, even though you’re not following the business style they teach. You’re going in a completely different direction, which doesn’t make sense to them. Here are some things you need to understand.”
He showed me some circles and lines on paper and said, “This is network marketing. It’s run by people. You’re supposed to build an organization.” He started teaching me about residual income, and everything else I was missing.
That conversation opened my eyes. I did not want to go back to that company; I just didn’t feel at home. He told me he was in another company that was just launching, selling telecommunications. I became excited and joined his company. This was in 1993, I was 17 years old, and I reached the top rank in that company in about four months.
Reaching the Top
We continued going door to door, plus I hired a few more people. This time I told them, “I’m not going to pay you a salary, but every time you convert somebody’s long distance service, you will get a bonus.”
I paid out $45 and I kept the residuals. We continued building from one town to the next.
We were too young to be seen as professionals, so we stuck with the school sweaters and innocent look. “We’re from this high school,” we would say, “and we would love it if you could help us out. This is what we’re doing.” We were surprised how easy it was to convert people over. “Your phone line is not going to change,” we explained. “Only the name on the long-distance carrier will be different—and you’ll even save some money! Here’s our price list, per minute, around the world.”
It was one of those times where things were really working. My income grew so fast that by the time I turned 18, I was able to buy my first home. I could not believe this was even possible, and neither could the Realtor®. I remember how he was able to get me approved.
As we kept growing, I got the hang of it. I began to share the opportunity with others and invite them to meetings. That’s where the network marketing aspect started to kick in. By the time I turned 20, I earned a million-dollar yearly income in that company.
Unfortunately, in 1996 deregulation happened with the government, and the company went downhill fast. A lot of the leaders left, and eventually we went out looking for something else.
Around that time I got a call from one of my friends, another top earner in the company. He said, “We’ve been invited to open up this little company that’s launching. They have an ephedra capsule. It’s not cheap, but we think we’re going to be able to sell a ton.”
I loved the idea of selling retail. It gave me a sense of security after being distraught by what happened with the last company.
The ephedra capsules were selling like drugs. People used them for weight loss and energy. They couldn’t be without them. My business grew so fast it was one of the greatest rides I’ve ever had. I hit a little over $5 million dollars a year by the age of 25.
Falling and Getting Up
After one of my highest highs came one of my lowest lows: in 2003 the government banned ephedra, and I lost my business again.
Thankfully I had another small business I was building at the time, so I started dedicating all my time to that. I was upset with network marketing. I craved these capsules. It was almost like a minor depression.
I continued trying out different companies, looking for the one that was going to take me back up to seven figures a year. That was my goal.
In 2006 I had to check myself into the hospital with severe pain. What I thought might be acid reflux turned out to be a burst gallbladder. The doctors told me I might not survive. I remember signing a release explaining they would do their best, but that I was most likely not going to make it. I cried for the first time in years, thinking of my two small children at home who needed me… I asked God for help and promised if He let me live, I would serve Him by helping people. I woke up alive the next morning, remembering my promise and thankful to have another chance to live.
In 2007, I got a call from a friend I knew from the telecommunications company. He said, “We’ve been invited to launch a new company. It’s going to be awesome. Can you please come up to Utah to visit the headquarters?”
I said, “No way, I’ve had it with this MLM stuff.”
He was my original mentor—the gentleman who when I was 17 sat me down and taught me about network marketing. He said, “Listen, without you, they will not let me in. I need you there. As a friend, just come with me to see if you like it for me.”
We flew to Salt Lake City and met with a doctor. The product sounded phenomenal. I fell in love again, so I joined. It became another exceptional ride in my network marketing career. I loved the concept, the ownership, everything was just right. I was one of the first to earn a Cadillac Escalade through their car program. At the same time I was consulting with different network marketing companies. Once again, life was good.
My business grew strong and it made me love network marketing again. It was one of those times where I felt I had found my home.
Ever since I had lost my multimillion-dollar position in the ephedra deal, I was always trying to get it back. It was like a craze. “I’ve got to get back to seven figures.” I felt this was the company where it could happen again.
At one point, I was driving from Los Angeles to Phoenix for a Super Saturday event. We could fly there, but the leaders wanted to show the Escalade, so we drove. As they were telling me how many people were going to be there who might be joining us, I was doing the numbers in my head, counting how much money I was going to make. I was jumping up and down in the truck, screaming with excitement.
Next thing I remember is waking up, hanging by my seatbelt, with the truck upside down in the center divider of the freeway. I had flipped so many times every side of the truck was dented. One paramedic said, “It’s a miracle you’re alive with the way this truck rolled.”
I had no whiplash, no pain. I came out of that without a scratch, but the truck was totaled.
It was one of those life-changing moments. I felt God was reminding me of the promise I made back when my gallbladder burst. It was a warning that I was acting for my own financial gain and not to help people.
Insurance replaced the truck and we continued to build. When I reached the top rank in the company, people literally carried me onto the stage. It was a phenomenal time, but a little bit later, I think because some people were jealous, things started happening that I could not figure out.
At one point, somebody took a picture of me in another company I was consulting for. All of a sudden, I was cut off. My back office was closed. I asked the chairman what was happening. He said, “We’re investigating. Don’t worry about it.” They never opened it up.
Before I knew it, I started losing my home, my cars, and all the exciting toys I had. My credit was shot. I never thought this could happen to me again.
On Christmas morning, my son woke me up from the depression I was in. I heard him screaming and ran down to see what was happening. He cried, “What did I do wrong that Santa didn’t bring me anything?” His words came down on me like a bucket of ice water. Feeling guilty for not providing for my family, I went back to one of the companies I was consulting with and started working there. I quickly hit the top rank and was just able to save my house.
One night I was driving home from a meeting in San Diego where we had signed up 147 new people. I felt so excited this might be the company that would allow me to get back to a seven-figure income. I was again screaming with excitement when all of a sudden, I woke to the crunching sound of my passenger side mirror being ripped off as I was leaning on the side of the trailer of a semi-truck. Checking out what happened, I saw that if it hadn’t been for that semi-truck, I would have fallen into a steep cliff off the side of the freeway. In that moment, I realized it was God reminding me of my promise. Again I was focused on making money and not on serving people. This time I got the message loud and clear.
I wasn’t really happy in this company, but it helped me. I found its ways unethical—to the point where, even though I was doing well, my wife Esther and I were now looking to start our own company.
Esther is a naturopathic doctor who studies all kinds of natural medicine. I loved her passion for healing and how she was helping people, often at no charge.
In 2009 we started creating products, designing labels, setting everything up. At the time I was severely overweight because of the depression I went through. At 425 pounds I started using the products my wife put together, with great results. We were well on our way to launching our new company, when a friend introduced me to the gentleman who would become the CEO of my current company.
When I met him, it was love at first sight. He was saying all the right things. I quickly saw how he could run the company while I was building the field. I never wanted to be a CEO behind a desk, so working with him was even better than building my own company. My passion was to talk to people and speak in front of the room.
I designed a state-of-the-art compensation plan and about eight months later, in February 2010, we launched the U.S.
By now I had lost over 100 pounds using our products. Experiencing such dramatic results reminded me of my ephedra years. I thought, “This is going to bring in a lot of people. We’re going to make a lot of money.” I was getting excited—so excited that God tapped me on my shoulder, again. I started having pains and had some tests done. It turned out I had a tumor between my lung and my heart.
To make matters worse, the doctors also discovered I had stage IV gastric cancer. They gave me six months to live. They said there was nothing they could do, gastric cancer being one of the deadliest. As for the tumor, they wanted to break my ribs to do a biopsy and see how malicious it was. It was a matter of which was going to take me out first—the tumor or the cancer.
I reasoned, “If they break my ribs, I will be in a cast for longer than I have left to live,” so I refused. I was under a lot of stress with our company launch. I had invested everything I had into it. Thoughts were racing through my head, “Who is going to take care of my kids? What about all the distributors I promised a better life?”
A lot of distributors had left their companies to join me, and I couldn’t fathom leaving the company’s future in other people’s hands. Seeing no way out, I got up and just walked out of the hospital, literally as the doctors were trying to do their thing. I said, “I want to go for a walk.” I left the hospital and didn’t go back.
I said to myself, “If God’s giving me six months, I’m going to make the best of it. I’m going to build as much as I can, so I can leave a residual income for my kids, and so the distributors I made promises to can live well.”
My mission now was to build the company as big as possible in six months before I passed, so that I could leave something others could continue building, and my family would be okay.
As I started working, Esther was getting calls from doctors telling her I had to go back to the hospital to get treatment. I didn’t want to hear about it. I just wanted to build, build, build. I put 95,000 miles on my car just going place to place. I recruited a huge number of people, focusing on business-minded professionals. Our goal was to have 100 people try the product every day and get testimonials.
At the same time, my wife was looking for natural remedies to heal me. All we did was recruit and search for products. I remember I was scared of going to sleep, because I didn’t know if I would wake up the next morning and people needed me. Six months after my diagnosis, the company was doing well, mainly because of my persistence and efforts. I was feeling better and losing weight. I no longer had signs of diabetes or high blood pressure, even though I never took any medication for it.
I did not want to go back to the hospital for checkups, because I was scared the doctors would tell me I was going to die any minute. My wife kept finding weird plants that helped me heal, and some of them have become star products in our company. I kept building day after day, traveling and opening up most of Latin America for my company. After a lot of hard work, many risks, and sacrificing time with my children, it all paid off. Our company closed 2015 with $100 million in sales.
In 2016, six years after I was told I was going to die, I’m completely cancer-free. The tumor is gone and there’s just some scar tissue left where the gastric cancer was. I still have some weight to lose, but my high blood pressure is gone and I’m no longer diabetic. I have a new lease on life thanks to the products my wife helped formulate. I know the reason God gave me this blessing is that I no longer build to regain my millions. My philosophy now is, “If we are on this world and have been blessed, it’s only so we can bless others.”
Building the Ark
In the end, I don’t want my legacy to be how much money I’ve earned, but how many people I’ve helped to create a better future.
I often travel places where people tell me, “Don’t go there, it’s too dangerous. You will get abducted,” especially in South and Central America. I go to these regions all the time—not only to the big cities, but to the little towns with dirt roads. I feel if I can help people put food on the table and improve their lifestyle, that’s what I’m supposed to do.
I have one big mentor in my life, his name is Jesus Christ. In my mind he was the first MLM-er. He recruited 12, which turned into billions, and his way was to love and help people. I believe I’m meant to follow in his footsteps and help as many people as possible. Obviously I’m not Him, but we can all do something to help others. It’s a personal choice we all make.
I recently did a meeting in a home with dirt floors. People wonder, “Why would a million-dollar earner do this?” The answer is, people need us, so we do what we can.
Although we have an abundance of information on the internet, the right message may not reach people. We must be willing to reach out and touch them in person, and teach by example the right way of doing this business.
It’s a great privilege to see people grow in faith and self-confidence. I have deep respect for those who decide to turn their lives around and put in the effort to change. This makes my mission even stronger to lead with love, in the hope that when I‘m gone, many will follow in my footsteps.
I believe in people, I believe in second chances, and God knows I believe in network marketing.
Now that my company is growing the way it is, and the leadership is in place to take it to the next level, I think I’m at a point where I can build something new. Maybe even build another company or do something else where I can help a lot more people.
People need vehicles to take them out of the circumstances they’re in. It’s the only situation they know, because they grew up in it, yet they want a better life for their kids. They strive for a better future. This is what makes me jump out of bed in the morning and work hard to piece by piece build the ark people desperately need at this time. If I have to travel to other continents, I’m willing to go. Wherever I’m needed, I offer the opportunity and take people from tragic to magic.
There are many great companies out there with awesome products, so what makes people stick with you? It’s the way you treat them, the way you touch them. If you love people, and they see you have a real passion for helping them, they will not leave. This is what creates retention, which is what creates wealth. I always teach, “Lead with love and the money will follow.” That’s the best advice I can give you to succeed in this profession.