Carrie Dickie is a top earner in a thriving network marketing company, leading a growing team of mostly women in 11 countries. Once a shy little girl who never felt good enough, she made a long journey to reclaim her innocence, beauty, and power to light up the world.
In 2008, even earning a million dollars with a previous company was not enough to fill the void Carrie felt inside. When her company and team fell apart, she finally hired a coach to help her jump the abyss from self-doubt and self-loathing to self-love and self-confidence.
Today, having found “her inner woohoo,” Carrie is on a mission to empower others in and beyond her company to stand in their light, share their gifts, and live the life they were meant to live.—J.G.
Shy and Insecure
I was born in Denver, Colorado, in a two-parent family. My dad worked so many hours I rarely saw him.
When I was five years old, my mom came to pick me up from Kindergarten, and the teacher said, “Carrie had a wonderful morning, but when we brought out John’s birthday cake around noon, she cried all afternoon and would not come out from the back of the room.”
I just didn’t have what it took, at that time, to tell them it was my birthday too. I was extremely shy as a little girl.
I remember in first grade learning about addition and being pretty good at it. When we moved to subtraction, that was a foreign concept to me—which made me very anxious. The teachers would say, “Carrie is a good student and gets good grades, but she cries whenever a new concept comes up on the board.”
School was tough for me. I felt like I never knew how to wear my hair or how to dress. I didn’t know how to walk in the halls. I was extremely under-confident and let others define me all through grade school, junior high, and high school.
Starting in high school and during college, I waited tables and bartended. I worked at many restaurants. Being a waitress taught me multitasking, and how to determine what was most important: I always made sure people had their condiments and their checks, because I didn’t want to keep anybody waiting. I knew when to connect with people and when to leave them alone. I learned how to assess and then meet their needs. I also taught fitness classes and worked as a personal trainer, which taught me how to motivate people.
I wasn’t part of a sorority and spent most of my time at the restaurant, teaching classes, and working out at the gym. I wasn’t offered any on campus interviews, although I doubt I would have been interested I didn’t feel I fit anywhere. It always seemed that if 99 people were zigging, I was zagging.
I graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in advertising. All I knew was what I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want to be a flight attendant. I didn’t believe I was smart enough to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. I believed I could be an English teacher, but I didn’t want a job or a boss.
Eventually I decided to leave Colorado. I was afraid that if I didn’t, I would be a waitress or a fitness instructor for the rest of my life. I packed up my little car and moved to California. Once there, I did what I knew: I became a waitress and fitness instructor.
Becoming an Entrepreneur
Shortly after my arrival, I pulled a quad muscle and was out of work instantly. I learned real fast what it feels like to rely on linear income—do a job, get paid; teach a class, get paid.
I didn’t have a backup plan, so I went to the classifieds. I found an ad that said, “Do you like children? Do you love to read?” I loved both, so I showed up for my interview, along with about 35 other candidates.
The company was hiring people to sell educational materials door to door. We were all given some papers to study and asked to come back the next day. I went home to memorize the scripts, and when I returned there were many fewer people. Right away, the interviewers asked for a volunteer, and I regurgitated what I had learned. As nobody else raised their hand, it occurred to me most people don’t do their homework-which I found shocking.
Once hired, I sold books for eight months door to door. It was probably the hardest thing I have ever done, but I didn’t know it at the time. I made $27,000 in eight months, and I thought I was rich.
I learned how to work hard and be tenacious. I became an excellent student—teachable, coachable, and enthusiastic. I remember my boss had us listen to audio tapes by Zig Ziglar, Napoleon Hill, Denis Waitley, and Jim Rohn. They talked about the fact that 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work, while 80 do 20. Then they talked about the one-percenters. Somewhere in my body, I knew I was a one-percenter, or that I could be. I wanted it more than anything.
I left that job because it was a total sham. I was asking people for significant amounts of money, and they weren’t getting nearly the value they paid for. I quickly decided this was not going to be my path.
Around that time I met and married Gordon. I went to work with my mom as a fundraiser. She came out from Colorado, and we built a company together. I became the outside sales girl and approached schools about selling fresh deli-style pizzas with the children. I learned how to deal with principals, PTA moms, and kids. Dressed up as Patty Pepperoni, I attended large assemblies with hundreds, and sometimes thousands of children. We put the pizzas together on site with the kids and parent volunteers. It was hard, physical work.
Finding Direct Selling
Life became easier after I got married. Being able to share expenses as a couple took the pressure off. My husband Gordon is an engineer and extremely analytical—unlike me. One day a gentleman came to the door and said, “Is Gordon here?” I said, “No, was he supposed to be?” He said, “Yes, I was going to show him my business.” I said, “I’m so sorry. Come on in, I’ll make you a cup of tea, and you can show me.” He presented his network marketing business opportunity.
I said to him, “You mean someone sells a vitamin in Georgia or Kentucky, and I get paid?” He said, “That’s exactly what I’m telling you.” I said, “Sign me up.” My husband came home an hour later, and I greeted him at the door with, “Honey, we have a new business.” That was in 1993.
I was a late bloomer. At age 33, I did not have a good warm market. I did not have a lot of business contacts. So I went to the John Wayne airport and talked to businessmen as they deplaned. That’s when you still had access, as there was no TSA.
I asked, “Would you consider yourself to be an open-minded businessman?” If they said yes, I said, “I’m in the process of expanding a brand new $50 million company to a billion in the next few years.” I didn’t know exactly what that meant. I continued, “I’m looking for entrepreneurs who want to work with me. May I have your number?”
I worked side by side with a girlfriend crossline. We went to South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island. Men usually either wanted to give us money to invest—or date us. They didn’t want to join us, but I learned about being fearless. I got excited if I sold a product and made $13. At least it was forward movement.
I rarely signed anybody up, but I went to every single meeting and listened to all the trainings. I was passionate and enthusiastic. I read and did everything they told me to read and do. I remember at one event sitting in the front row with my friend Cherise, saying, “Can you believe this guy is making $20,000 a month? Can you imagine if we could ever do that?”
I was in that company for a couple of years and never had much success, but it was my training ground. Network marketing took the backburner for a few years as I raised my toddlers and followed Gordon to Michigan and back to California.
In 2005 I found my next company. Visiting a friend, I saw her decorating what she called a farmhouse basket. She was sticking flowers into precut holes.
I said, “Vic, that’s so simple and gorgeous! Who is this for? Where are you going?” Embarrassed to admit she was involved with a direct sales company, she said, “I’m going to a party. I’m bringing this to the hostess.” I said, “How do I get one of these baskets? You have more products like that? Where can I look at them?” She showed me her catalog.
“Can I have a party for you?” I asked. She said, “Yes, you can.” I said, “Give me that catalog. I want to take it with me.” Then on the way out I said, “Listen, if I do the party, can I make the money and get the hostess gifts? I mean, is that how this thing works?” That same day, in Vic’s kitchen, I decided, “Sign me up. Let’s go online right now. I want to do this.”
Starting a Business
As we planned my first party, Vic said, “If you want 15 guests, invite 60.” I said, “If I invite 60, I’ll have 75.” She said, “Trust me, invite 60.” I invited 60, and 80 people showed up. I didn’t even know where to put them. Vicki was a soft-spoken sweet gal and she struggled to control this bunch of crazy women. I finally had to get up on the counter and tell everybody, “Please be quiet and listen to my friend!” By the time they left, we had a $1,400 party. I realized we could have made $3,000, if we’d done four parties of 20 people. I vowed from then on that I was going to follow my own intuition, trust myself, and believe in my personal ability.
I gradually grew into a leader in that company. First I kept asking, “Where is the leader? Where can I plug in?” I finally found a gal who was making big money, so I reached out to her. At that point I was having home meetings every Thursday morning, with 15 to 40 women showing up. We would have bagels and coffee, and I would ask each person to share who they were, where they were from, and why they were excited about what we were doing. Then we would do an hour of training. I made flyers and shared whatever I was doing to create success.
To my surprise, most women kept coming back and bringing new people. It was really fun. When I finally got the attention of my upline leader, she asked, “What can I do for you, Carrie?” I had to think for a minute, then asked her, “Would you mind bringing the bagels and coffee?” I didn’t want to give up control of anything else at that point! She provided breakfast the following week, but did not even stick around to see what we were doing!
This company sold home decoration, which was far from a passion or even a hobby of mine. I was interested in creating community and building people, so I offered a place where they could gather and feel inspired.
I became a compassionate and strong leader during that time without realizing it. I built that company for a few years and each month I was one of the top producers. One day I invited that same leader above me for a cup of coffee. I gathered up my courage and asked, “Last night at the Christmas party, Lisa mentioned she made $40,000 per year, and that you were making just under $100,000. Is this true?” She confirmed.
I was stunned. I said, “That’s not the kind of money I was hoping to make after five years, given how much time I’m spending away from my family doing these parties. I thought you made more than that.”
She said, “Carrie, you’re not a direct seller. You are a network marketer.” I cried all the way home, wishing someone had told me that before I’d invested all that time in direct sales.
Over the years it happened a few more times that I might have joined a company—if only I had been asked. I believe people pre-judged me. Thinking Gordon made a big income, they figured I wasn’t a good candidate. I was moderately interested in some products my esthetician represented. She once hinted but never directly asked me to buy products or join her business. While living in Michigan, I was introduced to scrap-booking, but the friend who sold me the supplies never once mentioned the business opportunity.
First Million Dollars
In 2007 I fell in love with a product and built a new business from zero to the top rank in my company, earning a million dollars in commissions that year.
I stepped into leadership, even though I was still struggled with low self-esteem. I continued to look for a mentor. I had people I admired from afar, like Oprah Winfrey, Celine Dion, and Marianne Williamson, but I longed for someone I could talk to. I was a voracious reader and my car was my rolling university. I devoured Dr. Tom Barrett’s Dare to Dream, Work to Win and Success Happens. I loved to learn.
After I built a huge business with this company, it fell apart in 2008 when the economy shifted. Feeling responsible for my company’s demise, I was in excruciating inner pain. That little girl inside who was so insecure, who cried at every new concept, and who never felt she was enough, came out big time. I felt I wasn’t a good enough wife, mother, businessperson, or daughter.
I sought help from a coach and found Tawny Avonne. She taught me how to love myself. She took me through the process of shedding anything that was “not Carrie” that I had picked up on my journey.
My first assignment was to write my own eulogy. After staring at a blank page for an hour, I was only able to move forward by pretending I was my best friend, Cherise Matthews. I wrote that eulogy with tears running down my face. This exercise helped me see the person God created me to be. It was the beginning of my healing.
I uncovered some dark parts inside and brought them into the light. I learned that I am messy, human, and complicated—just like everyone else. What a relief! I no longer felt I had to be perfect.
Other mentors I have had along the way include Caroline Myss, Byron Katie, and Don Miguel Ruiz. It took years to clean up my wounds and find my inner woohoo—but I did it.
Now when I face a challenge, I ask myself, “What would Tawny say?” or “What would God have me do? What is the Universe trying to tell me?” I know exactly where to go for answers.
In 2010, I decided I was ready for the next chapter of my life. I wrote on a piece of paper, “I’m so happy and grateful now that I teach, train, help, and motivate others to be the people God put here to be. I work every day doing what I love, and it doesn’t even feel like work.”
I added, “And please, don’t let it be network marketing, because I’m never doing that again.”
I placed a copy in four places—in my kitchen, bathroom, car, and above my desk. A few days later someone sent me our company video, and I was mesmerized. I didn’t want to get involved, but I couldn’t help myself. A week later I signed up and I’m still here today.
Once I joined, I became obsessed with reaching the top—and it happened pretty quickly. When I came across the same rough spots I had in my last company, I decided, “This is going to have a different ending.” I bypassed the gaping hole of insecurity and self-loathing and chose to go down a different route.
Today I know who I am and that God put me here for greatness. I believe the first part of our life is about figuring out who we are, and the second part is about helping others figure out who they are. I want to inspire people to find that little girl or boy inside that’s hurting, so they can take care of their inner child. As soon as we give ourselves what we need, we are able to step into our personal power. I ask people, “Do you know how amazing you are? Do you see what I see?” I model this for them until they can do it for themselves. It’s my way of paying forward what others have done for me.
As a result, I have business in every country in which our company is open. I have customers in some, and in others I have a nice foothold. My strength lies in developing leaders. I identify them and meet them where they are, then work hard to inspire them to step into their personal power.
My business has given me everything I hoped and prayed this profession could provide. We have leaders backed by leaders backed by leaders. They are principled people, full of integrity, humility, and grace—and deeply rooted in gratitude.
I cannot call them my “downline,” because that would be ridiculous. Most of them are extremely accomplished, and all of them are very special. I call them my team, my partners, my friends, and my companions along this journey we share.
My phone does not ring the way it used to. My leaders have developed leaders under them. It’s quite amazing. I have a big organization in Hong Kong that flies solo. I have a huge organization in Canada full of beautiful leaders that have emerged there.
Our system is one of empowerment. I don’t know how I got so lucky. I am grateful for everything, especially the challenges I have overcome. I decided early on in life that I wasn’t worthy, that I wasn’t enough. Once you recognize that you are enough, everything becomes possible.
My first why was to find a way to pay the bills. I know what it feels like to be broke. I remember living paycheck to paycheck. My second why was to become a one-percenter. I wanted to be the best. I yearned to be seen. Today it is no longer about me. It’s about making sure others are seen every day. It’s about throwing that ladder down so others can climb up.
Vision and Dreams
I have a giant dream of creating a safe haven where teenagers can come get what they need. To earn an iPhone, a pair of jeans, a computer, or a gym membership, they will listen to people like Jim Rohn or Simon Sinek. They will read a chapter, watch a TED talk, and pass a test. If they don’t enjoy reading or writing, they will sit with a counselor and have a discussion about what they learned. Only then will we pay their cell phone bill for the month, or get them that pair of jeans.
I have a vision of boys listening to Wayne Dyer when they’re 16, 18, or 20, and girls listening to Marianne Williamson’s A Woman’s Worth, so they know at an early age how fabulous they are. They don’t have to wait till they are 48 to know what they’re capable of and who they came here to be.
I also have a vision for network marketing. There’s a lot of talk about the mechanics of it, but I believe our business is only 10 percent mechanics and 90 percent mindset. The mindset is what’s going to take you all the way.
Network marketing is often built from the Mars mentality, which is the red, masculine planet. Take charge, get it done, fire away. I come from a place of Venus, and for me building from Venus is much more fun and effective. It’s about your burning desire fueling your actions, your meetings, and your interactions with people. What matters is the heart you bring to the game.
I still do trainings every month. I do a Monday morning motivational call for my team. I have a business partner Stu who has been my friend for 25 years. We built this together, and I’m so grateful to have a male partner who sees me and values my passion. He’s my rock in business, just like my husband Gordon is my rock in life. Both ground me and keep me sane. They appreciate who I am and are not threatened by my big personality. They applaud it, they both encourage me to run, jump, play, and sing. They clap for me when I love, laugh, and lead! Then they do all the stuff I don’t want to do. Today, I am grateful for all that I have, all that I am, and all that I receive.