Lamia Bettaieb is a Gen Y leader who discovered network marketing just five years ago. Born and raised in Tunisia, she always knew she wanted to be a millionaire, even though she had no idea how it would happen. She reached her goal in 2014 when she became a top earner in her company, an Italian-based innovator in information technology.
Achieving her dream taught Lamia an important lesson: money is not what brings happiness. “What does,” she says, “is being a catalyst for change in people’s lives.” Today Lamia is obsessed with helping prospects and business partners see what she sees: that we can create any dream we set our mind on with focus, faith, conviction, and determination.
For Lamia, this meant first building a large network of Facebook friends, then moving to another country, and now flying around to world to visit with her teams on five continents. There is nothing she would rather do, she says, “until my God shows me my next assignment.” Not sure what that may entail, she has a feeling it will be fueled by her passion for empowering women and teaching others about the Law of Attraction and the power of positive energy.—J.G.
“I’m Going to Be Rich and Famous”
Lamia grew up in South Tunisia with three brothers and one sister in a modest and conservative family. Her parents instilled in her a love for art and education through the acquisition of knowledge and culture. Whenever Lamia and her brothers would talk about the future, she told them how one day she would be rich and famous; how a great opportunity awaited her that would completely change her life, even though she had no idea how to picture it.
When Lamia’s teacher would ask her what she dreamed of doing as a grown-up, all she would say is, “I’m going to be rich and famous!” Other children made fun of her, as they had ordinary dreams and realistic ambitions, but little Lamia kept repeating her mantra with a confident smile and resolute spirit. Teachers and other grownups dismissed her answer as a typical fantasy that occurs during childhood.
Growing up, Lamia stuck to her dream of wealth and fame. Her belief increased with the years, to the point of making her family think that Lamia suffered from some mental illness, especially when she refused to go to work for someone else. For her, taking a job meant oppression and limits, having to content herself with low wages, and accepting directives from others.
Lamia loved school, so after receiving her baccalaureate she moved to the capital Tunis and attended art school. Upon graduating, she continued and earned another degree in international commerce. In the meantime, she was always on the lookout for opportunities to make money, for instance by buying and selling clothes. She never took a job and much preferred to gain experience for when her real opportunity would find her and put her on the path to become a millionaire.
A Moment of Radical Change
When Lamia was 24 years old, her life was shaken up by a tragic event: she suddenly lost her parents. She now was left to care for her younger brothers and sister by herself. Challenged by her circumstances, she was able to overcome those moments of suffering and solitude with an immense faith in herself and in life. Despite everything, she was more than ever determined to achieve what others considered pure madness: fame and wealth. But how and when?
One day, while searching for answers on Google, she typed in a simple sentence: how to become a millionaire. This led her to a YouTube video of Bill Clinton exhorting the benefits of network marketing.
Lamia had never heard about network marketing. She watched that video over and over again until she knew it by heart. She felt that Bill Clinton’s message was for her. From that moment onward, her single focus became “I’m going to be a millionaire,” and she had a strong presentiment network marketing would be her vehicle.
Sure enough, a couple of weeks later her cousin called and said, “Lamia, we’re having a meeting next week in Tunis. It’s network marketing.”
“Oh my God, you know network marketing?” Lamia asked.
“I don’t,” her cousin replied, “but I joined this company, so come with me and let’s find out.”
“I just heard about network marketing from Bill Clinton,” Lamia said. “I’m coming—but first let me show you the video.”
Lamia went to the event and sat in the last row. When the presenter started talking about the income opportunity, she jumped up and moved to the front of the room. Since there were no empty seats, she sat on the floor. The event staff tried to chase her away, to no avail. Fascinated by the circles being drawn on the whiteboard, Lamia looked for pen and paper, and when she couldn’t find any paper, she started writing on her hand.
“My mind went crazy when I began to see the potential of leveraged income,” she says. “As soon as I came home, I told my family that I had finally found a way to become a millionaire. They asked me how, so I showed them my hand. Seeing the circles, they told me I was crazy, and that at this point I needed to see a psychiatrist.”
During the night, Lamia kept waking up and looking at her hand. In the morning she did some more research on how to sponsor people and earn money. She didn’t really understand the difference between a solid network marketing opportunity and a pyramid scheme.
“My brother sent me money and I got started,” she says. “As I learned more about the company, neither the product nor the leadership felt right. So I started to look around for other companies.”
Sure enough, two months later the company Lamia had joined closed its operations in Tunisia, as it had gotten in trouble with the law.
Preparation Meets Opportunity
Lamia continued to study everything she could about network marketing. This time she focused on learning the rules and differences between pyramid schemes and legitimate network marketing companies. She joined different forums where she could get her questions answered. She discovered Robert Kiyosaki, learned from an Arabic trainer and coach in positive energy, and enrolled in a Canadian school in Tunisia which offered a certification program in human development.
“Unfortunately the program was not nearly as good as some resources I found online,” she says, “such as Tony Robbins videos. I was looking for education and had no interest in being certified.”
The next thing Lamia had to learn was electronic banking.
“The problem we have in Tunisia is most people don’t have credit cards,” she says. “This is why they cannot join network marketing. Moreover, we cannot move money into or out of the country. Again, I entered forums to learn about international online banking and services like PayPal.”
Lamia says in Tunisia a lot of people have digital currency, but they cannot transfer it into local currency. One day she mentioned this to a friend in Cote d’Ivoire, and he told her about digital currency services called Liberty Reserve. He explained how you could open an account, upload electronic funds, and apply for a Visa card, which would allow you to retrieve local currency at any ATM machine.
Lamia immediately saw an opportunity to help Tunisian people convert their digital currency into cash. She opened a bank account at Liberty Reserve, got an Africa Visa card through her friend in Cote d’Ivoire, and executed on her plan.
“I started contacting people who have electronic currency and told them to transfer money to my bank account. I sent this money to Liberty Reserve in Cote d’Ivoire, and when my friend received the funds, he put it on my Africa Visa card. I then went to an ATM and paid back my Tunisian friends in cash. Each time I made a small exchange fee, and they were happy, as they had no other way to exchange their electronic money into local currency. When they asked me questions, I just said, ‘Don’t ask me how… ’
“Word spread quickly as people told each other, ‘If you have money in Liberty Reserve, contact Lamia and she will give you cash.’ That’s how I loaded up my Visa card. I knew this was what I had to do to prepare myself for when the right opportunity came along.”
Lamia’s balance kept increasing until after a few months she had collected $900. “I was so happy and thought I was rich,” she says, “because in Tunisia this is impossible to do for most people. As soon as I reached the amount of $900, I found my company.”
In November 2011, another friend from Cote d’Ivoire shared an opportunity with Lamia, but it was difficult for her to wrap her mind around it, because the product was technology—mainly VoIP and webinar services. Even though she didn’t understand it, she liked the name of the company and kept repeating it over and over in her head.
Guided by her intuition and trusting her gut feeling, she joined. She searched online who she could sign up under. She found a Tunisian leader in Paris and contacted him. After a few Skype conversations, she enrolled using her Africa Visa card. This was in April 2012.
From Massive Rejection to Massive Results
Unfortunately, Lamia had no further contact with her upline after the day she joined. Not sure what to do, she reached out to her friends and family and told them about her new business. None of them wanted to get involved.
“I contacted more than 370 people,” says Lamia, “Every single one of them said no. But still I kept feeling positive. My inner voice went, Go, go, go! You will be a millionaire. You will be #1!”
She continued to believe, sure of her ensuing success. She had a used laptop that needed to be plugged in at all times in order to function. At coffee shop interviews, people would say, “Your laptop is very old and you are poor. You are crazy!”
Finally she realized, “Okay, God closed this door. That means He prepared another door for me.”
She then had the idea to work with prospects in the Gulf region, where most everyone uses credit cards and online banking. She made a plan and set a goal for herself that in one year she would move to Dubai.
The next action she took is she went on Facebook and searched for people in the Gulf area who had done network marketing before. For instance, she would type Kuwait and the name of her previous company that had closed its doors. After connecting with people on Facebook, she would call them on the phone, using and demonstrating her company’s international mobile phone service. Presenting her company’s product and opportunity, she mostly received denials and sometimes even insults. None of this stopped her; instead, it gave her increasing persistence and belief.
“At least eight out of ten people hung up on me,” says Lamia. “The few that showed interest I invited to come to my webinar, which is another service my company provides.”
Often people would leave the webinar soon after it started and Lamia would be left alone. In this case, she would just keep talking as if they were still there. Or she would make up names and type them in the chat room, saying things like, “I see we have Ahmed from Kuwait, who has signed up another 50 people this week and is experiencing great success. Congratulations, Ahmed! Welcome to Mohamed from Dubai, whose business is growing so big I’m actually considering moving there!” To motivate herself, she lived her dream as if it had already occurred.
Little by little Lamia started to assemble a small team of people in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, just by social networking, talking on the phone, and doing webinars. After three months she grew a significant network of people she’d never met.
“I worked 24/7 and always had a small blanket with me so I could take a cat nap on the couch if I had to. Then I would wake up and be back on Skype. I was so excited because I could see my dream in front of me. I just kept working, knowing that big dreams come with big challenges, and great defeat precedes great victory.”
In the beginning Lamia worked mostly with men, which presented an additional hurdle. “It is very difficult for men—and even for other women—in the Middle East to accept a woman as leader. My first business partner was a colonel in the military, so you can imagine. At first I would pretend I was a man, and only after people started to trust and respect me, I would reveal my true gender. Then I would tell them, ‘Just imagine I am your mother and I teach you as my child.’ This helped them accept me, until they realized they could trust me and I was just there to help them succeed.”
Moving to Dubai and Discovering the World
After nine months of building in the Gulf countries, Lamia had 20,000 people in her organization and decided it was time to move to Dubai. Once she arrived there in early 2013, her first focus was to get resident status, as this would make it much easier for her to travel and build internationally.
“It’s hard to travel from Tunisia,” she says. “I didn’t have a passport and never traveled before. The only way you can travel in Tunisia is if you work for a big corporation.”
Next she moved over her earnings that were sitting in a bank account in Kuwait to Dubai.
“I could not bring funds into Tunisia,” she explains, “My bank would ask me how I made this money and put a hold on it.”
She then asked the leaders on her team from Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia to come and meet her in Dubai.
“I started to hold small hotel meetings with 20 to 25 people,” she says. “I met my business partners for the first time after talking to them for nine months, but they already loved, accepted, and respected me. My team endearingly calls me Mother Lamia, because I teach them like a mother teaches her kids. It makes sense, as I teach with all my heart and love to help them.”
Having a passport changed everything for Lamia. After losing her parents, Lamia had also been separated from her brother who had moved to the US. They did not see each other for 14 years, because he didn’t have the money to come home and she didn’t have the freedom to travel.
“This was one of the most painful experiences in my life,” says Lamia. “This business has allowed me to give him a solution to make money. Since he joined my team, he was been able to come to Tunisia twice, and I was able to visit him for the first time in Nashville, Tennessee where he lives. Last spring I met him in Bali for our company convention. Building this business together has been one of my greatest joys.”
When asked how many people she has on her team, Lamia says she doesn’t know, and that this isn’t what matters to her.
“I don’t like to see how many people I have,” she says, “as this is up to God. Ask my company if you want to know. I just focus on helping anyone who needs me. I travel every week to support my teams in the US, India, Indonesia, and Thailand; then back to Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, and home to Dubai. I stay in touch with everyone on WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype—whatever is needed.”
Thankfully Lamia’s company sells a phone with a built-in Internet connection—a 5G technology that comes with its own hotspot—so that even in remote areas and developing countries, connectivity is never an issue.
“Every day I am in direct communication with my leaders around the world,” she says. “This is what it takes to lead an organization with hundreds of thousands of people and events happening around the clock.”
Thanks to Lamia’s hard work and focus, today her company has an office in Tunisia, and people can buy the products and services locally, as well as receive commissions in their local currency.
“My work chang-ed everything,” she says. “Looking at the results, I am very proud and happy for my people.”
I believe that God would have us seek out the laws that govern success, because as we learn the truth about them, we can become free.
Technology must be driven and used, not the opposite. Man must not erroneously become a slave to it, but he must always be its driver.
To succeed in life, imagine what you want, see the desired result in your mind, and enjoy the daydream. Then trust God to inspire you to know exactly what to do next.
Looking into the Future
From the beginning up until now, Lamia’s success principles have been faith, conviction, and pure positive energy.
“My secret is radical positivity,” she says. “Focus on those things you can change, and don’t worry about the things you can’t control—and certainly don’t complain about them. Always ask yourself, ‘Can I think of one good reason why my business will work for me?’ Focus on all things positive: What is it we can do today to move forward? Be excited to be in business with this amazing company, excited for what can happen for you.
Lamia is a firm believer in the Law of Attraction. Two months ago she traveled to US and bought the book The Secret. A friend had told her about it, and she had seen clips of the movie on YouTube.
“When I read the book in the plane, I went nuts,” she says. “Everything in this book is in my life! I believe 100 percent in the Law of Attraction. Everything in my life I attract with my voice, and the way I speak to myself. Whatever I need, I ask and it is given.”
Lamia loves her life of building relationships all over the globe, providing her with an ever-expanding cultural awareness and understanding of people. “Every trip prepares me for major growth,” she says. “Dubai prepared me for the discovery of the world, while America opened me to another great challenge, which will be preparation for my next challenge.”
One of the most important lessons Lamia learned along her journey so far is that money is not what leads to happiness.
“First I thought happiness is having a lot of money,” she says. “Today I am a millionaire, but it’s not what matters to me. I have everything I dreamed about and can buy whatever I want. I have a beautiful villa in Dubai and bought several apartments there, as well as in Tunisia. I have a lot of money in the bank, but this means nothing.
“Happiness is to contact people everywhere and help them start a business that will change their lives and the future of their entire family. I help a lot of people today who have never had hope. Now they can get married, buy a car, have children, buy a home, and build a life. They can help their parents with whatever they need.
“A lady today called me to thank me, because finally her mother was able to get the operation she had been needing for years. This is what makes me happy.
“Many people never traveled before they met me. Now they travel everywhere and they love me for how I helped them change their lives. A lot of people move to Dubai because they want to be near me. I have a very big family and strong relationships. That’s what truly excites me, and it keeps growing.
“Every day they tell me how much they love me. I do the same: every day I send love to people around the world. I tell them how much I appreciate them. We feel very lucky and blessed.
“Looking into the future, I feel God is preparing me for other things that are even bigger, even though I can’t imagine yet what they will be. He is always preparing me for the next step when I am ready. Each new step reveals itself moment to moment. I’m sure it will be amazing in terms of impact on others. It may have to do with empowering women or educating young people in entrepreneurship, leadership, and personal development. I never ask for what will be. I just know God prepares me for the best. Knowing His plan is perfect, I have complete trust and peace about the future.”