Ana Cantera is a Millennial mom who leads a network marketing organization in Latin America, the U.S., Spain, and Portugal. She has been building her business full time since 2011 and joined her current company in May 2015. Today her team totals more than 20,000 people and her mission is to help 1,000 families achieve financial freedom.
Ana was born and resides in the Dominican Republic, a Spanish-speaking country that’s part of an island in the Caribbean Sea. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba), with just over 10 million inhabitants, three million of whom live in the metropolitan area of its capital, Santo Domingo.
Ana grew up in Santo Domingo in a family of entrepreneurs. Her father owned several businesses, including a franchise that sold games and lottery tickets. Ana always dreamed of being a business owner like her dad, so when it was time to go to college, she majored in Business Administration.
By that time, Ana also had her first baby. Going to school, she was also working for a local company in the HR department. She quickly figured out that being an employee was not for her. Looking to create a life of greater freedom, she started a little beauty salon on the side. Working a job and a business, her schedule was so full she had to quit school.
Ana found network marketing in 2011 when she was 23 years old. A friend invited her husband Julio to a meeting, and when he heard the term home-based business, he immediately thought, “This is the solution for Ana to spend more time with her daughter!” Julio told her about the opportunity and together they joined.
Knowing nothing about the business, Ana went online to look for information. “It was love at first site,” she says. “I felt I had found the vehicle to achieve my dreams—and help others to do the same. Immediately I understood the concept and believed I could do it. I quit my job and closed my business that same month to dedicate myself 100 percent to network marketing.”
The friend who had brought Ana and Julio into the business was a total novice and had no idea how to help them get started. Again, Ana went online to educate herself, watching videos, reading articles, and listening to stories of people who had already achieved the success she was looking for.
“Once in a while, I would talk to one of my upline leaders in the U.S.,” she recalls, “but we were pretty much on our own. I made my contact list, invited over 50 people to my first home meeting, and only one showed up—my friend. I think she felt bad for me. She joined my team with the smallest pack, but I was happy because I had made my first commission!”
After that day Ana began presenting the business to everyone she knew. She went to their houses, offices, met friends on their lunch breaks, and did meetings every night at her mom’s house. Working nonstop, she quickly started to see results and her team grew rapidly. In less than a year, she reached an elite rank in her company and had earned over $100,000.
Thinking back on the challenges of her first year, Ana says she had to get used to the no’s, the no-shows, and the critics. “I also had to sacrifice time with my daughter, family, and friends because I was in constant building mode. Yet the hardest part came four years into it: after we had achieved success in that company, and because of some situations in our country, we were attacked by the media, causing everything we built to collapse. We ended up broke, depressed, and disappointed with network marketing.”
Ana and Julio tried to recover by starting a restaurant with some family members. They knew that to succeed they would need to invest a lot of money and time, without knowing if or when they would ever see a return. Remembering the feeling they experienced when their network marketing business was booming, they looked at different companies, weighing the pros and cons. If they were to join a new company, it needed to have a local office, a diverse product line, a strong customer base, and many success stories.
“After the worst year of our lives, thank God we found our new company,” says Ana. “I tried our weight loss product and had fabulous results quickly. Having a strong product story, I was able to achieve great success in our first year and help others do it, too. We had our first company event after 90 days, and my team brought in 200 of the 500 attendees. I had told all my people to bring at least 10 guests.
“I learned from the beginning to take responsibility for my business and not to wait for others to do things for me. Even when we became leaders, we never stopped doing the basics—sell, prospect, make calls, present, recruit, follow up, and train our team to do the same. I work the business every day and consider myself a servant leader. I let everyone know they can count on me for anything they need and that there is a solution for every situation.”
Today Ana relies more and more on technology and social media, allowing her business to expand globally and reach more people simultaneously. She focuses on building relationships with people who are already in network marketing, celebrating their successes and sharing experiences. She also reaches out to new contacts in Facebook groups or via her fan page.
“I never stop creating new relationships,” she says. “Prospecting and recruiting is what I love to do, even though I know not everybody will do the business—and I respect that. I learned to focus on people’s needs and how I can offer a solution with my product or my opportunity.”
To promote duplication and provide leadership for her team, Ana created an automated online system where everyone can go for daily training. She has a web page for her team that offers all the tools necessary to start a business with immediate success.
Live trainings take place every morning Monday through Friday via Google Hangouts, while live opportunity meetings happen each night on the same platform. The links to these events are posted daily so team members can promote them online and bring prospects.
Ana assigns training topics to different presenters on her team, so there is always something new to learn. “I know who is suitable in each area,” she says. “Every week we select the trainers who are going to present. We’ve created a daily movement of ongoing education and inspiration for everyone to be a part of.”
Thinking of her mentors, Ana mentions Stormy Wellington, “without a doubt one of the most successful and influential women in our profession.
“I thank her indefinitely for believing in me when I had no belief in myself.”
Ana’s favorite authors are Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, John Maxwell, Napoleon Hill, and Eric Worre, “all of whom have been of great help in my business duplication.”
Comparing Latin America to the U.S., Ana points out a couple of cultural differences that come into play when building a business: “We don’t have safety nets like food stamps or welfare like you have in the U.S. If we don’t work, we don’t eat. People do whatever it takes to survive and provide for their families. The opportunity we offer can be life-changing, and once people get it, their commitment is very strong.
“The average salary in my country is about $200 a month, and across Latin America it is $200 to $300 a month. When people connect to the vision, they are very persistent, because they have no other option that can give them this kind of return. The beginning may be difficult, like coming up with the $200 or $300 to buy the starter pack, but the upside is, as soon as people make $500 a month, they can quit their day job and do the business full time.”
Ana’s dream is to positively impact thousands of Latin families, especially women, with her example. “I want them to see it can be done,” she says. “Being a young woman, a mother, or Latin should not be an obstacle; it should be a powerful reason to continue taking this opportunity to millions of people who need it in our countries.”
Having built a global business, Ana loves to travel and see different cultures. “Beneath our differences, we have much in common,” she says. “We all want better health and to be able to offer a better quality of life to our families. My next goal is to create 10 more six-figure earners on my team, and my ultimate mission is to help 1,000 families achieve financial freedom. We are young, we will make it happen!”