Chad and Nattida Chong are a dynamic Millennial couple who achieved the top rank in their network marketing company just four months after joining. The Chongs have been building international teams together full time for nine years. Both grew up with network marketing and consider their parents their primary role models. Being able to observe and attend trainings by top earners in the profession as children shaped their character and vision. Chad and Nattida chose network marketing as their vehicle for inspiring others to become their best self. The lessons they want to impart to their children are to reach beyond what’s comfortable, get up after failure, and never give up on their dreams.—J.G.
What was it like growing up in a network marketing household?
Nattida: People always ask, “What’s your story?” and usually we hear network marketers tell their struggle story, or why the business has completely changed their life. My story is different.
Since the age of five I watched my parents, Nat and Chanida Puranaputra, excel in the profession. As they were doing huge trainings, I would be in the back of the room cheering, “I want to be like them one day!”
Because of how I grew up, I knew no other way. For the longest time I felt my story wouldn’t inspire or transform people. Until it recently hit me: my story is a living testimony. It shows people why they need to do this business. Because my parents made a decision over 25 years ago to do network marketing, the term “job” was never in my vocabulary. I always knew I wanted to be my own boss.
I graduated with a degree in business administration and marketing, and right out of college network marketing became my vehicle, because my parents have always instilled in me that the possibilities here are endless. Now Chad and I have the same goal for our children. One reason people connect with us as leaders is that we embody being parents as well.
I used to fear that I was going to miss something in my kids’ lives, that by choosing to be at a business meeting, I might miss a dance recital, a soccer practice, or a school party. But then I realized something for which I am forever grateful to both of my parents: what my kids need, more than anything, is role models. They need a mom and dad who change people’s lives, and that’s what my parents modeled for me.
Have they missed some of my games? Sure. Did they miss some of my dance recitals? Yes. Did I cry? Of course. But looking back now, I see how my parents gave me a huge sense of self-worth and a strong work ethic, which is priceless.
You know how Malcolm Gladwell says you need to put in 10,000 hours to become world class at anything? The cool part is that because my parents were networkers since I was just a baby, and Chad’s parents were networkers since he was a child, we have put in our 10,000 hours before we were 20. Even though we’re Millennials, we’re mature in the profession, because we’ve been living and breathing it since we were kids.
What’s your story, Chad?
Chad: I’m the youngest of four, my siblings being 9, 10, and 11 years older than me. They’re all professionals. My sister’s an architect. One brother is a banker, and the other is in the IT field. I wanted to follow in their footsteps.
My dad was an accountant. My mom was an entrepreneur, and she’s the one who started network marketing when I was a little kid. My dad was not 100 percent behind it, being more of a traditional businessperson. He taught us, “Go to school, get good grades, get a good job.”
In the Asian culture we highly respect our elders, so I pursued what my dad asked me to do. He also instilled in me the principle of delayed gratification. Sometimes I would want to go have fun with my friends, but I chose to stay home and study for an exam.
During my early teens, I remember my mom earning cars and awards at events, which was pretty inspiring. She also tried to sell stuff to my friends, so before they came over I would make her promise to leave them alone.
My mom has laser focus. Whatever conversation she’s in, it always leads to her company. As a result, I created a defense or objection against network marketing, even though I was a product user. It was in my life, but I didn’t want to be a part of it.
I majored in computer science, information systems, and mathematics. I got headhunted by a corporation in consulting technology before I graduated from college. I worked in the IT space for about 10 years, then stepped away from that as it became too stressful.
I took a two-year break and just played golf. Unbeknownst to me, my mom had signed me up in a network marketing company. Even though I was unemployed, checks were coming in. My mom said, “You use the products anyway, why don’t you share this with people you know?”
As I started sharing, my checks kept growing. This was a company for which Chanida was the #1 leader in Asia. My mom would tell me about her and one day I attended Chanida’s presentation. One of her slides showed a picture of her family, and I noticed a beautiful young lady. Afterwards I asked Chanida, “Can I borrow your slide? I want to use it for my team.” I just wanted to have a picture of Nattida.
This was in 2007 and I was living in Australia at the time, while she was in Los Angeles. When our company launched their Malaysian office, they invited both of us to speak, so that’s where we first met in person. Soon after that, we started planning our future together.
I decided to get a job working in the IT field again, while doing network marketing part time. When my income reached $17,000 a month, I quit my job, moved to the U.S., and have been a full-time networker ever since.
One of the biggest things that affected my childhood was that from the age of ten, I didn’t live with my parents. I stayed in Australia while they were doing business in Malaysia to provide for the family. I wanted to make sure I didn’t repeat this with our kids. Because of the choices we made in this profession, we are able to take our kids to school every day, have meals together, and spend more time with them than most parents do.
Once you went full time, how did you go about building your business?
Nattida: I always wanted to make my parents proud. They taught me, “Find someone who has what you want, and do what they do.” There was no better example for me than my parents, because I lived and breathed everything they taught since I was young. They are the upline I always wanted to live up to. Ever since I got started in network marketing, I’ve had a dream to retire them and pick up the baton.
A challenge for me was trying to live up to what I assumed were their expectations. I saw them build internationally and teach about stepping out of your comfort zone.
Born in California, I moved to Thailand when I was 10. I lived there until I was 18, then moved back to California.
Chad was born in Malaysia and moved to Australia when he was eight. He lived there for 20 years before moving to California.
When we came together in 2007, we built organically in California, where neither of us had any connections. One thing we quickly learned was to “just take action.” Success is not just about positive thinking, but about positive action.
When our company was going to open in Vietnam, we would go to Vietnamese town to meet people. The cool thing about California is that it’s a melting pot, so we would choose a town and build relationships. Our goal was to meet as many people as possible, and that’s how we built our network from scratch.
It definitely required us to step out of our comfort zone. I’m naturally an introvert, even though a lot of people today see me as bubbly and a social butterfly. It takes a lot of energy for me to go out and talk to strangers. I continue to tell myself, “You want to be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.”
They’ve pushed me out of my comfort zone since I was young. For instance, public speaking was—and still is—one of my biggest fears. I remember when I first got started, I had no choice, because my mom would say, “Okay, the next person to present is Nattida.” She’d push me in the water and I had to swim.
The biggest killer of fear is action, and that’s what she has constantly taught us. Today we instill in our kids that in order to get rid of fear, you just have to step into that fear and take action. In our business, we literally went out and built our cold market into a warm market. We learned as we went, and eventually we mastered going out and making new friends in places where we had no presence.
Chad and I always say, “An empty calendar is an empty bank account.” Whenever our calendar looks empty, we make sure to fill it. If there’s nothing, we reach out and make appointments. When we have no one to meet, we still go out and meet someone, because we know that’s how our business grows.
Chad: When talking to people, Nattida and I never leave with a “dead end.” Our favorite question is, “Who do you know that you think would be great at this?” That simple sentence has brought us connections around the world.
Before we had kids, we used to travel internationally about 70 percent of the time. That one question has allowed us to fly everywhere and meet the right people to build our business. We may meet someone in London, who leads us to a qualified leader in another part of the world, and that’s how we’ve built an international organization. The company we’re in right now feels like our true home, because it’s open in 195 countries.
Since we were teenagers, we’ve been building globally. Growing up on different continents, we developed a sense of people. We understand different cultures, for instance in America people eat bread while in Thailand they eat noodles. You can’t serve one to the other, or vice versa. We understand that concept very clearly, not just from observing people, but because our parents taught us about culture diversity, stepping out of our comfort, and doing our best.
Nattida: Being able to watch my parents as a little child and see them train was huge. They would continuously tell me, “Do it, do it, and do it until the job gets done—and never give up!” Or, “All you can do is all you can do, and all you can do is enough.” We now say that ourselves. There have been many times when we felt like quitting, but having a best friend and soulmate cheering you on makes all the difference.
When I want to give up, Chad pushes me and says, “No. Just take action.” When he feels like quitting, I say the same thing to him. It’s amazing to have a power partner to do this with, along with having power parents to inspire us. Every parent wishes for their children to be better than they were. We are grateful for the chance to step into our own leadership because of our parents’ guidance. Now all of us combined form a power team.
Network marketing is like a traditional business on steroids. In traditional business you have rejection and over 90 percent of new businesses fail the first year, but somehow it doesn’t feel personal. In our business, we hear no’s all the time, and we tend to take it personally. When I was in my early 20s, this was a big issue for me. When someone rejected my offer, I was struck by self-doubt and felt unworthy.
A lot of new people struggle with that fear of failure. After we’ve been doing this for so long, we realize that failure is just a part of learning. Today we tell ourselves, “You failed? Good. Go fail again. Continue to fail until you succeed.” We also tell our daughter and two sons that when you fail, you just get up and do it again. Winners never quit, and quitters never win.
Today the reason I sometimes feel like quitting is different from when I was in my 20s. There are constant ups and downs in this profession, because things happen, but your view of the profession evolves. One downside of this business is seeing people who don’t succeed. But what we realized is that even though we see people who don’t succeed, we never see a person who can’t succeed. There’s a huge difference. What got me completely over feeling like quitting is knowing that this is my purpose.
Doing what you love is freedom, and loving what you do is happiness. I am the happiest when I’m able to inspire others to be their best and do their best, and I know this is my God-given purpose. I always knew I’m meant to help others step out of their comfort zone, and there’s no better medium than network marketing, because you can do it with large numbers of people. That realization has removed any doubt about what we are meant to do, especially since we partner now with a company that’s more than a business; it’s a movement that inspires us to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As your team grew, how did your different activities shift, also with the advent of social media and advancing technologies?
Chad: What helped us the most was associating with other successful leaders. What attracted me to Nat and Chanida in the beginning was that they would earn in a month what I used to make in a year at a job, and they had the time freedom I wanted and didn’t have. What helped us to shift gears and become leaders ourselves was being able to spend time with leaders of leaders.
We’ve been fortunate to be coached by and spend time with some of the best in this profession. We were able to mingle with the inner circles of leadership since we were really young. Hanging around some of these top earners as teenagers really filled our minds with visions of what’s possible in this business.
We realized top achievers know things we don’t know, and often we don’t even know what we don’t know. I believe that someone who has a higher rank and bigger check than I do knows something I don’t know. That’s why we’re always learning. We remain humble. With that attitude, we are able to help more people in this business reach their highest potential. The advantage we have is that we learned from our parents, not just from books.
Nattida: The cool part about where we are right now is that in just four months of partnering with our current company, we became top earners not only in our company but in the entire network marketing profession. It’s always been our dream, and we knew we were destined to become top achievers, but to see it happen so quickly is mind blowing. We’ve been going 100 miles an hour, and we have not even had time to let it sink in.
The reason we’re so fired up is that we’ve finally found a company with a vision that’s bigger than ourselves. We’re not just part of a company; we’ve joined a movement, which is fueled by technology. There’s nothing that beats belly to belly relationships and we believe in the power of meeting someone face to face, building that trust and creating that bond. However, we live in a technology-driven world, and the fact that we can build virtual relationships as well is unparalleled. This, combined with our company’s product offering, is what allows us to grow at an unprecedented rate.
Network marketing is the proverbial homebased business, and for the first time, we are truly building a global business from home. For the past couple of weeks, we’ve continuously done over a million US dollars of sales in each seven-day period. In the last two months, we did only four in-person meetings—everything else we did online. That’s completely new to us, and it’s very exciting. Before, we would focus on one weekly event. Here in California, people don’t want to drive after they come home from work. Having to go out to attend meetings is a hassle—and feels boring.
We used to focus on one or two in-person events a week, and that’s how we would grow our business. Now we’re having four online meetings a day. Imagine that: from two a week… to four a day. In the new teams we’re launching, everyone is doing four meetings per day as well. That’s why our organization is seeing exponential growth.
The fact that we can build this from home, with a product you don’t need to sample or test, a revolutionary product we can all share online, is phenomenal. Being open in 195 countries, we’re able to go on Facebook and see who we know in Europe, who we know in Asia, or in Latin America. Anyone is now able to build globally with just the click of a mouse. That has really accelerated our growth.
Another factor that took our business to the next level is we’ve finally grasped the concept of “putting others first.” Yes, we always put others first, but we still had ourselves in the equation, as in, “If I put others first, I will succeed.” Once we took ourselves out of the equation entirely and simply started doing it for others, our business transformed.
With this new business venture, we have definitely become more of a “yes” couple. Before, if we were tired, we said, “Let’s do it tomorrow.” Now, whenever someone asks us for anything, the answer is yes, even at 3:00 in the morning. “How can we help? How can we serve you?” We barely sleep, because we have such a big purpose right now. It’s not about us; we want to make sure that the people who come on board can succeed and win big. We’ve found something that’s for winners who have not won yet.
In one of our trainings, we learned that, if you just add an extra two hours a day of productivity, and maybe an extra three hours on weekend days, if you total that up, at the end of the year it’s as though you’ve added an extra three months of productivity. For myself and Chad, we’ve been going non-stop since July, and it’s by choice, because we are in very high momentum.
How big is your team right now?
Nattida: We have built a team of over 30,000 in less than four months. Our business is completely customer-driven, so we enroll people who when they join, may not even like network marketing, but who are completely on board with the product. From there, they end up becoming business builders, because when their friends see them use the product, they want it. We don’t have to oversell or go into huge detail about it all. Because of our online presence, people are coming to us. We have been so busy responding to the demand that we haven’t not even begun to tap our list yet.
Chad: Our company has its own webinar system, and we also use Zoom, Skype, Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber, Line—whatever message system people prefer in different regions.
As Nattida and I were taught, our biggest motto from the very beginning is NOW—No Opportunity Waits. Sometimes we’ll be lying in bed just going through some of our mail at 2 AM, and someone will message us from Asia, or Europe, or Australia. I’ll reply, “Let’s jump on a webinar now,” because no opportunity waits. I am a face-to-face person; I love to meet people, and if I can’t be physically present with them, then I love to do a video chat, so that they can see my eyes—and I can see theirs. I can feel them, because my style is to interview people rather than present information. My position is, “I don’t need anybody.” We look in people’s eyes and see if we want to work with them.
Nattida: Another reason we’re excelling has to do with our CEO, Fabio Galdi, and COO, Alessandro Senatore. They both have huge vision, and I think when you partner with a company that knows where they’re headed, and you’re aligned with their vision, that’s when magic happens.
We have an amazing synergy, because what they embody is that in order to grow, you must be willing to change. Since the moment we joined, we have constantly seen them take proactive steps to improve and tweak things. When they notice something isn’t working, they’re on it right away.
They know technology changes quickly, and that was a fear of mine when my parents introduced me to this company. The cool part was that once we partnered with them we realized, yes, technology changes all the time, but so does this company. It’s innovative and always several steps ahead.
Integrity is very important to us. Often people see us as the top producers in our company, so they try to go over whoever introduced them to to the business and get us to sponsor them. We always tell them, “No, let’s go back to the line of sponsorship.” We’ve learned that this is the best way to build, as it creates trust in the organization, and your team will only flourish with trust. It took us a few years to learn this, but once we did, magic happened. We now promise ourselves to always build with love, integrity, and vision, and we’re doing everything we can to instill this in our organization.
Chad: I’m very thankful for this business. Coming from a position where in the beginning, I wanted nothing to do with it, I am now living a life that most people only dream of. It took massive action to achieve this—and going against the grain. The people I went to school with didn’t do these things. I wanted to have a change for my family, and because of what we’ve gone through and experienced from a young age, we are now able to impact many lives in a positive way. We’re always looking to learn more and share with others what we know will help them. We appreciate all the incredible role models we meet in this profession, but the biggest gift for me is that I’m able to spend time with my family.