In the fall of 2013, four young and dynamic businessmen got together in Utah to launch a new network marketing company. Familiar with the business model and having experienced different degrees of success in it, they also saw some flaws in how it was practiced and set out to tweak and optimize what wasn’t working. Today they love what they have created and where they are going. Their message to network marketing professionals is, “If your motivation is to be of service, and you are armed with a good product and a company with integrity in management and ownership, you can make great money and build a sustainable business.”—J.G.
Travis: I’ve been in network marketing for over 20 years. After I graduated with a marketing degree, I started working for a network marketing startup. I felt like a fish out of water. Everything I’d learned about marketing was different here. We were selling products that were way overpriced, and we were selling trips to Tahiti. I didn’t understand the business model at all.
I fell in love with network marketing when I started to go on the road as a spokesperson for the company. I would go out and meet with sales associates, and I would sell or talk about the opportunity. In that process I was able to meet leaders and families, and understand why they needed this business in their lives. Network marketing is a relevant option for people who are not employable, or those who are tired of trading dollars for hours.
I remember meeting a single mother with four children. She was trying to raise them on a minimum wage salary, because she didn’t have an education. When she came across network marketing, she was told, “All you need to do is this. Just duplicate that, and you will have residual income.” She really took to it, and it changed her perception of herself. It gave her greater value, and it also provided a different lifestyle for her children, teaching them to think differently. When I heard this story, I understood what network marketing is all about—and fell in love with it.
I worked for that startup for eight years. It allowed me to live in Japan, where I got my international experience. I worked with not only families, but also leadership, in a whole different country and culture. This opened my eyes to how the busines was relevant, not just here in the U.S., but all over the world. I saw the potential network marketing has on a global scale.
My boss there left to start his own network marketing company and he took me with him. I was now part of a new startup. Both of those companies went on to do over $500 million in annual sales, but I was with them from their first $100,000. I was able to see companies grow amazingly from the start. I traveled to 29 countries, lived in Europe and Asia. It’s all I’ve ever done—and I absolutely loved it.
I also saw some holes in how the business model was put into practice. There were some really good concepts—and also some bad ones. We put our current company together because we wanted to create a sustainable business model with a strong foundation. I’ve seen too many people build businesses and then the company falls apart, and they have to find a whole new home again. We think we identified the things that don’t work.
Derek: I was introduced to network marketing by a couple of very successful distributors at age 19. The first thing that struck me was their lifestyle. They were six-figure earners, but I was really surprised at how much freedom they had. They lived in this incredible home and they were able to be at all their kids’ school activities. They took their kids traveling around the world. I thought, “Wow, these are ordinary people who are able to live this amazing lifestyle.”
They offered to show me the ropes and I went on to build a distributorship. I probably would have never made the conscious choice to become a network marketer on my own, just like I probably would have never decided to become a golfer either, but if Tiger Woods showed up on my doorstep with a set of clubs, I’d probably join him.
I was able to become successful by working with this couple as mentors. They helped me navigate some of the minefields of the profession. I saw how people who wouldn’t have had any other opportunity to do something big and meaningful with their lives were able to do that through this business.
I fell in love with the idea that anyone has the ability to generate a resource for themselves out of that personal empowerment. I don’t know of another business that offers the possibilities network marketing offers.
After doing quite well by working with this team and having access to those resources, I was able to transition to the corporate side and did some consulting with a couple of companies. Eventually I transitioned fully into the corporate world. I have seen every aspect of the business, and I’m just as excited about it now as I was the first day I was introduced to the concept.
Shawn: My first career was insurance. I worked for one of the large health insurance companies in Utah, and got quite a bit of experience there. Then I decided to branch out and became an insurance agent. Insurance is a little bit like network marketing, in that you build a business that generates residual income.
My introduction to network marketing came on the investment side. In 2002 I got a knock on my door from my neighbor asking me if I would be interested in looking into an investment opportunity. I told him yes, and a week later I found myself in a room with six guys explaining how they were going to go around the world and sell juice and become Utah’s next billion-dollar company. I decided to take that opportunity and that company went on to do almost what they said they were going to do.
From there, I invested in another startup, but that company really struggled for the first year, and I thought I had lost my investment. A year later they decided to change their approach. They changed their product and name, and they went on to be a billion-dollar company.
I went on to invest in a few other companies. Had a few other winners; had a few that didn’t go so well. In the last company I invested in, I met Travis and Derek. They asked me to come on board to work on the corporate side, and that’s when I learned what this business is all about.
Once my eyes were opened to a lot of the things we were disenchanted with, we wanted to make a change. Travis, Derek, and I got together on many occasions, sharing our frustrations with each other and envisioning where the business was going. That’s when we came across David Brown, and through a series of calls and attempts we connected. We all felt it was a meant-to-be situation, because after we expressed our frustrations, a vision emerged of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do. A new company was created in the fall of 2013, and in the past 3 years we’ve been able to see changes in people’s lives that wouldn’t have happened without us. I’m grateful for what we’re doing, and happy to be moving forward.
David: I’m a little bit older than my three partners. My college education and initial career was in accounting. I worked for an international Fortune 500 company as a staff accountant and became their comptroller.
In 1982 I was newlywed and we had just had our first child. We were living in an apartment and our neighbors invited us over one night. After a friendly dinner, a whiteboard appeared and we watched circles being drawn. That was my first introduction to network marketing—and I liked the concept. I also discovered quickly that if a person was going to be successful, they had to believe in the product. It had to be so good that they wouldn’t hesitate to share it with others.
I ended up not joining that first company, but living in Utah I was presented with many opportunities. Each time I would look at the product and ask myself, “How viable is this? Would I feel good about sharing this with my friends?”
I ended up joining a couple of companies and having success as a distributor. I built organizations very quickly, but in several cases on the corporate end they weren’t prepared for the growth, and they kind of imploded. In another case, there was a lack of integrity and ethics in the ownership, and that company ended up destroying itself because of that.
Along this process of being introduced to various companies I had always been engaged in working out and playing racquetball, and I’d had an interest in taking supplements. Through a network marketing company I was introduced to a supplement that for the first time when I took it I could feel a difference. I chose not to sign up as a marketer, but just be a preferred customer.
This started me on a journey of digging into nutrition, wellness, and anti-aging. Long story short, I ended up consulting in business operations, helping people set up their IT, their staffing, their SOPs, and so on. At one point I worked with a health and nutrition startup that had a couple of PhDs on staff in their research and development. Because I had done some study on my own, I started asking them questions about supplementation. By the time I finished that contract, one of them said, “You know, Dave, you seem to really understand research and development. You might want to consider a career change.”
I took about a year to bounce around that idea. In 1992 I got into partnership with an MD and we developed our first formula, a supplement for improving blood chemistry. It did what it was supposed to do, and people liked it. Fast forward to 2009, another partner and I introduced a blood chemistry product to a little network marketing company that was about to go out of business. Within a few months the product sold so well the company turned the corner. To this day, they’re still selling tons of that product.
Similarly to what my partners have shared, I recognized the strengths of network marketing. It’s a wonderful way to get a product into the hands of people. Unfortunately, we also saw some red flags. For example, I didn’t like how many companies seemed to create a culture of materialism. They wanted their distributors to center their whole life on achieving that next rank or earning the Rolex. Achieving and acquiring became the main purpose for doing the business.
As I supplied product to this company, things were going well financially, but I couldn’t find a company that was actually executing the model properly. In the fall of 2013 I decided I would start my own company, but I knew how complicated and involved that would be, and that I would need help. In September 2013, through an interesting chain of events, I met Shawn, who was already working with Travis and Derek for a network marketing company. They were dissatisfied with how the company was run and wanted to start their own company.
They recognized they needed to have good product, so they wanted to meet. I didn’t know these guys or what kind of company they wanted to start, so my agenda going into that meeting was to tactfully tell them no face to face, rather than the cold no over the phone.
As we sat down, it turned out that how they felt was exactly in line with what I wanted to create. They showed me a video they had created that captured the essence of what network marketing should be, and I loved it.
I walked out of that meeting knowing we had found each other for a reason. Within two weeks we were able to put everything together to join forces. We launched our company in May 2014 and it has been a wonderful experience.
What sets us apart is that we don’t tell people, “Go out there and get that Rolex, or get car qualified.” Our message is, “We’ve great products that really help people improve their lives.” We teach people to be service oriented. The financial part comes naturally as a result.
Travis: Our main message is encouraging people to help others. Yes, we are a network marketing company, but we would rather be distinguished as a health company that uses network marketing as its distribution model. We’re always conscientious of how our products work. Are they effective, but also are they affordable? We want to be able to share something as simple as a sample pack, then let the consumer make the decision whether to come on board.
One of the problems I saw in network marketing was too much focus on recruiting. In the first company I worked for, I remember one month we had 25,000 new recruits come in, but we lost 20,000. I was always scratching my head, “How do you fix the turnover rate?”
Well, if you’re not solely focused on recruiting, but also on selling product to customers, then you build a solid customer base, and those who want to join the ranks of associate will make that decision on their own, because they see how easy it is. That’s how you get longevity. If you’re in business, you have to have customers. We’re not selling the franchise, we’re selling the product.
To make sure we do that, we price our products affordably. We make sure you can walk into a GNC or a Walmart or Walgreens and find a similar product at the same price points. We’re not gouging people with a car program and a vacation, but actual product that is affordable. The idea was, if we do this, you’re going to have continual customers coming back who may not be interested in being recruited, who may not be interested in network marketing, but are wanting the benefits our product offers. If appropriate, we want the transition to become a distributor to be natural and progressive, rather than forced and “recruited,” so to speak.
Next, we created our sample program. The product that David developed is so effective that people, in just one week trial, can lose 4 to 5 pounds. Our approach is, “Try the sample, give it a week. If it works, you know what to do.”
One of our biggest sellers is actually our sample packs, and we give them at a steep discount to our associates. The compensation of sample packs is not in the compensation plan; it comes from the transaction between the distributor and the customer. There’s a large enough dollar difference that it’s the biggest commission check we don’t see. People are building businesses by just moving sample packs.
Next comes the opportunity of recruiting and building a downline. Some of our distributors have become million-dollar earners in their first year. We make sure both ends of the spectrum work, whether you choose to build a customer base or a distributor base.
Derek: We see many companies encouraging consumer behaviors that aren’t sustainable. We wanted to create a company people can rely on; that when they build it, they can expect it to last. A lot of companies put the emphasis on, “Get in now, and if you don’t buy the $1,000 business-builder package, you’re not really serious about the business.” They use techniques that are pretty hype-y. We want people to know that their involvement with our company is going to yield real results and objective benefits. Rather than pushing people to make a big purchase, we say, “Don’t take our word for it. Just try a week’s supply, and if you like it, decide if you want to join us.”
Travis: I remember when we started a leader reached out to me, and I found myself delivering the pitch. “This is why you want to join us. We’re going to be the next billion-dollar…” In the middle of my pitch, I stopped myself and said, “You know what? Forget what I just said. I’m going to send you a week’s sample in the mail, and I want you to try it.” This guy called me back on the fourth day and said, “What is in that product? I feel better. My wife feels better. I’m sold.” My point was made. I didn’t have to sell you on the company. I just wanted you to try the product. This guy was 26 years old and he became four-star ranked in our company, making well over $15,000 a month, simply by sharing a product.
Let me illustrate our philosophy with another story. To see how easy it was to demonstrate sampling the product, and before we were going to ask our associates to do it, myself, David, and a distributor went to a mall in Lubbock, Texas. We wanted to try this ourselves first with a cold market. So we were trolling this mall, asking people to try our product. It was exciting. David got his people to do it. I had a whole department store talking about it. Around the clothes people were talking about the product, losing weight, how you can build a business. This allowed us to tell our associates, “We’ve done it, and we know you can do it, too.”
Derek: By putting the emphasis on the results people are having, you don’t need to try to get them to stay in the company just because there’s a check involved, or because they might almost be at the next rank, or they might almost qualify for the next trip. If you have a company full of people who simply are there because they want to consume your product, that’s an extraordinarily sustainable model.
We conscientiously moved away from some of these traditional incentives like car programs, flashy jewelry, and trips to exotic places. Not that there’s anything wrong with driving a nice car or going on a nice trip. We just don’t want to define what success should look like for each individual, and by doing that it leaves us in a situation where the people who are here, are here because they want to be here. They are here because they want to continue to experience the benefits associated not just with our products, but also with the culture we created.
David: When you look at a traditional network marketing company, they all have their distributors, but they also have what they call retail customers—people who are just customers and are not engaged in the compensation plan. Typically, the majority of the monthly sales volume is coming from the people who are engaged in the marketing plan. Here we have retail customers, we have preferred customers, and we have associates. We move more volume with retail customers and preferred customers than we do with associates. We truly are a health product company, rather than an opportunity company.
I fell in love with network marketing when I saw the need for it. In traditional marketing, if you buy a Snickers bar, the dollar markup goes to a commercial or a paid celebrity to go on the Super Bowl, so you’ll consume more Snickers bars. In network marketing, we actually empower someone who wants to be at home, who simply by nature of sharing the product, teaches someone else to share a product. Those dollars instead of being spent on a celebrity or on a commercial or endorsement are paid out to everyday people who are true advocates of your product, and who need the income. I’ve also seen it’s the most efficient and fastest way to bring a product to market, compared to having it sit on the shelf at a store.
I believe network marketing is the way of the future, because we are so inundated with advertisements. There’s so much noise that we choose not to listen, but when you have a friend who shares their experience, you listen, because they cut through the noise, because of the personal relationship. Our business model is built on trust, developing relationships, and allowing people to be free and choose their own destiny.
We are completely in alignment with that concept, and it’s what drives us every day. When I go on the road, and I meet associates and see how their lives have changed, I come back and say, “Guys, this is why we’re doing what we’re doing, and that’s why when we leave this planet, we’re going to leave with our heads held high, because we made a difference in many families across the world.”