Armand Puyolt is a legendary network marketing leader and company owner whose goal is to help as many people as possible raise their quality of life and create a better future.
Having experienced poverty and lack as a child, Armand committed himself from an early age to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Thanks to the vehicle of network marketing, he was able to buy his first home at age 18, became a million-dollar earner at age 20, and a five-million-dollar earner at age 25.
At age 40, he was making an eight-figure income (in 2015) as a distributor, when together with his wife, Dr. Esther Ramos, he decided to start his own wellness company, which he launched in September 2016.
Ten months later 400,000 distributors had joined in 33 countries and within a year they reached USD$100 million in sales.
Armand and Esther faced many obstacles, but their tireless dedication to their family and team helped them beat the odds and continue to fuel their passion to help those in need.
Armand and Esther live in Southern California with their six children between the ages of 14 and 26. Their business and family motto is #LeadWithLove.—J.G.
Being a successful field leader, why did you decide to start your own company?
I’ve helped launch over 20 MLM companies in the past. I’ve helped create comp plans and product launches. I’ve been a consultant to many network marketing companies and mentor to thousands of leaders. We’ve helped a lot of Companies reach over $100 million a year in sales.
With the last company I was in as a distributor, I noticed things that often happen when owners start thinking of money more than the people in the company. Decisions were being made to grow, which is not wrong, but I don’t agree with forgetting about the people who got you there. I don’t believe in using people as stepping stones, and then discarding them after they worked hard to build the foundation.
I’ve seen this in multiple companies I’ve been in. I was not happy with the way people were being treated, especially the minorities. When people were doing the work and creating results, and all of a sudden they’re no longer acknowledged for how they helped the company grow, that doesn’t sit well with me.
I’ve always been a man who stood up for everybody, making sure people were taken care of and everybody was treated equally, because I know what it feels like not to be acknowledged for your contribution.
It got to the point where I was told, “Armand, just cash your check. Don’t worry about it.” That’s when I felt I was in the wrong place. I’m not blaming anyone. It’s just that business owners look at the numbers, and sometimes they miss the bigger picture.
So how did you respond?
Instead of trying to change the CEO’s mindset, which was futile at the time, I decided we had to go our own way. I had a choice: follow the same road, earning my eight figures a year, and keep my mouth shut; or change roads and go in a different direction, following my heart. I did the latter and let them continue on their journey. It was the most peaceful way to say, “I respect your thoughts, but I’m not agreeing, and I’m going this way.”
At that point, we started projecting ideas for what we wanted to do. This included creating new products we wanted to bring to market, and transferring knowledge to people in ways we hadn’t been able to do in previous companies. We brought out the whiteboard and started drawing our vision of how we wanted to move forward.
We went through a lot, laying the ground work, and we built a hundred-million-dollar company within a year. We never thought so many people were going to follow us. I knew many leaders who were making money in other companies, but I didn’t figure they were going to move over.
We had the idea of a new company, rumors started getting out, we did a pre-launch in September 2016, and we had 46,000 reps sign up over the weekend.
How did you meet the demand?
We couldn’t. Our back office servers went down, and kept crashing with so many people trying to get in the tree and sign up.
It was a shocking weekend, because I never expected so many people to respond. I thought maybe 5,000 to 10,000 would join by the end of the year. That weekend was amazing moment.
When Monday came around, people still kept crashing the system. People were screaming. It was something I’ve never seen before in all my years in network marketing.
The following week we reached 65,000 by Friday, and it kept growing incrementally. Our manufacturing facility, which we own, was not strong enough for that volume. We start falling behind, because we only projected 5,000 to 10,000 people. Our merchant services were calling us. They couldn’t believe the amounts of money starting to come in out of nowhere. Nobody expects this from a brand new business. It was kind of like the stock market, when you hear the ding-ding-ding!
To me, it was also a scary moment, because I did not believe, that so many people were just going to let everything go and come over for a dream. It was overwhelming to me the way people jumped.
10+ Worldwide Locations
How are your numbers today?
We’re touching on 400,000 reps in under 10 months. It has just been an awesome ride. We’ve been growing and growing, and every month we’re making huge strides. Our products are still selling out. We can’t produce them fast enough. Our production team is working as fast as possible trying to keep up with everything. We are also buying more and more machines to produce larger quantities faster.
One of the things we did differently when we launched is that I looked at the errors we made with other companies. Having been involved with over 20 company launches, I had seen the mistakes we made along the way. I was able to anticipate and avoid those errors by promoting well, being honest, and moving forward.
Part of our plan was getting into foreign countries as fast as possible, but doing it legally. We wanted to put our money where our mouth was, so to speak. We started opening corporate buildings before we even launched in those countries. Other companies will come in and put up an office after they have built an organization to support it, and it’s usually a hole-in-the-wall office painted in the company colors painted with stickers on a wall. We invest in those countries because we believe in investing in people gets you the best ROI. Seeing these impressive buildings gave faith to a lot of people. I think that’s one of the biggest reasons people just flocked to us. They saw that we believed in them so much, that they were going to do well, that we were willing to invest in them before asking them to invest in us.
In addition to our headquarters in Southern California, we have buildings in Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia opening later this year. We are just about to open one in Guatemala. We have plans for buildings in the UK, Ghana, and Nigeria.
This issue is about building community. What do you think is attracting people and keeping them in?
We’ve always had a high retention rate, and I believe there are only three ways to obtain it. Number one, you have to have a powerful product that that can’t be found elsewhere. Our products are innovative and unique to us. Will there be copies in the future? Probably. But we have the head start. We have products people actually fall in love with. That’s number one.
But that’s only going to get you so far in creating retention, especially in network marketing. The strongest key to retention is people have to make money. We have to have a compensation plan where anybody, whether they are a professional networker or not, will make money from the get-go. If people make money, they will never look for anything else.
A third key is we “lead with love” leading to the point where you build a culture by building real relationships. We don’t try to build an army of salespeople, who are just going to bring in money. One of the key factors with us is that you will become part of the family.
When I travel, people often tell me, “Armand, why do you go to these places? You can get abducted.” My answer is, “Because we’re a family to them. We have to go meet the people who need us, so we can extend our arms to them. When you do that, you lock people into a community they will not let go of.
As an example, Esther and I regularly attend dinners at homes of distributors, no matter where they are, no matter what status they’re at. We go and sit with them and eat whatever they’re eating, and we become part of their family. People have deep respect for that, to the point where you become not only part of the community, but part of the fabric of their growth.
How do you teach people to acquire customers?
We teach people to get customers first. Later, we’ll sort through people “who loved the products” and find out who’s interested in the business.
Most people don’t understand that 98 percent of the population works for the remaining 2 percent, so 98 percent of the people will never be interested in business. They will just be customers—and that’s fine.
We teach people that customers create points, because they buy products. Points become ranks. Ranks become wealth. Every business needs to have a customer base that’s big enough to support the company.
One of the things we’re doing here is we are creating kiosks for our distributors. We actually launched our first kiosk this week at one of the big malls in Los Angeles, and we will be putting up over 200 before the end of the year.
We have plans for opening stores. These are going to be pickup and retail centers. Affiliates who take on these stores or kiosks—which we build and sell to them like franchises—these people will do sales to recoup their investment. What ends up happening is they strengthen their business at the same time. We teach them to sort through their customers and find out who are the business-minded people. Those are the ones we invite to the business.
There’s also the Five Steps to Success we teach everyone, and it’s never failed. You teach people to have product on hand, and to prospect for retail first. Teach them to love the product before they love the business, because if they love the product, they’ll never leave the product, even if business fails. If you teach them to love the business first, the minute they don’t like the business—and 98 percent of the people are not business-minded—they will leave the product and the business.
From there we teach everybody how to follow up, how to sort people, how to duplicate. Those are the steps we lead every single person to take, because we want customers. That’s the biggest priority for any business.
Let’s say I have a kiosk. I’m selling to shoppers in the mall. How do I find business builders?
We teach a follow-up process that’s very precise. Everyone who buys a product at this kiosk will get a professional follow-up call. “How did you like the product?” If they liked the product, we ask, “What were your product results?” We now have their testimonial.
Then we ask, “Who do you know that has the same issues you have?” Usually people who suffer from constipation live with people who have constipation, because they eat the same foods. People who are diabetic live with people who are diabetic, because they have the same diet.
They likely will say, “My uncle has this. My mom has this. My brother has this. My best friend has this,” and so on.
Once they answer that question, we use that information to offer them a spot in the pay plan. For example, we’ll say, “You just told me you love our tea, and that you had a phenomenal result. You told me your mom and your dad, your brother, and a couple friends can use this product. I can make a lot of money off you using your testimonial. What if I invite you to see what I do? Would you be interested in making some money, instead of me making the money?”
They might say, “I know where you’re going, but I’m not interested in business.” Then we just leave it at that. We’ll make them an offer to become a preferred customer so they can get the product at a better price.
Then we keep following up with them once in a while, just to keep in touch. We thank them for using the products and being a customer.
If a person says, “I like to learn more,” we take them to a meeting, or we sit down with them one on one. We teach them what we have, the 50-50-50 plan, which is you make 50 percent commission on retail sales, 50 percent fast start on distributor packs, and a 50 percent check match for every person you bring in. You get them interested in that, and then we move forward if they’re interested in the business.
The World Needs What We Have
Dr. Esther Ramos
One of the reasons we focus on Latin America is Armand knows a lot of places there where people are poor. With the little they earn, if we offer them an opportunity, they can live much better.
Sometimes people live with $20 a week, so adding a few dollars to this makes a big difference. That’s the reason we started our company, to give them hope, so they can actually make money through a different process then they have ever seen before.
These people work extremely hard, out of the necessity. They never complain and always do more than they are asked to do.
When people who make $20 a week get sick, they can’t afford to see a doctor, because the doctor might charge $40. Often just to sustain a home, the whole family has to work, so everyone can put in their $20.
When we bring them our products, it’s a big tool to help their health. Not everybody sees it, but those who do can turn their lives around.
That’s the dream we had when we started, and we have already reached many people like that all over the world.
It’s very difficult for any company to do what we do. We go to these places, plant our roots, look at what we’ve sown, and focus on where the growth is.
While other companies come in and try to get people to just sell product, we try to build a community. We come in to help. It doesn’t matter how poor you are. Our focus is to better ourselves, better our company, and better people by giving them hope.
Contrary to some things we experienced in previous companies, we want everybody to be treated fairly, no matter what their status is, especially the poor. Most of the time they are the last ones to get help.
That’s why when we work in South America and other parts of the world, like Africa, it wins our hearts. That’s one of the reasons Armand works so hard in developing countries.
We also like to help people in the US, but for the poor here in the US there are a lot of organizations to help them. People get used to getting help, and they don’t want to help themselves.
I was in a difficult situation myself. I had a child with cleft pallet. He had 13 operations. Till age 18 we were constantly going to the hospital with him. Kids like that in Peru or Mexico just suffer. If they get burned at home or are in a car accident, they go through a lot of pain, because they can’t get help.
Here we have organizations that help those people. We have children’s hospitals that take in kids with their moms for three months. They have access to support and donations. In Latin America, people don’t have that, so they need a tool like our company.
All businesses, not just network marketing, need to focus on giving more than receiving. Armand and I are not looking for money, we’re looking to see how much we can give to people. We launched our company based on a mission. It’s in our heart to help people.
One of the greatest stories we have right now that makes me tear up all the time is in Northern CA we have enrolled a lot of people who used to work in the fields, picking cherries, strawberries, working 60 hours a week for $300. Thanks to our company, most of these people are now making $3,000 to 4,000 a month, completely changing their life. We’re giving them the hope they need. More and more people they work with are seeing their success, and they’re coming with them because they are looking for hope for their families.
These people work very hard, in extreme temperatures. They don’t even get water. They don’t get paid by the hour, they get like 50 cents for each basket they fill with fruits. They have to walk long distances to turn in the baskets to get paid. They work with a lot of chemicals, and they don’t get masks, and so on.
It’s a very hard job, and the employers pay them as little as possible.
But now there is hope, people are talking about our company, “You can get paid and not suffer! There is a different way to make a living!”
Not everyone is going to jump into the opportunity, but now we have voices out there saying that something different is possible.
People join with the intention to grow, to earn with their heart.
No matter where I go, I always remember we didn’t need to become rich. We never thought people would follow the way they did. We thought we’d maybe have 5,000 peeps at prelaunch, and we were fine with that. We weren’t looking to pull people from other companies, but the power of the heart pulls and moves the heavens.
People started flocking to us, because they feel we have our heart in it. We came with a vehicle to help people. That’s why we named it the ark for people, to save them from hopelessness.
What can you share about building in emerging markets?
The first thing to know, whether you want to build in Latin America, Africa, or even Asian countries, is that people there are hungry. They’re eager to get going. Some of them are so poor that they desperately need that expansion. It’s powerful for us to be able to touch these people.
Why is Latin America such a fast growing market? A lot of companies out there do not understand it. That’s why they’re not successful there. They have to know that people there don’t have the kind of money people here have to invest. But if you give them the opportunity, they will work harder than almost anyone in the US.
Why is that? The US is a phenomenal country for business, but people are so burdened with debt that they don’t want to leave their jobs. They don’t want to do this full time. They need $2,000, $3,000, maybe $5,000 a month just to live day to day.
In the Latino community, for instance, if people can make USD$100 a week just doing one or two sales, they’re making more income than they’ve ever made. There are Latin communities where people make USD$20 a week at their job. They survive, but it’s not enough for them to grow. If you show them how to earn a minimum of USD$200 a week, guess what? They’re doing this full time, and they become professionals at this.
That’s the biggest distinction. The same thing goes for Africa, for Asia, for any region where people are hungry. If they can make more money with two sales than they can make in a week, they’re in. If you can find people to do this full time, your business will keep growing.
How do they find customers? Who can afford the products?
In developing countries like Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Peru, and so on, there are two types of people. There is the bottom, poor, and then there’s the rich. There’s no middle class. There are a lot of poor people who want to work, so they sell to the people who have the wealth.
Where do you go from here?
Our goal is not to be a billion-dollar company, although we are heading that direction. Our mindset is building a company where everybody can make money, no matter where they’re from.
We’re right now pushing product into about 33 countries. We want to get our footprint bigger. One big difference with most young companies is that we’re completely debt free. We’re owned by us, just one couple, Esther and myself. We own our buildings and facilities around the word. We know that the quality of the products will never drop. We want to make sure people understand that when they come to this company, they’re going to find a home.
Most people never know who their great-great-great-grandfather was—not by name or by picture or anything. The reason they don’t is their great-great-great-grandfather was never able to do anything so substantial, like a Walt Disney or a Henry Ford, that their family is going to remember what they did to change their lifestyles forever. We want to change that. We want our people to be so successful that, when they have great-great-great-grandkids, they will remember who they were and what they did to change the future of the family forever.
We’re here to create a legacy, more than anything else. I do believe we will become one of the largest network marketing companies in the near future. This is “the little engine that could.” We built in 10 months what other billion-dollar companies did in their first 10 years. We are growing at a rate that is so fast that we’re going to change the marketplace.
There are many network marketing companies out there, and I love them all, even though there some that are ruining the name for network marketing. I think by bringing in something real, something that has a heart, it’s going to change the profession, and that’s what we’re looking for.
Why? Because if the profession is well, guess what happens? We’re going to be well. If we’re well, people are going to do well. That’s why, as an ambassador of the profession, I’m rooting for all companies to make it.
Every company needs to find out that, number one, they need to respect the distributor as they are your building blocks. Many companies don’t pay them properly. Their comp plans don’t pay like we do. Right now, we’re pulling people in like crazy, and everybody’s making money.
In my tombstone I never want it to read how many millions Armand made, but how many millions of people I have helped in our lifetime to get out of the hole and better their lifestyle in any way possible.
We’re not looking to make people rich (although this is a real possibility), we’re working to make sure people can feed and clothe their families, and get access to the best education.
That’s our mission. Giving access to people to really make a better life, so that no matter where they’re born, whether in the dirt or with a silver spoon, they can begin to dream again and have a way to make their dream come true.