Dr. Luis and Evelia Arriaza are top producers in an established network marketing company based in San Diego. Leading an organization of over 160,000 people internationally from their home in Southern California, Dr. Luis and Evelia have developed a community they call the Spartan Culture, teaching everyday people how to master the “philosophy, art, and science” of network marketing. With over two decades of success as entrepreneurs, Dr. Luis and Evelia see their business as a ministry, helping people find their calling and live their God-given purpose.—J.G.
Tell us a little about your background.
Evelia: I was born in East Los Angeles to immigrant parents, who came to this country looking for opportunity. People think the immigrant dream is a big house with a white picket fence. It really isn’t. It’s a dream of possibility, hope, and change. My parents left their homeland Mexico to build a better future for my four brothers and two sisters. I came as the last of seven children, when my mother was 47 years old.
My parents taught me hard work at an early age. My father was a talented landscaper who had his own gardening business. Even at a young age, I recognized his exceptional work ethic and the love he had for people—and how his employees and clients loved him. He always told me to focus on people’s eyes, because they express someone’s truth.
My mother was a loving homemaker. My father, besides providing for our family, constantly helped new immigrants and often they would stay with us till they found stability. My mother didn’t mind taking care of house guests in addition to our family.
I have a degree from Azusa Pacific University and have worked full time since I was 17. Even while in high school, I worked 40 hours a week. Unfortunately, my father had a stroke when I was 13 and became paralyzed. He couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk, so I became the breadwinner for my family.
All these circumstances—from being born to immigrant parents and seeing how they forged ahead, to watching how they loved and served people—made me realize network marketing was a perfect fit for me. I thought, “I can actually do what I’ve witnessed my parents do all their life, and generate wealth in the process? What a great concept!” I fell in love with network marketing because it spoke to my essence.
Luis: My parents migrated from El Salvador to California 57 years ago, looking for a better life. Neither of them graduated from elementary school. They settled in South Central Los Angeles, the most troubled area of Los Angeles County. My youth was very challenging, with both parents working 50 to 60 hours a week, doing the best they could to keep us safe.
I started off in public school, and by second grade I moved to a small Catholic school. That’s where I met the first teacher who began to mold my identity.
I did so well that at the end of second grade, she gave me a test, which I passed. It allowed me to skip third grade, but my teacher had one condition: she told my mom she needed to read to me every day over summer.
My mom said, “Sure, what do I read?”
My teacher brought out what looked like an enormous book at the time. It was the first time anyone had ever opened the Bible to me. She opened it up to the book of Jeremiah and proceeded to read verse 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a bright future.”
The word prosper popped out at me, and I asked, “What does prosper mean?” She said, “It means to be wealthy in life—to be wealthy of happiness, of joy; to be kind, to be gracious, to be merciful, to be financially abundant.”
I said, “If the Bible, which is our guidebook, tells us to prosper, then why do my parents struggle so much?”
I’ll never forget my teacher’s response. She said, “You parents live how they live and have what they have because they don’t believe.”
At that moment I realized that believing in something was the key to progress and success in life.
How did this realization impact your life?
Luis: My mom and dad convinced me to go to school, and I bought into the promise of education. I fell in love with learning, and I graduated at age 24 as the second youngest doctor and only Latino in our program. We had a huge celebration with many guests and family members—but the next day I woke up and we were still struggling financially.
Education was clearly not the key to success. School may teach us how to learn, but not necessarily what to learn. I did what I always do when I need help—I started praying. I asked to come across somebody who had what I didn’t have and knew what I needed to know.
Soon I came across my first mentor, a man who proceeded to guide me for the next 19 years. I had never travelled or met a successful person before. This was prior to YouTube and TED talks, so I had never seen a lecture on leadership. This mentor taught me about values and priorities, and how to make sure that my goals matched my values. He taught me the power of living according to universal principles, principles my wife and I apply and share to this day.
We formed a tight relationship. He was the first person I would call every morning, and the last call I would make every evening. Thanks to his teachings and our hard work, my wife and I opened seven health centers in the first three years of our practice. By year four we earned our first million dollars in business.
After that relationship, I’ve had another mentor relationship for the last six years. For the past 25 years—my entire business life—I’ve had a mentor. I firmly believe that without a guide, we complicate our lives. We take a lot longer to get where we want to go. There’s a lot more headaches, heartaches, and there’s a lot of money lost.
Did this mentor introduce you to network marketing?
Luis: Actually, he didn’t. In 1999, when we had our first son, I lost my passion and desire to be in the office for extended periods of time. Because of the success we had in chiropractic, we began hosting seminars and eventually founded a personal development coaching business called Soul2Soul.
One evening after finishing a coaching session with a new client, I walked out of a hotel in Baldwin Park, California, and I saw a luxurious car parked in the entrance. The hotel was not in an affluent area, so this car really stood out. I instantly remembered some of my mentor’s words. He said that in everyone’s lifetime there’s forethought that, if acted upon, would make us wealthy.
Seeing that car, I thought, “Why would the owner be at this hotel?”
I went to the concierge and asked if he knew the owner. He said, “It’s a gentleman giving a presentation.”
Evelia and I had never been exposed to network marketing. I literally walked into a business presentation and sat in the back. I did not understand what it was about, but what I saw was a man with influence. I saw his leadership and his vision, and I proceeded to exchange cards with him. We sat down a couple days later, and a two-hour meeting turned into a seven-hour meeting.
I went to another presentation, didn’t understand much, but I felt a tremendous energy. More importantly, I saw that this was something we could do from home, as a family, and something we could duplicate. As a traditional business owner, if you’re not working in your business, it will produce less prosperity. In network marketing, as long as you have a stable system and successful duplication, you can grow to tremendous levels of impact and prosperity without investing 30 or 40 years of your life.
Evelia: We were born for network marketing, but we didn’t know it. We were never solicited or invited to any meetings. Finding it was definitely serendipitous.
Since we got married, we only experienced prosperity. God has always been with us, and Luis and I are very hard workers. Before we had kids, we’d work 16-hour days. I was at one clinic, he was in another. We were in our agreed season of building, and we didn’t have a lot of challenges.
Or rather, we don’t perceive things to be a challenge, for we know Who we serve. We know what God has called us to do, which enables us to not become emotional about things.
You saw the vision. You signed up, and what happened?
Evelia: We joined under a young boy who used to deliver pizza. He went on to become a top producer in two more companies, which is highly respectable, because when you can do it three times, you know it’s not luck. He signed us up, but then quickly the owner of that company became our mentor in network marketing, for which we are forever grateful.
We were taught the old school way, knee to knee, belly to belly, which has given us massive success. I like to say we were raised with good network marketing manners. Nowadays, we have tools like social networks that expand our reach, but in the end it’s still about building one relationship at a time.
After five years in that company, we resigned gracefully. We were having children and wanted to spend more time at home. The business was growing internationally and for almost three years, I was a single married mother, with Luis gone 48 weeks out of the year.
I remember our first month we generated a $53 check. We were excited, because it proved to us that the business model worked. We loved the concept that in order for us to do well, we had to help others do well first.
We already had a multimillion-dollar home and luxury cars. We already paid for everyone when we went to dinner. But we didn’t like the feeling that we couldn’t offer that possibility to our brothers and sisters, friends, and neighbors.
Seeing the possibility to help the people we loved was inspiring. Thirteen months into the business, our monthly check crested $100,000. This was 16 years ago.
What were some of your success strategies?
Luis: Our entire culture is based on a science, art, and philosophy of success in network marketing. The challenge is that people have no idea these three components exist. They never duplicate the science, most don’t know how to connect with the art, and without the philosophy it makes network marketing nearly impossible.
We kept it incredibly simple. We learned this from our mentor who gave us the raw tenets and principles of multilevel marketing. He taught us a system which allows you to take someone from point A to point Z, and you can guide them based on this philosophy, which we teach to this day.
The average person doesn’t know who they are and what they want. That’s why they become, as Jim Rohn says, part of the “wandering generality.” They’re just meandering through life, bouncing from one job to another, from one company to another, and not really growing their roots, simply because they’ve never been taught what it takes to grow a healthy and successful business.
The science of what we do is a system anyone can follow to create success, regardless of who they are, how long they’ve been in, or how many times they’ve failed. If they connect and submit to our system, they’re going to see success in network marketing.
The second part is the art—the art of helping people find themselves. This takes a little more time, because we have to uncover layers and layers of events, of experiences, of emotions that were never supposed to be part of your journey, but that you allowed to be there, and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. You’re now living a life you don’t want, following ideas that aren’t yours, and behaving in ways that aren’t aligned with your spirit.
We have a way, through leadership and what we call “neurology marketing,” to uncover these layers, so we can get to who you are, your essence. When we connect that to the science, we now have a systematic approach to building a successful network marketing organization, nationally or internationally. We’re very fortunate to have had these two mentors in our lives early on in our network marketing career who put us on the path of success.
How did you find your current company?
Evelia: After retiring from our first company, we decided that if we ever did network marketing again, we would have to own the company. In 2010, with the help of our mentor of 19 years, we launched a nutritional company selling a liver detoxification system, based on a need we had seen with a lot of our patients.
Our partner was a chiropractor who also had a degree in nutrition, so he understood chemistry and biology. Together we formulated a product and launched our own network marketing company.
We had experience in network marketing, but not in manufacturing products. Even though we were underfunded, two years later we had grown into Mexico and the Philippines.
As owners we were reinvesting everything back into the business. But our partner wanted to make money much faster. Unbeknownst to us, he decided to merge our company with another large network marketing company. He misrepresented the operating agreement, stating that he was a 51 percent owner. The company he approached did not do its due diligence, and proceeded to announce the merger to our distributors via email and video. We were completely blindsided.
This was in March 2012. We were devastated—or rather, we went numb.
Before that, the same partner had told us about forming an alliance with our current company, but we weren’t open to it. We didn’t start our company to sell it. We knew our product was needed, and that network marketing was the best platform to distribute it.
The day after our partner’s betrayal, Steve Wallach, the owner of our current company, called me and said, “I heard what happened. I know you and Luis are going to come out of this, but I want you to consider how much more we can do together than apart. Let’s see how we can help.”
Luis and I agreed that we didn’t want to perform corporate duties. We are network marketers. We said, “We will take on a role as a distributor, just like everyone else.”
That was five years ago. We have won every award and our team has broken every record in our company since.
How did you rebuild your life?
Luis: We first went through a process of massive detoxifying—our thoughts, our emotions, our behavior. Certain things had to be exposed, because like a photograph, you can’t develop if there isn’t that process of exposure. We learned that it’s not your condition, but your decisions that determine your destiny.
Although we had lost everything, we knew we could still make daily decision that were going to begin manifesting what we wanted, regardless of how painful it was, regardless of the lawsuits, regardless of what people were saying. We knew we still had the power to decide, and that power of decision is what helped us navigate the first two years.
Next, my wife and I did something we’ve always done in our 20 years of marriage. We sat down and made agreements. Often people want to build businesses, but they don’t have agreements at home. To build a monumental organization, it takes not only everything you have, it takes everything your spouse has, everything your kids have, and everything everyone around you has. But you can’t give everything you have if you don’t have agreements with your core team—your family.
After we made agreements, we hit the road running. For two years, we had no parties, no anniversaries, no birthdays. We were grinding it out seven days a week. We brought out our system, and we never deviated from it:
We started doing this over and over and over.
At first we had a few people. Then a few more joined. Then a few more. We started in a tiny room in the back of a chiropractic office. It didn’t matter—we knew that if we were disciplined and consistent with the system, it was going to give us more than we wanted. We started growing, and growing, and growing.
We became masters of rank advancing. As a leader, you must help people move to the highest rank as quickly as possible. We formed a system for how to move up, how to help a lot of people, and how to build a stable income.
Soon we moved into our present building, which is our world Spartan headquarters. We continued the training on the four key components of network marketing:
We just kept repeating and repeating it.
As Tony Robbins says, “Repetition is the mother of skill.” We understood that if we just repeated the process long enough for it to move from the conscious to the subconscious, the new standard would become the default.
In the last five years, we’ve brought in close to 160,000 people, mostly in the US and Mexico. Close to 90 percent of the leaders in our company are in our organization. We have opened many states. When I say “we,” that means the Spartan Culture. We were the pioneers of Mexico. We were key players in opening the Philippines.
Where do you go from here?
Luis: I firmly believe we are just getting started. We have some of our company’s top income earners in our organization, because we’ve been consistent and disciplined. We do certain things most people don’t do. For instance, every morning at 5 AM we have a 20 to 30 minute meditation/visualization call. People jump on from all over the world.
Every morning our leaders ask themselves five questions, before they make one post on Facebook or make their first call:
These questions put you on track to having your subconscious mind believe that you’ve already finished the day before you’ve begun it. If you can finish your day psychologically, neurologically, before you’ve begun it, the probability of success, happiness, joy, and prosperity is going to be huge.
This is how we’ve built a large, functional, monetizing network marketing organization over the past five years.
To succeed in network marketing, we have to understand people. If I’m going to recruit someone who works at McDonalds, or a mechanic, or a housewife, I have to give them a schooling and a system they can follow.
We have our Spartan University where we conduct trainings Monday through Thursday. Today we had Introduction to Leadership with 150 people present and another 1,000 people online. On Mondays we have about 170 people present, and 2,000 to 3,000 people on our Facebook Live.
It’s in a private group, because we firmly believe that exclusivity is part of the growth in any organization. You must make your people feel special. We have almost 4,000 members on our team page, and every week we offer two or three new teachings.
We must understand that motivation, inspiration, is not enough. You have to teach people how to become business owners. At Spartan University, we take people through all these processes. In four, five, six months, they are well-equipped. Their neurology has changed. We have broken paradigms. We have removed limitations, and now they see a viable, functional business they can monetize.
Evelia: We have leaders in various states and in Mexico who take these messages and teach their teams. They disseminate the same information, but with their own flavor and personality.
We have a very tight culture, because we have worked very hard for our people. We have cried with them, bled with them. We’re very hands-on. We don’t just do this over the phone. We go to where they are and spend time with them. We’re a family, to the point where if Luis says, “Tomorrow we’re having a call at 3 AM,” everyone will be there.
Luis: We work under the assumption that people don’t know how to build an organization or how to build relationships. Our philosophy is that we’re not moving products, we’re building people. We’re building a culture based on two key components—values and beliefs.
When you work with people who value what you value and believe what you believe, the result will always be trust and cooperation. Without those, you cannot build an organization. It doesn’t matter how amazing your product is, you won’t be able to move it.
Evelia and I have dedicated our lives to building this culture. In order for this culture to duplicate, we provide a system, so the science is the same, but the art is your individuality. We want Maria to be Maria. We want Jose to be Jose. But we all focus on the same philosophy, the science and art of becoming a professional network marketer.
Evelia: What excites us today is the same thing that excited us five years ago—or 16 years ago when we had our first network marketing experience. It’s serving people, and making a tangible difference in their lives.
We look at each person we meet as our next top producer. What tomorrow holds is doing more of what God has called us to do. To us, this is a ministry. You don’t have to be a pastor or have a church to have a ministry. We see how this is changing people’s lives, how it’s bringing hope to families, how it’s restoring relationships.
We want to grow into international markets. We started with Mexico and the Philippines. We’ll be going to Columbia this fall and to Spain next year. A lot of new doors are opening, and we know God has a global plan for us. We see Team Spartan filling up the Staples Center with 15,000 people, easily. We know that when many like-minded people come together with an intent to serve others, things happen, because there’s no better platform than network marketing.
Luis: As it says in Jeremiah 29:11, God has a plan for everyone to prosper. In the last 25 years, I’ve come across too many people who’ve missed their plan, because they couldn’t see where they were going.
One of my mentors told me, “The vitality of your life is directly proportional to the vividness of your vision.” If only people would take time to clarify their vision, they could create their life by design, not by default—a life they passionately love, with no limitations.
The Bible says, “God is not a respecter of people.” If He’s given one person this, He can give you and me the same thing. May our journey be an inspiration to many. Evelia and I have a calling to help multitudes of people find their vision and purpose. I believe this business is going to be a springboard to something greater in our lives.