Leah Coleman was a corporate executive looking for more time with her family when she found network marketing. She used her talent for multitasking to build a side business, which after a few months allowed her to quit her job. Today she leads a global team from her home in New Jersey.—J.G.

Born in Staten Island, New York Leah grew up with a stay-at-home mom who had a direct sales business. “My mom used to run around our apartment complex delivering skin care products and collecting her money,” Leah remembers. “As a little girl, I watched her make household items and sell them at the summer flea markets with her skincare products.”

Observing and helping her mom every summer taught Leah the principle of profit and demand. “The thought of making a profit off something people liked excited me,” says Leah. “My mom would have many customers who came back for more.”

After Leah finished school, she got started in a corporate career and became a sales executive for Walmart. “For years I was a buyer overseeing million-dollar accounts,” she says. “It was a nice career budgeting these large accounts, but the long days and nights away from my family were no fun.”

Even when her workday was over, Leah took her company laptop home to finish up her work.

“At the time I was married with two children,” she says. “When we moved to New Jersey looking for a better life, I realized that to keep my lifestyle I would need to continue working in New York City, which meant a long daily commute.”

 Leah was working 9-to-5 with a newborn and two older children at home. Each day she spent five hours commuting back and forth from New Jersey to New York City.

“Five days a week I faced time poverty and missed precious memories with my family,” says Leah. “Every day, I would dread the long commute and say to myself there had to be a better way. I was simply chasing the NYC money to pay the bills, and I was unhappy. I missed my family and could not understand how anyone could work 40 or more hours a week for 40 years to retire on only 40 percent of their income. How could people do this every day and enjoy a healthy family life?”

Every day Leah would ask God for another way, and one day He answered her. “In 2009 a church friend invited me to a home party,” she says. “My friend did not tell me what it was about. She just said to come and hang out with the ladies. She knew I was home with a newborn and needed to get out for some adult conversation.”

Leah agreed to go because she wanted to have some fun and be with other women. Little did she know she would be introduced to a home-based business and everything it had to offer.

“I was intrigued with the many ways you could make unlimited income from home, while enjoying quality time with your family. It also opened my eyes to the fact that you can gain time and financial freedom by promoting a ‘sizzle’ product, something people love and keep buying over and over.”

Leah was intrigued because she saw an opportunity to make “right now” money, as well as earn residual income from building a team. She began to study network marketing and how to succeed in the profession. She learned that you can’t let fear get in the way when you want to achieve success.

“I used to be afraid to reach out and talk to people,” she says. “I couldn’t see myself walking up to a complete stranger and making eye contact to start up a conversation. But the more I studied the top leaders in the profession, the more I learned that I had to step out of my comfort zone if I wanted to grow and earn more. Today, if you come within two feet, I am connecting with you.”

The more Leah learned, the more she fell in love with the business. “I really wanted to grow it and leave my corporate career, but I was scared to talk about it with family and friends,” she says. “I thought they would not understand and think I was crazy.”

Launching her business while working a 9-to-5 job was challenging. Leah would leave her house at 6 am and not get home until 8 or 9 pm. When she got home, there was little or no time to get on company or team calls.

“I knew I had to dedicate some time to my business,” she says, “so I found a way: I invested in cordless headsets which allowed me to listen to recorded calls while commuting. I could clean the house and multitask with my headsets. This is when my business began to take off. In just a few months I earned my first five-figure check and resigned from corporate America! I have been home for the past five years as a stay-at-home mom growing my network marketing team and income.

Leah prospects daily online and offline. “I love prospecting niche markets, such as sports moms, stay-at-home moms, and nail polish clubs,” she says. “Social media has been my venue of choice for connecting with people and building relationships. I tell my team all the time, ‘If you are going to spend hours on social media, you might as well get paid from it!’

“Hashtag scouting with Instagram and Facebook groups are my favorite ways to find people of interest. Before introducing people to my opportunity or product, I make sure to first develop relationships.

Today Leah uses an easy system she learned when she joined her new company six months ago. It’s called the Five Steps to Success.

Five Steps to Success

  1. Sampling. Make sure you have enough products on hand to sell (this is called “sampling your business”). If you do not have product, you are out of business.
  2. Ask a question to grab people’s attention. “Do you know anyone who would love to lose up to 7 pounds in 7 days with a product so natural that even a 5-month-old can use it?”
  3. Follow up. If you don’t follow up with people, your potential customers will end up with your competition.
  4. Sorting. Figure out if an individual will become a customer or a business partner. If you don’t sort in your business, you may be enrolling only customers as your business partners.
  5. Duplication. Repeat and teach Steps 1 through 4 to your business partners so that they can “retail to recruit” for success.

Leah “ghost follows” many mentors and teachers she talks to in her head. “Google will keep you informed of some amazing leaders out there,” she says. “My go-to person is my previous leader whom I met in my first opportunity. She did not personally enroll me, but I was in her organization. She saw me as a diamond in the rough, so she reached out to me and put me under her wing. She taught me that to win big you have to build relationships and genuinely care about people. Thank you, Sharon Page, for this secret to success.

“One of my favorite books is Boss Women Pray. Not your average MLM book, it talks about the aspects of being a successful spiritual entrepreneur.

“If you are new to network marketing, you want to read Your Best Year in Network Marketing by Mark Yarnell. This book will help you get over your fears and achieve your dreams.

Reflecting on the most important lessons she teaches her team, Leah says what she’s learned throughout the years is “to keep God first, be consistent, build tight relationships, push fear aside, and don’t let anyone tell you different.”

So far in her network marketing career, Leah has built in a couple of different countries in Central and South America, which gave her a chance to travel internationally and learn about other cultures.

“I quickly understood that in order to build that working relationship, you must understand people’s walk and talk,” she says. “You must understand how they think, and why. You must embrace who they are and honor their differences in order to do business with them long term.”

Leah believes building a tight relationship with international leaders will leave a lasting impact on her business, which is rapidly expanding globally.

Leah’s dream is to reach more working parents around the world and let them know there is a better way to achieve time and financial freedom.

“I see myself helping to lead the vision of network marketing into many households all over the world. As a mom, I know adding an extra $500 or $1,000 to a household budget can make a huge difference. Being able to afford the extras for the family puts a smile on every mom’s or dad’s face.”