Based in Fresno, California, Jose Luis Pastrana was one of the numerous minimum wage workers you see in the fields when driving through Central California. Looking for a better life, he stumbled upon network marketing and saw it as an option to pursue his dreams. Today Jose Luis has a strong sense of urgency to share what he has found with hungry Latinos who are willing to pay the price for success.—J.G.

Where were you before you got into this business?
I was born in Oaxaca, Mexico in a humble family of hardworking people with great values and many limitations. From an early age, I started working in agriculture and in 2006 I immigrated to the United States to do the same thing with the hope of having a better lifestyle.

A friend had sold me on the American Dream, but when I arrived in this country I found that it was not as I had been told. I started working in the fields, picking and packaging strawberries, grapes, and almonds, but I was underpaid because I did not have work papers at the time.

I was earning the minimum wage of $480 to $500 per week, which was limiting what I could do with my life. I felt frustrated because I knew I had skills for which I could get paid much more. The people around me had no ambition, so I felt alone and depressed.

Dissatisfied with my income and lifestyle, all I wanted to do was get to the weekend so I could party and drink to forget my problems. I did not like being this way, but I did not see a way out. Not speaking English, with my immigration status limiting my options, I had no opportunity to find a better job. I was in a dire financial situation, living pay check to pay check. I felt terrible towards my wife and children, who were always lacking and desiring things we could not buy.

The work in the field was hard because of the heat (often more than 90° F or 32° C) and stressful because of the managers, who never gave me time to play with my baby or go on vacation with my family. I was constantly in a bad mood, took refuge in alcohol, and was about to throw my marriage overboard.

In 2010 I met a person by chance as I was asking for an address. We quickly became friends because he was from the same place I am from. Knowing that I was seeking different opportunities, he invited me to a network marketing presentation, during which my mind was opened to other possibilities.

In 2011 I joined network marketing and that’s how my life changed “from tragic to magic.” I finally have the time freedom I wanted so much for myself and my family.

My boss at the field told me not to quit my job to do MLM, or that I would be returning begging. Once he saw my success, he was impressed and asked for information about the business.

How did you get started?
My beginnings in network marketing were not easy. The person I registered under did not teach me anything. Looking for guidance, I ran into people who humiliated me, cheated me, and ruined my wife’s credit, causing us worse problems than we already had. But I kept firm because I had the conviction and certainty that one day I was going to get it right.

“Never see dollar signs when looking at your prospects.”

Looking for help here and there, I started attending events. My dream grew bigger and I could see how I needed to build myself first. I believed I could be a leader and this is how I discovered my abilities and grew in the profession despite all the obstacles.

I stayed with my first company for five years, developing my abilities through audios and seminars. When I did not see the results I was looking for, I decided to try another opportunity, in which I faced new challenges. The leader who signed me up left the company shortly thereafter, so I had to seek support on my own. As soon as I enrolled my first direct partners, I created my own five-Step training system, provoking controversy among my upline leaders.

But that did not stop my vision of being successful in that company, where I eventually met my current mentor and friend Armand Puyolt. Armand taught me and confirmed that the five steps to success I was teaching are the key to duplication. We started seeing results in income and building solid networks.

What were your daily activities then and now?
In the beginning I had to overcome many fears. I had no self-confidence. Thankfully I was able to overcome my fears quickly by taking massive action. In network marketing, consistent daily activity is fundamental to business growth. Here are the five steps I continue to take every day:

  1. Have product with me at all times so I can share samples and sell retail.
  2. Prospect, including starting conversations with strangers and turning them into friends.
  3. Follow up with a phone call or text message.
  4. Sort to see if someone will be a business builder or simply a product user.
  5. Duplicate this process throughout my team.

These five steps led me to grow and achieve success, and allowed my team to succeed as well.

Through hard work and thanks to the close guidance I received from my upline leaders, my success in my current company happened quite quickly. I was able to go from picking fruits to now making $60,000 a month in just six months.

It’s still hard to believe for me, but it shows that with the right opportunity, the right support system, and the right attitude, anything is possible.

What’s your favorite prospecting method?
At first I did traditional person-to-person meetings with people I knew, as well as with new contacts. It gave me results, but currently I use social networks to grow my group faster, since it allows me to contact more people in any part of the world. This has made my whole group grow exponentially across cultures and time zones. Today social networking is my favorite way to prospect.

“Network marketing may be the hardest thing you can do, but it’s worth to pay the price.”

My daily activities consist of team calls, home meetings, individual meetings, company update calls, and trainings to keep team members up to date and involved.

We create duplication in my team through our example of following the five-step system consistently. This has made it so that the leadership is being built in depth into the network and remains solid. My motto has always been: “La palabra convence pero el ejemplo arrastra,” which translates to “Words convince, but the example moves [to action].”

Who were your mentors and what leadership lessons did you learn?
In my business career, I have had several mentors and books that I continue reading. Think and Grow Rich is one of them. Books and audios by Jim Rohn and Dr. John C Maxwell are some of the personal improvement resources that have helped me stay focused on achieving my goal.

My current mentor, Armand Puyolt, taught me how to lead with love since this business is about helping people through respect and loving your neighbor.

My advice is to never see dollar signs when looking at your prospects and always stay humble despite your success.

Be teachable and never say or think that you know everything.

Always attend company events and be at  all the trainings, as this will motivate your team. As a leader you want to be there to give the example.

Above all, never give up on achieving your dreams and goals. Don’t let anybody steal your dream, no matter where you are in the process or what’s happening in your company. Network marketing is possibly the hardest thing you can do, but it’s worth to pay the price of success.

What are your dreams today?
My main dream and vision is to help thousands of people get off the traditional track of working a job that keeps them broke, and take their lives “from tragic to magic” through our profession of network marketing.

I see a lot of financial need in my Latino community, so I’m passionate about showing people how our profession can be an option for anyone who wants to pursue bigger dreams.