Skeptical, and a Bit of a Pain in the ....
I worked as a project manager for The Home Depot when my friend, Cindy, called to tell me she had something that would help with my blood sugar. Cindy knew I was having trouble keeping my blood sugar levels balanced, and that I also dealt with horrible headaches for most of my adult life. I cancelled lunch on her ive times because I knew she didn’t know anything about nutrition. I was already taking 12-20 vitamins a day trying to level out my blood sugar, and I didn’t believe her “powder in a can” would be any different.
But then she called and told me about a friend of hers, Mindy, who was a single mom. This single mom was working from home and had built a substantial Reliv business. At that point, I asked, “When are we going to lunch?”
My project manager job required me to not only work a lot of hours, but i also traveled to a different state almost every day. I was 28 years old, and I was tired. My friends didn’t know that I hated my job, though, because I didn’t complain. The only times I got to see them were Friday and Saturday nights, and we were having too much fun for me to think about my job.
After meeting with Cindy and Mindy, I agreed to take the products. “Don’t bother cashing my check,” I told Cindy, “Because this stuff probably isn’t going to work.” I will admit that in those early days, the only reason I took the product faithfully is because I really wanted to see if it worked. If I didn’t take it twice a day as advised, how would I know if it could make a difference?
This Stuff Actually Works!
I started taking Reliv NOW and Innergize on a Thursday, and at 8:00 pm the next Saturday night, Cindy called to follow-up with me. It wasn’t until she called that I realized I hadn’t eaten anything for eight hours, since lunch at noon. And I felt great - I was ecstatic!
If you know anyone with blood sugar issues, it’s imperative they stay on top of food intake. Before Reliv, I had to look at my watch to tell me when to eat (I had to have some type of food every 3-4 hours). I’ve been on Reliv since 1995, though, and I eat when I’m hungry. It’s a wonderful freedom to let my body tell me when it’s time to eat rather than my watch.
Is this a Real Business?
That Monday night, Cindy invited me to listen to a Reliv training call. I heard health and business stories that completely surprised me. I had gently teased Cindy about her “business” because I didn’t think it was a real business, but the stories I heard that night convinced me otherwise. After the call, I agreed to meet Cindy at an Opportunity Meeting the next night. I signed up two days later, June 1, 1995.
At that time, I was single and worked my business around my demanding work and travel schedule. In July, however, I attended a Reliv conference. I did mention that things happen for a reason, right?
Conference Changed My Perspective
The fact that I was at that conference in St. Louis a few weeks after I signed up is still pretty amazing to me. I had been at the Tuesday night meeting two days before the conference was scheduled to begin. A guy in my upline (people that sponsor someone before you that sponsors someone else before you is called an “upline”) heard I wasn’t planning to go to the conference.
I hadn't planned to attend a conference because those events were for "those" people, not me.
He asked me, “Val, do you want Reliv as a business?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“Then you need to be at the conference in St. Louis.”
Huh. That made me think. Working Reliv on a part-time basis his first year, this guy did pretty well.
Maybe what he said had value ...
To add to the thought of getting to St. Louis in just two days, I was scheduled to begin my first week-long vacation in six years. Did I really want to ditch my vacation plans for a detour to a network marketing Rah-Rah session?
I decided to take a look for myself that week, and I know without a doubt that if I hadn’t gone to that first conference, I wouldn’t have the life I have today.
What I saw there were a lot of good people making good money selling products that improved the health of those who took them. They weren’t doing anything I couldn’t do. More importantly, they were having fun doing what they were doing, and they were making a difference.
I Quit My Job
I came back from the conference excited, and in a month, I quit my job. I hadn’t yet replaced my prior income, but it was more fun to work Reliv than it was to work my full-time job.
When I left Home Depot, my mom was angry. My parents had unsuccessfully tried building a network marketing business when I was a kid, and combined with the fact that I was the first in my family to earn a college degree, she thought I had thrown my life away. My mom didn’t talk to me for two weeks.
I Didn't Listen
At first, I didn’t listen to what my Reliv mentors (my upline) tried to teach me. Initially, I tried to do everything on my own, which was a mistake. Consequently, it took me about six months to sponsor my first Master Affiliate (distributor at our highest profit level).
That was December of 1995, and that month I qualified for my first Caribbean cruise paid for by Reliv.
What changed? I started using my upline mentors to do appointments with me so that I could learn what to say about the company, products, and the marketing plan. I also heard how they answered questions; but more importantly, using my upline sponsors allowed me to demonstrate the duplication that is so critical to building a Reliv business.
From that point on, when I brought someone new into the business, I was able to say, “Remember how when I was new, I brought my friend (sponsor) with me?” It was so much easier to use my upline than it was to do things on my own.
Of course, after hearing how my mentors answered questions a few times, I was trained and empowered to meet with people on my own. But those initial appointments allowed me to learn answers to questions about the products and how people should take them for optimal results.
Dad Questions Business Decision
One year into my business, I was talking on the phone with my dad. I had sent him the Reliv products as a Father’s Day gift a year earlier, but he never took them. My first few months in the business, I was so excited about how much the products improved the health of those that took them, that I gave away a bunch of products to friends and family. There’s a lesson there ... don’t ever give away your products. People assume that if it’s free, it must not have value.
I told my dad about the cruise I had earned. His reaction was “You know, you’ve never really told me about what you’re doing.” He was right. I had told him about the products, but I hadn’t told him anything about the business. I then explained our marketing plan, and he came in as a Master Affiliate. My mom then didn’t talk to either one of us for two weeks.
Mom Steps Up
Oddly enough, it was my mom who kicked off their Reliv business. She wanted a new sofa. My dad told her that whatever money she earned selling Reliv, she could put toward buying the sofa. By setting appointments and using me to speak initially, we sold their Master Affiliate order in just two weeks, and Mom bought the sofa.
When my parents signed up, my plan was to go out to California (my home state) for a few days to help them get started. I stayed for two weeks, then another week, and finally ended up moving back to the small town where I grew up, Ridgecrest.
While there, we built like crazy! We had so much fun talking to people about Reliv and growing businesses. We had many people earning bonuses, and I even took first place in the country for volume in June 1997. That earned me a bonus!
My parents didn’t build a huge Reliv check. But they have stayed on our products since 1996, and they are enjoying life as healthy people in their 70’s. Most of my family takes Reliv products today, yet I am the only one to have built an income that has put our kids through private school, now pays college tuition, and affords us the freedom to travel whenever and wherever we want.
Success Means Different Things to Different People
That doesn’t mean the others haven’t been successful .... my mom helped countless friends improve their health, and we still have many people in Ridgecrest who use the products on a regular basis. Most of the Reliv distributors who signed up initially in Ridgecrest are small business owners, and theyhave been key to keeping that small town afloat during good times and bad. They happened to find success outside of Reliv, but they still use the products.
I qualified for my second Reliv cruise during April of 1998. On that cruise, there was a single guy from Chicago named Tom Moody. I was single, he was single ...