Diane Walker by TNMM Editor

Based on her early experiences, Diane, a 12 year veteran, refuses to ‘put all her eggs in one basket’, so she’s with two networking companies: Cognigen Networks and SendOutCards. She’s at the top level with each. She may retire— someday— but right now, she’s just having too much fun!

I’d love to see a lot of people get to the top of the company and realize their dreams whatever they are. I may someday retire but I can’t imagine really retiring because this is just such fun.

Diane one of the ‘laws’ of network marketing is thou shalt not serve two masters, and you’re in two different companies. Tell me about that. Well, my first five years in network marketing were horrible, with many ups and downs, and I had to learn on my own. I realized early on that I was not comfortable putting all my eggs in one basket. I decided I was willing to break out of the norm and do things differently. So, my first company was built. I didn’t build them together; I simply added another one that fit… that way if something happened to one I’d still have an income.  NULL And had something happened to you? Oh yes! I had companies go out of business on me, and I had companies that didn’t live up to the message, but I was much too stubborn to give up. I knew I could find some honest companies that would last and I wanted to create multiple income streams. Has that presented any unique challenges or difficulties for you? No… because I’m always upfront with my current company before I start working with another company. I let them know I’m not likely ever to have just one company. I’ve never represented a company that had those kinds of rules. I don’t cross line recruit; I keep them pretty much separate. It really all comes down to relationships and getting to know people.

When I’m talking with prospects it’s pretty easy to tell which might be the best fit for them.

You know, some people may not want to be in a phone business and some people may not want to be in a card business, so I can help them explore what they want. So how did you first become aware of network marketing? What got your attention about it? It was odd. I received a letter in the mail about a guy that was hurt and couldn’t work anymore. He was really thankful for the income he was receiving through network marketing. At the time the company I was with was having challenges and downsizing and I thought, “Gosh, I want to find something else that I can do where I’m not tied into a job.” And so the business caught my attention. What was your job at the time, Diane? I was with a defense contractor and of course they were downsizing. They went from about 2,800 to 700. I didn’t get laid off, but I kept thinking it could be right around the corner and it was really a depressing environment that I wanted to get out of. So you saw this letter about somebody who was replacing their income? Yes, and it was a really intriguing letter and it insinuated that all you had to do was mail these letters and they’d take care of the rest. Of course, I was really shy and I didn’t want to talk to anybody, so this sounded interesting and easy. So I mailed LOTS of letters! And how did that work out? It didn’t! I later found out they were taking the letters we were mailing and putting people into another company. So what was next!? Tell me all your gory stories! Well I realized, okay… that didn’t work, but I was introduced to network marketing and I had to think that sometimes it does work. For awhile I looked at everything that came along and I’d think, “Oh, that looks good!” so I’d do that for a while and then realize it wasn’t very honest or whatever, so I’d have to leave it.

I went through a couple of companies before I even found out how to research companies. What looks good isn’t always good… it pays to look for who is behind the curtain.

So when and how did you finally find a home? Actually, I have to say Cognigen was really the first real company I found and I’ve been with them for seven years. I met the founder on the Internet and he was somebody I had admired, because he always took a stand for integrity and if something was dishonest he told people it was dishonest. So, when I found out he was going to put his company into network marketing I said, “Sign me up! I don’t know anything about it, but I know this man had integrity!” So, I joined and started building the phone business. Tell me how it went. What did you discover? What did you learn? Wow, I learned a lot about networking in general and about networking on the Internet— and the Internet is a whole different world. I like Internet marketing. You can build relationships with other people and if you help enough other people get where they want to go you don’t have to worry about you. So how did you start out? What kinds of things did you begin to do? I learned how to talk to people on the phone and on the Internet. I learned how to market a product and how to help people save money. Some people don’t want to do network marketing and I had to learn that you want customers too! I learned how to do a lot from other people and I learned how to learn. Actually, I learned a lot from your first magazine, Upline. In fact, without Upline I would probably have given up. Then I would read the stories and think, “If these people can do this I can too.” So can you share a couple of things that you learned from that? Sure, I learned a lot about personal growth and development and how to think outside of the box.

I was really shy at the time and I would read about how to share a business with others and I’d think I could do that if I didn’t have to talk to people, but of course you have to talk to other people.

I learned how to take the time with people. One thing that bothers me that I sometimes see in our industry is the idea of going out to sponsor a bunch of people and see who sticks. I don’t agree with that at all. I like to help people develop themselves and their business. People join for a reason and they have dreams and if you can help them go in and find what they want and get it then your business takes care of itself. Diane, what were some of the things that helped you not to be so shy? I guess just throwing myself into situations where I simply had to do it. I knew that if I didn’t step outside of the box and outside of my comfort zone I would never succeed in building a business, because how could I teach someone else to do something I couldn’t do? I’ve always worked my business on the Internet, which has made it a bit easier, but in the last three or four months I’ve joined my local Chamber of Commerce and gone out and met some people, because with the new product I have I figured if I don’t build in my local market someone else will. I figured I needed to learn how to do that and the last three months have been really a lot of fun. Tell me some of the things that you’ve discovered and learned how to do. I’ve learned how to go to a meeting and quickly and easily tell people what my product is, where before I wouldn’t even open my mouth.

I learned it by doing it, by pushing past my fear and being willing to sound silly and do it anyway. Now, I’ve discovered that the more you do it the easier and more comfortable it gets, so you just do it more.

Were there any particular tools and instruction that helped you? Reading and listening to a lot of personal development and industry tapes, books and articles and following instruction and advice from various people in the industry. Certainly there is you, John, and Jerry Clark
is wonderful, I just absolutely love him. I listen to Michael Oliver and his Natural Selling as well as Kim Klaver. A lot of the people that actually teach you by giving examples and you try it out and discover that it’s not so hard. It’s really just trying and doing it. Does that make sense? Yes, of course! Were there any things that stand out to you… specific things that were most valuable for you? Yes, Jerry Clark was speaking on a cruise I was on several years ago, and one thing that stands out in my mind was that we had signed up on the cruise to get some of his books and tapes and they didn’t come. I sent an email trying to follow up on these things I had paid for and nobody answered. So, I called the phone number to see where my books were. Again, nobody answered, I got a recording, but nobody called me back.

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