Lloyd ‘Coach’ Tomer by TNMM Editor

After 20 years in the field with his first company, and with the heart of a Pastor, Coach Tomer brings his leadership helping other’s create success and fun with Your Travel Biz. How did you get involved in the network marketing industry, Lloyd? I was the Pastor at a church for a number of years. The church started out with just 35 people and it grew and grew. We eventually had several services with attendance over 2000. Of course, we occasionally had guests in, we had Pat Boone, the Gaither’s and the Oakridge Boys there for instance, and that sort of thing draws larger crowds. We had remodeled a local theater building that held a couple thousand people and so the church grew. After a seven year battle with cancer, my wife, who was truly my partner, passed away. I stayed for a year after that but it wasn’t the same any longer, it wasn’t fun and just no longer seemed to be the place I ought to be. So what I did at that time was look at my life, this was about 27 years ago.  NULL

I was happy with a lot of things,

I was happy with my two sons, who were married and out on their own, but I was broke. I had earned $10,200 in 1980 and had a lot of fun in the ministry

But, I was not making enough money and still searching for what I was supposed to do with my life.

Certainly, from a financial point of view, taking from scripture the adage to ‘leave an inheritance for your children’s children’, it was clear I wasn’t even leaving enough for them to bury me, so that’s when I decided to change that. That is when I ran into network marketing. I was speaking at a Life Underwriter’s seminar, where a friend of mine, Obed Henderson, who works for Massachusetts Mutual asked me to come up to speak to their people at their Christmas banquet. It was a Whole Life Underwriter’s seminar in Mattoon, Illinois and there was discussion about how something was spreading across the country, where this group was coming in and selling term insurance for about a fourth of what they were charging for whole life insurance. In addition, this new group was showing people how to take what they were saving on the cost, put it into a Mutual Fund, and realizing ten times the return for the same amount of money. They continued talking about how these new guys coming in were the bad guys and needed to be stopped before they got into the Illinois area because they were too much competition. Plus they mentioned that many of the reps with this new company were making $100,000 a year! My ears perked up then because I had only made around $10,000 the year before and they were only paying me about $40 to come and speak so I wanted to know more and asked them to tell me the company’s name. They were talking about A. L. Williams so I called Don in Georgia and over New Years, 1981, I went down and checked them out and joined. It was a great group of people that I surrounded myself with very quickly and quite soon my downline was selling about $2 billion in life insurance every year. We had quite a successful group. We had almost 5000 people licensed and selling insurance. In many insurance companies, even the larger ones, their whole company was not much larger than that. So ‘Coach’, how did you grow a downline to those kinds of numbers? By having a minister’s heart. I saw in the ministry, that more couples have problems around money, than any other thing. Money really tore up so many families. There were many wonderful people in my church that just could not become financially organized.

So I thought, if I could help people and teach people how to handle their money properly I could contribute a lot of value to their lives.

I didn’t just set out to sell an insurance policy. I set out to show and teach them how to save on insurance and put the money they saved into a mutual fund to get a better return. Then I got them to look at their credit card debt and see how they could clean that up and make better choices. I just had a heart to help people and it was a passion! I would never tell you I don’t like to make money. I love to make money but I would ten times prefer to help people. I want to help them make money. I tried to do two things; I told the personal group that I had direct to me at that time,

“Let’s stick together and I’ll help you become wealthy. And we’ll help other people become wealthy, even if they don’t join our company, by teaching them proper financial principles.”

So we had a great passion for it, and we were able to create a great team. I hope some of them picked up the same passion, and that is how we did it. So it sounds like what works for you, is really listening to what people need, and addressing that? Yes, it really is true that if you listen to what people need, and help enough people get what they want, it’s amazing what will happen in your life. We helped a quarter of a million clients, in other words, people who bought something, so I feel we helped those people make a better choice, financially, in their lives. When I retired, after 20 years, all of my directs, those people I had personally brought into the business, every one of them have been with me for 20 years or more.

The point is, we don’t just recruit people. We talk to them about working together and then we work together to achieve their financial goals.

Everyone of my directs, within 3-4 years, was earning at least $100,000 a year and continued to do so up to the time I turned my business over to my son, Frank, who is still running that business very successfully. How long ago was it that you passed that business to Frank? That was the end of the year in 2001. He officially took over in January 2002. He took over the offices; in fact, he’s still down there in Benton, IL where we had the church, which is still one of the most flourishing churches in the area. When you passed this off to Frank, were you looking at retirement? I think I was looking at fulfillment rather than retirement. Frank and I together, were making a lot of money. The last year we made $1.2 million and we saved our money as we went along. Within three or four years I had gotten up to around a half million and it steadily increased until that last full year, I guess it was 2000, when we earned that $1.2 million. But you see, on a Christmas Eve, two weeks before my 16th birthday, my mother, who had battled cancer for seven years, gathered us all together and said to my oldest brother, John, “You’re going to stay here and help your father on the farm.” and he did and that was easy. Then she said to my sister, Roma, “You’re going to go to college and be a teacher.” And she did and she taught for 40 years and retired. Then she said to my sister, Faye, “You’re going to become a teacher, too” and Faye did, and that was easy, she just retired last year. Then my mother looked at me and she said, “Lloyd, God has something real special for you. You’re going to be part of something making this world a better place to live. Go find it.” Well that was a little tougher! I said, “Can’t I just go to school and become a teacher?” Therefore, I think all my life I have been searching. I think that’s why I had the 13 years of preaching; I was trying to find out what that thing was that I was supposed to do that was going to make an impact. Oh, I know we had an impact on the town, and maybe the larger community. We did a lot of traveling, speaking to churches that wanted to know how we grew such a large church. But you know, you do that kind of speaking and people tend to pick it apart and it doesn’t really make much of a difference because they don’t really want to do what you suggest because it’s work. After my wife died, it just wasn’t fun any longer so I knew I hadn’t found that thing that I was supposed to do. Now when I got involved with what has now become Primerica I made a lot
of money. I had become wealthy. But I still didn’t feel like I found what I was supposed to do. Here I was, 67 years old, I had trusts set up for my kids, I was secure and in a place where most people would say that was pretty good. After 20 years of working hard and taking care of my money the way I was teaching others to take care of their money I was in a good position. My only ‘bad’ habit was a passion for cars and motorcycles so I had some of those but we saved money.

Then what happened was I was still looking for fulfillment. I was looking for that thing I was supposed to do.

In fact, if I am perfectly honest, I suppose I still wake up frequently thinking that I’m looking for that thing. Of course, now I see, literally, thousands and thousands of people that we have helped.


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