What John Haremza loves most is that in Network Marketing you truly own your life. You’re in control and you can live your life purpose. John Haremza grew up in Perham, Minnesota, a town of 2,000 people a few hundred miles north of Minneapolis and about 70 miles south of Fargo, North Dakota. Cold country in winter. Very. John’s dad was the janitor at the high-school. His mom worked in the dog food factory. John was the youngest, and along with his brother and three sisters the whole family lived with his grandmother until they’d saved enough money to have a home of their own. As John says, “We were poor, but I didn’t know it.” John was a normal kid, “fairly aggressive” as he remembers, but happy— until he started school. A popular book at the time was Dr. Rudolf Flesch’s Why Johnny Can’t Read, and that was this Johnny’s problem. He couldn’t. Developmental reading disorder, is called dyslexia today. Back then they just called John “slow, dumb, stupid”. NULL
John remembers overhearing his dad telling a good friend how “stupid” his son was. He crawled into the doghouse, laid down with his beloved black lab and cried his heart out. Each year of school just got worse for John. The teasing of grade school grew into taunting and tormenting. High school was humiliating. His teachers were frustrated and angry with him. Even John’s parents thought he was slow and they worried about how he would survive in the real world when he could not even read a menu. “It was brutal,” he says.
John Haremza didn’t suffer from low self-esteem. He had NO self-esteem!
John wouldn’t say “hi” to somebody in the hall unless they said “hello” to him first. When John was forced to stand and read in class he read every word one at a time, slowly. His nickname was “The Robot.” He became a total introvert. He tried to be invisible. (Life was less painful that way.) And he constantly tortured himself, asking, “What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with me?” Those were very difficult days. Despite— or perhaps because of— his disability, John was a hard worker. He was good with his hands. That doghouse he’d crawled into he built all by himself. In his senior year of high school, John got on a work program with the city. At the end of his school day, he’d spend two hours mowing lawns; then he’d stay late and help the mechanics maintain the equipment. The city manager who ran the street department was retiring and, based on his work ethic and how good he was mechanically, they offered John the job. He couldn’t believe it.
$12,000 a year, right out of high school, John thought he had struck it rich!
But before John even began his new job, he got a call from the Barrel O’ Fun Potato Chips people. They had an opening as a machine operator. One of the men at the city had told them about John. He went in for an interview and got the job. John started working right away. He’d stay after work and help out in the maintenance department. Shortly, a position opened up in maintenance, so John became part of that department. Nine bucks an hour. NINE BUCKS! John was in heaven. And so were his parents, because now John had a job and wasn’t going to be dependent on them. (He was still living at home.) A year into that job, John became the supervisor. He was very good at his job. Loved the work. Loved the people (and they loved him). He wore a beeper on his hip 24/7. Finally, John thought, “I’m important.” Nobody at the factory knew John was dyslexic. He hid it completely. He never told his workers what to do— and he never gave them written instruction. Instead, he would go work with them, hands-on, showing them what to do. He did that for four years. Then John learned about Network Marketing. John’s best friend Dan, home for the weekend from college, called and told John there were a couple of guys coming down from Minneapolis to talk about some water filters. He asked John to come listen to what they had to say. John thought Dan wanted him to build a display or evaluate the quality or the price of the filters— certainly not to get involved in any type of sales. Not John, the dyslexic, self-esteem challenged introvert; the Invisible Man. Due to a breakdown at the factory John arrived to the meeting two hours late in his blue shop uniform wearing a hairnet and smelling like potato chips. He saw the disappointment of “the two suits from Minneapolis” immediately. John knew what they were thinking, “We’ve been waiting two hours for this guy.” The “suits” demonstrated the water filter and the funky, yellow, nasty tasting water cleared right up, smell and everything. John thought it was magic. “Wow,” he said. “This is unbelievable. Everybody needs one of these.” John was so impressed he wrote a check on the spot for $480 and brought four filters home to show to his fiancé.
She, however, was not so impressed. It was the first week in December and they were getting married on the 17th.
John said, “Wait until you see what these things do.” Problem was, the water was perfect in his hometown. No change at all. His fiancé told him he’d been ripped off and he’d better stop payment on the check. But John HAD seen it work and told her he wanted to buy 40 of these filters, which was going to cost another $5,000. Convinced John had lost his mind she threatened to cancel the wedding. John told her, “If I don’t do this, and I run into somebody that did and they make a fortune… I don’t know if I could forgive you for that.” John bought the 40 filters. He got his parents to cosign a note. Even before his filters arrived, John was out to a neighboring town in the dead of winter knocking on doors. He sold one his first week. It was the easiest $59 he’d ever made in his life. He just knew, “We were going to be rich.” John’s older brother had also tasted the Kool Aid. He wanted to buy $5,000 worth, too. John told him, “I’ll let you in on this deal, but we got to make a pact: We’re not going to let anyone else know about this. I don’t want to create our competition.” John didn’t understand the Network Marketing business model at all. John’s first breakthrough in the business came when a leader in his organization told him, “Listen, I made $200,000 last year— and if you told me I had to knock on doors to do it, I’d have never done it.” He showed John the concept of leverage. Instead of going out there and selling a filter for $179 and earning $59, John needed to offer people a money making opportunity for $5,000. Shortly after that, John went to an event in Minneapolis where there were 1,000 people in the room. It was electric. A big guy with overalls walked across stage with one pant leg tucked in his boot wearing a baseball cap that was dented in the front. He told the audience he’d made $10,000 last month. That was all the money in the world to John. At that moment, John knew beyond any doubt…
“If that guy can do it, I can do it.”
In his four-years with that company, John made more than $400,000. Today, in his 23 year Network Marketing career, John Haremza— a dyslexic, introverted, $9 an hour maintenance man with no self-esteem from just below Fargo— has earned more than $11.5 million dollars. And John’s message for everyone is: “If I can do it… You can do it.” So, what were the values and skills John had, or that he developed and practiced, that created such remarkable success? John’s clear that the core of his success in Network Marketing came from his belief. “People buy people,” he says. “Your passion, posture, enthusiasm about what you’re doing attracts and influences others.” John thinks it was his sheer excitement that allowed him to sit down and talk to people, and even if they didn’t really understand what he was doing they wanted to do it, too, because John was on fire. The other thing John
credits his early success to was his use of tools. “Your excitement grabs somebody’s attention, then you let the tools do the persuading. John had an audiotape from his company. As John says, “If it moved I gave it a tape. If it didn’t move I kicked it, then if it moved I gave it a tape.” He talked to anybody and everybody. John knew most people thought he was crazy. Didn’t matter. He was looking for the person who thought, “What if he has something here?” “I think one of the reasons I’ve had such success in this industry, “ John said, “is I don’t buy anybody else’s story. I mean, look at my story.”
“You need to have a desire to change your life. You can learn, everything else, but you can’t put the heart in the lion.”
John’s learned that if somebody doesn’t have the desire, it’s unlikely they’re going to do what it takes to win. As far as John’s concerned, there was nothing magical about his success. “You’ve learned everything you need to know about Network Marketing in kindergarten. It’s called show and tell.” “We tell stories about our company, about our products, about what’s happened to us and what’s happened to others.” John learned the story by being involved; attending the meetings, listening to conference calls, and most importantly listening to audiotapes. John’s car became his university on wheels. John understood the importance of relationships in this business from the very start. “Given my childhood,” he says, “that was natural.” He knew that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, and John genuinely cared about people and it came through. John spent the next 12 years with that company and earned $4 million. Then he began all over again with a start-up company. It was “hand-to-mouth” in the beginning but in six and half years with his present company he’s made more than $6 million. “People are flea-trained,” John says, relating a story he learned from Zig Ziglar. “If you take a jar and fill it with fleas and put the lid on it, the fleas go crazy— jumping, jumping, jumping— because they love to jump and they’re trying to get out. But after hitting their heads on the lid time after time, they stop. They only jump high enough so they don’t hit lid. They’ve been conditioned. Take the lid off the jar and the fleas will never jump out. They’ll die in there.” Network Marketing took John out of the jar. John truly believes 90% of his success is the result of his working on himself; personal growth and development. Constantly trying to be better. Not settling. Is that what it takes to be million-dollar annual income earner?
“It’s doing things right versus almost right. And doing it all— every day.”
John speaks about setting the example. Caring about your people and belief. Put John in a company that he does not believe in and he’s not going to be able to get other people to do it. The best thing about Network Marketing for John is that he’s got stardom and his life. “Actors and athletes, the rich and famous, trade their freedoms for stardoms.” John said. “In Network Marketing you can have that same excitement; you can be a star and still be just a real person, a regular guy.” What John Haremza loves most is that in Network Marketing you truly own your life. You’re in control and you can live your life purpose. For John, that’s classically short, sweet and real: To have a positive impact on everyone he encounters. ___________________________ From The Greatest Networkers in the World
- Carolyn Wightman– Who Leads the Leaders by John Milton Fogg - September 1, 2013
- Ørjan Saele– Seeds of Greatness by John Milton Fogg - August 1, 2013
- Sarah Robbins – The Big Picture by John Milton Fogg - July 1, 2013