Rising to become one of the top income-producers for Team National before the age of 30, Ryan confidently combines the wisdom of the experienced with the energy and determination of youth to take action opening the door to ‘possibility thinking’ for all network marketers, including young adults! Ryan, how did you get started in network marketing and what were you doing before? When I first heard of network marketing I was 25 years old and I was running a mortgage company in Belleview, FL. that I had started in 1997. In October of 1999, a good friend of mine talked to me about Team National. Prior to that, my wife, Jennifer, and I were working together and we had tried a couple of different things. At that time we had been married for about six years, we had one small child and we weren’t making a lot of money. I think my tax returns for 1999 were showing about $18,000 for the year. So when that friend called me about Team National, my first response was that it probably would work well for other people but probably not for me. We had tried two other network marketing companies and had not made any real money. My wife was definitely not excited about me even taking a look at it. We were in six figure debt, and other things were going to. NULL It sounded different. What sounded different this time, Ryan? Actually, there were a couple of different things. For one,
the point of life where I was at was different. Maybe, just the difference in me at the time was the change needed.
But the concept of the company was just so unique. I could really see where they could cut some of my expenses, so I began to do a mental justification as to why I was going to join. Because even if I wasn’t going to make money, it looked like I really could save money, I could immediately see a benefit here. That was different than the other two companies’. Where there are products involved, it doesn’t really matter what they are— when you’re broke, it doesn’t matter how good the products are,you simply can’t afford them. With Team National it wasn’t set up that way. I’m certainly not negative about any other company. I strongly believe in direct sales and network marketing. I think it was just the timing being right with Team National and really, after looking at the compensation plan, I could see a way to make an extra $1000 – $1500 a month. At the time that’s all we were looking for; I wanted to bring my wife home from work to be with our two year old so we could stop taking him to daycare. That was our goal and looking at Team National it looked like a simple way to reach it. I tell people today, that two year degree I got in college was the best four years of my life and we graduated Magna Cum Lucky! Jenny and I were married about a year or so out of high school. I was twenty, she was nineteen, we now have four boys, 8,5,4,1 and the last seven years have been totally life changing with Team National. Although Jenny did not start out supporting Team National, she has become very active with building the business. If the truth be known, Jenny had the right to be a little skeptical of my commitment to team national. There had already been several situations where I had made wrong business decisions. So if your spouse is a little skeptical, don’t use this for an excuse not to build the business, use it for a reason to build it. When success comes things will work themselves out. Now Jenny speaks, trains, and has done opportunity presentations. In addition, there is no way I could do some of the things I do without her support and leadership in the family. So, it’s 1999 and you threw yourself into Team National. Did you start out strong right away? Yes, we threw ourselves into Team National. I didn’t know a ton of people but I did know my ‘why’! We saw an opportunity here so I called some people in Arkansas, about 1000 miles away from me, I basically gave myself a mental ultimatum; I decided I would do this thing full out for 90 days. Basically, I thought to myself that if what they are saying is true, then I should be able to do what they say and see results in 90 days, if not, I’m done. So I did that… and it worked. That was my first project, focusing on 90 days.
I know people come into this business and set five year goals but what I see is a lot of five year commitments broken in 30 days.
When people come into this industry what I like to see them do is, sure, set some five year goals, but also make some strong, hard commitments to give it everything they’ve got for at least 90 days, because if they don’t they’re setting themselves up to fail and won’t achieve their five year goals anyway! Ryan, you said that when you got involved, back in ’99, that you knew your ‘why’. What was your why? Well, it had to do with my scenario at the time. Basically, people that age, are generally not in a position where they are putting everything on the line or having a company and employees or even knowing what it’s like to work 80 hours a week and never see your kids. I’m also heavily involved at church. I’m a piano player there and have been since I was 14 and there were some things I was unwilling to give up for anything. But I think my why was centered on my knowing that there had to be a better way than trading time for dollars. I was in a position to meet and get to know other men in business and what I could see was that though they were generally older than I was, they were in the same position as I was, the only difference being that they had been there longer. All of this started to gel in my mind and it got to the point where I was very, very open to the idea of going after a different financial vehicle. I started going after books like Robert Kiyosaki’s Cash Flow Quadrant, and reading books by other leaders. I had been involved with the Amway Corp. five years prior and one of the wonderful things I did get there was exposure to books and tapes. I set that stuff down when I went to start my mortgage business so I didn’t really personally grow from that but the seed was planted and I personally grew from experience. You know, by the time I was seven years out of high school, and had put 3-4 years of hard work into a company, and when I say hard, I mean I had put everything on the line, my home was about to be foreclosed on, I was receiving repossession notices for vehicles, credit cards maxed out and still putting 60-80 hours in at work. While I’m suffering a total financial breakdown, I’m also feeling very unfulfilled as I see my life not going in the direction I want for myself and my family. I could see people 20-30 years older than me in similar situations. And even some that might have had more money, but they still were stuck trading time for dollars and not realizing their full potential.
And that’s what I really wanted… to be in a position to realize my full potential.
Ryan, can you describe or discuss that ‘aha’ moment. Maybe you didn’t even call it your ‘why’ then, but specifically, what was that motivating factor for you? There really wasn’t a specific factor until after I received my first check. There were two sets of decisions that allowed me to jump in with both feet, and of course, your commitment grows and changes as you do. My commitment and motivation today aren’t the same as they were then. I was in survival mode when I first started with Team National. I felt like I had finally found something that could get me out of the box.
Before I even took action I had convinced myself that this system would work for me; that I could work it.
Then I went out that first week and took action that resulted in my getting a check in the mail. I remember staring at that check and thinking, “I can’t believe that I produced this!” Understand, finances aren’t the most important thing in life; they
just seem to affect everything we do. My motivation at that time was to clean up my finances so that I could bring some balance into my life and create the time I needed and wanted for myself and my wife and kids. So my thoughts were predominantly looking at this opportunity as a vehicle to change my financial picture, and getting that first check confirmed it would do that for me. When your finances are out of whack, and you’re struggling day to day and week to week, it’s hard to even think about balance in these other areas. Once I earned a check, I wanted more, so I decided to work the Team National system. I wasn’t good at it at the time, I was scared to talk to people, I wasn’t very outgoing and hadn’t ever stood in front of a room and talked to a group people. I remember the first couple of months, standing in front of a room full of people and trying to explain something, I was nervous and shaking. But there was nobody else who could do it and because I had earned checks, people just assumed I knew what I was talking about.
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