What becomes of an 11 year-old ultimate entrepreneur? Naturally, she grows up to become a Diamond Executive with a team of associates more than 50,000 strong! Susan, I come across many entrepreneurs in this industry but you have really got a unique story around this. Would you tell us about that? That is correct! Actually I had two businesses as a child. I always loved to do hair and so at age 11 I actually went door-to-door doing hair. It was 50 cents a head, a dollar if I cut it and you had to pay whether you liked it or not! And then my Dad, who was jeweler, a watchmaker who worked with diamonds, decided to make a major career change and started an insulation company. He had me, an old pickup truck and some fiberglass insulation. I would lay insulation before and after school. Crawling through attics and under floors wasn’t fun but I’ll tell you what it taught me. NULL It taught me that I really was not interested in having a boss from that point forward. I was clear I wanted to have my own business but certainly didn’t want to head in the same direction as my Dad with insulation! From there I took cosmetology in high school and started my own salon at age 19. I graduated from high school and worked in another salon for about six months and knew that wasn’t for me so I took a leap of faith and opened my own salon. It was a lot of work but I did very, very well and worked it successfully for 27 years. Although I had created a six-figure income I couldn’t see myself doing that for another 27 years. Then I was introduced to this amazing industry of network marketing. That was 15 years ago and I fell in love with it right away. How did you get introduced to it? Was it brought to you through one of your clients? Actually, that’s interesting because when you’re in a salon you’re constantly in front of people. And no one had ever introduced me to network marketing! What happened was that 15 years ago I started playing tennis because my boys were playing it. I got pretty good at it and my tennis pro introduced me to a product that her tennis pro had introduced to her. I quickly realized that I could sell this product in the salon. My son was going to med school and I couldn’t find the extra hours in a day that was already devoted to my business and my clientele.
So I thought the next best thing would be to use these hours smarter so I started selling that product.
My goal was $5000 a month and I did that within the first six weeks. That’s when Brad Hager, who has since then become my mentor, called me and asked how long I had been with the company. He named the company and I said, “That’s a strange question. I’m just buying wholesale and selling retail.” He said, “No, how long have you been in network marketing?” Well, I told him he had me confused with someone else because I would never do one of those! Of course, he came down a few days later and literally, in a two hour period, my whole life changed. A world opened up to me about leverage. And doing the thing that I loved to do most and that is helping people feel great about who they are and what they do. It was just a perfect fit. Like when you find that perfect pair of shoes and your foot just slides in. Now my husband on the other hand, mister conservative banker, did not come willingly. He said to me, “I know you’re going to do this. I see it in your eyes. But promise me you won’t tell the neighbors.” I assured him I wouldn’t and told him I was going to venture beyond our town and that Brad Hager had said I can.
So I just committed to the process and was very open to possibility.
I had always been like that, my Dad taught me that, but from there I’ve progressed and learned so much. I’ve been able to help other people realize there are unlimited possibilities and that we live in the most amazing country in the world. We have freedom, we really do. Would you say more about committing to the process? Sure, what I told Brad was that all I was bringing to the table was people skills. I have people skills because standing behind the chair talking with people for years had taught me a lot. What he asked me to do was trust him about the business until I could trust myself. Now, as a southern woman I probably could trust to a fault, but I knew, that day, that I really could trust him. So when he told me that if I would trust him and commit to following his lead that he would help me achieve success, I believed him. And I’m sure glad I did! He has helped me achieve my goals. I never in a million years thought I would quit my salon.
And what I’ve realized is that simple, duplicatable practice and committing to a daily routine will get you there.
It requires you to literally commit to changing a few habits, and there were some things I had to change in my daily routine, but that soon became a habit. I cut my hours at the salon back a bit and sat down with my family to explain exactly what I was going to do and how they would be included. I let them know that I was committed to building a ‘plan B’. So I committed to working the process with Brad and that included opening the doors to my new business everyday. What do you mean by that, Susan, ‘Opening the doors to your new business every day’? Well this is the number one thing I would like everyone in network marketing to understand…
You can not be an undercover agent in this business. You must let people know that you have a business. And that you’re excited about it.
You want to let people know that you will share it with anyone who wants to listen and that you’re open to that. That’s what I did. A lot of my clients became customers and a few of them became distributors but that was not where I focused. I actually focused on an advertising program that Brad Hager had put together. And I really got great at follow up. I am tremendous at follow up, I’m a ‘follow up queen’ and I know that’s another key. Susan, you have mentioned, several times, the mentoring you have received from Brad Hager. Please tell us how important you think having a mentor and being a mentor, is to success in network marketing. And if you would, include exactly what Brad brought to the table of the obviously already very diligent, hard-working Susan Walsh. There are a lot of components there. To answer your first question of how important mentoring is I’ll say that I don’t think you can do it without one. What I learned very quickly was that while I was a professional in my cosmetology industry, I had no knowledge of the network marketing industry and how it works.
If you want what they have you do what they do and you find the person who is doing it well and duplicate that.
When you do that there’s a partnership formed, there’s a real alliance and allegiance that happens and that’s what Brad and I formed right away. I knew that this was a person that I could follow because he walked his talk. That was very important to me. What he has taught me is simple daily diligence and committing number one to personal growth and development. We believe totally that if you focus on the people the profits will follow. That’s what I’ve always been committed to and that’s what Brad has continued to teach me. This is what I’ll say today, if my network marketing were to end today, which I can’t imagine happening, but it would be okay because my life has been so enhanced because Brad Hager is in it. I have learned so much over the years, not only about how to be a great networker, but how to be a better friend, how to be a better mom, how to be a better spouse, how to be a better sibling, because of the very simple but powerful lessons you learn in building a business like this. Every day is a new dawning because there are people involved. Brad Hager has led me to the information that has fulfilled some of the gaps that I’v
e needed to learn; including how to duplicate myself. I’m a ‘doer’, and like many other women, some men too, I call us the swans… we can look wonderful and calm on the surface but we’re paddling like heck underneath. What Brad taught me was how to create a healthy imbalance. To me, there is really no such thing as true imbalance, yet an unhealthy imbalance can be really dangerous.
A healthy imbalance, an almost ‘on purpose’ imbalance, has worked very well for me.
Basically, I just sat my family down and shared with them how I was going to do that. I didn’t want any animosity to grow from them if I put more on my plate. Brad taught me a lot about those things and if he didn’t know it he led me to sources that did.
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