Every Challenge is Worth the Reward - John Valenty of New Vision International
"I've never really had a job," 27-year-old John Valenty says with a laugh. "The closest I ever came was a paper route when I was a kid. Otherwise, I've always owned my own business."
An entrepreneurial teenager, John went from venture to venture-- landscaping, boat maintenance, auto detailing, car repair, you name it. By the time he was 22, John was running a successful auto body and paint company. He was also over $100,000 in debt, and he didn't even yet own a home. "It was a scary time," he says. "No matter how much more I worked, day and night, I just couldn't seem to get out of debt. I knew I had to find something else, a new business-- something that worked. And I had to find it fast."
John responded to a sales pitch on television, and tried making money with mail order campaigns and classified ads. But without major capital to invest, it wasn't going to give him the payoff he desperately needed. So he kept looking. That's when business opportunities started to find him....
The classified ad business got me on all sorts of mailing lists, so people started sending me information about all kinds of opportunities. I must have pored over hundreds of businesses. In my search, I came across a lot of Network Marketing come-ons, because there are a lot of them out there.
I was familiar with Network Marketing because my parents had been successfully involved with Shaklee back in the Seventies. I can even remember taking out the UPS boxes when I was about four. All the businesses I had started had been successful, and I was making great money, but the debt kept getting bigger, and it had a real stranglehold on me. I knew Networking offered me something I couldn't get in a traditional business: leverage. It also offered me a way out.
I talked to my mom about it, and she was a true inspiration. She helped me research the industry with my eyes open. I read Richard Poe's Wave 3 book, so I knew exactly what kind of a company I was looking for. I must have attended over two dozen opportunity meetings trying to find it, though.
The common denominator I saw at all those meetings-- and this drove me crazy-- was a compelling speaker in an expensive suit who drove home in cheap car. I started to get a negative taste in my mouth about the industry because of these flashy, motivational front-of-the-room guys. They were just too aggressive in my opinion, and didn't have the income to back up their claims of success.
But I kept going to meetings and researching the industry, because I knew I would find what I was looking for if I just kept looking hard enough. Finally I met someone who was really up front with me-- someone I wanted to work with. That's when I knew I'd found the right company for me.
When I first got started in Network Marketing, the number one thing on my mind was the money I still owed from my other business. I had to make almost $10,000 as fast as possible, just to service my debt. It was bad. Put it this way-- I wasn't looking at bankruptcy, it was not an option for me. But it was looking at me really closely.
My first challenge was to find fast growth. I had to generate some leads and build a Network as quickly as I possibly could.
I soon encountered another challenge. So often I met people who said they wanted to get involved, and they would say all the right things, but when it came to doing the actual work, I found that I was doing most of it. There were just too many times when I was doing the work for people. I needed to learn to be a real leader, to teach and delegate rather than doing everybody's work for them.
Running my other company, at the same time I was starting up the Networking business, was horrendous. There wasn't a spare moment that I wasn't working. I was attempting the balancing act of my lifetime, but I just did what I had to do.
To grow fast, I got as many sales tools out there working for me as I could. I knew it was the tools that would bring people together, and then I could concentrate on people skills to develop a Network. I also kept studying the industry, and learned that to be a good leader, I needed to develop other leaders in my Network. You can't do that if you're doing the work someone else is supposed to do.
It's like they say: leadership is not given, it is taken. I finally learned to give people the opportunity to take it.
I also learned early on that the challenges were not in the compensation plan-- you don't get paid for them. So I spent my time focusing on the things I knew I would get paid for, moving products and services.
Network Marketing can be the most futile, expensive, painful lesson in your life. Or it can the most profitable, deeply rewarding thing you've ever done. It all depends on whether or not you are prepared.
Preparing yourself means being willing to learn. No matter how successful you have been at another job or business, Network Marketing is probably going to be a new experience for you. Be humble and be willing to learn from the leaders who've gone before you. Invest in the books and the tapes, because you'll need every bit of wisdom you can get. Use the sales tools-- my success is proof that they do work.
As your Network grows, concentrate on communicating and teaching-- and never forget that your most powerful building tool is to lead by example.
I was about 12 years old when I listened to my first Zig Ziglar tape set. Because my parents were in Shaklee, they had all these great books and tapes on success and personal growth. I was raised on all of that. It is part of who I am today.
If that material is new to you, then you need to start reading and listening immediately. It's so important to your success-- in anything, not just Networking.
Building a successful Network Marketing business may be the hardest thing you ever do, but it is flat out worth it. The feeling of truly being free and being able to chase whatever dream you may have is absolutely worth it, no matter what you have to go through.
It's the feeling of victory that I like most about Networking. That incredible feeling that comes when you've overcome a challenge. If you're not very inspired or motivated about your life, then it's most likely because you're not overcoming any challenges.
If you're going to grow, if you're going to enjoy that feeling that comes from being really alive, then you're going to have to be willing to face some challenges in your life-- and have the persistence to see them through.
I still face new challenges every day, but I don't fear them, I welcome them. I'm just 27-- I have a lot to look forward to.
JOHN VALENTY is a full-time Networker with New Visions International, Network Marketers of health and nutrition products. A New Vision Ambassador, John has been with the company since August of 1995. He lives with his wife Shelleen in San Diego, CA.
Reprinted with permission from Upline, Valenty-Success Story-April 1999, 888-UPLINE-1, http://www.upline.com