Carole Taylor Magazine Interview
Interview in Network Marketing Magazine
The best learning comes from the successful ones who have gone before us and Carole Taylor, with a residual income of over $1 million a year in Isagenix, shares a treasure trove of learning with her team and you!
Carole, if you would travel back in time to when you first heard about network marketing… can you tell us what that was like?
The way technology has advanced, looking back, it's like we were in the Stone Age. In the early 80’s, I was working in the Corporate World in the Pharmaceutical industry. At that time, many of us viewed Network Marketing ‘questionable’ as a business model. Maybe it's because it was so different from traditional business or maybe some of the skepticism came from the old saying, "If it sounds too good to be true, beware". It certainly did not have the Professionalism and credible business image that it has achieved today. There was a lot of product front-ending loading with heavy inventory to stock. Today, the industry is much more a people business than it was 25 years ago. Building relationships, putting people ahead of products and profits is more the idea now. We are in the ‘service economy’ ~ a big shift from the information age.
Network Marketing back then was more local than global. There were lots of home party presentations, local advertising and local meetings. This is still a great way to build a NM business; however, with all the advancements in communication, information and air travel, we are not limited by geography to build a great business. Long-distance sponsoring and building is much easier now.
In any case, in the early 80’s, I seriously needed to find a way to earn more money and I was introduced to it by someone who really seemed to believe in it ~ and who was making serious money ~ so I decided to explore it.
What caught your attention most?
The FREEDOM ! The freedom to do business my way ~ to own an independent enterprise where I could be in control of my life. No boss and no employees. No daily commute to the office. Total freedom where I could be fully responsible for my own activities and hours ~ and the freedom that I imagined could come from earning the extra money.
What challenges came up for you in the beginning and has that changed over time?
Well, I had my personal challenges, mostly centered around financial concerns, needing to support myself ~ as well as disenchantment with the Corporate World. When I left my corporate position as a manager, I put aside a certain amount of money to start my Network Marketing business and placed myself in a position where I had to make it with my new business.
One of the amazing things to me is remembering the challenges of working without the innovative business-building tools we have today. For example, the way we communicated was so different. The fax machine had just become popular at that time. There were no cell phones and no inexpensive long distance phone plans like we enjoy today ~ and no personal 800 numbers. For long-distance sponsoring and Conference Calling, we had to plan very carefully to keep our costs reasonable. We had to plan ahead and do our calling at night and at certain hours on the weekend, when the rates were less expensive. We created and sent newsletters by mail to stay in touch with our organization and promote training and meeting events. You really had to work your way around all of those things.
We built our Network Marketing businesses by phone, fax and regular mail which was costly and slow. Remember, there were no PCs at home yet. No e-mail. No internet. No websites. No webinars. No CDs or DVDs. It was still fun back then ~ but today, it is such a pleasure to be in this new era of Network Marketing with all the new tools and communication advancements.
I knew I could never go back to the corporate world. My personal and spiritual values had changed forever. It simply wouldn't work any more. I was psychologically unemployable.
It was 1982 and I was doing everything I could to be sure my Network Marketing business worked.
My Network Marketing company at the time was the very first to introduce videos. I remember I was very proud of them for that presentation breakthrough as it introduced a whole new way to show or present the business. You didn't have to continually talk or worry about presenting every single facet of the Product or Business. That worked well and my business grew faster. I was right there at the right time. I also had a good sponsor who held me accountable for my own success.
He let me know . . . 'if it is to be, it is up to me'. Those ten tiny words have a lot of power.
He supported me but made it very clear that I had to do it. He let me know if I was going to be a success I would have to step out of my fear. That was really good for me. I often felt scared and anxious and like I was out on my own, but I was very determined. I just felt that I absolutely had to do it and that was all there was to it! So I pressed on.
Life is like a “do it yourself project”. You have to keep growing as a person. That increases your desire and ability to learn more and to earn more. Network Marketing is like a Personal Development course with a Compensation Plan.
So, I did get my check up to about $5000 a month in less than a year. In those days, the early 80’s, that was a lot of money, certainly for me. But, around that time, because the company was a very successful weight loss nutritional company producing great results, it was investigated by the FDA. The company was targeted and it was in the News everywhere. Even though the Company ultimately won against the FDA, the court proceedings, etc., provided very negative publicity and many distributors left.
Although the company weathered the storm, and actually ended up winning against the FDA, it took nearly three years and I really didn't have the financial luxury of waiting it out. It was really heartbreaking and I felt devastated. I had built a large organization and it just crumbled. As soon as the media spread the word and the public started hearing the story, they would back away. And people that had been looking at the business just disappeared. That was a major challenge, not just for me personally but for the whole company. They did go on to be a very strong company, still in operation today, but I just didn't have the resources to stay and build there at the time. It turned out to be a great survival story for the industry ~ still a NM success 26 years later.
So would you say the best thing you learned from your sponsor was to get out of your comfort zone and expand yourself?
Yes, and also that there are no excuses. Network Marketing is a self-driven business. I really appreciated how clear I became about the fact that building my business is my responsibility.
I teach that to my team today. It doesn't help anyone to be an enabler. If one is not ultimately willing to commit to do it themselves and give the time and energy to the business, then they are really not ready for success and it’s time to say “Next” . . .
One of the things I love about this industry is that all of the things we learn to be successful ~ the business-building and communication (survival) skills, apply to our personal lives and relationships in general.
I remember one time when I was still working my full time job. My sponsor asked me about going to a meeting and I wasn't really planning on going because I had just been there the night before. He said, "Well, I thought you wanted to build a business." And naturally, I jumped to my defense and said, "I've got a big department I'm managing at the office and I have a lot of responsibilities" and he said, "Yeah? What does that have to do with it? I thought you wanted me to show you how to build your own business".
Well I said, "Yes I do!" and he replied, "Then come on down and bring some guests, there are no excuses." And that was basically network marketing 101 for me.
It sounds like he taught you a sense of urgency.
Yes, it was exactly that now that you mention it. It put the idea into my mind that this is a real business. It's not something you play at. If you play at it, you have a hobby, not a business. And I don't expect anyone else to do it for me. There’s no free lunch.
It helps to be an active part of a team; like the geese flying in formation. It will leverage your effort, but you've got to get up there and fly!
So I think the best thing my sponsor did for me was he didn't let me feel sorry for myself that I had this other big job taking up my time . . . his response of 'Yeah, so what? I thought you wanted help building a business' was a big eye-opener.
Can you share with us your business-building strategy? What do you feel is the most important thing to focus on, get good at, and help others get good at?
I think the thing that is most important to get good at is being reliable and keeping integrity 24/7 in all you do because I personally believe that building relationships and providing good service is the most important aspect of building your Network Marketing business today. Also, getting comfortable using the phone, e-mail and your computer are important. Doing 3-way calls with your Team and their Team Members is vital. Getting comfortable making presentations on a regular basis, whether it’s one on ones, or groups, or on the phone, all are very important. And, as we all know, being enthusiastic and showing others that we are happy and having fun is key to our success.
Today there are a ton of ways to get in contact and stay in touch with people. Another really good business-building strategy for me is to welcome our new Team Members with our e-mail “Welcome” package and keep them informed by regular e-mail messages and our weekly “Get Connected” Team meeting Conference Call. Today I can inform hundreds of people about something new with a single click of a button. I never could have called all those people when I first started in network marketing to inform them about something new ~ for example, this new e-Magazine, with all the inspiring stories and training ideas to help others.
When we're informed, we're more comfortable and happy. In a very real way, information is power.
Knowing things makes us feel confident, knowledgeable and up-to-date. That makes us feel like we belong, we’re happy, and then we work better. I like to teach Teamwork because that's what our business is about . . . and to build a team you've got to communicate with them. So I like to coach people to get comfortable using e-mail, the internet and especially the phone to connect, follow-up and make 3-way calls. Your business will simply grow faster if people know how to use the tools and communicate.
I like to spend my time with positive people and I move away from the negative. We are like magnets. What we think and feel is what we attract to us. So I like to focus on the positive and visualize success. Another thing I focus on is spending time with my key Leaders, and spotting new emerging leaders, and helping them to become even stronger. I teach them everything I know so they duplicate quickly. That's especially powerful in Network Marketing ~ a business of duplication.
Staying in touch with my values, doing what I feel is right, even if it makes me unpopular for the moment, or even if it is not (seemingly) profitable, is always the best approach for me ~ not just in my business, but in life. I find it much easier to make decisions when my values are clear.
Once your principles and values are clear, the basics of building a business don't change. Consider the people you already know and let them know what you're doing ~ once you know if they are open. No point in spending their time or yours to make a presentation if there is no interest or if the timing is not right for them.
Remember, if they are not interested, it's not you they are rejecting. It’s just not a fit for them ~ not at this time, maybe later, maybe never. No problem. Keep the door open and your relationship or friendship stays in tact forever. That’s very important. Not everyone, in fact very few, are going to be interested in your product or opportunity. That’s okay. The right ones will find you ~ they are looking for you. Press on.
A great tip that I learned from Andrew Carnegie, was to make a list every night of six things I plan to do the next day to move my business forward, and I do not go to bed until the list has been completed. It’s a great habit and I teach it to my Key Leaders who do the same. By the way, part of that list includes a mini-list of five people whom I plan to talk to the next day about my business. As simple as that sounds, it's amazingly powerful. I do it every day!
I don't know whether or not you would call it 'strategy' but it's really about doing the simple things over and over ~ and going the extra mile.
One of my favorite teachers and philosophers is Jim Rohn. He taught me many things, especially to do the simple things that make you successful even if you don’t feel like doing them. Go the extra mile. For example, make that ‘thank you’ phone call to show gratitude or appreciation to someone who has helped you ~ or send the ‘congratulations’ or ‘appreciation’ card. Jim says that many of the things that make you successful are easy to do ~ but (key point) they are also easy not to do. So I try to make a point of doing them.
What is the BEST thing about network marketing for you?
The absolute Freedom, the great Friendships, and the Personal Development that it offers. Being able to touch thousands of lives through a network of people is truly rewarding and is one of the things I value most about network marketing!
However, I would say the very best thing about Network Marketing for me is the Freedom of being able to choose every day, where to go, what to do, and with whom to do it ~ whether it’s golfing or training or presenting ~ and whether to do it in our hometown ~ or far away in sunny Paradise, like Hawaii ~ in the middle of our cold winter. These are our great choices that we can make every day. This is the real fun of Network Marketing and it’s available to everyone who wants it !