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Are You Poor or Just Broke

Build your brand on a budget

I think we’ve all said to ourselves at one time or another, “Success just happens to the other guy and not me” for whatever reason. But it happened for me, and it can also happen for you!

So let me share my story of how I’ve supported my family for the past 22 years solely on my MLM income and illustrate one successful approach to this great industry that may help you attain your dreams of success.

My professional career started in 1963 when I entered the computer industry during the “Tab Card” days. For the next few decades I held every position available in that industry from Data Entry to being President of two companies.

In 1986 I became the CEO of a successful computer software company looking for investment capital to expand my business, and to make a long story short, I met a potential investor who turned out to be a con-man; consequently losing everything I had. I lost my home, my life savings, and my business and had to pull two daughters out of college and knowing that I could not send my son, who was a senior in high school, to college the following year.

By the time the legal battles subsided and the lawyers produced their bills, that con-man left me over $500,000 in debt. That was the worst time in my life, but the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

I learned then, that there was a huge difference between being poor and being broke. Poor people will always be poor because it’s an attitude, but broke is a temporary circumstance. Poor people whine and feel sorry for themselves and do nothing to change their lot in life, but broke people look for solutions to their problems.

Walt Disney and Donald Trump were broke many times, but they always found other avenues to turn their desperate situation around to make it a win.

Broke is when you have nothing and I was $500,000 below broke! I desperately needed to find a solution to my financial destitution, and one day that solution came to me in an unexpected way. I really believe God never closes one door without opening another and he opened a door to me. At that time in my life someone who had been a good friend I had not seen for over 30 years came back into my life. After talking about old times, I shared my story with him and he invited me to a meeting that night and most likely said that he could offer a solution to my problems. Fortunately he didn’t say any more than that or I may not have accepted his invitation to find out more.

I had nothing to lose at that point, so my wife Dianne and I went to the meeting. At the meeting the host drew circles on a flip chart and outlined a way to leverage your time and make lots of money by helping other to do the same. He explained that you did not need to be a salesperson; you only need to care about helping others.

About 15 minutes into that meeting I leaned over to Dianne and said, “I can do this.” Although that was my first exposure to MLM I was immediately and totally sold on the concept of working hard to build an organization of people whom I helped to duplicate my success and result in passive and residual income. Wow! I had never seen anything like this, and it was something I could do!

As a teenager I ran around with Bobby Helms who had recorded three Gold Records. He went into a recording studio in the 1950’s and recorded a few songs and lived off the residual income for the rest of his life(Ever heard the song “Jingle Bell Rock?”). Now here was a way I could get paid over and over for doing something one time just like Bobby. I got excited about the possibilities.

My mind was made up and I asked for an application after the meeting, but ran into a minor problem. The signup fee was $1,540. I didn’t have the $10, let alone $1,540. We were still $500,000 in debt and neither of us had a source of income.

I knew that a poor person would have said, “I can’t afford it,” but a broke person would find a way to make it happen. As Robert Kiyosaki wrote in one of his books, “Don’t say I can’t afford it,” but ask, “How CAN I afford it?”

I had just discovered the solution to my financial problems and the only thing standing between me and financial independence was $1,540. That was a lot of money in 1986, but it was not enough to detour me from doing what needed to be done for my family.

So I did what I believed to be the logical solution to a “minor” problem. I wrote a check for $1,540 and asked them to hold the check until Friday. I knew I was going to cover the check and make this work; I just didn’t have any idea how to do it yet.

As I have often done in my life, I asked myself what was the worst case scenario and could I live with that? I was $500,000 in debt and the worst case scenario was that I would be $501,540 in debt. How stupid would I have been to let such a small thing be the difference between being poor and financial independence?

Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds wrote, “There are three things to understand about opportunities.

  • They don’t come along often.
  • You must be able to recognize it is an opportunity.
  • You must take action.

And I had all three bases covered.

That night was the turning point in my life.

I spent the next two days trying to raise the $1,540 by finding things to sell, collecting aluminum cans, asking everyone I knew for help. That wasn’t easy, but I knew I’d never do what I needed to do to be a success as long as I stayed in my comfort zone. I finally found someone who would loan me the $1,540; my second cousin’s husband.

After I covered the check that I had written three days earlier at the meeting, I set out to be a success!

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