I was at an industry convention almost 20 years ago when my life was truly changed forever. I was in the audience, listening to testimonials of people whose lives had transformed as a result of network marketing. Little did I know, my attitude and cynicism about the industry and my “better than” mindset of my big brand background—and myself—was about to get an adjustment.
I was sitting in the back, and although my team was running the event from the corporate side, I still didn’t “get” it. I worked hard and we were able to put on a great show, but my heart wasn’t in it. It was just a j-o-b, trading time for money. I didn’t understand the cause behind it all.
That was until a woman walked on stage with her 5-year-old son who had an advanced aging disease called Progeria. He had the body of a young boy, but the ailments of an 80-year-old man. They showed a video of him at Christmas time, when his arthritis pain was so bad that he didn’t feel like opening his presents. I had a toddler at home at the time and thought to myself “nothing would stop him from opening his presents. The pain must be awful.” Then I saw him up there with his mom, making faces at the front row and doing what a normal 5-year-old should be doing. I was encouraged by his progress and happy he was feeling better.
Then the mom said the words that changed me. She told us that his life expectancy was only nine years. Only nine years?! That’s when the tears started to flow. She went on to say “because of this industry and the opportunity I have, I get to be there with him during all nine years, through everything his little heart will never understand. No one else takes him to the doctor. I don’t have to drop him at daycare. I am there during all the poking and prodding—for nearly every breath he takes.” More tears came. In fact, I cried all weekend because that day, something profound shifted inside of me.
That woman and little boy completely changed my opinion of this industry. I finally “got” it. That experience, which seems like a slow motion movie reel in my mind’s eye, is as real today as it was almost 20 years ago. That was my defining moment.
Everyone who has the privilege of getting involved in this industry is truly blessed. Everyone who joins Viridian—a company that is mission-based, cause-driven and purpose-motivated—gets a double blessing of not only the financial and time freedom afforded to those who work in this business, but also the “heart candy” that comes with doing well by doing good. Just read the Sustainability Report and see for yourself the REAL impact we are making, together.
As my dad used to say, this industry is not for sissies. If you want to do something noble, you can bet that there will be obstacles along the way. It’s up to us whether we see these obstacles as mountains or molehills. It’s up to us whether we embrace every day, every breath like that mother did. We have the choice to give it our all instead of playing it small and allowing our comfort zone to take control.
I hope that you make the most out of today. I hope that you challenge yourself to a higher standard of excellence. I hope that you cherish today and every day, taking it all in as you go. Maybe your Why isn’t as visible as the mother from the event, but it should be just as personal to you. I’ve known literally millions of people throughout my career who have entered into this industry, and of them there are three distinct kinds of people who are successful:
- Those who know their Why on its deepest level because of something in life that has already happened, causing them to actively seek answers.
- Those who are in the middle of a situation in life and see hope.
- Those who are comfortable, but not content, with their future and make a decision to redefine their story.
Whether something in life has happened, is happening or might happen, I know that every human being on this planet deserves to have the type of freedom we offer in this business. Everyone deserves to be a part of bringing light to the world and to feel the significance that comes with avoiding 7 billion pounds of carbon emissions.
We are in the business of helping others find their defining moments. It was a testimonial over two decades ago that changed my life forever, and I was just as moved to hear the inspiring stories told at PowerUP! 2016 recently. Not only from the event stage, but also in the elevators, down hallways, at meals and in hotel room get-togethers.
Generation V is a collection of stories and being a part of it allows us the opportunity to partner with others who also want to direct their destinies. I can tell you that having thousands of your stories in my heart is one of the greatest gifts my career has given me. I encourage you to ask everyone around you, at every event, to tell you his or her story.
Thank you for being a part of this movement that allows people to take control of their lives and make a positive impact on this world. It’s our “job” to keep sharing, keep believing in others, keep showing people the way and keep supporting them through life’s defining moments.