Many network marketers fall into a trap of becoming multilevel junkies because they lack the mindset to stick to one path and wait for its return. Guess what? Those people are still broke after many years of jumping around from one thing to the next. Consistency pays off, as John Solleder’s guest in this episode will tell you. Mark Zuckerbrod isn’t just about consistency, however; he is all of 41 years of consistency. How has it paid off for him? Enough to get him featured in the Leave Nothing to Chance book, that’s how. Listen in and get a sense of just what kind of mindset it takes to become a six to seven-figure success in network marketing.
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41 Years Of Consistency Pays Off!
It’s my tremendous honor to welcome someone who is an icon in the network marketing industry. He’s been in it for several years. Similar to myself, after college, he got involved in the industry with one of the great companies in the industry and still receives income from that company all these years later. On another note, he was one of the people that helped to get me started in the industry several years ago, that’s how long we know each other. Ironically, we grew up in towns next to each other in Northern New Jersey. Our mothers used to shop at the same food store, which was on the main drag that we both lived off. It’s a small world. The gentleman that sponsored me in the industry, went to high school with Mark. Here we are, several years later, still good friends, still working together on a couple of projects. It’s my honor to welcome my good friend, Mr. Mark Zuckerbrod. Welcome, Mark.
Thanks for having me out here.
Do you want to add anything to all those years ago?
We knew a lot of the same people. It’s interesting our paths didn’t cross until after college and everything else. I was four years ahead of you but still, we knew a lot of the same people through sports and everything else. Now that we’ve met and I still can’t believe it’s been several years.
Neither one of us have age to date. That’s the good part.
I started this business when I was six. Add 41 to 6, and there you go.Don’t be a multilevel junkie. Be consistent. Click To Tweet
You started at six and I started at two, so that’s good. We’ve got plenty of time to go. Mark, I know you’ve read the book, Leave Nothing to Chance. You’re even one of the stories in Leave Nothing to Chance. Of those fifteen principles, which one is the most important to you?
John, a lot of them are important, but one that stuck out to me is the mindset one, training yourself to think the way that successful people think. Without going into the whole thing here, there’s definitely a mindset, whether it’s sports or academics or business or anything else. People who are successful oftentimes think differently than people who aren’t. Putting yourself in that position to even be able to be successful unless you get plain lucky, their habits, whether it’s showing up on time, going that extra mile in terms of doing that little extra bit of work that can make all the difference. Maybe it’s making sure that as you’re going specifically in your network marketing business, that you’ve set yourself up properly, you’ve got the right attitude, that you know what you’re supposed to do. You take the extra little bit of time and learn about the product you’re talking about, learn about your compensation plan.
I’m not saying you’ll spend nine months doing that and then do nothing in the meantime, and waste nine months. It’s doing those little extra things all the way along. I’ll give you a good example. I’m a tennis player. When you look at the top tennis players in the world, Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, they only win 54% of their points. It is an astounding figure because you see them winning everything, every single match, some of them are not close, but a lot of times there’s this much difference between the person who wins the big title and the person who loses in the second round. There are seven rounds in these big tournaments. How many times have they been on the ropes in the early rounds? There’s that winning mindset, knowing how to overcome obstacles. That makes the difference.
Instead of losing in the 1st or 2nd round, they get through that and they end up going to win the tournament. People go, “They clobbered everybody.” No, a lot of it was close. That’s the same thing in our business. The difference between someone who might be making $1,000 a month and someone making $10,000 a month, a lot of it’s right here, and the little extra things they do that make the difference, the consistency every single day. Having a daily method of operation on not giving up when you have a bad first hour in the day, distractions, all the things that come up in our lives as we go, overcoming those distractions. All those things are the mindset that successful people have that oftentimes people who don’t make it, whether it’s network marketing or anything else, they don’t have that mindset. To me, that was something that stood out.
Only 54%, if you think how successful all three of those guys have been. I never played tennis. It’s been a big part of your life. I know you’ve played at a very high level, but when I watch those guys, it almost reminds me of the old fights with Frazier and Ali. It’s such heavyweights going back and forth. That margin between winning and losing is so close. Those guys, unless they’re playing each other, they all seem to come out on top.
Think about this. If you watch Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and you watch guys in number 100 in the world, and you watched them out hitting the ball back and forth, you cannot tell the difference. All these guys have good strokes and good players. Some are better, some have weaknesses, but when you start getting up into those higher levels, it’s physical conditioning and mental conditioning, the mindset that can make a huge difference. There are players who could have been great, they just didn’t have the mindset to get into that top group. Think about this in network marketing terms also, they might have shined bright for three months, then they fizzled out because they couldn’t maintain the consistency at the higher level.
It’s all these little things. Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer, they’re all-time greats, what they’ve done is beyond like Michael Jordan and LeBron James, but take those top people out of it and think about people, let’s say the person who’s the fifth starter on an NBA team or someone who’s number 50 in the world in tennis, that 50 in the world guy may have gotten up to number 10 or 12, but he couldn’t maintain that level either mentally or physically. The guy who’s the number five starter on a team, he may go through a streak where all of a sudden, he starts scoring 30 points a game for four games, but he can’t do that over and over again. It’s figuring out the skills, understanding what needs to be done, and then implementing on a long, consistent basis.
Look at Tom Brady winning the Super Bowl at 43, his diet routine, his exercise routine, his sleep routine. He does what other people aren’t willing to do. LeBron James at 35, he does what other people aren’t willing to do. When you’re talking the ultra-success, it’s that type of a mindset. It’s different than the average person. Even when you’re talking serious success, look at six-figure network marketing earners, unless they got lucky and landed on 1 or 2 people and don’t know what happened, they’ve gotten in there and they’ve done the basics over and over again for a significant period of time. They don’t just do it for a month or two and say, “This isn’t working. On to the next thing.” That’s a big problem in our industry, what we call multilevel junkies who tried seventeen things, they’d never stuck with any of them.
They don’t have that successful mindset. It’s a whole different thing. Sometimes the company is no good or it turns out the product is no good or whatever, but all of the things being consistent, most of the companies have good products, good compensation plans and decent management. Why did you need to go to nine different companies? What did you think that’s going to happen in company five that did not happen in companies 1, 2, 3, 4? If the company goes out of business, there’s nothing you can do about it. I’ve watched potentially good people jump around every year. I get a call once a year, the flavor of the month or flavor of the year that they’re calling on, and six months later, you can pretty much count they’re going to call you on something else. Why didn’t they stick with that one? They give you a bunch of reasons. Ten years later, they’re still broke. These are some observations of what I’ve seen over the years.
You’ve seen many things happen. Let’s talk a little bit about books. I know your mom was an educator, so I know you grew up around books and reading. I know you went to a great college and graduated. Books have been part of your life. From a self-development standpoint, there had to be one book, young Mark Zuckerbrod, one book somebody put in your hands, or it fell across going in a tennis court or something that you picked up, you read it and went, “This made sense.”
There is. I got involved in this industry in 1980. Back then, the whole personal development industry was nothing like it is now. I moved to California, I graduated, and gotten involved in the company I was in. I was trying to figure things out. I grew up in a traditional household in terms of business. My mom was a teacher. My dad was trained as an engineer, he ended up in business, but I never thought of alternative businesses. I didn’t think of something like network marketing. I didn’t think of I could have been a pro sports agent. It wasn’t on my radar. Everyone I knew went to college, a lot of them went to grad school, law school, business school, med school, then went on to become a doctor, lawyer, accountant, went to work for a big corporation. I didn’t come from much of an entrepreneurial background.
The book that stuck with me is a book called The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. I probably read it five times, but I remember sitting on the beach reading it, I was about 22, 23. First of all, I need to put in a disclaimer on the book. It was written in the ‘50s, and it’s sexist in terms of it was a lot more men in the workforce. We would always talk about men in the book for the most part. If you do read it, don’t be offended by that because a lot of the principles are good. What it got me to realize was that I could do more than I thought I could do. I could think bigger than what I could see in front of my face.
It was an eye-opener for me because I was always under the impression, you go to school, you get out, you get a good job, and you work your way up the corporate ladder. No one ever talked to me about starting a business and it could be as big as you want it to be. A lot of it was up to you, assuming you were in the right vehicle. If it’s a Yugo versus a Ferrari and you drive in the Yugo, it’s a lot harder to get in. For those that don’t know Yugo, that was a car that came out of the old Yugoslavia, now it’s Serbia, but this was from the 1950s, and it barely ran.
The best driver on a Yugo wasn’t going to beat an average driver in a Ferrari. Assuming your vehicle was decent, whatever you chose to do, this pointed out the bigger picture. I was told way back when, and this jived with the book, by the founder of the company I got in, he was one of the major legends of the industry. We were talking about my goals. Keep in mind, this is 1980. My first goal, I want to make a couple of bucks. Then I saw my goal as $2,000 a month, and that was something reasonable. My big dream goal, I’d like to make $100,000 a year. That was huge money back then. I was saying this to the founder of the company, and he looked at me about the $2,000 a month, he goes, “Why not $20,000 a month?” I was like, “Why not? I can’t grasp that.” He said, “All it is is another zero.” I didn’t grasp that either. When I went home and started thinking about it, I realized that was very true because the same things in our industry that get you to $2,000 a month, can get you to $20,000 a month.
It wasn’t like I started this little donut shop and all I had to be able to do was make donuts so I could sell donuts and run one donut shop, and then a different set of skills to run 300 doughnut shops. Here in network marketing, it’s the same skills repeated over and over again. As you grow in your business, there’s nothing different about $2,000 versus $20,000, because you’re still getting customers. You’re still helping make sure they get good results. You’re still building a team of distributors, helping them and supporting them, and helping them get customers and build a team. The thing was the same.You can be as big as you want to be and a lot of it is up to you. Click To Tweet
When I realized that, combined with all the other stuff that was in that book, it got me to think much bigger and it allowed me after stumbling around for a year and a half and getting nowhere but not quitting. My sponsor quit. I don’t know where he’s drinking beer on a couch somewhere and watching football games. He passed up millions of dollars in the last several years for not having stuck around. After eighteen months of banging my head against the wall, I figured out how to do it. From there, I surpassed not only the $2,000 a month and not only the $20,000 a month but went way by that. It all worked out. I was lucky to be in the right vehicle. I chose a good company and they’d done well, and I listened to the right people and then rolled up my sleeves and worked very hard.
We talked about the Schwartz book, I know you’ve read multiple books, but what would be your three all–time favorites?
For all different reasons, and the next two are not your typical personal development books. One of the books, it was a series, it was two books. One is called The Inner Game of Tennis and the other one’s called Inner Tennis. These were written back in the ‘60s or ‘70s. What they talk about is mindset. I look at everything in sports analogies, which can drive people crazy sometimes. Whether you’re a network marketing company, you’re on the basketball or tennis or football, tennis court or football field, so much of it is right here. When you’re playing, there’s stress, pressure, nerves. We don’t always perform at our best when we’ve got all the nerves and everything else. Your muscles physically tighten up when you’re nervous and you’re trying to perform physically.
It’s the same thing mentally. If you’re going to go talk to somebody and you’re not in the right frame of mind, and you’re not focused based on the outcome, and you’re not focused on the process, and you’re not focused on all the things that are going to happen, you can freeze up and babble. If you’re not into tennis, they’re probably not going to help you that much, but if you are, they can help you a lot. Even though they’re old fashioned, it teaches you how to breathe, how to slow down your mind, how to stay in the moment, how to focus on what’s at hand. I’m thinking about this point right now, not what happened three games ago. How do you equate that to network marketing?
For example, five people tell me no, but now I’m sitting here talking to you, John. Am I focused on the five people that told me no and thinking John’s probably going to tell me no also, or am I focused on forgetting about that, and now I’m focusing on why this can be something that can be so good for you? That book was helpful. I’ve watched a lot of people in a lot of industries, but especially in network marketing, I’ve watched a lot of people make a lot of money and blow a lot of money. I’ve watched people make $1 million a year for a number of years and then I find out five years later, they’re broke. They went bankrupt. How does that happen? It makes no sense.
I read a book called The Millionaire Next Door and it’s by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. It talks about who are the millionaires out there. You think about people who are driving super fancy cars. I live in Southern California, half of the people in Southern California, their cars are nicer than their house. I’m thinking of people that they look like $1 billion, they’ve got on the fanciest suits, they drive in the nicest cars, they’re picking up the tabs in the big fancy restaurants for everybody else, but when it comes down to it, their bank accounts got nothing in it or very little in it.
This was several years ago, I don’t remember exactly when it was written. It talked about who are your millionaires next door. Most of the time, it was the family living in a nice but modest house. Think of Warren Buffett living in the original house he bought in Nebraska several years ago. He still lives there. He could buy the town, probably buy the whole state. He lives in that same house. He could do whatever he wants. For most people, it’s doing the building blocks of your financial plan as you start making money and doing it smart. This is not a financial planning course, but there are certain things that you want to do in terms of having a certain amount of money set aside for rainy days. In terms of having all your insurances covered to cover your family if something happens, in terms of building up equity in a house, in terms of all these things, setting up funds for your kids for college if that’s their goal or setting up your own retirement.
The book in summary says, you need to do the things that are important for you and the financial security of your family. I worked very closely with Jim Rohn for many years and even shared a stage with him a number of times. He always talked about building a financial wall around you and your family. You don’t build a financial wall around you and your family starting with Ferraris, starting with $2,000 suits. You build a financial wall by doing all the basics, and then once you’re making a lot of money and all the basics are already established, hopefully you’re paying for those suits and those Ferraris off the interest you’re earning of your investments.
At the very least, all those things should be covered and then you’re starting to spend on all that. There’s the school of thought, ‘fake it until you make it,’ people aren’t going to go with you if you don’t look like you’ve got a fancy car, fancy this. I’m not saying wear rags, but $2,000 suits when you’ve got a $3,000 check make no sense. You get the idea. It’s all those things combined that made that a very valuable book for me, realizing it’s not what I can show off to other people. It’s what I can have as security for my family.
Is there a third book?
The Magic of Thinking Big, the tennis books and The Millionaire Next Door.
I remember when The Millionaire Next Door book came out, it was amazing to read and it made so much sense. They even made a TV show out of it for a little while in CNBC. The people you wouldn’t suspect that money had money, and the people you thought had the money, it was all pretenses.
I’ll never forget a story I heard about somebody I knew. I heard back that, in this case and this is just me, but you want to make sure that if you’re married, you and your spouse know your finances and understand your finances together. This particular couple was remodeling their kitchen for about $125,000 several years ago. The wife didn’t realize that not only were they borrowing the money to do that, but they didn’t have any additional money. They lived great, but they were going bankrupt. They ended up filing bankruptcy within a couple of months.
Meanwhile, they’re spending $125,000 remodeling a functional kitchen when that money should have been in the bank. They always had the nicest cars, the new cars, the fancy clothes. If you went in their house or you run into them, you think these people got millions sitting in the bank. It turns out they didn’t have anything. It’s different ways of approaching life. I’m not saying one’s wrong, but if you want to build that financial wall around you and your family, then that’s not going to work that way.
It takes some discipline. If I come to your house now, Mark, what are you reading?
What I’ve been reading is a book called The Mind-Gut Connection, by Dr. Emeran Mayer, a UCLA professor. What they’re finding out more and more now is that there’s a tremendous connection between the mind, the brain and your gut, and also your heart. A lot of what happens in your body is happening as a result of your gut. A lot of things they thought that was in your brain or in your gut, it’s an interesting field. It’s becoming well popularized now. People are becoming more aware of gut health and how important that is.
Let’s talk a little bit of strategy. You’ve been doing this a long time. You’ve had tremendous success personally. You’ve had people in your groups that have become real legends in the industry, but when you have to get somebody new started, what’s your best way to get somebody started? Is it a two-day plan? Is it a day plan? Is it a month plan? What’s the best way you’re talking to me? I’m new, maybe I’ve never been in the industry, maybe I’ve never sold anything in my life. Maybe I’m in that category right now of 55–year-old-plus people that because of the pandemic, maybe they’ve lost a job. Maybe they’ve lost a business. Maybe they’re in a business that’s watered down, or it’s going to be watered down when things get back to “normal.” There’s also another category. They are 25, they’ve got all these internet skills. They know how to work an iPhone. They how to work a Zoom call. They know how to do all that, but they have no clue what they’re going to do. All of a sudden, their next-door neighbor says, “Join my network marketing company.” They go, “That sounds like a great idea.” What does Mark Zuckerbrod do with them?
I’ll take on both of those. The first thing people have to have is they’ve got to get a belief level. They’ve got to believe in the product and the company. Not everyone believes in the product, they’ll just go do the business, but those people usually don’t last very long. They say, “I’m not using that.” You believe in your product, in your company and most important is belief in yourself. That’s going to come from seeing product results, making a couple of sales, getting a couple of distributors, making a couple of bucks. I want to put money in people’s pockets as fast as humanly possible. Some people won’t let you for a couple of weeks. I want to use the product for four weeks before I do anything. Nothing you can do about that, but then make sure you follow up well and that they do get good product results.
Talk about a plan, 1–day, 30–day. In my first year and a half in this business, I was 23 when I started. You can come out of the gate and see great results right away or you can come out of the gate, have no results. That was me. My first check was $1.49, 5% of $30, and then it went to $49.77, I could be off by a few dollars, then $400 something, $200, $400, $700 something, and back to $400, back to $200, back down to zero. I got a few things going and then disappeared. I was eight months into the business with essentially no check. I knew there were other people who I didn’t think were any better than me or any more skilled than me. They were starting to make something. Keep in mind, this is 1980. $1 is different than it is now. There were a couple of people in the company making $3,000, $4,000, $5,000 a month. I said, “If they can do that, what I need to do is find out what it is they’re doing and duplicate it.” These people were not some fancy talking. One was a teacher, one was something else.Believe in your product and believe in your company. But most importantly, believe in yourself. Click To Tweet
What I did was I went and found mentors. I looked around my company for people who were doing well, and I attached myself to them. I don’t mean I move in with them, but I would ask them questions. I would find out what they were doing. Throughout the history of network marketing, the techniques of how we do business have always changed. In the ‘80s, it was a lot of newspaper ads. Nobody knows newspaper ads now. Now it’s much more internet-based. Other times it was different things, but the concepts are the same. What I needed to find out once I liked this type of business, which I did, the idea of leverage and the idea of ongoing income was exciting to me. I needed to find out what techniques were working there in my particular company with my products and my business.
I found two of these guys that were making $3,000, $4,000, $5,000 a month. One guy had sponsored the other. I said, “What are you doing?” They said, “If you want to see what we’re doing, we’re doing these meetings.” It was about two hours from me. “Come, look and see what we’re doing.” I didn’t have the money to stay at a hotel, so I drove 2 or maybe 3 hours each way, four nights in a row. I watched what they were doing. I said, “I realized what I haven’t been doing.” I started doing what they were doing. Within six months, my check was $6,000 back in 1982. I started at the end of 1980, and as of March, April of ‘82, I had gone up a little bit, down almost nothing, stumbled around. I was making maybe $300, $400 a month after a year and a half. Even back then, that was not right much money.
If you remember, John, when we were kids you could buy a bagel for $0.08 and an entire pizza for $3. That was several years before this. That check went from $0 to $6,000 in 6 months, and then it’s six times more in the next 18, 24 months. It was an adjustment, but the most important thing, I stuck around long enough to figure out what the people were doing that were making it, and I went out and tried that and it was able to do it, but I wasn’t an overnight success. It’s getting people a plan. I like a 90-day plan because anything can happen any 1 day, 7 days, 30 days, you just don’t know.
Just like anything in life, there’s an element of luck. If you talk to 100 people in a certain time period, you’re going to get a lot luckier than if you talk to three. You don’t know when that strong person is going to walk in the door and you’re going to talk to them. It could be person number 6 or number 1, or it could be person number 99. I’ll give you a good example about that. I ran some ads in 1994, and it’s $150 a week. I ran six weeks‘ worth of ads. I got about 30 calls the first week. It dwindled down at the end of about 135, 140 calls. I had signed up two people. Both of them had returned their kits, so I had nothing. I had to get distributors. This one wasn’t for customers. I said, “I’ve got to keep running this.” I ran it one more week and I got a call from this guy, and we chatted. He had been a successful guy, but he was down on his luck. I took him out for a sandwich and we talked. He introduced me to one person. That one person, about a month or two later, got going. Not only did they pay for those ads, that one person paid for those ads. I don’t know how many, 100 times over. I still get paid some money from those ads several years later. I was this close to stopping the ad.
If you have an ad campaign that’s gone on for nine months, it’s bad, obviously, don’t keep throwing good money after bad. I had committed to six weeks. I thought about pulling it after four, thought about pulling it again after five. I said, “I’m going to stick to the commitment I made.” It was the 147th call out of 149 or 151 that came in. That was the guy who introduced me to someone who went on to become very successful. That’s why I like a 90-day plan, because a 90-day plan forces you to keep running the ad or keep talking to the people.
How you do it is you break it down to 91-day plans. It’s my daily method of operation now. I’m going to do that for seven straight days. At the end of seven days, I’m going to sit back and evaluate, what worked, what didn’t work. I modify the plan a little bit, little here, little here, seven more days. Do it again. Where am I after 30 days? Thirty days, I do more of an evaluation and continue what’s working, change what’s not, do that over 90 days. What I found is the people who succeed are the people who can string together three or four 90-day plans. It’s like, “I’ve got to work my tail off for a year.”
If you get a regular job, what are you going to do for a year? You’ve got to work your tail off for 40 years probably. That was my plan. “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink,” as the old saying goes. There are certain people that it doesn’t matter you give them all the support and give them all the tools and it’s not going to make any difference, and it’s not your fault. It’s your fault if you don’t return their calls. It’s your fault if you don’t show up for three-way call or a meeting. It’s your fault if you’re rude or arrogant and you chase people away. If someone won’t do something, it’s not your fault and there’s nothing you can do about it.
That persistence is what’s helped you earn an income from one company now for several years. When you think about that, you’re in a category of people in our industry that have done something unique to be several years with one company, still making money from it after all this time. You made a lot of valuable points there, but you have two that stand out. Number one is finding a mentor. If people are doing well in your company, figure out what they’re doing and pattern it. Number two is persistence, not quitting. That’s the thing that we’ve both seen over the years. There are many people who give up on themselves and their dreams and all those dreams that they had, “I ran an ad, or I made three phone calls. Somebody said no. They said I was crazy,” then you’re going to give up.
One of the reasons I’ve persisted so much over many years is I looked at the alternatives. Going to law school and becoming a lawyer, even a lot of people thought I was a lawyer, was not my thing. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to go work for a big corporation. I was not going to be a political animal in a Fortune 500 corporation and play all the politics to get to the top of the company. At the time when I started, I was 23. I didn’t have any money. I couldn’t spend a whole lot of money to start a big business or buy a franchise. I didn’t have the money to do that. The biggest thing for me was freedom, time freedom and financial freedom.
I have friends that have made a lot of money. They have tons of money, but for most of their lives, they’ve been slaves to their job or their business. They’re traveling all the time because they have to. They’re not home much with their family, or haven’t been now, maybe at this age, they’ve gotten to slow down. Even though I was working hard, I was around my family. I got to play tennis when I wanted to. I made up the time later, but I got to play tennis in the afternoons a lot, maybe not the first couple of years, but after that I did. That freedom to lead life on your own terms was what kept me going.
You’ve got to believe, number one, that it can happen. Number two, you’ve got to have the persistence and do the work to make it happen. I’ve got a lot of friends who have made tons of money, millions and millions of dollars, tens of millions, fifties of millions, but none of them have had the freedom that I’ve had throughout my life. There were one or two that made it huge when they were 30 and sold the company. They did, but that’s such a rare exception. You look at all the people making $500,000 or $1 million a year out there, a lot of those people don’t have much freedom, they work all the time. I’m not saying you don’t work hard here, but there is a point where if you do it right over a period of years, then you can relax.
As we get to the end of this, Mark, network marketing has given you that freedom and you’ve seen it in many other people. You worked with some of the true icons in our industry. I’m going to throw a couple of names and if you’ve got a couple of brief thoughts on them. Two guys in particular, and you mentioned one. We’ll start with him. I know you worked with Jim Rohn. I know you shared the stage with him. I know you interviewed him numerous times. Thoughts on Jim, what did he teach you?
Jim has a good, simple way of looking at life in general, and then how it relates to business. When he talks about the seasons, you plant your seeds in the spring. I’m not a good farmer, so I may get some of this wrong. You’ve got to plant your seeds in the spring and then water those seeds, and then be killing all the weeds throughout the year in order to have that good crop. He used examples like that and how it pertained to things like that, but how that also pertained to your business. You can’t expect to plant a field of vegetables and have them all grow in three weeks from seed. It takes time. You can’t expect to plant and have the weeds take over your field, and then still end up with a good crop. You’ve got to clean out the weeds. You’ve got to keep the garbage moving out. It was things like that. He affected so many people over the years. He calls himself a business philosopher. That’s what it was. It was a lot of stuff that if you have to sometimes think about it, what he was saying, but when you thought about it, you say, “That makes a lot of sense.” If I apply that to my business, it can help me.
I love that book. The Seasons of Life is the book he wrote all that in. As a country, as a world, we’ve been in the wintertime, but springtime is coming. Jim has great work in that book. The other one of course is your late friend and your mentor in this industry, Mark Hughes. I know you worked with him early on and you were both young guys at that point. What was Mark like? I met him a couple of times, but you spent a great deal more time with him. What kind of guy was he?
He was a generous guy. He was a great people person. He had a tremendous ability to motivate people, but in a very positive uplifting way, not in a put-down way. There are a lot of people who are motivators, but they do it by beating you over the head with a stick. Mark wasn’t like that. He was much more of a carrot person, putting the incentives out there, encouraging you, telling you what you could accomplish. Saying to me what I said, my goal was $2,000 a month, how come not $20,000? I got this stupid look on my face and he said, “All it is is another zero.” It took me a while to figure that out, but it turned out he was right on that. There were many times he did things for us, the people in the field, that he didn’t have to do.
I’ll never forget one time that there was a bonus, $12,500, that the way the qualification worked out, I qualified for it but there was some technicality that he probably could have not paid me on. He could get out of it, but no. He said, “That’s your money. You got it.” He was always looking for ways to give the field more and reward his people, as opposed to some company owners, they’re always looking for ways to hold the money back from them. He was human, he had his own challenges and everything else, and he was lost to the world too soon. It’s sad, but it was a great experience working with him because it helped expand my mind to possibilities of what you could accomplish. He thought so big, he thought in the billions back in 1980.
Mark, finishing up here, last thoughts. You’ve been in this industry a long time. You’ve had an incredible life. The industry has helped you to do that. You’ve gotten to play tennis. I know you’ve gone to Indian Wells a number of years. I know this 2021, you didn’t.
For several years until 2020. Indian Wells, for anyone who doesn’t know, it’s the fifth biggest tennis tournament in the world. It’s in the desert. It’s the most beautiful place. You can be sitting out there. It’s 80, 85 degrees. You’re sitting in your seat and you’re looking up, there are mountains covered with snow. For a tennis fan, it’s a magical place. It was every year for a long time.
You’ve been to the US Open a few times too?
Have you ever been to Wimbledon?
Not during the tournament. I was in London, I went to Wimbledon, but it wasn’t during the tournament. At some point that might be a goal to do.
It’s got to be on the bucket list. Let’s go back to the business. I’ll give you the last thought and then I’ll wrap up when you’re done. When I look at that those two groups, you have a 25-year-old person right now and that 60-year-old, and maybe he’s lost a job, lost a career, or watered down at what they used to make is unavailable anymore going forward. They’re looking at our industry, maybe they’re getting involved with the first time, maybe they’re getting reinvolved. Maybe they have a little dowel in a company, and they’re going to go back and say, “Let me take a second look at this.” What’s your sage advice to them with all the experience that you’ve had?You need to believe that success can come to you. Then you’ve got to have the persistence to make it happen. Click To Tweet
Number one is they have to decide what it is they want to get out of this thing. The way I look at things at 63 is very different than the way I look at things at 23. At 23, I was looking to get a couple of bucks in the bank. I was looking to buy my first condo or house. I was looking to have a decent car. I wanted to have shoes that weren’t completely scuffed up. I remember this list. I had a list, John, that had my goals like ‘new shoes, coffee table, new suit,’ basic stuff like that and then it grew to other stuff. Now I look at life a little differently because there’s nothing a material that I want that I don’t have. I view it differently. If you’re looking at this as a 60-year-old versus 25 or whatever the age is, it is coming up with a plan, deciding what you want and going after it.
The thing that’s nice about this business, you can build it around the rest of your life. If you’re 60 and you want to spend time with the grandkids, you still need to work, you can work around this. It doesn’t mean you can spend all your time doing the fun stuff. You do have to work at. It’s called network marketing, not netfree marketing or something. It’s figuring out what you want. You don’t have necessarily as much time as a 25-year-old who’s looking to build that career and get all that first stuff. By the same token, I know of a guy in his 80s when he started in this type of business and became super successful. There are no limits.
Whatever you want to accomplish, make sure you’re with a company that you like, that you respect the people, you respect the products, that you feel that they’re ethical, that the company is going to be around. There are ways to determine that by looking at if they’re public, looking at their finances if they’re private, asking around about who the people are that run it. The only caution I would give is do your own research. Don’t listen to everyone who says to you all the companies are backed by billionaires, because a lot of times it’s not. Get the real story. Whether you’re 25 or 60, figure out what you want, figure out a way to go after it, find someone who will teach you how to do it and go to work.
Mark, this has been a pleasure and a privilege to interview you, not only as a friend, but as somebody I’ve looked up to. I know in the early years, when I first started, you were the first guy I ever met making $6,000 a month, which in 1983 seemed like $60,000 a month. I remember coming to your home, the home that you had overlooking New York City on the Jersey side. I wanted to be you.
That was my first condo. I paid $110,000 for it. It was my bachelor pad, watching the bridge, looking at all of Manhattan. It was pretty cool.
I remember coming there and looking at the city and it was such a great thing. You were also such a nice guy and helpful, and always returned my phone calls when I was a novice at this. “This guy’s making $6,000 a month. He’s from New Jersey. If he can do it, I can do it, but let me figure it out how he’s doing it.” You were a great mentor and friend, and I appreciate that. This is the Leave Nothing to Chance show, which is available on iTunes and other podcasts around the world. We are in syndication now, so you can find us. I want to thank Mark for his time. Have a great balance of your day.
- Mark Zuckerbrod
- Leave Nothing to Chance
- The Magic of Thinking Big
- The Inner Game of Tennis
- Inner Tennis
- The Millionaire Next Door
- The Mind-Gut Connection
- Seasons of Life