The traditional business had their days of glory and time to thrive in the market, but must business keep their traditional but tested-and-proven strategies in this time with the current market? Or must businesses learn to thrive in this new age of technology? In this episode, Dalibor Strop shares his experience on how he utilized technology during his years in the network marketing industry and how businesses, mainly traditional businesses, can keep their business models while thriving in the new age. Dalibor Strop has been a business developer in the network marketing industry for twelve years. Tune in and learn how to utilize technology to grow your team!
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Dalibor Strop, The Time Is Now
We have a very special guest now, all the way from the Czech Republic, Mr. Dalibor Strop. Welcome to the show.
Thank you, John. Thank you, everybody, for reading. I’m happy to be there.
How is the weather in the Czech Republic now?
It’s pretty nice. It’s quite surprising for October 2022 that it’s close to 17 degrees.
When does the snow generally start flying over there?
It depends. Sometimes it’s in early October. Sometimes November. Usually December. In the last couple of years, it was only in December. In Prague, it’s very rare. Outside of Prague, it’s quite normal to have snow earlier.
We are having weird weather down here. We’ve got a lot of rain, and then it got cold, and now all of a sudden, it’s 80 degrees. Who knows? Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been in the network marketing industry?
It has been several years.
Before that, I knew you owned your own business in the advertising world. How long did you do that?
When I started working, I was a designer. I was 20 or 18. I was working in different advertising companies. After a while, after a couple of years, I was making more money for the owners of the companies, and I realized that I could do it myself. I got my clients and my computer, so I started doing the advertising work at my home. It was a long time.
You are a traditional business person that was exposed to network marketing, and we will get into that story a little bit as we go here. You saw network marketing eventually and said, “There’s a better way to do things, and I can grow not only domestically but internationally.” I know you looked at the industry back in the ’90s. You didn’t have a good experience, and then you were reintroduced to it.
I was introduced to a company and was told that it’s network marketing. Obviously, it wasn’t because the company disappeared after a few months, and I lost about $5,000, which was quite a lot of money for me at the time. I did my decision myself that I will never touch anything like this ever in the future.
What changed when your friend came to you and said, “Take a look at what I’m doing?” What changed?
The biggest change was that it was my friend who I trusted, so I agreed to go forward and have a look at the presentation but I didn’t like the way how the presentation was done. I don’t want to offend anyone but it was too American. It was too loud and big hype. I don’t like those things. I was busy with my own business at that time and said, “No, thank you. This is not for me.” He said, “Okay. No problem.”
Three years later, it was 2009 when the crisis started in the US. It’s because of that I lost a big part of my business. I was like, “It’s time to start searching for something else or some other option,” because many of my clients left or cut the budget. I came back to my friend asking him about the business and he said, “I have 10,000 distributors in my team, and I’m receiving money every week.” I was like, “How do you do that? Tell me more.”
Circumstances drove action. Anytime you hear somebody’s got 10,000 people selling anything, you got to listen certainly and say, “That’s incredible.” You were smart to listen, and it all turned out really well for you.
I don’t think I was smart. I was desperate at the time.
There’s an old saying about that. Desperation drives action or something like that. How important is self-development to you?
It’s everything to me. Ninety-five percent of the success is self-development because I realized from my own experience that with a bad mindset, with a mindset where I don’t trust myself when I don’t trust in what I’m doing, I cannot achieve almost anything. It was the same when I was doing the advertising when I was feeling down. I learned that it works for me to go and have a swim. Go to the swimming pool and have a swim or go to the sauna to relax from the business, relax my mind, read something, and move forward this way.You cannot achieve almost anything with a bad mindset and when you don't trust what you’re doing. Click To Tweet
Self-development in our industry is absolutely inevitable because most people that are new to the industry are not used to working on themselves. It’s my observation that most people finished school. They are very smart. They got jobs where they can use all their knowledge, and many of these people stop learning. When something happens with the job, they are like, “What do I do next?” Self-development is super important because it helps us to keep going in every situation. There are different situations in people’s lives. If we don’t know what to do with ourselves, nobody can help us. If we know what to do, then we can help ourselves in many cases.
How much time per day do you dedicate to your self-development, whether reading, listening to podcasts or whatever it is?
It’s way much more now than when I was getting started. If I can turn the clock, I would definitely spend more time back then. Now, it’s roughly about one hour every day.
You have been in the same company since you started to work in marketing. Congratulations on that. There are so many people who make the mistake of thinking, “The grass is greener,” we say over here in the US. Probably the same in Europe. It’s like, “This company got this product or this payment plan.” They skip around and don’t realize you never make real money doing that. You make real money in our business, putting your flag in the ground and saying, “I’m here. I’m going to build this thing.”
All the ups and downs that come with that, whether it’s management, government, COVID or all the things that happen in business. We think sometimes in network marketing, and I sure do as well, happening to a guy who owns an advertising agency as you did. It’s happened to a guy who owns a tire store or the local 7-Eleven or Subway store the same way. To your credit, you stuck with one company. What are the assets that you looked at in that company when you started that said, “I want to plant my flag here?” What are those elements that somebody should look for when they are deciding on a company to make it a great company?
To be absolutely honest, when I was getting started, I had no clue, so I trusted my friend. He told me, “I’m making money with this company, and I’m with this company.” I trusted that he did a good decision. After a couple of years, I realized that there are some things that are really important that can cost people a lot of money if they don’t check them before.
Everybody is interested in learning more about the products. It’s super important that at least you like the product somehow. I’m not saying that you have to use all the products because some products are for men or women but you have to like them. You have to have some relation to the product. If it’s a health product and you are interested in health, it definitely helps.
The second thing is the people because, in network marketing, you need someone to hold your hand and show you what you do. People that will be working with you are super important to check them before. For example, many people tell me, “Join this and that.” One month later, they are in another company with the same people that were in the previous company. I’m telling them, “Are you crazy? You saw that those people actually caused this previous company to go bankrupt, so why are you starting the new company with them again? It’s insane.”
The corporate or management because you don’t want the management to do stupid things. You don’t want them to throw money everywhere. You want them to be cautious about what they are doing and where they are spending the money. The marketing plan, because in many companies you get less for the same amount of work. It’s good to know how much money you make.
I understand that, for many people, it’s complicated to compare compensation plans. At the end of the day, I believe it’s about comparing the average percentage from the overall sales volume. If there is overall sales volume and you get a certain amount of percentage, then you can compare it with other companies.
How about being international? You live in Europe, and your company is here in the US, if I’m not mistaken. How many countries do you think a company should be in when you join it?
From my perspective, I believe that the company should be open to going internationally in every market, so they should be open to do some steps to open new markets. For example, if they are not in Africa, make sure that your company is ready to review the African market and do the steps to open markets in Africa.
When I was getting started, I was thinking about my business growing maybe to another city here in the Czech Republic or maybe, if I’m lucky, to Slovakia. I couldn’t imagine that the business will actually grow. I have different people in different markets. It’s 45 different markets so far. For me, it’s important that the company is ready to support international outreach so that’s super important. Especially now because it doesn’t matter whether you are doing a phone call with somebody that is next door or somebody from the other side of the world because it costs you the same money. The only difference is the time difference.
It is amazing, and that is my next question. How do you use technology? You are in 45 markets. You are there in Central Europe and got downline. With all these different places and time zones, tell us how you’ve utilized technology to grow your team, especially in the last couple of years. You got great train systems in Europe, for example, but you maybe haven’t been able to go and visit your team because of the COVID situation. What are your best technological tools, and how do you use them not only to grow your team but to support your team once a team starts in Africa, for example, a long way from where you live? How do you do that? How do you support them properly using technology?
First, it’s a great tool to connect with new people. What I did in my business is 99% of it because, for many reasons, I wasn’t successful in reaching out to my friends, family members, and all this stuff, so it didn’t work for me. I was pushed to start searching for other ways how to generate leads. It’s a great tool where you have an unlimited number of people.
I’m asking them the question if they are open. I take them to whatever platform, if it’s Facebook or WhatsApp, they use. I give them a regular phone call or we do Zoom meetings if they have more people willing to learn about our business. I initiate the conversation by asking them the question if they are open to a business opportunity. If they are, then I either send them a prerecorded video or we do a live presentation. If it’s a serious prospect and they want to know more details, want to interact, and want to immediately ask questions.
I have to ask this. I know you speak Russian a little bit.
Russian, quite good. Ukrainian, a little bit.
Slovak okay. English obviously. What is that? Five languages. How do you work with all of those different teams? For example, you can’t take your team maybe that speaks Slovak and mix them with people that speak Ukrainian, so you have separate meetings. How do you do that?
We do different meetings for different teams, and I’m running Facebook groups. It’s a closed Facebook group where we share all our knowledge. People can ask questions. Sometimes I do live videos, sometimes, I prerecord videos, so it depends, and we do on-demand training. If the leader from India asked me to do some training on how to reach out to people over social media, we do that specifically for the team.
Say something in Slovak. “Welcome our Leaving Nothing To Chance readers,” in Slovakian.
It’s funny but Slovak is almost the same as Czech.
Very similar. What about in Russian?
It’s all Slavonic languages.
I find that a little bit with Spanish. We were talking before we recorded here, and I was saying that my favorite word in Spanish is fantastico. All I need to do is take fantastico. I even have it on my phone that way. Even the English people, I said a fantastic, and they don’t know Spanish, they think I’m being something.
I have a friend here who’s Persian American. His wife is German. The little girl has grown up speaking German, Farsi, and English. It’s so funny because she owns a ju-jitsu school here, and depending on who walks in the door, I’ve seen this kid speak German. I’ve seen her speak English and Farsi within five minutes. She’s this big. It’s amazing.
I wish I could speak a second language. Let me give you a hypothetical. You are the perfect guy to ask this too because you come from a traditional business. You started working for someone. You said, “I can do it better. Let me go out on my own.” You did that with your advertising agency for a number of years successfully, then you saw network marketing.
There are a lot of people that have looked at network marketing like you did in the ’90s. They saw something. Maybe they got involved casually. Maybe they lost a little bit of money. Maybe it was a pyramid scheme. Maybe it was the wrong thing. It wasn’t a legitimate enterprise. At that point in the early-’90s, you still had a lot of stuff that was not what you or I would consider legitimate companies.
Now, fortunately, we’ve got hundreds of really good options for people to take a look at and join good products and pay plans. The industry’s grown up and figured itself out, which is a good thing. Having said that, let me give you a hypothetical. There’s a family down the street from you there in Prague, and they said, “We know this guy. He has been in that network marketing stuff for over a decade. He has been successful. He works from home. He seems to call his own shots in terms of time, and we are a little bit jealous of him.”
Before COVID, they may be been presented with any of those options of network marketing companies, and they said, “We are not interested.” Let’s say this is a 25-year-old son and a 60-year-old father situation. The father was in upper-level management in a company and did well financially. Prior to COVID, I was looking and saying, “For another 4 or 5 years, I’m going to work on my golf game, find my favorite fishing hole or play with the grandkids. I was thinking of retiring from business.”
The son went to college, did well in school, did all the right things, and started his business career. Maybe I had a job with some company, and all of a sudden, 2020 happened. Their world gets turned upside down. Whether we are in the Czech Republic, Dallas, Texas or anywhere else that folks are reading this, that scenario’s real, and here we are now with the high inflation, gas prices, food prices, and everything else. It’s gotten worse, not better, unfortunately.
You take that 25-year-old son and that 60-year-old dad. Before COVID, maybe they looked and said, “Not for us,” for whatever reason. All of a sudden, they say, “There’s this guy down the street, and he seems to have a great life.” They come over here, knock on your door and say, “You don’t know us. We don’t know you but can you give us an hour of your time?” All these things have happened circumstantially. Nothing that we caused to happen just happened. Life happened. They say, “Tell us why we should consider now locking arms with you, getting into your company, and getting into the network marketing industry. Why now versus a few years ago?” What do you tell them?
I would probably ask them why they came to my door because I would rather hear the why from them than me telling them the reasons because there must be something. If they decided to come to my door, ask about what I’m doing, what was their motivation? I would rather them come to all these questions themselves than me telling them my point of view because I can tell them, “You can do this. You can do that. You can make this much money. If you do a little bit, you can make more. If you do more, I can help you learn how to use the computer and all the bells and whistles.” If they don’t know themselves why they want to do it, then I couldn’t help them. I would rather pass the question to themselves, so they tell me what was the reason why they came to my door.
Let’s look at them individually. The 25-year-old conversation. These 25-year-olds grew up with what I didn’t grow up with at 61, a phone in their hand. The very first cell phone I bought was sometime in the 1990s when I was living in Montreal. It was like a walkie-talkie. You thought you were a big shot because you carried this thing around, and you had one, and most people didn’t.
You made a phone call. It was $3 a minute. You never used it. You just had it but you never used it. Now you could take an iPhone and launch a space shuttle. That 25-year-old young man grew up with that phone in his hand. He was in high school and had all the apps and different stuff with it. They grew up in a different time, and when you look at our business now because we’ve got apps and we’ve got all this technology that we can use, the conversation with them is different from the dad who grew up like I did where it was all this technology is still relatively new. I have a question about technology. I go to my eighteen-year-old and say, “Show me how this works.” That 60-year-old probably does too, unless they were in a technology business.
The conversation might be different but go back to their why for a second because you used a word that is so important, which is why are they at your door. You can show them great products, pay plan or technologies but that why. Talk about that why for a minute. Why that why is more important than all that other stuff which is all about what the why is the most important thing? Can you talk about that for a minute?
The why will keep you doing what you don’t want to do, even if it’s super hard.
The why when all of those roller coaster things happen in the economy, the world or your personal life, that’s what keeps guys like you and I doing what we do.
There are no many other choices. You go back again to the work where you have been working for a couple of years, and then they decide to downsize. It means that people don’t have control over their life. I’m not saying that starting your own business is super exciting. It’s not. Especially at the beginning, it’s not exciting. It’s a lot of work. You cannot see any results but you know that what you are doing is good because you are building it for the future.
Your future self would probably tell you, “Keep doing what you are doing now because, in the future, you will get rewarded.” If people know what their why is, they understand its concept. If they don’t know it, then they are looking for a substitute for their income. They want to get, “I got this income here, so I have to find another job to replace my income somehow.” It can work but then it’s the same story. You depend on the decision of your bosses.
Let’s get a little personal for a second. I know you shared with me earlier that your wife is Ukrainian. You talk about a why, for example. You started this business now several years ago, and we’ve got the current situation going on between Russia and Ukraine. Some of your wife’s family, I believe you are helping during this crisis.
Yes. They are here now.
They are living with you guys.
For a couple of weeks. Yes.
You are able to help your family. When you started the business, you started for you and your wife, not knowing that there would be this horrible situation that exists. First of all, thank you for doing that, and I know everybody on the show are hearts go out to the people of Ukraine and the people of Russia because this is such a horrible situation.
You are a great man to do that to help your wife’s family during this crisis. It illustrates once again the power of leverage in network marketing. You have a business where you can say, “Come to our home. Be safe. Be comfortable. Don’t worry about what’s going on there.” Thank you for doing that. It’s a strong point about life happens.
Even though we are network marketing, sometimes people like yourself or some of the other folks that we interview think that we put on our pants two legs at a time or something. They don’t realize we are going through life like they are going through life. We happen to have a good paycheck coming in residually that maybe they don’t have, and more importantly, they can be like us. Let’s talk about that a little bit further. What’s the future look like? What are your plans for 2023 and 2024 going forward?
I would like to help more people to understand the power of social media in my team and new people that I’m constantly recruiting. I believe that it’s still an untapped area where many people can see the stuff on Facebook. The stuff that many people post from the barbecue on the weekend or nice kittens. It is a powerful tool to reach out to people and show them that we have an option for their situation, whether it’s financial or their health.Social media is a powerful tool to reach out to people and show them that you have an option for their situation related to your services. Click To Tweet
If people are struggling with their health and have been trying something from the pharmacy for many years and it didn’t work, they can try some of our products because, in network marketing companies, there are amazing products not only in my company but in many companies. I’ve seen many times that people are getting results.
This is a no-brainer not to use it, and I understand that many people don’t believe that it can work because, from what they are seeing, what’s happening on social media doesn’t look serious in many cases. If you know how to do it, if you know the way through those things that are not that nice, maybe if you know some people sharing very stupid things, there is a way how to utilize social media.
I want to help my team and, in a big way, start using them because it’s a great tool and new people. Show them that they can start with a network marketing company, which provides a platform where they can either be customers, sell the products or build the team but can use social media, use Facebook, to build their business. That’s my goal for next year.
Let me make a couple of points here. I’m going to come back to you with one last question. The name of our show is Leaving Nothing To Chance. You probably know that if you are reading. My name is John Solleder. I should introduce myself earlier. I assume most people that read the show have an idea of our background but to be many years in the industry.
A couple of announcements. First of all, our book, Moving Up: 2020 and Beyond available on Amazon. It’s an Amazon bestseller. What made this show happen? You asked me earlier, “How did this show start.” During the whole situation with Covid, we had these books that came out, and we needed a way to get them out to the marketplace.
These books are available in Spanish and also digitally. If you are reading in Europe or Africa, one of the downlines that Dalibor has in another part of the world, you don’t have to pay all that freight. Get it digitally and share it with your team, if you will. In these books, it’s not just my story. It’s the stories of many people, including in your case. Your great upline, Mr. Joe Garcia, is featured as well, and Joe’s got such a great story. Let’s come back in wrapping up. We talked about the future. We talked a little bit about the past. I want to go back to the past for a minute here and ask you a couple of big questions and small questions.
2009, you find yourself in a circumstance as a traditional business owner like a lot of traditional business owners. For example, I live in Dallas, Texas, and there’s a restaurant that I went to with some guys that I go to church with. We walked into a restaurant, and they only had one person to wait on tables. This was a Sunday afternoon. This is generally a busy time in a restaurant and a big restaurant in town.
They had a sign-up that said, “We only have one person working, so please sit in an area.” There are other businesses I have been in over the last couple of months that have had similar things to that. I imagine in Prague. You are probably going through the same thing where people aren’t wanting to work, so concerned with the COVID situation. They decided, “I’m not going to go back to work for whatever reason.”
Traditional business people, and there are many that read our show that dabbles in network marketing. They were guys like yourself in 2009, “I got my toe into the water but I still want my restaurant, my advertising agency or my tire store to recover.” Believe me. I fully understand that you got an investment of time and money in a business. What are your words of wisdom about their mindset when somebody comes to them about a network marketing opportunity and says, “Let me really show you how this works?”
How should they look at our business opportunity to now after all this stuff that’s happened because it doesn’t look like it’s going to get all that much better in the near future in the world economy? It’s going to be very difficult in a traditional business where our businesses are growing, and their businesses are declining. What are the things they should really wrap their head around in considering one of these opportunities?
I have been asking that question to myself many times when I approach people from traditional businesses. I believe they should look in the past at what happened, and now we can see that anything is basically possible. When they keep doing their traditional business the traditional way, and they don’t change anything, then probably they will get the same results.
If they are not happy with the results of their business, they should consider being open-minded and look at the business opportunity, which actually, during those tough times, is thriving and flourishing. If they are not open-minded, then I wouldn’t probably spend more time with them because the time will come. If the circumstances don’t push you to be open-minded, then the circumstances are probably not that bad.
A lot of people are going to get more desperate over the next year or so with everything that’s gone on. Who knows? I’m certainly not an economist but looking at everything that’s going on in the world, a lot of people are going to get desperate enough that they say, “Maybe I better go and knock on Dalibor, John or Joe’s door and whatever those guys are doing. They don’t seem like they are missing a step and we are.” This has been great, so before we close, is there anything else you want to share with our readers?
I believe that there are only people that are involved in network marketing only reading your show. I would probably share something that I would like to share with younger me, so maybe it can help somebody as well. You should start reading blogs like this from different people. I would start reading more books and do more action. Waiting for somebody to call me doesn’t work, and I had times in my life and my network marketing life when I was doing that. I was hoping that if I post something on Facebook that somebody will react, and people will start to call me.For people new to network marketing, listen to podcasts from different people. Read more books and do more action. Just waiting for somebody to call you won’t work. Click To Tweet
I’m still doing actively approaching new prospects. Reading blogs like this keeps people on the right track. When we are feeling down because somebody said no, that’s normal. When we are doing network marketing, we all understand that it’s part of our business. It’s part of our success. When somebody is new, then they take it too personally. If they are reading shows like this, they are reading to stories of different people.
They actually start to understand that this guy is a millionaire, and he’s having all this stuff and having a great life but still receiving noes on a daily basis. It’s not a big deal. Noes will come but there will be also some yeses after many noes. That’s what I would definitely share with my younger self and with anyone who is maybe new in network marketing and looking for some motivation.
It’s great advice. It’s funny because I have three kids. My son is a college student but he got very interested over the summer in what I do. Never was he interested before. It’s really funny but his motivation is that he wanted to buy tires for an old 1991 Mercedes that I bought him off of the junkyard, and he wanted to fix it up. He is like, “The tires are $1,000.” I’m like, “Go make $1,000,” and he was making $9 an hour working for a guy on the weekends in a car shop.
He loves cars. He said, “How can I make that money faster?” I said, “You can work more hours or you can learn to leverage your time.” He actually joined my business as a distributor, which made him spend his own money. Not my money. I made him spend his money. It’s self-responsibility. He did and actually became one of the top retailers in our company and made the money for the tires.
To your point, he said to me, “How do I advance what I know?” I said, “You got to read the books, listen to the podcasts,” and most importantly, because the young version of me like you said, the young version of us asks the questions. The beauty of this industry is people like yourself, people like Joe Garcia. We mentioned people we’ve had on the show for the last couple of years.
They are going to help you. There are no secrets in network marketing. It’s a simple business at the end of the day or everybody couldn’t do it. If you needed to be a brain surgeon to do it, that’s a small number of people. We’ve got people from all different walks of life. All different economic, social, and education backgrounds that do it, and that’s the beauty of it. This has been a lot of fun and pleasure. I wish you continued success with your business. Any last words?
I wish you the same. Thank you very much. It was very nice to have me. Thank you very much to everybody that reads the show. You are doing a great job.
Thank you so much. The last thing I’m going to say is this. This is our November 29th, 2022, show. We do prerecord, as you probably have figured out by now. In December, we are not going to have live shows because we’ve had so many shows. What we are going to do is do what we did in December 2021, which is post shows on Facebook so you can click and watch or you can always go up to our website, LeavingNothingToChance.com, and listen as well. We will be back in January 2023 with more great leaders and speakers like Dalibor, and all of our November shows that you will have known by the time you read this show. More great folks are coming up here into 2023, so thank you all very much for reading.