How do you go from nothing to something? John Solleder introduces one of his best friends in the entire network marketing industry, Sandy Walper. Join in the conversation to know why knowing the compensation plan is the most crucial factor for you to succeed. Before you jump in with any company, understand how much the plan pays for how many generational levels. Next, you need to believe in the product. Is it something you’re passionate about? It needs to be a strong product that stands the test of time. Need more tips on how to move from nothing to something? This episode’s for you.
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From Nothing To Something With Sandy Walper
This is going to be a lot of fun because I’m interviewing one of my best friends in the entire network marketing industry. For the last several years, she’s been with one company. That says something about her character right there. She hasn’t skipped around this, that and the other thing. She had been consistent.
She had gone through all the ups and downs that one goes through with one company that long. She is one of the foundations of that particular company. We’re not here to talk about the company specifically, but I want to congratulate Sandy because not a lot of distributors in our industry can make that claim.
Thanks, John. It’s been quite a road but I’ve enjoyed the whole journey along the way. I’ve learned a lot of things along the road. I’ve come through many things. One of the things that I want to talk about is how the industry has evolved over the last several years because I’ve certainly seen many changes. When I started in the industry over 30 years ago, we didn’t even have cell phones back then. We had our landline rotary phones. For me, I had a party-line phone. As you can see by my shirt, I’m a cowgirl rancher from Alberta, Canada. It didn’t matter what we did on the farm. I needed to make another income. Thank God I found this industry because it paved the road for me and my family over the years.
We had no internet. I came on board before there was even internet for God’s sake. There was the fax paper. We had to figure out how to do it. We did it, by the grace of God, having meetings, talking to our neighbors, sitting in restaurants and putting up posters. Somehow we made it work. Along came the super information highway, the internet, which paved another road for people. Emails came along and cellphones started coming.
I can remember the first cellphone I ever got. It was funny. It was in a bag and it had an antenna. I used to stand in the back of my pickup truck, trying to get a connection to whatever tower I could get so that I could phone. I got myself a conference line and hit the road in my car. I used to stop along the highway at payphones, call my distributors and have my Tuesday night conference call from a payphone.
Now you can’t even barely find a payphone anywhere but most of my early years on the road in this industry were done from a payphone. I got myself a toll-free number so that people could get ahold of me right to my house. I think about how far everything has come. The next generation of direct sellers or network marketers is coming.It’s important that you have like-minded people like yourself who have credibility. Click To Tweet
My kids learned how to type when they were five. They can still type ten times faster than me. They still can click and click. It’s evolved over the years but it’s exciting though. When people out there in the industry fire attacks and are like, “What’s up?” I’m still all about, “How are you? How’s your life? What are you doing?”
I’m about the telephone. It’s maybe because that’s how I came up it through this industry. It was through the telephone. I believe in conversation and building a rapport. That’s how I roll. It’s worked for me all these years. I’m starting to get a little better with social media and stuff but it’s not how I started. I’m not 100% there yet.
When you guys started, you and your husband lived on a farm. Your kids were young and now they’re all college graduates and doing great. When you started, you lived in a town. How many people lived in your town, 50 or something?
John, when I started, I lived on a ranch 29 miles from town. It was a 60-mile round trip to pick up my check. In those days, we didn’t have eTransfer. You’ve got an actual paper check. If I wanted a quart of milk, I had to go 60 miles. There were 2,000 people that lived in the town where I got the quart of milk. When people tell me they have trouble finding people, I’m like, “My closest neighbor was 9 miles. Don’t tell me that. I don’t accept that you can’t find any people.”
You certainly made it work and built a huge business. Let’s talk about self-development a little bit. You’ve read my book, Leave Nothing to Chance. You’ve read our other book, Moving Up: 2020 and Beyond. What stands out? Are there chapters there that are dear to your heart?
John, I’ve known you for years. I’ve read a lot of books. My favorite book and the key to all business in this industry comes right out of your book, John Solleder, Moving Up. All people in this industry need to understand that there are basic fundamentals when they’re going to join a network marketing company and what’s important for a long-term business.
This is why I’ve been in this company for so many years. I did my homework before I joined. I’d been in two other companies, John, that didn’t last long-term. I didn’t want that to happen again. It’s right in your book. It’s my basic foundation. When I was rereading it I was like, “John and I are both on the same page here. It’s crazy.”
One of the things that I look for in a company or did is who’s behind this company. Who are the people that started this company and what’s their credibility? It’s important that you have people that are like-minded like yourself, that didn’t come up with some dream, “I’m going to start a company.” You want people that have, number one, credibility, have the money to back what they’re doing, do what they say and say what they do. That’s important to me.
Number two is about what is the flagship product that they’re offering to you? In order to make money in this industry, you’ve got to be selling something. What is the product? How does it resonate with you? How long has this product been around? Is it something new that the world’s going to love and it’s going to take off like a rocket?
You have to get behind your product. That’s your anchor product. The company should have more than one product. I love products that are usable products so that you have to buy each and every month or keep taking nutritional supplements for instance. I like that because that’s what creates a good long-term residual income.
Number three thing that I love, most people get so excited when they join the company. They either gravitate to the owners of the company or to the product. The most important thing that people miss in this industry is they don’t learn the compensation plug. What is the compensation that you’re going to get paid for the work that you do? When you dissect a company, that’s what you need to know. What is the comp plan? How does it pay? How many generations or levels? I came originally from a binary company. I love binary. I got to meet a couple of the people that developed the binary many years ago. The binary has evolved.
There are many pay systems. There are unit-level plans but know the comp plan because why would you go to work? If you were working at a Walmart, for instance, why would you go to Walmart? Because you love working in the electronics and you had a big interest in electronics. You’re like, “I want to work there. I don’t care why.” You go and work there for two weeks and you find out why you’re making $4 an hour but you don’t know how much you’re making. You’re so excited about the job that you don’t even know what you’re getting paid.
Before you jump into anything, you got to have all the elements. You’ve got to have the compensation. You got to be willing to put the time in to get the compensation. You got to have a product that’s strong, that’s going to stand the test of time. You got to have owners that have the money, the backing and the credibility.
You got to create your own story. My story was I’ve been in a couple of network marketing companies. They never worked out. I built a humongous downline in those companies. I made money that I would be shaken when I went to the post office to get my check. I’d looked at the check and be scared that it was going to bounce or something. This was in 1990. I’m like, “$2,000. I’m rich.” I did think I was rich but I was also scared every time to put that check in the bank because I didn’t know a lot about the industry. I’m like, “What if it bounces?” I paid the fertilizer bill.
My husband, Carl and I, neither one of us came from a farming family. We bought this ranch. It was out in the middle of nowhere. It didn’t matter what we did. We couldn’t be in control of the weather. We couldn’t make it rain. We got laid out, froze out, hailed out, drought out. You’d see that great white combine coming in July or August before you were going to combine your crops. All of a sudden, you needed a vacuum to clean them up. It ripped your heart out.
Along came this industry for us. We worked our way out of farming and it’s been incredible. I grew up in Calgary in a working-class neighborhood. My parents were immigrants from England. There wasn’t an opportunity for me to go to university or it wasn’t talked about. My dad used to say, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” I took that principle and started working when I was twelve. I worked at the Ponderosa Steakhouse, the bar, rodeos, everywhere I could work.
College was never brought up. When I got more educated, I thought, “What if I could give my kids wings to fly? What if my kids could go to university? How much is that going to cost?” All of those things started coming in after I had children. I’m not going to tell you what company I’m with. Some of the research on the product of the company I’m with came out of a very prestigious university in Canada called McGill University.
McGill University is world-renowned. When I first went there, I thought, “Look at this place. Isn’t this incredible? What could I ever do to get my kids to go to McGill University?” McGill is like Harvard, Duke or York. It’s right up there with Oxford, Cambridge and all of those world-renowned universities. My kids were terrific athletes.Leave nothing to chance because if you don't take a chance, then you got nothing to leave. Click To Tweet
Network marketing was taking over. One of the reasons we sold the farm and put that on hold was our kids needed to be closer, to be more involved in sports and give them an opportunity. When we moved into town, my kids were good at football. A couple of years later, Michael and Jesse, my eldest and my middle son, both got scholarships to McGill University. That was exciting but even though they got scholarships there, I still had to pay. The scholarships weren’t full scholarships. It was still over $1 million in university fees that I had to pay for all three of my boys. They all three have Master’s degrees. Not only do they have wings to fly, John. The fact is I put them in the business when they were 8, 9 and 10 years old. I started putting a customer and a consultant under them. I started building an insurance policy for them. We put the money in one bank account. It’s like $20, $200 or $300. This went on for years.
By the time they were ready to go to university, not only did their university have a bank account but they’re 34, 33 and 32, and they make over six-figure income. This is their passive income. They’re both physiotherapists and Jesse’s a project manager for a big oil company. You don’t know what’s going to happen in your life. You got to give it a chance. I love John’s saying right behind him, “Leave nothing to chance because if you don’t take a chance then you got nothing to leave.” You have to take the chance. That’s what I did. I took the leap of faith and it’s been great, John.
Let me ask you this, Sandy. You’re in Alberta. What’s the temperature?
It’s minus thirteen. Several weeks before, it was minus 54 below. I have to go out and feed my horses. It was a little chilly but they were all okay.
It’s minus thirteen degrees and a beautiful limo pulls up to your house and says to you and Carl, “We’re taking you guys to a beautiful island. It’s warm but you’re limited on what you can bring. You have plenty of food and water. That’s all taken care of. Everything’s taken care of but you’re limited on what you can bring.” In addition to your Holy Bible, what three books would you bring?
I love this book. I don’t know if many people know about it. It’s called The Rules of Life. This has been my little bible besides the Bible. This book gives you all the little rules of life. I love it because it has all the little titles except yourself. Dedicate your life to something. Be on the side of the angels, not the bees. Be the last to raise your voice. It teaches you all these great principles that you use not only in your business but in everyday life. I love it. Change what you can. Let the rest of it go. Aim to be the very best at everything. You don’t always have to be the second base. Try to be the best you can be.
I love it, John. Don’t dwell on the past. Lots of us dwell on the past, we get in the past and we can’t forward. This is important to me because a lot of distributors get stuck. They’ve called all their friends or families. No one wants to join, whatever the reason. I always tell them, “Don’t get stuck. Don’t be a kangaroo.”
They’re like, “What, Sandy? Don’t be a kangaroo?” I’m like, “Yeah. You can’t be a kangaroo because kangaroos can’t go backwards. They can only move forward. You’ve got to be one. You can’t be a kangaroo. You got to move. You got to get in the kangaroo and start hopping forward. You can go into circle for a little while but you got to move forward.”
A kangaroo has a pouch. You put all the tools in the pouch. As you’re moving forward, take those tools out and use them to the best of your ability. Get to be a kangaroo and start moving forward. I love this book, The Rules of Life by Richard Templar. I’m going to tell you about my second favorite book. This book is How to Become a Rainmaker. I love this because it teaches you how to plant the seeds to be a rainmaker to grow your business. Show Them the Money is one of the titles. Never be just you. Sell everything on Friday afternoon because then you can take the weekend off. I love this book. It’s good. It’s a generic book but too many people gravitate to one certain book.
Another book that I like is The Power of Now. I love that. John, not only are you my friend. I’ve been in this industry a lot. I know a lot of the who’s who, who’s made it and who’s who in the zoo. I have to say, John, your book is my favorite. This was your first book. I love this book because it does teach the basic fundamentals of this industry.
As we have all these new generations of people coming, they don’t know the daily method of operations and the fundamental principles of this industry. If the older guys like me and you don’t teach the new generation how to build a network marketing business properly from a grassroots movement, if this internet or social media stuff crashes, nobody’s going to know what a daily method of operation is.
No one’s going to know how to put their feet on the floor every morning when they get out of bed and walk down to their kitchen and they’re like, “What do I do? My email’s down. What’s up?” They don’t know what to do. This book tells you what to do. If you go back to the grassroots of how this industry started and look at some of the big people that came through the industry, back in the day there were maybe twenty companies to choose from when I started in the industry.
Now, there are 1,800 new companies a year in the United States. The funny thing is only 2 or 3 of them are going to be around here in 3 years. I don’t think people take the time to do their research on who the owners are, what’s the product, what’s the comp plan, what are you selling and your story. If everybody tells the truth about who they are and what they’re trying to do, find a good product and do the ten-penny principle.
I can remember I was a cowgirl. I would go to town. I moved out here. I married a farmer. I don’t know anybody. My closest neighbor was 9 miles. I didn’t know one person that lived in Canada. All my friends were in Calgary, which was a long way away. I’m like, “How am I going to even meet friends?” I would go into town, driving my Tornado. It was like, “I’m going to meet one person in the grocery store. I’d have these $0.10 in my pocket.”You won’t want people to fail because when they fail, you fail too. Click To Tweet
I’m like, “How long have you lived in Hanna?” “I lived here twenty years.” I’m like, “I’m new. Do you know where the RCMP station is?” I would say something to strike up a conversation, John. I’m like, “I got rid of that penny.” My whole goal was to get rid of those $0.10. Eventually, within six months, I knew half the town. I was getting invited to this event, that event and going out horseback riding with people and getting invited to dances and communions. When I first got there, I was scared because I came from the outfitting industry, not from the ranching industry.
Sandy, we’ve lived through some crazy times the last several years. Without getting into all the craziness, let me set this up for you. Let’s say there’s a 25-year-old kid and his 60-year-old dad, and they lived down the street from you there in Alberta. Prior to the pandemic, everything was going well. Dad was getting to the end of his business career. He had done well. He was in management. He had a good pension. Everything was lining up so he could work on his golf game and leave out Alberta in the winter and go to Arizona and do what he wanted to do.
The 25-year-old is well-educated like your boys, went to a good school, got a good education, did all the hard work to do that, got out of school, got in the business world and started to crank it up. All of a sudden, the pandemic happened. Dad put the breaks on retirement, “I got to figure something out. My income’s either gone or down.”
The kid went from maybe living on their own to saying, “Mom, dad, I got to come home, live in the spare bedroom that I lived in when I was eight because of all the circumstances.” Neither of them ever considered network marketing before. They both were like, “That’s for other people. That’s not for us.” They had the wrong opinion of the industry. People have a lot of different ideas or they’ve never been exposed to them.
They say, “Sandy lives down the street. Sandy is in one of those companies. She does pretty well. She’s got nice cars. She’s got a nice house. She always seems to be traveling around the world prior to the pandemic. She was going to Europe and to the States and doing all sorts of fun things.” They come down, knock on your door and say, “Sandy, can we take an hour of your time and find out if this industry is for us?” What do you tell them?
I would tell them that it’s the greatest industry ever. It doesn’t matter what company you choose as long as it has the five principles in your book then it’s an even playing field, John. That’s what I love about it. Everybody pays usually a membership to get in. They buy some initial product and then it’s sales. That’s what it is. We’re sellers.
Anybody that says we’re not sellers doesn’t know what they’re talking about. When I was in high school or junior high school, the teacher would say, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” When I was in elementary school, I was going to be the rodeo queen. When I was in junior high school, I was going to be the classy guide outfitter. When I got the high school, I was going to be the world champion barrel racer.
Everybody has a little dream as they’re growing up in their school years. If they would’ve said to me, “Sandy, what do you want to be? I’m going to be a top-notch network marketer in Canada. I’m going to do this.” I would say to everybody, you don’t know what journey your life is going to be on because years ago, I had no idea that my little business was going to turn into an empire. Give it a chance just like John’s thing behind him say. I keep looking at that word, nothing to chance. You got nothing to chance.
It’s cheap to get into this industry. It was not even expensive. You can get in for under $1,000 and you could turn it into whatever you want. What you’ve got to lose? Yet, you got to give it a try. John, when you said you got the 25-year-old kid down the street and the mom and dad, that almost happened to this family.
Here’s what happened. Right at the start of the pandemic, my kids were making huge money. They’re physiotherapists, making $20,000, $30,000 a month in the physiotherapy industry in this city. All of a sudden, the Alberta government shut down the physiotherapists. They had no income. My kids have mortgages on their homes. Thank God they were in the network marketing industry because my kids had passive income.
That’s what’s important. They didn’t work for three months but they had their income coming from this industry which carried them through. That did happen in my family. All three of my kids had to work from home. He still got paid. The other two were cut off, done. For three months, they had no income.
They had a good check coming from the company that we’re with. It worked out okay. If they didn’t have the check, they would’ve been knocking on the door saying, “Can you help us with our mortgage payments?” We would’ve been happy to help if we had the money, which we do. It’s been crazy years, John.
Let’s talk about something else in the industry. You started a lot of people in network marketing. It’s so important that people believe in themselves, in their company and in their product. To establish that more than anything else, what tells them that is that other people in their circle of influence, their friends, their family, their next-door neighbor or somebody at the gym or the church. They agree with them enough that they get in the business with them.
Initially, that first week, month, three months is that fast start period. How do you get somebody off to a fast start? They see results enough that they say, “I bought into the product, the opportunity, the ownership and the leadership but I got to see that it works for me. The only way to do that is to monetize it, to make a little bit of money. How do you get them off to that fast start?
First of all, I marry him. I don’t sponsor people randomly. I don’t want people to fail, John because if they fail, I fail. When I start someone, I say, “Here’s what we’re going to do. I want a list. I want you to understand the compensation plan and the product. I want your story. Tell me your story. Make your list and have a meeting. I want you to get whoever over to your house. We’re having a meeting or we’re doing three-way calls.” I love three-way calls. They still work. They’ve stood the test to time. If they don’t live in your city, three-way calls work.
I like three-way calls better off the start than a Zoom meeting. The reason I like that is so that they don’t feel intimidated by you because they’re staring at you. I want them to be at ease in their own house on the phone and the three of us are chatting. I’m not a big fan of Zoom for an initial meeting. I don’t tell them about me. Keep asking questions. Ask if they’re looking for something if they want to make a difference in someone else’s life.The only way that you can lose is if you quit. Click To Tweet
I don’t know whatever product you’re selling whether it’s nutritional supplements or weightlifting equipment. If it’s weightlifting equipment, ask them how long they’ve been an athlete. If it’s a makeup company, ask them what types of makeup they’ve used in the past. They’re going to keep telling you about themselves if you ask enough questions.
You’re going to say at the end, “Is there any reason why you wouldn’t take a serious look at this company? It’s been around a long time. It’s stood the test of time. It’s got everything you told me you need in this one company.” We start marching. It doesn’t have to be a $1,000 check, John. People get excited over their first $50 check and then they grow their business.
Whatever pace you want to work, we’re going to go. Because you and I or whoever the leaders are that’s either sponsoring that person or trying to position themselves to get that person into their group, we’re going to make sure that they make money. If you don’t make sure that they make money then they’re ultimately either going to become customers or product users. That’s okay. We want those people too. Those are the consumers that build you the long-term annuity. When you lock arms with someone and they want to do it, you got to do everything you can to make sure they don’t fail.
Sandy, in closing my dear friend, it’s extraordinary that we’re here. What’s the future look like for you?
If we all have a crystal ball, John, we could predict the future. It’s been pretty bad the last couple of years. I’m not going to lie. Everybody knows we’ve got an incredible industry here and we’ve been able to make it work. In this whole industry, the future is bright. Part of the reason the future is so bright is because people have had to learn how to work from home. New companies are coming on stream with new innovative ideas and this industry itself has proven the test of time.
It wasn’t easy in the early ways for Amways, Herbalifes, and all of those companies years ago but they paved the way for us. They went through the hard times and ups and downs. Amway got shut down three times and came back. That was in the early years. Look what we got. We’ve got all of these wonderful like-minded people that have had to learn a new way to do business whether it’s online, Zoom meetings, recruiting. We’ve had to learn how to do things differently.
The future’s bright for this industry. The only way that you can lose is if you quit. Never quit. Never lose focus of your dreams. Dare to dream. Leave nothing to chance. Take every single chance you can because we have lots of chances in our life. All of those chances are one step further to fulfilling those dreams that you have.
John, I’m happy you had me on this show. You’re a wonderful guy. John’s got three books but the daily method of operation, you got to learn that and how to set yourself up. Get this book. If John ran out of copies, I’ve got a few. I love it, John. You’re the best. I love working with you. You’re an incredible person.
Likewise. Sandy has been a lot of fun. We’re not getting older. We’re getting better. We’re getting smarter. I agree with everything that you said there. The industry is for people our age group. It’s for people older than us. It’s certainly for people younger than us. When you read these, folks, bring a pen and paper. Take notes because these are people that are legends in their industry, legends in their companies, people who’ve worn a distributors’ shoes.
The one thing we never do on the show is we don’t interview anybody who’s never done it. We don’t have the lucky lose or the theoretical people. We have people that have built checks and are still building checks. Keep that in mind. You’re learning from people who are doing what you want to do if you want to be a distributor in this industry. If you want to be corporate or something else, this isn’t the show for you. If you want to hear people who are doing network marketing successfully and with longevity, read this show. Thank you for reading.