The horizons of entrepreneurship and the remarkable rewards of balancing life and dreams are boundless. In this episode, Monica Hoffman, a marketing expert with a remarkable track record of over 30 years in the industry, shares her journey of building a thriving international business while raising her five children. Monica dives into the intricacies of expanding a business across borders, on top of being a mother. She reveals her secret to unlocking the potential of untapped markets, such as Latin America and Europe, all while witnessing the transformative impact her products have on individuals’ lives and economies worldwide. But moreover, Monice shares the entrepreneurial spirit she imparts to her children. Tune in and discover the value of freedom and the irreplaceable benefits of being your own boss.
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How To Build Internationally While Raising 5 Kids With Monica Hoffman
It is a great opportunity to introduce my good friend Monica Hoffman from beautiful Utah. Hopefully, it’s cooler there than it is here in Dallas. How are you, Monica?
I’m doing great. Thank you, John, for inviting me.
You’ve been in the industry for a long time. How many years ago did you get started?
It’s been around 30 years already.
What did you do prior to network marketing?
I was in school. I joined network marketing pretty young. Around my 23rd or 24th year, I joined a network marketing.
Your parents were distributors in the industry for a long time. You grew up around the network marketing industry.
It’s funny because I was here in Utah. I went to BYU. I went to visit my parents in Venezuela. I realized their lifestyle had changed. They talked to me about this new thing that came into my country in Venezuela. I don’t know if I’m allowed to mention the company. Is that okay?
Nature’s Sunshine has barely opened there. I always saw my parents working in a regular job. My mom was a high-end secretary for the President of Kraft, the food company in Venezuela. My dad was also in accounting for Ford Company, the car company. I always saw them at regular jobs. That’s how I was raised. Having them working 9:00 to 5:00 every single day.
Suddenly, I come home on vacation, and I see my parents are home 24/7. I’m like, “What’s going on here? Nobody’s working.” They bring people to the house and transform the living room into a conference room. I’m like, “They went crazy.” They had meetings every day. I remember every night they had meetings. I noticed that they were traveling the world. They earn ten times more than they were making at their regular jobs.
I got interested. I thought, “This is what I want to do. I don’t want to have a job. I want to stay home, have fun, and travel.” I was introduced to nutritional supplements. That was my first exposition to nutritional supplements. That’s how I learned that we need vitamins and supplements. Our bodies are naturally built to recover and heal. That’s where I learned all this stuff. You don’t learn that stuff at school.
I started learning about all these herbs, combinations, vitamins, and minerals. I got interested in nutrition and health. I took a bunch of natural classes. I learn a few things here and there. That’s how I was introduced to network marketing, just by looking at my parents, seeing their success, and wanting to copy that.
You’re not a legacy distributor in that company, but you’re a legacy in the industry that your mom and dad were in it. My parents knew nothing about network marketing. My mother had a friend that sold the little plastic bowls. She was at work, and it was part-time. She’d come home and buy some plastic bowls, but she never sold anything. It’s great when you hear that there are second generations of people in the industry.
Let’s talk a little bit about the industry and where it’s at now. Let me give you a made-up scenario, but it certainly could be in real life. Let’s say that one of your neighbors there in Utah looked down the street prior to the pandemic. They saw Monica gets to work from home. At 2:00 in the afternoon, you’re out having a cup of coffee on the front porch. They were like, “How come she gets to stay home? She’s in one of those things.” We’re often referred to as one of those things.
All of a sudden, situations have changed because of the economy. The world has changed in the last few years. Let’s say that it’s a 25-year-old female and her 60-year-old mom. They get up the guts. They said, “We don’t know what Monica does, but we know she’s in one of those things. She’s successful. She’s home. She seems to come and go as she pleases. Let’s go down and knock on her door.” They said, “Monica, give us an hour of your time. Tell us why, at the end of 2023, we should look at the network marketing industry. What has changed? What’s in it for me as a 25-year-old? What’s in it for me as a 60-year-old?”
That would be a dream come true if somebody knocked at your door and told you, “We’re open to hearing you.” Usually, it’s the opposite. It’s ignorance and lack of education. They don’t know what we do. They believe you’re going to be bothering families. You’re going to be knocking on doors and selling something like a pest control company. They knock on your doors. We don’t do any of that.
What I would tell them is I’m proud of being in this industry. I have so much confidence. When I talk to people about it, it shows because I’m still wondering how I get to stay at home, see everything in my house, make lunch, dinner, and breakfast, go to the gym at 10:00 in the morning, come back and do a couple of phone calls.
What I would tell them is that as long as there are people living on the planet concerned about their health and economy, there’s going to be a great chance for us to make a good living out of this industry. I believe in companies that represent nutritional supplements more than anything. Because of what you were saying about the pandemic, people now have a bigger consciousness of taking care and doing more prevention to not fall into that crisis of not taking care of their health.
You are finding out some news that it’s already late to do anything. As a daily supplement, let’s take care of our bodies, be more energetic, have more vitality, and have a strong immune system. When any of this comes again or if it comes, we know how to handle it. The making money opportunity is given. It’s a blessing. Even make an extra $1,500 a month, I’m still blessed.
I’m an immigrant here in the United States. I never graduated from school. I got married and started having kids. As a network marketing professional, I’m able to stay at home, control my time, decide what to do, when to do it, who to work with, and make an income that only maybe 3% or 5% of the community is making without having had professional education or formal education because I consider myself professional in what I do.
This is a profession. Why not? We are professionals at what we do and how we conduct ourselves in a professional manner of teaching people and teams how to manage their time, do good presentations, sell something, and create and set goals. I consider this a profession, but being able to stay home and not having to ask permission from a boss of where I want to go or when I want to go because I don’t need to. I feel that there’s an opportunity for any sex, gender, or age to do good at this time more than ever.
Let’s talk a little bit about self-development. Young Monica, way back, you get involved in the direct selling industry via your mom and dad. You get exposed for the first time to self-development. How important has that been not only in your career in network marketing but also in your life?
It’s an education they don’t teach you at school. When you go to a university or a college, they don’t teach you how to read books like Think and Grow Rich, The Next Generation’s Millionaires, or The Business Of The 21st Century. They don’t teach you any of that. What is funny is that you go to a business school and all your teachers don’t know the business. They don’t have an idea of how to run a business or how to have a business, but there they are, teaching you how to have a business and how to be successful at a business, and they have no business in the business.
Self-development is a big thing. Let’s say you need to go out and get a job. You are going to perform better in that job for your attitude at the job than for whatever you study and learn in a school setting. It’s more of your attitude. It’s how you treat people and conduct yourself. It’s how powerful your character and discipline is. You’re not taught that at any college or school. They don’t teach you to have discipline, think big things, dream about goals, and work hard to get those goals and achieve them. It’s a bunch of things in self-development.Whatever you study and whatever you learn in a school setting, it's more of your attitude. It's how you treat people, how you conduct yourself, how powerful your character is, and your discipline. Click To Tweet
I try to teach it to my kids. If you go to Instagram, there’s a lot of that now. It’s very trendy that young people and even parents are teaching their kids how to have positive thinking and deal with depression, and deal with when things go wrong in their life. It’s a big thing. If you go to social media, everybody’s teaching you how to breathe and be like, “I feel I get to try again.” Those are things that are geography than how to do a good equation or chemistry and physics.
I remember I was in college and business school thinking, “If these teachers know the business, why aren’t they out building a business? Why are they teaching about other people’s businesses rather than having their own businesses and earning their income?” Not all of them. Some of the business schools have some great professors that have done so.
You make a valuable point there that many of them are just teaching theory. They’re not teaching applications. People like you and I are in the application world. We try something. If it fails, we tweak it and figure out how to make it work. Along those lines, let’s talk a little bit about international. You came to the US from Venezuela. Your first language is Spanish. You’ve built a big business with your company in how many international markets?
Our company is open in fourteen countries. I have people in all of them. They’re not all business builders, but I have customers here and there. I was able to look at the map and notice that we have people in Europe. That’s the farthest market I have never been to, but we still have customers there. My bigger organization is in Latin America.
Let’s talk about international because people are listening to us talk. You’re in Utah and I’m in Dallas. We’re both in the United States at this point. It’s such an exciting concept. I remember way back many years ago when I got my first person in a foreign country that I had never been to, how exciting that was. To think that you could be in Utah, Dallas, or wherever you are, and to have a business because somebody knows somebody in a country that maybe you’ve never been in and you’ll never be in for that matter, that you can have a business there.
It creates a 24-hour-a-day business cycle. You might be asleep in Utah, but you’ve got customers over in Europe, which is about 6 or 7 hours ahead of you in Utah. It might be 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. You’re asleep in Utah, but those people are awake in Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, or wherever they happen to reside. Talk about that a little bit. How did you do that? Did you use your contacts? Did you use your distributor’s contacts? Talk about some of the methods you used to build internationally.
Before I go there, I was thinking about when you own traditional businesses. We had three restaurants. It’s expensive to have a restaurant locally. Think about expanding it to an international country. It’s almost impossible. It’s hard to think about that. Plugging into a company that already has a platform where you can easily attract people from different countries to your system and product, and it’s all done automatically. You don’t even have to worry about license permits and shipping.
Going back to your question, how did I do it? When we were notified that Colombia was opening. I started looking for Colombian friends locally here. I started talking to them. I said, “Your country is going to be open in a few months. What do you think? You can bring them this huge blessing of more health and a better economy. What do you think?” Everybody got excited. They said, “I have my parents and friends there.”
We started making a list. We are starting to send them information and connect via Zoom and tell them, “This is going to happen in 3 or 4 months. This amazing product is going to be able to be in your country.” Thinking about Venezuela, my country is going through some bad political issues. You have no idea how many people in my country have contacted me. They were like, “We need the product. Can you ship it? Can you send it?” It’s so expensive and almost impossible.
I would tell the people from Colombia, “You’re going to have the blessing of having the product already in your country. You have no idea how many people in my country would love to have it. It’s not available. It’s probably not going to be available for many years. You’ll see a great blessing of health and economy if you open your heart and mind to this big opportunity.” That’s how we started.You'll see a great blessing of health and economy if you just open your heart and mind to these big opportunities. Click To Tweet
Peru opened, and I was already contacting people from Peru. I’m telling them the same story. I was like, “We’re going to go to your country.” It made me excited that the company was going to open their countries. I’m thinking about my country not being able to have the product and the business opportunity that I know would bless many people. I still pray for the day that this company can go into Venezuela and we can make a huge change for people living there.
Every time a country opens, I tell them, “This is a huge blessing. Don’t waste it.” I was able to go to Colombia two times and spend some time there. I love it. I love the people there. I love how open they are, how excited, and how hungry they are to create an extra $500 a month. Just $500 a month would change their life, 1,000 a month is huge for them. That’s easily done when you start this business. It’s easy to get to the $1,000-a-month income. It’s a huge blessing for them.
You make a great point there because I’ve worked in some of those countries as well. What we take for granted here in North America, the United States, or Canada, $500 or $1,000 doesn’t sound like a lot of money. In those economies, in many cases, that’s a serious part-time income or a full-time income.
We opened in Bolivia in February 2023. The basic income there is $200 a month. When you tell them you can make $500 or $1,000, that’s what a well-paid professional makes. The $1,000 or $2,000 is huge money for them.
Let’s talk a little bit further on this because it’s a great subject. Sometimes, for our friends in Utah or Dallas, we tell them these stories of what you’ve seen or I’ve seen or the people in our industry have seen. For example, my friend Joe Garcia is a distributor in the industry with another company. He is very successful. He was doing a meeting in Russia. He told me about a lady who took a train for 36 hours and 7 or 8 different stops because she had to change trains to get to a meeting to see his business.
You and I’ve seen similar things in some of the Latin countries where people will sit on buses or trains just to come. Maybe they don’t even know what they’re coming for, but somebody got them and says, “There’s an opportunity for you and your family.” They’ll make that sacrifice to find a way to get there. Sometimes in North America, we ask somebody, and they were like, “I’m busy.” They live down the street, but they’re busy. Talk about that a little about that. Do you have a story of somebody maybe in Colombia or one of these countries?
Here in the US, we’re busy watching a game. These people are fighting for their lives and to get food on their table. I was in Bolivia in February 2023. I remember how these beautiful women would come with their babies wrapped in their blankets. They have something where they wrap. You can hardly see them, but they’re there hanging in there. They have two little kids holding hands. They had to take 2 or 3 buses. The meeting extends until 9:00 PM. I was concerned about her. I told her, “It’s already late. Shouldn’t you be going?” She said, “I already missed the bus. I’m going to have to walk.”
It breaks your heart because you are here in this beautiful country where people have so many things to be comfortable with. They have cars, phones, and internet, and they don’t appreciate this huge opportunity for real income. Some people think this is not real income. If they could see how much money we make every year, year after year, how sustainable it is, and how serious this is, they would change and take it more seriously.
These people are willing to go home late at night knowing that it’s going to take maybe 2 or 3 hours to get home with two little kids. The surprising thing is that these two little kids are sitting in the meeting with no phones or technology. They’re being quiet and respectful to the whole meeting. It’s crazy. It’s a beautiful culture, and I respect that. I love to work with Latin American markets because people take it seriously. It’s their lives. They need to put food on the table. They’re willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that.
We’ve seen some amazing things and growth. Let’s talk a little bit about North America. We never talk about specific companies here, but I know you and I have had conversations. We have known each other for a long time. I know you’re looking now to help people here in the United States and Canada, not only with your opportunity but with your guidance and 30 years of experience in doing this. For anybody who does a business for that many years, I consider them an expert. You’re somebody that’s got expertise. You’ve proven that not only in your current company but in prior companies.
What are you looking for here in North America, to the English-speaking market, and your friends there in Utah and other states in the English-speaking market? What are you looking for and how can you help those people? They need opportunity too. The numbers might be a little bigger, but at the end of the day, hunger, desire, and need are strong here in North America. It is getting stronger based on the economy, unfortunately.
For the Anglo market here in the US, we are required to manage the opportunity. This is something that might surprise you because your team of Hispanics is under me. What I’ve noticed is that when you approach a person here in the US, an Anglo and American person, you have to come up with a lot of science, validation, and information.
You guys are more interested in reading and getting informed before making a choice. Luckily, we have all of that. We have so much information, science, proof, studies, and investigation on the product that I feel comfortable that anybody can happily make a choice and know where to go to make a choice, to make an educational choice about the product because everything is available for the ones that want to investigate or read more about it. We have it. We have everything available for you.
There are many crappy products being sold in the store. There are many garbage calcium, garbage omegas with fish food from curium, and contaminated products being sold. We have this amazing science taking care of our products and validating everything that it’s well studied and well picked to make the right combinations to give to our customers.
We have everything required to inform more than to sell, but to inform and tell people, “You can watch an advertisement on TV, but what are you buying?” Most of these things are not effective. They don’t work. You can get this that is not being advertised on TV, but it has all the science. It’s a clean product. It’s a product that is going to work. In some cases, it is cheaper because it has a combination of different components than buying vitamin E instead of buying Omega with vitamin E, vitamin D, and all these combinations in this product. We have everything that’s required to satisfy even the pickiest customer that needs to get informed.
That’s something that’s always stood out to me in all the years I’ve been in the industry. I’m in 40 years, and you’re in 30 years so we’re veterans. We’ve all seen a lot of stuff over the years. It is a fact that the network marketing industry products generally are a lot better than you’re going to get at some big-name stores because they’re spending a ton of money on advertising. Our advertising is us telling the next-door neighbor, the guy down the street, or the person at church, “Let me tell you about my product. It’s different.” Talk about that a little bit about word of mouth versus traditional business in terms of taking a product to market.
I believe more in my friend that is going to tell me that something worked for her than if I see it on TV or social media. I’m not going to believe it because I have fallen into that trap already of buying something that looks good and is garbage. I’m not doing it again. The network marketing products are going to be maybe a little bit more expensive, but if a company has been around for 8 to 20 years, you need to know that the product is top quality. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have survived more than three years in the market.
Having been in the industry for over 30 years, I buy products from different companies. My cleaning products are from a direct selling company. I buy a lot of stuff. My makeup is from direct selling marketing because I know there’s quality involved there. Not just quality but high quality involved in there. I feel more secure. I’m buying something that is going to last me longer. It’s going to be concentrated. It’s going to be a lot better quality than if I buy anything in the store or whatever that’s been around, and you see it in commercials.
Word of mouth is the best, in my opinion. I would watch a movie that my friend recommended to me more than because I see it in an advertisement or a restaurant. I go by word of mouth. I don’t go by commercials. You got to be more selective. A friend of yours tells you, “That’s the best Mexican restaurant,” that’s where you want to go no matter what.”
Let’s face it, our customers, a lot of times, are people that we are going to see again, whereas you go into a store or online, and you buy something. You don’t know who you bought it from. You’re never going to see that person again, where you, me, or other people tuning in to our show that are in our industry, you’re selling to people you’re going to see again at the gym or a church. You are their friend or neighbor. In some cases, they’re even family. It’s a great point.
Let me do a quick commercial, Monica. My wife, who you notice, yells at me because if I don’t do a quick commercial, I get in trouble. I get to sleep in the backyard. It’s hot. I’m the author of these two books, Leave Nothing to Chance, which is what our show is called, and also our book Moving Up. These are available in Spanish, as well as in English.
That’s a little bit about who I am, but I want to come back to Monica here for a couple of quick points before we close. We’ve talked a lot about the industry. We’ve talked a little bit specifically about what you are looking for in building your business. You’ve raised a family through network marketing. Your youngest kid is now how old?
The youngest is sixteen.
The oldest is now an adult.
Yes, 28. They see me as the older lives.
Are any of them pursuing our great industry, I hope a little bit, even part-time?
It’s interesting because they all love what I do in the sense that they want to be independent. They don’t want to have regular jobs. They want to be independent and entrepreneurial. So far, none of them has followed my path in the industry of network marketing. I believe that when they become more mature and have lived a little bit more, they’ll notice this is the best vehicle.
I had to try different things before I realized that I wouldn’t change this for anything, not only because of the money but because of the freedom. That’s what I value the most. I value the freedom of not having to ask anybody for permission to go somewhere, take a day off, or wake up. I hope that when they grow up a little bit, and they become more adults and have their families, they will realize, “I need my freedom.” What’s even more important than the money or how much money you’re making?
The more important to me is the freedom of time and to choose where I go, when I go, and who I go with because I get to choose that. That’s what I value the most about this industry. You can make a lot of money doing a lot of stuff, but you’re a slave. You don’t have freedom. In some cases, you need to be in places at times, and you have to have directions. What I value the most here is my freedom.
Let me ask you the last question and hang on on the end because we’ll do the little housekeeping updates on dates and all that when the show is coming out. Last question, Monica. The last kid is sixteen. Five years from now, she’ll be in college or doing whatever she’s going to do with her life professionally. What’s your five-year goal?
I want to help each one of my kids to have their own business. I believe in entrepreneurship. I don’t know if this is going to sound bad, but I don’t push school into my kids. If they want to go to school, there are many things to learn. You don’t need to go to school. You don’t need to go to a formal school to be successful, happy, and smart. That’s my first philosophy. I don’t push the school on them. One of my dreams is, whenever I leave this world, to be able to help each one of my kids into their dreams and set them up for life. If it’s to help them start their own business, whatever it is for them. If they want to go to school, I’ll help them achieve that.You don't need to go to a formal school to be successful, happy, and smart. Click To Tweet
In five more years, I want to be traveling the world. I like to know the world. One of the things I love is to watch at home at night. Me and my husband watch different channels of the world. China, Asia, Japan, and Europe. I want to go and be in those places, walk those streets, eat that food, and have that experience of being able to also think about leaving a legacy in the community by helping kids.
I’m a big fan of the foster care program. I wish I could do something. You do need money to help those kids. Once they turn eighteen, they’re thrown on the streets. They don’t have where to go. There’s a gap there. We need to help them. We need to help kids find their purpose. I have so many dreams. I hope I can live to see those and become successful enough so that I can help all those institutions.
A lot of times, you and I text each other. You or I will be somewhere else in the world. When I started all those years ago like yourself in the industry, I was a kid from New Jersey. I never went anywhere. New Jersey and New York, I thought that was the whole world. In your case, you’ve been to many different places already.
I’m probably wrong on this. Somebody will send me a nasty text probably to tell me I’m wrong. I think there are 162 countries in the UN. We’re just getting started. What a great thing to be able to bring opportunity to people in some of the countries that you mentioned. In North America, we take the opportunity for granted, but there are places in the world where they’ll sit on a bus for 30 hours to find out what it is. Whether they are or aren’t interested, they don’t even know if they’ll make that trip. Monica, I’m going to give you the last word. What would you want to tell our audience?
Love the industry. Appreciate and respect it. We need to clean the name of the industry. In some cases, there have been pyramids and scams that have damaged the name of the industry. It’s up to us to clean, give it a good name, educate people, and teach them not to hate the ones that don’t understand our industry but more to educate them and tell them, “Let me show you how it’s done.” I know that they say, “Only 3% become successful.” In my opinion, it’s maybe only 3% are ready to listen, follow instructions, and learn. That’s why they’re successful, but they all have the same chance to be successful. Let me teach you. Let’s clean that image of not a few will make it, but everybody can make it.
Thank you, Monica. This has been a privilege, and thank you so much for your time.
Thank you, John. God bless. Take care.
- Think and Grow Rich
- The Next Generation’s Millionaires
- The Business Of The 21st Century
- Leave Nothing to Chance
- Moving Up