Network marketing is a fulfilling business – if you know how to navigate it well by letting your superpowers shine. It will not only earn you heaps of money, but you can gain valuable skills as well. Wendy Lindahl, a long-time network marketing business owner, joins John Solleder to talk about how she built an enterprise that earns well over $100 million a year in sales. She opens up on the required perseverance and self-development for women to succeed, both in their day job and side hustles. Wendy also talks about beating procrastination, learning to achieve mindset, leveraging technology for network building, and hitting your biggest goals in 2023.
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Using Your Superpower To Grow Yourself And Your Business With Wendy Lindahl
It is my privilege to welcome a new friend, somebody who knows our industry very well. He has been doing it for a long while very successfully, from beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona. Wendy Lindahl, how are you?
I am doing great. I’m so excited to be here.
Thank you for being here. Let’s start at the top. Tell people a little bit about your career, how long you’ve been in the industry, some of your experiences, and what you did maybe even before.
When I came to the industry, I was working, believe it or not, for a company that thrived in the utility industry. My role there was in human resources. When the company went through a transition, I left. This industry was a perfect fit for me being in that human element all the time. I’ve been in the industry now for many years. I started with a name that everyone knows, which is Avon products. It was a perfect transition and a great place for me to start. It was one of the icons. I was living in a small town in rural Wisconsin, a town of 603. It was an incredible opportunity for me to take the skills that I had and thrive in a small town.
There weren’t a lot of options. That has led me to this path of being in the industry. Once you become familiar with what this industry can do for you, it’s hard to leave. My path has meandered, like many in the industry over the years, but my passion has become helping people through the same moments that I had when I started in the field doing all the incredible things and helping people to thrive wherever they were.
Let’s stay on that subject for a minute and talk specifically about women. Many women are in our industry, part-time, full-time, super successful in some cases, and, in a lot of cases, they want to make that extra pin money. I remember my mother used to call it pin money years ago. Let’s talk about that. Why are so many women looking for a side hustle like what you’re doing now?
Like many of us, I was a single mom when I started in the industry. I had two babies at home. It was the space and place where I could make an income for myself. It didn’t matter where I was, what my experience was, or all of those things. When you look at it as a side income, it’s such a flexible space to be in. As a mom, you want to have time to do the things that you’re passionate about as well. You want to be able to be there to raise your children.
I feel like many people get to give their children the great gift of being able to see work and all of those things that we do each and every day. I can say that I saw that in my children throughout time. It allows us to have control of those revenue channels that we want to have in our home. Now, people are adding more revenue channels into their lives because it’s a changing environment, and that’s amazing.
What’s amazing, too, is now your business does well over $100 million a year in sales, which is phenomenal. Let’s talk about that a little bit, but let me give you a hypothetical question. You run your business from home as I do. Most of our readers do. A few of them have office space for whatever reason, but I’ve never seen a reason for it. It’s an added expense. The last few years are reflected in that. Let’s say a mom and a daughter are living down the street from you there in beautiful Scottsdale, and they notice your lifestyle.
They notice you can go walk the dog in the afternoon if you want. You can go for a run if you want. You can go to the pool when you want. They start to notice that from a distance. Maybe they don’t even know you well, but they’re observing like, “How come every time we’re home, she’s home?” One day, they figure it out. They ask another neighbor and say, “She’s in one of those direct selling businesses, and she’s successful with it.” The 25-year-old daughter is college educated. She did everything right, went to school, got good grades, worked hard in the classroom, got out, got a job, and her career started to grow.
The mom, who’s on the other end of the spectrum, about 60 years old, was looking at, “Maybe it’s time to play with the grandkids, work on my golf game, and do what I want to do. I saved enough money and worked hard my whole life. I got to the end of my work life.” All of a sudden, a couple of years ago, we know what happened. They say, “Let’s go down the street here this afternoon and see if Wendy can spare an hour. Maybe she can educate us a little bit as to why get into the direct selling space now.”
The story would be that this is the best time to be in our industry and the fact that it allows us that flexibility to create a career where we’re in control of that. It gives us the opportunity to build whatever legacy we want to have. Along the way, the greatest power that we have is that we get to use all of the amazing skills that we all have. We all have our superpowers. They apply in many places in this world and this space. We get to help others each and every day so we can feel good about that at the end of the day. It’s empowering for people to know that this industry allows them the freedom and flexibility to create their own success stories. Once people hear that and they understand, that’s what draws them in.MLM offers flexibility to create a career that you have control of. It provides opportunity to build whatever legacy you want to have. Click To Tweet
Let’s talk about a few of the skills that you teach your people and something that you’re passionate about, which is teaching people how to beat the P-word, Procrastination.
That is the one. I have become a master at it overcoming my procrastination. All of us are guilty of the P word at times. It’s something I’m passionate about because when you remove the procrastination tendencies and start to understand your behaviors, that’s where success and consistency come from. That’s where doing the key challenges of every day are working through those things that interrupt us. I talk about procrastination. I teach how to overcome it by understanding our behaviors.
It’s an exercise program. We have to create those new habits that bring us to a different space and a place. When we’re conscious of those decisions or those choices of our time, we start to understand our triggers and how we can get better at doing the things that we do. The reality of this business is you don’t have to do this business full-time. What you hope is that you do things efficiently so you have more time to do the things that you love. Part of the joy of flexibility in this industry is it allows us to do things well.
It’s the things that make a difference in our day, then we get to use that extra time to do the things that we love. For me, that’s my goal for everyone. I want people to have that balance in life that often alludes to us, especially in the crazy world that we’re living in. My ultimate goal is that by beating our procrastination, the gains that we get far outweigh the challenges that we have in getting to that point. That’s a focus for me.
You used the word goals. Let’s talk about that a little bit. How can people, male and female, can get their personal goals better and their business goals better? What skills can they apply that perhaps they’re not applying, or they know the skills but they’re not using them? How can they do that? How can they focus on their goals and achieve them starting here in 2023 and beyond?
Everybody’s goals are unique and specific, but you have to have the North Star to work for. You have to know that at the end of the day what it is that you need to achieve. I’ll use my own life as an example. As I said, I started in the industry as a single mom with two children at home. I know that I needed to pay the bills. I knew what that was. I know that I wanted to have the vacation that I wanted to take them. I had a system of priorities that were important to me, and that was my North Star.
That was what drove me. From that, you can break that down into smaller goals. With the challenge that we often have is people don’t know what their goals are. They don’t take the time to stop and say, “What do I need, what do I want, and how do I define that path to get there?” That is what it takes. It is to break that down. When I’m working with individuals, I get pretty granular when it goes to goals because I want to know, at the end of the day, what it is that makes our hearts sing.
That’s what gets us into action. Yes, bills have to be paid, but for me, it was, “I want to give a quality of life to my children as well.” If we don’t get to that granular part of it, we tend to get lost in the actual steps that are going to get there. We find too many excuses. We find too much procrastination. We find too many other things that take us away from the things that we ultimately want in life. At the end of the day, we can have anything we want to have. We have to have that step in our hearts that gets us there.
Let’s talk about mindset a little bit. With the mindset of people who achieve and the mindset of people who want to achieve but don’t, what’s the differentiation?
We are our own worst enemies in this industry and in many things in our lives. It’s about those people who are successful and becoming unstoppable because they have that in their heart where they’re going. The people who I see who fail are the ones who let the insecurities and the perfection, and all of those things get in the way of taking the step. It’s about the courage to take those steps, even if we’re not good at it. I’d like to say I’m great at everything, John. I would, but I’m not. I do it every day.Have the courage to take the necessary steps, even if you’re not good at them. Click To Tweet
All of those who strive for our goals is we keep forging ahead and put our mindset in the way that says, “I may not be perfect now, but I’m going to be the best that I can be.” I’ve seen some incredible success stories come from people who may not have done it perfectly, but they kept going, kept moving forward, and knew that they were going to learn along the way. That’s part of this journey, and that’s this journey called life. We’d love to say we can take a pill and everything falls into place, but it doesn’t work that way. We have to be solid in it.
Would you say that the people who keep showing up eventually get where they want to be or better than they were, at least, certainly?
Yes. I love the saying, and many people have said, “I want to be 1% better today than I was yesterday.” If we take those steps, we learn from our mistakes. We learn from our successes. We learn from every experience that we have, but it’s a choice if we choose to use them as a stepping stone versus something that holds us back.
Let’s talk a little bit about actual contact capital and accumulation. You’ve been doing this for a long time. How do you still generate new people to talk to about your business? You’ve probably gone through the market ready. How do you meet those new people? What tools are you using, be they technology tools or interpersonal tools? What are you using to meet people and share your business with them?
This is a skill that I learned growing a business in a very small town. I learned to make a billboard for what I’m doing. There is an opportunity in every connection. I’m still old school. I still believe in the power of connection, but I always say this. I never look at a name or an individual. I always look at a network. It’s something that I had to master, growing in a small town because I couldn’t take one step at a time. In other words, I couldn’t go one by one. What I wanted to do was take those bigger strides and leaps towards success through the networks of people that they had. I always look at it as I want to understand when I make a relationship with someone, what are my opportunities there?
These are general things that you think of anyways, “I always wanted to know this. Tell me a little bit about your family.” Why did I want to know that? It’s because most of our clients are our customers and team members. There’s more than one user in that household. It’s a great way to start understanding what that network looks like. I looked at who worked outside the home. Some of the greatest team members I’ve had are those individuals who have other streams of income, but they also have other built-in audiences.
I always look to see, “What do you like to do? Tell me a little bit about your life because that leads you to a book club, a running club, a Red Hat Society,” you name it. I then always look for need. I am always looking for what is the space and place where I can help you from a financial standpoint. That’s what you start to pay attention to, “Who’s getting married? Who has a baby? Who’s wanting to go on that family vacation? Who has kids in college?”Always look for the space and place where you can help people from a financial standpoint. Click To Tweet
What I started to learn is the art of looking at networks. Once you start doing that, your world widens up. When you start teaching that to others, their world starts happening. It is truly a win-win situation. When I look at how I was able to build success, way back when I started in this industry in a town of 603 people, it was ultimately about being a networker and being the person who looked for opportunities. It was an opportunity to be intentional without feeling intentional.
I lived in a small town. When you’re living in a small town, you either know everybody you relate with. They’re going to be around the table somewhere. I never wanted to be that person who when I showed up at somebody’s house, turned the lights off and hid behind the furniture. That wasn’t the goal. When you start to build those networks, those are questions you ask when you’re building relationships anyway. I felt comfortable looking at those opportunities. Now, I still do the same thing. When I meet a new individual and start talking, I start asking the same questions. That builds those opportunities to bigger audiences that I can reach. It’s been effective for me.
Let’s talk about this a little bit. Now you’re in the beauty industry. We never talk about companies specifically here. Once in a while, they get referenced, but no big deal. You’ve been in the beauty industry a long time. The beauty industry is growing exponentially as one of the areas that a lot of people are looking at and getting involved with. Why do you think the beauty industry is exploding the way it is? It’s not just in direct selling but in general. It seems it’s going through incredible growth. Why do you think that is?
We have a population that is aging. We have a population that is our lifespan is getting longer. People are paying attention. I’m predominantly in skincare. You see people wanting to take care of themselves. They want to feel good about themselves. People are willing to invest in that. The heart of it has been this passion for how we continue down this path of life changes and how we do that through incredible products. I have found that even during the tough years that we had when people were at home, there was still a boon of people wanting to look good. It was at that moment that they felt good about themselves. We see that continue now that we’re in a different space.
Let me advertise a little bit, and I’ll leave you with my next question. The name of our show is Leave Nothing To Chance. Wendy, you were somewhere around my 100th show, believe it or not. We’ve been doing this for a few years now. Every other Tuesday, we have a new show. Anyway, the book is called Leave Nothing to Chance, which I wrote. What I was sharing with Wendy earlier was during COVID, I had no way to get these books out to the marketplace. I was a meeting guy. I flew all over the world doing meetings and, all of a sudden, you don’t have an audience. My prior book is Moving up: 2020. These are available on Amazon. Thank Jeff Bezos. He markets some for us. They’re available in Spanish as well as English. They’re digital, by the way. You don’t have to buy the actual books if you don’t want to.
You don’t have to buy the books at all if you don’t want to. It was a 40-year track record, and I talked to many great people like Wendy. Some of their stories and tidbits are there like what you’re getting from Wendy to help you, most importantly, become the best version of you. Wendy, the question is self-development. How important has that been for your life and also for your business?
We have to always be students in life. It helps us in every aspect of life. Every time we learn a new skill or a new nugget of knowledge that comes our way, it helps us to be better in the spaces and places where we want to thrive. I can use an example. Meeting individuals like yourself, you always take home something that is in your toolkit that helps you to be better at the things that you want to do.
It’s something that we do daily. We get it from unlimited sources if we choose. I’ve learned from people outside of the industry. I’ve learned from the neighbor down the street. I’ve learned from those happenstance meetings that happen. There is knowledge to be gained. We hope that we can move that knowledge forward and that we can take our learnings and get to bequeath it to others as we continue on our path. That’s how we pay it forward in life.
You’re right. It reminds me of years ago when I was running sales for a company here in Dallas. I had lunch with Jim Rohn. He was in town. He’s one of my colleagues. I had worked for him at one time. They said, “You want to have lunch with Jim?” I’m like, “Jim who? There are a lot of Jims in the world.” They say, “Jim Rohn.” I’ll find a way to work it into my schedule. We go to lunch with Mr. Rohn, and we’re sitting there, myself and these two other gentlemen and Jim.
We’re sitting there at a restaurant here in Dallas. Jim was very big on always taking notes. We’re sitting there, and none of us are taking notes. The two other guys were in their 50s, and I was in my 30s. He looked at me and said, “These two guys are too old to listen.” I knew what he meant. I ran to my car and got my diary. I came in and started writing some things down. You’re having a casual lunch. You don’t want to take notes when you are having a casual lunch. He made a great point and made the same point eloquently. That’s what you can learn from anybody.
His point was, “You’ll only hear me speak again, but what if the waiter says something one time, and I can’t remember what he said, and it was so profound that you didn’t write it down?” I went, “Whoa.” I started writing things down. I’ve got notes all over my office from interviews to what we’re doing now to write it all down. You’re aging very well. I’m not, unfortunately. That being the case, I don’t trust my memory. I write everything down, and as long as I can remember where I put it, I can reread it.
You’re doing good. It’s funny that you say that because I am on audio notes. I have gotten to the point where I will wake up like many people in the middle of the night with that thought or that remembrance of something impactful. I have to do a voice note because, as you said, sometimes it floats out there into the great nothingness and we missed all of those great things. There are lessons to be learned all around us. We have to be open to it. We have to be willing to be flexible to be students as much as we are givers and share that knowledge.
You’ve helped many people over the years with your knowledge because you’re a student and then you apply the information. You’ve created so much success for yourself and your family, but also for many other people. Let’s talk about that a little bit further. What would you say if on next day you couldn’t do this anymore for whatever reason? What’s been the number one lesson that you’ve learned in your life as a result of doing this business?
It’s something I think about daily. That is, we all have, as I referenced earlier, our superpowers. We all have something magical within us and embrace it. Everybody’s superpower is different. I didn’t come into this world with any privilege or status or any of those things. What I did was I could be the best that I could be.
Something that I want everyone to understand is to never overlook that we all embrace something cool within us. It’s about bringing it out to the world. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking because all you have to do is look in the mirror. That’s something that I look at daily, especially as I’m working with new individuals. I feel like I have the gift of identifying people’s superpowers and letting them do that. We hope that we give back to this world something great. At the end of the day, if I couldn’t do this tomorrow, I would hope that I’ve been able to impact people to understand they have some incredible talents.
Let me ask you a fun question. We’ve asked the serious ones, so here’s the fun one. I know you’re a veteran of the industry. I’m sure you’ve had your incentive trips, your other trips, and your individual trips. If you had to narrow it down, is there one travel experience in particular that you had someplace you went that you want to share with the audience?
I do. I had the honor and privilege of going to a private home in France. It wasn’t in Paris. It was the beautiful countryside outside of Toulouse, France. It was such an incredible experience because it was a small, intimate group. We were in this beautiful space and place. When you get that time to spend with a small group and have those conversations and get to know people in the gorgeous scenery that you only see on a postcard or the travel channel, that’s the one that sticks with me because it was such an enlightening and beautiful experience.
It was pretty stunning, especially at an estate. I don’t own an estate in any other country. I don’t own an estate at all. Those experiences, when you have them, you embrace them.
It’s such a thing about our industry that it may be unique. Like yourself, this is all I’ve ever done as an adult. I don’t know how the real world works outside of direct selling. You think of the trips and think of how many people never would’ve had that experience you shared if they hadn’t joined your company. You got the skills. The company doesn’t fly you there and spend all that money if you don’t do anything. It’s give and take.
People had that life experience that they never would’ve had living wherever in the middle of Wisconsin, the middle of Texas, or wherever. They never even would’ve thought of it. They had this remarkable life experience that they’ll take to the grave as one special one. Wrapping up, let’s talk a little bit about the future. You’ve been at this a long time. You’ve been super successful at it. Your business is growing very nicely. Everything’s good. What’s the next year, 3 years, or 5 years look like?
The next year is staying true to what this industry is all about and the fundamentals that I think are eternal. Our channels have changed over the years. It’s the fact that I was here when you were doing cold calling. I was here during that period of time when we had direct mail and went through all of those things. All of those things will continue to evolve as the catalyst of those communications.
What will still be the same is that we’re still building relationships, and that is the skill that I want to continue to grow and develop. How do we change but stay true to the relationships that are the foundation for what we do? We’re always going to have changes in technology and the spaces and places that allow us to have even more reach than ever before.
It’s never going to change the fact that the best people that you have in your life and your business are the ones that you personally touched. For me, that will always be the focus of that. I hope to continue to be able to help people each and every day. That’s the thing that when I put my head on the pillow at night, I feel fabulous about when I’ve been able to make an impact.
At the end of the day, I want to make sure that what I’m doing is helping others live their dream, their space, their place, the things that they’ve always wanted, and find great joy along the way. Going back, you can talk seriously in this business, but if you don’t have a sense of humor and don’t enjoy the ride, I always tell people, “Then go home.” We’re going to have bad days. Don’t get me wrong. That’s life, but let’s have some laughter. Let’s have some fun. Let’s enjoy those moments and create memories along the way with a lot of laughter.
Let me ask you this, your children now are grown, I’m assuming.
Has either of them pursued direct selling? Are they following a mom in the industry, an entrepreneur, or an entrepreneurial pursuit?
It’s funny. Neither of them is in the industry. However, I tell this to moms who come into this industry. Never overlook the gift that you give your kids when you do this type of work. I can tell you this. It’s when your children watch you work all the time. My children knew that when the door was shut, unless something was on fire, don’t bug mom because she has a meeting or something is going on.
They still to this day know. If I raise my finger like this and I’m on the phone, it means, “You better not make a noise. I’m serious. I’m on a call.” Still to this day, and they’ll be with friends or whatever, if I put my hand up, they’re like, “Everybody, be quiet.” I look at my children and see what a gift I was able to give them because when I look at them in what they’re doing as adults.
How they deal with conflict resolution, how they manage, how they create relationships with others, and how they handle the good and the bad are directly impacted by what they saw while they were growing up. My son can do a perfect rendition of me doing a team call because he heard it. Don’t overlook the fact that we have an influence and an impact on those around us because they’ve been watching it for twenty-some years. Like you were talking about your wife, she’s been watching you for a long time.
It’s very true, and the kids have too. One of them is following in my footsteps. The other two could care less. They got other stuff going on in their lives. He was the one that I never thought would even pay attention to. All of a sudden, he turned eighteen. He is like, “I need to start doing this to make some extra money while I’m in college.”
Sometimes they hear statements. The first statement I ever heard was, “For things to change, you got to change. For things to get better, you got to get better.” I heard that in 1983. I’m still in college. I went to my first meeting and heard that, and every one of my kids can say that in their sleep because they heard me saying it probably 5,000 times.
When we become lifetime coaches, they live through that and move forward as well. That’s some of the incredible things that this industry allows for. It is a fact that we leave our teachings everywhere. Going back to if I had to leave the industry, I would hope that I’ve made a positive impact on many people’s lives. That’s why we’re here for.
You certainly have, and I appreciate you being on the call. It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to get to know you. I’ll give you the last word. You can sign us out here however you want to give people a little bit of sage Wendy advice for going forward.
In closing, I would say pursue the passion. Pursue the things that drive you to the space that you want to be. We all want different things, and that’s okay. Don’t follow anybody else’s goals, dreams, or their path. Learn from others, but make your path. Don’t forget to make your legacy and be proud of every step that you take to get there. We’re going to continue moving.
Great advice. Thanks again, Wendy.
Thank you so much. I appreciate it, John.
About Wendy Lindahl
Senior level executive professional with extensive experience in field and project management with a focus on strategy development, implementation and evaluation. A motivational leader who understands the value and power of human capital in driving growth and profitability.