Corey Augenstein
MLM Insider
Editor-In-Chief

INTERVIEW

Lisa Wilber
Company Affiliation

Avon

Web Links
Address

Phone

(603) 345-9466

1. What did you do before network marketing and were you successful in that endeavor? 

I joined Avon when I was 18, but didn't do full time until I got laid off my secretary job. In between I have had jobs as a waitress, cashier, babysitter, invitation designer and many other odd jobs. Was I successful? I earned a paycheck and at that time, that was successful to me

2. How were you introduced to network marketing and what challenges did you have to overcome when you got started?

Avon did not have a network marketing option when I joined the company in 1981. It wasn't offered until 1991 and then I didn't decide to utilize that option until January, 1993. I actually fought against it when it was first introduced! I had a bad impression of network marketing because I had had a neighbor invite us over for dinner and we thought we were going to have dinner with them, and it turned in to a sales pitch for a network marketing company. It made me feel like that was how network marketing was done and I thought it was sleezy. I felt that if the neighbor valued me as a smart person, they would have just told me they wanted to show me a business opportunity instead of the bate and switch. After I did some research on my own I realized that the method used by my neighbor wasn't the only method out there, that I could build a network marketing organization the way I wanted to do it without using techniques that I didn't like.

3. How many companies have you been involved with before you found your current home and what attracted you to this company.

I joined Avon in 1981, joined their network marketing program in 1993. I did not do any other network marketing programs until I added SendOutCards about 2010. I was a huge customer for SendOutCards and decided to up my membership to distributor and have built a small (compared to my Avon team) organization with them.

4. Did you have an opinion about network marketing profession before you decided to get involved?

Covered this in question # 2

5. What was it about (your current company) that made the difference for you and give you the feeling this was the one or did they all do that for you?

Avon has been "the one" for me since the beginning, even before they were network marketing and there are many reasons for it -- but mainly because they are women focused. The founder was a man (David H. McConnell) but the first sales person was a woman -- (Mrs. P.F.E. Albee) and she was from New Hampshire, my home state. The company is even known as "The Company for Women". They support women's causes such as ending domestic violence and finding a cure for breast cancer. Their programs, products and incentives are focused on women and what women want.

6. What was your strategy to insure that you would be successful with your company?

My strategy: I heard early on that if enough people knew who I was and what I did, that I could be successful at just about anything. So I have made it my mission to make sure that as many people as possible know who I am and what I do. I like to call it "relentless self promotion". (in a good way!)

7. What was your biggest failure in life and the lesson you learned?

I've had so many, it's hard to choose just one! As far as business is concerned, but biggest monetary failure was buying a local Curves franchise that ended up costing me (between the purchase and running it at a loss for 4 1/2 years) nearly $400K. Since Curves is the same target market (women) that Avon has, I thought that my skills would transfer. I did not research it enough to realize that density per population when running a fitness facility is all important. We did not have a high enough density in my area to support the membership needed to be profitable. I learned that just because I failed at the Curves franchise and it cost me a lot of money, I still should take risks and trust myself to seek out opportunities. I say that it cost me $400K to learn the definition of density per population.

8. Do you have trainers, speakers or others that have played a role in you growth and success in the business?

Many, many. One of my first experiences was attending a Jim Rohn weekend in Florida - I had to borrow the money to go. It was life changing. I also listened to many, many recordings by Earl Nightingale, Zig Ziglar, Les Brown, Brian Tracey, Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield and others.

9. How specifically do you build your business regarding personal recruitment, helping those in your organization, advertising, promotion, meetings, etc….?

To me, this business is about building relationships. I share information about the company products and opportunity and try to ask questions to see how I can be of service, if at all, to the people I am talking with. I don't try to sell them, or try to recruit them. I'm trying to be of service to see if anything I offer through my company would benefit them -- whether that be products or the opportunity. Once someone buys or signs up, I try to "touch" them via different forms of communication: YouTube videos, emails, text messages, seeing them in person, sending them cards (I send on average 20 cards per day - that's why SendOutCards was a good fit), welcome to my team packets, award certificates, newsletters. I am always looking for ways to be in touch and interact with customers and team members.

10. Is recruiting just a numbers game for you or are you particular about who you sponsor and what do you offer them and they in turn have to give you?

I look for stability in someone that wants to join my team to build a business. Drivers license, banking affiliation (such as checking account), cell phone, internet access, credit card. I feel that these are really minimum requirements someone needs to be a successful business owner. Enthusiasm is great and if someone doesn't have the basics, I want to hear their plan on how they are going to run their business without them. If someone says "I don't have internet access, but I'm willing to go to the library and use theirs" -- okay, I'll still work with them. I want to hear the plan, though; or it's wasting their time and mine.

11. How do you duplicate other leaders like yourself in your organization that give you the best results?

The thing I am trying to duplicate is the ability to think for themselves. I do provide some scripts and outlines, but I actively promote thinking for themselves. For us all to do this exactly the same way does not make sense to me since most of us did not get in this business to be told what to do. Many people (like me) abhor being told exactly what to do, yet I've figured out how to earn great money doing it my way. So I encourage people to follow the basic outline -- but make sure they add their own personality and use their brain. I don't believe being a mindless sheep is what duplicate should mean. And I don't believe that great money is limited to people that get their teams to do everything the same. Of the top money earners that I know in my company, we all do it just a bit different. Basics are the same, but we each bring our personality and strengths - and that is a good thing.

12. Do you use social media and how important is it to your business?

Social media is all important as I am able to connect with a larger number of people each day than I could before. I use Facebook extensively, I have a Facebook group team page for my downline. I have a LinkedIn account and add to it often because I have found that prospective team members do research on us before they join these days. Our LinkedIn profile is like a resume. Many of my team members and customers follow what I do on Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, YouTube, LinkedIn and more and they make buying decisions and decisions on how to do business that way. I do product videos as well as talk about business strategy using Facebook live stream. Social media has been a powerful tool!

13. If there was one thing you could suggest to someone just entering in the business what would that be?

Be a constant learner. Always be looking for new ways to learn, new things to learn, new people to learn from. Don't be afraid to question everything you do and know. Hang out with people earning more money than you do. Attend your convention and other company's conventions and meetings. Soak it all in.

14. Can you tell us about how you help people in your organization to be successful?

I believe the biggest way I help other people is by example. I do what I teach.

15.  What characteristic would your leaders say about you as to why they are glad to be on your team?

The most often heard comment I get is "down to earth" and "relate-able". I believe it's because I am willing to share my background of living in a single wide trailer in a trailer park for 18 years, eating macaroni and driving a Yugo. I have an 11 year old daughter and can be seen in my car, in my nightgown with my hair messed up most mornings waiting for the bus - hoping no ones sees me. When a team member wonders if they can earn big money in this business, they see me earning the money they want and I am just like them. They see themselves in me.

16.  What motivates you to get out of bed every morning?

I have an eleven year old daughter that I adopted at her birth -- I brought her home from the hospital. I am on a mission to raise her to be independent and self supporting. I know the only way to really do that is to set a good example. She needs to see me have a full, rich life. A life where I am excited about my business and enjoying the rewards of working hard. I want her to know that being an entrepreneur is an option. That she can choose whether she is going to be rich or poor, it doesn't just "happen to you".

17. How has your life changed through your success in network marketing?

That is a huge question! As I said, I spent 18 years living in a single wide trailer in a trailer park, eating macaroni and driving a Yugo. To say I was grinding it out in poverty would be an accurate statement. In those days, trying to get enough money each month to pay the electric bill and keep the lights on was a big drama. The yellow notice saying which day it was going to get shut off and trying to catch the guy that came to shut it off before he got up the pole so you could have 30 more days. We didn't care about eating healthy, it was all about how you could feel the most full while spending the least amount of money. Then we defined a "disaster" when an unexpected expense came up. I remember getting a ticket for not having my car inspected. I didn't have the money for the inspection and I sure didn't have the money for the ticket. I scraped up the inspection money and got it inspected and then showed up on the court date and cried hoping the judge would waive the ticket. He did. But my self esteem took a hit. Crying to get out of a ticket. Geez. FAST FORWARD: I live in a 5,500 sq. foot home with my daughter and my Mom has a Mother-in-law apartment attached. I get a new car every few years. I've earned over 35 all expenses paid trips from Avon and my daughter, mother and I have traveled all over the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Europe, Bahamas. We've gone on over a dozen cruises. I have all my bills (like electric) on auto pay so I don't have to look at them. Drama these days is deciding what to pack for our next travel adventure.

18. What are your plans for your future?

My immediate future involves working to beat my results from last year. I also want to be sure and earn every incentive offered by the company -- right now we are working towards a vacation to Atlantis in the Bahamas. My daughter, Lydia; is only in sixth grade so a lot of our plans revolve around the next six years of school and transitioning to earning money. She may or may not go to college, but if that ends up being the direction she goes, I want to be able to write a check for it. We both have vision boards that include places we want to visit -- or visit again. Concerts we want to attend. People we want to see. I have improvements I want to make on our property. A rising tide lifts all boats -- my main objective for my future is to be the tide.

19. Based on your present monthly earnings as an MLM professional, what dreams are you living or able to do that you never thought possible?

Before: 12' x 70' trailer in a trailer park Now: 5,500 square foot home. When I lived in the trailer park, it was hard to imagine. Before: staying at a motel - hoping Motel 6 was $39 in the location we needed to stay. Now: Just spent over $16K staying in an Aquatheater Suite on Oasis of the Seas on Royal Caribbean for one week. We had a butler and daily cocktail service in our room every afternoon as we watched the dive show from our balcony. To say that was hard to imagine is an understatement!

20. Is there anything else you feel important to know about you?

One of the most valuable things that I have learned is to say "I was wrong, I am sorry". When I realized that taking 100% responsibility for my results - good and bad - it changed my life. I own my results: the positive ones and the negative ones. It's a strategy I highly recommend.