Looking back over the last 20 years, it’s extraordinary how one decision has now led to over 50,000 independent contractors earning their income from It Works! Global each and every month. Many are now working toward their personal goals of complete debt freedom. I never thought debt free would be the new sexy; I just knew it was a sound philosophy for business and for life.
Before starting our company, being a math teacher and a coach gave me an edge whenever people pitched me on moneymaking opportunities. I turned most of them down on the spot, but finally, reluctantly, I gave one man a few minutes to share the direct selling profession with me. All it took was the math and I was hooked. I knew my teaching salary and even the extra coaching money I earned would never really allow me to get ahead. Heck, my wife couldn’t even go to the grocery store and actually buy what she wanted—only what she needed. After telling this man “No” time after time, I finally said, “Yes” and signed up with my dad in network marketing.
Little did I know that this one moment—this one decision—would not only change my family’s legacy but also the family tree of tens of thousands of others around the world.
Less than two years later after saying yes to network marketing so my wife and I could make an extra $500 a month and buy whatever we wanted at the grocery store, we became financially independent through network marketing. It became very clear to me that a quote I loved was very true: “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m Possible.’ ”
Years after that one decision brought us into this profession, one more decision has led us to where we are today with It Works! Global. Deciding to start a company of our own was not an easy decision. Some said it wasn’t a smart decision at the time, but we knew then, and we know now, that it was the right decision.
Over the last 10 years there have been many products and companies that came and went. I credit our focus on what we do best for not only keeping us around, but also keeping us relevant for well over a decade now.
I credit our focus on what we do best for not only keeping us around, but also keeping us relevant for well over a decade now.
All those years ago we decided to stay true to ourselves, our debt-free philosophy, and our 45-minute tightening, toning and firming Crazy Wrap Thing.
Since the beginning of It Works! Global, we have seen consistent growth but never experienced true momentum—or anything resembling it—for many of the first years we were in business. Nevertheless, we stayed focused, kept refining our message, and stayed true to our people and our culture. With my math teaching background always in the back of my mind, I knew the compounding effect of consistency would start showing at some point and the momentum we had personally experienced in our first company would take hold in It Works!.
I’ll never forget that day near the end of 2011 when I met with members of our team—both corporate and in the field—and we made one decision that will forever be a milestone in our company history. We set a goal to double the company in 2012. That was a big goal. That means we would create over $100 million in sales in the next 12 months. Our team was committed. We created a vision and a mission for our company: One Team. One Mission. $100 Million.
We set a goal to double the company in 2012. We created a vision and a mission for our company: One Team. One Mission. $100 Million.
It caught on like wildfire. People want to be a part of something big, something with passion, something they can believe in. It was obvious we had a big goal and accomplishing it would take everyone coming together around that goal and keeping our core philosophy of debt freedom at the forefront.
More importantly, reaching that team goal meant everyone involved increased their businesses.
We didn’t achieve our $100 million goal in 12 months; we achieved it in seven! The unifying force of a group of likeminded people believing in something sparked something big. We sparked a culture that was our own. A culture that was passionate, driven, unified. A culture that, apparently, was indeed cool. A culture that generated and achieved more success for everyone, corporate and in the field.
After ending 2012 with over $200 million in sales, and more than doubling our initial goal, we continue to stay focused and unified. We continue to make one decision—and stick to it.
Staying focused on our goal empowered and unified the field and corporate team. We diligently wanted to avoid having a copycat mentality of seeing something work somewhere else, and thinking it will work for us. Sometimes it does, but more often than not it doesn’t.
Why? Because it’s not something that you’re truly passionate about. It’s not something you can “sell” to your field as innovative, unique and yours.
We believe that in today’s marketplace people want to feel uniqueness and innovation in a company. That’s empowering. It gives them an edge that they have something to offer their customers and prospects that is only available through them. Having a unique selling proposition sometimes is all your field needs to accomplish 10 times more than they could have without it. Couple that with a unified message that you engrain into the culture of your entire company and you have a powerful force that is unstoppable: a culture that is unbreakable and sales that follow.
Be true to yourself, your field and corporate teams. Get behind something that you all believe in. When people told us that debt free wasn’t sexy, that didn’t stop us; it empowered us even more to prove that it was.
We knew freedom was sleeping in a house that was paid for. We knew that getting a zero balance each month on your credit card statement created relief. We knew that driving a car that was paid for was sexy, and so did our people.
If you are reading this right now and thinking that imitating what someone else is doing is the best—and maybe safest—way to go, I would challenge you to ask yourself if you can really get behind it. Can you truly rally your field and corporate team to the goals you want to achieve by only doing what everyone else is doing? Leaders don’t follow the masses. They lead them.
Start out simple. Make one decision for this year. Make it personal. Share your vision with your corporate team. You will see that, with that decision, your vision, your passion and your direction will light a fire in them to carry that flag all year. Then share it with your field. Shout it from the rooftops! Make the decision to say “no” to all the other “cool” things that may come your way. They may sound good at first, but they can derail your goals, your team, your culture, and, ultimately, your sales.
Let that one focused decision lead to another, then another, then another until you reach your goals. If you are like us, there’s no stopping you. Even after achieving $100 million in sales five months early, we didn’t stop making goals or focused decisions—we just started making bigger ones.
Knowing that your company, your culture, and, ultimately, your cash flow depend on decisions you make as an executive, as the leader of your company, why not make that one decision right now that can take your business to the next level?
My one decision to write this article was based on one thing: the hope that it would impact one executive, one company, one owner to make the one decision that will make you unique—the one decision that will rally your team behind your mission and put you on the map as an innovative company in direct sales.
Mark Pentecost is Founder and CEO of It Works! Global.