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In my travels as a network marketer, I have discovered valuable information that has enabled me to persevere and keep my goals in sight. If this industry was easy, everyone would be doing it! It takes intestinal fortitude and a giant want to stay in this industry. (See my post from 10/26/2011 regarding your why) Here are six more important features of a successful network marketer:

1. Be yourself
2. Be transparent. Let everyone know what you do.
3. Be authentic. Learn as much as you can about people.
4. Be respectful. This speaks for itself.
5. Be trusted.
6. Be credible.

To your velvet victory!!!

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Thanksgiving


Today is the day we look back on the year and give thanks for the bountiful blessings we have. I have lived for 53 Thanksgiving holidays and I thank God for that! I thank God for my beautiful wife of 7 years, who has loved for me for who I am and has stuck by my side through the good and bad. I thank God for my daughter, who is a strong and beautiful soul with so much promise. I’m proud of the young woman she has become. I thank God that we have been blessed with the means to care for ourselves and help those less fortunate than us. It is our duty as children of God to give back for what he has blessed us with, no exceptions. On this Thanksgiving Day, I wish peace and prosperity to all and thank your for following the Velvet Victory. God Bless!


Back in May of this year, I began a journey back to physical fitness that has been a staple in my life since I was in elementary school. To give a little history, my gym coach in elementary school began administering the President’s Council on Physical Fitness test which was mandatory back then. There was a series of activities that we were tested on and in the end, depending on how you scored, you could earn a patch with a cool eagle symbol and the words Presidents Council. I looked at this as a symbol that you were the best of the best! I found out that day that I could run and it began my career in track and field, which eventually lead to football and a partial scholarship to college. After college, I continued to stay in shape, but this time it was because diabetes and high blood pressure were prevalent in my family and had taken the lives of quite a few relatives and friends. As I have gotten older, I have been less inclined to compete as actively as I did in the past, but it is still important to remain healthy because of being genetically pre-disposed to diabetes.

I injured myself while running in the LA Marathon in 2007, but didn’t recognize the injury until I was training to compete again in 2008. My doctors asked me to stop competing and give my body a rest until I healed. This lasted nearly a year. Afterwards, I was faced with unemployment and the economic crisis that hit everyone in 2009. I focused more on getting my life together for my family and let myself go. I gained over 30 pounds, suffered with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression. After moving back to Michigan near the end of 2009 to begin a new job, I stilled battled with the same injury which meant not being able to do what I loved, running. I became more depressed after losing my mom to diabetes related illness shorty after moving back to Michigan. I was on a dangerous ride and feeling unable to fight through it.

By the grace of God, I was able to overcome my depression and realized that my family needed me to get it together not only for them, but for me. My wife introduced me to a company that produced wellness products and these products kick started my journey back to good health. I recently lost 30 pounds, lowered my blood pressure, cholesterol and BMI as well as inches off my waist. It feels good to be able to work out again and ultimately I look forward to being able to train again for my dream – competing in the Iron Man Hawaii triathlon.

I mention this because it is so easy to ignore our health, especially for African American men. There are probably hundreds of reasons why men do this, revolving around the macho image and feeling of indestrucatibility. It’s a false sense that we need to change immediately. My next series of post are going to outline things we can do to assure that we are monitoring our health and doing all we can to ensure a healthy lifestyle. To our velvet victory……..

Carl


The network marketing industry is known for the ability to start your own business with a small investment of money. It is also one of the reasons why these opportunities fail because there is little investment of money and if someone decides not to do it, the loss is minimal. It is also true that in order to find success in network marketing, you must invest your time and efforts into making the opportunity a success. A key to this successful effort is to have a compelling reason why you are investing your time and efforts into the opportunity. Your why must be so vivid and real. Why do you want to make more money? Why do you want to be successful? What motivates you? What drives you? Why did you choose this opportunity?

Make your why so big that it has a life of its’ own! You will find that once you have defined the why, the road less traveled will be easier to navigate.

Carl

Faith and Finances


The King James Bible is “an English translation by the Church of England of the Christian Bible begun in 1604 and completed in 1611” according to Wikipedia. This book has withstood the test of time and is constantly the topic of discussion between believers and non-believers. For the believer, it is the word of God written for us to successfully navigate through life until our time on Earth has passed and we meet God face to face. For the non-believer it is just a book to be ignored or scrutinized for being out of date and choking out life for those who truly want to live it. For the believer, one of the most discussed topics relates to finances and how we are to handle them. The Bible states that we are to honor God by giving 10% of our earnings to the Church or charity. I have been involved in many a debate as to whether we “tithe” 10% of our gross pay or net pay. The Bible states “bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be food in My house, and try me now in this” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it”. (Malachi 3:10)

This passage tells us that when we honor God with our finances, he will make sure that we have what we need and more. For the believer this is assurance in tough times. It forces you to prioritize your finances and assure that God gets what is due Him first before you pay yourself or your bills. It is a tough discipline that once mastered can bring about the abundant life promised if we believe and obey. The non-believer would state that they don’t tithe and have found the same success financially as the believer who is faithful in his tithing. Matthew 4:45 says that God “makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust”. This means that this world was created with certain principles interwoven in its’ very fabric that operate whether we want them to or not, whether we are believers or not. The concept of sowing and reaping is a great example.

So what is your stance on this? Are you a believer and tithing is a foundation of your life and finances? Are you a believer who waivers in your faith and the tithe? Are you a non-believer who could care less? Food for thought. Working towards the Velvet Victory…………………..

Carl

Remembering 9/11


As we approach the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I find myself looking back on that day in time the same way I did on the first anniversary. However this time my look back has taken on a different perspective. Ten years ago, I had just moved to California to start a new job. I remember in August, 2001 my mother had her 63rd birthday and had been diagnosed with kidney failure from diabetes. She began dialysis treatment 3 days a week and I felt guilty that I was over 2,000 miles away for my own selfish reasons. My daughter was 9 years old and I needed to find a way to continue to support her. The hardest thing for me to do was leave my family and friends in Michigan. I arose at 6:00am and turned on the news and couldn’t believe what I was seeing! I was glued to the T.V. for hours. I was so tempted to call in sick, but for some reason I couldn’t do it. I went to work late that morning and the whole company was in the lobby watching the news on the big screen television.

We were all shocked. This had to be a dream. This could not be happening here in America! The overwhelming consensus that day was that no one was safe from terrorism! I called my family to find out how they were doing and let them know how much I loved them. At that moment I needed to be with my family! I wanted to go home, but if I quit job I would have to re-pay them the moving expenses incurred. I couldn’t at that time, so I stayed. That day made me realize just what was important in life. Since that awful day, I got married, watched the inauguration of the country’s first black president, moved back to Michigan, lost my mother to diabetes, watched my daughter graduate from high school and leave our nest, struggle in the midst of an economic crisis and witness the death of the “mastermind of the 9/11 attacks”.

Do you remember how this country banded together that day and the many months afterwards? We prayed as a nation! Prayed! We put aside our differences and worked together to show that this would not destroy us! Everyone cared about each other like family. It was a time like no other for me. I wish our country could come together again like that to address the issues we are facing today. I wish that we could put aside our political differences for the better of the country. I didn’t like what had happened on 9/11, but I loved our response. It showed what can happen when we all pull together. That day it didn’t matter about the color of your skin, religion, financial status, sexual orientation, height, weight or education. What mattered was that we were Americans! We were family!!

Carl


As my wife and I have worked to get our business up and running successfully, the one constant that we have encountered is the perception that network marketing is a “pyramid scheme”. I wondered about where this perception came from and why it was so relevantly prevalent in the minds of people we meet everyday? I came across a video produced by a wellness product company that uses network marketing and I learned some very valuable information regarding why network marketing has its’ reputation. I learned how the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigated The Amway Corporation after it had been labeled a “pyramid scheme”. A pyramid scheme promises consumers or investors large profits based primarily on recruiting others to join their program, not based on profits from any real investment or real sale of goods to the public. Some sell a product, but often use the product to disguise their structure. Key indicators of a pyramid scheme are that a product is simply being used to disguise a pyramid scheme: inventory loading and a lack of retail sales.

Inventory loading occurs when a company’s incentive program make recruits buy more products than they could ever sell at inflated prices. This happening throughout the company’s distribution system gives the people at the top of the pyramid huge profits with little to no product moved to the market. The people at the bottom buy excessive inventory that simply accumulates in their basements. The lack of retail sales is also a red flag. Many schemes claim that their product is selling and in large volumes. However, if you look closely, the sales are only happening between people inside the structure or to new recruits joining the structure, not to consumers out in the general public.

Likewise, a Ponzi scheme involves continuous recruiting, but the promoter generally has no product to sell and pays no commission to investors who bring in new members. The promoter collects payments from people, and promises the same high rate of return on a short-term investment. A typical Ponzi scheme has no real investment opportunity, and the promoter uses the money from new recruits to pay obligations owed to members of the program who have been in the longest. I encourage everyone to read the FTC legal documents regarding Amway and find out more about how the end result of their investigation cleared Amway of being a pyramid scheme and the criteria they use to evaluate whether or not something is a pyramid scheme. This will help you to not only get rid of the stigma, but evaluate network marketing opportunities in general. Don’t let the stigma prevent you from achieving your goals, dreams and desires. To your continued success…..

Carl