Kathy Schneider on Helping Busy MLM Moms Implement Systems
Kathy Schneider and her husband were living the American Dream with running their own business until the commute killed them. Here’s her story.
Wow Kathy! I am honored to have this interview with you. You have a lot of experience within network marketing that I am curious to learn more about. So, let’s get started!
First, how was your childhood and what did you want to become when you “grew up”?
I had a wonderful childhood. Lived most of my childhood in a neighborhood filled with lots of kids. I was an only child but both my parents were raised in an orphanage and because of this, they made the decision to be foster parents and ‘sponsor’ various cottages to support children without a family.
We had over 100 foster children from the time I was in 3rd grade until I was a Freshman in high school. It was at that time that one of the girls we’d sponsored for many years called and asked if she could move in with us.
Her move was approved by the State and until this day, we’re as close as real sisters. There are only 10 days between our ages.
I wanted to be a wife, a mom and a business owner, though no ‘business’ in particular. I just knew I wanted to ‘run’ a business.
Was there any Entrepreneurship in the household during your childhood?
Yes. My dad always had a ‘business’ – even when he worked a job. Everything from vending machines, to coin laundries to a weekend only furniture store and rental property.
You went to Texas Tech University and then taught Elementary school afterwards. What was life like then?
Life was good! When my husband and I got married in 1985, he was a farmer and I taught school until our first child was born in 1987.
We both worked long hours, but while it was just the two of us that was okay. When our daughter was born, I knew I didn’t want to leave her in daycare while I worked, so we opened a furniture store on the weekends until we had the business built up enough for us to go full time.
I retired from teaching, my husband retired from farming, and the three of us went to work together each day until our daughter started school.
When we made the decision to relocate so she could attend a private school 60 miles north of where we lived, my husband started an irrigation and landscaping business and I commuted back and forth to run the store until we got pregnant with our son a few years later.
You discovered network marketing in 1997. Can you tell us how you discovered it, who showed you, and what were the first couple years like?
I discovered network marketing after my son was born, when I was looking for a way to stay home and still contribute to the family finances. I’d been approached about network marketing years before, but at the time didn’t see it as a legitimate business model.
As I was looking for something to do from home though, I stumbled across the website for the Direct Selling Association. I found their business directory and, not knowing anything about network marketing or how it worked, chose a company I liked strictly based on the products.
I called the company’s corporate office, and they put me in touch with one of their top earners, who I enrolled with shortly after.
The first couple of years were good. It was a party-plan company and my oldest daughter and I would do home parties every week, sometimes traveling as far as 2 hours away. It was a very retail-driven company, but over time I began to build a small team and my check started to grow.
When I became pregnant with our third child and was unable to meet their large monthly sales quotas, I lost everything I had built. After our daughter was born I knew I wanted to get back into the industry, but this time I would be a little wiser and use different parameters in choosing my company.
What was the hardest lesson you learned from that time?
The hardest lesson I learned was simply learning to understand what the network marketing industry really is, and how to choose the right company based on the lifestyle I wanted to create.
The products in the first company were home decor pieces. Beautiful, but non-consumable. This meant most of our customers would purchase once or twice, but there was no steady repeat income. You had to constantly be doing more parties, meeting new people, to get new customers and continue to hit your quotas each month.
I also learned that I had a greater interest in building a team of consultants rather than retailing products. Of course, I knew I would always need to have a customer base, regardless of which company I was with, but I wanted the bulk of my income to come from team building.
This meant finding a company that didn’t require large monthly sales quotas and that had a compensation plan that rewarded people the right way for building a team.
I tried a lot of different companies before I finally found “the one” that worked for me. A lot of those were start-up companies, and most closed their doors before even being in business for one year.
I had moderate success, but it took finding the right company with a solid foundation, a quality product and the right business structure before I was able to create a 6-figure income with my business.
Eventually you discovered the concept of “duplication” and everything changed for you. Can you explain why?
Things were going well in my business. I was enrolling 3-5 new business partners every month, and my check was really starting to grow.
The problem though, is I was getting no traction. No TRUE growth throughout my team! I was enrolling 3-5 new people each month, but I had no one on my team who could duplicate those results.
One day I turned to my bookshelf out of frustration, looking for something to provide some insight and inspiration into my problem. I came across a single CD that I’d been given as a free “gift with purchase” when ordering a book, and the CD was called The Simple Art of Duplication.
I grabbed the CD and could not wait for my kids to go down for their nap that day! As soon as they fell asleep I sat down to listen, and listened to it again and again and again.
I finally understood the importance of having a step-by-step system in place that anyone could duplicate. I went to work immediately putting a system in place for my team, and the results were phenomenal.
Within one year we grew from $150,000 to over $600,000. The next year we exceeded $1,000,000! Understanding what duplication really is, why it’s so important and then putting the pieces in place to make it part of our team’s culture made all the difference!
Attrition is a real problem in network marketing. What are some ways to reduce that?
People are in business to make money, so one of the best ways to keep people in the business is to help them make money as quickly as possible.
We do this inside our team by having a clear set of getting started steps that include two virtual business launches in their first 30 days.
Their sponsor works closely with them for their first month in the business, keeping in touch almost daily as they work through the getting started steps we have in place, complete their business launch and follow-up and enroll their first customers and team members.
Our goal is to help everyone get at least some kind of check on their first pay day, and in doing so they get a small taste of what’s possible, stay engaged and just want more!
What is the biggest problem you see with new network marketers, and what should they focus on in the beginning?
I’m a big believer in the phrase, “slow down to go faster.” Most new network marketers don’t take the time to really figure out their why, write their story and learn how to approach and follow up with people in their business.
Yes, they need to get into action, but taking a week or so to really focus on learning the core skills, then putting those skills into action and evaluating how they can get better makes a huge difference in their long-term success.
I love your blog? How old is it, how many posts are on it, and what is the daily traffic like to it?
I first started my blog in the summer of 2015, and have about 75 posts. Until some a recent training course I invested in, I did not have a clear understanding of how to monetize a blog.
For me it was a stop and start project until recently. Since my recent re-launch, I’ve generate 30 unique leads and 63 total opt-ins in only 30 days. I could not be more pleased!
I notice you have a Pinterest widget on your blog. How has Pinterest helped your business and brand, and how does one generate leads with it?
To be totally honest, I’ve not had any training on Pinterest but it’s on my list of social platforms to learn more about. It intrigues me!
What is your favorite social media platform right now, and why?
Facebook is the primary platform I use to build my business, mostly because of Facebook Groups and Events. We use private Facebook groups for our team, customer and business prospects. We’ve found this to be a key in building relationships and for duplication purposes.
What is your favorite book right now and why?
The Miracle Morning for Network Marketers by Hal Elrod and Pat Petrini. I appreciate systems and routines and have the belief that success in Network Marketing starts with what’s between our ears (our minds).
Hal and Pat do a fabulous job detailing out a simple morning routine, that if done consistently can truly transform one’s life and business – and all before 8AM! Cool, right?
What are your goals for 2017?
My goals for 2017 are to make my 2016 annual income, my monthly income no later than December, 2017.
What is your favorite quote and why?
I LOVE quotes! I have so many favorites but if I had to pick only one, it would have to be, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” ~~ Zig Ziglar
Thank you so much for this interview, Kathy!
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