Paula McKinney on Unleashing Your Passion with Network Marketing
Paula McKinney was in Dental Hygiene when she realized that she wanted more financial freedom and something that ignited her passion. Here’s our interview.
Thank you so much for doing this interview with me, Paula. I’m excited to hear your story, so let’s get started!
First off, where were you born and raised, what was childhood like for you, and what did your parents do for a living?
Well I have an amazing mom! We grew up in Oklahoma City but my parents were high school sweethearts from a little town in Southern Oklahoma.
My baseball playing, homecoming king dad was a year younger than my mom, so as soon as he graduated they were married. A year later my brother was born and three years later my mom had me.
All her dreams were coming true. Sadly, just shy of my first birthday my dad was killed in a car accident. In true form, my mom rose the occasion, moved us to the big city and got a secretary job downtown working 8-5 always looking amazing in her dresses and heels.
Even though money was tight, she always found a way to fund our basketball and dance classes. She was always there for us and made a great life for the three of us. She never remarried until I was 25 years old.
To this day she departs wisdom and love to me and thinks all 6 of her grandchildren are the best in the world.
My brother and I have homeschooled our kids from day one and we all live close. We both went to college and earned degrees; Mine in dental hygiene and his in graphic design. We all wish Dad could see how his family has grown!
Was there any Entrepreneurial spirit in the household during your childhood, and if so, how did that affect you?
No not really. We came from a long line of hard working blue collar and farming grandparents. But looking back I guess you could say my Grandpa was a do it yourself kind of guy. He farmed, raised livestock, and hired farm hands to help.
I loved him and spent many days riding his tractor, picking potatoes and watermelon, and the ugly job of helping my Grandma clean chickens.
I do remember when I was in elementary school my mom signed as a Mary Kay consultant and I was so excited when she got her kit in the mail!
Unfortunately, it was short lived but she gave me most all of the samples, which I loved! All my girlfriends in fifth grade had glossy lips that year!
You went into Dental Hygiene. How long did you do that, and when did you start to realize there was something missing?
I love my dental hygiene career and still practice. It’s been great for making my own schedule while raising my family through the years.
My husband and I have been home educators for 15 years. I was the primary teacher for the first half and my husband has been the homeschool dad the last half. We decided to switch roles when the company he was working for downsized. It was just the right time for us.
Shortly after the switch we were at the park with some friends and another mom (who was also my doctor who delivered my children) approached me about joining her network marketing side business.
Without even really knowing what I was saying yes to we joined forces and started having home parties in the evenings and weekends.
I quickly found myself away from home way more than I wanted to be and I needed more people to talk to about the business.
That’s when I turned to the Internet (after I asked my husband how to turn on the computer!). I remember doing a search for “online network marketing”.
I found people who were leveraging the world wide web and I got excited!! That’s when I had lunch with one of our team leaders. Unfortunately, she had no training on internet marketing and lovingly told me you can’t build using the internet.
Long story short, over many months and burning the midnight oil I learned how with online mentors and self education. It’s amazing what you can learn from Mr. Google! I remember when I made my first 10 bucks through affiliate marketing. I was hooked!
What was the biggest hurdle or obstacles you had to face in the first couple years of MLM and how did you use that adversity to your advantage?
My biggest hurdles I’ve had to face is mindset. Just like most people. Imposter syndrome (Google it 😉 is something that can stop you in your tracks.
I remember watching a video from Ray Higdon, a real go getter, and he said he was doing videos and training when he first started in network marketing, standing in his home that was in foreclosure!
So when I attract something big into my life I just have to sit back, breathe, and be thankful. Gratitude can solve a multitude of problems. Taking the focus off of myself can also take everything to another level. I’m a work in progress!
You took to online marketing by storm by studying and implementing branding and blogging, social media, and lead generation funnels. How did you learn these things and what’s your advice for a new network marketer who wants to “do it all online?”
I love using the internet to build a brand and attract others to me. I’m constantly learning and growing but that’s what’s so fun about it! Like I said before, I use Mr. Google a lot. I also have invested in courses and immersed myself in training from those who have done it.
I don’t listen to the radio in the car, I listen to podcasts that expand my knowledge of leadership, money, business, network marketing and sales (Yes SALES!), Internet marketing, and using social media.
Like I said before, I’m still a work in progress and will forever be a student. If I were to do it all over again, I would have gathered more customers first, then start building a team and a brand.
For me, I needed that training time to learn how to sell, communicate, and give great customer service. I really didn’t know how to do any of that but yet I jumped online and started building a brand.
Cart before the horse in my humble opinion. That’s just what would have worked better for ME. I suggest everyone take an inventory of your skills and what resonates with them in terms of marketing.
But first things first, learn how to talk to a customer and sell your product or service.
I’m impressed by your blog! How old is it, how many posts are on it, and what is your daily traffic like to it?
Thank you, it’s a labor of love. I’m not a huge metrics gal when it comes to my blog, which maybe I should be! Ask me again in 2017. I’ll work on that!
I do know I have a steady stream of leads coming to my list every week and there is always room for more. I probably am hesitant to dive into the numbers because I got stuck in learning mode when I first started and didn’t focus on what’s important like customers and the building blocks of our business.
What is the best way to generate free leads today?
I think the best way to generate free leads is what gets you up in the morning. Social media? Hanging out at the mall? Referral marketing?
Google search real estate agents, teachers, or people who would be interested in your product and call them. Sit in a high producing real estate agents office and listen to them cold call people and pick their brains on how they get free leads. I’ve also learned from successful network marketers is that creativity and resourcefulness is helpful.
I think network marketing is very similar to dentistry. You may think that’s crazy but hear me out. Our small little dental team of 7 people have built a highly productive practice, mostly through referrals. We ask for referrals from every patient. Who do you know who needs a good dentist? And we give them a business card to hand to a friend.
We hear it everyday for new patients ” so and so told me to come here.” We consistently go to trainings and increase our dental skills, but we also go to trainings to learn communication and customer service. We treat people right and they refer other people. We stayed in the game, loved people, did our best, and others heard about it.
It’s humbling really what our little practice has accomplished. It’s the same in network marketing. Stay in the game, talk to people about your business, treat people right, and increase your skills.
What holds people back the most in achieving success with network marketing?
Fear. Fear of failure and fear of success. I get it because I have my own fears. Fear is just our subconscious mind trying to protect us. Thank it and then tell it to be quiet!
I also think it’s basic discipline. The disciplines of everyday life like doing things that don’t feel good, learning new skills, turning off the tv, or just getting up earlier and exercising.
I found it interesting that Richard Bronson said the key to his success is exercise. Now that’s pretty powerful. I also know for me when I’m not moving forward it’s for lack of clarity for what I want.
That creates indecision and frustration. Indecision can be a real soul killer. It’s a force that keeps you unhappy and unsatisfied. Just do a little test and see. Ask yourself if I were to make a decision on __________ how would my life be different?
Maybe it’s cutting ties with bad relationships, or committing to running a mile a day to get off blood pressure medication, or what about selling some product for your company and making an extra 500 a month to put your daughter in dance class. She may pay for college with her tutu!! I’m still trying daily to avoid indecision! It’s a journey for sure.
You gave credit to the Law of Attraction for taking your MLM business to a new level. How does LOA do this?
Law of Attraction is an interesting subject. It’s simple. Like attracts like. If you’re a mover and shaker that’s who you’ll attract. If you smile a lot and are a positive person then you will attract other uplifting people into your life. If you constantly complain and blame, you’ll attract others like that, too.
I see you’re friends with Jackie Ulmer and Jordan Adler. How important is it to associate with successful entrepreneurs?
I can’t say enough about Jackie. She’s the real deal. We met online many years back and hit it off. We’ve been to a few events together and I always go home a better person. She introduced me to Jordan Adler at the Association of Network Marketing Professionals event.
You could just follow those two and have a masters in communication and marketing in no time at all. She has been my biggest mentor and am so grateful we met.
She’s a cool person and everyone should follow what she does online if you want to use the Internet to grow a business.
A few years back I told myself I was going to be open to saying yes to events and meeting successful business builders.
I wouldn’t let myself say no to an opportunity to be around those who I could learn from. Shortly after that decision, Margie and Ashley Aliprandi were coming to Oklahoma City.
Ashley reached out to me on Facebook and invited me to an event they were having downtown. I could have easily said no – I don’t know you, I’m not in your company and I’m just too busy with my kids on the weekend.
But I didn’t. I put on some lip gloss and went. I even took my youngest son with me.
I’m so glad I did. First of all, they are amazing people and I got invited to share a limo and dinner with them. Very cool!
I also learned how they run live events and watched how they interacted with the room. I still have them in my phone contacts and consider them friends.
So take my advice and be open to any opportunity that comes your way….even if you don’t think you have the time.
You mention “passion” frequently on your blog, and state three questions (from John Maxwell) every marketer or any person in business should ask is:
What do you cry about?
What do you sing about?
What do you dream about?
How important is passion?
I love those three questions. Once again, it helps find clarity. A great book I read that helped me get clear on my core values is “How to Get Absolutely Anything You Want“, by Margie Aliprandi.
She gives you six practical, doable, steps to find your purpose and who you want to BE. Because when you decide who you want to be – which is your anchor point and launching pad for everything else – you know what to do and will have what you want.
Be. Do. Have.
Choose one goal in life or business. Then ask yourself – What do I need to be to accomplish it and what will I have as a result?
Passion to me is not the high you get when you come home from church camp and then three weeks later it’s gone.
When you have a passion for something it burns like a low flame not a bonfire. That flash-in-the-pan kind of passion isn’t sustainable.
True passion is a steady desire that keeps you going even when you’re not sure what to do or no matter how many times you fall. It makes what you are doing worth it. So when you find your passion or “why” that will drive you to find the how.
What is your favorite book right now and why?
I have a few I’m reading at the moment but none of them have anything to do with network marketing to be quite honest!
The Control Freak by Less Parrott is a good one. It caught my attention because it has a chapter called “Tenacious Teen”.
It discusses how you can be in the most intense battles for control you will ever encounter during these years. Doug and I have three teenage boys in the house and love all the help we can get!
The Bible is the rock of our family. Doug and I have great conversations about life and weigh everything against what the Bible says.
To me it helps reveal where I’m weak and also encourages me when I need it. My husband is an amazing student of the Word. He’s our glue.
I’m also studying Botany again to teach my youngest. We will be tackling pollination and seeds this coming semester, so should be fun!
What are your goals for 2017?
One of my goals for 2017 is to let go of all the mind chatter that is not serving me or those around me. I have a shy spirit about me and tend to get hesitant when it’s time to put myself out there.
I’ve really dug deep this year and am learning to face my fears. I don’t want to play small but really open up to what’s possible.
I like building an online business using my blog and social media. That’s what really gets me fired up. I took a break from my blog and even though I didn’t put out new content, I still got leads every week.
It’s amazing how you can leverage the internet and put forever content out there that continues to work for you even when you’re not working. I love that.
I also want to build a team of busy professionals like me who maybe really love their job but want to leverage another income using network marketing.
I just thrive when I’m around savvy women in business who love what they are doing. I listen to a lot of podcasts about business.
A very successful entrepreneur (I don’t remember who) once said to live on half your income and invest the rest.
Can you imagine what our economy would look like if we all did that? I really get jazzed when I think about Angel investing for start ups, having more rental property, and just really developing true wealth from leveraged income that works for me and my family. I can’t do dental hygiene forever. It’s very tough on the body.
I also love traveling. A few years ago I started taking my kids on vacations one on one. It really gives us time to connect.
I’m kind of a road trip junkie. I plan on doing more traveling and showing my kids the world that they are learning about in textbooks. They aren’t with me forever and I want to really take advantage of our time that we do have together.
What is your favorite quote and why?
My favorite quote is from the Bible. It’s 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.”
I love that verse because it reminds me that we aren’t meant to give into our fears but live in power and love.
That opens up so many possibilities in life!
Thank you so much for this interview, Paula! This is an amazing interview!
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