We aren’t any different from most Baby Boomers of our generation (born 1946-1964). We both had hard working parents and enjoyed the American traditions and values we all grew up with in the 50’s and 60’s. The advice of our parents was the same, get a good education, find a great company to work for, keep your mouth shut and life will be good. My wife Susan did all that and followed her passion to be a nurse. In the mid to late 70’s, after much school work, working two jobs and raising her small children, she realized how difficult it would be to get ahead. I too was working the corporate struggle and thought that starting my own business was the answer.
By the early 80’s, we both were living what was suppose to be the American Dream we were promised by our parents. Problem was, that was their dream and the world was changing rapidly around us. Companies were laying off entire work forces, home prices were skyrocketing along with interest rates and the pressures of life consumed us. Both of us suffered the effects of life’s pressures and found ourselves single and juggling our careers and split families. The pressures of life destroyed our dreams and nearly our lives.
Susan and I met in 1983 as we worked long hours chasing our dreams. We married soon after and continued long work days, long commutes in LA traffic and tried to live beyond our means as the 80’s “Yuppie Generation” all did. Susan gave up her nursing career to raise our children, help in my business and hold our home together, while I worked six to seven days a week, thinking I was getting ahead. My career entailed many changes over the next twenty years from, retail to wholesale and distribution, on to manufacturing and publishing. The false dream of owning my own business, getting rich and enjoying life was just that…a false dream. Employee problems, mounting overhead cost, taxes, long weeks and hours, robbed me of the joy I once had for my career. All I had done was bought my self a job and lots of problems. As a born entrepreneur, I knew there must be a better way.
By 2000, our children had all grown and left home and we were sick of the big city rat race. Our businesses continued with all their problems and we wanted out of LA. We had purchased a piece of land in Montana and were ready to build a retreat to escape the madness. Once complete, we were spending half our time there, traveling back and forth to keep tabs on our companies in LA. I learned a hard lesson. My companies had no value once I was not there. They continued to spiral until I was force to close them and establish new opportunities in Montana, starting over again the same way I had for twenty five years prior, new business, hire employees, establish high overhead cost, etc. I was sick and tired of the old school model and was ready to find something new.
During the last few years, as my wife divested herself of all her responsibilities to my old businesses, a friend from California had introduced her to a Network Marketing company she was working with called Watkins. My wife wasn’t interested in the business opportunity, but remembered the product from her mother and grandmother during her childhood. She began to purchase and used the products, unbeknownst to me, and I was using the products too. She began to study the business opportunity and became intrigued by this incredible industry and awesome business model. I ignored it and for over a year she quietly began to build her business of friends, family and customers who also loved and enjoyed the product. Her customer base began to cover the country.
Fast forward to today and I have been drawn into the most exciting industry I have ever studied. After just two years, I have slowly divested myself of my current small businesses and joined my wife in building our future together. We have enjoyed all the benefits of owning our own business without all the employee issues and cost, working from home on our own hours and schedule and helping others start their own business as our downline partners. I have read every book I can get my hands on and it’s as if a light has gone off in my head. I only regret not discovering this thirty years ago. We have new friends; have enjoyed company trips we have earned and are building residual income for the rest of our lives. The Network Marketing industry is now over one hundred billion dollars strong and growing. Almost 18% of the American workforce is involved, now larger than the number of people in unions.
The world around us has changed since the 30’s. Our parents were right for their generation, but the working world and the new world economy isn’t the same. Downsizing, lay-offs, outsourcing, corporate mergers and technology are all new terms our parents never heard. Investor guru and author Robert Kiyosaki sums it up in his amazing book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” this way: “It’s time for people to start minding their own business. A job means you’re being paid to mind someone else’s business. The idea that you can go to school, get good grades, find a safe, secure job and have the company and government take care of you are fundamentally of the Industrial Age. It was a good program as long as you were born before 1930.”
Michael & Susan Laurino
Watkins Silver Managers & Future Gold Executives
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