Top Field Executive | Isagenix
Jay Bennett’s Millionaire Training Story
When I look back on my life, it’s plain to see my first passion was football. I remember seeing a guy with a letterman’s jacket and thinking, I want one of those. My parents didn’t want me to play, but I desperately did. After bugging my parents for two or three years, they finally agree to send me to football camp to see if I’d even like it. So, I got to attend Roman Gabriel’s football camp, and it changed my life.
During this time, the Los Angeles Rams were a big deal (early 1970’s). The best players who were teaching me were All Pro’s and Hall of Famer’s – people like Roman Gabriel, Merlin Olsen, Jack Snow, Rosie Grier, and Deacon Jones. I learned so much that week, and I fell in love with the game. That camp was a prime example of how having a mentor (someone who can hold you accountable) can teach you to go to the next level.
After that camp, I started playing Pop Warner football. I was 11 years old and didn’t even know how to put on my pads or helmet, but I got out there on the field and enjoyed it. From there, I went on to play football for 10 years through high school and college. It was kind of incredible that I got into college at all. My grades were so bad, I flunked two classes. Somehow, I found a way. Football was everything to me, and once it was over, like many retired athletes, I struggled with what to do with my life.
I ended up taking a job working for a food company. It was very boring and mundane; I found no enjoyment or passion for it. Most of the people working there could care less if you were part of the company, and I knew I had to find a different opportunity. I was more than dissatisfied with my current situation. I started looking through the job ads in The L.A. Times and came across an ad that read, “Get in $hape.” I liked health and getting in shape, so this sounded like a cool opportunity for me. I thought this was an actual job interview, so I called and set an appointment.
I was surprised to find that at the job interview, there were 14 other people and myself. We were sitting in a cramped office listening to guy with a little presentation book sharing an opportunity about Herbalife. He starts flipping the pages and talking about the company.
Here are the products…
Here is the compensation plan…
And, here are the options for joining…
Then he asks, “Who wants to get started?” Man, it was like a fire drill!
Fourteen people got up and ran out the door as fast as they could; everyone except me left. I liked what this guy presented because I could grasp the concept of geometric progression and residual income. Plus, I loved health, so everything converged. From what I could tell, I could do what this guy was doing, and I already knew I was going to go for it!
He showed me other people’s checks and the incomes they were making, and I thought, If they can do it, I can do it. I didn’t wait and let the grass grow under my feet. I told him straight up, “Let’s do this deal.”
He responded, “Come back tomorrow, and we’ll submit your first order.” He showed me this sliding scale of Product Volumes with which to choose your first order.
I choose the top of the scale, which was a $4,000 Retail Order, this got me a 50% discount on products forever, and it was all the money that I had!
This product I was buying was my one shot if I wanted to pay rent, put gas in my car, and eat that month. I believe one of the best things you can do is put yourself in a “do or die” situation. Not an attitude of, I’ll get around to it after I watch some TV shows, or Maybe I’ll make some phone calls. I had a sense of urgency spurring me on.
That was May of 1983, and my first full month was in June. That first month I had 38,000 Volume – I scored a $6,800 bonus check! When you combined that with my wholesale and retail sales, my total was over $10,000 in earnings for my first full month in business with Herbalife. In 1983, $10,000 was a massive amount of money. And, you know what? At Herbalife, they wouldn’t even consider that to be a big deal. It was what people expected you to do. I was just another one of the distributors going after their goals like they were.
Making $10,000 my first full month in business became my story. Now, I was able to present to my friends, family members, neighbors, old football buddies, and coworkers and put my team together.
It got me launched. Getting a fast start, set the foundation that catapulted my business. It’s a much better story to say I made $10,000 in my first full 30 days then it is to say I’ve been doing this for three years and now I’m making $500 a month. I don’t find that particularly inspiring.
Another beautiful thing is I met my wife through Herbalife. In 1985, I was attending a company meeting. After being introduced to her, I knew instantly she was the one. I don’t know if it was immediate for her, but it definitely was for me. We’ve been married since 1987 and been in network marketing together the entire time. There have been “Exhilarating” highs and “Knock You Out” lows in this business for the 33 years we’ve been together, but we’re in this together.
I love that we met through network marketing because she can relate to me and the industry. Many times, within the network marketing space, I’ve seen spouses not support each other. It becomes very difficult to build the business when one person is giving their all to make the business work and the other just has negative comments all the time, which creates a negative environment in their marriage. This makes the business even more difficult and it produces a disconnect within their marriage.
My wife has always supported my endeavors even when my failures truly outnumbered my successes. After all these years, She has become my manager and coach, and she’s able to see things from different angles. We complement each other well, and I’m grateful for that.
Around 1985, things went south at Herbalife. The FDA and FTC came after our company and we went from $100 Million Volume a month to only $3 Million Volume in a month. Over 100,000 people quit the business within a short time. It was like a nuclear bomb had gone off.
Not once did Larry Thompson and Mark Hughes give up the fight. For seven years, they fought their way back to the top to become what is now a $5 Billion a year company. It was not without great sacrifice. Mark and Larry sold their houses, cars, and countless possessions to keep the business afloat. It was a difficult, stressful time.
In a lot of ways, it was that initial devastation of Herbalife that built the network marking industry to where it is today. Many of the Herbalife distributors who left, went on to different companies and now they are now the top executives and distributors within the industry.
If you think about it, it’s similar to the persecution of Christians leading to the spread of the Gospel 2,000 years ago. What happened at Herbalife is what eventually took network marketing to another level!
It was my experience at Herbalife that got me addicted to network marketing. It’s a good addiction to have, not a bad one like drugs or food. It becomes an addiction because once you’ve tasted that level of financial freedom and gained control of so many areas of your life, you want more from life, you don’t want less.
After leaving Herbalife, I had so many failures with different companies because it’s challenging to find a legitimate company like Herbalife that’s consistent, has the right products, the right compensation plan, tools, systems, and company culture. Bringing all that together is very difficult.
You would think it would be somewhat straightforward, just have the right product and marketing, right? But there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle, and all those pieces have to come together.
In the span of 20 years, I was with 20 different companies. I would get involved with one, stay for a year or two, it would fail, and then I’d move on to the next one. These failures happened time and time again.
After things had gone bust with my 18th company, I found out Larry had started his own business. I thought, All right, let’s rock and roll! I didn’t know what the company was or what the products were. I just knew I wanted to be a part of it because of the belief I had in Larry. For two years, I got a front-row seat with Larry on every decision he made with his company. During that time, I learned so many things that took me to another level. Larry is always innovative and on the cutting edge. In 1995 he bought a website for his company and at that time, this was cutting edge. We were amazed you could get on the world wide web and see this information on a computer.
We utilized technology and had a futuristic take on network marketing. There was one time where we had this event called, Midnight Madness. The goal was to get someone to upgrade to the $1,000 distributor package, and by doing so they would move up to the next rank in the compensation plan and be in the “Golden Circle.”
I remember that night making so many phone calls during this Midnight Madness Promotion! Calling people in our downline, people outside our downline, people who weren’t even enrolled yet, just trying to get someone to sign up for the package upgrade.
Then it gets to be 11:59 pm Pacific time, right before the cutoff time, and I call this guy in Florida (so we are talking 2:59 am Eastern time) who was definitely asleep when his phone rang. I pitch the promotion to this guy and share with him he needs to buy this package so he can advance to this next rank and get to the top of our company’s compensation plan. I tell him with urgency, it’s the last minute of the promotion, and it has to be done right now!!!
I don’t know if he gave me his credit card in his sleep or if he actually did know what he was doing, but either way, he gave me his credit card number, and I got his order in.
I always try to communicate to people that anybody can do this, no matter what level they want to be involved. You want to make sure everybody feels comfortable with the level they are performing, that’s the key. Larry has a concept that 80% of people in network marketing want to be in this business part-time, just to make some extra money. I never want to make anyone on my team feel uncomfortable for working the business at that level. But if I’m always talking to someone who would like to be in the top 5%, I would tell you that there’s no better plan than choosing to block out the world and not let anything get in your way. You have to be willing to stop the planet from rotating on its axis for you to make this top level of success happen.
At my company now, I’m in that top 5%. But that’s after 19 other failures. Herbalife was one of them, as was Larry’s company. My current company is Opportunity #20. I always knew at some point I was going to be successful. It just turned out that #20 was the right company. People see my success and think, Yeah, well it’s easy for Jay, he’s been involved with 20 different businesses, but do you also realize what a liability that was for me?
I was now part of the NFL (that’s No Friends Left). So many people ran the other way. When I would call, people wouldn’t listen to anything I had to say about anything. I had to dig deep in the mud and dirt. I was digging because it was painful. None of my family members would get involved or even buy the product. I was only able to build up my business by asking for referrals and getting into cold market lists, to get the ball rolling and gain some traction.
So many of the skills I have developed have come from Larry’s teachings. Larry always says, “Peter was a disciple of Jesus. If you want to become a Christian, you can do it by being like Peter.” In a similar sense, Larry was a disciple of Jim Rohn. Larry really embraced his training and philosophy of success, but definitely found his own style to communicate it to the field.
I kind of relate it to Jim Rohn being the schoolteacher and Larry being the football coach. The same concepts, but one guy is in the classroom on a blackboard, and the other guy is out on the field telling the team what they’re going to do. Jim was always the teacher and Larry was the field general.
One of the critical things that stuck with me from Larry’s principles is a mantra passed on to him from Jim Rohn. You read about it in The Millionaire Training – for things to change, you have to change. There’s a natural tendency to point fingers outside of yourself, but if you accept the fact that you’re the one in charge, you’re embracing the philosophy that everything you could ever want can come your way. As I’ve gotten older, I often look back and think, Gosh, I wish I would have done this, or I wish I could have done that. I should have done this, or I should have done that.
I think that way even about football games in college that we lost 40 years ago. The only regret you should have is when you know you didn’t do your best. When you know that you gave less than your best effort, then there’s genuine regret. Thinking back on my career, for the most part, I can say I gave it 100%, but I certainly have isolated cases where I was going at half speed, and I regret those moments. For the most part, though, whether good or bad, I did it at a 100% level. I might not have known what I was doing, but at least I gave it my best.
The most important principles Larry taught me over the years come right back to the same basics I learned at Herbalife. I’ve taken those same concepts with me to every company where I have been a distributor. At Herbalife, we were told to (1) use the products, (2) wear our LOSE WEIGHT NOW, ASK ME HOW! button, and just get out there and (3) talk to people.
I think it’s so brilliant: Talk to people and share the products. Simple, right? Those are still the fundamentals I use today. I also think it’s important to keep in mind the characteristics to be successful that Larry speaks about. You need to have a burning desire, a willingness to work, and be coachable. If you don’t possess those qualities, the simplicity of the basics are not going to work well for you.
It’s the same thing with Christianity. Some people say being a Christian is so difficult, but if you think about it, it’s about the basics. Reading the Word, being in prayer, and having fellowship with other believers. Those are the fundamentals. If you combine those fundamentals with a burning desire, a willingness to work (learn), and being coachable, you can be shaped into an incredible Christian.
I’ve gleaned so much wisdom from Larry over the years, but one of my favorite things he always says is, “You’re good enough, you’re tall enough, you’re short enough, you’re big enough, you’re smart enough, you’re dumb enough. You’re enough. No matter who you are or what you bring, it doesn’t matter.”
I love that way of looking at things because so often we compare ourselves to others. We have to remember to embrace who we are. You have the ability and wherewithal to meet your goals. It doesn’t take anything special to be successful with the network marketing model, which is what makes it so great. Regardless of the product or compensation plan, the Basics are all the same. It’s about what you are willing to bring to the table. As a disciple of Larry’s since 1983, I’ve been listening to his audio training for over 37 years. I remember I had this big old CD player that I kept with me in my jacket or sweats, and I would listen to The Millionaire Training as I walked around my neighborhood. This routine went on for years, so it’s no mystery why Larry’s teachings are embedded in my brain and heart; it’s become part of my DNA. I’m beyond thankful to Larry for his mentorship over the years. Even with all his success, Larry remains humble and grateful, and it’s an honor to be a part of his legacy.