Co-Owner | WorldVentures Holdings
Dan Stammen’s Millionaire Training Story
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I grew up in a large family with five sisters and no brothers. I was the kid in junior high and high school, who, when asked to give oral book report presentations, was too shy and nervous. I either managed a way to be “sick” on my day to speak or just took the zero. Even though I disliked speaking in front of people at that age, I was always a budding entrepreneur and did okay in one-on-one situations. The lesson may be, find your strength and capitalize on it. Because my parents had no money to give any of their six kids at age 10, I was selling hard candy at school to have a few dollars in my pocket. After that, I had a paper route for a few years. Then, starting in ninth grade, I had a full-time job working 40 hours a week stocking shelves and bagging groceries. I’d head straight from school to the grocery store where I worked four nights a week from 2-10 pm then all day Saturday. When other kids were home studying or at baseball practice, I was working.
I met Jeff Roberti for the first time at Boy’s Club when I was in fifth grade. We went on to become good friends after reconnecting in Jr High School. The two of us were always plotting ways to get rich. In high school, we both worked at the grocery store plus would host parties and charge money to attend. We also worked as security guards, did telemarketing, etc. After high school, we both went to community college and stayed there for a couple of years.
However, I was frustrated with school and was always a C student. Things changed for me the day I walked into the local hardware store. I was working on my Ford Mustang and needed to buy some spray paint for the dashboard that was rusting out. Truth be told, I was also there to ask out the cashier who worked behind the counter.
Next thing I know, I’m standing in line, and there’s a guy next to me named Stan wearing an Herbalife button that said, LOSE WEIGHT NOW, ASK ME HOW!
I looked at him and said, “What’s that button? What are you selling?” He starts talking to me a hundred miles a minute and replies that he forgot he was even wearing it. His wife had made him put it on before he walked out the door. He explains that he doesn’t know much about it, but that it’s a new nutrition company in town. He was so excited that he followed me out to my car to keep chatting.
I finally said, “Well, here’s my number. Have your wife call me.” His wife ends up calling me and invites me to an opportunity meeting at a Holiday Inn Hotel in Sarasota, Florida.
I attend the presentation and end up meeting several notable people in the Herbalife world at the time, including one average guy with an above-average income named Jim Fobair. He told me that prior to joining Herbalife, he was earning $1,000 a month selling mattresses in a furniture store, and now because of the Herbalife opportunity, he was earning over $13,000 per month after less than one year. And he attributed all his success because he was following Larry’s duplicable system. After I signed up to be a distributor, I was invited to hear one of the vice presidents of Herbalife come to speak at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. I was piddling around with Herbalife, but decided to attend, and brought my friend, Jeff Roberti, along with me to this big training.
Very few experiences in my life have measured up to that day of training with Larry. I had never been to a presentation with 600 people in one room. Maybe it was the way Larry taught on stage, but it sent a shockwave through me for whatever reason. Many of the points he made that night were from The Millionaire Training tapes. These were simple things, but they made an impact. Statements like, “Look at your life and see how it’s going.” “For things to get better, you’ve got to get better. For things to change, you’ve got to change.” Those concepts just spoke to me.
The testimonials that night made a significant impact as well. I heard from people like Jeff Schlegel who was making over $15,000 a month and multiple others. It got me thinking, these people put on their pants the same way I do. The only difference is they’ve been in this business longer than Jeff and me. We both took to the idea of having a team of people that possessed more contacts, credibility, money, and knowledge than we had. And if we could get these people working for us in order to create leverage in the marketplace…we knew we hit a gold mind. Please know this for a fact that everyone at Sarasota High where Jeff and I went to school thought that Roberti and I were a couple of the two biggest knuckleheads to come out of the class of 1980. So, if we were going to make it big in anything it was going to be a big surprise to everyone.
Back to Larry. That same night he talked about the best way to get ahead was to build momentum. We saw his vision for momentum and went to work. I already knew how to work hard, so now it was just a matter of putting on my blinders, getting focused, eliminating any lame excuses and going after it. I worked for months straight, seven days a week, sometimes 18 hours a day. I didn’t take time off to go to the beach or catch a movie. My goal was just to build, recruit, sponsor, train, and repeat. It’s one thing to see an opportunity and a completely different thing to recognize it and be willing to roll up your sleeves and go to work. Jeff and I had hit Herbalife at the right time during their first wave of success. They had just hit $58 Million that year, and we got a glimpse of what could happen. We understood that we were leveraging the earning power of many, instead of only one person, and ended up with thousands of distributors in 38 states.
However, at this time, a lot of my friends and family still doubted me. I can remember a time right before I got to attend Herbalife’s International Corporate School in Sydney Australia, where I was at my parent’s house picking up my mail. My five sisters, Mom, Dad, and my Uncle Marv were all over there. My uncle was the president of three banks in Ohio and was making a respectable $63,000 a year back in 1985. My Dad was making $18,000 a year fixing pumps and motors. My Mom is flipping through the mail and tells me something had arrived for me from Herbalife. I ripped open the envelope, and it’s was a check for over $10,000.00. Which I didn’t exactly hide from plain sight being somewhat a confident young man at that point. My uncle looks at me and says, “Why’s the check so big do they just pay you once a year?” I go on to inform him that, “Nope, that’s for just this month.” Then I said, “I hate to eat and run but I’m flying over to Sydney in the morning with about 500 of my best friends, so I need to pack.”
That got all my non-believing family members thinking, “What the hell?” It was moments like that that made me realize I had learned a new skill set, just like Larry always talked about. Larry often taught that in this business, we were getting paid exactly what we’re worth. If I wanted to get paid more, I needed to become more valuable to the marketplace. I didn’t feel I was bringing much value, yet I had a team selling close to half a million dollars a month in nutrition products, which wasn’t too bad for a 23-year-old.
After learning those skills from Larry, Jeff and I decided to dial things up a notch. We became good at recruiting. Everybody has the same 24 hours in a day, and you have to consider who would impact your business the most? The guy who manages a grocery store, or the guy who’s in real estate and has 47 agents selling for him? If I get the real-estate guy going part-time, I’m probably going to get more results. So, we learned to recruit up, manage our time, and advertise in a big way. Don’t get me wrong as I’m still going to recruit the store manager because you never know who’s going to fire up your business. In addition, I got really good at recruiting top level talent. My philosophy was to recruit the best and they would enroll the rest.
At this time, Herbalife had two corporate schools. A basic corporate school and an international corporate school. To attend the basic school, you had to have a royalty override monthly check of $4,000 or more. At the peak of Corporate School, the company had about 1,100 people reach those levels. We had a lot of people making good money with this company. Once you qualified, Herbalife would pay for your airline ticket to fly out to the next big training event. Places like Chicago, Monterey, and Atlanta.
I learned from Larry that these corporate training events were a great time & place to recruit new people. I would sometimes fly out two weeks in advance, simultaneously running ads, hosting four to five opportunity meetings a day, and training as many people as possible. The thought being, was to get all my new enrollments recruiting and to have them bring guests to the big central meeting because all the corporate school leaders would be speaking. At those meetings, there were usually 2,000-4,000 people in attendance, and our sign-up rate would be almost 100% because the testimonials were so powerful causing everyone to enroll.
There was one time at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago, where I had 23 guests sitting with me in the front row. After the testimonials, I looked at my guests and said to them (with a smile) and somewhat in joking manner the last thing you ever want to say to a new guest, “You don’t want to do this, do you?” At that point because the meeting went so well all 23 of them said yes and the enrollment started. We learned to chase the momentum and go into areas before the big meetings to increase our odds of getting people enrolled with Herbalife.
The skills I learned during this time were invaluable, which served us greatly when Herbalife went through their challenges. The FDA and Herbalife had what ended up being unfounded legal battles which led to the business almost failing. It felt like a planned attack by the news media, FDA, and the Senate. Herbalife’s sales had been soaring before the investigation. Prior to the investigation, sales went up from roughly $30 Million a month to $90 Million within six months. We were helping people get healthy and earn money; then all of a sudden, it felt like we were under attack.
My checks from Herbalife peaked out at $18,000 a month then went down to $2,000 a month fairly quickly after the attack. I ended up spending almost all the cash I had in the bank, trying to build my business back up. We were continually running ads and talking to people on the phone. I’d get 25 people to agree to appointments, then CNN or some other news network would run a negative story, and I’d have people calling to cancel or just not show up at all. Or I would manage to get someone to enroll, and then they would quit the next day because of too much negative publicity. During this time, I made a big mistake by leaving Herbalife and switching to another company called United Sciences of America. I came up with a long-term game plan and was able to have some people who were already planning on leaving Herbalife join my team. I went from zero enrollees to $15,000 per month in income in a fairly short time frame, but within nine months, that company had gone under.
After that, I bounced around for six or seven years working for other network marketing businesses. At one point, I even partnered up and owned part of a water filtration business called The Entrepreneur Network, but nothing seemed to stick. I was finally able to gain some traction with a consumer electronics company and able to build a large team over three-and-a-half years and earned over 2 million dollars. My sponsor that enrolled me was a good friend from Sarasota FL (a guy I actually introduced to network marketing previously) Mr. Harris Williams. And my number one sales rep by far in the electronics company was no other than Jay Bennett.
The one main thing I realize with all the ups and downs is that everything good and bad happens for a reason. Both the good and bad times gave me the experience and knowledge to grow mentally and emotionally. I learned my most valuable skills from Larry during my time at Herbalife and was able to take them with me everywhere I went and be successful, even if only for the short time each company was around. I appreciate the fact I was able to go to a new business and immediately knew exactly what to do, where to go and what to say to become successful. It’s as if you could drop me (or any of Larry’s top students) out of an airplane with a parachute & backpack and because the skills had become innate we would become successful.
Before founding my current enterprise, WorldVentures, I had built up my business at Prepaid Legal Services (now Legal Shield) to include 140,000 sales representatives and over 660,000 customers. Eventually, I was able to sell my distributorship to Paul J. Meyer, who is famous for starting the Success Motivation Institute. After selling to Paul, I semi-retired from network marketing but only for 6 months before my partner Wayne Nugent and I launched WorldVentures. WorldVentures the premiere travel club now has over $4.5 Billion in combined revenue and is currently operating in 42 different countries. When I think of the success we’ve had and the leaders on our team it safe to say a lot of them either received their training directly or indirectly from the principles Larry taught years ago.
And when I think back even farther to my early Herbalife days and the long-term success they’ve had… the following story comes to mind. Just last year I was in New York doing a training with 500 leaders for WorldVentures. In the slide presentation, I shared my success long ago at Herbalife, plus it went into all the other businesses I had worked with whereby most of them had all gone by the wayside. In regard to Herbalife and even though they went through those tough years in the late eighties…they still had Larry Thompson’s Millionaire Training fundamentals. And because of the fact that enough of their top leadership stayed intact, they were able to regain their momentum by applying those fundamentals and today are a $5 Billion a year company. Some of my close friends stayed with the company during their tough times and they never gave up. And you know some of them are now earning between $50,000 and $100,000 and even up to $300,000 per month. And the best part is they’ve been at those very high pay levels since the mid-1990s. That’s called legacy income. It often has me thinking what would have happened if I had stayed? And as I reflect back it seems that way too many network marketing beginners or professionals give up on their company way too soon when storms hit. Had I not folded my tent once the big FDA wind game blowing and left Herbalife, I would have only been in one network marketing company my entire career. Wow!!!
All of these experiences have taught me many things, like keeping focused with your blinders on. Most people think the grass is greener on the other side when in reality if they would just water their own dam grass, they’d be better off. Another big one is keeping your ego in check and being a constant student. Once you learn the basic skills, you then need to keep sharpening your ax. In other words, never stop learning, never stop growing. I’ve kept the concepts I learned from The Millionaire Training with me everywhere I’ve gone. They are timeless, and the beautiful part is you can teach those same skills to others, then those teachers become teachers. Over time, you build yourself a nice army that duplicates and turns into a large sales force.
When you first start in network marketing, it’s easy to feel defeated and give up after a few failures. Most people don’t understand in the beginning that success takes time and that everyone has to start from the bottom and work their way up. When you look back on some of the greats, people like Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron, for instance, you have to remember that they may have hit the most home runs, but they also struck out the most times as well.
Unfortunately, I think a lot of Millennials are given too much, too soon by their parents; they don’t know how to work for what they want. Larry is always saying that if he could bottle up desire, he would be a Zillionaire because it’s not something you can just put inside someone. It’s only when you have a passion for something that you’re willing to work for it. It creates a strong work ethic that serves your life in many areas.
For instance, if your son or daughter wants a $30,000 car, have them meet you halfway by matching them dollar for dollar with what they earn themselves. Otherwise, you’re setting up your children for a system shock when they hit the real world and start a full-time job. I recently read a book that said 35% of Millennials are getting fired from their first job within 90 days. The number one reason is for repeatedly showing up late. The second reason is from being upset and constantly complaining about not getting a pay raise or promotion within those first 90 days.
I think if the younger generation could begin to find joy in setting big goals, working towards them and learn to enjoy the journey that they would be much happier & greatly rewarded. As you make your journey towards personal growth, you learn to realize that joy is in the process, not the destination. Looking back at my success, owning several homes and businesses is great, but the real fortune comes from personal development and growth. I’ve gotten to meet wonderful people along the way and have fun while doing it. There’s a satisfaction in working hard, making mistakes, and learning from those experiences.
Having been in this business for over 37 years, I still listen to Larry’s The Millionaire Training tapes time and time again. I often keep them on in the background as I go about my day while doing simple tasks. I love it, though, because it’s almost like going back to my childhood. It feels good listening to it, and there’s such a comforting familiarity, like talking with an old friend. But even though it’s so familiar to me, I still take away new insights every time I listen. It’s like watching a movie for the second time. There are always things you’re going to pick up on the second time that you didn’t catch the first time.
I love all of Larry’s stories, but one of the best things I learned from Larry was the importance of your voice tone and voice fluctuation. I copied the way he talked to people, and from that, I learned how to influence people in a positive way. The way he presents is so convincing and positive. The way he delivered a message with his signature relaxed intensity you knew that he was going somewhere, and if you followed him, you’re going to get what you wanted. I was able to learn that skill from him and transfer it to others. Sometimes, I’d be in a room with four or five hundred people delivering a talk or training, and most everybody after the meeting would take action. If I said, here’s a key point please write this down! there was great comfort to watch most everyone focus their eyes down towards their paper and take copious notes on what I was saying. I learned that from Larry, the magic that draws people to you, and makes them want to follow you.
It’s remarkable to think of all the companies that came out of that core group Larry taught. I could take up the next 20 pages listing top sales reps and companies that created tens of billions in revenue because of Larry. He always was delivering content at corporate school that you could write down, take to the marketplace, and make money with it. It was the notes I took from Larry that caused me to go out and build my business. Applicable concepts like employing yourself with the analogy of Larry 1 and Larry 2. Or his talk on overcoming procrastination. Or my favorite which was how to overcome all objections with the use of product & opportunity success stories. All those little things add up to make a huge difference.
Larry’s teachings became especially invaluable to me after I had to become my team’s trainer unexpectedly. Jeff and I would participate in the meetings and help guide them, but Jim Fobair was our head trainer who would lead our two- or four-hour Saturday sessions. He knew how to teach people where to go, what to do, and how to answer all the questions people would throw at us. He had it down to an art, but one day Jim said, “I’m out of here,” and left us without a trainer. Jeff and I cancelled the next training session because we had no idea what we were doing at that point.
However, I took Jim’s recording from a training session and listened to it over and over again. I actually wrote down 32 pages, word for word, front, and back. I locked myself in a friend’s apartment for about 12 days and memorized the training Jim had learned from Larry. Then I got our team together and told them we were going to have a session like we usually did the next Saturday. I got up and presented this four-hour training word for word, and after that became the training guy. Jeff was great at recruiting & presenting the products and opportunity and I was doing most all the Saturday trainings. We had our system down and it worked. Jim leaving ended up being the best thing to happen to our small team because now I had the “magic talk,” and my team and I were able to take our business to the next level. This incident forced us all to step up and fill his shoes to keep the business moving forward.
One of the biggest takeaways I would give someone in network marketing is to partner up with like-minded people. When I was at Prepaid Legal Services, (now Legal Shield) I was able to build 660,000 customers. I started that business initially with a company called The Peoples Network that was bought by Pre-Paid Legal. When we started, I only had a team of five representatives including myself. Our team would talk every morning, and every night we shared our trials, tribulations, and successes. We were our own little mastermind group. Within that group, some people were better at some things than others. Still, if you can develop a nucleus of just two or three committed people working the business in your city and learn to specialize in each of your skills, you’re going to see more significant achievements than you would on your own.
I remember a colleague in the business, Rudolph Molnar who passed away a few years ago. Rudi was from Romania and was hard to understand because of his accent but he never let that stop him. He was never the presenter, or the guy at the front of the room during the meetings, or running the training sessions, but he always made sure to surround himself with a few people who could do those things. To his credit, though, what he excelled at was contacting and inviting people. He never met a stranger. He would go out on the street, to the mall or wherever and meet people. He would even test-drive automobiles just to talk with people. He got good at getting numbers and getting people excited enough so they would look at the products or business. He was able to get people to the opportunity meetings and then he let Jeff, me or a presenter do their part and get them enrolled. Rudolph was a prime example of specializing, because he understood that his domain was contacting and inviting people. Between his time at Herbalife and Juice Plus and investing funds he earned in real estate I watched him make over 5 million dollars.
If you were going to master one aspect of network marketing, it would be to know 10 different ways to contact and invite, and 10 different ways to get people to take a look at your presentation. Whether it’s by phone, text message, email, social media direct messages to get someone to watch a 10-minute video or half-hour, in-person meeting, if you can get 50 people a week to look at your company vs. me only getting 10 a week, guess who is going to make more money?
Larry is always saying to “master the mundane.” In network marketing, you have to remember that the money you’re earning today is a direct result of what you did 90 days ago. If your check is not that much today, you didn’t do much three months ago. Your pay is delayed gratification. It’s all about exposure. You might think what you’re doing isn’t working, but next thing you know, you have someone who started two months ago somewhat slowly but all of a sudden, they bring in 30 people, and now you’re reaping the profits.
If you had told me that I would be making up to $18,000 a month within my first three years at Herbalife before I turned 24, I would have told you no way, that’s not going to happen to me. I didn’t have the skills, money, and had very few contacts. But I did have a burning desire and willingness to work. I was teachable and picked up quickly on how to leverage myself. You have to remember that in a way, we are overpaid grunts. I’m somewhat joking when I refer to network marketers doing grunt work. Which means to me just repeating for the most part the same presentation and activities over and over again. When you think about it you don’t have to have a college degree to do this type work yet the rewards can be huge. I went to 2 years of jr. college and never got a degree. Who do you know that can contact and invite people and then press play on a video or drive somebody to a website link? All you have to do is show enough people as it’s a total numbers game.
When you get sick and tired of contacting/inviting and explaining the plan and program, you keep doing it over and over again. When you don’t want to talk to another person, or pick up a phone, or send a text, or meet up at Starbucks, guess what you need to do? Just keep doing it over and over and over again!
Think of it this way. If you talk to 10 people and only two joins, and eight don’t, but of those two people that joined you earn $300. If you divide the $300 by 10, you’ve still made $30 per person, whether each person bought anything or not. It’s really about how fast you can present to 100 people. It allows me not to take each “no” I get to the heart. If I ask you to buy something and you turn me down, I just tell myself, thank you for the $30, and move on to the next person. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t buy anything, because due to the averages I get paid every time I share the story. And the mindset that Larry taught me got me excited about talking to strangers. I would pick up the phone and make 100 phone calls because it didn’t matter whether they bought or not. Every no gets me that much closer to a yes and I never took one no personally.
When I’m presenting at a training, I ask people, “How many people here in this room are going to talk to 100 people about your product or opportunity within the next 12 months?” Everybody will raise their hand. Then I ask them, “Why wait? Why don’t you contact 100 people in the next 12 days especially since you’re going to do it anyway?” Collapse those time frames and do it faster, so you learn to master the mundane. Create your own mastermind group of three people – someone who can present, someone who can train, and someone good at making contacts. Then, set a goal to reach 1,000 people to look at your product and hear about your opportunity. Doing that will put your team and you on the path to results. You won’t have to worry about if it’s going to work or not, if you put that plan into motion.
On a similar note, let’s talk about procrastination. I hear more about that than anything else in this industry. People tell me all the time how they are going to start working their business at 9:00 in the morning, or 7:00 at night, and the next thing you know, they’re shuffling around papers, paying bills, reading through emails or wasting time on social media. Nothing was income producing and before you know it, an hour has gone by and it’s been wasted.
Be honest with yourself. How many people did you actually talk to today about your products and opportunity? Stop putting off the real work and making excuses. Remember this important fact, this business is easier to build fast vs slow. By working hard and creating your personal momentum it will lead to team momentum, then group, area and regional momentum which is followed by large checks. Do your best to take massive action and try to replicate Larry’s principles or at least what the top earners in your company are doing to get results.
I put notes all over my house with Larry’s saying, “Keep the main thing, the main thing,” to remind me that I needed to be presenting, recruiting, or training. Everything else was taking me off track. I knew only those three things were going to make me money. Go crank out 30 phone calls in the first two hours of your day, then load up your calendar for the afternoon or the next day. Do busy work at midnight when other people are sleeping. When I was working at Prepaid Legal Services, I had 32 people on my team who were part of the 100 calls per day club. We were making 100 outbound phone calls every day, setting up appointments for the next day or week. You don’t just make a phone call and then set the phone down, then dial the next number in a half-paced fashion. It’s you with a headset or ear buds on dialing number after number, without setting the phone down in between calls. Or better yet use an automatic dialing system that will dial 100 times per hour. And if you’re prospecting another way whether its via social media, texting, internet ads make sure whatever you’re doing… you go all in.
Most people can’t keep up with that kind of intensity. My Herbalife business partner, Jeff, and I had an apartment together; I’d be in one room, and he would be in the other. We’d both be smiling and dialing all day long and all night setting up appointments and sending out packages to long-distance enrollees.
Back in the day, that meant putting together VHS tapes, product samples, with a bunch of brochures. We would send out a package to Seattle or wherever for $20 and then never knew if they got it, watched the video, or did anything with the products. Now it’s so much easier. You can pick up the phone or email a link. I used to spend $20,000 a year to host one conference call a week with my team. Now anyone can use Zoom for free and host as many conference calls as they want. Things are so much easier.
When I think back on Larry’s career, I’m so thankful he didn’t quit even though there were several times he probably wanted to. If he had, my life would not be what it is today. Because Larry never gave up and kept learning, he’s been able to affect so many people. Thanks to Larry’s teaching, we’ve been able to put 4 million people in our business over the last 14 plus years and create over $4.5 Billion in revenue. If Larry had quit, I probably would be managing the Publix grocery store down the street. Instead, I found this business where I’m able to get paid every time hundreds of thousands of people buy or sell something. That’s unfathomably awesome!