Top Earner | Entrepreneur
Jeff Weisberg’s Millionaire Training Story
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I believe network marketing is the greatest industry out there. I started in this business when I was only 19 years old and I’ve been here for 3+ decades. I love that it allows an average person to make an above-average income and an above-average person a chance to get rich. I originally joined Herbalife in October of 1983 when I was 23 years old. Living in Los Angeles, I was seeing bumper stickers and people everywhere wearing the button, “Lose weight now, ask me how.” I had to know more. My partner and I drove over to the Herbalife headquarters in Culver City in hopes of meeting the owners, Mark Hughes and Larry Thompson, but they weren’t in. We met a young sharp gentleman in a suit & tie driving a Mercedes convertible and talked with him. We gave him our number to call us and never received a call. A big mistake & why it is so true that ‘the fortune is in the follow-up’.
We soon learned there was an Herbalife meeting in Santa Monica and there we met John and Lori Tartol. We hit it off with them and ended up joining their down line and the rest is history. I had a pretty fast start and won a production bonus in November during my first full month. I was in the Top 25 for personal production in the company, so in December I was invited to Mark’s house for a private training with the other production bonus winners.
I’ll never forget the beautiful, intimate setting where I got to meet Mark and Larry for the first time. Mark had a huge house (which was Kenny Rogers’ former home in Bel Air). All of the winners were gathered together talking when Mark and Larry suddenly made their appearance. They came down the staircase, Larry wearing a double-breasted suit, complete with shoulder pads, and Mark with his long, flowing hair looking almost too perfect. They began mingling with all the guests. I’m thinking, What an incredible experience I’m getting to have.
In January of 1984, I qualified for Corporate School. Several of the people I met at that training, I am still friends with 36 years later. Seeing Mark and Larry on stage speaking before a group was amazing. The message was simple – Use the products, Wear the button and Talk to people. Those are the only things they talked about. It was all nuts and bolts, simple and focused. It didn’t involve hours and hours of you’ve got to do this, and you’ve got to go there. They never talked about what to say, where to go, or what to do. It’s very different from what everybody does today. It was as simple as could be.
Obviously, we didn’t have a lot of the technology like we do today. I think when you add in technology, it clogs up everything going on. Back then, the only way you could meet people was a face-to-face or a three-way call. You couldn’t do a conference call with 30 people or have a Zoom meeting like you can now. We wore a button and put stickers on our cars. That was the majority of our advertising (with the occasional flyers on cars and ads in the newspaper).
Back then, we had to learn how to have direct interaction. If you couldn’t talk, then you couldn’t do the business. Today, most people hide behind the internet. They hide behind, “Let’s learn all these systems for Facebook. Let’s learn all these algorithms for Instagram. What time do you post? How do you post? How’s your lighting? What’s your tagline?” All the minutiae that we didn’t have. In many ways, it was more manageable because we weren’t distracted by all those small aspects.
The model was simple. Use the products every day. Become a product of the product and get your results. The better your story, the better your business is going to be. Back then 70% of the country was overweight and today 70% of the country is overweight; everybody always wants to lose weight. Plus, there wasn’t as much noise as there is today with so many companies vying for the same marketplace. Between the button, the bumper stickers, and just talking about what happened to us on the product, we learned the basics early. You talk with people about what happened to you on the product and talk about what happened to others on the product. Talk about what happened to you in the business and talk about what happened to other people in their business.
Larry taught us to always dress sharp. “You always want to look good. You might only have one suit; make sure it’s clean and get a couple of ties. Make sure you’re presenting yourself properly.”
I quickly learned, the more we did it, the more it worked, and the more confidence we gained. I didn’t doubt it because it was simple. I’m not going to say it was brainwashing, but we had such a strong belief in the business, the product, and in Mark and Larry, that we probably would have done anything they told us. But they didn’t have to tell us to do crazy stuff because it was just that simple.
We would go to Corporate Schools with hundreds of people in attendance; some were making a minimum of $4,000 a month to people like Jim Fobair earning over $100,000 a month and every month, the concepts were the same. It was not the newest, latest, and greatest training each month. Larry always taught us the same ideas from the beginning. “Concepts stay constant, techniques change,” he would say.
Today, we are in a technique business rather than focusing on the concepts. There’s a big difference.
There were concepts I learned back then that I still use all the time. Larry always told us, “For things to change, you’ve got to change. For things to get better, you’ve got to get better.” He frequently used stories to illustrate his points. He would talk about fried bologna sandwiches and how he didn’t like the crust on the bread, so he would eat the crust first because he hated it. Then he would get to the inside because he liked it the best. That story was a metaphor on the concept of procrastination. Get done what you don’t like (the crust), and then work on things you do (the inside).
He also gave the example of having a “goldmine” attitude. What if you went out exploring and came across a goldmine? Floor to ceiling, wall to wall, gold coins. What would you do? Would you run an ad in the newspaper, would you put flyers on cars? No, you’d pick up the phone and call your best friend. Those are just a couple of the concepts he taught.
There were all these different concepts in The Millionaire Training that weren’t Herbalife concepts. They were life concepts. Yes, they worked in Herbalife, but they also worked in real life. I was in Herbalife until the end of 1985, and I’ve listened to The Millionaire Training cassette tapes far more times since then because it has nothing to do with the product, the opportunity, or the company. It’s all about these concepts Larry teaches that are still true today.
I don’t think anybody in network marketing has had a training program listened to more than The Millionaire Training. Not just by more people but listened to more times by more people. Every time I listen, I always come across something I’ve forgotten. Some of us in the industry call it the Bible. You’ve just got to give somebody in network marketing this book or a digital version of The Millionaire Training and tell them to keep absorbing it; that’s all you need. I don’t care what company you’re in, what product you’ve got, what compensation plan you have, or what country you’re in.
Think about how often you watch a movie more than once. You know the movie’s going to be the same. It hasn’t changed, but for some reason, when you watch it again, you see something you haven’t seen before. Or you watch a part you totally forgot about. The Millionaire Training is the exact same way. Reading it or listening to it once is great, but when you read it or listen to it a few times, you pick something else up. When you’re listening to something, you don’t absorb it all. The first time you might focus on Larry talking about The Goldmine Attitude. The next time, your attention might be on The Fried Bologna Sandwich concept which is a great metaphor for procrastination.
After leaving Herbalife, I took these concepts with me to start my own business. All those skills and concepts apply to life. Remember, it’s not Herbalife training, it’s not networking marketing training. It’s life training.
I’ve never had a real job. All my experience has been in the network marketing industry and as an Entrepreneur. I’m 60 now and started when I was 19 and if it weren’t for network marketing, I wouldn’t have been able to raise my 2 sons as a single parent and be a stay-at-home dad who works out of his house. I learned a lot at Herbalife and did well financially while I was there, but that wasn’t the big takeaway. My big takeaway was my training with Mark and Larry. I learned how to be disciplined and avoid procrastination, which is essential when you don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder and keeping you focused.
To illustrate that point, I want to share the ultimate Larry Thompson story. You are going to love this. It’s 1984, and I’m a 24-year-old kid making over $20,000 a month (which today is probably $60,000 to $70,000 a month). I bought an airplane and learned how to fly. I did several crazy things like that. However, my business was just kind of flat. So, I called Larry one day, and I said, “Can I talk to you?”
He replied, “Sure, what’s up?”
I told him how my business was kind of flat, and he asked me what my check was for that month. When I told him he started laughing, telling me, “Do you know how much money that is?”
“Yeah, that is a lot of money, but I just can’t seem to get to the next level. All in all, things are going great, and I’m loving Herbalife, but things aren’t moving.”
He then proceeds to say, “Do me a favor, go get your calendar.” (Back then, we had old school paper calendars.) I go and get my calendar, not knowing I’d walked right into Larry’s plan without realizing it. He told me to open it up and then asked me about the previous Monday.
“How many people did you talk to on Monday?” How many people did you talk to about the product or the opportunity?”
I can’t remember what I told him exactly, but I had some excuse. He tells me, “Okay, no problem. Tuesday, how many people did you talk to?”
“I think I was with my mom. I was doing something with her, and a couple of other people.”
He says again, “Okay, no problem. Wednesday. How many people?”
“Well, I had a friend in town that day, so we were hanging out.”
Now, I can’t use the exact vernacular or diction he used, but it was laden with truck driver, long-haired hippy construction worker language. I’ll give you a cleaned-up version.
He said, “Do me a favor, don’t effing call me again until that calendar is full.” Then he slammed the phone down, and back then, you didn’t hit a button to end a call. He physically had to slam the phone down on the receiver.
All I could think was, Did that “you-know-what” just hang up on me?
I sat there thinking about what he had said and done, but it didn’t hit me correctly at that moment; however, it sure did a couple of days later when I was listening to The Millionaire Training. I was listening to his concept of what our job description is in this industry. Asking ourselves, what do we get paid for? We don’t get paid for yes’s, and we don’t get paid for no’s. We get paid for talking to people. Say hello, talk to a few people, and make a few dollars. Talk to a lot of people, and you can get rich. Our job description is talking to people about the product, talking to people about the opportunity. Nothing else we do matters. Everything else is an afterthought.
The fact that I had gone three days in a row without meeting and talking with people showed Larry precisely where my head was. I was in the top 50 income earners in the company at this point and working the business full-time; the fact that I didn’t talk to people hit me hard. The next time I saw Larry, I walked up and thanked him. That was 36 years ago, and to this day, I still remember the ringing in my ear when he slammed the phone down.
That was a defining moment because he didn’t just flat out say, “Remember the concepts I taught you about being your own boss and being disciplined.” He didn’t get on the phone and feel sorry for me and tell me, “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that.” and pat me on the shoulder, telling me, “Go get them, Jeff.” He just hammered me.
He let me figure it out for myself.
It boils down to self-responsibility. Keep things simple. Use the products, wear the button, and talk to people. What’s our job description? What do we get paid for?
We get paid for talking to people. Remember that.
It made me realize again, Wow, he’s right about this, he’s right about that. He was right; I was wrong. I had a big team, and I was doing well and making money. Sometimes you plateau, and that’s okay, but to get to the next level, what are you going to do? The basics.
Take sports, for instance. The fundamentals are the fundamentals, Neither Larry nor Mark ever diverted from the fundamentals. When I would attend corporate school (which I did many times), it became almost boring. I already knew what Larry was going to say. And, if I would ask a question at corporate school, I had better get ready for an answer I didn’t like. The delivery was not, “Oh, okay, Jeff. Yeah, that was a great question. Thank you for sharing that with us.”
No, they embedded it in our DNA of how simple it was, and human nature is what makes it difficult. During the training, I would often be thinking, Mark and Larry, it can’t be that easy. It can’t be that we’re just here to talk. It can’t be what we get paid to do. It can’t be 10 Pennies. It can’t be The Goldmine Attitude.
You can use all the concepts in The Millionaire Training to become a better mom or dad. You can use them to become a better spouse. You can use them in life. You can use them in sports. You can use them in anything. Yes, Herbalife was a weight-loss company, but we didn’t spend time in our corporate school talking about products and going over the compensation plan.
A problem today is there are so many different versions of what to do. As great as the internet is for network marketing, it’s also a negative. Today, I can sit here at my house, you can sit here at your house, we can have somebody sitting in Japan, and we never have to leave. So, your skillset, those muscles that you’re building, get weaker. Mark and Larry hammered the fundamentals into us over and over again, and they worked. Why wouldn’t you do what somebody is teaching you if it’s working?
When I left Herbalife and went into regular business and then got back into network marketing, it already was so ingrained in my mind that I didn’t have to even think. I can sit here 36 years later and tell you the Fried Bologna Sandwich story word for word. I can regurgitate it without having to listen again. Today, people are trying to learn too much without integrating any of it. It becomes more useless information. Instead, focus on the basics that you get in The Millionaire Training. At the end of the day, it’s not what you say, it’s how you feel about what you say. You have to remember that whoever talks to the most people wins.
Thanks to network marketing, I was able to be at home with my boys all the way through high school. I coached 26 sports teams. I was one of the few dads able to volunteer in the classroom and go out on field trips because I was in network marketing. Because of Larry’s concepts, I learned to employ myself. When my sons were four and six, I suddenly became a single dad. I was like a juvenile delinquent growing up, such a terrible kid. My sisters and my parents were like, “We’ve got to get these kids in therapy because they’ve got a whack job as their dad.”
However, sometimes when things get dumped into your lap, you have to turn a should into a must, and you get better. I’m not saying that if I was still married to their mother that I wouldn’t be a good dad. But obviously, I’m a better dad than I would have been because I had to be the dad and the mom. Adversity causes your capacities to grow. As Larry’s saying goes, “For things to change, you’ve got to change. For things to get better, you’ve got to get better.” Again, that’s not Herbalife, that’s life.
I’ll share an example of implementing Larry’s concepts during that time of my life. Since I was raising my boys on my own, I had to get disciplined. In the beginning, I didn’t have as much time to work on my business. However, as soon as they entered school, I hit it hard. I’m following Larry’s 10 Pennies and moving quickly. When they’re out of school, I was with them, but after I put them to bed, I’m on the phone again. Boom, those 10 pennies are moving quickly. Again, it’s because of Larry’s emphasis on being the best version of you, and what that requires. Now my younger son is a senior in college and the older one recently graduated college. I’ve learned a lot. We’ve traveled internationally together, and they’ve been to events with me. I told them to go to college. I dropped out of college to do network marketing, but I told them they needed to be in college because of the connections, and what you can learn.
My boys have gotten to spend time with Larry, his wife, Taylor, and their lovely girls. They’ve met friends of mine from all over the world. They understand the network marketing arena. It’s interesting because a lot of their friend’s moms and dads are successful, but they aren’t able to cope. They aren’t able to travel all over the place, because they’re too busy working or building a business, or they’ve got a high-powered job they can’t leave. Thankfully, my boys were able to see that money’s important, but time and freedom are more important.
Yes, you’ve got to have money to do things, but you have to have the time to enjoy it. I didn’t want my sons to see me putting off enjoying life until I was 70 or 80. You want to start enjoying life sooner than that. Now that my sons are adults, I see them implementing the things I’ve passed on to them from Larry’s concepts. They’re very outgoing, they’re movers and shakers, they’re leaders. It’s because I passed on what I learned over the years, and it’s made a huge impact on their lives.
If you haven’t already, find a company you believe in and put your head down and get to work. You need a product and an opportunity, but it’s not about the product, the opportunity, or the company; it’s the leadership and the people involved. At the end of the day, compensation plans are compensation plans and products are products. The focus has to be on the leadership of the company from the top down.
Mark and Larry had one of the only companies I’ve seen in my career, where the company trained you. They knew what to teach from their personal experience before Herbalife. It wasn’t about starting a company and then teaching their people what to do. No, they already had experience and were already successful, so they drove it from the top down.
Most companies don’t do that today. You have an owner who might be a CEO or corporate guy, or maybe a formulator, a doctor, or an inventor or something. They’re not marketing people. They might be businesspeople, but they’re not marketing people. This industry is called network marketing, not network business. If you keep it simple, The Millionaire Training is remarkably as relevant today as when it came out in 1981. Whether you sell skincare, weight loss, hair care, services, remote controls, whatever your company is, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what your compensation plan is. Follow The Millionaire Training, because it’s proven it works for over 40 years. These concepts are not something Larry just came up with yesterday. You’ve got somebody with over
50 years of experience in the network marketing industry.
No matter what company you’re with, stay focused on The Millionaire Training. I’m not saying don’t get involved with your company, don’t go to your corporate events and all that. But ultimately, I believe you’ve gotta keep it simple. Right now, I can go on Facebook or Instagram, and there’s dozens of people offering training. The funny part is though, all of them put together don’t have the experience Larry has. Larry has been doing network marketing longer than these people are old. It’s easy to get hooked by the latest, greatest shiny object, or the fanciest, newest trainer, or the guy that got lucky one time in a deal but never can do it again. Larry’s concepts are constant. These are things that are not going to change another 50 years from now. We’ll all be gone, but they’ll still be going. If you follow the simple basics, no matter what your company is, you’re going to be successful. If you keep jumping from trainer to trainer, idea to idea, or technique to technique, you’ll be continually going in circles. It’s better to stay with the basics and master the half a dozen concepts.
I’m not being negative at all, but I know many top people in this industry. They’re not Rhodes scholars. They’re not PhDs. They’re not professionals, yet they’re still uber-successful because they learned a handful of skills, and did them repeatedly, instead of learning 50 different skills and doing them once or twice. I have a story to exemplify that point. Back in 1991, I’m in Europe with Jeff Roberti opening up a company. We’re going to meetings and doing some traveling. I went to pick up Jeff from his hotel, and he wasn’t ready yet, so I went up to his room to meet him. I get up to his room, and on his little cassette player, he’s listening to The Millionaire Training. The important thing to know is this is ten years after these tapes were released, and five or six years after Jeff had left Herbalife. Here is a man who in 1991 has already put away $10 Million and he is still listening to The Millionaire Training, carrying it around with him in his bag.
You have to remember, you can always try to get the latest and greatest, but the question is, how much experience and how much adversity has this trainer gone through? With The Millionaire Training, it’s nearly 40 years’ worth of experience. And as far as adversity goes, no company has been pounded harder than Herbalife by the Federal Trade Commission.
If you look at the guys who are still around since the early 1980s, they learned from Larry personally and listened to The Millionaire Training religiously; they are still making seven-figure incomes to this day.
In July 2004, I was at a Jim Rohn Leadership Event. I was at a table eating lunch with Jeff Roberti, BK Boreyko, Jim Rohn, Dennis Waitley, Brian Tracy, and Ali Brown. I was sitting next to Jim Rohn talking about my background and that I had been involved in Herbalife in the early days. A discussion of Larry came up and I’ll never forget what Jim Rohn said, “Larry Thompson is the best trainer I have ever seen.” It brought happy tears to my eyes then, and it brings happy tears to my eyes now.