Rick and Michelle Teague

Rick and Michelle Teague

Top 10 Distributor | Modere

Rick & Michelle’s Millionaire Training Story

Michelle:  I started in the network marketing industry back in 1984 when I was only 19 years old and working at a restaurant in Houston, Texas. Late one night a few Herbalife distributors walked in and were seated in my section. At the time, I was miserable. I was working two jobs and going to school to become a dental assistant. I remember thinking to myself a lot, What am I doing with my life, because right now I’m not enjoying any of it.

I grew up in a super small, southeast Texas town.  It was a great little town to grow up in, but the day after I graduated, I moved because I had a feeling there was something more for me out there in the world. I just wasn’t sure what. 

Even though it was super late when they came into the restaurant, there was something extra bright about this group. They were different from the usual late-night dining crowd. They were fired up having just come from doing an Herbalife opportunity meeting. For some unknown reason I was being drawn to their table.  Because I wasn’t super busy, I’d find things to talk to them about. Finally, one of them turned to me and said, “Have you ever thought about owning your own business?”

I don’t know why, but immediately I responded, “No, but that sounds great.” Two nights later, I went to an Herbalife opportunity meeting and signed up, my life hasn’t been the same since.

Long story short, I ended up moving to Dallas, where I worked with Larry’s niece, Leslie, and sister, Tish Rochin. It made all the difference being around people like Tish, who mentored me in every part of my life. After attending a couple of hours’ worth of Larry’s teachings, I learned so much. I didn’t even know people could do what he was talking about doing, but I thought to myself, Oh, my gosh, anybody can do this!

Even though I was only 19, I had worked in three restaurants and was going to school. This was not living. Every day was the same.  Every day, I had people telling me what to do and where to go and when to take my lunch break. Even school felt like prison.

When Larry and Herbalife came along, I realized I didn’t have to stay in a box. It was time to start finding out who I was and what I wanted. 

Larry is so good at making sure other people understand that anybody in the world can have the same kind of success as he has had in this industry. For me to realize this at such a young age was such a big deal. I didn’t have a lot of money or skills and I didn’t even know what the sales profession was or the concepts it involved, but it was all eye-opening and exciting, thrilling and crazy, and even a little scary sometimes.

I remember thinking, Who is this guy?  How did he learn this? and How does he know how to go straight in and get right to the point? 

First, Larry is an excellent storyteller. He would always use a story to hook you in. I could tell you so many of his stories verbatim today, just because I listened to them over and over again. Repetition was something Larry frequently mentioned. At his presentations he often explained how repetition made such a difference.

The funny part was, people weren’t showing up saying, “Oh my gosh, we’ve heard this all before.” People were going to hear it repeatedly because they knew hearing it again and again means it’s going to work better for them, and they will understand it better. Repetition moves it from our heads into our hearts, and then from our hearts into action where what we actively do makes a difference. If something is just in your head, you don’t have it. If you’re a believer, your actions are going to show it. You have to lift your weights and be responsible for your business.

I think we miss that point today when we go from podcast to podcast looking for something new, when we really want to ingrain in ourselves what we already know to work.  That’s why it’s important to read The Millionaire Training over and over.

At this time in my career, Larry’s The Millionaire Training was included in the Herbalife distributor packs on audio cassettes, and I was always listening to those cassettes. I would often make the three-hour drive back home, listening continuously to the training.  Or, I would listen to The Millionaire Training right before I was about to present at an opportunity meeting. I listened to that training more than anything else during that time of my life. That training always helped put me in the right mindset and kept me able to talk about what I was doing with others. Soon, I started making as much money part-time as I made working fulltime anywhere else.  What I was accomplishing by the age of 20 made me feel like this business was the right fit for me.

It was no longer all about the money, but more about the mindset. I was focused and knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I loved the freedom and lifestyle this industry gave me. I could live the life I wanted to live and answer to my own rules.

I knew it was important to me that when I got married and started a family, that I wouldn’t fall into this robotic, no-life way of living. I wanted to see my kids all the time and be around my husband as much as possible.

When I met my future husband, Rick Teague, who was an attorney, I remember thinking, Oh crap, I don’t want to marry an attorney. A lot of my family and friends were thrilled I was marrying a lawyer, but I was not super excited about that fact. I knew he was going to have to go into work every day, work crazy long hours and I never would get to see him, and he would never get to spend much time with our future family. 

Rick: I was just tipping my toe into Herbalife when I met Michelle at an opportunity meeting in Dallas.  We both had driven 200 miles to attend.  Unfortunately, from opposite directions. She was still living in Houston at the time, and I was living in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  I had my law practice in Tulsa. I would come to Dallas on occasion to pick up Herbalife products because it was the main distribution center for our part of the country.

In what I call my former life, I spent nine years in college and had not one, but two, law degrees. I started practicing law as an oil and gas attorney in the early 1980’s when the oil and gas industry was doing well. Business was excellent. I thought that was because I was smarter than most and worked harder than most. I had the degrees and the big ego to match.

In the mid-1980s, all that changed.  The oil and gas industry took a nosedive, and many of the smaller, newer companies that I worked for started going out of business.  You can guess what that did to my income. My dad was a college professor at Oklahoma State, and he had gotten into Herbalife through a whole different set of circumstances. He tried to get me to join Herbalife for the better part of a year and finally succeeded when my income and satisfaction with my legal practice kept declining to a point where I could no longer say “no.” In short, because the oil and gas business was drying up, I was being forced to take a lot of legal business that I had no desire to do, mainly things like bankruptcies, divorces, traffic tickets and criminal matters.

When I joined Herbalife, I didn’t plan on making a career change. I met Michelle and occasionally started building my part-time Herbalife business around Dallas and eventually ended up getting a desk at Tish’s co-op in Richardson. After that, Michelle and I started talking more, and eventually, I was mysteriously invited over to Tish’s house.

Now, since Michelle and Tish had to make sure I was a Christian before I was officially “approved” as a suitor for Michelle, they both tricked me by asking me to come over to Tish’s house to take a look at her video cassette recorder (VCR) because it “was broken.” Within a few seconds after arriving and checking out the VCR, I immediately determined that there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. Further, I also instantly learned that this was a total set up when Tish, who was obviously and completely unconcerned with her VCR, turned to me and asked, “Rick, if you died right now, where would you go, to heaven or hell?”

In response I told her the truth, which was that I would go to heaven because I believed Jesus Christ died for my sins and I was consequently saved. To sum it up, I had inadvertently passed Michelle and Tish’s thinly veiled litmus test and was officially stamped with their seal of approval.

Michelle: I was first led to Christ by one of the Herbalife distributors that came into the restaurant that night in Houston. After joining Herbalife, this person shared the Gospel with me, and I started attending church with them as much as I could so I could learn about God. It was at that point that I knew I wasn’t going to date anybody unless they loved Jesus as much as I did. 

Rick: After passing “the test,” Michelle and I started dating, and I began to take more notice of the work she was doing. When I joined Herbalife, I was not familiar with the network marketing business at all. I was hanging around other Herbalife colleagues and was learning some tips and seeing their success. What blew my mind was seeing that there was one month where our upline leader and friend, Tish, made $93,000. I knew Tish worked hard, but I also knew she didn’t have a high school diploma; it got me thinking. Here I was, a big shot, white-collar attorney with a large ego and nine years of college and two degrees and my law practice falling apart, and Tish without her high school diploma is the one making $93,000 in one month!

I had no idea people could even make that much. It opened my eyes, and my mantra then became, “if she can do it, then I can do it,” and for 35 years since then I’ve been trying to catch up with her, but still haven’t as far as total lifetime industry earnings.

Michelle:  Rick and I have been working in this industry together since we met over 35 years ago. I was living with Tish and in addition to building my Herbalife business I was also Tish’s assistant, so I was frequently around the family working on things here and there. I began hanging out with Tish, Larry, and his daughters as much as I could. The whole family is super generous and grateful, and they lived a life very different than the atmosphere I grew up in. Everybody was positive and doing their best to help others be their best. I took notice of that. 

When Rick proposed, I began to think about our wedding day and what I wanted it to be like. For various reasons I had become estranged to my stepfather over the years, and although I did have a biological father in California, I didn’t have a strong relationship with him either and that bothered me. To make matters even worse neither of them were Christians either, so when it came down to it Larry was literally the only believer I could think of that had the qualities of someone I wanted to walk me down the aisle. However, I was also very nervous to ask him mainly because I wanted to make sure his daughters were okay with it because none of them were married yet. I remember him talking to his daughters and then agreeing to do it. I was so thrilled because I couldn’t think of a better person who had changed my life in so many ways. Larry and Tish both had a significant influence on my Christian life. Even Larry’s teachings in person and The Millionaire Training on audio tapes interlaced with the Gospel and Biblical doctrine. Having him walk me down the aisle was such a special moment and a real act of kindness. It’s a great memory to look back and reflect on to think I had such a good man with a positive, loving influence on my life, walking me down the aisle.

Rick:  After joining Herbalife in November 1984, we ran into lousy timing when CNN ran a negative story about the company in January 1985. I didn’t understand the importance of timing back then. Even though the company’s situation at the time was much less than ideal, my first full month’s check was $3,400, which at the time seemed pretty good to me. I ended up chasing that initial high check for three years but never could recreate or increase my initial results. At that time in the company, things weren’t going that great for anybody. 

Michelle and I then got married in December 1987. Two weeks before our wedding, I ended up leaving Herbalife and joining NSA after talking with some colleagues who had joined the company the year prior. After joining this new organization, I was finally able to put all the training I learned at Herbalife to work for the first time ever in a really good timing situation. I simply started applying the wisdom I had been taught in my “boot camp” years, and things really started working like they were supposed to. 

Next thing you know, in just a few short months we had 800 people on our team and when I got my first $6,500 check, I knew it was time to quit my law practice for good and go full time into network marketing with NSA. My time at Herbalife showed me people like Larry and Tish who were successful, and it showed me the possibilities of what financial freedom offered. It was because of their example I was able to make the 90-degree turn from being an attorney to staking my flag and becoming a full-time network marketing professional who has now been in this business for over 35 years. 

Michelle:  We may have switched to another company that happened to be better for us timing-wise, but we applied every single principle we had learned from Larry. We didn’t add to it or take away from it; we simply did what Larry taught us, and then suddenly, we had success. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at things, we’ve had to change companies several times, but each time we made a switch, we did the same things. We would take Larry’s principles and teachings and do it again in another company with different products.

It didn’t matter because it worked every time. Rick and I have been working together for thirty-something years, and that’s because we got educated by the best and applied what he told us to do. Nothing has been perfect along the way, but we’ve never doubted a single second how we should go about doing things. You see that it works, and you just do it over and over and over again. That’s the bottom line.

Rick:  Having a background as a tax attorney has given me a bent towards complexity. There’s hardly anything more complicated on this planet than the Internal Revenue Code and the law that goes with it. That’s why it was mind-boggling to me when I started learning from Larry and seeing how practical and straightforward his approach to business is. I am a very analytical and detailed person, but complexity does not duplicate well. Learning from Larry was my complexity antidote. 

I listen to Larry’s The Millionaire Training over and over again to keep me on the straight and narrow in regard to simplicity. Even to this day I have to continually remind myself to focus on what can be duplicated instead of what I personally have the ability to do. For it to truly duplicate it has to be achievable by someone who’s 10 levels below me in the company, who’s halfway across the country, and who’s never even done this type of business before.

During my three and a half years at Herbalife, I learned from Larry and Jim Rohn the fundamental principles of duplication. My time there became my network marketing training ground, and it’s what has enabled Michelle and me to make an ultra-successful career out of network marketing.

Over the past 35 years, our greatest claim to fame is not the money we’ve earned, even though it’s a lot. This is because we know plenty of people who have earned more than we have. However, very few if any of those people, especially outside of network marketing, have been able to spend more time with their spouse or their kids while they were growing up than we have. In a nutshell, beyond the money it’s the flexibility, time freedom and lifestyle that comes with the money that really matters. In the end, it means being able to earn dream income while keeping your priorities straight… kind of like having your cake and eating it too.  

Even to this day, we are continually learning and revisiting Larry’s teachings. We’re members of the LT WealthBuilding Academy just to be able to watch The Millionaire Training and use many of their other resources.

The LT WealthBuilding Academy, Gig Summit, and the Facebook group give us a constant and much needed refresher course in “anti-complexity.” In the legal world, you have continuing legal education. In the medical world, you have continuing medical education. In network marketing you need continuing education as well, and Larry’s resources are the perfect curriculum. 

Michelle:  Because of our training, we can get down to the bones of what’s going on. We may be using the internet more rather than nailing signs on poles or leaving notes on peoples’ cars like we used to do, but at the end of the day, it’s about talking to people. Larry ingrained this in us so deeply. You need to be talking to lots of people.

Make up in numbers what you lack in skill.

That is something I tell everybody on my team. You might have to speak to a few more people than someone else does, but eventually you can potentially get the same results. While you’re learning this business, you may need to talk with more people than someone who has been doing this two or three years, because you haven’t reached the same skill level yet. However, you can make that up by increasing the number of contacts you reach out to while you’re building your skills.

Larry is big on just getting out there and doing the work, and while you’re out there, the skills will grow. You have to have the confidence that if I do these things, if I contact 10 people per day, it is going to happen. When I met Rick, I was making more money than he was in Herbalife, yet I didn’t have nearly the same level of education that he had.

You can always tell who the “smart” people are at a presentation. Some of them are humble, and some of them are not. They don’t like being told a simple way of doing things; they want it to be complicated. Some actually thrive on that complication in school and life. Larry would take that rug right out from under them. He would shake up their thinking and tell them to humble themselves.

We constantly strive to bring those same ideas to our team. We still use Larry’s same principles and concepts from when we started nearly 35 years ago. They remain effective because they are all just simple fundamental principles that work no matter what you’re doing.  They even can be applied to your normal, day-to-day life for greater success. 

Rick:  I would add that one of the most significant takeaways from Larry and The Millionaire Training is his three-legged stool of success: have a burning desire, a willingness to work, and being teachable. These principles are the cornerstone of everything else you will do. 

Michelle:  I don’t know anyone in the network marketing industry who knowingly or unknowingly hasn’t been positively affected by Larry Thompson in one way or another. Larry has created a ripple effect that goes well beyond the network marketing industry. His influence in our lives has been a blessing to our family that I never would have imagined possible when I was just a young girl leaving my small town for the big city in my Toyota Corolla. I had no idea what was coming, and to be part of Larry’s legacy is an honor. Rick and I have had the privilege to talk with thousands of people, and so much of what we share comes from Larry’s influence.  We give him credit for that. Almost every word that comes out of our mouth when it comes to training, encouraging, or giving a little pep talk to our team has got its roots in something that came from Larry. Larry has done more than he ever set out to do. I would say God ordained him for this, and he hasn’t missed his calling; that’s for sure.

Rick:  When I think about the massive impact Larry has had in the network marketing world, it astounds me. He often talks about 100% certainty and 100% uncertainty, and you know there had to be a time when he felt that 100% uncertainty and wanted to quit. Thankfully, he didn’t, and here he is with over 50 years in the network marketing industry. His influence reaches far beyond the money he’s helped people make to the concepts of lifestyle, free enterprise, and a good dose of the Gospel mixed in.

Perhaps the most mind-boggling thing is that the influence Larry has had over the last 50 years is just the tip of the iceberg compared to the exponential future impact he will have throughout the next 50 years and beyond, especially when you consider the reach of all the top earners, company owners, management teams, and industry insiders who have all been impacted by Larry and his mentorship. All I end with is, “Wow, we are forever grateful.”