From Nu Skin to the New Birth

At the beginning of 1990, I became dissatisfied with my life. At 26 I had mounting debts from pursuing a recording career plus I was losing interest working as a nightclub disc jockey. Around this time, a radio program I listened to called “Musical Starstreams” started running ads about a business opportunity. Forest (the show’s host) said there was a way one could earn a large income and have the time to enjoy it. Soon I received a video in the mail about a network marketing company called Nu Skin.

After watching the video, I was intrigued enough to call Forest and find out why he was involved with a company that manufactured personal care products. Forest explained he wanted to make enough money to buy radio stations and air new age music full-time. Since Nu Skin was experiencing exponential growth, I decided to take advantage of this “opportunity of a lifetime.” I sold all my recording equipment so I would have extra money for products and sales aids. My goal was to build a residual income, pay off all my debts, and then resume my music career.

One of the first things I learned in network marketing was how to prospect through my “circle of influence” list. I quickly realized I needed to associate with people who were serious about progressing in life. Most of my friends then were musicians or barflies. None of them wanted to go into business with me. Some of them tried talking me out of doing Nu Skin. 

Consequently I had to search for prospects in the cold market. That was done with newspaper ads and leaving business cards in public places encouraging people to call my voice mail number to hear a recorded message. Those wanting more information about my business were sent the same video I had watched. The process of mailing out videos with prepaid return envelopes was very costly. It resulted in me signing up only two distributors.

Next I tried inviting people to my home for interviews. This cut down on the postage expenses and filtered out individuals who were just curious. Half of the people that scheduled interviews didn’t show up. None of the others signed up with me as a Nu Skin distributor. Despite my lack of success in recruiting, I was getting outside my comfort zone and developing better people skills.

To help me maintain a positive attitude, I started attending motivational seminars and listening to self-help tapes. From which I kept hearing how important it is to have your priorities in order. To be a successful person in life, you must put your spiritual goals first, next your family, and then your business. Every time I heard the “spiritual” part, thoughts crossed my mind about going back to church. For a while I was reluctant to do so. The traditional Lutheran church I went to as a kid gave me wrong perceptions of Christianity.

Nevertheless, one Nu Skin executive I grew to admire was a former pastor. Mark Yarnell (who I found out died last month) had gotten involved in the business to clear past debts. He went on to write a book called “Power Multi-Level Marketing” in which he used an interesting illustration. Jesus put twelve men on His frontline that resulted in Him capturing a large percentage of the world's marketshare. It was another seed planted that eventually resulted in my salvation on March 19, 1991. For another year, I persisted with Nu Skin despite making very little money plus my sponsor switched to a different MLM company. 

Then in February 1992, I had a dream in which I was in Utah wanting to visit Nu Skin’s corporate headquarters. When I called directory assistance, I heard a recorded message that gave out the number but then said, “Please do not call this number!” When I decided to go ahead and call the number, a glass plate suddenly covered the telephone buttons. This prevented me from making the call. After waking up I prayed, “Lord, if you are telling me to get out of Nu Skin, then please give me a confirmation on this.”  

The next night at church, my pastor had a word of knowledge saying, “Someone here is involved in multilevel marketing...you need to get out of it and find a regular job.” For the next four years I worked at a variety of places until the Lord called me to the ministry.

I don’t regret the time I put into Nu Skin. The experience taught me other things that later helped me be successful with evangelism (like isolating objections when people oppose the gospel). Since then I’ve been approached with several other MLM opportunities but remained focused on promoting the most important product available: eternal life.

“but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” - Matthew 6:20

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