Richard Brooke: In the Spotlight
In this Fearless Networker Spotlight, we're featuring Richard Brooke, a staple, veteran, ambassador, author and owner in the network marketing profession. Wow! That, was a mouthful. And, deservingly so.
Excited to catch up with my friend Richard and dig for some answers, hear about his history, and share it with you.
I caught up with Richard in between his Harley rides, a few rounds of golf and running events for his company.
TFN: Richard, thanks for sitting down with me today. You’ve been in this profession for over 30 years. Two questions to start off. How’d you get introduced to this profession in the first place and how in the world are you still here 30 years later?
Richard Brooke: I got introduced by my high school buddy Steve…a very good friend. He worked at the chicken plant with me. I would not have been open to anything that led me away from the chicken plant. I actually loved it there and was rising up through the management ranks. Steve, even though he had helped get me the job at the plant, had already left to do other things.
He called me three times to come to three different meetings. I blew him off every time. But then, Foster Farms came down from the top with a new policy. One could not advance any further than I was without a four year college degree. I didn’t consciously think I was open to going into business or selling. I didn’t seek Steve out. But the next time I saw him I was interested, where I was never before. Good lesson there. No does not mean “No, I don’t want to be healthier or earn more income.”
No means NOT NOW or “I don’t know enough about what your are suggesting to even say YES to look.” The No's properly treated are always our best prospects. Keep a solid list of your No's. Treat them with respect and honor. Check in on them on a regular basis for referrals or just to update them on what you are doing. Some will follow in time.
I have survived by paying a great deal of attention to the relationships I have created both with sales teams, competitors and anyone else that might someday support me in what I am doing. I have survived by paying professional attention to my wealth building, my finances…so as to never be desperate. Desperate people act in “Fight or Flight mode.” They are not thinking clearly. They are purely reacting with their lizard brain. Relationships and reputation are destroyed by acts of lizardry.
I have also survived by always having a crystal clear vision of what I want to create, who I want to become, and how I want to serve. I keep refreshing it to keep me engaged and challenged. And, I reinvent work constantly so it's fun for me. I live where I want to live not where I SHOULD live to work. Coeur d Alene summer, Carmel and Lanai in the winter. I am rarely in the office. When I am, I boat to work. I work on the golf course and I minimize commercial travel, something I despise.
TFN: You’ve obviously got a tremendous amount of experience both on the corporate side as well as the field side. What do you feel has changed the most, if anything, from the time you first got started?
Richard Brooke: Changed the most? The proliferation of our model. In 1977, there probably were not more than 20 MLM companies in the US…now there are 700 based here and another 300 or so doing business here. Even with 20 companies you had no idea who they were or how they did business or how competitive they were. Without the Internet, the only way you noticed another company was if they were doing an Opportunity meeting in the same hotel as you.
Here are some things that did not exist in 1977. UPS, Fed EX, Credit Cards, Credit card purchases by phone, Fax machines (that right…the did not even exist in 1977, now they have been obsolete for ten years), no Social Media, no Internet, no email, no texting, no cell phones. Long distance phone calls were 25 cents a minute. A plane flight today that would cost $200 was $1,000. A MLM company could not expand nationwide legally. They had to open each state as though it was a foreign country…apply to do business, wait, jump through hoops, and get approval. Open the county. There was virtually NO long distance sponsoring because the technology was not there to do it. A video tape of the opportunity cost $25 each.
There were NO books on MLM and no one with any credibility ever endorsed it. There were no generic events, no Super MLM men or women.
TFN: Our industry tends to get a bit of scrutiny from outsiders. Why do you think that is…and what can we do to change it?
Richard Brooke: 90% of the people that join with the intention of earning $500 a month or more end up failing to earn a profit. In many companies, it is 99.9%. The industry standard stacks compensation plans in favor of the Big Leader…so they can earn $100,000 a month and tends to dispose of the people that he or she needs to stay using and selling the products long term in order for that $100k a month to be there 20 years from now. Products are over priced to fund a top down compensation plan. We have a top down approach and we need a bottom up approach. We need fantastic products that are priced competitively. Costco and Amazon ARE our competitors.
And we need to adopt a non-desperate approach to “Inviting and Enrolling”. WE need to lose the should's: “you should buy this”, “you should go to this meeting”, “you should do MLM”, “you should lose your job”, “you should earn $10,000 a month and drive a Ferrari or you are a loser”.
Lying to people, hyping them, manipulating them, using them for our own financial gain and then calling them haters and stupid if they don’t agree with our path is what has caused the discord. We are not trusted, admired or respected because we have demanded it versus earned it.
Bliss Business was founded on the vision of teaching people how to be curious for the sake of just being curious, listen like someone else's life depended on it and serve people wherever they and however they want to be served. Adopting this philosophy is what can change the public and the media’s attitude. WE have done it foolishly for 70 years. We need to “Be the Change.”
TFN: What advice would you have for brand new people getting into this profession for the very first time?
Richard Brooke: Number one. Get really clear on what you want to accomplish. If all you want is free product, then great. All you will need is a few customers. If it is $500 a month in income, you will need a few more…maybe a very small team of people doing the same. If you want to earn $1,000 a month or more, you will need to act like your MLM company just hired you on a part time basis. You have a job. You have to show up. You have to learn the job. You have to do the job. If you do any of these things when and as you please, you will get fired. To be successful here requires the entrepreneurial spirit and a high degree of motivation. It is not a job…it is a business. And businesses are actually harder than jobs. Treat your business like an opportunity for you to gain financial freedom. Treat it like you were GOING to succeed. And what you will find is that due to the magic of MLM, once you get 20-30 active people on your team, the “business” becomes FUN. It becomes easy because you are good at it, your are a professional and you are serving people.
Richard Brooke: The book is the business person's view of our income model. Left brain people….investors, skeptics, engineers and finance people will appreciate it the most. It is the scientific look at how and why Network Marketing is an extraordinary wealth building model….far more effective than traditional paths of saving and investing in real estate or equities. It is a book that builds belief and massive credibility, quickly. If you were to study it until you can teach it without notes, you will have mastered our model. You would have the confidence and the knowledge to enroll anyone. When you give this book to a prospect, (“If I loan you MY book would you look through it in the next couple of days?”) most will be ready to hear how YOU are doing it….and want information about your company and products. It is a far more effective approach than leading with your company or even often your products.
TFN: Where can people get it?
TFN: I know that in addition to running your company, you have been doing quite a few independent workshops. What’s the story behind your Vision Workshops? Who are they for…and what goes on at those events?
Richard Brooke: I have been leading experiential workshops for 30 years teaching people how to discover the soul of what could be their “Vision” and the tools to turn that into Self-Motivation…the kind that sustains you through the ups and downs. They are all based on my book , Mach II, The Art of Vision and Self Motivation.
I also lead 5 day transformational retreats for leaders from all companies and all walks of life. These retreats OPEN people to their natural gifts, talents and power and help them craft a life plan set it all free. These are held in Carmel, California, Coeur d' Alene, Idaho and Lanai, Hawaii islands.
TFN: I gotta ask you…you do this SuperMLM Man thing, where you dress up in a superhero costume and go on the streets asking people about MLM? What in the world caused you to do that? And, how have the responses been?
Richard Brooke: I wanted to learn first hand what people really knew about us and how they really felt. There is a huge difference between what people tell us when we are “Inviting them to Look” and when you interview them without the context of recruiting them. We filmed three episodes so far…Spokane, Honolulu, and Las Vegas. They are all up on the site, www.BlissBusiness.com and my YouTube channel. They are both hilarious and educational. I dressed up as superman just to entertain myself and to disarm people. Everyone wants to talk to superman.
TFN: Lastly…if someone had 60-seconds with you, and could only ask you for one chunk of advice about making it big in this profession, what would you tell them?
Richard Brooke: A huge missing piece in those that are looking to make it big is perspective. If you end up earning just $10,000 a month in residual income in 3-4 years, you just built an asset worth $2,000,000. You became a multimillionaire in 4 years or less. Think about that. In any other profession you could work and save for decades perhaps AFTER investing hundreds of thousands and 4 to 6 years in higher education. Big success in Network Marketing IS a better way by a long shot. But it ends up being a long shot because those pursuing it perhaps don’t believe it or they are of the personality that is looking for a short cut…the easy way. If you want to become a multi-millionaire in Network Marketing you better play like it, invest like it, learn like it, practice like it, grow like it, risk like it and most importantly…serve others as though they were going to make it happen.
Otherwise, you got No Shot.