Welcome to the Eventual Millionaire Podcast. I’m Jaime Tardy and today we have Brig Hart on the show. Brig has a 32-year history as an entrepreneur, most recently taking a company from nothing to $2 billion in earnings in under three years. Him and his wife are the world’s leading network marketers and founders of R3 Global. He also wrote the book “Why Not You, Why Not Now” which details his great story from a penniless surfer to a multi-millionaire and I am so excited to share it. Welcome Brig and thank you so much for being here.
BRIG HART: Thanks Jaime. Thanks for having me.
JAIME TARDY: So, first I’d love to talk a little bit about your background. I loved your book and I wanted to know a little bit more about how you grew up to get a sense of where you came from.
BRIG HART: Very good, very good. Jaime, grew up on the eastern shore of Maryland. Was born down in Deland, Florida to the proud parents of Bob and Cornelia Hart. He was a Stetson graduate, they met in college, dad got his first job offer so moved to the eastern shore of Maryland and there dad set up household in Salisbury, Maryland and had four kids.
I was the second of four, all born in the 50s, and then mom raised us in the 60s, all teenagers during a pretty tumultuous time. Looking back, the 60s, where you did what felt good, whatever, the Vietnam War was going, segregation was a big deal and growing up in those times, where a lot of promiscuous living for the teenagers entered in, and I became a subject of a matter in that sense. I was a little dreamer from the time my dad, as an entrepreneur, started on the eastern shore of Maryland and I don’t know.
I wanted to find out what the world was all about, wanted more out of life and got myself into some pretty mischievous things growing up. My dad, being in those days the drug of choice was alcohol, and I grew up in pretty tough little family dealing with alcohol, so I was a runaway at a young age. But being on my own since 13, I had to make my own way, learned a lot of pretty tough lessons but had great relationships with friends that kind of looked out after me but had to make my own way.
Was drafted. I was on that first voluntary draft lottery. I was Number 35 so was drafted in ’70, went in on a delayed recruitment which I didn’t have to go in until ’71 so the war was kind of winding down. My great fear was having to be shipped over to ‘Nam. Seeing some of my friends that went and came back was not a real pleasant time but served my two years, came out back to the eastern shore and then decided that lifestyle and that slow pace of living wasn’t for me.
I wanted to follow my dreams so I ended up in Florida and did what I wanted to do in the sense that I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 13 so I started my own business of surf shops. Figured if I was going to make a living, do what I enjoyed doing so surf and sun for five years, built some surf shops but then went into a tough economic time in the late, mid to late 70s and almost lost everything we had worked five years for, got back into the drugs and alcohol only as a matter of kind of depressed state and frustrated but, was introduced to a gentleman that introduced me to what I was soon to find out was my career; whether I have a niche or a gift I don’t really see it that way.
I was just so ready for something. A guy I met, we talked, networking, he presented to me, took advantage of it and the next year and a half and, of course, that was 32 years ago now, I was making my first million by the time I was 26 and I went from making $8,000.00 a year to well over a million dollars a year and have for 32 years now.
I’ve had three kind of separate careers in networking. Each one of them, my first one with a network most people have heard about, it was 26 years old when I heard about it, was the Amway business. People laughed at me for getting involved but I looked at the industry differently; no bricks or mortar or whatever, so I got involved, no real risk, just household goods and services you buy from yourself, merchandise a little bit, teach others. Got involved and, like I say, within a three-year period, I was making more money part time than I could ever make full time so I decided to give it more attention.
Over the next 12 years, did $5.5 billion dollars in business with them just starting as one person, 26 years old, so I had my run for 21 years. I was involved with them; semi retired, living a wonderful life with my wife and three kids. Was diagnosed with cancer in 2000 right about the time I was thinking life was going to be so wonderful, all this work now I get to reap the rewards and enjoy some of that and then diagnosed with that, it went from skin cancer to melanoma. Next thing you know, through that process and circumstances, I found an all-natural product that help build the immune system through the MonaVie business.
It was a new product that hadn’t even come to market. I wasn’t looking for a business, I was looking for an answer to my physical situation. What good is wealth if you don’t have your health? So, in three and a half months, I found myself in almost perfect health again with the use of the product. So I went back, bought part of the company, decided to use my gifts and talents once again and now we just are actually approaching $3 billion in sales after six years in the business. Fastest billion dollar company in the USA, MonaVie and my wife and I created probably 85, 86 percent all those sales strictly by word of mouth so really feel like networking, the industry, it’s coming into its own cottage industry.
So that’s where I’ve been and where I’m at now. After six years, helped more people reach millionaire status in the last three to four years than probably anybody had ever thought about and now we realize it’s unlimited with the needs out there, we’re right time, right place, right product, right industry so we’re looking forward actually to a real bright future helping a lot of other people that understand that.
JAIME TARDY: Wow, that’s a story. I mean going all the way from when you were younger to where you are now. I just actually wrote a post about this, about how easy it sounds and we hear somebody say that they’re successful where they came from and where they went to. What I’d love to do is go back a little bit and find out, you know, you were a millionaire by the age of 26. What really changed in you from having hard economic times in the surf shop to having a million dollars doing network marketing? What happened in that time frame? Tell us a little bit more about like your mindset, what you had to do, how you were working, all that interesting stuff.
BRIG HART: Yes, yes, and it was. I appreciate that Jaime because it was a different mindset as a long-haired hippy type surfer and all the things I was into. You become who you associate with. Age is not favorable in any way. Age has nothing to do with success the way you think.
As a teenager, I got involved in a number of things just because that’s who I hung around and I became a product of my environment. You become who you associate with. I wasn’t much of a reader but when I got out of the service and realized I was pretty much on my own for the rest of my life, I was not happy with the results I was getting in life. So the gentleman that introduced me to networking, really the change in my attitude, came through the change in the way I thought.
He introduced me to some books but he also taught me that success is all about what you think. If you think a thought and you reap an action and, if you sow an action you reap a habit, and you sow a habit and you reap a destiny or sow a destiny you reap a character. Well, my thoughts were in the area of pleasure and just living life. I did things, read things, was around people that didn’t support what I really wanted in life. I wanted success and happiness but I was more into living a pleasurable life getting by but I understood that money didn’t buy happiness so I started reading books, getting around successful people or reading about successful people.
They all had a couple things in common. Of course, all the things of, you know, hard work and diligence and playfulness in the things that you do and doing it better than someone else. But, my thoughts, you never get what you want in life you only get what you picture, so I had to change the way I saw myself, as anyone else would have to do, and reading about other people that had succeeded I looked to these characteristics.
One, I gave my heart to the Lord and by the way, that was a big deal for me because I was so self-centered. A guy challenged me to incorporate the God factor in my life and I said, “Why.” What I realized was over time I saw the fruit of that and I said, “Well, you know, I tried it without him, I think I’ll try it with him.” I started incorporating principles. And again, I’m talking about reading books, but I started reading proverbs and psalms. Started incorporating some of that into my life as principles.
The next thing you know, the very things that all these other people had done, I realized success was about a dream, having a dream, the willingness to work, the right attitude and a vehicle. I found the vehicle, I just had to develop the right attitude. I had to develop the right vision. How I saw myself. So, I saw myself successful. I reinforced that by reading books, listening to tapes, getting around good people, changing my environment and then the vehicle, well networking is what I had, and it was something that I could replicate so I actually started believing I could succeed and now by surrounding myself with other people and reading books, listening to tapes, the environment I put myself, it reinforced that. Interestingly enough, in a year and a half’s time it’s interesting how I went from couldn’t pay my bills, couldn’t pay my electric bill, to being able to buy the electric company if I wanted to. So the difference is the way I saw myself. Anybody can do that.
JAIME TARDY: Wow, that’s amazing. So, a year and a half beforehand, before you became a millionaire, did you know that you’d become a millionaire as long as you just kept the right attitude and a good vision?
BRIG HART: Well, it’s not that I knew I’d be a millionaire. I just knew there would be no limits to what I could do. Success is a progressive realization of a worthwhile goal or dream. I finally set a goal that I wanted to, well, you know, you have to make a hundred dollars a week before you make, you know, a thousand dollars a week or back then they used to gauge it in months. But, what I did I believe – that I could help other people to succeed in my industry – it was a matter of taking your eye off yourself and helping someone else.
I realized the more people I helped the more I helped myself. Jean Paul Getty’s book “How to be Rich,” he talked about a number of principles and one of them was I’d rather make 1 percent of a hundred men’s efforts than a 100 percent of my own. I latched on to that concept and in networking, I had the ability to go do that. So I actually believed that I could do what it took to go find enough people to help myself.
Now, first and foremost, I had to help them. I believed I could because I believed there were people out there that wanted more than what they had. So it was simple. It was just a matter of sorting and assisting and turning suspects into prospects so to speak and they’re plenty of people out there that want more than what they have, they just don’t have a vehicle to do it or someone to direct them. So, when I found that vehicle, the relational marketing is what I call it, I started helping people. That’s when I realized that I could go as far as I wanted and make as much money as I wanted by helping enough other people to succeed. Zig Ziegler said it best, “You can get everything you want in life if you’re willing to help enough other people get what they want.” I did believe that. I dreamed it. I believed it and then achieving it was just a matter of doing the work.
JAIME TARDY: I love that Zig Ziegler quote. I think that’s a big piece of it. Just going back, but I wonder as an entrepreneur how hard did you have to work. I mean we hear of people, you know, becoming a millionaire in 18 months and having to work 80 hours a week in order to do it. Can you tell us a little bit about like what the daily routine was for you as you were trying to become so successful?
BRIG HART: Yes, ma’am. And Jaime that’s what I did. I’m a guy that has to make things simple because I’m simple minded. I’m not an intellect. I’m not a scholar by any means. I just looked at other people and I’m big on building a model, replicating models. What I realized was that I had to do the very things that other people had done to be in that position. What I realized was that if I was willing to find somebody else that wanted something more, attach myself to them, or found them, recruited them and then helped them to establish “a small business.”
If I could help them to generate volume in their own business which, piece of cake, found a product, a service that I believed in, all of a sudden finding someone else who believed in that was all I needed. By helping one person and seeing that if I could help one, my gosh, everybody knows somebody that wants something more. My daily routine was a 12-step pattern I created or actually 12 steps, excuse me, a daily dozen that I talked about. Every day my routine was get up and thank the Lord for being blessed that I had another day. Of course, I would review my goals and dreams and what I wanted to do that day.
But I knew that long-term goals were important. Yes, I wanted to be successful but I had to do things in my daily routine. Actually hidden in that was my destiny. If I was willing to do things every 12 to 24 hours, meet somebody, talk to somebody, follow up on someone. But I had a job. I had to go to work and put in 8, 10, 12 hours a day in my Plan A. My Plan B was to develop wealth. So every day I had to come home. I had to build a list. I had to contact people. I had to read. I taught myself to read a little bit every day to encourage myself, whether it was in the bible or good books or biographies of people and looking for principles that encouraged me.
Doing a little bit in my business which, you got to realize you got to be very disciplined if you have to work a job, which most people do to get by to make a living, but to build a life and create wealth you have to find something you can replicate yourself. So I had to come home. I had to keep the right attitude. I then had to go out again. I tell people I made a living from 8-5 and built a lifetime and a future from 8:00 in the evening on. So I’d spend those couple hours whether driving, listening to tapes. I turned my car into a university. I’d listen to CDs or good things. I couldn’t read while I was driving. But reading, listening, contacting people, staying in touch with people. Reviewing my goals, using my products, educating myself so that daily routine, those daily disciplines developed new habits in my life and anything you do 21 days in a row you replace an old habit.
Well, my time at the bars and my time just gallivanting with my friends seemed to diminish a bit but now as I succeeded, my gosh, they weren’t in Hawaii with me when I flew over. They weren’t at the Superbowl this past week or Daytona this past week and weeks before the Superbowl. They chose not to do something. My statement is in my daily routine – if you do the day what others won’t do you can do tomorrow what others can’t do. So I disciplined myself to do those things that caused progressive growth every day, mentally, physically, financially. I’d work out every day. I’d read a little bit everyday. Encourage myself every day. Made contacts. Do my little bit every day.
JAIME TARDY: You talked a lot about goals and I know that’s a huge piece in general for small business owners. How do you work with goals and how do you set them? I know you said you liked short-term goals better than long-term goals as far as your daily routine but how do you work with goals?
BRIG HART: Yes, and what I help people to understand, most people understand a goal. I want to be free. I want to pay off, you know, it doesn’t matter physically, financially, emotionally and spiritually you have to have goals to push yourself. I think understanding what a goal is. Some people think a dream and a goal are the same thing. A dream is a goal with a date put on it. A goal for me is a level in business that I want to achieve in a certain time period.
There are many type of goals. There are long-term goals which, in my industry 2 to 5 years is long term, but to most people it’s 10 to 20 years. So you have long-term medium-range goals which I equate to about a year or two years and short-term goals which are six months to a year. Many goals, which are 30-day goals, and many goals can be 30 to 90 day goals. But then you have micro goals which I say that’s weekly to monthly goals and then even micro goals which are 24-hour goals. Interestingly enough, it’s easy to set a goal. I want to be financially free you know in 10 years or so.
But it’s interesting. It’s what we talked about – the daily disciplines – that you must do in order to hit. Got to do your micro goals before you hit your many goals. Micro, mini, short-term, medium range and long-term goals, if you don’t do the daily things you’re certainly not going to hit your short-term goals. So setting those goals, writing them down and then reviewing them each day because if you can’t measure progress you don’t know whether you are making progress or there’s no progress at all. You have to have measurable goals in order to know if you’re progressing at all.
JAIME TARDY: Yeah, you need to know how far you’ve come too, pat yourself on the back.
BRIG HART: Absolutely. Absolutely.
JAIME TARDY: Definitely. So I know it’s funny because a lot of people shy away from the network marketing business. I mean I think a lot of us have had a friend who is relentless about trying to sell us the next big opportunity and since you sort of have had tons of success in there and have seen it from the inside what are your thoughts on that?
BRIG HART: Well, my industry, like many, is misunderstood but here’s the deal. Most people have got to get used to the fact that everybody has an opinion about something. How do they formulate those opinions – by information. But here’s what I’ve realized, reliable information permits progress. When I got involved in ’78 in the Amway business, boy that was the last thing you did, from my friends’ perspective before you jumped off a 60-story building. You know, don’t jump in front of Amway. Don’t try networking.
Well, you know, people have an experience is what I found out, some negative, some had no experience whatsoever but were taking the opinions of others and taking that as creed, as truth. Well, here’s my deal. I can formulate my own opinions. My deal was I was broke and I didn’t like being there. When the guy offered me this opportunity through networking I had no clue what it was so ignorance was bliss for me. So I did something everyone should do. You do your own due diligence. You research. But you don’t ask people who are broke how to be wealthy. If they knew how to be wealthy they’d tell you. I’ve learned this over 30 years of being in the millionaire status and, by the way, I just completed making my 300th million dollar.
JAIME TARDY: Oh congratulations, wow!
BRIG HART: And, by the way, most of that is directly from networking, not many investments. I invest in real estate and I own many other businesses now but my deal was what if I had listened when I got involved in January ’78 and my networking business of 206 people, the first 206 people I talked to, all suggested I not be a part of it and they said, you know things like it’s a pyramid, it’s saturated, it won’t work, it’s been here before, it’s whatever. What’s interesting, I looked at the situation they were all in and I didn’t want to be in their situation. So I looked at the people who were encouraging me to get involved and I liked what I saw.
I liked the fruit on the tree as the Bible talks about. You know, you’ll know a tree by the fruit that it bears. These people were living financially free. They were living successfully. Not all of them but that’s the misconception. Shoot, it’s an 80/20 rule in anything and then there’s a 5 percent, a 2 percent, a 1 percent, a half of one percent rule. You know, 100 percent of the people that decide they’re going to succeed in anything are going to succeed at it.
People ask me how many people quit in your industry. I go all of them that choose to. How many succeed? All of them that choose to. The good and bad news about success, whether it’s my industry or anyone else’s, is your success depends on you. And here’s the bad news – failure. Your success depends on you. If you’re going to succeed it depends on you. If you’re going to fail it depends on you. If it is to be it’s up to be. My industry, yes, misunderstood but it’s nothing more than cottage industry.
Who wouldn’t like to buy products from themselves at wholesale, merchandise a little bit, that’s not a salesman, and teach other people the same thing. A business that can get a life of it’s own, replicate and develop passive residual long-going income. I saw it differently because I learned to listen to people who were in the positions I wanted to be in and quit listening to the committee called “they.” Everyone has got that committee and most of us are influenced by them so I believe leadership is aspired influence. I was inspired and influenced by those people I gave right to speak into my life. My mentors were all successful.
The guys I listen to today make hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Not just in networking and other business, because that’s my next goal. I mean after you make a million or two million or twenty million a year, you have to be, if you want to be a better golfer you’ve got to play with better golfers. You want to be a better business man you’re going to have to be around people that are in the position you want to be in. As I grow spiritually I’m around spiritual mentors that can sow into my life so I can continue to progress. Because, once again, success is the progressive realization of worthwhile goals and dreams. My industry no different, misunderstood.
It was car salesmen, aluminum salesmen but I want to tell you today it’s lawyers and politicians. You know, everyone formulates an opinion based on what we see. But if you take good information, I call it GIGO, not garbage in garbage out but good things in, good things out. I look at the good. The industry is, my industry is $100 billion a year going to $300 billion. Why wouldn’t and with over a 100 million independent distributors but there’s millions that have seen it, looked at people who didn’t do anything and they base their whole opinion on what that person did. Don’t hook your car to an engine that’s not going anywhere. If they’re not in a position you want to be in, you can’t take advice from them.
JAIME TARDY: That’s really, really good advice. And I think one of the things that you eluded to is that it’s the sales thing. I mean even with used car salesmen people have a big aversion to being sold to. But it sounds like you’ve done it a much better way. So what sales advice do you have?
BRIG HART: Yeah, this one’s interesting. In my book, I go through that process and me learning what I shouldn’t be doing. I’m better at what I shouldn’t do and that way it eliminates my choices as to what I should be doing. What I do, I come up with simple analogies for people because you only have a short amount of time to capture someone’s attention. Everyone is ADD to some extent. So I came up with things like the it factor. It’s simple, it’s fun, it’s MonaVie.
When people ask me about networking and I say it’s nothing more than use your own products, merchandise a little bit and teach other people. In my new business drink it, feel it, share it I tell them, I say, “You know, selling is not what anyone wants to do, they’re not looking to sell.” Most people are not good at selling. You need to understand something. Sell yourself on your products service business, whatever your process for doing. Sell yourself because if you’re not sold yourself, you can’t sell someone else.
But I tell people quit selling and learn to share. I say what I do is like my nutritional beverage – I drink it, I see results so I share my experience with them. I share the product of course a little bit but I share the opportunity so I tell the guy, I say, “Telling versus selling is the new relational marketing model.” In other words, if I just tell you that I found this product, I tell you the results of it and I tell you the results that others have seen and all of a sudden I take the pressure off of me and them to try and get a closed sale.
And now, over 12, 13 billion dollars in sales that my wife and I have generated through networking, I have yet to sell a retail, I don’t have a retail sale. Do I have retail customers? Yes. Preferred customers we call them. But the majority of the people I recruit in the business with me because I show them wouldn’t you rather buy at wholesale than retail and have it delivered to your door, so I share the opportunity. When I do that, they realize I can do this. I can share that with my mom or dad or brother, sister, aunt, uncle, acquaintance. I can share with them my experience in that they buy into it.
You don’t want to be trying to convince people. You want to be convinced yourself so that you can be, if you’re convicted you’ll be convincing. But I don’t go out, a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. If they think they have to sell anything they will not get involved with you. We move product by personally using it. Those that don’t choose to get involved in building a business buy into the product or service someone’s marketing so they do want that product if it can be delivered to their door in this new industry with ecommerce and the Internet, people will buy into it. It’s just like Sam’s. We’re the same concept except no bricks and mortar, everything delivered electronically.
JAIME TARDY: Wow and it’s funny because in talking about selling and how people have the aversion to sales, I mean not everybody is going to want to share the opportunity so how do you or the people you mentor deal with rejection?
BRIG HART: Yes, and great question because since we’re in the people business. I share with people I’m not in the product and service business, that’s just what I represent. I’m in the people business and people, when they reject something, I found it’s just because they didn’t have the right information to process it. See, I still believe everyone including yourself should be involved in my industry. Why? Well, everybody wants to live a happier, healthier more prosperous life. So it’s a matter of teaching them to ask questions rather than to do standard presentations.
People reject something they fear or don’t understand. Fear and safety live in the same box. What we have to do is help them to build their faith in something. What I have learned is take away people’s excuses or let them give you any excuse because I found out that if it’s an excuse, any excuse will do. In other words, they’re just looking for a reason to validate why they don’t want to do anything. Laziness, ignorance and doubt cause people from moving forward. But if it’s an objection, it’s not rejection. They’re not rejecting you, they’re not rejecting the opportunity. What they’re rejecting is I have to satisfy in my mind these basic things. If I can answer, get these questions answered, I will enter in. I’ll buy into it. I’ll be a part of it. But those same objections, believe it or not, there’s only a handful of them that come from different faces.
The rejection that most people experience is because of low self esteem, they don’t believe in themselves enough so they all of a sudden go out trying to portray something that they haven’t developed enough confidence to be able to portray confidence in their presentation. I teach people that when people tell me no that they’re not telling me no, they’re telling themselves no to their hopes and dreams. Well, no one is going to say no to living happy, healthier more prosperous. They’re just saying, “Hey I’m afraid.” What they say and what they mean is two different things.
The most people have told me no I’m not interested, that’s where I start. I say, “Great, I know how you feel. I felt the same way, let me tell you what I found out. I did feel that way. I didn’t want to do a networking business but I also didn’t want to be broke the rest of my life. I know how they felt because I was there. I know how you feel. I felt the same way. I really did feel that way. But let me tell you what I found out. Information, realizing I wasn’t looking for sales, didn’t have to go sell anything. I had to sell myself on those folks on the fact that I found something. I stumbled into a gold mine. I got more than enough for me and my family. Would you be interested in digging with me? Yes.
Now it doesn’t matter what the vehicle was whether it was Amway or whether I was in my insurance business or now with MonaVie. Those were just the vehicles. Yes, will they buy into the product? Yes. By sharing it with them before I sold it to them they could sell themselves. They could satisfy themselves to that they can take the next step and that’s just to enter in. But rejection, most people face that because they’re not confident about who they are, in what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Once that’s settled, trust me, you can convey that confidence, that belief and it almost becomes a favor thing