By: Karla Neal Pierce
My name is Karla Neal Pierce, and I am a divorced mother of one. I entered the network marketing industry in August of 2015, and it’s been an amazing journey. Before being in the network marketing industry, I was a successful mortgage broker for many years.
The market plummeted, and I went through a divorce right around the same time, so my world went into a tailspin, and I had to readjust. I moved to another state and rebuilt my life. After being married for 14 years, it is difficult to go through divorce, because everything in your world changes. But, through it all, I never lost faith that God would bring me back to the life I was accustomed to. When I was in the mortgage business, I made about a quarter-million dollars a year. I lived a good life.
When I moved to Georgia, I started all over. I worked part-time for a little while, and then I went into the education and strategic planning arena. While working in education, I worked with underserved youth to help them access college, and it was awesome. I thought that I wanted to work with students, but I really enjoyed helping others and impacting their lives.
In August of 2015, I was introduced to the network marketing industry, and two months before that, the non-profit company that I was working for closed its doors. I wanted to make some extra money to close the gap and start putting some extra money away for my son’s college education, as he was a sophomore in high school at the time. I was a very involved mom when it came to my high-achieving and well-rounded son while he was in high school. Not only did he graduate in the top 5% of his class, but he was also in the school’s band, National Honor Society, and more. I needed to give him the ability to choose the college that he wanted to go to without money being an issue.
I feel that it is because of network marketing that I was able to close the gap between the school’s costs and the scholarship awarded for his college education at a private institution. Had I not been introduced to the network marketing industry, he might have had to make a choice for where he would be going to college based on where I could afford to send him. I thank God for network marketing, and I am so grateful for it.
Thank God for my team, as well. I have over 47,000 team members and over 40 Elite leaders, which are the company’s top 1%. I’m in the top 1% of the company personally, and I’m the fifth person to reach the rank that I am currently in. I’m also in the top 1% of sales, so I’m not just a top leader, but I’m also a top product seller. I am the first African American to reach five different elite ranks across three company milestones, and I truly enjoy what I do. If you find a purpose and have the means to fulfill it, that makes all the difference in the world. In this industry, you have to be helping others always. Pull others up to where you are, even if they’re at the bottom of the ocean, reach down, and pull them up. When you do that, everyone wins. It is essential as a leader to make things more about other people than about yourself, and to help them recognize the gifts and talents they have within themselves so they may grow and flourish.
Your grind has to match your goals. You have to get up and be hungry every single day, as Les Brown says.
This business has been an incredible blessing to me. Going from a two-income household to a one-income household was a challenge, not just financially speaking, but also in regards to the household tasks. This business has helped me raise the funds to pay for things such as landscaping and various household commodities that help focus on my business.
I have a nonprofit organization called Karla Kares Foundation. When first taking my son to college, I met a young lady who was a first-generation college student. Her mom died when she was 12, so I took her under my wing and supported her the same way I did my son. I decided to do this on a bigger platform, which became the Karla Kares Foundation. I wanted to start slow, impacting a small number of people, and eventually, see that small group grow into something more. I believe in giving back to our community, and that is part of why I’m very active in my sorority and other social organizations that impact the community as well.
If there’s one message I can leave with you, it is to embrace your journey, because there’s life after whatever you’ve gone through. Be it a divorce, the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, you can overcome it all. You have to have faith and take action. Sometimes you’ll work silently, because the visions of other people are not your vision, and they can’t see where it is that you’re going.
When first going into the network marketing industry, I thought people probably raised an eyebrow like, “Why is she doing that?” but it’s been a blessing for many people, myself included.
I encourage people all the time to focus on what’s working, not what isn’t. I learned from one of my mentors that you have to be the break instead of looking for the break. That’s one of the things that keeps me working and grinding every day. I work in my business, I show up, and I’m constantly selling our product. I make sure that I’m an example to my team to push them forward and do the same thing.
There will be days that are tougher than the rest. You have to begin with the end in mind, and having a schedule for what you’re doing on the daily will help with that. I focus on having a daily method of operations. You have to know what you’re going to do in order to get things done. When I have not laid my week out, things don’t get done. I go off schedule every once in a while, but for the most part, having a consistent routine of things I need to do to grow my business is key to my success. Getting up and making them happen will push you closer and closer to that moment of triumph. If I don’t achieve everything that I needed to achieve on a given day, they go to the top of my priority list for the next day.
Another key to my success has been the mindset. Staying positive and never losing hope cannot be underestimated. Shut out the clutter, and distance yourself from people who don’t have a vision or energy that drives them to succeed like you do. Energy is real. You need to be around people who are positive and want the same things out of life that you do.
This industry has blessed my life tremendously. Not just because of the money, but also because of the freedom and flexibility. I get to set my own hours, work from home, travel (for fun or business, but most of the time, it’s both!). If I’m traveling for business, I always tie something fun into it by visiting a tourist site, or if the city has something they’re famous for, I try to take part in that. I set aside time to really get a chance at remembering that city for what it is known for. I always encourage people in this business too.
Some bits of advice:
- Let your kids (if you have them) be your reason why, not your excuse.
- Let your kids see you winning, working, and grinding.
- Allow them to be a part of your success.
- Progress will always be more important than perfection.
- Keep going, keep grinding, and keep believing.
When we’re given a gift of an opportunity, it’s our responsibility to help others make their dreams a reality. Believe you can, and you will.
The best is yet to come.