On The Level

About Face

Back in 1988, Janice Aruta of Orlando, Florida, then 26, was living the proverbial country song. Her husband had left her, her income left her faster than it came in, and it seemed her dream "to do something special with my life" had left her, too.

Then Aruta read an ad that marked a turning point in her life. "Current distributors netting six figures monthly!" it promised. Despite her skepticism, Aruta called the number. A distributor with NuSkin International (NSI), a network marketing company that manufactures a line of personal-care products, answered the phone.

"My choice was either to go back to school and learn how to work for someone else for 30 or 40 years, or pursue my own business with NSI and determine my own income and hours," Aruta recalls. "To me, the choice was clear." She charged the $80 initial fee on her credit card, beginning her entrepreneurial career with Provo, Utah-based NSI.

Since that day, Aruta, now 36, has been singing a different tune. Her income has risen to more than half a million dollars per year; she is happily remarried . . . and she is living her dream of doing something special with her life.

The key to her success? Enthusiasm. "Network marketing is about people and relationships," Aruta explains. "People want to be around positive, caring and enthusiastic people. By this I don't mean you have to act like a frenzied cheerleader or a slick sales type. Genuine people are the ones who succeed in the long run."

Aruta's advice to new network marketers: "Choose one company, choose wisely and commit. Do whatever it takes to develop a massive belief in the company, its management, its products or services, its support [for distributors] and its growth potential. My belief in NSI gave me confidence, and my commitment gave me credibility with others. People follow committed people."

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Sean Lyden is the CEO of Prestige Positioning (a service of The Professional Writing Firm Inc.), an Atlanta-based firm that "positions" clients as leading experts in their field-through ghost-written articles and books for publication. Clients include Morgan Stanley, IFG Securities, SunTrust Service Corp. and several professional advisory and management consulting firms nationwide.

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This article was originally published in the July 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: On The Level.

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