Hello, My Name is Paula McKinney, and I was a Lead Snob

A few years ago, my husband… and I were sitting on our bed, trying to decide the future of our careers. He was uncertain of his time with a company that was doing some major cutbacks and I was in complete overwhelm working part time as a dental hygienist and homeschooling our two older boys. I also had a very energetic toddler that commanded attention from sunup to sundown.


But, our little family was committed to homeschooling from day one and it was working for our boys. My husband and I have always shared the duties of homeschooling and one of us have always been home full time, which sacrificed one full time income.


We were burning both ends of the candle and needed more money if we were going to have any kind of future other than just existing and paying the bills. We decided I would go to work full time and my husband would stay home and teach full time. Keeping us each focused on just one job.


One day at the park with our homeschooling co-op, the kids were playing and the parents were sharing the joys and frustrations of being parents and teachers. A good friend on mine (and my obstetrician) approach me about a work at home opportunity that she had started and asked if I was open to taking a look. I was VERY open to change even after just starting a new job. I decided to join the ranks of the home party direct selling business.


I had a dream. A dream that would give us the option of having two teachers and two parents home full time for our kids. We dreamed of traveling to the places we studied about. We wanted to have more resources (time and money) to give back to our community. We also knew that we had to put something in place for retirement.


A year later, and a few thousand dollars of product in my garage, I started looking to the internet to grow my business. I knew there was a way to market and leverage my time with the world wide web, but I had no idea how to get started.


After visiting with my upline about internet marketing I was told it wouldn’t work because this is a belly to belly business. I knew I was not going to get any online training from my current company, so I started searching online for a mentor.


I found one that was killing it online with a different company and quickly joined her team. I was like a fish out of water, I knew nothing about computers and the learning curve was huge! I persevered with many late nights. I still had to keep track of paying customers, fundraisers, and coordinate home parties. I still found myself working more outside of the home when all I wanted to do was be home more.


Like most people who go online looking to grow their business using the internet, I found myself on every Internet marketing guru’s email list, I had been brainwashed. I was officially a lead snob. I had been told over and over the only way to make it big in this industry was to create your own highly targeted leads coming to me, credit card in hand, ready to join. Not so easy as a internet marketing newbie. I didn’t want to “waste my time” telling friends and family, or stoop so low as to buy leads. No way, not me.


So, every night I read and built websites and blogs. I was stuck in the “library”. Like a junkie addicted to crack, I was addicted to training. I learned every marketing trick and bought every ebook I could buy. Just waiting for those leads to start rushing in like Niagara Falls. The lead flow was more like a babbling brook. And, since leads are the lifeblood of every network marketing business, mine was dying.


Finally,  I started spending more time doing what really counted…I picked up the phone and called leads.  Any lead I could find. Free leads, social media leads, paid leads, classified advertising leads, and yes, even friends and family (shout out to all my friends and family that kept buying my stuff, I love you).  And in 5 weeks doing this business part time, I promoted to the next level in my business.


One hour every night on the phone TALKING to prospects changed everything. I stopped judging leads and classifying them as bad or good, and started calling them people not leads. People who were looking for someone to save them and give them hope. Sure, some people didn’t want to be saved, but I never would have known until I called. And in five weeks and 9 new business partners later I was  developing a team of my own.


I still have a passion for Internet marketing and believe generating highly targeted leads is an amazing resource for your business. But, to me a lead is a lead. A lead is a person, and people need help. I believe listening and giving people a chance to see what we have is what this business is all about.


Don’t be selfish. It’s not about you. Don’t keep this opportunity a secret from anyone. Invite, and let the seed grow. You don’t have to beg the right people to join you, they just show up when you open your mouth and tell enough people what you have and believe yourself that it is powerful.


I love network marketing. I wish I had a t-shirt. Be proud of our industry and what it offers. Don’t let ignorance, and dream stealers shake you. You are a legitimate business owner, act like it and people will be attracted to your professionalism and passion. If you have been thinking about quitting, evaluate what your alternative is…


– a job you hate for the next 20 years?

– a possible lay off due to the recession?

– you indirectly telling your kids you’re a quitter?

– facing that negative uncle that said I told you so?

– a sad little budget that keeps you from your big dreams?


No way!


You already know what to do. If you don’t, then you’re not asking your sponsor enough questions. 🙂



To Your Success!

Paula McKinney




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