Instantly it took me back in time to a life of long hours, hard work and the most amazing adventures!
It really was an amazing time for me. My parents had (basically) forced me to join the Navy to get me straightened out. Got to say the Navy did a pretty good job of teaching me to turn up on time, drink to excess, hang out in bars and play poker.
Just kidding, I certainly came out a better person than when I went in. For example I had been a laborer when I joined and left as a qualified Electronics Technician.
When I was discharged I got a job maintaining pinball machines…didnt last long. Got fired for having a long lunch one day, even though I had worked through every other lunch time. Then I was employed by Sperry Univac which at the time, was the second largest computer company in the world. They didnt see the future of PC’s and failed to change fast enough. They fired me twice.
Then I sold used photocopiers as an interim job until something better came along. That something was as a Sales Represnetative for Chubb Security. My job interview basically was about if I “liked a drink”. I did so was hired. This was a great job and unexpectedly, I was rather good at it and was their best rep worldwide. Sadly my drink loving boss was fired and his extremely easy going style went with him. He was replaced by a German who would have done very well in the Reich.
That didnt suit me so I made myself available and was snapped up by a young Aussie high tech security company. Once again I did very well and even was promoted to open a new office for them in Silicon Valley in the mid 80’s.
I moved there with the family and got a taste of life in the Valley. ( I had already lived in Los angeles for a year while my Navy ship was doing a refit there)
A couple of years later we moved back and I took a job with a Brisbane based company in the same game. This job was interesting because we worked with another company and developed some cool new products.
I really didnt enjoy being an employee. So much politics and most of the time I felt my ideas were better and often they were overlooked.
So in 1989 I left and started my own company which was an Electrical & Security Systems Contractor. Not the best time to start a new business as it was a terrible time economically and interest rates were 18%! That’s nearly the same as credit card rates (which are the worlds biggest ripoff). Even considering the bad economy, the business grew and we employed around 25 people and worked all over the State. Being an electrical contractor most of these contracts were worth a heck of a lot of money.
One very sad day I learned that the biggest job we had was with a building contractor who just declared bankruptcy. They owed me over $550,000. Great.
We lost everything, including the house and cars. Had to lay off all the staff and close the business. I had to go through very humiliating meetings with a liquidator and creditors. The scorn and derision heaped on me by them is soemthing I will never forget. Eventually we came to a repayment schedule which was to be inforced by the court.
We were so broke, we had to move in with the inlaws. That humiliation made what I felt witht he creditors feel like a picnic.
I also got a job as a sales rep for a company which sold systems for car parking. Boom gates, ticket machines etc. I really didnt like it at all, goingback to being an employee was a difficult adjustment. The head office was in Sydney and I worked out of a serviced office in Brisbane. There were a bunch of companies using the building and soon enough I met a guy who worked for another Sydney based company. We got along like a house on fire and pretty soon he offered me his job.
He was moving on to be the State Manager for Ericsson. His job paid way more than mine and he had a much nicer company car.
I took the job.
Meanwhile on the Amway side of things, I was working the business super hard. Every night I wa sout either “showing the plan” or helping downline. I attended every meeting that my upline held and every event. Trust me there was a lot of them. I even went to an event in Canberra with the company car which was about 1300 kilometers away. The boss found out and wasn’t impressed
The Amway business was growing strongly and my friendship with my sponsor was getting very deep. We were like brothers and spent nearly all our time together. We even moved into the house next door. Around this time my boss got tired of me not being a very good employee. I cant say I blamed him. He turned up in the office one day and fired me. No hard feelings on that one, we just were not a good match and I wasn’t very interested in the job. It wasn’t a very smart mov eon my part though as I was kissing goodbye to $80,000 salary and company car. I’m really not a very smart person most of the time.
My sponsor and I became totally addicted to computer games and put a team together to write one which I designed called “Gangster” This was a ton of fun and very educational. No one was getting paid. The coders would meet at my sponsors house at night and we would feed them pizza and coke til the early morning.
At the same time we were still building our Amway businesses. during the day we would go to trade shows and get peoples cards and then call them to show them the plan.
It was all a pretty heavy work load. After a few months we had a beta version of the game, including awesoem graphics. It ran on DOS as this was before Windows 95. We contacted Electronic Arts and took the game to give them a demo. They loved it! A lucrative contract was offered. All was great, the world was full of unicorns and rainbows.
The coders revolted and wanted a bigger share…. a much much bigger share. Lawyers were called, meetings were held, negotiations took place. The coders agreed to hand over the source code as they had a contract with us which ensured we owned the copyright.
Being pretty naive and inexperienced in these sor tof things we didnt see their next move.
Sure they handed over a disk with the source code on it. But being clever little geeks, they encrypted it and would not give us the key.
Next I got addicted to a stupid thing called AOL, everyone remember them? I loved to chat on it and stupidly (yes being stupid again) ran up a huge bill because AOL had a time based charge.
Talk about being an idiot. However it did lead to something good in the end. A friend of ours heard about the AOL debacle and said you should use the internet it has free chat.
This was 1994, it was the very first time I had even heard of the internet. Believe it or not he was running an ISP out of his mums garage. Being a true nerdy geek he lived with his parents.
Wow this is getting so long, sorry about that, hope to make it worth it, probably no one reading it anyway.
OK, so here I am with free internet and free chat. The only problem with the internet chat back in those days was it was called IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and it was very difficult to use.
So I invented a much better user friendly system which incorporated text to speech and avatars which were lip-synced to the words being spoken by the text to speech engine. It was revolutionary! It was amazing. I even got in the newspapers about it.
No one really wanted it that much so at the same time we bought our own ISP called Cynergy Internet. We disrupted the market by offering internet for a dollar a day. We even made a pretty amazing TV commercial.
We also built some websites which processed internet payment transactions, way before anyone else. I’m even credited with inventing recurring billing. Don’t hate me. Business boomed and my career of having internet businesses took off.
In 2002 I got interested in MLM again and joined LifeForce which was a California based health tonic company. The founders came to Brisbane and I went to a meeting and was super excited. They announced there would be a convention in Florida in three months. My excitement was so grand, I vowed to the founder that I would be there as a new diamond. Man what was that all about, anyone else ever committed that much and to a founder?
Well I got home and thought …this is going to take a bunch of work, so I got stuck into it. In a few weeks I got a check in the mail from LifeForce. I calculated it to be probably around $600. I was wrong. I opened it up and my mind was blown!
Now my excitement knew no bounds at all.
I slaved on this business all day and most of the night everyday. It wasn’t easy, it was a lot of work and I was exhausted but you know it was all worth it when I walked across the stage in Florida and was presented as a brand new diamond. In addition to that I was also awarded the trophy and prize for having the fastest growing business within the entire company.
Later I founded Apache Leads (2003) to assist my downline to grow their businesses. Soon the word spread and Apache Leads became my life. I love it, over that time we have helped thousands of network marketers get closer to their dreams and goals. We have tried ot make it more than a leads company. We have always wanted to help our clients grow their businesses by providing plenty of free mlm training.
The point is no matter how hard it all gets, the trick is to never give up. It’s all worth it in the end. For many years now I’ve lived an amazing life. I’ve traveled around the world a few times, been to over 40 countries, I can go on vacation whenver and wherever I feel like it. 4 weeks ago I was in Bali and Singapore. Two weeks ago I was in Bangkok. In march I was in Europe.
Find the price for your freedom and pay it, that’s the shortcut.
Thank you so much for reading this, it was kind of you and quite cathartic for me. If you found it useful, please share it and I would love to hear your thoughts, struggles and success stories in the comments below
Don Reid, an experienced MLM builder and Entrepreneur, he founded Apache Leads in 2003. Born in Australia, Don currently lives in Cambodia, when he is not traveling on his many adventures around the world.