ORLANDO, May 18, 2013 ― The path to a successful, fulfilling career is one of the most difficult rites of passage for today’s young person. With the rapid onset of globalization, hyperspecialization of employment and a myriad of pressures on America’s business owners, economic times are tough and millions of college-aged Americans are seeking financial breakthroughs amid the ongoing recession.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, in April alone the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons increased to 7.7 million. Some 2.5 million were part-time specifically because they could not find full time work. In the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) recent survey, only 6 percent reported job creation plans.
In spite of the bad times, a few young people are managing to break the code and overcome the recession with revolutionary success in building business around multi-level marketing. Fifteen months ago, Michelle Ching was a fashion design student at the University of Hawaii who worked as a cocktail waitress. Today, Ching is a ViSalus Ambassador, earning almost three times the average salary of a full-time U.S. worker.
Now living in Florida, Ching says that she went from “pouring the shots to calling the shots” in a little over the year. I interviewed Ching for her thoughts on the recession, small business startups, Hawaii’s General Excise Tax and how she made it big.
Optimistic and approaching business with a teflon-coated approach that doesn’t let criticism stick to her, Ching’s inspiring story is proof that young Americans are still finding ways to move forward in tough times.
Danny de Gracia: Michelle, you have quite an inspiring entrepreneurial story! You’re from Hawaii originally and fifteen months ago, you were as you said “pouring shots” and now today you drive a BMW convertible and are “calling the shots” as a ViSalus Ambassador in Florida. The recession that we’re living in has put a lot of people young and old alike in tough times but you broke the code. Tell us a little bit about yourself, how you built your business in such a short time and what your secret was.
Michelle Ching: I love the saying “from pouring shots to calling shots” because it defines me from my past to the present in a short saying! Being an entrepreneur at the age of twenty-two is truly a dream come true. To be in control of my finances, my work environment, who I work with and when I work is something that everyone dreams of but something that not everyone is willing to work for.
It’s not easy being an entrepreneur, but it’s one the most rewarding jobs on the planet! I grew up in a small town in Washington State [with] two younger siblings and an older brother and played softball from the age of eight to eighteen. Since I was young, one thing that I always knew was I loved to play sports and had a heart to want to help people succeed more than I wanted it for myself.
I’ve been a part of ViSalus for fourteen months and prior to this I was a cocktail waitress at a lounge/club on Oahu and a full time student at the University of Hawaii majoring in fashion design.
I’ve discovered two very important things about this business over the past fourteen months. First, people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care! In other words, sincerity.
Secondly, your mindset. I strongly believe that my mindset has been the key to my success. People ask me all the time, what’s your secret to success or how did you become a six-figure income earner in three months? [There’s] no secret sauce. Pure passion, desire and focus are [why] I’ve been able to build my business to a six-figure income position.
When I speak, people can feel my passion and when I work, I work with urgency knowing that obesity is the number one epidemic in the world and with ViSalus I know without a shadow of a doubt that I have the solution to the problem.
DDG: I notice that one of the problems that small business startups routinely face at the beginning is there’s always people who want to pull an entrepreneur aside and say, “Hey, I’m glad you’re so enthusiastic about this product but you know you won’t go anywhere” or they try to put people down saying something is just a fad and want you to do things the “conventional” way which basically isn’t working for so many people. How did you stay motivated and press in to your dynamic sales zone?
Michelle: I’m motivated by the simple fact that I know what I’m doing is changing lives from a financial standpoint and a health standpoint. People are seeing amazing results and it’s no secret! As far as people trying to bring me down or discourage me from what I’m doing, they are just adding fuel to my fire.
Not just in business but life in general, there will always be those naysayers or negative nancies but when I put my whole heart and soul into something, there’s nothing that can stop me and it’s purely a mindset.
If you continuously tell yourself “I can do it” you’re going to get it done no matter what it takes! If you tell yourself “I don’t think I can” then you’re going to find yourself working for a couple months then looking for the next best thing. Since day one I believed 110 percent that this has not only changed my life but it can change the lives of others.
DDG: The Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge program has become quite an internet sensation. Tell our readers who aren’t familiar with it yet a little bit about what that program involves.
Michelle: The Body by Vi Challenge is the number one health and fitness platform in North America and the number one fastest growing home based business in North America. In 2012 our company generated $624 million in revenue, which was a 171 percent growth from the previous year in 2011.
Our mission as a company is to impact lives by promoting life, health and prosperity. The culture of ViSalus is what a lot of people are drawn to. It’s all over Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram of people getting healthy/losing weight, having fun and driving BMWs. Who wouldn’t be interested to know what it’s all about?
Our company has also created over eight hundred six-figure income earners in the past eight years. I have to say that our marketing team along with CMO Blake Mallen are incredibly innovative in the way that we market as a company. I’m sure we could all agree that you could have the best weight loss and fitness product out there but if it’s not presented and marketed the right way, no one would buy it.
DDG: It seems like you’re working in a market sector that appeals to two “mission impossibles” of modern American life, the first being financially successful in a time when so many people are unemployed or underemployed and the second, a system that assists in losing weight fairly rapidly. Do you think that’s why so many people are interested in the program?
Michelle: Absolutely! The economy isn’t too friendly and obesity is a growing problem. So what do people want? A solution to the problem and they want it quick!
DDG: Did you find the Hawaii General Excise Tax to be a hindrance to your business? Do you think that if elected officials trimmed business or sales taxes it might actually help more entrepreneurs to build sales volume and reach their goals faster?
Michelle: Do I find the Hawaii General Excise Tax to be a hindrance on my business? No. I believe whatever decision elected officials choose that is beneficial for entrepreneurs is also beneficial for the consumers, being that business owners/entrepreneurs is what helps stimulate the economy and provides jobs.
DDG: What would be your advice to other young people your age who basically are looking for a breakthrough in their business but seem to be dealing with discouragement or slow progress?
Michelle: My advice to other young entrepreneurs is to ignore the noise and stay focused. I find that with so many young people pursuing entrepreneurship, they tend to focus on what their friends think of them and it clouds their vision.
Success doesn’t happen overnight. I didn’t become a six-figure income earner overnight. It was a process, like everything in life. For example, you don’t build muscle mass or lose fifty pounds overnight. It requires consistency, dedication, focus and sacrifice.
DDG: What would you say is your ultimate goal in life and your dream?
Michelle: My ultimate goal in life is to impact as many lives as I possibly can through ViSalus and leave a legacy that inspires other young people to pursue their dreams and goals!
DDG: I notice a lot of people in the ViSalus program – at least the ones I’ve encountered – share a set of common personality types: they’re very positive, engaging people and they’re always information seekers, reading new business and psychology books, attending leadership conferences et cetera … is this a fair description?
Michelle: Yes, that definitely describes ViSalus promoters and customers alike. The ViSalus community is very much like a family setting in that we all support each other whether it’s upline, downline or sideline and are always looking for ways to get to that next level of prosperity and health!
DDG: Last but not least, is there anything special you’d like to tell our readers in Washington D.C.?
Michelle: The last thing that I’ll leave you with is one of my favorite quotes [by] Zig Ziglar: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” Be a servant driven leader!
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