Steven Thompson serves as Vice President of Sales for LIveSmart 360.
Steven has earned over $12 million in actual income over an 18 year career that began in 1996 when Steven was only 21 years old. He has built teams of over 250,000 people in 40 countries and has been rated as one of the top 100 Direct Selling mentors in the world.
LiveSmart 360 is the maker of 360 Chocolates, the world's leader in functional chocolates for health and wellness. Steven has been married to his wife and partner, Angie, for 14 years. They have 3 young children and reside in Dallas, TX, USA.
Ted Nuyten had the honor to interview Steven.
Steven, tell us about your background as it relates to Network Marketing & Direct Sales.
When I got started, I was 21 years old. I was actually waiting tables and putting myself through college and I overheard one of my tables talking about the concept. I was intrigued so I pressed the gentleman for more information and got started.
Why are you successful as a field leader?
For me, success didn’t come quickly. The first five years that I was in the business were NOT very successful at all.
After about five years in the business, I had to actually go out and get a job and ultimately ended up starting a small swimming pool repair service just to try to make enough money. It was from there I was introduced to a young, early, pre-momentum company in the industry. From there I was then able to build it to a six-figure monthly income.
Why was I successful? Just as people are not successful for many reasons, there are [many] reasons people are successful. My work ethic has always been strong. Hard work — that’s just something that’s very natural for me. To get out and get my hands dirty, to travel… I’m not afraid to do meetings, I’m not afraid to talk to people – never have been
I’ve been EXTREMELY TEACHABLE. When I found someone who was where I wanted to be in the business, to me the natural thing to do was get my ego out of the way and just be teachable. I learned from a number of different people. I would see how certain people did the business and try to do my best to model that.
The third thing is having a white hot burning desire. It wasn’t something that I was interested in or something that I thought I might like to do, it was something that I HAD to do.
The fourth is timing. I combined these three elements with a company that had the right concept at the right time.
The fifth and final thing I’d say is I just refused to quit. I don’t have “quit” in me – I don’t even know what it means. It is not something I could live with.
Who have been your mentors / inspirations?
I’ve been very, very fortunate to have great mentors. Some have been much more up close and others have been from afar. Some leaders or mentors have been through books, people like Jim Rohn and John Maxwell, I have devoured so many of their materials — and other leaders in other network marketing businesses. Early on I would take the tapes and I would just literally spin them off the spindle.
I’ve also been a very, very observant person – there are a number of leaders that I would notice as I was coming up through the business. I would watch and learn different things from them. I’m a big believer in not trying to get one thing or everything from a particular mentor. You pick and you choose. You like the way one guy, one particular leader, the way they work. They’re tireless in their effort and their energy. You watch another in how they deal with people and how they interact with folks and how they kind of “massage” relationships. You’ll see other leaders who are great at building the dream and they can paint a picture for people. And then you’ll see other who are great at motivation. Or maybe other who are great speakers and things along those lines.
For me, it was really just a matter of pulling knowledge and information from any direction that I could get it. Sometimes it was upline, other times it was crossline.
You changed from the field to corporate – Vice President of sales, how come?
Don’t let the title fool you, I am still very much in the field. I only earn income on sales generated. I don’t make money on salary or anything on those lines. I was willing to take on the VP of Sales role not necessarily because it was something I wanted to do. It was really more a matter of trusting myself and believing that there would be no one that would know better what our field team needed than I would… because — number one, I’m living off of the results just as they are — I’m equally yoked so to speak.
Also, it takes one to know one. Too often in this business there’s corporate people that make all the decisions that have never been in the field. Building a distributorship is a very different world. It is hard to be able to put yourself in that environment mentally and think like individuals who are walking down that path.
After seventeen years in the business at the time, I just believed, “if there’s anyone that knows how to get this thing done, I’m the one.” So we started this journey and so far It has worked quite well.
What are the unique selling points of LiveSmart 360.
Where do I start! First is our product concept. From the first day, I saw the chocolate as a worldwide global brand. The same way you would see a Hershey’s, or a Ghirardelli, or a Godiva – I saw the exact same thing. I think that chocolate is really one of the most unique concepts EVER created in Network Marketing… EVER. Chocolate is a commodity. It is enjoyed by over one billion people every single day in the world…plus ninety percent of the world loves chocolate. Its indulgence, Its sweet, Its fun – Its for children [as well], not just for adults. I just think the idea of getting healthy by eating chocolate is really cool. A lot of people do a double take when you ask that question. It is absolutely incredible.
Next is the timing of 360, where we are as a company. We’ve prepared the foundation, done over $10 million our first year and opened 35 countries in Europe, the U.S, Mexico and Japan. We have five leaders that have now received checks for over $20,000 for just one week’s efforts. When you’ve got the leadership behind the company, from our President & CEO Chuck [Hallberg] to management team, its solid. We certainly have a long way to go, but I think that the company is at that place where it is ready for a massive explosion.
In addition, our career path is incredibly unique. We offer things like health insurance, full blown retirement. We’ve really made this a career type situation more than a “deal” type situation which, unfortunately, is really out there a lot in our industry. 360 has a lot to offer, this company is willing to reward the leaders that are willing to really go out and commit to building the business and being successful.
What are the highlights of the compensation plan?
Our plan is divided it up into fourteen total payouts. They’re really divided up, or segregated, into a very practical manner. To many companies write the comp plan, then try to figure out how the Leaders will work it. We went the opposite direction. We created four types of income: The Immediate income portion — which is extremely important for people to get money NOW. They need to be able to get money this week. We also built Team Building Income, which is very different. Our plan has no limit to what a person can earn. On the back end is the Residual. I believe residual income should be SACRED. Whatever is earned… little or big, it should be locked in. so we put in a very stable and very solid residual plan.
By the way, chocolate is one of the most residual friendly products EVER created. It is unlike so many of these “fad” products out there, it will never go away for sure. And finally we put in the Incentives & Benefits, making it a real career path. For me, the basis of ANY financial plan starts with health insurance. There are so many opportunities out there that want to get people to buy new luxury cars and they can get into debt with things like that. There’s nothing wrong with luxury cars, I own them, but they come in a place and time when you’re ready. The health insurance portion is really helpful. We also have the 360K retirement package. We offer a blessing bonus which I think is spectacular.
It is all brought together with our system… the way in which we DO 360. Our technology is world class and it allows our Members total flexibility. For example, we literally have the ability to build one leg of business. We don’t HAVE to build the binary, which so many people don’t like. You can literally go to six figures a month, JUST with ONE TEAM.
Do you have a power tip for a newbie in the industry?
Number One — Make a 24 month commitment NOW. I watch so many people fail because they want to “try it out”. It is going to take you at least two years for you to really know whether or not you’re in the right company and in the right place. Don’t be a “jumper” type, bouncing around from deal to deal. Find a really good mentor to work with and stick it out. It may not happen as fast as you want, but it will happen. Even if it doesn’t in your current opportunity, it will prepare you for the future.
[Number Two — ] Commit to grow yourself as a leader – as an entrepreneur. Make sure you’re reading – turn off the radio, and turn off the TV and go on a diet of personal development. Read the books, attend the seminars, listen to the audio’s. Remember that your income growth will never exceed your personal growth.
[Number Three — ] Along these same lines, find a good mentor. Somebody that’s really where you want to be, and not just [financially in] making money, but also in LIFE. For example, if you’re married then that mentor has a good marriage, because a mentor is going to rub off on you in your life whether you realize it or not. They’re not going to be perfect, nobody is, but finding a really good mentor that does the business that you feel good about and is getting the types of results that you’re looking for — seek them out. Ask them, “Will you mentor me?”. Now of course if you ask that question, you’ve got to be willing to what it takes to earn their time, because they don’t need you — It is the other way around.
As you grow, you will become that type of person that will ATTRACT the people you’re looking for.
Who are some of the top leaders in LiveSmart 360 and what would you say are some of the attributes to some of their success?
Wow… we’re so blessed to have a great team of leaders. Romacio Fulcher, for example, who is our first Diamond Executive here in the United States — such an EXTREMELY passionate leader. When he walks into a goal, it is just amazing to watch. He made about $60,000 in his first month with us and everybody was so impressed. Some people thought, “Oh, he must have brought a big downline with him” — when the truth is that he didn’t. The truth is — He worked HARD.
Jerry Plesko and Maja Rejec in Slovenia. Jerry and Maja are just a power couple. I watch the way they work the business as a couple and build as a team, and it always inspires. They have such a great personal relationship but then they also work really well behind the scenes (which really reminds me a lot of Angie and I).
Aileen Galera — here in the United Sates – who was just making a few hundred bucks a month in her previous business and is now knocking down a high six-figure income. She exemplifies the
“don’t quit” attitude. Denis Hovelja, who came in our company and made over $50,000 and went Diamond Executive in about 45 days. Ken Turnbow, another great example. I’ve known Kenny for many years. He was actually in the company before I was, but he just adopted everything that we brought into the business from the very first. Now Kenny has an organization [in that] his group is just growing all over the world. And he’s consistently earning over $60,000/month.
Others like Gunnar Jonasson in Iceland — Iceland has les than 300,000 people. But don’t tell Gunnar that, because he knows and acts like he doesn’t know. Everyday he’s so focused and so positive.
Siegy Boscheri from Italy, who has done a masterful job getting the Italian market started. His energy is contagious and we are so blessed to have him. Mario Vielmas, down in Mexico, for example. We just recently opened up Mexico and Mario is just doing an absolutely amazing job. He’s so hungry for success and willing to push it, willing to drive it – a “whatever it takes” attitude.
All of these leaders share these types of attitudes, such as
Jason L. Scott 1st out of North Carolina. Thomas & Lisa Aguilar and Robert & Michelle Wallace out of Texas. Suzanne Cherek along with Gen & Lina Velen out of California — what a future these guys have in front of them. It is obviously impossible for me to name them all. We have so many leaders across the country that the world, the future, is their oyster.
What do you think the future hold for LiveSmart 360?
That’s just it, its unlimited. The only limitation to 360 is us. We’ve got revolutionary technology, an extremely simple concept that the world already loves and we’re already in 35 other countries. We’ve only scratched the surface of the scalability of the brand. The future is really limitless. It is however far we decide to take it.
Right now, we’re focused on what we call “Wave 2’ — our first wave was our first year of launching the chocolate. We did many great things. Now, its time to turn it up! The cool thing for me is that everyone has the vision. So we’re super excited with where the future is. I’m very humbled to be a part of LiveSmart 360. I’m very thankful to be a small part of the story and I’m just really looking forward to what the future holds.
Contact details for Steven Thompson