Why A Herbalife President Team Member Resigned His Six-Figure Income

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I’m Robert Ford. In this article I will share how I became a top earning Herbalife Distributor.

I’ll talk about what I discovered after sacrificing 11 years of my life building a Herbalife business. And why I resigned a six-figure income with Herbalife to start a networking career all over.

Reaching the Top Half of One Percent As An Herbalife Distributor

Three years after getting started in Herbalife (when Herbalife was 15 years old) I had one of the fastest growing Herbalife distributorships in America.

One of the most common questions I am asked is: "How did you build your business so fast?"

The short answer is massive marketing action. Keep in mind, this was the late 90's and "Old School MLM" was all there was.

What do I mean by massive marketing action? Here was my method of operation. This is what I did to get my phone to ring off the hook:

            15 classified ads per week
            25 pole signs per week
            1,000 business cards per day, 6 days a week (I wore out two pair of Nike running shoes)

Was it easy to do? Absolutely not.

Did it work in building a network marketing business at that time? Absolutely yes.

After this level of commitment and work ethic for three straight years my wife and I achieved Herbalife's prestigious President's Team status. We were on cloud nine.

We were in the top 1/2 of 1% of all Herbalife Distributors. Our Royalty and Production Bonus checks hit over $32,000.00 a month.

The Allure of Residual Income with Network Marketing and Reaching Herbalife “President” Team

I really like network marketers. We are a very unusual group. We are self motivated. We are willing to work hard to achieve our goals. We are willing to step out of the box to achieve our dreams. That's why I like them! I’ve made great relationships in this business.

It is my opinion that most of the people who are attracted to this industry are attracted because of the promise of Residual Income. The promise of building a stream of income that can last a lifetime.

So when our income had exceeded $25,000.00 a month my wife and I thought we had the world by the tail. We thought that because we had been told, "Once you hit the Herbalife President Team you will be set for life financially."

Instead of experiencing that financial security, at the very top of our Herbalife career the true nature of the Herbalife business model began to raise it's ugly head.

Our organizational volume began falling. Our distributors couldn't get and retain loyal retail customers. Our Herbalife checks began dropping.

I thought I wasn't training my people enough, or I wasn't working hard enough, or maybe I didn't have the right leads to work. I thought I was the problem. I never thought to question the Herbalife business model.

Then I read "The 7 Great Lies of Network Marketing". It was like the scales fell from my eyes. Suddenly I could look at my Herbalife business objectively.

Here is Why I Resigned as A Six-Figure Herbalife Distributor

So let's say our long-term goal l is to build reliable residual income, OK? That was my goal when I started building my Herbalife business. Here is why I resigned a six-figure income...

If the goal is long term income don't we need customers that are using products month in month out, long term? Of course we do.

Is that what happens with the Herbalife business model, let's analyze this…

Question: Do you or most of the people you know purchase what they would consider to be a luxury product month after month?

Answer: Of course not.

Question: Are weight loss products a luxury or a necessity?
Answer: Perhaps we could have some disagreement here. But here is what I know from real world experience. When someone losses the 15 to 20 pounds they wanted to lose they stop buying weight loss products. So from their perspective they must be luxuries.

Question: How can you build long-term residual income around a product that is not used by retail customers’ long term?

Answer: The answer is obvious… you can’t do it around retail customers.
Herbalife has some great products. The problem is they tend to be expensive.
There are two problems with the expense of the Herbalife products:

1) If the product is perceived to be expensive by your market it is harder to sell to retail customers.

2)   If the product is perceived as expensive the life time value of your customers will be less because they will not choose to be long term customers.

A Problem with the Herbalife Compensation Plan i.e. Herbalife Sales Quotas

The next challenge with the Herbalife business model is sales quotas. Most people are building their network marketing businesses on a part time basis.

The problem with Herbalife's sales quotas is they are set so high that most part timers can't meet the quota. So they don't get their full Royalty Commission check, it goes to their upline.

So here you have a part time networker who does the best he can retailing yet can't get a full Royalty Commission check. So he either quits or he turns to recruiting.

The end result of this business model is you end up having a few people (builders) all focused on recruiting. So there is no real retail consumption of the product. It really is a few people all focused on bringing other people into their recruiting business.

Another Flaw with the Herbalife Business Model

You can only sponsor your people front line creates a very top heavy compensation plan. You end up having more people at the top of the compensation plan than at the bottom.

This is exactly opposite from what we are told about MLM. The business is supposed to duplicate, it gets wider as you go in depth. All I know is that did not happen in my experience or in any of the other top income earners in Herbalife that I know.

If you are seeing wild swings in your network marketing income you may want to really examine your company's business model if your goal is long term reliable residual income.

Reliable Residual Income – I Had to Quit Herbalife

I am finally experiencing the benefits of reliable residual income. I had to quit Herbalife to start over but it has been worth it. My business is built around necessity products, it is based on bringing real value to my customers, it is a lot of people doing a little not a few doing a lot, it is based on real people using and consuming products and I am seeing real geometric growth as my business builds depth.

And now, what I am excited about is applying Internet Network Marketing to my business to see it go to a whole another level. It is, indeed, a great time to be involved with network marketing.

Robert Ford

Ever wish you knew how to use Google Adwords... Discover PPC and dominate your market!


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About the Author: Robert Ford

Member Since: 03/13/2008

Company: TimeandFreedom.com

Industry: Marketing and Advertising

Primary Web Site: http://www.TimeandFreedom.com


Guts, Glory and Leadership...You Left 6 Figures at Herbalife


Tremendous article!

I am a fan, a huge fan, of a traditional network marketers who have had tremendous success, like you have, and are now embracing the "new way." Your story is the best I've read in quite some time, but not all to unfamiliar. Mike Klingler of Marketing Merge has done the same thing, and there are things about your story that remind me of his.

1000 business cards per day! Holy Cow! If you can hand out 1000 business cards a day six days a week for 3 years, you MOST CERTAINLY can reach your goals using the internet.

You have all the tools, Robert. . . . . Guts, Glory and Leadership. This article demonstrates all of those characteristics.

I also noticed that you have a couple links back to your blog, well done. I can see that you already genuinely care about your prospects (and have a good idea of how to use properly use the internet as a tool). Instead of just sending them to a generic Ann Sieg capture page, you send us back to your blog to get to know you a little better. Bravo! And your blog is informational.

I enjoyed your stance on Ann Sieg's 7 Great Lies.

There is no doubt I'll be following more of what you do in 2009. I know that you already have one of the top businesses in Melalueca but making the switch now shows just how savvy of a business owner you really are. Way to position yourself.

This was a very insightful article.

Eric Walker — Wed, 01/14/2009 - 2:16pm

Thanks Eric

I appreciate you as one of the finest examples of this new approach to Internet Network Marketing. Having an experienced coach like you really does make a big difference. If you are new to this form of network marketing getting in touch with Eric is some of the best advice you could get!

Robert Ford — Wed, 01/14/2009 - 4:58pm

Thanks for Your Honesty

 You are just one more example why people need to get educated and look for the truth, BEFORE they build their business. Find a trusted leader in this industry who will guide you safely through the MLM minefield. Do yourself a favor, ask questions, learn all the ways MLM companies stack the deck against you... why it is NOT your fault. It is just a phone call away and an hour of your time.

Connie Loeschen

Connie Loeschen — Wed, 01/14/2009 - 5:06pm

Wow, what focus!

Congrats on your rise to the top of Herbalife!  I certainly would have never made it in this industry had I needed to do that which you did [classified ads,  pole signs, business cards, etc.] to be successful!  Kudos to you!

I was wondering, though, why is it that you resigned, thereby truncating some level of income presumably, before starting your next project?  Did you do so recently?  Just curious.


Dorina Lanza — Wed, 01/14/2009 - 6:09pm



Great Story.  Bottom Line is products dont move people, people move products.  That is why I like to deal in consumable commodities.  Stuff people use one week and need to restock the next.  Everyone needs toilet paper.  Well, maybe not in the kukumunga islands..LOL

Josh Boxer


Josh Boxer — Thu, 01/15/2009 - 6:59am

Robert, Awesome Article!

Thank you for sharing this here Robert. You have taken one small step for your self and a HUGE leap for us network marketers. I appreciate you.

I do have a question: Did you tell your team members they needed to burn through a couple pairs of tennis shoes and use bandit signs to reach your level of success or did you do like my upline and just say make a list of friends?

I guess we'll all find out Saturday 01/17/2009 on the Network Marketing For Smart People Talk Radio Show:

Listen to Network Marketing For Smart People on internet talk radio


Magnetic Sponsoring and Building-On-A-Budget for dummies? Learn Attraction Marketing click-by-click www.recessionproofincome.com InterNetwork Marketing = www.GetPaidToProspectOnline.com

Malika Duke — Thu, 01/15/2009 - 11:08am

Old School Methods


Thanks for your insightful posting.  I was involved in a number of MLM companies over the last 40 years.  I had great success with some of them.  However, attrition is what gets you in the end.  You work so hard to build the downline just to see them fall away nearly as quickly as you are putting them in. 

You must be a highly energetic guy to have been able to do what you did on a daily basis.  You were obviously driven to succeed and with that mentality you will succeed at whatever you do.  The difference in moving over to internet marketing, is that you are going to rise to the very top without feeling that you have worked hardly at all, compared to what you did in the past.

Someone posted that you had also been with Melaleuca.  I was with them also.  Just loved their products but that old way of doing business ended up to be too much for me.  I love being able to sit in my office at my computer and accomplish great things without all that rejection!!

I shall be following you on your blog.  I know right now that you will be a force to be reckonned with.  Anyone who gets into the internet marketing field and has the drive that you have, is absolutely guaranteed to succeed.

Jan Shimano — Thu, 01/15/2009 - 12:30pm

Hi Dorina

Thanks for your kind words.

The answer to your question was how I was brought up. My father told me that if you lose the integrity of your name you have lost everything worth having. When I realized that over 90% of the people I introduced to the company would end up losing a sizable amount of money it just wasn't something I could continue doing. I resigned September 1, 2006

Robert Ford — Thu, 01/15/2009 - 1:32pm

Hi Malika

Actually what I have always done, is to try something myself and then when I see results I teach others what works for me. So yeah I had a number of people who wore out tennis shoes as well :-)

So now I am out to completely master the Internet as a vehicle for building my business. There is no doubt in my mind that it is the future.

Look forward to our blogtalkradio on Saturday.


Robert Ford — Thu, 01/15/2009 - 1:39pm

MLM Direct Sales Companies in General

Wow!  What an incredible story.  I have heard this over and over again in so many people's lives.  They reach the top of their Direct Sales Company and then  they either leave on their own (for reasons beyond their control) or they are forced to leave.  A lot of times, they leave on their own because the pay method was changed and instead of making $25K/month they are now making $10K/month.  The companies incorporate incredible, sneaky ways to make sure that people do not succeed.  And you NEVER know when it is going to hit.  The company is there to make sure it survives and you are left hung out to dry.

Since there are only a handful of pay methods out there, you have to be careful which one your company uses BEFORE you join.  Once you determine the pay method (or preferably at the same time), look at the way their Business Model is set up.  This will drive the company's behavior.

I love helping people take a look at their company by giving them useful tools to make that determinaton.  Let me know if I can help in any way.  I am available any time...




Dianne Humphries — Thu, 01/15/2009 - 1:55pm

Bravo, Bravo

Robert, what an amazing article. I really enjoyed it. I am so glad that you shared your experience with us.....

You know Robert, it took tremendous courage to to leave a six figure income, but I'm glad you did because it allowed us to meet you :)

Keep Up the Great Work!

Donna Wells

Donna Wells — Thu, 01/15/2009 - 2:42pm

Huge leap of FAITH


Congratulations on taking that big leap of Faith.  I'm happy to see that everything has worked out well for you & your family.  No one should ever be forced to do the Old School Networking techniques, they just flat out don't work anymore. 

I'm looking forward to your future articles and once again thanks for all your help.

Michael Starks

Michael Starks — Thu, 01/15/2009 - 4:39pm

Brings back memories!

Hi Robert

I read your post with great interest because I spent 4 years in Herbalife bashing my head against the wall (and wearing out shoes, checking people's body fat percentage, and generally working very hard for very little money.)

When I read your story I was feeling relieved that I'd had the guts to make the change when I did even though I loved Herbalife so much. It must have been tough for you also as it is a such an emotional bond we shared as Herbalife distributors.

"Simply the best." still sends shivers down my spine!

Thanks and wish you success


Rachel Henke coaches people to be more successful and to have more fun in their home business. Get Million Dollar Training Info on the Professional Networker blog: http://www.RachelHenke.com  



Rachel Henke — Fri, 01/16/2009 - 11:31am

From The Heart!

Robert, it was an inspiring story.

Although, not having reached the top of my primary MLM compensation plan as yet, I appreciate your integrity. That truly resonates with with me.


Wayne J. Holloway

Wayne Holloway — Fri, 01/16/2009 - 10:39pm

Scary story

Hi, I am Edward Zammit, abrand new member of this site and a World Team member in Herbalife.

Thanks for sharing your story. I admit it has shaken me a bit. You see, I enjoy working in MLM and I enjoy helping people. Also I have invested a lot in it and I would like to get something in return.

I am already using Web 2.0, so in your opinion, is there a chance that one can succeed in my company using the new methods?

Thanks and Take care


Edward Zammit — Sat, 01/17/2009 - 11:02am

Hi Rachel

It is always great meeting someone that has shared a similar experience. It is amazing how mlm companies get to you emotionally. I understand the shivers down your spine. I enjoyed your bio.

Robert Ford — Sat, 01/17/2009 - 1:59pm

Hi Edward

There is always a chance for you to be successful inspite of someone else's experience. You may want to read the letter I sent to Herbalife's CEO here's the link... http://www.robertfordconsulting.com/michael-o-johnson/
My advice to you is do not go into debt to build your Herbalife business and learn all you can about building with the Internet. Here is a review on what I believe is the best training available on Internet Marketing: http://www.robertfordconsulting.com/renegade-university/
All the best to you and please feel free to contact me if you have specific questions.
Robert Ford

Robert Ford — Sun, 01/18/2009 - 4:13pm

Wow! what a story...

I read THAT from beginning to end...riveting.

I'm glad you're on the other side of the Herbalife experience now.

Congratulations also for your innovative signature! "Ever wish you knew how to use Google Adwords... Discover PPC and dominate your market!"


diannehansen (not verified) — Sat, 01/17/2009 - 6:53pm

Yes! Wow ! ...really Robert you give Inspiration !

*Herbalife, ...the other side from an ex-President!

- i found in your story many facts helping me and my friends with Fibromyalgia... when specially we need to explain sponsors in Health & Wellness = the products are not accessible to ALL ! this way.

- for sure, the products are good, even wonderful for many chronic conditions, but when we are sick not able to work for long periods sometimes, so we really cannot afford Herbalife or others expensive products on monthly autoship long term even we NEED it.

- These Companies often are working with their "Own Humanitarian Foundations" over the World for Orphans or else, etc... but never helping some downline members or not members close them in need!

CONGRATULATIONS Robert ! You are a Positive Inspiration!

and i wish you THE BEST in your Present & Future Projects ! Truly, Dania close Montreal 

Dania Dery — Sun, 01/18/2009 - 7:56am

Incredible Testimony!

Glad to see the true leadership and integrity in Network Marketing! I put your information into my "Mental Rolodex". So far, my company is doing well as faras taking care of us! I believe that it ios a result of the co-founders having built large teams in the industry and leaving their company to do better.

Michael Kane — Sun, 01/18/2009 - 12:30pm

Thank you

Thank you for being a great leader Robert! I loved the article and it has given me more learning in this journey I am on. I look forward reading more int he future.

Thank you,


jennifer holmes — Sun, 01/18/2009 - 4:02pm

Hi Dania, Michael, and Jennifer

Thanks for all your kind words. BetterNetworker is an awesome environment where all of us can learn from each other. Don't hesitate to give me a call if I can help you in any way.

Here's to your success,

Robert Ford

Robert Ford — Sun, 01/18/2009 - 4:25pm

From a former Herbalife World Team Member

Hi Robert,

Thank you for you honest article! All of these years since being in Herbalife ( which I love the products ) I had thought it was me.. or in at least part me and part of the inability to keep a constant source of new excited people in my group.  I was a part of Herbalife from 1995 to 2001. I had tremendous success with the products and was selected to be a featured story in the magazine in 1999.  One could say that was my fifteen minutes of fame~

Old school marketing has left so many wounded in the trenches and I am very excited about venues such as social media networking with the use of the internet!  I should have followed my instinct in 1995 when I told my sponsor that the internet would be the way serious business people would conduct business.  Sadly, I listened to her methodology..... that was then and the lesson has served me well.

Once again, thank you for your honest article!


Vickie A. Devore, RN Entrepeneur


Vickie Devore — Mon, 01/19/2009 - 8:16pm


thanks for sharing a great article, it took courage to resign and start over. having the courage to realise something ain't right, rectify it and move on with integrity is more of what this wondeful business needs.

colin myles


colin myles — Tue, 01/20/2009 - 6:14am


Robert, thanks for being transparent.  The interview you did with Malika is positively thought provoking.  Your leadership and integrity will not go unnoticed (anywhere!)


Jerry Chen — Wed, 01/21/2009 - 3:48pm

Good article

Hi Robert

Very good article and gutsie of you to publish it, some very good advice there in your article also. I will follow your progress with interest.


Kerry Erasmus

Kerry Erasmus — Thu, 01/22/2009 - 9:16pm

My Hat Goes off to You

Hi Robert

My hat goes off to you as getting to President Team in Herbalife is no easy task, even though there are currently over 1000 President team members in Herbalife, there are also over 1 million distributorships. I spent over 4 years recruiting and going to every event and was your dream distributor with  a determination above average, yet could not advance my business to a point where I was actually making any profit, let alone any significant income to talk about. I too, got to the point, where I could not bring people in knowing that there was a 99% chance they would fail and spend more money than they would make. It just didnt sit right with me anymore, I loved the products, the company and the friendships, but we can only hang onto these for so long before the right decisions become apparent.

I admire your courage and business mind in moving on because as you probably know many other top earners in Herbalife with declining incomes will not action regardless of the huge failure rate in their own organisations because of their absolute bond with the company and the people. Having said that, there are still a large number of people growing their incomes significantly as long as they choose to run their businesses well away from the internet where the constant promises of easy money and the greatest, latest systems are at their doorsteps.

I have no doubt that everything you have learnt from Herbalife is still valuable and you will bring to the internet and build a successful business again.


Jenni Ryan

My Insider's Report on the State of the Failing MLM Industry http://www.MySecretMLMReport.com?t=Bn






Jenni Ryan — Tue, 01/27/2009 - 5:26am

Learnings are everywhere!

Robert, that was lovely. We need people with your kind of insight at the BN Group 'Live In Abundance'. Awaiting you.

Millionaire Mindsets Create Millionaires

Sandeep Nath — Tue, 01/27/2009 - 8:38am


Hey Robert:
It's very cool to meet you - and thank you SO much for sharing your story - it's quite moving.
Your record of success with one of the older, bigger MLM companies is amazing - your 'MMA' (Massive Marketing Action) is totally uncommon.
I can 'relate' to your story perfectly, having been with Amway for 8 years in the mid-to-late 80's - it was our very first venture into (OLD School) Network Marketing.

I'll share a couple of my own thoughts here with you...

Comp Plans - Amway had a difficult 'Stair-Step Breakaway' Compensation Plan, where only the few top Leaders made any real money.  Perhaps their Pay Plan has changed somewhat by now, but back then, there was much 'breakage' in favor of the company + much struggle by new Reps with getting into early cash flow.
Unless Compensation Plans become better "balanced" - unless they are designed to reward the right behaviors in the field - there will be problems in those MLM companies.    
Not that Amway or Herbalife are "bad" companies - they're not.  In fact, if it hadn't been for Amway, in its long (and eventually, successful) fight for recognition of MLM as a 'legal business model' back in 1979 I believe - we might not even 'have' a thriving Network Marketing industry today.  So, we have them to be grateful for this - despite the fact that we will continue to have battles with the Regulators, who simply don't understand, or appreciate, the significance of our greatr Network Marketing industry. 
Marketing - Yes, many (not all) of the OLD ways of marketing and promotion were not only ineffective - they were uncomfortable, stressful, unprofessional and usually unproductive. 
NEW School marketing - embracing the ATTACTION / RELATIONSHIP-Building business model - is 21st century marketing at its best - taught by industry pioneers such as Schroeder, Sieg, Dillard, Klingler and others.  But I still believe we can have the best of "both" worlds - utilizing an intelligent "balance" between (the good parts of) the Old and the New strategies.    
Attrition - It's far too high in our industry.  There are many, many reasons (poor training / not seeing cash flow quickly enough / Autoships that are too high / low self-esteem / lack of support / on and on).
Ratio - Unless the 'ratio' of Customers to Distributors is about 75% to 25% respectively - downlines will be unstable - they will begin to unwind - and Distributors will always be struggling to bring in, through the front door, enough new blood - to stem the hemmoraging at the back door. More...
-- Unless companies become more "product" driven - and change to a "retail" based mission ((-vs- "recruit - recruit - recruit new Reps")) -- they will eventually fade from the scene - my opinion.
-- Unless the products are of an 'essential' nature ((especially in this gobal meltdown)) - and have reasonable and flexible Autoships - have exclusivity - are scientifically, evidence=based - are patented - competitively priced - consummable -- the companies will continue to see sales fall and growth diminish in my view.
Residual Income - You (rightly) refer to this - it's the dream of all of us in this industry of course.  Unfortunately - due to the vast majority of MLM company Policies & Procedures (P&Ps) - this has become a bit of a 'mirage'.  It can happen, but it won't be "passive" like they promise - it will require "ongoing efforts" (sales / trainings / meetings / etc) - which is different to 'retiring on the beaches'.
MLM - Network Marketing is still the finest business model on the planet in my opinion, Robert - it's just that WE need to be careful as to "how" we position ourselves in order to achieve total 'financial and time freedom' - with a business that WE ourselves own (not the companies) - something we richly deserve IF we've built our Home Businesses in the right way (with Continuing Education / Personal Development / Self Branding / Multiple Income Streams / Diversification / etc).
I thank you again for having the courage to openly share your story the way you did - is is an inspiration for ALL of us.
You are valued contributor to this great Forum - an example of professional leadership for us to follow.
Robert, I (we) wish you a speedy return to your earlier victory - you'll accomplish that because you're a winner.
Warmly / Peter A.
Peter Arnold, CLU, CFC / Founder
Business Achievers Academy / Canada  

Peter Arnold — Wed, 02/04/2009 - 3:51pm

ouch! zing??

Robert, Awesome Article!

Thank you for sharing this here Robert. You have taken one small step for your self and a HUGE leap for us network marketers. I appreciate you.

I do have a question: Did you tell your team members they needed to burn through a couple pairs of tennis shoes and use bandit signs to reach your level of success or did you do like my upline and just say make a list of friends?

I guess we'll all find out Saturday 01/17/2009 on the Network Marketing For Smart People Talk Radio Show:


Magnetic Sponsoring and Building-On-A-Budget for dummies? Learn Attraction Marketing click-by-click www.recessionproofincome.com InterNetwork Marketing = www.GetPaidToProspectOnline.com

David Dutton's ... — Thu, 02/05/2009 - 3:05am

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