The LCR staff chased down diamond Larry Vanbuskirk for some comments on his meteoric rise in the Team business. Larry is a former Financial Planner who had three “by referral only” offices in the mid-Michigan area. Larry went from Platinum, to Sapphire, to Emerald, and then to the Diamond level in consecutive years. Larry enjoys a job-optional lifestyle with his lovely wife Marsie.
LCR: You were in the old catalogue model for over a decade at the Platinum level. How did you hold onto your dream through so many years?
Larry Vanbuskirk: Well, first I knew that the business itself would only get better. I believed that the MLM field would go from being catalogue-based to Interactive TV. Then the Internet just became an easier avenue to electronic ordering. Part of having a dream is seeing the future even when it is not yet reality. Marsie and I held onto our hope that we and our business would continue to improve.
LCR: Weren’t you laughed at for being part of the catalogue model?
Larry Vanbuskirk: A leader doesn’t mind the laughter because he knows that it is a sign that he is doing something different. I knew that all real businesses improve and that some day this business would enter the electronic age where I would be a pioneer who rode that wave to financial success. Does Ford motor company have to apologize for the Model T? When you drive a newer Ford today, do you have to explain that it's different than the older Model T Ford? All businesses (that plan on staying in business) grow and change, and the visionary is the one who recognizes a trend and stays in for the long-term. We did that, and it has made all the difference in our finances.
LCR: What changed in your business to enable you to grow so fast after such a long period of, well, not growing fast?
Larry Vanbuskirk: We became some of the best students of our mentors Orrin and Laurie Woodward. The book, “Leading the Consumer Rebellion,” will teach you the trends going on in business and all you have to do is add hard work. We had tried other systems and they did not work, but after tapping into the Team system, our business exploded.
LCR: Did you have doubts that you could be a Diamond after struggling for so long?
Larry Vanbuskirk: Everyone has doubts. The key is to silence your doubts through faith. I listened to so many CD’s that I began to see and believe that I could get up again and build this business. Leadership begins when you take your focus off yourself and begin to serve others. The Team leadership training is second-to-none, and I am an excellent example of how anyone can change with the right information. As I like to tell people: the Team system is the number one leadership development system in the world! I'm serious! I was a Financial Planner who spent his life analyzing businesses and I am here to tell you that there is no better business plan available to an aspiring entrepreneur. If you are looking for a handout, then this is not for you, but if you are looking for a hand up, then you have found it!
LCR: How is life for you today different than it was as a Financial Planner?
Larry Vanbuskirk: I worked an average of 80 to 100 hours per week for 50 weeks a year. The stress was becoming unbearable and I was not in control of my future. Today, I make more income than ever before and I have leaders that I spend my time mentoring. We thank God every day that we met Orrin and Laurie and the rest of the Team leaders. Freedom is a hard thing to describe, and, most people miss this: remember that freedom is not free. It must be earned. We earned our freedom through serving others. The Team leaders have figured out that true happiness comes through making others happy.
LCR: Larry, thanks for sharing your wisdom with us today.