1997-2000 You Only Need 3 Legs

To just briefly recap as a prelude to this post I left the cruise ship I was working on in March of 1996 , got married in August of that year , then worked at the Aerie Resort until I was laid off in October of the same year.

I was 37 years old but despite my age I was pretty youthful in the way I acted. I mean I was living and traveling for quite a while just waiting on tables but here I was now married and wanting to establish myself as more than just a waiter. I had a lot of experience but the job opportunities came infrequently and they were a bit less challenging than I was hoping for.

The one thing I had going for me that others didn’t was a feeling that I was capable of doing anything I wanted to do. I was going to make a life for us and be super successful and all that and I had some great ideas.

Attending a Small Business Expo , I bought 5 Card Vending Machines and set them up in various Mom and Pop convenience stores located near schools where the kids would come in and buy a couple of cards for a quarter. Twenty per cent would go to the owner for use of the space and what I was figuring was the rest would be a nice second income while I was working. Sort of like making money while you sleep sort of deal. Well the only problem was the only cards the kids would buy in Victoria were Marvel cards and once they got the set the other cards would just sit there. Then I would have to find another spot to put the machine.

At any one time it seemed like one machine would make good money while the others would lay dormat. I figured Victoria had to be the only city in Canada not interested in hockey. Just my luck! In addition to my main income , which I thought might be more lucrative than collecting unemployment during this time , this second income I was hoping to buy more machines with. It never came to fruition. A couple of years later I got rid of the card vending machines.

Then I was talking to this guy who had a candle party business. It was a 2 billion dollar industry in Canada and here was a chance to do some house parties and make some money. I purchased a list and began to call people up to host a party. The only one we hosted was a party in the building we lived in. We used the candles left over from that for our own use.

All this was going on when my wife and I through our good friends to this day invited us over to their place to take a look at a business opportunity. We sat down on their couch and had some coffee while someone came in and started showing us this home based business where all you did is buy stuff you buy already and show this to other people and they do the same thing and you get an income back based on how much business volume you can generate. All we needed to do is find 3 others who wanted to do the same thing and get this much volume going through your business and we are making $100,000 a year. Christ that sounds simple enough. Who wouldn’t want to do that!

Now I gotta tell you that I had no idea how scared people were of doing this and telling their friends about it. It seemed freakin’ logical. But I didn’t realize how many hang ups people had. That was where my naivety was real apparent. After all I was just out of the country for quite a while and the only other people I knew were waiters who worked on cruise ships. One of the most unrealistic places one could be working and living in. I was practically a back packer with no fixed address for 10 years. I didn’t relate too well when people said they had no time or money. But 3 people come on….

I went to what they call a Dream Weekend which was a 12 hour drive to Kamloops and I was so fired up my wife was scraping me off the ceiling when I got home. I prospected everywhere and everyone. I was going to do this thing. With my upline we got some people in and started to build the business. Rejection never bothered me. It was next all the time. The business was changing into the high tech area in 1999 and after much hard work I got my 3 people and I was making a bit of money. Nothing like I put into it though. But I was determined.

During this time we moved to Vancouver and grew the business there. I spent a lot of time in sales just so I could do this at night when most people were home. I sold to businesses door to door from everything from alarm systems , advertising , BC Lions football season tickets , insurance and other things. Before that I worked in a couple of restaurants in Victoria before we moved to Vancouver doing just lunches to build the business.

Finally we thought on September 1st 1999 when the business went high tech the business was changing for the better. The only problem was with high tech you had to believe everyone was finally going to shop online and when no one logged in that was it. People just thought someone else in their downline was going to do it and when they didn’t everyone folded up the tent. My business of 50- 60 people went down to 3 again and those 3 were not a sure thing anymore.

All the time and investment down the drain. Savings were shot and nothing to show for it. Live and learn I say.

Even now I occasionally get the dream of building a networking empire but it fades suddenly.

Sure it is a good thing but now I understand when people said they would rather stay at home in the evening and be with their kids now , rather than miss them to work for something not sure of in the future. I get that now. I didn’t then of course as we had no kids.

To make it in network marketing you have to put everything else aside. Delayed gratification they call it. I tried later on a few years later to restart the business elsewhere as I had a hard time weaning myself off it but that one or two nights a week going to meetings and someone else’s house and missing that evening with my kids became torture. I couldn’t miss them. I had to be with them. Rather than miss their Dad now I wanted them to see me.

For me it is the right choice. No more delayed gratification for me. That is one thing I like about waiting on tables is I get paid after each table. That is about as close to self employment I want to get.

Another thing is you have to have the disposable income to invest in the business. Because of the low return initially if a person does not have the reserve funds to start up a networking business then they shouldn’t. The reason being is in something like this you do not want to put your whole family in jeopardy and create a crisis. Actually I got that from a billionaire and it made a lot of sense. Only go into the business with income to carry you through it. Don’t make it your primary income source or you will just go broke trying to do it. Our income in those days was inconsistent. Even Eatons where my wife made good money went bankrupt.

So that is my tale for those years. I tried a lot of things and pretty much did badly in most of them. My career in Hospitality was sidetracked although I pretty much think it would not have made any difference whether I did all the above or just stuck to restaurants during this time.

Life is supposed to be full of experiences and this was just one of those times.

Back to the jobs in restaurants beginning in 2000 next week.


  1. Yeah, Delayed Gratification= You been screwed.i remeber my ex-wife quit her job and decidied to sell ‘dietary Supplements.i said sure, as long as you don’t invest anything.Then one day I was looking for something in the garage and found $1000 worth of Alfalfa Tablets under a tarp.Damn!I went ballistic!

  2. Bulletholes..it was the tools and meetings and gas in the car that screwed us finanacially. Then the car would break down often too. Brutal.Fortunately though had no inventory to carry.

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