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Wherever you are in business, growth is the goal everyone is trekking to. How should we know that we’re walking the path to success? Well, our guest believes that success leaves clues, and that is what he’s leaving with us today. Patrick Shaw welcomes John Solleder, a legit MLM professional who hosts Leave Nothing to Chance. John shares his insights on becoming successful in the networking market. Grab this opportunity to hear from John about his phenomenal experience to learn from his fine and successful personality in network marketing! Patrick and John also touch on the value of relationship in the industry and how it impacts your business. What are you waiting for? TUNE in, TAKE down notes, and TREK into the path of success.
John Solleder: A Legit MLM Professional
I am with John Solleder. We barely had any warm-up to this. We’re kindred spirits here. You have been in the industry for many years. That does date you a little bit but that’s pretty awesome. You’ve seen it. You’ve been around the block. You get it. We’re going to have a fun and wide-ranging conversation.
I’m looking forward to it. Patrick, thank you for the invitation.
We were talking about how years ago, you were in college. You got your first experience and met Larry Thompson. You have a traditional start to network marketing.
It’s traditional. I started with a great company that Larry was vice president of at that time. The succession of events was in April of ’83. I find out about direct selling from a buddy of mine whom I wrestled with in high school. In May of ’83, I graduated from college. Ronald Reagan speaks about mentorship among other things. Find a mentor. Find somebody that can teach you what you want to know about something you’re passionate about and go with it.
In June of ’83, I met Larry Thompson for the first time. It’s funny. We live about fifteen minutes from each other here in Dallas. We have lunch together about every other week. He and his wife Taylor and my wife Josee have become very close friends as we have gotten older beyond business. It has been a great relationship. Going one step further, that was the start.
I saw so many successful people that were ordinary people. They didn’t have necessarily advanced degrees in anything. They were truck drivers and school teachers. They were normal people. They were achieving it if they did some basic things very well and consistently. I said, “I’m no different from them. I’m a normal guy. If I do what they do, maybe I can be successful too.”
I grew up severely dyslexic. To have a vehicle where none of that stuff mattered like the education or the grades is an incredible industry if you do the right stuff. There are a lot of changes happening in the industry. What’s the biggest thing that you are seeing? You had some comments in the bio or the cheat sheet I’m looking at that resonated with me. What are the biggest changes you’re seeing in the industry?
I’m seeing a few things. Some are positive and some are not so positive. One of the positive ones is the ability for people like my eighteen-year-old son to use the internet to reach people internationally, being in one location. That’s a huge achievement. The challenges I see are several. I see that the gig economy is a super competition. Fundamentally, why are people starting a business like this?
You know this from your experience as do I. People get in to make part-time money. They get in to make $1,000 to pay for Christmas gifts or Hanukkah gifts. They can do that very easily by turning on an app on their phone or going out and driving Uber or Uber Eats. There are lots of other opportunities. One girl was telling me that she goes to Walmart and checks products for different companies.
Every time she texts a picture, they send her $5 or maybe even $50 to her cell phone. She spends a couple of hours at Walmart. She can make the couple of hundred dollars that she’s looking to make. She doesn’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to join a downline and buy inventory that she may or may not sell. That has become a big challenge. The other big challenge I see is internal.
That’s an external challenge. The other external challenge is the economy. We’re dealing with the recession and everything here in the States in particular. The other thing that I see is a lot of the new owners in the industry. Without pointing out any of them, I don’t know the business. They didn’t grow up in the business. You look at the great companies in our industry.
Amway’s Jay and Rich were distributors. They sold the products from the trunk of their car. Mark Hughes started Herbalife in 1980 and sold the products from the trunk of his car. Dr. Shaklee in 1956 starts Shaklee and sells the products from the trunk of his car. Mary Kay in ’63 sells the products from the trunk of her car. The people that created those dynastic companies in our industry were distributors. They wore distributors’ shoes. They had distributors’ eyes. They had distributors’ focus.
They had to acquire other skills to grow their companies. They’re all gone. They’re all deceased but their companies are still great. When I look at that and I see a lot of these guys coming into the industry that are from the financial world, they don’t understand that the distributors are what they’re buying. They think that they’re buying inventory. They think they’re buying products.
They’re confused about who the customer is. Their customer is the distributor. It’s not a retail product. They come in and try to apply this model that is more of a retail model. You don’t get it. Your customer is not the buyer of the product. Your customer is the distributor.
That’s the foundation of our industry. I would include Art Williams in there with Primerica. Williams started what Primerica is now. All of those people did it from experience. They didn’t do it from theory. What we’re seeing is a lot of theoretical people who are bottom-line buying companies, not understanding what distributors do or the value and thinking that somehow all these other things are important.
They don’t get that the most important thing is the manpower or the womanpower that goes out and carries the products to market, sits in front of other human beings and says, “Join my business. Buy my product. Give me your credit card, your trust and your time, more importantly.” They don’t understand that. Granted, they haven’t had the experience. Some of them are warming up to it. Some of them are figuring it out. The smarter ones are spending time in the field and trying to figure it out but you cannot build a network marketing company from an ivory tower. You have to build it from the field up.
I spent 25 years in a company. I’m still with them but they had leadership that came in from private equity, another private equity and people that truly didn’t understand the industry. They lost trust in the field. When you do that, it’s hard to get it back, especially if you’ve done a lot enough damage.
I see that as a risk to the industry. Warren Buffett was smart. When Warren Buffett bought Pampered Chef, he left the management to do what they did. One day, the lady who started it owned the business. The next day, she was the president. That was a wise way to do it but as we have gone down the road and I’ve worked with a couple of these guys that have come in from private equity, they don’t get it.
They want to get it. They don’t want to spend the time to get it. Frankly, there should be a mandatory training class probably put on by the Direct Selling Association that you have to spend one year at least as a distributor before you can buy a company. That would be a good rule but it will never happen. In my estimation, it would serve us all a whole lot better and it would serve those people better, frankly.
The biggest change is the competition from the traditional gig economy. There’s so much information out there on that side. I don’t know if we would call it a lack of industry expertise or real know-how. I’ve got a third one. I’m curious if you rank up there or if there are any others because that’s educational. We target this show around big-time leaders and seeing where’s the puck going, what can you do about it and then what can the enterprises do about it because that’s whom we market to with RapidFunnel. The third one I see is when I got started, there was a tracking sheet.
I understood what the lead measure was or activity metric. I knew what my ratio was. I was learn taught early. It’s the quantity of the exposures and the quality of the follow-up. Maybe the third thing is to teach 1 and 2 but if I can do those things, that’s 90% or maybe 85% of the business. You’ve got people sitting behind social or digital marketers that are professing to be experts. To me, it’s killing the essence, which is the culture, the authenticity, the relationship and the activity that is necessary to succeed. What are your thoughts there?
Today you have people sitting behind social or digital marketers who profess to be experts. It’s killing the essence, which is the culture, authenticity, relationship, and activity necessary to succeed.
I couldn’t agree more. The internet has a place but if I went back in my experience to when I started years ago, there was no internet. What did you do? You talk to people. The internet is a way to talk to more people. They might be across the ocean. They might be down the street. The great thing about the internet is its ability to be infinite rather than finite. At the same time, if we miss that the internet is no different than a flyer was in 1983 when somebody called you on your house phone and left you a message, we wouldn’t have all this sophistication. In 2022, it might be that they sent you a text or an email.
It’s the ability to talk to another human being and say, “Let me tell you about my great product. Let me tell you about how we make money with this thing.” We build that human bond because people buy from people still. I couldn’t agree more. There are all these internet gurus. They’re teaching courses. If you ask them to show you a check with their name on it, it doesn’t exist. It’s the same thing with multi-level gurus. There are all these multi-level gurus out teaching multi-level. I challenge them, “Show me a check with your name on it.”
They blew it up with a ton of recruits in a little window and then have no depth duplication, momentum or anything to show for it afterward.
It’s a big issue. We’ve got to get back as an industry to the fundamentals. All of these great tools, apps and the internet are terrific but they’re no different than a flyer or talking to your next-door neighbor in 1983 in the respect that the ultimate goal of all of those things is to connect with another human being and have the ability to share with them the information that you think is pertinent for them to make a buying decision, be it as a customer of your product or a customer, “I want to sell this stuff part-time or full-time.” We will talk about that as we get into the weed with that individual. It’s that ability to connect. What we’re doing is throwing this massive blanket out there instead of saying, “We still recruit people one at a time. We still build relationships one at a time.”
Even the companies that are good from a technology standpoint are almost using this more of a retail model where I can introduce a product on the internet and other people can buy it. The challenge is that to have a sticky organization that lasts the test of time, there has to be a relationship. There has to be a team. You can’t just throw the players on the field. They can all be the best players but if they never spent time, they don’t have a relationship and they have never been through the grind together, it’s hard to get it to stick. The culture is not there.
It’s to build those strategies and tactics with another person to give them a roadmap so that they see, “There’s a way for me here to achieve it, whether it’s the first rank in a company, the second rank in a company or whatever it happens to be.” You are there to guide them through the process, not just say, “Come and read my Facebook page.”
This is what people don’t understand. In one of your biggest bills, how many people did you have in that organization? That was tens of thousands of people or probably hundreds of thousands. How many people did you have in your army? Those were the core people that you knew you could crush it with. How many is that number?
Believe it or not, there were eighteen.
That’s my point. I don’t think people understand that you can build a massive organization with a dozen core people. It’s not 50 people. The biggest organizations are all relatively small numbers. That’s the relationship part. They admired you. You admired them. It doesn’t mean you agreed with everything but you could work together.
I’m weird. Starting in the ’80s, I’ve grown up with all these different technologies and breakthroughs but to your point, that organization had almost 900,000 people, 18 of whom I relied upon. That particular organization goes back to the late ’80s and ’90s that I built. One of those eighteen passed away. I went to her funeral in Pittsburgh. Even though we hadn’t worked together in several years and we went to separate companies, eventually we still maintained that relationship because it was built on relationships instead of, “I met you over the internet. I’ve talked to you once. You went out and made me a bunch of money.” That’s naive. It doesn’t work that way.
I haven’t met that person yet. I interview so many people on our show like you that are real and that have done it. We all have the same opinion. We would love to stay home, press buttons and build 900,000-person organizations but it does not work that way. However, use that but don’t only use that. That’s the mistake that’s being made. They think they’re only going to do that. They’re going to do no other functions of the business. They’re not going to learn the fundamentals.
They’re not going to talk to people, “When we’re done here, I’m going to be at the gym.” If somebody is on a treadmill next to me, what’s the art of striking up a conversation? It’s not, “Buy my product.” It’s like, “How are you doing?” Build that rapport so that person eventually says, “How come you’re at the gym at 1:00 in the afternoon?” “I work for myself.” “What do you do?” I throw that tennis ball back and forth across the net to the other human being to the point where I eventually can digress into a conversation, “Let me tell you what I do. Maybe it’s something you want to take a look at.”
I still remember years ago being at an event in Dallas with Bill Bailey. I don’t know if you remember that name.
He’s a legend.
Bill was talking about getting the dollar signs off people’s heads and making a friend. It didn’t change. It is a numbers game. I have to talk to enough people. I have to follow up effectively but it is about the relationship, ultimately. How many people can I make a friend with? Those are hard things. Those are the nuances of the industry that are often difficult to teach.
They’re difficult to teach but not if somebody understands the ten-penny principle, for example. I learned that from Thompson. Thompson learned that from Rohn. Rohn learned that from Bobby Depew. That ten-penny principle is to stick ten pennies in your left pocket. Every time you talk to somebody during the course of the day, move them to your right pocket.
In 2022, that could include, “I had a Zoom call with somebody.” Could it be a text dialogue or a WhatsApp dialogue? Sure. As long as it’s a new person who’s not currently in your business, it counts if they train themselves up on that ten-penny principle, which I talk about in both of the books that I’ve written. That’s how I’ve built every organization. I’ve built 5 of these things to the top rank in 40 years. I’ve done every one of them the same, which is talking to people and grinding it out. It’s a grind. I would love to be able to press some buttons and people magically show up. I haven’t seen that be the reality.
It has gotten more difficult because there are so many false promises and pied pipers that are leading people like lemmings off the cliff that are promising these things. It’s not the fundamentals but maybe they have made some money. I was at an event. There was a wonderful young lady there. She recruited 2,700 people personally. She was teaching everybody her methodology to do this. She became a brand and a thought leader in the social space.
She was teaching everybody, “You have to be a thought leader.” I’m like, “The average person cannot do that. They’re not going to do that.” The real question isn’t, “How many did you recruit?” I don’t know if I’ve recruited more than 1,000 in my 25 years personally. I’ve taught a lot of people to recruit tens of thousands which led to hundreds of thousands. That’s not the ticket. The ticket is, “Can you teach it?”
What has happened too is you’ve got this guru thing going on. Somebody built a downline in some company at some point. The company is out of business. Nobody can ever fact-check it unless you’re like me or you, you’ve been around a long time and you know the guy or the company. They tell these fairytale stories, go in and lead companies or influence companies and sometimes ownership because the owner doesn’t know any better. They wind up with a mess. They’re gone. They get their $1 million fee. They’re down the road.
All of a sudden, the distributors who are the real heroes in network marketing have to pick it up. The heroes in that particular company have to figure it out, teach the company what to do, say, “Don’t make that mistake again,” and rebuild the company. I’ve seen this so many times when somebody comes. They’re like one of these storms or tornadoes that hit Florida, unfortunately, or hurricanes that hit different places. The damage is drastic. Who’s left to pick up the pieces?
I was talking to a friend of mine. There’s a handful of superstar gurus. I don’t mean to be critical. Some of them are friends of mine but at the end of the day, if they can’t show you a check with their name on it, do not listen to them because they’re not living in it now. They built what they built at another time. I said to a friend of mine I was talking to, “Ask the average distributor.”
If gurus can’t show you a check with their name from today, do not listen to them.
We will use Herbalife because it’s a company I’m familiar with. I’m familiar with Tish Rochin, Larry Shine and Doug Stuntz. I’m forgetting some people but those were the original people when I joined that company in 1983. They’re still all there. If they have passed away, their families are still there. There’s John Tartol. You use that company. Amway, Shaklee, Nu Skin, Melaleuca and Mary Kay have that. All these direct-selling companies have those legacy distributors.
They’re the superstars in the industry. It’s not the guru who tells you he’s a superstar. It’s the person who’s there grinding it out, building a business, having events and Zoom calls and leading from the front of the room continuously. It’s not the person who comes in, passes through your company and tells everybody how to do it. You’ve built a check for 40 years, 30 years and 20 years, “You’re doing it wrong. I’m doing it right. I don’t have a check. Let me tell you how to do it.” They rebrand everything and screw everything up. Once again, the distributors have to fix it.
To that point, I was at a thing with Stuart Johnson, the Owner of VideoPlus several years ago. It’s called something else, SUCCESS Partners. I’ll never forget this. I was standing there with Jeff Roberti and Dan McCormick, icons in the industry. The three of us were standing there. Ten guys come in. We’re looking at each other. I said, “Who are those guys?” They didn’t know who they were and I didn’t know who they were. All of a sudden, I see my friend John Addison, who at that time was the CEO of Primerica.
I know John well of Primerica.
He’s a funny guy. I see John come in. It was a club where you had to write a certain amount of money that Stuart had put together. It was several years ago. None of us who were in the industry for a long time know who these guys are until I saw Addison. You connected the dots. These were his guys. None of us knew their names. They were some of the top industry earners by far. None of us knew who they were because they were in 17 companies for 5 years. They were in one company. They had built it right. They had gone through all of the ups and downs of ownership, leadership and all the other stuff and then stayed the course.
That’s my point. If you want to be a leader in network marketing, find a company that you like, stay, build it, grind it out and also coach your management and ownership on what is and is not allowable to your business because when the rubber is not meeting the road with some of these companies, they think that they have ownership over your distributorship. They don’t. The independent distributor owns your business. It’s your business. You happen to be part of a company. You’ve chosen to sell that particular product and endorse that particular product.
This is probably for another episode but it is more challenging. How do you vet a company as a distributor? There are so many companies that don’t understand it from the point they launched. They weren’t even born out of the proper fundamentals. That makes it tough. You see these people jumping around quite a bit. That’s probably another conversation.
We will wrap up with this. Do the competition part and a lot of the gig economy change how you position the opportunity? Do you position a little more or a little less? “You can make some part-time money.” Are you positioning it a little more about the long-term opportunity to build the residual than you might have in the past? Has that changed much or it’s one of the things you deal with?
The way that I’m positioning it is this is a business. In a business, you have to serve an apprenticeship, which means you have to learn the business. That’s going to take some time. A real part-time person is going to take a year to get some basic skills because they’ve got a job, a family and nine other things going on. They’re doing this for 1 hour on a weeknight and 2 hours on Saturday afternoon. That’s going to take some time to learn something.
You have to serve an apprenticeship, which means learning the business, which will take some time.
The person who’s got a little bit more time maybe is a little bit hungrier or needier because maybe they have lost their job, whether it’s COVID-related or economy-related. They have been downsized. They have to learn quickly. What I tell them is, “I’ll go at whatever pace you want to go at.” You tell me, “I’ve got an hour a week.” Here’s what you tie into what I’m doing, “I’ve got five hours a week. That’s a little bit more time I’m going to put in.”
It goes back to doing better discoveries. You sit down and do that gameplay and you know whom you’re talking to and what their motivators are, which is more important than ever with so many distractions.
What I don’t do is I don’t tell somebody, “You’re going to get rich.” I never liked that personally. I always thought it was a fallacy. When I started, there was a thing going around, “If you work hard for three years, you can take off the rest of your life.” Years later, I’m still getting up in the morning. I don’t work as hard as I did when I was younger. I don’t need to. I’ve been wise with my money. My kids are almost grown. Having said that, I still have my head in the game every day after years. I’m still active. Guys like McCormick, Roberti, Thompson and some of the guys that I am friendly with within the industry also have their heads in the game because they love the game, the business and the distributors.
To answer your question, the bottom line is I tell somebody, “You’re probably going to get out of this what you put into this. In the beginning, you’re going to be tremendously underpaid.” You build an income over the course of time as you have and some of your readers I’m sure have. You’re going to look at your checks sometimes and go, “I’m overpaid because I spent three hours last week in my business,” but you have to do the work to get there.
The second one we talked about is the lack of industry expertise by the leadership sometimes. Companies don’t understand the nuances. What do you say to somebody trying to navigate that either from a company perspective and what they have to do or that individual distributor looking for a home? How do you navigate because there’s so much of that? What do you do about that?
What I tell them is this. Let’s say you’re in a long-term company that has been around for ten years or longer. Talk to the people who built it. They understand the business frankly better than your management team or ownership does. You don’t want to be disrespectful. You have to keep everybody happy but you cannot teach what you have not done. That’s the bottom line. You talk to your upline and the senior-level leaders in your company. They’re probably going to know more about your product and how to build your business frankly than anybody in the C-Suite does. That’s the truth.
I’m very cognizant of the fact that this is our business. Somebody else might own the company but it’s our business. That has been established in the courts well. This is still our business. Class action lawsuits generally are always won by distributors as long as they haven’t done anything crazy. They have won for a reason in the court. They’re looking at it and saying, “That’s this person’s business. You don’t have the right to take it away because they disagree with what you’re doing.”
If you’re slanderous and you do ridiculous things, don’t do that. I’m not suggesting it at all. Always be respectful and professional but having said that, don’t lose sight that this is your business. This is your family’s financial future that you’re trying to build a financial fortress around. Be very protective of it. If you see people who do not know what they’re doing that are trying to influence it wrongly, you make sure you put walls around your distributors to make sure that they are not affected by that.
Eventually, it will probably pass. A smart company owner is going to eliminate the problems and move forward in such a way that they will go, “My field does know what it’s doing.” They will gain back the respect that they should have never lost in the first place. Once again, I would seek out the most senior-level people in the organization and say, “I’m concerned about what I’m seeing and hearing. What do I do?” They will put you on the straight-and-narrow course to success, hopefully.
The last one then is this digital world we live in and the folks out there that are presenting one way to build it are noisy. The average person sees 5,000 impressions a day. We’re trying to teach them these simple fundamentals and the relationship-based nature. How do you compete with that? How do you coach your team and try to keep them away from all the distractions, which is almost impossible? What can you do as a leader or a company to try and keep people focused on a duplicatable system?
What you tell them is there’s a lot of information out there, some of it right and some of it wrong. It’s hard to judge it all without spending all the time away from the business to do so. Here’s what I’m going to tell you. It has worked for me and XYZ company or whatever your company is. Here’s what has worked for me. Here’s what has allowed me to build a check. We can’t tell them the check amounts and that sort of thing with FTC and all that. Here’s what has allowed me to build that financial fortress around my family for X amount of years. Here’s what our upline, whoever that person is, has done.
There’s a consistency in the organization to how we have built. All those other things are terrific. I’m not telling you that there’s no merit to them. What I’m telling you is I can’t verify the merit. If I can’t verify the merit, I’m not going to endorse it. What I am going to endorse is how to talk to your next-door neighbor, put ten pennies in your pocket and get yourself disciplined to talk to ten new people a day.
Those things I know have worked because they have worked not only in this company but they have worked in all these other companies going back to the late 1950s and early 1960s. The fundamentals of the business have never changed and they never will. At the end of the day, there might be a lot of merits to a lot of this stuff but if you can’t verify them or you haven’t used them, by all means, don’t endorse them because you might put somebody out of your business by doing that.
I love what you said. Here’s a reality in, “Show me your check.” I do love the game of golf. I had a buddy who told me, “You never take advice from somebody that can’t break 80 if they can’t play the game or they haven’t proven they can play the game.” It’s so true in this business. That leaves the average sponsor in an odd position because they don’t have that history but if that sponsor were smart, they would be pointing the finger at the guy or gal who did.
When I started in ’83, my far upline was about nine levels above. I was living in New Jersey at the time. I sought him out and said, “Mark, can I buy you lunch?” He said, “Sure.” We met for lunch. We’re still good friends. That was smart on my part because he was making $5,000 or $6,000 a month, which in 1983 was $30,000 or $20,000. He was only a couple of years older than me. At the end of the day, it was like, “Let me seek out somebody who’s already having success.” We didn’t have the distraction of the internet, cell phones and all the technology, which are all wonderful but they’re distractions.
You’ve done this, Patrick. I’ve done this. I turned this stuff off for an hour. All of a sudden, I get three things done because I’ve stepped away from all the technology. I’m like, “How in the world does anybody get anything done when they have grown up with it? It’s all that they know.” Utilize it if you understand it but don’t go out there and think you’re going to build a huge network marketing business by using the internet, Facebook and all of these things. They’re part of the equation but they’re not the total equation.
Utilize the internet if you understand it, but don’t go out there and think you’re going to build a huge network marketing business just using the internet and Facebook. They’re part of the equation but not the total equation.
I interviewed Tom Schreiter. Tom has been around forever. He was around when I was young and he’s still around. I interviewed Tom. Tom was saying the same stuff. You have to talk to people. If you’re afraid to talk to your next-door neighbor, do you think you’re going to be successful on the internet? Of course not. It’s the same message. Use it but don’t become reliant on it and get the other skillsets that you’re going to need to build a business long-term because it’s all about connecting with people at the end of the day.
I love it. It has been awesome spending time with you. If somebody wants to reach out to you, how do they find you?
They can always do a couple of things. They can read Leave Nothing to Chance, which is an Amazon bestseller and before that, Moving Up: 2020. They’re in Spanish also. They’re digital because I am living in the 21st century. I did make them digital also. I know a lot of people have Kindles. That’s one way. You could go up to our podcast if you want, Leaving Nothing to Chance. There are ways to reach me there. If you want to get old-fashioned, send me an email at JSolleder@AOL.com and put Patrick Shaw’s show or whatever you want to put so I know it’s not spam. I’ll answer you back.
I love to help people. Like you, Patrick, everything I do is generic. Even though I make my living in one company, I’m an industry guy. I love this industry. It has blessed my family for 40 years. It has been fun. It has given me opportunities to go all over the world and meet lots of interesting people like you. I love the industry. If I can help you in any way, I’m happy to. Please don’t send me Bitcoin deals and try to recruit me in crazy stuff. If you’ve got a question about your business and how I can help you perhaps, I am happy to answer.
You’re not jumping ship. You found hope. You’re there to help.
I would fall into the water.
John, it’s great spending time with you. Thanks, my friend.
- John Solleder
- Tom Schreiter – Leaving Nothing to Chance episode
- Leave Nothing to Chance
- Moving Up: 2020
About John Solleder
John Solleder has been a top earner in his industry for 36 years. He has held the top rank in 4 network marketing companies in that time. He holds the distinction of being recognized as the President’s Cup winner with one company the first year of such recognition (1992) and then having the same distinction for a second company (2010). He has also consulted for some of the leading brands in the industry as an outside consultant.
In his personal life he has earned black belts in both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He also has participated in wrestling, sombo, track and field as well as powerlifting in a long athletic career that is continuing as a senior athlete. John spends his time with his wife Josee, and children, Camille, Fred, and Grace between homes in Dallas and Cornwall, Ontario.