Thu, 1 May 2014
Today, I am interviewing Mark Yarnell, a true legend in our profession.
I used to listen to Mark’s training CDS on my portable CD player at the gym. I am dating us both here, and I am sure they were on cassette before CDs.
I have learned a lot from him over the years and because I have listened to him so intently in my ear buds, I really felt like I know him. When we chatted on the phone, I realized it was the first time we had ever really talked live, and I have still not met him face to face. And, I look forward to that day.
He had me cracking up through much of the interview, and it truly was a fantastic hour!
I hope you enjoy it, too.
Mark has very average beginnings, as he’ll share. He sure changed all of that with the empire and success he has created. It just goes to show that anyone, really, can do it too, with commitment!
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Jackie: Well, Mark, I have to tell you it’s absolutely a pleasure to have the opportunity to interview you. You’ve been one of my heroes and one of my mentors since my early days 20 years ago when I started in network marketing. And so it’s a treat and a privilege and an honor to be able to interview you here today. So thanks so much for spending some time with us here.
Mark: Oh you bet, Jackie. I appreciate the opportunity. When I heard from you, I was excited to do it. So thank you.
Jackie: Well absolutely. Well before we get into some of your background and all the amazing stuff that I know you have to share about our awesome profession, do you have a favorite success quote or some words of wisdom that you’ll share with us?
Mark: Yeah, I mean actually, believe it or not, it came from my father at a very early age and it really has guided me through all my career in network marketing. My dad said that, and he called it the, out of his arrogance he called it Yarnell’s Law. I’m not calling it that, but he did. It’s the law of six, three, two. Six words, saw by three words, saw by two words. Do one thing at a time, do it right, finish it. And I have been guided through my whole career by those words of wisdom and I’ve found that having the focus to do one thing at a time and doing it the right way and then not starting something else until I’ve finished that particular objective, it’s served me very well. So that’s kind of my favorite motivational inspirational quote, but it’s also kind of a substantive way of going about life, I’ve found.
Jackie: Well I love that and I love the fact that it came from your father because I think that’s a strong testament to good mentors in our lives that guide us through and it’s always fun when it starts close to home.
Mark: You bet. Yeah. Dad was a great man.
Jackie: Well tell us a little bit of your background before you got started in network marketing. What was kind of your career path?
Mark: Well I started out. I got very fortunate at a young age. A friend of mine whose father had been a car dealer was able to come out of retirement and buy a car dealership right after Bobby and I got out of college. And I was called by him and he said, “We’ve got a little car dealership over in Oklahoma and, if you’ll come over and learn from us, we’re gonna buy another one and then we’ll own two dealerships.” The guy’s name was Bob Mayfield. Wonderful guy. I grew up with Bobby in Springfield, Missouri. So I began in the car business and I learned from some real masters in a small town in Oklahoma and, sure enough about two years into the process, another Chevrolet dealership became available over in a small community and we bought it.
So I spent my first few years in the car business at a very young age and it was really the fortuitous intersection of blundering into it at the right time, young time in my life. But I found that I really wasn’t cut out for dog-eat-dog capitalism. It got to the place where I was working 60, 70 hour weeks. I had originally wanted to be a minister, believe it or not. I grew up in a fairly religious family and after several years in the car business I decided it just was not a good fit for me. So applied for seminary in Kansas City, was accepted and went up and went through two years of seminary. And then actually wound up my first church was in Knoxville, Tennessee and I was transferred to Kansas City and ultimately Austin, Texas in the early 80s, which is where I was first introduced to network marketing.
I was very vulnerable at that time in my life because the Texas economy had really cratered and real estate was horrible, oil prices were way down and what happened, Jackie, was a lot of my wealthiest contributors, the big tithers in the church, were going Chapter 11 and bankrupt. A lot of people don’t know this but a lot of times in a church there’ll be eight or ten families that are actually the biggest supporters of the whole church ‘cause when they tithe it’s a pretty substantial amount. So our revenue stream was drying up in the church and my income had been cut in half when a friend brought me the business opportunity that led me into network marketing. They used to have a picture of me in the seminary, I actually worked selling cars while I was going to seminary and that was back in the years around the Nixon time. Somebody actually put a picture on the wall in seminary, “Would you buy a used god from this man?” And everybody got a big laugh from that.
So it’s been an interesting trajectory through life. I’ve done a lot of things, a lot of things that are polar opposites, but it’s sure been a great life.
Jackie: Well that’s great. So it was a friend who approached you with the opportunity? Was it someone from your congregation or
Mark: It was. As a matter of fact, it was the guy who was on steering committee who hired me as their minister. He called me and he said, he was feeling kind of guilty because the income had been so depleted and, I think in an effort to absolve his guilt, he came over to my house one day and he was all excited. I remember the only thing he had was a dog eared Xerox check copy for $112,000 and he was just breathlessly telling me that there was a guy on the check that was making this much every month and he wanted to tell me about this thing. He thought it would be good for me given my income had been depleted so much. And I remember thinking well this is the silliest thing I ever heard in my life. Nobody makes that much a month.
But yeah, to answer your question specifically, it was a friend, a member of the congregation and he showed up with a big check copy an that’s what got me started. That was back in April of ’86.
Jackie: Wow! That’s awesome. April of ’86. That’s a lot of money now, but that was really a lot of money then.
Mark: It really was. It really was. I couldn’t conceptualize it. It didn’t make sense to me that there were people, well when he showed me the check I thought, man, that guy’s making a good annual income. That’s a good salary. I mean $112,000 in a year’s pretty darn good ‘cause I’d never made that. And when he told me it was a monthly check, I was a little bit more than I can even handle. I just couldn’t believe it. It was a real conscious shock to me to know that there were people making that much a month and frankly I started out just to prove that he couldn’t be telling me the truth. I started by doing a bunch of research actually.
Jackie: So you didn’t jump in right away.