In the first episode of Business Banter by SkillsLab’s Jack Kosakowski, we speak with Tom Chenault where he shares his wisdom and story of how he went from MLM millionaire to tech Co-Founder at the age of 65!
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In a world where most “senior citizens” are retired not only from their job but from the game called life,
Here’s a remarkable story of a 68-year-old entrepreneur who’s hell-bent on defying the conventional rules.
Meet Tom Chenault – a warm, intelligent, and enthusiastic millionaire with a life story that is sure to impress anyone.
Nothing came easy to him. A continual struggle with alcoholism in the early part of his life never stopped Tom from achieving grand success.
Being a deeply passionate person, Tom likes to carry his sobriety as a torch that keeps burning and showing him the way.
Other than being an MLM millionaire, Tom is also the co-founder of Contact Mapping, a unique app that uses intuitive software experience to help you create connections to make the most of every relationship.
Although Tom usually prefers to lay low and let his work do the talking, he is a vocal advocate for utilizing the power of value-driven relationships for success.
Together with Jack Kosakowski, CEO at Creation Agency, here is a quick synopsis of their discussion, which is packed with game-changing principles.
Tom is full of life, kicking, and beaming with new ideas. He comes in with the perfect amount of edginess and street-savvy that forces you to take an in-depth look at the dying art of having “personal connections.”
After all, utilizing the power of one-to-one relationships is a burning topic, especially in today’s supposedly “connected world.”
Let’s dive in.
A remarkable life journey
Courage and taking bold steps are the two most significant attributes of Tom Chenault’s life. As Tom puts it, “I don’t care if you’re 12 or 60, what you ought to do is make the rest of your life the best of your life, and start right now!”
With a strong belief in the power of the circle of influence, Tom realized quite early in his life that a person who knew the most people and remembered what most people want, is sure to gain success.
Tom knew that if he needed to succeed at the highest level, he needed to sell to rich people – a primary reason why he left a successful managerial level position at a known restaurant.
Then he decided to join a famous aviation company as an airplane salesman. It turned out to be a successful chapter for him, even without any flying experience.
On the back of his extraordinary people skills, Tom moved into the stock brokerage business. Although alcoholism and the stock market is a dangerous combination, he made a tremendous amount of money, while making millionaires out of many people.
As fate would have it, Tom had to leave his stockbroker job, and he was again unemployed. Now with such a varied and inconsistent employment history, he had minimal options. That was the time when multi-level marketing (MLM) happened.
Tom was attracted towards unlimited income opportunity that the MLM industry offered. Struggling with alcohol, this was the time when Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) came to Tom’s rescue. With time he got better both at his sobriety and MLM business.
The stigma around multi-level marketing (MLM)
Multi-level marketing is quite different from any other job. Ideally, when you involve somebody in MLM, you engage them for life… and you’re taking on a serious responsibility.
The problem with the world of MLM today is that everybody thinks that if they take another course, sooner or later they’re going to be successful, and they never are!
First, professionals in the MLM industry need to get out of their (own) way. You have to combine the skills with personal self-development. Things like compassion, rigorous self-inquiry are essential.
You have to learn how to relate to people. You might have to share with them the highs, lows, and your vulnerabilities. Even outside of MLM, it isn’t smartest people that win, it’s the most authentic people that achieve success, while everybody is stuck in their small “skill” circle.
So the core idea is to build your self-esteem first and then use that as a power to leverage the techniques that you learned.
MLM is kind of like the last house on the block. Nobody wants to enter the place, and even if they do, they’d surely hate everybody. This is the kind of environment where you need first to understand yourself.
So you don’t have to copy somebody’s personality. If you’re a superficial bag of bones with a nice suit, you would not be able to make an impact. It would be best if you got out of your head and get into their soul. Try and find out what’s important to them.
Forget your agenda and stop trying to monetize the first time that you meet a prospect, and you might have a chance at a relationship, which is going to create a chance at the sale.
A successful co-founder at 65
With an unending passion towards creating a technology around the science of relationships, Adrian Chenault (Tom’s son) started working on a unique idea. Intrigued by the concept, Tom quickly came on board as a co-founder.
Result – Contact Mapping. A remarkable app that can help you keep the entire history of your contacts on your phone so you can manage and follow-up with your prospects through automation.
With everything available on your phone, you would never lose anybody in the loop again, and that’s the real magic. It’s probably the best way to humanize your address book.
In a world that’s driven by useless vanity metrics (likes, smiles, and upvotes), Contact Mapping app lets you speak to the people, not just at the people.
In fact, it’s far more than an app. This is a permanent solution that solves many problems while offering the user 100% control over their address book.
What’s wrong with most networking groups (and the solution)
In a quest to becoming more connected, the world his become too commercial. The new-age social media channels are far from being safe, and the sense of connection is nowhere to be seen.
For instance, here’s what happens at a typical networking event. Everybody shows up. They go running within the “same circle.” They pitch the same deals to each other that they pitched to each other last week. Everybody gets to know each other better… and life goes on. No tangible results!
Contact Mapping app ensures that every individual that uses the app becomes a walking networking group unto themselves. You can go back to your notes and follow-ups, and surf through the invaluable database of history with every person you meet.
That’s how you connect with like-minded people and live a life that you always dreamt of. Finally, you can understand the humans around you and establish meaningful connections.
Contact Mapping allows you to be an authentic version of yourself – so you don’t have to copy someone else… and it works!
For instance, Tom sincerely believes that the reason he has so many fans is that he is honest and shows people his soul. People buy his story because they feel it’s so fresh.
So if you want to get to the top, be more vulnerable and open up. Everybody has a story that will eventually take you to your goals if you have the time to listen. All you have to do is offer them advice based on their specific needs. That’s how you create a tribe, and you finally fit in.
Isn’t that 100 times better than regular networking?
How much has Facebook Live changed modern businesses?
Facebook Live can have a significant impact. It all comes down to creating valuable content, and you can have as much business as you want.
Facebook Live gives your prospects a chance to know you, up close and personal… and it’s not just about having a planned content strategy. If you see a wrong, go ahead and try to do the right while offering enormous value to your prospects.
If you think on those terms, you’d have many stories that you will be able to share with your audience. Anything that comes from the heart, people know that you mean it, and they can immediately relate with it. That’s the key.
Clearly, it’s not just about gaining skills. You need to invest in your best self. It’s all about the value you can bring in a relationship, personal or professional.
So it is wrong to evaluate each relationship from an ROI standpoint. Just listen to them, offer unique value, and then you are in a position to reap the benefits.
If you do this the right way, then you’ve built a perfect system that’ll benefit you… for years to come.
Tom believes that you just need to help people reach their goals, and you’ll become successful beyond measure.
We hope Tom’s thoughts helped you understand the significance of value-driven relationships for long-term success.
In a messy social landscape that’s cluttered with vanity metrics, you need to look at business relationships systematically. With time, more exciting opportunities will present to you.
Now we’d like to hear from you.
What’s your #1 takeaway from this post?
Alternatively, maybe you have a question.
Whatever the case, please go ahead and leave a comment below.