Network marketing gives you the freedom to call your own shots while making money. Juliet Clark introduces Amy Powers, the bestselling author of No Degree Required: Network Marketing The Ivy League Way. The number one myth Amy wants to bust? You can be an Ivy League degree holder and be a network marketer at the same time! Education is good, but it’s not all good for living in the practical world. Some people manage to pay off the student debt only at retirement age. These days, you get a degree with no guarantee. That’s why engaging in business is a smart choice. If you want to learn more about network marketing the Ivy League way, this episode’s for you.
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No Degree Required Multi-Platform Release With Amy Powers
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Our guest is Amy Powers. She is a Harvard-trained lawyer, Columbia University MBA and an Emmy-nominated songwriter turned Empowerment Coach. She wrote her book in 2021. We published it right before her 60th birthday. That was her accomplishment that she wanted to hit. It is called No Degree Required: Network Marketing the Ivy League Way. She is a network marketer who is also an empowerment coach and is all about showing people how to create income without Corporate America in these times when we all want something different.
The reason that I am talking to Amy in this episode is she is a best-selling author, on the best-seller list and has engaged in a multi-platform strategy that helps her understand her audience better as well as connect with more people than she would have. You would think, “Networking marketing, why would I even want that?” Let me tell you what T. Harv Eker said about her book, “With intellect, integrity and heart, Amy shows how any level of education can succeed by using this newly relevant business model, the Ivy League way.” T. Harv Eker has been the author of many books and knows talent when he sees it.
Welcome to the show, Amy. Everybody is excited to know your story because you have such a unique story that I want to start there. You went to Harvard. You are a very smart woman. You went to Columbia. Why did you go to law school? What did you hope to achieve? What happened?
Juliet and anybody who is reading, I did not go to law school because I had aspirations to be some big lawyer. I went to law school because my mother told me, which I argued so much that maybe I should go to law school. I went to business school first and the reason that I did that was that I found so much prejudice in the advertising world, which was my first career out of college, against women and achievement at that time. Remember, this is back in the day. I thought, “I want to call my shots so I am going to get an MBA.” Law school was an afterthought.
When I got out and interviewed with all the investment bankers, I thought, “Law is nicer and kinder than that.” I was wrong on both accounts. When I got to this Wall Street law firm, my body soul and mind were very unhappy. The only happy thing was my bank account. Thus what began a love-hate relationship with my career because as I went on, I found some things that I loved and hated about each thing that I was doing until I got to the thing I am doing. I left law because you could not pay me enough to keep doing what I was doing and feeling exhausted. My soul was drained.
Not to mention, you lived in New York City in the late ‘80s. If I got my time right here when I was in and out of New York City, it was an expensive place to live no matter how much you made.
There is also something exciting but exhausting about that particular city. I got a spiritual smack upside the head and started writing songs. My switch was radical but I knew that something might come of it. I had to follow that voice. The thing that I discovered was that was another love-hate relationship. I loved all the creativity and what I hated was the unpredictability of having a freelance life. I had some good times and some other times.
You were quite good at it. You won an Emmy.
I was only nominated but I did have a lot of multi-platinum albums. I had a great time. I wrote all the songs for Barbie for about twelve years. I had a whole generation of girls and their moms singing my songs. That was terrific. I had a lot of things that I did in all different genres of music from Pop to Country to Broadway.
There was the thrill factor but as often happens, that is not the only thing that is going on. That love-hate was still in play. I stumbled upon the career that I have as a professional network marketer or a social marketer through someone in the music business. I thought I was talking to her about a new music business that she was going to offer me.
What made me write the book is that my experience was not unique that I was in a place where my work was not working for me. A lot of us go about our days feeling like we have to keep up this facade that everything is good especially in our jobs. We want to be seen as powerful, have not made any errors and do the thing.
This is fast-forwarding. My 23-year-old self is in the business. It is a young person’s game. The business had shifted. It was going online but nobody had figured out how to make any money online yet. It got so unpredictable when my expenses were so predictable. I had been married and had two young kids, looking at the mortgage bill and everything every month. Things did not feel good.
When I was offered this opportunity to speak to somebody in what I thought was a music business opportunity, I said yes because I was looking for something. I just did not want to tell anybody but I had no idea what I was looking for. I was looking for a solution and I found it in the most unlikely place which is this network marketing space. That is how I ended up in this profession.
I have spent the last number of years, first with my side hustle and then with my main gig. It is my joy. I do it for the joy of being able to serve other people and have them be helped through the same issues that I had. I finally have a love-love relationship with my work, how I make my money and the freedom that it gives me because it is such a unique thing to be able to do to call your shots.
I read your bio and your book is called No Degree Required. Talk about that because if I looked at you and said, “I can’t do that because she has got a Columbia MBA and Harvard law. She is good at everything,” but that is not true. Debunk that a little bit.
What is interesting about things like degrees is that it means you are good at one thing. It does not mean you are good at everything. One of the things that I had to get over was being innately shy. I am delighted to talk to people one at a time but I had that frozen deer in the headlights thing when I would speak in front of more than one person.Use all the available tools to better ourselves and other people's lives. Click To Tweet
We all come to this life where we have things to work on. That was one of my big stumbling blocks. I had panic attacks my first year in business. I would talk myself through them. I have a lot of coaching because this is a very collaborative business. There’s a lot of community support about this but everybody knew that that was one of my big problems.
I got the support I needed to the degree that one year, I was asked to train at our company’s annual worldwide event at the MGM Grand in Vegas. I spoke in front of over 10,000 people. That was not me who started this business. I want to debunk the myth that people who have fancy degrees have nothing more than wall art. Many people can do many things. Many of them are a lot better than I could because I had those educational experiences but I also want to say that a lot of people feel that this business model, network marketing social marketing is somehow beneath them because they do have degrees.
In my business, I have had Yale graduates. I know a bunch of people who are doctors. Other lawyers who are doing this. There are many professionals in all kinds of areas. That is something that needs the lid blown off it because when I was younger, this thing was for people who could not get a real job. As we have seen with the Great Resignation, people are reevaluating their lives saying, “What do I want?” The other thing that I got to see as a mom is not everybody is meant to do certain things and you do not have to.
I was looking at my kids’ entire generation, “What is possible? How can you earn money without having to be tied to one place or having to go into an office? A lot of people I know love to travel but how can you work that in?” Even the people who are not traveled bugs may have other things that they are required to do. For example, I am helping my mom. She has stage four brain cancer. She lives 3,000 miles away. Had I not had my network marketing business, let’s say I had a regular job, I could not have picked up and taken seven weeks off to be with her for her surgery. Life happens. I wanted to spread the word that this is something flexible and sensible. I felt like I had to write the book.
In 2010 when I built this business, my goal was to be able to work from anywhere. When my mother passed in 2016, it was the same thing. I had the flexibility to take my laptop and go. When I moved to Utah, I unplugged it in California on August 5th, 2016 and plugged it back in Utah on August 6th, 2016. That is the thing you can build your life around.
The other thing there with the degree is what you did was very specialized but for most people, it’s like, “Do you have tenacity?” A lot of those degrees are theory unless you are an engineer building bridges. Going in the real world is going to be a different experience anyway. For most people, that degree does not apply to something specific they are going to be doing in the world.
You have spent so much to get the degree. That was another thing. I saw with my kids growing up that there was no direct translation between the amount that was spent on the degree, the amount of debt that a lot of people ended up in and then what skills they had that could help them in the world. People are getting another degree with no guarantee. It does not make sense.
A friend of mine, her husband is very successful academically but is also a doctor. I remember seeing them celebrate online the fact that at 60 years old, he had finally paid off his last student loan. I thought to myself, “What is wrong with this picture?” That is not what we are here for. We are not here to carry the weight on our shoulders of all the debt, sweat and regret of that. It is too much.
I was very lucky. I paid for my kids and got them through without debt. The difference between them and their friends is between, “I can go out on the weekend and I can’t.” Nobody has paid in on their student loans so it is different. There are so many degrees out there. I look at them and go, “Where are you going to use that in the real world? What were your parents thinking?”
All education is good but it is not all good for living in the practical world. What I wanted to do is bust the myths of, “You must do this to get that and have this career.” Watching the last number of years, people are looking at their lives and saying, “Do I want this? Do I want something else?” I wanted people to get some clarity about one other option something else that could be smart for them whether it is to make a few hundred extra bucks a month or to replace a six-figure income. This stuff does not happen by magic. You still have to be tenacious, coachable and committed but there is a path. There are thousands of companies that work in this space and utilize this as their business model social marketing and network marketing. Why not find one that fits your values?
I am one of those people with a useless degree. I arrive at cocktail parties and tell you what chemicals uncouple phosphorylation in a beetle.
What was your degree?
It’s Ornamental Horticulture. I have a lot of useless knowledge growing around in my head. I do not have house plants because I know why I am killing them yet I do not stop. That technically makes me a serial plant killer.
I was looking to do something where people did not have to listen to what other people told them to find out what was real. That is another thing that is happening so much. People look at a little bit of information from one person or an online source who knows what the belly of that source is and then they decide, “I should or should not do something in my life.” That is not a smart way to go about it.Look for something that makes sense in your life, and take responsibility to make it happen. Click To Tweet
The world is a very shallow place. You see that a lot with the experts too. You look at some of the experts and I will not say what city is the capital of the United States but you look at their resumes and they have got a lot of book-smart but they do not have a lot of real-world smart. The flip side of that is then we have experts who look and go, “Network marketing. What Amy does looks easy. I will write a book on it even though I have never done it.” There is a lot of that going on too.
There are a lot of people who are not writing books, who are looking at it and making a decision about what it is or is not. Whether you are commenting on it or watching, it does not matter whether you hang yourself out as an expert or not. It matters what you are doing in the world. It is incumbent upon those of us who are doing good things in the world and using all the available tools to better ourselves, our lives and other people’s lives to share them. That is how I ended up doing this book. It was a 60th birthday present for me. It was great when it got to be an Amazon number one book. I have you to thank for that.
You did a lot of work too. It was your 60th birthday that you wanted this out by. Also, you were on the bestseller list for over a week and most people are on it for a day and then they are gone. Something else takes over. You put a lot of work into it. You had a smart strategy that I wanted to talk about. You published in softcover and on Kindle. Your book did pretty well. You found a whole bunch of money you did not even know you had.
As the year marched by, there were bigger problems that happened. You discovered that in the original target market, you have a much broader one than most people because people of all ages are resigning and are coming into this. We switched and added some strategies to get to that younger market. A lot of people are jumping off of Amazon and the younger demographics. Talk about that because your group is wide like 25 to 70.
It is 18 to 80. That is the age range of the people on my team. I am using my team as an example. It is people who are starting and people who are looking for something as a later chapter and everything in between. I wanted to have an eBook that would be readily accessible. I also decided a lot of people are just listening so I want to have an audiobook. I did that too. That is coming out very soon. I feel like with all of that, whoever is meant to hear, see or absorb it will get it.
A lot of what was going on here too is people learn in different ways. Some people like that book and they like to read. We talk about that all the time. There is a generation that likes carrying a book around. Other people like to consume it online and then others like to hear it or in some cases, even see it. We have one author who reads from a hammock on his front porch. It is hilarious but people tune in on Facebook. Merrill Chandler would go out every day on his lunch break in the backyard. He has a home business. He would open up Facebook live and read a chapter of the book from his hammock.
It is social media and also author communication in a powerful way. People will start to tune in to hear your next thing.
That is exactly what they do. It is easy content. You read your book. You did all of this because you wanted to reach all those groups. That multi-platform, for those of you who do not know, eBook reading in 2021 went at 24%. That was because the price of papers went up and the paper shortages.
I am working with my great friend, May Wuthrich, an award-winning audiobook producer for Penguin Random House and a bunch of others. She told me that audiobook sales went up 40% in 2021.
I go through 6 or 7 books a month on Audible. Everywhere I go, I have earbuds in my ear, which is why I can’t hear anymore. Audiobooks went up as well because people are consuming in the car and when they are out exercising. A lot of people with home businesses like you and I have, between clients they will sit there and have something going while they are working. What was so smart about what Amy did was she started in March 2021 and released. She then has another release. We did the eBook, the extended distribution. By June 2021, her other Audible book will be out. Every bump is an invite for the readers to come back and re-look at this book.
It is an invite to tell the audience that you have already told them that there is something new happening. It is a reminder and a way to reach new people and for the older audience who might not have gone there yet with you. “If you did not take it here, you can do it this way, that way or the other way.”
I hear from a lot of business people that they listened to a book and then if they wanted it as a resource, they will go buy the softcover. I remember going to the bookstore and picking up a handful of books. I do not do that anymore. If I find value in the audiobook then I will go back and buy that as a resource.
That is great for authors because it is a double-dip.
What would you tell people about this industry? You want them to run out and buy your book. I love your strategy for it but what people thrive in this business?We need to care because the world needs us to be at our best. Click To Tweet
People who thrive in this business are self-motivated. They are not waiting for permission. They are saying, “I am looking for something that makes sense in my life and I will take responsibility to help it happen.” People who are good in this business are also people people. They get that warm, fuzzy hit when they relate to other people, help them with something and have a solution to an issue that somebody is having. It is a business for profit but it is also a way to care and get paid for it.
The biggest thing about this is when you look at it as a sales job, people do not know I am not any good at sales but if you are a people person, this is a help job.
I love that you said that because that was also another thing that I stumbled over. I was the anti-sales human. I am not a salesperson. I am a share person. Everything that I find in my life that I love, I share it. I went on a walk, saw a cute dog and posted a picture of it. I am sharing my enthusiasm with the world. That is easy for me but to sell something, that is not me. What I realized during my career with my company is that we are all salespeople. We are selling ideas. If I want my husband to see a certain movie and not another movie, I am going to sell him on the idea of why this one is so good.
I have a client. She is like, “I got to buy that. Give me 1 day or 2. I have to get some cigars and liquor.” There was a whole routine then she would come and pay our bill.
It is the sales as service thing that lit me up. I understood that people are going to sell themselves on things that feel right to them. If I know what somebody is looking for and I ask them, “What are you looking for?” They tell me, “I might have an idea or something for that.” In network marketing, what is interesting is sometimes it is just the product.
I work with a company that has a huge range of products that people use inside and out every day. I might help people with their nutritional needs and skincare needs. Some people are looking for products and some people are looking for the opportunity to create income and help themselves in or out of some situation that they are in. I can offer them one, the other or both.
Amy told you about another skill she has. She does not only love people. She is a listener.
You have to be a good listener. Otherwise, people will not want to listen to you. You have to find out and care. “Are you sleeping at night? Are you feeling exhausted or energized?” I need to know and I care because the world needs us to all be at our best. My philosophy is we are all here to help and support each other. Every grown-up knows what is going to work for them if they give it a chance. We train people on how to listen and not just talk to somebody.
Amy, where do we find you if we want to know more about what you do, how you do it and your book?
On Instagram, you can go @HappyHealthyWithAmy or go just for the book and some of my coaching services to @AmyPowersLA. You can find me on LinkedIn at Amy Powers. You can write to me at AmyLynnePowers@gmail.com. Text is my jam. I will respond away. (323) 646-4135.
Thank you for sharing with us, Amy.
Juliet, I adore you. I love the work we have done together. You have been so supportive and playful. I always say that I am looking for paymates and playmates. You fit the bill.
Thank you. It’s sweet. It has been fun working with you too.
- Superbrand Publishing
- No Degree Required: Network Marketing the Ivy League Way
- Harv Eker
- Amy Powers
- May Wuthrich
- @HappyHealthyWithAmy – Instagram
- @AmyPowersLA – Instagram
- Amy Powers – LinkedIn
About Amy Powers
Amy Powers is a Harvard-trained Lawyer, Columbia University MBA, and Emmy-nominated songwriter turned Empowerment Coach.