“I want to leave my job in 2 years” recalled entrepreneur David Delevante. About 11 years ago, Delevante was standing in front of a room of 20 people including his wife, when for the first time in front of anyone he said he was going to leave his six-figure position as a Naval Architect to work full-time on his USANA network marketing business. It was this “light bulb moment” that laid the foundation for Delevante’s success. As he explained “a goal isn’t really a goal until it has a time limit” so when Delevante made that statement in front of group of network marketers, it empowered him. Delevante recalls that while the statement almost caused his wife to “fall out of her chair,” it was a moment that changed their lives.
The success wasn’t overnight and he wasn’t born with the entrepreneurial mindset. The youngest of 8 children, he was the first of his siblings to go to college and as he said he was trained in the tradition of going to school and “working for the man.” Even without entrepreneurial experience, Delevante was able to make the transition to become a business owner of Delevante Health Enterprises and build a successful network marketing business. It was in 2003 that he began to focus on trying to make his part-time business a full-time business and developing the skills to be a successful entrepreneur and in January of 2005, his focus and hard work paid off when he was able to walk away from his job.
2 years prior to leaving his day job, Delevante actually worked more hours on his job than he ever had in his previous 20 years. He spent 60+ hours per week between traveling and working on projects. It was during this time that Delevante decided to do what he called a “Power Hour.” This was time he squeezed in during his lunch hour or during weekends to focus on the essential activities of his business. During this “Power Hour,” Delevante would intensely focus on doing vital activities to help his business grow into a quarter million dollar business. These activities included “throwing out a broad net” to speak with anyone about his business and learning conversational skills to ask people what was going on in their lives and becoming a problem solver. If a person was in danger of being laid off, he would introduce the business opportunity. If a person’s child was having issues with asthma at football practice, he would introduce the product side of his business. Finally, he invested in people that “wanted” to achieve a goal and people that he wanted to empower.
Spending his time training distributors and those that have failed with network marketing in the past, Delevante’s first piece of advice is to “not do anything that he did within the first five years because it was all bad.” During the 2 years that followed, Delevante experienced what he called a mindset change where his USANA business became less of a hobby for him and more of an opportunity to empower other people. They started using the USANA products because Delevante’s wife was having problems with fatigue and the USANA products helped her. Later, they decided to join the business. In the same way, he provides products that could help clients and he also provides a way for people to leave their jobs and work for themselves. Once he made the decision that he would quit his job, he had a mission so whether it was a good or bad week Delevante knew that he was on the clock to leave his job within 2 years. It was this mindset that helped his business take off.
Delevante Health Enterprises focuses on three man categories: providing supplements, glutten free foods (including shakes and bars) and a skin line. Typical clients are interested in losing weight, managing blood sugar, or increasing athletic performance. He also helps aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners get started. “That’s my passion” explains Delevante. He looks for people that “have a strong why” or “really hate something like a long commute.” With this, Delevante knows that he is a problem solver and coach to those that aspire to be entrepreneurs and business owners.
Tips & Advice from David Delevante
- Visit a bunch of Business Networking International groups (BNI’s) and find one that relational clicks with you. It might be a group of 10 members but they could be a good match for you.
- People don’t buy your product or service, they buy you.
- If you plan to make calls, make them one after another. Don’t take a break in between. You don’t have to hype yourself up in between each call.
- Talking to people and developing relationships are the only things that pay in network marketing.
- In network marketing, people think it’s who you know. It’s usually not who you know. If you make a list of 20 people, it is usually not who’s on that list that will work with you. Sometimes it’s a brother-in-laws, friend’s, friend that helps your business.
- Talk to someone who is successful and is going to be honest about the cost (things you have to do to be successful).
- Work on yourself first. Work on your own belief and understand that you are worthy of success.
- Follow a system and work the system.
David Delevante has countless success stories on the business side and also clients that have used Usana products. His book”I Am Free” is a quick read which is a fictional story on network marketing and the process on how the main character trains to be successful. Delevante is also the President of the Woodbridge Connection BNI Group that meets Wednesdays at 8:30 AM. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Trisha, and is a father to 4 children. He can be reached on this contact page to speak face-to-face or online with anyone in the world.