Circle of Entrepreneurial Success –> Much Like the Circle of Life

From offline to online to midline to every line…..

In my world, a full circle has been completed. For the past 4 months I’ve felt a sense of intense relief. I no longer spend hours creating content and social networking in order to develop income. Yet I still use those skills and tools to build the most lucrative business of my career. It’s a very cool circle of development, when explored from a bird’s eye view..

Five years ago I began as a network marketer – Old School.

Three foot rule and all that, and I did fairly well but it was a struggle. In retrospect, my lack of experience and the product category itself contributed to the struggle (but that’s a different story).

The struggle led me online and I dove into the internet, first with Mike Dillard and Magnetic Sponsoring and then into using Better Networker for community and attraction marketing. I moved into Ann Sieg’s writings and expanding my internet marketing skills using blogs and self-created lead capture pages.

I amassed quite a large network of connections, friends and even a mastermind group.

Did I make money?

Not really.

I made some. I covered my costs and brought in a small profit.

I spend 100’s and 100’s of hours creating online content and focusing on self Branding. Deborah Tutnauer, Inc.

At the time the message from Dillard, Sieg and others was to brand oneself without letting people know your primary MLM. In fact, not even letting on initially that there was an MLM lurking in the background. Everyone was coached to become the coach. Look at how Mentoring For Free developed like gang busters during that time. That was the mindset. The plan was that people would be attracted to ME, INC and my value and then want to come work with me after working their way through my funnel of affiliate and self created products. The list would grow generically and a decent number of people would move through the funnel and exit right into my network marketing company.

A whole industry developed during that time, created to teach people how to get a list. Whether it was Magnetic Sponsoring, or MLMSP, or The Renegade Network Marketer, or Klingler’s Renegade University, the philosophy spawned a sub industry who’s goal was to teach people to affiliate market their system in order to develop a list, in order to bring the list ultimately into one’s network marketing company.

In my opinion, it got out of hand. Many (most) who signed up and on made some affiliate income but did not convert most of those people into members of their down line..

In fact, in retrospect I think the value was much more in the communities that developed, than in the actual methods and products. If at the time this was all going on, specific network marketing companies had reasonably priced, excellent quality products and a SYSTEM in place to use the internet in a 21st century manner to market, there would not have been the need… (another story too…)

I loved that period of time in my own professional development, because it was hugely expansive and led to a community of connections that are now priceless. That time period led to this group. It led to knowing Mark Hoverson, Ann Sieg, Eric Walker and others, as friends and colleagues. In that way it totally “worked”.

The price?? An inordinate amount of time with a financial return not commensurate with the time.

The price?? A feeling of stress related to needing to be in front of people online, everyday, or lose traction in the online world.

So back to the circle of entrepreneurial success and life….

I am now making more money, having more fun and feeling more relaxed than I have in my business life in five years. And I’m still online..still making new connections on the internet
But it’s not this stressful feeling of needing to stay in the loop and in front of people all the time.

It is so amazing to me..
Relief is the word that keeps arising in my mind..
So much energy was spent on BRANDING
And I made many connections..but not much money
Now I’m just following the very simple Visalus system..regardless of where I meet the or off..
And it’s just amazing..and simple and I don’t spend hours doing things that don’t yield an income

I have a team that is growing exponentially and duplicating, because the system is so simple. Teaching people the concept of attraction marketing was simple. But for most people, putting in the hours and riding the steep learning curve to truly develop a business with just the attraction marketing concepts, was really difficult. Most could not and did not succeed. Thus team duplication did not occur.

Since most network marketing companies did not give people the right tools either, the result was mass frustration.

I love that I don’t have to see people succumb to that anymore.

I have come full circle, as I said in the beginning of this post. I am back to including my company as part of my brand. There is no reason to hide that I’m a promoter of the Body By Vi Challenge. Not only is Visalus the fastest growing company in the industry right now (678% in 2010), but we have created a SYSTEM that is customer focused, designed for today’s economy and simple for anyone to plug into and make money.

A curious observation to share: I have three solid legs in my network marketing business. Two are much more solid than the third. Here is my crazy observation., take if for what it’s worth and comment with your thoughts. My least solid leg is comprised of people who are focusing their energies 95% on branding themselves online and leading into their Body By Vi business through the back door. My most successful legs are filled with people who are not wavering at all from the system that Visalus teaches. Even though that system includes online marketing and Facebook in particular, it is not teaching to develop a brand first before building a business and making money. The order is different and in my opinion now that I’ve come full circle, the order that they teach is much more effective and efficient and replicatable by anyone!

The sticky learning curve of pure online attraction marketing is what I now see is holding people back..
Those who are taking action in Vi are making money. Those who keep thinking about how to..are not.. especially when it comes to just relying on the internet..unless it’s peoplel who are skilled enough to be generating a lot of Melanie Milletics… and even she has stepped back from branding her ME, Inc, and is now incorporating her role as a promoter of the Challenge, into all that she does. Melanie has been my mentor and is now my upline and partner. She is by far the best female internet/network marketer that I know. Even she is following and teaching the Vi system and getting better results than when she did it the other way. She too, has come full circle!

The circle of Entrepreneurial Success..from beginning to middle to end..which is right back and the beginning with many more tools and skills. If you are still not seeing serious money from all that you have done, learned and accomplished over the last few years , feel free to contact me and we’ll talk. The lightbulb went on for me about four months ago.


Deborah Tutnauer

Entrepreneur Business Success Coach at Deborah Tutnauer, LLC
Inspiring change in people for over 25 years, Deborah Tutnauer, MEd, MSWdigs deep to help authentic entrepreneurs move away from the stories that no longer serve them while clarifying and solidifying those that really do! Deborah helps frustrated entrepreneurs get exquisitely clear about meaning, purpose and expertise, then facilitates the creation of a financially sustainable and joyfully structured framework in which business and business people thrive.

Coaching both privately and in groups, Deborah is also a speaker, author, event leader and consultant. Creator of the Foundation and Framework Intensive, Question Master and Leader of the Entrepreneur Business Success Club, Deborah has been called an “Architect of Magical Business and Soul Structure”by her clients because she has a powerful ability to perform alchemy, changing passions and dreams into money and time by design.

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  1. says

    I totally see myself in your shoes, Deborah. It may have taken a while to find where you fit but you have arrived and all that you have experienced before will only serve to make you a better relationship builder.

  2. says

    Love the circle analogy. It’s very fitting and accurate.

    I really like the way you have laid it all out there. We’ve been on this journey together, maybe not hand-in-hand, but at least during the same time frame.

    Interesting to see a time line of the different trends and strategies that we’ve all tried. Just reading about how much time it has taken … made me feel suddenly very tired!

    It actually sounds more like an upward spiral than a circle – you are back to the beginning in some ways, but on a higher level, wiser at least.

    Great to hear you are doing well; I’d like to hear more details.


  3. Deborah says

    You are so right Mike..definitely an upward spiral. It’s funny, that’s how I see it in my mind, but not how I wrote about it…

    Also funny… you of all people were on my mind today and I went back through lists and communities. It’s been too long my friend.. We need to get on the phone!!


  4. says

    Hi Deborah,
    Glad to hear that you’re finding your path. In the beginning we all have to go through the learning curve and rely on others to lead us.As we become more learned, we are better able to find our own way;putting together the pieces that makes us unique.

    • Deborah says

      I agree Pam… I’ve been an entrepreneur for 20 years.. only the last five have brought me onto the internet and into the Brave New World of internet marketing. I love it. As a student of behavior for 30 years, I am always cognizant of the social winds that cause certain ideas and methods to rise and fall, in and out of favor. I’m so intrigued by my own journey through it all, and by the journey of so many that I’ve meant in the past few years. It’s exciting to see how it all turns out for everyone…and to know that their is never really an end.. instead, an ongoing adventure!

  5. says

    Hi Deborah,

    Loved your article! In the beginning…online marketing sounded so easy, so sexy, so profitable. Then I realized, as most do, it’s really very hard work to do JUST online marketing. Especially when there are so many different ways to market, that can be simpler to learn, and certainly more profitable right away. Online marketing is extremely powerful, but for the newbies coming in, I always recommend a variety of marketing methods to attract and sell (so people can be profitable within the first week or at least month of starting their business).

    It’s been a long journey, with countless hours…and I am also finding some time to finally ‘chill’. I’ve gone to the four-day work week, staying extremely focused, and even getting ready to work an entirely different market (acupuncturists!), and open a fourth business (horses!).

    I appreciate your insight, frankness, and refreshing views! Looking forward to connecting with you when you are back in town.


    Alicia Bausley

    • Deborah says

      Hi Alicia…I’ve been hearing about your new place and your horses..and thinking about you often. Thank you for taking the time to comment!!

      Be Well,

  6. says

    As you and I discussed, you are spot on to what is happening all over the internet. I admire the way you wrote it and put your heart out there. So happy to have met and connected with you on the net. I will be in your neck of the woods for a week at the end of March and would love to get together. Talk to you later,

  7. says

    Great analogy on the Circle and Very Good Input on the Evolution and use of the Technology and Techniques. Thank you for this perspective. It is very helpful.
    Great Timing to see this again as well, especially after receiving the May – June 2011 issue of Networking Times (Moving the Heart of Business) with the focus on GEN Y: What Makes Them Tick ? When I put this altogether it was very enlightening. NOW Time for ACTION !
    Thanks Again.


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