Milena Milivojevic on Pet Protector, CEO Mindset, and Being Queen Bee
Milena Milivojevic had just gotten divorced, lost her mother, and had shut down her business when she discovered network marketing. Her powerful story.
Wow Milena. Thanks you for this interview. You have a powerful story that I’m excited to learn more about. So, let’s get started!
Where were you born and raised, what was childhood like, and what did you want to be when you ‘grew up?’
I live in Zajecar, that’s a small town in Serbia. Serbia is a country in East Europe with poor economy, but it’s a beautiful country with good people. Back when I was born and throughout my childhood, the economy was a lot better, unemployment wasn’t even an issue.
My brother and me, we had a happy childhood. Our family would travel to different countries for a summer holiday, every year, and we used to spend the rest of our summer holidays in the village with our grandparents and other relatives.
We had 13 vineyards, a 200 year old wine cellar, a lot of domestic animals, grandmom used to make the best food ever and for us, children, it was the time of our lives.
I remember that throughout my teenage days, I was very passionate about fashion design, in fact all my notebooks were drawn with fashion sketches and I did have a big desire to go to an art school, but unfortunately my father wouldn’t let me pursue that dream because the art school was located in another town and I was only 15.
So, I wasn’t left with much choice but to go to the High School of Economics. I did, later in life, get to at least design clothes for myself as well as my wedding dress. Although I was successful at any job I was given throughout my life, I do think it’s a terrible mistake to suffocate a young person’s passion for certain profession.
What did your parents do for a living and was there any Entrepreneurship in the family?
My mother worked as an accountant in the Cable Factory. I guess she also didn’t get to do what she was passionate about, since she was a very talented poet and dressmaker.
I must of have inherited passion for art from her. She was getting ready to publish her first poetry book, but unfortunately, she died of cancer before it was published. We did it soon after she died and it’s called “Heart as a Gift”.
My father was a salesman for a confectionery factory for many years and then an entrepreneur for many years as well. He owned a chain supply company that was very successful at the time.
In fact, his father was also an entrepreneur even during the WW2, he owned a very successful butchery. It turns out that I inherited a strong entrepreneurial gene from them.
You went through a very tough time when you lost your mother, got divorced, and lost your business. What kept you going?
I got divorced right after my son was born in 1997, but I can’t say that it was a very hard time for me. I felt relieved without drama in my life.
My mother was there to help me with my baby boy, I was financially independent, my dad had a successful company, so nothing was missing, those were happy times until my son got ill with severe pneumonia which later turned into asthma.
I have to admit, if it wasn’t for my mother who was a lot more experienced with parenting than me, who knows what would happen. She was there for a reason and my son is now a handsome young man that I am proud of.
Next, I was a young mother myself and an owner of specialized chain supply company at the time my mother died of colon cancer (December 2000). It was an extremely hard time for me since I was very close with my mom. She was such a good and caring soul and too young to die (52).
I was devastated but my son was the one who kept me moving on. I had to, I was a single mom, no one was left to help me, since my father moved to another town with another woman, my brother had a job that wasn’t sufficient for all of us, so as a parent, you have to move on and support your child, there isn’t any other choice.
The economy in the country got worse after a few years, the market has changed and I had to close my company in the worst moment ever, since at that time I owed over $40,000 to banks and suppliers. Imagine, a single mom in a small town of a small country with bad economy, unemployed with debts of over $40,000.
I remember very clearly that one day, the only food I have left was a small frozen chicken. I baked it and while I was watching my little boy eating it, I crashed. I was broken.
That’s the moment that changed everything – I made a strong decision that I will never, ever let that happen again no matter what. It’s then that I decided to do everything in my power to again become financially independent, all by myself without anyone’s help.
I could try to find a husband, get married and solve my problems that way but honestly, it never crossed my mind. I wanted to do it myself, I didn’t want to depend on anyone and later in life, based on many other people’s experiences I realized that it was a very smart decision.
I strongly believe that every individual must have their own source of income, at least a small one, at least enough to feed their child without depending on anyone else.
How did extreme debt motivate you in the right direction towards network marketing?
After I closed my company (around 2003), I didn’t find network marketing right away. I was familiar with MLM concept, but the way it was done back then, the old way, was not attractive to me. I started working for a Copyright Agency as a representative.
Of course, that was not my dream job and the salary wasn’t enough to pay back my debts plus provide a decent life for my son and me. So I started searching the internet for an additional work from home that I could do when I am not on the road.
That’s when I first discovered online marketing and it was a revelation! It was exactly what I was looking for. An interesting profession that I can do in my pajamas, where my income was not limited and where I didn’t have to invest a fortune.
Oh, you should have seen me getting my first Debit Card which could be used for online payments (not all of them had that feature back then), so I can get started with online marketing.
When I got a call from the Bank that my Card arrived, it was a very snowy winter, I lived in a small alley and I was the only person with a car. No one cleared the road and my car would get stuck if I tried to get to the main road.
So I took a shovel and cleared up the entire alley myself just to be able to drive out. I did get stuck anyway, so I called neighbors to help me and finally after many hours, I was out on my way to the Bank. No snow could stop me.
So, my plan was to continue working for the Copyright Agency until I start earning enough with online marketing. I remember I was working 18 hours a day online and the only time I let myself be distracted was when I had to take care of my son.
I stopped watching TV, I stopped going out with friends, I ate in my lap in front of my computer. Someone may call it crazy, but I call it determination.
Now when I look back, I realize one important thing – if I didn’t fall so low, if I was in a situation to provide basic needs, perhaps I wouldn’t give 110% effort to change my life. Now I know – if you want to become super successful, you have to do it as your life depends on it.
What was your first two years like in network marketing, and what are the three best tips you have for new network marketers?
Surprisingly, I didn’t earn much in the first 2 years, actually almost nothing. Why was I working 18 hours a day you may ask? I was learning. Learning and practicing. The company I worked with at the time was more an educational platform than a profitable opportunity.
The fact that I wasn’t earning didn’t make me quit, it never crossed my mind. I simply knew that there is a big potential in this profession and most importantly, I realized that online marketing is a profession, like any other. In regards to that, my first tip for network marketers is this:
Don’t look at Network Marketing as a game. It’s a profession, a very serious one. Can you look a YouTube video of a surgeon performing appendix removal and say – well this is a piece of cake, I just watched the video, now I’ll do it? Of course you can’t.
Yes you know how to turn on your laptop, yes you know how to send an email, yes you have a Facebook profile, yes you are able to fill out the form and join a Network Marketing company, but that doesn’t make you knowledgeable about Network Marketing profession. You need to be coachable and open to learning without big expectations at the beginning of your career.
Tip No2: If you have problems with self confidence – do something about it urgently. It’s impossible to succeed in any business if you are shy to talk to people, if you don’t believe you can do everything that you put your mind into and if you constantly limit yourself with excuses like: I don’t know how to record a video, I am not internet savvy, I don’t know how to download Skype, etc. Go to shrink, read books about self confidence, watch videos, do whatever you can to get yourself together and let’s rock and roll!
Tip No3: You need to take daily action. Repeated action. Start with basic step and that is – prospect (online or offline) a minimum of 2 people a day and then increase the number every 2 weeks. Once you get to talk to 20 prospects a day, you’ll be already making good money.
In the meantime, make sure you do a quality follow up with prospects and leads and absolutely do your best to establish communication with new team members and help them get started. Prospect – follow up – close – support, that’s what you have to do every day.
Tip No4 (bonus): If you are a person who feels they are the most important on the planet and that the world owes you something, then change your mindset right away. For me, that mindset is just a reflection of laziness.
The company you signed up with, after they deliver the initial package you purchased – doesn’t owe you anything. Your sponsor – doesn’t owe you anything. You started your own business at your own free will and now you have to prove yourself with your results – show how much you’re worth.
Then, you can expect some recognition. If you have people with this mindset on your team, don’t you dare adulate them. Give them a small goal to reach, give them the tools to reach this goal and your job is done. You shouldn’t spend more of your precious time with them until they do their job. Complainers have no place in the world of entrepreneurship.
You now have a downline of over 50,000 people in your primary MLM, can you tell us how you did that, and why your team calls you “queen bee”?
I joined Pet Protector in March 2012, right after they have launched the business. It is not just my primary business, it’s my only business. I strongly believe that someone who has an ambition to become a top earner in one company cannot possibly run more than one business at a time. For many reasons.
The way I did it is simple – I work every day. I am organized and disciplined. There’s nothing I can’t do, there may be something I don’t know how to do at the moment, but if someone else did it, there’s no reason why I can’t. That’s my motto.
In Network Marketing, it’s important that we understand how the compensation plan works. If there’s a bigger income potential in growing the team in order to increase the foundation for a rising, residual income than selling the product to customers, then that’s what I’ll be focusing on.
I am selling and recruiting from day one and that must not stop, even when we have a huge downline and I am very much involved with supporting all my downline regardless of who sponsored them.
After proving myself to the company with the results I have made and all the training webinars I have held, the company supported me and now the recordings of my training webinars are featured in the Members’ Back Offices.
I was also trusted to administrate the Pet Protector Member’s support group on Facebook and became an official Coordinator, which means that I play a role of a ‘bridge’ between the Company and the rest of the world, providing them with feedback from members and customers, as well as helping members resolve any issues that they may have if it requires sharing their screen, resolving technical difficulties, detailed explanation, etc.
But I have to point out, I am still ‘just’ a Distributor (with top Titles I have earned by meeting all the conditions like everyone else), I get paid as a Distributor and I feel that what I do is something that every responsible leader and ambitious entrepreneur should do.
I guess that my actions and results are the reason why members gave me a nickname “Queen Bee”. I think they see me as someone who knows everything :). But again, I don’t see myself as an ‘alien’, I really think that everyone who starts a business with a Network Marketing company should do exactly the same. Unfortunately, it seems that not many people actually do it.
I’ve never heard of an MLM that caters to pets. Can you tell us about Pet Protector?
You are right. Pet Protector is the only global Network Marketing company that offers a pet product and the only company in general that offers this kind of pet product.
You will probably agree with me that the market is saturated with all kinds of products, especially wellness and anti-aging products. It’s almost impossible to find a market with a low competition, but Pet Protector did it – they tapped into a zero-competition market that ‘weights’ over $150 billion a year.
We work with only one product which is a big advantage – much easier for distributors to work with a single product. The product we have is very important as it literally saves pet lives.
It’s called the Pet Protector Disc, it’s a revolutionary invention made of high-quality steel alloys, charged with Magnetic and Scalar Waves which form an impenetrable protective ‘shield’ around an animal which then repels fleas, ticks and mosquitoes for an entire 4-year period.
It’s very important to point out that it is 100% chemical-free. Needless to say – it’s a lot more practical than other anti-parasite products (just fasten it to a pet’s collar), costs 20 times less than other anti-parasite products over the course of 4 years, it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals like popular flea and tick products which all contain very dangerous toxins that damage pet’s health, can be used on pets of any age and weight and – it’s needed by every pet owner on the planet!
All pet owners need to protect their furry friends from fleas and ticks and the Pet Protector Disc is by all means the best solution there is.
Business wise – the compensation plan is extremely profitable (5 types of commissions, volume profit from unlimited levels of the downline from direct and indirect members), is very simple to understand – no points or other incomprehensible elements – everything shown in USD so we know what we earned at any moment.
We get paid right on time – every time, so all in all, I think it’s one of the best business opportunities today, and it’s new – only 4 years on the market. But more importantly, Pet Protector is a business you don’t do ‘cold-blooded’, just for the sake of making money.
This is a business you do with a purpose. A purpose of making a difference in the world of pets while helping people become financially independent by doing what they truly love. And that’s important.
No one can stay in business long enough to become super successful if they do it just for the sake of money. There has to be passion and a higher goal.
How does someone act like a CEO in their MLM and attract leaders, and why does posture matter?
This is something I wrote about in my blog – when people join a Network Marketing Company, at least many of them, have a weird picture in their mind, that they play for one team and that the company is their opponent. Something like: ‘hey I paid THEM to join THEIR business, now they should treat me like a king, if they screw up just a tiny little thing, I am gonna go public and tell everyone they are scam, just as I thought’.
Well… It’s not that way at all. Companies need members, they can’t live without them and they want their members to be happy so they can have them in the business for a long time.
Members pay monthly obligations, they sell products and bring new people, well of course that Companies want their members satisfied, how else they can keep them in the business?
The same way members need Companies, they can’t work without them. So, we are all in the SAME TEAM. If I see that the Company eventually made some mistake, perhaps a word on the website, or if I feel that we can all do better if they add something new, I will let them know as their business partner, not as a complainer!
Also, I will take care of my business completely – without waiting for the Company or anyone else to do what a responsible entrepreneur should do anyway – prospect, follow up, support my team. I am taking it a step further, for example: I would schedule a training webinar for my team and then I would invite all other members through our support group on FB to attend my training, because I can’t possibly lose anything if members outside my organization learn what I am about to teach.
It can just benefit the entire network while I am spending the same amount of time. Or if I make some cool new banners, I would share them with everybody, because I want our mission to be successful.
If a member outside my downline needs help, I would call them and help them, doesn’t matter if I won’t make any money by doing that. In other words, our personal success doesn’t become bigger by other people’s failure. It’s the other way around.
Additionally, by selflessly helping others, we build our own brand as leaders. Almost all members at Pet Protector know me and they surely wouldn’t know me if I went on Fb and wrote: ‘Hey, I am a top earner here, I am a Queen Bee’. Certainly not. They know me through all the effort I’ve put in, they know me and trust me because I walk my talk.
This all leads to gaining popularity in Network Marketing circles. Leaders attract other leaders. It happened numerous times that someone would email me and say: ‘hey I watched your YouTube video and I want to join PP at the top level, but I insist that you sponsor me, I don’t want to work with anyone else but you.’ Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Well, to be able to experience that, we have to prove ourselves through our work which includes producing results, helping members selflessly and working with the Company as a partner. There’s no other way. You can be a Hollywood star, a king of the world, no one cares – show the results.
Should every internet marketer blog and why?
I am not sure I would recommend every marketer out there to start blogging, at least not before it’s the right time for them to do that. Blogging requires many skills, with writing, SEO, personal branding, traffic and many other things including time.
I suggest that marketers first grow their business to a level where they have a solid, significant monthly income and several leaders in their team who can work on their own and then start blogging if they would like to do that.
Blogging is a great way to brand yourself, develop trust and attract people to you. But it’s not a super-fast way because it takes time for your blog to become popular enough to attract more and more readers and subscribers.
I know a lot of marketers whose main lead-generation tool is blog, but I also know a lot of very successful marketers who never had one. I would say it’s a matter of preference.
What’s the best way to generate leads for you these days, and can you share a technique?
I have always been an online marketer, mainly because I wanted to reach the best markets. Unfortunately my country is not the best one due to poor economy. And my favorite place to generate leads has always been Facebook.
With the number of people on FB and all the tools for filtering and searching, for socializing, promoting and advertising, I don’t think I will ever need another place.
But whether we work offline or online, through FB or any other social network, there isn’t much difference in regards to the right way of generating quality leads.
Believe me, I tried many techniques and programs, but there isn’t a better way to generate leads but to prospect one-on-one. Network Marketing is a relationship business and we can’t build a relationship without a communication.
Once I established my targeted market, I simply kept searching through FB for people I believe are good prospects for my business, connecting with them, building a friendly relationship and doing my best to provide value (I would often offer to help them solve their problems).
People like to buy, but they don’t like to be sold. It’s all about not being over-promotional and pushy. Building a relationship prior to recruiting a new team member is crucial and it improves the quality of our business in long-term.
And here’s the math: If you find and connect to a 5 good prospects on the internet every day, that’s 150 prospects a month. Let’s be realistic and say that only 50% accept your invitation and communication. So, we are left with 75 prospects. Let’s say that with 50% of them you get to the point in the conversation where you get to tell them what you do and show them your website. That’s 37 prospects. Let’s say that half of them say they like what they saw – we are left with 18. Let’s say that half of them join your business within a period of one month (not everyone joins right away even if they really like it, some will have more questions, some will wait for their paycheck, etc). So the end results is 9 quality members that you have a good communication with enrolled in 1 month. Not bad, not bad at all! It’s as simple as that.
What is your favorite book right now and why?
Right now, I am reading “The Millionaire Messenger” by Brendon Burchard. I am learning all about motivational speaking as I see myself in that profession in the future and this will also help me become a better leader to my team and motivate many other Pet Protectors become great leaders.
What are your goals for 2017?
Oh, I have many goals. The first would be helping my son to find and pursue his passion. He is not sure yet what would be his dream career, and it’s very important for me that he does what he is passionate about.
Next, my goal is to start with motivational speaking, primarily as a volunteer in Shelters for abused women and children here in my country.
And last but not the least, to help more people in my Pet Protector team become successful leaders and teach them how to duplicate their success and grow more leaders.
What is your favorite quote and why?
My favorite quote is “Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom.” by General George S. Patton.
Why? Because I believe it’s true. On every path to success there are many obstacles and we simply have to experience failures, there’s no other way. But, some people will quit and some will bounce back and the ones who bounce very high are the ones who succeed big.
Thank you so much for this interview Milena!
For more info on Milena, please visit her Blog HERE.
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Erik Christian Johnson
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