Jan M. Shaw on Helping People Creatively Plan for their Retirement
Jan M. Shaw worked in the IT sector for over 15 years when her positioned was terminated. Now, she helps others plan retirement through internet marketing.
Thank you so much for this interview, Jan! I’m excited to learn more about your story. So, let’s dive in.
First off, where were you born, what was childhood like, and what did you want to become when you grew up?
I was born in Pittsburgh, PA and was the third of three kids. My father was a beloved pediatrician here and we grew up quite comfortable living the country club lifestyle, including going to a private girls’ school from K-12, while also appreciating the value of a dollar.
My siblings always teased me that I was really spoiled and, looking back, I guess I was. I never wanted for anything.
My dad worked very hard and was the president of every volunteer organization he was involved in, my mother was a stay-at-home mom and only worked 2 years while I was in high school but not because she had to…she really loved what she was doing.
As a child, I had no idea what I wanted to do and was a terrible student. I guess I thought that I would always be taken care of since my dad was a great provider. It was lucky that I even got into college.
But, the one thing that I did have going for me was my leadership skills that I inherited from my parents. I was very involved in my synagogue and it’s youth group and eventually became president. I attribute my lifelong leadership roles in both my volunteer and professional lives to that strong foundation growing up.
Were their any Entrepreneurs in your family, and if so, how did this type of lifestyle impact you?
No. There were no entrepreneurs in my family but my dad had his own pediatric practice with 2 other partners and he acted as the business person in the practice. But, it’s really not the same thing.
What was your profession, how long did you do it, and what happened?
As I mentioned, I was a terrible student but I’ve always had the propensity to go into the business world. I started college with the intent of studying business but I failed miserably, so I chose a major because my best friend was in it.
When I graduated with a degree in Public & Environmental Affairs with a concentration in personnel management, I wanted to move to Chicago because that’s where most of my friends from college lived and I always dreamed of living on Lake Shore Drive, but my dad, in his infinite wisdom, talked me into moving home to get some experience and if I wanted to move still after 2 years, I could.
So, I started my career as a Human Resources Specialist at a local hospital (thank you dad) and hated it. Two years later (almost to the day), I moved to Chicago to begin my career in computer sales (it was 1984 and IBM had just come out with the PC so it was a really big deal).
After 5 years of selling computers, I decided that I wanted to be on the other side of the table buying them but realized that I needed a graduate degree to be able to get a job like that.
So, I moved home, got my Masters degree in Information Science, met my husband at the end of that program (1990), moved to Houston, TX when we married in 1991, and began my career as a systems engineer for EDS (Ross Perot’s company) and then as a network administrator for Brown & Root (Halliburton company), moved back to Pittsburgh when I was 7 months pregnant with our first born and after a 3 month maternity leave, went to work again as a systems engineer for a Pittsburgh technology consulting company.
I was there for a little over a year when I was offered a position at Mellon Financial as a manager of a team of network administrators and we supported 7 internal departments.
From there, I was offered my dream job…one I thought I would retire from…at United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
This was the perfect job for me because it was a wonderful way for me to give back to the Jewish community that I had grown up in, as a professional, working with a volunteer committee, to figure out how we were going to tie in all 8 beneficiary agencies into one technology pool.
In the year that I was there, we had significant technical problems and had to bring in an outside consulting company to fix them.
It took them 6 months to figure out what was wrong (I had been hired as a professional and they knew that I had been a manager and not hands on for 6 years), so I was the scapegoat in the end and my position was eliminated.
What was I going to do???? I had no idea but by that time I had 2 small kids and had no desire to go back to work full time.
So, I went to work with my husband to help him build his insurance practice but he had no interest in having a partner…he just wanted me to clean his office and do his filing. NOPE! Not me, so I started searching for ways to make money at home.
When were you introduced to network marketing, what were the first couple years like, and what was the main lesson you learned?
My husband had a client whose wife was in Amway and she invited me to take a look. This was when I was still working at Mellon Financial in the mid 1990’s. I was only with them for 6 months because the culture wasn’t right for me, but I really liked the network marketing business model.
So, when I started looking again in 2003, I answered an ad on the internet and met a wonderful woman who lived in Florida who I joined in a company called Melaleuca.
Loved the products, met some wonderful local people who I’m still friends with today, but don’t love hotel meetings and home parties. I made a little bit of money but never felt comfortable talking to everyone I knew about my business.
When I went to my kids’ activities, I hated the feeling of having to talk to other moms about a business that they may or may not be interested in. I just wanted to enjoy myself without that pressure.
The main lesson I learned was that network marketing is a relationship business and if you don’t have a constant list of people to talk to, you’re out of business.
When did Affiliate Marketing come into your marketing strategy, and what are the pros and cons of both Affiliate Marketing and Network Marketing?
When I joined my 3rd network marketing company (which I’m still a distributor for today), I met a woman who was building her business online.
The thought of not having to go out 3 nights a week to network or to do home parties or hotel meetings was very appealing to me, so I started following her to learn how to find people online to talk to for my network marketing business.
In the process, I became more passionate about helping other network marketing & direct sales people generate leads online than I was about promoting my primary company’s products and that’s when I got into affiliate marketing.
I’ve been promoting the company that has taught me a lot about building a business through social media and also, my primary company today, is a high ticket affiliate product that teaches small businesses and entrepreneurs how to launch, grow, and maintain their businesses. It fits into my business mentality that I’ve always had and my love for relationship building online.
Both business models work but the pros of affiliate marketing is higher commissions & it’s not dependent on the work of a team so I’m not worried about my team members quitting like they did in my network marketing companies.
I only have to worry about finding customers to buy the products that I’m promoting. Sure, I do make a little bit of income when my business partners sell something, but it’s not as significant as in network marketing.
How should someone completely new to internet marketing start?
Someone brand new to internet marketing should find a mentor and a system that they can leverage so they don’t have to start from scratch and they can use other people’s success stories to promote products that they didn’t have to create themselves. It saves a lot of time, money, and aggravation.
How can someone supplement their Retirement with internet marketing?
How would being able to earn an extra $1000 – $10,000 per month be able to change your life? Internet marketing/affiliate marketing can do just that and the good news is you can do it from anywhere in the world, using a laptop and a WIFI connection, on a very part time basis.
It’s a great thing to do even if you have a full time job because you can do it in your spare time, when you’re not working, in as little as 30-60 minutes a day.
How important is social media branding for a new internet marketer, and what advice do you have for them?
Social media can help anyone (not just internet marketers) grow their businesses. With 2.5 billion social media users today, which is expected to grow to close to 3 billion by 2020, why wouldn’t businesses want to use social media to grow their businesses?
How else would they be able to get access to that many people? The more value you put out into social media, the better the chance your name will become familiar in a relatively short period of time.
My best advice here is to pick one social media platform and master it. Once you’re generating 10 leads a day with that platform, you can add another one.
You have a lot of videos on YouTube, how important is video for online marketing, and who should do them?
Video is so important for online marketing because it’s such an easy way to get that “know, like, and trust” factor with prospective customers and clients. It also converts faster that non-video posts.
Facebook is really ramping up on Facebook Live and in 2017, we’ll see huge growth in that area. People search for “How to…” more than anything else on the internet so one way you can utilize video is by doing “How to” videos for your product. Answer a problem that people in your niche are having and show how your product or service can solve that problem.
What is the best way to generate leads for you today, Jan? And, do you have any certain methods you can share?
I use a combination of paid and free strategies, running Facebook ads as my paid method and networking with people in appropriate Facebook groups as my free method.
The free kind works when you find groups in your niche and go to the members list. Sort it by Join Date which brings up the newest members first.
Go through them and start following the ones you want to get to know. When they follow you back, start a conversation through Messenger. Never give anyone a link without their permission and always add value.
I offer a tip to people and if they want more, they’ll ask. If not, move on. Also “Like” and comment their posts on their profiles.
Another free method on Facebook is to get involved in conversations that are already happening in different niche specific groups. Once you start adding to the conversation, people will get to know you, especially if you’re adding value.
What is your favorite book right now and why?
The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews – it’s a self help book but it’s fictional so it feels like a novel and the stories are a very creative way to help you make the right decisions in your life.
What are your goals for 2017?
- $120,000 in income
- Help 75 people do the same
- Pay off all credit card debt
- Pay for son’s college tuition
- Help older son pay off student loans
What is your favorite quote and why?
“People will forget what you say. People will forget what you do. But, they will never forget how you make them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou
I love that quote because it’s just so much easier to be nice to people and I think you get more out of life living by this type of thing than not. What you give out totally comes back!
Thank you so much for this interview, Jan!
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Erik Christian Johnson
Erik Christian Johnson is a Entrepreneur, writer, full-time Network Marketer and Blogger. He shares tips on various topics including: Network Marketing tips, how to work full time from Home, and God. He is also the #1 recruiter in his primary business. His blog is summed up as being: "edgy personal development with a twist of financial freedom."
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