It’s 9 AM on Sunday morning in Inglewood, California, and the signature lime green curtain on the storefront is the only sign it’s an Herbalife Nutrition Club. A small group is sitting around a table sipping their shakes and drinking tea; a couple of young kids sit alongside their mothers enjoying the visit. The hum of the blender, the talk show on TV, and the pleasant conversation at the table are a welcoming sign.
The owner of this Herbalife Nutrition Club is Angel Perez, a beautiful young lady in her 20’s. She is carrying a baby, her nephew, and with her is the whole Perez family. There is the patriarch of the family, Paco Perez; his wife Rosamaria; older brother Christian and his wife Lety (the proud parents of the cute baby); and the younger brother Julian.
Angel recounts the story of how she had no intention of ever going into the family business. Her plans included a degree at Cal State Dominguez Hills University. After college, Angel worked at several restaurants as an administrative assistant, often putting in 12 hour days. She loved the work but she realized something was missing---la familia.
Angel had grown up with both her mom and dad, who were Herbalife distributors. She remembered her parents always made it a point to be there for their children’s school and after-school activities, dance classes and sports events. For them, family was the most important thing and so they made it a point to be there, to watch them grow and not miss any of the milestones. Working as Herbalife distributors afforded them that luxury.
Angel’s dad, Paco, is now a high ranking 20K President Team Member of Herbalife. He was there at the very beginning, and met Herbalife’s founder Mark Hughes when they were both in their 20’s. They both worked at a company which made exercise equipment and that would eventually go out of business, but their friendship endured. When Hughes was ready to start Herbalife, he came looking for Paco. In fact, Paco was the first person Hughes asked to come work with him. “He literally started the company out of the trunk of his car. I would help him load the product and I would make 50 cents off every product he sold,” Paco recalled of the adventure that started in 1980.
Ten years later, Paco had the exact same job, only now he was an executive in charge of distribution and instead of putting the product into Hughes’ truck, he was distributing it to the various countries the product was being sold, which now number 90.
That entrepreneurial spirit continues in own children. Even before Angel gave her two week notice at the restaurant, she had already asked Christian to take her under his wing. Unlike Angel, Christian always knew he wanted to be part of the Herbalife family. “I had grown up attending Herbalife events with my parents and seeing the health transformations. I always saw that people were making a nice living, and being around such positivity I knew I wanted to be part of it,” Christian says.
Having started at the lowest rung, he began building his clientele, working out of his father’s office on a part-time basis. Christian has been moving up the ranks at a swift pace since then, working his way to his current Millionaire Team level.
The concept of Herbalife Nutrition Clubs was actually started in Mexico by Enrique Varela and Graciela Mier. When it traveled to the U.S., Christian embraced it and opened his own club. The Nutrition Clubs, which have proven very popular, are places where members come together on a regular basis to share general health, wellness and nutrition information in a social atmosphere and enjoy Herbalife products.
It was at Chritian’s Nutrition Club that Angel went to work, abosrbing all she could about the business. She learned how to be a health coach, how to run the nutrition bar, how to do the numbers, and how to reach out to complete strangers (something she was always shy about). Most importantly she learned how to coach her customers to give them value for the money they were spending. Her reward, she says, is helping her clients get the results that transform them. Because, as she says, her clients are her reputation.
“Its hard work, though,” Angel cautions. “You can’t expect to start making money right away, however there is no ceiling; it all depends on how hard you want to work.”
Angel was soon at ease reaching out to clients, and empowered by what she learned from Christian and all her family. She was ready to strike out on her own and opened up her own Nutrition Club a few blocks from Christian’s. She loves what she does and makes herself available 24/7 in case any clients have a question. She encourages them to text her if they need encouragement or just want to talk, because as she says, ”I love my Inglewood and I decided to open my Nutrition Club here because I want to make a positive impact on my community---which is Herbalife’s universal goal.”
Julian, the youngest of the Perez family, has taken the longest to come into the Herbalife circle. “Our parents never pushed us into the business,” he says. “It was something we all came around to on our own, at our own time.”
However, he recalls when he tried to get far away from Herbalife, annoyed at seeing all the “happy” people at company events. As a teenager, he was into a whole different vibe and it did not include the exuberance of an Herbalife distributor. He decided to strike out on his own at 16 and started working as a waiter, a roofer and then at Home Depot earning $7 an hour. It was in his fourth year at Home Depot when he had an a-ha moment.
Julian had worked hard to top the $10,000 sales quota required by Home Depot and he did, big time. His sales for that particular month hit $70,000 (and no, they didn’t pay commission). He was ecstatic and was sure his work would not go unrecognized. At the recognition ceremony, he was called on stage and was given a Homer Simpson “thumbs up button” and a 12 cent raise. Julian then decided to give Herbalife a try.
Following Angel’s lead, he also went to work with Christian and as of two years ago, he is a full time Herbalife distributor. “In the beginning you start by yourself, you need to find your own clients, and build up your group,” Julian explained. “I am still learning how to build my business from my sister and my brother…from my whole family.” For now, he says part of the satisfaction is helping coach people to a healthier life. He just signed up his elementary school friend Alex, who had been heavy most of his life. On Instagram , which he uses to recognize his clients’ milestones, is a picture of his friend before and after dropping 80 pounds. Alex was so happy with the results that he attended a meeting, the first step to becoming an Herbalife distributor.
“I feel happy to be where I am in the company but I am even happier to see my children making their own way,” Paco concludes, surrounded by his family. “The best thing my wife and I could have given them was the confidence to know they can have and grow their own business and be self sufficient.”
By Bel Hernandez