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OA+ 63- Chris Opfer started this business when he was 10

Chris Opfer started teaching Essential Oils 101 classes when he was ten. And he packed orders for people at Young Living’s annual convention back when there were just two rooms, a meeting room and a product room.

That was way back in the early 90s. His mom, Vicki, enrolled as distributor number- get this- 1236 in Young Living Essential Oils. That’s right: four digits.

Ernie and I asked Chris if the number had raised up any since YL has grown so much. He says that a few years after they enrolled, YL recalibrated the numbers- somehow- and that now he’s in the 5,000s…

(And, yes, they still login with 4 numbers.)

We first asked him about “legacies” and “handoffs.” Most people have no idea that the Opfer duo is a Mom-Son tag team. A Royal Crown Diamond dynamo at that.

Now, everyone talks about the POSSIBILITY of handing this business off to your kids, as a legacy, but I’ve yet to see an example of it (face it, none of the people we’re closest to are “old enough” or have kids “old enough” for that to happen… yet).

Chris is a self-proclaimed “Momma’s Boy.” According to him, they used to talk every day during his commute to and from work. He was a prosecutor, a DA. He was quite good, actually, and was the Prosecutor of the Year the same year he “quit” his job to work from home. That’s getting ahead of our story, though.

During that commute, Chris’ mom used to talk to him about the YL biz which he’d grown up in (Chris even gave it a whirl as a distributor himself when he turned 18). In turn, he’d talk through cases and legal issues he was handling. It was their daily time together.

Over time, it became obvious. He knew the biz. It was growing. His mom could use the help.

“Why don’t you become a 50/50 partner with me?” she asked.

It was an offer he couldn’t refuse. After all, he knew what the next 40 years as a prosecutor looked like. And he knew the ceiling. It was a great career, but network marketing offered more.

Thus, the next chapter began.

The Opfers created an incredible business tool we begin discussing in this episode of the podcast. Back in 2005 there wasn’t such a thing. If you wanted one, a way to understand the business and then share, you had to find it, create it… or just wing it.

Most MLMs aren’t that way. When you sign up, you actually enroll- in most cases- to do the business. That’s what they SELL, a business opportunity. The upside is of those opportunities is that there’s a plug-and-play system available for anyone to use. The downside… is that it doesn’t necessarily work in every context, with every skill set, and in every culture.

(By the way, the fact that YL is so product-based is what makes it super-strong.)

So, since there wasn’t one, the mom and son team created a system…

The first version was a PDF booklet- complete with a script- which their team members used to share the products. It was about 60 pages long. When compliance hit a few years ago (ca 2016), they pulled it.

They did a rewrite and wrote another book (LifeScience is the publisher) geared towards selling the Premium Starter Kit (PSK) AND helping people walk into a lifestyle transformation.

Chris tossed out a stat: “90% of the people who just buy a PSK disappear from your downline in the first year. Most don’t even order anything the following month.”

In other words, you’re leaking people.

Now, for sure, some leak is ALWAYS going to happen. But, your goal- as a business builder and health coach- is to slow that leak down as much as you can.

“You’ll never stop it completely,” he said. “You’ll always have some attrition. But, you can make it slow way down by moving people towards a lifestyle of health and wellness.”

Chris reminded us that growing the business is a numbers game.

“To hit Silver you need about 200 people in your organization,” he said. “That assumes that 35% of your people are ordering every month AND that they’re hitting the average of about a $135 order.”

Yes, it’s a numbers game.

So, we talk about how to help people make that next step and keep the numbers up.

(By the way, this reminds me of the graphic we have at the Advance events, the airplane, which illustrates that you need new ENROLLMENTS & ESSENTIAL REWARDS / new PSK sales & ongoing orders in order to grow long and strong. We liken each to a different wing of the plan, acknowledging that you’re not going to go very far in a plane- or in a biz- without both.)

Chris took me as a test case- and helped me see how he would lead me from the PSK to more… immediately.

“What do you need?” he asked.

I confessed that I wasn’t sleeping too well, and that I was- as of the time of our recoding- dealign with a lot of stress.

He pointed me to a few products in the PSK that would likely help with sleep… and bring a sense of peace.

“But, I would suggest a few other things, too.” Then, we spoke about supplements and NingXia Red.

“You want it to work for people. If it doesn’t, they stop ordering. They become part of that 90%. So coach them well.”

He then asked a follow-up: “You wash your hands, don’t you.”

“Most of the time. Especially when the kids are watching and I have to set an example.”

“And you do the laundry…”

“Yes. When I run out of clothes.”

“And you know about lotion and shampoo and….”

You get the idea.

(In other words, our OilyApp+ Ditch and Switch worksheet will help you a TON on this- download it here-

In this episode- which continues in the next- we discuss slowing that leak down and steps you can take now.


Links for this show-

Chris’ book on the Life Science website-

Download the Ditch & Switch worksheet here- 

Ride for a Reason- where you can bid on Chris’ moped- 

Young Living Foundation- 

Young Living’s Income Disclosure Statement- 


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