Follow your heart - Shivaram & Anjali Kumar, New Jersey
Talk to any successful business leader and they’ll no doubt share how their busy schedules and long hours have kept them away from their families. CEOs, professional athletes, government officials, and sales reps all make a huge sacrifice by giving up time with their children. And it seems like the more successful they become, the greater the sacrifice.
Like many others, Shivaram and Anjali Kumar were headed toward the top of the elusive corporate ladder where family time is a rarity. But thanks to the Quixtar business, they not only found each other, but they also found an opportunity that enhanced their lives in more ways than one.
Today they lead a balanced life, with plenty of time for each other and their three daughters (Devika, 8, Tarika, 6 and Ritika, 4), a thriving and growing Quixtar business, and the room to pursue other passions, too.
“I’m very ambitious,” says Shivaram (who goes by Kumar), “and if I had stayed in corporate America, I would have been forced to miss most, if not all, of our children’s activities.”
Private tutors and a full-time nanny make it possible for the children to pursue piano, swimming lessons, soccer, and art. As Anjali explains, “The extra help and flexibility we have means we don’t go into the other extreme of having to attend every one of our children’s activities. We have a growing business and a great team of people who are counting on us for our guidance and support. So we have struck a great balance!”
“We have our time back,” adds Kumar. “That’s the beauty of the Quixtar business. We are so grateful.”
Grateful. It’s a word the Kumars use repeatedly. About finding the Quixtar business opportunity. The people in their organization. Their newfound freedom of time. Finding each other.
And although it was the business that brought them together, how they entered into it, and their backgrounds, are very different.
Searching for something better
Back in India, Anjali’s father had a hugely successful business, and Anjali and her family enjoyed a lavish lifestyle: cooks, housekeepers, and even personal tailors. Kumar grew up a mere 10 miles away, but it might as well been 1,000. He was raised in a middle-class family with a solid foundation of values, but without much material luxury.
When Anjali was attending her sister’s wedding in the United States, her father’s business was in the midst of some really tough years. So her family encouraged her to stay until he was able to recover from the business setback.
At about the same time, Kumar came to the States to pursue a master’s in computer engineering. After graduation, he quickly found a job as a computer consultant and, a couple of years later, started his own consulting business.
Soon after that he was introduced to the Quixtar opportunity. “I was skeptical, but not negative. Logically, I should never have been in this business – it’s a far cry from what I was trained to do,” says Kumar. After signing up, he wouldn’t listen to the CDs or read the books. And the first 17 or so people he showed the Plan to said, “No!”
“The noes made me even more determined to succeed,” he explains.
The decisive moment came when Kumar heard a leader in the business speak. This IBO had a serious physical disability, yet he clearly had a large, successful Quixtar business.
“His Quixtar business was seemingly unaffected by his disability,” Kumar remembers. “It was amazing. It was then that I realized the value of making a commitment to this business. Despite my initial skepticism, I listened to my heart more than to my logic, and fell in love with the people in the business. I followed my heart!”
As Kumar explains his change in attitude, he strides from one end of his kitchen to the other. He speaks quickly, animatedly – filled with seemingly boundless energy. And he says he feels the same way about the business now as he did when he started. “I love the people, and I love the business,” he explains. “And I love the promise of this opportunity. Quixtar gives you the ability to say to others, ‘I can show you a way out.’”
New Jersey meets New York
Kumar settled in New Jersey – not far from Anjali, who was living in New York City and working as a travel agent. Her sister and brother-in-law, IBOs sponsored by Kumar, needed someone to watch their children when they attended functions. Anjali volunteered to help.
It was at one of those functions that Kumar and Anjali finally met – and that was quickly followed by romancing and serenading. Kumar sang songs for Anjali at holiday parties and even wrote a poem for her, entitled, “Chances are …” I believe in dreams. And they will come true. You have your dreams And I have mine. And chances are …
Even though Anjali and Kumar shared similar values and priorities with respect to family and culture, their roots were from different parts of India, their spoken languages in their respective homes were different, and so were their social practices. Their chances of meeting and getting together back in India were very small. Yet here in the States, the story took a different turn. When the business brought them together, they simply threw out logic and followed their hearts.
“I’m so grateful to this business for bringing us together,” says Kumar.
Reaching their goals
After their wedding, the couple set very aggressive goals together and stayed focused on their business. As a result, it expanded rapidly, and they qualified for new pin levels almost yearly. “We have always shown the (Quixtar IBO Compensation) Plan very consistently,” says Kumar.
As new Double Diamonds, the Kumars were recently honored by Quixtar and its headquarters to celebrate their Double Diamond Day. First, the family spent several relaxing days on Peter Island. They then flew to Quixtar headquarters in Ada. After a rousing greeting, they met with Quixtar execs, toured the facilities, and enjoyed a wonderful dinner and overnight stay at the renowned Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.
One of their biggest dreams-come-true was flying in a private jet, part of their Double Diamond Day recognition. “Flying in the corporate jet was incredible,” Kumar explains. “It’s something everyone should experience.”
Kumar and Anjali say they share the same strategies for building a successful business, especially the importance of written goals, and the power of speaking effectively. But they also bring different strengths to the business.
“Kumar is a dreamer,” says Anjali “It’s a trait that has created a lot of success for us and many others. And it’s made life a wonderful adventure for us.”
Says Kumar: “Anjali always expects the very best. She’s determined and confident. That strength is a positive element.” She’s also poised, graceful, and articulate. Perched on a stool at the kitchen island, she looks directly at her guest, considers the question, then answers in rapid-fire fashion.
With three young children, their home is abuzz with activity, and the couple is in constant motion, catering to the needs of the girls, taking and making phone calls, and doing meetings.
“Spending time with our children is a priority for us,” says Anjali. She and Kumar explain that this balance of home and work is what attracts many Indian-Americans – one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in Quixtar – to this business.
Kumar points out that the Indian culture lends itself well to participating in a business like this. “The company shares the family values we all grew up with in India,” he explains. “We are well educated, and many of us come from professional backgrounds.”
He adds that Indian-Americans, like many immigrants, have a very strong work ethic. “We all come to America, expecting more. We are willing to work hard, and won’t accept handouts.”
He says that many immigrants come to this country with a goal of being in business for themselves. “I don’t think either of us would have done very well reporting to others. The best people in this business are fiercely independent and fiercely loyal team players.”
A business anyone can build
The Kumars believe, however, that no matter what a person’s upbringing or background, anyone can succeed in this business. According to Kumar and Anjali, there are two initial requirements to make it in this business – one, a strong dream, and two, a willingness to learn and change.
They also believe in the importance of being accountable – and loyal – to your upline, downline, and the overall team. And they recommend that all new IBOs make a four-month commitment to the business. “Do everything your upline asks you to do for four months,” Kumar advises. “You’re not going to risk your job, but you may risk some TV time.”
He stresses the importance of not giving up after disappointment, because “success is just failure, plus one more time.”
“We encourage people to dream at every level,” says Anjali. “You don’t have to settle for where you are now.”
“The best way to predict the future is to create it,” adds Kumar.
Sponsoring others is a critical element to the business, as is self-consumption and retailing products. The couple prides themselves on the ability to meet customers’ needs for supplementation, fitness products, and skin care products.
In addition to the Nutrilite® products, Kumar and Anjali are enthusiastic about the Personalized Health program, especially the Gensona™ Genetic Tests. (Their customized-packet dispensers sit within easy reach on their kitchen counter.) They’re also excited about the new line of Artistry® Time Defiance® products.
“We’re so grateful for these wonderful products,” says Anjali.
A balanced life
The Kumars have enjoyed the rewards that come with hard work and sacrifice. Their well-appointed home sits among the rolling green hills of central New Jersey. The in-ground pool is ringed with children’s toys. A bright yellow Hummer sits in the driveway. (The license plate, CAMHUMM, reminds them of their goal of reaching the Crown Ambassador level.) But they believe that success is not just about money.
“It’s more about having a balanced life,” explains Anjali. “We don’t compete with anyone else. We have our own hopes and dreams. To have a balanced life, to have choices, that’s what’s important.”
The couple prides themselves on being able to be home when the children return from school. And the fun begins as soon as the girls run into their parents’ arms. Later that day, the family drives to a nearby park, where a spirited game of tag barely registers on the faces of Kumar and Anjali, who seem to be inexhaustible.
“My favorite hobby is to be home with my family,” says Kumar.
It’s the ability to spend many hours a day with their children that Anjali says exemplifies a balanced life. “When I got into this business, I wanted to have a good relationship with my husband. But I also want to spend as much time as possible with our children. I meet people all the time who watch their children grow up in pictures. We get to travel with our children and instill in them the values that we so cherish. We want them to know they can accomplish anything they set their hearts on.”
It’s a life that also gives them the opportunity to travel as a family. Their favorite nearby haunt is New York City, but they’ve also been to France, Switzerland, Great Britain, Singapore, Thailand, South Africa, Peter Island, and India. Their business in India has enabled them to spend quality time with their parents and sisters.
Rewards also come in the form of watching others grow and improve their lives. Says Kumar: “It gives us such peace of mind when we see others succeed. You win by helping others.”
Their balanced life has also allowed Kumar to pursue his passion for poetry, writing nonfiction books, songwriting, and filmmaking. Anjali keeps a binder filled with his poetry. “Kumar is so talented, I feel it is now time for him to share that aspect of his life with the rest of the world,” says Anjali.
After reaching Double Diamond, Kumar has finally embarked on his book-writing project – one that would tell a story of their experiences in life that brought them into a reality that they never knew existed.
Kumar explains that he’s always been on stage, singing and acting in Indian musicals and plays. But his dream has been to produce a film. He’s working on a movie project – a story about overcoming challenges, being persistent, and following your heart.
With their zest for life, loving home environment, and passion for helping others, it’s no wonder the couple calls their Quixtar business “absolute excitement.”
As Kumar puts it, “It’s been very close to a fairy tale.”