Dan Catto, son of a minister, grew up around the world, from an Indian reserve in Canada to Zambia in Central Africa. When they met, Robin was successful in sales, and he was thirty-two, bankrupt, and living with his parents. But they were dreamers, and in Quorum they went from Rags to Jags.
Dan: My father is a United Church Minister and a missionary, and my mother is a preschool teacher. By the time I was a year and a half old, we moved to God’s Lake in northern Manitoba, northern Canada. My father did work as a missionary on an Indian reserve for two years This is one of the coldest places in the world. Then my father moved us to Zambia in Africa and he did missionary work there for five years.
I have two younger sisters and an adopted brother, who is a Mohawk Indian. After being in Africa for five years, we moved back to Toronto, and I remained in Toronto into my early twenties. I was born into a family where I couldn’t have been given more love and more of a positive outlook on life.
But I was also a rebel with a cause. I was the preacher’s kid, and I’d get teased for it. So I thought I had to be the baddest kid to be accepted. I rebelled against my father the most. When I was twenty-two, he received the Order of Canada, which is the highest honor a Canadian civilian can receive. It was for his work in Third World countries.
I can count the number of times I’ve cried, but when my father received that award, he got up, and I broke down. That’s when I realized that everything he was telling me and teaching me was basically right. Growing up. my mother was my biggest cheerleader. She’d always say how great I was. That support helped me to always excel at what I did within my little arena. In my first year in college, I wanted to get out into the business world and do something, and I felt education was actually going to hold me back. Formal education gets you a job, but personal education will get you rich.
After one year of college, I spent ten years in corporate, and two years in private business. In corporate, I was running the divisions of the three largest corporate fashion retailers in Canada. Those corporations are gone today, all through corporate buy-outs and down-sizing.
In my own personal business, I went into receivership after two years. I went back into corporate, and within ninety days that company went under. It was the spring of 1988,1 owed money to people I didn’t even know, and I had just gone through bankruptcy. I had been in the hospital with ulcerated colitis for seven weeks. I was thirty-two, and I was starring my life all over again. I had to move back in with my parents for support, and I went on government assistance.
There were just three people who stood by me: my mom, my dad, and Robin. A big Saturday night date for us was going down to the local hamburger place and coming back and watching videos. My parents would be at home, and for a thirty-two year old guy, that was kind of tough.
Robin: Toronto has been my home all of my life. I come from a family of five, with an older brother and a younger sister. I’ve always known a very comfortable living. My father is a chartered accountant, and my mother does bookkeeping on a part-time basis and basically is a housewife. My parents always had a very good relationship; they were always very good’role models as far as being a couple, and I think that has been instilled in me, and I’ve brought that into my marriage.
Growing up, I definitely felt different in what I wanted out of life. I set a very high standard for myself and wanted to accomplish things. I always thought that I was going to achieve this success with someone, and not on my own.
I spent four years in university, at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto, to study dietetics and nutrition. A nutritionist degree gives you the ability to counsel weight loss, which only pays six dollars an hour. I went back to school and got into a fitness program in the recreation area.
Then I went on to get my real estate license, and I made a lot of money in a very short time, but the real estate market started failing. So I got into selling Jeeps, while still holding onto my real estate license.
A friend of mine called me on a Saturday at work. She asked me, “Would you like to go to this private party; there’s a lot of stockbrokers that are going to be there, etc., etc.” In a way I think it was fate, because normally I would have said, “No, I’m not really interested.” But something made me say yes, and that’s the night I met Dan.
When people would ask him, “What do you do, Dan?” He would say, “I’m a consultant.” For eight of the months that we were dating, I never knew he was on unemployment. He never showed me any kind of indication that he was down and out. I always thought he was on top of it. I didn’t notice anything through his positive attitude.
Dan: I couldn’t afford to go back into business for myself, and I guess it was really a blessing in disguise, because otherwise I wouldn’t have entered network marketing. I thought I was just too cool to get involved in it. I had every misconception on the industry. I thought it was a scam, a scheme, a pyramid, and that only people who had nowhere else to go would get involved in something like that. But after sending out several hundred resumes to get a corporate job, and being turned down by everyone, I was the one with nowhere else to go.
Through the persistence of the person that introduced me to this industry, I took a look at it. Within three years in network marketing, I started earning in a month what I used to earn in a full year in my best years in corporate.
Robin: Dan called me one day and said, “I’ve answered an ad, and there’s something about this great company.” It was a network marketing company and the ad said “One hundred thousand a year! Star, Star, Star!” I couldn’t believe it. He said it was great, and he was going to make ten thousand dollars in his first month. I thought, “You’re going to be really embarrassed when that doesn’t happen.” Then he invited me over and he showed me his first check. My mouth just dropped open. I couldn’t believe he had made that much money.
Dan: When I was first introduced to the industry, the only way that it looked like you could get started off in that company was to purchase five thousand dollars worth of water filters. I didn’t have enough money to buy a cup of coffee, so I tried to get a loan from friends and family. Finally, I went to banks, and a loan officer told me I needed a co-signer. After friends and family turned me down to co-sign, I thought I’d try my father again. I said, “Pops, can I have this co-signed to get started off in this business?” He reminded me that I hadn’t been going to church on a regular basis for the last fifteen years, and I was now living back at home. I needed this co-sign. So we cut the deal. I’m going to church a lot more, and the rest is history.
It’s interesting in life that what goes around comes around. About three years later, my father came to me and asked me for a loan for his non-profit organization that does work in Third World countries. He said, “Son, now that you’re doing well, can I have a loan?” I said no. He was a little upset, and sure enough, a few weeks later he came back and said, “Son, can I have a co-sign?” I said, “Pops, not until you’re coming to my meetings on a regular basis.”
Six months later, he showed up at a regional event in Toronto, Canada, in front of over two thousand distributors and guests, and I was the featured speaker. In the front row were my parents, my grandfather and my uncle. I shared my testimonial with the audience, and I brought my dad up. This was the first time I’ve ever gotten emotional in public. I brought him up on stage, and we hugged and raised our hands together. I whispered in his ear, “You got your co-sign.” The place went crazy!
Robin: It was difficult initially to adjust to network marketing. There was a lot of travel and an all-consuming involvement. I complained a lot in the beginning, because I didn’t understand many things. But I did understand that Dan was the one for me, and he really saw a future in the industry.
The job I had was very part-time, so I could travel and go to the major events and really understand the business a lot more than the average spouse, who wasn’t involved in those things. Seven of the eight years that I’ve known Dan he’s been in network marketing. It’s just something he does. It seems to bring good things, he loves it, and this is what makes him the person he is. So I decided to be fully supportive, and it’s a happy union.
Dan: My parents really supported me in my relationship with Robin. They think she is the greatest thing to ever happen to me, and she is. We’ve been married now for three years.
After four and a half years with that first network marketing company, I saw some changes that I didn’t agree with. I knew I couldn’t change the company, but I could change companies. That’s when I started to study the industry, looking at companies that had been around for decades and why they had made it.
I wanted to look for the next running giant, and that’s when I found Quorum. It took me six months of investigating the company and Raymond Hung, in particular. What created near financial independence after four and a half years with another company took me four and a half months with Quorum.
Quorum and network marketing has been the greatest thing to ever happen to me. It has not only created financial independence, but total freedom and security for Robin and me. It has released all the barriers and limitations to our goals and our dreams.
Robin: The goals were to have a happy lifestyle, and I guess I didn’t understand the concept of that much sacrifice to obtain a better life. Dan once said to me that if you want an above-average lifestyle, you have to make above- average sacrifices. That was my turn-around point.
No one, outside of winning the lottery or having family money, achieves anything unless they make a huge sacrifice, and that sacrifice continues throughout life. It’s like climbing a mountain. You obtain a level, so you stop for a while and enjoy the view. Then it’s time to climb higher and bring others along to enjoy with you. You are always striving to climb right to the top.
Dan: Since getting into network marketing, I knew how to make it, but I didn’t really know how to save it. Robin kept on reminding me that we’ve got to save. I’ve read a very, very good book that I recommend. Get the book called The Richest Man in Babylon. We were taught the rule that you’ve got to learn to live off of seventy percent of your income, after taxes. That’s the seventy – ten – ten – ten rule. Invest ten percent of your after-tax income into savings that generates compound interest. Take another ten percent and do a little bit of buying and selling. And take ten percent and give back to help others.
Using that rule, I got completely out of debt, and we have now put ourselves into financial independence where the cash flow monthly is more than we could ever dream of. We’re saving more in a month than I used to gross in several months back in my best years in corporate.
We have accomplished all of our immediate dreams. We’ve gone from rags to Jags, and we’re now into our third Jaguar. We live in a luxury condo where they deliver our groceries, valet our car, and deliver our dry cleaning. We’ve got a beautiful health club, with pool and racquetball. We have the clothing, the cars, the travel, and the money to do what we want, whenever we want.
Because of Quorum, we’re traveling throughout the world. In the last twelve months, Robin and I have been to Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, the Caymans, and countless trips through the U.S. and Canada.
I read an interesting article, and this lady wrote, “North Americans as a whole will commit to four things on a daily basis: number one would be spiritual, number two is family, number three is their career, and number four, they go to Amway meetings.” That sounds funny, but people want to be a part of something bigger than they are. They want to be a part of the camaraderie, the friendship, the companionship of network marketing. I started to recognize that money wasn’t the issue in this industry. When the top ten running giants in this industry polled their top distributors, they said that money was number four but recognition was number one.
Robin: Quorum is our source base of friends. In Quorum we’re surrounded by positive people, and we love socializing with them. We get a lot of power and energy from their goodness.
Dan: In the beginning, all my dad saw was me making money, and that’s all I seemed to talk about. He nicknamed me “Ivan Bosky.” It wasn’t until he came to the session where I spoke that he realized that I was not in it just for me, but that I taught people how to fish, how to put food on the table every day.
Robin: Dan is doing something very similar to what his father does, only on a different plane.
Dan: And I do it all over the world. I just came back from Mexico. Their economic situation is so depressed. My father has done work in Central America, and I’ve done network marketing just north of there. He’s gone into communities and come back with the pictures of the shacks. Hopefully, I can help the people in the shacks like he does. He’s giving them something to believe in, and I’m giving them something to put food on the table.
I’ve got a tremendous sense of urgency and fear of loss. I’ll never forget where I was seven years ago. In down times, I always pray, and it always works out. I’ve got a huge, huge, burning desire to succeed, to be the best at what I am doing, and to help other people become the best at what they’re doing.
I’m very coachable and teachable, simply learning, and constantly growing. You can’t stop learning when you get to the top, regardless of where you are. I’ve always said, “When you’re green, you’re growing; and when you’re ripe, you rot.” Finally, I work on improving myself. If you can accomplish that, you can accomplish anything.
Robin: It’s a long road between Gold and Diamond, a huge amount of work. It’s a very committed time and a very tense time. There’s a lot of ups and downs, and the downs are very, very difficult, especially when you’re living with a person who needs, not only wants, the highest level possible.
I think that’s the big difference. I think that’s the quality it takes to go from Gold to Diamond. There was no other way. Everybody wants things, but to get to Diamond, you have to need it. There’s an ironclad desire. Unshakeable. As Dan likes to say, “I will not be denied.”
When you make it to Diamond, you almost go into shock. You’re numb for a very, very long time. I think the first thing that you feel is that you want when people that you work with to experience this. It’s such a heart-felt thing. You never forget how you got there.
Dan: That’s a good point, you never forget what got you there. There’s a we’re lot of people who reach a pinnacle level, and they forget and stop doing the things that got them there. Then they go into what we call in this business, “management mode.” When I found out I made Diamond, the first meeting I walked into, across the room I saw Tony, one of my top distributors and now one of my closest friends. I just said, “I’m in,” and he ran, he literally sprinted across the room, and just jumped on me and hugged me. He announced me as a new Diamond right then and there and the place went nuts!
Robin: I came home from work, and I knew there was going to be a message on the machine. I heard Dan’s message saying, “Yes, yes, yes!”, and I literally jumped as high as the ceiling! I touched it. It was unbelievable. It was a great moment.
Dan: We had a conference call scheduled for that night. We cracked open some champagne, jumped in the hot tub, and got the bubbles going. Then we did our conference call for our organization from the hot tub, and they loved it.
Robin: It’s a great sense of relief to go Diamond.
Dan: We could have never gotten there without specific, written goals. We carry a picture of our dreams and our goals everywhere we go and are motivated by them every day. The person you become is contained in your goals. Some of our long-term goals are: to have a home overlooking the ocean in Del Mar, California, by 1997; to have a net worth of five million dollars by 1997; to acquire one new piece of income property each year; to be the largest Quorum distributorship in India within its first year; and to create three new Diamonds every year. We also get to share our blessings with others. About two years ago my sister’s three little boys were the only boys in school and the community who wouldn’t be able to play hockey that year because they couldn’t afford the money to buy them hockey equipment. I just cut the check, and getting to go play has done so much for those boys. Now their mother is running the only Christian hockey school in Ontario, where she’s got NHL hockey players coming in. Just from that little thing we were able to do, the seed that we planted, there’s a harvest that so many kids will benefit from.
Robin: My goal is to enjoy each other and the success now. I don’t want us to be sixty years old and have all this money, and find that we didn’t share the best years of our lives together. You really have to enjoy it while you’re making it.
Dan: You have to ask yourself where you are today. And where are you going to be in five years? If you continue to do what you are doing now, are you going to be happy with where you’re going to be in five years? If you want things to change, you’ve got to change.
Robin: Getting into network marketing is like giving yourself a mental enema; you have to be completely open to this industry to succeed in this type of business. I think back to when Dan first got into network marketing and I went to the first convention. Sure, he told me everything about it. But when I saw the quality of people and heard what they had to say on stage and where they came from, that’s when I really started believing.
Dan: Speaking of conventions, I remember Quorum’s Dream Night, New Year’s Eve of ’93, in Dallas. It was the first time I ever saw Raymond Hung. I wanted to feel and touch him as a person. For fifteen years in corporate, a player at his level may have been charming and charismatic from the front of the room to the masses, but whenever you shook their hand they didn’t look you in the eye. When I went to shake Raymond’s hand, I got both his hands and he grabbed my arm as well. The second or third time we met, he gave me a hug. I found a very, very real person who genuinely did care for the masses.
I knew he had a huge, burning desire to be successful, and I wouldn’t surround myself with anyone who didn’t have that. I have always said that you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with, and you’ll always be like the people you take advice from. I saw his passion and his desire to have his company become the biggest and the best. But at the same time, in doing that, he wanted all of the distributors to succeed more than anybody I’ve ever seen. It blows me away that a man in that position cares as much as he does for the little person. They say that riches and money make you more of what you already are.
Raymond’s wife Mimi is so engaging, and she’s a great balance to their relationship. She’s someone you can touch, you can talk to. She’s just like the neighbor next door. She is so dedicated, not only to Raymond, but also to the people.
Robin: Raymond and Mimi are a lot of my reason that I supported Dan in his decision to go with Quorum. It was a real gut feeling, a kind of intuitive feeling that women have – this protectiveness. I always felt very confident about this company because of Raymond and Mimi.
Mimi is so special. She’s very caring, very supportive, and it just feels good to be in her presence! She has become a real role model for women in the business.
Raymond is so generous and really has done above and beyond for his distributors. He wants so badly to give back what they have. That comes a lot from their background, because they didn’t have a lot when they were younger, and that really, really makes a person. They appreciate everything they’ve got, but they haven’t lost themselves in the money. A lot of people do, and that’s a very, very hard thing to control.
Dan: We’re not employees, we’re all independent distributors, and we’re all bonded to this company by something greater than money. It is the culture and the philosophy and the whole spirit of this industry. Money is not the main issue. All great companies are made of great people.