t age 87, Jimmy Smith has mentored thousands of network marketing professionals on their journey to the top. Networking Times first interviewed Jimmy in 2005 when he was already a million-dollar earner in his company. The story was titled, Leaving a Family Legacy, and Jimmy has stayed true to his mission: today his six children are all job-free and building the business with him. Jimmy “the Butcher” stumbled upon network marketing after working 40 years for a supermarket chain, a job in which he never made more than $400 a week. Jimmy’s wife of 59 years, Bridget Smith, also worked in the meat department and together they raised a family on a very limited income. Totaling up all of his paychecks, Jimmy made no more than $400,000 in his entire career as a butcher. Thanks to Jimmy’s love for his family, his open mind, his desire to help others, and his fascination with the network marketing business model, this retired butcher’s family legacy is now one of unlimited potential not only for his children, but also for his 28 grandchildren. Even though Jimmy has earned millions of dollars to date, he says he is just getting started. “It’s not about the money,” he says, “it’s about what you can do with the money.” After mentoring his children and grandchildren, he is looking forward to teaching his greatgrandchildren how to succeed in what he believes is the world’s best opportunity to become wealthy and free.—Ed.
SUSAN: Can you tell us a little about your life before network marketing? JIMMY: My mother wanted me to go to college. My father wanted me to be a butcher. He was a butcher, and so was his father. I chose to be a butcher rather than go to college. I figured I’d work for my father, and I’d get paid. My father told me, “Son, I’ll teach you how to be a butcher. You’ll always have a job.” He added, “I lived through the last depression and had college graduates working for me at the butcher shop.” I love my father. I trusted him, so I said yes. I went down to the butcher shop at a very young age and started working with my dad. He taught me the meat business. I fell in love with it. I thought I had the best job in the world. I was passionate about it and did it for 40 years. I raised six children on a butcher’s salary. My father didn’t tell me how hard I would have to work. He didn’t tell me the long hours I would work. He didn’t tell me I might get arthritis of the spine, the knees and the hips. Nevertheless, I loved every moment of it. I was too small for the job, and didn’t even know it. I was overworked for 40 years of my life. I didn’t know it. My kids didn’t know it. We were happy. We had everything we needed.
S: What happened after 40 years? J: I hurt my back in 1983. When Ronald Reagan was taking blind people off Social Security, I got full disability. I was 56 years old, and my employer said, “Jimmy, go find a new career. You’ve served us well for 40 years.” With no education there’s not much out there. I started looking. Six years later I stumbled upon network marketing. Even though I didn’t clearly understand it, I could see this is democracy in its finest form if done correctly. I picked up on the fact that you have to help your people. You have to bring people into your business, and if they don’t succeed you