If you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, can you help him improve the tricks he knows… At 53 years old the entrepreneur known as Steve Thompson is re-inventing himself using the skills he always had. In his 13th month with Ambit Energy, Steve’s income hit over $100,000 for a single month, and with current monthly earnings he will easily exceed $1,000,000.00 in 2008.
Come Back On May 5, and find out why Steve is so passionate about the MLM Industry, Ambit Energy and why putting others first really matters when OpTree does a 4 day profile on Steve, his emerging leaders and their success with Ambit.
The Success of Steve Thompson At Ambit Energy: Day One
Ordinary Man – Extraordinary Results: Steve Thompson
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” or at least that is how I believe the sentence goes… however, every once in a while, you find that something or someone who surprises you. Steve Thompson just may be that surprise.
At 53 years old this entrepreneur is re-inventing himself; for his current life and the one to follow over the next 15 years. This man has a history of recognizing opportunities, and has made the most of each.
In Michael E. Gerber’s best seller ‘Awakening the Entrepreneur Within’ the author explains How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies. This became important to us, as we try to understand what keeps Steve Thompson motivated, and why he continues to push so hard?
In Mr. Gerber’s book we read about the age of the ‘new entrepreneur’. How in today’s world we must reach further than simply to do something meaningful or deliver a good product… we must reach much, much deeper than simply creating more choices, or lower prices, or faster delivery. How in this age of the entrepreneur, we must kick butt in ways no one ever thought possible. Does this relate to Steve Thompson and his Ambit Energy business? The answers will be found as we understand where he came from, where he is going and why he must get there.
Steve spent his formative years in a small East Texas town, where hard work and hard times were the way of life. Steve finished high school in Houston, pushed hard and graduated early from college at age 20.
He began selling for many national sales companies trying to better himself and his family in an effort to make a living. Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, and loving the sound of his own name he opened Steve Thompson Insurance agency in 1979.
During those early and formative years of his insurance company, although there were monetary concerns, Steve had an overwhelming desire to serve those around him as well as grow personally and professionally. These personal needs were fulfilled through added opportunities to serve as a Volunteer EMT, Assistant Fire Chief and EMS Coordinator.
Although these opportunities to serve and grow helped Steve fulfill his inner aspirations, his financial life grew as well. In 1982 Steve recognized his need for further financial security and became a Texas Real Estate Broker and in 1984 a Distributor with Herbalife. The big difference as Thompson puts it… “I was willing to do whatever was necessary, and I still am!”
Understanding the benefit and opportunity with the Home Based business model, especially as it related to Network Marketing or Multi-level Marketing, Steve worked hard to make the most of his Herbalife business. Steve realized there were emerging opportunities in the industry, where entire new market segments were developed. In 1996 Steve became a representative with Excel Communications, a Teleservices company that sold long distance.
Thompson became a very successful ‘Senior Director’ distributor/representative with Excel, and earned several hundred thousand dollars with Excel, when he was offered the position of Founding Distributor of NuVante, Nutrition for the Skin in 2003 and helped to launch that company. This was the first intimate experience with a ‘Start-Up’ company in the MLM industry, which later proved to be a very significant and valuable education.
Continuing tomorrow Steve tells how skin care lead to travel and ultimately to Ambit…
The Success of Steve Thompson At Ambit Energy: Day
Ordinary Man – Extraordinary Results: Steve Thompson (continued)
By the end of 2004 Steve had Co-Authored a Non-Specific MLM training book designed to help anyone and everyone interested in the industry entitled “Of Course You Can, How to Build a Successful Home Based Business”. In addition to the 8 years of volunteer services in the Emergency Medical and Rescue business, finding out that Thompson created a book that would help anyone in any business further exposed him as a person committed to helping others.
After a year in the Skin Care World, Thompson moved to the excitement of MLM Travel. Travel is a huge industry and just a lot of fun. Over the next few years he became a Top 20 Money Earner in Travel. And although he loved the company he worked with, and Travel itself, a larger opportunity was about to show on his horizon.
October 2006 all of Steve’s experiences paid off when he put his education and dedication to complete use when Ambit Energy chooses him as the Founding Consultant. This time, Steve had the experience to recognize the difference between a “Start-Up” opportunity and a significant business and lifetime opportunity.
“As a service organization, our vision is to be the finest and most respected residential energy provider in the United States.” Thompson explained “We have one of the most compelling story’s ever told in the MLM Industry, we built a company, and a product first that people needed, trusted and that could deliver and THEN we built the MLM model around it.”
Steve’s desire to help others over himself led him to look at Ambit Energy as a opportunity, because it held what Thompson refers to as the NECESSARY ingredients for success at every level. Leading the way for those necessary parts is ELECTRICITY Thompson stated “Things have to get pretty bleak before someone goes without Power!” which is Steve’s way of saying MLM companies that offer lotions, potions, powers and pills work as great MLM models until economic times get hard enough, then people stop buying the ‘extras’ as he put it.
“Electricity is the perfect product to offer: everyone needs it, everyone understands it, everyone uses it every month, and everyone likes to save money. Demand for electricity is growing. And states all across the country are just beginning to open their electricity markets to competition. Natural gas is no different. In markets where Ambit Energy provides natural gas service, our Consultants can offer the same kinds of savings and benefits we offer our electricity customers”
In order to ensure the security of those he brought to the opportunity table, Thompson evaluated the management team and founders. He found that Jere W. Thompson, Jr and Chris Chambless co-founded Ambit Energy, with some specific goals in mind. In order to accomplish this goal, Jere and Chris understood through decades of previous experience that they would need to assemble the finest management team possible. They assembled a world class leadership team that included Jim Timmer CFO, John Burke CIO, Jim McFelea Senior VP Operations, each with specific and extraordinary experience that created a one of kind, unprecedented story.
Steve also wanted to ensure that people at every level was getting paid for their efforts. “Ambit Energy has one of the most lucrative compensation plans in the industry. Our plan has been carefully designed to help you earn immediate income while you build for the long term. As an Ambit Energy Consultant, there are five different ways you can earn”
Steve explained that you earn through Jump Start Bonuses, Team Builder Bonuses (important to Thompson, because this creates an environment where you are incentivized to help those you recruit), Customer Residual Income (important to Thompson, because this creates an environment where you are incentivized to help your customers), Consultant Leadership Bonuses and Customer Residual Bonuses “The compensation plan has to reward people not only for results but through the right efforts and behavior, they did it, they created a system that rewards us for both”
In Day 3 Thompson reveals the HOW and WHY as well as what drives him…
The Success of Steve Thompson At Ambit Energy: Day
Ordinary Man – Extraordinary Results: Steve Thompson (continued)
Additionally, Steve was excited about the company and product simplicity. “There are No deliveries, no inventory, no complicated paperwork, and no headaches. Ambit Energy takes care of everything. You’ll be backed by a solid company with an experienced management team so you can begin your journey to financial independence”.
According to Ambit Representatives in Thompson’s group, the proof has been in the doing. Ambit started, maintained and continues to live its vision statement to be the finest and most respected energy company in the America. Steve Thompson adds “They have NEVER sacrificed integrity for growth” which also is the company’s slogan. Today the company has more than 100,000 customers, expanding into several more states this year and has been growing at 20% a month in only the second year of business.
Admittedly, Thompson notes “I have tried many opportunities had many chances and have failed more than once. However, anyone who decides to do this business can… and those who choose to succeed will!” When it was time to launch in NY, Steve called everyone he knew, asked them for a list of everyone they knew that lived in NY. He was more than laughed at, Steve was mocked. ‘Imagine some Texas cowboy heading off to the big city, telling them ‘what’s-what’, those New Yorkers are going to have some fun’.
Steve ended up having SOME fun; he grew his Ambit business to over 5,000 consultants during that first year. The demand was so enormous he spent every other weekend in New York helping the business grow. So willing to help others, Steve has grown to become a Top Money Earner as an Ambit Energy National Consultant and on track to earn over $1,000,000.00 in 2008. Now that Steve has met his personal financial goals he still feels the most important part has been helping more than 50,000 customers get the Energy they need and save money doing it!
So it seems that this seasoned dog has learned a few things. Today, considered more than a network marketer, Steve has been called, Author, Speaker, Trainer, Entrepreneur and Mentor. He is recognized as the leading authority on the details of Energy Deregulation and is the spokesperson for Ambit Energy in National Conference Calls and the companies DVD.
When I asked Thompson why he was so passionate about helping others, and why he has had the success he has he said “There are lots of people in this Industry willing to help, but those people who need the help most need to stop, listen and take hold of what is being taught. For me I owe a great deal to others, because of the help that I have received from so many. Most of all I would like to credit Marc Acetta and the training I received from him at WorldVentures, as it took my game to a much higher level. He is an independent trainer www.marcacetta.com . I have been to and taught hundreds of trainings by hundreds of trainers, for me Marc is the best of the best and I keep giving because where much is given much is expected.”
In an effort to continue to help those in and outside his network, Steve has developed automated training programs as well as live trainings embraced by thousands across the US and Canada. He is a sought after educator, motivator, and consultant for MLM Companies.
“Electric Rates affect everyone, with the rising charges by the monopolies, it is more important than ever, that people understand their choices” Steve told us, “In terms of choices, people need to understand there are many
different opportunities to earn, save and improve all aspects of their life as well. Today Ambit Energy is only offered in parts of two states, New York and Texas… with Illinois opening in May and other states coming on board quickly the opportunity to earn and to save has never been better with any company at anytime”.
Steve has the unique ability to address the issues and give the simple truth in laymen’s terms. “Everyone is not right for this Industry, but this industry is right for everyone. I believe Ambit Energy is the right place at the right time. However, if energy is not right for you pick a company, get serious, become passionate about helping yourself and others, and this industry will change your life and the lives of those you love”.
If you have any questions, need a copy of his book or would like to reach out to Steve Thompson you can find him at http://momentum.ambitenergy.biz or www.MomentumMatrix.com
The Success of Steve Thompson At Ambit Energy: Day
Ordinary Man – Extraordinary Results: Steve Thompson (continued)
In Day Four of our weekly profile of Steve Thompson, we look into several emerging leaders within Steve’s organization and provide insight into their unique individual stories and accomplishments. When we asked Steve to name his Emerging Leaders and Top Consultants, he was quick to talk about more leaders than we could fit in this article.
Steve is very proud of his Team and submitted a rather extensive list stating that he had been blessed with more leaders right now, than ever before in his career. For the sake of the article, we only choose a few! This was no easy task, and Steve was clearly disappointed that we only included 7 leaders. Steve said, “Are you kidding, it’s like asking me to pick my favorite kid, they are all my favorites, these guys are awesome – they are changing lives every day!”
Yassar Ayub came to America at 6 with his family in search of the American dream. His father owned and operated newsstands that eventually turned into convenience stores. The business grew from 1 store to 18, with the family eventually selling all but 2 of the stores.
Yassar in his final year of college originally heard about Ambit from his Uncle in Texas. His uncle wanted to know more about the opportunity, but did not speak English and needed Yassar’s help. Although this was a business model Yassar had never understood or participated in before, he liked what he saw. In May 2007 he joined Ambit and within weeks, had over 30 people in his down-line. He was amazed with the interest and positive response he received.
Ambit founders, CEO Jere Thompson and CMO Chris Chambless, requested a dinner appointment with Yassar upon hearing of his achievements. This was exciting to meet with the leadership of the company, and was amazed at how down to earth they both were. Yassar shared one observation with them about his experiences in the business. People were reluctant to give out their social security numbers. In a time where different forms of identity fraud make headlines daily, this was an understandable concern. “This was not a deal breaker,” Yassar said, “just a simple concern that I expressed to the Executive team”.
The very next day, he got an email from corporate explaining that Ambit will no longer require SS# from there New York customers. “This is huge, I am involved with a company that I have a voice in. Today in less than 10 months I have 500 people in my organization and over 1,500 customers; I could not be happier with my opportunity at Ambit!” Yassar said having recently become the youngest Executive Consultant in Ambit at only 25 years old within his first year.
Lionel Cesaire is a Haiti /American, born in the United States Living in New York City. He is a married 36 year old and happy father of four children.
Lionel had some sales experience in the financial services industry, and eventually became involved in the Mortgage industry. With the current changes and turn in the mortgage industry he felt the need to look at other options. He was introduced to Ambit in the fall of 2007.
“It was truly unlike any I have ever seen”. Lionel said “this was a good time in my life for a change. The company is simple; and has a very lucrative incentive plan, and offers a product that all people need. There is tremendous momentum and my team has grown to over 1500 consultants with a lot of hard work and effort”.
According to Lionel, Ambit offers a great deal to both distributors, and customers. “There are no contracts or commitments, people save money and finally there is an alternative option out there for energy”. Lionel added.
Justin Title Originally from Toronto Canada, came to Texas in1992. He joined his first Network marketing company when he was only 17 years old, working with Excel Communications for 7 years. He was recognized as one of the Top 100, and was Steve Thompson’s sponsor at Excel.
When things didn’t work out with Excel he left network marketing altogether and went in to the car business. “I was out of the industry for good” Justin said, until he received a call from Steve about this ‘NEW’ opportunity. Politely as possible Justin told, Steve, “good luck,” but that he was uninterested. Five months later, Steve called again and told Justin that he was having great success and more than he had in previous opportunities.
Justin started actively participating in the company about 5 months later. Today he talks about the phenomenal growth and potential that he has personally achieved through hard work at Ambit. He noted that he could not have done it without the rock solid support system and team trainings. Additionally, he wanted to give special thanks to his team, Coach Joe Dean, Bob Jackson and Otis and Judy Tucker.
Henry Ye was born in China, grew up in Central America and came to the United States when he was 19 years old. Henry didn’t speak any English other than “Hello”.
He found himself working, as a full time Union Rep., husband and father struggling to find a better way. Henry had always struggled with the concept that people work until 60-70+ years to retire. “Why does it have to be this way?” Henry said “No more, there has to be a better way, I want to enjoy my life while I am still healthy and strong enough to help people”. Like many others before him, he too was looking for different options when the Ambit opportunity emerged.
When approached by his friend, Henry said no to the concept of network marketing. He felt like the industry was not right for him; however this friend continued to call Henry 4 more times. During the fourth phone call his friend said “Henry, this is a way for you to reap the rewards of your own hard work and allow your family to benefit as well”. Those words caught his attention, and he went to his first network marketing meeting.
After significant due diligence, he called his friend and said “Let’s get me started”. He signed up right then over the web. “People are always looking for a shortcut that can help them make more money, save money. Now, this is not
always easy and does come with hard work and perseverance, but worth doing” Henry said.
Bishop Richard Rose is an Entrepreneur and has had his hand in a great assortment of thing including overseeing pastors all over the country. He is opening charter schools in Houston and Dallas, and is the founder of Zoe learning center, for at risk children ages pre K- 6th grade.
He was introduced to Ambit, and the business made sense. “It was complete and well put together, and I was happy with the product”. Bishop Rose said. “I can help build an organization that capitalizes on a basic need that anyone I am surrounded by uses and needs; energy.”
Within 3 months Bishop Rose was an executive consultant, where he built teams in NY, TX, and now IL. “This is just the beginning, as we look to 30 more states that are in some form of deregulation. When these states are open, it will be even greater.
It’s not a matter of how or when….it is about getting started it and doing it”. Bishop Rose says, “Teamwork makes the dream work”.
Jim Celarek lives in Schaumberg, IL, with his wife and girls and was looking for ways to move away from the corporate life. Jim wanted an opportunity that would give him residual income and started looking at network marketing companies. He tried a few and was not satisfied with the results. Most products were not complete or the corporations were not well put together and he felt that there had to be more.
When Ambit first came along Jim did not want anything to do with it… that is, until he got a call early this year from Darrell Holmes. They spoke for 45 minutes; Jim asked a lot of question which Darrell was happy to answer. Darrell then had him speak to Steven Thompson and others in the business who answered any remaining questions Jim had.
“It was a well put together plan, great products that everyone needs”. Jim told us, “I believe in the company, partnerships, and the leadership team. They are all doing it the right way. You get great service for less. Timing is everything, and now is the time”.
Chris Atkinson is 41 years old, and is a small town Texas guy who left a few times, but always came back. He found Network Marketing in 2002 when he became involved with a company and unfortunately lost money. “Although I had lost money in this industry, I did meet those that had achieved success and was determined to figure out how to do it as well,” expressed Chris.
Steve Thompson called Chris to tell him about the Ambit opportunity. Chris was excited and wanted to learn more, so with a friend he met with Steve and got the information he needed. Chris was immediately impressed and wanted to join but did not have enough money to get involved. In October 2006 Chris borrowed the money for the start up fees and got started right away. Today, two years and a lot of hard work and effort later, Justin currently works with over 3,500 consultants and 17,000 customers.
Of course he can’t take credit alone for this. It is a team effort. His Team has a training site and a host of people that keep thing going. Their determination to see to it that others have a similar experience is what drives them each day.
The Success of Steve Thompson At Ambit Energy: Day Five
Corporate Discussion with Ambit Energy Co-founders
Over the last several weeks as we have met, interviewed, and talked with many of the consultants, there was a common thread to each conversation: they love this company and they love its leaders. With that said, I have to add that it was an absolute pleasure to visit with Ambit Energy Co-founders Jere W. Thompson, Jr., CEO, and Chris Chambless, Chief Marketing Officer.
Chris Chambless Jere W. Thompson, Jr.
Having now talked to the corporate leaders about their company, their plans, and their vision, I can easily say it is no surprise that these two men have not only created an exceptional company, they have also created an exceptional corporate culture that extends far into the ranks of the consultants.
I wanted to know why the corporate culture was able to permeate so deeply throughout the organization, and what the company was doing on a daily and weekly basis to foster and support this success. Chambless suggests, “This is a real business that offers real products, to real customers. We treat our consultants as responsible consultants and our customers as valued customers. When you combine those factors with our legitimate business opportunity, people buy into the corporate culture.”
“It goes further,” Thompson interjects. “Chris is right. Yet even beyond that, we hold ourselves to a very high standard. Our products get delivered correctly on time, every time, so people begin to trust in us and in our ability to reproduce results day after day, month after month. We realize that when our consultants go out into the field, they are putting their reputations on the line, so we do everything in our power to be worthy of their trust.”
Keeping consultants in the loop is a critical element of Ambit Energy’s overall effectiveness. In addition to holding multiple miniconventions and training seminars throughout the year, the corporation manages a number of sophisticated communications systems to keep consultants informed and motivated. These tools include daily email broadcasts, a state-of-the-art voicemail messaging system and nationwide leadership conference calls.
“Additionally,” Chambless states, “We have a very mature group of respected business leaders, consultants in the field who offer training, support and communications on a continuing basis. When we see the effect they have on the organizational structure and growth, we know they’re earning every bit of the substantial commissions they’re paid.”
By management’s account, Ambit Energy’s business is recession-proof and has a built-in, long-term stickiness factor for both customers and consultants. Thompson says that people will always need electricity, as opposed to products and services other network marketing offer, which are often the first things a consumer stops buying when money is tight. Thompson believes that when you offer the right product at the right price, you create loyalty.
“Many of the most powerful leaders in the direct selling industry have joined our business because they recognize the incredible value of the Ambit opportunity, specifically that every consumer NEEDS our product,” Chambless explained. “That creates a stickiness that is real, that lasts and that people want to be associated with! The leaders who have joined us see the same huge potential we do, the same relevance. When they came on board, they joined as members of our team and family.”
“We have consultants on the front lines teaching people how to use less energy and how to save money. That’s the perfect business model for network marketers.” Chambless said, “People get paid to help other people, and our compensation plan is very attractive because it pays our consultants several levels into the plan without their having to achieve top leadership levels. They just have to bring in at least one customer every four months to be considered active. Meanwhile, we pay them for all of their efforts. These behaviors promote success and keep people engaged, even if they are not a recruiting machine.”
I learned that in the beginning, Ambit Energy took a different approach from most start-up companies. They designed their own operational technology from the ground up. Further, executive management felt strongly that all operational systems had to be completely sound before the company began to offer the opportunity. They wanted to be prepared well enough to handle 10 or 10,000 orders per day without sacrificing anything. Although implementing this took longer to get going and had a significantly higher cost than installing off-the-shelf systems, the company feels it was well worth the effort.
Thompson stresses, “We have never sacrificed integrity for growth. And never will. This philosophy has permeated the entire organization and we repeat it on every broadcast call and at all of our training events. Because we never sacrifice integrity for growth, we feel we have earned our customers’ trust and continue to support our consultants’ successes.”
In only two short years in business, there is a lot of buzz around how Ambit Energy has blown all expectations out of the water. 2007 was the company’s first full calendar year in business. Reports on commission averages and customer savings are not yet public, but the company has plans to release these numbers in the future. Ambit Energy is eager to demonstrate what top consultants are referring to as the ‘most lucrative pay plan’ they have ever seen. The co-founders had no comment on this, other than to suggest they believe they will blow industry standard away.
I am really excited to re-visit Ambit Energy and to do a complete profile on the company over the next several months. It will be exciting to witness the growth of the company as new markets open up with the deregulation of energy in other states. I personally wanted to thank each person for their time, energy and enthusiasm. It has been a great pleasure working with you all!