Since her earliest memories, Cheryl Bartlett, of San Jose, CA, says she’s had a deep desire to live a life of value. It’s a desire born in her solidly middle-class, military family upbringing. It’s a desire that was set aflame through her childhood ventures into entrepreneurship. It’s a desire that formed the foundation for the career she pursued before Primerica, working with children with developmental disabilities. And it’s a desire that still drives her to be better, to help more people and to make a powerful positive impact every single day.
“I was always ambitious,” recalls Cheryl. “When I was nine years old, I got my first job. I knew I wanted to do something special with my life, not only to make a difference, but to create a better lifestyle for my family than we had access to when I was a kid,” says Cheryl. “At the same time, I didn’t have any idea how to manage money wisely. As I got older, went to college and began my career, I always had a job, yet, like many people, I spent what I earned … and a little bit more.”
In 1982, Cheryl was trying to fulfill her desire to make a difference by working full-time as a program manager for developmentally challenged kids, and part-time in two other jobs when one of her former high school teachers, SNSD Ronnie Barnes, approached her about Primerica. “Initially, I saw the Opportunity as a way to make the kind of money I was looking for,” explains Cheryl. “Yet, when I began sitting down with families – going into a home and feeling the tension there, then showing them through the FNA how they could change their situation, and leaving their home knowing they were now all on the same page … that was such a rewarding feeling.”
She continues, ”I knew then that THIS was what I had been looking for – a business I could really pour my heart into, an environment where I would never have to compromise my values, a place I could make my mark and really make a difference. Primerica offered me the chance to do something important, something with integrity, and something that would make the people I cared about proud.”
The Turning Point
Six months in, Cheryl only had three people on her team. She was at a meeting, frustrated with her situation, when Ronnie delivered a speech that changed her perspective. “He spoke about rising above the things you’re afraid of – the things that are holding you back,” Cheryl explains. “It felt like he was talking directly to me. I had a desire to do something great, but I was scared to prospect, scared to set appointments, scared to collect a check. When he said that, I realized he was right. A week later, I quit my job and went all in with Primerica.”**
Pushing Up People
Building a successful business is as much about leadership as it is cultivating a strong work ethic. “I was leaving the house at 7:30 a.m. and coming home at 11:00 p.m. because I wanted to do something huge,” says Cheryl. “I thought everybody wanted the same thing. I had to understand that as a leader, my job is not to try to make my team achieve MY goals and dreams, but instead to find out what THEY are dreaming about and then help them go get that! Whatever level of success makes them happy, makes me happy.”
A Person of Influence
Through the years, Cheryl has built from a business of one to a hierarchy of thousands. “That’s the ‘Power of One,’” smiles Cheryl. “Every single person can make a difference. I wouldn’t be where I am today if every single one of those sales that got me here hadn’t happened. I remember back during my Regional Vice President run, (Company founder) Art Williams challenged us to beat Prudential. We got to a month out from the end of the year and we weren’t going to make it. Beating ‘Pru’ was a matter of pride for me and I worked so hard to get my RVP promotion – and to be a part of that big company accomplishment. One person may seem small, but you can do big things!”
She continues, “For me, what I’ve accomplished here isn’t about the money. I have only ever wanted the chance to do something special. In Primerica, I found something I love. I found a place where I can get up every day and know that I’m doing something important – that the lives my business touches are impacted in a positive way because they came into contact with me or my team. Crossing over the million-dollar level has only intensified my desire to help anyone who wants to do the work, to achieve their dreams!”
Congratulations, Cheryl! Your leadership and impact on those whose lives you have changed will be felt for many generations to come.
*As of November 2014. From January 1 through December 31, 2014, Primerica paid a total of $593,056,197 in compensation to its sales force, at an average of $6,030 per life licensed representative. Actual gross cash flow is, among other factors, dependent upon the size and scale of a representative’s organization, the number of sales and the override spread on each sale, and the ability and efforts of a representative and their downlines. Having said this, Primerica provides an opportunity for individuals who work hard to develop a business with unlimited income potential. **In Canada, the part time opportunity is not available in all jurisdictions and, where it is available, is subject to certain restrictions. 15PFS24