Eric Allen was on the treadmill running as fast as he could, metaphorically chasing his dream. He was in his early 30s, and his dream, like that of so many others, was to be a big-time college basketball coach at the Division I level. It was why he taught and coached for several years in high school in Indianapolis, Ind., where he still makes his home. After teaching a full course load each day, he would often close down the school late at night after coaching three different sports throughout the school year. He felt like he was truly making a difference in the lives of less fortunate students, but when the opportunity came along to become an assistant basketball coach at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), a Division I program that was on the rise, he knew it was an opportunity that he could not pass up.
It had always been Eric's dream to be a head coach of a top Division I basketball program, so the decision to join IUPUI could open that door. And yet basketball-loving Eric Allen, a man who worshipped and read every book the late, great UCLA coach John Wooden ever wrote, wasn't happy.
"Chasing my dream of becoming a D-I college basketball coach was turning into a nightmare," the now-36-year-old Eric says. "I was missing out on my kids growing up. I was never home. So, slowly I started to look for something different. Something where I could get my life back."
When he started looking for a new path, Eric transitioned into network marketing during his final year as a coach at IUPUI, and started working for another direct sales company. He had some initial success, but unfortunately with one phone call and one email from the company management, all of his hard-earned cash flow was completely gone, and the company folded.
Eric wasn't sure where his life would take him, but he needed to make a decision, and fast! His family was a few weeks away from living on the streets, or with his mother and, as Eric jokes, "I'm not sure which would have been worse!" But he ran into Matt Morris, and Morris began talking to him about the opportunities that awaited Eric if he got involved with WorldVentures.
"Matt told me that WorldVentures is a personal development company disguised as a sexy cool vacation club," Eric says.
Intrigued, Eric made the decision that WorldVentures would be his last run at creating a lasting legacy for future generations.
"Our product is what everybody wants; it's not a tangible product, but we're in the business of creating wonderful memories, and I saw that was definitely something I wanted to be a part of," he says.
From his humble beginnings, this son of a schoolteacher and an engineer has become a National Marketing Director, and he has been endowed with motivated and talented Representatives on his team.
His enthusiasm for WorldVentures bursts through every time Eric speaks, and he needs no prodding at all to talk about how big of a difference the company has made in his life.
The biggest change has been in his family life; Eric and his wife Casey have three boys: 10-year-old Bryce, 3-year-old Brady and 2-year-old Landon. For the first half of Bryce's life, Eric was hardly ever home. He missed out on many of the big milestones of fatherhood. But thanks to WorldVentures, he's been able to make up for lost time, and have an abundance of quality experiences with his younger boys.
"I've gotten my family time back, which has become so important to me, because you never get that time back when your kids are young," Eric said. "I spend my time with them and we have so many high-peak experiences, more than I ever thought possible when I was a coach."
In transitioning to WorldVentures, Eric says he immediately noticed similarities between his new career and his old one as a basketball coach and inner city teacher.
"In both careers you're helping other people reach their goals," he says. "Doing that has really quenched my desire that I felt while coaching; I channel the same values that I used there into the direct-selling profession.
"I would also say that the values that enabled me to be an effective teacher and coach come into play here as well," Eric says. "Things like putting others before yourself, trying to be a servant-leader and even following the Golden Rule."
Another factor in his early success, Eric candidly admits, was desperation.
"When I started, all our cash flow in our family was gone," Eric says. "My wife Casey made sacrifices, and I couldn't have done any of this without her.
"But I was pretty detached emotionally to what other people thought or said about WorldVentures, and that helped me get ahead quicker.
"Some people when they start [at WorldVentures] only share their ideas with a few people, maybe five to 10 who they know, and they allow those people's opinions to dictate their future with WorldVentures, and ultimately their entire lifestyle, which is so tragic.
"But I was as aggressive as possible and really shared WorldVentures with everybody."
Asked what he'd do over again if he had to start from scratch, Eric says that "there's probably some negative people I wouldn't have spent as much time with as I did. There are too many positive, proactive people out there who need to hear our story, so there's no need to waste time on whiners and complainers."
Eric says that his business strategies are simple: Work with high-quality servant leaders and empower them to take charge by plugging them into our proven events culture.
"I've been very lucky to meet people along the way who are talented, and I've just had to let their light shine," Eric says. "Finding self-motivated people has been key, and my job is to lead by example."
Despite Eric's success, he knows continuous improvement is essential. He's constantly reading books, listening to motivational and other audio content and continuing to plug into the WorldVentures trainings. He never misses an event, nor do his top leaders. "Wherever I go, I find that most people would like to travel more, but time and money keep them from traveling and experiencing life like they'd really want to," Eric says. "Just showing them how they can do that is so rewarding."
As for future goals, Eric's very much interested in becoming an International Marketing Director and beyond. More importantly, he just focuses on becoming the best servant leader that he can be to others, and the rest will take care of itself.
"That's where a lot of the leaders are, and you can make even more of a difference in people's lives at that level," Eric says.
Long-term, Eric wants to "create a generational asset with WorldVentures, that will change the course of our family's history from what it was before I had this in my life. Honestly, I see my great-great-grandchildren benefiting from the work I'm doing now."
To that end, Eric's voice beams with pride when he talks about 10-year-old Bryce Allen getting more and more interested in his dad's work.
"Yeah, he's asking a lot more questions about it now, and I'm able to explain things to him, and he's gotten excited about it," Eric says.
With his family and professional success combined, it would seem that Eric is a Master in the Art of Living. To him, it means something very simple.
"It's being able to wake up each day, to live on your own terms, and do whatever is on your heart to do," Eric says.
"I became an inner-city teacher and basketball coach to have a profound impact on other people's lives," he continues. "But WorldVentures has allowed me to impact so many more people's lives all over the world, in a short amount of time.
"I always had these goals I wanted to achieve in my life," he adds, "and WorldVentures is the vehicle I found, and I couldn't be happier."