Every successful entrepreneur has a story – the thing that ignited a spark that never died. The flame that has always led the way.
“I’m fortunate in that I had a strong female role model growing up – my mother,” said Geraldine Aquino.“ I was born in the Philippines, moved to Canada when I was very young, and my mom was crowned Queen of Recruiting for Mary Kay Cosmetics. So, from age 10, I grew up in the industry and knew that direct selling was an industry that could change lives, especially for women.”
At 18, Aquino enrolled in York University, starting her first business almost by fluke.
“In my first year of university I took a business course. My assignment was to create a simulated business, so I designed a business plan for a training company. Training was something I was familiar with from watching my mother,” she recalled. “About that same time, I saw a Request for Proposal (RFP) from the Canadian government for skills training in the local newspaper. Seeing a real world need for entrepreneurship and professional development training, I submitted my RFP and it was accepted. The funding manager was delighted with the course and commented that it was one of the best written proposals he had ever reviewed. As a testament to that, I was granted a second project.”
Since that time, Aquino has worked as a Senior Executive at top companies in North America and globally and has helped bring start-up companies to multi-million-dollar success through the design and delivery of innovative incentive plans, creative marketing, communication and training strategies.
Aquino’s award certifications and recognitions are numerous, and her professional career also includes serving as Executive Director for non-profit organizations dedicated to the education and training of women, youth and other underrepresented groups. Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in others by helping them turn their dreams and goals into reality is paramount to the way she lives life.
Even with her professional experiences and achievements, what Aquino feels has been missing from plain sight are significant numbers of other female entrepreneurs at the top levels of management and executive branches, just like her.
Debunking the Myths
“There is still a stigma attached to a woman in top jobs in corporate America, especially if you’re a strong woman,” Aquino believes. “Of the estimated less than 10% of women in North America who earn over $100,000 per year, 82% of them are in a direct sales business, like MyTravelBiz™ (MTB). Given that our industry generates over $183 billion in retail sales per year, and that over 70% of distributors are women, that’s got to say something about the level of experience, talent and expertise that women bring to the table.”
Source: Direct Selling News
According to the Direct Selling Association (DSA), more than 20 million Americans are involved in Direct Selling in every state, congressional district and community in the U.S.
Then why the glaring disparity at the top?
“Despite the fact that women make up the majority of Network Marketers, there are three big myths about women,” writes Eric Worre, Co-Founder with his wife, Marina Worre, who is also the CEO, of Network Marketing Pro.
- Women are incapable of building a large network. Finding a few customers and making a few sales is the most they will achieve;
- Working only in supportive roles, not as leaders of large organizations, is where their skill sets lie; and
- True wealth cannot be created by a woman. All they can do is earn an insignificant income.
Worre debunks all of this, pointing out that women are at the helm of some of the top global Fortune 500 companies. PepsiCo, PG&E Corporation, Progressive, General Motors, and Lockheed Martin, are among them. Others are leaders of entire countries.
“Studies show that the number of wealthy women in the United States is growing as fast as wealthy men,” Worre said. “In America, 45% of millionaires are women. Of those women, 60% of them earned their own fortunes. They did not receive an inheritance, they earned their wealth. Some people estimate that by 2030, women will control as much as two-thirds of the nation’s wealth. These numbers are fairly similar on the global level.”
Aquino knows these stats all too well. That is why she is so passionate and steadfast in her work to empower people to change their lives, especially women.
Today, Aquino is helping other women make their own financial choices on a much larger scale in her role as Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, along with Atif Kamran, of MyTravelBiz.
Her mantra is “Live life by design not default,” which she uses to inspire women—from all walks of life—to take charge of their financial destiny.
“When our family moved to Canada when I was two years old it wasn’t easy,” Aquino recalled. “We were immigrants and didn’t have a lot of money, and I clearly remember my parents telling us, ‘There are certain things that we can afford, and certain things that we can’t afford.’ And I never liked that feeling of not being able to get what I want. So I learned a long time ago that if I can control my own income, then I control my life; I control my destiny. Making lots of money is not my sole focus in life, but money is important and makes everything a lot easier. Money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it does give you choices that can lead to happy.”
Aquino believes the Direct Selling industry is particularly suited for creating Entrepreneurs—both women and men—whether they desire to make money, or for personal development, because they can do so regardless of experience or education level.
For women, there is an added bonus.
“The fact that we bear children and maybe have to sit out a year, or two, or more to raise our kids, coming back into the workforce is not easy,” she explained. “But with direct sales you can still build your business while on, or after your maternity leave, and you get the same start as everybody else does. You don’t lose 5 years of your career just because you decided to have a baby.”
Combining her wealth of corporate business and Direct Selling experience with travel was a natural fit for Aquino, who is an ardent traveler, enjoying and using it as a platform to expose, educate and inspire her own children to understand more about the global society in which we all live.
“I believe travel can help us understand other cultures and perspectives; become more tolerant; live in less fear of our differences; overcome prejudices and misconceptions and bring the world closer together,” she said. “Through MyTravelBiz, my hope is to show the world that we are all the same inside.
“Whether you live in the east or the west, we all love our children, we all want the best for our family and friends, we all want peace. When you spend time in different countries and take the time to meet the local people you will come to know that diversity is worth celebrating.”
MyTravelBiz is Helping Women Tip the Scales
Founded in 2017, MyTravelBiz became the first Direct Selling company built on blockchain, by fusing this power financial industry technology with travel and Direct Selling. In the process, the company has revolutionized the travel industry and created a global community of Entrepreneurs.
Blockchain is most often associated with Cryptocurrencies—“Crypto” defined as a digital representation of money. But it is only one use of blockchain technology. The power behind cryptocurrency is the strength of the blockchain itself, which lies in every step of the transaction and where every user has an identical copy of that transaction.
Because blockchain technology works like a digital ledger where information is permanently stored across a network of computers and safely encoded in real time, it provides the optimum solution to the biggest problem in communication – that of placing trust in a third party for data security as a single authoritative entity. As a result, no more than one person can claim ownership of funds, documents, or any other electronic transmission at a time.
Through this fusion, Aquino and Kamran have set out to create an army of entrepreneurs. As such, each one is tapped into one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world – Travel. And through the company, whose travel platform has more than 10 years of proven industry success, they are enjoying unlimited opportunity, financial rewards, and most importantly, joy.
This speaks to the integrity and core values these co-founders infuse into everything they do.
“Our entrepreneurs are traveling toward total financial freedom and in turn, we help by arming them with the products and tools they need to achieve their goals,” said Aquino. “We’re continuously developing cutting-edge platforms and using blockchain technology to be at the forefront of innovation in the industry.”
“When you’re in Hell, Keep Moving”
Although the proverbial corporate “glass ceiling” can seem to be moving more downward than upward at times, Aquino often inspires women to stay the course by pointing to what business partner Kamran calls the “Effort Bank.” In this bank, whatever you do, you either get paid for it now, or your efforts get stored and you get paid later.
“It gives me a sense of peace when I know that no matter what I do, I’m earning credits in that Effort Bank and at some point, it’s going to pay off,” Aquino said. “And that’s what I try to tell women in this business, particularly if they are working through professional or personal challenges in their life.
“I always say, ‘When you’re in hell, keep moving,” she continued. “Life is tough. Things are going to get thrown at you that you never thought would become an obstacle. People that you trusted and loved and cared about can turn on you. But you can’t let that stop you. You have to keep moving.”
“What drives Aquino to do what she does in the Direct Selling business is” seeing people grow—taking them from Point A to Point B—is one of Aquino’s most cherished professional rewards.
“Just as long as they can become a better version of themselves,” she said. “Its watching them change, almost like a butterfly, coming out of their cocoon and blossoming. That’s my personal motivation for doing this – helping somebody else change their life for the better.”
For more information about MyTravelBiz (MTB), see the company website at https://corporate.mytravelbiz.com.