Pasig City, Philippines – April 27, 2018—Santé Hall of Famer and self-made man Joel Luyong’s life story is one for the books.
As one of the most successful Santé business owners, Joel is a well-known face among the thriving Santé family. When he is scheduled to speak in any of the training sessions, events, and conferences, the halls are filled to the rafters with attendees who are eager to hear him talk and ready to be inspired.
The eldest in the brood of 12 was the top-earning business owner for five consecutive years, starting in 2011 until he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016. To date, Santé Barley has only four Hall of Famers. At his peak, Joel was taking home P1.3 million a month in earnings. He has been all over the world, travelling for free, while five of the cars he owns he got at no cost. All these were part of his incentives for meeting the set targets for business owners.
Needless to say, Joel has been a consistent high performer but his success did not come easy. His feat today is perhaps unimaginable to a much younger version of himself many years ago when he was forced to live on the streets after running away from home to escape the clutches of his father.
Doing odd jobs to make ends meet, the dangerous streets of Manila had been his home for four years. When his family finally found him, he returned home to finish his high school through self-support but he got married at an early age, forcing him to find numerous jobs, including peddling fish in the market, and work extra hard to support his own family.
It was around this time that he was first introduced to direct selling and network marketing. Santé International was called Vision Unlimited then. Joel took a leap of faith and joined the company as a product distributor.
“Naranasan ko na ‘yong totoong hirap ng buhay… puro kalbaryo ang hinarap ko. Pinanganak ako na mahirap, lumaki na mahirap, at noong nag-asawa mahirap pa din. May sumpa ata ang kahirapan (I experienced real hardship in life… I had faced so many struggles. I was born poor, grew up poor, and when I got married, I remained poor. It seemed like being poor was my curse),” he said.
Still down on his luck, his venture into direct selling got off to a rocky start and his mentor saw what was pulling him down.
“Sinabi niya sa akin na mahirap umakyat ng Mount Everest ng pangarap na maraming dalang bagahe… Nagco-connect na pala siya sa akin noon,” he recalled. “Sa simula hindi talaga okay [yoong kita] pero hindi din ako makalabas kaya sabi nga ng misis ko, ‘Mahal, maghanap ka na lang ng tricycle na pamasada kasi sigurado ka doon (He told me it would be difficult to climb the Mount Everest of your dreams if you were carrying too many baggage… At that time, he was already trying to connect with me. At first, the earning was minimal but I could not get out anymore so my wife said to me, ‘Love, why don’t you try to drive a tricycle so that you would have a more stable source of income).”
He, however, persisted. His first breakthrough came under Sante International and he achieved it when he, upon the advice of his mentor, made a conscious effort to make peace with his past .It was on October 16, 2006 when Joel decided to forgive his father for all his wrongdoings and finally let go of his anger, bitterness, and shame that dominated his younger years.
“When you forgive, you are doing yourself a big favor. Para magawa ko ‘yon, uminom ako ng beer. Wala akong kasama sa bahay… Minura ko sarili ko, minura ko tatay ko, minura ko lahat para ma-release ko [ang excess baggage ko] (For me to do that, I drank beer. I was alone in our house… I cursed myself, my father, everyone, so I could let go of my excess baggage),” he said.
Making a complete change, Joel recalled how immediate the effect of his decision was on his life. For one, he rediscovered his self-confidence. “Ever since motivated ako kaya lang walang resulta kasi nga [ang motivation ko lang is] kumita ako dahil wala naman akong ibang trabaho. Pero ‘yong na-release ko na [‘yong galit ko], beyond motivation, naging inspiration [‘yong ginawa ko] kasi ngayon pwede na akong humarap ng maayos sa tao (My initial motivation was to earn because I had no other job and that was why there was no positive result. But when I released all my anger, beyond motivation, I decided to serve as an inspiration. Now, I am able to confidently face people).”
One year and one day after forgiving his father and himself, Joel bought a Pajero from his Santé earnings and his good fortune continues until today.
“Tatlong pinakalamalaking benefit ang nakuha ko dito sa Santé. No. 1, naging healthy [and complete] ang buong family ko; No. 2, nag-transform ako within; and No. 3, nagkaroon ako ng opportunity na magkaroon ng space sa buhay ng ibang tao (I received three benefits from Santé. First, my family and I became healthy; Second, I was transformed from within; and third, I was given an opportunity to become part of other people’s lives),” he said.
Joel is now an active speaker in several Santé events, inspiring others to start their success from within by letting go of their emotional baggage and engaging in continuous learning to upgrade their skills and keep up with the evolving world.
“There are many opportunities to learn because every day is a brand new day and every moment is a brand new experience… Through Santé, I hope to create a huge global network of people, including their families, and reach out to them through this opportunity,” he said.
Santé products will be the channel toward their success. He said the products in themselves are sustainable because they contain unadulterated ingredients (classic, he said); highly consumable; and they address the health needs of today’s society.
Driven by his desire to make a difference in other people’s lives, he vows to continue investing his time and spreading his knowledge about the important role and healing benefits of holistic change. That, as Joel affirmed, and not money should be the true motivation to make it big in the direct selling business.
Joel is now enjoying the fruits of his labor but he is not slowing down anytime soon, driven by his life goal of reaching out to as many people as possible to help bring change.
It is a tall order but with Joel’s grit and determination, anything is possible.