James McCue April 5, 2012

Cover Story article from the Oct / Nov 1999 Issue of Network Marketing Magazine



Out of the Drywall Blues

James McCue
James McCue: I knew construction work would kill my body before long, so I had an open mind when a friend brought me to a training meeting. I was convinced.

According to James McCue, 34, of Linwood, Pa., he used to look like Axl Rose – the hell-raising singer of the rock band Guns n’ Roses. “I had this two-foot long hair down my back, a Harley-Davidson, tattoos, and no customer service skills,” he recalls.

Back in February, 1996, when he joined Herbalife, McCue was running his own small construction company, which he founded at age 21. Along with 12 other men, he slaved to install drywall in suburban houses and stores. For 10 years, McCue’s typical work week exceeded 80 hours.

“I was constantly exhausted,” he recalls. “In all that time, I never went to a single ‘happy hour’ – it was all straight work.”

McCue knew he couldn’t keep this up forever; his neck, arms, and shoulders were starting to give out. One afternoon, as he sat in a tanning salon, preparing for the one short vacation he’d allow himself that year, the salon owner started talking to him about a business.

“He invited me to a training seminar. I was open-minded. Many people aren’t; that’s the biggest challenge we face in this industry. I knew that it was time for me to change the way I worked. I wanted to earn another $1500 in outside income so I could trim back my work with the construction crew to ‘only’ 50 hours a week. Then I might have time to go shopping at the mall once in a while.”

Convinced by what he heard at his first distributor meeting, McCue signed up, got a haircut, and plugged into Herbalife’s support and training system. He went to the weekly, 45-minute opportunity meetings, usually with a guest he’d met through small “Work at Home” ads he ran in a local suburban paper. He also printed up thousands of fliers and pressed his satisfied retail customers for referrals.

McCue made an extra $1500 his first month. “That’s when I saw that I could get rich,” he says. “After eight months, I was averaging about $2200 in residual income.” The more network marketing income he made, the fewer hours he needed to work at his grueling construction business. In his first year of the business, James earned $14,000 from retail sales and $11,000 in residual income.

McCue soon realized he could wind the drywall company down. By March of ’98, he’d shuttered the construction business to do his Herbalife business full-time. Within 90 days, his monthly income doubled to $8,000.

“Now I work between 20 and 40 hours each week, and I expect to earn $200,000 this year,” McCue says. “I’m going to call everyone on my old construction crew and invite them to join me – most guys can’t put up drywall into their 40s.”

What will he do with the money he’s making? “I plan to take good care of my parents,” he says. He gives to a charitable foundation founded by Mark Hughes for children “at risk,” the Herbalife Family Foundation, which works to keep children off drugs, alleviate the plight of starving children, and help kids overcome the disadvantage of traumatic childhoods. For instance, the Family Foundation built an orphanage outside Rio de Janeiro. Herbalife funds the feeding of 15,000 children a day in Brazil.

Today, he’s no Axl Rose, but McCue hasn’t given up every trace of his raucous youth. “I bought myself a much better motorcycle,” he admits with a grin.


James & Lisa McCue are the owners of Pacific Beach Wellness in San Diego, CA.  To contact them directly, call 858-456-9090.

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