Thursday, July 25, 2024

Billy dela Fuente’s Lesson of Success


Billy dela Fuente’s Lesson of Success

For many in the world of professional consumer direct marketing, Billy dela Fuente needs no introduction.

Together with his wife Josephine, Billy is among the Philippines’ most successful entrepreneurs and direct marketing professionals. He was USANA Health Sciences’ top income earner in the Philippines between 2013 and 2019 and its youngest “Million Dollar Club” member globally, a prestigious recognition of his sales performance.

His 13-year-old organization, XTRM 1-11 (pronounced “Extreme One Eleven”), is present in 8 countries: the United States, Germany, Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Italy.

Billy is an entrepreneur and salesman by heart and a mentor, leader, and inspiration to many. He believes in professionalizing direct marketing as a corporate sales strategy for wider product distribution and an opportunity for enterprising Filipinos to use their talents best.

A Rebel, A Waiter, and an Engineering Student

The third among the four siblings, Billy’s father was an entrepreneur who made money selling chemical supplies. This business meant that the Dela Fuentes were constantly moving across the country. Billy hopped from one school to another until college when he entered the chemical engineering program at the University of Santos Tomas.

While in college, Billy witnessed the downfall of his father’s business and how it affected his life severely. As the family went bankrupt, he was asked to stop his school for the time being to focus on selling soft drinks. But Billy rebelled; he packed up his things and left home, angry with the unwelcome detour of their fortunes.

“It was a difficult period in my life to be alone, broke, hungry, and trying to keep up with my academics. I remember being in debt with almost everyone I knew, and I even sold my SIM card for 50 pesos just to have something to eat on one particular day,” recalls Billy.

He found work as a waiter at Red Ribbon. It was then that he discovered his love for selling and interacting with people. He was so good at upselling cakes that he was frequently rewarded at the end of his shift. He was made a cashier as a result. He eventually left waiting tables as a working student and discovered modeling, a career that he soon realized was not for him.

Having married Josephine in 2009, they found success in direct selling and made it into a partnership that blossomed over the years while tending to 4 growing children. Billy became the Philippines’ first 2-star diamond director (and eventually its first 10-star diamond director). His successive climb eventually reached Asia Pacific; for four years, from 2011, he was among the 25 fastest-growing direct sellers in the region. For 2 consecutive years, Billy was also awarded as part of USANA’s Fortune 25, a recognition reserved for top global income earners. He was the first Filipino to be included in this group.

His laurels continued to arrive: In 2017, Billy was awarded by ANCE with its People’s Choice Rising Star Global Best Male Award, and the year after, he received the Most Outstanding Trainor in the Philippines award from the Junior Chambers International. In the U.S. Billy received the USANA True Health Ambassador Award, a recognition of associates who support USANA’s True Health Foundation through charity, service, and promotion.

“Earning money is different from managing money,” he shares. “You have to know both to achieve your personal ambitions.”

Lifelong Learning and Paying It Forward.

Billy’s ability to form a great team is an important ingredient to his success. Having founded XTRM 1-11 in 2010, he, Josephine, and his core group of leaders expanded the organization internationally to nearly 400,000 associates, and at one point he became the top enroller in Asia Pacific by sponsoring the most number of new direct associates.

Billy’s personality and outlook have made him a popular inspirational speaker, giving 60 talks each year before the pandemic. This record included speaking engagements in Mexico for 15,000 people and South Korea for 10,000 listeners.

He inspires people by going beyond selling, helping them understand purpose and how to make sense of their careers and personal lives. “Everyone has the potential to succeed. The challenge is how to turn that potential energy into kinetic energy,” he says.

He founded and invested in several businesses, including Infinitemedia Corporation, a digital marketing agency and House of Bilao, a restaurant in Pasig; he invested in Xpense, an IT company that provided automatic delivery systems for SMEs; and he was a franchise store owner of a Technomarine shop in Uptown BGC. While these businesses were significantly affected by the pandemic, Billy understands that one learns more from failing than they do from winning. He used these lessons to drive XTRM 1-11 further.

“People often ask me: ‘How do you become driven?’ I acknowledge it can be difficult to push oneself. We are often drawn to settle and take the short route. One should learn or find out about their “Deep Why”. There will be a lot of tests and hardships ahead, but when you know the things that will push you to do greater things in life, you will become unstoppable.”

“Successful people are disciplined. They become winners through consistency,” he shares.

Billy dreams of mentoring up to a million associates both directly and through the mentees he has taught for over a decade and a half. At only 40 years of age, Billy is accelerating forward while paying it forward.

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