Fabio Bollini recently achieved the extremely rare rank of Diamond Ambassador within the Vi organization—becoming the first in Italy to do so and only the third in the history of the company worldwide. Since joining Vi, Fabio has built a team that boasts almost 12K promoters and 35 ambassadors with over 150K customers. They recorded a ridiculous 500 percent year-over-year growth in 2018. With those achievements, you would think it was a result of a lifetime full of self-confidence and a string of preceding successful ventures. But for Fabio, that was far from the case.

Growing up in San Marino, Italy, Fabio Bollini was an overweight child. He was constantly teased and bullied by his peers. This heavily impacted his psyche and overall self-confidence. He admits to have been a “very shy person with no self-esteem.” He carried this self-doubt into his adulthood as well, which may have contributed to his struggles in school and led to a diploma that he deemed “worthless.”

With no other prospect for the future, Fabio decided to pursue soccer where he was able to vent his “frustrations” on the field. But along the way, he developed a couple of attributes that he never thought he would ever have: courage and charisma. He was then introduced to the world of network marketing where he parlayed his newfound characteristics to this new venture and, more importantly, his own personal growth. He pivoted from studying football to studying himself and continued to improve from the inside out. He attributes this strategy to his overall success, which he claims helped him “change [his] life.”

We recently caught up with Fabio to discuss his recent achievements and his approach to the business.

Vi: First off, congratulations on being named a Diamond Ambassador! How do you feel?

FB: Being a Diamond feels great! But the best part is that the community sees that it’s an achievable level and it’s possible for them to reach it as well.

Vi: Was this ever a goal of yours since you started at Vi?

FB: It was actually never a goal of mine until just last April. It only became my goal when I was really close. Then, with the help of my team, we brought it home that month. My next goal is to make the next billion in sales, so I can top my mentor, Nick Sarnicola!

Vi: How did this last year with Vi compare to your two previous years?

FB: Last year—which I call the “year of the explosion”—was really wonderful. We were able to help a great many people change their lives and improve their health, prosperity and life overall, which I believe speaks to the good nature of the work we do. But 2017 was only possible because of the groundwork we did in 2015 and 2016. No one thought we could accomplish what we did except for the leadership team at Vi, including Nick Sarnicola, Blake Mallen, Aldo Moreno, Rolf Van Atten and Melanie Muske. I’m grateful of the trust they had in us, especially when we were a bunch of nobodies, and I’m extremely pleased to have been able to come through for them.

Vi: What is it about Vi products do you think has made them so well-received and successful in the Italian market?

FB: The products are unique, fantastic and simply the best in my opinion. But nothing sells itself. Our brand and product messaging and communication strategy is what contributed to our high sales numbers. The fact that we were so successful in such a depressed market makes me even more optimistic and excited about what the next 12 months will bring when the market is expected to improve.

Vi: You used to be a professional soccer player in San Marino. Were there any learnings you took away from the sport that has helped you become successful in your career now?

FB: During my time as a footballer, I learned to never give up. I believe if you apply that same philosophy to network marketing, you’re going to be successful. Whenever I meet a successful athlete (which I was not), I always tell them to bring that philosophy here and in 12 to 16 months, they will also be successful. And the ones that believe me do actually become successful. All it takes is discipline, coachability, patience and a desire to win—which are taught to all athletes.

Vi: What advice would you give to new promoters whose goal is to be a Diamond Ambassador?

FB: I suggest practicing “Vi-ism.” I’m particularly behind the idea that success is not something that you get but attract. If you focus on making yourself “attractive” to success, then you will do it. Success or failure is mostly a result of what you do and less about external factors. I think the people that don’t believe in this philosophy end up focusing on the wrong things.

Vi: You once said that you “lie” to yourself as a way to help you reach your goals. What “lies” do you have for yourself for this coming year?

FB: The “lies” I’m telling myself are that I will be the most successful network marketer in the world and that together we will create what no one has ever been able to create in the history of the industry. And also, that I will help make the Vi team extremely prosperous. But I think many “lies” are constantly running around in our heads. It comes down to which ones we choose to believe. I believe that what we have created will never be reproduced by any other company or organization because it was born in conditions that cannot be recreated. We came from a place that didn’t know anything about network marketing, but we were able to become highly successful at it and create a unique culture full of people that were able to develop similar skill sets. I believe this culture will help us overcome anything in our path.