Karen Floyd: You are an author, motivational speaker, life coach, multimillion-dollar earner and “top seller” for the Isagenix Company. Where does your success come from?
Patty Cepeda: God. I had a major encounter with the Lord when I was 34 years old. For the first 34 years of my life I did not really know Him the way I know Him now. What happened was amazing; to hear the voice of God is transforming. I just give Him all the glory because He has given me all the talent. He has also given my husband his talents. Everything we have was given from Him and we realize that. So it is my strength. When I am on a run or a bike ride, I am usually listening to the Bible read to me in my earphones. It is just my motivation. It is life for me. So, it really fires me up, and it is even the reason we live here. We were moved to Charlotte by His hand. When I had that encounter, it was like I was in a dark hole and a light bulb turned on. It was an amazing encounter.
Q: How did it happen?
A: Well, you know what? I had been seeking the Lord for quite a bit. My brother had come home, the brother that was 10 years older than me. I was raised in religion, and I hated it. I am the one that got kicked out of the religious classes. My mother begged them to let me back in. So, I am the last one that you would ever think would carry a Bible. But my brother came home and he had had this amazing encounter with the Lord. He had a Bible and everybody thought he was weird, including me. But there was something about his excitement, something about his enthusiasm that I just had to know. So when no one was looking, I went and asked him. He said you have to read. You have to be born again. I didn’t understand any of it. I took a Bible and I started to read and I went back to him and I said it doesn’t make any sense. He said you’ve got to ask the Holy Spirit. I thought, “Oh, my gosh, you really are weird.” It still didn’t make any sense, and I took it away to college.
Q: What happened when you were young that changed your life?
A: I could have played basketball anywhere in the country, on a free ride. That is what I was being told by all the coaches when I was in high school. I was in a horrible car accident, was hit by a car. It snapped my leg. My arm was broken — I was mangled. I was actually thrown. Lucky to be talking to you today. But I used that accident (I could have rehabbed from) as an excuse not to go into basketball.
Q: When did you meet your husband?
A: So, fast-forward, I chose a college that was the biggest party school I could find. I was in that place. My husband was playing baseball, and I had a boyfriend. He had a girlfriend. So, we were friends at first. But one of the first things we talked about was salvation. I asked him, “What does that mean, to be born again?” My husband had all the answers. He asked, “Well, do you believe Jesus died for you?” Yes. “Do you believe it was atonement for your sins?” Yes. “Do you believe he rose again?” Yes. “Well. Then you’re born again.” I said, “Well, OK, then I’m born again,” and I went on to bartend. But ultimately we got together.
Q: So what changed everything?
A: I just had no conviction on the way that I was living but was continuing to read and wanted to know more. There was something about my brother’s fire and passion that caused me to have to know. And so, fast-forward, it was quite a while later, and it doesn’t normally have to take this long. I lived my whole life of bar tending and everything else. Herb and I ended up eloping after college. My husband went into the State Police Academy, and I went to get my master’s degree. We ended up being stationed in Upstate New York. We had two children. We waited 13 years to have our first child. At that point, I said, “You know, we really need to raise them in a church.” I wanted to go to a nondenominational church. I didn’t want to be influenced by a certain religion. We had studied with many different religions, and there was always something that made me feel a little off about it. We ended up in a nondenominational church, and it just felt right. And so, the long and short of it is that God put a couple in our life right then. They started to disciple us, which, all that means is that they started answering some questions. We had a lot of questions. I had a lot of questions. They prayed with us. Some time after that period of time they showed us in the Scripture, believe and be baptized. We ended up doing just that.
Q: And the encounter?
A: Then I had this crazy encounter where the word, the Bible that I had been reading for about what, 20 years, I was really faithful too. I was reading it every night. I really wanted to know if there was something in me. I think it’s in everybody that seeks truth. Who is your Creator? But there was something that happened around the time when I got baptized. We were praying together. I was feeling His presence. The Bible that I read for 20 years came alive. It was like I couldn’t put it down. All of a sudden, it made sense. All of a sudden I was like, “Oh, my goodness. I was so in the dark.” I started to realize — it was a wild encounter. And all of sudden, I realized that people don’t know. The world is bloated with people who think they know. They know. Like I thought I knew. And it was just such a powerful encounter and experience that I was compelled to tell people. I had to tell it. Churches are filled with people that think they know and they don’t. They really haven’t had this encounter. This was something that came upon me. I thought that to get His word out there that we would have to open a church, but Herb wasn’t on board with that.
Q: So what happened?
A: At that point in our lives, we were also in a financial mess. In the past we had experienced fantastic, really a phenomenal success in business. We had our ebbs and flows. We’ve had our ups and downs. Herb and I will be married 30 years this May and together 35 years. So, we have had our ups. We had our downs. We were at a down time when this encounter happened. We just started plugging in and learning and getting fed that way. We started having babies. We were having babies left and right. We had five in 10 years. I was pregnant or nursing for 12 straight years. I didn’t want to move. Herb wanted to move down here, and I just resisted. When you are pregnant or nursing you are kind of inside yourself. We found a church home, and I was homeschooling the kids. We really were kind of situated. I did not want to pick up and move when I had all that around us. So, I resisted.
Q: What is a life lesson you learned in the move to Charlotte from New York you wish to share?
A: I always say it’s not about you. It’s about who can I help. I coined this phrase because I believe the Lord gave it to me one day. Who can I help today? So, every call we do, every training we do is — it ends with, who can I help today? I want people’s focus to be on others, not themselves. That’s key because what starts to happen is your success is imminent if you will help enough other people succeed. We brought our children up that way. You can have anything in life you want as long as you’re willing to help enough other people achieve what they want and to focus on others.
Q: It is reported that your annual income with Isagenix is multimillion dollars. How did that come about?
A: We had experienced great success in the past. In the late ’80s, we were introduced to this industry. We were at the top of one company, one of the first 50 at the very top echelon. One day I woke up and I said to my husband, I couldn’t keep doing this. He asked, “Why?” Because I said you cannot build something and have the happiness and even long term success financially if others aren’t duplicating the efforts. We evaluated where we were because we were young and we didn’t know any better. There really are criteria needed for these types of companies. We ended up walking away from that business. We started to pursue and investigate options. It started our educational process. There were a lot of companies that came our way. We started to realize key criteria of the successful companies. Financial stability of the company and the products needed to be consumable. Being unique is a bonus factor. But if the company has an emotional quality also, it is a home run. The compensation plan needs to be simple and lucrative, and that was not the case with the first company. It wasn’t simple. It was very complicated. It was very difficult to duplicate. Training and support never concerned us because that’s what we do. Finally there is timing. You don’t want to get involved with these types of businesses that are too young because most fail in the first couple of years. One in a thousand will make it to five years. Every one of these criteria needs to be a ten out of a ten. When we walked from that company at the level of success that we had, we were being approached constantly. We had literally seen thousands of companies. We eventually branched off to do our own coaching business. I was going to write a book, and we just really wanted to have our own business. It was at that point that we had received a coaching client who was with Isagenix. When I went in to coach him, as I would do anybody else, I just started getting so excited because I started to realize that every criteria of this company was a 10. I didn’t really want to be getting excited, but I couldn’t help it. The long and short of it is we were introduced to Isagenix through that coaching client, and we opened our account with him.
Q: That was a good day for him.
A: I know, yes. Absolutely. Isagenix is transforming people. They can visually see that they look better, they feel better, and they lose fat, which is a big distinction. Fat weight is being taken off while they are maintaining, and building lean tissue, which helps raise metabolism. Now they have better energy. So, people notice. They ask or they just have a heart to tell others. So, we tell people, “You know what? If you are not interested in making any money with Isagenix, that is fine” because some people feel like they might bother someone or they just do not want to sell. But I explain there is no attachment to the outcome. You don’t have to convince anyone to do this. Everyone has options. You can either refer them to me, and I’d love to be able to help them, or I don’t mind talking to them for you and maybe you could get your own program paid for down the road. Seriously, sometimes I tell people don’t tell anybody if that makes you happy. It is the beauty of Isagenix. E