Monday, November 23, 2009

Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared. Are You?

I'm borrowing the Boy Scout Motto, Be Prepared, and I'm applying it to Network Marketing for this post.

Now, the reason I'm borrowing it, aside from the fact that it can be applied all the time, is because lately I've been coming across prospects that might want a few tips on being prepared when they are thinking of joining a network marketing company.

So here they are in no particular order.

Be Prepared to:

1. Invest in the larger starter kit. Some companies only have one start up option, but most offer different sized kits for all budgets. Honestly, go with the bigger kit. What other industry can you start up your own business for under $500? Even if the package is $1500 (most are less), there isn't a franchise that you can start for that little.

Remember, it's not just the package you are getting, it's the training, coaching, forms, back office, and more.

So, ok, the first objection I hear when I suggest the larger package is, 'well, if I had the money, I'd do it. But I don't.'

To which I answer, 'then find the money'. Have a garage sale. More than likely there is enough stuff in your house, garage, storage locker, and so on that if you put it on craigs list or held a garage sale you'd make more than enough to purchase the larger kit.

Do odd jobs, borrow it, figure it out. Just don't give excuses. Invest in business, not the excuse, and get the larger package.

2. Be Coachable.  I can't tell you how many times while coaching I give suggestions, recommendations, and such, and immediately hear, 'that's a good idea, but I do it this way because (insert feeble excuse here).'

Listen, I don't know how to break this to you, but you don't know it all. Now, don't get defensive about that statement. Once you realize you don't know it all, then you get to have the fun of learning new things. You start to see that there is a ton of great stuff to learn!

What you know has gotten you this far. In order to go further, you're gonna have to learn, grow, stretch, think, and so on.

Be open to coaching. Be open to listening. Be open to trying new ideas, concepts, training and so on.

Here's a perfect example. My mentor has been in this industry for years. I mean, years. Just recently, a few of us and my mentor took a tele-seminar together in regards to a certain aspect of our industry. She took the approach of a brand new student of the industry.

It was really cool to hear her willingness to accept that she didn't know much about that particular topic, and to. When was the last time someone asked you a question and you honestly said, 'I don't know.'

Wake up each and every day and be a new student to this industry. You'll be shocked at what there is to learn.

3. Invest in Your Self  & Your Business. This sort of goes hand in hand with purchasing the biggest starter kit possible. It's a business, folks. Not only are there the necessities such as business cards, a phone plan, order forms, catalogs, samples, and other business supplies, there are expenses such as books, product, training cds, training seminars, and other tools to help propel you in your business.

It can't be stressed enough, your business only grows as fast as you do. I have yet to meet a leader in this industry or any other that hasn't stated that it's imperative to read, read, read, take seminars, listen to CDs, and so on. Support your business by supporting yourself.

4. Put your big girl/big boy panties on. The beauty of this industry is, how you handle your business is your business. The reason most people fail in this industry is because, how you handle your business is your business.

It's a double edged sword, and if you don't grow up, be accountable for your actions, and learn to be pro-active, well guess what? More than likely you'll join the statistic of those who drop out of their companies and network marketing completely within the first 90 days.

You can have a blast in this industry, but it does require you to grow up with your attitude and professionalism.

5. Spend Time on Your Business. Yes, I know the thought of coming home from a long day or long week and then working on your business just makes your head want to explode. I get it. I really do.

But listen, don't get off work, go home, and sit your butt in front of the idiot box, and then wonder why your business isn't taking off. I understand the whole 'needing to decompress' idea, but you can decompress for a few hours each night now or, if you work your business instead of zoning out to one of the reality shows, you can decompress for the rest of your life later on.

I know someone who spent $1400 on a kit for a company and he never took all the stuff out of the box. It just sat in the corner of the room like the ugly step-child. Then he berated himself for purchasing the kit, blamed the company for this and that, and this was all while he played Farkle on facebook. Suprisingly, he never made a dime in the business and is still broke. Go figure.

If you aren't willing to work on your business, then just don't bother.

6. Work with your sponsor, but don't abuse their time. I LOVE working with my team. I love brainstorming, supporting, and developing relationships with my team. And I love my upline. When I started I had loads of questions and ideas I wanted to bounce off them.

They are there to help guide you, point you in the right direction, support you and suprisingly, learn from you as well. But do respect their time.

Ok! I think that's it (to start, anyway :o) ). This isn't to dissuade anyone from joining. Then again, maybe it is. If you aren't ready to Be Prepared, perhaps you might want to consider just chillin' at your day j-o-b for a while longer.

We do hope you will join us at some point and see what all the excitement is about. 

At that point, come on in....the water is fine.



Sunday, November 22, 2009

Less Talk, More Walk. (not what you think!)

I love the way life presents lessons to us almost continuously. How these lessons don't actually appear as lessons at first, but eventually, hopefully we get it.

A recent example of this is, I strained my back a while ago while running. First time ever in my years of running. So yesterday it was really bugging me, was tight, and nothing I did would loosen it up.

Aside from my mentoring and coaching business, I also am a certified indoor cycling instructor. I teach at a few gyms around town. It gives me a workout and I know I'm delivering a challenging workout to those who attend my classes.

Tuesday, I had volunteered to teach a class for someone who was unable to teach her scheduled time. I especially love to sub classes because it shakes up the athlete's routine.

However, with my my back being so tight and sore, I didn't think me actually being on the bike going through the routine with the class was the best idea for my back.

But I still wanted to deliver the workout, so I decided to stay off the bike during the workout and just give instruction.

For an hour, I instructed the athletes to gear up on resistance, gear down, stand up, go faster, sit down, push harder, slow down and climb, and so on.

I was able to walk around the room, help with pedal stroke, body postures, and really coach them.

At the same time I realized because I wasn't ON the bike doing the workout, it just wasn't quite as much fun. I didn't feel quite as much part of the team, because I wasn't doing the workout.

Along with that, I love take other instructors spin classes. As I mentioned before, it shakes up my routine.

All of this to remind me of my business (you knew I'd come around to it eventually, right?)

I know of many mentors who have done the business, but aren't doing the business. They tell others how to do it, how it's done, and how they did it in the past.

For me, anyway, doing it and working with people is the best of both worlds.

Network marketing, MLM, direct sales, whatever you want to call it; It's a fun business! Many might disagree with me, but I'm having a blast. I continue to learn from others, and get to help teach others while working my own business.

I mean, just recently I learned how to create a great home party experience. Six months ago, I wouldn't have had the first idea what to tell people if asked about parties.   Because I'm actually working my business just as you are, I get to continue to grow and learn.

We're all in it together folks, and that makes it even better. I know I'm glad to have you along, and I hope you don't mind me being along on your journey as well.



Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm Here to Get Validated

A friend turned me on to this video.

PLEASE watch it. LEARN from. TEACH others how amazing you are and how amazing they are.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Moral of the Story

Last post, I wrote down a story I had heard years ago about a man, a dog, and a very long trip for the dog.

I then asked my readers if they knew the moral of this story.

Here it is:

Even though all of those rabbits looked extremely tempting to chase, offered reward after reward, and presented a new challenge each time, all it ended up doing was nearly kill the dog.

The dog, time and time again, became more tired, more bruised and, eventually, in the end gained nothing.

The same can be said for those who have a goal in mind and allow 'chasing rabbits' to distract them from their ultimate goal.

If you are in a networking company, and suddenly there is a new opportunity being flashed in front of your eyes that will 'earn you bajillions with one email', or a different opportunity that promises you a 'better and easier compensation plan with a product that sells itself', it can distract you terribly from your main goal.

As has been said, 'keep the main thing, the main thing.'

Eventually that dog did get to town, and I'm guessing that eventually in the quest for your goal, you will get to it. But if you continue to allow yourself to be distracted by shiny object after shiny object, more than likely, it will take you much longer, and burn you out of energy and money before you get there.

So you can do what the man did, get on the road, enjoy the ride and get to your goal in time to enjoy yourself and relax, OR you can do like the dog and get distracted, and possibly take much, much longer than the average person to hit that goal.

So what's it gonna be?

Monday, November 16, 2009

How Many Rabbits

There's a story that goes like this...

A man needed to go to town. He lived way out in the country, and it was going to take a bit to get into town on those dirt roads, so he started out early. He packed up his dog into the back of the truck and off they went.

As they drove down the dirt roads, the dog spotted a rabbit and took off after it. The man had seen the dog do this in the past, so wasn't worried. The dog always came back.

A while later, the dog caught up to the truck and jumped into the bed of the truck just a bit tired, and a bit beat up. He'd run through brambles, crops, and such, but just as the man knew, the dog was fine.

As they cruised down the dirt road, the dog saw another rabbit and took off again. This time the dog was gone for longer. Eventually, as always the dog came back to the truck and jumped in the back. Worn out, and with some cuts and scratches, but generally ok.

As the day went on, this happened again and again, with the dog spotting a rabbit, taking off, and eventually returning back to the truck.

The last time it happened, the man didn't see the dog for a while. He pulled into town, parked his truck, got out, and headed to the general store. When done, he put the items in his truck and looked around for his dog. No sign of it.

So he stopped to talk with his friends, had some dinner and relaxed. As he and his friends walked out to his truck to say goodbye, the man noticed the dog limping into town. There were small tufts of fur was missing, and cuts and scratches all over.

The man went to the truck, pulled out some water and poured it into a bowl for his dog, which was panting heavily.

 His friends were wide eyed at the sight of the dog. 'What happened? Where has your dog BEEN? What took him so long to get here?', they asked.

'Oh,' the man answered calmly, as the dog climbed into the bed of the truck and collapsed in exhuastion, 'he's fine, he'd have been here hours ago and not so beaten up, but he was busy chasing rabbits.'


Ok, anyone get what is the moral of the story? I'll give you a few days to answer, then we'll come back to it next post.

In the meantime, have a fantastic start of the week!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Who is Really Saying No?

In this industry we hear all sorts of 'no' answers.

'No, I'm not interested' being the most common answer. And honestly, it's something we learn how to handle if we're in this industry for any certain amount of time. It takes a while to learn how to handle it, and really sets up apart the long term winners from the short time faint of heart.

It's part of the growth process that is required to succeed in this business. It teaches us to not take things personally.  A 'no' doesn't have anything to do with us.

But the one 'no' that I'd like to address today is the 'no' we tell ourselves.

As with other things in our lives and, until we learn how to 'undo' the beliefs surrounding it, we have a tendency to protect ourselves from hearing the word 'no'.

One of the ways is to prevent ourselves from being in situations where we might hear the word no. Not talking with people and not presenting our opportunity to people is certainly one way.

But one of the more hidden ways of protecting ourselves, is telling ourselves no.

And here's what I mean by that. One of the biggest 'quiet' habits that network marketers develop is pre-qualifying prospects.

Meaning, we look at people or talk with people, and we make the decision as to whether we are going to present our opportunity to them.

WE are the one's saying 'no'. We look at who we come across and we pre-qualify them. Wanna hear some examples of how we tell ourselves no?

We tell ourselves:

- They are too busy, they wouldn't be interested.
- They are already too successful, they wouldn't be interested.
- They already tried it and it didn't work, they wouldn't be interested.
- They are broke, the couldn't afford to start up, they wouldn't be interested.

Do any of these sound familiar? We've already pre-qualified them and counted them out. Instead of allowing them that decision, WE'VE told ourselves 'no', without giving them the opportunity to look into what we've got.

Here's a secret. All of those 'types' of people up there? They are usually the BEST people to have look into the business. Have someone in your life who posseses a few or all of those qualifications above? Good God almighty, you've got a heavy hitter in your midst!! RUN to them. Look at them and say, 'if I give you this dvd, would you watch it?' and thrust that opportunity dvd into their hands.

They will thank you later, because these people are tired, broke, and sick of trading their life working for someone else.

So, instead of telling yourself 'no', give people the chance to make that decision for themselves.

With that being said, I want you to re-examine the people that you have already come across that perhaps you told yourself 'they won't be interested because....'. Connect again with them. Stop being selfish about your opportunity. Stop picking out only the ones that you think would do well.  Stop telling yourself no.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What Does it Take & What's the Difference?

Lots of times I'll peruse through MLM blog posts, and for the most part I'll think, 'ok, ya, I get that. People need to be reminded of that. Good stuff. Movin' on.'

But in one day, I read two really good articles on MLM that, I think, are two articles that should be presented to everyone looking at the industry for the first time, or for the second, third, or fourth time for that matter.

I dunno, perhaps I look at my business too much as a 'business'. I've seen people stumble happily into MLM and be wildly successful.

Perhaps I analyze it too much. Then again, perhaps not. Perhaps others don't analyze it enough. Perhaps there would be a higher retention rate in this industry if we presented these two articles to prospects instead of the fluff that is floating around.

The first one is by my mentor, friend, and upline, Jackie Ulmer. Jackie is amazing. The thoughts she presents, the questions she asks, and her insights are thought provoking. I mean they actually get one to think, and offer fantastic solutions. What a concept. No wonder she has created a huge business and a wildly successful career in this industry.

The blogpost asks, 'are you mentally prepared to succeed in this business?'

Here's the link:

Mentally Prepared to Succeed?

So ARE you mentally prepared?

The next one is from industry giant, Dough Firebaugh. What a powerhouse. Even the domain name is powerful. Passionfire.

The article asks,

What is MLM and Network Marketing REALLY

Read it carefully, digest it, then apply it to your business.

Both of these articles are simply brilliant. They approach the business as a business, and yet, recognize that this industry asks so much of us. But in a good way. In a way that insists we grow.

I have yet to work for a company that was willing to invest in me as much as I'm willing to invest in me.

Now there are people who think they want to invest in themselves, and those are usually the ones who leave in the ninety day, because the thought of actually being in control of their lives freaks them out.

Then there are the ones that take the suggestions in the articles to heart, apply them to their lives and businesses, and skyrocket to the top.

So which one are you?



Monday, November 9, 2009

What Christianity is Learning From Network Marketing, Or is it the Other Way Around?

I was listening to NPR last night, and there was a conversation between Ira Glass and evangelical, Jim Henderson.

Now, Jim Henderson is an evangelical Christian who is trying to get the message across to Christians that going up to someone and barfing 'their' truth about Christianity and then expecting that person to convert to Christianity just isn't working.

In fact, it's turning people away. In fact, they are running away. Fast.

Most of us probably have a story or two about someone attempting to save us. The person or persons are so excited about their religion, that they give us their reasons why we ought to convert, and then look at us, puzzled, as to why we aren't rushing to their church to dive in head first.

They give us pamplets, and booklets, and bring others over to talk with us. And still, they are confused as to why we are slamming doors shut, or just pretending we aren't home.

Boy. That sounds familiar, don'tcha think? Wish I could put my finger on it.

Jim Henderson claims 'what if what we know as evangelism is a far too narrow and un-doable approach to evangelism?'

'What if evangelism meant just being yourself, and not about converting?'

Mr. Henderson go on to say that by just going about every day life, getting to know people, it eventually will lead to the ultimate questions that opens the big door.  F.O.R.M. questions.


Stop the press. Wait a minute. This sounds AWFULLY familiar.....

Let's Recap Mr. Henderson's idea:

1. Stop trying to 'convert'.

2. Be yourself.

3. Develop Relationships which lead to....

4. Questions about Family, Occupation, Recreation and, ultimately, the Message.


MAN, this sounds familiar.

Someone ought to tell network marketers about this.

Anyhoo, so the basis of his message was this:

When people become friends, it changes the rules.

Boy Howdy. I'm gonna write it down again, because it is THE basis to all social relationships, media, connections, and so on. It's WHY social networking is monumentally important.

When people become friends, it changes the rules.

There are 'unwritten' rules that change when you become friends with someone. Giving a stranger literature about your opportunity usually isn't received very openly. Giving a friend literature about your opportunity is more readily accepted.

Trust has been developed. The rules were changed when you developed some sort of relationship with that person.

Now they are more open and receptive to your message.

Here's the key, though. Don't make the relationship based only upon you getting the message to them.

Because if you do, you'll lose the relationship and all the possibilities that go along with it. And there are a shitload of possibilities that can go along with it, but that's another post that I'll save for later.

So, take a tip from Christianity when it comes to prospecting. Become a friend. Get to know the person, allow the walls to come down and the rules will change.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Questions That Lead to Thinking....

One of the important aspects of talking with people is to lead them to your opportunity. Don't read that as PUSH them or CONVINCE them. Lead them.

You're not showing them your opportunity is the best, you're giving them the space to do that on their own.

Now, just to preface, these questions are asked after you've talked with the person, and perhaps used the F.O.R.M questions to learn more about them.

I personally like to get someone thinking and, best of all, dreaming.

So two questions I start with that really help me connect with the person:

1. What led you to look for a home based business at this time?

Clearly, something is going on in their lives that has them thinking that there must be a better way to create a lifestyle that they see others living, without sacrificing their firstborn. 

Either they are burned out, have been let go from their current job, their hearts ache when they drop their child off at the daycare, are starting over after some life crippling issue, and so on.

We all had our reasons, and continue to have our reasons as to why we do what we do. The question of  'what led you to look for something now?' will give you great insight as to why their back is against that 'wall' that I mentioned in a previous post.

More than likely they will have an answer that you will be able to relate to, you will understand, and the connection can begin.

2. What would your life look like if you created a large business in our industry?

I want to know this person's dreams. In fact, by asking this question it's quite possible that I have given that person permission to dream again.

Most people have become so stuck in day to day surviving that they have put their dreams on the back burner, or have shut them down completely because it hurts too much to think about it. I certainly know I did.

Our spirits yearn to live our dreams, and our hearts ache when we think of a dream we've always wanted but haven't attained.

Take the time and care enough to ask this question. And then handle the answer with great care.

You're dealing with something very near and dear to this person, so don't blow it by butting in and saying, 'Well, with MY opportunity..blah, blah, blah' and then barf your enitre compensation plan onto them.

Once you've opened the door to how their lives may change, you can ask follow up questions about those dreams.

By just asking these two questions, you are able to get them thinking, heavily, about you and what you have to offer. These two powerful questions that can lead to an amazing conversation which can easily flow from there.

Most of all, enjoy the answers! It's amazing what you can learn about a person by asking a few key questions. You may discover you have a lot in common, or learn something new. But ya gotta ask the questions in order to find out!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Put Yer Head Down!

As mentioned before, I've been competing in sports for over half my life. While I haven't won any Olympic medals with my speed, I have been able to push my body and mind to its limits in regards to discipline and endurance.

One of my favorite sports is trail running. It gets me out off the road, which is the worst thing I can imagine doing, and gets me connected to the beauty that surrounds me in the eastern Sierra Nevadas.

Incredible endurance runs such as the Western States 100 Miler, and the American River 50 Miler are classics in this area.

My first and all time favorite ultra trail run is Cool Canyon 50K. True, it's only a 50K, but where it takes the runners is both pure beauty and pure hell.  The ascents, descents, stream crossings, and more provide an unprecedented experience for the first and old timers alike.

Only 500 runners race it each year.

As a first timer, I was excited and nervous. I had never run more than a marathon, which I hated, and vowed to never do again unless it was off road, so the thought of running more than 26.2 miles was a challenge just to think about it.

But as the hours and miles went by, I kept chugging along. Making sure I took in my fluids and food, I kept chugging along. I put my head down and eventually lost track of time and distance and just fell into the experience.

At one point, I guesstimated that I had approximately 15 miles left. I was starting to become concerned at that point. I was growing tired, my legs were pounding, and running through the ice cold, thigh deep streams felt good on my hot feet.

When I came upon an aid station, I stopped to re-fill my water bottle and asked the volunteer, 'how much further?'

Imagine my suprise and relief when the volunteer said, 'About three miles. You'll hit the dirt road right up there and then you just run it home.'

I had become so lost in the experience itself that I had covered more ground than I imagined. It gave me renewed strength to know I was only three miles from completing my goal. Completing something I had been training so hard for, for months by just putting my head down and being in the experience and the now made all the difference in the world.

If I had been checking off mile after mile and checking my time constantly I can almost guarantee that it would have been a miserable race. In fact, the following year, I did just that and it WAS a miserable race.

It's the same with network marketing. Just fall into it. Enjoy the experience. Put your head down and be in them moment. Work on it daily. Do things that scare and excite you, and push yourself when you're tired, and ready to stop.

If you do that, at some point you're going to look up and be astonished at how far you've come, and the distance you've covered. The accomplishment will be overwhelming, and the best thing will be that you enjoyed the journey...


Monday, November 2, 2009

Think You've Got Skills?

The other day I went to get my vehicle serviced. Ya, I could do it myself, but I prefer to have everything checked over, tires rotated, and it frees up my valuable time to take care of other business.

There are several places I can go in my immediate vacinity in order to get this job done. There are some really quick ones, that are production line oriented, and others that will go over everything with a fine tooth come, practically. So there is lots of competition for my business.

That means, lots of coupons in the mail, lots of 'extra' services, and so on.

I choose to go to one specifically. They don't offer coupons usually, and they aren't the cheapest, nor the fastest. They are, however, superior when it comes to their customer service, and that makes the biggest difference, for me, as to where I spend my dollars.

Even though I only come in once every three months or so, they recognize my  vehicle, know my name, have a courtesy shuttle if I need it, have a waiting room with kids toys in the corner. That one is a big plus seeing I have a very impatient four and six year old.

They know the history of my vehicle, the employees are clean and courteous. And they don't try to scam me with, 'well, you have this wrong, and this wrong, and for this amount and this much time we can fix it and you can be safe on the road'. (Side note here: fear based sales tactics suck. Don't do it.)

I can go and get my vehicle serviced elsewhere for less, but for me the experience involving good customer service is important enough that I will take it to this service facility every time. They are worth it.

I know, like, and trust them with these needs.

Read that line again, because it will make the difference as to whether your customers go to you or someone else to purchase product (your immediate income source) or to sign up (longer and passive income source).

With almost every company in network marketing, there is competition of some sort. Whether it's another nutritional company, another juice, or another candle. There is competition for the product, and the prospect.

So what makes the difference? You do.

The experience is just as important as the product itself, and people are willing to pay more for one product even though it is almost identical to another because of the 'good feeling' they receive through quality customer service.

You are responsible for that experience. So ask yourself: Do you follow up on your sales? Do you send thank you's or holiday wishes to your customer base? Do you know your customers? Do you make product suggestions to your customers to make their lives a little easier? If not, why not?

In this day and age where customers can go anywhere to get our products, you want to be the one rep that stands head and shoulders above the rest.

I encourage you to check out some books on good customer service. One of my favorite customer service and sales training authors is Jeffrey Gitomer. Many of his books can be found at your local library.

The difference between poor and excellent customer service can mean the difference between thousands in your pocket or thousands in your competitor's pocket. So get on it and create that positive experience!