Life Change

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

" You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go. " -
Dr. Suess

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Save Your Business. Answer This Question.

A post by a respected associate on who you are.  Thanks Liza

This post can be dangerous to your business. Some will consider it a bit brutal in its honesty – so read it at your own risk.

Unfortunately, this industry is filled with people who are sold a dream and an opportunity. But getting in on an opportunity, no matter how good it is, does not bring success. The products alone, the company alone, the opportunity alone or even all together does not a successful business make.
When first embarking on a network marketing business – or when enrolling a new associate, it is really important not just to establish your WHY – but to set yourself up for success. There are many theories as to how to get this done and many avenues to follow. I have grown up around both failed and successful attempts at entrepreneurship on both sides of my family, and I’ve had my own go at it as well. So it is from personal experience that I offer you what I believe now to be the single most important factor in setting yourself up for success.

Who Am I?

Anyone who has been on a success path knows there are dips, pitfalls, rejections, and all sorts of experiences that can really bring us down. Knowing who you are and what you want is key from the outset. So get super quiet and super honest and ask yourself the following questions. Am I an entrepreneur/business owner? Am I a manager/team leader? Am I a hobbyist/part-timer? Or am I in the wrong business?
There is no absolute right or wrong answer. But there is definitely a right or wrong answer for you. And if you pick the wrong one – or deceive yourself about what your truth is – you’re in for years of frustration – with this business or any endeavor for that matter.
Let’s examine all four options. Entrepreneur, Manager,  Hobbyist, & The Uncommitted. These are really four different states of mind with four different levels of risk-tolerance and four different outcomes. I don’t think they represent fixed personality types as I am a firm believer in change. Everyone is able to make changes in their life when it comes to getting out of their comfort zone. But some states of mind come easier than others – that’s for sure.
(For the purposes of this blog post, I use the term “she” to describe the individuals below. This is not a bias but rather a choice for ease of reading. All my male readers should feel comfortable knowing they belong to one of these groups as well.)

The Entrepreneur/Business Owner

This is an individual who knows her outcome and is flexible enough to change course until she achieves it rather than quit at the sign of first failure or rejection.She is a long term thinker and always chooses the long term strategy over short term benefits. She is extremely creative and is in a constant state of birthing ideas. She gets excited about each of those ideas equally and has a strong vision as to how to make those ideas realities. However, she gets bored easily and needs to “move on” from an idea that doesn’t come to fruition quickly. This person is best surrounded by teams of people (task masters &managers) that will help her vision come true so that the entrepreneur can be free to birth the next idea.
Richard Branson is the quintessential example of the entrepreneur. He owns approximately 300 companies and founded approximately 300 non-profits. Clearly, there is no way he is micro-managing 600 organizations. He is the expert delegator as all entrepreneurs need be. He loves birthing and creating things more than he loves growing them. But you don’t have to own 600 organizations to be an entrepreneur. Someone like you or me can have their hand in real estate, a network marketing business, and coaching/consulting practice, all while birthing the next big thing.
Warning: Because entrepreneurs bore easily, they can easily appear as one of your greatest prospects, become big-time leaders who reach great heights within a company and then easily decide to leave at the slight sniff of a bright new shiny object or new opportunity. They are un-attached and although they can be seen as lacking in loyalty, they were never really cut out to stick it out long term to begin with.
Recommendation: If you are an entrepreneur/business owner, chances are you can easily make good money in network marketing quicker than most. But set up your business by creating systems from the get-go. Set it up to sell it at some point in the future even if you don’t think you will. If you’re sponsoring an entrepreneur-type, you can’t put a leash on her. Enjoy it while it lasts. Learn a few things. and stay close to her team in the case she leaves.

The Manager/ Team Leader

Managers are true people persons. Team leaders love people so much, they are willing to put up with anything to keep people around. They make themselves super accessible and likable by as many people as possible and they don’t mind putting out fires.
A really good manager is someone who can lay down the law when necessary without burning any bridges at the same time. Managers are not afraid of consequences so their risk-tolerance is also high – but not as high as that of the entrepreneur. Good managers are very organized which makes it easy for them to accumulate a sizeable downline even if the downline isn’t making much money. Managers are also extremely devoted. They will stay the course through thick and thin and be the pillar of strength everyone needs at times of chaos. They are not easily swayed by new opportunities as are entrepreneurs – because they love people more than ideas. So once they pick USANA, they’ll usually stay long term.
Steve Jobs is a great example of a manager/team leader who has reached unbelievable personal and financial success. You wouldn’t think he was a manager – but he really lives and dies by the Apple Brand he has created and the team he has assembled to make it what it is. He is not interested in other brands or ideas in any way and he’s very involved in every decision that happens within the company despite his position as co-founder and CEO of Apple, Inc.
Warning: Managers are phenomenal prospects but can spend a lot of time working on the business rather than in the business. They just love organizing, holding webinars, meetings, & phone calls for their teams yet fall short of spending time out in the field in sales where the income is actually made.
Recommendation: The best thing you can do as a manager/team leader is actually role model success rather than just teach it. Once you have that down, success is yours for the taking. If you are sponsoring a manager/team leader, help her to dedicate certain days of the week to working on the business (organizing and strategizing) and certain days of the week working in the business (holding one-on-one presentations, public presentations, or just plain getting out there meeting and greeting new people.)

The Hobbyist/Part-Timer

This individual is attached to his/her career even though she knows full well there’s a limit on the wealth it can create. She is willing to work dollar-for-hour and isn’t obsessed with ideas of freedom or residual income the way entrepreneurs or team leaders might be.  She loves her work dearly and makes a difference in people’s lives daily – but sometimes feels tired and wishes there was a little bit more of a financial cushion so that she can take a vacation here or there.
So she decides to join a network marketing company but doesn’t really produce sales very quickly as the motivation is slightly less intense and less charged than that of the manager or entrepreneur. Even so, a part-timer can bring in a handsome income – perhaps enough to cover her autoship plus a little extra. This can often lead to a sponsor wishing desperately that this part-timer would just convert to full time. Clearly, she is accomplished and capable of success.
Warning: If you are a part-timer, you are free to build this business as quickly or as slowly as you wish. But please don’t complain about your sponsor, the company, or network marketing that you aren’t making enough money or this business doesn’t work. It goes both ways. In this business, you get out of it what you put into it. You have a choice. Own your hobbyist status with pride. Make a little side money, and be happy but don’t complain. Or, switch your status and sacrifice a little of that career time short term and build this business to meet your hopes and expectations.
Recommendation: If you sponsor a hobbyist (a lawyer, massage therapist, accountant), please respect her choices rather than try to convert her into an entrepreneur or team leader. That is a frustrating path for both you and your associate and often leads to the disintegration of the hobbyist’s distributorship over time.  In the meantime, enjoy the extra cushion she brings to your business and the professionalism she adds to your team.

The Uncommitted or Afraid

This is a little difficult for me to admit in public – but here it goes. The majority of network marketers fall into this category. Actually, the majority of people in general fall into this category. And that is why 98% of businesses fail – network marketing or otherwise. Ultimately, it comes down to lack of courage. Either they have difficulty with commitment or are ruled by fear.
Having said that, they are also content to live life as is. No ups, no downs, they coast – everything’s gonna be alright. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with this either. There is something to be said for those that choose ease over growth. It is a choice, and it is not yours to make. But it is up to you to respect that choice. Honestly, there’s nothing else to do really because trying to convert the fearful is a long arduous battle. These types of associates need to either ” —- or get off the pot,” if you know what I mean. Clearly, I have a bias here. But life has taught me that these people either need to meet hard times or be inspired on a daily basis in order to make a shift from fearful to courageous.
Warning: If this is you, congratulations for being honest enough to name it but don’t stay here. Make a decision. You have two choices. You can finally commit by picking a different team from the three above. Or you can release yourself from guilt and let the business go so you can free up your time to do other things that suit you better.
Recommendation:  As a sponsor, you no-doubt have some of these associates in your team.  Beware not to spend lots of time coddling them or sharing their denial with them about what their potential really is. That path is futile. If  USANA’s third party validations, olympic athletes, pharmaceutical grade products, ridiculously lucrative comp plan, phenomenal conventions, and fabulous customer service doesn’t light this person’s fire – neither will you.  However, always point them in the right direction, because you never know when they’ll finally wake up.
If you are the uncommitted or afraid, what’s necessary is CHANGE. What you need to do is take a major leap of faith into the unknown. All you do need to know is that you have a sponsor, a leader, a team, a company and an industry behind you ready and waiting to help you back up when you fall. We’re on the other side of that leap, and we just LOVE catching people who make the jump.

Who Are You?

So? have you decided which category you fall into? Are you being really honest? Once you do – you can decide what success is for you. For the entrepreneur, success means never being bored, getting to fulfill your every whim and dream, failing along the way, but learning and loving every minute and eventually scoring big no matter what the venture. For the manager, success is a strong cohesive team that works together, attracts more like-minded teammates, stays the course long term, and shares a vision of what’s possible. For the part-timer, success is breaking even, enjoying the dabble into another universe, maintaining their reputation amongst their colleagues, and furthering their careers. For the uncommitted and afraid, success is being honest and courageous enough to take make the jump into action or admit this business is just not a right fit.
Success can be had by all – as long as you start out setting yourself up for it – honestly.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post, great words of wisdom. I can attest to many points that you bring out. One that sticks out a lot is having a good sponsor when joining these activities or opportunities.

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