An Open Letter…

27 06 2010

I wrote this letter to my team just a short time ago. I thought it might be appropriate to share it here with any readers of this blog.

I’m writing from my hotel room in Cleveland, OH where we have just concluded the best ACN International training that I have ever attended. I’d like to say that I am “fired up” but that would not entirely be accurate. That would seem to indicate that my state of mind is one of emotion (and therefore is subject to change). Rather, I would say that I am walking away from this weekend, “resolved.” The dictionary says that to be resolved is to be “decidedly firm on a course of action.”

I want to begin by apologizing to each and every one of you. For those of you who were not here with us this weekend, I owe you an apology for not conveying the importance of these International events. I feel such a burden. I have let you down terribly by not pushing you to be here. My life changed this weekend. You deserve to have had your life change this weekend as well.

This was my fifth International Training since I have been back in ACN and it was the BEST event (by far) so far. While all the ACN trainers were phenomenal (including Debbie Davis, George Zalucky and Janel Presant), I was especially moved by this morning’s worship service led by Pastor Kevin Boyd and today’s Keynote speech delivered by Andy Andrews. Andrews has published several books, but today he spoke about “The Seven Decisions that lead to Personal Success.” There is no way that I could do his 90 minute talk justice in this email. However I did find a PDF that he created on his website (www.andyandrews.com) that discusses those seven decisions. I have downloaded that and attached it herein. Please take the time to review this, it is life changing.

I also owe you an apology for not leading by example these past few months. I don’t want to get into the reasons why, nor do I have any desire to make “excuses.” I merely want to tell you that I know that our team should be further ahead than it is right now, and I accept complete and full responsibility for that. There comes a time in every ACN Reps life where they must draw a line in the sand and say “enough is enough.” That line has been drawn for me this weekend. Forgetting what is behind, I am resolved to do the work to attain the prize that lays ahead.

ACN really and truly is the most amazing company/business model that I have ever seen in my life. It is an honorable business, dealing with legitimate products and services that we all use all the time. This is NOT the company that I knew in the 1990’s. I sit here in wonder, as I think about the company it will become as this current decade plays out. I can’t believe that God has shone His light upon my life to reveal this opportunity for me and for each of you.

I’m resolved this week to pique interest with at least 25 new people.

I’m resolved this week to call each of you personally to see how I might be able to serve you in this business.

I’m resolved this week to focus on becoming a hero to my own children thru this business.

I’m resolved this week to honoring my wife with my work ethic.

I’m resolved this week to allowing God to work thru me so that He can use me to be the man He created me to be.

I love each and every one of you, and am thankful for the commitment that you made to be a part of the remedy, when you paid your $499 and joined ACN. The second half of 2010 is going to be an amazing ride. I don’t want any of you to miss out on that. There is room for each of you to change your life this year.

We will resume our regular Monday night conference call this Monday June 28th at 9 p.m. (Pacific time). The call-in number is (712) 432-1413 and the PIN is: #916261. I look forward to reconnecting with each of you on tomorrow night’s call.





ALL MARKETERS TELL STORIES

1 02 2010

One of my goals is to read at least one book a month. Over the past few years, I’ve become a big Seth Godin fan. It all started with “Purple Cow” a call for the need to be remarkable. Last year I read “Tribes” and was wowed by his insight into the need of the masses to be led.

The first book that I read this year was “All Marketers Tell Stories.” As you can see from the cover to the left, the book was originally titled “All Marketers Are Liars.” Proof that even marketing gurus like Godin can make missteps.

I hate to admit it but…the misstep extended beyond just the original title of this book. I usually mark up Godin’s books with yellow highlighter and notes in the margins. Not so with this one.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve known for years that “facts tell and stories sell.” I’ve known the power of storytelling. It’s what’s transformed Shawn Corey Carter and Sean John Combs into Jay-Z and Diddy. It’s what calms the savage beast (also known as pre-school aged children).

Godin’s premise in this book is that consumers all operate from a worldview that exists before we ever approach them with our story. They then lie to themselves to preserve that worldview when they believe and pass on the stories they are told by marketers. “Successful marketers are just providers of stories that consumers choose to believe.”

Network Marketing is no different. Our job is to lay out a script that is so vivid, alluring and authentic that prospects should hear it and say to themselves, “I was born to play that part.”

If people aren’t buying into your story, perhaps you’re selling it too hard. Godin makes the point that “subtlety matters.” Tell a story that is believable and allows the prospect to come to their own conclusions. Make your points but leave room for them to “connect the dots.”

Steve Jobs of Apple is masterful at this. I was reminded of this last week when he unveiled the iPad. Every phone that has come out since the iPhone has been trumpeted as the “iPhone killer.” While the iPad has no doubt rendered the Kindle obsolete, Jobs never spoke poorly about the Kindle. Instead he made a comment to the effect of the iPad “standing on the shoulders” of the work that the Kindle has done thus far. He never had to say that the iPad was the “Kindle killer.” He just unveiled a remarkable product and allowed us to connect the dots.

Perhaps this is the lesson to learn in presenting the ACN opportunity. Nathan Goldberg is (in my humble opinion) the BEST presenter of the ACN story that I have ever seen. If you’ve never seen him in action, you can do so here. Nathan is the king of subtlety. He asks tons of rhetorical questions that we all answer “in our head.”  In so doing, he allows us to connect the dots.

I guess that’s the lesson that I’ve learned is that I need to be more cognitive of the worldview of the people that I present the ACN opportunity to. I need to be a little more subtle in my message and leave room for people to connect the dots for themselves. Without even realizing it, I’ve been tooting my own horn a little bit too much. I’ve made a few changes and in just a few days, I can honestly say that I can see changes in the way that people are responding.

So tell your story. Make sure it’s authentic. Make sure it’s real. Make sure it’s you. Facts tell and stories sell.





LOOK AT ALL THESE RUMORS

26 01 2010

Tomorrow at 10 a.m. Apple will unveil their long anticipated RAT (“Rumored Apple Tablet”…we won’t know what the “official” name is until then). I admit to being a tech junkie (and Apple fanboy) and so I have followed the news, leaks, guesses and opinions offered on the “wild, wild West” also known as the internet.

I’ve laughed at all the people who lack vision and see no use or need for such a product. I’ve snickered in disbelief every time some chucklehead proffers that it will be too expensive at $1,000+ (we don’t know the price yet). And I have smiled silently every time some doofus stock analyst pronounces that “it” is doomed to fail (ummm have they ever used ANY Apple product?) before they even really know what “it” is.

While we don’t absolutely “know” much about the RAT at present, this afternoon McGraw-Hill CEO, Terry McGraw confirmed on CNBC that the RAT will indeed be the new product that Apple is unveiling tomorrow. I’ve been an Apple user since 1985. I purchased my iPhone the first day that they went on sale in 2007 and will probably be in line to purchase the RAT on the first day that goes on sale. Based upon my experience with Apple over the past 25 years, tomorrow’s announcement is going to be a GAME CHANGER.

This RAT is going to revolutionize the way we as consumers relate to our media (print, online and video). It’s going to change the way gamers play video games. And if my hunches are right, it’s going to change the way that we communicate with each other.

I’ve been hearing rumors since last Summer that ACN (thru Worldgate) is developing an application for the iPhone that will enable VOIP video calls. I dismissed the rumors at first because the iPhone does not have a front-facing camera. Apple has traditionally released new versions of the iPhone in the Summer, so the use of such software would be at least a year away at best.

But over the past 60-90 days as the RAT has incubated into what will tomorrow become “reality,” it’s become more and more apparent that the RAT may be more conducive to video phone technology than even the iPhone. It’s speculated that any application devised for the iPhone will work on the RAT. Terry McGraw leaked today that the RAT will run on the iPhone OS (Operating System). Assuming that the RAT has a front facing camera (I will be SHOCKED if it does not), then it makes sense that if there is ANY basis to the ACN rumors about developing an iPhone app for video calling, that the RAT will be the first implement to use it.

So what does this all potentially mean for ACN reps? An opportunity that has never been seen before. If ACN/Worldgate develops an app to enable making video calls from the RAT, and those calls are able to be sent and received from ACN Videophones, then hold on to your seats ACN reps. We keep hearing how there will be hundreds of millions of videophone users in the next three years, the RAT may be the bridge to that.

Imagine being able to take the RAT out on a 2 on 1 and do videophone demo calls from it. How much credibility and excitement would that generate for your prospects? Imagine all the customers we’d be able to get if there is a subscription cost associated with the ACN Videophone App? How much would your residual income grow as a result?

It’s also being rumored that tomorrow may bring an end to AT&T’s exclusivity with the iPhone. If that happens, then it stands to reason that it won’t be long (San Jose anyone?) before we will be able to sell the iPhone thru ACN here in the United States. It’s already available to ACN reps in Canada. That just goes to show that the hold up has been with AT& T and not with Apple.

Of course these are all just rumors right now. Twenty-four hours from now? I’m sure we’ll all be on iTab/iSlate/iWhatevertheyendupcallingit overload.





BEING CAUGHT

25 01 2010

We all have “beliefs,” things that we hold on to as tenets in life. Some are public beliefs, things that we state openly. Sometimes these are things that we really believe...and sometimes they are things that we say because we know that it’s the socially acceptable and responsible thing to do (don’t text while driving…unless it’s a REALLY important text).

Then there are our private beliefs. These are the things that we tell ourselves that we believe. Sometimes these are the “shoulds” that we feel will make us happier, wiser, thinner or healthier.

Finally there are our CORE beliefs. These are the things that we actually act upon. What we “do” in life is really a reflection of our core beliefs. These are the proverbial “lines in the sand” that we won’t cross.

While I can’t speak for everyone, it would seem that when I was young, my core beliefs outnumbered my private and public beliefs. As I grew older? I tested the waters and put many of my “core” beliefs to the test. Sadly many of the good ones transcended to “private” or even “public” levels.

Core beliefs lead us to move. Sometimes they cause us to takes leaps of faith. That’s where the trapeze artist comes in. There are two roles in the trapeze play. One is that of the “flyer,” this is the person who swings back and forth and eventually lets go of their swing, soaring thru the air, waiting to be caught.

The second role is that of the “catcher.” The catcher hangs from their legs and awaits the “flyer.” The catcher’s role is to do just that: CATCH the flyer. The catcher must be strong, steady and dependable. While the flyer seems to get all the props for their daring, it is the catcher who is ultimately responsible for the success of the feat. The catcher is often the unsung hero in this act.

There are three things that the flyer must do in trapeze dance:

  1. They must LET GO. You can’t soar thru the air if you won’t let go of the swing.
  2. They must WAIT with outstretched arms. There is that moment in the air when all is at stake. Success (being caught) and failure (free falling) are both possibilities at this instant, and make no mistake about it, it is but an instant. But that moment must seem like an eternity when you are the one who is flying.
  3. They must BE CAUGHT.

All great leaps of faith require these steps. Having kids? Getting married? Starting your own business? Mustering up the courage to talk to someone who intimidates you?

Make no mistake about it, the flyer must have absolute confidence in the catcher’s abilities. In ACN, every time a new rep puts their contacts in front of an expert, they are letting go and waiting. As experts, are we doing a good job “catching” our flyers?

Beyond that, who are you trusting to “catch” you? I was reading in the book of Galatians this morning and I came across the following verses (Galatians 6:7-10):

… A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people…

As I read thru this verse, it struck me that “letting go” refers to the sinful nature that leads to destruction. The “waiting” part is the part where we do good to those around us. “Being caught” is reaping the harvest.

I will admit that I have grown weary of “doing good” far too many times in my life. As a consequence, I have been forced to hang in the air far longer than I should at times. I have no problems letting go. As Tom Petty once sang, “the waiting is the hardest part.” I grow weary and I bring back my outstretched hands. and then? I fall to the safety net below. Thank you LORD for that safety net!

And once again, I am letting go of the security of the swing. I am soaring thru the air. I am ready to be caught….





NEW YEAR’S REVOLUTION

2 01 2010

revolution |ˌrevəˈloō sh ən|noun

1 a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works or is organized or in people’s ideas about it.

Year after year, people go thru the ritual of thinking up New Year’s Resolutions. Just as common, are the feeble decisions to abandon these half-hearted pledges within days or weeks of the New Year beginning. We don’t need to make more promises that we don’t intend to keep.

WE NEED REVOLUTION!

We need a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way life works. In the last hundred years or so, we have transitioned from the Agricultural Age to the Industrial Age to the Information Age. We’ve gone from being farmers to factory workers to knowledge workers. A change is upon us once again though. The Knowledge Age is giving way to the Conceptual Age. Knowledge workers are yielding to Creators and Empathizers.

A revolution is coming folks. And just as Gil Scott Heron predicted nearly forty years ago, “The revolution will not be televised.” Corporate America is failing us all around. The tale we’ve been fed since childhood about getting good grades to get into a good college so that we can get a good job and live happily after? It’s been rendered a myth. Folklore. Nostalgia.

At the turn of the last century, we all were self-employed. In just over a hundred years? We’ve sold ourselves into indentured servitude. We gone from independent to dependent. We now need to transcend to INTERdependence. We have that opportunity to change the way that work is organized.

We need to alter our ideas on how to provide for our families, or we will succumb to the on-going decline of the corporate system. Big Brother is no longer here to take care of us. But we are the remedy.

In 2010, we are looking for like-minded people who have the dreamers disease. We’re looking for people who want to share a common future of hope and abundance. We’re looking for people who know in their soul of souls that they were made for more than what 2009 had in store for them.

The revolution will not be televised. It will happen in living rooms across the United States, in Canada and in dozens of countries around the planet. It will happen in coffee houses and lunch rooms. It will happen on planes, trains and in automobiles. It will happen in parks, at High School Reunions and in chance encounters.

The revolution may start with a whisper, but it will triumph with a BANG. It will be doubted by nay-sayers and feared by the ignorant. Some may try to sleep through it, but 2010 is the year for the slumbering giant within us to awaken. Ennui is torn asunder by a single solitary light of determination. The bridge back has been destroyed and there is no where to go but forward.

We need to declare that we are sick and tired of being sick and tired. We need to refuse anything less than we were created for. We need to each one, teach one. We need to share like we have never shared before and get out of our comfort zone…THERE IS NO MONEY IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE!!!

We are living history. What we have is recession-proof, undeniable and cannot be touched by the government. There is no excuse. You have been advised. The revolution will not be televised, but you can be a part of it. Or you can just look back with regret and wish that you had.

This is our New Year’s Revolution.

The revolution will not be televised…but it will be blogged. We are the Remedy. Welcome to the revolution.





TEN BEST THINGS OF 2009

31 12 2009

As a new decade is set to descend upon us in a few hours, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on the “Ten Best Things” that happened to me in 2009 (in the order that they occurred).

  1. MacWorld Conference in January. This is simply a guilty pleasure. I love the MacWorld Expo and the best thing about it this year was that I won a free registration from Sheridan Jones over at Microsoft (via Twitter). She not only hooked me up with the free registration, she also made sure that I got a personally autographed copy of Guy Kawasaki’s new book “Reality Check,” and hooked me up with a copy Microsoft Office 2008 (BIG ups to you Sher Jones!!!)
  2. My ACN phone call from Rich Secchiaroli. Right around Valentine’s Day I got a phone call from a friend and mentor who I had not heard from in a couple of years. He called to tell me that he had gotten involved with ACN. Soon thereafter? So did I. I’m now full-time in ACN and loving the time freedom that I have back.
  3. Spring Training in Arizona in March. I’m a baseball junkie and I’m not ashamed to admit it. This was the first year that the Dodgers moved into their new facility in Glendale, AZ and my wife and I spent a good part of March in Arizona watching baseball under the sun. Ahhhh THAT’S the life!
  4. Launching my daughter Bekah’s ACN business. If you are confident enough to get your own kids involved in your business, that’s saying something. Bekah was just getting ready to start her final semester at LSU so I was able to take several trips to Baton Rouge (love that Cajun cooking) to get her started and meet so many of her friends.
  5. New Car in July. July was when I was able to leave my job and start working ACN full-time. That month I also bought a Mazda CX-7. It had been a while since I had purchased a car. This is a modest acquisition, but God is good. I’ve never been a big “car” guy, so this will do for now.
  6. Celebrating my daughter Bekah’s 21st birthday in Las Vegas. She had five friends join her there for four days and three nights at the Mandalay Bay resort. It was great to be able to host a celebration like that for her.
  7. Taking my daughter Hannah to her Freshman Orientation at UC Santa Barbara. I spent the first two years of my college career in at UCSB. To be able to escort her to her orientation there was just such a treat. I hadn’t set foot on the campus in over 25 years. I was amazed at how it had changed. But more importantly, it was great to spend the time with my daughter over the weekend. I miss her so much when she is gone now. I treasure every minute that I see her.
  8. Bekah’s Graduation from LSU in December. Her mother (we are divorced) and I spent several days with her in Baton Rouge before and after her graduation ceremony. It was the first time that Bekah’s Mom and I had spent significant time together in the twelve years that have passed since we separated. We even had a two-hour dinner alone together where we were able to trade notes and observations about the kids and life. At one point, Bekah was walking with us in the French Quarter and she exclaimed “I feel like I’m five again.” I just smiled and was glad that for five days in December, her Mom and I were able to be on the same page together in celebration of our daughter’s accomplishment (did I mention that she completed her B.S. in Psychology in just three and a half years?).
  9. Sending my son Aaron to the Urbana ’09 Conference in St. Louis this week. I am so proud of the man that my 19 year-old son is becoming. I always say that I hope that some day my daughters are fortunate enough to meet a man with a heart just like my Aaron. He is involved with the Inter-Varsity Leadership team on campus at Cal State, San Marcos. Earlier this year he asked me if I could help him go to the Urbana Conference (it only happens every three years). I told him if his grades were up to par, I would do so. He did his part and God allowed me to do mine. He is still in St. Louis and is scheduled to return home tomorrow night. In the conversations that I have had with him, it sounds like God has been laying some interesting things on Aaron’s heart. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for him.
  10. My repentance. This has been an on-going thing. I wish I could say that it only took a day. But the truth is that there were several events that took place over the course of the year (from January thru December) that have led to me reversing the direction of my life. Without going into the gory details, suffice to say that my head and heart are in the right place. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for 2010.

So now I ask you. What are the Ten Best Things that happened to you in 2009? New Years Eve is a great time to reflect on what we have to be thankful for.





O HOLY NIGHT

24 12 2009

O holy night!

The stars are brightly shining.
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world, in sin and error pining,
Til He appeared, and the soul felt its worth…

Tonight is Christmas Eve. I find myself sitting and pondering the above lyrics to my favorite Christmas song. I’ve known what it is like to lay in “sin and error pining.” And I have had the good fortune of knowing what it is like for my soul to “feel its worth.”

There is a stark difference between “laying in sin and error pining” and having your soul “feel its worth.” It’s the difference between feeling lost and being found. It’s the difference between wandering aimlessly and having purpose.

As I stop and think about the bigger picture of my career with ACN, I can’t help but think about how “helping souls feel their worth” has become a bit of a mission statement for me. The world is filled with people who are hurting, souls who are pining to know their own worth. Not being able to keep a roof over your kids head can make you doubt your own worth. Not being able to put food on the table can do that too. Not being able to provide your loved ones with Christmas gifts can dampen that feeling of worth as well.

There are a few things that I have learned full well in this life. First, the verse in “O Holy Night” has it right. A soul can only know its worth after “He” appears. “He” is, after all, the creator of life and the universe.

The second thing that I have come to grips with, is that “He” often appears and manifests himself thru other people. An old mentor of mine was fond of saying that “we are often the only Jesus that some people will ever see.”

If this is so, then it follows that “He” can appear to others thru us. By extension, we can be used as vessels for helping the souls of others “feel their worth.”

A third observation that I have made, is that in every interaction that Jesus has with people in the Bible, He always looks to meet the physical needs of people He encounters before He deals with their spiritual needs. EVERY SINGLE INTERACTION!

  • The woman who was hemorrhaging? He stopped her bleeding.
  • The blind man? He restored his sight.
  • The paralyzed man who could not get down to the healing pool? He made him walk.

That’s where the power of ACN comes into focus. We have the power to meet people where they are at, and to help meet their “physical” needs. There’s an old adage that “people don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.” I can’t think of a better way to show someone I care for them, than by helping them meet their physical needs.

In meeting those needs, we have the opportunity to demonstrate the love of Jesus as He so often did in the Bible. We may be “the only Jesus that some people will ever see.” A lot of people “talk the talk” about their faith. ACN provides us with an opportunity to “walk” that talk.

On this holiest of nights, I am thankful for the mission to which I have been called. I hope that as you read this post, that you will consider the ways that you might be used in 2010 to help souls feel their worth. I can assure you, there is no more noble calling.

Merry Christmas to all. He has appeared. May your soul feel its worth.








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