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.

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MONEY DOESN’T CHANGE YOU

19 04 2010

A long time ago, I heard:

“Money doesn’t change you, it just magnifies who you already are in the first place.”

I had an epiphany yesterday. I’ve done alright in life, but it’s been awhile since I was “ahead of the game.” I’ve had my share of “daily bread,” but it’s been awhile since I have felt the blessing of God shower upon me.

And that’s when it hit me. Money amplifies who you are in the first place. Truthfully? If I had to look at the man that I have been over the past few years, I wouldn’t want that man magnified.

Change is hard. But the banner above says it all: “If you want life to change, YOU have to change.” For the first time in a long time though, I’m not at a crossroads where I need to start all over again. I’ve changed. I’ve adopted disciplines and routines that are positive and advantageous. I realize that though, that there are new disciplines to incorporate into my life.

I’ve been a very selfish, self-absorbed man. God has given me a gift thru ACN. I get paid to be professional relationship builder. That’s what a networker really is after all…a relationship builder. It’s perfectly suited for my temperament. People are attracted to “what’s in it for me.” I know this, but I’ve neglected it. I need to invest myself IN people. I need to take more time to find out ABOUT people and what I can do FOR them.

In this business of networking, we need to find out:

  • what troubles people?
  • what keeps them up at night?
  • what their life is like right now?
  • what are their living circumstances like?
  • what’s missing from life?
  • if they could change any part of their life in the next six months, what would that be?

And then we need to give a damn enough to find opportunities to fill those needs.

Sometimes ACN is the answer. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes people need a friend to talk to. We can be that person to listen to them. More people are lonely than care to admit it.

Sometimes people need supernatural intervention. We can be that person who offers to pray with and for them. When was the last time you asked someone if you could pray for them? When was the last time that someone offered to pray for you?

The world needs more relationship builders. We need more people who will listen and invest themselves in the lives of others. We need more people who are willing to make themselves vulnerable to ask how we can best pray for others.

That’s the type of man that deserves to be magnified.





COMMITMENT TO DAILY DISCIPLINES

29 03 2010

I’ve come to realize that I have not done a great job of updating this blog on a regular basis. One of the things that I have come to realize over the past few weeks is that success in any venture is a matter of committing to a few daily disciplines:

  • Adding new names to my contact list
  • Contacting a few people to pique interest with them
  • Seeing the people, showing them the plan
  • Listening to training podcasts and CDs
  • Reading personal development material (books, Success magazine, blogs)
  • Writing this blog

Daily disciplines are all about making new routines. Getting into a groove. I begin each day by reading the Bible for a few minutes and journaling. That has become a routine that I have not missed in weeks. I’m now making a decision to end my days by updating this blog about my day. That’s the only way to truly chronicle my journey to RVP.

Today my youngest daughter had the day off from school (Furlough Day for teachers). It was also the end of her Spring Break. And so I took time to take her (and my oldest daughter) to the movies. I followed up to confirm a meeting for tomorrow and we just had our weekly Remedy team conference call. But other than that? It wasn’t a super-productive day.

I can’t afford to have too many days like today. But every once in awhile? It’s nice to be able to take time out to spend the day goofing off with the people you love. It’s easy to let one day like today, turn into two. Two become three and then before you know it, a week has passed. Weeks can turn into months, months turn into seasons and seasons become years. Before you know it? Decades can escape you. The days fall like dominos.

It takes a conscious decision to  stop the falling dominos. It’s back to work tomorrow.





GO FOR NO!

3 03 2010

I’m an avid reader. I tend to read at least one book a month. February’s title was “Go For No!” by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz. While it’s a small volume (only about 70+ pages), it is packed with game-changing (and by extension LIFE-CHANGING) wisdom.

Written as prose, the book chronicles four days in the life of a struggling salesman and how he learns that getting “no’s” is a part of the sales process regardless of your product or profession. Once this is understood, then not only should we be “willing” to get no’s, we should WANT to get no’s. We should embrace and in fact, CELEBRATE the no’s.

For example, if you knew for a fact that to become an RVP, you have to get thru one hundred no’s personally first, why wouldn’t you just want to get them out of the way? If you know that three out of every ten people that you talk to about the business are going to “get in,” then you should be ecstatic when you come across the seven no’s.

On his classic recording, “Building Your Network Marketing Business” the late Jim Rohn says, “look I’ve got a new business, and I’m getting about three out of ten to join. And I don’t mind you just come to the meeting and be one of the seven.” Jim Rohn understood the lawa of averages and that “going for no” is just a part of the process.

While the premise of this book may seem like an absurdly simple process, there is genius in the paradigm shift that occurs while reading this book. One of the biggest challenges that most people face is not failing, but rather…having a little success. When we get one or two “yesses” most of us tend to take our foot off the gas. But by focusing on the need to get 100 no’s, a modicum of success will not allow us to take ourselves out of the game. This has been my biggest challenge.

I have always been “willing” to risk failure. I have never actively pursued it though.

All that changed after reading “Go For No!” In the last week, I increased the amount of phone calls I had been making by 400%. I’m on track this week to exceed that amount this week. I have presentations scheduled today, tomorrow and Friday. But even MORE significant? This is duplicating in my downline.

I’m not sure that I will ever meet Richard Fenton or Andrea Waltz, but they saved my life.

YES is the destination, but NO is how you get there.





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.





MEAT AND POTATOES

8 12 2009

For those of you who were in Anaheim this past weekend for the ACN International Training event, you no doubt came away with tons of great information. This was my third event this time around in ACN. They’ve come a long way from the first one that took place in 1994. That one was held in Las Vegas at the Flamingo Hilton in a conference room that held about 300 people. This past weekend over 15,000 people were in attendance at the Anaheim Convention Center. I’m going to venture a guess that this will end up being the last International event ever to be held in a convention center.

  • Darren Hardy, Publisher of Success magazine,  delivered a great keynote address on Sunday morning.
  • Pastor Kevin Boyd was spot on during the Sunday morning worship service with his message on “The Road to Prosperity.”
  • SVP Darin Dowd provided everyone with a visual illustration of the recruiting process that will forever have us looking at gum ball machines differently.

But one of the most significant “aha” moments came for me during newly-promoted SVP Debbie Davis‘s talk on Sunday morning. In her training on “Timing and Leading by Example” she said,

“Personal development is the meat and potatoes of ACN. The money is the gravy!”

WOW!

Debbie could not have made this point anymore clear. ACN is a personal development company with a compensation plan attached. First comes the personal development, THEN comes the money. You can’t have the gravy without first making the turkey.

So what does this all mean? It means that if you want to succeed on a major scale in ACN, then you need to work on yourself first.

So many people focus on what they want to HAVE. What we need to focus on first is who we ARE. That’s the essence of personal development. Working on yourself and the person that you are.

This has been one of the great life lessons that I have had to learn the hard way. Success in life is not so much dependent on my external circumstances as it is on the person I am becoming in the process. “Being” is more important than “having.” In a materialistic world, what a revolutionary concept!

No one exemplifies this more than Debbie Davis. I was there in 1993. I remember what Debbie was like. She has always been one of the “gosh darn” nicest people you will ever encounter in your life. In fact, back then she kind of became the unofficial ACN Mom to every rep in the company. Debbie was the person you ran to when you needed encouragement. Debbie was the person you went to when you needed a hug.

Watching Debbie Davis get promoted to SVP on Saturday night and then train on Sunday made me realize just how far Debbie Davis has come on her 17 year journey with ACN. She has worked on herself as much as anyone else I have ever seen. Debbie Davis is a leader’s leader.

There’s a saying that goes, “if you wanna have what successful people have, you have to do what successful people do.” What Debbie Davis has done over the past seventeen years (and I suspect over her lifetime) is focus her own personal character and development.

First comes the meat and potatoes, then comes the gravy