ANY TIME, ANY PLACE, ANY WAY

30 03 2010

Today I got a late start. I had trouble sleeping last night and then had to get up at 5:30 a.m. to take my daughter to swim practice. Since I didn’t fall asleep until about one this morning, I was operating on about four hours of sleep. So I went back to bed after dropping my daughter off and decided to let my body dictate when it was ready to get up.

I am not the kind of person who lives to sleep (unlike my teenage daughters). My body told me it was done sleeping at 9:20. So I got in a solid eight hours. That is one of the benefits of working for yourself. You don’t have a boss dictating when you have to get up.

I went thru my morning ritual of reading and journaling, got caught up on some Spring Training baseball news and then I was off for a lunch meeting with a friend of mine from my high school days. This friend of mine was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” when we graduated from high school. She has always been a hard worker. She has also become a great networker. She is the PR Director for a major health care provider.

The last time that I had met up with this friend, we had coffee and I used that time to pique interest with her. I showed her the videophone and she told me that she had already been exposed to ACN because a friend of hers had tried to “get her in” for years. I asked her at that point if she was open to talking about ACN some more, and she said yes. So we met today to talk about again.

There are times when you have to play things by ear. Today was not the time to go thru a standard 1-10 presentation with her. It would have been boring. It would have been insulting. She’s already seen it before. So instead I brought the 1-10 sheet and had it available just as a reference piece to refresh her memory.

What I really wanted to know was what her life looks like right now and what she would like it to look like. While she maintained that she loves her job, she also acknowledged that she wouldn’t mind running her own show and calling her own shots. She said that her job is extremely stressful and non-stop. She also has some other issues in life right now that make starting a new venture just a bit complicated.

But she also admitted that she isn’t above leaving her current position for another company. She also said that when her youngest daughter graduates from high school in a few years, she would probably go back to school for another degree (she’s a very intelligent woman).

We talked about ACN being a vehicle to set up the rest of her life. I even had one of my partners (who went to high school with us) drop by to say “hi” and talk to her about why he is now with ACN. In the end? She said that the timing probably wasn’t right for her and ACN at this point. I invited her to come to our Business Overview Meeting this Thursday. I sent her the details and we’ll see if she shows. If not, hopefully she’ll help me out as a customer.

After she left, my business partner and I talked about launching a weekly Saturday Training in the area. The Redlands office closed recently and we both agreed that there is a vacuum in the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire as far as training is concerned. So we’re going to approach our upline Rich Secchiaroli about supporting us with a Super Saturday to kick things off in about a month.

When I got home this afternoon, I emailed the directions to Thursday night’s BOM to my friend from lunch, and returned a few other emails. I then got on the phones and made an appointment to do a 1 on 1 with another old friend from high school. She’s a single mom and is a teacher.

When I asked her if she is open to making some extra money outside of teaching, she said she is looking into becoming a Notary to make extra money. She can’t make it to our Thursday night BOM, so I am going to her kid’s soccer practice Thursday afternoon to talk to her. Sometimes you can’t lead the horse to water. Sometimes you have to take the water to the horse (sorry Patty…you’re much prettier than any horse I’ve ever seen). And that’s the point. Personal presentations can take place any time, any place, any way.

If you want to have what other people don’t have, you have to be willing to do what other people won’t do.





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.





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….





SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?

8 01 2010

The January “Empire Team” Leadership Conference began today in Las Vegas. A few weeks ago, our Remedy Team made a conscious decision to forego this event. We did so because there are only six more weeks until the San Jose International Training event.

The gap between what we know and what we do not know often is not as significant as the gap between what we know and what we do. That’s why we decided to stay and do the Saturday Training tomorrow in Glendora instead of making the trek to Las Vegas.

I’m a big believer in “events.” I know that getting groups to events is paramount to gaining momentum. But I also know when Phase I takes precedence. Coming off the holidays, we need to generate new momentum. That means that we need to have a local training to steer people into this weekend.

There will no doubt be plenty of great information at the Leadership Conference. Fortunately, Mike Bisutti generously posts videos of that training online at theempireteam.com website. So we’ll still have access to the info. For now though? We need to redeem the days. San Jose is just six weeks away.