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!”


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