Author Archives: stevedevane

Winning results — Lessons from Landon

By | June 24, 2010

Don’t stop running.

That’s the lesson we can learn from Landon Donovan. As you likely know, Donovan was the player who scored the goal that kept the United States alive in the World Cup soccer tournament. You’ve probably seen the video of him booting the ball in after another player had missed.

What you might not realize is that Donovan had actually passed the ball to another player a few seconds earlier. After passing the ball, he could have slowed down and watched to see if the other players were going to score.

He didn’t. He kept running. As a result, when the ball bounced off the goal-keeper, Donovan was there to send the ball into the back of the net.

Donovan’s goal set off a wild celebration by the U.S. team and its fans. Instead of being eliminated, they won their group and get to play in the single-elimination part of the tournament.

Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl talks about how the U.S. team has a flair for drama and a whole lot of heart in an article about the match. He recaps the heroics and Donovan’s comments about the joy he feels now after playing poorly in the World Cup four years ago.

“I’m so glad it culminated in this way,” Donovan said. “It makes me believe in good from the world. And when you try to do things the right way, it’s good to see you get rewarded.”

So in business and in life, sometimes we need to keep running. Who knows how many people give up just before they find success? They get frustrated at the slightest failure and stop.

Instead, look at failures as learning opportunities. When something doesn’t go right, then you’ll know what not to do next time. Successful people learn from their mistakes.

So keep trying. Keep running. You never know when you’ll get the opportunity to reach your GOOAAAALLLLL!

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Successful business plan — Make compassion your passion

By | June 21, 2010

Everyone in business is looking for a successful business plan. They realize that the old adage is true that failing to plan is planning to fail.
Smart Spaces Symposium
Creative Commons License photo credit: centralasian

I’d like to suggest that before you adopt a business plan, first take a look at your values. Knowing what you believe will keep you from doing things that you’ll regret later.

And if you already have a business plan, being clear on your values will help you clarify and if needed refine it to fit your beliefs.

For example, most people are compassionate. When they see someone in need, they usually feel the urge to help.

Having a clear sense of your values, will convert that urge into action.

Some people think that compassion has no place in business. They believe caring for people won’t cut it in the cut-throat world of profit-making.

This is often magnified among network marketers who are taught to look on friends and family members as money-making prospects.

Here’s a suggestion that goes against the grain: go to great lengths to show how much you care for people. Compassion is not only proper, but required to run a successful business.

Gauge the success of your business, not by how much money you make, but by how much good you do and how many people you help.

Making the world, or at least your corner of it, a better place is the beginning of a successful business plan.

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Network marketing plan: New year, higher goals

By | December 31, 2009

As 2010 gets started, I thought I’d pass on a goal setting tip I got from Chris Brogan‘s newsletter a few months ago (you can sign up for the newsletter here).

Brogan passed on an idea
he got from Bre Pettis, an innovator and designer. You write down your “most audacious goal” on a big, white sheet of paper. Then you go backwards with ways that you can accomplish it.

Those ways become your goals. Brogan calls them “lighthouses” that will keep you on course. Think about potential obstacles between you and them. Then find a way around them.
lighthouse 038
Creative Commons License photo credit: Indy Kethdy

This seems like a simple, but effective, method to reach your highest goals.

On a related note, Brogan’s newsletter also contained some interesting personal information about his blogging experience. He said he didn’t have 100 readers until he’d been writing for eight years. It took him 10 years to develop what he called “business value” for what he was doing.

Today, he’s one of the top bloggers on the web.

All that is evidence that you shouldn’t give up on your goals. Two of most successful network marketers I know didn’t start making serious income until they’d been in the profession for more than 12 years.

Imagine if they’d given up about seven, or nine, or even 11 years.

Set your goals.

Make your plan.

Stick with it.

Steve DeVane

(NOTE — This free e-book helped me get my business on track.)

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Network marketing internet business: It’s not a hobby

By | December 19, 2009

I came across an interesting post the other day called “This is a Business, Not a Hobby.”

[caption id="attachment_276" align="alignleft" width="167" caption="Jim Kukral via jimkukral.com"]Jim Kukral via jimkukral.com[/caption]The piece was written by Jim Kukral, who works with small businesses on web marketing. It cites a post on Copyblogger called “The Three Fatal Diseases that Kill Good Blogs.” Kukral’s article focuses on social media,  email marketing, affiliate marketing and online public relations, but his point applies perfectly to network marketers who are trying to build their business using the Internet.

“We’re doing this to make money, or leads, or get publicity. Not for fun. Not for ‘friends.’ Until you flip that switch in your head where you understand this, you’re going to continue to find it very hard to find success on the Internet.”

Kukral talks about how some bloggers are still not making money even though some have shown that “blogging is in fact a great way to do business.” Despite this, some still treat it as a hobby, he said.

“Here’s why. Because ‘regular people’ are the people who start blogs. They’re not marketers. They’re not entrepreneurs. They are people who have a passion about something and they want to share that passion with the rest of the world without having a gatekeeper tell them they can’t.”

Similarly, most network marketers are “regular people” with little or no marketing experience. They have a passion to share their products or services and opportunity with other people.

Many network marketers promote their businesses with blogs. Kukral points out how things are changing for bloggers.

“We’re no longer bloggers anymore, we’re ‘publishers.’ The majority of people don’t start blogs anymore just to waste time. They want something out of it. It may not be money they want. It may be fame. Whatever it is, they want something for their effort, and that makes them a publisher.”

Think about that the next time you’re writing a post. Make it something worth publishing. Make it worthy of your business.

And in case you’re using other online methods to promote your business, Kukral has these thoughts about how people spoke ill of him when he started using his blog to make money.

“What happened to me in 2004 is the same thing that is happening now to social media. We’re all being told we shouldn’t try to make money with social media. It’s pure, they say. Leave it alone, you’ll ruin it.

“This is ALL a business, not a hobby.”

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Jim Rohn: The qualities of skillful leadership

By | December 5, 2009

(NOTE — Jim Rohn, one of the great personal development philosophers of our time and one of my favorite motivational authors, died today. Below is one of his many articles that influenced me. It is reprinted in his honor.)

[caption id="attachment_272" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Jim Rohn (via JimRohn.com)"]Jim Rohn (via JimRohn.com)[/caption]

If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality yourself. Leadership is the ability to attract someone to the gifts, skills and opportunities you offer as an owner, as a manager, as a parent. I call leadership the great challenge of life.

What’s important in leadership is refining your skills. All great leaders keep working on themselves until they become effective. Here are some specifics:

1) Learn to be strong but not rude. It is an extra step you must take to become a powerful, capable leader with a wide range of reach. Some people mistake rudeness for strength. It’s not even a good substitute.

2) Learn to be kind but not weak. We must not mistake kindness for weakness. Kindness isn’t weak. Kindness is a certain type of strength. We must be kind enough to tell somebody the truth. We must be kind enough and considerate enough to lay it on the line. We must be kind enough to tell it like it is and not deal in delusion.

3) Learn to be bold but not a bully. It takes boldness to win the day. To build your influence, you’ve got to walk in front of your group. You’ve got to be willing to take the first arrow, tackle the first problem, discover the first sign of trouble.

4) You’ve got to learn to be humble, but not timid. You can’t get to the high life by being timid. Some people mistake timidity for humility. Humility is almost a God-like word. A sense of awe. A sense of wonder. An awareness of the human soul and spirit. An understanding that there is something unique about the human drama versus the rest of life. Humility is a grasp of the distance between us and the stars, yet having the feeling that we’re part of the stars. So humility is a virtue; but timidity is a disease. Timidity is an affliction. It can be cured, but it is a problem.

5) Be proud but not arrogant. It takes pride to win the day. It takes pride to build your ambition. It takes pride in community. It takes pride in cause, in accomplishment. But the key to becoming a good leader is being proud without being arrogant. In fact I believe the worst kind of arrogance is arrogance from ignorance. It’s when you don’t know that you don’t know. Now that kind of arrogance is intolerable. If someone is smart and arrogant, we can tolerate that. But if someone is ignorant and arrogant, that’s just too much to take.

6) Develop humor without folly. That’s important for a leader. In leadership, we learn that it’s okay to be witty, but not silly. It’s okay to be fun, but not foolish.

Lastly, deal in realities. Deal in truth. Save yourself the agony. Just accept life like it is. Life is unique. Some people call it tragic, but I’d like to think it’s unique. The whole drama of life is unique. It’s fascinating. And I’ve found that the skills that work well for one leader may not work at all for another. But the fundamental skills of leadership can be adapted to work well for just about everyone: at work, in the community and at home.

To Your Success,

Jim Rohn

(Reproduced with permission from Jim Rohn’s Weekly E-zine. To subscribe, go to www.JimRohn.com All contents Copyright © JimRohn.com except where indicated otherwise. All rights reserved worldwide.)

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Network marketing success: Three ways to strengthen your business

By | November 24, 2009

The search for network marketing success can be a long, confusing journey. It seems like you can find tips, strategies, advice and recommendations all over the Internet.

Often lost in all the confusion is one of the most basic rules of network marketing — if you want to improve your business, improve yourself. Personal development can, of course, take many forms, but I’ve found that one of the most important keys for me is to focus on my strengths.
Bodybuilder
Creative Commons License photo credit: toiletbowl martini

In other words, if I concentrate on doing what I do well, my chances for success in network marketing increase. The first step is to find your strengths.

Here are three quick, easy questions you can ask yourself that will help you discover your strengths.

• What brings you joy?

This may sound easy, but many people struggle when they give this question serious thought. We’re often programmed as young children to forget about those things that make you happy. Misguided parents often think this spares their children from future heartbreak.

• What frustrates you in other people?

Think of those times when someone you know has had a difficult time performing a task that you consider easy. There’s a good chance that the task is in an area of one of your strengths.

• What do other people praise your for that you think is no big deal?

Remember when you did something that someone else couldn’t stop talking about, but you just shrugged off because it was easy for you. That’s because it involved some aspect of a strength for you.

Early in life we develop skills that are built on our strengths. Later, in school and in our careers we develop skills that are outside our strengths. When we face challenges in those areas, we get in trouble.

The truth is, we perform better when we focus on our strengths.

This is one of the great things
about network marketing. You can work out of your strengths and build a team to help you take care of the aspects of business that you find most challenging.

Success in network marketing
comes easiest and fastest when we do our best. We do our best when we utilize our strengths.

Steve DeVane

(This ebook helped me understand how I could use my strengths to find network marketing success.)

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Internet network marketing — You’re the king

By | November 14, 2009

Chris Brogan, an Internet marketing expert, recently wrote a post called, “Content is Not King” that applies perfectly to Internet network marketing.

“Content is king” has become something of a catch phrase in internet marketing. It urges bloggers to concentrate most on the content of their posts. If you want readers, the thinking goes, you must first give them something worthwhile to read. That logic has gone pretty much unchallenged among those “in the know” about how to be successful online.

[caption id="attachment_263" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Chris Brogan (via chrisbrogan.com)"]Chris Brogan (via chrisbrogan.com)[/caption]

But Chris Brogan takes issue with the adage.

“Content is not king. You are. (or Queen.) Content is currency. You’re the king.”

Instead, he says, content is a way for bloggers to “deliver interest.”

“It’s a gathering place for you and the people you hope to entertain/attract/educate/equip. That doesn’t make it the king.”

Chris Brogan calls content “treasure,” “salve,” and “wood for the fireplace around which great stories are told.”

“Work hard on content, but focus on relationships,” he says.

This fits perfectly with how best to run a network marketing blog, which is a perfect place to build relationships. After all, network marketing involves both networking and marketing, but not necessarily in that order. The business works best when you market to large numbers of people, then network with the ones who show interest in your product, service or opportunity.

So think about the content of your blog as the marketing aspect. You write valuable content to attract lots of readers. To build off Chris Brogan’s analogy, you provide a campfire where your stories will warm their souls.

But, as Brogan says, the ultimate focus should be on the relationships. With no networking, there’s no network marketing.

Once you learn that lesson then you can be yourself with other people.

Do that and you’ll be the king of your content.

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Planning for retirement: Why you’ll need recurring income

By | October 24, 2009

For years, most people planning for retirement have heard about the wisdom of contributing to a 401(k) or similar plan. But as the financial crisis turned into a full-blown recession, everybody saw their investment accounts shrink.
a bunch of benjamins
Creative Commons License photo credit: nick farnhill

Plans like the 401(k) let people contribute pre-tax dollars into an investment account that is expected to increase in value over time.

But now the financial situation has gotten so bad that Time magazine’s Oct. 19 cover story says it’s time to retire the 401(k). According to the article, the balance of the average 401(k) dropped 31 percent from the end of 2007 through March 2009.

“In a system in which one year’s gains build on the next, the disaster of 2008 will dent retirement savings long after the recession ends,” the article says.

The magazine said the “401(k) was never meant to replace the employer-guaranteed pension fund, supplemented by Social Security, as the cornerstone of our nation’s retirement system.”

“But propelled by a combination of companies looking to cut costs and consumers who wanted control of their retirement destiny, that’s exactly what happened,” the story says.

The magazine suggests several fixes to the 401(k) issue, including a form of retirement insurance that could pay for up to 30 percent of retirement.

Would it be OK if I suggested another alternative for those who are planning for retirement? Recurring income.

Recurring income is doing work right one time, but getting paid for it over and over again. It’s similar to payments Michael Jordan gets when someone buys his brand of shoes or checks Elvis Presley’s heirs get when someone downloads one of his songs from the Internet.

Unfortunately, not many of us can play basketball like Michael or sing like Elvis.

Fortunately, there’s another option. Network marketing has allowed thousands of people to create recurring incomes ranging from a couple of hundred dollars a month to tens of thousands of dollars a month.

It’s not easy. It’s not a “get-rich quick scheme.” But it is possible.

Everyone planning for retirement now realizes that relying on traditional methods is no longer enough. Why not invest your time and effort in a business that provides recurring income?

Steve DeVane

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Guest blogger: Free to choose a better life

By | October 19, 2009

NOTE — Today’s blog post was written by Jason Lewis, who gives his thoughts on the power of choosing our own path in the world.

When I think about what makes life so great, my mind always comes back to the same thing — freedom. The freedom to live our lives however we choose is in my mind, without a doubt, the most exciting thing life has to offer us.

Bald Eagle Mid Flight
Creative Commons License photo credit: thelastminute

We have the power and the privilege to live our lives however we see fit and that gift should never be taken for granted. We, as Americans, live in a world where much is provided for us at a reasonable rate. As long as one possesses a job of some sort, one can have the basic necessities of life without very much trouble at all. A roof over your head, food, running water, electricity, as well as the added luxuries of television, cell phones, internet and transportation can all be afforded, to some degree, on even the most meager of incomes due to the society we’ve built in this country.

While one might say that that’s a good thing, I would strongly argue the other side. I believe that because of this, too many people have lost their drive, their desire to be great and achieve things others thought impossible. The world we live in today was built on the shoulders of great men and women who used their minds as tools to discover ways to make a positive, lasting impact on the world and to help better the lives of those around them. But sadly, that all seems to be changing.

Television, movies and the internet reach the vast majority of the free world and influence our decisions more than ever. We’re consumed by these things and we’ve become slaves to them. They tell us how to dress, how to talk and what to think. Because of this, more and more of us are becoming insecure and fearful, causing us to express our creativity less, for fear of what others will think, and that is stunting our individual growth as well as our growth as a society. Instead of thinking for ourselves and encouraging others to do the same, we’re afraid to express new ideas and we often ridicule those that do.

This type of behavior will be our undoing if we don’t do something to change this terrible culture we’ve adopted and start helping others realize their unlimited potential to be and do whatever it is they want to be and do. But just talking about this won’t be enough to change. Gandhi taught us that in order to induce change, we must become the change we wish to see in others.

These are powerful words when carefully considered. Many of us recognize that something is wrong but lack the drive, determination and thought to actually do something about it. And that brings me to my original point – we all have the power to choose the direction our life goes in and I choose to be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Network Marketing provides everyday people with an opportunity to control not only their own life, but to help others live the life that they deserve as well. In order to succeed at it, you must first work on yourself and turn yourself into the person you desire to be and by your guidance and example, you will help others do the same for themselves. When this happens, not only does it help to create better people, it provides us with the freedom to live our lives any way we see fit.

No other industry on the face of this Earth can provide such a thing to anyone who chooses to reap its rewards. I am proud to be part of that culture and I look forward to the journey that lies ahead. To be a network marketer is to have the power to change lives in the palm of your hand. There is no substitute for that gift and it’s one I will not waste.

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Two rules for living life

By | October 12, 2009

The other day I was thinking about my oldest daughter, who is a senior in high school. She’s applying to colleges and thinking about which school would be the best fit for her.

Wisdom Behind Glass
Creative Commons License photo credit: Rob Shenk
It reminded me of my senior year in high school. Within about three months, I went from not even thinking about college to looking at technical schools and finally to applying for a scholarship at a university with the hopes of one day graduating from its law school. It’s not hard to see that my mind was scattered. I was not very focused.

Looking back, I don’t think I’d change anything. Life turned out pretty well for me. However, I strongly believe that you’re better off focusing on where you want to go in life. To get there, I’d like to suggest two rules for living life. Only two.

First, find something that you love to do. Search long and hard for that activity that really gets your motor running. Look until you find what ignites your passion.

Second, find a way to make a living doing it. This may not be simple. In fact, it might be complicated, but keep working at it until you figure out how to make money at it.

This may take some time and effort, but the results will be well worth it.

Steve DeVane

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