Pathway to success – change for the better

I recently heard an excellent presentation about making the most of our talents. It included this old proverb: “If you want to know what you’re doing in the future, tell me what you’re doing right now.”

As I thought about it, the wisdom of the statement stuck with me. So often we go through life hoping things will get better. But if we want our lives to change for the better, we have to change for the better.

I’ve also heard it said that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things and expecting different results.

In our lives, if we aren’t happy, we need to make a decision to be happy. Once we make that decision, we’re on our way to reaching our goal.

In our businesses, if we aren’t successful, we need to make the changes needed to be successful. Once we make those changes, we’re on our way to reaching our goal.

Steve DeVane

Change your life – It’s your decision

Have you ever given any serious thought to how you ended up in the job you have?

I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. I was talking with a friend about it the other day and he was telling me about the path that led him to his current position. I didn’t tell him this for fear of offending him, but his description unnerved me quite a bit.

It seemed he ended up where he was because of a series of unrelated events that had little to do with his strengths, talents, gifts or desires. What made it worse was his apparent reluctance to consider any alternatives at any point along the way or even now.

I was just about to question him about it, when I realize that until recently my life was much the same. I thought that I was where I was and there wasn’t much I could do about it.

Fortunately, I’ve come to realize that I am where I am because of my past choices, and I can change direction by making different choices.

It’s not easy, but it can be done. Think about it. If you want something different, change direction. Decide and do it.

Steve DeVane

Speak up for your profession and products

The other day, my daughter called me on the phone to complain about the cost of ice cream. She and her friend had been to a nearby ice cream shop. Each had ordered a scoop of ice cream.

When they got ready to pay, the cashier told my daughter it would be $8.03. I told her that maybe it was just an expensive place to buy ice cream. She said it wasn’t that expensive because a sign said that each scoop of ice cream was $2.

I asked her why she didn’t mention that to the cashier.

She said she didn’t want to.

I told her she had to learn to speak up in those circumstances.

She protested a little, but I think she understood.

Later, it occurred to me that network marketers often face similar tests in their business. Occasionally, you’ll be talking with someone and they’ll say something about being in a financial crunch. Or someone will tell you about a challenge they face that one of your company’s products would help.

Many network marketers make one of two mistakes in those circumstances: they come on too strong or they clam up and don’t say anything.

Putting a sales squeeze on people never a good idea. Good networkers learn to present their opportunity or products in a non-threatening manner.

In order for people to know about the wonderful profession of network marketing and its many amazing companies if you have to learn to speak up.

Steve DeVane

Learning leadership by following first

Have you ever wondered what makes a good leader?

Sometimes you see someone who has a certain way of speaking, of acting, of living that leads you to describe the person as a “born leader.” Turns out that description is probably not accurate.

Most great leaders were once great followers. If you want to be a good leader become a good follower.

That’s why it’s so valuable to have a mentor. That importance applies to all areas of life, but it takes on greater meaning in network marketing.

In MLM, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of so-called “systems” competing for your attention. Each claims to be the best way to market your opportunity.

When you’re considering marketing options, pay close attention to the person behind the system. Is that person someone you can learn from? Can you picture them showing you how to succeed?

Then look closely at the people that person has already mentored. Has he or she successfully taught the system to others? Moreover, did he or she teach them how to pass it on?

Once you’ve found that mentor, follow them down the path to success. In no time you’ll be the leader you are meant to be.

Steve DeVane

A little gift that meant a lot

About a week ago I was looking for a book on a shelf when I saw something jammed between two of the larger books.

I pulled it out, and recognized it as booklet given to me by a good friend years ago. It has excerpts from “The Treasury of Quotes by Jim Rohn.” I opened it up and saw the note my friend wrote to me.

I immediately remembered thinking that it was a great gift when I had received it. Jim Rohn is one of the most influential personal development speakers in the world. The booklet meant a lot to me then and still means a lot to me.

I enjoyed perusing again the 134 quotes in the booklet. It has subject headings at the top of each page, making it easier to find an inspirational thought about the area in which you need help.

I get something every time I read one of the quotes in the booklet. Here are some of my favorites.

“If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs I education to turn him around.”

That quote in the knowledge/education area makes me realize that the best thing to do when I know I’ve made a mistake is stop and make a course correction. Knowing you’ve made a mistake doesn’t do any good if you don’t correct it.

“Unless you change how you are, you will always have what you’ve got.”

That quote in the personal development section helps me see the importance of working on getter better as a person. I’m beginning to see that the better I get, the more my situation improves.

“My mentor said, ‘Let’s go do it’ not ‘You go do it.’ How powerful when someone says, ‘Let’s!’”

That quote in leadership/management shows me the importance of helping other people. Another one in the same section reaffirms that thinking:

“Learn to help people with more than just their jobs; help them with their lives.”

All these quotes take on even greater meaning in network marketing, but the last two are especially important. We should strive to serve as mentors to those we sponsor. When we say, “Let’s go do it,” we’re showing them how to build a strong, successful business.

But even beyond that, we should become friends with those in our business. Friends help friends, not only with their businesses, but with their lives.

Steve DeVane

The bridge between thought and accomplishment

The teachings of Jim Rohn have popped into my life recently on two separate occasions.

One way is a little book I found squeezed between two bigger volumes on my bookshelf. It’s called “The Treasury of Quotes by Jim Rohn.” A friend gave it to me years ago. I’ll share some of the quotes in a future blog.

The other instance is this video sent to me by another friend. It’s based on Rohn’s new book, “Lessons on Life.”

The video makes several points on ways to live to a successful life. Here’s a few of them.

Learn to be happy. The video defines happiness as “activity with purpose.”

When I was younger, I thought happiness was over-rated. To me honest, people who were happy ticked me off, which of course made me even less happy.

I’m not sure where or how I learned it, but somewhere along the way, I got it in my head that I was somehow a better person if I was unhappy. I was almost snobbish about my unhappiness. I looked down on happy people like riff-raff who had not yet learned the high and holy ways of being unhappy.

As I’ve gotten older, I see how utterly ridiculous that is. Why not be happy? Being happy certainly beats being unhappy. And the great thing is, happiness is a choice. If you want to be happy, all you have to do is decide to be happy. Now some things will make you sad at times, but for the most part, happiness is only a decision away.

Discipline yourself. Discipline, according to the video is the bridge between thought and accomplishment. We all suffer from either the pain of discipline, which weighs ounces, or the pain of regret, which weighs tons, the video says.

We often think of discipline in a negative sense, as in punishment. But discipline, as in self-control, is a positive. We become better people when we learn to apply ourselves.

Embrace change. The video points out that we can change all things for the better when we change ourselves for the better.

Today, it seems change is happening everywhere. Someone said the only constant in the world these days is change.

So change is happening. We can’t stop it. Why not embrace it and make the most of it by changing ourselves for the better.

Live well. If we don’t design our own lives someone else will, according to the video.

Too often we get stuck in the day-to-day existence of life. We do the so much that busyness becomes our only business.

It seems difficult, but we are in control of our lives. We just have to realize it and do something about it.

Take some time and think about where your life is going. It’s a great time to start improving your life for the better.

Want to know what the best five years of your life are?

The next five years. Make the most of them.

Steve DeVane

The trail of fears

posted in: business, leadership, mentoring | 2

Recently I went on a trip to Belize with some folks from my church. We spent four days working and about a day and a half sightseeing.

One of the sights we wanted to see was the Blue Hole. It had been raining hard that day, and initially it appeared that the park where the Blue Hole was located was closed. But a park employee came out and opened the gate to let us in.

Before long we were hiking along a muddy, slippery trail in search of the pool of water. Since it had been raining and I hoped to take a dip in the Blue Hole, I had changed my tennis shoes for sandals. Big mistake.

Our group got spread out along the trail as some of the younger, more adventurous ones went on ahead. After a while the group I was in heard someone shouting behind us.

It was the park ranger. Turns out we were on the wrong trail. I understood him to say the trail we were on didn’t even go to the Blue Hole. I agreed to try to catch us to the ones ahead of us, while the others turned around.

After a couple of near slips, I knew I wasn’t making up much ground. I decided I had to run. So run I did.

Weird things go through your mind when your running along a slick rain forest trail.

Things like, “If I fall down that steep embankment, will they ever find my body?”

And, “What in the world am I doing here?

And, “I certainly wouldn’t have put on these sandals if I knew I was going to have to run?”

Eventually, I caught up with several of the others. I went back with a group of them while another fellow went ahead and caught up with the others. On the way back the raindrops came to an end and mosquito swarms came out of nowhere.

Later, I found out that I had misunderstood the ranger. The trail did go to the Blue Hole, it was just a mile and a half away — a good 45 minute hike on a dry day. A few of those in the group made it to the pool and even took a swim.

I never even laid eyes on the Blue Hole, but the others told me it wasn’t very blue because of all the rain.

Initially, I was disappointed, tired and frustrated. Looking back, it wasn’t so bad. We all made it back, although a few had some minor injuries, and it makes a great story.

So what did I learn, other than never change into sandals when you’re going to be hiking through a rainy rain forest?

First, I learned it’s best to know where the trail leads before you start. Sometimes in life, we’re faced with multiple options. It’s good to be decisive and take action, but it’s usually better to get the information you need to make a good decision.

Next, I learned it’s best to listen closely to people who know the lay of the land. Had I realized that the trail eventually led to the Blue Hole, I would have likely either turned back then or kept going until I reached the destination. Either way, I wouldn’t have had to make a mad dash on slick grass.

At times, when we face a decision it often pays to find someone who’s been in a similar position. Find out how they fared and learn from their experience.

Finally, I learned that it pays to have a leader. If any of us had ever been on that trail, we would have known how far it was to the Blue Hole. We would have known to drive down to another trail, much closer to where we wanted to go.

In life and in business, a good mentor makes the difference. Find someone who’s already successful and do what they did. They know the trail already.

Steve DeVane
This mentoring program made a difference in my life and business.

Where there’s a wheel, there’s a way

posted in: coaching, mentoring, wheel of life | 4

Every once in a while it’s good to sit back and take a good, long look at life. Here’s a simple, easy way to think about where you are. It’s called the wheel of life.

First, draw a circle. Make it plenty big enough to write in.

Now divide the circle into eight pieces. You do that by drawing a line straight up and down, then one side by side. That makes four pieces. Then draw two more lines diagonally each way to divide the four into eight.

Now write these in the eight sections:

Career

Family and friends

Significant other/ romance

Fun and recreation

Health

Money

Personal growth

Physical environment

Now, take several minutes and think about how your life is going in each area. After you’ve given it some thought, rate it on a scale of 1-10.

Then think of the center of the circle as zero and the outside of the circle as 10. Draw a line in each area where you rated.

Now take a look at the circle. That’s your wheel of life.

Notice if it’s uneven or pretty round.

See which areas you make you feel good and which areas need some work. Perhaps you need some coaching to help your wheel ride a little smoother.

Steve DeVane
This free mentoring system helped me in several areas of my life.

The recipe for success

posted in: business, mentoring, recipe, success | 0

My wife makes this great hash brown potato casserole that is out of this world. She takes some hash browns and mixes in some butter and other stuff, then puts them in a pan, tops them with bacon bits and cooks them in the oven.

They are good. I mean, they are real good.

She often cooks them for family reunions. When we’re going through the line, one of the first things I look for is those potatoes, because I’m hoping there’s still some of them left.

Often there’s not. I hate it when that happens.

My wife got the recipe from someone she knew. I was thinking the other day about how my wife follows the recipe. If I’m going to the store, she tells me exactly what she needs for that recipe. Then she puts in exactly the right amount of each ingredient and then cooks it for just the right amount of time.

She does all that because she has a recipe. She knows if she follows all those steps the casserole will come out just right.

It’s the same way in our life and in our business. If there’s someone who’s successful and is willing to show us the way, all we have to do is follow their directions. Do what they do and we’ll have the success that their having.

I spent years floundering in my network marketing business. I knew successful marketers, but their success didn’t translate to my success.

Then I found this free mentoring system. The networkers I met freely shared their expertise and their time with me. People who had absolutely no stake in my company showed me the path they had already taken to success.

For a while, I couldn’t believe it. I kept waiting for the manipulation.

It never happened.

I kept saying to myself, “What’s the catch?”

Never was one.

Finally, I got past my disbelief and started doing what my mentors showed me to do. Now, the success I had missed is coming my way.

All I had to do was follow the recipe.

Steve DeVane
This free e-book was the first step in my recipe for success.

Learn the art of success

I am often amazed at how techniques I learned in coach training apply to the network marketing profession.

Coaches are taught to have no agenda. A coaching session is all about the person being coached. That outlook fits perfectly with network marketing.

The best way to help people is to first understand what they need. If we don’t know what they need how can we know how to help them.

The best way to understand people is to get to know them. The way to get to know them is to relate to them with no agenda.

Think about it. We shouldn’t want someone in our business if they don’t really want to be in the business.

If they don’t really want to be in business, they’re never going to succeed. They’ll spin their wheels and get nowhere.

Furthermore, if they don’t want to be in business, we’ll spend a good amount of our time convincing them rather than training them. It’s a waste their time and our effort.

My friend and mentor, Tom “Big Al “Schreiter, has taught me the importance of having skills in our network marketing business.

Here are some coaching skills that will help you learn about people. It’s based on the acrostic — LEARN.

Listen. When you’re in a conversation, try to spend at least 80 percent of the time listening. That means you should not be talking more than one fifth of the time.

Encourage. Look for ways to support the person. Too often we’re looking for something wrong, so we can pounce on the person with our “opportunity.” Instead, encourage the person to find their own path.

Ask powerful questions. The answers will help you get to know the person better. Ask open-ended questions that will give the person an opportunity to share about their hopes, their dreams, their goals.

Respond. Make sure you understand what the person is telling you. Don’t get ahead of them in the conversation by thinking about what you’re going to say next. Tune into what they’re saying, what they want, and what they need.

Negotiate action. In network marketing, we need to emphasize negotiation. Coaching sessions usually end with the person being coached deciding what they want to do and when they’re going to do it. In our business, make sure the person is making the decision with no pressure.

These skills will help you in your network marketing business and in your life.

Steve DeVane
This free e-book taught me how to be successful in network marketing

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