All you have to do is ask

Earlier today, I stopped by the school where my teaches and my three kids attend. When I saw my wife she asked me to take a fund-raising form to my son and tell him that he needed to find teachers to sponsor him if he wanted to participate in a jump-rope event.

When I found my son, he initially said it was too late because today was the deadline. Then his teacher said he could still turn in the form tomorrow. My son took the form and said he’d try to find sponsors after he finished his homework.

Less than three hours later, my son came into my wife’s room and told her he’d raised nearly $50. My wife looked at him and said, “See. All you had to do was ask.”

That statement can also apply to life and business.

I run my network marketing business in a very non-pushy way. As a matter of fact, I use a system that’s designed to be non-threatening. It’s built around the principle that if you help everybody you can, those that are supposed to join you in business will.

That’s where my wife’s statement comes in for me. All I have to do is ask people if they need help. And when do, I help them.

Whatever business you’re in, I expect there comes a time when all you have to do is ask.

Steve DeVane

Hit the brakes and find success

The other day, I was driving my wife’s van (my car’s in the shop but that’s another story) when an indicator light on the dash told me that a brake light was out.

A day or two later I went to an auto parts store and got a replacement lamp. How hard can it be to change a brake light, I thought to myself.

Wrong.

When I finally got a chance to make the change, it was a freezing cold morning. I got out the manual and tried to follow along. I made it through the first few steps easily.

Then I got to the step that said to remove the lamp assembly by sliding it backwards.

Sounds simple.

Didn’t work.

I tried to slide the assembly out. It wouldn’t budge.

Tried again and again. Nothing.

I tried until my fingers were numb. Finally had to give up and leave for work.

Later that afternoon, when it warmed up, I tried again. Still couldn’t get it to move.

Finally, I thought to look at the other lamp assembly on the other side. I could tell that it had been removed before. I took it apart and, with some effort, determined that when I pulled it a certain way a tab was released that was holding it in place. Then I went back to other side and was able to pull it out rather easily.

Later, it occurred to me how life and business is like that. Many times, we struggle and struggle as we seek success. Eventually, we figure out the importance of learning from people who are already successful.

Next time, you’re having a tough time, stop struggling long enough to find a person or group who have previously done what you’re trying to do. Better yet, find a tested, proven system.

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

Strong system sets up success

Volleyball season just started for my two daughters. My oldest daughter plays on the varsity team, while my younger daughter plays junior varsity.

I enjoy going to their games. The last couple of home games, I’ve been asked to run the scoreboard. It’s been a new perspective in a couple of ways.

For one, I can’t just watch what my daughters are doing. I have to keep an eye on the whole court so I can make sure to keep the score right.

But I also sit higher and closer to the court than I did when I was in the bleachers. The scorer’s table has a much better view.

My oldest daughter is the primary setter for her team. This means she’s the one usually responsible for putting the ball in a position for a teammate to spike it.

It occurred to me the other day that her role was similar to that of a sponsor in network marketing. When we sponsor someone into the business we want to “set” them up for success.

The easiest way to do this is to have a successful system that is easily teachable. Then, it’s just a matter of training the person to use the system.

If the system works, and the distributor takes the necessary action, success will naturally follow.

In the volleyball games, sometimes the ball will be so far away from my daughter that she can’t get to it. She immediately yells, “Help! Help!” One of her teammates nearly always manages to keep the ball in play.

Similarly, in network marketing, we need to realize that we sometimes need help. If we’re on a solid team, all we have to do is ask.

A good system run by a good team makes a great business.

Steve DeVane

Innovative networking

I was in a doctor’s office the other day when I spotted a copy of the Fall 2007 issue of the Smithsonian Magazine that focused on “America’s Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences.”

I was initially a bit bummed that I was more than 10 years past what the magazine called young (35 and younger), but immediately became fascinated with the stories inside. I even asked the receptionist if I could have the magazine and she said OK.

I haven’t read all of the stories yet, but I have noticed some traits of those great thinkers that apply to network marketing.

• Innovators tend to be people who recognize a problem and devote high amounts of energy to solving it.

In network marketing, we’re often too quick to offer our business as the solution before we find out if the person we’re talking to even has a problem. We should be willing to help people, even if it means telling them they’re better off pursuing something other than our opportunity.

• Innovators are committed people.

MLM tends to attract people who are looking for a “get rich quick” scheme. Those of us who are professional network marketers should make sure we don’t market our businesses in that manner and steer clear of anyone who’s looking for that.

• Innovators find their place and excel there.

Successful network marketers find a system that works and work that system.

Steve DeVane