Winning the race, one goal at a time

posted in: business, goals, MLM, network marketing | 0

The other day, I was reading a story about NASCAR driver Kyle Busch. He’s not my favorite, but I admire his will to win.

In the story, Busch talked about what motivates him.

“What I use is the car in front of me. If there’s a car in front of me, I’m going to chase him,” Busch said. “… I want to pass that guy. If I’m the leader, there’s another car in front of me, he’s going a lap down. The more guys you get a lap down, the more you don’t have to deal with at the end of the day. There’s always some motivation to go forward. There’s always somebody ahead of you that you can pass that’s going to mean something. Even if you are the leader.”

I thought that was a pretty good motivational strategy for anyone in business. It’s good to set goals. I’m a big believer in the importance of having lofty aspirations.

Sometimes, however, those high expectations aren’t enough. If that’s all we have, making progress might seem like we’re not accomplishing anything.

So, in addition to high, long-term goals, we have to stay focused on what’s going on now. Like Busch focuses on the car in front of him, concentrate on being the best at whatever you’re doing.

I once heard a speech by an Air Force officer who had reached the rank of general. In his comments he said his goal was always to be the best officer he could be, no matter what his rank.

Likewise, we should focus on being the best business people we can be. If we do this, we’ll reach our highest goals.

Steve DeVane

Give yourself a hand

posted in: business, MLM, network marketing | 0

The other day, my wife was talking to our daughter about how her day at school went. My daughter talked about an exercise one of her teachers had the students do that day.

The teacher asked the students to join their two hands together, interlocking their fingers. She then told the students to look at their fingers to see which of their thumbs were in front.

When people put their hands together like that, they almost always do it the same way, the teacher said. She asked the students to try to do it the other way to see how it felt.

I put my hands together several times. Sure enough, they went together the same way every time. I had to make an effort to bring my hands together the other way. But after a while it started feeling comfortable either way.

Later, I thought of how similar the exercise was to many things in life and business. Often we are faced with issues that call for us to readjust the way we think or the way we do things.

Sometimes such small changes will feel uncomfortable at first, but will eventually feel fine. When that happens we need to be flexible. Our lives and businesses will benefit.

Steve DeVane

A runaway conversation that gets you nowhere

posted in: MLM, network marketing, relationships | 0

One evening last weekend, my daughter wanted me to go jogging along the beach with her. I had taken a long walk with my wife and son that morning, but I was still up for a nice relaxing run.

Unfortunately, a storm came up before we started. So we decided to jog the next morning instead.

Bright and early, we headed out on the sand. It was beautiful.

We had barely got started when I told my daughter we should go till we were even with the next beach house and turn around. I thought she knew I was joking.

A couple of minutes later, she said we could run about three more houses down and turn around. I knew she hadn’t been feeling very well, so I figured she wasn’t up for much of a run that morning.

I said, “OK,” and a couple of minutes later we turned around to head back.

Later, back in the room, she said something about not running very far. I said that we could have run further.

Eventually, I figured out that she thought I was serious about stopping shortly after we started.

It made me realize the value of clear communication. I should have let her know I was joking. I didn’t. As a result and pleasant Sunday morning run along the beach was cut short.

Communication is key in business and in life.

In business, relationships are vital. Miscommunication or too little communication can make it difficult to make those connections.

Here’s a few tips to help you communicate:

Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. If your business partner makes a statement that you don’t understand, see if he or she will explain it further.

Listen attentively. When the other person is talking, pay attention to what they’re saying. Don’t make the mistake of thinking about what you’re going to say next while they’re still talking.

Talk it out. When a disagreement arises, discuss it until you agree or at least reach a point satisfactory to you both.

Notice more than just words. Some people will say they’re OK with something when they really aren’t. They’re body language will let you know they’re true feelings. Better to talk about their issues sooner than later.

Be flexible. Realize things won’t always go your way. Knowing that up front will improve your communication and your relationships.

Steve DeVane

Walking with a new perspective

posted in: goals, MLM, network marketing, perspective | 0

I recently spent a weekend in North Myrtle Beach with my family. One morning, I went for a walk on the beach with my wife and son. We walked to the Cherry Grove pier.

The walk was pleasant even though it was a cloudy day. We made it to the pier and turned back toward the resort where we were staying.

About halfway back, it occurred to me that the walk going to the pier seemed much shorter than the return trip. It made me realize the importance of perspective.

When we were walking toward the pier, we had a fixed goal in mind. Walking back, our goal was not as visible. Moreover, we realized that we had walked a long way to the pier and now faced a long walk back.

I learned was re-reminded of a couple of good lessons for life and business.

First, always set clear goals. Write them down and celebrate when you reach them.

Second, if you don’t like the way things are looking, it will probably help if you change the way you’re looking at them.

Steve DeVane

Create success by staying calm

posted in: business, MLM, network marketing, success | 2

I was thinking earlier tonight about a seminar I went to several years ago that included a session on the way families work. One of the things I learned is the importance of being what the teachers called a “non-anxious presence.”

It seems that often issues that arise within families can be handled if one of those involved can keep his or her anxiety level down. That “non-anxious presence” can serve as a calming agent of sorts.

I often thought of that when uneasy situations arise in my life. I try to stay calm, and I’ve found that helps me deal with whatever I’m facing.

What’s more, I’ve discovered that the peaceful attitude often spreads to those around me.

When the military is choosing its most elite teams, it chooses those who demonstrate the ability to stay calm in chaotic situations. Those making the selections know the importance of staying focused no matter what’s going on around you.

As I was thinking of all this, it occurred to me that business people can also benefit from being a non-anxious presence. For those in network marketing, the opposite often happens. This comes across in two forms.

First, we know we have such a great product that we anxiously share it with anyone and everyone, even if they don’t need it.

Second, we’re often taught “closing” techniques that don’t fit our personalities. Moreover, we know that such strategies are likely to turn off the person to whom we’re talking.

Here’s how you solve both issues: don’t mention your product unless the person gives you a reason to think they might need it, and forget every pressure tactic you’ve learned.

Anyone who buys your product if they don’t need it will never buy it again, and those who are pressured into joining your business will never stay. Both situations waste time and effort and make our profession look bad.

Some of the best advice to help your business can be summed up in two words: stay calm.

Steve DeVane

Getting in tune with a lack of stress

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Sometimes I get too stressed over stuff that’s not worth it.

Last week, our band was supposed to play during a church service. We had all the songs picked out except the one that would be played right before the sermon.

Of course, that’s considered the most important song of the service. We try hard to make it fit with what the pastor’s going to say in the sermon.

Usually, the bandleader’s pretty good about finding a song that goes with the sermon. He has a knack for such things. Many times after a service, I’ve told him that the music was perfect.

But this particular week, we couldn’t find the right song. At rehearsal, we thought about a couple of different songs, but none were right. We finally decided that we’d have to practice the song on Sunday morning before the service.

Our thinking was that we’d come up with a song during the week. The bandleader and I e-mailed back and forth several times, but nothing clicked. Finally, he decided we’d do a song that wasn’t a great fit for the sermon, but would generally go along with the theme of the service.

At the rehearsal just before the service, we discovered that our children’s choir was also going to sing. After some discussion we decided that they would sing just before the sermon.

Issue settled.

All that worrying for nothing.

Made me realize that I can probably relax about a great many other concerns. Next time I’m stressing about something, I think I’ll sing a different tune.

Steve DeVane

The quick fix can be a good thing

posted in: MLM, network marketing, success | 3

I finally got a new car. Well, it’s not a new car. It’s actually a kind of old car — a 1995 Volkswagen Jetta — but it’s new to me and has a lot less miles than you’d think.

It’s not my dream car, but I got a good deal on it. As a matter of fact, I got a real good deal.

Unfortunately in this case, the deal wasn’t quite as good as it seemed. The car actually broke down on me on the way home after I bought it. I had to get it towed to my mechanic’s shop.

First, he fixed a small oil leak. Then he cleaned out a clogged screen that was keeping oil from getting to the engine. Thankfully, it wasn’t near as expensive as I feared.

My mechanic tried, but couldn’t fix the transmission that was slipping a little. He suggested another mechanic who worked on transmissions.

I took the car to him and initially got good news. A broken part was keeping a filter from doing its job.

He fixed that, but unfortunately, it didn’t correct the problem. He told me the repair would cost more than I paid for the car.

But he also told me a way to work around the problem by starting off in low gear. When I do that, the transmission shifts much better.

The mechanic told me there’s no telling how long the transmission will last. So far, I’ve driven the car more than 500 miles with no issues. I expect I either keep driving it like that or just sell to someone who’s willing to get it fixed.

When I picked the car up, he mechanic told me something that struck me. He said that more than likely the transmission is in such bad shape because the person who owned the car before me didn’t fix the smaller issue.

In other words, if that person would have paid less than $150 to get it fixed then, it wouldn’t be needing a repair costing nearly 10 times that much now.

At first it frustrated me a little, but then I realized that there’s nothing I can do about it now. Moreover, if I’m smart, I can learn something from that person’s mistake.

I thought of all those things in my life that need fixing. I can ignore them and let them get worse, or I can work on making them better now.

It’s the same way in business. The key is finding the right path to success and staying on it. When we see we’re off track, the sooner we get back on the right road the better off we are.

Steve DeVane

Success from the inside out

I was in a study group the other night when the leader pointed out that the spiritual life is a paradox, requiring both solitude and contact with others. He was, in effect, encouraging us to spend some time in quiet meditation between our weekly sessions as a group.

Good advice. Every once in a while everyone needs to get away from the chaos of daily life. I think burnout is in large part caused by the way we keep our engines revved way too high for much too long.

Of course we can’t stay shut off from the world for too long, either. We need to stay connected to other people. The relationships we form with other people enhance our lives.

Business can work much the same way. We must look inwardly and become comfortable with ourselves. As one of my mentors likes to say, “You do not have to change who you are to have success in your life or business.”

At the same time, we need a team of people behind us and around us. When a group of people works together for a common purpose, great things happen.

One key to success in life is finding a balance between introspection and interaction.

Steve DeVane

The frustration of procrastination

posted in: MLM, network marketing | 0

I’ve been finishing a major project over the last week or so. I’ll be writing more about it in future posts, but first I thought I’d share a lesson learned during the process.

During the early and middle stages of the effort, there were a number of times, I thought about details that needed to be done. I kept telling myself that I’d do them later. I thought it’d be easier to work on them all at the same time during the final phase of the project.

Wrong.

As you might expect, many small details turned into a major hassle as I was trying to get the project completed. I had a tough time doing all the tiny tasks that I had to finish first.

I thought back on all the times I put off doing small, simple stuff. Later, I paid the price for procrastinating.

In business, I’m often faced with similar choices. I’m learning that it’s never a good idea to say to myself, “I’ll do that later.”

Steve DeVane

Getting to the CRX of the matter

posted in: mind, MLM, network marketing | 3

Since my car died, I’ve started looking for a new one. Well, not a new one. I prefer to get a used car because I drive a lot and new cars lose value quickly when you put a lot of miles on them.

So I was looking at craigslist yesterday, focusing on the two areas closest to where I live. I saw a few possibilities, but nothing real promising.

Then I decided to look in a region of my state that’s a little farther away. Not sure why, but I thought it was worth a look.

On there I saw a car that I’ve wanted for more than 20 years — a Honda CRX. For those of you unfamiliar with the CRX, it’s a sporty little car that gets great gas mileage. It’d be perfect for me since I drive so much.

The ad said the fellow was selling the car because he had bought another one. The CRX was just sitting in his yard so he was selling it for $500. He said he was going out of town for the weekend and wanted to sell it by the time he returned on Tuesday.

I immediately replied to the ad, sending an e-mail asking if Tuesday was the first opportunity to see the car. If not, I asked when I could see it.

The car was about a three-hour drive from my house, but I was willing to make the trip.

Last night, I got an e-mail reply from the guy’s wife. She said “a kid” had seen a “For Sale” sign on the car and stopped to look at it. She sold it to him for $400. Later, she checked her husband’s e-mail and realized after seeing all the interest that she probably shouldn’t have sold it.

I replied, thanking her for her response. I told her I was sorry that she’d sold it, because I would have driven up and paid at least $500 for it based on what it looked like in the photos. But then I told her that the way I looked at it, that kid must have needed a car more than I did.

Later, I thought about how bummed I could be since I missed out on a great deal on one of my dream cars. But then I thought about some kid riding around happy as all get out over his good fortune. Thinking about his joy is a lot better than sulking over my missed opportunity.

And another good deal will come along.

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