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

A practical way to reach your dreams

I recently took my daughter and one of her friends to a reception and presentation hosted by Western Carolina University. My daughter and her friend are both high school juniors considering where to go to college.

The event was well attended. The presentation was well done, and the school representatives were well informed and presented the university well.

On the way home, I asked my daughter her favorite part of the evening. She told me it was when one of the professors told her that if she’d score a little higher on the SAT that every school in North Carolina would want her.

Then she turned the tables on me and asked me my favorite part. After jokingly telling her it was the pretzels (they were quite good), I said it was a conversation she had with the representative of WCU’s School of Business after she told him she was thinking about double majoring in business and communications.

The professor — I think he might have been the associate dean — seemed pleased with my daughter’s plans. He told her that she was wise to follow her passion, which he assumed was communications, while also getting the practical basics of business.

In effect, he told her that you should always do what you want, but remember that you have to pay the bills, too.

Thinking about it later, it occurred to me how wonderfully network marketing fits into that scenario.

Many people realize early in life that they have to make money to provide for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, they jettison their dreams along the way.

Network marketing offers a way for people to reconnect with those dreams. Once we understand that opportunity, we’re practically on our way to reaching them.

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