Network marketing plan: New year, higher goals

posted in: goals, network marketing | 5

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.)

Planning for retirement: Why you’ll need recurring income

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

Guest blogger: Free to choose a better life

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.

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

posted in: MLM, network marketing | 0

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

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