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.

A little help from my friends

We all need help sometimes.

My car has been in the shop more than two weeks, so my family of five, including two teenagers, had to get along with one vehicle. We were managing, but it was challenging.

Over the weekend, a friend insisted that we borrow her car. Her family had a truck and a van they could use and she wouldn’t take no for an answer.

So for the last couple of days, I’ve been driving a red VW Beetle convertible. I’m extremely grateful for my friend helping us out.

It’s helped me realize that it’s OK to ask for help. You can’t do everything on your own.

The same thing happened in my network marketing business. About a year and a half ago, I was really struggling — getting nowhere fast. Then I found someone who showed me a way to success.

I could have kept doing things the same way I had to years, but it hadn’t worked before so why would it have all of a sudden started working?

Instead, I got the help I needed. If you’re not where you want to be, find someone who’s done what you want to do and learn from them.

Steve DeVane

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

How busyness can hurt your business

I’ve been thinking today about how my busyness seems to get in the way of my business.

Sometimes I just think I have so many things to do that I don’t get anything done. I was reminded of this watching a clip from one of the morning TV shows this morning. It focused on traffic and included a section comparing how efficiently ants got around to traffic jams on major highways.

The ants it turned out, get around much better even though there are a lot more of them than there are cars in the traffic jam.

Later, I thought about how my life sometimes seems like the traffic jam. All the things I want or need to do are stacked up behind each other.

As I pondered what to do about it, it occurred to me that I need to set priorities and do the most important things first. I also need to set aside a certain amount of time for each area of my life.

I have a feeling that getting my priorities in order and honoring a time schedule will help me stay on the fast lane to success.

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

Weathering the business storm

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It snowed this week. The first significant snowfall for my area in about five years.

It was also the first snow since we moved in our new house about 14 months ago. Once it got deep enough we headed to a nearby golf course for some sledding.

It was the most fun I’d had in years. I’d forgotten how exciting zipping down a hill on a plastic disk can be.

Of course, once you get to the bottom of the hill, you have to grab the sled and walk back up to the top.

During one of my many treks up the hill, I thought of how sledding can symbolize our lives and our businesses.

In nearly anything, you have to do some work to enjoy the benefits. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

In network marketing, the successful businesspeople have paid their dues. Consider this, no matter where you are in your business, every superstar was once where you were. If they can get to the top, so can you.

And trust me, the ride is worth the effort.

Steve DeVane

What to give the person who has everything

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If you’re still searching for a gift for the person who has everything, here’s a great way to honor them and help people who have almost nothing.

During this season of giving Tony Cartledge reminds us of those who are most in need. He suggests giving a living gift that will help them survive by going to Heifer International’s website, where you can check out a gift catalog and send a donation. The site even lets you print out a gift card or send an e-mail to the person you’d like to honor. (Hat tip to Baptist Planet for calling Cartledge’s blog to our attention.)

Instead of rushing around madly in crowded stores today, browse on over to Heifer International or a charity you support and spread some Christmas cheer. With times getting tough, now is a perfect time to share your blessings.

Steve DeVane