More small stuff to not sweat

My last post focused on the book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. Here’s a few more of the book’s principles.

“Smile at strangers, look them in the eye and say hello.” Carlson says there’s a parallel between our attitude toward strangers and our overall happiness.

“In other words, it’s unusual to find a person who walks around with her head down, frowning and looking away from people, who is secretly a peaceful, joyful person,” he says.

It seems these days that most people go through life trying to avoid as many people as possible. You can take great strides toward being successful in life and in business if you’ll just make the effort to connect with people. That connection starts with eye contact and a smile.

“Become a better listener.” Carlson says effective listening goes beyond the urge to finish someone else’s sentence. “It’s being content to listen to the entire thought of someone rather than waiting impatiently for your chance to respond,” he says.

One key to business is helping other people solve their problems. The way to find out if they have a problem is to listen closely to them.

“Develop your own helping rituals.” Carlson says little acts of kindness help us remember how good it feels to be kind and helpful.

The adage is true that if you help enough other people reach their dreams, you’ll certainly reach yours. Focus on helping people whether or not it’ll help your business. As my mentor, Michael Dlouhy likes to say, “Be a mentor with a servant’s heart.”

All these principles are keys to forming relationships, which are the backbone of a strong business.

Steve DeVane

Don’t sweat the small stuff in your business

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One of my favorite books is “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and It’s All Small Stuff,” by Richard Carlson. I found it one day while I was browsing in a bookstore. It was one of those times when I knew I had to have it when I saw the title.

The title came from an experience Carlson had with another author, Wayne Dyer. Seems Dyer had endorsed one of Carlson’s earlier books. Carlson had told a publisher he’s ask Dyer if he’d endorse another one. He asked but never heard back from Dyer. When the book came out, Dyer’s old endorsement was on the new book.

Carlson’s agent told the publisher to pull the books off the shelf. Carlson wrote Dyer a letter of apology. In response, Dyer wrote Carlson a note saying there are two rules for living in harmony — (1) Don’t sweat the small stuff, and (2) It’s all small stuff. Dyer told Carlson to let the quote stand.

Over the years, I pick Carlson’s book up and read some when I get frazzled or uptight about something. It includes 100 chapters, each with a life principle. Here’s a few of my favorites.

Ask yourself, “Will this matter a year from now?” Carlson suggests that when you’re facing an issue consider whether it will seem as important in a year. The exercise often gives perspective, he says.

Let others have glory. Carlson says it’s enjoyable and peaceful to resist the tendency to tell something about yourself in response to someone else’s story. When you listen and ask for more information about the other person, both of you will feel more relaxed and the your need for glory will be replaced with quiet confidence.

Resist the urge to criticize. Carlson says a person who is criticized with either retreat in shame or attack in anger. Being critical accomplishes nothing and contributes to the distrust in the world, he says.

These principles can also apply to our network marketing business.

We often spend lots of time focusing on issues that won’t matter in the long run. We spin our wheels on minor issues that aren’t helping our business grow.

If we focus on helping others succeed, our business with increase because our relationships with our partners will be stronger.

By building up and not criticizing our colleagues in our business and those in other companies, we’ll become trustworthy people others will want to join.

Next time you’re frantic about some issue you’re facing, remember the two rules for living in harmony. They’re good principles for business, too.

Steve DeVane

Personal connections — Relational business-building

Earlier today a friend of mine was talking about her son’s decision about which college to attend. I paid close attention because my oldest daughter is about to go through the same process.

Seems my friend and her son visited three schools. There were a number of reasons behind his choice, but one of the biggest was the visit to that school.

During the visit the school representative went out of his way to make them feel welcome. The prospective students had to fill out a piece of paper with their name and hometown. During his presentation, the school official recognized each student and said something to personally connect with him.

My friend was impressed. She said that if she would have been making the decision, she would have chosen the same school.

That’s how we act in our businesses. Each time we meet someone, we should try to connect with him or her on a personal level. Moreover, we should do that not just because they might be a prospect for our business, but because we want to get to know them.

If you try to connect with them while thinking about the possibility of them joining your business, the connection will likely feel fake to them. That’s not surprising, because it will be fake.

Next time you meet someone, try to be their friend before you try to make them your business partner.

Steve DeVane

Business skills — Practice leads to success

The other day, I was listening to a college football game while I was driving home. One of the announcers pointed out that the statistics were pretty even, but one team was winning because its players had made athletic plays at the right times.

It occurred to me that the same idea applies to business in general and network marketing in particular. Many people work hard at MLM, but never seem to get ahead. They’re as busy as people who have success, but their results don’t match up.

There may be other reasons for this, but often it’s because the people who aren’t successful don’t have the needed skills. They do a lot of things, but they’re either not doing the right things or they’re not doing the right things well.

That’s why it’s important to learn the right skills in network marketing and keep practicing them until we become good at them. The good news is that the skills are easy to learn and we can practice them whenever we want.

Steve DeVane

Strong business model – So good, I can’t wreck it

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Recently, I was in a car accident. It wasn’t very bad by most standards, but it still shook me up, literally and pyschologically.

I was sitting at a stop light when someone ran into the back of me, knocking my car into a pick-up truck in front of me. Since then I’ve had some relatively minor health challenges, but I also had to make some other challenges.

For one, my car was totalled. I had a rental for a while, but then my family had to get by with one vehicle while I searched for a new car. The search took longer than I planned, but I finally purchased a nice, used car.

Between the injuries, adjusting to having only vehicle and the time spent searching for a car, I didn’t have as much time to devote to my network marketing business. In most businesses, that could be catastrophic. In MLM, it’s not near as bad.

During my time away, my downline kept working and my group has grown. I’m grateful to my great team and thankful to have a business model that kept moving forward, even while I was parked for a while.

Steve DeVane

Workable business plan — Keep It Significantly Simple

Sometimes I make things way, way too complicated. I’ve often analyzed, designed and planned exactly what to do, when all I needed was a workable business plan.

I was on a conference call the other night, when I heard network marketing explained in a simple, straightforward way. When it was over, I said to myself, “That’s it. That’s all there is to it.”

Here it is: there are only two parts to the business. (1) Find people. (2) Tell them your story.

Simple, isn’t it? Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. You still have to do those two things, but sometimes we tend to make it too complicated.

Here’s a few tips for each of the two parts.

You can find people in multiple ways. Here’s a few:

Participate in social networking sites. Don’t try to sell. Just participate. Be friendly. Form relationships. When someone asks you what you do, tell them your story.

Place ads. You can buy them from newspapers and paid web sites, or you can find free sites that work quite well. When the person responds, tell them your story.

Flyers. Design your own or go with one from your company or upline. Place them on community bulletin boards or similar places. When people call, tell them your story.

Internet forums. Find a forum on a subject that interests you. Participate in the discuss. Don’t sell. When people ask what you do, tell them your story.

There are multiple ways to tell your story. Here’s a few suggestions.

Keep it short. Use the five B’s of a presentation: Be Brief, Brother, Be Brief. Try to limit it to two minutes or less.

Make sure it’s your story. Your upline or company will have some suggestions, but be sure and personalize it to fit you.

Memorize it. The key is to know the story so well, that it sounds natural.

Follow this workable business plan and you’re business will grow.

Steve DeVane

Finding the right income opportunity – Five non-negotiables

You know how a lot of people are struggling to make ends meet? Many are looking all over for a way to make extra cash.

Here’s a way to make sure you find the right one for you. Look for these five keys.

• An opportunity that pays you while working part-time but has the potential to allow you to soon leave you current position.

• A system that’s already working for people who are teaching it to others.

Great products that people want.

• A profession and company that have a strong past and a bright future.

• A company with experienced, dependable leaders.

All five are important. Having less would be like taking a trip and only planning to a fraction of the way toward your destination.

Steve DeVane

The real story — Make it personal

I was on a conference call recently when several people talked about the change that they’ve had in their lives due some nutritional products.

The stories were moving. After several of them, I thought to myself, “I wonder if I should try that product.”

Later on, I was thinking about why the stories were so powerful. It occurred to me that every one of them was personal. The person was sharing from their experience and from their heart.

I know that if someone had rattled off a series of statistics about each of those products, I wouldn’t have been near as compelled to try the products.

In short, a personal story will beat impersonal stats nearly every time.

So, next time you’re talking to someone about your business, your company or your products, make it personal. Tell them how each has made a difference in your life.

Steve DeVane

MLM companies — appearances can be deceiving

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Sometimes impressive stuff gives the wrong impression.

Some network marketing companies go out of their way to show prospects plush offices with expensive furniture and corporate jets for well-paid company executives. I suppose the company wants to come off as upscale, a place for the ultra-wealthy.

But instead distributors should realize that money spent for such extravagance is money that could be going into the compensation plan.

In the early days of network marketing, it wasn’t unusual for companies to keep as much as 60 to 70 percent of the profits with the rest going to distributors. Later, companies working hard to attract new distributors made the division nearly equal.

Now some companies have found ways to make their operations even more efficient, passing on as much as 70 percent to the reps.

The end result is that distributors get a bigger slice of the profit pie and have to recruit fewer into their downlines to find success.

In addition, part-time distributors make money faster, increasing retention.

Private jets and lush offices are nice, but it’s better if they belong to distributors, not company executives.

Steve DeVane

Celebrity endorsements — You can get paid to promote products

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Have you ever seen a celebrity on a television commercial and said, “I wonder how much they’re getting paid for this?”

You can bet it’s a bunch of cash. Perhaps even more than most people will make in a lifetime.

Many companies think this is a great way to advertise their product. They believe that the celebrity’s endorsement will bring enough buyers to more than make up for the money they’re paying.

Now, suppose there was a company that was willing to pay you to promote their products. Good news — there are plenty of them.

That’s what network marketing companies do. They pay their distributors to promote and recommend their products. Instead of paying huge amounts of money to celebrities, MLM companies divide their income with their reps.

More good news — the better a promoter you are, the more you get paid. When you recommend the company’s products to people who use them, the company sends you a check.

Even more good news — nearly all network marketing companies have great products. They have to have good products, because they rely on word-of-mouth advertising. If people don’t like the products, they don’t recommend and promote them.

The key is to find products that people already want and promote them. All you have to do if connect the people and the products.

So next time you see one of those celebrities on television, think about how nice it’d be to get paid for promoting products.

Steve DeVane