Archive For The “success” Category
Everyone in business is looking for a successful business plan. They realize that the old adage is true that failing to plan is planning to fail.
photo credit: centralasian
I’d like to suggest that before you adopt a business plan, first take a look at your values. Knowing what you believe will keep you from doing things that you’ll regret later.
And if you already have a business plan, being clear on your values will help you clarify and if needed refine it to fit your beliefs.
For example, most people are compassionate. When they see someone in need, they usually feel the urge to help.
Having a clear sense of your values, will convert that urge into action.
Some people think that compassion has no place in business. They believe caring for people won’t cut it in the cut-throat world of profit-making.
This is often magnified among network marketers who are taught to look on friends and family members as money-making prospects.
Here’s a suggestion that goes against the grain: go to great lengths to show how much you care for people. Compassion is not only proper, but required to run a successful business.
Gauge the success of your business, not by how much money you make, but by how much good you do and how many people you help.
Making the world, or at least your corner of it, a better place is the beginning of a successful business plan.
Those who find network marketing success have learned the importance of serving other people.
The other day my wife had an experience with a local business which reminded me of the importance of customer service for any business, including network marketing. A few weeks ago, my wife was cleaning the carpet when our vacuum cleaner stopped working.
photo credit: reitveld
We have an older model Rainbow vacuum cleaner, which usually does a great job getting the dirt out of the carpets. But that day it stopped picking up anything.
My wife asked me to look at it. Since I know next to nothing about vacuum cleaners, I wasn’t surprised when I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
It was in the evening so we decided to wait until later to figure out what to do. We didn’t think about it again until the middle of the afternoon last Friday. After I took another look at it, reaffirming my lack of expertise in the matter, I suggested we take it to a repair shop in a nearby town.
My wife called the shop to find out how late they were open. A short while later she left with the vacuum cleaner.
In my mind, I was thinking we’d have to borrow or rent a replacement so we could get the carpet cleaned for a dinner party we’re having at our house next weekend. But about an hour later, my wife was back home with the repaired vacuum cleaner.
She said the folks at the shop looked at the vacuum cleaner immediately. After a few minutes, they figured out what was wrong and fixed it for a reasonable rate. They also sold her a new hose that we needed at a decent price.
All in all, they were nice, prompt and professional.
Guess who will be getting all our vacuum cleaner business from now on. And guess where we’ll suggest our friends go when they have similar needs.
Network marketers can learn a lesson from this experience. Too often we pounce on anyone we consider a prospect. And if we don’t think they’re a prospect we pay little or no attention to them.
Here’s the better plan: treat everyone the same way you’d want to be treated. Do this and the prospecting will take care of itself.
This mentoring program taught me to help everyone succeed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Recently, I did something I haven’t done it years – I shaved my entire face. Since then, nearly everyone who sees the “new” me, asks me why.
I can explain in one quick sentence: I was tired of looking old. You the hair on the top of my head remains mostly black. My moustache and beard, however, were gray. I once had a friend who hadn’t seen me in a while ask me if I was coloring my hair. I joked that I tried it, but the wax from the crayons was making a mess.
I wasn’t coloring my hair, but I could see how she thought that because my moustache was so gray. I resisted the temptation to explain to her that if I was going to color my hair, I’d have the good sense to color my moustache, too.
At any rate, I really haven’t minded looking a little older than I was. But now that I’m getting a little older (closer to 50 than to 40 now), I decided it was time to look more my age.
There’s an added benefit. As someone in the wellness profession, I think I look better. I’ve lost about 25 pounds in the past year, too. I believe that a leaner, clean-shaven me looks better.
And since, I look better, I naturally feel better. Since I feel better, I think I’m a better me.
I had forgotten what a pain it was to shave every morning, but it’s a small price to pay for feeling and looking better.
I recently heard an excellent presentation about making the most of our talents. It included this old proverb: “If you want to know what you’re doing in the future, tell me what you’re doing right now.”
As I thought about it, the wisdom of the statement stuck with me. So often we go through life hoping things will get better. But if we want our lives to change for the better, we have to change for the better.
I’ve also heard it said that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things and expecting different results.
In our lives, if we aren’t happy, we need to make a decision to be happy. Once we make that decision, we’re on our way to reaching our goal.
In our businesses, if we aren’t successful, we need to make the changes needed to be successful. Once we make those changes, we’re on our way to reaching our goal.
Persistence is vital to success. In network marketing, once we’ve found a system that works, we only have to keep doing the right things until success is ours.
It’s a great moment when we realize that our goals are achievable. That they’re not in some far-off never, never land. If we persist, one day we’ll realize that we’re growing, and we’ll sense that success is within reach.
In his classic book, “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill says, “Sometimes it appears that there is a hidden Guide whose duty is to test men through all sorts of discouraging experiences. Those who pick themselves up after defeat and keep on trying, arrive; and the world cries, ‘Bravo! I knew you could do it!’ The hidden Guide lets no one enjoy great achievement without passing the PERSISTENCE TEST. Those who can’t take it, simply do not make the grade.”
When I read this, my spirit was lifted. I know this guide. He’s the one who whispers, “You can do it,” when other voices are coming up with a million reasons to quit. The guide sends a clear message to keep going amid the bombardment of images coming my way.
We might not be where we want to be, but if we persist we will get there.
Soon we will smile when we hear the world cry, “Bravo! I knew you could do it!”
Lately, I’ve been trying to take a long look at life. Seeking to step back and get a wide-angle shot of what I’m doing and where I’m going.
This thinking brought to mind a saying one of my college professors had. He taught a course on how nations related to each other. Every once in a while he’d point out that a country’s leaders had focused too much on details and failed to see the big picture.
“They couldn’t see the forest for the trees,” he’d say.
Sometimes I feel like that. I’ve got all these things going on in life that need attention. And often each of them has multiple facets, each requiring time and effort.
I like all the various areas of my life. I need or want each of them. But I need and want to know how they all connect.
When looking for answers it’s always best to first ask questions. Here’s five that I’m pondering:
• What is the most important thing I want to accomplish with the rest of my life and why? Or as I friend so eloquently put it, “When you look back on your life, what do you want to see?”
• What are the reasons for all the various things I do? In other words, why do I do the things that I do?
• What are my priorities? Among these various things, which do I need to do more than others? Which do I want to do more than others?
• Who benefits and how? When I perform these tasks, what is the result?
• What do I get out of each? How do the various things fit into my life’s purpose, my mission, my reason for being?
I’m still working through all this, but I feel certain that as I consider these, the pieces of my sometimes puzzled life will start fitting together.