Winning results — Lessons from Landon

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Don’t stop running.

That’s the lesson we can learn from Landon Donovan. As you likely know, Donovan was the player who scored the goal that kept the United States alive in the World Cup soccer tournament. You’ve probably seen the video of him booting the ball in after another player had missed.

What you might not realize is that Donovan had actually passed the ball to another player a few seconds earlier. After passing the ball, he could have slowed down and watched to see if the other players were going to score.

He didn’t. He kept running. As a result, when the ball bounced off the goal-keeper, Donovan was there to send the ball into the back of the net.

Donovan’s goal set off a wild celebration by the U.S. team and its fans. Instead of being eliminated, they won their group and get to play in the single-elimination part of the tournament.

Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl talks about how the U.S. team has a flair for drama and a whole lot of heart in an article about the match. He recaps the heroics and Donovan’s comments about the joy he feels now after playing poorly in the World Cup four years ago.

“I’m so glad it culminated in this way,” Donovan said. “It makes me believe in good from the world. And when you try to do things the right way, it’s good to see you get rewarded.”

So in business and in life, sometimes we need to keep running. Who knows how many people give up just before they find success? They get frustrated at the slightest failure and stop.

Instead, look at failures as learning opportunities. When something doesn’t go right, then you’ll know what not to do next time. Successful people learn from their mistakes.

So keep trying. Keep running. You never know when you’ll get the opportunity to reach your GOOAAAALLLLL!

Be something to somebody

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We’ve talked before about how important a blog can be in your efforts to connect with folks who will become part of your community. Those who are thinking about starting a blog and those who want to improve their existing blog would do well to read Seth Godin‘s post about “Things to ask before you redo your website.”

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Creative Commons License photo credit: in-boulder

Godin lists 24 excellent questions to ask yourself about your website. Spend some time considering all of them.

But pay careful attention to the final question: “Does the organization understand that ‘everything’ is not an option?”

Many network marketers, and for that matter entrepreneurs in general, tend to get sidetracked by trying to be all things to all people. By trying to accomplish everything, they often accomplish nothing.

This has something to do with targeting the right market and finding your niche, but it goes beyond that. It’s about how you run your business and beyond that how you live your life.

Motivation is a good thing, and going after your goals is admirable. Just don’t get so excited that you lose your focus. Find the place and the pace where you operate most efficiently and effectively.

I had an uncle who retired after spending his entire career in the military. He told me one time about some training he did in the latter years of his service that involved climbing a mountain.

Some of the younger troops took off in a hurry, even calling him “Gramps,” as they saw the deliberate way he started to climb. He didn’t bother calling them anything when he passed them about halfway up the mountain.

Dream about the joy you’ll feel when you reach your goals, but don’t forget to enjoy the journey along the way. The best way to do this is by being someone who means something to somebody.

Look for what you want

A few weeks ago, my wife and son were talking about license plates. For months my son has been playing a game of sorts, trying to find a license plate from every state in the union. He has a form with all the states on it. When we go on a trip, he gets it out, hoping to see a state that he hasn’t marked off the list.

Yahoo license?
Creative Commons License photo credit: codepo8

During the course of the conversation, my son mentioned to my wife that he had noticed a lot of license tags recently with an X, a Yor a Z on them. I didn’t think much about his observation until I was in a traffic jam on I-40 a day or two later.

While I was creeping along with hundreds of other cars, I started noticing license plates. You can guess what happened, right? Car after car had a tag with an X, a Y or a Z on it. At least half, and probably closer to three fourths had one of those letters.

Now, does that prove that half the cars on the road have a license plate with one of the last three letters of the alphabet on it? Of course not. Instead, what I think it shows it that you tend to more easily notice the things you’re looking for.

So, here’s a suggestion: start looking for the good in life. In every situation, try to find something positive. Focus on that, and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Steve DeVane

Ask directions and make the right turns

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Earlier tonight my mother called me to ask how to get from a hospital to a highway in Raleigh. She has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, then she and my dad are going to pick up my aunt in a nearby town.

She called because the last time they had to get to that town, they went in one direction on the beltline, but later thought that maybe they could have gotten there faster going the other way. They were right.

Ankara Turkey
Creative Commons License photo credit: brewbooks

The beltline in Raleigh is confusing to many people. I had worked in the city for a while before I finally figured out that the Inner Beltline and the Outer Beltline are the same road.

You see, the Inner Beltline is the part of the road on which traffic goes clockwise around the city. The Outer Beltline goes counter-clockwise.

So when someone tells you to get on the Inner Beltline to go to one place and then to get on the Outer Beltline to go somewhere else, they’re really telling you to get on the same road, but just to go in different directions.

When my mom called, I told her that indeed it would be much faster to go to the right (onto the Outer Beltline) than to go left (on the Inner Beltline) as they had gone before. As a matter of fact, that had gone about three times as far on the Inner Beltline as they would have gone on the Outer Beltline.

They had gone to the left, because they were sure that they could get where they wanted to go by going in that direction. They didn’t know, or at least weren’t sure, they could get there by going to the right.

Now they know the right turn to make, and they’ll get to their destination easier and faster.

When we’re trying to build a business, we face similar choices. It helps to have mentors and coaches who have been down the road before and know the right turns to make.

Steve DeVane

Building a business — cooperation beats competition

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The other day I was driving down a road that I hadn’t driven in a while when I noticed a grand opening sign at an eatery of sorts. Someone had decided to make an attempt at building a business where a barbecue restaurant had earlier failed.

Parking Space Hog
Creative Commons License photo credit: akeg

I initially thought it was a biker bar that had moved from about a quarter mile down the road. The sign looked like the sign I had seen there. But when I passed that establishment I saw that it was still open.

Clearly, however, the new place was similar to the existing joint just down the street. I immediately wondered why someone would try building a business so close to a competitor.

It brought to mind how the traditional business world is largely based on competition. Since there are only so many customers, each company tries to get as many as they can. Often building a business means trying to eat into your competitors market share.

That’s one of the main reasons I appreciate network marketing — its non-competitive nature. As a matter of fact, I think folks who bring a competitive sense to MLM tend to not fare very well.

I expect this is mostly while building a business in network marketing, you are rewarded when you help people in your downline succeed. This spirit often carries over within a company with what is often called “sideline support,” which means people helping others who are not a part of their organization.

This cooperation sometimes even extends beyond companies with networkers helping others in the profession. I’ve made it part of my mission to help anyone in network marketing no matter the company. I do this even while building a business of my own.

I’ve helped many networkers who are not, and never will be, in my downline. I’ve even offered tips to MLMers who live in countries where my company doesn’t even offer distributorships.

Many rooted in the traditional way of doing business struggle to understand that way of thinking, but I’m convinced it’s the best way of building a business.

Steve DeVane

Network marketing online: Using proven strategies in a new arena

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Anyone who’s been in multi-level marketing (MLM) for long realizes the old way of doing the business doesn’t work anymore. That’s why many successful professionals have learned network marketing online.


Creative Commons License photo credit: MShades

In years past, MLM trainers would teach distributors to make a list of friends and family. Then they’d encourage their reps to buy leads. This continues even though the opportunity exists to build a downline by network marketing online.

Unfortunately, even some who recognize the benefits of network marketing online often carry over bad training habits from earlier failed strategies. The old technique of “getting a lot of ‘No’s’ so you can find a ‘Yes,’” has found its way to the Internet.

One way this occurs is when trainers encourage people who are network marketing online to build a large list. Having a large list, they say, will increase the odds that a few will join you in your business.

Such list-building strategies are nothing more than the old “numbers game” revisited. It might work in direct sales, but network marketing, even the online version, is a relationship business.

The key, then, is to learn how to build relationships when your network marketing business is principally online. To do this, you need a place where people can get to know you and, once they’re willing, you can get to know them.

The best method for network marketing online right now is a blog. This Internet journal can serve as a non-threatening way for potential prospects to get to know, like and trust you. One of the important principles in MLM is people join people they know, like and trust.

Starting a blog might seem intimidating but most people learn how rather quickly. If you want to do network marketing online, it’s the best thing going.

Once you have your blog up and running, you’ll have to learn ways to get readers and how to interact with them. In this way, network marketing online successfully is similar to proven offline strategies.

First, you need to care about people. Learn about them. Find out what makes them who they are.

Second, let them move at their own pace. Forget high pressure sales tactics. They don’t work if you’re network marketing online or offline.

And third, be professional. Be honest. Tell people what you’re doing. Be who you are and people will be comfortable being who they are.

Master these steps and you’re on your way to becoming a professional online network marketer.

Steve DeVane

Play like a champion, then celebrate

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of watching both my daughters play on a fast-pitch softball team that won the state championship.

[caption id="attachment_156" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The team celebrates the state championship."]The team celebrates the state championship.[/caption]

My oldest daughter played on a team that took the state title three years ago, but this was the first for my younger daughter, an eighth-grader who was called up from the junior varsity at the end of the year.

After the game, one of the coaches was talking to the team about the accomplishment. One of the things she mentioned was how impressed she was that the team always played like a champion. She explained that the players played the entire game as if every play was important.

She mentioned how one of the players was upset that she was thrown out at third in the game. She didn’t want to get out even though we had just scored to go ahead, 4-0.

A four-run lead may not sound like much, but the team had a great pitcher and played great defense behind her. As a matter of fact, the pitcher only gave up one run all year.

So a four-run lead was about as safe as you could get. It was very unlikely that the other team was going to score at all, much less four runs with only a few innings to play. The game was all but won.

But the girls on the team didn’t let up. They didn’t take it easy. They didn’t celebrate until the last out.

Think of how productive our businesses would be if we set our goals and didn’t let up. If we didn’t take it easy. Think of the celebration when we get to where we want to be.

Steve DeVane

Looking ahead to reach your goals

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I have a new car. Well, it’s not a new car, but it’s nice and I like it.

It’s a 1997 Buick Park Avenue with low miles. It needs a paint job, but other than that it’s in pretty good shape.

It’s doing a whole lot better than the last car I bought.

One of the coolest features is something called “head-up display.” I had heard of the technology on Air Force jets, but didn’t know it was available on cars.

The head-up display, also known as HUD, allows me to see how fast I’m going without having to look down at the speedometer. It projects the car’s speed onto the windshield.

There’s a couple of things I like about the feature.

First, it’s cool. It makes me feel kinda like a fighter pilot or something. I can almost hear the song from “Top Gun” when I’m cruising down I-40.
Hornet Up
Creative Commons License photo credit: Rob Shenk

Second, it’s safe. I never have to take my eyes off the road to find out how fast I’m going.

This is especially nice when I see a highway patrolman coming in the other lane. Not that I’m ever going fast enough to get a ticket, of course, but I still want to know my speed immediately when I see blue lights headed in my direction.

Thinking of this reminded me of something my driver’s education teacher told me. He said to always “aim high” when looking out the windshield.

He said that when you farther up the road, you can also see things closer to you. Conversely, when you look right in front of the car, you can’t see things farther away.

This applies beautifully to life and business.

For example, if you know you’re long-term goals, it’s easier to set shorter-term markers to get there.

If you know the rank you wish to achieve in your company, then you can figure out what it will take to get there.

Aim high. You’ll always have your head up.

Steve DeVane

How to be a great leader in one easy step

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The other night I listened to a business training call about making decisions. It got me thinking about how great leaders are good at making decisions. They decide what to do and do it.

If you want to make money in network marketing, you have to be a leader. That might sound scary, but once you understand how to be a leader, you just have to do it.

Leaders get to be leaders by making decisions. If you want to be a leader, start making decisions. When you start making decisions, people will notice you. Some will follow, and you’ll be a leader.

The act of making a decision is more important than the decision itself. In fact, making a bad decision is better than making no decision. If it’s the wrong decision, you can change it. You can revise it. There’s no rule locking you into your initial choice. Change course if needed, but get on the road.
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Creative Commons License photo credit: dougtone
There’s an old saying that the only person who never made a mistake is the person who never did anything. Truth is, not doing anything was his first mistake.

Doing something is the most critical element of reaching your goals. As one of mentors says, you have a lot better chance to be successful by acting without thinking than you do by thinking and not acting.

Leadership techniques: Know your prospects

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I’ve noticed how people react to different leadership techniques.

I thought about this today when the pastor made an interesting observation during his sermon. He pointed out the difference between cows and sheep.

Creative Commons License photo credit: qhienle

Cows, he said, have to be prodded. Cowboys herd them in a direction by yelling, shouting and carrying on in various ways to make the cows move in a certain direction.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Antikris
Sheep, on the other hand, prefer to be led. They know the shepherd’s voice and follow him where he wants them to go.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with cows. That’s just the way they are. Similarly, sheep act the way they act because they’re sheep.

It got me thinking about how prospects act when presented with a home-based business opportunity. Some are like cows. They have to be cajoled into joining. Others, like sheep, are open to new experience and are willing to follow someone they know, like and trust.

This reminded me of two important keys to success in MLM or in most any business endeavor.

First, recognize when someone is hesitant. Trying to herd them into your opportunity probably won’t work. Even if you convince them, they’re likely to regret it later and either quit or shy away from doing what’s needed for success.

Realize, also, that there’s nothing wrong with folks like this. They often just need to make a decision on their own time. They might need more information or just need to think it over.

Second, be willing to lead when someone is willing to follow. If you’re open, likeable and trustworthy, it’ll show in your actions, your attitude and your voice.

As time goes on, these folks will need your confidence until they realize the success they need. There’s nothing wrong with these folks either. They just need you to show the way.

Using these important leadership techniques will greatly increase your chance of success.

Steve DeVane