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Learning along the journey

posted in: success | 0

I’m leaving soon for a mission trip with my church. We’re going to another country to help build a room for a church and lead a Vacation Bible school for the children.

In preparation for the trip, one of our leaders talked about some ways we could make the trip a success. It occurred to me that her suggestions also made good advice for life.

First, we’re supposed to realize that we’re the outsiders. We’ll be in a different culture. We shouldn’t expect the people there to be just like us. Instead, we should get to know the people, love them and listen to them.

In our everyday lives, we might not be visiting a separate culture, but we still need to understand that other people are not just like us. Other people come at life from a different perspective. Try to look at things from their point of view and you’ll understand them better and have a much better relationship.

Taking the time to get to know people is always worth the effort. Listening to their stories is a good start on learning to love them.

Another suggestion for our trip was think about what we can learn in every situation.

In life, we should seek to be constantly learning. Every experience is a teacher. We need to only look for the lesson.

We were also told to think about how best we can serve other people, how best we can help them succeed.

Serving other people is always a good strategy. When we help other people, we’re always the better for it. Helping them succeed moves us forward on our journey to success.

Steve DeVane
When I need to move forward, I read Success in 10 Steps.

Putting words into action

posted in: Napoleon Hill, quotes | 0

Recently a friend of mine showed me a list of famous Napoleon Hill quotes. Since Hill is the author of “Think and Grow Rich,” one of my favorite motivational books, I read the quotes closely. Here are a few that have helped me in life and in business.

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”

Often we find ourselves overanalyzing our situation in life. We think of something we want to do, then we try to come up with a plan to do it. The plan isn’t quite right, so we plan some more. We plan and plan and plan and plan some more.

I’ve come to realize that planning is one way of not taking the action we need to take. When we put effort into doing instead of planning, we get much more accomplished.

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”

Too often, we spend energy on things that are not that important. We don’t take time to think about what we really desire. Sometimes we know what we desire, but we get distracted from the actions that will move us toward those desires.

When deciding what to do, we should always ask ourselves if that action will move us toward our desires. If it does, we should do it. If not, we shouldn’t.

“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”

Many times we give up on our desires too easily. We hit an obstacle and abandon our dreams. How many times were we close to reaching our goal when we threw in the towel?

One of my favorite sports figures when I was growing up was Jim Valvano, the late coach of the N.C. State basketball team. Even as he was dying from cancer he urged people to “never give up.”

In 1983, Valvano’s team won the NCAA basketball tournament despite being heavy underdogs. Several times in the tournament the team was behind late in the game, but the players never gave up and won the championship.

“The world has the habit of making room for the man whose actions show that he knows where he is going.”

Consider the three parts to this quote in reverse order.

First, we must know where we’re going. We’ll never get to where we want if we don’t first decide on the destination. It has been said that someone who doesn’t know where they’re going will surely get there.

Second, we must take the action necessary to get there. Once we know where we’re going, we have to take the steps to get there. Action is the key.

Finally, then and only then will the world make room for us to accomplish our desires. When we know our desires and do what we know we need to reach them, the path to success becomes clearer and easier.

Steve DeVane
This free e-book helped me discover the steps to success.

Now is the time

posted in: coaching, life lessons, softball | 1

When I was young, I loved to play sports. Basketball was my favorite, but I liked other games, too.

Most of the games I played were pick-up games in the backyard or in the street. One of my friends even painted yard lines on our street so we could play football.

But I also played some organized sports. Some of my favorite memories came from playing church-league basketball and softball games.

One year, my cousin’s father, Jack Llull, said that he’d coach our softball team. Now, most of the guys on the team were pretty decent athletes, but I didn’t think we were going to be that great.

That year I found out how much difference a coach can make. Mr. Llull knew softball (and I found out later most every sport) like no one I’d ever known.

He’d pay attention to the smallest details. When a player on the other team hit the ball we always had them played perfectly. It seemed like they’d always hit the ball right where we were playing.

When we were at bat, Mr. Llull had a rule. We could never hit until we had a strike and we could never hit if we had three balls and only one strike.

There was only one exception to the rule. We could hit away when Mr. Llull, who always coached third base, would say, “Now’s the time.”

I loved it when I’d come up to hit and I’d look down at Mr. Llull and he’d say, “Now’s the time, Steve.

I’d almost always get a great pitch to hit. I was so excited, I usually knocked the tar out of the ball. I think I hit better that year than ever.

One day I asked Mr. Llull why he only let us hit like that in certain situations. When he explained it, I understood it immediately.

When he was coaching third base, Mr. Llull was studying the pitcher. He first determined whether or not the pitcher could control where he pitched it.

If the pitcher didn’t have much control, we had to keep waiting until we got a strike to hit it. We usually walked a lot, which helped us score runs.

But sometimes, the pitcher was pretty good and could pitch strikes and balls whenever he wanted. After a while the pitcher would start figuring out that we were never swinging until we got a strike. So he’d start grooving the first pitch down the middle trying to get ahead in the count.

That was when we’d hear Mr. Llull say, “Now’s the time.”

I didn’t realize it at the time, but Mr. Llull taught me about more than just softball.

First I learned to be observant.

I had played a lot of softball and had never paid much attention to what the pitcher was doing until I got up to bat. It didn’t occur to me that what happened to the batter before me or even several batters before me might impact what the pitcher pitches to me.

In life, opportunities sometimes come along in unexpected ways. If we’re not paying attention, we might miss them. We can learn from our mistakes, but we can also learn from our successes. And we can learn from the experiences of others.

Next, I learned that there are times to be patient and there are times to act.

We were always excited to hear the words that meant we could swing, but often it was just as important that the batters before us had walked because they didn’t swing when they shouldn’t have.

There are times in life when planning and analysis are needed. But there are also times to act, times to move forward and do what needs to be done.

Finally, I learned how everything fits together in softball and in life. That year, we won the regular season softball championship. We didn’t have the best players, but we were the best team.

In life, we often get too focused on ourselves and our situations. To be successful, it takes a team. As we help others, we often help ourselves.

After that year, I was a better softball player and a better person.

Coach Llull, I never told you that, and now it seems like I might not get that chance. I’ve got a feeling you knew anyway.

Steve DeVane

Where there’s a wheel, there’s a way

posted in: coaching, mentoring, wheel of life | 4

Every once in a while it’s good to sit back and take a good, long look at life. Here’s a simple, easy way to think about where you are. It’s called the wheel of life.

First, draw a circle. Make it plenty big enough to write in.

Now divide the circle into eight pieces. You do that by drawing a line straight up and down, then one side by side. That makes four pieces. Then draw two more lines diagonally each way to divide the four into eight.

Now write these in the eight sections:

Career

Family and friends

Significant other/ romance

Fun and recreation

Health

Money

Personal growth

Physical environment

Now, take several minutes and think about how your life is going in each area. After you’ve given it some thought, rate it on a scale of 1-10.

Then think of the center of the circle as zero and the outside of the circle as 10. Draw a line in each area where you rated.

Now take a look at the circle. That’s your wheel of life.

Notice if it’s uneven or pretty round.

See which areas you make you feel good and which areas need some work. Perhaps you need some coaching to help your wheel ride a little smoother.

Steve DeVane
This free mentoring system helped me in several areas of my life.

Marketing with no agenda

posted in: no agenda, success | 1
Is it possible to be a marketer and have no agenda?

That question has been on my mind lately.

At first it seems the answer is no. After all, isn’t a marketer’s agenda always to market his product or service Doesn’t marketing something mean you’re trying to sell it? And if you’re trying to sell something, that’s an agenda, right?

Dictionary.com defines marketing as “the act of buying or selling in a market” or as “the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.”

How can someone involved in that have no agenda? Is it possible? If it is possible, wouldn’t it be futile. How could someone with no agenda market anything.

In the midst of my contemplation, I read a definition of marketing by Joe Vitale. “Marketing is sharing your love for what you do with the people who will most celebrate hearing about it,” he said on his blog.

That’s a great perspective on marketing. Let’s take a closer look at it in light of whether or not it’s possible to market with no agenda.

First, Vitale says marketing is sharing your love for what you do. Is it possible to do that with no agenda? Absolutely.

Sharing is not selling. When you share something, you don’t need an agenda. The focus is on helping another person.

Furthermore, you’re sharing the love you have for what you do. You share because of your love, not because of greed or other negative motivations.

Vitale further says that you share with “the people who will most celebrate hearing about it.” That’s the key. You’re not sharing with anyone and everyone. You’re not hitting people over the head with your products or trying to cram your services down someone’s throat.

If you’re sharing what you love with people who want to hear about it, there’s no need for an agenda.

So find what you love and share it with people who will love you for sharing it with them. No agenda needed.

Steve DeVane
This marketing system taught me the value of having no agenda.

Use whatever life gives you

posted in: blueprint for life, life lessons | 4

A friend of mine is a huge Tony Robbins fan. He told me the other day that Robbins says that one of the most important decisions you can make to ensure you long-term happiness is to decide to use whatever life gives you in the moment.

According to my friend, Robbins says there’s nothing you can’t accomplish if:

1. You clearly decide what it is that you’re absolutely committed to achieving,

2. You are willing to take massive action,

3. You notice what’s working or not, and

4. You continue to change your approach until you achieve what you want, using whatever life gives you along the way.

I think Robbins provides an excellent blueprint for living and for life.

First, decide where you want to go. I’ve come to see one of my purposes in life is to help people decide where they should go and how best to get there. Don’t just take off without deciding where to go. If you don’t you might be headed in the wrong direction.

Next, take action. The best plans aren’t worth squat if you don’t do what it takes to carry them out. Robbins takes it a step further, suggesting “massive action.” If you want to live your dreams and own your life, you have to go after it in a big way.

Then, assess the situation as you go. Notice what’s working and what isn’t, Robbins says. When you start taking massive action, invariably some things will work and some won’t. Keep doing the things that work, but jettison the ones that don’t.

Finally, continue to adjust until you’re getting the results you want. Think of it like taking a trip in your car. You never go in a straight line from your house to your destination. That would take you through houses and trees and all kinds of things.

Instead, you make turns and take curves, constantly adjusting your path, but staying on course throughout the journey.

For more thoughts on Tony Robbins and his philosophy, check out this thread at Your World Your Life, a personal development forum.

Steve DeVane
This free e-book helped get my business and my life headed in the right direction.

A different perspective

There’s an adage that says, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

The other day, I was looking for a notepad on my desk. I needed it to write down some information that I wanted to be sure to remember later.

My desk can get kind of messy. OK, it can get very messy. Stuff was piled all over the place.

I looked and looked. No notebook.

I moved some piles around. Looked under other piles. Nothing.

Finally, I stood up. I quickly spotted the notebook right where I could see it perfectly from a higher vantage point.

On the way home later that day, the odometer on my ever reliable car hit 272, 931 miles. It occurred to me that there is another six-digit number that would logically follow that one.

And no, I’m not thinking of 272,932. But, yes, I know that number would also logically follow 272,931.

I’m thinking of another number. Figured it out yet?

Try this. Remove the comma — 272931. Does that help. No?

All right. Give this a shot. Don’t think of it in thousands. That help? No?

All right. Think of the numbers in groups of two. 27 29 31. Now you know it, right?

The number I’m thinking of is 333,537. After 27 29 31 comes 33 35 37.

When you change the way you look at the number, the number changes.

It’s often that way in life. Often a problem arises. A challenge occurs.

If we groan and fuss and gripe about it. We’re not likely to find a way to solution.

But if we focus on finding a way around, over or through the situation, we’re much more likely to solve it. We might even find a way to turn it into a positive.

There’s a great episode of a show that’s been off the air for a while called, “The West Wing.” In it, the sitting president was running for re-election. The opposing candidate was portraying the president as aloof and out of touch.

Indeed the president was a brilliant man and often came across as condescending to some. His team struggled with a way to deal with it, until finally one of his advisors pointed out that they should use it to their advantage. He said it should be a blessing to have a president with a high IQ.

The president quit worrying about looking too smart. In the next debate, he showed his intellect and made his opponent look stupid. He went on to win re-election.

Next time you’re struggling with an issue, try to look at it from another perspective. See if there’s an upside, a way to use the situation for good.

Even if the thing you’re looking at doesn’t change, you’ll change for the better.

Steve DeVane
This network marketing system helped me change the way I look at business and at life.

The recipe for success

posted in: business, mentoring, recipe, success | 0

My wife makes this great hash brown potato casserole that is out of this world. She takes some hash browns and mixes in some butter and other stuff, then puts them in a pan, tops them with bacon bits and cooks them in the oven.

They are good. I mean, they are real good.

She often cooks them for family reunions. When we’re going through the line, one of the first things I look for is those potatoes, because I’m hoping there’s still some of them left.

Often there’s not. I hate it when that happens.

My wife got the recipe from someone she knew. I was thinking the other day about how my wife follows the recipe. If I’m going to the store, she tells me exactly what she needs for that recipe. Then she puts in exactly the right amount of each ingredient and then cooks it for just the right amount of time.

She does all that because she has a recipe. She knows if she follows all those steps the casserole will come out just right.

It’s the same way in our life and in our business. If there’s someone who’s successful and is willing to show us the way, all we have to do is follow their directions. Do what they do and we’ll have the success that their having.

I spent years floundering in my network marketing business. I knew successful marketers, but their success didn’t translate to my success.

Then I found this free mentoring system. The networkers I met freely shared their expertise and their time with me. People who had absolutely no stake in my company showed me the path they had already taken to success.

For a while, I couldn’t believe it. I kept waiting for the manipulation.

It never happened.

I kept saying to myself, “What’s the catch?”

Never was one.

Finally, I got past my disbelief and started doing what my mentors showed me to do. Now, the success I had missed is coming my way.

All I had to do was follow the recipe.

Steve DeVane
This free e-book was the first step in my recipe for success.

Learn the art of success

I am often amazed at how techniques I learned in coach training apply to the network marketing profession.

Coaches are taught to have no agenda. A coaching session is all about the person being coached. That outlook fits perfectly with network marketing.

The best way to help people is to first understand what they need. If we don’t know what they need how can we know how to help them.

The best way to understand people is to get to know them. The way to get to know them is to relate to them with no agenda.

Think about it. We shouldn’t want someone in our business if they don’t really want to be in the business.

If they don’t really want to be in business, they’re never going to succeed. They’ll spin their wheels and get nowhere.

Furthermore, if they don’t want to be in business, we’ll spend a good amount of our time convincing them rather than training them. It’s a waste their time and our effort.

My friend and mentor, Tom “Big Al “Schreiter, has taught me the importance of having skills in our network marketing business.

Here are some coaching skills that will help you learn about people. It’s based on the acrostic — LEARN.

Listen. When you’re in a conversation, try to spend at least 80 percent of the time listening. That means you should not be talking more than one fifth of the time.

Encourage. Look for ways to support the person. Too often we’re looking for something wrong, so we can pounce on the person with our “opportunity.” Instead, encourage the person to find their own path.

Ask powerful questions. The answers will help you get to know the person better. Ask open-ended questions that will give the person an opportunity to share about their hopes, their dreams, their goals.

Respond. Make sure you understand what the person is telling you. Don’t get ahead of them in the conversation by thinking about what you’re going to say next. Tune into what they’re saying, what they want, and what they need.

Negotiate action. In network marketing, we need to emphasize negotiation. Coaching sessions usually end with the person being coached deciding what they want to do and when they’re going to do it. In our business, make sure the person is making the decision with no pressure.

These skills will help you in your network marketing business and in your life.

Steve DeVane
This free e-book taught me how to be successful in network marketing

Lessons from high school athletes

posted in: life lessons, teamwork | 2

I went to my daughters’ school athletic banquet tonight. Team after team went to the stage as their coaches told about the seasons they had this year.

Each coach told about how his or her team came together, each in different ways.

Some coaches talked about adversity that their teams faced. Some had injuries. Some had other challenges. Each had worked their way through them.

One coach talked about nicknames that his team had adopted for each other. Clearly this brought the team closer together.

Another coach talked about the goals the team had strived to reach.

But the most inspirational words of the night came from seniors who had played their last high school games.

One talked of how he was grateful to have had a school that allowed him to participate in athletics.

Another talked about how sports had taught her the power of teamwork.

Another talked of how athletics taught her leadership skills.

All this got me thinking of how each member of each team gave up part of their individuality for the good of the team.

A star basketball player had to learn how to make the other players better.

A softball player had to switch positions to make the team better.

All this got me thinking of how I can improve the teams of which I am a part.

First I can look at the overall goals of the team instead of just my goals. If the team is doing well, I’m doing well.

Next, I can decide how my talents and my gifts can fit into the team. I’m on each team because I contribute to it. I can look at what part of my strengths will fit into the needs of the team.

Finally, I can look for ways to improve myself in every situation. The seniors athletes didn’t just go through the motions in their sports. They looked at how they could improve themselves in each game.

If we’ll look, we can find ways to improve ourselves in the situations we face. Do that and we’ll be winners no matter the score.

Steve DeVane
This network marketing system constantly teaches me how to improve my life and business.

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