Two rules for living life

The other day I was thinking about my oldest daughter, who is a senior in high school. She’s applying to colleges and thinking about which school would be the best fit for her.

Wisdom Behind Glass
Creative Commons License photo credit: Rob Shenk
It reminded me of my senior year in high school. Within about three months, I went from not even thinking about college to looking at technical schools and finally to applying for a scholarship at a university with the hopes of one day graduating from its law school. It’s not hard to see that my mind was scattered. I was not very focused.

Looking back, I don’t think I’d change anything. Life turned out pretty well for me. However, I strongly believe that you’re better off focusing on where you want to go in life. To get there, I’d like to suggest two rules for living life. Only two.

First, find something that you love to do. Search long and hard for that activity that really gets your motor running. Look until you find what ignites your passion.

Second, find a way to make a living doing it. This may not be simple. In fact, it might be complicated, but keep working at it until you figure out how to make money at it.

This may take some time and effort, but the results will be well worth it.

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

A practical way to reach your dreams

I recently took my daughter and one of her friends to a reception and presentation hosted by Western Carolina University. My daughter and her friend are both high school juniors considering where to go to college.

The event was well attended. The presentation was well done, and the school representatives were well informed and presented the university well.

On the way home, I asked my daughter her favorite part of the evening. She told me it was when one of the professors told her that if she’d score a little higher on the SAT that every school in North Carolina would want her.

Then she turned the tables on me and asked me my favorite part. After jokingly telling her it was the pretzels (they were quite good), I said it was a conversation she had with the representative of WCU’s School of Business after she told him she was thinking about double majoring in business and communications.

The professor — I think he might have been the associate dean — seemed pleased with my daughter’s plans. He told her that she was wise to follow her passion, which he assumed was communications, while also getting the practical basics of business.

In effect, he told her that you should always do what you want, but remember that you have to pay the bills, too.

Thinking about it later, it occurred to me how wonderfully network marketing fits into that scenario.

Many people realize early in life that they have to make money to provide for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, they jettison their dreams along the way.

Network marketing offers a way for people to reconnect with those dreams. Once we understand that opportunity, we’re practically on our way to reaching them.

Steve DeVane