Can profit and soul co-exist?
Sometimes I’d be talking to someone I just met, and I’d find myself slowly leaving the conversation while we talked.
It was like I suddenly became aware of their mouth moving and their eyes looking at me…but I was no longer engaged with the things they were really saying.
My own responses became coloured by what I thought I looked like, how that person was perceiving me.
And the enjoyment of that conversation, the essential soul-to-soul nature of conversations I have always enjoyed, drained away down some kind of interpersonal unplugged sink.
It would happen when it occurred to me I could ‘prospect’ that person.
That’s not the same as it occurring to me I could prospect them in response to a need or want that person had expressed.
It happened when they seemed sparky and switched on, before I knew anything about their needs and wants.
It happened when I objectified that person into something I could use for my own purposes.
I think that’s one of the most toxic things that can happen in network marketing.
Relationships get high jacked.
They get infiltrated, stalked, prostituted.
And it all gets dressed up as doing the object of your attentions a big lotto-win-esque favour.
The disguise is compelling.
If, when I was in that stage of my business, you’d tapped me on the shoulder and suggested such a thing, I would have dismissed you as a narrow-minded dream-stealer wanting to hold me back.
I was not prepared to read the signs at that point. I was all reap and no sow.
The consequences of which can only be truly learned in the very personal school of hard knocks.
Obviously it doesn’t have to be that way.
I am NOT a fan of the plain misleading information out there which says you can build a network without being assertive and forthright and hard working. I believe it simply can’t be done any other way.
But you don’t have to sell your soul and trash meaningful relationships either.
In my experience that’s the trickiest task most of us face our whole lives.
Because there are key, hard to answer, questions involved in being honest and being yourself:
Who am I?
What do I want?
And then there are those types of questions, but on steroids:
Who am I around you?
Who am I around what you want?
And finally the big hairy audacious question every network marketer must answer if they are attempting to build their network with their heart and soul present and voting:
How do I relate to you as a different person and let you be yourself…and yet try to influence you to my way of thinking?
You can get really cerebral on these kinds of questions and never get anything done. Procrastination can whisper in your ear til you’re convinced you’ll need to get your head around this stuff before you risk making a start.
Intellectualising these things without taking action won’t build your network or bring your dreams any closer.
You can use these concepts as a way to make you more rounded when you take action at the same time. You can use these concepts to challenge and explore yourself. Which is valuable because almost always, people are joining you first, and your company second.
Take a look around your company right now. There are teams you wouldn’t want to join right? Even really successful ones. There are teams you admire and respect. You want to learn from them.
Same company, different individuals inspiring different cultures.
You, the real authentic you, makes a difference.
Take the time to get to know who you are. I did this at the start of my business, but as it grew, as my ‘fame’ grew I stopped my self reflection. And it cost me dearly.
These are things I did in the first years of my business that helped me attract absolutely delightful, challenging, robust people into my network:
I digested great books and CDs.
Ask people you admire what they recommend and read, read, read. While you’re commuting or doing chores listen, listen, listen.
The Networker demonstrates what happens when you consume and actually apply certain resources. Be the guinea pig and try it for yourself. Be amazed.
By the end of a year you will be changed, especially if (in case you missed this) you apply what you learn.
I talked to individuals in my company whose style and character resonated with me.
Think about who has what you want in your company, locally and internationally. Track them down. Listen to what they have to say. Do not argue with them about how unique your obstacles are.
Zip your lips and listen to the gems they would share with you, if you’ll let them.
I took consistent actions towards my goals.
Set a goal of how many calls and presentations you are doing each week, and stick to it. Have someone you respect hold you accountable. It’s not their job to make you do it, it’s your job to do it so you can tell them what you discovered. You will learn and grow.
I got in the pool.
You can’t learn to swim by reading a book on the side of the pool. At some point you have to jump in, get water up your nose and risk doing it all wrong. This means you have to risk looking like a bit of a berk.
If you don’t do this, you cannot get better.
If you test out your budding skills with respect, honesty and humility, you won’t burn any friendships worth keeping.
All these things created self awareness over time, that, as corny as it sounds, made me a better person. They helped me grow as a person while getting to know the real me.
That’s the priceless nugget at the heart of what it takes to build a network that pays you residual income. It’s not the money.
It’s who you become in the process when you’re doing it right.
You can take that strengthened character anywhere in your life: into your marriage, into your parenting, into future businesses, into charity work…the list is long.
Think about it:
Your character is the most valuable asset you will ever develop.
No one can take it from you.
In your network marketing business you have an army of support and a near perfect training ground in which to go about this task. Roll up your sleeves and get started.
Log into the comments section below and let me know if you’ve learned anything here you are going to be able to apply today.
See you on the road,