I was recently invited to attend the quarterly national gathering of a successful Network Marketing Business. I was sceptical, I had to say, about the business model and approach but I contained my reservations and went in with an open mind to see what I could learn. I came out a convert. I have never experienced such passion, energy, emotion and commitment in a business environment before, I was amazed. To be in the presence of such a large number of happy, confident, optimistic and successful individuals all in one place was quite overwhelming and I took my time to soak up the atmosphere and write as many notes as I could. Having reflected on the day and what I heard I have attempted to boil down the essence of the lessons being taught to share with you. These insights were, for me, not only a path to business success, they also represented a code for life and ones which I am aspiring to follow. Here are just a few of the thoughts I took away which I hope to provide some useful strategies for your business success.
#1 – You’ve got to have goals
In business we all know the importance of goals but how many of us can actually say we have written down goals which we look at and focus on every day? Further, how stretching are our goals? Richard Branson said, “If your goals don’t scare you, they’re not big enough?” To bring goals to life I was introduced to the idea of a “Dream Book” which is used to capture your thoughts and dreams in technicolour. My new found friends were spending time creating their ideal life within the books and this vision of the future would create focus and conviction for the inevitable tough times which every business has to overcome. I’d encourage you to relook at your goals, make them big, commit them to paper and review them every day.
#2 – Committing to the Journey
We all wish to feel confident in our business which would then enable us to be our very best. Unfortunately, confidence is what happens afterwards. We have to have courage to embark on the journey, commitment to stay on track which then helps us develop the capabilities we need and from here we gain confidence. We would wish it were the other way round but the feeling of discomfort is part and parcel of the journey. People stay within their comfort zone precisely because it is comfortable, but nothing great ever happens there. When you’re feeling fear, doubt and uncertainty are when you’re out of your comfort zone and magical things begin to happen.
#3 – Work on Your Mindset
The biggest hurdle we have to overcome in creating a successful business is often ourselves. Often it is a daily battle with the negative self-talk which we need to somehow unplug and discover a new, more positive sound track. Creating this new mindset requires some effort which is why these expert entrepreneurs are avid readers of motivational books, they mingle with like minded individuals and they steer clear of people that drain the positivity from a room. They choose who they associate with very carefully and view time as a precious commodity, not to be given up easily. They are enthusiastic and work hard at being so because they see the benefit that it offers to both themselves and the people around them. I also heard one the thing that really resonated with me. The speaker at the time, a successful business woman and millionaire, for that matter, said one thing “Make peace with your past”. This stopped me in my tracks. The past has the power to cast dark shadows on our future. We must learn to draw a line under the past once and for all. The past doesn’t have to dictate the future and our past mistakes do not mean that they will inevitably be repeated. The entrepreneur’s focus is in the present whilst knowing that today’s actions will deliver tomorrows dreams and they work to the mantra that “Today is the only day you can shape, manage and control”.
#4 Failure as Learning
The most successful businesses and entrepreneurs have a different relationship with failure than do most of us. Not only is it part and parcel of business, it also provides an unique learning opportunity. The other noticeable relationship they have with failure is context. They have concluded that all set backs are temporary and small, they take away positive from everything and work for their own greatness whatever that may be. They also believe that not every day is good but there is good in every day. I don’t know about you but I’d rather spend my time with these rare individuals that with the masses who bemoan their situation.
#5 – Persistence
Success doesn’t happen overnight, ask Richard Branson, Bill Gates or any successful person in any arena. The skill of staying on-task, deciding what you’re willing to give up and not giving in to either fear or inertia is what makes entrepreneurs a success. Persistence is called out time and time again as critical in nurturing success. Having a clear vision of the future and the right training input provides the support and confidence for persistence to, well, persist and seeing people staying focused on their goals, willing to do what’s necessary and not stopping is truly a force of nature.
By the end of the day, I was both exhausted and exhilarated, not sure what to do next but sure I must do something. And that probably brings me to the final lesson I took from the day. The knowledge that is is now my responsibility to take action on the things I have learned with the rallying call of “If it is to be, it’s up to me!”.
25 years experience in marketing will help me quickly get under the skin of your marketing challenge and provide workable, commercial solutions for your organisation. I listen carefully and take the time to understand the critical issues and develop a personalised, honest response designed to drive enduring value at speed.
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