What is your WHY? This is a critical question to ask yourself, your prospects and your business partners. Why are you in this profession? This business? This industry? Most people answer with the easy and obvious: to make money. On the surface, that’s certainly true. But WHY? No one wants to make money for money’s sake. It’s what the money will do for you. So, what’s YOUR reason why?
What drives you? What motivates you? What moves you? I mean really moves you. I know, it gets cliche and even old, people asking you what you dreamed of being when you were a kid. But what did you dream? Was it about a career or profession? Family? About what your life would look like?
We aren’t really given any tools to think about designing our lives. Schools are mostly geared toward careers or homemaking as the major choices. Pretty traditional, pretty narrow. No one tells you to think about what you’d like your days to look like, your weeks, your months. And so we don’t grow up thinking about options.
The content of your days is the content of your life. This old idea of working for 40 years and then retiring to do the ‘fun’ things you spent 40 years dreaming about and saving for is OK for some people still, I suppose. These days, people are retiring on less money – or have lost their retirement. They don’t have enough to live on never mind doing what they dreamed. Those people are looking at massive disappointment (making them great prospects, by the way).
If you’re looking at a networking career, or already building one, that says something about you – you still believe in possibility. Whatever you currently do with your time, you believe there’s something better for you.
What speaks to you? The freedom to come and go as you please? Living where you want? Making choices based on desires rather than budget and schedule? Something you want to do for your kids? Or your parents? Or yourself? A desire to give back – contribute to society – to what you believe in and care about? A car you’ve always wanted? A custom-built house? Or maybe a house you own – or own outright? All of these things are possible, and they’re all choices.
Network marketing offers a freedom other professions don’t. The freedom to dream, the freedom to work the way you want, when you want – AFTER you’ve paid your price and built your business. It also offers you the luxury of starting to build your business part-time. There is no other career I’m aware of that you can start without devoting all your time and attention and all your capital and all the capital you can beg or borrow that has this much upside potential.
That’s a blessing and a curse. A blessing because if you can get focused, get committed to learning what needs to be done and building seriously, choose a solid company with a good comp plan, you can achieve whatever level income you desire. It’s a curse because often, without a big financial commitment, there’s no mental or emotional commitment. And those things are essential to building a successful enterprise.
Think about any traditional business. Main Street – at the mall -a franchise like Jiffy Lube or Kinko’s or Curves. People borrow a lot of money to open these businesses. Are you familiar with The Body Shop? Do you know what it costs to buy a Body Shop Franchise?$ 750 Thousand US Dollars! And that’s for the franchise, not for renting your space or buying your inventory, or paying employees or insurance. If someone makes that kind of commitment, what do you think their staying power is? How do they see themselves? Do they think 5 and then 10 years out in their business plan? Do you suppose they see this business as their long-term future. You bet they do.
How about if someone spends $50 or $100 or even $5000? Do you think they can justify quitting when the going gets rough? They can – all too easily. That’s why you want to know and understand your “WHY”, and the “WHY” of your business partners. Understand their vision and their dreams. Knowing those things, you can help them see them, feel them, visualize them and ultimately, achieve them. The same is true for your own dreams and vision.
Letting go of some ‘idea’ of more money and a better future is more easily done than letting go of a concrete vision someone has fleshed out. Pictures of the house they dream of, the lifestyle they want to offer their family.
What keeps you in the game when the going gets tough? And, it will get tough. Business is like life – you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow or the next day, when you’re going to be thrown a curve ball. You’re working with people, people experience challenges. How will you handle that? How do you handle that?
What keeps people going in this business is sheer determination and knowing very clearly beyond a shadow of a doubt what their why is. Take the time to really think about what your “WHY” is and what it means to you. In the next issue we’ll talk a bit about visioning and creating a picture of your vision and how that will help make it a reality.