How to Make Mundane Spring Cleaning Into Spiritual Revelation

Want to know why you haven’t heard from me in a couple of weeks? You would never be able to guess if I don’t tell you.

I’ve been cleaning.

I’ve been cleaning so intensively and with such passion that I didn’t have time to write.

Look how clean that pantry is! Could I have done that as a mere physical cleaning job? Certainly not!

Passover, in my opinion, is God’s way of getting me to clean my kitchen. You see, Jews are commanded to refrain from eating leavened grains on Passover and that means cleaning all the old food, crumbs and random mysterious jars out of the kitchen before the holiday begins.

It took me three days to get organized and get the work done. I cleaned the refrigerator, even the things that were stuck to the shelves! I burnt everything out of the oven, (including the finish on the racks)! I scrubbed the sink and rousted out every mysterious crumb in the cracks between the stove and the countertop!

And then I covered all the surfaces, an aspect of holiday cleaning I’d never tried before. Some Jews cover the surfaces to make sure any trace of leavened grain is rendered inaccessible.

Nothing rouses the soul like a clean kitchen, I suppose.

I learned something interesting later that evening when I tried to fill the cats’ food bowl. I spilled a kibble on the covered counter.

At first I was annoyed. Why did I do this whole exercise if only to ruin it in the first hour?

Did I ruin it?

No. Not really. The point of all this activity, at least for me, is not to render the kitchen physically perfect. It’s to acknowledge the connection between the physical and the spiritual.

I cleaned the physical kitchen but I also turned an otherwise mundane activity into a supremely spiritual one. I swept out the leavening, which represents the ego, and by doing so invited transcendent God into my physical life.

I voluntarily made a connection between the ordinary nature of my life and the holiness that sets human beings apart.

In other words, I infused meaning into an otherwise tedious job.

Passover is known as the “Holiday of Spring”, but I am also calling it the “Holiday of Cleaning”.

It’s meaningful either way.

Making a Dress from a Tablecloth

I made a dress from a tablecloth. Really!

I’m inspired by a variety of sewing YouTubers like Rachel Maksy and Micarah Tewers who do things like this and I wanted to try it.

It’s crazy what you can learn from the internet these days!

I got a red and white tablecloth made of a heavy cotton fabric from our local Arc store.

This was just the sort of project my cat enjoys

I traced a dress from my closet onto the folded fabric so I got two pieces of everything I traced and cut.

I love this dress. I wish I had five of them.
The original dress is just folded here so I could trace the top. I didn’t have to take it apart.

Once I had all the pieces cut I started by pinning the skirt together and sewing the long seams. I don’t really have a functioning sewing machine so I did this entire project by hand.

I was kind of surprised how easily this worked out.

I did run into one problem with this method. The tablecloth wasn’t quite wide enough to trace the whole skirt and it came out a bit narrower than I wanted. Once all the pieces were cut out I found I had a triangle the exact length of the skirt left over so I cut the front piece in half and sewed the triangle in there to give it more fullness.

The triangle added two diagonal seams to the front of the skirt, making it a little more interesting.

In the middle of this project a friend gave me a dress form. The Best Gift Ever! It’s much easier to pin sleeves and darts on the form than on myself.

I added darts in the front that worked and darts in the back that didn’t.

I didn’t have enough fabric left to make long sleeves; there was just enough to make square draping cap sleeves.

I like how airy and unique they are.

It took a little studying to figure out how to finish it. It needed neck facing and the seams needed to be finished. I did all that and then realized that my back darts didn’t work at all!

How did I solve the problem? Thanks to YouTube, I learned to do a “swayback adjustment”, which is basically a horizontal dart. It worked, but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get into the otherwise-finished dress if I really fitted it, so I took the last bit of tablecloth and made a belt.

It worked and I was actually able to wear the dress to work!

The back fits pretty well. I’m happy with it.
It’s comfortable and easy to wear, which is nice for a dress made of such stiff material.
And it’s good for dancing!

The Hokey Pokey Dance of Sales: How to Make Sales

“I just don’t have the right personality for this,” I sighed. “I’m really good at working with people just like me, but when it comes to selling cars to people who aren’t like me at all … well, I’m just not sure I can master those skills.”

I have been watching my mentor sell one car after another to happy customers at the auto brokerage where I work and contemplating my work during the stormy sea that was 2020. I take after Eeyore in some ways and had come to the particularly gloomy conclusion that I would not be able to learn to do what he does.

“It’s not you, Bonnie,” he responded. “I’ve been doing this for 23 years! I make it look easy, but that’s only after years of practicing and making mistakes. It takes time.”

The Many Limbs of Sales

My job as an auto broker has many parts.

  • Prospecting
  • Sales
    • Where do I begin to talk about sales? It seems like magic to me. Famous people like Grant Cardone and Jeffrey Gitomer have written millions of words about the art of sales. It’s evolved considerably since the example set by The Music Man and I understand perfectly when I do sales training. But how does it work when an actual client shows up in the office? That’s the mystery.
  • Follow up
    • Follow up isn’t hard to do. You know what’s hard? Finding the time to follow up with hundreds of people in a personal way!

In theory, mastering sales should be as simple as doing these things over and over again. However, in practice it’s more like a juggling act.

Juggling, Act 2

And guess what! There is more juggling!

“It’s like this,” my mentor explained, getting up to dance. “Think of it as if you were drawing a circle around the client. That’s the connection you’ve built and everyone likes that, but every so often you have to step out of the circle to get some work done.”

He began to demonstrate.

Stepping into the circle he said, “Hey, how are your kids doing?”

Stepping out he said, “I’ll need a copy of your driver’s license and insurance card.”

Stepping in again he said, “You’re going to love this truck. There is room in the back for your dogs.”

And then he stepped out again, “I’ll need a $250 deposit to start looking for your vehicle.”

I’m calling this The Hokey Pokey Dance of Sales.

Shall We Dance?

This dance is the next frontier for me. Nothing about the ethics of how we do business has changed and let me assure you we’re not trying to manipulate anyone into buying a car from us. We want to be stay friends with the people who come in, whether they buy from us or not.

No, what this is about is taking responsibility for my role in helping clients find cars. My job is to help you get the vehicle you want and feel happy about it after the papers are signed. I have to work to make sure we meet that goal.

So don’t be surprised if I’m wearing dancing shoes when you come in.

Stop Complaining About Network Marketing

Have you or someone you know had a negative experience (went into debt, broke relationships, etc.) working for an MLM company?“, read the Facebook posting.

If so, would you be willing to share your story with KRDO?

I’m not the only one who rolls my eyes when I see things like this.

Who is Responsible for Your Income?

News outlets like to say things that get clicks and demonizing network marketing companies has been a successful strategy for them. Despite several companies’ history of quality products, an alternate route to success for people who don’t fit into the corporate model and top notch sales training; people love to dismiss this style of earning a living as a “pyramid scheme”.

Such nonsense!

Network Marketing is sales, like any other commission sales. The main difference is that mentoring others brings in more income.

Sales is hard work and while some people seem to be naturally good at it, most of us need a mentor. I’ve been very lucky in my own life to find a mentor here at AutoSearch who really wants me to succeed and I know how important that is because I tried to learn the art of sales on my own!

It’s not unusual for a nascent salesperson to realize she needs a mentor. In fact, I hear complaints all the time that people feel they can’t succeed because nobody will mentor them.

Then why are they demonizing network marketing, which gives you an opportunity to go and find your own mentor? Why dismiss a system that pays people to be good mentors?

Like anything else, you need to know what you want out of it when you go into it and you need to know what you are looking for when you sign up with a company.

Please allow me to present two success stories from two very different ladies.

“Align With the Right People at the Right Time”

Did you lose your job during the pandemic? A lot of people did. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

What did you do to earn money then?

Many people went on unemployment, but some people had “side hustles” already in place, like my friend Kelsey. Kelsey had been selling Arbonne health and beauty products part-time while she worked full-time in Human Resources.

“I got laid off on a Wednesday and then on Thursday morning my renters gave notice,” she told me.

It was pretty scary, as you can imagine! She owns a house and has bills like anyone else, but she had built trust with her customers and wasn’t left with no way to bring in an income.

Kelsey had another asset available to her… her upline Becky. Becky has built a crackerjack team and knows how to coach her team members toward success. She has a system and gets paid for helping them learn to work the system.

Today, just a few months later, Kelsey is paying all her bills with her earnings from her Arbonne business.

Has it been easy? Certainly not!

“I relied a lot on Becky and adopted her routines.”, she explains. “I still get up early every morning, just like when I had a job. I added a morning routine too.”

“It’s not like when you have a job and you get paid the same no matter what you’ve done that week. I need to make the most of every day.”, she added.

What impresses me about Kelsey is her strong discipline and her determination to grow into the person who can meet the goals she’s set. “I’ve become more myself since starting,” she says, and I can see that it’s true. She’s become more confident and outspoken since I met her. I can see a lot more of her personality and I like it!

The day she met Becky was the right time for her. They’ve become friends and great partners! Kelsey, with her work ethic and persistence, was the right woman for the job.

“It’s the Person You Become that You Strive For”

Some people get into network marketing as a new adventure with a friend and others get into it to build something.

Kate wanted to build something. She has plenty of experience in sales and has sold everything from cars to mortgages. She didn’t need network marketing to learn to sell, she wanted it as an outlet to help other people with financial and physical health.

Kate is a representative for Kangen, a company that sells water purifying machines. The machines change the pH of the water and you can use it for a variety of activities from hydration to cleaning.

Kangen and network marketing were right for Kate because she wanted to build an organization. She is a skilled saleswoman, but her previous job didn’t allow her the satisfaction of training others to be successful.

Today she is building a system that helps her coach her team members and train them to be successful in sales.

How has she done this? She’s done it by seeking out the next level of coaches for herself. She interviews other successful network marketers to learn what they have done and works with a business coach to implement the ideas.

That’s how it works in sales. You don’t do anything alone.

When I first met Kate she was bored with her old job and looking for something new. Today she is happy and thriving.

Note that she didn’t have to wait for someone to retire or impress someone to get this opportunity. All she had to do was step up.

Opportunity, If you Want it.

A lot of people complain these days about how opportunity is not equally distributed. I’m not interested in a political discussion, but I do want to tell you a story.

Remember how there was a lot of fuss in the media at one time over the “vocal fry” style of speaking that some women adopt. I read comments from people who theorized that it was to make their voices lower and thus more acceptable in the corporate world. Maybe that’s true, I don’t know.

And then I heard an interview with a woman who had a sweet, high-pitched, almost childlike voice who had built a big team with a network marketing company.

She had earned millions of dollars.

It didn’t matter that she had a childlike voice. What mattered was that she was willing to learn sales skills, be disciplined and keep trying.

If you are open to learning, to trying new things and realistic about how hard a person has to work to make money, you’ll probably do pretty well with network marketing. You’ll learn a difficult new skill and meet fun people. You’ll develop goals for yourself and stretch to meet them.

If you expect it to be easy or that you will not have to think then you will probably have a hard time. As hard as it is to hear, many people fall into this category and when KRDO comes calling for people to complain, they are ready to blame failure on somebody else.

Can You See Me?

Do We Have to Make Other People Invisible?

Early on in Genesis, Cain kills his brother Abel and when God asks where Abel is, Cain responds with the famous line, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”.

It was the wrong answer. God gets really mad.

But why does God get mad? Is it because Cain killed Abel? Not necessarily. After all, Cain didn’t really know what would happen when he lashed out at his brother. Nobody had ever died before.

No, it wasn’t because Abel was dead. God was angry because of Cain’s apathy. Because he didn’t care.

We Do This Every Day

From this we learn that we have to care about other people’s distress, a lesson applicable in many aspects of day to day life.

For example, it may seem innocuous and even wise to walk by a person begging for money on a street corner without acknowledging him. I know, I do this all the time! “Just keep staring straight ahead like you don’t see him,” I tell myself. “Then maybe he won’t talk to you.”

Is this understandable? Sure! I’m afraid of strangers asking me for money. Sometimes they even touch me, which terrifies me and makes me angry, but my terror doesn’t make it right to pretend another person is invisible.

I may not be prepared to help that person, but making him invisible is tantamount to saying his view doesn’t count.

A Little Acknowledgement Goes a Long Way

And what about the day to day discourse with people unlike ourselves? It may seem tempting to dismiss another person’s dismay at something I think is unimportant, but that’s not right either.

You know what I’m talking about! The country is so divided these days that you can hardly talk to someone who disagrees with you anymore! I had this conversation recently:

“I guess with this COVID thing I just think people’s lives are more important than money,” said a beloved friend of mine.

Immediately, the fur on the back of my neck started to rise and I struggled not to flatten my ears and hiss.

“Oh, no!”, I said. “Don’t make that mistake! It’s not a case of lives vs. money. I care about people’s lives too, I just don’t think we have as much control over COVID transmission as we think and people are committing suicide over lost livelihoods!”.

I don’t know who is right, but I do know that what she said next went a long way.

“I understand how you feel and I love how concerned you are for people who have invested their lives into their businesses,” she said.

The fur on my neck settled down.

“Thank you.” I responded, “And I love how you always put others before your own convenience.” She really does this and I have prodigious admiration for her.

Rachel and Leah

My beautiful friend excels at what Rachel did for Leah in the Bible. You can learn about this in depth at my favorite site for profound religious study accompanied by cute graphics, but the main idea is that Rachel overcame her own perspective on a painful issue to see it as her sister saw it.

And then she tried to make it right.

If we could do that more often, if we could overcome our own myopia and apathy and acknowledge the distress of others, imagine what kind of world this would be right now.

A little acknowledgement goes a long way, even all the way back to the beginning of time.

(Note: The chickens in the picture cannot see things from each other’s point of view and they are fighting over a nest box. No chicken was injured that day, but they did give me a photograph that makes my point.)

Why Authoritarianism Would Never Work Here – Half an Hour in a Waiting Room

“DO NOT pass the Curtain w/o an AUTHORIZED AGENT”, announced the sign. “Violating this WILL end up in Immediate Removal.” 

I read the sign and then carefully sat down, making sure not to disturb the curtain. A bell rang as a man opened the door of the storefront and walked in. 

He looked at me. “Is this where they do the fingerprinting?”, he asked. 

“I think so,” I responded. “But so far all I know is that you can’t go past the curtain.” 

“I had trouble finding it,” my new companion said. “It doesn’t even have a sign, just that sandwich board outside.” 

He paused and looked around.

“Well,” he said slowly, “I have 20 minutes until my appointment. I’ll be back.” 

“Yes,” I concurred. “Surely there must be something more interesting in this shopping center than this mysterious waiting room.” 

You could call it a “waiting room” or you could call it a “storage room with two lines of chairs”. Boxes were piled up on one wall. A clock did its best to blend into another wall. The lone table in the room did not hold a sign in sheet or any other indication that someone might be interested in knowing we were here. 

The shy clock said 10:15 AM, just five minutes until my appointment. At 10:20 a woman bustled out from behind the curtain. 

“Are you here for fingerprinting?”, she asked. 

“Yes, I am,” I replied, standing up to speak with her. 

“I’m going to ask you to sit down again,” she said politely, but firmly. “Someone will be out to get you in a moment.” 

Obediently, I took my seat again while she asked if I had my ID and if I was there for digital or hard copy fingerprints. I answered from my chair and then she went away again. 

I stared out the window for a few minutes and then a couple came in. They read the sign, just as I had, and then sat down. 

After a minute, the man got up and stepped over to a laminated TSA Pre-Check document tacked to the wall next to the curtain. 

“Stan!”, hissed the woman in an anxious tone, “Come back. It’s too close to the curtain!” 

“You gotta be careful around here,” I chimed in softly. “It’s a demanding sort of place.” 

“Right?”, said the woman, looking at me. “I don’t wanna get in trouble!” 

We all laughed as another couple came in. 

“Is this where we go for the name change documents?”, the woman asked with a serious look on her face. 

“Yes,” said the man who had been reading the TSA document. “See, it says so on the sign … if you can get past the commandment about the curtain.” 

“Oh, OK,” she said, nodding nervously. They sat down. 

After a moment she said to no one in particular, “They used to do this at the courthouse, so it’s kind of confusing.” 

“Yeah,” said the man next to me. “There they make you go through security before going in the building. At least they don’t do that here. … Although we don’t really know what they do behind that curtain.” 

The nervous woman’s face broke into a smile. We all laughed again. 

Eventually, an employee came to the curtain and called my name. I was now a bit reluctant to leave the security of the group in the waiting room, but I jumped up again and we went behind the curtain to her office.

We chatted amiably about how the fingerprinting process for sales licenses had changed and I had probably made the wrong kind of appointment and should go back to my office and make another, but I insisted and we went ahead with the fingerprinting anyway. 

Nothing much has changed at the intersection of government and commerce since Mark Twain wrote The Facts in the Case of the Great Beef Contract  in 1867, has it? Maybe the technology has changed and services have been outsourced, but it’s still “very slow and very certain” and it  still doesn’t seem all that far-fetched that the government would have a “corn-beef division”.

What’s more, we still comply with regulations while refusing to be cowed. Today, just like yesterday, the Americans in the waiting room still band together and laugh at any aura of authoritarianism.

May it always be so.

Why Chickens Think You Should Attend a Professional Conference

Have you ever been to a professional conference?

I’ve been to several. In fact, I’m going to one tomorrow and I try to attend at least one a year.

Why?

Losing Sight of the Forest

Simply put, because we tend to lose sight of the forest of our vision while working on the trees of day to day work.

Have you read this book, Chop Wood Carry Water? The title is brilliant. Medcalf gives you a metaphor for how we accomplish big things.

Most days, we peck away at the small tasks, often without even finishing them, and it can seem pointless if we forget where we are going. It’s easy to forget that being consistent with the small things makes the big things happen.

An Example From An Unlikely Source

You know who demonstrates this principle really well?

Chickens.

Yes, you read that right. Chickens do an incredible job of sticking with a task until they get the desired result. Let me tell you a story …

One summer, I planted a small lettuce garden and covered it with bird netting. My idea was that the bird netting would keep my hens out. After all, it was made to resist birds and chickens are birds, right?

Wrong.

All summer long, the chickens tried to get in. First, they tried to walk through the netting. When that didn’t work, they scratched at the netting.

The lettuce grew and they got more and more interested in the challenge. They stuck with it. Gradually, they realized they had more success scratching at the netting where it met the ground. Occasionally, they could eat a stray leaf that was growing along the edge.

A month or two later, the lettuce was ready to harvest, but I was a little bit busy and put it off for a day or two.

Guess what happened.

That’s right! After at least six weeks of trying, one chicken had pulled up part of the netting in the process of scratching. The whole flock got in and ate the lettuce.

They ate all the lettuce. I didn’t get one leaf.

Be Like the Chickens

So what if I found two of them trapped in the garden, squawking their little heads off,  when I went out there? They weren’t concerned with what would happen after they ate the lettuce. Chickens are very single-minded.

And so we should be too, if we want to accomplish anything. Consistency, focus and action win the day every time.

Combating Boredom and Staying Focused

Let’s get back to the professional conference now.

If we’re going to be single-minded like the chickens, pecking away at the tasks most likely to produce the results we want, it’s easy to lose sight of the goal.

Conferences remind you of the goal. They remind you that you’re not just one hen scratching at the netting, with limited results.

You’re part of something bigger. You’re part of a vision, a profession, a community.

Poultry don’t need conferences. They already have a community and their profession (scavenging for food) is in their DNA.

Humans, on the other hand, have more options. It’s a blessing and a curse because we can accomplish great things, but it’s also easy to get bored and go to another new idea.

Want to stay focused? Then take action to make sure you don’t lose sight of your vision. If conferences aren’t your thing, read a book or take a class. Let other people’s experiences inspire you to dream.

Unless you’re a chicken. In that case, just keep doing what you’re doing.

Become Extraordinary!

“It takes a whole lot of self-confidence to become extraordinary,” I said to my business coach, the remarkable Kelly Ikenberry, “doesn’t it?”

This popped out as we discussed my annoyance upon revisiting the websites of clients for whom I had written targeted, creative web content. I write content to resonate with their specific target market and bring in paying customers, but my carefully constructed paragraphs often get re-written as bland content for robots by the next writer that comes in.

“I am going to give it up,” I told Kelly.

“Any more thoughts on this?”, she sagely asked.

“Well… yes,” I said. “I could narrow down my web content target market to a niche of people who really want to stand out. I would enjoy it a lot more and I could charge a premium since most content writers are writing for SEO web crawlers.”

Take that, robots!

How to Influence People

Kelly demonstrated something important during that conversation. She challenged me to grow, instead of focusing on my anger.

I’ve been carefully studying Brendon Burchard’s book, High Performance Habits and he has a good deal to say about the influence Kelly demonstrated in our exchange.

Teach and Challenge

Kelly was teaching me how to think about this setback, but not by telling me what to think. She did it by encouraging me to think it through on my own.

Of course, this does take a certain amount of self-confidence on my part. My first emotional response was to wonder if I’m just not very good at content writing. I had two choices of paths.

  • I could decide I’m not good at it and quit
  • I could decide I AM good at it, but I’m writing for the wrong people

If I look at the evidence, the latter is probably correct. I’ve had good success winning followers to my own websites. I passed a content writing certification test. I’ve been writing professionally for 25 years.

I’m probably pretty good at this by now.

How about you? Can you think your next setback through like this? Believe it or not, there is a manual that teaches you evidence-based thinking.

I only wish this had been available when I was a teenager!

Be Giving and Bold

Burchard writes about other things that influential people do.

  • They look for ways to help others
  • They champion others
  • They ask for what they want

Dr. Ivan Misner emphasizes helping others as a means of building relationships when business networking. Dale Carnegie’s famous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People is all about giving people your consideration and attention.

Do you see a theme here?

Don’t Forget to Ask

Burchard says that asking is the “most fundamental tool in creating [influence]”. He refers to studies that show how drastically people underestimate the likelihood of a “yes”.

You see it in writing all the time. If you want people to do something in response to your writing, add a Call to Action. In other words, ask for what you want. You’re more likely to get it than you think!

What I Am Asking of You

Would you be open to building self-confidence and becoming an extraordinary version of yourself? I want to influence you to believe in your ability to become whatever you want to become.

I am asking you to read books, hire a business coach and do whatever it takes to become your best self and build your business, to be an example to people who say it can’t be done.

I hope you’ll say yes. The world needs you.

 

Building a Business From the Heart

Want to know a secret?

It’s not my secret, it’s the business community’s secret and something I’ve noticed.

An awful lot of successful single-owner and partnership businesses don’t really have a business plan.

I know, I know… we’re supposed to have plans. Business is supposed to be a dry, serious matter. But sometimes a business wells up from the heart instead of the head and hearts don’t specialize in planning.

I interviewed Beth Hoppe of Progressive Fitness Crossfit (PFCF), here in Colorado Springs and discovered that’s exactly what happened. This “box”, as we say in Crossfit parlance, was started by Beth and her son Chris.

Getting Started

PFCF didn’t start out as a plan. It started out as a mother doing what she could to support her son’s dreams.

In 2009, “Chris was starting out as a personal trainer and he needed people to train, so I let him train me,” explains Beth.

She wasn’t an athlete back then. It’s hard for people who know her now to believe, but she was overweight, on all kinds of medications and “couldn’t do anything,” as she puts it.

They worked out in the garage. “I remember when we got our first kettlebells,” she reminisces. “They were 15 lbs and 35 lbs and they destroyed us!”

How heavy is that? Well, let’s just say that these days, we need at least a 44 lb and a 70 lb kettlebell to wear the Hoppe family out.

Growing

Chris had other clients and continued to train Beth, who was losing weight and getting into better shape.

They started to do some Crossfit as part of their workouts and Chris started to talk about starting a box.

“I didn’t take it seriously at first,” says Beth. “I just went along with it and eventually said, ‘Let’s talk to Dad’. ”

Steve (Beth’s husband and Chris’s father) was ok with it, so they rented a space.

Their first gym was in a strip mall. They still laugh about how one client shot through a ceiling tile when learning to do muscle ups and how they finally had to take the tiles out so there would be room for wallball.

A Successful Partnership

Over time, PFCF moved to a bigger space and built up a bigger membership. I encountered them when the Crossfit gym I had been part of for more than 5 years closed. The members could have gone anywhere, but many of us chose PFCF because of the friendly community.

People who stick with Crossfit often do so because of the community as much as because they like the workouts. I tell a joke about the “shared trauma” of the tiring workouts being a bonding experience. There is an element of truth to this, but it starts with the tone set by the owners.

Our mother and son team work together beautifully to make our gym a warm, welcoming place where people feel safe to face challenges.

You may have heard that most partnerships fail. This is true. I once heard a story about a friend’s grandfather who was poisoned as part of a failed partnership!

Most of the time, it’s not that dramatic, but I asked Beth how their partnership is so successful when most fail.

“We have a certain dynamic that is very rare,” she says, tearing up.  True to form, she apologizes in case the tears have made me uncomfortable, but they haven’t.

The mixture of motherly love, gratitude and awe at what they’ve achieved together behind those tears is heartwarming and way better than a good business plan.

Making the World a Better Place

It’s not just about fitness. Both Beth and Chris have been in substance abuse recovery for a long time. Physical activity can help people stay sober and Chris had been volunteering as a coach with The Phoenix,  sober active community.

PFCF and The Phoenix merged in early 2018. The membership fees from our organically grown fitness community now help support people in recovery.

The goal for 2018 is to bring enough new people to PFCF to support the entire Colorado Springs Phoenix operation. That would mean donations and grants to The Phoenix could provide more outreach and services to the people in our combined community who need them.

You Don’t Have to Be Fit to Come Here

Are you ready to try it?

“You don’t have to be fit to start Crossfit,” Beth says emphatically. “We can modify any exercise for the individual. We’ll work with you.”

“Just leave your ego at the door.”

That might be a good way to describe starting a business from nothing too. It will challenge you, make you learn new things and show you how much more you’re capable of than you thought.

Just leave your ego at the door and face the challenges with authenticity and gratitude as they come along.

 

 

 

 

Why Your Friend is More Successful in Network Marketing than You

I know you’re probably hoping this article will give you “the secret” to quick network marketing success. I kept hoping to find it, but the raw truth is that network marketing is like any other business.

It takes time and strategy to build it.

“But Bonnie,” you say, “What about my upline/friend/colleague who built a six figure business in six months?”.

I wondered that too, so I asked my upline, an amazing woman who falls into that category.

I also spent a lot of time listening to a variety of training courses by the likes of Brian Fryer, Ray Higdon and the Freedom Boss Babes, as well as anything else I could get my ears on. And I practiced the skills they teach.

And that’s not all! I study marketing as part of my profession (and because I think it’s fun). You may have figured out by now that I’m a professional content writer.

Wondering what I learned? Read on.

They Build the Networks and Do the Work

People who see rapid success in the network marketing industry do certain things.

They Build or Have Already Built Networks

I asked my upline several times how she had seen such quick success and for a while she told me her tactics, all of which were helpful, but didn’t bring me the same seemingly overnight success.

Finally, we came to the realization that she had come into network marketing with a huge amount of visibility and credibility in her social media networks. Melynda had spent years building relationships with people online. When she began talking about her product, they already knew and trusted her.

Visibility Plus Credibility Lead to Profitability

Visibility and credibility are an important concept in the world of marketing. We know about it from Dr. Ivan Misner’s work in the area of business networking, but it applies to sales too. People like to do business with those they know, like and trust.

They Consistently Do the Work at High Volume

You don’t have to be a full time network marketer to be successful, but you do have to be a good time manager. Maybe you can only devote an hour a day to your businesses, but if you want to emulate high earners, you must accomplish a lot during that hour.

It can certainly be done. Kathy Schneider of the Freedom Boss Babes clearly lays out the details at the end of this blog post.

Prolific Quality Output

Honestly, if I had to pick out one single thing that separates successful network marketers from unsuccessful ones, it would be that success is a direct result of putting in consistent, value-generating work even when you want to quit.

I didn’t make this concept up. Read Brendon Burchard’s book, High Performance Habits and pay special attention to the section on productivity. He describes something called Prolific Quality Output (PQO). PQOs build successful businesses.

They Train Their Team in a System

If you have spent any time in the network marketing world, you’ve heard the word “duplicatable”. It’s critical to your team of mostly-untrained marketers that you have an easily-understood system for them to follow.

They Don’t Confine Themselves

But here is an interesting thing I noticed… the most successful network marketers don’t necessarily confine themselves to the system. They learn about marketing and apply those principles to their own business. They use tactics that they don’t offer to their downlines right away.

For example, many companies these days train a simple social media strategy, but their most successful distributors use in-person business networking or reach their target market through government licensing lists or become vendors at farmers’ markets. Maybe they use a blog or automated social media technology.

Are They Keeping Us Down?

Are they holding back from the rest of us? No, sir! What they are doing is offering untrained marketers a new skill, one that can be grasped without hours of study.

Remember, most people who sign up for a network marketing business never even get started. It’s hard work, but if we can train a person in one simple way to make sales then we’ve helped that person beat the odds.

On the other hand, if we try to draw them into a whole new profession, chances are they will have less success. Most new network marketers signed up to make a little extra money, not to build a new career.

What This Means for You

If you’re wondering, as I did, what successful network marketers are doing differently, ask around. Network marketing is a collaborative profession in which helping the people below you boosts your success. Successful earners are usually happy to talk to the people on their teams, so don’t be afraid to contact them.

If you’re just getting started, follow the system you’ve been given. It can be hard work and you may have to do things that scare you, but try them out. You’ll grow as a person and as a marketer.

And remember, the most important thing is to consistently do the high-value work, like contacting new people and following up.

There’s no mysterious secret. You can do this thing as well as anyone else. With time, strategy and hard work, your goals are within reach.