Archive for February, 2011
Two things happened simultaneously:
A distributor who had given up wrote to me. In fact we’ve been writing back and forth for some weeks because I refuse to be the one to end the correspondence and obviously he feels the same. This is his latest:
“How to avoid being scammed:
“As with most things in life, the best way to avoid falling victim to a scam is to use common sense.
“If something sounds too good to be true it probably is. Do not be rushed into sending off money to someone you do not know, however plausible they might sound and even where an approach is personalised, the Office of Fair Trading warned.
“Ask yourself how likely it is that you can make money. Thousands of other people will probably have received the same offer to part with money and not made a penny from it, no matter how great others make it sound.
“Finally, think about how much money you could lose from replying to a potential scam. It’s not a gamble worth taking.”
My first thought was to suggest he report the company to the Office of Fair Trading – I think it’s a great idea. I’d love to see what happens.
But then they decided to send me on a public speaking course. As one of the company trainers, I have to get up and speak in public on a regular basis and this workshop with Lorna Sheldon comes highly recommended.
She’s sent me some homework to do: I have to write a two-page script to be delivered during the course. It can be about anything I like – but I would like nothing better than to have the sceptical distributor in the audience and tell him what I think (or rather what I believe to be a fundamental truth).
So this is it:
“Here’s the law of nature: There are two types of people in the world – the special people and the ordinary people.
There will always be more ordinary people than special people – which the way it’s supposed to be. The special people need lots of ordinary people to do the ordinary things they don’t want to do.
The special people need ordinary people to service their cars, wait on their tables, design and build their houses, look after their health, mind their money…
Let me explain: The special people have big dreams and they achieve them because they control their own lives.
The ordinary people allow others to dictate how their lives will turn out. This is because they work for other people and that means someone else decides what hours they will work and how much they will get paid. And out of that pay cheque – before it even reaches them – have to come their taxes and their pension contributions.
Special people don’t need pension contributions – special people pay very little tax.
But the ordinary people don’t know that. They are conditioned to accept their lot. They think it’s the only way to live. They suspect there is another way because their magazines are filled with people who somehow manage to live lives of abundance. This makes them feel envious.
And they say: “That person was born into wealth – they were in the right place at the right time – they knew the right people…”
This shows the ordinary people that their predicament is not of their making. The way their life turned out is not their fault. Or, as they say: “Some people get all the luck.”
But logic dictates that this cannot be true. Luck – or to use another word for it “opportunity” – is not presented to a select few. The same opportunity is available to all. There may be an element of luck about whether it comes sooner or later but that is rarely the issue. What counts is whether a person takes that opportunity when it does present itself.
And this is where the population gets divided. The special people see their opportunity and say: “This is just what I’ve been looking for. This will make all the difference. This I can do!”
The ordinary people look at the same opportunity but they say: “These things never work. If something looks too good to be true it usually is.” They say: “ I could never do that…”
They decide that the opportunity is some sort of trick. They convince themselves they’re not worthy. Maybe they try it out and wait for the first chance to prove that it won’t work for them – not with the people they know – not in the town where they live….
And guess what? They prove themselves right!
Meanwhile the special people who think only of success find exactly that. It’s the law of nature.
Now I don’t know who in the room today are the special people. Nobody knows. But what I can tell you is that when your opportunity presents itself, if you can seize it immediately. If you can act on it with certainty and vigour – and if you can persist in doing that for as long as it may take then you will be special – and you will hold in your hand the golden prize.
And you will have everything your heart desires.”
He had a half-litre can of Skol Extra Strength in his hand. A tattoo on his neck held a five-pointed star in a circle and the dusting of stubble on his scalp was disturbed here and there by a variety of scars which he seemed to wear like battle honours.
He joined us in the Hammersmith Line carriage and belched contentedly.
I looked away. I looked at the adverts for mobile phones and employment agencies. I studied the map of the Hammersmith and City Line.
But he looked at my badge. I could feel him looking at it. I could feel it growing bigger and bigger under his gaze. Any minute he would ask me “How?”
That’s the trouble with a badge which says “Save Money – Make Money. Ask Me How!” People do.
I just didn’t want him to. I keep telling people that the wonderful thing about this business is that you get to choose the people you work with.
So what was I supposed to say when he finally finished exercising his brain cell on the seven words and asked the question?
Should I say: “I’m sorry we don’t accept public drunks with a history of violence who get Satanic symbols stamped on their necks.”
Should I ignore him – pretend I hadn’t heard – I hardly thought he would lapse meekly back into silence.
How about a supercillious appraisal and a cold: “I’m afraid you wouldn’t qualify.” Perhaps I, too, could get my scalp decorated.
In fact I was still considering my options when I was enveloped in a hot waft of stale Skol as he lurched in my direction and blurted: “Wossalltharrabout?”
Without a word, I peeled a piggy card off the wad in my pocket and handed it over. He seemed pleased. For the next five minutes he read it (I could see his lips moving).
On the back of the card, if you’ve never been given one, is a list of the six most common reasons people give for joining our business. They begin with “Extra income” and progress through “Time with the family” and “Financial freedom” down to lesser reasons such as “Have your own business” and “More spare time”.
But never, in all the years I’ve been giving them out has anyone chosen the last: “Leave a legacy.”
I’m getting really lazy because, hot on the heals of just copy and pasting an email straight into the blog, I’m going to do it again.
Here’s the background: I met a small businessman at a networking breakfast. He came and did some work for me and I showed him the benefits of being a distributor (it would work splendidly alongside his business).
He joined up. But then, almost immediately, he told me his doctor had advised him not to take on anything new. He had high cholesterol and was in danger of a heart attack. So he resigned his new position and went back to working long hours for himself.
Then on Friday I met him at another breakfast and noticed he sat down to a plate of fried egg, sausage, bacon, fried potatoes and heaven knows what else from the banned side of his diet sheet.
“What would your doctor say about that?” I asked him as I cut up an apple to go on my muesli (yes, all right, I can be insufferable!)
He told me it was only his first Full English of the year.
I didn’t say it but I thought: “For heavens sake! We’re still in the first half of February!”
I thought about him a good deal over the weekend. He’s overweight, has high cholesterol and works regular 14-16 hour days. I weighed up the consequences of being a busybody against the possibility that I might just be able to save his life.
This is the emaill I just sent him (with key omissions to save his blushes):
Since we sat next to each other at breakfast on Friday – you with your Full English and me with my Continental, I’ve been thinking a good deal about the talk we had when you came to visit me last year.
Here’s the note I made at the time:
21/11/10: Signed as distributor then his doctor said don’t take on anything else.. Try in six months
Please tell me to mind my own business if you feel I’m interfering but I would like to say that to succeed in anything – whether it be running a successful business or becoming healthy, you have to give it your full attention.
I know all about this because as a company trainer, it is my business to introduce new distributors to the concept of personal development. Most people, when they first join, don’t even know what I’m talking about. They just think they’ve joined to get rich. But you can’t get rich unless you first become the sort of person who deserves to be rich.
And that’s where personal development comes in: The books, the CDs we play in our cars – the whole concept that to have more, you have first to become more.
So to begin with, we have to instil in new distributors the importance of self-discipline. After all, there will be no boss to ensure they show up for work every day. That is something they will have to do for themselves and most people have never experienced that – therefore it is fair to say that most people have very little self-discipline.
At the risk of upsetting both you and your doctor, I would say that his giving you pills to lower your cholesterol and suggesting a low-fat diet is not going to work because he was not there at the breakfast table on Friday to wag his finger at you when you first stuck your fork into the sausage.
And if it’s not working, then you and he will know better than me what will be the consequences for your health.
My own view is that it may be better for you to approach this differently – and you will laugh at my suggestion – but far from jeopardising your health, I believe that becoming a distributor would actually lengthen your life.
There, I said you would laugh. But I know of too many people whose lives have been completely turned around by this amazing business. I simply cannot bring myself to pass up the chance of helping one more person. In fact if you let me have anything to do with it, I am willing to bet that in five years’ time you would recognise neither yourself nor your bank balance.
It’s up to you, of course. But if you carry on as you are, where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
OK, so I’m lazy: I’ve just sent a text to a distributor who wants to resign.
Heck, I thought. I ought to post that on the blog!
Thank you for your text. I discover you’re not on my email list so you must have been getting them all from head office. Call XXXX XXX XXXX option 4 to resign.
I can sympathise with your experience: None of my family or friends wanted to join either. You can see my story on http://www.vimeo.com/17688656.
I don’t recommend cold calling – personally I hate it. However, Win-a-Mini is great fun – I did 90 minutes of it last night and got four appointments.
You may consider that I would say that in order to encourage you not to leave so that I can make lots and lots of money out of you. But the fact is that you are one of some 700 distributors in my team. Also you’re in an established leg so your success is not critical to the overall performance of my business.
However, in the past year or so my motivation has switched somewhat: Now that my financial future is assured, I have become much more excited by the satisfaction I get from helping other people achieve their dreams.
For instance, I don’t know if you’ve met John XXXXX. He’s 63 years old, on his fourth marriage with a baby boy. He worked as an electrician and had accepted that he would have to keep working forever since he has no pension. In practical terms he had accepted that he would probably die in someone’s attic with a pair of wire clippers in his hand (and how were his clients going to get a dead body out of the attic!)
Within two years, he has given up his electrical work and he is now within sight of being able to retire to the Phillipines where you can live like a king on £20,000 a year.
No it’s not easy. But yes it will give you everything your heart desires. You just have to learn, do – and never give up.
There, rant over.
Breakfast at South Mimms services has become something of a ritual. Whenever I’m training at Head Office in Colindale, that’s where I stop.
This 45 minute pause in the day is necessary not only because there might be a hold-up on the road but also because it enables me to do my daily activity before I get shut up in the training room for six hours.
So there I found myself in the queue for the checkout at Smiths. I turned to the man behind me and offered him a Piggy Card.
“No thank you,” he said as if I had offered his a scorpion.
So I turned to the man in the queue beside me. He said “No thank you,” as well.
So did the woman in front of him.
“Isn’t this interesting,” I observed. “Once somebody says ‘No’ everyone else tends to follow suit. Who’s going to break the chain?”
The next person didn’t.
Then: “I’ll have one.” This from the young woman behind the checkout.
She took took the card. “It’s all about money,” I told her.
“What’s that about money?” said the man behind me who had started the whole thing.
I gave him a card too. Then I gave a couple to a pair of bystanders who were taking an interest.
And here’s the point: When I had paid for my purchase (a 5litre bottle of screen wash, if you’re interested) and had a bit more of a chat with the nice young woman behind the till, I found one of the bystanders was waiting for me.
“What did you say it was all about?” he asked.
He kept me there for ten minutes. Now he knows about our company which helps all its members save money and helps some of them make money – and I know all about his new baby.
I took his details and left him with a DVD which he promised faithfully he would watch – and I get the impression he has: When I rang him today, he said: “Look, I really want to talk to you. I’m really interested.”
However, as he explained, he was eight storeys up on top of a roof and maybe it wasn’t the right moment…
The piano teacher comes to our house. This is brilliant and we only managed it because we had so many children, it was worth her while to come on a Thursday evening and do three lessons back-to-back.
But when the 13-year-old graduated to the drums (another story, believe me) it took some persuading to get her to keep coming for just two.
So when Miss Ivories says it’s time to get the instrument tuned, it gets tuned – and when she says it’s time to get a proper piano stool, that’s what we get.
Personally I couldn’t see what was wrong with the telephone book on one of the dining room chairs but the prospect of driving children backwards and forwards to lessons at her house very quickly had me on eBay.
The good news was that the stool turned up in Felixstowe, just 20 minutes away and I was the only bidder so I got it for £30. But in fact it’s going to pay for itself. Here’s how:
“Many thanks, that’s just what I was looking for,” I enthused as I handed over the notes and made to leave with the stool under my arm.
“But before I go, may I tell you what I do?”
They were polite people (they had a piano in the house). “Of course,” they said.
So I did: “I work with a big company which arranges for stores like Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencers and B&Q to pay people’s electricity bills. Would it benefit you to get your bills paid by the big stores?”
They said it would and now they’ve joined the club… and I’m going to get paid a portion of their bills every month.
So the piano teacher is forgiven and harmony is restored.
Well almost – I still have to call the piano tuner…