Saturday, July 31, 2010

90 Day Plan Preparation

A 90 day plan has to be one of the simplest concepts in running your business. It's also one of the hardest to get right.

At first sight, there's no problem. You decide you want to run your own business. You start investigating options. You choose your preferred route to success. You attend some pre-business start up training, followed by some business training. And that's when the trouble starts.

As part of that business training, you get told that there are several key factors to your future success:

  1. You need to be passionate. That's OK, I wouldn't be investing time and money in seed money and training if I wasn't passionate, you say.
  2. You need to be organised. Not a problem, you assure yourself. It won't take long to tidy up a corner of the dining room/bedroom/attic. I've got my stapler, I've got my binders, I have a phone - how difficult can this be?
  3. You need to have a plan. I've got a plan, you say, smiling to yourself. I'm going to do this business brilliantly, I'm going to make loads of money and I'm going to be a great success.

At that point, you've just joined Walter Mitty in WonderfulMe Land and killed off any chance of succeeding.

Let's face it, if achieving financial freedom was that easy, there would be no poverty in this world.

Success = commitment + focus + persistent action

You need all three parts to build a solid foundation. Focus gets you zeroed in on your target. Commitment binds you to a course of action that will enable you to achieve your goals. But without the persistent action, there will be no long-term achievement.

So, you need that plan, it needs to be simple, and you need to stick with it.

All too often, we come away from training meetings with our ears ringing with MLM mantra. The one I personally feel does the most damage is this classic:

Massive Action = Massive Results

Poorly applied (because nobody's thought to tell the poor noob how to do so), that mantra is responsible for more failed businesses than I care to think.

Let's break it down, shall we? Action = Results. We all know that. But who defines "Massive"? You? Your upline? Your family?

So the new distributor/representative/sacrificial lamb listens to the various speakers at the training meeting and decides they need to:
  1. Buy into the business at the highest level possible, regardless of personal cost.
  2. Buy huge amounts of lead generation material OR spend a fortune on leads.
  3. Scattergun leaflets around the neighbourhood, spam their friends and family and fill up the garage with unsold products.

This leap into action usually means that on day 1, they do whatever they've been advised to do - say, deliver 500 leaflets, phone 10 relatives/friends, place 5 adverts in various papers.

By day 7, they're down to putting out 200 leaflets per night, there's no relatives left who'll answer the phone and the 5 adverts were obviously a waste of time because nobody called.

By day 14, they're not putting out leaflets any more, their friends are avoiding them at social events and they are scared they'll never shift that stock.

By day 28, it's meeting time again and they get encouraged to stick at it for another 4 weeks.

I know of people who've spent more than £15,000 trying to build their business like this. They all gave up, or the money gave out. Either way, it means the dream died.

So why on earth am I giving this whole Network Marketing concept another go? I must be mad, right?  


Just because there's a wrong way of following instructions, doesn't mean that those instructions don't have meaning and value. Just because some uplines seem more concerned with their own profits than helping you build a solid foundation for your business, does not mean all sponsors are corrupt, money-grabbing villains.

Each of us bears responsibility for our own actions. That includes the responsibility for performing a sanity check on what you've just planned for your business, buoyed as you are by the adrenalin rush of attending a really good business training. Your upline is not responsible for your business. You are.

Network Marketing is a People Business. As such, you are an ambassador for both your retail business and your team building. If you waste huge amounts of money on poorly targeted lead generation, don't follow up, don't build rapport with your customers by regularly calling/delivering catalogues/providing product - then that is what your team will copy, regardless of how many passionate members of their upline try to coach them differently.

To succeed in this sort of business, we all need to listen, learn, apply. We need to set SMART goals, not dreams. We need to plan and then stick to that plan. And we need to have an underlying mission statement for our business growth.

My business growth mantra is:

To build a Kleeneze team that is completely self-financing from retail sales.

In other words, after my initial investment of £171 for 200 catalogues, my distributor kit and a large Kleeneze-badged catapuller, all business growth will be funded by my retail profits.

Any lead-generation activity will be financed on that basis. I will start off with low-cost or no-cost promotions and move forward from there. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Friday, July 30, 2010

What does "It's not an attitude mean"?

It's simple. Really.

The dictionary definition of "attitude" goes something like this (with thanks to

at·ti·tude - noun

1. manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, esp. of the mind: a negative attitude; group attitudes.
2. position or posture of the body appropriate to or expressive of an action, emotion, etc.: a threatening attitude; a relaxed attitude.
3. Aeronautics . the inclination of the three principal axes of an aircraft relative to the wind, to the ground, etc.
4. Ballet . a pose in which the dancer stands on one leg, the other bent behind.

So - it's basically the way you position yourself mentally or physically relative to something else.

A couple of years ago, it was seen as such a term of disrespect that I couldn't order a T-shirt online with the word "attitude" on it as it hit the site's profanity filter!

And that's the crux of the matter (how many cliches can I throw in here, I ask myself....)

Attitude does NOT equal reality. Attitude does not equal instant respect. Attitude is a pose, a pretence, a cloak. Attitude alone will not allow you to achieve your goals in life.

Action, focus and commitment will.

I have tried and failed in the past with a Network Marketing company. I've never grouched, never grumbled about lack of support from my upline, my downline or my customers. I have always been my hardest critic; always tried to learn from my mistakes (and there have been PLENTY of those).

I have never once thought that Network Marketing was flawed as a concept. I have, however, come to realise that you have to pick the right opportunity and then commit to it.

There is a saying, variously ascribed to the Buddha Sakyamuni, Wiccan teachings or Judaeo-Christian beliefs: "If the Student is ready, the Teacher will appear".

 There is more than a little truth in that.

Driven by stresses at work, I decided that I could no longer define myself by a 9-5 career path. I looked at taking my skills and creating my own business based on those skills. I defined a set of products and services that I could sell to other companies, I defined my potential regional area to sell those to. And then reality stepped in.

Without a team of similarly motivated people, I had little chance of success, unless I gave up my current job and stepped out into the unknown. That in itself didn't scare me, but not being able - as a single parent of teenagers - to pay the mortgage, did.

I needed an alternative solution. After a fair amount of research, I chose Kleeneze as the best option. I did what any potential company director would do at that point and did due diligence work. I discovered Gavin Scott and contacted him. I'm now in his downline.

Today's post proved why I was right to do so. He sent me a book, without prompting. Not just any book; Don Failla's 45 Second Presentation. Oddly enough, I had been planning on ordering it from Amazon this weekend. He didn't know that.

With that single action, I received more understanding and support from Gavin than from anybody else I've come across in my previous Network Marketing endeavours.

I can't wait to meet him to say thank you in person. Luckily, the Xmas Showcase is in September, so not too long to wait.

It's not an attitude with Gavin. It really is his way of life. That resonates with me.

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It's not an Attitude...

Imagine the setting - a circle of uncomfortable people on uncomfortable chairs, a small community hall, a nondescript town. Then one stands up and utters the dreaded words:

"Good evening, my name is Anna and I'm in Network Marketing.... "

Yes, it's a MLMA meeting - Multilevel Marketers Anonymous. If they don't exist, they should. Some enterprising soul is probably setting up the first one as I type. After all, there are millions of websites out there that amount to a virtual MLMA meeting. "I lost a fortune." "They're all scams." "I didn't have the support I needed." "My upline ripped me off." "Leaflets/surveys/catalogues/online lists don't work."

And we all visit them, and empathise with their pain.

Then we go back to the daily grind and read our subscriptions to MLM newsletters, all of which promise us the opportunity to REALLY SUCCEED, so long as we cough up the cash (usually several hundred dollars) for the latest eBook, CD training, etc. Which we wouldn't use properly, even if we bought them.

What we all forget, at some time or other, is that excuses are easier than action. The longer we put something off, the scarier it gets. We forget, because we are the centre of our own world, that we are rarely more than a very minor part of somebody else's life. Nobody is out there waiting to condemn us - most of them fear our reaction to them. Nobody starts their day off by being determined to ruin somebody else's; it may happen, but it's very rarely as deliberate as we think.

For the world to change, we have to change ourselves first. We can't change others, but we can lead by example. We can follow the example of other leaders, but we have to take action to do so.

Action = Commitment + Focus

Consistent Action = Eventual Success

Try it for 90 days. I intend to.

It's not an attitude - it's a way of life.

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