Thursday, December 22, 2011

10x Networkers

I'm a geek and proud of it. It gives me a unique perspective on life. To make things even more interesting I'm a left-handed engineer, which means I'm constantly using both the logical and creative sides of my brain to solve problems. Simple tests suggest my right brain is slightly dominant, which is not surprising for a southpaw:

Right Brain/ Left Brain Quiz
The higher of these two numbers below indicates which side of your brain has dominance in your life. Realising your right brain/left brain tendency will help you interact with and to understand others.
Left Brain Dominance: 10(10)
Right Brain Dominance: 11(11)
Right Brain/ Left Brain Quiz

What can I say? I'm unique!

All this self-aggrandisation is fine, and does wonders for my ego, but what on earth does it have to do with 10x Networkers?

I keep up-to-date with technology management and I'm fascinated by the challenges posed by the need to manage teams of open source developers. I see those challenges as directly relevant to those faced by many team leaders in network marketing. For example, how do you motivate people when you can't see their hour-by-hour performance and working practices? How do you have effective meetings that move the entire team forward when people can make excuses not to plug into the webinar or conference call? How do you build the team spirit that means people will go the extra mile, not for themselves, but for their team-mates?

There's a lot of discussion in the open source community at the moment about a concept called "The 10x Developer". These are the superstars who work agilely, stick to To-Do lists, focus on the essentials, don't reinvent the wheel, constantly self-educate, and spend money on the tools when the investment pays off in time saved.

We need to be recruiting and training "The 10x Networker":

1. Communicate first, then do only what needs to be done, choosing the simplest solution that solves the problem. Don't leap off at a tangent or waste time on work that will not push you closer to your goals.

2. Don't reinvent the wheel. Your company has provided you with systems that work; trust them and use them. I know people who have spent thousands of pounds on building their 'own' systems, websites, etc. They could have spend that money on building a team and a customer base.

3. Learn constantly. Identify what skills and/or qualities you lack, then get yourself some training.

4. Buy tools that save you time. Cost out how much time, paper and ink it would cost you to print off 4000 lead generation leaflets, for example. Now go find a printer who will under-cut that price. It won't be difficult.

5. Focus. Divide your day into productive sections and avoid email, social networking sites and incoming calls during that time.

6. Plan your activity in detail.

7. Review regularly and often. Kill your precious plan if it's not working; but first, try some radical surgery.

8. Talk to people. Networking only pays off if you work on it.

9. Give yourself permission to step away from your work. If you spend 100% of your time on your business, you'll end up with nothing, long-term. Taking a break, spending time with friends and family, will allow you to re-invigorate your focus.

10. Get on with it! Start small, but just do something every day to move yourself and your business forward.

If we live our lives according to these guidelines, then our teams will copy us. If we don't, then our teams will copy us...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

90-Day Plan: D-1 Reviewing Your Plan

With D-Day (as in Do It!) only a day away, it's time to focus on step 4 of the pre-90-day plan activities: Reviewing Your Plan.

By now, you should be comfortable with the goals you've set, you should have your working area organised, and your plan should be created and detailed.


I've covered reviewing before, in the 3 Rs of Network Marketing. This time, we're focussing on making sure our plan is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely, or SMART. We need to answer the following questions:

1. Do I know EXACTLY what I'm doing for each of the next 90 days?
2. Does my family know and understand what I'm doing?
3. How am I tracking my activity?
4. What are my back-up plans when/if Life! gets in the way?
5. How exactly will I get back on track if I drift away from my planned activity?
6. How will I reward myself for goals I have achieved, and when?

In addition to the last-minute checks that your plan is fit for purpose, you'll be reviewing your activity every evening with one simple question:

How have I done today compared to what I planned to do? What can I do tomorrow to improve my activity and/or results?

You should also use the 3 Rs of Network Marketing every week to review the week's progress and every 4 weeks to review a month/period's progress compared to the plan. This way you will stop yourself drifting too far off track.

Remember, where your future's concerned, it's not an attitude - it's a way of life.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Now THERE's A Surprise....

Despite my best intentions, Life got in the way again and poor little Kleenezelady found it took a lot longer to do her 90 day plan than she'd expected. Pop over to my other blog to find out what happened.

That got in the way of me writing the next thrilling instalment, which follows hot on the heels of this apology. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible...

Still, at least it proves I'm blogging this experience live.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

90 Day Plan: D-2 - Creating the Plan

You've spent time on preparation activities and you've organised yourself a little better. Next up, creating that 90-day plan.

This is where that extra effort over the past few days begins to pay off.

You need a year planner, a diary, a list of everybody's commitments over the next 90 days, tracking sheets, to-do sheets and a 90-day plan template. You may also want to use 7-day plan templates.

Got all of those together in one place? That's OK, I'll wait...

If you haven't got tracking sheet, to-do list and 90-day plan/7-day plan templates, contact me through the comments and I'll send you a set.

Welcome back.

1. Get the year planner up on the wall and draw a border around the 90 days you'll be working your plan.
2. If your business 'weeks', 'months' or 'periods' don't line up with the standard Sunday - Saturday or Monday - Sunday options, mark those out on your planner as well.
3. Mark out ALL commitments for the 90 day plan duration on your wall planner.

You now have a visual reminder for yourself and your family for the next 90 days.

4. Take your 90-day plan template, which should be marked out in 30 minute blocks from 6am to midnight.
5. Block out periods of time for all normal activity - bathing, exercise, meals, housework, gardening, travel to/from work/higher education studies and, of course, the day job/lectures.
6. Block out periods of time for all other commitments - family events, club meetings, holiday away from home.

Take a good, long look at the gaps in your schedule. What you are looking for are blocks of 1 to 5 hours that you can devote to your business for at least 6 days out of every 7.

Found them? You need to be working on your business for 20 hours per week part-time, more if you're full-time.

7. Block out your business activity for the next 90 days. You will be sticking to this plan; make sure it's sustainable.

The next section is optional, but advisable:

7a. Take a 7 day plan template and block out your business activity for each day. This time, be more specific. If you plan to hand out leaflets, deliver catalogues or do surveys on a particular day, write down the streets or area now. If you don't use a template, this information needs to go in your diary for those days.

7b. Repeat 7a for all 13 weeks.

Back to that wallplanner:

8. Block out your business activity on the year planner; one simple way to do this is to use stickers of different colours, shapes and sizes depending on available time and type of activity. Remember to create a key to those stickers and display that on your wall, too.

You now have 3 levels of information for your 90-day plan - a high level summary on the year planner, a mid-level management report in the 90-day plan template and detailed operational activity in the 7 day plans.

9. Create activity tracking sheets for each type of activity you intend to undertake and ensure you have enough copies to cover 90 days of activity. You will be using these every day, in conjunction with to-do lists, to maximise your time and effort.

10. Make sure that you have a central store for all your planning and tracking paperwork, be it in a computer folder or in a filing cabinet or lever arch file. Don't give yourself opportunities to fail.

Tomorrow, we'll cover the pre-action review phase. Have fun planning!