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Being An Entrepreneur Is Not About Conformity!

March 24th, 2010 12 comments

Absolute conformity seems to be a current hot topic among many NSE leaders these days. The chatter has gotten so loud in fact, that some are sending this message—if you don’t follow their particular system you will fail. You, like so many of us, probably chose to start your business specifically to get away from the herd mentality or perhaps being a slave to a job. In doing so we all freely elected to become entrepreneurs. We wanted more than simply generating an income stream to replace traditional employment. We were looking for rapid wealth creation and were willing to accept the high risks associated with such a venture. To think that if you don’t follow one person’s system means you are destined for failure is pure fallacy.

If there was only one way to do our business it would probably have been discovered and perfected long ago. And if that had happened, the opportunities which attracted us to this business in the first place, would have already dried up. It has always amazed me that some leaders are adamant that it is either their way or the highway when it comes to being successful. Please don’t confuse this with meaning you should ignore the training, mentoring and coaching available from leaders in your organization. (see my post Just Like Having A Set Of Training Wheels) I just believe blind conformity is almost never a good thing. It’s just like having a job, being told when to show up and told what to do.

If there were only one path to success where would new ideas come from? The best ideas, most likely, haven’t even been thought of yet. Compare that same thinking to past innovations. We used to only contact prospects by phone or in person. Should we have forgone email, auto-responders, or websites as additional tools to aid in business building? What about today’s social networking? Or what about Craig Bryson’s Vugrid technology that is going to again fundamentally change the way we do the business? The core of what we do to create a business network hasn’t changed during our 13 years and probably never will. That is simply to invite, present, enroll, train and duplicate the process as many times as required to help yourself and others in your organization reach their goals. Even as those fundamentals remain the same, the approaches and methods for how those steps are accomplished have and will continue to evolve.

One of our mentors, Dennis Clifton, compares following a leader or system to driving down a highway. You don’t want to stay constantly on the centerline or veer too far to the left or right. You do want to stay within the white line and the yellow line on your side of the road. This means you have the freedom to move around a bit, experimenting as you go, while still remaining true to the course you set and the guidance provided.

To be a truly successful entrepreneur, at some point you will have to become your own leader. Does this mean abandoning what you have learned or what your leadership is doing? Not necessarily. But it does mean that as you mature in your business you will naturally want to test new ideas and innovate.

Nu Skin’s CEO, Truman Hunt, recently commented—“I have come to believe that this business is truly the ultimate test of entrepreneurial desire, creativity, leadership, ambition, tenacity, and courage.” He went on to say —“You are truly the world’s most incredible entrepreneurs—leaders who laugh at rejection, overcome all odds, never surrender, and have fun while doing it.”

Does that sound like conformity to you?

How 30 Days Can Change Your Life!

March 8th, 2010 No comments

While watching the Olympic Women’s Figure future_direction_2Skating competition, commentator and 1984 Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton remarked that he had been a serial underachiever up to the time his mother died. That statement got me thinking. How many of us underachieve and never quite fulfill our potential?

Most of us have faced this realization on one or more occasions. If you apply this to your business life it could simply be the avoidance of picking up the phone, talking to your family and friends about your products, or doing the little things necessary to build success. If we turn this around and look at it from the affirmative—to achieve is to bring about an intended result or to accomplish some purpose. To do this more often than not involves consistency and dedication to that purpose.

So how do we overcome the resistance to or avoidance of achievement? For some it may be winning the battle with procrastination or the fear of failure. If you truly desire the rewards of success here’s a challenge for you. Set a simple short term goal. Commit to doing what ever is required to accomplish that goal for a full 30 days. Why 30 days? Because research has proven that’s what it takes to create a habit. And once you make something a habit, it’s sort of like being on auto-pilot and as close as it gets to guaranteeing things get done.

This technique has worked for me several times in the past. It’s the way I learned yoga, developed the habit of wearing my seatbelt (long before it was law) and mastered many of the tasks required for working our NSE business.

Will this work for you? There’s only one way to find out. And don’t think for a minute that Scott Hamilton had it any easier than you have it. Here’s what he faced before his breakthrough.

  • At age two a mysterious illness caused him to stop growing
  • He was mistakenly diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and given six months to live
  • Skating judges believed he was too small to compete at the international level
  • His first year competing at the Senior National level he was out of shape, hadn’t applied himself and pretty much bombed

As the death of his mother became eminent Scott thought about all she had gone through to ensure that he had the opportunity to succeed. With this emotional loss, he vowed to never again be less than what she knew he could be. And that’s when everything changed for him. He went on to dominate his sport, winning the U.S. and World Championships four years in a row and an Olympic gold medal.

The philosopher Aristotle must have had the 30 day plan figured out over 2300 years ago when he said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Are you willing to invest 30 days in yourself—knowing the habits you form might possibly change your life forever?

Are You Playing The Layoff Lottery?

February 12th, 2010 4 comments

lottery_ticket_2 You know American workers are in bad shape when a low-paying, no-benefits job is considered a sweet deal. This situation has been building for years and isn’t likely to improve anytime soon, if ever. The forecast for the next five to 10 years: more of the same, with paltry pay gains, worsening working conditions and little job security.

Economist David Rosenberg sums it up this way:” . . . the reality is that the level of employment today, at 129.5 million, is the exact same level it was in 1999. And, during this 11-year span . . . the working-age population has risen 29 million. Contemplate that for a moment; fully 29 million people competing for the same number of jobs that existed more than a decade ago.”

This affects not only wage earners but highly educated professionals. Today you hear more and more stories about lawyers and MBAs being laid off—individuals who thought that because of their education and experience they would never be out of work. Sadly, it’s just not the case anymore. I know because it happened to me in 2001 while I was working for an Internet consulting firm. When the dot.com bubble burst, I was history. It’s really just a matter of time before it can happen to anyone.

When I read statistics like these I have to wonder why more people aren’t jumping at the opportunity to create and control their own financial security by starting a business like Nu Skin, even if it’s part-time. Maybe it’s because it takes a big leap of faith and determination to break free from the traditional workplace. One thing you can be sure of—your finances won’t change for the better on their own.

Taking big leaps can be uncomfortable and even scary. Here are some suggestions, if you think a big leap may be what you (or others you know) need:

  • Think about where you want to be in five years. Where would you like to be financially and personally? What is most important to you, and is that reflected in the way you’re living now?
  • Can you get there from here? Are you on a path to get to where you want to be, or are you pretty much stuck? Remember, if nothing changes, nothing changes.
  • Consider the possibilities. The instant you say “I can’t do that” or “I won’t consider that,” you’ve cut yourself off from possible solutions. Starting your own business might be a real outside-the-box option that leads to the life you want.

Working for yourself is absolutely where the future is going. It has become the new job security—the only one where the odds are stacked in your favor for writing your own paycheck. If you already have a Nu Skin business now is the perfect time to take massive action, build for your future and stop playing the layoff lottery.

Why Should We Care About the Impact of Our Donations?

January 6th, 2010 No comments

boy_with_vitamealDo you ever wonder whether your charitable donations actually make a difference or for that matter ever reach the intended recipients? Since we’re just coming out of the biggest giving season of the year it’s an appropriate time to explore these questions.

Since 2002 the majority of our charitable contributions have gone to Nu Skin’s Nourish the Children initiative (NTC) through VitaMeal donations. From the very beginning, a big part of Nu Skin’s mission has been to improve people’s lives. While striving to fulfill that mission, NSE has always promoted social responsibility, and giving back as core values. Nourish the Children and VitaMeal fit those criteria extremely well.

But how do we know for sure that NTC is truly making a difference and reaching those in need? Here are six reasons that immediately come to mind. Undoubtedly, there are more.

Product rather than cash – By donating product rather than cash, we know exactly how our contributions are being used and know that our donation is making a critical difference in the lives of children.

Destination reports – One of the benefits of making donations to NTC is that you automatically receive regular destination reports showing you where the donations are going and who’s receiving them. None of the other charities we contribute to have ever done this.

Four Star rated distribution partner – Virtually every country in the world has hungry children, but VitaMeal donations are delivered to places where children need it most. Feed The Children (primary distribution partner) is well suited to support NTC as one of the few charities that deal mostly with non-cash donations. CharityNavigator.org gives Feed the Children four stars.

Contributing to self-sufficiency – NSE has financed locally-owned and operated VitaMeal plants in Madilisto, Africa and Jixi, China providing both food and jobs for hundreds of local people. These plants make it much more efficient and less costly to provide VitaMeal to needy children in Malawi, China, Indonesia, North Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. Combined these plants produce well over a million meals a month.

170 million meals donated to date – Nearly 100,000 malnourished children are receiving highly nutritious food everyday through VitaMeal which is designed to support good health and reduce illness. Those receiving VitaMeal include children in China, Southeast Asia, AIDS orphans in Malawi, the Southwest US and victims of disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, and the tsunami in Indonesia.

As Nu Skin distributors we all have the option to contribute to NTC. Support can be in the form of personal donations or through innovative social enterprise where you regularly generate donations as part of your business. So the next time you wonder whether your charitable donations are making a difference you only have to look to Nourish the Children for the answer. For us it is very gratifying to be NTC Ambassadors and to know without a doubt that our donations are indeed having a positive and measurable impact.

My Top Five Reasons To Be Grateful

December 12th, 2009 No comments

2009_on_beach_2This time of year makes it very easy for me to stop and reflect on the bounty of riches in my life. Within the span of one week last month I celebrated a wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving and my birthday. Those three events alone give good cause for thanks. But my list certainly doesn’t stop there. The focus of this post is on the gifts our Nu Skin business provides and doesn’t include the abundance of other reasons to be grateful—such as having a beautiful, loving wife, wonderful family and friends, and good health.

For me there are always more than five reasons to be grateful and my list is constantly expanding. But for today, here are my top five.

1. The freedom to be an entrepreneur.
We are so fortunate to live in a country where choosing to be an entrepreneur and owning your own business is possible. Think about that for a minute. If you decide this is the course you want to take, to write your own paycheck and control your family’s destiny that’s exactly what you can do. There are many places in the world where this is not the case. With NSE they even do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. They provide the major capital necessary to operate your business. (products, research and development, employees, inventory, billing, shipping, on and on) Very few of us could ever amass the capital to do all of this on our own. With our business it takes as little as a few hundred dollars to make it happen yet you have the power and backing of a billion dollar company to call your very own. That is truly priceless and we will always be thankful for that opportunity.

2. Having a rock solid company to partner with.
All too often when people start a business they are focused intently on the short term goal of making money—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, if you truly want to build a long-term business, one that can last a lifetime and can be passed on to future generations, then it becomes very important to partner with a company that exhibits sound financial and ethical practices. NSE will most certainly be around for the long haul and has without a doubt illustrated these attributes throughout its first 25 years. Here are two extremely relevant examples that I’m sure you will appreciate. Commission checks to distributors have never been paid late and not one single commission check has ever failed to clear the bank. That’s a trustworthy performance to say the least! Clearly, because of this unshakable foundation, NSE will be around for as long as we choose to partner with them. And that is just like having money in the bank.

3. The capacity to compound income through leverage.
This concept is one of the key attractions to a Network Marketing business model. Our business is based on the principle of a lot of like minded individuals coming together to form a network where everyone does a little bit each. (we are super thankful for each and every distributor that is or has been part of our organization) It is through this approach that every business owner has the potential to grow a networked organization from just a few to several thousand individuals. And one of the most attractive and powerful aspects of this business is the ability to leverage the individual successes of a large group of people which can result in the generation of significant income. The beautiful part is that the power of leverage is available to everyone, regardless of background, education or previous success.

4. Ability to help others by giving back.
From the very beginning the success of our business has been based on the principle of giving back to others. Whether it was sharing the business opportunity, products, or mentoring and training new distributors the central premise is improving our life as a result of finding ways to improve the lives of others. NSE’s mission to be a Force for Good in the world (including the Nourish the Children initiative) has provided additional ways for us to give back. It is so rewarding to be involved with this company and to be in a business that cares just as much about its social responsibility as it does profits.

5. Living the lifestyle of our dreams.
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution people have been trading their time for money. In exchange all they had to do was show up on time, do what they were told and not ask questions. Life was to be lived and enjoyed after you completed your 40 year plan (sometime around age 65). We are so grateful that this business enables us to live our lives to the fullest each and every day. We don’t use alarm clocks. There is no 9 – 5, five day week working to make someone else wealthy. Laura and I get to spend our days and nights together. We can vacation and travel at our convenience. We work with whom we want, when we want. We work from the comfort of our home (often in our pajamas) with zero time spent stuck in traffic commuting. We can literally operate our business from anywhere in the world. We don’t directly trade our time for money because we are leveraged—income continues to be generated even while we are playing. And that is an exceptional way to live life.

As we wind down 2009 and head into 2010 take time to reflect and write down your own top five reasons to be thankful. Accept that you may not have accomplished all you desire and begin now to take the actions required to make those unfulfilled dreams reality. Your gratitude list will more than likely be a lot longer than you might have expected and we’d love to hear what’s on your list.

No Bait-and-Switch Permitted Here!

November 23rd, 2009 3 comments

bait_and_switchHave you ever found yourself wondering if what’s on the label of products you use or are considering buying are actually in the product? Most of us don’t have the time or inclination to verify this for the hundreds of products we use. As a result we have to trust what companies tell us is in fact true. Reality is, this is not always the case. While reading a recent Natural News Insider Alert I learned that a product I’ve used and enjoyed for years is a current example of the bait-and-switch tactics employed by some companies. The particular product I learned about is Silk Soy Milk which up until a few months ago was sold clearly marked as USDA certified organic. Then one day that labeling simply disappeared. What Dean Foods (owner of the Silk brand) chose to covertly do was to change from an organic product to a non-organic product without telling consumers. Whether this decision was based on the cost or availability of organic ingredients or a way to increase profits isn’t really clear. What is clear is that Dean Foods chose to make this change and hope that no one (even their retailers) would notice or care. (read full article here)

How reassuring it is to know that the NSE products we represent (Nu Skin and Pharmanex) will always contain what’s required to deliver the safest and most effective products on the market. This doesn’t mean that ingredients won’t change over time it just means we can trust that what is going into our products is based on the most current and rigorous research as well as manufacturing processes. From the onset 25 years ago, NSE made the brand promise of “All of the good, none of the bad” regarding products brought to market. Over the years this promise has been refined through painstaking scientific discipline that equals or exceeds the standards set by the pharmaceutical industry—delivering that same pharmaceutical approach to natural health and skin care.

If you’ve been around NSE for any amount of time surely you’ve heard about the company’s 6S Quality Process. This process ensures users that Nu Skin and Pharmanex products are developed through clinical and pre-clinical testing (the measurable difference) and not on simple anecdotal evidence. This innovative approach is the result of years of unparalleled research by the company in skin and nutritional science combined with some of the greatest minds in the scientific world. All of this reinforces the latest Nu Skin brand promise of the Difference Demonstrated. (more about the 6S process and the latest hot topics)

You should find great comfort each and every day as you work your business knowing that distributors and customers will never experience such a bait-and-switch tactic from Nu Skin or any of our products. No skimping on ingredients or cutting corners for the sake of increasing corporate profits. The products simply deliver results as promised. They are referenced in national and international publications. (see the latest news coverage) We can all trust in the knowledge that NSE has a proven track record of bringing innovative and effective products to market. This not only relieves the pressure of having to worry about the quality, safety and efficacy of the products your represent but frees you to focus 100 percent on building your business with complete confidence. No need for concern about bait-and-switch here. And it doesn’t get much better than that!

Are You Cashing In On Your Education?

November 11th, 2009 4 comments

sharing_a_secret_2Robert Kiyosaki states point blank in his book, The Business School, that the greatest value of any network marketing business may not be the potential income or the product, but the education. Whether this relates to marketing, sales or personal development, are you taking full advantage of the education your mentors and coaches are ready to give you?

Over the years Laura and I have had the privilege of being trained and mentored by some of the most successful leaders within NSE. I’ve always found it rather amazing that legends like Craig Bryson, Laura Kall and Jerry Campisi (along with so many others) have been willing to freely share their insights and knowledge with us. Combine that with the incredible people and resources provided by Nu Skin and it’s as though we’ve received an MBA in Network Marketing.

What puzzles me is why so few distributors take advantage of this same opportunity. During my time as a corporate executive, ongoing training and education were two of the most valued and requested employee perks. Maybe in our business, distributors simply don’t know how or what to ask for.

So what are some ways to ensure that you are gaining the most from your training opportunities? Here are just a few to get you started.

  • Become a student of your business. This is not a lottery and your success is not based on chance. The person who introduced you to the business is the place to start. Ask them to work with you to develop your step by step learning plan.
  • Take advantage of every training call, newsletter and email from your leaders. to gain information and knowledge. These are key elements of your education and are just like going to class. The more you immerse yourself in the business, the faster your learning curve will be—in other words you’ll become successful faster.
  • Don’t be shy or wait patiently to be told what to do. Your coach will mirror your actions. If they don’t hear from you they will assume you don’t need their help which will really slow you down.
  • Talk with your coach on a regular basis, even if it’s for only 15 minutes at a time. Focus on a single, key issue that is impacting your success. Don’t waste this time by whining or complaining. It’s not productive and takes energy away from what’s really important.
  • Seek out those who have achieved success and duplicate them. Remember, you have six levels of upline executives to work with. One or more of them is going to mesh well with your personality and work style.
  • Be completely and totally coachable. Don’t try to reinvent the business. Accept that those who have achieved success before you know what they’re doing and are willing to train you in the most direct route to your success—minus the mistakes.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Network Marketing is that unlike a majority of other businesses where everyone is clawing and scrapping to get ahead of you, in our business model, your upline, sponsor and success coach each have a vested interest in your success. In the simplest of terms—if you don’t succeed, they don’t succeed. And that’s precisely why the focus on education and learning is so strong.

So ask yourself again if you are cashing in by taking advantage of the remarkable education available. Answer honestly. If it’s not the answer you want take action today to begin receiving some of the best real life business training you’ll find anywhere.

Are Conventions Key To Your Success?

October 30th, 2009 No comments

convention_09 Why is attending a company convention (whether global or regional) such a meaningful event for distributors? What do you reallygain from investing your time, energy and money? Every time I attend a Nu Skin convention I think back to my first one and the impact it had on my life and our business. At the time I wasn’t actively involved in our business and, quite frankly, was not 100% sold on the validity of Network Marketing. What I experienced during three short days in March of ’98, however, would change my attitude and belief forever.

If you were to survey distributors and ask them to identify a single, defining point at which belief in their business venture became locked-in; more often than not they would point to their first convention. If you’ve not been to a convention this may be difficult to fully understand. If you’ve experienced a convention then you will certainly identify with what I’m talking about. Perhaps the reason this occurs is because it’s the first time most of us get to experience the full breadth and depth of the company. It becomes more than just words. You get to see, feel and touch so much of the business. It becomes real. A real part of you and your belief in what your business is all about.

One of the key factors in building a successful business is having an unquestioned belief in what you’re doing, the company you’ve invested in and the people you’re associated with. From personal experience, that is exactly what happened to me. Up to the point of attending my first convention I wasn’t sure that NSE was in fact a legitimate business. That the company behind the products was solid, or one that would be around for the long haul. In essence a company and business you could trust. One you could put complete confidence in so you never had to think twice about it ever again.

Conventions are like no other experience in our business. They give you the opportunity to spend intensive time with distributors from your team, from around your country and in this year’s case from around the world. You get to have face time with a wealth of leaders whom you might not otherwise ever get the chance to meet. Simply put, you get to spend time associating with the most successful people within NSE.

The spirit of convention is to learn as much as you can—getting an incredible infusion of knowledge. In fact, most new distributors come away having compressed their business learning curve by six months or more into a single weekend. I always come away with a wealth of fresh ideas, excitement and energy as well as a renewed sense of direction and purpose. The goal, of course, is then to return home and teach as many others as we can everything we learned.

The convention that just ended was like no other in our 12 years with NSE. I have never seen such enthusiasm and excitement. Products were literally flying off the shelves in an unbelievable frenzy clearly indicating that the environment and opportunity in front of us is unprecedented. Historically, the common denominator amongst those who achieve the greatest levels of success with NSE is that they always attend conventions. That piece of information alone is reason to never miss one—knowing that you can tip the success scale in your favor by simply being there. If you missed this convention, for whatever reason, make the commitment to yourself now to never, ever miss one again. I know I certainly won’t.

Just Like Having A Set Of Training Wheels

October 11th, 2009 No comments

Training wheels While on a recent bicycle ride (one of my passions in life) I observed a father teaching his young daughter how to ride her bike. This little girl’s face exhibited sheer joy with her sense of accomplishment. The training wheels and fatherly support he provided are indeed very similar to what each new person in our business receives—instruction, security and balance. And just like the little girl, this type of support is readily available to every distributor, both new and old.

In a recent article Kevin Dougall (www.aphrs.com) puts in perspective just how important coaching can be when starting and growing a business from home.

“One of the major benefits of a coach is that they can help you step out of the detail, for a time, and see the big picture. They can help you to gain a perspective and see more clearly the direction in which you’re heading. Being able to see the big picture from time to time can inject a lot of energy into your business.

Remaining focused on, or even changing or adapting, your original vision and goals can be difficult when there is so much to do. A coach can provide the support and guidance you need in addressing this most important of issues. Your coach should be the person who can regularly remind you of your purpose; and the core values that you have for yourself and your business.”

Dougall concludes “And perhaps most importantly of all, a coach will provide you with an impartial sounding board. It is amazing how often we can sort out a problem on our own, simply by talking it through with someone else.”

It’s a shame that all too often we undervalue having a personal mentor and miss out by not taking advantage of their cumulative knowledge and experiences. Just like the MasterCard ad states—the price of admission for your business may be measured in dollars, but what you receive in return from your coach and mentor is priceless.

Don’t underestimate the value of your sponsor, success coach and upline. They love working with people who want to learn. And just like having a set of training wheels—they are there to support you until you’re ready to ride on your own.

Creating a Lifestyle of Leverage

September 25th, 2009 3 comments

blackman_at_deskOne of the most powerful concepts developed by modern man is that of leverage. I’m talking about being able to do or accomplish more than you could possibly do or accomplish on your own. While reading a post by a young entrepreneur in Southeast Asia, (Donald Latumahina www.lifeoptimizer.org), I was reminded how success in our business relies to a great extent on understanding and mastering the power of leverage. Donald writes about leverageable assets each of us can build upon like contacts, passion, achievements, money, knowledge and skills. Everyone, regardless of background or experience, possesses at least two of these assets that can immediately be employed to move their business forward—contacts and passion.

Leveraging personal contacts is one of the first principles introduced when you started your NSE business. Although many new distributors don’t think of it in this way, this is why developing a list of your circle of influence is so important. These contacts provide instant, no cost leverage for you. With the advent of social media, leveraging contacts will take on new and expanded meaning—much of which we’re just beginning to understand.

And just as you leverage your contacts, you can leverage your passion—the driving force of why you started your business. Acting like a power source, passion will motivate you to go further and dig deeper than you normally would.

Are you currently using the power of leverage to achieve exponential results? One of the most attractive and powerful aspects of our business model is the ability to leverage the individual successes of a large group of people resulting in the generation of significant income. American business legend J. Paul Getty is known for stating that your goal should not be benefiting from 100% of your own efforts, but benefiting from 1% of 100 people’s efforts. Stop and think about that statement. If you are the only person contributing to your income, (which is the case for most people) what happens if you stop? With our business model that isn’t the case.

For example, if you have a group of 100 distributors each generating $500 that equals $50,000 group volume for the month. The NSE compensation plan pays you, at a minimum, $2,500. Duplicate this with as many breakaway executives as possible and you’ll be right in the middle of exponential growth for your organization and income. Now that’s leverage! It’s a beautiful concept, one that every distributor has the same opportunity to use and build upon.

So which one do you prefer: linear growth or exponential growth? Do you want your business to grow at the same rate month after month based solely on your efforts or do you want it to grow increasingly faster based on the efforts of your entire organization? I’d bet you prefer exponential growth. After all, it enables you to achieve more with less effort over time. And the more you use the power of leverage, the faster your progress will be.

Because leverage is so important you really want to make it a part of everything you do. Starting today, make it your goal to create a lifestyle of leverage!