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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.

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 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.

Become a Successful Entrepreneur

October 17th, 2009 2 comments

asian_coupleOver the last 20 years, while building two businesses (Nu Skin and an art gallery) I’ve had the good fortune to not only learn about but to develop the skills required to become a successful entrepreneur. For most distributors this is their first experience with owning a business and they always ask (rightfully so) what it takes to be successful. Unfortunately, there is no magic checklist. There are simply too many variables that can affect the outcome of any venture. What I have learned, through experience, is that there are certain key characteristics that will stack the odds in your favor of achieving both your personal and financial goals while developing your entrepreneurial skills.

Here’s my personal checklist. I encourage you to take the time to honestly answer each of these and gauge exactly where you are in your journey. Write down your strengths and list areas you need to work on. Then seek out and work with those who have the knowledge and experience to assist you.

1. Do You Have Confidence In Yourself? In other words, do you truly believe in yourself? Do you believe you are capable of accomplishing anything you really set your mind to doing? Do you honestly believe that you can muster the passion to burst through obstacles and reach your goals? If you don’t have confidence in yourself, you’re doomed.

Each day push yourself to do just a little bit more than you are comfortable with. Before you know it, you’ll be doing things that were once well beyond what you ever thought possible! Remember, no matter how successful a person may be today, they probably started out exactly where you are. If you believe you can, then you have all the confidence in the world.

2. Do You Have Confidence In Your Venture? Ask yourself if you really, truly believe in what it is you are doing. If you’re not totally committed to your venture, keep looking until you find one that you feel ready to fully commit to. Then focus on it day and night. If you’re not totally committed, don’t even start!

3. Are You Willing To Make Sacrifices? As an entrepreneur, you have to realize that nothing in your life will resemble what the rest of the world considers “normal.” You’ll be working early in the morning well before the rest of the working world, and you’ll still be there when it seems everybody else is plunked down in front of their television for the night.

But that’s the essence of a successful entrepreneur. You have to be willing to go beyond what is considered normal. You have to be willing to break the rules. I’ve always believed that if you follow the crowd, you’re never going to get any further ahead than the crowd, but if you make your own way, you’ll often find yourself in places the crowd will never see.

Just be sure that your significant other understands that you will be making sacrifices, and make them at your expense, not theirs!

4. Are You A Decision Maker? If you needed some piece of information, would you know how to get it? Would you know how to get it fast, without wasting your time or other people’s time? In other words, if you had a decision to make, would you get the facts fast and make the decision, or are you a person who procrastinates forever until the mere fact that you’ve not made a decision actually becomes your decision?

Like it or not, there are going to be a lot of decisions to be made in your entrepreneurial career, so get in the habit of getting the facts together fast and making an informed decision. Realize that every decision you make, no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time will affect your future in some way. When in doubt, go with your gut instinct and always do what’s right!

5. Can You Recognize Opportunity? If your business were to totally fall apart tomorrow, would you look at it as a loss, or as an opportunity to rebuild, improve, and grow? One of the most interesting facts that I have found in entrepreneurs that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years is that they do see opportunity in everything! No matter what it is, they ask questions about it. They wonder if there’s a better way, and if they think there is, they either find it themselves or seek out somebody who can help them find it.

Opportunity is everywhere and with the abundance of new products and technologies available to us, there’s never been so much opportunity knocking at our feet! If you can see it too, then you are a true entrepreneur!

6. Do You Have High Levels Of Energy And Stamina? To be a successful entrepreneur, you’re going to need boundless energy and stamina. If you’re not eating right, exercising, and keeping stress to a minimum, chances are you’re not doing all you can to maximize your energy.

Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally will ensure you have all the energy you’ll need to take advantage of each opportunity as they present themselves to you. A successful entrepreneur can never have too much energy because you never know when opportunity will knock!

7. Are You Willing To Lead By Example? You’re not going to be able to do it all yourself. If you can’t lead, nobody will ever follow you. As president of your business and leader of your downline, your distributors will look to you for guidance and support. Being a leader means becoming a true success.

Now that you know what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur, the only thing stopping you is—hmmmm—I can’t think of anything either. So go for it!

Whom Do You Want To Be?

October 2nd, 2009 2 comments

Where are You NowYou might find this to be a funny question. You might be thinking that you have no choice in who you are. I contend that each of us determines exactly who we are and where we end up in life. Certainly, we are affected by our circumstances, how we grew up and the people that we come in contact with. However, it is our choice as to what we allow to affect us and those choices that ultimately determine who we are and who we become.

Many of us spend our whole lives “being” whom others have told us we are. Psychiatrists call this a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Children, for example, who are repetitively told they are “bad” will eventually be convinced that they are and will work diligently to prove their parents right. What we are taught by words and actions becomes the reality of our world and many people grow up believing themselves to be unworthy due to misconceptions learned as a child.

Now imagine that as these children grow up, they never learned to question the lessons that they were taught. Since our actions are irrevocably tied to our perceptions of ourselves, our actions as adults will continue to be self-fulfilling. If we believe ourselves to be unworthy, will we ever believe that we are deserving of the better things in life? Will we work hard to create successful careers and relationships? Probably not. Instead we will subconsciously self-sabotage ourselves at every turn because we must prove that our beliefs about ourselves are correct. It will actually be more comfortable for us not to succeed because that is what we expect.

This is why personal growth and self-actualization are so critical to success in our business. When I first entered network marketing, I was told to “work harder on myself than on my business.” I truthfully had no idea what that meant. It took me several years to begin to understand the concept and to determine where and why I tended to sabotage myself. I have witnessed many networkers pouring a lot of hard work into their businesses and continuously searching for answers to succeed—but never accepting that the answers lie within. They will search for better scripts, better systems, better companies but they will not take the time to search inside themselves to see a better person. You see, this is where the choice comes in. You are whom you choose to be. You can choose to be the person that your parents or siblings or friends or co-workers believe you are or you can look inside yourself and decide to be who you really are.

So where do you begin? Start by determining your beliefs about yourself. Where did these ideas come from—are they valid? I contend that 95% of what you believe about yourself has little or no validity. Very few people can see the good in themselves; they can only focus on the negatives. Instead of focusing on your less desirable traits, put the emphasis on your better qualities. Learn that those less desirable traits, our little quirks, are what make us human. Certainly there are areas we want to improve, but that is difficult to do if we believe that somehow we are inherently bad or unworthy. Life is a journey of discovery and learning. Once we’re able to appreciate our finer points and learn to love ourselves, it is easier to work on areas we desire to improve. Once we learn to care about ourselves, we can begin to erase our old tapes and begin making new ones. We can believe that we deserve to have success in all areas of our lives and stop the self-sabotaging behavior. Magically, things will start to get better in our lives and all of a sudden, we have a new belief system, one where we expect good things to happen. And guess what—more good things will continue to happen!

Perhaps you just got stalled somewhere along the way. Begin to discover who you really are starting today and actively choose to be the person, that deep down inside—you already know you are.

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!

Lifetime Value Of A Customer

September 13th, 2009 No comments

Online shoppingIt’s no secret that one of the keys to creating a long term residual income with our business rests in creating a base of customers who consume products. Have you stopped to really think about this concept and to realize how important the lifetime value of each customer is to you? (lifetime value equals the total amount a customer spends over the time they do business with you) Once you have an idea of what this number look like you’ll begin to realize what just a 5% to 10% increase in retention of customers means to your business.

Research finds that repeat customers spend, on average, 67 percent more than new customers. (Source: Bain and Company) So how do you get repeat business and earn customer loyalty?

Take a lesson from many small businesses that long ago grasped the importance of building customer relationships. They nurture their customers through personal interaction and over time learn and remember individual preferences and interests. They keep in touch with customers on a regular basis ensuring their products remain “top of mind.” (Craig Bryson’s Nu View technology will absolutely impact this—to learn more go to craigbryson.com and look in NuLab)

Let’s look at a couple of examples. Take a customer who spends only $25 per month. That equals $300 on an annual basis. If they remain your customer for four years that means their value to you without any increase is $1200. Now, let’s look at what happens when they increase the amount spent by just 10% per year. At the end of four years they are now spending $33 per month or $399 annually. (33% more than when they started—isn’t compounding grand) As you grow your customer base to say 100 over the course of a year you’ll see the following results. Total revenue in those four years is just shy of $140,000.

Yr. 1 100 x 300 = $  30,000
Yr. 2 100 x 330 = $  33,000
Yr. 3 100 x 363 = $  36,300
Yr. 4 100 x 399 = $  39,900
Four Yr. Total $139,200

With the introduction of the new ageLOC products growing many of your current and new customers to the $100 per month level becomes a real probability. Even if only 5% – 10% of your customers do this you can see what potential exists. Now duplicate this 5, 10, 20 or more times in your organization and the numbers become pretty impressive.

So the next time you look at that $25 sale to a new customer don’t underestimate what their true lifetime value means to the growth of your business and income.

The Future Is Now!

September 10th, 2009 No comments

network montage imageIf you’ve been following any of the activities of the Nu Leadership Network or the launch of craigbryson.com you certainly understand that something very special is happening. Today marks the introduction of another piece of the ecosystem designed to take all of our businesses into the future. (Those at the August conference got an early preview)

As the saying goes this is not your father’s same old network marketing business. Indeed, what Craig Bryson and his technology team have put together is a set of remarkable technologies enabling distributors to communicate in ways that have only been dreamt about before. I’m not going to try and explain how the technology works, because you really have to experience it to begin to understand the impact and potential. I will say that in my 15 years of working with the Internet, that with out a doubt, the Nu View Network Connector technology is one of the most powerful marketing tools I’ve seen and the beta version is now available to all Nu Leadership Network members.

What does this do for us as distributors? Craig puts it in perspective when he says that the Nu View Network Connector “puts information in front of people where they already go.” This includes social networking sites like Facebook and company sites like nuskinusa.com. The potential for how this applies to our business is limitless. It includes new ways of communicating with team members, increasing retention, and the overall strength of your Nu Skin organization. Add to that the ability to market to customers and stay in touch with former distributors and you begin to understand how application of this tool can magnify your business as never before.

I encourage you, regardless of your technical knowledge or comfort level, to get started today learning how these new tools and sites benefit you. First, register to be part of the Nu Leadership Network and craigbryson.com. Then listen to Craig’s blog talk from September 10th to get a good overview of the market trends and new technologies. To listen to his blog talk click here. What’s important is to stay connected, explore, experiment and increase your understanding every single day.

You really can’t afford not to—because the future is now!