All posts by Bryan

The “Exemplary” Leader

Hey! Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you enjoy this post as it was inspired by my friend and network marketing phenom, Ray Higdon at RayHigdon.com after some training he delivered last week.

Everyone wants to know how to be a leader, regardless of their line of work. In network marketing, the term leader is used a little more loosely, especially to describe people who are making lots of money, but often are nothing close to a true leader. Regardless of your definition of a leader, there is one sure-fire way to become one.

Please note, bad “leaders” will create more like themselves because their followers will mimic their actions. But good leaders will create more leaders to grow new leaders on their teams, etc., etc.

It is probably pretty obvious what you need to do to become a leader, but here it is…be the leader you want to have. That’s it. Just lead by example, and assuming you have recruited strong, positive people like yourself, they will mimic your actions and become leaders. Rinse and repeat. That is how legacies are built.

OK, so that wasn’t really worthy of a whole post, so let me cover a few of the most important examples of this, specifically in your network marketing business:

1. Recruiting: The whole business is about duplication, right? It all starts in recruiting. First, you have to recruit people like you who want to be leaders, but from the first conversation onward, each prospect is taking note of your leadership. Be sure you are showing them the correct way to prospect, introduce, follow-up, and on-board, from day 1.

2. Marketing: Be careful to market your business in a way that would work on you, or at least in a way you would want to be marketed to. This should not include hype, because if that worked on you, and you believe it is the best way to be successful, this endeavor is not going to last long and you’re wasting your time even pretending to be a leader. Grab that quick buck and jump to the next gig. Come back to this post when you are ready to build your legacy.

3. Training: First, we all know that we learn more when we teach others. That should be reason enough to convince you to focus a significant portion of your effort on training your team. But even if you don’t agree, you must acknowledge that if you don’t train your team, they will either fail and quit, or go where someone else will train them. So ensure your team is constantly training (even if you aren’t delivering the training directly) just as you should be constantly working to improve your own skills.

4. Personal Development: This probably should be number one, but chronologically, it seems to take people a while before they are ready to acknowledge they need to do this. Most of us were already good at something else before we started our home business, and this is much easier so why should I need to improve myself? As Oliver Goldsmith says, “People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy.”

5. Activity: The final example is activity. This is the catch-all. Ensure you are doing the same activities, in the proportion of time you want your followers to do, in order for them to have success and teach others the same. You don’t have to prove it to them, they will see it. Just focus on doing exactly what you would tell them to do.

That’s all for this one. I’ll expand on these in individual posts, and I’m thinking about doing a leadership series as I grow my online presence and increase my posting frequency. I know that many of you are part-timers just getting started, so please post below with your thoughts on a leadership series, or any other specific topic you would like me to cover.

To Your Success,
Bryan

 

Your Opinion Is What Matters

I’m not a fan of traveling on Sundays because that is a family day, but occasionally, it is necessary. So tonight, I got into the hotel and the lounge was already closed, so I unpacked and decided to hit the gym to make up for the time I’d lost playing ball with my son tonight. I’ve been just getting back into working out, and it is a much slower process than it used to be!

 

Anyway, I went to the hotel gym, and as you might imagine, it was completely empty. After a quick warmup, I started lifting. I pushed myself pretty hard, harder than I have in recent times (probably this millennia) and it really felt good. Then it dawned on me that the reason I was working so hard, with weights well less than half what I used to 15 years ago, was that there was I was alone. I’m not much of a social butterfly in my gym, but I realized I don’t even like total strangers to see me struggling with the little weights. At this stage in my life, I still worry about what others think!

 

I finished my workout, but this thought was irking me. I have gotten to the point in my business where I am proud of my company and the industry, so why is this different? I struggled here when I got started, like most of you new to the industry, especially if your company is new, like mine. I guess I answered my own question: I had to gain confidence over time before I could be proud to invite some friends to check out my network marketing business, and I am no longer confident in my strength or appearance. So I guess I need to fix that ASAP!

 

The point of this post, beyond pointing out one of my many imperfections, is that worrying about what others think about you is a huge limiter to your success…in everything. Ironically, I was reading a book last night about a father-son talk in a restaurant where the son was embarrassed about the subject of this public conversation and the talk turned to a lecture on how he had to stop worrying about what strangers thought. I guess I should have realized it then, but it took a good chest workout in a Hilton gym at 10:30 PM on a Sunday for me to realize it.

 

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.
– John F. Kennedy

 

You don’t have to wait to gain confidence to get over this. Most of you are probably stronger than I and can just tell yourself, that you are going to be successful and it doesn’t matter what others think. They can believe you and join you, or stay and watch you.

 

To Your Success,

 

Bryan@BryanSalek.com
Skype: Bryan.Salek
813-382-2526

 

Get Out There!

As I wait for Day 2 of my company’s annual convention to start, I thought I’d take a few minutes to discuss an oft-blogged topic of company events. There are tons of reasons you should attend company events, but I’ve also heard leaders warn against them as a possible distraction from money-making activity. To address the distraction aspect, I think the old adage “anything in moderation” applies here too. As a part-timer, if you are attending event local and online event your company holds, you are probably spending all of the time you’ve allotted to your business on events that aren’t making you money. So look back at your calendar and your goals, and ensure you are that at least 50% of your business time is spent on recruiting or retailing…the things that make you money. 20110806-081425.jpg

Enough of the negative, why should you go at all. First and foremost, this business is about networking. That means you have to get out and speak to people! This is uncomfortable for some, for you, these company events, where you are talking to peers and not prospects, is a safe place to practice. For the rest of you, the value is in learning from your peers and sharing your knowledge and experience with them. Regardless of who you are, I guarantee there are others that know more about some topics than you, and you know more than some others, and the sharing is what makes this industry awesome!

Secondly, if there is an event, there is probably a speaker planned to train on a specific subject, and personal development is the most important non-money-making activity you can partake in. So use that free training to your advantage, and remember to put the new knowledge into action as soon as possible after the event.

I’ve seen laundry lists of reasons for attending events in other posts, but I lump most of them into the above two categories. The last main reason I have to go to your events is just because good things happen when you do. This one is kind of nebulous but let me give you an example. Last night, one of our leaders approached me and asked me to be on his team for a contest that starts this week. The contest has all of the leaders above a certain grade choosing teams to execute a new method for building their businesses and the leaders are competing with one another to see who can achieve the most success. I am currently at a middle rank in my company, along with a significant percentage of my peers, but my persistence, and my presence, allowed me this opportunity to accelerate my success during this contest. That is a long way of saying, if your schedule allows you to attend events without negatively impacting your ability to do the money-making work, you should definitely be there!

Best of luck to you. I’ll see you at the next event!

To Your Success,
Bryan

 

Network For Your Freedom

In the United States, today is our nation’s birthday and the day we celebrate our freedom. Freedom was attained through years of hard work, great adversity and at the cost of many lives. It is certain those early Americans that endured all of that would gladly sacrifice it all again for the reward is so great.

There are thousands of networkers out there that have attained freedom as well. Freedom from financial challenges, daily commutes, unfair bosses, and work schedules that kept them away from enjoying the important aspects of their lives, like spending time with their families. I am not going to attempt to prove that networking can provide these freedoms in this post, because if you have been involved with this industry for any length of time, and are taking advantage of the events your company holds, you undoubtedly believe this already.

Instead, I want to remind you that network marketing is not a get rich quick plan, and will require significant amounts of time and effort on your part. Study the leaders in your company and the industry, and you will find countless stories of the effort they exerted to achieve their success. If you were recruited by a leader that led you to believe this was not the case, I am sorry. In order to reach your lofty (hopefully) goals and obtain the lifestyle you desire, you will have to put in the time and effort. This is true for part time networkers as well as full timers. That doesn’t mean you should give up and look for something else. On the contrary, it means you should prepare for a 3-5 year journey to achieve your success and resolve to stick with your plan for at least that long. You and your sponsor must develop this plan together, but at a minimum, you must resolve to set aside time for your business every week and use that time to take action. Specific activities are a subject of several future posts, but my point here is you must have the mindset that hard work will be required for several years to reach your objectives.

I wish you all the wisdom, strength and persistence to achieve greatness and realize the freedom you desire.

To Your Success,

Bryan Salek
Bryan@BryanSalek.com
813-382-2526

 

Use Evernote To Increase Traffic

Thanks for stopping by! This is my first post in the Technical Tips category. This is not the purpose of my blog, but since I work with a lot of part-timers, I will try to provide details about significant time savers I come across. Enjoy!

I started using Evernote when I got my iPad because I had a need to take and synchronize notes when I didn’t have my laptop with me. I was apparently one of the last to find out about this amazing tool. I use it primarily for taking notes in meetings, and I can do this from my iPad, Blackberry, any of my laptops, or anything with web access for that matter, and the notes are maintained in the cloud so I can access them from anywhere.

What does that have to do with increasing your blog traffic? Well, there is plenty of evidence to support the notion that making your blog useful to your readers in various ways increases your traffic. For example, if you make your content valuable, they will come back for more. If you make it easy for them to comment and get link juice, they will read, comment and come back. I’m here to tell you that if you make it easy for your readers to save valuable information from your blog for reference or reuse, they will continue to return as well. It can be difficult to capture and organize content from blog posts in an RSS reader or browser bookmarks because they aren’t easily searchable.

Again, what does Evernote have to do with that? Evernote makes a Web Clipper compatible with the most popular browsers (though not Safari on the iPad yet). It allows your users to save entire web pages or specific portions to their Evernote account in just 2 clicks.  But believe it or not, you can make that even easier for your readers with the WP Evernote Site Memory plugin for your WordPress blog.

There are only a few options for you to configure regarding the button that appears on your post, the appearance of the content when your user captures it and your affiliate information if you have signed up. Readers will see the Evernote icon at the top or bottom of your posts (mine is below) and clicking it will allow them to save all or part of your post directly to their Evernote notebook.

Full disclosure: I joined as an affiliate after I upgraded to Evernote Premium so that I could search/access my notes on my iPad even when not connected.

Call to action: Take 60 seconds to go to Plugins, download “WP Evernote Site Memory,” and configure under Settings. I’ll be over to your blog shortly to capture some notes.

To Your Success,

Bryan Salek

Bryan@BryanSalek.com

813-382-2526

 

Even the Pros Know That Fundamentals Are Critical

The pitchers and catchers for the Tampa Bay Rays report to Spring Training tomorrow morning. Why are they back so early? Because even those guys that have been playing ball for over 20 years realize they need to get their heads back in the game, remind themselves of the fundamentals, and spend some time with their coaches to identify and correct any bad habits that may have popped up. Will they learn anything new in camp? No. But they will be reminded of many things they’ve learned many times before in their career. Will they stop once the regular season starts in April? Not a chance. Pros recognize there are outside influences that affect their success, so they practice almost daily, even on game days, to hone their skills, and prevent any bad habits from strengthening. As Benjamin Franklin said, “It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.”

This is no different than your business, or life, for that matter. It is the basics you learned when you first got started that are still the key to your success today. We hear a lot about the new techniques the gurus teach us and how it will transform our business, and many of those methods are very valuable. But the next time you attend a company event, training, opportunity presentation, or otherwise, look around the room. Notice the number of other leaders in attendance. Leaders attend company events for continuing education, because they realize they forget almost as much as they learn, and by talking with others, they remember some of those fundamentals they have drifted from, that helped them get where they are.

My call to action is to set aside an hour in the next two days to get back to basics. Pull out your old training materials. If you kept good notes early on, pull them out too and review them. What worked and what didn’t? How many of those that helped you get started on the path to success have you forgotten about? Did you decide you don’t need to pick up that 500 pound phone anymore since you have a large team build and are earning a good income?

Welcome to Spring Training…Go Rays!

To Your Success,

Bryan

813-382-2526

 

Are You A Champion or a Leader of Champions?

Like most fans, I was confident how the game was going to go before it started. The Steelers defense was going to play awesome, but Aaron was going to pick it apart for little gains and wait for the mistakes to capitalize big, just as he had been doing for the past couple months. It was going to be close because Ben would be getting his typical big plays to keep the score even. Instead, what I watched was a Packer defense that, especially in the first half, dominated the game and won it for them. Sure Aaron made a few good plays to put it in the end zone, but he wouldn’t have even had the opportunity if his team hadn’t set him up.

So it got me thinking about team dynamics. What is your role in your team? Do you own the spotlight, guiding your downline but maintain the linchpin role in its success? Or do you help to prepare your team by honing their skills, motivating them to practice, and then sit back and watch them excel completely on their own? Not sure? Well, which would you prefer?

I believe the latter is definitely the target, especially for us part-timers. However, I know plenty of very successful leaders who are content, or even desire, to maintain that critical role; to be the person their team can’t do without. As leaders, it is our job to determine the level of competency of people we sponsor, how to coach them to improved skills/habits, and how to motivate them to execute and then do the same for their individual teams. That is the secret to a rapidly expanding team and rapidly growing pay card deposits.

As I watched the conclusion of the game, with Rodgers struggling to move the ball and Big Ben with 2 minutes and 1 timeout to work his no-huddle magic, I was concerned. I really wanted Aaron to dominate this game to finally escape Favre’s shadow. Once again, his defense came through again and earned that Championship. While I was rooting for Aaron Rodgers, not the Packers, I was disappointed to see them give him the MVP because I believe that 2-3 members of the defense were more deserving. I was, however, pleased that he downplayed his role (a little) and said he was proud to share it with the team.

Your homework: Decide what kind of leader you want to be. Regardless of your desires, you know you must coach your downline to build a successful business. I guess the difference is whether you are willing to humble yourself for everyone’s benefit or let your team continue to be dependent on you for their success. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

To Your Success,

Bryan

813-382-2526

 

Invite Them And They Will Come

…and if they don’t, you didn’t want them on your team anyway!

How were you introduced to your current opportunity? I was introduced by one of the founders who is a long-time friend of mine. I was introduced incorrectly, because I already knew what he was doing, so I had a whole list of questions for him during our first discussion and he was able to answer them all directly. That also means that I assumed that I should be able to give the same presentation and answer the same tough questions from anyone I approached to sponsor. That is a vicious cycle you want to avoid because it causes analysis paralysis which I discussed here, for both you and anyone you are lucky enough to get into the business with this approach. Ultimately, this just slows the team building pace.

Assuming you chose an established, well-run company, there are numerous marketing tools in place for you to leverage. Rather than becoming the guru, you need to become proficient at using these tools to your advantage in prospecting. What I mean is rather than delivering a full presentation, or worse, describing the opportunity in your own words, just invite them to review one of these tools and schedule a follow-up to discuss.

This is critical for several reasons:

  • First and the most obvious is efficiency. For you part-timers like me, you don’t have an hour to spend talking to hundreds of people that are not interested in your product or a business opportunity. You should, however, be able to find about 5 minutes to call them, catch up, and ask them if they are interested in a side project to create a new stream of income. If so, great, they can get all the details from a 20-30 min conference call, webinar or DVD. When you follow up, they will either say they aren’t interested and the call is over, or they need more information, at which point it is worth spending some more time discussing.
  • Second is duplication. As I mentioned earlier, I lost a lot of time right after I joined my company because I felt I needed to know everything to build my team in the same way I was sponsored. I actually watched the compensation plan training 4 times before I understood it all. I was proud of that until I mentioned it to one of the leaders and I got the duplication lecture. You see, there are very few that I could sponsor, that could be expected to put in the atrocious hours and numerous calls to one of the founders and another 6 Star leader to learn every single detail. That is what your upline is for, and now I understand that and tell my downline as well.
  • Third is to avoid joining the NFL. I mentioned the No Friends Left association in a previous post about your warm market. Whether you agree with starting with your warm market or not, once you are successful, you will inevitably talk to your friends and family. When they ask you what you are doing, you can’t go into an explanation without pitching. Even if you aren’t pitching, it will be construed as such, so the correct answer to that question is something along the lines of “It’s a project I started recently to create some additional income. If you are interested in created an additional stream in your spare time, I’ll send you a link to a movie, but let’s not get into it today. We’re here to have fun.” In doing so, you clearly aren’t pitching, you are removing all pressure, and you are raising curiousity…all desirable things.

These are 3 specific reasons, but generally, this is all just about ensuring success for you and your downline. There are other reasons, like you might be a lousy presenter, you might not be capable of explaining the comp plan or product, or any number of others, but these 3 are universal. Ray Higdon emphasized this point about becoming a master inviter several times in a post explaining why people fail in network marketing.

Call To Action: Start today on my 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, commit to inviting 2 people daily to watch your video. You have to actually talk to them! Do not offer any details over the phone, but use whatever excuse you can to get off the phone and get agreement they will watch your video, and that you will call them back in 30 minutes (or after they tell you they can spare 20 minutes to watch it). At the end of those 7 days, post below to tell me if your results were not significantly better with those 14 (probably more once you see who much more fun it is this way) that your previous invites. I have a whole post coming on one-liners I use for these invites, and I’ll actually try to credit the actual authors of each!

Thank you for visiting today.

To Your Success,

Bryan

813-382-2526

 

Stay Away From Your Warm Market!

So you are a serial networker that has done 5 different MLMs and worn out your warm market? Or are you a newbie who was (or still is) skeptical and is afraid to talk to your friends and family until you prove it? Or do you just think you are going to get a first round draft in the NFL (No Friends Left) if you invite them? After all, you remember the coffee pot remarks about Bill that used to try to recruit in the office and you don’t want to be the subject of those same discussions.

The first thing you need to do is get over any of these thoughts. The cold hard facts are that, especially if you are just getting started, you are not going to get strangers to flock to your business. Why would they? Would you sign up under someone you don’t know, and as far as you could tell, has no reputation for success in the industry? Your core team will come from those with whom you already have a relationship. And if they aren’t an established networker, guess where their team will come from? Ah, the power of duplication!

There are tons of internet gurus out there telling you to avoid your warm market, and buy a couple programs to automatically add thousands of Twitter followers and Facebook friends, and then buy some more to make some fancy opt-in forms and autoresponders, and you’ll be on autopilot in a few days and a few hundred dollars. You can get to that point eventually, after you learn the skills to teach others and build a reputation of success, but if your prospects are coming from the Internet, don’t you think they can quickly discover that your sites and pages were all just created in the past few months? Honesty is always the best policy.

My team is built on people I’ve known for years. They came into the business through a variety of mechanisms, but their decision was significantly based on their relationship with me and knowing this must be the real deal. Don’t get me wrong! I have some direct enrollees I didn’t know before they joined. Any guesses on their success? You guessed it…none. They joined in a non-duplicatable manner, so they naturally expected to build their team the same way.

The bottom line is that you must invite your friends and family to look at your new project. The trick is to invite, not pitch them. It is very difficult in the beginning, but you can’t care if they join or not. You should be focused on making them aware you are going to succeed and would like to share with them. Invite them to watch or listen to a local presentation, webinar, conference call, or DVD, and make sure they understand there is no pressure because you understand this might not be right for them anyway. Lots more on inviting later, but for now, pick up that phone!

To Your Success,

Bryan

813-382-2526

 

Reading Won’t Make You Rich

This is for all you left-brained, intellectual, perfectionists out there starting your own business. You analyzed the heck out of your opportunity before you joined, spending days researching, reading every result on the first 3 pages of Google for the term “is a scam.” You did this so you could feel confident making the investment and know this was something you could talk to others about. I hate to tell you, but most of that time was wasted.

Don’t get me wrong here. There are over 5000 MLMs out there, and new ones coming online while others shut their doors weekly. You were right to use caution, but now it is time to move on. All that time spent building up your confidence will be shattered when you talk to your first sure-thing prospect and they tell you “no.” They don’t even have to tell you it’s a scam, or that no one makes money in network marketing, like mine did. Get this straight right now: you made a sound decision and you must not let others deter you from success.

But my real point here is to keep you from continuing this trend. If you are this type of person, you will want to know everything there is to know about your company, your product, your compensation plan, your founders, your leaders, how to start a blog, how to do SEO, etc. You get my point. You have to make a conscious effort to avoid this analysis paralysis. Why? Because you can’t make money reading! You can’t make money until you talk to people about your business.

It doesn’t matter how much you know, if you are afraid to talk to someone about it. And you will argue that all that knowledge will make you more confident to talk to others. This isn’t a presentation for an audience of 1000s. You can know everything there is to know, including memorizing multiple scripts, but it won’t make that first call any easier.

Call to action: Look at the clock. If it is before 8PM in any timezone where you have contacts on your list, close this window and pick up the phone! You don’t have to say much, but chat for a few minutes, share your excitement for this new project, and invite them to join a conference call or webinar, listen to a recording or watch a video. After it is too late to make calls, go back to your reading, but don’t waste money-making time on non-money-making activities.

As always, if you found this valuable, please let me know in the comments below and share this with your network.

To Your Success,

Bryan

813-382-2526