Direct Selling

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Direct Selling

The re-emergence of direct selling is yet another growing trend that will ensure the future success of the network marketing industry. On this page we will discuss the concept of going direct, why it is becoming more popular and how you can capitalise on this growing trend to secure your financial future.

 

Direct selling is not a new concept of delivering products and services to the marketplace. It has been around for thousands of years. Traditionally, farmers would travel miles to deliver their daily produce to local markets, selling their goods directly to the consumer. However, through the evolution of the business world we have moved away from this method of delivering goods straight to the consumer, we now choose to involve third parties, either through policy or convenience, better known as the “middleman”. This has significantly impacted the end price of our products and services.

So let’s look at some examples:

How much does it cost to buy the latest pair of Nike shoes?

Now ask yourself how much does it cost Nike to manufacture that same pair of shoes?

Today it is estimated that a pair of Nike joggers would cost about $5 to manufacture and yet you pay well over $100 for them. Do you know why? To start with, think of all the distribution channels that a pair of Nike shoes needs to go through to get the shoes from the manufacturing floor to the retail outlet before they can be sold. There are international, national and regional distributors, transport costs and of course the profit margin of the retail outlet selling the shoes. Add to this the cost of advertising and marketing the brand name and it’s easy to see why we are paying over a $100 for a pair of Nike shoes.

If we were to single out the marketing budget of Nike, how much do you think they spend sponsoring the likes of Tiger Woods, Maria Sharapova, LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Ronaldo and the Brazilian soccer team? The company won’t say exactly what it pays for names like these, but obviously it isn’t cheap. Tiger Woods, for example, is the world’s highest paid athlete, earning approximately $87 million a year. Why does a company like Nike pay so much for Woods? Simple, he has what it takes to be marketable. He is articulate, attractive, an excellent role model, clean-cut and scandal free. Essentially the perfect walking, talking billboard! Now add to this the cost of Nike TV commercials and roadside billboards, who do you think is paying for it all? That’s right, the end customer.

We are not just talking about Nike, the same could be said about Coca Cola. How much do you think it takes to manufacture a can of coke? Sure, these are large international companies but the same can be said about local businesses as well. My family own and operate a sheep and cattle farm in the south-east part of NSW, Australia. What price do we get for the meat on our sheep and cattle? Anywhere from about 50c to $2.00 per kilogram. What do you pay at the butcher for our meat? Anywhere from $8 per kilogram for mince to $35 per kilogram for scotch fillet steak. It doesn’t make sense, the middleman makes all of the profits. Wouldn’t it be nice to only be paying $2.00 per kilogram for steak.

In the modern day business world, the middleman makes up a significant proportion of the end cost, so the question you are now starting to ask is: why should the middlemen make all the profits? Smart entrepreneurs are now looking for a better way – direct selling.

direct selling diagram

With recent advances in technology, mainly communication methods and the internet, manufacturers are now capable of selling straight to the end user. As seen in the diagram below, by-passing the middleman and selling direct to the consumer can save the consumer money. This promotes greater customer loyalty and creates a win-win situation for both the manufacturer and consumer.

“The best investment I ever made!”
Warren Buffet (Billionaire investor)- In regards to direct selling

There are many large international companies capitalising on the concept of direct selling. A good example, with huge international success is Dell computers. Dell sells their products much cheaper to the consumer by by-passing the middleman, enabling the customer to buy direct from the manufacturer.

Many Fortune Five Hundred companies are also taking advantage of direct selling and relationship marketing. Some companies no longer have a choice in the matter, with purchases of stocks, mortgage loans and other financial services easily made over the internet. Brokerage companies have been forced to give their cliental direct access to these markets, taking direct selling to an extreme where through internet banking you can by-pass human interaction altogether.

Business analysts continually suggest that this is the way of the future, a trend that cannot be stopped. Those who choose to take advantage of it will be rewarded handsomely. So how can the everyday person take advantage of this trend?

Network Marketing. Going direct through referrals is a concept that has been around for years. Now the opportunity for international success through global networks is enormous and immediate. Network marketing is a business model that allows everyday people to take full advantage of going direct. Those who treat network marketing like a serious business venture will find it to be very rewarding.

How can Network Marketing make me wealthy?

Learn about the importance of financial security and why your job may not be as secure as you think.

Direct Selling back to Current Business Trends

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The Latest Business Trends

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The Latest Business Trends

Business Trends

At any given time there are several emerging business trends in society. In particular, if we were to single out one of the driving forces behind many of the economic trends over the past the 60 years it would have to be that of the baby boomers. Since the time they were born they contributed to the rapid increase in sales of baby food and nappies back in the 50s, schools and education in 60s, car sales in the 70s, the real estate boom in the 80s and the fast food chains and mega supermarkets in the 90s. Leading economic forecasters have used these trends to predict where the baby boomers will spend their money next and in particular were able to forecast the current emerging business trends in the Health and Wellness and Financial Services industries.

A new wave of entrepreneurs coupled with advances in technology has lead to a changing business environment. For example, the telephone has been a primary source of communication for over a century, but utilising our telephones to trade stocks, to send and receive photos and to surf the internet, is a new business trend that is a result of synergistic technologies. Although the elements of these trends have been around for years, the trends themselves emerge when the timing is right and when several factors come together. The health and wellness industry for example, has been with us for centuries, but it took the convergence of the aging baby boomers, with advancements in medical science, to create the critical mass of this emerging trend.

Modern day consumers want speed, variety, quality, customerisation (tailored to the customers needs) and choice. As the products that we consume become more sophisticated and complex, consumers are demanding a quality relationship with the provider of these goods and services. They want the products to deliver what the advertising promises. Educated consumers are now choosing to go direct, building a relationship directly with the parent company, which is fundamentally a different concept from the way we have done business in the past.

Going direct through referrals is a concept that has been around for years, but the opportunity for financial advances through access to global networks is enormous and immediate and one that business-minded people should not miss out on.

A number of young entrepreneurs have already spotted this trend. Michael Dell, founder and chairmen of ‘Dell’ computers is destined to become the new Bill Gates in the next decade, and is the richest person in the world under the age of forty today. One of the most admirable CEOs in America, Michael Dell, has a philosophy that is brilliant, uncomplicated and right online with this emerging economic business trend. He creates a relationship directly with the customer and sells high performance products. Using this direct, relationship model, ‘Dell’ sells approximately $25 million per day, directly to the consumer, by-passing the middleman, saving the consumer money and creating better customer loyalty.

The going direct concept coupled with building relationships between manufactures and consumers is the essence of the principles of network marketing. More importantly, it is a natural thrust of todays economy. Network marketing uses relationships to introduce new customers to a parent company so that they can buy direct from the manufacturer. Although this network marketing business environment is not yet so obvious and many will miss its significance, those people that adopt this system early will be rewarded handsomely.

Unless you are networking, you will soon be not working 
Dr Denis Waitley

Not everyone will see the rise of network marketing as a main stream method of doing business, just like 50 years ago people dismissed the business concept of franchising. Not too long ago people use to laugh at franchises, just as some people shy away from network marketing. Congress almost outlawed franchises with a bill nearly making them illegal, falling short of passing by only 11 votes. Today this vehicle is responsible for over a third of retail sales in America. Of course franchising was not for everyone, but those people who were open and willing to consider new ideas and who had the courage to take action in a changing business environment profited handsomely.

Today people are willing to risk hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars to open franchises, hoping to capitalise on a business trend that if they acted on decades ago would have rewarded them enormously. Network marketing in the new millennium has entered the main stream and may become more prolific and popular than that of franchises. Unlike franchising however you are only risking your time and effort and not your fortune or a mountain of debt. With network marketing you dont need inventories and you do not need to create and manufacture the goods and services yourself, you are simply the direct in going direct.

Network marketing is not just becoming mainstream, it is starting to become the dominant market trend and one that cannot be stopped. The real question people should be asking is how can they benefit from it?

Network marketing is no longer something to joke about, it is creating more millionaires today than the dot com boom industry did before the bubble burst. As with any opportunity timing is half of the success and execution is the other half. You have no control over the former as the business trend will emerge without you. The jet is leaving the ramp, you can either be on it or miss out. The second half to capitalising on this trend is in the execution, by doing your homework and finding the right company, all you need then is commitment and the desire to learn from those who came before you, and this webpage is designed to help you with exactly that.

So if youre ready to take full advantage of this changing business environment, we suggest you do your homework and work your way through this site as we help you identify the right opportunity and how to become successful.

 
 

Closing the deal:– Learn how to close your network marketing prospects

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Closing the deal Learn how to close your network marketing prospects

Professional Handshake

Closing the deal is one of the most satisfying achievements in any business, particularly network marketing and therefore learning to improve your closure technique is a good investment.

Important Note: This closing the deal page is one of the final steps towards developing your prospecting technique. If you havent already reviewed the preceding network marketing prospecting pages we suggest you do so now, such that it all makes sense. If you have read the rest of this chapter, great, its time to get excited as we discuss the follow up.

A simple two step approach to winning the follow up and successfully closing the deal

To try and simplify the closing the deal process we have created a simple 2 step process that you should consider when contacting youre prospects to discuss their response to the initial information you provided them.

  1. Continue to develop the relationship, and
  2. The sales pitch

Closing the deal step #1 – Developing the relationship

Firstly, when ever meeting or phoning your prospect to conduct the follow up it is important that you continue to build rapport with that person, as you dont want to give the impression that you are just trying to sell them something. A good way to do this is to ask them questions about things you have learnt about them during the relationship building stage of the prospecting process. For example, if you learnt that they were going to see a football game, ask them about the game; if one of their kids (best if you can remember their name) had a star role in the school play, ask them about the play etc.

This relationship building phase is a very important step towards closing the deal as your prospect will always be more receptive towards you if you have taken an active interest in them. People love to talk about themselves, so if you can show that you listened and were interested in what they were saying in your previous encounters, you have gone a long way towards creating a winning relationship. This step also develops an aspect of trust from your prospect that would enable them, if they so choose to join your business, to feel comfortable in coming to you for advice.

The next step to successfully closing the deal is to approach the sale. At this point of the conversation it is important that you communicate your intentions. After you have had a brief relationship building conversation, it is important that you change the focus so you can discuss your objective, the business. You can go on to initiate this conversation by saying:

….the reason Im calling you is to ask if you had a chance to review the information I gave you?

If the answer is no, you shouldnt be disappointed, but there is a fair chance your prospect isnt interested in what you have to offer. If they were not bothered to review the information in the time you gave them, there is a good chance they are not really interested in fixing their problems, so this is just another way of pre-qualifying your prospects. Additionally this question will help to determine how motivated they are. In our experience the best networkers are the ones that take a pro-active approach and are motivated right from the start.

A good tip to remember is that if you are not actively involved in solving your problems, there is a fair chance that the problem will never go away. Therefore unless your prospect offers a legitimate excuse, you are probably best to cross them off your list and explain to them that your opportunity only works for people who are self motivated and actively working towards achieving their dreams and that maybe in the future the opportunity might come at a better time. Having said this it is important that you remain friendly with your prospects at all times, even if your prospect has indicated that they arent interested in your offer.

If their response is yes they have reviewed your material, great your now ready to make the sale.

Closing the deal step #2 – What to say when your prospect has reviewed your business information

The key concept behind a successful follow up and you closing the deal is to get your prospect thinking about the positive aspects of your business opportunity. It is important to distinguish that by positive aspects we mean those as they are perceived by your prospect, which are not necessarily the same positive aspects that you see.

Additional to this, one of the biggest tips we can give you is that the person asking the questions is the person in control of the conversation. Learning to ask the right questions can go a long way towards closing the deal and is an important skill to master in the prospecting process. By the right questions we mean those that will return a favorable response. When you put these 2 important concepts together you have a powerful formula for success. That is, by asking the right positively geared questions, you are both in control of the conversation and to some extent their response. Using this technique will assist you closing the deal as your prospects will essentially sell themselves.

by asking the right positively geared questions you are both in control of the conversation and to some extent their response

For example if you were to ask:

What did you think about….?

This allows your prospect to discuss both the pros and cons and more often than not they will go on the defensive straight away. Therefore a better question to ask would be:

What did you like about …..?

This now limits your prospect to focus on the positives. The more positive your prospect is towards the information you offered them, the greater the chance of making a sale. This is a skill used and taught by the most successful salespeople in the world.

If they do respond on the negative and try to dismiss your offer straight away, try to regain control by re-asking the question?

Ok, but was there anything you did like about what you saw?

If they respond negatively again, accept that they are genuinely not interested and concede that with such a negative and narrow minded attitude you wouldnt want to be working with them anyway. Remember — professionals sort, amateurs convince — this is just another step in the qualifying process. Thank them for their honesty then change the conversation to finish on a positive note.

In a typical response to this question, most of your prospects will highlight the positive aspects of your business opportunity. Take note as these factors will become critical in your final sales pitch when closing the deal. Remember you want them to continue to focus on the positive, so try to get your prospect to elaborate on these positive aspects as much as possible. For example if they respond by saying they like the products, your goal is then to get them to go into more detail as to why they like the products. This deepens the pre-selling process as essentially they are convincing themselves as to why they should look into this further.

Once they have started to concede that there are a number of positive aspects to your opportunity, your next goal is to marry your solution with their goals.

Do you see how (what they like about the business) could help you to (achieve their hot button)?

If they are going to have objections about your offer this is where they will normally come up. Remember – to be in control of the conversation you need to be the person asking the questions. If they dont have any objections, and they continue to speak positively about your opportunity great, skip ahead and go straight into your final sales pitch.

Closing the deal – Objections

If your prospect gives an objection then you need to regain control of the conversation and get your prospect to reiterate their hot buttons. I understand what youre saying and I know how important it is that you pay your childrens tuition (or what ever your prospect hot buttons are). But imagine if a home business (or your opportunity) could help you to secure your childrens education (or what ever your prospect hot buttons are), how would this make you feel?

Straight away youre back on the positive. Another approach to consider is offering them a solution to their problem that appears out of reach or too hard for them and then to follow it with an easier / more favourable alternative.

What would happen if you couldnt achieve (hot button)?

The goal of this question is to get them to focus on the negative. Follow it with:

How would it make you feel?

This now brings in their emotions and the potential pain that goes with it. It makes them think about the negative impact of failure and basically highlights the fact that if they dont act, this is where they will end up. Your response is now to agree that it sounds difficult and to offer an alternative solution.

That sounds terrible… you know what, our team is pretty supportive and our training program can get you started pretty quickly. I believe that working together we can give this fair go, what do you say? Or you can dive deeper again.

How long would it take you to save for your childrens tuition (or what ever your prospect hot buttons are) in your current situation? Normally they will respond with something like never or forever. Try getting them to put a figure on it (eg 10 years, 20 years etc.) this way you can compare it to something. Your goal here is to, again, highlight that unless they act, they will probably not reach their goals. For example, if their hot button was something to do with spending more time with family and it is going to take them 20 years in their current situation to achieve their goal, you can respond with something like: geez that does sound hard, I mean in 10 years time your kids would have grown up and by that stage it might be too late

OR in 10 years Im going to be 55, I dont know if I could wait that long.

As a general rule, if you ever receive a negative response, it is ok to challenge (question) their beliefs but you dont what to argue (try to convince). There are a number of good old clichés that work well.

I understand what youre saying, but the most important lesson I learnt in life was; to get what you have never had, you must do what you have never done. The only way you are going to achieve your dreams is if you are willing to have a go at them. Im offering you the tools and support to help get you there. Its obvious that youre passionate about your dreams and you definitely appear to have the qualities that were looking for. If youre willing to give (achieving their hot buttons) a serious go, Id love to get you started and to meet our team. So what do you say?

Please refer to our overcoming objections page for more details about how to deal with objections (coming soon)

Closing the deal – The final sales pitch

The final sales pitch should be a reinforcing statement that basically highlights that you can help this person to overcome their problems and provide the necessary support along the way. As stated above it might be something like:

Its obvious that you are passionate about your dreams and you definitely appear to have the qualities that were looking for. If youre willing to give achieving (their hot buttons) a serious go, Id love to get you started and meet our team. So what do you say?

At this point their response will either be favourable or not. Regardless it is important that you remain friendly with your prospect and never argue. Remember – professionals sort, amateurs convince.

Important Ethical and Moral Note: 
We strongly encourage that you prospect in an ethical way. If you are prospecting a person who you believe is not suited to your opportunity or does not have the skills you believe are necessary to be a part of your team, you need to inform this prospect that you dont think that this opportunity is right for them. Your job is to find the right people, not just the willing. Do not recruit distributors just for the sake of building your downline, to do so will only provide short term gain and long term pain as you struggle with retention and a breakdown in relationships. Additionally this can negatively impact on the reputation of your company as well as the network marketing industry as a whole. Your goal is to find self-motivated individuals, who you believe, will actively work towards building a network marketing business and achieve their goals.

Whilst many network marketers are faced with this moral dilemma frequently, trust us when we say to take an ethical approach. Not only does it do the right thing by your prospect, your business, your company and the industry, youd also be surprised how much more attractive your business will become once your prospects are aware that you only recruit the best.

Good Luck!

Closing the deal summary:

  • Continue to build the relationship and demonstrate you are interested in their lives by asking relevant questions.
  • The person asking the questions is the person in control of the conversation.
  • Asking the right questions can generally dictate how the prospect will respond.
  • Get your prospects to highlight the positives of what you have to offer.
  • Get your prospects to understand how your business opportunity could help to achieve their hot buttons.
  • Reinforce that your solution provides the knowledge and support to help them to overcome their problems (hot buttons).
  • Take an ethical approach to prospecting — if you do not think your prospect is capable of running a successful network marketing business, tell them in advance.

http://www.network-marketing-business-school.com/network-marketing-prospecting.html

How to achieve likeability

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“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” Oscar Wilde

Awe-inspiring enchantment can occur in jungles, marketplaces, and the Internet. It causes a voluntary and lasting (at least until the guerillas leave your hut) change of heart and mind and therefore action. It does not simply manipulate people and help you to get your way.

Enchantment transforms situations and relationships.

A magnificent cause can overcome a prickly personality, but your ability to enchant people increases if they like you, so you should aspire to both. You’ll know that you’re likeable when you can communicate freely, casually, and comfortably with people.

Accept Others

Let’s start with your attitude. If you don’t like people, people won’t like you. That’s simple enough. And to like people, you need to accept them. Then, if you accept them, they’ll accept you. This is what you need to understand about acceptance:

  • People are not binary. People are not ones or zeros, smart or dumb, worthwhile or worthless. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, positives and negatives, competencies and deficiencies.
  • Everyone is better than you at something. If you have a tough time accepting others, it’s probably because you think you’re superior to them. However, you’re not superior to every person in every way.
  • People are more similar than they are different. At a basic level, almost everyone wants to raise a family, do something meaningful, and enjoy life. This is true across races, creeds, colors, and countries. You probably have lot in common with people you don’t like.
  • People deserve a break. The stressed and unorganized person who doesn’t have the same priorities as you may be dealing with an autistic child, abusive spouse, fading parents, or cancer. Don’t judge people until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Give them a break instead.
  • We all die equal. At the end of your life, you’re going to be a mass of tissue and bone that reduces to a pile of dust like everyone else, so get over yourself. Death is the great equalizer.

Make Crow’s Feet

If you want to make a good first impression, smile at people. What does it cost to smile? Nothing. What does it cost not to smile? Everything, if not smiling prevents you from enchanting people. If you don’t believe that smiling is useful, answer these questions:

  • Do you like to do business with grumpy people?
  • Do you know anyone who does?
  • Do you think that angry people get what they want?

The key to a great, George-Clooney-esque smile is to think pleasant thoughts. If you’re grumpy inside, it’s hard to have a smile that lights up a room, and the most you’ll accomplish is a “fake smile.”

Anatomically speaking, a fake smile only uses the zygomatic major muscle—the one that runs from your jaw to the corner of your mouth. It’s easy to control this muscle, so it leads to fake or “Pan American smiles” (called this because flight attendants on Pan American weren’t truly happy to see passengers).

A real smile uses the orbicularis oculi muscle too. This is the muscle that surrounds your eyes—it makes you squint and produces “crow’s feet.” A real smile is so special that it has its own name: the Duchenne smile in honor of Guillaume Duchenne, a French neurologist.

So when you meet people, think pleasant thoughts, fire up the orbicularis oculi muscle, make crow’s feet so deep that they can hold water, and skip the botox treatments and facelifts to increase your likeability.

How To Properly Prepare Yourself To Be Successful In Network Marketing

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How To Properly Prepare Yourself To Be  Successful In  Network Marketing

  • Follow someone who has done it successfully and has proven results
  • Follow all of his pattern not just part of it
  • Prepare yourself by learning those skills
  • Invest in the proper tools and training
  • Always watch and learn from all others that are more successful than you
  • Preparation doesn’t mean don’t take action
  • Never become so proud and believe you know it all
  • Never brag on skills or results you do not yet have
  • Be honest and teachable

How to Really Matter in Life

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How to Really Matter in Life

By Craig Ballantyne

A friend of mine has a tattoo that says, “You are what you do when it counts.”

Last Friday you read the story of The Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, who stood strong in the path of a truck bomb. Their actions and ultimate sacrifice saved the lives of 150 men. I hope it reminded you of how easy you have it in life. I hope it also inspired you to come back stronger this week, to make a difference, and to live a life that matters. (Click here to read the article if you missed it.)

When the time came, Corporal Yale and Lance Corporal Haerter stepped up. When it was time to Man-Up, they did. They did so because of promises made to their families:We all face challenges in life. They are rarely life threatening, as was the case for these two young men, but oftentimes our struggles seem insurmountable. Still, we have no other choice but to Step-Up, to overcome procrastination, to do the work. To earn it.

  • Their Marine Brothers
  • Their families at home
  • Their country

Likewise, you work on Networking business to improve yourself because of the commitment you made to your three families:

  • Your family at home
  • Your family of clients in your business
  • And your Networking Family that supports you every day 

Corporal Yale and Lance Corporal Haerter did all they could do.

But you and I haven’t.

There are still more people that we can help. We must not be satisfied with what we’ve done so far.

One of my mentors, Dave Kekich, says, “The world’s highest achievers have the highest levels of dissatisfaction. Those with the lowest levels are the failures.” 

You must be dissatisfied. You might be a hotshot 6-figure earner but have you really done all that you can do? No! You can and must do more! 

Let’s face it, we’ve been spoiled in life. We’ve been born into enormous opportunity. We’ve been able to make money doing what we love. Over the last four years we’ve watched as our investments have gone up and up and up. We’ve become complacent. We’ve forgotten what it’s like to be hungry, truly hungry.

The SMALL opinions of others are stopping you from becoming your BIG SELF. Do not let this stop you from living a big life.

We need to regain our hunger. We need to Think Big. We need to Man-Up.

You must get out of your comfort zone – no matter how successful you have been – and you must be more than a big fish in a small pond. You must overcome the negative influence of the little opinions of small-minded people. You must play up a level by attending more seminars, investing in coaching, and seeking out mentors. That is how you evolve into your Big Self.

Who is your Big Self? What is your Big Self?

I have Matt Furey to thank for introducing me to my Big Self many years ago.

Your Big Self is the person that you know you can be, but for some reason you are holding yourself back from becoming.

Your Big Self is what you see when you close your eyes and imagine what you could accomplish if you could never fail, when you imagine the success you should already have, when you picture the impact that you know you truly can have in your community, your country, and the world.

Your Big Self is Point B…and you’re stuck at Point A right now.

As the old saying goes, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.”  

It is my challenge to you to look deep inside yourself, re-ignite that burning desire, summon up your highest levels of dissatisfaction with how your business is doing right now, and use that as the fire to fuel your success. 

But I am a hypocrite. As I sit here telling you what to do with your life, I realize that I have much to do in my own. I have big goals and dreams that have not been met. Some suffer from procrastination, others from fear. Change, I must. Step-up, I must.

How will I do it? I will do it the same way that you will accomplish your goals. I will become better.

In order to achieve the goals we want to achieve, we must become the person we need to become.”

Like you, I must avoid the little opinions of small-minded people that keep us stuck in a fishbowl of mediocrity when we need to be swimming in the ocean of incredible opportunity. We must step-up and get outside our comfort zones, we must play up a level, and we must surround ourselves with people better than us. 

It’s time to Man-Up and become the people we need to become in order to achieve the goals we want to achieve.

Let’s do this. Let’s push harder. Let’s support one another.

Let’s all do what we are all capable of doing. 

Here’s to being dissatisfied, to taking action, to becoming your Big Self, to Stepping-Up, and to doing what matters.

Because you are what you do when it counts.

How to Overcome Your Fear of Failure by Using Rewards

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How to Overcome Your Fear of Failure by Using Rewards

By Stephen Guise

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” – Steve Jobs

The girl at the smoothie stand was expecting my order.

Instead, I walked up to her and asked, “Do you like animals?”

“Yes. I love animals,” she said.

“Me too!” I replied, “I was wondering if you’d like to go to the zoo with me.”

“Oh. Actually, I have a boyfriend.”

So I wasn’t at all surprised that she had a boyfriend. In fact, I expected it. But… she said no. It was rejection.She was really cute.

It’s even possible that she didn’t have a boyfriend; some women will “protect” men with that line if they’re not interested. Because I know that, I have to wonder for eternity what type of rejection it was. Sigh.

Still, I felt good about the whole thing because I don’t often ask out strangers and I do have some fear of rejection. It was a victory in that sense, but there was obviously some disappointment there too, as I walked out of that place with a smoothie instead of a date. Oh well. The smoothie was tasty, and it turns out, I’m smarter than I first realized for getting it.

Risk and reward have a special relationship.

Risk and reward are inseparable.

The general relationship they have is, “what possible reward can I get for taking this size risk?” If the risk/reward ratio is favorable, then it’s a good idea to take the risk. Asking out a pretty girl has a high potential reward, while the risk of any meaningful harm is very low. She’d have to go on a tirade about how terrible I am that pinpointed my greatest weaknesses and crushed my self-esteem forever. Again, unlikely.

We make this risk/reward calculation every day:

  • The long-term risk of eating an unhealthy hamburger vs. the reward of tasty beef.
  • The risk of being embarrassed by asking for a raise vs. the reward of actually getting it.
  • The risk of starting a business that could fail vs. the reward of it succeeding.

On this basis, I’ve got an idea for a NEW risk/reward model, and I really think it can help us overcome many of these “petty” fears we struggle with.

The NEW Risk/Reward Model

What makes a risk a risk? Is it that something bad can happen? Sometimes, certainly. More often though, the real risk is a relatively harmless feeling of discomfort or rejection combined with the sting of NO REWARD.

The fear of not getting a payoff while being embarrassed keeps men single, prevents workers from getting raises, and generally keeps people in their safe, but boring and life-draining routines while they could be out living the Caribbean life (or, whatever might suit them better than their current life).

Here’s the NEW risk/reward model:

When you take a SMART risk (something with low real risk and high potential reward), give yourself a reward. Plan the whole thing out: If I ask a girl out, I get to buy a smoothie. If I email the president, I get to watch an episode of Seinfeld. If I dance in limelight at the wedding tonight and let loose, I will book a massage.

The reason I was smarter than I realized with the cute barista situation is because immediately after I was rejected, I rewarded myself with the smoothie. What if I got a smoothie every time I asked a girl out? I like smoothies. It really “sweetens” the deal, because now there is a built-in, guaranteed reward. Sure, the reward is completely artificially-placed, but your brain can’t tell the difference, and what’s there to complain about? You get a smoothie!

Here are the reasons to use this new risk/reward model…

It trains you correctly, neurologically.

We know from research on habits that the brain responds to rewards, and will favor the behaviors that precede rewards, given enough repetition. If you complete a behavior in a similar context enough times over a given period, and it is always followed by a reward (even if the reward is unrelated), the brain will begin to desire that behavior more. So if you really want to increase your tendency to take smart risks, this new method is a neurological way to do it.

It establishes the risk as permanently more favorable.

If every time I asked a girl out, I’d get 10,000 dollars, how many girls do you think I’d ask out in the next 5 minutes? As many as I could find within shouting distance. Isn’t it interesting how even a shy guy would completely shatter his shell of fear if the reward was big enough? Find the shiest guy in the world, and offer him a million dollars to talk to ten attractive girls. I bet you he’d find a way.

These are unrealistic rewards, of course, but it gets the point across that you can make a risk more attractive if you promise yourself a nice reward for it.

If you’re shy and love video games, promise yourself that you can buy a new game if you talk to ten strangers throughout your day. If you’re going to a big networking event and you’re nervous, promise yourself one guilt-free hour of television for every solid connection you make. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination. You know your fears and desires better than I do, so make your actions and “bribes” appealing to you.

It makes it more fun.

“Fun” is maybe the most underrated tool in personal development (behind mini habits, which can never be rated highly enough… says the biased author). Enjoyment (or not) of activities has been shown to have a big impact on willpower depletion, in fact, which is something I’m currently researching. If you can reframe a scary or intimidating activity into a fun one, everything will be better.

When I play basketball, I play my very best when I’m having fun, and my very worst when I’m nervous about my performance. This seems to be the case in much of life.

Attaching a reward to a scary, but worthwhile behavior makes the whole scenario seem more playful, because, well, it is more playful. This shift in mindset is surprisingly powerful in helping you rise above fear.

It gives you the opportunity to calculate the real risk.

Being a human is scary, ok? We’ve got all of these expectations, both self-imposed and from society. We’ve got insecurities. We’ve got fears. It’s my firm belief that the most successful people (in any way you define success) are those who manage to disregard much of these worrisome things and live life with “smart reckless abandon.” They take smart risks. They always try new things. They’re here to experience life’s finest offerings. They understand that asking a question and getting a “no” response is entirely acceptable and non-life-threatening.

But let’s not get caught up in comparisons either. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been scared all of your life, held back by others’ expectations for you or your own insecurities. Today is a real opportunity to take a step in a promising, bold new direction. And well, I’m suggesting that you bribe yourself to take that step. Combine this strategy with mini habits (i.e. taking really really small steps), and you may become a juggernaut.