Watch What You Say Today—It's Where Tomorrow Comes From
A dear friend used to call me periodically to tell me that she was ready, now—really, really ready—to build her business. One problem: she could not bring herself to actually use the word "business" in her prospecting conversations. She asked, "Is it okay if I use the word 'enterprise' instead?"
Of course it was okay, and I told her so. Still, I couldn't entirely dismiss my doubts as to whether or not she was really, really ready to jump in, with gusto and momentum, and build her ... you know, her "B." It reminded me of a scene in Steve Martin's wonderful film All of Me. Martin is mourning his advancing age (occasioned by the advent of his thirty-eighth birthday) and says to his girlfriend, "I've been thinking, and you know, maybe we should get ... you know, the M word."
And she says: "Darling, if you can't say the M word, I don't think you're ready to do the M word."
You can't help thinking, the lady has a point.
I don't believe it's possible to overstate how powerful an impact your words have. On others, too, of course, but that's not what I mean. I'm referring to the impact your words have on you.
I worked with another distributor for months to help her excise references to death from her working vocabulary. When she was overtired, she'd say, "Oh gosh, I'm brain-dead." Looking forward to a conversation with a friend, she'd say, "I'm dying to talk with her"; looking back at it, she'd be "tickled to death." She eventually changed these to, "living to talk with them," and "tickled to life." Instead of declaiming her brain-death, she'll say simply, "I need some rest," And you know, I think she just might live longer for it.
When people tell you they're going to "try to get organized," they are making a subtle declaration that not only are they presently not organized, but in fact, the attempt to become so runs counter to the status quo and is therefore more than likely to fail. Yoda was right: do, or do not, there is no "try."
Here's another I often hear: "I'm talking to people, but I'm not really pushing the business yet." But we don't want you to "push" anything! We're not pushers. If anything, we're pullers; we want to talk with people, not lecture at them.
When people ask you what you do, what do you say? Do you get all squirrelly, feel an evasive look come over your face, and mumble, "Uhh ... actually, I'm involved in an enterprise where we help people leverage themselves to take advantage of indirect referral-distribution trends and online-affiliate click-through residual potentials, to support an overall accrual of their financial freedom quotient ... "? And then do the people back slowly away with funny looks on their faces?
As a network marketer, it's critical that you can state, clearly and unapologetically, what it is you do for a living.
In fact, here's an image I like to use to drive this point home for new distributors: if someone awoke you from a stone-cold sleep at 3:00 A.M. by shining a flashlight in your face and shouting, "What do you do for a living?!" could you sit bolt upright and give a clear, immediate and unhesitating reply? Until you can truthfully answer "Yes," you're not fully in the business.
A little dramatic, I grant ... but you can't help thinking, Steve Martin's girlfriend had a point.
Darling, if you can't say the B word, are you really ready to do the B word?