I Thought I Knew What Made Me Successful, But I Was Wrong - Mark Yarnell


Until recently, I've never really been able to share what I've accomplished, because although I had the competency skills to build a Network, I didn't really know what I knew. I went all over the country talking to various groups and sharing with them the tools I thought had made me successful.

I now know that none of those systems really resulted in my success. I didn't understand that until I met with Dr. Albert Van Dura at Stanford University.

Dr. Van Dura is a former president of the American Psychological Association and has been a Stanford psychologist for 40 years. He's written ten Ph.D.-level cognitive psychology textbooks, and now, in his seventies, he is one of the most quoted psychologists on the planet.


We spent hours picking the mind of this brilliant man. He was very humble, and willing to admit that the majority of positive thinking experts are essentially using technology from the Forties and Fifties, ideas from Maxwell Maltz's book, Psychocybernetics, and Think and Grow Rich. What we wanted to understand from Dr. Van Dura was: Have there been as many breakthroughs in the cognitive arena as there have been in other technological areas?

We discovered that, indeed, there have, but no one has been willing or able to translate these complex books, and the breakthroughs they contain, into language the masses can understand.


What's The Best Success System?

There are too many people going around teaching competency skills when it's really a question of paradigms that get people to success. Let me tell you what we've learned.

The biggest problem I see in Networking today is ambiguity. By the time a company gets to a $100 million in sales, they have 50 or 60 people who are all promoting different systems-- videos, audios, training materials. Almost every one of them is good. The problem is the ambiguity that results when I sign you up as a new distributor and train you in my process-- which worked to get me where I am-- and then a week later, or two months later, another successful leader in the company blasts into town and gives a speech at the Hyatt with a totally different video and training system. All of those systems are effective, and many of the leaders are making a profit from selling them. I've talked to a number of company presidents who all say the same thing: If we could simply get everybody on the same page, we could get to $10 billion.

So let me make one recommendation I think will help you immensely: Get with the best person upline from you, follow his or her system, and stay with it until you get to a $100,000 a month. If you have somebody in your company making the kind of revenue you're interested in making, get involved with them and learn their system. Most systems are good, but the ambiguity that results from shifting every two to three months is what drives most professionals out of our industry.

Before new paradigms will work, you need to have perseverance in one system.

Dr. Van Dura pointed out to us, over and over again, an example using companies like IBM or Xerox. What would happen if you were to take their 12 or 20 regional managers, train them each in a different methodology for marketing their product, and then say, "I want all of you to go back to your regions, and each month one of you is going to be scheduled into another person's region to teach the antithesis of what they're teaching"?

Within six months, IBM and Xerox would be in Chapter 11! Yet that ambiguity is the very nature of our industry! Great people walk away from this business, not because the systems to which they've been exposed are ineffectual, but because they're forced to change effective systems every two or three months.

Pick a system you like . . . stay with the company you're with . . . and teach your people not to mess with any other systems until they get to the income level they want.



Now Let's Talk About Paradigms

I really believe with all my heart that paradigms are the key. How powerful are paradigms? It's this simple: If you have the right paradigm, there is no such thing as a physical, mental or emotional limitation. Nothing can block you. Nothing!

Let me give you an example that will blow your mind.

Every year, Australia hosts a 600 kilometer foot race from Sydney to Melbourne. It's a long, tough race that makes marathons look easy. It takes five days.

In 1988, a guy named Cliff Young showed up to run in the race. Nobody there knew he was planning to run, because, after all, he was 61 years old and showed up in overalls and galoshes over his work boots to join a group of 150 world class athletes. This is a big race-- I'm talking about Nike sponsorship and 18 to 20-year-old men and women who run these endurance races all over the world.

As Cliff walked up to the table to take his number, it became evident to everybody he was going to run. They all thought, "This must be a publicity stunt. Who's backing this guy? He'll drop out in 30 minutes. He's 61 years old. He's wearing rubber galoshes and overalls. This is crazy!"

But the press was curious, so as he took his number 64 and moved into the pack of runners in their special, expensive racing gear, the media moved their microphones into Cliff's face, and asked, "Who are you and what are you doing?"

"I'm Cliff Young. I'm from a large ranch where we run sheep outside of Melbourne."

They said, "You're really going to run in this race?"

"Yeah," Cliff nodded.

"Got any backers?"


"Then you can't run."

"Yeah I can." Cliff replied. "See, I grew up on a farm where we couldn't afford horses or four wheel drives, and the whole time I was growing up-- until about four years ago when we finally made some money and got a four wheeler-- whenever the storms would roll in, I'd have to go out and round up the sheep. We had 2,000 head, and we have 2,000 acres. Sometimes I would have to run those sheep for two or three days. It took a long time, but I'd catch them. I believe I can run this race, it's only two more days. Five days. I've run sheep for three."

When Cliff Young started the race with all these world-class athletes, people shouted, "Somebody stop him, he'll die. He's crazy." They broadcast it on the news immediately, and all of Australia was watching this crazy guy who shuffled along in galoshes.

The existing paradigm for the Sydney to Melbourne race was to run 18 hours and sleep six. But Cliff didn't stop after the first 18 hours. He kept running. Every night he got just a little bit closer to the pack. By the last night, he passed them. By the last day, he was way in front of them. Not only did he run the Melbourne to Sydney race at age 61-- all 600 kilometers, without dying-- he won first place by nine hours and became a national hero!

When he finished the race, the media asked him what he thought enabled him to win: Cliff didn't know you were supposed to sleep! His paradigm was chasing sheep, trying to outrun a storm.

Cliff Young, with every conceivable limitation against him, changed the whole paradigm of that race. Now, nobody sleeps. To win that race, you have to run all night as well as all day. And you know what's really funny? The last three winners of the race have used the "Young shuffle," because it's more aerodynamic than the way the world-class runners were running before!

If that can happen to Cliff Young, in a physically demanding 600 kilometer race, what can happen to you in Network Marketing if you have the right paradigms?


There are four paradigm shifts I want you to consider.

Paradigm #1:


No one person is worth a $100,000 a month.

The reason I got into Network Marketing was because I was a frustrated minister. I was in Austin, Texas, and they had a homeless problem. All we needed to solve it was $2.5 million. The City Council, the County Commission and the politicians were fighting it all the time. Most of the homeless were people with serious problems-- 75 percent of them were addicted to something. Unless you have $25,000 cash, a good health plan, or commit a crime, you can't get into drug treatment. Even though we call homelessness "a problem for society," those people can't get help.

What we wanted to do was create a free drug treatment center to fight the problem, but we didn't have enough money. One of the reasons I got into Network Marketing was because I considered those people worth a $25,000 dollar treatment program, and I couldn't do it on a minister's income. For me, it wasn't, "Can I get a bigger house; can I get a bigger car?" It wasn't just looking at $100,000 a month and thinking, "I want that. I deserve that." It was something else that motivated me-- my drug-program idea and my car being repossessed.

If you want to earn $100,000 dollars a month, you won't. If you need to earn it, you will. Big difference.

You need to find a cause to move you beyond wanting. Don't lock out people who need help. They can be your biggest motivator. We lock onto some people, we lock out others. We lock onto some concepts, we lock out everything else. Shift those paradigms and watch the changes!

One of my favorite stories is about the great magician Harry Houdini, when he was at the height of his career. As a publicity stunt, a bank in London invited him to break out of their vault. They claimed, "Nobody can break out of our vault, it's a new, advanced locking system."

Houdini's secret, which he revealed in his memoirs, was built into his contractual requirements for any performance: He got to kiss his wife before each escape attempt. After that, a curtain would drop so nobody could see what he did.

Houdini was a master at picking locks. When he kissed his wife, she would pass a piece of wire from her mouth to his. Once the curtain went down, no one could see Houdini as he used the wire to pick the locks confining him.

He accepted the bank's challenge, and the press all showed up in London for the event. Houdini was given three and a half minutes to break out of the vault. He kissed his wife (of course, she passed him the wire), was locked into the vault, and started picking the lock. Here's what he wrote in his memoirs:

After one solid minute, I didn't hear any of the familiar clicking sounds. I thought, my gosh, this could ruin my career, I'm at the pinnacle of fame, and the press is all here.

After two minutes, I was beginning to sweat profusely because I was not getting this lock picked.

After three minutes of failure, with thirty seconds left, I inadvertently reached into my pocket to get a handkerchief and dry my hands and forehead, and when I did I leaned against the vault door, and it creaked open.

The door had never been locked-- except in Houdini's mind.

I submit to you that the only doors that are locked to us are those we lock in our own minds. One of those mental doors is marked "worthless." "Forget about those worthless street people/felons/addicts." They could literally be the finest motivators in your life-- worth a fortune. Many are decent, loving people who've never gotten help for an addiction problem, and they're not going to get help in our present system. That bothered me enough that I went to work in Network Marketing. I didn't want to lock them out, so I opened a door to possibility.

Don't get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. In going beyond my own needs, I entered a new world of discovery, enrichment and relationships.

The truth about life is that nothing is fun until it's shared. Please, don't lock out the people who are most in need when they're the ones who can serve as your greatest motivator for a $100,000 a month income. You don't need that much. You don't want that much. But you can acquire that much because they need it, if your heart's in the right place. You can share that success.

Figure out who you can bring into your life, what group really needs and deserves your help, who you'd help if you had a $100,000 a month. That cause will help you. After I wrote A Goal Bigger than Yourself for Upline, people would call me and compliment me on it. I'd always ask, "Which cause are you supporting?" Silence.

It doesn't matter what I write, what matters is what you do.

Paradigm #1 is "No one is worth a $100,000 a month, but cause is all."

Become cause-driven.


Paradigm #2:


If anyone can do anything, you can, too.

A lot of people believe that there are a few creative geniuses responsible for all the great things on the planet. That's all bunk. The truth of the matter is, if anybody has earned a million dollars a month-- and I know people who have-- you can, too. But you have to know that, and you have to accept that paradigm. There is no such thing as a creative genius. The genius creates good ideas, which is something all of us can do.

If anybody can get to $100,000 a month, you can, too. The problem, according to Van Dura, is that we have been programmed with repetitions that aren't true. Let me show you what I mean.

I'm going to give you a few sentences, and have you finish them:

"It's lonely at the . . . "

"Money is the root of all . . ."

"Some people are just in the right place at the..."

"It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a..."

I can go on and on, but you get the point. Everybody has memorized negative trash that they apply on an unconscious level.

When I told Van Dura that I didn't understand why I had succeeded, he said, "Tell me about your early religion." I was in a religion that taught positive affirmations. I was lucky. By the time MLM came along, I had completely re-engineered my mind from what most people in theology and school had learned. I believed in Mark Yarnell. I had said certain things over and over, but I didn't understand the significance of that. When I got up in front of audiences, I'd never talk affirmations, because I thought, "Oh, the cynics will think I'm airy-fairy."

Van Dura says this is one of the most important paradigm shifts you can make, the re-engineering of your brain from vain negative repetitions-- that keep you wallowing in self-pity and negation and mediocrity-- to levels of positive power you never even dreamed possible.

Let me give you a few examples I use that work for me, and let me suggest something to you: Put these affirmations on a card, pull them out five or ten times a day, and read them out loud. You don't even have to believe they'll work. You don't have to have faith. The most pragmatic, cynical, and jaded individuals don't even have to believe they'll work. Just do them, and you'll be on the road to wealth and success.

Here's one: "Dramatic wealth is a virtue." Repeat this over and over. Why? Because you have a cause now, so it is a virtue to spend riches on something bigger than yourself.

Number two: "I'm open and receptive to any ideas which will help me achieve wealth and time freedom."

Number three: "I enjoy sharing my wealth with others."

And finally, number four: "Through perseverance, I am creating the financial dynasty I deserve."

Every fiber of your being may resist the notion that you can just repeat phrases like these and somehow they will result in wealth, but I have news for you: They work. Let the fibers of your being shriek out against it; it doesn't matter. As you plant these notions, you'll replace the negative ones you never chose, but which have been holding you back your entire life.

Paradigm #3:


Success results more often from fortuitous intersections than from planned strategies.

Now I know some of you are laughing. I didn't understand it at first either. I thought I was being airy-fairy to believe in serendipity, even as a minister. It turned out that Dr. Van Dura gave a speech in 1987, when he was president of the American Psychological Association, called "The Power of Fortuitous Intersections." He said, "At first I was doing it just to make my peers crazy, because there's really nothing scientific about accident or chance encounters, so I created this talk just as a joke at first. But the more I looked into it, the more I realized it is those individuals who are prepared to deal with fortuitous intersections, and jump on them when they pop up instead of griping that things aren't going as planned, that often make it to the pinnacle."

A fortuitous intersection is a chance encounter which can dramatically alter your life path-- if you're open to it. Let me give you an example.

A graduate student has to write a very important paper that's due tomorrow. He's been writing for three days, and he's dead tired. He calls one of his friends and says, "I need to get out of the stress of this writing, let's go play nine holes of golf."

The friend says, "I thought you have to write this paper."

"I do, but I'm tired. I want to play golf."

Our graduate student and his friend get a 4:05 tee time. They get there at 4:10 and have to get a later tee time-- 4:35 is the next one. They're mad, because they have to wait. Teeing right before them in a twosome are two very attractive young ladies the same age as they are. By the third hole, the twosomes become a foursome, and by the end of two years, the graduate student is married to one of them. Turns out she was out golfing only because she missed her flight home that morning after a stay with her cousin.

What I just described is how Albert Van Dura's 50-plus-year marriage began. He's well-qualified to discuss fortuitous intersections.

I used to say it this way: "God doesn't shut one door without opening another one." All the science people would look at me and roll their eyes. Now the science people know it's true. You have two options when faced with a closed door: Keep hammering at the closed door or look for an open one. Human nature usually takes the first way. We beat and cry and moan and whine that the door's been shut, instead of walking through the one that's wide open.

From now on, go through your life recognizing that in every set of circumstances-- whether you create it through planning or it's a chance encounter-- there is a fortuitous intersection occurring. Somebody's probably being put into your life right now that you need there for a reason. Instead of whining that the bus missed you or that somebody else got the cab, look around for the prospect you are supposed to meet. Success results more often from capitalizing on chance encounters than on planned strategies. It's just a question of: Are you ready?

One of my number one distributors, who accounted for over $3 million of my income over the last five years, used to be a top sales representative at Xerox. She read a little ad I ran in the paper and came over to my house. When she realized it was a private home, she was getting ready to back her car out, but somebody had pulled in behind her and blocked the driveway. She told me, "I would have never come in had I not been blocked. I thought it wasn't professional enough, but then I thought, 'Well there must be a reason why I'm being blocked.'"

She came in, and as a result of that fortuitous intersection, from which she was ready to make a good-bye beeline, her whole life has changed. She's met her husband, become a millionaire, gotten out of the stress and rat race of Xerox, and been able to afford the surgery and rest that saved her life. All of that because, instead of saying, "Back your car up, I'm not going in there," she accepted the fortuitous intersection, walked into my home, and became one of Network Marketing's most successful distributors.

You can't control chance encounters, but you can be prepared to capitalize on them. Know that they occur and look for the best in every one of them, instead of focusing on the inconvenience or irritation. It isn't about magic. It isn't about focusing on something positive and altering any plans. It's just about focusing on what is.

"Success is where opportunity and preparedness meet." Fortuitous intersections are an inevitability, so examine them for their positive aspects. Remember this: Life's plans seldom work out, so look for the open door-- not the closed one-- when a door shuts.

Paradigm #4:


Success results more often from attitude than ability.

According to Van Dura, attitude is governed by baby steps towards success. Your attitude becomes better and better and better if you have resiliency. Resiliency is built through taking little baby steps and teaching your people to do that, too.

We all need tiny accomplishments. Your prospect fills out an application. "Way to go, Bob, everything's right, and I don't think I've ever seen anybody print that clearly." They don't think you're an idiot; they thank you for the recognition. It's a baby step.

Let's say your new representative needs ten customers. They start developing those product-purchasers just one customer at a time. Each time they get a customer, applaud that baby step. If it takes the first week or two, no big deal. That encouragement will change their attitude positively.

I used to tell people to talk to 30 people a day or risk failure. Most people can't do that, we all know that. I realize now that I was programming people for failure, instead of saying, "Hey, you filled out that application perfectly. Way to go! Now let's see if we can get you one customer this week." It's baby steps that result in long-term success, because it's those small rewards that encourage a person to stay with our business. Those tiny successes enhance our big-picture attitude.

Let me make a few practical suggestions to you for changing your own attitudes. These have worked for me.

Choose a great attitude each and every day. I once asked Angus McGee, who was a captain in the Navy and its number-one recruiter, "What's your key to success?" He pulled out a little tattered copy of Attitude, by Charles Swindall:

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It's more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It's more important than appearances, giftedness, or skill. Attitude will make or break a company, a church, or a home. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way, we cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play the one card God has dealt us, and that's our attitude. I'm convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me, and 90 percent how I react to it, and so it is with you. We are all in control of but one thing: our attitude.

How many of you get up in the morning and never take control of that attitude? What can you change to make attitude-adjustment easier each day?

Stop watching the news and start watching Discovery, A & E, and the History channel. If the ebola virus or an asteroid is headed for you, somebody will tell you. If you have to watch TV, watch something of value. We have great channels, with great programming. Watch them to strengthen you positive attitude.

Get great books and tapes. Here are some I recommend: All You Can Do is All You Can Do, but All You Can Do Is Enough, by Art Williams. Especially pay attention to his chapter on crusades. He will make your attitude soar, and you will want to become a crusader for our industry.

Self-Efficacy, by Albert Van Dura. If you want to get technical about what it takes to create your own self-efficacy program, read this textbook.

The Seven Mysteries of Life, by Guy Merchew, and Mortal Lessons, by Dr. Richard Selzer. These books will uplift and inspire you.

Isn't that the kind of stuff we should be exposed to on a daily basis? There are books and tapes and ideas out there that make me cry-- not from misery or embarrassment, but from joy. When I go out joy-filled, I'm more likely to be successful in prospecting and working with other people. It's about attitude, because "success results more often from attitude than ability."

One final practical thought that really worked for me is this: Create a "time-warp CD" for yourself. Each of us has a segment of our life, often in adolescence, that was the most fun ever. In fact, some men and women spend the rest of their lives bemoaning the fact that they can't go back. Well, you can, and there's nothing that can do it like music.

I invested $150 to get 49 songs recorded onto a custom compact disk. These are the songs I remember from high school that make me boogie when I hear them. When I was 17, 18, 19, I had a blast, and all those number-one songs take me back to that age. I time-warp myself. I had three CDs made-- Mark Yarnell's time-warp music. I keep them in my car, so whenever I go anywhere, I'm listening to music that fires me with enthusiasm. How do you think that makes me feel by the time I get where I'm going?

You have the same kind of music. Invest in yourself. Get the CD made.

Once you have a cause and a fully positive attitude, and once you have a re-engineered belief that wealth is okay and opened yourself to profiting from fortuitous intersections, all you really need to do is go out and give everybody a chance to participate. Don't judge people and think, "He won't make it. He's a doctor; he's not interested. He won't do the deal," or "She can't do it; she's never been in sales, and she's too shy."

My mentor, Richard Call, could have rejected me. When I first talked to him, he could have said, "Yarnell can't make it big. He's never done MLM. He's so broke he can't afford business cards. He has no degree. He's a minister, not a businessman. He talks like a backwoods hick, not a sophisticated executive!" All those things were true. Richard Call could have said, "I don't have time to mentor you, Yarnell, because you're on my sixth level, and I'll never make much money off you." Instead, he said, "Yarnell, if you put your heart to it, you can become a legend."

I'm saying to every one of you, it isn't about competency. It's about heart. Put your heart to it, and you can become a legend-- and not just in your own mind-- because there are really only two kinds of people: People who think they can, and people who think they can't.

They're both right.



MARK YARNELL together with his wife and business partner, Rene Reid Yarnell, have over 20 years of applied Network Marketing experience. They are the founders of 21st Century Global Network, and have published several books about Network Marketing, most recently Your First Year in Network Marketing. The Yarnells are Upline Masters and were instrumental, with Dr. Charles King, in creating the first certification course in Network Marketing. They are active philanthropists and have founded many charitable and environmental projects. The Yarnells live in Gstaad, Switzerland and Reno, NV.

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Reprinted with permission from Upline, Yarnell Feature - October 1998, 888-UPLINE-1, http://www.upline.com


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