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December 1999


Ten Years of Upline

Great Question - Richard Brooke

"I've been successful at getting people involved in my opportunity, but keeping them involved is another matter. How do you keep people involved until their income gets up to a reasonable level?"

Great question! We're turning it over to Contributing Editor Richard Brooke, CEO of Oxyfresh and a 20-plus-year veteran of keeping people involved. Here's Richard's response:

Richard Brooke Here's the picture you're describing: Someone gets started, and three or four months later, they've forgotten that they're distributors. They're not doing anything, and if you ask them about it-- this is key-- they don't even remember why they enrolled.

The problem of getting and keeping people involved is really kind of simple. If you can get people to remember why they got involved to begin with, that'll go a long way towards keeping them interested in the business.


This is the first thing I ask somebody who has stopped or is struggling. Perhaps they've been in for three months, or maybe for three years, and things aren't really working well for them. The first thing I ask them is,

"Why did you get involved in Network Marketing to begin with?"

It's remarkable: Right then and there, they remember-- and it becomes clear to them that they had forgotten.

That's what creates motivation for anyone-- thinking about what it is we want in our future that we don't now have, and thinking about it in a way that's flavored with belief and positive expectancy. It's a vision you have of what you want to do, who you want to be, or what you want to have, and it's a vision of seeing yourself actually achieving it.

This is not the same as a vision that says: "This is what I'd like, and I don't really think it's going to happen..." That simply creates resignation and depression-- or apathy: Why try? "I'd like to have this, but why even try, it's not going to happen anyway."

Anybody who enrolls in Network Marketing has a vision of what they could get from this opportunity. It may be money, it may be being part of a nice group of people, friends, family, something like that. Whatever it is, they have a vision-- even if only for a few minutes-- of what could happen for them in this business, and they see themselves succeeding. They like the benefits, they like the pay value, and that motivates them to get involved.

Then, a month or three months later, they lose that. Why? Because we're not trained how to keep ourselves motivated.

How we're trained to stay motivated is to go find somebody else to motivate us: Go to a seminar or buy some tapes and get somebody to do it to us. That can work, if you want to spend all your time listening to tapes and going to seminars.

But there is a simple way to keep yourself motivated; here's how it works.

Why-- Exactly?

Create a positive expectancy or vision of what you want for yourself (whether it's for next week or five years from now), keep that vision crystal clear, and see it in such a way that you believe you're going to achieve it.

Once you have that, train yourself to think about that vision most of the time.

If you want to keep people motivated, take the reason they got in Network Marketing to begin with-- that vision they had, even if only for a moment -- and keep it in front of their face.

That's why, when you first start, step #1 is for you to figure out why you're in this business. What do you want out of it ... exactly. Not just "some more money"-- how much more money, and what are you going to do with that money?

You and I are not motivated by money. If you get a million dollars-- but you're confined to a desert island with nobody around-- what good is the million bucks? You can use it for a campfire.

What motivates us is what money can buy, whether it's freedom, security, toys, whatever.


  One of your primary responsibilities to the people you sponsor is for you to know what their vision is.
You want to get really specific with people:  

"You want money? How much do you want, when do you want it, and what are you going to do with it?"

Be a facilitator by asking them questions.

"You want to buy a new house? Great! Where do you want it to be? What's it going to look like? How much is it going to cost? How are you going to decorate it?"

Give them a vision-- their vision. And to the degree that they lose sight of it, you put it back in. Once you've done that, then your job is to teach them how to maintain that vision.

One of your primary responsibilities to the people you sponsor is for you to know what their vision is. Your job-- one of your jobs-- is to keep that vision crystal clear for them, because they will forget it until they learn how to do it for themselves.

Making It Up

Let's say it's three months into the business for some of your new people, and all of a sudden they're whining and complaining and creating excuses about why they're not going to do it, and you can see that they're backpedaling.

Happens to everybody. It's normal.

Your job is to ask them if they still want that new house. Put them back in that conversation-- because if they're backpedaling, here's the conversation that they're in:

"This won't work ... it takes too much time and energy ... nobody wants to do this..."

Isn't that one an interesting interpretation?! "Nobody wants to do this." Except us! None of the other 2,499,998 people, though.

We make stuff up that causes us to move away from the business. What you want to do is teach people to make stuff up that moves them toward the business.

We don't want to take ourselves too seriously when it comes to thinking we know what the truth is. We make it all up, every bit of it, from day one. What does a six-month-old baby believe in? What do they know to be the truth? Food, nurturing, comfort...

Do they know Network Marketing works? They don't know anything. They don't believe anything. They don't even have any opinions about things! Now you have somebody who's 30 years old, and it's remarkable to see how much a 30-year-old "knows."

I have no idea what the truth is, and I assert you don't either. What we do is make up a lot of stuff that we learn to believe in, based on our experiences. Or maybe you tried it for a while-- maybe once-- and it didn't work, so you decided that it just doesn't work.

Well, guess what? You just made that up! What's true is: You tried it for a while, and it didn't work. That's what's true. The rest of it you just made up.

What you want to do is make up stuff that gets you fired up about being in action. Just make it up! You made up all the other stuff!

Teach your people to "make up stuff" that empowers them, that keeps them motivated and in action. That's how to keep people involved in Network Marketing-- or anything else, for that matter.

RICHARD BROOKE is the CEO of Oxyfresh Worldwide and a long-time contributor to Upline. With years of successful Networking behind him, he is the author of Mach II With Your Hair on Fire. He lives with his family in Coeur D'Alene, ID. This article first appeared in the March 1993 issue.

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Reprinted with permission from Upline, Great Question... - December 1999, 888-UPLINE-1,