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July - August 1999


The Last Word

How Network Marketing Is Like A Golf Game - John Milton Fogg

John Milton Fogg I got a great piece of advice once I'm going to share with you. And once I do that, I'm going to share some thinking I've been doing, too.

Someone once suggested that in the course of learning about a particular field-- say Network Marketing-- you should also read and study other, completely different or opposite things, like what people are up to in rocket surgery or brain science. Doing this, the wisdom goes, usually results in some refreshing insight or new and useful perspective from that vastly different domain. I'm not certain why this happens. Perhaps it has something to do with having all those old familiar trees get in the way of the forest. I have, however, found the advice to be true and smart to follow.

So, to my thinking....

A great way to learn about Network Marketing is to study and play golf. (Please, I am very clear that this article is an attempt to justify my spending all the time, not to mention the money, on golfing and all the books and tapes and new drivers and trips to exotic places with my clubs in the belly of the air-beast. I'll tell you later on if it works. Or Sue will.) What I am discovering is it takes pretty much the same things to be good (and very good) at both these "games."

Anybody who can skip a stone across a pond can be a good golfer. The same can be said of prospective Network Marketers.

What it takes to do golf well is some training and practice, and then it's all a matter of time. The more hours and days you have to devote to learning and playing golf, the sooner you can become better. And in golf, it's not the quantity of all this training and practicing and play that really matters. It's the quality. Just as it is in Network Marketing. Bad habits trained and ingrained kill both pursuits. Good and great ones make them fun-- and even profitable. (A good teacher is a must for both.)

Once you get the swing down, golf becomes a mind game.

Once you get the basics of how Network Marketing is done, it's a game of the mind as well.

Attitude is everything in golf. Focusing on the target, precisely where you want your ball to be, and letting your swing flow and go naturally is the key to great scores and having a fun. Negative thoughts-- be they doubtful or angry or not in the be-here-now of the present-- and even positive thoughts about things that aren't about the shot you're facing right there and now, will do more to blow your game than lack of hitting the club face square and ending up 20 yards wide of the green or deftly topping the ball and watching it dribble down the fairway the length of your living room into the tall grass. In fact, those ticked-off, unhappy, anti-confident mind burps are responsible for 98 percent of the mistakes you make on the golf course.

Think about that in terms of Network Marketing. . . .

We all know how to do this business-- yes? We've all been trained. Read and heard the books and tapes that show and tell us the right way to play. (Heck, one Big Al book is all anyone really needs to know.) It's the mental part that gets in our way. That's where Networkers make the mistakes that add up to geese-scattering duck hooks into the pond and tens on the par fives in our business.

In golf, most beginners concentrate their efforts on their long game; smacking those full-swing clubs with the lofty (no pun, no kidding) goal being to hit big, impressive, monster drives so far down the fairway from the tee you just know you'll be on the green in two just like those guys you see on TV. But it's the "short game" that wins in golf. Eighty percent of all your shots on a golf course will be about 100 to 120 yards away from the pin: i.e., the short game; eight irons and pitching wedges; chipping and putting.

It's like Networkers placing big ads or e-mail blasting the whole wired world or sending cassette tapes to every person in Acron, Ohio, whose last names end with the letters "n" and "o," yet not focusing on those one-on-one, personal relationships that win Network Marketing tournaments and earn big prize-money residual checks month after month.

The joke in golf always is, "Hey, the harder you hit it the farther it goes." It's not true, of course, on the course. A pretty, rhythmic swing hitting the ball solidly is what makes golf balls fly. What's the equivalent in Network Marketing? What stops you from doing that consistently... dare I say, duplicatably?

Dr. Bob Rotella is a noted sports psychologist who works with a number of teams and players in all sorts of sports. He lives right here in Charlottesville, and I took my son to see him for an hour as a 13th birthday present. (Young Johnny Milton shoots our local University of Virginia course, Birdwood, in the 80s and has expectations of winning the Masters tournament! Vision anyone?) Bob is a great guy and loves junior golf. His daughter and Johnny share the same golf teacher.

Golf is Not a Game of Perfect Dr. Rotella has a number of wonderful (and encouraging) books and tapes out. (Yes, people in other realms of life and work are learning junkies, too, just like Network Marketers.) I recommend you pick up a book Bob wrote called Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect. I suggest this to you even if you never ever intend to play golf. (Of course, if you're already addicted, you'll love it! Go out and get your soon-to-be-dog-eared copy right away.)

...Perfect is a fantastic training book for anyone who truly is committed (or even simply, truly curious) about how to succeed in Network Marketing. In it, Bob deals in delightful depth (read easy-to-read and very valuable) with confidence, commitment, training and trusting yourself, strategy, planning. All golf stuff and all simple and clear to apply to our business. Besides, Bob is such a masterful teacher, you'll learn lots about coaching your people from reading how he does it.

Immediately after reading Bob's book I bettered my scores and began having more fun playing golf. I began putting all thoughts of my swing's mechanics-- which had plagued me since I first started-- out of my head, as I focused on the target, watched the vision of the shot in my mind, kept my eye on the ball and swung more and more naturally, easily, effortlessly and with better and better results.

Now, imagine what you could do if that's how you played Network Marketing? Read Bob's book. -- JMF

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Reprinted with permission from Upline, The Last Word - July/August 1999, 888-UPLINE-1,