Be Prepared, Not Just Ready - Larry Raskin, American Communications Network
After a brief stint in professional sports-- playing catcher for the Cincinnati Reds' minor league team-- Larry Raskin made a move into the fitness industry. Though he enjoyed the work, managing three health and fitness clubs, he started to feel like he was running on the wrong track.
"I just finally got to the point in my life," he recalls, "where I knew it was time to start my own business instead of working every day to build someone else's dream. I wanted to start building my own."
So Larry left his job and started looking at franchise opportunities. The more he learned about them, though, the less he liked. "With a franchise, you're looking at a major investment-- just to buy yourself another job. No thanks."
So after six months of looking at business deals and not finding anything he liked, Larry gave up and decided to go back to working for someone else. That's when he answered an appealing ad in the newspaper....
Lo and behold, it turned out to be a Network Marketing opportunity-- which caught me completely by surprise. It wasn't what I was expecting, but I gave them a chance to explain what they were all about. I was amazed that there were actually people making more money in Networking in one month than most people make in a year.
Having a healthy ego, I knew that if someone else had found a way to make that kind of money in Networking, then so could I. So I decided to listen and learn, and I went full-time in the industry from day one.
I was with one company for over six years, and even though I learned a great deal about Network Marketing during that time, I could see it wasn't going to be the vehicle for me. I started aggressively looking at other companies when I a friend of mine called and said he had an opportunity he wanted me to look at. I didn't jump at it right away, because this guy had not exactly had a track record of financial success, but he was smart enough to put me in front of one of the company's founders, and that's all it took. I was really impressed. That was ACN, and I'm with them today.
I'm no different from anyone else who signs up with a Network Marketing company-- I felt apprehension; I had doubts; I had fear. It was all the unknowns that worried me, at first.
My biggest concern was this: What would the people with whom I have the most credibility think of this move I was making into Network Marketing?
I was also challenged by the fact that I was doing something I had no background or training in. People knew me as a guy from the sports and fitness industry, but all of a sudden I'm talking about environmental filtration. If that doesn't motivate you to become a student and learn everything you can about what you're doing, I don't know what will.
In the beginning, the more information you can get about Network Marketing, your company, and your products, the faster you're going to make money. I knew I had to become a student of the industry if I was going to go anywhere with this company. I made a conscious decision to seek out the most proficient teachers in the business and get around them.
Because it was a network, I knew there were people who had a financial interest in me-- people who knew how to put this together fast-- so I traveled to where they were, went to the training seminars, read the books they told me to read, listened to the tapes they suggested, and followed their lead. My goal was to surround myself with the very best teachers-- the leaders who had already done what I wanted to do. I listened, I paid attention, and I learned all I could. Those lessons got me through every challenge I faced along the way.
There are a lot of people making quite a bit of money in Network Marketing, and not just in my company but in many companies. There is a reason for that. These are people who were willing to become students, who were willing to humble themselves and learn to do something that they had never done before.
The essential ingredients for success in Network Marketing are these; You have to have a strong work ethic; you must develop a massive action plan; and everything you do must be easily duplicated.
You have to be the one out there working harder than anyone else. If you're not out there leading the way, you can't expect people to want to follow you.
You also have to work professionally, and give this opportunity the respect and credibility it deserves. In my opinion, one of the reasons this industry is knocked so hard is because of the sometimes lackadaisical way certain representatives in all Network Marketing companies prepare themselves. In other words they're ready for the opportunity, but they're not prepared for the opportunity.
It's all about respect. If you're going to present someone with a multi-million dollar opportunity that will change their lives, you must be professional about it. If you nickel and dime it, or discount the message, you're actually stealing someone else's opportunity-- because you're not giving them the correct representation that the company deserves.
This business is like any other that deals with sales and marketing. You're going to hear a lot more rejection than you hear affirmation. I know how I got to the top of my business-- I just went through more no's than other people were willing to go through.
Be willing to double and triple your failure rate, and watch how fast your business takes off.
There are things you have to understand to be successful in this industry. Preparation comes from knowing all the things you must do, identifying all the things you are willing and unwilling to do, and understanding that you need to go to the people in your upline for help.
Follow the system of success that has been designed for your particular company. Invest in the knowledge that comes from the books and tapes. Stick with the system that has been designed to work, and know that the faster you take advantage of that training system, the quicker your business will grow.
You can become the person you want to be in this industry by stepping out and leading the way-- this industry rewards those who lead with integrity and passion.
The biggest reward this industry has given me is to be able to design the life I have-- to be able to spend incredible time with my family. There is no close second.
To be the architect of your own life, that is a joy that I wish for everyone. And I know that people can find it in this industry if they are only willing to give it the respect it deserves, and are willing to do what it takes to have the success they desire.
LARRY RASKIN is a full-time Networker with the American Communications Network, Network Marketers of utility and telecom services. A Regional Vice President and member of ACN's Circle of Champions, Larry has been with the company for five years. He lives in Woodbine, MD with his wife Wendy and their three children Trevor, Adam, and Chloe.
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Reprinted with permission from Upline, Raskin - Success Story - May 1999, 888-UPLINE-1, http://www.upline.com