If You Keep On Doing What You've Always Done. . . - Steven Taibbi
The phrase "If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always gotten" is certainly one of the most quoted expressions in all of Network Marketing. I first heard it several years before I became involved in the industry, when I noticed that I was always dating the same girl - she just had a different face and address! I took the lesson to heart and soon after married my wife, Rose.
This experience probably explains my willingness to apply the same lesson when it came time to take a hard look at my then 23-year career in television production. It was time for another change - I'm now full-time in Network Marketing and haven't looked back.
No matter where you go in this industry, would-be sponsors implore prospects with this phrase as a way to help them make a change in their lives. "Don't you see? If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always gotten!" That's good, but I'm afraid that all too often that's where it stops - for both the prospect and the sponsor. I'd like to explore here what the phrase really means, because I believe it has deeper and more meaningful lessons than a simple career change would suggest. Indeed, understanding it begins with opening your mind to the fact that you may have to change a whole lot more than just your career.
The phrase means this: The reason you find yourself wherever it is you may be in life today is because you are the living net result of all the decisions you've made up to this point. Kind of scary, isn't it? When one recovers from the proportions of this realization, one can only come to one conclusion - you, and no one else, are completely responsible for where you are right now and where you are going to be in the future. Period.
If you are one of the fortunate few who find that your place in life is exactly the one you wanted, then you should keep on doing what you've always done so that you can continue to enjoy that same desired result. If you aren't happy with where you are, then does it make sense to continue doing those very things that brought you to this undesirable place? Or course not.
The real question, then, is: What are the most common things those who have what they want do, that most of those who don't have what they want don't do? What lessons have the winners learned that enable them to stop what's not working, find out what does, and achieve their dreams?
I suggest that one of the things the winners have learned is to embrace change - in all areas of life. When they hear "If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always gotten," they feel excited by the change it implies. They know it offers them new challenges and the chance to apply themselves.
Part and parcel of this is that they aren't afraid of failure. Failure to them is just another opportunity to learn to grow, to gain experience - sometimes it just offers them a chance to have a laugh at their own expense. They don't fear change because for them, change means growth. What they fear is stagnation, because they know that if you're not growing, you're dying.
Another lesson mastered by those living successful lives is they have conquered their emotions. It's not that they don't feel frustration, fear, rejection and disappointment, it's just that they don't allow negative feelings to control them. They understand that how they react to a feeling is their choice. Feelings are just that - feelings. You feel hot, you feel cold, you feel love, you feel fear, but these feelings in and of themselves can't hurt you - only how you decide to react to them can do that. To be successful in something, you must also be willing to accept the negative feelings that will certainly go along with the pursuit of any achievement.
I believe that understanding this concept is vital to success in Network Marketing. Whenever I sponsor new distributors, I illustrate the point for them by asking if they drive. Naturally almost every one does. I then ask, do you remember what it was like the first time you drove by yourself? Wouldn't it have been a good idea if before you got into a car by yourself for that first time you had taken out a warning notice in your local paper so that other drivers could be forewarned that you were going to be on the road? Do your remember how scared you were? Do you remember how you drove the car in fits and starts? Sometimes it was embarrassing, sometimes even dangerous, and it was always scary. But you persisted because you wanted the freedom that the car represented and you knew that with practice, your driving would one day soon become second nature to you. You knew and accepted that you would have to be incompetent before you could become competent.
Network Marketing is exactly like learning how to drive a car. With the car, your goal was physical freedom; in your business, it's financial freedom. If you had given in to your feelings of fear those first few times behind the wheel, you never would have learned how to drive. In the same way that you had to accept the fact that you would be an incompetent driver before you could become a competent driver, do yourself a favor and accept the fact that in order to gain financial freedom you will have to be incompetent in your business before you become competent. It's that simple.
||Do yourself a favor and accept the fact that in order to gain financial freedom you will have to be incompetent in your business before you become competent.
I can almost hear the groans and see the eyes turning upward as I write this, but the fact remains that physically writing goals has always been the single most defining difference between those who have what they want and those who don't. If you find yourself among the majority of those, not just in MLM, who aren't where they want to be, why not give writing down your goals a shot? What have you got to lose? If you're not writing goals and you're not where you want to be, why would you want to keep on doing what you've always done? If you don't know how to do a goal setting session, there are books, seminars, tapes and upline who can help you.
Here are a few simple suggestions to help you on your way - ones that I have seen help many explode their business.
First, define what your ultimate objective is Network Marketing is, then write it as a positive affirmation, in first person present tense. Put copies of this on a card in your wallet, on a sign on your bathroom mirror and a sign above your desk. Read it out loud as often as you can.
Second, at the end of every day, take a few minutes to review your day and ask yourself a couple of questions:
- - What did I do right today to grow my business and how can I make sure to do it again?
- - What did I do today that I shouldn't repeat, and how can I avoid doing it again in the future?
Third, sit down and make a list of six things you can do tomorrow to help your business explode. These are in addition to your fundamental daily activities (contacting people, for example). They can be big things or little things, but come up with six of them at least. Who in the organization needs a pep talk? Who can I do three-way calls with? Who can I write a "good job" note to? What co-op can I put together for the group? I often find that while making a list, I can come up with nine or more items - for example, that's how I conceived the idea of writing this article. Prioritize the list, making the hardest item the one you will do first.
Then do them! Quickly you will find that your business has taken on a new sense of urgency and focus and growth. If for some reason an item was not accomplished, it goes on the top of the next day's list.
"If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always gotten." I promise you, if you start applying these lessons, you will see a massive difference in yourself and your business - your success will be inevitable.
STEVEN TAIBBI is a full-time Networker with FreeLife. He and his wife Rose live in Huntington, NY.
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Reprinted with permission from Upline, Taibbi Feature - October 1999, 888-UPLINE-1, http://www.upline.com