I was driving home after dropping Nikki off at work the other day and had the radio on. On came the song Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill. I remembered the song from a few years back and even though I didn’t care for it too much I let it play since I was going to be home in a few minutes anyway. The song itself is based around self respect and pre-marital / irresponsible sex. At 2:22 a line is said that made me pause. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz8_aQY27dc and skip to 2:22 for reference)
“How you gonna win if you ain’t right within?”
As I listened to the song my mind referenced directly to our business. I looked back at myself before I really started learning how the business worked. I then compared my past with who I am today. How I think, my overall attitude etc. I then paralleled that line in the song with our training and mentorship system. Many critics of Amway or training systems such as WWDB feel that these training systems are unneccesary, are pyramid schemes and the big money is made off of the sales of motivational tools etc. These critics will point to the fact that they were not profitable, they lost money etc and blame their uplines or the system for lying to them. Now I can’t say what someone has or has not experienced through attempting to build their own Amway business or through a line of sponsorship through WWDB. But the line in the song – “How are you going to win if you ain’t right within?” really nailed it for me. Hold onto your butts, I’m going to be all over the place with this one.
Since I was a child I was taught what to learn. How to count. How to do math equations. How to form a sentence. How to spell. Canadian Geography. World Geography. Basic history. Scientific theories and facts and so on. A basic foundation was laid so that when I reached 18 – 20 I could then specialize in a field and become certified to find a job in that field. I was taught how to build up knowledge on all of these aspects. I was not taught nor did I learn about building myself. Knowledge is necessary to be a functioning member of society,true. But my self worth, my self image, my self esteem which all ties to self confidence had no source with which to build itself aside from natural victories that we all achieve as we grow up.
For each child their victories are different. My victories that fed my self confidence was my ability to be good at playing lacrosse, basketball and volleyball. I was good at reading aloud and presenting. For other kids they may find victories in playing music or singing well. They may be highly intelligent and get all A+’s in school and master subjects with ease.
Every child has a natural built in way that they will have victories in their lives as they grow that will build their inner self image, their inner self worth. On the other side of childhood is the negative stuff. Verbal or physically abusive parents, bullying at school, lack of finding an area of life that one is good at, foster care, sexual abuse and so on…. any of these or, in some cases, a combination of these can fight against the natural positives that help build us up. If there is an excess of negative it can offset or completely wipe out all of these positive building blocks of a person’s self image that we all need.
A negative self image is crippling. It held me in thrall for years due to a lot of bad stuff that happened as I was growing up. Everyone has their story in one way, shape or form. And all of these things add up to who we are, how we view the world and how we look at life.
There are many people who have had a great upbringing – who are self confident in who they are, who have a rock solid positive self-image. But for each of these, there are many more who have many self doubts, negative outlooks on life, negative outlooks on their own abilities. And then they meet me. Or Nikki. Or our Diamond upline. And we show them this opportunity – The ability to run their own business powered by the mentorship of World Wide Group and the manufacturing of Amway.
Up until this point I have no idea what this person has been through in their life. I don’t know what their insecurities are; what they’re good at or what they’re scared of. I would say though that 90% of people that look to this opportunity as another way to move forward in life will find one or more aspects of this business intimidating in one way or another.
Many leaders who have moved on have said that this business is a simple business. But it takes a tonne of hard work. What kind of work? Well the obvious work is in being able to consistently run 50PV of customer volume per month. “Sales”. Thankfully 50PV is a small amount. Any sales person that ran a puny $135 – $160.00 in monthly volume at their job would be fired for lack of production. The other aspect is the duplication of your business. Sponsoring or “franchising” if you will. Duplicating your organization’s volume through other business owners.
And that therein lies the problem. People. We’re in a people business. About 45% of what we do is working with people when we sponsor other people into business for themselves. (5% is serving our customers / 50% is personal growth) And that’s where things get tough. A majority of people who start their business have never been an entrepreneur before. With all of the learning they did in school, they were not taught how to build a business. Their foundation is that of learning to specialize in a field of study to get a job and work for someone else. So running a business and the mentality behind it is underdeveloped right off the bat. Because this business is simple, the ins and outs can be learned fairly quickly.
The problem is the growing or increasing of one’s organization that takes place via sponsoring. The duplication or franchising, if you will. Mike Woods said it best in an EDC attitude session he recorded:
“When you show someone this business you’re telling them to follow you. And they’ll be looking right back at you saying – Why Should I?”
In no way was I ever taught how to lead others in school. I was taught information to learn and memorize. Not that this was bad. But leadership and self worth are not taught in the education curriculum. And that brings me around to the Lauryn Hill song. “How you gonna win if you ain’t right within?” How can you possibly lead someone if you yourself are not on track? How can you talk with people about going into business together when you don’t have the self worth to even say hello to someone? When you have low self image you find it hard to even look someone in the eyes as you pass them in the hall at work or on the street. I see it all the time – people walk by me looking straight at the ground. Just like I used to do. I had nothing to offer anyone. I didn’t have the courage to start a conversation because they might think I’m weird. How dare I ask them how their day is going. How dare I say hi to them! I wasn’t right within myself. My negative experiences of being bullied for years, going through the foster care system had beaten the positive out of me. I stuck to what I was good at and stayed in my little comfort circle where people couldn’t bug me or attack me.
So coming from that – what right would I have to immediately tell someone I will be their lifeline in business? The thought of it is ridiculous. That’s one reason why we have an upline who will help their downline as they grow and mature. But how would anyone grow themselves to have a better self image, to grow in their self confidence? There’s no post secondary course for that. Its not taught in elementary school or high school.
For us, that’s where WWDB comes in. If the main way of growing a successful Amway business is to help others and lead others – we must first become what we wish to duplicate. We have to be “right within” before we can win. John Maxwell says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” If we start out in this business having never been a leader, never having helped other people develop themselves – then we have some work to do so we can develop those things in ourselves. We need to grow back that positive self image, grow back that positive self worth. As a leader we need to be an example for those we are putting into business so they have an example to follow and a benchmark to look up to. If I do not improve how in the hell can I ever expect anyone else to? More importantly: if I do not improve myself how can I help others to do that? Simple answer – I CAN’T. And I won’t. If I haven’t gotten over my negative self image and self esteem issues, I’ll never even start to have a downline to help because I’ll still be stuck not talking to people,not getting to know new people or getting out of my comfort zone.
And then when nothing positive is happening I’ll begin to believe that the business doesn’t work. Or it’s too hard. Getting over all of this baggage is tough. Changing is hard. What I’ve seen is that the role of World Wide is to help and encourage people to grow back that positive self image; that self confidence in themselves that either was lost or just didn’t have a chance to grow at all. It is a system that has been put in place where people can feel safe to grow themselves. They have to “Be Right Within” before they can win. You cannot help others become more than what you already are. World Wide facilitates that. It puts people who have done the hard work in growing their self images to be able to become leaders. Once they reach that point where they are strong in their view of themselves they can then be more successful in leading others. They grow this by reading positive books. They grow by listening to positive stories from other people who are going through the same battles as they are – and winning.
As one grows themself, their ability to believe in themselves and their abilities then allows them to take the chances they need to take to build their width. Before that they would never speak to people. Never take a chance in getting turned down. First you need to grow yourself until you can believe in yourself. Once you believe in yourself, you can believe in the opportunity and that you can accomplish what you want. This goes towards anything in life – not just this business. If you “believe” – you can achieve. How many motivational movies have been filmed about the belief of overcoming, of achieving? Of making it? It starts with belief. A belief in an outcome. You will never believe that outcome will be possible until you believe in yourself. And if you aren’t “right within“, you won’t even take the risk in believing that anything will work for you or happen for you. Period.
We tell our kids – you can do anything if you work hard and you believe that you can do it. If that wasn’t the case – there would be no kids that would ever make it to pro sports. Only a few people really make it. There’s a lot who fail on that path. But will you tell that to a kids face? Or will you tell him/her to work hard and believe in themselves and they’ll have a chance? How you answer that may say a lot about you as well.
“How you gonna win if you ain’t right within?” As I’ve been involved with the business and part of the World Wide system I can look back at myself and see how I was the way I was. I can see why I felt the way I felt and thought the way I thought about life and the world. When I look at my team I can see why it isn’t as big as I want it to be. Because I still have some work to do on me. And one thing I do know is, responsible people look inward first instead of blaming everything else why something isn’t going the way it should. My team will continue to grow when I’ve built myself to be able to be a good enough leader to support them and help them the right way and not before. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. If my success’ come at the downfall of others it will be a fleeting and temporary success and the foundation will crumble and fall. And I don’t want any part of that.
I want to win. So I’m proud that I’m on a journey to get right within.