23 Jun 2011, 7:58am
Why 98% Fail

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  • Grow Your Own Food4Wealth

  • Marketing Disclosure

  • Don’t Snuggle With Struggle: Personal Development May Be Harmful To Your Success

    There is an absolute given in Network Marketing and if you have spent any time in Multi-Level Marketing you know it:  you must be engaged in some form of Personal Development activity.

    This could take the form of books, eBooks, CDs, online programs, seminars, webinars, aphorisms delivered to your inbox daily, or a weekend – even week long – residence programs. The Self-Help industry is huge as we all know, but why with MLM?

    Why is it so indispensible to Network Marketers?

    Now a common belief, both inside Network Marketing and most especially in sales forces everywhere, we all seem to be ‘working on ourselves’ to grasp the success that has so far eluded us. Or to bite off more if we’ve already tasted some sweet success

    But why Personal Development & MLM? Why this peculiar marriage?

    It was when I began my second go-around in MLM that Tom & Francie, my upline sponsors, asked me what kind of Personal Development I was doing. And they asked it with an air of assumption that quite honestly confused and fooled me.

    “Personal Development? What’s that?”

    “Well, it’s what keeps you in the game. You’ll have to do some form of PD if you want to take this seriously and get what you want out of it. If you go to our company’s home site you’ll see a resource there featuring Randy Gage and his Prosperity series.”

    And so I did. And it was both fascinating and personally revealing. Before reading Gage I had no idea how negatively programmed for success I had been.

    But WHY Personal Development? And why especially with Network Marketing?

    Perhaps in the form of a question this could be a hint:

    Why is there such a high presence of counselors, individuals recovering from one form of addiction or another, and religious true believers in Network Marketing?

    A clearer answer emerged in 2008 in Houston at my current company’s convention. The presenter was a young, vibrant and attraction woman who with her husband had attained the highest level the company honors, that of Presidential. In one sentence she gave me a huge lead on making sense of all this.

    She said, “This business will challenge every weakness you have.”

    Every weakness. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, every weakness.

    Be it self-doubt, or an addiction, or the result of some kind of abuse in your early years, or poverty programming from any socio-economic, religio-cultural background.

    Any one or a combination of any, could very well be simultaneously both an obstacle to success and the impetus to take action. So Personal Development is often seen as a means to overcoming some shortcoming that you are now determined to remedy.

    But I still wasn’t satisfied. The answer only seemed to be addressing some sort of  surface internal struggle. What was the connection with success and in particular with MLM? After all, I keep running across people who have been in MLM for 20, 25, 30 years, and they are STILL working on themselves and their success!

    A more satisfying answer, a much more satisfying answer, lies in of all places a book on psychotherapy by Brad Blanton entitled Radical Honesty.  (The word ‘radical’ comes from the Latin ‘radix’ which means ‘root’. The honesty Blanton is writing of is comes from the deepest places we can find in ourselves.)

    From the book (the boldface is my doing):

    “The source of our power to produce the results we want does not lie in our beliefs, our hopes or our time-consuming struggle to change. The person who says he wants to lose weight, but says he just can’t give up midnight snacks, may believe he is in a struggle  between “being good” and “giving in” to his cravings, but in fact he has already chosen to keep snacking. The “struggle” that he describes serves to hide this fact.

    “By focusing our attention on our apparent struggle to change – the reasons and explanations and excuses that we generate instead of results – we engage in a conspiracy to pretend that we are each an accidental grouping of disharmonious parts working against each other. . . Instead of examining more closely the actual way in which we operate, which consists of ‘trying’ to get what we want and then sabotaging our own efforts, we assume our error is in not trying hard enough, and redouble both our efforts and our resistance. We always manage to stay one step ahead of ourselves, so that we never quite reach our goals. By focusing on the struggle instead of on the results, we avoid having to admit that the one who wants to change and the one who resists change are one and the same, that we are whole, and that we really do get what we want – which is struggle, rather than results. But until I can experience my own resistance as ‘me’ . . . I am doomed to be locked in the hopeless struggle for control.”

    “. . . suppose we consider ourselves to be already what we long to be: functional, integrated wholes who produce the results we choose, effortlessly, with our entire beings. Suppose we all, already, are that. All the apparent contradictions and dichotomies . . . are actually smokescreens, false struggles enacted by our own minds to hide from others or ourselves our true intent. Our true intent is to do just what we do.

    “Our energy is totally invested in maintaining our lives the way they are, and the phony struggle for change only conceals the ways in which the status quo serves us. Our apparent battle for change is a tempest in a teapot. As long as I identify my “self” only as that desire to change and not also as a presently more powerful desire to remain the same, I will remain stuck. In a sense, I can change, finally, only by giving up trying to change.”

    By now you know what I am implying and if you don’t I will spell it out.

    We will take Blanton’s last sentence and substitute ‘personally develop’ for ‘change’:

    As long as I identify my “self” only as that desire to personally develop and not also as a presently more powerful desire to remain the same, I will remain stuck. In a sense, I can personally develop, finally, only by giving up trying to personally develop.”

    In Network Marketing the inability to meet with the success participants state they desire achieving is around 98%. Ninety-eight percent of ALL participants, industry wide, regardless of ‘opportunity’ (you should pardon the pun) or company, do not succeed.


    And since it is a given we know that a very large percentage of that 98% are heavily into, yes, you guessed it, Personal Development.

    Too much, way too much, of a coincidence.

    So what I am stating outright now is this: Personal Development serves as a convenient frame of reference for “the struggle to succeed”, the struggle that most people have been secretly conspiring with their internal ‘self’ to ensure.

    Despite all the personal development, their struggling self has bought into manifestation all the socio-economic, religio-cultural programming they were exposed to and are supposedly working to make sure does not come true.

    For Hamlet the play is the thing but for most Network Marketers the struggle becomes the thing – so who needs success! Because if they ever got it,, they wouldn’t be able to snuggle up to their old friend Struggle.

    I want to be very clear here. I am not diminishing all the negative, poisonous and destructive programming, disguised as acculturation and socializing, that is injected into us. All that cultural, religious, socializing and political brainwashing is REAL and it WORKS. That’s why it’s done. (There’s another reason but that will have to wait for another article. Blanton does a wonderful job of calling out all this “lying” and the cause of ALL stress.)

     Besides, since I know it very well and first-hand myself, I am not without empathy and compassion for those honestly struggling.

    We ARE led to live dreadful and unfulfilling lives by practically every institution we are exposed and surrendered to by the authorities of our culture and society. But I do not think or suspect, and certainly don’t believe, that Personal Development alone possesses the key to unlocking the vastness of the power that lies within ourselves.

    What does?

    Two things.

    One is the Truth and the Truth is that we all ARE powerful beyond our wildest imaginings and it scares the hell out of us.

    So as protection we instead embrace the lie that is Struggle.

    Second is taking action. Do the thing and you will have the power as Emerson wrote.

    So, once again, why IS there this  marriage of Personal Development and Network Marketing?

    It’s a formalized excuse, the one most culturally approved, and popularly recognized and easiest to commiserate with within the MLM culture.

    The ONLY solution is to tell the Truth, most especially to yourself. But if you honestly need help, get a mentor who will help you acquire the skills necessary to make it and who WILL hold you accountable.

    Accountable for your Actions. The ones that will unlock your power.

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    My new eBook Culture, Politics, Entertainment & Irresponsibility in Network Marketing is not just about Network Marketing - it is about Success & Failure and the distractions that take us off track. It also explores how we just might be co-operating with those who want our attention at any cost - even our success. You can check out my new eBook by clicking on the image and getting it to your eReader in minutes.
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