The Six-Week Delay

I have noticed there is a six-week delay in building a network marketing or direct sales business. It reminds me of the behavior of a locomotive.

Think of a locomotive that is standing still with its engine idling and 20 loaded boxcars hooked behind. As the engineer shifts the engine into a forward gear, the linkages between the cars slam taut in a chain of sound down the length of the train, the wheels squeal against the steel rails, and the engine slooooowly begins to pull the cars forward. That train will slowly build up speed. The engineer knows this is all part of the process, as well as understanding it is easier to maintain a speed rather than stop-and-start.

By comparison, if one has been ignoring one’s business and decides to resume business-building actions, there is approximately a six-week delay until the pipeline of one-to-one appointments, home parties, and enrollments fills back up. Once it is “back to speed,” a well-trained organization can continue the pace or even speed up with little additional effort.

Back to the boxcars and engine.

If the engineer was to build the train’s speed to a comfortable pace then let it “coast” on level ground, she would observe that the train doesn’t slow down much at first. The sheer momentum of the massive weight of the loaded boxcars would urge the train to continue at nearly the same speed. Its gradual decline in speed may not be apparent for some time… until the speed is significantly reduced.

In our businesses, it can be tempting to take time off. There’s no boss telling us what to do, and the golf course is certainly less crowded during the workdays.

I’m not talking about a day of rest on the weekend nor a planned vacation; I’m speaking about the gradual erosion of commitment. It sounds like this: “I don’t feel like working today. Besides, what’s one more day? The pipeline is full and things are going great!”

It can be tempting to repeat the process until the 5-days-a-week becomes 3-days-a-week… or two or even one day a week. You lost momentum. Once severely slowed or even halted, the energy from your marketing outreach and business-presentations take about six weeks to lose their effectiveness, so the effect is not necessarily easy to see early in the process.

That delay can be deceiving, especially for the newer distributors in an organization.

New people tend to feel impatient that their teams are growing sporadically, and sometimes they stop before the momentum has a chance to work in their favor.

And people with less experience in our industry commonly underestimate the effect of consistent activity, and they tend to wonder why they feel they are quote “always restarting.”

So if we tell the story of the locomotive and boxcars, we can guide our newer team members more effectively.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

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