Category Archives: Business Advice

The METI ™ test vs. The gift-giving scheme

A secret-gift-giving scenario with a Christmas theme has resurrected itself on the internet this week. My goal is to show you how to decide if it’s legitimate.

The description: (how do I write this without triggering a fr@ud alert?) In the scenario, women are asked to send 1 gift of $X to a name they will be given, and there are promises of Y or more gifts in response.

Beyond the US Postal Inspection Service naming it as gambling and mail fraud, physical safety questions, and identification-privacy issues, I wonder why people fall for it (and why some still defend it, even after learning the police warn against it).

I learned from Mariah Nemeth PhD (author of “The Energy of Money”) that the #1 reason for such a decision is…. We humans look for shortcuts, a fast way to create the desired outcome. Our very human drive to “make my life simpler, better, as fast as possible” trips us up, especially when we encounter the subject of money.

But even if we set Dr. Nemeth’s idea aside, how can an ordinary person with no business-analysis experience tell the difference between legitimate requests and Ponzi schemes?

Before launching my first business in my 20’s, I had the same question.

Let’s look at three major sections of launching a business or a Commerce Structure ™ (which I define as a method of giving value, typically financial-based, and receiving some value of any type in response).

I call this the METI ™ Test:

  • YOUR Money
  • YOUR Effort
  • YOUR Time (preparation and after launching) until receiving desired result(s)

All creating a wanted result: Income of money (or other financial value)

I used capital letters to emphasize what you, as an investor or business owner, have to do from conception through reaching the financial break-even point, regardless of the size of your employee staff or distributor team.

Let’s take a look at three Commerce Structures ™ .

Franchise: Your Big: Money, Initial Effort, and Time Commitment. Product Sales Generate the Income.
Lots of time researching and interviewing before signing, lots of money before signup for legal paperwork, lots of money at signup (around a quarter of a million dollars is average), and lots of time and effort to staff and run in its first 3-5 years. You will be lucky to financially break even in the first 3-5 years. Product sales generate the wanted income.

Solo Professional (product or professional service paid via invoice): Your Low-to-medium Money Commitment. Your Big: Effort & Time. Product Sales Generate the Income.
Nearly the same time commitment as franchising, lots of money in education for the proper credentials and/or marketing. You ARE the business, so when you stop working, the money stops coming in. Product sales generate the wanted income.

Mom-and-Pop Retail: Your Low-to-medium Money Commitment. Your Big: Effort & Time. Product Sales Generate the Income.
Nearly the same time commitment as franchising, money at startup will vary, and creating ongoing profitability may be something that you’re continually juggling. Product sales generate the wanted income.

Here’s the pattern.

You must contribute heavily in at least one area, likely 2 or all 3, to successfully launch a business and get it self-sustaining.

Leveraged sales or independent personal distributorships typically require the highest contributions in the Time and Effort categories.

Now consider: How long would each require to cumulatively earn 6 times their initial financial investment?

I’m guessing in terms of years– not months  — for Franchises, Solo Professionals, and Mom-and-Pop Retail.

Let’s return to the secret-gift-giving scenario. The METI ™ test shows:

  • The commitment:  Low Money, Low Effort, Low Time.
  • The claim: Receive 6 times (or more ) your initial investment in two months.

If I described a business that way, would it sound realistic?

Probably not. (Because you’d be asking me, “What’s the catch?”)

For this secret-gift-giving situation, the only way I see money (or money-related value) enter this network of participants is through their initial investment (buying the gift then shipping it; it’s truly “input” when it is received by the other participant). There is a highly imbalanced input of 1 gift into the participant network generating an “income” of 6 or more from that network. Combined, these should signal caution about the stability and fairness-to-latecomers of the model. Adding the Postal Service’s and police’s warnings to the mix, I personally agree this secret-gift-giving scenario is illegal. If it was a “send x number of gifts and receive that same number in response” situation, that is much less questionable.

in summary:

When there is no “Big” commitment in any 3 of “YOUR” areas and your promised returns are significantly higher than your initial investments … and/or your income comes solely from other people’s initial investment, in my personal opinion it signals an illegitimate or illegal situation. In such a case, don’t realistically expect a fast, leveraged, high-quality return. (I am not an attorney and this blog does not constitute legal advice.)

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #trsc #METItm #METItm #greed #secretgiftexchange #secretgiftgiving #networkmarketing #mlm #leveragedsales #partyplan #directsales #marianemethphd #energyofmoney #commercestructure #commercestructuretm #ponzi #christmas

 

P.S. This METI ™ analysis also applies in other areas:

Earning a college degree: Big Money, Effort, and Time. Years to recoup 6 times the initial investment.

Bench pressing twice your weight: Big Effort and Time. I’m guessing years instead of months.

Investing in the stock market: Big Money or Effort or Time. Again, I’m guessing years (the less financial education, the more money and time are required)

P.P.S. I receive no compensation for mentioning Maria Nemeth PhD or her work, nor for any sales generated.

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What’s your code?

“Everyone has a code to crack. Once you’ve cracked the code, you are home free.”
Jordan Adler, Top Income Earner and ANMP Trainer

Each of us comes to this profession with different skillsets, experiences, and levels of personal development. Becoming an industry leader with a sustainable residual income demands high competence in many aspects.

For example, public speaking is fun* for me.

For you, maybe not.

But what you do easily might be challenging for me.

As informal coaches of a team, one of our tasks is to evaluate what our newbie’s business-owner-strengths are… and which ones need practice, professional instruction, or partnering via outsourcing.

In his quote, Jordan implies each person’s code, or group of challenges to face, is unique.

Your “code” won’t likely be the answer for someone else’s situation. But if you ask the right questions in a respectful manner, you can help the newbie discover theirs.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #crackthecode #whatsyourcode #jordanadler #quote #directsales #partyplan #mlm #networkmarketing #leveragedsales #anmp

*P.S.   I feel nervous before the speech or presentation– from the moment I agree to do it– but I know I rock on stage. That nervousness drives me to prepare thoroughly. Besides writing and rehearsal prior to the event, I earned a Competent Communicator ranking in Toastmasters. Over the space of 5 years I attended 10+ days of interactive public speaking training, which focused on releasing nervousness-on-stage & bad memories from stage performance experiences in childhood. And when I take the stage, I OWN the platform. It’s simultaneously exhilarating and humbling to deliver a talk. A fun result doesn’t mean the journey was easy.

 

 

 

How to benefit from good luck, or how to create your own

At some point, good luck requires hard work if success is to be sustained.  –James Clear

Some people do get “lucky.” Their first 3 friends all sign up with no hesitation. They meet a successful yet burnt-out business owner who is ready to jump into something new.

However, good luck makes a strong start but won’t propel you across the finish line.

That is encouraging news for the rest of us.

Even the most “lucky” distributor will need to put focused effort into their business, if they want to keep building. Large organizations and increasing residual income require more than a short-term boost. Consistent effort will keep that momentum going.

And consistent effort can do more for an “average” business than someone riding on the story & results of a “good luck” situation.

Also consider this: you can create a burst of “good luck” by doing a burst of activity.

Many high residual income earners talk about this concept. The idea is, to have an established baseline of business-building activities, and for a set amount of time that YOU decide, to do a “sprint” of those activities. Maybe you choose 30 minutes. Or 3 hours. Or 3 days, 3 weeks, 30/60/90 days. And after the sprint, return to the previous level of activity.

Sprints by nature are not sustainable. They use up a lot of energy in a short time, so no one attempts to run full-speed during the majority of a marathon. But a sprint can grab the finish line glory if you do it at the right time.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwea #therocketsciencecoach #mlm #leveragedsales #partyplan #networkmarketing #luck

 

How to build “cred” when you don’t have any, Part 2

There are 2 basic types of credibility in your business: inside the company structure (covered in a prior post) and with the potential distributors and clients. Let’s discuss the latter situations, particularly for a first-time business owner.

Part of building your business is to spread the word and gather new people into your organization, whether they join as distributors or clients.

Some of you will be fortunate to have people who join your distributor team or buy your product simply because you asked them to. I envy you, and please understand that I truly am happy for you. However, this post is not written for you, so please send the link to your colleagues who are building their business reputations against mild or strong resistance.

I’m here to talk to the people who are struggling, who are told “You’ve been a (job title) for years, what could YOU possibly know about building a business?”, or for whom this is their first adventure into owning a business.

This post is long. I cover 12 tips. Some of these were hard-earned lessons, and I want to save you the pain of discovering them yourself the hard way. Skim through the bolded topic headings and read the ones that are most interesting to you. Bookmark this post, come back next week, and read a few more.

 

Tip 1. DWYSYGTD

Do What You Say You’re Going To Do. This guideline is the foundation of all the other tips.

I’m not talking about loud public declarations that you’re going to rank-advance to “starship commander” level in your first 6 months, followed by a too-busy-to-sleep work schedule.

Instead, I mean show dependability in the everyday promises. Send the email if you say you will. Send the text or make the call when you say you will. Start the live broadcast, webinar or group meeting on time, and end on time. Be in “business hours” on the hours you have scheduled for that purpose.

And we all mess up…. when it happens, apologize, do the delayed task that same day, then make extra efforts to be dependable for this person in the future.

 

Tip 2. You will never be good enough for some people

The faster you accept this fact, the happier you will be along your business journey. You will recognize these people by their actions: if you mess up and sincerely apologize, they never trust you again because they expect nothing less than perfection. Or, they name numerous “conditions” you or the company needs to fulfill before they join your team or purchase your product. When those goals are accomplished, they simply add more conditions. This is otherwise known as “moving the goalpost.”

Even if they don’t join, they will still be watching you. Just smile to yourself and keep working.

 

Tip 3. Be consistent in your outreach

If you join a networking group, show up every time. Becoming a familiar face will help you be known as someone dependable. It is better to be a member of three groups that you attend regularly, than to join 10 but be sporadic in most or all of them.  Likewise for social media or blogs: post consistently. For example, I post on this blog every Thursday.

Most non-business-focused social media platforms have birthday reminders. If you post a happy birthday message on their social media page, post a personalized messages (with similar impact) for all your contacts on that forum.  Either log in each day to post the current messages, or log in every week and post those messages for the upcoming week. By doing so, you show people you are consistent and you pay attention to details… which add to your credibility.

 

Tip 4. Connect with your new contact in a memorable way

Texts, emails, and social media messages are quick, but a different approach is needed to stay top-of-mind for the long term.

Consider mailing a nice-to-meet-you physical greeting card to each person you meet in a business environment.

Paper cards may seem “old fashioned” by the major populace, but they have always been in style among people in the high economic brackets and leaders of large corporations.

Sending to those latter groups of people shows you understand the unwritten but important rules of operating as their peer.

The more money people make, the more important it becomes to thank them for their time, which is their most precious resource. If you wish to attract high income earners or influential business owners into your distributor team or have them as clients, DO THIS STEP.

With more and more companies adopting Relationship Marketing philosophies, personalized paper greeting cards are making a comeback.

With nearly everyone, paper cards will make you memorable in a good way, because people rarely receive fun mail. (When’s the last time you received something other than a bill or an advertisement in your postal box?) Many will display the card on their desk or somewhere in their home for months or years.

Avoid sending the note on business stationary… it’s not a memo or a financial quote for a project!

Use an online service that prints your quickly-typed personal message into a greeting card and physically mails it on your behalf, or buy some cards at the local store. If the recipients are from the same company, it’s fine to use the same cover design, but remember to use a unique personal message for each as they are likely to compare cards.

Please be aware that USA people born after approximately 1980 were NOT taught how to write or read cursive handwriting! So if in doubt, neatly print the body of the message, and sign it in a cursive style.

 

Tip 5. Choose ONE company to represent

Credible people focus on one business. If I want to choose an expert so I get good advice, I choose someone who concentrates their business on that area or that company. The ideal is, when people at networking events hear your company name, YOU come to mind.

 

Tip 6. Have a long-term view (be committed to your business 3 years minimum)

Longevity with ONE company shows people you’re serious about this. You automatically gain credibility by simply sticking around!

Your company’s product or service is the cornerstone of its profitability. A business, by definition, SELLS a product or service to generate revenue. So, do you LIKE the product? Are you proud to use it? Would you buy it if you weren’t getting paid to market it? If you can’t offer an enthusiastic Yes to all three questions in your current company, keep searching until you find a product that can.

Are you dismayed by the wait-and-see attitude of your family, friends, or networking contacts? Perhaps your friends and family have seen you excited about projects, then 2 weeks later you have moved onto something else. It’s likely that the people you are meeting at networking events have seen their friends join and quit in quick succession for various leveraged sales companies. In both cases there’s nothing you can do about their opinions. However, multiple-year longevity speaks for itself (and sometimes you need to remind yourself of Tip 2)!

Please note that I understand some people choose to move to other companies. I understand and respect people who change when the product quality degrades significantly, or the upper management steers the company away from long-term healthy growth. Know that you WILL lose some of your credibility by moving to a different company, and you will lose even more by quitting the profession altogether.

If you quit, your customers might choose to stay… and sometimes that locks you out of approaching them about your new product line (due to noncompete clauses for your former and/or new company). Don’t think you can ignore those noncompetes… the parent companies protect their organizations and will proceed with legal action. Besides it damages your credibility once the word gets out (and it will)!

Think twice or three times about jumping to another company because of the “shiny new thing” syndrome or because they are offering large “fast money.” If you want something to excite you again, take an adventurous vacation instead of jumping ship.

 

Tip 7. Be a connector

Think about the people in your networks: colleagues, networking groups, religious groups, sports clubs, etc. When you meet a new person, ask yourself, “Who in my network needs to meet this person?” Invite them both to coffee, or host a videoconference among the three of you if they are geographically remote. They will remember you were the one to connect them, which builds your credibility.

 

Tip 8. Be a continual student of your company and your profession

When your company announces a new product or service offering, learn about it. Keep your team and clients informed if your company does not send timely announcements. Think about your clients or potential clients who can be aided by this new offering, and let them know it is available.

You lose credibility if a colleague or potential teammate mentions the new offering and you have no idea what they are talking about!

 

Tip 9.  Share information THEY are looking for

People are more than their job or business. Find out what they like to do for fun. “What do you like to do when you’re NOT working?” is a good question to ask. For example, when you learn someone likes kayaking, you can send them links to kayaking articles or announcements about a kayaking specialist coming to town. They may already know, but guaranteed they will be impressed that you remembered their hobby AND you took the time to share the tidbit. By doing so, you stay top of mind, and that creates a reputation of credibility automatically.

 

Tip 10. Look for ways you can write articles or post instructional videos

If you have a business-focused social media profile (different from your personal profile), you can post business-focused articles you write.

Does your local Chamber of Commerce, networking group, country club, school alumni association, or other organization publish an electronic newsletter? Most of these are looking for quality content, but be advised they will reject a self-promoting article. If you can write about your area of expertise/experience in general terms (such as the importance of applying sunscreen to prevent premature skin damage), then in your end-of-article author’s bio you can usually give people a way to reach you. And in this digital age, people can search for your name online and find your web site.

Posting videos on easily-searchable platforms is another way to gain credibility. That’s not my area of concentration, so search for instructors if you’re interested in this aspect.

Slow: Self-publishing a book (electronically or print) is a major multi-month or multi-year step. Such a project is, quite frankly, a distraction until you have advanced at least 2 ranks in your current company. I have talked with authors who are distributors in our profession, and they say they spent much more money than they made on publishing a book.

 

Tip 11. Speak well regarding your colleagues, other companies, or their distributors

You might get away with badmouthing in the short term, but when people find out this tactic you will become known as “two-faced,” and that automatically damages your credibility. At the same time, you are not obligated to speak in rousing terms about other companies, so I suggest you take a respectful positive tone when asked about them or when referring to them.

 

Tip 12. Say a sincere thank you.

Express your sincere verbal thanks immediately. Look them in the eye, say “Thank you,” and hold their gaze for another 2 seconds while you naturally let your mouth curve into a genuine and friendly smile. Connect with that person visually so they FEEL your sincerity.

If you want to make a longer-lasting impression, send a physical greeting card of gratitude. The higher up in the economic or business-decision-making level, the more appreciative the person will be to receive a physical card. And clients should definitely be thanked for their initial purchase, once a year minimum thereafter, and unexpectedly at least one time during the year. See a business profitability firm’s study to increase profits. See Tip 4 for guidelines for writing and sending cards.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #trsc #credibility #potentialclients #potentialdistributors #directsales #partyplan #mlm #networkmarketing #leveragedsales #growingcredibility #part2 #thisoneislong #longpost #howtobuildcredwhenyoudonthaveany

 

 

 

 

Move the goalpost

Have you taken a deep and candid look at your vision board or goal sheet lately?

I used to want a fancy sportscar … but now we live in Europe and enjoy fast & comfortable public transit. We are whisked along the rails past rush hour gridlock. There is little on-the-street parking and few parking lots. A car has become more of a liability than a pleasure.

Some of the goals I set years ago also involve people and animals who have since passed away… needless to say it’s time for me to rewrite or drop them.

And I’m simply not interested in some goals anymore.

It’s okay to release a goal.

If you feel resistance to dropping one you no longer want, ask yourself, “Whom am I trying to impress with this goal?”

Be willing to let go someone else’s ideal of your success.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #movethegoalpost #goals #partyplan #directsales #leveragedincome #leverage #leveragedsales #mlm #networkmarketing

Speaking in opposites

Business language can be backwards in its approach.

In a recent industry-wide webinar, I observed people speaking about their businesses.

One person used a word starting with the letter k (a synonym for ending life) and he meant it as a compliment of how well he performed a recent presentation to potential business colleagues.

Another talked about massive growth and used a word beginning with b.

(actual words omitted because I don’t need some search engine flagging my blog as violent)

And the presenter challenged the crowd with a common question: “How bad do you want it?”

These statements got me thinking about how our subconscious mind interprets language.

In personal development books and seminars I learned how the subconscious mind interprets language. It is like a 3 or 4 year old child, taking things literally, regardless of how old we are or how many years of school we attended.

So I started asking myself, “Do we really want to end our businesses? Do we want them to expand so quickly and unsustainably that they disintegrate and burn everything in their vicinity?”

Well, not really. Those words are metaphors for enrolling everyone, or for rapidly expanding growth.

And it’s truly not “bad” to want something… it’s another way of saying I want it STRONGLY.

Scoff if you wish at what seems like verbal nit-picking … but realize the center of motivation and goal setting listens to the literal. Yes, your internal toddler controls your goal-setting.

Consider these alternate phrases:

“I wow’d everyone!” “Momentum!” and “How strongly do you want it?” are three suggested substitutions.

Watch your language… it can program you for success or failure, even inadvertently.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #watchyourlanguage #language #literal #opposites #speaking #speakinginopposites

Fail like a Texan

(For those of you who like the state of Texas, USA… hold your horses, I’m about to give you a compliment. Keep reading…)

My husband and I completed our first nine months of German language classes this month. Whew! We learned more than 1700 vocabulary words and feel much more confident about holding simple conversations.

However, there were LOTS of times I didn’t know the answer. Or I wasn’t sure of the answer.

But I remembered advice from some of my network marketing mentors who hail from the Lone Star State: “Go Big or Go Home.”

It’s an encouragement, to not be timid about what you do in life. Steer clear of bombast, yet have some neutral-to-confident attitude even when you’re learning. Don’t assume you’re always right… and don’t assume you’re always wrong.

So I decided I could do that with my voice. I forced myself to enunciate clearly and speak in a plenty-loud voice so everyone in the classroom could hear me.

And when wrong, I accepted the correction gracefully.

In learning languages or in business, when you’re starting out (or learning a new skill), you will be wrong a lot before you’re right most of the time. You won’t know all the answers. The product or delivery might need tweaking. You might need to practice more after your second presentation than you did prior to your first.

And you might surprise yourself by how often you’re “right” or moving effectively toward your goal. How even a flawed presentation can enroll new business partners. How being honest that you don’t know the answer can dramatically increase trust.

Speak with a voice that your audience can hear. And be willing to accept your stumbles as part of the process.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #trsc #failure #faillikeatexan #lonestarstate #leveragedsales #directsales #partyplan #mlm #networkmarketing