Category Archives: LYnn’s Stories

Are you stealing?

You may have heard this advice.

Comparison is the thief of joy.        –Theodore Roosevelt

Some sponsors tell this to their distributors, to keep the newbies from feeling depressed about “not moving fast enough in the business.”

(I have even heard top 10% income earners in several businesses make the same complaint about their personal enrollment and personal customer gathering efforts. It’s a common feeling of frustration.)

So, you may have given this advice to your team… but do you follow it?

Before you answer, there’s an angle you might not have considered…

Let me explain with a story.

It was my first network marketing company. I had to build the confidence and skills from scratch. It took me more than a year to gather my first 20 customers. I asked certainly more than 100 people, including all my relatives who had households of their own or ran a household. (This was a one-per-household type of product.) I persevered through a lot of outright no’s, a large helping of promises-not-fulfilled, and plenty of brush-offs.

I attended the Wednesday evening business presentation and Saturday training every week for the entire time. As I got closer and closer to the magic 20, the company started bringing the newly-accomplished distributors to the front of the presentation room each week, to shower them with praise for completing this milestone during the past seven days.

It gave me the fuel to work even harder to finish.

Then came that awesome day when I did. I jumped around excitedly in our apartment and took special care with how I dressed for that next presentation meeting, prepared to be brought to stage with the other distributors who accomplished the goal during the past 7 days.

With a huge grin on my face, I showed up early and reported to the stage manager with the other smiling faces.

“I gathered my first 20 customers!”

“Great! What’s your name?” he asked, slightly hunched as he wrote the pertinent information on a palm-sized folded paper with his ballpoint pen.

“How long did it take?” as he lifted his head a little, locking eyes with me with a smile and an expectant look on his face.

I told him.

He took the pen away from the paper and stood straight up. His smile of excitement fell off. And what he said took away mine.

In a slightly condescending manner he said in a low voice, “Accomplishing the goal should be reward enough.”

Now I felt confused. “But, you announce the distributors every week, and I accomplished the goal, just like they did  (and I thought, ‘just like the other people standing here who are hearing this’).”

He said in a much firmer voice, “Accomplishing the goal should be reward enough.” And then he turned to the next person, effectively dismissing me.

Color me mad.

He was the highest ranked distributor in the room and was in charge of the meeting. There was no one else to appeal to.

When time came to congratulate the newest batch of 20-customer-gatherers, I graciously applauded for them.

But I sat there thinking, the way I was treated was “How NOT to be a leader in network marketing.”… and I promised to remember how I felt, to use this lesson to guide me when I became a leader.

It also made me wonder: What other goals in this company will be highly praised for some but brushed off for others reaching the same milestone?

Let’s talk about how this lesson applies more than 15 years later.

When a new (or seasoned) distributor has not reached a goal, do you directly or indirectly scold them for “moving slowly?”

Do you compare people in a destructive way, saying things like “If you were serious about the business, you would already have accomplished ____________. So-and-So has (no network marketing experience, 9 children, 3 full-time jobs, only 5 minutes a week to work the business, etc.) and THEY already did it!!”

Don’t steal a distributor’s joy of progress.

Much like how we don’t criticize children by harshly comparing the beginning violin student’s squeaky bow work with the smooth mellow tones of the child prodigy. The fact that the personal milestone was reached, the skill was increased and a definite improvement noticed, is reason enough to celebrate. A newbie gathering their first 5 customers IS, I repeat IS, a big deal. Even if it took them 6 months and you did it in 6 hours.

Now let’s talk about the more typical goals of our profession: the customer gathering tally, rank advancement, team volume level.

No matter how long it takes your distributor to accomplish the goal, please celebrate it with as much enthusiasm and pride as you do for the fastest moving distributors on your team: One-to-one and in team meetings. With their permission…on their social media page.

Reaching the destination is what matters. Not the speed, not the flash.

Sure, you might make a bigger splash about the people who reach the goals super-fast. Those might be the people to whom you give a speaking role at the regional meetings and company conventions.

I’m not suggesting you give the equivalent of “participation trophies.” Just don’t make the mistake of making only a private, lukewarm acknowledgement ( or a brush-off) to the ones who move slowly. Such a reaction gives the impression you are dissatisfied with their actions.

The distributor is looking to you, the leader, to demonstrate expected response of leaders in YOUR business. They are asking themselves,

“This is how I feel. Am I being



And Rewarded Appropriately

for accomplishing this goal?”

Such a seemingly dissatisfied reaction from the person they look up to (you!) collides with their newly-won sense of pride. Your comparison, through what you omit, has the strong potential to steal their joy.

Distributors will notice when you seem embarrassed by them … and don’t be surprised if they leave for a team, a leader, a company that celebrates their success.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

P.S. I went on to gather more than 100 personal customers with that company.

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #trsc #areyoustealing #joy #volume #goals #participationtrophy #rankadvancement #leveragedsales #networkmarketing #partyplan #directsales #mlm


Say “Awe!”

In the northern hemisphere, many people are decorating their homes and windowsills with holiday lights and ornaments.

Menorahs gleam in ever-increasing candlelight.

White and colored tiny lights blink a welcome.

Here in Germany, the recent coating of snow makes many old half timber buildings look like a classic Christmas card.

Wherever you are in the world, my wish for you this week is that you find a moment where you stop and take a gasp of wonder at a beautiful sight.

A cat bumping heads with the person holding it.

A child’s delighted laughter.

The sunlight suddenly illuminating your favorite tree.

And if this season of celebration is painful for you, you might be comforted by last week’s post.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #sayawe


A beautiful and brutal time of year

In early 2014 my parents in law perished in an automobile accident.

I hoped that the 2014 Christmas season would be less brutal than I was cautioned to expect.


That year I could barely handle looking at holiday decor and sentiments, which is tough when one’s business deals squarely with those themes in the biggest financial quarter of the year.

I recall handling my clients’ requests with calmness and friendliness, but frequently after hanging up the phone or coming home after a meeting, I would cry from grief.

Subsequent years have been easier, but always include twinges of bittersweet memories.

If this describes you, know you are not alone.

Nowadays I look forward to the snow, low nighttime light, and the surge of friendly tidings of friends and strangers. I enjoy helping people select their items for purchase from our web site and giving pointers about designing their personal greetings of the season.

This season tends to heighten emotions, whether of past celebrations, current friends and family, or of those left behind or gone.

Regardless of what your product or service is, at least some of your clients and potential clients are experiencing similar, usually hidden, grief. It can manifest outwardly in angry responses to questions, suddenly cancelled appointments, and other awkward sales situations.

Please don’t take their actions personally. They might be receptive again after the new year begins.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #christmastime #grief




An Everyday Thankfulness

My husband and I moved to Germany a few months ago, so this is the first major holiday we’re spending away from extended family and friends that we’ve known for many years.

However, it’s a normal day in Deutschland.

My husband went to work, just like all the other employees in the country.

Grocery stores and post office are open. Trains run on their typical workday schedules instead of the reduced-frequency Sunday/Holiday timetables. No greetings of “Happy Thanksgiving” from people walking by. Here in late November, the undercurrent of excitement is from the openings of the Weinachtsmarkts (Christmas-theme outdoor markets) in each major town, starting this week or shortly thereafter.

I can’t find canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, or stuffing mix in any of the local grocery stores. I have no idea where to get a whole turkey, fresh or frozen. Cranberries are mythologically hard to find. Pumpkin pie has not been spotted in any store or bakery we’ve seen thus far.

Yet, I am thankful.

Moving here is a 15 year headstart on a long-time dream. My husband is employed in a job he loves. People are kind when we speak our beginner-level German but butcher the pronunciation and grammar. I can walk to a major grocery store within 10 minutes. I can hop on a train and in less than an hour indulge myself in several old downtowns crammed with gorgeous 5-storey half-timber (fachwerk) houses.

I am grateful for the internet, which allows me to seamlessly continue serving my USA based clients and gather new ones here. Social media helps me keep in touch with my friends and admire their gorgeous Thanksgiving dinner tables from afar.

We are in good health and have access to the universal health care mandated for every person staying in this country longer than 90 days.

I can pick up a phone or connect a video call over the Internet to hear loved ones’ voices on a whim.

And, I’m grateful for you. Regardless of the country you live in, thank you for reading my posts. I appreciate your time and send you best wishes for a joyous end-of-year holiday season.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #aneverydaythankfulness #gratitude #thanksgiving #networkmarketing #mlm #residualincome



That wall behind you

Recall your most recent company regional event or convention.

Have you squinted at slides with tiny writing or low contrast, spending your brainpower trying to understand them (instead of paying attention to what the speaker is saying)?

That’s me.

I wear glasses and have them checked every year.

But at a convention or training session, I’m not necessarily in a good spot to read the visual projections of what you prepared. I might be at the back of the room or over to the side, craning my neck to see around the head of the person in front of me.

My eyes are tired and my brain is racing from all the excitement of the event. Both of those conditions make the eyeball-to-brain-comprehension connection move more slowly.

When these things happen, I don’t hear what you say and I’m not seeing what’s on the screen. It’s a double loss for me, and I feel disappointed. I was hoping to glean your insights!

Speakers, please don’t let your visual and verbal efforts go to waste. Here are some tips for preparing the “slides” for your next presentation.

And a request? Please put the slide up as soon as possible! Consider that it takes the audience about 3 times as long to read and begin to comprehend it… (and I know by the time you go on stage, you’re sick of seeing those slides… but please let us audience members revel in looking at them).

Tip #1 for the audience: if there is information you want to remember from a slide, take handwritten notes if possible. You will retain the information longer.

Tip #2 for the audience: If the speaker is moving too quickly for handwritten notes: take a photo of the slide. (Turn off the camera flash! 😉  )

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #thatwallbehindyou #speaking #slides


Lessons from a 1980’s shopping mall

The 1980’s was the heyday of indoor shopping malls in the United States. The closest mall to our house had more than 80 stores including 5 major department stores, so there were plenty of choices.

(In this post I will change the names of the stores, for copyright’s sake.)

We knew if we wanted something artsy and ahead-of-the-trend, we shopped in Solomon’s.

Prom or career-defining business interview coming soon? Hit the racks at Cube for clothes that would impress.

If Cube was too expensive, we combed the selection at Seaform, which had still-very-nice business wear, and even a small “Tall Ladies” section.

Janice’s had “knock-offs” (imitations) of several designers displayed at Cube and Seaform.

And if we simply wanted a basic pair of blue jeans, we headed to Deerfield.

The gist of it: every store had different clothes and fit different budgets. There was something for everyone, and we knew which store would likely have what we wanted.

By the early 1990’s, I noticed Solomon’s and Deerfield kept their unique identities, but three of major department stores started carrying the same designers. Many of the women’s clothes were identical. Our shopping strategy changed in response.

Was the item likely to be carried by Cube, Seaform, or Janice’s? Head to the store that was likely within budget. Check out the prices and sizes. Now walk into the other two department stores and compare. Walk to the store that had the lowest price for the item, and buy it there.

What happened?

Instead of being unique, the three stores in question offered the same merchandise with no significant differentiation in customer service or perks. So the only thing separating them was price… beyond the possibility of bragging that one “bought it at Cube.”

The stores became interchangeable commodities, and that was their downfall.

Even if that sweater was available at Cube, why would one want to spend more for an identical item? The brand name didn’t justify spending $10-$15 more, in my and most of my friends’ eyes.

We face an identical issue in network marketing, within our companies.

Each independent distributor within a company markets the same products.

So, why would the potential customer buy from YOU?

Price wars among distributors reek of desperation, so steer clear of that.

To stay away from becoming a commodity, do some deep thinking about what makes your distributorship unique.

Here are some ideas.

Do you offer special and memorable customer service? Do you gift wrap physical items? Do you donate to charity for every item purchased? Do you thank your clients in a way that they enjoy and remember? Do you remember and honor your clients for the special occasions in their lives?

Remember, your worth is much more than the sale price of the items you market.

Become comfortable with being you, express that uniqueness in the way you take care of your customer’s needs, and that will build a loyal customer base.

People appreciate being appreciated.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #networkmarketing #shopping #lessons #lessonsfroma1980sshoppingmall #unique #appreciation


A leap made with eyes wide open

In March my husband accepted a permanent position in Germany.

We discussed such a move for several years, and then a fabulous job opening became available in January.  So we jumped at the chance.

After our transatlantic flight in late July, we are settling into life in southwest Germany, and I continue to run my network marketing business which is incorporated in the USA.

I will be posting stories about networking in a new language and other business topics in the coming months!

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #leap #networkmarketing