Category Archives: LYnn’s Stories

Reminders from a young skater

One of the fun wintertime activities in Stuttgart is attending the month-long annual Weihnachtsmarkt (outdoor Christmas market).

It’s a place to eat bun-cradled Bratwurst and drink steaming Gluehwein while standing on your feet, to shop for gifts while gently pushing your way through crowds… and the bravest will strap on skates at the outdoor ice skating rink.

I am not among the latter.

Yesterday evening my husband, a female friend, and I joined the crowd of onlookers while the musical hits of Billy Joel, Kid Rock, and TOTO filled the air. I sang along while my husband and friend sipped their steaming drinks.

We enjoyed watching the swirling neon spotlights illuminate the skaters as they circled the rink’s center, some weaving through the crowd expertly, others slowly yet confidently pushing their way forward.

The smallest skater was a girl perhaps 5 years old, tightly gripping the chest-high handles of the sliding support shaped like a snowman. She was inching her way forward with no one nearby to assist her.

The white snowman was approximately 3 feet tall and stood firmly on stubby blue skis. A newbie skater could stand behind it, using its stability to keep balance while wobbling forward and pushing it in front of them.

It took the young girl about 15 minutes to make one circuit of the rink. I watched her skates flail in flashing ovals while she barely glided forward, and I realized what was missing: she needed to turn her backmost skate on a slight angle before pushing against it with her foot.

I commented to my friend, “Someone needs to show her the proper way to place her feet. I would do it if I knew more German and put on some skates… I struggled with the same foot-angle issue while learning to roller skate.”

 

By the time the young skater was returning to her starting point, my friend commented, “She’s a fighter, that will take her far in life.”

We watched her exchange a few words with a middle-age adult male who was wearing skates and standing outside the rink; he was probably her father. Then she began a second lap gripping her snowman support. Still skating alone, she moved faster this time, circling the rink in about 10 minutes.

When we saw her face again, she still looked neutral-to-happy. All three of us were impressed, and we guessed at why she didn’t seem frustrated.

“She is enjoying herself,” my friend commented, “and she doesn’t seem scared by the way people are skating quickly past her.” The other skaters were giving her plenty of room, which I imagine helped her stay calm.

I added, “I think she is NOT comparing herself to anyone else. In contrast, she probably is seeing how she is the same as everyone else on the rink: she is SKATING!”

We left as she began her third lap, walking away around 9:30 pm while the music and socializing continued.

This morning as I write this, I also realize no one seemed to tell her that she doesn’t belong on the ice. None of the other skaters appeared to talk to her nor call out a comment while she was skating. After her brief talk with the man, her body language didn’t express any discomfort regarding her progress.

I pulled several lessons from the experience.

  • Stay calm when you’re a beginner
  • Use tools to help you learn
  • Ask for advice when you want to improve
  • Enjoy the process instead of comparing yourself to more advanced participants
  • Give beginners time and room to try their burgeoning skills
  • Keep any verbal insults and frustrations about a beginner’s progress to yourself

    and the most important one:

  • Sometimes there’s a subtle difference between frustrating activity and success

Whether you’re coaching a new business partner, showing a friend how to use a computer program, or advising a child how to ice skate, the same principles apply.

As coaches of our teammates, be aware of the subtle actions that lead to easier and faster success.  The best coaches can observe a person’s activities, discern the skills (obvious or subtle) that are missing, and teach them patiently.

Although she never spoke a word to me, that young skater reminded me of some important facts.

I hope the next time she laces up her skates, the proper technique “clicks in” so she can soar around the rink like the fastest skaters.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach ™”

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #trsc #remind #remindersfromayoungskater #frustration #success #subtle #leveragedsales #partyplan #directsales #mlm #networkmarketing #socialselling #communitybasedselling #residuals

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 a piece of construction paper shifted my money habits

When I was in the early years of my first network marketing business, I found myself giving away money to various charities… gladly. A documentary about a historian, meal-for-the-holidays, etc.

That all changed when my husband lost his job and we had to move in with his parents.

The small Colorado town we landed in had a vibrant community life. Nearly every week there were opportunities to volunteer one’s time or to donate money to local and national charities. I donated my time to various events and had fun being part of the action. My husband took a job in the grocery store, and I went to work as a mortgage loan officer, to pay the credit card debt and our share of food and utilities.

Meanwhile, every penny was precious. We discussed every purchase above $5, and when the bank account was continually hovering a mere handful of dollars above zero, we agreed that we would stop all financial charitable contributions and selectively gift our time instead.

The change in my attitude came in early December of the second year.

In the town’s annual tradition, one of the local groups set up a poster in the entryway of the grocery store, which held “Santa” wishes for people in need. Instead of CDs or the newest toy, these were requests for newly-purchased basics and were written on pieces of red or green pine-tree-shaped construction paper. A winter coat. Mittens. Boots. Socks. And where to drop off the items at the county fairgrounds. (The previous year, I bought and donated a new pair of girls’ boots to match one of the requests.)

Each item had the appropriate size listed, along with a basic descriptor of the receiver.

The item that stopped me in my tracks was: “11 year old girl needs 7 pairs of (size) underwear.”

I also realized that my own underwear was nearly in shreds, the elastic so stretched and ineffective sometimes they slipped off my hips but were caught by the slacks I was wearing. (I think you can imagine how that worked.)

I pulled out the pushpin and freed that red slip of paper from the display, promising myself that I would remount it the next day, intact, if I could not provide the item.

My husband and I had a discussion in our bedroom that evening. In the end we decided to spend money on both of us women. Seven pairs for her, and likewise for me.

As I gently placed the requested item on the intake table at the fairgrounds, I realized this was a turning point in recognizing the difference between poverty consciousness and prosperity consciousness in my own life.

Since that time, I have observed when I have an urge to donate goods or money. I ask myself, “Am I also taking good care of myself and our household?” And nowadays when money is much more plentiful: “Have I been creating artificial lack in my head, denying myself a similar purchase?”

Each of us wrestles with different aspects of money behavior.

Sometimes we need an outside reason to spur us to take care of our own situation.

And sometimes we need an outside influence to go earn the money in the first place.

Regardless of your personal situation, I suggest you watch the video regarding the second situation. Randy Gage has some insightful ideas, which might come in handy for one of your teammates.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach”

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #underwear #gifts #donations #networkmarketing #mlm #partyplan #directsales #leveragedsales

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

Pinching the buds

We planned the garden during the bitter cold days of winter. I had visions of fresh strawberries, so my mom ordered the plants.

After the last frost we broke ground to expand last year’s garden, so we had plenty of room to grow strawberries. Removing sod, hoeing, and loosening the dirt to accept the plants. Watering every evening.

The sweet fruits would be our reward.

Then May arrived, and the plants began to blossom.

Then my mom broke the bad news to my 12-year-old self.

“We have a choice. If we want strawberries this year, we can let the blossoms open and get pollinated. We will have a crop in June.”

I was nodding my head excitedly.

“But.. if we do that, the plants will never get bigger. We will only have small crops, and that won’t be much fun to split a small number of strawberries among the five people in our household. To get a bigger crop, I have to pinch the blooms off… that will force the plant to send out runners, and starting next year we will have a huge crop throughout June.”

I sadly agreed, and it was hard to watch the strawberries not produce any fruit that first year. My friends asked in June, How many strawberries did you get? And when I told them ‘none,’ they asked me, “Why did you bother planting any in the first place? You can get stawberries at the store for a lot less work.”

But during that second summer… I was glad my mom pinched those buds the year before. We had one of the largest strawberry plots in our neighborhood. And plenty of fruit to pick and eat– twice a day– during June, for nearly a decade.

Sometimes in our businesses we want to enjoy the fast fruit. Spending our initial profits (plus more) on a flashy outfit, tech toy, or costume jewelry. Figuring out how to build one-time bonus income to boost our checks so our income equals or surpasses our job paycheck. Deciding what to do to get promoted faster, at the expense of building a solid residual income.

Where in your business activities do you need to “pinch the buds”?

Certainly it’s fine to enjoy some of the fruits of the labor in the early days. But consistently prioritizing short-term “flash” over long term stability will stunt the growth of the organization. …Or at least create roots that rot, seemingly suddenly.

Enjoy some of the profits, and focus your efforts on long-term growth.

The satisfaction has a sweeter taste when it follows self-chosen, self-disciplined actions.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #leveragedincome #networkmarketing #strawberries #networkmarketing #residuals #residualincome #pinchingthebuds

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

Respected?

Appreciated?

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