I guess you could say that I am a joiner. I have always been one of those who signed up for memberships and dove into things without really knowing the history of the group, all of what it was involved with doing, or the other opportunities that might not be available due to my having said yes to this one.
This is a pattern that I did not recognize until a few years ago (around the time that I became an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church — but that experience is a topic for another day).
Today’s topic is A Path to Growth, specifically a few elements of how a small business, freelancer, or any sort of organized effort toward a goal goes from nothing to something.
Many years ago, I was active in Shaklee and I still know several people involved with it. One of them recently forwarded an email from Gary Burke, who has been very, very successful in that business, reaching the sort of income and lifestyle that is normally reserved for CEOs of major corporations. It struck me that what Mr. Burke said about success in that business is true whether you are opening a business, starting in with a multilevel company such as Shaklee, building a non-profit charity, or offering services such as freelance writing or mobile notary services.
Here is his message:
As Faye and I were driving up to our lake home yesterday I had a thought that was important to me in the beginning years of building our Shaklee business. I used to say this at every meeting because my sponsor did — at every meeting. As I reflect back this simple but accurate concept helped me to stay patient. For those of you who don’t know me well, that’s not my strong suit by a long shot.
Here goes:“You will do a lot of work in the beginning and won’t earn very much, but as time goes by you’ll be getting paid for a lot of work you did in the past.”
Listen friends, that is very true! In the first couple years we didn’t earn much income compared to the effort we put in. But for many, many years we have been paid for work we did in our first few years BIG TIME. Our culture seems to think that if it isn’t FAST it won’t work. Don’t get me wrong, there are those who grow faster than others but that’s because they work harder than most. So growing this business fast certainly can and does happen. But everyone is different.
We grew slower than many but I had to develop some skills. The smartest thing I did was I never compared myself with other people who were doing better than we were doing. I learned from them. Applauded their success. But never did beat myself up mentally because we didn’t grow as fast as someone else.
Instant gratification simply doesn’t work except at Burger King, McDonalds, etc. Work hard at this business, develop necessary skills, stick to the fundamentals, don’t lose your dream and believe me the day will come when you’re earning (whatever your goal may be) OR MUCH MORE!
Work hard… build … recruit… stay positive… Shaklee is about OPPORTUNITY. Take advantage of it.
Think about how this applies in your life. You will work hard in the beginning to acquire skills and habits that will pay off later. School is an example of this, when it is done right — but it is far from the only example. Writing, photography, acting, becoming a better person, growing a business or non-profit organization of any kind — all of these are examples of this simple principle: “You will do a lot of work in the beginning and won’t earn very much, but as time goes by you’ll be getting paid for a lot of work you did in the past.”
Patience in preparation and doing the work to acquire skills and a network pays off in the long run. Shortcuts may exist, but they often lead to detours that leave you frustrated and further from your goal.