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.
I couldn’t have agreed more Tim,
You’ve really said it all and i 100% agree with you. Success does not come as fast as we expected it sometimes but if we stick longer to the work and do it very very well, success will certainly come no matter what, it can only take some time,
The major difference between the successful people and the failures is that the successful people are usually very consistent, persistent and focused at what they are doing knowing fully well that they will reap the reward someday but, the failures are usually impatience, they want everything as fast as possible and if it didn’t come, they simply quit. That is never the road to success.
Success does not always come to those who work hard, even those who are consistent and persistent. Sometimes, it comes to those who were born to the right parents or in the right place and time. Sometimes, circumstances come along that beat us down and some people are not able to recover from those. I will never discount the worth of hard work, but I also think that worldly success, success in which you make a fortune, is too often based on factors beyond the control of the person seeking that type of success. This is not to say that they should give up and not strive for it. Just to realize that some who are considered successful in the sense of having big wealth or much fame would not have gotten there without a great deal of good luck. If you manage to succeed in those ways, it is never good to look down your nose at those who did not have your good luck. Hard work alone will take you far; persistence and planning will take your further; and having the right goals and the right definition of success will get you to the winners circle every time.
What I mean by right goals and right definition of success is my own belief that we were not put here to accumulate wealth or fame. Those things are a means to an end, an opportunity to make a bigger difference in the world than other people who are not blessed with them. I believe the purpose of life is to minister to life, to create a virtuous circle that counter-acts the vicious circle that comes into play when we focus only on wealth and money and fame. Most of the religions of the world speak of this. Love your God, not wealth. Love your fellow humans, and treat them as you would like to be treated if you were in the same circumstances. In short, the purpose of life is to be the hands of God, bringing Love into all lives.
I do believe that America and the world are suffering from a plague of short-term thinking. We are all so often in such a rush that we can’t or won’t stop to look even a little bit down the road to see where we are going. Those who have the luxury of looking down that road are the ones steering the entire world toward the future. Whether they are steering us toward global catastrophe from climate change or global transformation from new tech that will end the dangers that seem so obvious and all around us is an open question.
This is very true. 🙂 Look for potential and then have the patience to wait for it to happen. This “wait” means effort and hard work.