You’ve Got to Sharpen Your Ax.

Logs for use as firewood, stacked to dry.

A new day dawned on the forest. And two woodsmen together headed into the forest to ply their trade of cutting and splitting wood

The two had not worked together before, but it mattered little. In swinging an ax through the day splitting rounds into firewood there was very little working together that took place. Each man would chop and split as many logs as each could manage.

This day the sun bore down on them and made them long for recreation. The first logger stayed on the hillside, swinging his ax, splitting the rounds, and throwing the results of his efforts into a pile. He was a strong man, blessed not only with strength but endurance. He could withstand a long day on the hillside making firewood. He prided himself on his work ethic

English: Axe splitting a log Italiano: Scure c...

Throughout the course of this long day the first logger continually noticed his cohort walking away from his labors and taking a break from the work they each had. Several times he noticed the second logger casually walking with his ax back to their truck for what he presumed were periods of relaxation. He always returned to work. But it seemed clear to the first logger that this second woodsman lacked his endurance, or at-worst, had a weak work ethic.

When the day ended the first logger made his way across the hillside to the place where the second logger had been toiling through the day. As he came upon the second loggers wood pile he was surprised and astonished. The second loggers pile of firewood far exceeded his own efforts. He was dumbfounded. And he asked the logger how this was possible. “I worked throughout the day. I never took a break, and I never slowed down. But you were constantly walking away from your work and constantly taking breaks. And here, I find your wood pile far exceeds my own. What sort of magic did you perform to accomplish this?”

The second logger merely smiled and said, “What you didn’t see when I was taking my breaks is that I was sharpening my ax each time.”

English: Firewood stacked up to promote drying.

I was told this parable many years ago. From what it originates I have no idea. But it was always a story from which I need reminding. See, I am far more like the first logger than the second.

The lesson from the story is simple. You must continually sharpen your ax as you work. If not it becomes dull and your work becomes harder. Whatever you do in life you must take the time to educate or re-educate yourself. Motivational speaker and sales trainer Zig Ziglar

Live video feed of Zig Ziglar speaking at the ...

The late Zig Ziglar speaking at the Get Motivated Seminar at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California.

said it best “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” Besides motivation, you can also apply the same lesson to education and training. Our brains are like a slowly leaking bucket. If you are not continually refilling the bucket it will eventually be empty. But as long as you’re refilling it you will always have a full bucket.

One of the best ways you can sharpen your ax is to read. Traditional or online newspapers and magazines, articles and blogs are good. But books are best. The best sales trainer I ever heard was Brian Tracy. This millionaire businessman says of reading, “If you read one hour per day in your field, that will translate into about one book per week. … Regular reading will transform your life completely.” If you are not in the habit, it’s hard to do. Like physical exercise you have to make it a priority. If I didn’t work-out when I first get up in the morning I would never do it and I would be a soft,  flabby, unhealthy person. Reading has to be the same way. Find the time. Schedule it into your routine. And keep it a high priority.

So take the time to read and re-fill your leaky bucket. Sharpen your ax and see the chips fly and your wood pile grow. You’ll thank me later. I promise.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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Go Ahead Make Fun of MLM & Direct Sales. I Did.

Português do Brasil: Representação gráfica do ...

MLM or Multi-Level Marketing companies are a joke. But if that’s true, why are there 30-million Americans (1/10th of the country) involved in a Network Marketing Company?

Direct Sales companies don’t make you any money. But if that’s true how do you explain the checks I’ve been receiving for the two months I’ve been representing AdvoCare? Or the $20,000 per month a friend and his wife earn through Advocare in only three years representing this great company? And how do you explain the $153-billion spent on products and services provided by network marketing companies?

Like anything in life, its all what you put into it. AdvoCare or any MLM with a good product pays well to those who work and represent the products. To those who don’t, it doesn’t.

I’m a living example of getting out of work exactly what you put into work. In 1992 I began working in a sales job in my chosen industry of radio. I did OK for a couple of years and was pleased with myself. But others within my own office were doing better. I looked at most of them and said “What have they got that I don’t? Why can’t I sell as much and earn as much as them?”

So began my investment in myself. I spent thousands of dollars of my own money over the next few years on all kinds of seminars, books, videos and audio tapes with the goal of improving my sales ability and my income and my family’s lifestyle. Sales trainers like Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, Dr. Kerry Johnson and motivational speakers like Zig Ziglar

Live video feed of Zig Ziglar speaking at the ...

Zig Ziglar

became my mentors. It worked. In only 2-3 years I went from being an OK sales representative and among the top ten in my company to number one in my company. I regularly broke sales records for a 25 year old company that regularly employed around 40 sales reps. My sales were consistently 15-20% ahead of whoever was in second place. My income tripled. My family bought a 3000-square foot home in one of the more expensive suburbs in the country. And, after 13 years at that company I left it and started my own business, Total Broadcasting Service, and have been successful with it for 8 years (in spite of one of the worst economic downturns in U.S. history). I couldn’t have achieved any of this had I not put in the time to train myself and bring my sales from OK to OUTSTANDING.

The other day I posted a link on Facebook to my AdvoCare website, something I do periodically. A bold former “friend” made a particularly nasty, negative comment about MLM’s and me posting about my involvement with them and posting on FB about a direct sales company he clearly had no knowledge of. Given I really didn’t know the guy and only connected on FB because of a single mutual connection, he made it real easy for me to unfriend him. Who needs that kind of negativity?

But in making his Comment he also did me a favor. He reminded me of an attitude that exists in the eyes of many about direct sales companies like AdvoCare. He reminded me of how I felt about MLM’s. And if you are skeptical and even cynical toward AdvoCare and other multi-level marketing companies its OK to admit it. I was the same way. But if you can admit your cynism perhaps you can also admit you really don’t know much about the subject of MLM’s in general, or AdvoCare specifically. I didn’t.

I grew up watching my Mom chase the pot of gold under every rainbow that ever appeared. She was part of all kinds of MLM’s over many years, including the BIG one, Amway. Her failure to devote time and stay dedicated to any of these businesses ultimately guaranteed that she would never be successful with them. Her failures became my reality. Perhaps you are like me…I knew someone once who tried something like that and it didn’t work. Perhaps you can be fair and admit that “someone” didn’t tell you much. “Someone” didn’t stay with “it” long. “Someone” didn’t put in a lot of time toward their business during the short time they “tried” it. And “someone” got exactly out of their business everything that they put into it.

My wife and I became AdvoCare distributors because we tried their products and each lost 30 pounds of fat in 3 months. We became distributors because we saw our friend and his wife leave the “regular” work world and begin raising their kids with a healthy income and a freedom we could only envy. We became distributors to find three other families who wanted to join us in earning $5000-$10,000 per month while working less than 20 hours per week.

Let me educate you about a few things you may not know about network marketing companies. They’ve been highly successful in this country for at least 150-years. One of the early successes was the California Perfume Company which began in New York in 1890 with 10,000 sales representatives and later changed their name to Avon. 

Español: Logotipo de la empresa estadounidense...

The Fuller Brush Company began selling their products in 1905 and by 1919 had made over $1-million in sales. Fuller Brush and its business model spurred the creation of other companies you may have heard of including Stanley Home Products and Mary Kay Cosmetics which began operations in 1963 and was already selling $2-BILLION in products by 1996.

Tupperware became a world-wide billion dollar company through the direct sales method, and in so doing they became a name synonymous with all plastic air tight food and beverage containers.

And Amway grew out of the Nutrilite vitamin supplement company in 1949. By 1973 Amway had over-taken Nutrilite, and bought the company. Amway’s bad name, in the eyes of many, began when the Federal Trade Commission filed suite in 1975 against the company accusing them of being a pyramid scheme. By 1979 a Federal judge had ruled in favor of Amway. But unfortunately the “pyramid” tag stuck (as do so many false accusations but not exonerations). Still it didn’t prevent Amway from growing into a company with $11-BILLION in sales in 2011.

So with all these success stories I gotta ask just how do you mean “They don’t work”? Are you afraid of success? Certainly some people are, and that comes down to self-esteem issues we won’t get into in this blog.

But, again, with huge, immensely successful company’s like AdvoCare helping people achieve financial freedom all over this great country why not ask yourself to re-examine your own prejudices, like I had to do. I’m a successful businessman with a growing company, happily married for more than 25 years, a nice home and a lifestyle that many would be happy with. And I’m no dumby. And I enthusiastically became an AdvoCare Distributor and Advisor. I plunged into the world of MLM and so far the water’s fine.

Is AdvoCare and specifically direct-selling for you? Well, I would ask that you look at the recent Rookie Bonus earners in AdvoCare and see what a diverse bunch it is, from Orthopedic Surgeons, to stay-at-home moms. Anyone and everyone does this and education or previous high income (or low) have little to do with one’s success with AdvoCare.

Don’t be afraid. Learn for yourself.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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