Monthly Archives: January 2014

So What’s This “Tommyville” Crap?

So what’s this “Tommyville” crap?

Sounds arrogant.

Well, hang on a second. Let’s rewind the tape (remember when we used to have to rewind the tape?!)

It was the late 70’s and I was just becoming a teenager. My parents went out a lot on Saturday nights and I just happened to have a 13-inch black-and-white TV in my bedroom. Image

Back then, of course there were only three channels (ABC, NBC, CBS) and then we had this thing called UHF (I have no idea what that stood for) which we could seek out one or two fuzzy local channels.

On Saturday night I’d check out The Love Boat on ABC which was a show based on a cruise ship in which people would “hook up” and fall in love at sea. I always dreamed of the fun I could have on a ship like that.

If that wasn’t a great enough picture, The Love Boat was immediately followed by Fantasy Island.

 

This was a show about a group of people who would fly into this “fantasy” island resort, where they could live out their fantasies, no matter how crazy, and have their dreams come true.

In the show’s opening, a sea plane would would come into site. A midget dressed in a white tuxedo would run up into a bell tower, grab the rope, and start ringing the giant bell. Then he’d point into the sky and shout, “The Plane, The Plane!”

Incidentally, I never thought this strange until now that I’m typing it!

The plane would dock at the boat slip where Mr Roarke (also dressed in a white tux) and his dwarf sidekick Tattoo would be standing with the welcoming committee of women in grass skirts. Mr Roarke, played by Ricardo Montalban, would raise his champaign glass and say, with his classic latino accent, “Smiles everybody, smiles. I am Mr Roarke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island.”

If the thought of spending a week on a Love Boat wasn’t enough of a fantasy for a 13-year-old boy, then the idea of taking a vacation to a tropical island and having your every heart’s desire come true was enough to fill Saturday nights for a few years, anyway. I watched every episode. And it sunk in.

Years later, as an adult, I was introduced to a real-life Fantasy Island when I showed up at a network marketing opportunity meeting. It was my first introduction to people actually talking about fame and fortune and riches and dreams coming true. I was in my tenth year working as a sportswriter and I can assure you that nobody in that building (except the owner) ever talked about things like that. Looking back, I don’t think anybody there ever even thought about things like that. But I did.

In my first week as a network marketer I started reading anything I could get my hands on to learn this “Fantasy Island” craft. I went to some training rally (I can’t remember where) where somebody (I can’t remember who) said the words that would change my life forever. He said, “Why go on vacation, when you can live on vacation?”

I’ve always been a deep thinker, and those words played over and over in my mind. Was it really possible to design a life that you’d never need to “escape” from?

Most of us know the feeling of stepping off a plane and into the first day of a special vacation. What would it be like to wake up with that feeling every day? I figured, why not me?

So that fateful day, I went to work on it. I made it my mission to design my perfect life.

I had already married my perfect wife. I then designed and built “my perfect” home in the woods of Connecticut with a long driveway, a huge back deck, and a pool off to the left. I surpassed my newspaper income with my network marketing income and left the “employee” world behind. And, most importantly, I discovered that I had the power to control my personal thoughts. In fact, I’ve learned that it’s the ONLY thing we control in this world. So I decided to be happy. Sounds simple, huh?

Do I really have the perfect life? Of course not. My life goes up and down like everybody else’s. The thing is, though, I don’t focus on the “imperfect” parts. I demand happiness in my world. And I call this self-imagined Utopia – “Tommyville.”

I love it here. I do whatever I want here. It’s a cross between Tommy Bahama and Margaritaville. It’s my “happy place.” I can close my eyes, hear island music, and feel the sun shining on my face. Yes, even when it’s January and 5-degrees outside (like right now).

We all posses the ability to create and live on our own personal Fantasy Island. You can call it whatever you like.

I’ve heard it said that every person’s dream is “the pursuit of happiness.” Not the actual happiness, but the “pursuit.” This tells me that we all need to have dreams and goals. We need to be moving toward something. We need to want to wake up tomorrow for something. You don’t have to be rich, and you don’t have to want to be rich. The secret is to be grateful for what we have, and be moving toward what we desire.

So now you know.

Tommyville isn’t some egomaniacal nonsense that I’ve invented to be clever. It’s my real place of residence and I take it with me wherever I go.

We all live in our own little worlds. I don’t know what it’s like to live in your world, and you don’t know what it’s like to live in mine. But I’d love nothing more than to encourage you to pack up your belongings, book your trip, and step out of the plane and into “(your name here)ville.” Try it sometime.

“Smiles everybody, smiles! I am Tommy Wyatt, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island!”

 

I’m Glad I Drank the Kool-Aid!

Painting the Picture

Back in the early 90’s, two guys dressed in suits came to my front door.

They were selling cookware. My wife and I had just been married and purchased our first home, and must have ended up on some “list” of newlywed first-time home buyers or something.

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These two guys were complementary, and very magnetic, and asked for 20 minutes of my time.

I gave them the “my wife would really want to see this” line, trying to get rid of them but they cleverly worked their way around that objection and made it into the house on the promise of some vacation voucher they’d trade me for 20 minutes.

I was in my late 20’s and didn’t know a lot about sales or sales tactics (except for what I had gleaned from my one-day career at Electrolux years earlier), but these two guys quickly made me feel like they were my buddies.

I already had some cheapie brand of pots and pans and I didn’t need the top-of-the line stuff any more than a first-time golfer needs a $3,000 set of golf clubs.

I began to get uncomfortable after their 20 minutes was up and they had no intention of stopping. I had neither the money or the desire to buy this cookware and so I started giving them the body language. You know yawning, looking at my watch, looking around the room, inching toward the front door, all that stuff.

They they started asking the pointed “yes” questions. Stupid things like, “Do you care about poisons going into the foods you cook?”

“Of course.”

“Would it be worth a few dollars a week if you knew you’d live longer?”

“Of course.”

“When you have children, you’ll want them to have the best, right?”

Now I’m getting pissed.

The head doofus then takes out a sales contract and checks off a few boxes. Then he draws an “X” next to the “line which is dotted,” hands me the pen and turns the paper around so it’s facing me. And he shuts up.

I’m squirming.

He’s done everything to make me feel stupid if I don’t buy this cookware that I don’t want and I don’t need.

I can’t remember how I wiggled my way out of it that summer afternoon, but I did manage to get those guys out of my house without buying their cookware.

And I never got my travel voucher.

A few years later I was telling a funny story at a family picnic when my father-in-law Rudy told me, “Tommy, you should be in sales.”

Rudy was a salesman for a chemical company, and had raised a family of four daughter’s on a straight commission.

“Nah, it’s not for me,” was my reply.

“No, really,” he insisted until he saw my discomfort, and then he never brought it up again.

You see, my opinion of “sales” and “salesmen” had been formed by the actions of those two cookware jackasses years earlier.

I remembered how they made me feel, how I felt about them, and I’d NEVER want to make a living like that!

To me, salespeople were pushy, dishonest, insulting, and made people feel angry and uncomfortable. That was my association.

Case closed.

Ironically (I suppose) I got into network marketing about five years later.

I went to a “meeting” and met a whole bunch of positive people. They talked about owning my own business. They talked about fame and fortune. They talked about a system. They painted a beautiful “anybody can do it” picture.

I hung out with some of the movers and shakers after that meeting. I liked them. I really liked the idea of calling my own shots, making my own hours, working with my friends, hanging out with people like these guys, and – oh yeah – having unlimited income.

I was 33 years old that night. I had unfinished business in my life. I had a need. I had a void to fill. And network marketing, which I had no pre-concieved notions about, seemed to be my answer. Clearly, now 16 years later, it was.

It’s funny, over those last 16 years, the attitudes I’ve seen in others when I suggest “taking a look” at my business opportunity. I can’t help but thinking back to the cookware boys. Maybe they got a “bad” experience, or a cheesy pitch, or an unfulfilled promise. I wonder if they had been made to feel awkward or uncomfortable in the past by somebody who unknowingly (or intentionally) came on too strong.

If you bother and harass your friends to join your network marketing business, they’ll think that they’ll have to bother and harass their friends if they join. And there’s no polite way for them to tell you that, so they’ll simply ignore you (even though they like you).

My outlook on network marketing is simple. We offer two things in our profession:

1) A chance for somebody to get a product or a service at a better price.

2) An opportunity for somebody to earn money (a little or a lot) part-time, on their own terms by owning their own business.

Yeah, there are fringe benefits like tax write-offs, personal development, positive people, lifestyle, financial and time freedom, etc.

If a person that you’re talking with isn’t interested in those two things, then you’re selling me cookware in 1993.

I often wonder what my life would have been like if those two guys were excellent salesmen. I wonder if I would have been prompted to start a sales career of my own?

Nah!

I’m unemployable!

I’m Glad I Drank The Kool-Aid!

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