Monthly Archives: December 2014

Let’s Talk About Culture

It comes from the top down and its non-negotiable. diversity_2.jpg
“We don’t do that here.”
“This is how we conduct ourselves.”

We hear that word “culture” thrown around a lot these days. What, exactly, does it mean?

If you should find yourself in a stadium during a football game you are certain to witness beer drinking (they actually sell it there), loud and obnoxious fans of both teams, foul language (for sure), lots of booing, and frequent fights in the stands and in the parking lots both before and after the game. The majority of the fans are civilized and well-behaved, but you will ALWAYS find these things at a football game. It’s part of the culture. While it’s not necessarily wanted, it’s accepted. It’s “just the way it is.” The powers that be would love to erase these “lowlights” from their culture but it’s too late. It’s the culture.

Attend a professional tennis match, on the other hand, or a golf tournament. Get the picture? The entire culture is different.

“Football game” behavior is unacceptable at a tennis or golf event. And if you dare cross the line . . . well, you just don’t. It wouldn’t be tolerated. Hence, nobody does.

The same lines are drawn at companies and (for the purposes of this blog) in network marketing.

Some companies have a culture where it’s acceptable (and recommended) to try and lure leaders away from other network marketing companies and bring their teams along with them. Some pay large signing bonuses, give bridge money, or entire downlines to leaders if they’ll “switch teams.”

Some companies preach arrogant stances against “traditional jobs” and teach their representatives to trash talk online (which is counterproductive and offensive, BTW). And, for what it’s worth, every network marketing company has employees that support the organization . . . you’re trash talking your own company.

Some suggest smattering the social media landscape with “my company is the best” messages. They want you to post your website, and your opinion, all over Facebook as if this might somehow be good for anybody.

Companies twist the English language to infer that their reps have “won” a new car, or have earned a big check, when in fact they only won a single (few hundred dollar) car payment and the big check they have you pose with is what “you might earn” extrapolated out over 12 months. People eventually figure this crap out.

Some run their top money earners out on stage at national events and have them flaunt their income and their lifestyle when, in more cases than not, those top earners were given a “deal” or an advantage that everybody else didn’t get.

Then we have the companies that have their executive teams attempt to brainwash the reps in the field into thinking that they’re going to become millionaires (when they know it’s never going to happen). They create a culture of over-promising on everything and always under-delivering.

On the other side of the coin, there are network marketing companies that don’t stand for any of that. They conduct themselves professionally (as a result may even seem a little boring), and have created a culture in which none of that stuff is tolerated. These are the “blue chipper” companies. The ones who see steady growth, avoid controversy, and actually provide what they promise. These are the companies that stick around forever and create actual “financial freedom.”

The thing about culture is that it’s difficult (if not impossible) to change. Once you’ve baked a cake you can frost it (with anything, lol) but you can’t go back and change the ingredients without starting over from scratch.

For what it’s worth, if you’re a network marketer you have a shot to create your OWN culture. It starts with how you conduct your business. What do you stand for? More importantly, what don’t you stand for?

Ironically, I love football. Sometimes I go live games and put up with the poor culture in the stands. The fans will argue that they paid money to get in and can do and say anything they want. Freedom of speech. Why argue with a guy who will boo his own players? Guess it’s “just the way it is.”

If I ever start MY OWN company, the first thing I’ll do is make sure everybody’s onboard with the mission statement.

It comes from the top down and its non-negotiable.
“We don’t do that here.”
“This is how we conduct ourselves.”

Imposing YOUR Goals Upon Others?

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 10.41.50 AMWhen I first attended a network marketing opportunity meeting, I was told the story of a guy in that company, a former high school gym teacher, who was earning over $1 million every month. It was the story that changed my life.

 My initial thought was “wow, if I could do just one-tenth that well . . . and nobody’s ten times better than me at anything!” It was that night, March 1, 1998 that I knew that I’d become a millionaire in network marketing.

But as much as that story was my blessing, it was my curse. Because as a “wet-behind-the-ears” network marketing rookie, I instantly assumed that everybody would relate to that story. I mean, come on! A million a month?!

What I came to find, though, was that I’m not most people. Most people don’t believe its a possibility to earn that kind of money and are turned off at the mere suggestion. Hence, telling my favorite story would not attract people, but instead drive them away.

And even when I became a seasoned professional, because of the way in which I was indoctrinated, I continue to impose my goals on other people. It’s in my DNA and very hard to dismiss.

So, what is a win in network marketing?

To me, its been $1 million a month. So, even though I’ve won a lot, according to my own goals and expectations, I really haven’t won yet. So I play the game on fire, often discouraged.

If somebody joins network marketing with a goal to earn $100 a week extra and they achieve that goal, have they won? Conventional wisdom would say “yes” but my own Tommyville DNA says “no.” Hence, since I haven’t helped anybody become a millionaire yet – I feel as though I haven’t helped anybody win. And maybe that’s not the case. Maybe people are winning around me all the time. Hmm.

Always remember that its important to root out and identify the goals and expectations of the people who join your team. This way you know what a win looks like for THEM, not you.

It will save you a lot of hours on the network marketing shrink couch.

* This blog is dedicated to the million dollar man himself, Paul Orberson. After I spent 15 years striving to be Paul, now he’d gladly switch places with me. Paul succumbed to cancer (making a great argument for “perspective.”) Count your blessings and always cherish what’s most important. RIP, Paul.


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