Today I begin a new life.
In my previous post titled “Blessings” I talked about a true caring professional network marketer that I had the opportunity to spend some time with recently. There are a lot of things that we discussed including a book that he suggested that I read called “The Greatest Salesman in the World” by Og Mandino. I’ve been reading that book and reflecting on what I’ve read. I’ve also been reflecting on what Keith Halls said and now even relating it all to all the books that I have read in the past regarding the network marketing industry. I just wanted to share some of my conclusions from my reflections. I guess the best place to start is share what I have been reading in the book and the conclusions I have come up with.
“Today I shed my old skin which hath, too long, suffered the bruises of failure and the wounds of mediocrity.”
“Today I am born anew and my birthplace is a vineyard where there is fruit for all. Today I will pluck grapes of wisdom from the tallest and fullest vines in the vineyard, for these were planted by the wisest of my profession who have come before me, generation upon generation.”
I want you to think about this metaphor just a moment.
Every person that has had major success in this business, and really any industry, they go out and write a book about what they did. These books are “the tallest and fullest vines in the vineyard, for these were planted by the wisest of my profession who have come before me.” We then buy those books expecting to have the same success they did but we don’t. Then we get discouraged. We try to implement what the author did and we fail.
Think about this, is every single piece of fruit that is on a grape vine always perfect?
Is every single grape the sweetest, most tasty?
Of course not.
When you pick the grapes you only pick the best ones so maybe when we pluck grapes of wisdom from these vines maybe we are not really supposed to be looking at the whole plant just picking the best points from what the author has to say. Time and circumstances are different for each and every one of us. Maybe under different circumstances the author may not have had the same success that he or she did in the book.
“Today I will savor the taste of grapes from these vines and verily I will swallow the seed of success buried in each and new life will sprout within me.”
So we are to pick out the best of what the author has to say and plant those seeds, and nourish them and continue to feed them. Then from those seeds we create success for ourselves.
“The career I have chosen” and we can insert any career into the text here such as in my case network marketing. “The career I have chosen is laden with opportunity yet is fraught with heartbreak and despair and the bodies of those who have failed, were they piled one atop another, would cast its shadow down upon all the pyramids of the earth.”
“Yet I will not fail, as the others, for in my hands I now hold the charts which will guide me through perilous waters to shores which only yesterday seemed but a dream.”
Those charts are the culmination of all the nuggets of information in all those books, all those “grapes of wisdom” from the vines “planted by the wisest of my profession who have come before me”
“In truth, experience teaches thoroughly yet her course of instruction devours men’s years so the value of her lessons diminishes with the time necessary to acquire her special wisdom. The end finds it wasted on dead men. Furthermore, experience is comparable to fashion; an action that proved successful today will be unworkable and impractical tomorrow.”
We’ve all heard the saying that experience is the best teacher but pay attention to what was just said. Gaining that experience takes years to acquire and most people just don’t have the patience to wait years to learn something.
Not only that, just because something was successful before, times change. The outcome today may not be the same. Think about the early days of the internet. People made a fortune through email marketing. In the early days of email, we got so little of it we opened every email and read every word. Fortunes were made in email marketing then.
Today we don’t even open the majority of the email we get. I see that myself every day. I have people visit my websites requesting information. When my auto responder sends out a reply very few people even open up the email and read it even though they asked for the information.
The open rate went up drastically if I make a call to them first. However, I am now finding that success there is starting to wane. People fill out the request forms to get information that I offer but they don’t even put their real phone number on the form and they never open the emails. Just because a specific method works for a while does not mean it will work forever.
“Only principles endure and these I now possess, for the laws that will lead me to greatness are contained in the words of these scrolls. What they will teach is more to prevent failure than to gain success, for what is success other than a state of mind? Which two, among a thousand wise men, will define success in the same words: yet failure is always described but one way. Failure is man’s inability to reach his goals in life, whatever they may be.”
The point that I have gained form all of this so far is fairly simple. We need to read about what others before us have said and done to achieve success. We cannot however look at what they say as a blueprint for our own success. What we have to learn are the principles behind their success not the actual actions they took. We need to take those principles and chew on them; digest them; combine them with principles learned from others and modify them to fit in our own circumstances today. That’s why books written long ago by people like Dale Carnegie’s have stood the test of time.
“In truth the only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the difference of their habits. Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure. Thus the first law I will obey, which preceded all others is, I will form good habits and become their slaves.”
So form the good habit of learning from others, adapting and applying the principles learned from them. Study their life. Look at the habits they possessed that brought them success. The things they did on a daily basis that others around them did not do then incorporate those habits into our own personalities and our own circumstances. We can’t all be Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs or any other highly successful person in the world. There was only one of them, but we can study their habits, the actions they took that lead them to their success. Then build our own habits modeling there successes and avoiding the habits that held them back.