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MLM Woman Issue 120
January 2007

From the Desk of the Editor

Welcome to the 120th issue of the MLM Woman Newsletter! This month we feature 5 more articles from successful and savvy businesswomen who generously share their knowledge and expertise with you.

If you enjoy this month's issue, please be sure to let your friends know about it too and invite them to come and visit us.

Also, if you have comments, questions or something to share after reading this month's issue, please visit our MLMTalk Discussion Forum and join in the lively conversation!

And also be sure to check out our new MLM Marketing Blog for lots of additional tips and resources which are added throughout the month.

Happy New Year!

Linda Locke, Editor MLM Woman

Three Ways to
Pursue Your Dreams

by Lisa Martin, The Working Mother’s Coach

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live the life of your dreams? To wake up every morning feeling excited, inspired and passionate about your life? If you want to be more engaged in your own life you need to find the courage to pursue your secret hopes and ambitions. Perhaps you want to run a marathon, write a book, give a speech or start your own business. What’s stopping you? What’s getting in your way? Chances are your number one obstacle is you…your shoulds, beliefs and fears. Want to blast away these roadblocks to your happiness? Then it’s time to get out the dynamite.

1. Unplug Your Shoulds

For many of us, should is one of the most commonly used words in our vocabulary. “I should call Linda.” “You should put your sweater on.” “I really should go to the gym.”

Shoulds may have been ruling your life for so long that they are almost invisible. They exist in the background of your mind, directing your choices and decisions. Shoulds get in your way.

They can make you feel miserable; they can make you feel guilty. They stop you from focusing on your passions by imposing an outside set of priorities that may or may not be what you want to be doing. To stop shoulds from blocking your path to fulfillment assess which of your shoulds can be eliminated and which are really wants or can be transformed into wants. Aim to become a “should-free zone” by using this four-step formula:

Stop. Realize you’ve said “should.”
Look. Assess your choices.
Listen. Differentiate between wants and shoulds.
Learn. Understand the consequences of saying no to the should.

By following this process, you will notice that you start saying no more often to your “shoulds” and yes more often to the things you want to do, which in turn allows your wants, passions and dreams to blossom.

2. Blast Away Defeating Beliefs

What you think can propel you forward or keep you stuck. Limiting and negative thoughts, about you, your abilities and the possibilities open to you, are best described as defeating beliefs. They are often very simple, even simplistic, yet they can have a profound effect on your life.

To liberate yourself from defeating beliefs you must first identify them. Pay attention to your words. What do you tell others and yourself you cannot do? Often a defeating belief lurks behind an excuse or a fear—particularly concerning the things you are most passionate about. “I’m too old to start this now.” “I won’t be able to make any money doing that.” “I have to be in much better shape.” “I don’t have time.” “It will never work.” When you explore your excuses and fears, you will discover your defeating beliefs and be able to create a plan to eliminate them.

3. Face Your Fears

Fear, in all its forms, makes most of us feel unprotected and insecure. It exposes our vulnerability. We become susceptible to the risk of success or failure, to the thoughts and comments of others, to loneliness or to our own inner critic. Yet feeling frightened can also be enlightening. Becoming aware that fear is playing a role in your life is often a gift. It gives you a chance to assess what is holding you back.

Don’t be afraid of fear. Instead, expose your fear to the light and determine whether it is real. Fear definitely evokes real physical responses and emotions, yet ironically the fear itself—the source of your trepidation—may not be real, it may be imagined or the product of worry. When you identify which fears are getting in your way, you can then take all proper and possible precautions to move safely through them. Understanding your fears will help you minimize them as you aim to pursue your dreams.

You have all the wisdom and power to blow-up any obstacle between you and your best life. When you use your dynamite to dispel your “shoulds,” overcome defeating beliefs and understand your fears, you gain the courage it takes to pursue and realize your life’s ambition. It’s your life, live it to the fullest.

© Copyright 2007. Lisa Martin. All rights reserved.

About the Author
Lisa Martin is a certified coach who inspires working mothers to achieve success that’s balanced. Author of Briefcase Moms: 10 Proven Practices to Balance Working Mothers’ Lives, Lisa is a sought-after expert and speaker on work-life balance issues. Known for her very personal and practical approach, Lisa coaches working mothers to know what they want and get what they want. A mother herself, Lisa’s powerful presentations and programs have helped thousands of women define success and balance on their own terms. www.briefcasemoms.com

What is Selling?
By Wendy Weiss

I looked up the word "sell" in the dictionary. This is what it said:

"To persuade (another) to recognize the worth or desirability of something."

This definition assumes value. It assumes that you recognize the value of whatever it is that you are selling. Inherent in the definition is the concept of worth or desirability.

I also looked up "salesperson," "saleswoman," "salesman," "sales clerk," and my favorite, "sales talk." The definition for "sales talk" was, "a line of reasoning or argument intended to persuade someone to buy something."

Whenever I do a workshop or teleconference, I frequently ask participants, "What are the words that come to mind when you hear the word, 'salesperson'?" Invariably, I hear back words like, "manipulative," "dishonest," "unethical," and "sleazy."

In the dictionary, however, when I looked up all of the above sales words, none of the definitions referenced "manipulative," "dishonest," "unethical," "sleazy," or anything particularly negative. The language in these definitions was actually quite neutral and several of them spoke of value.

Unfortunately, in our culture, the words "sales" or "sell" are viewed with disrespect. The words no longer simply mean to persuade someone of the value of what you are offering. Instead they carry the baggage of images of untrustworthiness and deviousness. This is a misconception that does an enormous disservice.

Far too often, entrepreneurs and sales professionals buy into this stereotypical image of sales and see the activity of selling as negative and untrustworthy. They feel that if they are selling (or being perceived to be selling), they are doing something that is not quite right or that has the potential to be not quite right. It's as if there is a line drawn someplace, but they don't know where that line is or when they've stepped over it. It causes them to be cautious and careful and worry about how they are perceived. This anxiety puts them, in their own minds, at a disadvantage and on a lower level than their prospects and customers. This is a difficult place to be. And it stops many from taking action.

Since the definition of the word "sell" used the word "persuade," I looked up that word in the dictionary. It said:

"1. to prevail on a person to do something, 2. to induce to believe; convince"

Again, nowhere in that definition do we find the words, "manipulative," "dishonest," "unethical," "sleazy," or anything particularly negative. As with the word, "sell," the language is quite neutral.

The bottom line: Selling is persuading and convincing people to buy your products and/or services. That persuasion is based on value. If you cannot persuade and convince people to buy your products and/or services, then you do not have a business.

If you believe that selling is "manipulative," "dishonest," "unethical," and "sleazy," this belief will not support your ability to build a business. It is very difficult to sell (persuade and convince) while believing that selling (persuading and convincing) is wrong. It is time for many business owners and sales professionals to change their beliefs about the words "selling" and "sales."

The truth is that most entrepreneurs, business owners and sales professionals are honest, ethical and believe in the value they have to offer. And that is where the focus should be.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. Do you believe in the value of your products/services?

2. Do your products/services provide a benefit to your customers?

3. Do you believe in the value of what you are selling?

4. Are you doing the best you know how to ensure that your customers get what they need?

If you have answered "yes" to the above questions, then you are proceeding with integrity. If you are proceeding with integrity, then obviously you are not being "manipulative," "dishonest," "unethical," and "sleazy." You can persuade, convince and sell with your head held high.

If you answered "no" to the questions above, then get out of the business. It's not a fit for you. Find something else to do in which you can believe.

Let's reclaim the words "sell" and "sales." Let's redefine the words to mean, "to persuade and convince with integrity." Let's remember that value is inherent in the definition. Then everyone would understand that as long as they proceed with integrity and as long as they believe in the value of what they are selling, selling is an ethical and moral act.

© 2007 Wendy Weiss
The Queen of Cold Calling
Weiss Communications

About the Author
Wendy Weiss, "The Queen of Cold Calling," is a sales trainer, author and sales coach. Her recently released program, Cold Calling College, and/or her book, Cold Calling for Women, can be ordered by visiting http://www.wendyweiss.com. Contact her at wendy@wendyweiss.com. Get Wendy's free e-zine at http://www.wendyweiss.com.

What Are You Committed To? Prove It!
By Caroline Jalango

Have you noticed that when you are fully committed to issues that affect your life or to an important cause, goal or even a relationship; you become bold, decisive, gutsy and unstoppable and are able to attract support and resources from people who have the answers or the help you need? It’s almost like you become a totally different person!

When you are committed, you have lots of energy and are driven by a strong sense of purpose to achieve what you want. You unlock the doors of your imagination, your vision expands and your creativity is boundless.

When you are not committed to something, you hesitate and are reluctant to move boldly toward the things you want. You become indecisive about the actions to take and all you really have are just mere wishes, promises, hopes and a fleeting interest with no solid action.

If you find yourself dilly dallying about a project, ask yourself, “how committed am I?”

There is an old joke: five frogs were sitting on a log when one of them decided to jump off. Can you guess how many were left sitting on the log? Five frogs — because deciding to jump doesn’t mean jumping!

The lesson is that, your decisions to commit to important issues must be backed up by some form of tangible action or motion.

Take a moment and consider your life and all the commitments you made to yourself this year:

Perhaps, when the year began, you made commitments to yourself, saying, “I will do this and that, or I want to achieve this goal by the end of next year, or I want to stop doing this and start doing that” and so forth. Now, that the New Year is fast approaching, chances are that you’re still thinking along the same lines.

As you make plans and commitments for the New Year…

Here are 5 questions to think about:

1.What did you do about the things you committed to this year?

2. What are you really committed to now?

3. How does what you are committed to fit in with your big picture for 2007?

4. If people were watching you, how would they know that you were committed?

5. What one action will you take to back up your commitment to a 2007 personal goal?

About the Author
Caroline coaches women, provides strategies and solutions, motivates and helps women who desperately want to strike the match that sets them ablaze to live happier, meaningful, positive, productive, improved and purpose driven lives. Sign up and receive your FREE bi-weekly self coaching question or tip, designed to inspire and challenge you to become unstoppable and achieve your goals by visiting http://www.motivationzone.com

How to Do Hard Things

By Suzanne Falter-Barns

One of the harsh little realities of pursuing a dream is that sooner or later, you're going to have to do some stuff you don't like very much. It's just plain inevitable. Enter procrastination. Dread. Meltdown. Complete inertia.

But the prospect of doing the tough stuff doesn't have to stop you cold. To that end, I've been teasing out some different ways you can keep going. Here are a few of my favorites:

* Play music. I learned this when I started running, or 'jogging' as we called it back in the 70's. Clamping on the headphones made it go so much better. Even today, as I pound the treadmill, it's just so much easier if I've got country music videos playing along while I work out.

In fact, I recently saw a movie in which a soldier talks about overcoming his fear and going into battle by listening to heavy metal music piped into his helmet. Neurosurgeons, emergency room docs, and others in high-pressure operating theaters often play lightly upbeat, soothing music to keep stress under control as they work.

* 'Bookend it'. This is a phrase the 12-steppers wisely use for calling up a supportive friend before AND after a tough task … just so you're accountable out there to someone. Use the phone or email and make that connection. You'll be less likely to procrastinate your way out of it.

* Delegate. Got a task you just can't somehow do? I always have three or four lurking around the edges of my desk, until the day I rise up and give it away. Hire a local teenager, elderly person who wouldn't mind a little light work, a family member, or even a local odd-jobs person to come in one day and give you a hand with all or your 'hard stuff.' If the problem seems to be ongoing, hire a Virtual Assistant, from one of the on-line sources like AssistU.com. This is a person you hire on an hourly basis, usually in some other part of the country, who helps you electronically with all kinds of administrative needs. If you can't afford to find help, buddy up with a friend and offer to do each other's 'hard stuff' in an even swap.

* Plan a big, juicy reward. We're talking one you seriously want …and the nastier the task, the bigger the reward. If you must, combine this with book-ending, to make sure you not only do the task, but reward yourself as well.

* Dare yourself to not do it. Really imagine life without this particular task completed. Then see what the consequences are. Truly dire? If not, maybe you can actually drop the hard thing from your to-do list. On the other hand, will you be disappointed? Will things just not seem right somehow? Better use that image of disappointment to move your dream along.

* Jump in, first thing. We tend to be fresher, and less conflicted, stressed or distracted first thing in the morning (post-coffee, of course.) That's the best time to seriously seize the day and do the hard thing. Success manuals all preach doing it first, and they're right. It works.

* Envision the goal. Is it 1000 new subscribers to your ezine? Is it a potential big sale that will change your business, or leaving a job that will help you live your dream? Make a little note and park it somewhere that's frequently in your line of site, such as a Post It on your computer screen. (You can word it obscurely to protect your privacy in an open office environment.) By keeping you attention on the big picture, you'll naturally get less hung up on the day-to-day small stuff.

* Impose a temporary goal. One of my dreaded tasks is vocalizing, or exercising my vocal cords every day in an effort to keep my singing voice in shape. Just about the only motivator I've found that works is always having a small performance just ahead … especially in times when I'm working on a long-term project that doesn't 'need' my voice anytime soon. Knowing I have to perform, even at a dinner party, keeps me interested in staying in shape. Same would apply if you want to work out on a regular basis. Find a charity fun run or walkathon you can get yourself in shape for.

That should give you some fodder for facing the harsh realities of life, and getting on with those annoyingly procrastinated to-do's. Feng Shui experts insist this 'mental clutter' keeps us small and inefficient; once we actually go through the hard stuff, and clear out our anxiety and procrastination, we thrive.

And guess what? They're absolutely right!

TRY THIS … Create a better to-do list

One of my little projects for the summer was to tame my unruly, wildly unreliable to-do list. Somehow it spilled out of my date book, spewing Post-Its all over my desk and computer, with another undocumented stack of tasks always clogging up my inbox. What to do?

First I read David Allen's book, Getting Things Done, and a little light bulb went off in my head. Allen suggests organizing tasks by the location where you do them. So you maintain lists like 'At Computer', 'Errands', 'Office Time' and 'Calls to Make'. That's easy and efficient. Allen then has several suggestions on where to keep these lists.

I choose the Tasks function of Outlook, on my computer, and boy is that terrific! Every day when I turn on my email, there's my task list staring me in my face. Productivity experts note that a graphic portrayal of tasks is actually helpful in understanding, and being motivated by them. Some are done, some are undone … and I can divide them into location lists, check lists, a timeline, or any kind of list I want at the click of a button.

Not only that, the computer actually gets me to put a time frame on all tasks (if I want) and then reminds me when the deadline is near or past.

This is just the kind of office structure a meandering, creative mind like mine (and yours?) needs to keep focused and on track.

About the Author
Suzanne Falter-Barns free ezine, The Joy Letter, brings you a crisp, fresh burst of inspiration for your dream every week or two. Sign up at http://www.howmuchjoy.com/joyletter.html. And if you need extra help getting through the tough parts, check out her Passion Connector e-course at http://www.howmuchjoy.com/passionconnect.html

2005 Suzanne Falter-Barns LLC.

Desperately Seeking Simple
By Karen Singer

Those three words became my mantra when I was searching for a home based business.

During my search, I spent many late nights bleary eyed in front of my computer monitor, reading lots of hype, plenty of promises, tons of information, much more then my brain could absorb, and all the while I kept thinking, all I want is something simple, something that I can see myself doing and possibly teaching others to do as well.

Well, I found exactly what I was searching for and now, eighteen months later, those three little words continue to be my mantra and they have helped me to build both a loyal customer base and my growing team of business partners.

Every one of us involved with a multi-level marketing company need and is competing for the same thing, people who are interested in purchasing our product and/or joining our team by signing up for our business opportunity.

How different are those people than you or I? Are they not also desperately seeking something simple?

Keep this in mind with all your interactions with perspective business partners and customers. Whether you are communicating on the phone, through email, or with an auto responder, simplicity is the key.

Remember, your prospect needs to see how they will fit into your business. Unless they can envision themselves doing what you are doing and teaching others to do the same, there will be hesitation about joining your team.

Whenever you are contacting someone by email, simplicity is so important. Everyone is
busy and will often just skim their emails, so here are a few tips to ensure your emails
will be opened and read.

1. Use a clear subject line, avoiding flashy words. Only use urgent if it truly is.

2. Make a good impression by always presenting a professional image. Avoid the use of emoticons and never forward chain emails.

3. Keep your focus by sending only one topic per email. Attach the original email when replying and limit use of reply all.

4. Be aware of the tone of your email, often the written word may come across as anger or sarcasm.

5. Keep your email signature brief, your logo small and do not include more then one or two website links.

Use the same tips when composing messages for your auto responder.

Your website must contain useful information that your potential business partner needs or wants. Provide them with a call to action step in order to obtain more information. Allow them to inform and educate themselves at their own convenience.

Be clear on why you joined the business. Your potential business partners need to be able to identify with you and your situation. Many times your why will be the beginning of building a relationship with others.

Again, keep it simple. Be honest. Write about your interests and hobbies, your family structure, educational and work background and your goals. People will want to connect with you first, before they will consider being a part of your business. Building relationships should be your number one priority.

Does your website have an upbeat tone?

Do you know how you can hear a person smiling over the phone? Well, can people read and feel your smile and enthusiasm on your website? Enthusiasm is contagious.

The more excited you are about accomplishing something that is important to you; the more excited others will be about being part of it and helping you to do it.

What about emotions? Can people read your emotions in your words; can they feel your passion? When someone can read your passion for your life, your products, your business, your team, and your activities, they will want to partner with you and share in that enthusiasm and passion.

Whenever you can convey your emotions, your desires, your passion for your life and business, you are developing charisma. The more charisma you possess, the more people will be drawn to you and will want to learn from you and duplicate what you do.

Determine what people are looking for in their lives. Perhaps they need an extra income, are looking to retire, take their children out of day care, or build their dream home. You can provide them that opportunity with your business.

So, what are your responsibilities?

1. Be a marketer of yourself first, not your products and business opportunity.

2. Build a relationship with your possible customers or business partners.

3. Streamline all your interactions, keeping them simple, with no hype or promises.

4. Provide the information requested and then allow your future partners to inform and educate themselves about your business.

5. Continue to update and tweak your personal website, keeping the information fresh.

To summarize, when keeping in touch with current and potential customers or business partners, keep all your interactions short and to the point.

Provide useful information, updated news about your company and any special offers you may have for your products.

Strive to be always seeking simple.

About the Author
Karen Singer is passionate about her customers and team partners; she is coaching others to success using simple methods of self-motivation, positive feedback and inspired action. To learn more about Karen and her business go to: http://www.network-from-home.com

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Copyright 2007, Regent Press