| Clearly there is a
place for rationalism. As a company executive you already know your
business lives or dies by your ability and willingness to plan its
future. It is imperative you define your mission, examine your business
environment, plan your objectives and put your plan into action.
There is a time to take a cold hard look at reality,
focus on the market and achieve clarity on how you stack up against
the competition. With so many millions of dollars on the table and
with so many people who will catch your vision and look to you for
leadership, you need to know what you're doing.
Passion is Imperative
I realize that passion is no substitute for business
acumen. It can't replace principles, purpose or product savvy. But
where passion matters, nothing else will take its place - not intellect,
not experience, not opportunity - nada, zip, zero.
Tom Peters, the author of the best-selling business
book, "In Search of Excellence," noted that "Nothing
good or great can be done in the absence of enthusiasm." You
can know everything about your industry - buyer perception, package
appeal, pricing, promotion and the environmental impact of the product.
This is all good stuff to know, but if you don't love what you're
doing, it's just a job. And you're just another capitalist out trying
to make a buck.
I guess there's nothing technically wrong with making
money without passion any more than there is anything technically
wrong with two people being married and never enjoying each other.
It's not like a crime has been committed or some creed has been
transgressed. Life is just less than it could and should be. If
that's not wrong, it's at least sad.
You can teach a kid to throw a baseball, but you can't
teach them to love the sport. People can be taught to play the piano,
but they cannot be taught to love music. Yes, the business has to
be in your brain, but it's got to be in your bones and blood as
well. A warrior's heart and a will to win makes the difference between
companies which score big time and those which just endure. So call
it soul, call it zeal, call it what you will, at some point in this
business, you gotta get hot!
Over the years, I've seen people start multilevel
marketing companies with not much more than a burning desire to
succeed. They were not naturals. They were not educated in the industry.
They knew next to nothing about direct sales. But, they had a passion
for their business concept, mission and product. That passion carried
them until they did become proficient in the other areas.
Passion empowers you to discipline yourself, stay
focused, and defer other pleasures until your dream comes true.
In fact, your entrepreneurial dream is your pleasure, your profession,
your pastime. And when somebody asks what you do, you can look 'em
in the eye and brag about your business like it was the Hope Diamond,
the Holy Grail, and the Mona Lisa all in one - the greatest thing
since sliced bread.
Have a Purpose
A sailor was leaning on the deck rail when a shipmate
stuck his head through the hatch and hollered, "The ship is
sinking!" The sailor shrugged his shoulders and muttered, "So
what? It's not my ship."
As annoying as they can be sometimes, I'd rather put
up with someone who gets a little too hyper once in a while than
a person whose outlook on life is, "So what?" There's
nothing much more pathetic than a person without purpose, passion,
or preference. With nothing to do, no place to go - and the rest
of his or her life to get there.
Bertrand Russel, a prominent 20th century philosopher
and social critic, wrote, "The continuity of purpose is one
of the most essential ingredients of happiness." Beyond a need
for food and shelter, security and love, we require a reason for
It doesn't have to be grandiose or global, but it
must be something significant. Our lives must be intentional. We're
not here to just take up space.
An interesting aspect of human nature is that we're
never more alive than when caught up in a cause that is greater
than we are. It is absolute being - our minds molded and our senses
sharpened with a sense of mission. As someone said, "The only
true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a worthwhile
Associate with Passionate People
We tend to reflect our relationships. If your goal
is to live with passion and principle, then your closest associates
should be passionate and principled people. Their energetic, upbeat
approach to life is contagious.
As a corporate executive, you should seek out corporate
owners who are already on track with the type of success you want.
How do you meet them? Join the Multi-Level Marketing International
Association (MLMIA) and Direct Sales Association (DSA), your industry's
two trade associations and attend their corporate conferences. Attend
other regular events like "The Entrepreneur Series" and
"Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company".
When you meet someone who seems genuinely good, strong,
confident, and has attained the success you desire, make an effort
to cultivate a relationship. People with these characteristics are
the kind of people you want in your life.
You just can't be around positive people very long
before their optimism starts to rub off. These winners in life will
enhance your own efforts to become a vital, healthy, happy human
being and a successful entrepreneur.
Passion is a Choice
It was an early Monday morning and Adrian lay in bed
with the covers pulled up over his face. His mother came into his
room and said, "Alright, it's time to get up and get ready
| From under
the sheets Adrian muttered, "No ma' I don't wanna go
| His mother
pulled back the blankets and scolded, "Adrian, we go
through this every Monday morning. You know you've got to
go to school."
at the bedding Adrian whined "No ma' I ain't going."
| Her patience
wearing thin, his mother commanded, "Adrian, you are
going. Now get up before I have to spank you!"
me one good reason why I should go to school."
to start with, you're the principal."
Being an MLM executive will be frustrating and stressful
at times. Face it, you will not always feel like you're full of
fire and fortitude. Like any other normal human being, you'll have
days when your passion is running low. Days when Murphy's Law is
in full force. Everything that can go wrong will go wrong - and
If your attitude is founded on nothing but feeling,
you will always be subject to the ebb and flow of human emotion.
That's why you must choose - make a cold calculated
decision to be a passionate, pro-active person. No matter your genetic
predisposition. No matter your childhood environment. No matter
your present circumstances.
In the same way that any philosophy is a life choice,
living with passion is a lifestyle selection. You choose to be passionate
in the same logical manner that you choose a software solution,
convention location or product position. You think it through, compare
your options, examine the outcome and calmly conclude, "My
life and the lives of the people I care about will be better if
I am upbeat and positive."
With rational intent you determine, "Certain
attitudes and behaviors will effect my happiness. I will identify
those attitudes and behaviors and produce them." It all sounds
pretty left-brained huh? Still, that's what it comes down to though.
Michael L. Sheffield is the CEO of
Sheffield Resource Network, a full-service direct sales and multi
level marketing (MLM) consulting firm. He is also cofounder and
chairman of the Multi Level Marketing International Association
(MLMIA). He and the Sheffield team have assisted in hundreds of
national and international MLM corporate start-ups as well as
offered a full line of services for established direct sales companies.
As the most noted expert on compensation plans, he has been a
guest lecturer for the DSA, University of Illinois, University
of Texas, Berkeley and Harvard Alumni Association. He has helped
launch over 200 new products marketed by direct selling companies
around the globe. He can be contacted at 480-968-6199 - 1805 N.
Scottsdale Road, Suite 7, Tempe, AZ. 85281 website address: www.sheffieldnet.com.
(Reprinted by permission)