Saturday, November 8, 2008

Selfish Philanthropy

Thursday morning started earlier than normal for me.

For over 15 years, I’ve been blessed to live the great life of a networker. Although I don’t wake to the sound of an alarm clock because I have to go to work, one of my greatest blessings as I’ve built my Direct Sales and Network Marketing businesses has been to be available to my family. Every day, almost without fail, I get up early and make sure my family is ready to start their day.. at school, work, in their business endeavors. Trust me, some mornings, it’s hard to be an early bird when at heart you are a night owl!

Could I sleep in? For sure, but I have the FREEDOM TO CHOOSE! And I choose to put my family first!

This Thursday, however, I rose an hour earlier than the norm. I had bribed (literally) my high-school-aged daughter to let me take her to school early and headed off to a business networking meeting, starting at 7 am. I knew I had a long day ahead of me – I had scheduled appointments with new and current distributors and prospects all the way through until my final appointment at 9 pm and was excited for a busy and rewarding day.

I entered the conference room of the bank at which the networking event was hosted and smelled the fresh coffee waiting for me! Good start, I thought!

I mingled among the early morning guests, introducing myself and meeting new friends.
As the event began, everyone had an opportunity to introduce themselves and their businesses.

I was prepared, ready to share a great lifestyle Magazine about FREEDOM and some samples with all my new networking friends. As the introductions went around the room, I heard people sharing, with varying levels of presentation skills, about their business. Some more casual, some practically climbing on top of the table with enthusiasm for their product or opportunity. I listened, hearing many familiar sincere declarations and industry catch-phrases and thought a bit more about what I would say.

Half way through the bakers’ dozen, it was my turn. Like many people there, I had more than one interest in my business life. An established, successful business that had provided me with a great income, the free cruises and trips, recognition and awards that come along with being at the top of your game, and a newer adventure, already well on it’s way to surprising personal growth and success.

I shared a bit as I passed around some of the magazines (labeled with my contact info of course) and some product samples (labeled as well) and then moved into a concept I had been contemplating for some time.

What exactly do I do?, I mused aloud to the group? I’m a business and personal coach… like some of you here do as a fulltime career. And I share some fantastic products that people love and benefit from all over the world. We may start off in our business thinking we are an upline, but as we impact individuals’ lives and help them move from the point of entry into our business towards success in their life and career, we become much more. Coach, Cheerleader, Mentor, Friend, Leader, Teacher, Workout Partner, Nag, and so much more .. we impact the lives of those around us more than we may think!

It’s been said that Network Marketing is a great personal development journey with a bonus check attached.

That couldn’t be more true.

We give of our knowledge, experience, compassion, time and resources freely to help other people change their lives and fulfill their dreams of personal and professional achievement and freedom.

And in return – and in proportion to how much value we provide in peoples’ personal and business growth, our companies pay us a bonus. The better we do at providing value, the more we can earn.

So… are we generous? Giving our all to all who ask… rejoicing with the few who are brave enough to change their attitudes, their actions and their lives… and sadly watching the many …. who are unable or unwilling to do what it takes to achieve success… but continuing our mission regardless to impact lives –

Or… are we selfish? As we give, exponentially our income grows. As our influence impacts others for good and they duplicate and expand their sphere of influence, our bonus checks grow! And the more we teach others, the more we can earn with the right compensation plan and company!

I guess it’s a little of both. I call it Selfish Philanthropy. Works for me.

My new networking group seemed to like my story - and they loved the cookie samples I brought to share.

I told them, I’ll tell them another great story the next time we get together. And, as they asked for, maybe bring some more cookies. That got smiles all around. I love the Freedom of being a Rich Networker!

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