Posted Tuesday, November 9, 2004
Dumber than a doornail — that's what he was — one of the richest home-based businessmen I have ever had the opportunity to know personally.
For purposes of anonymity, lets call him Jack. Jack wasn't your typical sharp-as-a-tack businessman, nor was he what you might term a master marketer. Actually, he wasn't really even all that bright. He was one of those types that, though he dressed nicely, when he opened his mouth, you would grit your teeth hoping he wouldn't say something terribly foolish or offensive.
About seven years ago, Jack approached my partner and me about providing a certain service for his expansive downline in a network marketing company. While we were not interested in network marketing, nor did we believe we would gain a significant number customers through this business relationship, Jack convinced us to provide this service for his organization.
What followed blew our minds...
Once we had all things set up and customized to begin taking orders, Jack made an announcement to his downline. The orders immediately began to trickle in. Jack sent out reminders for several weeks. The orders came by the thousands. We had to hire more employees to take Jack's orders. Every month, orders increased and business was booming.
Through many meetings over the next few months, we got to know Jack. One of his associates had put together a fairly unattractive executive summary for all distributors to use. We offered to redo it free of charge. Jack declined and said he wanted it up right away... as is. Surely, even Not-so-Bright Jack could see the importance of reworking this document that thousands of distributors would be using.
Nevertheless, the executive summary went out "as is." We felt sure it would backfire. But, do you know that things actually picked up faster soon after it was distributed?
My partner and I scratched our heads as we wondered what in the world Jack knew that we didn't. What was so fantastic about Jack that he could have such influence over so many people. He said, "Jump," and thousands of people asked, "How high?"
Jack invited us to accompany him to a conference he was putting together. We were to present our services to his audience. My partner and I went and we took a small sales force with us. During Jack's lectures, my partner and I left our booth and peeked in every so often.
Throughout that whole three-day conference, I never heard Jack say anything of real consequence. Yes, there was a lot of hype, but there wasn't anything truly solid to the information he presented. In fact, Jack would inevitably say something, quite frankly, stupid right in the middle of his lectures. Yet, at Jack's suggestion, people continued to sign up for our services in droves.
It wasn't until the end of the conference that we figured out what it was that made Jack so successful.
Do you know what the secret to his success was?
He actually practiced what he preached. You see, Jack understood two things quite well:
1) He knew that to get a desired outcome, he had to actually DO something to get there.
2) He understood the exponential power of leveraging. Each person in that room that he could get to work toward his goal would exponentially get him to his goal that much faster.
For purposes of this article, we're only going to take a look at the first item above... doing something.
During those three days, Jack must have used the phrase, "Doin' It, Doin' It, Doin' It," several dozen times. It really was quite annoying. But, it didn't sink in until the end of the conference what he was trying to teach his audience... that if they would just do something — anything — every day toward their goals, they would get there.
It's so simple, it sounds ridiculous. Yet, that is exactly what Not-so-Bright Jack did to get to his millions. He just started doing something. He didn't wait until he had enough money to start his business (he started flat broke with a young family). He didn't wait until the executive summary was perfect, nor did he wait until his company had a whole slew of products to sell. He knew where he wanted to be, simply started with what he had and DID SOMETHING — every day.
How does the saying go? "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." How about this one, "You can't wish your way into heaven." This is equally true of business dreams. A dream is nothing more than a dream until you do something to make it a reality. The plain and simple truth is that you can't wish your way to riches. You've got to do something about it.
The problem most of us face is that, though we have an idea of what ultimate outcome we want, the process of getting there seems overwhelming. Taking off bite-size pieces each day is a much better way of getting there. And... it works! Not-so-bright Jack is living proof of this principle. Trust me, my saying that if Jack can do it, anyone can, is not just some trite phrase.
Okay, let's take a break for a short quiz:
Q: Do you know what's worse than a bad sales aid?
A: No sales aid at all.
You know, my partner and I feel like we really missed out on something at that conference. What did we miss out on?
Sure, we took in plenty of orders. But, on our way home in the plane, we both realized that if we had taken one sales aid (a piece of equipment that would help those people with the service we were offering), we would have sold 100's of them at a $100 profit each. We wouldn't have had to stock any inventory or purchase the equipment up front. We just needed to provide the sample piece of equipment, an order form for taking orders, and then have them drop-shipped in order for us to have pocketed an additional $10,000 to $20,000 in those three days.
It wouldn't have made a huge difference how perfectly formatted our order forms were. Simply having an order form — any order form — would have sold plenty.
This is a concept that Not-so-Bright Jack understood very well. He was anxiously engaged in "doin' it, doin' it, doin' it," and in the process made his millions.
We have tried to take Jack's advice over the years. It takes time and experience to come to understand the significance of this simple concept... doing something every day. His advice has made and is making a difference in our own business.
Now, ask yourself if there is something you have thought about doing but have put off, a wish you would like...no...NEED to make a reality.
Do you have an eBook you have been wanting to write but are afraid you won't have the time to finish before the market is saturated? Perhaps you are waiting to perfect it before releasing it? Are you afraid you won't know how to market it?
Have you joined a multi-level marketing company, read over the materials, but just haven't brought yourself to making a call or two?
Have you wanted to put up a website for your products or services, but the task seems too daunting or too expensive?
Is there a business you would really like to start but are afraid of failure? Perhaps you feel you don't have the capital to get it going?
If so, I challenge you to start now, today, to write down your desired outcome and make it a goal. Then, do something — anything toward that goal every day. Don't wait for perfect circumstances. Don't wait for the ideal sales aid. Don't wait for the money.
Don't let self-doubt, fear, time-wasters or money keep you from doing some little thing each day. You may still have your doubts and fears, but by doing something every day and seeing your progress over time, you will soon find your doubts and fears fading away.
Whether it be a simple phone call, an email, trading links, writing a few words, sketching an idea; do something every day. You will be surprised at the results.
And, if you've got a few more smarts than Not-so-Bright Jack, you might just make an extra million or two in the process.
Copyright 2004 Heidi Perry
About the Author
Seasoned entrepreneurs, Dave & Heidi Perry are founders of HomeBusinessOnline.com and PrettyGreat.com. Known for their straight-shooter style, Heidi & Dave are editors of HomeBizBytes. Receive a free issue at (http://HomeBusinessOnline.com/nsl.htm?sya)