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Can You Handle The Heat?

22 Jul

Folks we are so honored to have permission from Allison Lamarr of Phoenix, AZ.  Allison was the highest paid distributor within another network marketing company and was the earliest million dollar earner in this company. She has provided permission to reprint an article that she wrote earlier this month and I really felt that it was so good that I wanted to provide it for all of you.  So please enjoy this article:

Today I’d like to talk about a recent personal experience of mine, and how it’s got me thinking about the bigger picture of our desired results.  Some of you are aware that my family just moved to Phoenix.  In the middle of the summer.  In the desert.  Now, don’t get me wrong…this place is gorgeous, and I’ve heard it’s one of the best places on earth to live about 10 months out of the year.  Several people have told me that if we can just survive these first couple of months then we will be in heaven after that.  I honestly didn’t think too much of it.  Being from Texas, I thought I was prepared for the heat…but I quickly learned that nothing can truly prepare you for 118 degree days.  The air is so hot and dry it’s like being wrapped in a warm blanket immediately when you step outside, while an invisible vacuum simultaneously sucks all of the air out of your body.  I got here a few weeks before James did, and I had to laugh at his Twitter post the first day he arrived.  It read, “Just got to Phoenix…let me know if you need anything from the surface of the sun.”

I was immediately reminded of the old saying, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.”  Of course, the proverbial kitchen is where all of the action takes place – it’s where the magic happens.  No one really wants to miss out on the excitement, but few people can hang with the heat long enough to experience the glorious payoff.

Why do kids quit music lessons or sports activities when they’re young?  Usually, it’s because they don’t want to invest the time in practicing.  In other words, they can’t take the heat.

Why as adults do we quit diet and exercise programs?  Because we don’t like the discipline, otherwise known as…we can’t take the heat.

Why do we finish less than half of the new projects we start?  Because the excitement wears off, and we lose our resolve to follow-through.  We can’t take the heat.

I’ve noticed the exact same phenomenon in my chosen industry.  As I’ve shared with you before, direct sales is like personal growth on steroids.  Lots of people come and go, but to really create long-term, sustainable success, your character development must precede the performance that drives the results you desire.  It’s a refining process that can absolutely transform you into the person you were born to be, but you must be willing to endure the melting heat of the furnace.  Refining does not come from listening to good speeches or reading great books. It comes from being exposed to difficult situations and enduring affliction.

Spouting theory won’t work – people will see right through it.  True, lasting growth only comes from standing in the mirror and being willing to do two things.  First, embrace ALL of yourself…the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Acknowledge who you are – the parts you do like and the parts you’re not so proud of.  Then second, we must take ownership of the refining process.  Be willing to submit to the furnace and stick out the heat so that your character can come out on the other side as pure gold.  Keep in mind, it’s much, much easier to turn and walk away from the mirror, quickly forgetting what you saw, than it is to humble yourself and step into the refiner’s fire.  That, my friends, is one hot kitchen.

Why is enduring the heat a necessary requirement for long-term success in the direct sales industry?  There are many reasons, but I’ll highlight a few of them here:

1.     You’re your own boss – There is no built-in accountability, so you must discipline yourself and have the hunger and initiative to drive and lead yourself with no externally imposed deadlines or checks and balances.

2.     You’re in the people business – It’s often said that people are the best and worst part of the business.  We must learn to work with personalities of all types, from all backgrounds, philosophies, and walks of life.

3.     Your biggest competition is life itself – People are busy.  We’re all slightly A.D.D. in today’s world.  I quickly learned that my competitors weren’t really another brand…I was competing with my prospect’s busy schedules and just fighting for a few minutes of the time they didn’t think they had, so I had to find creative, innovative ways to set myself apart, create demand, and add lasting value to their life.

4.     You’re leading a volunteer army – The people following you can pack up and leave anytime they want to.  If they don’t like you, they won’t do business with you.  They don’t have to – they can take their business elsewhere.  You must decide if you’re more concerned about being right or swallowing your pride to find a win-win solution that’s workable for everyone.

5.     “Winging it” won’t work – Just trying to skim by without mastering the necessary skills will leave you broke and desperate very quickly.  This isn’t an arena where you can fake your competency or charm your way to the top.  Charisma may get you so far, but to really have staying power, you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work of developing your skills, learning your product or service, building a solid network, working through enough people to find the ones who truly want change, developing the quality of perseverance through enduring disappointments, rising above all drama and mediocrity, then empowering the people around you to do the same thing.

The truth is that these principles can apply to your life’s goals whether you’re in direct sales or not.  So, just remember…ALL great things in life require some sort of investment before the payoff comes.  Whether you’re trying to finish school, pass a test, earn a promotion, lose excess weight, get in shape, rebuild your financial situation, or just totally reinvent yourself, you’re stronger than you think you are.  You can handle the heat.  Yes, it’s gonna get hot.  Yes, you’re gonna sweat…A LOT.  Yes, you may even get burned.  But the fire will not consume you…it will melt away the impurities and transform you into the person God created you to be.  So, go ahead.  Walk into that kitchen and submit to the heat.  Your life is waiting on the other side!

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