Why are some people more successful than others? Why do some people make more money and have bigger organizations in Direct Selling? Why are some better recruiters while others are better at selling?
We are always looking for some SECRET, a way to have quicker success. I don’t know if there are any secrets in this business, but I do know there are insights. Insights that give us better vision. Insights that give us better perspective. I want to share with all of you one of the big insights that I’ve found that helps me in LIFE and in my business. An insight that all successful people share in common.
Al Tomsik summed up my topic best when he said, “Success is tons of discipline.”
Think of someone in your life who was successful at business, sports, music or even a had successful marriage or family. All of them throughout all of time had discipline in order to achieve that success. Success is long lasting. It isn’t a lucky break. It is earned.
I once heard an author and speaker, Brian Tracy, tell a story that stood out to me. Let me paraphrase:
Brian Tracy randomly met a man named Kop Kopmeyer. Now Kop was someone Brian was familiar with because Mr. Kopmeyer had written four large books; each of which contained 250 success principles that he had derived from more than fifty years of research and study. Brian had read all four books from cover to cover–more than once.
Brian Tracy said that after they’d chatted for awhile, he asked Kop the question that many people in this situation would ask, “Of all the one thousand success principles that you have discovered, which do you think is the most important?”
The author smiled at Brian, as if he had been asked this question many times, and replied without hesitating, “The most important success principle of all was stated by Thomas Huxley many years ago. He said, ‘Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.'”
Kop went on to say, “There are 999 other success principles that I have found in my reading and experience, but without self-discipline, none of them work.”
Brian Tracy went on to say that Self-discipline is the key to personal greatness. It is the magic quality that opens all doors for you and makes everything else possible. With self-discipline, the average person can rise as far and as fast as his talents and intelligence can take him. But without self-discipline, a person with every blessing of background, education ,and opportunity will seldom rise above mediocrity.
Stephen Covey pointed out the same observation in the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey recites the essay written by EM Gray called, “The Common Denominator for Successful People”. EM Gray spent his life searching for the one common denominator that all successful people shared. He found it. It wasn’t hard work, good luck, or astute human relations–though those are all important. “The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do,” he observed. “They don’t like them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.”
Let me share an experience I had when I was younger. For two years, the head guy of the local church I attended continually asked me to speak in front of the congregation. I refused to. I had never spoke in church and didn’t want to. I had made a decision that I wasn’t going to speak in church until I was 19 years old. So I never did. It was basically taboo to tell the church leader “No,” but I didn’t care. I always said, “No,” because of FEAR and stubbornness. The church leader even showed up at my house to plead with me but still I said there was no way I would ever speak in church until I was at least 19 years old. I had a fear of public speaking. And even more a fear of just being average. So I avoided it.
When I started in the Direct Sales industry I was uncomfortable speaking in front of a small group of 2 or 3 people. I hated it! But I did it anyways. And I kept doing it. Over and over. My poor business partner, Lance Conrad, was there with me cringing because he knew he could present better. My strength was talking with people one on one. I was as good as it got at connecting people but I did not like public speaking! When I started in this business, I knew what I needed to do. I knew I had to overcome my fears; and so despite my fears, I still continued to get up in front of people. For the past few years now I have felt very comfortable in front of large groups. It’s irrelevant if there are 50 people or 4000 people.
Now I share that story because of what we just read. I will repeat what EM Gray wrote. “The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do,” he observed. “They don’t like them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.”
Another story. I remember talking with my mentor a few summers ago. We were talking about what it takes in any business, but especially in this one, to be successful. My mentor told me that discipline is the father of being consistent and persistent. Once again I was reminded the value of discipline.
James Allen, who wrote As a Man Thinketh, said, “Men do not attract that which they want but that which they are.” How profound is that?!!! You don’t attract what you want, but instead what you are. You must become focused on becoming the ideal person you want to be.
Discipline is doing what you really don’t want to do so that you can do what you really want to do. It is the key to becoming who you really want to be. For each of us, discipline will vary at different levels. I firmly believe that if you can increase your discipline in anything it can help you in everything.
For years I’ve practiced increasing my discipline through things by tracking them on a spreadsheet. A couple years ago I tracked everything: sugar, carbonation, books read, quotes memorized. By doing this, I developed habits that have stuck to this day. I haven’t missed reading personal development for over five years. I have only missed reading something spiritual, like the Bible, once in the past five years. I haven’t had carbonation more than three times in a year in the past five years. I have averaged about seven candy/dessert days a year in the past five years. I haven’t missed a week of working out in over five years.
Listen, I know some of these goals are kind of crazy. Ok, not kind of. They are crazy!!! I’m not telling anyone to follow them. Many of these goals I do for sheer practice of discipline! I guarantee I like carbonation as much as you. I used to have four Dr. Peppers a day. I guarantee I like candy just as much as anyone. I do crazy goals every year to practice discipline. To prove to myself that I CAN!
The year before last, I decided I needed to do something great for my wife. I wanted to show her how much I loved her. So everyday for an entire year, I wrote something about our day, something I was grateful for about her (I had once heard of Darren Hardy doing this). I did it in secret. After one year, I got all of her friends and family to write their favorite things about her. Then I took the journal I wrote, along with what her friends and family said, and added pictures from throughout that year. I put it all in a book and gave it to her for our anniversary. It was a great great strength to our marriage. It took massive discipline and in the end it helped me tremendously.
Everything worthwhile takes discipline! Nothing worthwhile is easy.
Most of us don’t track our most important thing which is our life!!! We track our work but not anything else. Really, think about that. If you want to get better at anything in life, your discipline must increase.
“He who looks for an excuse always finds it. He who looks for a way can find it.” I WROTE that when I was 20 years old before I had ever read a personal development book.
Get disciplined in your business. Get disciplined in your life. Set goals. Be specific. Be disciplined with your time. Who it’s spent with and how. Go out and own your life. Go out and own your dreams. This is your chance to make something happen. God did not put us on this earth to fail; BUT to succeed you have to have discipline.