Randy Schroeder, international ambassador to distributors, talks about the bridge of belief. In this analogy he explains how motivation and self-belief can wane, and how this in the early days can mean you slip back to where you start from.
It is those that slip back to where they start from that are more likely to give up, and tell everyone that the industry of network marketing is a scam. This article explores the analogy, and seeks to help keep people moving in the right direction across the bridge.
Scepticism and Vandalism - The Start of the Bridge
When you start out in the industry of network marketing, you are probably laden with a healthy dose of scepticism about how it operates and ethics. Afterall, many people have heard stories of people being invited to a party or a BBQ only to find themselves faced with a white board, and the host drawing circles on the board. This deceptive practice has done much to damage the name of the industry, as people viewed it with resentment and rightly so. You must commit to never deceiving anyone in order for them to join your team, after all it will not be the basis of a long healthy relationship.
Others have the impression of a pyramid, even though as a new distributor it is possible to earn more than your sponsor, rarely is it the case that you can earn more than your boss in the traditional corporate environment. So which one really is the pyramid, yet helpful friends and family will point out the folly of your ways.
So when you start out you may well have a lot of negative views about MLMs, and those around you will seek to reinforce this view of the world for you. They are trying to be well meaning with their intentions, but it is as if they are vandalising the bridge of belief as you start trying to take the first steps. Many of those bridge vandals are doing so because they fear change, and it is easier to hold you back than it is for them to move forward.
Your First Steps
As you take your first steps across the bridge of belief, you are still open to attack. Every time you suffer a set back, you could find yourself returning back to the start, at this point in time it is looking like a rickety rope bridge as you rush for perceived safety. There are many set backs waiting to sabotage you such as illness death in the family, losing your job, a knock back from one of your prospects (or indeed someone you sponsored), you get the picture.
Life happens to us all, setbacks are all too common, and you have to accept it is just part of living. The key here is to realise that there are two ways to view life, as something that happens to you, or something that you have an element of control over. Brian Tracy calls this locus of control, simply put if you believe everything is someone else's fault then in all likelihood you liable to depression and feelings of helplessness. You see when you feel you have control, the ability to make decisions, then instead of turning inwards after a setback you'll be asking yourself what can I do next. See Brian Tracy's book on Goals in the book reviews.
Draw on help from your sponsor or indeed the rest of the Star Builder team, they are there to help you succeed - their success is predicated upon your success, and likewise your success is dependent on the success of those that you sponsor and your ability to mentor them within the guidelines of the system.
Crossing The Bridge
Crossing the bridge requires discipline, following the system that is laid out before you diligently. As Tom Hopkins would say, productivity follows activity, and maintaining your activity levels week in week out, revisiting your list of contacts, and always moving forward is key to your success. For those that you sponsor, you should be encouraging them to also keep moving in the right direction, acting as a visionary of what the other side of the bridge means to you.
While on the bridge you should be surrounding yourself with positive people, successful people, and I have heard from many sources that one should give up watching the news and reading newspapers to keep one's levels of positivity. Personally I feel that giving up news is too extreme, though the point is this, surround yourself with positive things and positive people, and you are likely to be more positive. Note that some people that have been "successful in life" would rather that you not share in the same success, avoid them like the plague, they probably do this to boost their low self-esteem. In my viewpoint these people may have financial success, but have failed on other measures of success such as altruism.
To labour the point further, have you ever been in a job where your whole department was described as a "departure lounge" and motivation was at an all time low? I recently experienced this, all activity and productivity virtually ceases, and everybody seeks to keep people in a state of constant depression. The interesting thing is that group psychology serves to reinforce this view of negative emotions, and if an organisation wants to change this low morale it has to introduce new blood and possibly re-structure - any other ways are liable to failure and will take years to effect.
This is no different for you in life, except you can choose who you work with, you can choose who you surround yourself with. So choose to surround yourself with successful and positive people, spend time reading books and listening to audio CDs and DVDs that serve to keep you moving in the right direction. Our organisation makes a number of these freely available to you, so make the commitment to yourself to take the necessary steps to success.
Arriving On The Other Side
Once you have crossed the bridge of belief, realise that it is less likely that you'll find yourself crossing back the other way, but that is still possible. So continue to surround yourself with successful and positive people, remembering that you are seeking to associate those that embrace you for you, and want to see you achieve all that you can be.
It should be your goal to help others across the bridge, to encourage those taking their first steps to continue their journey, and show them that it is possible. Just as you have surrounded yourself with successful people, allow yourself to take under your wing someone that is also looking for success who is willing to listen and work for it.