Are you a dog? I didn’t think so.

Why ask that question? Dogs are famous for chasing cars, and network marketers often do the same thing. Not with cars: with prospects.

What message do you want to communicate? Simple: one of solidity, leadership, and confidence.

The average networker often slips into “begging” mode; leaders stay in building mode. Leaders understand that there are people they can help and people they cannot help—and they know the difference. Leaders choose with whom they want to work. Leaders don’t chase—they choose. People don’t follow companies, products or pay plans. People follow people with strength. People will follow leadership with strength—and chasing your prospect is anything but!

Here are five reasons chasing is poison to your self-esteem—and to your business.

C is for “Communicating the Wrong Message”

When you chase your prospect, you communicate the message, “Please, join me! I need you!!” Your prospect thinks, “If she wants me that bad, she can’t be doing that good!” You are sending message of weakness, not strength; one of total dependency on the prospect, not independence within yourself.

What message do you want to communicate? Simple: one of solidity, leadership, strength, knowledge, and confidence. Chasing does none of those, and the worst part is, you communicate the wrong message to yourself: you tell yourself, “I cannot get anyone else, I need to hang onto this person.”

H is for “Hurting Your Image”

When you chase prospects, you hurt your “silent calling card”—your presence.

Your presence is what creates impact. It radiates from you; your prospect feels it. If you chase, then you create the wrong impact on your prospect. When you chase, your prospect thinks, “This person doesn’t seem like someone headed for success.”

You want to project an image people are attracted to. People follow success and strength—not failure and weakness.

You also hurt your image with you. When you chase, you’re telling yourself that you can’t get anyone else—that this is the only prospect you can get, and you better not lose them! Having only one or two people to follow up on limits you severely. At any given time, you need at least 20 in the hopper looking at the business. Why? Because your business is that valuable—because you are that valuable. That is the message you need to send to your prospects—and to yourself.

A is for “Amplifying Weakness”

When you hurt your image, you amplify weakness to your prospect—and to yourself. You need to amplify success and strength. You need to stop amplifying what hurts you, and start amplifying what will help you: belief, conviction, strength, power, leadership, and destiny.

“I am not sure if this is for you or not,” is a phrase of strength, confidence and success. “This may or may not be a fit; let’s see if it is …,” is a phrase of success and leadership.

“You could do this so well; why don’t you sign up?” is a question of weakness. “Please take another look at this—this would be perfect for you,” is a perfect example of begging.

Speaking from “need mode” rather than success mode sends a signal: it says, you don’t believe in your own ability to succeed. Your prospect senses that and is turned off. Wouldn’t you be?

S is for “Starting to Look Desperate”

Desperation is the last stage of losing belief. Chasing eventually creates desperation, because it is based on your fear of losing this one prospect. You don’t want to lose your “golden egg”; instead, you end up with egg on your face.

The harm desperation also does to your self-esteem is staggering. You start to see yourself as someone who cannot really do this business.

People are attracted to confidence—not desperation. Desperation has an energy that repels. Your prospect will only believe in your company as much as you project.

You want to inspire the prospect with your energy, your conviction, your dreams, and caring—your vision of success for their future! You want to turn that desperation to inspiration—to destination. You have a destiny for them that can create all they want in life and more—you have a destination of success.

Which would you be more attracted to: desperation or inspiration? Within that answer lies your North Star of recruiting.

E is for “Embracing Failure”

Desperation always leads to failure. In fact, you embrace failure the moment you set your foot upon the “chase path” of recruiting. You start to accept failure as the ultimate outcome, as what you “deserve.”

But it’s not true! You deserve the best network marketing has to offer: if you want it, it can be yours! But understand: embracing failure is a choice, not a chance. You decide; it doesn’t decide. Play the “victim” and it shows—in your eyes, in your voice, in your presence. Don’t play the victim—but the victor.

Your job is simply to talk to people. You are not in charge of results. If you talk to someone and they say your business is not for them—great! You have engaged the task at hand. You got the job done; you have created a victory: you embrace a powerful future! That focus will lead you to the right people; that future will attract them to you. It all happens in your mind.

When you follow up, forget the chase. Yes, you need to be persistent. But persistence is different than insistence. Persistence comes from a position of attraction and strength; insistence comes from a position of pressure and weakness.

Chase your dreams, not your prospects. People are looking for leadership. Give it to them!

Doug Firebaugh (