You’ve heard people in your company on stage, saying, “It’s not about the money.” You’ve also heard them at the party afterwards, saying things that strongly suggest that it is, indeed, very much “about the money.” They’re not speaking with forked tongues: both points are correct.

Even when “It’s not about The Money,” believe me, it’s about The Money. And even when it is about The Money—it’s not about The Money.

“The Money” is shorthand; it’s a code for something else. When you say, for example, “five thousand dollars a month,” you are really talking about something entirely else—something real. (Money is not real.) Could be “No more debts” might be “Move to Maui” or “Feed starving kids.” Whatever is real and meaningful—to you.

It is remarkable to see how many people get stopped in this business—you’re sitting in a gorgeous sailboat in the middle of the lake, and suddenly all breeze comes to a halt—because of their uneasy, ambivalent feelings about The Money.

Perhaps the cultural roots of that ambivalence trace back to the famous, oft-misunderstood Biblical dictum, “the love of money is the root of all evil.” That aphorism, penned an aging Paul to a young Timothy (who evidently had grown up without a father) has been misquoted to death: “Money is the root of all evil.” Money: Look out! Dangerous stuff! No: it’s the “love of money,” says Paul, that gets people in trouble. (Can some sharp reader write in and tell me which wit it was—Mark Twain? Woody Allen? Dennis Miller?—who quipped, “Lack of money is the root of all evil.”?)

“Loving The Money” means you’ve become captivated by the shorthand, forgotten the reality. You’re staring at the road directions as if they were the destination—as the Buddhists say, you’ve confused the pointing finger with the moon to which it points.

If you forget about what The Money means to you, why it’s important to you, then sooner or later, your business will come to a grinding halt. That’s true for your people, too—which is why it’s your job as a sponsor to know what The Money means to each person you’re working with.

What people want, changes too. This is surprisingly easy to forget. All of a sudden, I’m using the same shorthand (“$25,000 per month”…“financial freedom”…“Master Blue Diamond,” etc.)—only I don’t really know what it stands for any more. I’m standing here, knocking on the door to an exclusive club, this guy pokes his head out and mutters, “Password?” and I’m pretty sure I know the password—but am not so sure whether or not this is the door I really meant to enter.

The truth is, achieving financial success in this business takes tremendous persistence and endurance. Is it worth it? Honestly, no—not unless you have good Reasons.

Your Reasons, and the results of your Reasons—not The Money—are what you need to love.

John David Mann
is Editor of Networking Times.