Replace Your Hope with Expectation
Mark & Tracy Jarvis: The Power of Stated Intentions
By Uma Outka

Tracy Jarvis listened in disbelief as her husband Mark stood on stage at the company convention and announced, "We are going to increase our income from $600K to $750K per year in the next 90 days." Ninety days!? Tracy knew they were good--but were they that good?

"I can't believe you put that kind of pressure on us," Tracy said to him privately when he came down from the stage. Mark admitted that what he meant to say was, they would do it by the end of the year, still a good six months away. That would have been a goal plenty lofty enough! Regardless, Tracy insisted that they keep their word: "You told everybody we'd do it in 90 days, so they're expecting it. We have to do whatever it takes to make it happen."

Stating an intention to reach a distant goal is how both Mark and Tracy have catalyzed their achievements ever since they each learned to trade hoping and wishing for expectation--a subtle shift in their thinking that they say can make all the difference in your results.

"Whatever comes out of our mouths, happens," they laugh, with a touch of amazement seasoning the unwavering certainty.


Goals Take on a Life of Their Own

Before Mark Jarvis joined his current company in 1994, he'd been involved in other networking companies off and on for over 15 years. His results had been tepid, overall. All his life he'd been an entrepreneur, trying his hand at a variety of different business ventures; but he was frustrated, never reaching the level of success he aimed for. Once before, he had hit the $4­5K-per-month mark in a nutritional company, but when one of his best leaders jumped ship and took half the group with him, Mark's income dropped sharply. Financial necessity drove him back to his job selling cars.

Working on the car lot was time-intensive: he had to be there from nine in the morning to nine at night, six days a week, and Mark yearned for a way out. Still, when he learned about his current company, he was resistant to the idea of trying yet another opportunity, for fear that, once again, he would experience the same disappointment.

"I decided to get involved anyway," says Mark, "and the hardest thing about it was to make myself focus on my dreams--on where I wanted to go--instead of on past failures."

Mark's dream at that time was a modest one.

"I wanted to make $2000 per month so I could quit the car business and find another job that would bring in another $2K with fewer hours. My business plan was simple: tell the story five different times each week, whether it was before, during, or after work. And that's what I did."

By sticking diligently to this simple plan, Mark's income increased steadily at a rate of about $300 per month. After nine months of this part-time effort, he was earning $2500 per month in residual income: he'd reached his first financial goal in the business. With those results in hand, he decided to abandon his earlier plan of finding another job, and instead, to focus full-time on his networking business.

"I could see that I would soon reach $100,000 per year--and that was a better investment of my time and effort."

Sure enough, over the next nine months, Mark achieved that $100K goal.

"One of the most important things that happened for me was that about six weeks into it, I realized that in this business, you truly get what you expect. In past companies, I was always hoping that someone would get into my business. But I never got the results, because people don't want to follow you unless they're certain of where you are going.

"Back when I was focused on earning $2000 per month, the company owners talked to me about making $100,000 per year within two years--and my goal changed. It didn't matter that I had never earned more than $50K per year in my life, or that I'd only earned a total of $500 in the business at that point. I developed a solid plan, and I started telling everyone, 'I'll be there in two years--and if you do what I do, you'll be there, too.'"

He saw the same thing work for other people in his organization. In fact, a good friend of his joined his business when Mark had been in for three years and was earning $250K per year.

"In his second month, this guy started telling people, 'I'm on the $250K-in-three-years plan, just like my best friend, Mark.' Guess where he was in three years? $250K. You have to be there mentally before it will take place physically."


One Plus One is Three

About five years into his business, Mark proposed to Tracy, a National Sales Director in the company. As it happened, Tracy had experienced a similar shift in her own approach to goal setting.

"Before Mark and I were together," she says, "I'd set a goal and many times I wouldn't hit it. Other people would tell me it couldn't happen, and I'd listen to them instead of listening to myself. Eventually, I realized it was a decision for me to make--something that I absolutely control."

The two joined their businesses and now work as partners in everything.

"We share the goal of always finding ways to grow and be better personally," Tracy says, "and we push each other. The more I see him grow, the more I step up so that I can grow myself. The result is that our business grows faster than it did for either of us on our own."

It wasn't long after they married that Mark made his bold statement from the convention stage.

"After I made that statement," Mark recalls, "we started marketing ourselves to everybody we knew, saying that in 90 days, we'd be at that $750K level. We're big believers in the fact that you will become what you market yourself to be. We said it over and over and focused on the victory--and 90 days later, we were at $780K!"

Tracy emphasizes that telling others helped substantiate their expectation, and served another key purpose as well: the excitement in the organization drew record numbers of new people to the group--and it reinvigorated existing leaders whose businesses had stagnated at comfortable levels. Everyone got enrolled in the project of seeing the Jarvises keep Mark's word.

"You attract people in this business based upon where you're going--not on where you've been. Everyone wants to be part of a team that's going somewhere and hungry to win."

When the couple reached $850K, they set and reached a 90-day goal to reach $1 million. At that point, Tracy traded in her Honda Accord for a Mercedes S-500. Today, they're on a new mission: to hit $1.5 million.

"It's awesome," she says, "because the company itself is very aggressive about the growth they want in the business, and we're right in there with them, wanting to grow the company."

With their current lofty goal before them, Mark and Tracy spent some time analyzing which of their business efforts over the last nine years have been most essential to their success. In so doing, they realized that three of those years were particularly productive; a closer look yielded two significant observations.

"Every time we had notable success, the same things showed up," Mark explains. "First, we were recruiting people to the big picture, the $100K-in-two-years plan. A lot of folks sign up a lot of people, but still don't succeed. Why? Because they're focusing on simply getting somebody into the business. The key is to focus on what is really going to make you successful: finding other people who want to make $100K per year. Tracy and I have a passion to work with people who have a genuine desire to earn a six-figure residual income. A leader is worth gold in this business.

"Second, all the leaders who accomplished their goals during those times started leading presentations in their first month. They didn't coattail off of other leaders; they started taking responsibility and being accountable as leaders right away."

Helping new reps from modest backgrounds earn $100K a year has become a burning passion for Tracy and Mark. How do they pursue that passion?

"We actively recruit: in the last 60 days, we personally sponsored 10 new people. We're not giving lectures on how to build the business--we're teaching people how to do it by doing it. At this point, it's not about the money for us any more: we both keep pushing because we just love this business!"


UMA OUTKA is a contributing editor for Networking Times.

The Rule Mark and Tracy Never Break

We have a philosophy in our business: Never turn off a friend or an acquaintance. This is rule we never, ever break.

If you call us about an opportunity, it's a natural response for us to think you want money. If we're not interested, we don't want to be in some ordeal with you, so it's natural for us to say something like, "We appreciate you thinking of us, but we just have more on our plate right now than we can say grace over."

Training in this business commonly teaches you how to overcome objections: "I know how you feel, I felt the same way, but I found that time is just something you have to prioritize...," or whatever. By contrast, we teach people to say, "You know, I thought you were busy, I just didn't know how busy. I'm brand new, so let me test this out a little bit, see if it has as much money in it as I think it does and how much time is involved. After I check it out, I'll give you a call back and tell you how it went."

The next time you call, you can say, "I told you I'd test this out and get back to you, so here's what happened. In three weeks, working 10 hours a week, I made about $1400. But what I'm really excited about is that this month it looks I'll make about $2500. I know you're busy, but you might want to take a look." This approach makes all the difference in the world.

It's so important to keep our relationships intact. The hardest thing to get new reps to do, is to refrain from beating up their people the first time they call them. We want you to ease out of that first conversation with respect for the other person's response, and then follow up with a success story. When you do, the second call is always more effective then the first.

Here's how we know this works: To the people in my [Mark's] original contact list who said yes in the first phone call, the company now pays out a total of about $25K. Not a lot of money between a couple of people.

Now, compare that to the people who were not interested at first, and whom we re-approached in the way we just described: the company pays them over $800K per year.

-- M & TJ