As professional networkers, we cherish the idea of freedom, yet we often confine that idea to dimensions of time and finance. In this column, the top networkers in our profession guide you to an even greater freedom available to you right now—personal freedom—by sharing how they live the principles of the Revolutionary Agreements: Truth, Acceptance and Gratitude.

In this issue, we focus on Truth Agreement #2: “I agree to speak my truth, with compassion.”

For Mary Nelson, giving her best means “telling it like it is” to her distributors; for Collette Larsen, the peace she felt from speaking her truth won out over the potential financial rewards of remaining silent; and for Ray Robbins it took the prospect of death to risk rejection and express his truth.


When Networking Isn’t the Answer

In our zeal to help every person we know realize that networking is the answer to whatever ails them, we sometimes miss an opportunity to be of even greater service.

“Because I was so financially destitute when I first got involved in networking, I tended to target everyone,” says Collette Larsen, who has since been honored as her company’s Distributor of the Year for nine years running.

Yet when she listened with her heart to one of her distributors, Collette realized she had to advise her to refocus her priorities…and give up networking for now.

“She was living in fear at a women’s shelter, living on welfare with her two daughters. Yet her sponsor had told her she needed to stay on autoship no matter what!”

Collette felt that encouraging the woman to stay on autoship and build a business at that point in her life would not have been in her best interests. Instead, she offered her guidance on taking care of herself, being a good mother and getting free legal help.

“I’d like to report that she contacted me when she was on her feet again, but she never did,” said Collette. “I had to feel satisfied with her gratitude for the relief she felt that I had given her the permission she was desperately seeking not to worry about building a business at that time.”


Success Coach

Mary Nelson was thrilled to learn that Cindy had previous network marketing experience. She also had credentials in real estate—a profession Mary knew well, having herself been a highly successful Realtor®. To top it off, Cindy had a huge warm market and a wonderful, positive attitude. Mary thought she had recruited the perfect distributor.

Her elation ended when they began working together. “I found that Cindy didn’t want to talk to anyone she already knew. I’ve been full-time in this industry for 14 years and helped hundreds of people make full-time incomes. Not one of these people did so by working solely in the cold market—not one!”

Mary was compelled to speak her truth. She said, “Cindy, you can buy qualified leads, use an auto-responder, and I’ll help you with three-ways for people you qualify. But until you believe in this product, this company and your own ability to help others be successful and talk about it with people you already know, you simply will not have the success you want.”

Nonetheless, Cindy went on to work the cold market. While she does successfully bring in new associates, she has yet to duplicate.

This Revolutionary Agreement to speak our truth is about being in integrity—not about convincing others that we’re right. As Mary says, “To let her believe anything else would not give her the best I have to give.”


Saving Lives

With an organization of nearly one million associates, Ray Robbins has ignited many fires under people with his tireless passion for speaking his truth. But for many years, his fear of rejection kept him from telling his truth and even from knowing it.

“I spent a great deal of my life trying to fit in, to mold myself to the beliefs around me,” says Ray. “When I was in church, I would be just as religious as they were, even though at times I really differed with their views. In school, I wanted the teachers to like me the best, so I said what they wanted to hear.”

Ray became a master at not revealing his own opinion, continuing through college and early jobs.

“I’d say nothing at all when I disagreed, or worse, say something that sounded like I was agreeing. One of my favorites was ‘I can certainly understand that thinking,’ when my mind really wanted me to shout, ‘I totally disagree!’ “

The day of reckoning came in a situation that not only expected faithful obedience but demanded it: military service. One day in Vietnam, having just listened to his Marine Colonel explaining a plan of attack that meant the likely loss of 20 percent of their men, he felt compelled to make his opinion known—to the General.

“When I approached him he said, ‘Okay, son’…as though he was saying ‘okay, I’m the almighty authority, you little peon of a person that thinks you have an idea!’ As I looked at him I could feel him thinking, ‘Should I slap you? Should I charge you with an Article 15?’

“I said, ‘Why should we put soldiers in a position where they have to run up that hill, get hurt and many of them lose their lives, when we’ve got the firepower to turn that hill into a hole?’ He looked at me with a look that said, ‘You coward’—and then it changed to a look that said, ‘Gosh, is there some sense here?’

“It took him a little while to collect his wits; finally he said, ‘We’re going to call in the Air Force first.’ “

The plan worked. Ray muses, “I saved some lives that day, you know?” And that’s exactly what Ray does today in his networking business: he speaks his truth and saves lives.

MARIAN HEAD is a network
marketing leader, contributing writer/editor
Networking Times and author of
Revolutionary Agreements: Twelve Ways to
Transform Stress and Struggle Into Freedom and Joy.