I have a sobering fact for you; are you ready? Here it is: Of the statistics network marketers cite in support of their business, a recent study showed, more than 87 percent are not actually based on solid research.

Shocking, isn’t it? But guess what? I just made that up.

Did you know that…there have been more millionaires made through network marketing than in any other profession?

…that 93 percent of your communication is based on nonverbal cues and tone of voice, with your actual words conveying only seven percent of the message?

…that according to a study done by Hartford Insurance, at retirement, 96 percent are either dead, dead broke or just getting by, and only four are financially successful?

…that according to a Harvard study, only three percent of people ever write down their goals—and at retirement age, those three percent are worth more than the other 97 percent?

Each of these deserves an entire article; we’ll do what we can in one page.

“More millionaires in network marketing…” Maybe some day, Virginia. For now, most millionaires got that way by being frugal, working hard and investing in real estate.

“Your words make up only seven percent…” If that were true, I guess it really wouldn’t matter that much whether or not our words told the truth. But it’s not, and it does. This widely quoted “research” is a tortured distortion of genuine findings by UCLA social psychologist Albert Mehrabian in his book Silent Messages (1971), who was describing how conflicting or “mixed” messages are interpreted between two people who know each other. Not public speakers in front of a group.

The Hartford study? Doesn’t exist.

The Harvard (Stanford, Yale, etc.) study? Nope, sorry. However, there actually was a “landmark Harvard study,” and you can read about it in the book Aging Well, by George Valliant, recently released in paperback. Of “goals” or “goal-setting,” Valliant evidently has little to say: neither term rates a single entry in the book’s index. However, among the major longevity factors Valliant did observe were these gems: the role of play and creative activity; the benefits of forming new friendships and social networks; and the importance of intellectual curiosity and lifelong learning.

What you say duplicates. You have a responsibility to speak the truth—not just with your body language and tone of voice, but with your words, too. Remember: “intellectual curiosity and lifelong learning” have been proven to help you live longer.

P.S. Who said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics”? Mark Twain, right? Yes…but he was quoting Benjamin Disraeli. n

JOHN DAVID MANN is Editor in Chief of Networking Times.