I looked up the word “illusion” in my dictionary and found it defined as “an erroneous perception of reality or an erroneous concept or belief.” I also discovered that the word “myth” means “a fictitious story, person or thing.”

I looked these words up because I have seen far too many networkers build (or attempt to build) their businesses based on myths and illusions, that is, on erroneous or fictitious concepts or beliefs. Perhaps you, like many other networkers, are being affected by these myths or illusions about money and abundance. If so, they may be blocking you from experiencing the abundance you have and want in your business and your life.

So let’s penetrate the veil of illusion and see these concepts for what they are.

Myth #1: “Money Makes You Abundant.”

This is exactly backwards. Money—both the amount you have and your relationship to it—is the result or expression of your abundance, not the other way around.

Consider this analogy. An apple seed, planted in the ground and given the sunshine and water it needs, will one day produce apples on its branches. These apples are not what make the tree an apple tree. They are the result of its inherent “appleness,” not the cause.

Abundance is the seed, money the fruit.

Abundance is, first and foremost, an internal quality of being. It is a universal law of nature that the internal creates the external. The fruit (external) doesn’t create the seen (internal). It doesn’t work that way for the apple tree and it won’t work that way for you.

It takes years for an apple seed to develop its root structure and grow into a small seedling. Despite the absence of fruit on its branches, you would still call this seedling an apple tree. “Appleness” was within the seed and is now within the seedling, and it is this “appleness” that causes it to grow.

So it is with abundance. Abundance does not result from having fruit on your branches or dollar bills in your bank account. The fruits of abundance result from growing the inherent abundance within you outward until, with intention and action over time, this outward growth produces the fruits of financial prosperity.

Also note that when your apple tree finally does produce fruit, the initial harvest will be small. Only as the tree continues to grow and mature will it produce a large harvest of apples.

Far too often, new networkers expect their seedling businesses to quickly produce the full bounteous harvest they’re hoping for. Forgetting that growth must precede monetary success, many discount their initial financial harvests as small and “not enough.”

Which leads me to the second myth:

Myth #2: “Money Measures Success.”

Is an apple seedling less successful than a larger apple tree simply because it hasn’t yet produced much fruit?

In other words, in the world of the apple tree, is fruit the definition of its success? Or is the definition of success for apple trees broader and, at the same time, more individualized than that?

Genuine success can only be defined in relationship to what you want, what you have, where you are and how you have grown. Just because you have not yet made the money you want and intend to make in your business doesn’t mean you are not yet successful.

Focus on your growth and progress—for therein lies your success. After all, to say that a one-year-old apple tree isn’t successful because it hasn’t produced fruit yet is ridiculous!

Money can be one factor by which to measure your progress—not success, but progress. But money in and

of itself can never be an accurate or adequate measure of success.

How Do You Define and Measure Success?

In recognizing your success, remember that everyone enters this profession at a different stage of development, in terms of the skills, traits, beliefs, commitment and self-confidence necessary to achieve the financial results they desire.

Perhaps you were a newly planted seed or a young sprout. If you already had some networking experience or had developed some of the skills needed—for example, sales, leadership, self-discipline and self-initiative—then you may have entered this business as a young seedling. More fully developed skills and experience when you began could mean that you were a young tree when you began your business, so perhaps you were able to produce apples more quickly.

Honestly knowing where you were when you started your business is essential if you are going to be able to celebrate your progress and your success. If you were a newly planted seed and have grown and developed yourself and your business so that you are now a young tree, then your success is just as great as that of the person who began as a young tree and has now produced an apple. Perhaps even more so.

How will you define and measure your success?

Will it be solely on the basis of the amount of money you make or accumulate? Or will your definition of success include other factors necessary for abundance, such as learning, growth, progress, quality of relationships, quality of life, health, joy, fulfillment and contribution?

Next issue, I’ll explore some further myths and illusions you may have about money and abundance. Until then, pay close attention to the ways these two myths may be influencing you and blocking your access to abundance.

And remember to celebrate your progress and your abundance!

TERESA ROMAIN is the President and Founder of
Access Abundance!™ Services International, an organization dedicated to
helping people access greater levels of abundance, freedom and fulfillment in
their daily lives. She lives with her husband, Dan,
near the small town of Big Springs, Wisconsin.