I love my work, especially interviewing network marketing leaders for our Master Networker profiles. Each time it's a story about love: love of a product, love of a business model, love of an organization, love of dreams, love of people, love of freedom.
Without love, there is no success, even in business.
Growing up, I never thought I would be a businessperson. I associated commerce with left-brain activity, and while I was good with numbers, working with them didn't bring me joy. Marketing and sales were about the least attractive professions I could think of; they didn't seem to add value to anyone's life, much less the world at large.
What brought me joy and excitement always came down to relationships - to love and be loved, to nurture, to learn, to give and receive. I decided to study languages and literature to become a better communicator and a more compassionate, well-rounded human being.
Happiness had to do with the heart, with beauty and nature. As far as I could see, there was none of that to be found in the business environments I knew, and the people who populated them appeared to be always hungry - for the next deal, the next bonus or the next holiday.
Everything changed when I encountered network marketing. A friend invited me for a lunch presentation at her home. Not knowing much about the business, I signed up because the people on her team seemed to be having a good time while making a good living. I saw genuine human caring. I sensed a spirit of cooperation. I felt empowered that "I could do this too."
About a month later I attended my first company training, and I found more love: I met my husband Chris, then CEO of the company that published Upline®.
I didn't build a network marketing organization, but we started a publishing company that we run from our home. Our lifestyle is that of a typical networker: each morning, we wake up to the song of the birds, turn on our computers, correspond with team members, share stories with networkers and connect with trainers all over the world.
Far gone are my stereotypes of business based on competitive strategizing and tough-minded decision-making. Every day I discover that selling truly can be a joyful process, where our goal is to contribute and help others grow into their fullest potential.
When Chris and I founded this magazine, we chose the tagline "Moving the Heart of Business®." In our bodies, the heart is the center that links the lower and upper chakras. Similarly, the heart of business is where financial security, creativity and productivity meet with compassion, truth and vision.
When business becomes about wholeness and relatedness, everything changes. When the heart opens, the hand opens, and the river of giving and receiving flows freely.
DR. JOSEPHINE GROSS is Cofounder and Editor in Chief of Networking Times.