Do you remember this clever piece of advice from the Jefferson Airplane song? We all know how crucial it is to expose ourselves to words, images and sounds that help us along towards where we want to go. In this new column, we will highlight personal and professional development tools—books, audiovisual programs, movies, podcasts or any other media—that have been circulating among networkers.

And while we’re being taught, why not also be moved and entertained? Do you have a must-see or must-hear recommendation? Simply email

Three 2-CD Sets to Help You Succeed in Your Direct Sales or Party Plan Business
By Julie Anne Jones
Reviewed by Jackie Ulmer

1. Designing an Amazing Party Experience (2007)
This course lays out clear, duplicable tools for designing a party that’s easy, fun and interactive. Learn how to:

  • Instantly connect with your audience by using a powerful story to begin your show, an acknowledgement of your host and an intentional introduction;
  • Involve your guests and provide a fun experience while interspersing your presentation with commercials for booking and recruiting;
  • Use theme shows to create excitement and increase enrollment through a show experience that puts you in charge.
  • Use proven techniques to get the sales, booking and recruiting results you desire.

Profitable and effective parties come from having a system for success in place. The goal of every party is to create more party bookings, sponsor new team partners, and create immediate sales for you and rewards for your host. Julie Anne Jones shows you exactly how to structure your party experience to achieve all these goals and have the party guests telling others that this was the best home party they ever attended. Home parties are back in vogue, and this program will teach you how to have fun and make great money every time you head out to party!

2. Coaching Your Host for Maximum Success (2008)
This program is designed to teach you a systematic approach to the entire host-coaching process, and not just the appointment itself. You’ll learn:

  • How to set your host up for success from the moment she says yes and books her show, including specific language to use for getting her solid commitment to you right up front;
  • How to build a strong working relationship with your host, which will produce higher sales, bookings and recruiting results;
  • A successful formula for setting up and accomplishing a twenty-minute in-person
    hostess coaching session;
  • Effective follow-up techniques to employ with your host for maximum results.

There is a specific formula and specific mindset to having a successful party, and host coaching plays a critical role in this process. The goal is to create a win-win all around, with the party guests enjoying a fun, relaxing and enjoyable experience that sets them up in “shopping mode” while creating great incentives that reward the host for opening up his or her home and center of influence to you. Do this right and you’ll walk away with great sales and more bookings, while growing your team along the way. Julie Anne Jones shows you exactly how to grow your business through solid hostess coaching.

3. Building a Strong Direct Sales Team (2010)
This direct sales and party plan introductory leadership program shows you how to develop a business and action plan that will help you:

  • Keep up with your company’s leadership requirements;
  • Find and sponsor quality people who are willing to work;
  • Make sure your new representatives become qualified and experience success within their first month in the business;
  • Create an environment of sponsoring and support with your current team members so that your team grows deep as well as wide.

In this powerful training program, the author starts by helping you build the right mindset and understand the power of the language you use when you talk to yourself and to others. She shows you how to design a business planning worksheet and a weekly accountability program, and how to put together a monthly team meeting that provides value and encourages everyone to bring and sponsor guests. She also provides a solid plan for holding one-on-one sponsoring interviews and getting your new team partners off to a fast start, with an intentional business plan. If you like hands-on, nuts-and-bolts training, you will love this program.

Available at

How to Sell in the New Economy
The Sales Professional’s Guide to
Thriving Where Others Fail
By Eric Lofholm (2010)
Reviewed by Rosie Bank

In this new release, Eric Lofholm elevates selling to a noble and honorable vocation that is essentially about serving others. Lofholm has been teaching network marketers for years how they can embrace the art of selling to make their business more profitable. His new book captures the essence of his audio and video programs and adds new perspectives and examples specifically applicable in our current economy.

Lofholm is a systems man: he offers systems for creating a sales plan, generating leads, setting appointments, handling concerns and objections, and bringing the prospect to a buying decision. According to Lofholm, the skills required to become a master salesperson are learnable, and this is especially true in this context—because Lofholm is so good at teaching them. In addition to clearly teaching network marketers how to sell, he also addresses the equally important issue of how we should feel about selling. This represents a potential breakthrough for those networkers who resist the idea of selling. Lofholm emphasizes what he calls the “inner game” of selling. Studying his material will help you approach prospective customers and associates with confidence and excitement.

Someone with the professional clout of Lofholm endorsing our profession wholeheartedly is just as powerful as the bountiful techniques that he teaches. Lofholm is a role model to those of us who have chosen network marketing as a career. Even for the part-timer, the techniques in this book can help to take your business from good to great.

Born to Be Good
The Science of a Meaningful Life
By Dacher Keltner
Reviewed by Ørjan Sæle

In this groundbreaking book, social psychologist Dacher Keltner asks three simple questions: How can we be happy? What are the origins of our capacity for kindness? How can we be good?

After a brief discussion of the Confucian concepts of kindness and morality, Dacher takes the reader on a tour of the latest discoveries in evolutionary approaches to emotion. Building on Darwin’s theories and Paul Ekman’s studies of the universality of facial expression, he provides a context for understanding the origins of positive emotions, where smiles come from, why we are wired to trust and care.

This is not an everyday “get motivated” kind of book. It actually takes a lot of energy to get through, because it explains the complex science behind human feelings. I have spent weeks reading and rereading it, because the information is revolutionary and gives me clues to understand myself and others in a way I couldn’t imagine before.

This book will teach you how a simple touch can change the way you feel, how a smile can determine your life twenty years from now, and why teasing in truth is a way to show interest. There is much more to be gained from reading this book, but network marketers should at least read the chapter on laughter so they can learn to effectively influence others to agree with them.

Understanding human emotions will give you an advantage when you are delivering your message, whether one-on-one or to a group. For my taste there was a bit too much talk about evolutionary theories, but the outstanding information and brilliant conclusions make this a top-ten read for anybody who wants to develop a deep understanding of how to bring out the best in others.

How to Wake Up, Start Over, and Create the Life You’re Meant to Live
By Dr. Steve Taubman
Reviewed by Donna Johnson

“Are you sleepwalking through life?” ask Steve Taubman. “Have you repeatedly set goals and made resolutions but not followed through? Have you tried numerous self-help books and programs with few or no results?”

Steve says the first thing we need to do in order to improve our lives is unhypnotize our minds and become conscious of the old programming that’s holding us back. Once you’ve become aware of your patterns, you don’t even need to fight them; they naturally drop away as you are seeing other options and making better choices.

In just over 150 pages, this book gives an overview of what life is all about and how humans can thrive in a complex world. The chapters follow what Steve calls the five layers of consciousness: essence, beliefs, goals, manifestation and interaction. Each chapter is composed of personal stories, interactive exercises and lessons from teachers ranging from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Albert Camus, David Bohm and Eckart Tolle, to the Buddha and Jesus.

The title Unhypnosis really grabbed my attention. I’ve often felt that our patterns and habits that don’t serve us become almost hypnotic. Steve’s diverse background as a chiropractor, a magician and a hypnotist provided interesting insight into successful living. His technique for releasing emotional addictions was very helpful. I’m going to use this book as a resource, since our profession requires a clear understanding of how our thoughts and beliefs affect our activity and results.

Whether you are looking for truth, prosperity, inner peace or better relationships, this quick read will help you to advance on your path.