Stephen Covey said, “There are three constants in life: change, choice, and principles.” Principles remain constant, regardless of circumstances and personalities involved. Our principles guide us through times of change and bring clarity when we are presented with options.
Last issue I discussed five principles that have guided me in creating a thriving network marketing business. Those principles were: tell the truth, be accountable, seek first to understand, be of service, and practice gratitude. Below are five additional guiding principles that can help you to thrive in your business and in life.
Principle 6: Right Action
Often when we are struggling with a decision, we know which choice is right, and yet we resist it. Perhaps doing the right thing is not easy or comfortable, or will not give us some perceived gain or advantage. Whatever the reason, the cost of acting against our principles is not worth the potential short-term gain.
It’s valuable to know what moves you, what you stand for, what you are unwilling to compromise. Then, when faced with a difficult decision, ask yourself what is the right thing to do, and the answer will be clear.
Principle 7: Respect Others
Once I heard a leader tell his team, “You don’t get to have an opinion until you are making at least $50,000 a month.” Really? Why invalidate the opinion of others who are newer to the profession? The irony of this statement is this leader was doing well financially because of his team.
Today I have a thriving team and I am hungry for their perspective. I have the privilege of working with intelligent, successful, and creative people for whom I have tremendous respect. I see them as unique individuals and value their perspectives.
Diverse experiences add depth and perspective. True leaders encourage others to share their ideas, thoughts, and visions, whether they agree with them or not.
As we create communities based on respect, we increase our relationship potential. Trust is built and a collaborative process can flow.
I see this in action when I work with my own leadership team. I know that when we hear each other’s perspective, we achieve results much greater than any of us could have created on our own. We recognize that everyone has their unique gifts and talents, and that different perspectives enrich the process. Everyone has something to teach us.
Principle 8: Challenge Your Thinking
Many people believe that events cause our reactions. Someone does not show up for a meeting and we are angry, believing that the event (the person’s absence) is the cause of our upset. The truth is, the event is neutral and can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Perhaps the person was ill or had a flat tire. Perhaps there was a mix-up with the date. Whatever you tell yourself about that event—whatever meaning you give to it—is what actually causes your response.
Have you ever been to a movie with a friend and she loved it but you were bored? Or she thought it was hysterical and you thought it was ridiculous? If the event—the movie, in this case—were the cause of your response, then both you and your friend would have felt the same way about it.
We filter our experiences through our beliefs and interpretations, which then lead us to an emotional and behavioral response. Depending on our belief, or what we tell ourselves about the event, our reactions will vary.
The next time you react to something in a negative way, ask yourself, “What I am telling myself or believing that is causing me to feel this way?” and “Are there other possible interpretations of this event?” In most cases there are. Knowing that our truth may not be the Truth can be liberating.
Challenging our own thinking helps us to see that we have options. We may not have control over what the world gives us, but we do have a choice in how we respond.
Principle 9: Clean Up Your Messes
Even the most principled person sometimes makes mistakes. And when we do, there is almost always the opportunity to circle back, take accountability for our part in what went wrong, and do our best to set things right.
It may not always be possible to undo a mistake, but it’s always possible to own up to our part in it and make amends. Commit to doing things differently going forward and hold yourself to that commitment. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time to make amends, and the goodwill it creates can be invaluable.
Principle 10: Bring Love to Your Work
Mother Theresa said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
Love is not a topic that’s typically associated with business. Yet my most satisfying work experiences have been the ones in which love is infused. Of course, I’m not speaking of romantic love, though that can be good, too. I’m speaking of love as a way of being with and accepting others and celebrating our differences.
The community in which I currently work is a great example. Love is apparent in everything we do. There is a tangible feeling of affection and care that permeates our interactions. New people are embraced, guests are welcomed, individuals are celebrated. Even my relationship with our CEO is grounded in love.
When we bring love into our work it broadens our perspective. It opens our hearts and influences everything we do.
“Work is love made visible,” says Kahlil Gibran. In network marketing, we can put our love into action every day. May you find love in your work and help others to do the same.
KATIE FREDRICKSEN started network marketing in 2009 and quickly
became a top earner in her company. Her background is in teaching, coaching,
training, and mentoring top executives across industries, helping them
to work collaboratively and improve productivity.