Over the years, it has been a profound honor to meet numerous millionaires and multi-millionaires in our profession. Although from varying backgrounds, ages, and geographical areas, one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell a story. It has been said that “success leaves clues” and perhaps the biggest clue is that everyone who achieves results in network marketing has developed the skill of masterful storytelling.
People who have mastered storytelling seem to have magical power. They can take us from frustration to laughter, from sorrow to bliss—in a heartbeat. They can also teach a powerful lesson or cast a profound vision of possibility. In network marketing great storytellers can make people join companies, motivate them to take action, and inspire them to stay the course regardless of the challenges at hand.
While he was still alive, I had the honor of sharing the stage with one of the greatest storytellers of all time: Jim Rohn. Jim was a powerful trainer who used stories as a means to impart wisdom upon his students. Jim’s stories always had several aspects that were relatable to building a network marketing business.
One particular story he used to tell recalled a time when, as an up-and-coming speaker, he had rented an expensive hotel conference room for a training he would be giving. He advertised his event, told people about it, made flyers, and he honestly thought hundreds of people would come. Instead of hundreds, there were thirty-two people in the room. On either side of the aisle were two teenage boys—one was eighteen and the other seventeen. One boy was Anthony Robbins and the other was Mark Hughes who would go on to found a major network marketing company that long survived his passing. “You see,” Jim said, “it doesn’t matter who is not in the room. What matters is who shows up.”
Throughout my own career in network marketing I have thought often about this story and told it on several occasions. Jim Rohn’s story helped me stay strong during the times when fewer people than expected showed up to an event or when people cancelled at the last minute. Today, as I’ve become a millionaire myself in our profession, I use that story to illustrate the importance of focusing on the people who show up and not worry so much about those who don’t.
This one story, told years ago, has helped me to strengthen my leadership and develop teams. Furthermore, it has been extremely valuable because it was the catalyst for me to devote more energy to the people who continued to come to the events, as opposed to fretting over who didn’t show up, and this has made me millions of dollars.
In our profession, becoming a powerful storyteller will have infinite value to you and your team members. As you share stories on calls, webinars, and at events you galvanize people to your message. As leaders, we want to be sharing stories of triumph, perseverance, overcoming the odds, and achieving in spite of challenge. The greatest story tellers have a profound ability to use their words to do more than motivate; they are able to provide the gift of unending determination.
Take a moment and ask yourself which stories have fuelled your career. Can you retell them? Can you use these to inspire your team to stay in the game? Can you develop your ability to tell stories by observing the top leaders in your company?
If you want to be successful as a professional network marketer, aspire to be the greatest storyteller in the room. Be that person who will move people to action and inspire them to continue on no matter what.
SUSAN SLY is a top income earner and passionate advocate of network marketing. An author, speaker, and trainer, she has appeared on Lifetime Television and ABC Family. She and her husband Chris are parents to four children.