While the network marketing profession differs in many ways from other professions, it also has similarities. First, you must decide that you want to be a part of the profession before you proceed to be trained/educated. Unlike other professions, however, we don’t acquire the education first and then begin working; instead, we have the unique opportunity to learn while being active representatives of our chosen companies.

Second, our training and education is never-ending. Look around and you’ll find that every leader in our profession is a lifelong learner. They love learning how to become better people, better network marketers, better leaders. Most importantly, they love to teach others what they have learned and subsequently they grow large organizations.

Is this the way you see yourself, as someone who yearns to learn and teach? Whether you are a brand-new network marketer or well on your way to reaching the top rank in your company, take some time to imagine yourself as the leader you aspire to become. Then go about your day as though you were already that leader. What would she wear? Which books would she read? Which trainings would she attend? Looking and behaving like the leader you want to become will accelerate your progress. As the late Stephen R. Covey taught us, “Begin with the end in mind.”

If you strive to be at the top, no doubt the leader you aspire to become would take advantage of every training opportunity—team and corporate calls, teleseminars, local and regional meetings, annual conventions, generic events. Initially this much training may seem overwhelming, but the reality is you have a lot to learn, and the more you learn the more successful you will be. Only you know how much training your other commitments will allow, but realize this: most people will rarely find the time; if becoming a leader is what you truly desire, you must decide to make the time.

Here are five recommendations for getting the most out of every training session while staying organized.

  1. Write everything down in a spiral notebook. On the front cover write today’s date, and when you have filled up every page, write down the date you completed this notebook. Then start filling up another one. Record everything here—no more writing things down on various slips of paper or in many different places. This one notebook* is where you take notes on training calls, teleseminars, webinars, phone conversations, even on books you read. Over your career you will fill dozens of notebooks with priceless content.
    (*Since attending a Jordan Adler training, I do use two other notebooks daily for lists: a black one with my ongoing list of future customers and business partners—it’s “my little black book”; and a green one with the list of people who are “in the process” of becoming my customers or business partners—green to symbolize money and growth. Thank you, Jordan!)
  2. Often auditory learners don’t feel a need to take notes. However, I recommend taking notes, regardless of your learning style, when attending webinars, training calls, or your company convention, and so on. Without notes, you might remember the content of the session for a while; but by taking notes, you are making a stronger imprint on your brain and you will have greater recall. (Some research suggests handwritten notes are better for recall than typed notes.)
  3. By taking notes, you are completing another important task. You are creating material for the training sessions you will conduct for your own team in the future. Keeping this in mind will encourage you to take better notes. Later as you use those notes to prepare teaching the material to others, you will develop an even deeper understanding of the content. I’ve found there is no better way to really grasp a topic than to teach it to others.
  4. Also, take a few minutes following each event, whether live, online, or on the phone, as well as after reading a book (or an article in Networking Times), to list at least three key points that you gained from the experience. Taking this one extra step will help to keep you focused during the training or reading session and will maximize your study time.
  5. A word of caution: for people who love learning as much as I do, it’s easy to get caught up in the fun of attending one training after another and delay putting into practice what you learned. All the training in the world by itself will not transform you into that leader you aspire to become. Training within our profession is ongoing and it is something we do as we are building our businesses. Yes, we listen/watch/read, take notes, and teach. In addition, every single day we must use what we have learned to do our job of inviting others to take a look at our product/service and opportunity. That’s what we are paid to do—and what you must spend the bulk of your time doing. That’s what will transform you into the leader you want to become.

Tomorrow starts today. The sooner you decide to step into the role of the leader you aspire to be and do everything the way you envision that leader doing it, the sooner you will become that leader. Along the way, you will have gained the knowledge, put it into practice, attracted other aspiring leaders, and taught them everything you have learned. Now other newbies in our profession are looking at you, envisioning themselves someday having a huge team and being a leader in network marketing—just like you.

A former tenured business professor, Marie Benoit, Ph.D. has owned a seminar business and a training franchise. Today she is a network marketing professional living in Virginia and Florida.

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