Ever since I was a young boy, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. As I grew up, I quickly realized having a job would never get me there. In the late 80s, I entered network marketing full of enthusiasm, but it didn’t take long before I was feeling overwhelmed in this new venture. I let go of being excited and had to relax into learning the skills required to run a successful network marketing business. I had to learn the inner game of it.
One of the main skills I had challenges with was leadership and attraction. I was able to close sales and enroll people, but no one would succeed. If I didn’t host the meeting, close the sales for my teammates, and give them a lead generation system, everything would collapse. I would make enough money to stay in business, but not enough to get ahead and become prosperous. In the beginning, I wasn’t able to overcome the challenges. I went through several businesses that failed. At one point, I ended up $100,000 in credit card debt due to poor decisions and some companies that went out of business. I eventually had to go back to get a straight commission sales job and wait tables in restaurants. This was the wake-up call I required. I realized I never wanted to have a job again!
I reentered the network marketing profession and stayed in it long enough to master the skills. Desire is what kept me in—my desire to be free from needing to work a job and to get out of debt so I could live the good life. I had a vision bigger than my problems.
My biggest assets were my exceptional habits. I was able to delegate and break down time blocks for lead generation, prospecting, scheduling appointments, doing presentations, and team building. It’s what led me to have six- and seven-figure years as an entrepreneur. There is a theme here: my habits and dedication to learning the skills are what ultimately led me to the success I was seeking.
Later in my career, I started my own seminar company. This was in 1998, back when there were hardly any coaches. I had coached many people in my network marketing team and I had spoken at many company events. I also watched my father become a hall-of-fame basketball coach, and I learned many skills from playing on his teams. I felt I had the ability to be a coach, so with no formal training, I launched my speaking and coaching career. From the beginning, I consistently had a waiting list for my services. It’s been quite a learning journey with many ups and downs. These experiences have paved the way for me to be in service to others today.
The skills I developed as a network marketer have easily transferred to my coaching practice. In my network marketing career, I eventually became quite skilled at mentoring people. I started to develop mastermind alliances and I learned where to devote my time and energy. I became adept at being able to handpick people who I felt had the ability to break through. I also spent lots of time building teams and creating cultures.
At this point in my career, I have coached over 12,000 clients equating to over 60,000 hours. I truly love what I do. I get great satisfaction from being able to inspire my clients. Most importantly, I’m skilled at assisting people to understand their addictions. As a coach, I can break down a cause that creates an effect. I can show people how to separate the events that shape their feelings. I coach not only network marketers; I mentor people from all walks of life. Addictions are my niche. I help people understand why they get emotionally stuck. Watching people’s breakthroughs inspires me.
The way I run my businesses is I don’t have bad days. That may sound unrealistic, but it’s totally realistic to me. Every day of my life is a gift. I spent 14 years as an addict and alcoholic. I now have 28 years of sobriety. I live in the space between positive and negative. I live in a place called awareness, objectivity, and rigorous honesty.
Every day to me is relative. It’s a gift of 86,400 seconds or 1,440 minutes. I’m able to neutralize my feelings instead of repressing them. I have an emotional presence that keeps me in the game, one day at a time, over a lifetime. I trained myself to focus on solutions, not problems. I live in the result. I don’t tell myself stories about situations that haven’t happened. I’m able to neutralize anxieties quickly. Again, this all translates into any business. You have to find emotional stability to stay in the game.
It’s important that you not only love what you do, but are skilled at what you do. Once you become good at what you do, you can do a lot of it. You also have to show up daily in an energy that is conducive to being successful—and successful in loving what you do. That’s the inner game!
JEFFERY COMBS is president and founder of Golden Mastermind Seminars, Inc. He is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and success coach.