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As direct sellers, we have the opportunity—the privilege, really—to provide individuals with a vehicle that can drive incredible change in their lives, whether that definition of change is more time, more money or both. But in our “no experience necessary, all walks of life are welcome” world, what is it that sets the successful apart from the rest? Why is it that direct selling works so well for some but not for others?
Certainly there are the usual suspects like hard work and commitment level, but sometimes even people with an incredible work ethic and the best of intentions fall flat. In fact, have you ever met someone and immediately thought, Wow that guy is special—he is going to do great things in our business only to watch them quit before they ever got out of the gate? That’s because in order to be truly successful in our industry, individuals have to first change on the inside before success can ever be revealed on the outside. At ACN, we believe that if you aren’t growing as a person, there is no way for your business to grow. The two are absolutely interrelated. You can’t be a top leader long-term in ACN if you are at home screaming at your spouse and kids—it’s simply not possible. Our system will push you out. I’ve often said the wrong kind of people can’t stand the right environment for too long. Your outer world will always catch up with your inner world.
Because of what I’ve just mentioned, we don’t just talk about personal growth at ACN; we’ve created our entire culture around it. It’s a part of everything we teach and train. So how do you create a culture of personal development in your business? Here are some of my top tips:
It Starts with You
Getting your organizations to commit to personal development, to being the best possible versions of themselves, starts with you. As owners and executives of our companies, we can’t expect our people to understand the value of personal growth if we don’t personally embody it. Remember, 90 percent of things are caught, not taught. I’m not the person I was 20 years ago. In order for ACN to grow, I had to take the first step and grow and evolve as a person and a leader. I had to make it a priority. We all know if it’s important enough we will find a way. And if it’s not, we will find an excuse. Be a constant student of becoming your very best self, and your people will naturally follow your lead.
Small Portions over Time Equal Big Results
For most people, the thought of adding another to-do item to the list is overwhelming. The key is to make personal development a part of your day, your lifestyle—and not just another thing added to the to-do list. The fact is you don’t have to pore over hundreds of pages in a single sitting or listen to hours of audios to get the big results. Instead set a goal to spend just 10 minutes a day on personal development, even if it’s only reading one chapter or listening to a portion of an audio on your car ride each morning. It’s a much more manageable dose, but in no time you will have absorbed some incredible content.
Content Absolutely Counts
Most of us are consumers of some sort of media every day, but just because we are spending time reading something doesn’t mean the content is beneficial. While guilty pleasures like gossip magazines and reality TV shows are fine in moderation, imagine if you replaced just one of those things a day with time spent on improving yourself. If you’re going to spend time consuming media, shouldn’t it be something that moves your business forward and improves your life?
Embrace the Process
Personal growth isn’t just a one and done thing; it’s something that has to become a part of your business, and more importantly, your life. You can’t talk about it with your people once, never mention it again, and expect to see the lasting results. After all, we are never truly finished growing and evolving. I, for one, am a constant work in progress. Nothing worth doing comes easily. Personal development, like anything worthwhile, takes continuous effort and commitment, but over time it will become second nature. Have you ever noticed that the more junk food you eat, the more your body craves it? The same can be said about your mind. The more you feed your mind, the more it craves. I can’t imagine not eating for a long period of time. Can you? You must feel the same way about personal development.
Give Your People the Tools to Succeed
While talking about personal development is important, and it’s a start, it’s simply that: talking. You have to make the investment in your people if you expect them to make an investment in you. At ACN, we’ve implemented a robust personal development program that provides our independent business owners with articles, books, audios, videos and more. It’s millions of dollars in content that they can access online anytime.
I often encourage our leaders to “change the scenery” and to periodically spend time around people who aren’t impressed with them, because if you are always the smartest person in the group, you’re not growing. This is what personal development does for us; it provides a change in perspective, a reality check. It forces us to look at ourselves in a completely different and new way, and it’s only then that the greatest versions of our companies and ourselves are revealed.
We have a choice to make every day: We can choose to build our businesses on solid rock or sand. The only difference in the two is their foundations. By getting serious about personal and professional growth, you can lay a solid foundation for a future built upon solid rock. When the winds of change or adversity come your way—and they absolutely will—you can stand firm and win. More importantly, you can look back and be excited about the lifestyle you created for yourself, your family and countless others.
Greg Provenzano is the President and Co-Founder of ACN.