Big Dreams, Big Plan

If your annual income suddenly became your monthly income, how would you be living? Interesting question, isn’t it? Take a minute to really think of your response. Stop reading.. so that you can write down your answer and then ponder the response.

Do that now.

I think we would all agree that if our annual income suddenly became our monthly income our life would be significantly improved. But how would it change; what specifically would change? For instance, would you be driving the car you presently drive? Where would you be living; what kind of home? What holidays would you be taking and how many? Where would your children attend school? What would your bank account look like? Your life would be so different!

I have seen Bob pose that exact question in many of his seminars and almost without exception, no one can give him a specific answer. Why is that? Well, most likely because they have never sat down and seriously contemplated turning their annual income into a monthly income.

For many years, Bob and I would spend the period of time between Christmas and New Years in Barbados. It was always a welcome relief from the cold Canadian winter… even though winter had only just gotten under way. But it was also a time that we used to focus on what we had accomplished that year and to set our sights on the coming year. I always enjoyed spending that time with Bob because he truly thinks big. I learned during those sessions how inspirational it is to just entertain the idea of doing something really large… how powerful brainstorming a really large idea can be for your psyche and others. Frequently the ideas we tossed around did not become a part of our goals… but the very fact we even discussed it, put us on a different and improved path in our thinking.

Bob would frequently start the ball rolling by suggesting we do 100 or maybe 1,000 times the revenue or volume we had done previously. He would sit there on the balcony of our suite with his calculator in hand playing with how that volume could be broken down and accomplished. He would ask me to play with the idea without any pressure of making a decision to do it. We would envision what our businesses would look like, how our lifestyles would change and of course how we would feel about this. My mind started to expand very favorably by employing this process of visualizing ourselves in possession of this very large objective. Even if the goal we ultimately set was lower than the initial idea and it always was, it was always much larger than something we would have arrived at by starting from the other direction. I don’t know where he learned to set goals like that, but it was definitely an inspiring and productive process for me.

If you are going to earn more and work less, you must be very specific with your objective. How do you want to be living? How much do you want to earn? If you’re a novice at this process, you might consider setting a goal of turning your annual income into a monthly income. Seriously consider how your life would be transformed when that happens. Don’t just think about it, daydream to the point that you can experience this idea on an emotional level… put your family and friends in this picture. See them happy for your success and new lifestyle.

A word of caution… while you are enjoying this daydream, do not allow yourself to think about how you are going to accomplish it. This daydreaming process should be a creative one… one that involves your emotions and fosters excitement within you. It is not yet the time to look at how this is going to come about.

Now how much time do you want to devote to earning that income? Remember, just as you must be precise with what you want, you must also be precise in the time you will devote to earning that income… you must have a definite objective. As you seriously entertain the idea of earning a significantly greater income think about his in relation to having the time freedom that truly allows you to fully experience and enjoy what you are creating.

If we are going to work less and earn more, we must provide more service in a shorter period of time. When I met Bob in that seminar many years ago, I was struggling in sales. Like many people in that industry, I had moved into that position to improve my income and lifestyle. But it was far more difficult than I ever imagined. In fact, at the point I met Bob and attended his seminar, I was frustrated and contemplating whether I should stay in that industry. I had been in the industry three years, was certainly putting in plenty of time but clearly not reaping the rewards I wanted or even needed.

Bob asked me if I would commit to doing two things every day. I told him I would. At the time, I was in the insurance industry. He asked me to commit to being in front of a prospect every morning at 9 AM and to ask everyone to purchase a minimum of $100,000 of insurance.

Prior to working with my company, Bob had done his homework on the industry. He knew that most agents did not start their day early enough to see sufficient people and that most of our clients were not properly insured. Many agents, like me, were doing the best we knew how to do, but the ultimate results were truly not satisfactory for ourselves or our clients.

At first it was difficult to incorporate those two actions into my daily activities and thinking. It was not a part of my habitual way of doing things. I struggled with them but I did them and they ultimately became habitual. A year later, looking back, I realized that I had earned, not $25,000, not $100,000 but $495,000. That is a very significant jump. Bob had assisted me in following Fred Herman’s success formula… that is to make good calls, on good prospects with a good presentation. By focusing on those two activities and working at improving my ability to do those tasks, my income improved dramatically, the service to my clients improved and I did this without taking on the workload I initially assumed would be necessary. In other words, Bob had focused me on providing more service to more people in a shorter period of time.

I mention that story because it is natural when you consider earning more income, to look at how you are presently earning that income and multiply it out to come up with your new plan. If I had done that I would have had to cold call 800 people a week to earn even $100,000 a year. Obviously that wouldn’t have worked for me and most likely that will not work for you either. Conventional thinking seems to point in the direction that if you want great results in your life, you must work harder for it. That certainly was not true for me then or since that time.

To achieve significantly larger results than you have previously experience with respect to both your time and money requires that you start by “thinking outside the box” about providing more service to more people in a short period of time. The thinking process you have used to this point has created your present results. A new level of thinking is required to achieve your new results.

Michael Gerber wrote a book, The E Myth. In that book, he points out that if your business requires your presence you don’t have a business, you have a job. In that book, he defines an entrepreneur as someone who works on their business and not in their business. That is leveraging. I believe leveraging is one key to working smarter and not harder. I have not only had to learn to leverage myself in my quest to work smarter, I have had to learn delegation.

Later in my career I started my own financial services company. I put a lot of money into the business, had a respectable overhead and was overworked. I remember Bob asking me one day if I like the way I was working. I had to admit I didn’t. I told him I didn’t know any other way to accomplish what needed to be done. He offered his help which I gladly accepted. He arranged to meet me first thing on a Saturday morning at my office. The top of my desk was covered in many different stacks of files and papers. There were many drawers in that desk and they too were all full. Bob had me put everything in one stack on the top of the desk. The stack was overwhelming. I figured Bob would take one look at the size of that stack and leave…but he didn’t. He took the top file/paper and asked me what it was and what had to be done. He asked me if I had to do it. Naturally I said yes, since it was on my desk. He asked me why someone else couldn’t do it. As I contemplated each file or piece of paper I realized that very few of the papers or files on my desk had to be performed by me. It was quite a shock for my staff when they came in on Monday morning and saw the workload on my desk, divided up on theirs. That taught me a valuable lesson in working smarter not harder. I learned a valuable lesson that day about delegation that continues to pay huge rewards for me.

Today Bob and I have a full time housekeeper. Actually Amanda is so much more than that. Amanda looks after our house and us, as I used to do. We have a gardener and a gentleman who looks after our pool. Additionally I have a part time assistant who keeps me organized. By delegating these responsibilities we have freed ourselves. When I am working….I work only on results producing activities. When I want to play, I have the time to do it without sacrificing home responsibilities. To have the balance of time you want and deserve, there will be things you must learn to delegate.

When I first started setting larger goals I feared that I would not be able to figure out how to accomplish them. How many times have you backed away from setting a large goal because you didn’t think you could do it? Or would know how to accomplish it? The crazy thing for me is that when I started setting larger goals, I realized the most difficult part was to decide on what I wanted. When I had that objective set and had clarity of vision, the path seemed to naturally unfold.

When looking at ways to implement a very large goal, you might consider the following:

  1. Forming a mastermind team with like-minded individuals who can help you brainstorm new ways of improving your effectiveness, your service and your results.
  2. Finding a mentor who has achieved the results you are seeking and following their advice.
  3. Do as Bob has done. Get a calculator, pen and paper. Break the objective down into monthly, then weekly and perhaps daily objectives. Looking at it this way will frequently make it less formidable. Seek ways of working smarter not harder. Bob would frequently entertain ways of generating larger profits from the same activity or leveraging his time in some way.
  4. If your present ways of earning income are not sufficient to accomplish your goals, consider what additional income streams can be added…and remember, they must be time effective to accomplish the goal in its entirety.

Let’s recap what we have learned so far:

  1. Set a really big, inspiring goal. Be very specific. Daydream and give no consideration as to how it will come about as you engage in this expansive thinking.
  2. When it comes time to thinking about how it will be accomplished, realize that you must provide more service, to more people in a shorter period of time to truly earn that income.
  3. Don’t let the fact that you do not know how to accomplish your new goal stop you from setting it!

If you’re keen to move forward – send me an email right now – use the contact form to ensure it comes direct to me –  do it right now! Let’s work together… enjoying time and money freedom!

~ Linda Proctor

Choosing A Mentor

In a little over a year I went from earning $20,000 per year and feeling very frustrated with my results and the time I was putting in, to earning close to half a million dollars a year.

You would have to admit those are pretty dramatic changes. But you are also probably wondering how did that happen? How could that happen? How was that possible in such a short period of time? My answer is simple…my mentor. Having a good mentor can provide a shortcut to success that can save you years. But exactly what is a mentor? How do you choose one and what should your relationship look like?

As you have already heard, I didn’t choose Bob as my mentor… he chose me. Nevertheless, I was a very willing participant. As my mentor, Bob saw potential in me that I did not see in myself… he believed in me, when I did not believe in my own abilities. In that relationship, I clearly benefited from Bob’s experience and skills, but please understand… mentorship in not a one-way street. I certainly had significant responsibilities in that relationship. Let’s examine the roles that both Bob and I assumed in that mentorship.

Bob walked a very fine line in this particular mentorship relationship given the fact that we had started dating. Because our relationship was not purely business, this certainly complicated things a bit. Bob clearly had more skill and experience than I did in sales and many times the easier path for us both would have been for him to “just do it” for me. That never happened though. Later he would tell me that it hurt him to watch me struggle with things that were second nature to him. Because he loved me he didn’t want to see me struggle, but he knew that my struggle was a necessary part of my learning and he was there to coach me through those struggles and to praise my successes. He was there to provoke my thinking… to help me see other ways “outside the box” of doing things. He was there to inspire me to reach higher and go faster. He was there to hold me accountable and he was there to empower me. He was more concerned about what I thought of me.. than what I thought of him. He was and is not only a good mentor… he is a great leader.

As frustrating as it must have been for Bob in this relationship it was equally as frustrating for me. I had to be a willing student. Most of the time that was easy. However there were times that he asked that I do something that I clearly did not want to do… and sometimes could not even see the benefit of doing it. I wanted to argue with him… I wanted to pick and choose the suggestions I implemented. I wanted to do it my way. It was at times like this that Bob would point out that my way was not working… if I wanted his results; I had to do it his way. When I persisted in doing it my way, he would simply stop working with me. That’s where our relationship got “sticky.” Bob continued to be warm and friendly in our personal relationship but simply would not push me to do it his way on the business level. He did not criticize or judge me… that was important not only on a personal level but on the business level as well. And in time, I always came to my senses and ultimately followed Bob’s direction. This is probably one of the most important points in a mentor relationship… you must do what your mentor suggests. Most people want help, but they want you to help them their way. Their way is giving them the results they are getting and those are not the results they want.

Let me digress for a moment and explain what I meant by “following Bob’s direction.” You might get the idea that Bob was telling me everything to do and I was simply a puppet following his lead. That could not be further from the truth. This relationship was not about making me a dependent on Bob for my skills, ideas and confidence. It was about instilling in me the confidence and skills to do it for myself. It was about my own personal growth… on many levels. Some of the mentorship involved seeing Bob in action. Leaning by seeing what he did. Other times Bob would ask me questions, provoke me to think about what I was doing, examine the results I wanted and the actions I was taking towards those results. We would discuss other ways of getting better results. We would discuss what would be implemented… agree on a strategy and then I would follow it.

One key element I have learned from all of my mentors is that they are personally involved in their own ongoing self-development programs. They are always studying at improving themselves. It should come as no surprise that one of the cardinal rules for working with Bob was that I had to be involved in an ongoing self-development program. Bob knew that unless I worked at improving me… little else would happen.

Over the years I have had several mentors… none with the same intensity that I have had with Bob though. Nevertheless, their input saved me considerable time and in most cases helped me earn a larger than average income at whatever I was doing.

I have, for the most part, over the years learned to hold myself accountable. When I have trouble with this or when I become stagnate it is time to seek out a mentor for some help. (I am acutely aware of the fact that the only problem I will ever have is ME… I refuse to be a victim, victims have no control over their future.) Bob continues to be a valuable resource in this area because most of the time when I am stuck… I either don’t have a goal or have lost track of my goal. Bob is quick to recognize that and provide me with just the right program to study or book to read and read and read. I have the good fortune of watching him and he never stops studying. Somewhere along the line I realized that if he is involved in continuous education, I should be as well.

As I look back and examine my various mentorship relationships I can certainly see some key elements common to them all:

  1. You both must be committed to the mentorship relationship… define your responsibilities and expectations.
  2. You must allocate time for this mentorship… specific time each week.
  3. Goals should be established with a time frame for accomplishing them
  4. Accountability has to be a key element of this relationship.
  5. The student must be a willing, enthusiastic participant.
  6. Involvement in a self-development program must be mandatory.
  7. Be honest with each other.

Having a mentor certainly made a big difference in my life… many times. Here are a few of the things I look for in a mentor today:

  1. I want someone who is extremely successful in the career I am doing/going to do and who can communicate what they did.
  2. I want someone working on big goals themselves.
  3. I want someone who will be honest with me and with whom I can be honest.
  4. I want someone I trust.
  5. I want someone who will hold me accountable.
  6. I want a strong person/ a strong leader.

And in the case of working less and earning more… it is important to choose a mentor who is demonstrating that in their life today… someone who is working less and earning more. I guarantee that the right mentor will not only make a huge difference in your success but also in the speed of your success.

If you’re keen to move forward – send me an email right now – use the contact form to ensure it comes direct to me –  do it right now! Let’s work together… enjoying time and money freedom!

~ Linda Proctor

Multiple Sources of Income

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase… multiple sources of income… but if you’re a little uncertain as to what it means… permit me to give you an example.

When I was in the financial services industry, I would encourage my clients to diversify their assets. For some, that would mean that part of their assets would be in real estate… some in stocks, bonds and or mutual funds… etc. Well, that’s nice if you have the assets… but what if you don’t. That’s where multiple sources of income comes in.

Multiple sources of income is where you have multiple ways that income flows into your bank account. Some may be passive… some may be active. Let me give you an example

Passive:

  • Real estate that provides you with a positive cash flow.

Active:

  • A business that provides you with income that would be comparable to a royalty. (This type of income is critical as you cannot have multiple jobs… that will neither provide you with financial freedom nor time freedom.)

I first heard Bob talk about multiple sources of income over 20 years ago. At that time, he would tell his audiences that “all wealthy people have multiple sources of income.” Of course, the insinuation was that if you want to be wealthy, you too must have multiple sources of income. Today it’s different story.

Today we are being told that young folks coming out of school will have 7 careers before they reach 65 with an average of 12 jobs before they reach 36. Having multiple sources of income is still the only viable strategy for most people to create wealth. However, in today’s world it’s also a necessary strategy just to maintain financial stability.

At this point you might be saying…yea, I’m with you… but I’ve only worked as an employee… I’m not sure of how to find these opportunities. Well, about 15 years ago, I was thinking those same thoughts even though I had owned my own business.

I had reached a point in my business and personal life where I was tired of working 70, 80 sometimes 90 hours a week. I enjoyed having a career…but I was ready to have it on my own terms. I was tired of my business owning me. I wanted the benefits of being self employed without the responsibilities of being self-employed. I no longer wanted a huge overhead, employees and of course the constant grind of bringing more business into the company every month. I was more clear on what I didn’t want…than what I did want.

I went to Bob and asked him for advice. He suggested that I get real clear on exactly what I was looking for, even if I could only describe the lifestyle and working conditions I wanted. I followed his advice. This is what my list looked like:

  • I wanted a career where I could work my own hours.
  • I wanted a career without overhead, employees, inventory.
  • I wanted low cost to get the business up and running.
  • I wanted this career to have the opportunity of providing me with a six or seven figure income.
  • I wanted a global business (frankly that’s the name of the game today).
  • I wanted to work with interesting people. Individuals like myself who wanted to work less and earn more.

When I put all these elements together, frankly I wasn’t sure what kind of business offered that….if any. I certainly wasn’t aware of any such opportunity. I went to Bob and showed him my list. I asked what business offered such elements. I remember him smiling and saying “The impossible dream.” Yet, about 6 months later Bob told me he thought he had found “my impossible dream.”

I remember that conversation very clearly. Bob was in Toronto…I was in Pensacola, Florida visiting my family. The conversation was brief. When I got off the phone all I could think was….Bob needs a break!

On that call Bob suggested that I look at network marketing. Although I didn’t know much about the industry…what I thought I knew, I didn’t like. On the phone, however I told Bob I thought that was a good idea. What I was really hoping is that he would forget about this and the idea would just go away. I clearly didn’t want to explore this.

A week later Bob joined me in Pensacola and he was still excited about me looking into network marketing. He suggested that the information I had gathered about the industry and the opportunity had been from individuals who were not successful and not on a path to success. He suggested that before I totally discard the idea that I should check it out by speaking with some successful network marketers. This seemed reasonable and coupled with the fact that I knew Bob was truly interested in helping me find exactly what I was looking for….I agreed.

What I came to realize very quickly was that there are three paths in this industry.

  • Customers – for any business to be a good one… you must have a good product and network marketing in no different. If the product won’t stand on it’s own… I don’t care how good the compensation plan and everything else is… it’s not a good bet. As well, the product or products must be consumable to have that residual income potential.
  • Part-time income – The bulk of folks who enter this industry are looking to earn somewhere between $200 and $2,000 per month. This can be accomplished by retailing product yourself and duplicating this activity with a number of individuals. This was the only path that I had witnessed prior to inspecting this industry.
  • Large residual income – in order to achieve a significant income in this industry the focus must be on building a network. There are a number of strategies for accomplishing this….however, suffice it to say, that the growth of your network has to be the focus.

I agreed to a meeting… I went to that meeting armed with my checklist of what I wanted in a career and this industry seemed to have it all! It became clear that this was the industry for me.

Now making that decision was relatively easy once I got the right information. However, I was aware of the stigma this industry has for some folks….I was one of those folks and getting over that took a little longer.

Recalling a similar experience in the life insurance industry helped me adjust my thinking. My manager told me that most folks don’t truly “get into that industry” until they deliver their first death claim check. At that time, they truly understand the importance of what they are doing; especially when they experience the gratitude from the family they have helped.

I believe that my change in network marketing probably happened in similar fashion. I quickly realized that the products were benefiting a lot of folks… and they were appreciative… truly appreciative. As well, I was able to not only make money myself… I was able to help a lot of folks make a lot of money too. It was all very gratifying and of course… I was hooked.

That was 14 years ago. I have earned millions and still love the industry. Last year after leaving a company… I took time off to contemplate what I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to build another network marketing organization. However, once again as I did with Bob years before, I wrote out what I wanted in my career. I quickly realized my list was much the same as my initial one 14 years earlier. I knew that I must find a new home… a new network marketing company to call home.

If you truly want to be able to work less and earn more… you must embrace this concept of multiple sources of income. You must also be very specific on your goals and objectives. AND you must get a mentor. Someone who can guide you, encourage you and who has a successful background! AND I would encourage you to explore network marketing as a great multiple source of income vehicle.

The timing for the network marketing industry couldn’t be better! Most folks are looking for the same things I am looking for and when you couple that with baby-boomers needing to supplement retirement incomes… folks being laid off or being afraid of being laid off… this industry definitely offers solutions! Check it out!

Presently I am looking to align myself with a couple of good folks to build this network marketing business. If you would like to work with me… I want to talk to you… RIGHT NOW!

Send me an email right now – use the contact form to ensure it comes direct to me –  do it right now! Let’s work together… enjoying time and money freedom!

~ Linda Proctor