Luce Associates Blog Header

Tag: Team Building

Working for yourself is hard… much, much harder than working for someone else at a job. When we work for someone else as an employee, they tell us what days and hours to work, they define our job and what constitutes success at that job, and they worry about whether there is enough money to pay the bills.  Employees, even senior managers, go to work and do the job that has been defined for them.  Sure there are big, high stress, complicated jobs that many employees do. But at least most of the scheduling, tasks and limits of authority have been defined for them by someone else.

When we are our own boss running our own business we not only have to accomplish the tasks that will bring us financial rewards, we also have to create a work schedule, define the tasks to be done, create a strategy and business plan and take out the trash.  There is no “boss” to help us prioritize our time and work on the “big picture”.  No, the self employed must do it all.  And that is the downfall of many who try to build their own businesses.  This inability to effectively manage ourselves is the single biggest reason that direct sales leaders fail.  In fact, it may be the primary reason why many self employed people are unable to be successful.

Think about it:   If you are unable to create and maintain a productive work schedule each week without the benefit of someone prodding and reminding you to do the work, how can you teach others to do so?  If you are unable to effectively prioritize your tasks into “must do” tasks versus “nice to do” tasks then you will not get the truly important business building things accomplished. You will waste time doing things that don’t really count.

So often over my career when counseling a leader who built a good downline and business and was now watching it fall into decline I have heard:  “I’m just so busy doing my newsletter and recognition and planning my team holiday party that I just don’t have time to do my personal business anymore!”

This is a classic example of not managing one’s self well.  She built her business by doing the fundamental business activities well: strong and consistent personal sales, effective recruiting activities, teaching new sellers to be successful and coaching the most willing and promising to become leaders themselves.   These are the “must do” tasks.  Newsletters, recognition and team celebrations are important, but should never be given priority over the must-do tasks that are fundamental to success.  My advice to leaders is this situation is always “Go back to doing the things that made you successful and hire some part time help to do the important “nice to do” things.  When you concentrate on doing the important stuff, your volunteer sales team members will do the same.  After all, they too want to build their own business and most are not sure how to do that.  So, they look to you and copy what you do.

If you run your own business, now may be good time to review how well you are managing yourself.  Are you concentrating on the “must do” tasks or have you been sliding into spending time on the “nice to do” things?  Are you focusing your most productive hours of the day on your income producing activities?  Do you work consistently at your business on a daily, weekly, monthly schedule?  In other words, take stock:  Are you managing yourself well?

Alan Luce

Few people in the direct sales industry can match the experience, expertise and successes of Alan Luce. With over 25 years in senior management, guiding start-ups and established companies alike, Alan has met virtually every challenge a direct sales executive can face.  Learn more about how Alan can help your company at http://www.luceandassociates.com/Alan-Luce.html.

Alan Luce

Alan Luce

Ever encounter someone who just does not understand what “work” is about?  When it happens, whether dealing with a young person new to the job market, or mature individual who made it to middle age thinking that a job and an income are some type of mystical birth right, I always have two nearly simultaneous reactions:  The first is to wonder about how many people had failed this incredibly naive individual.  I mean to get to adulthood without understanding what work is all about means that parents, family, neighbors, friends and teachers all failed to teach this individual some of the most important facts of life.  Yet, amazing as it is it happens.   My second reaction is that this person has never been around or been a part of direct selling.

Direct selling is the ultimate teacher about the fundamental principles of work.   In direct selling, you do something… you get something.  You do nothing…. you get nothing.   No one tells you did a “good job” when you didn’t.  No one says “ Don’t worry that you did not sell anything; we are going to pay you anyway.”

Whether your direct selling experience was long or short, a good experience or bad, people who have tried direct selling learn the indelible work lesson that doing little or nothing earns little or nothing while hard work and effort can lead to large rewards.  I cannot tell you how many parents who were also direct sellers have told me that one of the great unexpected, but deeply appreciated, benefits of their career in direct selling is that their children grew up understanding about work.  Direct selling kids learn young and well that if their direct selling Mom or Dad is to make any money, they first must go out and work to make a sale.

Learning that you must do something in order to get something out of work may be one of life’s most important lessons.  As direct sellers, we live that lesson every day.  Too bad more people don’t have that experience.

Few people in the direct sales industry can match the experience, expertise and successes of Alan Luce. With over 25 years in senior management, guiding start-ups and established companies alike, Alan has met virtually every challenge a direct sales executive can face.  Learn more about how Alan can help your company at http://www.luceandassociates.com/Alan-Luce.html.

by Alan Luce

Alan Luce

Alan Luce

Like the rest of the country, many direct selling families are having a tough time.  Jobs are scarce, overtime is almost non-existent and prices for the essentials keep going up.  In a recession largely caused by the failure of our elected and financial sector leaders to act honestly and responsibly, it is hard to know who to trust.

In days gone by we looked to someone’s “character” to gage whether a person was worthy of our trust.  A person’s “character” is almost a forgotten measuring stick in this world where all that seems to matter is how much money one makes or whether he or she won the election.   What they did to make their money or what tactics they used to win their election didn’t seem to matter.

Yet never has there been a time when the old fashioned notion of good character is more needed as a public standard.  A person’s character is not measured by any one talent or accomplishment, no matter how great or noteworthy. A person’s character was based upon measuring their honesty, truthfulness, courtesy, respect for others, kindness, sense of fair play, integrity and honor.  To be deemed a “success” a person had to have good character.  Without good character, a person was simply rich or famous or notorious, but certainly not someone to trust with decisions important to you.

The one area where character and leading by example is still the full measure of success is  direct selling.  Direct sellers are all volunteers.  They work as part of a leader’s team or downline because they want to, not because they have to.  Leaders who never ask their recruits to do work that they are not doing, leaders who teach even the newest all the tasks and methods to be successful, leaders who work to make you successful are the ones who achieve the most, climb the highest , last the longest and have the most respect.  In the transparent world of direct selling, the volunteer sales force soon ferrets out the untruthful, the manipulative, the dishonest and the self serving. Such people lack” character” and do not last as their followers soon figure out that the only success they are interested in is their own.

In tough times like these, the leaders with the best character in the full sense of that word are the ones that will help every recruit find their way, lead by example in all of the necessary work, and play by the rules no matter what the cost.  They succeed where others fail because character still counts!

Few people in the direct sales industry can match the experience, expertise and successes of Alan Luce. With over 25 years in senior management, guiding start-ups and established companies alike, Alan has met virtually every challenge a direct sales executive can face.  Learn more about how Alan can help your company at http://www.luceandassociates.com/Alan-Luce.html.