If you have been around the Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) industry for even a month or more, you’ll hear this everywhere: “You need a WHY to build a successful business.” Moreover, just so we are clear, your WHY is your motivating force or fuel to move you out of your comfort zone and into your zone of productivity so you can change your life.
It is the one thing that will motivate you to get off your butt when you don’t feel like it to go out to prospect or to present in front of a group of people (or even to finish reading or listening to this book) when you would rather watch TV, spend time on Facebook, or go dancing.
The truth is, most people have no clue how to figure out their WHY, let alone the WHY of others. A WHY is an elusive little creature! Why? Because most people figure it is some major life purpose or grand design for why you are on this planet. Others think it is just some cool thing like traveling, buying a home on the coast, or quitting your job.
Just know that your WHY is a very personal thing that can’t be generalized. Also, if your WHY doesn’t change your behavior and get you out of your comfort zone, it is useless to help you build your business. I know this is harsh, but I’m not here to sugarcoat things. I want you to be successful, so let’s help you figure out a WHY that works for you!
Here’s a common scenario. All the experts told you to figure out your WHY, and some even gave you a simple five- to fifteen-minute exercise to find it. You wrote it down on paper, and it felt good that you could visualize the reason to build your business. Then, you started building your business but found you were not moving along as well as you had expected.
You had challenges, of course, like everyone else, with life getting in the way of your progress. Stuff like taking the kids to school, driving them to soccer practice several times a week, spending a few weeks getting ready for the Easter party, and reserving a summer vacation in June or July to keep your sanity. Then there’s shopping for new clothes and school supplies in August for the kids, and of course the few weeks in November and December preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Moreover, you cook, clean, do the laundry, get groceries, take care of your significant other, and a lot of other things. I get it: You’re busy!
You may have joined your MLM company because it seemed like an excellent way to build a business centered around those products. They said it would only take a short amount of time to share them with your friends and you could grow a nice little business. Moreover, they were right: you did grow a nice LITTLE business. However, is a LITTLE business what you wanted? Probably not.
You were probably hoping for more than that. You have seen the ultra-successful Diamonds with their lifestyles and said, “Why not me? I want that too!” Never mind the fact that they look like they were made to do this business. They were perfect and living the dream, unlike you. You might have thought, “How can I have that, too, because my life sucks.” You probably wanted more than what you have now.
Did you know that every one of those polished Diamonds looked a lot more like you when they started than they do now? But then they discovered and leveraged their WHY. It was a big part of how they got to Diamond. I always say nobody goes Diamond by accident. It takes a lot of hard work.
What if all you want to do is make a few thousand dollars a month? You still need a WHY because going from nothing to $2000/month is harder than going from $2000/month to Diamond. At least at $2K/month, you have proven you know how to prospect and structure your team. It turns out that all rank increases need a good WHY or you will stay where you are, or worse, drop down in rank.
If this has already happened to you, what went wrong? Simple. Your WHY wasn’t strong enough to change your priorities and behavior daily. If your WHY does not cause you to wake up thinking, “What one thing do I need to do today to get the results I have set this week?” then you will quickly sink back into your old habits. You need a more effective WHY: one that will cause you to change your habits and priorities daily.
Let’s dig into some of the common WHY issues.
Most so-called experts teach only a surface-level approach to finding a WHY. A life purpose, a dream, and knowing your destiny are beautiful things, but they don’t motivate you daily, and I can prove it to you.
Let’s say your dream is to own a second home on the Oregon coast or a nice tropical island away from your snowy winters. Sound nice? Great. Let’s see how this is a useless WHY to motivate you to change your daily habit. I’m going to start with some questions.
- When do you want to achieve this? Next month? Two years from now? Five years from now?
- How much will it cost? $20,000? $205,000? $520,000? $2,040,000?
Okay, let’s say you figure it out: You want to buy it on October 1, 2025, for $625,000, and you need $200,000 down to buy it. (It’s an extremely tiny island!)
Let’s say that today is October 1, 2020. That leaves you five years to pull it off, and you calculate you’ll need to earn an extra $3,333 per month to cover the down payment. That’s a stable business builder rank, so you start planning it all out and figure you’ll be able to earn less money now and more money later as your business grows. All is great. Let’s say this month’s portion will be $500. That works out to about $125/week, or $25/day. You’ve got this! So, off you go on your plan, and you’re doing great for a couple of days. You’re out talking to people and selling your products. But then you find out you won an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii for two that leaves in four days.
Do you decide to skip a week of business-building time for this free trip? Heck, it’s only a week, and your boss gave you time off work. Besides, you’re certain you can make it up later, so you say, “Sure! Let’s go!”
Of course, it takes a couple of days to prepare for the trip and then, upon return, another four days off to catch up. The total of time you’ve lost is reaching a couple of weeks. Now you have to make up the money you lost by the missed MLM biz-building workdays. Let’s see, that’s about half a month, so you’ll need to make $50/day. Hmmm, it is harder, but still doable. Then, your kids say, “Mom! You promised to take me to the mall to shop for new clothes!” or “Dad! You promised to take me to the big game!” You feel guilty that you went to Hawaii and missed time with your kids, and so you put off work for the mall or the game to be with your them. Then it happens again over the next couple of weeks, with more activities like school plays and parent meetings, and now you’re up to $75/day. Next you decide to adjust your monthly goals, so you don’t need as much per week.
It has only been a month or so after you first came up with your WHY and your plan for how you’ll get it, but already you’re starting to change it. How long did it take for you to change your priorities completely? But, you say, “No big deal. The goal was five years from now, a few weeks won’t make a difference.”
Are you starting to see what’s happening? Your WHY didn’t help you with your daily habits. You are just pushing off things like usual, and you didn’t change anything with that WHY.
In reality, it was just a dream, not a powerful WHY. If your WHY doesn’t motivate you daily, it is not strong enough.
Here is another example. Let’s say I asked, “Could you sell two product starter kits ($500 each) in the next four days to new prospects?” Do you believe you would (or even could) do that? I’m guessing probably not.
Okay, now let’s say I explained that your life purpose, your dream, or your destiny would take three months longer to accomplish if you didn’t sell two $500 starter kits in the next four days to new prospects. Do you believe you would go out and do that? I’m still guessing probably not.
So, let’s change things up. What if I told you your kid, mom, sister, partner (pick someone you love) was gravely ill and needed money right now for a life-saving procedure, and I explained that your loved one wouldn’t survive more than a week if you didn’t enroll two people with $500 starter kits within those four days to get them that procedure. Do you think you would figure out a way to make it happen? Did you feel it in your gut? Did you realize suddenly that EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY MATTERED? Did you notice that your WHY suddenly got so powerful it would cause you to get out of your comfort zone and make it happen, no matter what?
Here is the funny thing, though: did anything really change? The time frame to sell those $500 starter kits is the same, but your emotions took over and drove you to action. Your heart took charge over your mind. That is what a powerful, motivating WHY looks like. By not having a strong WHY, you are wasting your TIME. You can do anything with the right mental and emotional kick in the butt, and that is what a powerful WHY does. It gives you the drive to do what needs to get done despite life’s challenges and distractions
It’s time for you to get your powerful, motivating WHY figured out if you want to build this business fast. Don’t stop short of finding your REAL WHY.
Have you ever heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals? Converting regular goals into SMART goals provides more clarity and makes them more believable. I’ll go through the letters of the acronym using the simple example of a goal of making your car payments with network marketing income.
The letters of the SMART acronym represent:
- S – Specific – A clear decision of what you want to accomplish. An example might be “Make my car payments with my MLM income.”
- M – Measurable – A numeric value that, when reached, shows you can hit the goal. For example, “Make $278.00/month for a car payment.”
- A – Achievable – Is this goal something you believe you can do? For example, if you get to a rank in your business where you earn $300 to $500 per month, you could use $278.00 of your earnings for your car payment. Do you believe you could hit that rank in two months?
- R – Relevant – Is this something you want to do? If you hit the $500/month rank, how would it feel to be able to pay for your car using MLM business income? Would it free up money to do other things? Would you want this?
- T – Time-bound – When do you want to accomplish this goal? For example, “Start making payments in 2 months.”
So, putting it all together: “Within two months I will start making my $278.00 car payments with my network marketing business income, which will free up that much money for other things I want (or need) to do.” Do you see how this is much more powerful than merely, “I want to use my MLM biz income to make my car payments”?
A few years ago, I had an epiphany of creating SMART WHYs to help get the same sort of clarity.
Now let’s go through the process of filling out the SMART WHY worksheet:
- STEP 1: (T) Time-bound – Let’s start with the T. Fill in a time of either one or two months. It will help to create some urgency with whatever choice you make for your goal. You can hone this after you have filled in the S and M
- STEP 2: (S) Specific – Come up with something you want that is important to you that you would love to pay for using your MLM business income within the time frame chosen in step 1. Examples might include:
- Music lessons for your child once a week
- Trip to Disneyland with your kids and partner
- A weekly maid to clean your home
- A biweekly maid to do the laundry every few days
- Money to put into savings
- Car payments or a new car
- Money to donate to charity
- House payments
- Tickets for your team for a special night out
Brainstorm some of your ideas.
A few rules: Make sure you really want it. Make sure to calculate the cost within $50 or so (spend the time to research the actual price if you don’t already know it). Fill in your choice next to S.
- STEP 3: (M) Measurable – Decide how much you will spend out of your MLM income for your chosen goal: S. You won’t know what that exact income will be yet, but for your SMART WHY to be believable, you get to look at your current income and project out a couple of months. See below for examples for M.
Here’s the tricky part. If you are too conservative, it won’t work. You won’t have any incentive to work harder. However, if it is too crazy high and you are not close as the date approaches, then you won’t believe it, and you’ll give up. Make sure the balance is just right.
Example 1: Let’s say you make $200/month in your MLM business and your WHY is a rent payment of $800/month. That’s a difference of $600. So, you would enter “$600 more per month” for M. You have two months to get there, so don’t make it too easy. You could put in “$800 per month” if you want to hit a higher goal.
Example 2: If your current MLM business income is $2700/month and you want to be at $6000/month, then enter “$3300 per month” into M. Remember, you have two months to get there, so don’t make it too easy. If you want to challenge yourself, enter a harder value into M.
- STEP 4: (R) Relevant – Look at what you wrote in for the S. Tap into your heart, and see if you REALLY WANT IT. If not, stop and pick something else. Take your time going back and forth between S and R until you’re really committed. Write “YES” next to R once you figure it out.
- STEP 5: (A) Achievable – Okay, you’re on the home stretch. Do you believe you can do this with the help of your team and tools you’re learning in this book or training program you have joined? Have you calculated how much more you would have to make each week to pull this off? For example, if your target is $400 in two months, then that’s an extra average income increase of $50 per week ($400 divided by two months). Note that in this type of business, you will be making more in the second month than in the first, so in your first week you might only need to make an extra $25, knowing you’ll be bringing in maybe an extra $75 per week as the second month approaches. If you can believe the numbers are doable, then write “YES” next to the A. Remember, stretch yourself so you’ll grow your business.
Now, take a step back and look at your S again. How badly do you want it? Remember, if it doesn’t do much for you, it won’t motivate you daily.
If you are struggling with the S, you are probably someone who likes to help others more than yourself. Try to find something you could be a part of that would make a real difference to someone (e.g., taking a brief trip with a loved one for a getaway weekend; helping someone pay for a wish-list item; buying a fun gift or reward for the winners of an incentive award; or planning a special event for your team). Make sure they know you will pay for it with your MLM business income. That will add more power to the S. Also, you’ll have to be accountable to them, so you’ll try harder, which will help you. How do you feel about your selected WHY?
- Does it make you smile?
- Do you feel a little nervous about accomplishing it?
- Have you chosen someone as an accountability partner or partial recipient of the reward?
- Do you believe if you worked hard (and smart), you could pull it off?
- Is it specific?
- Would you feel a little nervous about posting your journey with your team?
- Would it inspire your team to root for you or even come up with their own plans?
- Do you think it would cause you to put your MLM business into your day as a priority and wake up with an extra bounce in your step if you accomplished it?
- Can you see how a powerful WHY can affect your daily habits and cause you to go the extra mile for your goals?
Hopefully, all the above answers are “yes.” If so, you are well on your way to having a power WHY to help you build your business over the next couple of months. Repeat these steps again as you near the end of the second month to prepare for the next couple of months.
Your WHY will be continually evolving as you build your business. If you don’t regularly update your WHY, your business will stagnate and may even start to dissipate.