In “Straight Line Leadership”, Dusan Djukich reminds us that the best way to get from A (where we are now) to B (where we want to be) is a straight line. Every action should be judged by whether it’s on the straight line from A to B. If it’s not, it’s a circle or a zigzag and should be avoided. Focus!
Let’s look at a straight line leader and a distracted diversionist from the classic “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
In Chapter 34, Huck’s idea to free Jim from the cabin where he was locked up as a runaway slave is …
“Let’s steal the key from Uncle Silas’ britches after he goes to bed, release Jim, and shove off down the river on the raft!”
Tom Sawyer, the romantic who has read dozens of adventure novels, criticized the plan as being too simple, mild as goosemilk. His better plan involved …
- Digging Jim out instead of breaking the lock or ripping the board off the window.
- Digging with pocket knives instead of using the hoes and spades and saws and picks and shovels in the lean-to beside the cabin.
- Wrapping the ten foot chain around Jim’s neck instead of using a cold chisel to break it.
- Making it a 37 year adventure instead of a half day escape.
- Gathering foxfire for light to work by.
- Sawing the bed leg and swallowing the sawdust or sawing Jim’s leg off instead of lifting the bed to release Jim’s chain.
- Wishing for a moat around the cabin/castle for a better adventure.
- Stealing a sheet to make a rope ladder to escape from a window five feet above the ground.
- Stealing a shirt for Jim to keep a journal written in blood even though Jim can’t write.
- Stealing pewter spoons and forks and a brass candlestick to use as pens for Jim to write messages on stolen tin plates and throw them out the window even though Jim can’t write.
- Stealing candles for light for Jim to write messages by, even though Jim can’t write.
- Baking the rope and the shirt and and the spoons and forks and candlestick into a witch pie in a washtub to be smuggled in to Jim while it soothes and protects the other slave Nat from spirits.
- Designing a coat of arms and a mournful inscription for Jim to scrabble on the log wall with a nail even though Jim can’t write.
- Realizing that a coat of arms and a mournful inscription would look better on a stone, stealing a grindstone so heavy that they had to go back to the cabin, lift the bed, wrap the chain around Jim’s neck, come out through the hole and have Jim help them roll the stone back to the cabin, wrestle it down and up through the hole and hide it in Jim’s bed for him to sleep on when he wasn’t scratching his coat of arms and mournful inscriptions into it even though Jim can’t write.
- Gathering snakes, frogs, spiders, caterpillars and rats for Jim to keep as pets, train to do tricks, and play music to on his juice harp.
- Smuggling in a flower for Jim to plant and water with his tears instead of with handy spring water.
- Smuggling in an onion to make sure Jim had enough tears to water the plant.
- Writing ‘nonnamous’ letters to warn the neighbors that something was up and they’d better beware.
- Stealing a frock from a slave girl so Huck could dress up as a servant girl to deliver the nonnamous letters just like in the books.
- Hooking a gown from Aunt Sally so Tom could play Jim’s mother and then stuff the gown with straw and hay and leave it on the bed to represent Jim’s mother in disguise.
- Drawing a coffin and a skull and crossbones on the doors of the house in blood.
- Warning the neighbors of a gang of cut-throats from the Indian Territory as a trusted friend who will make a sheep sound instead of blowing the tin horn.
- Escaping with Jim, chased and shot at by a crowd of local farmers expecting the cut-throats.
Tom’s romantic adventure ended with all three of them back at the Phelps’ farm with Tom injured, not down the river on the raft headed for freedom. They were back at A, and farther from B than ever.
So what’s the MLM lesson for network marketers?
If we are at A (living from paycheck to paycheck) and we want to get to B (financial freedom), then everything we do should be on that straight line.
Every action should be a money generating activity that gets us closer to our goal.
But what do we do every day? We …
- Read one more book
- Buy one more tool
- Listen to another guru
- Tidy our files
- Clean up our desk
- Plan our wardrobe for the meeting
- Craft our ‘why’
- Listen to motivational CD’s
- Glue stuff on our vision boards
- Read about avoiding procrastination
- Fill out our reverse calendar
- Gather more info on our products and type a list
- Answer emails
- Check out Facebook
- Post some patterns to Pinterest
- Repeat our self talk another hundred times
- Rearrange our MLM books
- Talk to our mastermind group
- Work on a flyer and a business card
- Print a pamphlet
- Beat ourselves up for a while
- Manifest our Mercedes and mansion on the Mediterranean
- Alphabetize our prospect list
- Make a spreadsheet and a couple of charts and maybe a graph
- Buy a new calendar and make a schedule in different colors
- Revise our todo list
- Weigh our phone in disbelief
- Fine tune our autoresponder
- Tidy our desktop
- Take a break
- Pester our downline
- Complain about nobody doing anything
- Listen to one more conference call
- Get ready to get ready to get ready
- Circle and zigzag, zigzag and circle …
All we ever get paid for is making sales and finding people to make sales with us. That means that straight line activities are:
- Finding people to talk to
- Making a call
- Building rapport
- Breaking the ice
- Discovering problems
- Offering solutions
- Following up
- Demonstrating products
- Presenting our opportunity
- Gathering decisions
- Making a sale
- Sponsoring a new business partner
- Training our team
- Building leaders
- Helping our downline make sales
If your phone feels like a five hundred pound grindstone, perhaps you don’t know what to say. Learn what to say at SponsorFastWithBigAl.com
If you’re swallowing sawdust instead of seeing success, maybe you need some skills. Get a free list of skills at BigAlSkills.com
If you’re digging with the wrong tools, maybe you should learn how to simplify and just open the door. Get the right tools at RecruitingToolsThatWork.com
Stop dodging bullets in the foxfire. Get illuminated, open the door, break the chain, board your raft and get on down the river to freedom!
PS Are you a straight line Huck Finn or a circling Tom Sawyer in your MLM business? Please share your stories with us in the comments section.
Many thanks from …