What was it that people kept seeing in me that made them so adamant about me staying in uniform and becoming a colonel? They were viewing me through their “you should” lens and saw no other valid paths for my life.
I call it the “MLM-X” principle. I could have called it the multi-level marketing principle, but that takes too long to say (smile). The “X” stands for any multi-level marketing venture because what I am about to say applies to all the varied experiences I have had with multi-level marketing. I can speak with authority about the MLM-X principle because I have sat through 15-20 MLM presentations at the request of MLM-X-infected friends and family members! At any rate, under the MLM-X principle, folks are told to go out and find sharp people; people that are already demonstrating success in what they do. Guess what they are supposed to do when they find these successful people? They are supposed to tell them “I can see you doing this,” “I could see you making a lot of money, or achieving X-level of success.” It’s the same as saying “you should do this.”
I remember as far back as 1987 telling a friend, “but if I do MLM-X with the little free time that I have, then I will forgo the opportunity to work on my music.” Sometime in 1987, I sang on national television for the first time on the Bobby Jones Gospel show on the Black Entertainment Television network (BET). That was a big deal back then and took a lot of focused effort. I remember explaining to my MLM-X infected friends about the concept of “opportunity cost.” That if I am working in your MLM-X business I forfeit the opportunity to work on building my own business/dreams.
However, anyone who had the experience of dealing with MLM-X-infected friends back in the late 80s and early 90s, already knows that telling my friends that I had another dream, had little effect on them. Why? Because these friends had chosen to see me in their business, and not to see me fulfilling my dreams. All that came out of their mouths was “you should” do MLM-X. They also said “what business idea do you have that is better than this? MLM-X is proven; it’s an X-million-dollar-a-year business.”
My favorite tactic was being told that doing MLM-X, putting it first, and achieving financial success with it would give me the liberty to come back and do “my thing” down the road. Fortunately, I had seen what it took for people to be successful with MLM-X; specifically, what it took to maintain and even grow their multi-level marketing network. I always thought “what if I put that same level of effort into developing my business ideas?” I didn’t realize that I was saying no to someone else’s vision; their expressed “you should” for my life.
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