7 factors to rags to riches success

No, it’s not my opinion.

“Rags To Riches” Things Multilevel Marketers Can Learn

Written by Peter Han, a Harvard grad… and the result of interviewing over 100 ‘Nobodies’ who became ‘Somebodies’ …is the resource, not an opinion.

And it is a great piece of work for anyone who wants to know – what does leadership mean?


What is very cool is folks who understand leadership attributes seem to be better leaders.  I know that may sound like I am stating the obvious but the truth is too much of the time people rely on ‘ability’ or ‘copy’ other leaders, thinking it is a good thing.  Honestly, it may be but it’s unlikely to be a great thing.

That is an interesting question.  What are you… what am I doing to learn to lead?

While there are some good books out there, nothing, and I am sure you’d agree, is better than folks who went from rags to riches.

Peter Han’s book will give you more about the folks (everything from entertainers to politicians) …just a fabulous mix of personalities.  This is what they have in common.

Take a little self-discovery quiz

Give yourself 0… 5… or 10 for each one.

o means you simply need to develop this.

5 means you’ve begun to develop it but need improvement.

10 means you are spot on it.

Give yourself 30 points for investing in reading about leadership and scoring yourself honestly.

That would make a perfect score of 100.

Let us know how you did and get this to your leaders and newbies alike.

1. Strong Self Awareness.

They made decisions about their careers — with significant self-knowledge, stemming from instinct or introspection.

Their understanding of their own likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses were particularly insightful.  The classic, “Think and Grow Rich“, was actually formatted from a deeper, more mindful document, “The Master Key System“.  Haanel, the author builds an air tight case that the biggest problem people have in creating a life they really want is that they are unaware of their own true interests…

Our difficulties are largely due to confused ideas and ignorance of our true interests” 

Most of us know what we DON’T want, or what we’d like to see improve, but avoid the biggie. “Bills are paid, plenty of money coming in – what do you want your life to say?  To mean?”

Most MLMers are merely thinking about the “next pin level” …making Haanel’s point, Hill’s point and Han’s point.

What did the rags to riches folks do?

The 100 Somebodies broke free  from their initial ideas about life and work, ideas that may have been instilled by parents or early childhood experiences.

Rather than relying automatically on advice and direction from others, they took that deep journey of self discovery, as the remarkable Kathy Zimmer did with the Master Key System.  They seem to break free from the ‘normal’ idea of how life works.


2. Play Towards Strengths and Away from Weaknesses

Han’s key discovery here is that winners are honest about what they are not good at.  They don’t blame, fib or cover up in anyway.  They increase strength and leverage it into a huge advantage.

My 20 years has taught me one thing about most networkers.  That is the one thing that kills them… ego.


Not sure about your own strengths and weaknesses?   Blind spots?  This helped everyone on my teams, I insisted on it.

3. Authenticity and Integrity

Authenticity is a character thing.   Integrity is a ‘do what you said you were going to do‘ thing.

While short cuts by bending these 2 things are tempting to some people, true leadership, nobody-to-somebody types are never even tempted.

Despite what the ‘gurus’ tell you, networking is NOT a sprint.  It’s a marathon and you are the genuine article or you are not.

Do you do what you say you are going to do with your team?

Do you do what you say you are going to do with yourself?  AH!   That is the biggie.


4. Pragmatic Decision-Making Processes

Rags-to-riches types are decisive and those decisions, for the most part are not emotional ones.

Oh, they get emotionally involved AFTER… but are detached while making decisions.

How about you?

Do you get off the phone with reps who just want to gab and get something going or do you stay on the phone, gab for a while, then blame?

Do you ‘decide’ on a plan… or sort of let the day ‘flow’.

People that decide tend to make things happen.


5. Pay the Rent First, Conquer the World Later

While visions of sugar plums dance in our heads… with all the Internet hype, companies telling you it is ‘safe to dream again’ and seeing others like you make money, it is really easy to feel frustrated and believe ‘if I could go full time I know I could be a top earner’.  Next thing you know you’re ‘buying’ short cuts and secrets.

My Uncle and Godfather Mo taught me a long time ago, ‘if it isn’t a good deal tomorrow, it ain’t a good deal today

It’s great advice.

Rule of thumb… make 150% of your income in networking before you walk.

Don’t get sucked in.  Pay the rent first, learn, grow and keep it fun.


6. Coping With Insecurities — and Using Them for Motivation

The Best Way To Overcome Fear and Insecurity? Help Others Overcome Theirs
The Best Way To Overcome Fear and Insecurity? Help Others Overcome Theirs

The 100 leaders did not sail through work and life without doubts…..and man did that make me feel better.

Many shared. Executive Summaries reports,  stories of early uncertainty; anxiety before big meetings.

Look, they knew what you know.  The work is not hard, but it is hard getting it going, running a family and, really it’s lonely work.

It’s you and the phone.

What I’ve done (and it seems these folks did it too in their own way) is decide that what I was ‘feeling’ was the point that others quit.

The 100 seemed to find a way to ‘motivate’ themselves with these feelings, not be overcome by them.

How do you know?


If you are not making calls to prospects, 40 to 50 3-5x a week… you’ve quit and just not told yourself.

Sorry.  It’s got to be said.


Easiest way to get back on track?  Help others make calls, help others do the thing you fear.

7. From Paying Rent to Conquering the World

Interestingly they did not, these 100, claim they were going to ‘blow the doors’ off whatever.  They just mastered what they were doing, learning then replicating those skills and concepts into other success.

We Break From The Pack By Evaluating and Improving
We Break From The Pack By Evaluating and Improving

In reading some of these interviews it’s pretty easy to see they would have gone for a ‘1 pin level’ at a time and not limited themselves once they got to a new pin level.


Score Yourself

So up to 70 on the questions and and then 30 for reading this and the courage to assess yourself.

Let us know how you did in the comments box… and how you deal with these 7 things.  Which ones are you great at?


The difference between winners and losers is clear.

Successful reps simply do the things unsuccessful reps make a decision not to do… and the folks that move from ‘nobody to somebody’ look for ways to improve.

Bottom line?

What is more important, right now, than testing yourself with my little quiz and joining the conversation below?

Let us and others know where you need improvement and I believe you’ll get the help you need within 24 hours.


mark januszewski

world’s laziest networker

Mahalo For Stopping By and Sharing
Mahalo For Stopping By and Sharing
About the Author

  • Hey Mark – great post. Superb in fact (and I love your stuff as you know)

    I took the personality test also (love that stuff and could sit all day doing things like that if I wasn’t working towards owning my life once again)

    anyway – I’m a RED.

    “Power crazy and only ever happy in thr drivers seat”

    mmmmm… could be some truth in that 😉

    keep spreading your wisdom!


  • 1. Strong Self Awareness (5) – I’ve only recently clarified what it is I truly want in life but have difficulty keeping my focus from my current circumstances and thoughts of lack (particularly a perceived lack of support).

    2. Play Towards Strengths and Away From Weaknesses (5) – As a more than 75% Yellow, Promoter Type, I am great at socializing and connecting with people, however, due to my sometimes short attention span and a former lack of interest in details, I hit many road blocks in my relationships with business endeavours due to a lack of credibility with my friends. As a result, I have spent the last 5 years trying to get better as a Green, Analyst type. It has held me back in a lot of ways because I lacked the discipline to stay focused on any given task for very long, but I have lived in denial of my dominant communication style for fear of the rejection.

    3. Authenticity and Integrity (5) – Up until doing this exercise, I didn’t realize how out of integrity I truly was and how inauthentic I’ve been forcing myself to be. I gave myself a 5 for the major epiphany I’ve just had and for knowing that getting comfortable with my predominant communication style again is going to take some work.

    4. Pragmatic Decision Making Processes (5) – I’m really good at figuring out what is the best use of my time but I am not so good at deciding to do it.

    5. Pay the Rent First (5) – I have come to understand the importance of providing for today while dreaming/planning for tomorrow, after many difficult years of flipping from one extreme to the next, but I am still having difficulty maintaining a balanced workload that provides for today while advancing my goals for tomorrow.

    6. Coping With Insecurities and Using Them as Motivation (5) – I am scared to paralyses of rejection and while I am at times able to rally and put myself out there, it is a small number of rejections that kills my momentum. I am at my best when I have no goal or agenda to my communication, as soon as I put a desire to an outcome, it shuts me right down if it doesn’t go the way I want.

    7. From Paying Rent to Conquering the World (5) – I have had some success at following your trainings as a system, but have struggled to stay consistent. Not having an upline working with me on these skills has been very scary as I am facing rejection on my own. Helping the two people in my downline has alleviated that fear to some extent but it’s difficult to keep them going when I have no momentum for my own business.

    This exercise has been profoundly eye opening. Things that I had been trying to look away from for years have just slammed into my focus and I remember for the first time in many years, where my strengths lay.

    Thank you Mark for your incredible commitment and stellar example!

  • Helping others do what they are afraid to do and especially help others do the thing you fear. I need to find better ways at helping others do what they fear. I have a knack for making things appear easy and then get “I can’t do that like you.” I know that is just another reason used so they won’t/don’t have to BUT I still need to improve in this area. I’m not sorry but I love cold calling! Follow up is tougher! Calling ‘wrong’ numbers is a blast! Asking people for a commitment to their word is tougher. Great post Mark! Keep’em coming!!

  • OK hows this for open and exposed.

    This could not have come in my inbox at a better time. LOVE IT!!!

    1. Strong Self Awareness. (10) – Thanks to the Master Keys I have never been more clear about what I want.

    2. Play Towards Strengths and Away from Weaknesses (5) – HUGE … Who can do it better than me, I’m becoming a better delegator, but still never really think that if I just did it myself it would get done faster and more efficiently. The only reason I gave myself a 5 and not ZERO, is I am now more aware of it and am working hard to know my own limitations

    3. Authenticity and Integrity (10) – I will not even start it, if I won’t finish … again 6 months ago I would have scored a 5

    4. Pragmatic Decision-Making Processes – (5) – The not emotional part is NOT a problem. No gabbing, its the external stuff … the phone … the email … the “other business” Distractions are an issue.

    5. Pay the Rent First – (5) – Great reminder, gotta pay the rent.

    6. Coping With Insecurities — and Using Them for Motivation (10) – No fear baby .. I’m closing like a freight train!! And get no better joy than helping my team learn to do it as well.

    7. From Paying Rent to Conquering the World – (5) – always struggle a bit with looking a bit too far ahead. It’s the daily work … learning to Master the skills, ingraining habits … making it second nature. GREAT REMINDER!!

    TOTAL – 50

    Thanks for the opportunity to do a “check up” on myself.

    Might be your best Blog ever Doctor Lazy Networker!!!

  • Aloha….

    Honest you are…..math, not so good….

    First, your total is 55….and you get 30 for taking the time to read and evaluate….

    So….. 85 – good for college, near miss in biz…..you’re 15 points from greatness…..very cool~

    keep giving to keep growing
    mark j

  • Hey Mark, good to “chat” to you again. (Brit. living in Oregon!)

    This is first class. I scored myself 80 which means there is room for improvement in 4 areas. (If you would have allowed it I doubt I would have scored myself 10 in all of the other areas as my attitude in lots of things is I might score an 8 or 9 always leaving some room for improvement but 10 will do for now.)

    It helped me to identify some things that need work like – show people a clear plan of how to get from one pin level to the next. Focus on getting Performance Club Qualified as paying the rent THEN get out there and help others do the same cause if the rent isn’t paid but what we do we are going to go and look for some other way of paying it. Just working on these two things alone would create a revolution.

    So what we have here is a simple tool for analysis and direction!

    Appreciate you!


  • Thank you Mark for this information. Overall a 57…but it made me more aware on what I need to work on. Self growth. To many times people make up excuses as to why things don’t get done. When I homeschooled my children, I had a paper with all the excuses as to why they did not get their work done. Now I need to make my own list as to why I get things done. Stay focused on goals…Make it work. It may be baby steps at first in this business but it is all one step at a time…one goal at a time.

    I met a billionaire in the real estate business once and the one thing that he said that has stuck within me is this; Do the things you dislike first, that gives you more time for the things you like. Now to take those words and make the things I don’t like doing into the things I like doing. Self growth.

    Thank you, Paula

  • 1. Strong Self Awareness. (5)

    2. Play Towards Strengths and Away from Weaknesses (10) –

    3. Authenticity and Integrity (10)

    4. Pragmatic Decision-Making Processes – (5)

    5. Pay the Rent First – (5)
    6. Coping With Insecurities — and Using Them for Motivation (10)

    7. From Paying Rent to Conquering the World – (10)

    TOTAL – 55 + 30= 85

    Thank you Mark. Great post!

  • LOL…..I love how you are calling yourself out with the ‘excuses’ thing….but be gentle with yourself here…..a lot of the excuses we make is because we don’t really know what we should be working on….which is why this list and your honesty will alter that…..

    You know what to work on! Fantastic…..only honest folks do know what to work on!

    The trick is to be ‘honest and firm’ with ourselves…..while remaining ‘non-judegmental’ about our being.

    You’ve got a starting point….that is the hard part…..don’t judge, just improve in the areas that need shoring up and reward yourself for improvement….as you know, having homeschooled [if you can do THAT you can do MLM!] …..rewarded behavior gets repeated

    mark j

  • bravo!

    Love your idea about helping others pay the rent….service is the key to success that is going to sustain itself…..most excellent!

    mark j

  • I’m going on the record saying that I am ashamed at my low score. The positive here is I am willing to improve myself at any cost, and be a better man for it.

  • Can’t believe how long I am spending with this post of yours!
    1. Self-Awareness ~ 5, but thanks to T&GR & MKMMA moving more forward & making more decisions, don’t want to be too hard on myself as it was only a few years ago I realized “codependent” applied to me :p very glad for all the help with breaking through addictive patterns to SUCCESS
    2. Play towards STrengths & away from Weakness ~ 5 First time I took that colour personality test I was blue, now I’m yellow! to me this heralds the emergence of my True Self with her new Blueprint in hand, Mahalo!
    3. Authenticity & Integrity ~ 5, answering this one from MKMMA perspective
    4. Pragmatic Decision Making Process ~ 5, too much of “let the day flow” up til now, decided on MKMMA, & doing the tangibles, struggling some with honour area
    5. Pay the rent first ~ 5, think I’ll go over these 5 accelerators daily til I’m regularly in accelerated mode!
    6. Coping w/Insecurities & Using them as Motivation ~ 5, but Week 8 i.e. Stimulas ~ CHOICE ~ Response will figure bigtime here (ephiphany for me)those “triggers” CAN & MUST be transformed to serve me so that I can better serve!! and
    7. From Paying Rent to Conquering the World ~ 5, though I really want to give myself a 10 just for definitely being in “evaluating & improving mode” I’ll stick with the 5 though as even paying the rent at this point would be an improvement.

    Thanks, Mark, tough to type it out and put it out to the universe, but I do plan on finishing strong!!!

  • Big Ouch! Did not fair well with this quiz. I’ve gotten better in the past 8 weeks thanks to MKMMA. Thanks for sharing knowledge.

  • The only SHAME is in denial…of the facts…

    You my friend are not….the handmaiden to greatness is honest inventory and improvement….BRAVO!

  • Last month, I made a choice to ‘start over’ in my business. The choice itself wasn’t hard. Thinking about why I was doing it wasn’t hard. Actually DOING it was hard. My ego and 15 months of being in the top 25 of my state was hard to let go of. But I began to see the struggle within myself and for me, I HAD to ‘wipe the slate clean’.

    I had to go backwards on my assessment. # 5 is where I was stuck for 90% of my success. It caused much tension within my home. My ego played a HUGE part. I was still in the “I have to PROVE something to someone” mode.

    And #2 is when I saw “the light”; recognizing my strength from my weaknesses and not being ashamed about voicing them with my leaders. Yes, I started over, from ground zero. But the weight that I left is priceless and I have already seen a difference in my posture, poise and confidence, not to mention my business.

    Thank you Mr. Mark J.

  • Wow, while going through this quiz, It could not have come at a better time. I am very ashamed of how low my score was BUT, I am so glad I have a foundation of what all I need to work on to improve. I have been allowing myself to create an image in my head that things weren’t as bad as it seemed. Thanks Mark for putting the mirror in front of my face and forcing me to take accountability for what is not going on in my business. I have a lot of work to do during these holiday times but I am glad I know where to begin and what steps needed to be taken. Thank you so much. To be continued….

  • Great blog as always. Great self assessment test, truly eye opening the areas I need to improve in. The first step is to recognize it and then improve in them (MKMMA is helping with that.)

    1. Strong Self Awareness (5)
    2. Play Towards Strengths and Away from Weaknesses (5)
    3. Authenticity and Integrity (10)
    4. Pragmatic Decision-Making Processes (5)
    5. Pay the Rent First (5)
    6. Coping With Insecurities — and Using Them for Motivation (5)
    7. From Paying Rent to Conquering the World (5)
    TOTAL – 70

  • I got about a 65. I’m not really a fan of talking on the phone. So that is something I definately have to work on. I also need to improve by making decisions and not just letting the day flow. I know I would get a lot more accomplished and be more successful if I could improve on those two things. I picked those 2 as the main two but there is always room for imporvement in all categories. I love reading these tools and learning from them. I feel like I am growing as a person and definately see potential for me in this buisness. I love my team and the support and relationship I see among the other teams I’ve seen so far

  • Mark that was a great thought provoking post to awaken to, and something I needed to help me to become aware of where I really am at this stage.

    7.10 TOTAL 45+30=75
    I am focused on serious skill development. No one ever talked to me about the need for skill development. Everything about this business is skills based. I got it now!

    Thank you for your insight!

  • Wow! Am so glad for the 30 we get for reading and taking the quiz! Rated a 65 – on all points “begun to develop it but needs improvement”. Am working on the improvement daily.

    The gal in the glass is saying that each day is better. What more can I ask other than consistent improvement. Stay the course!

    Thanks Mark!

  • I am so inspired by the lives of others who have gone from rags to riches . . . aspired to greatness. I love your lessons, teachings. I love reading, hearing, seeing how each one persevered, grew, developed and attained their visions. I grew up in the Amazon and went from a nobody to playing on the US Olympic soccer team and pro soccer–my own sort of rags to riches. But boy am I humbled when I look at my networking . . . I haven’t discovered how to treat my networking as I did my soccer career. When I take tests like yours, I humbly acknowledge my attempts at networking don’t get as much commitment as my hobbies. I’m not even a consistent part-timer. I think the one that is my biggest hurdle and really tells the truth is #6:


    If you are not making calls to prospects, 40 to 50 3-5x a week….you’ve quit and just not told yourself.

    Sorry. I have to be honest with myself. I am not a quitter–honestly. But from what I see, I never got started–I have never come close to 30-50 prospect contacts a week. I’m more of an incidental marketer. I do not contact even 10 people a week on a consistent basis. I think I am a network dreamer–a visionary without action. Ouch.

    Thanks for your amazing blogs.

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