Let’s face it we expand our business by bringing new people into our organizations.

Leverage.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Sometimes those of us that understand how powerful it can be and are committed forget how difficult it is for most people to integrate our business into their lives.

Our vision for ourselves and for them creates blind spots for leaders and without realizing it we are driving more people away by overwhelming them with additional tasks.


One person can lead to four or five good people who can lead to an organization to 10,000.

I wonder how many I lost that could have led to 10,000 before I found this little exercise that I do faithfully once a month, on the 1st, to remind me that I can hurry up the vision if I’ll slow down and be compassionate with what brand new people are going thru.


Since learning this exercise years ago I’ve become a 1000% better at helping new people get up, running and productive.

So even though you are reading this I’m daring you and begging you to have a little bit of fun right now and take this little exercise.  Keep it in the context of what it feels like for a new person joining the business that we are trying to rush into maximum productivity before they even get their stuff.

1.  Grab a piece of paper, a pen and write your name on it.

2.  Imagine you’re non denominate has a special mitten on it to make the final buffing of the mirrors on the Hubbell Telescope.

3.  Raise the hand with the mitten on it and start buffing about shoulder-high with your arm fully extended and continue buffing until you complete step 4.

4.  While you continue to buff write your name again.

5.  Ok you can stop buffing and writing.  But you should have noticed something while doing this exercise.

Come on now…..just do the exercise.

Most people who join our business don’t join because they have all the time and money that they want, they join because the don’t have the time and money that they want…. their lives are generally maxed out.  Keep that in mind as you look at the following questions with this little exercise fresh in your mind.

What did the extra task of buffing do to the accuracy of your writing?  We need to consider that adding things into a person’s life, that they are unfamiliar with, is going to do the same thing.

Simple solution with new people so their life doesn’t get further off track is to break the “getting started” stuff into smaller pieces.  I like to give a new distributor about a 45 day head start period.

What does that mean?


Let’s say I sign Nancy up on the 23rd of July.  I’ll tell her that it is going to take a few weeks to get the business integrated into her life and after we have set her goals I tell her that we should consider September 1 the opening, or grand opening if you will, of her business.

I tell her that we are open for business and anything we do in terms of recruiting is a bonus so that when the assignments are delayed and missed by a day or two I can say, “That’s OK we are in the head start period and it is going to take a little while to get this integrated it to your life.”

Works like a charm.  I do that little exercise every month on the 1st to keep it clear in my mind that we asking people who are already busy and stressed to add additional things into their life.  And I remember how weird it felt to me to not even be able to not even write my own name simply by adding in one easy task.


I learned this from John E. Jones and William L. Barley years ago.

They got me to think about the exercise not just from a new distributors point of view so I could be a better leader but also in relation to my own behavior.  Here are 2 questions that they posed that have proved to be invaluable to me.

1.  How might you use the awareness created by that exercise when you are considering taking on a new task yourself?

2.  How can you use this awareness when you’re adding tasks into other people’s lives?

For me, the head start that I give new reps, always about 6 weeks works out pretty well.

So tell me, did you do the little exercise?


Mark Januszewski

The World’s Laziest Networker

About the Author

  • Hey Mark —

    I can’t seem to find my “non-denominate” anywhere. However, if substitutions are permissible, I’ll admit that I used mi mano de la izquierda to do that frustrating exercise.

    Seriously…yet another epiphany generated by your blog post. As always, everything you say resonates with me…but today’s hit me right in the “10 Ring” (cop talk for a bullseye). Every word was significant to me and almost seem to have been written with my own situation in mind. It’s of some comfort to me to be told that many newtworkers just starting out experience what I am (have) experienced.

    I can’t wait for Sunday and Monday nights!

    Thank you once again, Mark!

  • Baby Steps

    Head Start Program

    The best way to learn is without pressure.

    Learning one new skill at a time helps you to never forget what that skill is and your ready to take the next baby step..
    But when some companies throw everything at you at once you don’t even know where to begin and what I’ve found is MOST PEOPLE feel so overwhelmed that they disappear…

  • Blows me away every month

    I need to remember the things I have learned to do that are now easy are add ons for others….

    I forget <> the time 🙁

    But….everyday is a chance to improve – again

  • Right on…..

    since there are not that many skills we need to learn to get up, running and in profit….one at a time is a great idea

    learn, practice, master….thank for the Most people comment 🙂

  • Thank you Mark,

    For another valuable exercise … I will definitely take one day at a time to learn & apply it to my new prospects.

    Thank you for your time you are greatly appreciated

  • that maks a lot of sence. If we push to hard or ask to much to soon to make others succed we set them up for faliure.

  • When taking on new task myself I focus on the actions that bring clarity, know that I am not alone, I have a support team ready to help. Like me in the past, most people are afraid to ask for help. Also I remember the learning curve is part of the process, so I build in time to get to know what the new distributor believes to be obstacles, step back and we address the issues, then we work together at getting started.

    Anything that is unfamiliar leads to inaction, people tend to give up and do something else. For me, the additional time is needed to prepare new distributors, to the new way of thinking, as they build believe, trust and confidence in themselves and the team by practicing the skills and applying them.

    During the exercise, Since I am left-handed, I naturally started to do the exercise left-handed and was stumped at how could I possibly write my name while I continued the buffing exercise over my head without stopping? I would have to learn a new skill in order to stay focused and write with my right hand. Or just stop and start all over again, this time, follow the directions by changing to the non-dominant hand, over time with practice I would learn the skills needed to do the exercise. Kind of like learning how to talk to people rejection free.

  • Mark, This is a very Powerful Exercise.
    What a simple way to help us see it.
    I posted on my FB.
    This is important even in families or other areas of learning.
    Thank you. Agape’ O. Darlene Wood

  • Mark our team did two presentations today and I thing we have to good customers. Thanks to the little tips that you have given us. We have been working at this sometime and now it is paying off. Thanks to you.

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