plan with purpose

It’s the Smart Thing to Do

If your business is not producing the results you want, follow my Uncle Dan’s advice: “If you are in a hole, stop digging!”

Folks, hope and hype are not a way to measure your business.   Your hope and earners’ and company’s hype about the product and the plan is a deadly combination that leads to the same place for all of us… and it ain’t pretty.

Living our dream here is Kauai did not happen by accident… but it didn’t happen without pain, disillusionment and despair from time to time either.  All the tough stuff happened because I did not follow Uncle Dan’s advice.   And, quite honestly, it all pretty much, could have been avoided.

Wifey, The Fabulous Davene, is adamant about common sense… she never tires of saying, “As soon as people enroll in MLM, if they have any common sense, it vanishes.”

So if I was starting over, from scratch, I’d begin with those 2 thoughts first.

The “smart” thing to do is take inventory today to see where you really stand.

The Hidden Cost 

OK, let’s take our inventory.   MLMers love saying, (and so did I), “Where can you start a business for $300 and run it for $150 a month and make a fortune?”

Inventory in MLM is not complicated.

  • What is your actual outgo and income? – big picture
  • What did you do with your time? – day to day inventory.

While the dollars out of pocket are around $200 a month after startup that is not the total cost.

If you are putting in 12 hours a week… and on a 2-3 year plan… what is your real cost?

Sweat equity… while you may not be sinking bucks into your business you are investing your time.

If your regular job pays you $40,000 plus perks, you’ve got to see that as worth $55,000 minimum.

Let’s do some math and honor Uncle Dan’s, (BTW, an IRS agent his entire working life),  advice here, and see if you are in the hole.   No one will argue with the age-old adage that “any business that doesn’t take inventory is not going to be in business very long.”

So our $40,000 per year earner, with perks, is earning a little over a grand a week… making his or her time worth about $25 bucks an hour… so to take the “big picture” inventory.   Let’s add ‘er up.

12 hours x $25  x 4.3 weeks = $1290

That is the true cost of your “sweat equity.”

Add autoship of, say, $175 including shipping and we are at $1465.  A month.

$1465 x 12 months?  $17,580.

Be honest here.   After all, it’s not a judgment, it’s an inventory…

You’ve got to add in what you are spending, if anything, monthly on websites and events like  Super Saturdays and National Events, CDs, etc.

Let’s just round that up to $20,000 in dollars and time…

Now we simply look at what we got paid…and subtract.

In my case… in 1993, it was a hard pill to swallow.  I was down about $15,000 and would have been better off pumping gas more often (I was delivering seafood but also pumping gas a couple hours every AM to cover truck expenses)

So Uncle Dan, (my dad died when I was 3 and he raised me) walks me through this process…

Says, “Marco, this looks like you’re down around $15,000.  You are in the hole, stopping digging.”

“But this is a great business.”

“Stop digging.”  Not a man of many words.

“It’s my hope for the future.”

He smiles.

We sit silently for a long time.   A really long time.

“Why?” he asks.

“People are making great money, 10,000 a month… one woman is making over 10,000 a week!”

More silence.

He leans forward.

Puts his hand on my cheek.

“Then you must really be awful at it.”


He sees my pain… says something in Italian… tells me it means, sort of, “don’t get your undies in a bunch.”

Asks me to tell him about it, how it works.   To make a long story short tells me in all his time at IRS he’s noticed something about businesses that succeed and fail.

“What’s that?”  I ask.

The Money and the Plan

Every business has a couple of key things that drive the economic engine.   The winners in business seem to “know or learn” what those areas are and develop the skills in the areas that will drive income he explains.

“You’ve got hope but successful businesses don’t use hope as a strategy.”

Then he asks the million dollar question.”What is the real objective of that business model.”

I rattle off a few things…

He laughs.

“Why are you laughing?”

“You’re full of shit.”

I get defensive.

AN honest inventory may get low grades but it's the only pathway to discovery
AN honest inventory may get low grades but it’s the only pathway to discovery

He laughs louder… which was not a common thing.

I explain a few more things…

Stop Digging

“Full of do-do nephew, you are filled with hope and you don’t know the objective of your own model.”

“What do I do?”

“First, stop digging.   You’re losing money.   Second, find out what the real objective is.   Once you know that, the areas you need to master will be clear.  And stop listening to how great your deal is and start asking hard business questions.”

You don’t need to quit, just quit doing what you are doing that is not driving income.

The Real Objective

Took me about 6 months to figure this out.   Let me save you some time.   The objective is to build teams that can build effective teams WITHOUT YOU.

This means if you are on a team that is about ‘sponsor-more, sponsor-more, sponsor-more’ you are going to have a very difficult time hitting the objective.   They do NOT know the objective.  No worries, I had 4 uplines like that.  You just have to realize that you determine the culture on your team… you either want to:

  • sponsor more or
  • get more people sponsoring…

The second option takes a bit longer to get going but not only serves the objective, it makes a LOT MORE money for a LOT LESS work.

Driving the economic engine

If we are going to make some money, we need to talk to people.

Second inventory.

If you don’t know exactly how much time you put in, precisely, every week, celebrate and give yourself an “F” for failure.    What we do with our time is our weekly inventory… and same principle applies.  No inventory, no business… not for long anyway.

For every 10 hours, we MUST talk to people who are not in our business… 8 hours.

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing… 80% of the time.

The traction points

There are 3 areas that drive income

1. Talking to people and getting them to agree to look

2. Getting those who agreed to look to show up and make a decision

3. Teaching people who enroll how to do the first two things on this list, hands-on

That’s it.   You crush those 3 things by learning the skills in those areas and it’s game over, you win.

You don’t?  It’s game over.

If I Was Starting Over Today?

1. Focus on the true objective.  This means you must have a plan in place to this BEFORE you begin.   We developed and mastered this plan… it’s called the 3-Deep Pattern

2. Keep my teammates and myself faithful 80% of their time and mine on talking to new people.  Set up a schedule with them and for yourself, weekly.  Goals won’t build a business… they are a reason to build a business but they won’t build a business.  A good idea is worth about a buck… a plan to put that idea in play effectively?  Priceless!

Be a priceless asset… to yourself and your teammates.  Tell them and do it yourself   Time on Facebook, surfing the web, conference calls etc., are all EXTRAS that they can play with if they want but only AFTER the 80% is taken care of.

3. Continue to master the skills in the 3 money making areas and not bother with anything else.   This distractions on the web today and the bottom-feeding bloodsuckers with leads and magic systems are there.   Deal with it by improving yourself and your team.   There is nothing you can do to the grifters and con artists out there trying to sell ‘Secrets” …but there is something you can do about it for yourself and your team.   Get better at the things that make them money.   We’ll be releasing a 3 part free video series on these 3 skills shortly.

4. Help your team understand, by example, that duplication does not really exist, in and of itself.   It’s a by-product of education and we’ve got a great little video that will help you and your teams understand that    The very last thing you need to hit the objective is a team chatting mantras about “duplication.”

That’s it.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be doing 2  live webcasts, free of course, and there will be nothing for sale on these webcasts.   During these webcasts. or after these webcasts… nothing, nada, zip… so share this with your teammates.

I’d like to know what you’d like to know more about so we can build the webcasts out based on your needs, so here’s a quick 3 question survey… you may need to scroll down a little inside the survey so you can hit the “done” button… go for it.

I really love finding out what you think.   Let me know below, mahalo!


mark j

world’s laziest networker

Mahalo For Stopping By and Sharing
Mahalo For Stopping By and Sharing


About the Author

  • I enjoyed your post today Mark, It rang some bells in my brain! Sometimes i can really feel that need to stop digging and it is so hard to do that … it’s like admitting I’ve been wrong all this time. The reality, I have been wrong in my methods, but not wrong in my desires and goals … I’m putting down my shovel today and stepping back to take a good inventory of me, my business and my desires for my future.

    Thanks for the incite … I look forward to the soon to be released series on the three skills!

    Mahalo … peace be the journey!

  • Your may event get together in Hawaii. Is it filled. I joined last year. And. Resisted working. Would like to attend the May classes. And celebrate my 75th birthday may 10 th…any spots open? Bill

  • Mark — I put comments to the above three areas. Are the comments above sent to you when I submit this email??


  • Difficult decision to break away from my uplines training, especially being so close to them and helping to build the system. However, the proof is in the pudding. No one in our company is smashing it in terms of growth and income and I have got nowhere in 5 years so time to STOP DIGGING as you say and try your system that DOES work.

    Thank you so much – great stuff.

  • Great Stuff – Thanks Mark and Davene. Miss you guys.

    Have a Happy & Healthy New Year. I am grateful that you are part of our lives and I appreciate you for being you.

    All the Best 🙂


  • Great hands on lesson in taking inventory…and what’s next. Thank you Mark and Davene. Best Wishes to you for 2014.

  • I don’t know! If I could start all over again, knowing what I know now… I wouldn’t know now what I know. My group as the complete batch of thinkers. Many are stuck, waiting for their epiphany, some are positive their way is better and a few are willing to work one on one. It all has to work somehow.

    For me, you are 200% correct, The objective is to build teams that can build effective teams WITH OUT YOU.

    However, many people I have don’t see it yet. Their objective is $300/month. I’ll need about a dozen with my objective and a couple hundred with some other and it will work. Design makes a difference.

    Thank you Mark for all that you do! Happy New Year.

  • I love your trainings and am finding out how challenging change can be. Yet…..I am willing and teachable.
    I have numerous people in my organization that could so do this business and are not! I am looking at how I brought them in and what I can do different now, with all that you are teaching.

    How do I go back and “start changing” the approach with them? Does there come a time when you just let them go and move on? I realize creating leaders is the objective…not managing.

    I so appreciate how simple you make things seem yet how difficult how old habits can direct our results. I am determined to make changes to be more effective.

    Happy New year to you both……and here is to a successful, abundant life for all!

  • Mark, that’s one of the best blogs youve ever written……I plan to save it and share as I continue to occasionally network socially. I’m completely enjoying retirement now, :-), but wish I had known 20 years ago about all the info you just wrote about…would have saved me a ton of money and effort. Your blog should be part of the ‘welcome and sign up’ package for all newbie networkers!
    Take care and as always, wishing you and Davene a happy, peaceful and healthy new year. Lisa

  • Thank you Mark. Great information for any day, but even more impactful being the beginning of 2014. It is time to more than move on.

  • Starting from scratch is the premise I take with all I bring into my team. I assume that they know nothing on how to get started so I appreciate your approach. Please advise.
    When is your May meeting in Hawaii? what can I do till then? any newsletters?

  • does your “plan with purpose, temper with common sense apply to franchisees? that’s where my focus is……..NOT with MLM. we also target auto dealerships. may i use your name at Honda North in Danvers? Which seafood company did you work for? i sold seafood packaging to any and all processors from maine, boston, new bedford, to nyc. great fun; no money!

  • Mahalo Marie… are doing great with the “KEY”….keep grinding and thanks for taking the time to stop by

    keep giving to keep growing
    mark j

  • Mahalo for stopping by……this is the difference between MLM and Franchises on this level Robert….ZIP…with one exception… a franchise you have a standardized sytsem [don’t ask my why all but 2-3 MLMs have a stardarized system… is simply NUTS to have different leaders teaching different things and expecting duplication 🙂 ]

    Anyway…….most people who pick a decent franchise want to expand in to multiple shops…, you…..plan with Purpose and temper with common sense in all start-up businesses

    keep giving to keep growing
    mark j

  • Keep them away from the hype, let them set the pace they are comfortable with and get them to do something every day……works for me!

    keep giving to keep growing
    mark j

  • Thank you for your very kind words Lisa….I know you know how to win at MLM, I know you are succeeding with an outstanding company and so you words, really, are humbling…..and very appreciated

    keep giving to keep growing
    mark j

  • Mahalo Dianne….

    We’ll analyze the surveys and get 2-3 webcast done in the next 5 weeks….thanks for the encouragement

    keep giving to keep growing
    mark j

  • Going back is fairly easy… do the right way so that you know you did your best and whether or not to work with them or move on…’ll be right 100% of the time….

    In the coach module inside Go90Grow© you’ll see these simple, failsafe steps….

    Ask for 15 minutes and engage with them in the Hero’s Journey

    Once you know what they truly desire….it’s simple. Use the skill from the “Influencer” and talk in a lauguage they understand [colorcode] from the same module

    And you are RIGHT! Old habits are tough to kill! I found by committing to what others want in my heart, head and actions….I can win the battle over old habits

    keep giving to keep growing
    mark j

  • So very kind Mandy……and appreciated ….but….brilliant? Geez, now that’s pressure!

    keep giving to keep growing
    mark j

  • I just LOVE ‘putting down the shovel’ ….what a great manta…..for all of us!

    keep giving to keep growing
    mark j

  • BAM! You “get it!”

    and….mahalo for the kind wishes, make 2014 your best brudda!

    keep giving to keep growing
    mark j

  • AHHHHHHH… right…..the “proof is in the print-out”

    Mahalo for your time and comments Lee

    keep giving to keep growing
    mark j

  • Mahalo Susan…..that is meaningful to us…..we try to be direct and this one got a tad long…..but…there was not way to clearly explain this without details….so glad you felt it was worth the time

    keep giving to keep growing
    mark j

  • Hi Mark, Happy New Year!Thanks a million for starting my year with purpose. I have decided my objectives and made a plan for the year.
    AND all that info for FREE WOW!!!!

    Looking forward to your new material.

    Thanks a million,


  • Great Blog, and it could not have come at a better time. Definitely looking to start out right and be the sponsor I want to be.

    Happy new year and thanks for everything you and your team do, simply fantastic!!

  • Happy New Year Mark & Davene, will soon be starting my 3rd year in Network Marketing without much success. My belief and desire are intact, but something keeps holding me back from reaching my goals. I know I don’t talk to enough people, but don’t feel comfortable bringing up my business in casual conversation. I’ve done it and people seem put off or disinterested. Want to change that in 2014. Thanks for your honesty, humor and humility.

  • Thanks Mark. This has really given me something to think about. When I started with my current network marketing company, I was on fire. I signed up 8 people in a week. Then I started trying to teach then how to sign up people and quit trying to sign up people for myself. I lost the fire that drives the engine. I couldn’t teach people how to sign up people. I moved to the top of each of my matrices but have been only paid on one. I am going to step back and take inventory and hopefully I can discover what I am doing wrong. I have not been able to log on to your go90grow so that is where I will start. My bad for giving up and not figuring out why I can get on your site. Thanks for your time.Happy New year.

  • Hi Mark
    Your words act on my subconscious and conscious, and get me moving. Thank you for all your hard work. I wonder if you realise how many peoples lives you improve and how those people affect their family and friends in a positive way. Happy New Year from a hot Gold Coast, Australia

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