It’s not a trick question.

MLM is hard.

MLM is easy.

What’s with all the ‘hard’ and ‘easy’ stuff?

A good friend of mine, Tom Holden, likes to ask, constantly, “Can questions be the answer?”

Says he got it from me.  Tom’s the guy that actually hung “the World’s Laziest Networker,” on me after a visit for a week when I was living on Plum Island, MA.

Enrolling is a Hard Decision

Let’s face it, getting enrolled is easy.   Takes about 5 minutes or less.

Finishing is another story.   Most people believe that is the hard part.  Even veterans.

Finishing?  It is actually easier than getting started but, unfortunately, most people are evaluating the wrong way TOO OFTEN…and asking the wrong questions of themselves when it doesn’t go as fast as they thought it would or were led to believe.

They just don’t get what Tom is talking about when he says, “Can questions be the answer?”

Most people like quoting Einstein but allow themselves a pass when it comes to self-application because Albert was a genius.

“The mind that created the problem can’t solve the problem,” is one of my favorites.  That means, if we are having a problem with our business, we probably need to be asking ourselves different questions but most people never do.  They just think, ‘this deal is too hard; it shouldn’t be this hard,’ and they get sucked into deal after deal, each promising to be ‘easier’ and ‘we’re different’ and ‘we know what was wrong and are doing it right.’

The Easy Hard Thing

Tom and I have talked a lot over the last 12 or so years, but the intensity of our relationship picked up the last 8 months.  The occasional call to get caught up every few months has turned into 2-3 calls a week.   Tom’s beautiful wife Mishan, beautiful on every level you can imagine, got sick.  Several bouts of chemo, paralyzed and, gulp, grateful.   Stunning, like Tom, faith.

Tremendous Grace & Courage

She passed away, leaving Tom, who can’t boil water, with the kids.   She knew they would be fine and was at peace.  Wait, it gets better.  Tom, the last few weeks, was calling me to express his gratitude.  Says I made a difference several years ago.  Told him I was just passing on what was passed on to me, no big deal.  I felt a little embarrassed.  He said the skills I had shared got him off the easy-hard thing.   Tom’s been a 15,000-20,000 a month earner for over a decade.  Like clockwork.

I thanked him, not for the words but for making me remember that gratitude is a cause, not an effect.

“If people would just grow up, I mean for gosh sakes, grow up about this easy hard nonsense,” he says.

“And the question is, Tom?” I ask.

Money? Great Servant, Terrible Master

“The question people need themselves is, ‘Do I really understand that creating a residual income will change a family’s options and it’s history?’

“Tell me about the growing up part, Tom.”

Grow Up…All of Us Need to Grow Up

“I mean, come on, hard to make a few hours of calls?   Gee whiz. Look, this last year I was able to be there for my wife, my kids and not worry about money.  Grow up and take charge or go get a job.”

He wasn’t being harsh, he was pleading.  He is grateful.

“What the hell does easy or hard have to do with it?”

Tom went on to talk about how ‘hard’ it would have been if money to relieve suffering was not there…making calls and hearing no a few times a day is not hard.

The freedom and liberty to let Tom be the husband he wanted to be versus the uphill climb and staying the course while working a full-time job back in the 1990s was easy…and only the microwave, something for nothing mindset makes this seem hard.

W. Clement Stone, Napoleon Hill’s best friend always said, preached, “It takes less energy to succeed than to fail.”  I was trained by Stone in 1971.  He was right.

It’s Commitment

It is easier to finish, hit your objectives than it is to start.   Starting means commitment…at least it still does to some people.

Why would anyone start something they don’t intend to finish…and there it is, right?

Are we committed with our tongue but not in our heart?  Tongue commitment is easy.  Most people have an ‘out’ before they begin.  That’s what I mean by starting is hard.  Unless, of course, there was never really any intent.

The decision to finish is in your hands, my hands, anyone who joins for that matter.

Will we get into the ‘this is hard, there has to be an easier deal,’ or we’ll just seize the opportunity and make 10 lousy contacts a day for a couple of years.  Tom and I have both found out that it is one way or the other.   Every single time.  We just have to decide which group we are in, ya know?

Not finishing is hard.  Deciding to enroll is a big decision, hard.  Calling 10 people a day is easy.  It’s hard not to do it if we know what we have hold of, eh?

Tom may think I taught him some things but the lesson in humility and gratitude he has taught me over the last few months is a debt I can never repay.

Thanks, man.


mark januszewski

world’s laziest networker





About the Author

  • So Sorry to hear about Tom’s loss. You’ve been talking about him to us for months now and his story has always touched my heart. How many people are going threw the same type of thing as Tom has gone threw. Network marketing isn’t about “getting people in” so we can get a check, it’s about helping them to get to where they want to get in their life that currently they are not able to get to, and for many (thousands) feel like there is no hope of living the life they’ve dreamt of. Your right, getting in is easy. The calls are the things that set most people back because the self doubt comes in. That’s where your training’s make such a big difference. Instead of thinking of self doubt and what if I look like a fool we replace that thought with thoughts of what’s really important in our lives. It’s our DMP’s that keep us going and make us stronger. It’s also the “girl in the mirror” looking back

  • Thanks for such a touching and poignant article. 🙂

    Yes, it is easier than people make it. What is the deal with picking up the phone? I know, I have the same issue sometimes. But once I’ve done it, I’m like, “What was so hard about that?” It’s just a case of deciding to, as Brian Tracy puts it, “Eat That Frog!”

    Thanks again! 🙂

  • Love this article! Just got home from visiting Tom and his family in Texas! Mishann is missed here on earth, but I know she is enjoying her place in heaven! I am so grateful Tom and my sponsor called me several times in 1996 when I was too skeptical to look at another “opportunity”! Tom gave me a ticket back in 1996 to attend a major training in San Diego and it changed my life forever! Therefore, I am forever grateful! Going to that event was Easy…and making the calls was FUN! Lives were/are changed…now the Hard part is stopping!
    People ask me “when will you retire”? I think retirement is for people who have jobs, right? My vocation is my vacation and I am grateful! Thanks to you, Mark for continuing to do what you love!
    You and Davene gave us so much as a result of your trainings in those beginning years!

  • WOW! This really puts it all in perspective doesn’t it? You are right, not finishing is hard because if I am honest with myself finishing or not finishing is completely up to me. In Go90Grow I am learning skills that will make my path easier and faster but the really, really important lessons I am learning are about me and what kind of stuff I am made of. This business is easy but it does take courage, the courage to stretch and grow way beyond my comfort zone. Tom’s words are so true, “Grow up and take charge or go get a job.” Thank You Mark and Thank You Tom.

  • Jackie,

    You are so kind……not hard to see why you are successful…….mostly because most people
    ‘want to help’ but you got on a plane and did.

    Jackie, Davene and I have always admired you…..and you’ve just kept setting a wonderful example for all of us to shot for.

    mark j

  • We all own Tom a lot……he’s been a great teacher and you hit the nail on the head……Self discovery is huge and you are on that path to greatness

    mark j

  • I am so sorry to learn about Toms wife. We can be thankful that she is no longer suffering but is in a better place. I have enjoyed Tom on the calls.
    Mark I read you post on Face Book. This Go90Grow training should be a must for all net WORK marketers. We should all shout it from the roof tops and utilize in our businesses.

  • What an inspiring story Mark….the longer I’m in this business the clearer my “why” becomes. Kathy Zimmer said it best when she said to put myself in the shoes of the single mom who is desperately looking for a way out to support her family. If you look at the opportunity you represent as the means to truly help someone ELSE, it alleviates any pain you might have had before you pick up the phone. I’m so sorry to hear about Mishan……having friends like you and Davene will help Tom through the grieving process. As always, thanks for saying it like it is!

  • I don’t know Tom personally, but feel like I do from reading this post. My condolences to Tom and his family.
    Mark, once again I say thank You. Your information is truly changing my life and my business. I love the fact that there is no hype with your information, it comes straight from your heart. Everything that I have seen and read from you just makes networking so simple, and followed with a commitment, it makes such a difference in our business. Thanks so much, God bless you and your family.

  • Mark,

    A Minister would say this blog of yours would preach!
    Thank you. You are appreciated.

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