Wednesday, February 25, 2015

B.C. and Me, Part 2: Humbling Myself

In my last post, I wrote about how Brian Carruthers' book, "Building an Empire:The Most Complete Blueprint to Building a Massive Network Marketing Business," led me to look deeply at my reluctance to have a burning desire for success, which he says is the first ingredient needed to succeed in network marketing.

(I was reading the book because I am an independent associate for LegalShield, a company that offers affordable access to a national network of law firms on a membership basis. It also offers an identity theft program.)

The second ingredient that Carruthers says is necessary for success is "being coachable."

"You must be willing to truly listen to the masters and follow their guidance with focus," he writes.

I did not immediately recoil from this rule the way that I did from the first. On the contrary, I liked it. It made sense to me.

"I'm definitely coachable," I said, "Or at the very least, I want to be."

So I embraced that rule. And it embraced me back.

Then it tightened its grip.

"Are you really coachable? Do you really want to be?"

I remembered how Dan Jendrey, the friend who introduced me to Pre-Paid Legal before it became LegalShield, gave me a CD in which a high-achieving Pre-Paid Legal rep spoke about "10 core commitments." Basically, he said if a person committed to doing those 10 things, their success was virtually guaranteed. And I remembered telling Dan that making 10 commitments was too much for me, that at most I could make three.

Points for honesty - but was I being coachable?

And in fact, I never even stuck with three commitments. Was I coachable?

I remembered how for years, I refused to do certain things that successful Pre-Paid Legal representatives did - like attend the weekly business briefings - because I didn't like how they were done. Was I being coachable?

And then I saw a pattern. Not just with Pre-Paid Legal or LegalShield, but with a range of things, one after another, for decades. Learning opportunities that I rejected out of hand, or that I started to engage with but with which I didn't follow through. Paths that I set upon, then walked away from when they became difficult, rather than pressing on to gain the wisdom that lay beyond the difficulty.

I saw that somewhere along the way, I became highly skilled, not at pressing on, but at quitting, and restarting, and quitting again. And thereby failing to gain, not just material benefits, but wisdom.

In short, I got really good at refusing to learn.

Here's the real kicker: it all happened while I told myself that I love to learn, while devouring books and magazine articles and even imagining writing my own success tome, "You Don't Have To Know What You're Doing - If You're Willing To Learn As You Go!" Reading, thinking, imagining, but not staying the course to take the knowledge from my brain into my bones.

And now, I don't even know why. It wasn't for lack for resources - besides the aforementioned books and articles, I have had stacks of tapes, CDs and DVDs. And I have had real live people, human beings with brains, offer me help that I never fully received because...because of something in me that doesn't receive well. Or at least, that hasn't.

Realizing all of this has been pretty painful; now the challenge - the invitation - is to move forward with change. To live out the truth that a hunger for knowledge is not enough; there must be a COMMITMENT to learn. Not just a desire to gain information, but a determination to gain wisdom.

I consider all of this to be answers to two prayers that I have prayed over the past year or so:

  • Lord, please show me where I have been a fool, and help me to stop; and
  • Lord, let me experience the death of anything in me that hinders Your purpose.

Now I work to consciously position myself as a total learner, in order to walk humbly with my God (Micah 6:8) - and with fellow humans who know more than I do. And God knows there are a lot of those.

What that means most immediately is truly listening to Brian Carruthers, whose approach has made him $15 million, rather than to Elwin Green, whose approach has left him mostly broke. It means doing what Carruthers says to do in his book, rather than coming up with arguments or excuses not to.

I'll let you know how it goes; it should be major fun. 
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