Leverage: The biggest and most overlooked asset in starting and growing your business
I’ve often believed leverage is the most under-utilised tool of working life. Despite being available to all, few know how to work it. It’s the thing that helps us get ahead using what we’ve got. It’s the treasure chest upon which we all sit but few venture to open.
Employed or self employed leverage is the stuff that makes us win new contracts, climb up the career ladder and get an introduction to our dream client, whether we have an ‘in’ or not.
Network marketing has some of the most valuable lessons to teach on leverage. Why? It’s the industry that shows individuals how to leverage both time and income.
If you don’t have an income model that allows for leverage then you will always remain the focal point of income generation. In other words, you will have to always turn up for work in order to get paid.
With network marketing you create a distribution network of potentially dozens, hundreds or even thousands of other like-minded people. You generate income from the entire network, getting paid on thousands of hours of effort (not just your own) each week. Getting back to leverage, in network marketing, there is no short cut to the board of directors. Everyone has to start from scratch by marketing products and building a network, and cultivating distributors. So leverage has to be used differently.
So, how can you employ the concept of leverage in whatever you do?
1. Celebrate your personal gists
What skills do you have? Good at sales but not organisation? Have an extensive network but scared to use it? Have many qualifications under your belt? Have you done something extraordinary in your life that when you get to tell others about, they’re suitably impressed? Good at baking or playing footie? We all have strengths in some shape or form. Identify what they are in the first instance and work out how to leverage them to help you. Then find others with the skills you don’t have but that you need.
2. Getting up close and personal
Don’t under estimate the power of the rapport. We’ve all been in a position where we want to close a deal, or ask for a promotion. Often, that’s not what we get to do in the moment we want to. However, when that time does eventually come, and there is a rapport or common connection established, it will only act to support and lubricate the process in your favour. Find the things that connect you with others in your circle and workplace and become likeable through the things that connect you – it will feel seamless. Mr Osborne was left with a few friends in the City and media, and he certainly pulled those strings in his favour. The key is to leverage the relationships you have developed.
3. Bend time
Saying there isn’t enough time in the day is the easiest cop- out. Back to the lessons from network marketing, those too scared to look for another job while in a job, or frightened by the thought of starting out, can take comfort in that you can start small, part time until it demonstrates its return. Beyond network marketing, bending time is about finding out where within your working life you can ‘superset’ your new venture or job search without sacrificing sleep. Can you commute on the train for a month rather than drive and do research then? Can you run home from work and use your evening fitness hour to work on your new business? How about adding an extra month to your year? How? Simply get up 30 minutes earlier each day for 6 days per week. Over a year you would have created 156 hours of additional time. That works out at a working month for most people (20 days x 8 hours = 160 hours).
4. Don’t dream it, just be it
International gurus such as Tony Robbins will state this as their first point of leverage. Model your future goal on those who have done just what you intend to do. Want to pick someone’s brain who has done it but have no connection to them? “I’m so inspired by what you’ve done and would be so grateful for a few minutes of your time”. Reading, learning and talking to those who have made the journey and succeeded in whatever you’re aiming for, might save tremendous amounts of time, heartache and unnecessary trial and error. Going back to your personal treasure trove of leverage, well, if you have to offer that person something you can do in return, then do it! Many newcomers to network marketing are of a ripe old age because they employ the skills, confidence and business acumen after long careers in a traditional 9-5 job. I wonder how many more network marketing millionaires would be out there if they ventured into this industry during the prime of their working lives?
5. Giver’s give
This is my favourite point about leverage because you don’t need a skill, but rather the value of generosity, which requires nothing more than an open and trusting heart. Help people who can potentially help you one day, or not, where it doesn’t hurt or cost you to assist them. And then expect nothing in return. Paying-it-forward has proven successful time and again. The act of generosity leaves deep imprints on others to think of you when the right time might come, even if it’s years off.