The Race Is Long and It Is Only with Yourself

by Kevin on July 9, 2012

image courtesy FreeDigitalPhoto.net

One of my favorite songs of all-time is Everybody’s Free to Wear Suncreen by Baz Luhrmann.  It is a rather obscure song, but you may have heard of it even if the name is unfamiliar.  The song is a commencement speech addressed to the class of ’99, which is when I graduated from college.

I know…. I really just dated myself….

The song gives a lot of profound advice, and there is one line that has always stuck with me more than just about any other piece of advice that I have ever been given. 

“Don’t waste your time on jealousy.  Sometimes you’re ahead.  Sometimes you’re behind.  The race is long, and in the end, it is only with yourself.”

WOW…That is so true, and it really hits me every time I read, write, or hear it!

We all have a tendency to look at others who are ahead of where we want to be, and we should.  We should get advice, mentoring, support, guidance, and leadership from others who are more successful than us.  However, there is a flaw in how we are wired, as humans, to compare ourselves in a self-defeating manner, and let’s be honest, we have all done it.

Every network marketing company has celebrated stories of people who seem like they experienced an overnight success.  Almost as if they possess some superpower that made them effortlessly become millionaires.  Whether or not they truly were an overnight success in the company or were like Jordan Adler of Beach Money and spent a decade to achieve success, they did it at the right pace for them.

What does this mean for you?

Resist the temptation to compare your success with those around you.  Remember that you are an independent business owner (or the spouse of one), and basically you are running a race.  If someone is able to the finish at a faster pace than you, the finish line does not get any closer by beating yourself up, getting discouraged, or worse, quitting.

If you (or your spouse), get down about having a bad day, week, month, or start of a network marketing career, here are some things you can do:

  1. Remember it is all relative – If you are down about where you are, just remember that there are always going to be people ahead of you and people behind you.  There are more people than you think who look up to you.
  2. Drive yourself to action –  Call a prospect, check on a customer, find a way to be remarkable.  Without action, you will never achieve your goals.  Dust yourself off and get out there.  As Zig Ziglar says, “You can get whatever you want in life, if you just help enough people get what they want.”
  3. Seek out guidance – If you reached out to your upline (or even successful people outside of network marketing), you will find that they experienced the same struggles, frustrations, and pitfalls on their way to success that you are facing.  The got to where they are by carrying on and setting a vision for their future.
  4. Decide where your finish line is located – In an actual marathon race, the route and finish line have already been decided for you.  The beauty of this race of network marketing is that you set your own finish line.  You do not have to achieve the same end goal in the same period of time to be successful.
  5. Set stair step goals – Success is never final, and there are always going to be high-level, stretch goals that you want to reach.  Break them up into actionable goals along the way.  Your goals could be to get your first consultant/distributor in your organization, to achieve the next level  promotion, or to hit a volume of sales in your organization.  Make sure that between you and the ultimate goal that you want to reach has smaller goals along the way.  The key is to celebrate your successes along the way, even if just a pat on the back.
  6. Focus on the journey – There is nothing worse than reaching a goal and looking back to realize that you never took in the joy of the journey along the way.

No matter where you are in your own race, be proud of yourself.  The fact that you are willing to look at a big, long-term goal and go after it, says a lot about you.

You may be behind.  You be ahead.  As long as you keep at it, you will get there.