“If this isn’t heaven I know that God at least vacations here” by George Madiou

George-MadiouRead or Listen to this conversation between George and Dr. Steve Taubman and discover his keys to success.  Dr. Steve Taubman: Welcome everyone, this is Dr. Steve Taubman from Unhypnosis. I am the author of the best-selling book on hypnosis, How to Wake Up, Start Over and Create the Life You Were Meant to Live and the Unhypnosis for Direct Sellers, Network Marketers and Entrepreneurs CD which is considered by Direct Selling Live as one of the top 25 must-have products for 2011. My mission is to help those of you listening to this to be more effective and to overcome your own mental and emotional barriers to success. Toward that end, we’ve set up this series of calls with some of the leaders in either the direct selling industry or entrepreneurs in general. These are people who amassed a lot of wisdom and have been successful in the world of ‘self-starting’, people who have been able to create success perhaps despite their upbringing, or because of their upbringing. NULL

These conversations, are meant to give you a glimpse into the minds of people who have been successful so that you can start to identify some of the traits, some of the qualities, some of the beliefs that they have, that you can emulate. And some of the strategies they’ve used to overcome their barriers. I’m very excited today, we’re going to be interviewing a gentleman by the name of George Madiou. George and I met not too long ago at a conference in Dallas for the Direct Selling Women’s Alliance. We discovered some interesting synchronicities between us. While there I noticed a lot of people were coming up to George and saying, “Hi” and slapping him on the back. He’s just a nice guy and everybody seems to like him; you’ll know why by the end of this call. George is a full-blooded entrepreneur. He’s not only amply credentialed, both with degrees in Marketing and Management from Suny, the State University of New York and NYU, he’s owned over 30 businesses and his varied success has really been because of his sense of adventure. He’s willing to take chances and he’s had some things be wildly successful and others what he called, “outrageous learning experiences”. Among other successful ventures, George has achieved very high levels in two different network marketing companies and really loves the thrill of teaming up with people. That’s one of the things that I think makes him a success in network marketing. In the last five years he has been the Publisher/Creator of TheNetworkMarketingMagazine.com If you’re not already subscribed you should be because it really teaches people how to develop the mindset and strategies to be successful. George lives, as he says, ‘in the small town’ of Boca Raton, Florida and says, “If this isn’t heaven I know that God at least vacations here.” Without question the joy of George’s life is his family. He and his wife Debbie are celebrating 32 years together this year. They have two great, young adult children, Sarah and David. So let me welcome George Madiou. George, how are you? George Madiou: I’m doing great, Steve. It’s a pleasure being on your call today. S: Thanks, I’m thrilled to have you. Boy, it seems we keep bouncing into all these interesting synchronicities, it turns out that George and I both grew up on Long Island, he on the north shore and me on the south. But for a while he lived on the same train line as I. So, you’re in Boca Raton now, running a phenomenal magazine and what I like to do with these calls, because my mission in having created this program is to really introduce our listeners to the mindset that has helped people become successful. A lot of times what I find is that people who are just starting out, or people who are blocked in some way, tend to think in terms of “us” and “them”. Like, “There are the successful people, and then there’s me. I’m not like you because I don’t have the same _____ (personality, or nature, or whatever) ” but what I find when I talk to people who are successful, they can think back to a time in their lives when maybe they weren’t or they can think about some of the sludge that was inside of their heads that maybe stopped them in the past but they found a way to get past it. That’s what I really like to start with… so could you tell us a little bit of your background? What was growing up on Long Island like, how did people treat you, what did you believe about yourself, that kind of thing. G: We can go back from the beginning. One of the things you didn’t mention was that you and I share a birthday, which I also share with my twin brother, Gene. I grew up in a household where Gene and I were firstborn, and then eleven and a half months later my brother Ray was born. which is interesting because two and a half weeks out of the year we were all the same age. I also have a younger sister. I grew up in a very interesting family. My Dad was a World War II veteran and an interesting guy. I think a lot of my upbringing had to do with his own upbringing. He ended up entering a war at the age of 17 and spent five years, so when he got out he was a young man but he was very highly decorated. He was in the original wave in Normandy on D day, Battle of the Bulge, a lot of different battles and the reason I bring that up is that here was a young man who used to tell us he joined the army because his mom, my grandmother, was a lousy cook and he was just looking to get a good meal. My Dad was an entrepreneur before that word really came about. He had joined the Army before the war broke out and he was a trained soldier at the start of the war. On the ship, The Queen Mary, going over to Europe, he ended up buying a gross of dice and a gross of cards. He was the only one that had cards and dice on the ship going over, so he had a cut in every game going on in the ship. By the time he got to England he was a wealthy man, as a matter of fact he shared the State Room with the Captain. That entrepreneurial thing was deep inside of him. By the time he got out of the service he was still a young man. He married my Mom, had my brother Gene and I, and the only thing he knew was the discipline of the army. He was constantly sent out as the platoon leader and he really didn’t believe he was going to make it through the war. He went all out… he ended up getting a bronze star for his acts of heroism and two silver stars. He was entrepreneurial and a real survivor. But my brothers and I felt we were raised by a Drill Sargent. There was actually a time when we were afraid of him. Yet he ended up being my best friend. But when he would come home, even if it was 4:00 in the afternoon, we just went to bed, because we were afraid. My Dad’s choices, I’m sure, had something to do with my entrepreneurial spirit; it came from my Dad. S: That’s incredible. It’s a really, really rare thing for people to have had such a clearly heroic influence early on in their lives. But you know when you said that he learned first how to be disciplined and how to survive, I say he wasn’t just a survivor he was a thriver, he really thrived through all of that. What do you remember about growing up early on, what were some of the messages that you think you absorbed from him early on?

G: One of the things that really stands out was a message of not giving up. The fact that the only time you fail is when you get knocked down and don’t get up. That was extremely full of impact to me in growing up.

Yet I also remember flinching a lot, he was a towering individual. We used to do projects. I remember, on Long Island all the houses there had basements that were not finished. I remember one Friday evening where he was telling us that he wanted to finish the basement, build a rec room down there, maybe an extra bedroom, and we thought that was just great. Saturday morning I wake up, Gene and I shared a room, and I said to Gene, “What’s that noise?” and he said he had no idea. We looked out the window and
my father was driving stakes into the ground. We went downstairs and asked what he was doing and he said, “Well, we talked about finishing the basement. We can’t finish the basement without an entrance to the basement.” We were going to end up digging a hole and breaking through the foundation to get an entrance into the basement! I said to him, “Right Now, Dad?” and he said, “We talked about it yesterday!” So it was interesting the way he tackled projects. S: I love that… he was the guy that had an idea and would just go for it. Do you see that in yourself now? G: Yes I do. As you said when you introduced me, I’ve owned over 30 businesses. My wife calls me a serial entrepreneur. So yes,

If there is something that strikes my interest, I don’t really have to spend a lot of time pondering the idea. I often jump in and understand that what I need to know or learn I can do in motion, while in the process of doing. I definitely get that from my Dad.

S: That’s huge. I really want to underline that for anyone listening right now because what happens for many people is what is called the paralysis of analysis. Where you start the process of considering something and then you just analyze it to death and start thinking you need to know everything there is to know about this before taking the first step. But you’re not doing that, you’re saying, “This looks interesting and I think I can do this and if I need to learn something along the way I’ll learn it along the way.” G: True, I think that’s been a big asset in my life but I have to also tell you there is a downside to that, and that is that as you mentioned, I see some of my ventures as having been wildly successful and some as enormous learning experiences.

So if there’s one thing to take away from that, let me just say that I don’t know anyone in business who has died from failing. You have to know that failing is not a fatal situation.

The other thing is that if you don’t succeed at what you’re going after, and you have really tried, the quicker you dust yourself off and move on, or correct course, the better off you are. It’s essential. Failing is an absolutely important aspect of success in my mind. S: To me, when I think about it from the land of Unhypnosis, we say that all of us are hypnotized to a certain extent. Meaning we all have programming that stops us. And one piece of programming is that fear is fatal. That means we’ve all, to some degree, been trained to believe that if things aren’t going the way we want, we’re going to fall into a state of panic, and self-judgment that we feel terrible about ourselves and just grind ourselves down into the dirt and not go any further. It sounds to me like your attitude towards failure is entirely different. If only somebody could implant your brain into their brain, or your ideas into their ideas, what you say is like what Tony Robbins would say, “Failure is feedback”. It’s something that’s necessary, it happens, you experience it and you move on. G: Yes, failure is a necessary part of success. Absolutely. S: That’s a message we all need to dig down deep into our subconscious minds so we feel it, because a lot of times it’s about a feeling space. You know, How do I feel when things aren’t going well? How do I feel when I get an idea? Do I feel like it’s possible to execute it or am I looking back at all my past failures and saying, “oh, I’ve failed before, I’ll probably fail again”. You know what I hear in you, George? It sounds like you’ve got a lot of optimism and also one thing I noticed about you from the very beginning, you’ve got a great sense of humor. How does humor, or a sense of humor, play into this whole thing for you? G: Humor is one of those things that allow your insides to get rejuvenated. So many people walk around with such stress over everything, family issues, work issues, I mean, people are like a tight knot. And humor is one of those things that allow that knot to loosen up and go away. It’s important. And there are so many ways to get it injected into you. My wife Debbie and I go to the movies. My first choice would always be a comedy. I remember in Junior High getting kicked out of the library in my school because I had picked up a book of the Abbot and Costello routine of ‘Who’s on First’. It was the first time I had ever come across it and I got literally kicked out of the school library because I was in stitches. I think we all need it… it’s a great stress reliever. S: Yes, when you get that big belly laugh it releases endorphins and you get that oxygen into your blood and it literally, physiologically, breaks the cycle of that whole adrenal response, the fight or flight stress reaction. A lot of people don’t stop and do it. And when things are bad that’s when we need to do it the most, but of course most people think that’s frivolous at those points but gosh, it’s so important.

And in terms of perspective; a sense of humor implies you can see things from a different perspective. It’s not life or death, things might not be going great but…

One of the lines I use in my book is that people will often say in a crisis, “Someday we’ll look back at this and laugh.” and I say why wait? Laugh now! So what I’m hearing is messages about discipline and just going for it, keeping a good attitude, a light-hearted mind and a sense of humor. But 30 businesses… what are some of the businesses that you’ve been in? G: Shortly after graduating from NYU I got a job managing a liquor store. Within 6 months I was talking to my father, convincing him I could do this for us instead the guy I was working for at the liquor store. So he ended up getting a $40,000 mortgage on his home and handing this 23 year kid forty grand saying, “Okay, build us a liquor store!” So that was really the first go around of it for me. I’ve owned sign shops, I’ve owned a lot of service businesses, I was in commercial real estate, but it wasn’t until I came across network marketing that I found a vehicle to be able to quench that entrepreneurial spirit. You don’t have to deal with some of the distasteful things about this, such as hiring, and having a lot of employees to manage, accounts receivable and that sort of thing. That opened up a whole new thought of entrepreneurialism. S: When were you first get into the network marketing business? G: It was over 20 years ago. S: Wow! And I know you’ve built up some great businesses within that market segment, so to speak. And you learned a lot along the way. Before I talk about the magazine I wanted to point out one other thing. You were mentioning your Dad going out and taking out a loan and giving you $40,000 to start a business and that’s a big, big risk. But he felt it was worth it and obviously believed in you and you believed in yourself. What’s interesting is I had this thought, in network marketing what’s the risk? I mean, people join for $100, or $200, $500, it’s so minimal compared to the risk of starting a brick and mortar business. G: Yeah, if I had my choice, and the industry would listen to me, I would make sure that the entry into any network marketing company would be $10,000 or more. S: Really? Why is that? G: Because then you would see a lot fewer people who are not serious about it, enter into the business. And you would see some very, very committed people answer ads. It’s like lawyers, how often do you see a lawyer practicing law who just quits because it wasn’t working for him? It happens, but it rarely happens. Yet you see it all the time in network marketing. We have people that absolutely want to have a thriving business that gives them the lifestyle they dream about but they’re not willing to the things needed to live that lifestyle. S: And spending that money upfront really qualifies people
, and makes them think twice before they jump in. G: Yes because, for instance, if you buy a McDonald’s franchise you put up a whole lot of money and then you have to go to McDonald’s college. You’re forced to know exactly where the french fry machine is in your store because it’s in the same place in every store around the world.

They put together the system that has already proven to be effective. And we’ve got that in so many network marketing companies, systems for success, but a lot of times people aren’t willing to spend the time to learn or implement the things they need to implement for success in that system.

S: So the things that stop people from being successful, what I hear you talking about, is a lack of commitment. What are some of the other things you see in network marketing, or any entrepreneurial endeavor, that you feel are stopping people from taking the next step in becoming successful? G: Do you want that answer in a gentle formula or what motivates me? One of the things that happened 25 years ago was that I ended up making a commitment. Now, my commitment is not ‘politically correct’ but that doesn’t matter to me, and that commitment was a commitment to God and a belief in Jesus Christ. It’s funny because right after that happened someone came up to me and asked how it could be that I am a Christian, because I am a business man. And I told him that no one had told me I couldn’t be a Christian and be a business owner. This commitment is something that has grown over the last 25 years. What has motivated me was not only a teaming of that entrepreneurial spirit with my belief that I can do it but also the fact that I wanted to have control over my business life rather than have some boss have control over my life who could tell me when I have to come in and how I have to dress and what I have to eat, stand or sit, so as a result of my commitment to Christ, I ended up discovering that it helps me take the risks and really believe in myself with God’s guidance.

I can get up when I fall down and realize that I truly have a Partner. And my Partner is not the universe, that so many people talk about today, my Partner is the Creator of the Universe.

So whenever I had my back to the wall – like I mean, I’ve had to go to the post office just hoping to see some checks so I could pay the 28 people who worked for me in my Pool Service company, knowing I had already written up the checks that didn’t yet have the money to back them. My back was truly against the wall. What I ended up doing was turning to my Partner and keep on going. And he never fails me. There have been plenty of times when my back has been against the wall no matter what business I’m running. That has been very, very influential in the growth of me personally as well as of my business and how I reflect it. As a matter of fact, somebody said to me recently that it was really strange that you end up having your relationship with God as part of your business plan. I said, “Can you think of a better business owner?” That’s me personally, it’s obviously not congruent with everybody’s thinking, but it’s very, very significant in my success over the last 25 years. S: That’s great. There’s a lot there. I think first of all, regardless of anyone’s religious background or upbringing or spiritual path they choose, I think having a strong spiritual connection and being able to surrender to something bigger than yourself is really important; in that sense of partnership it’s really important. It’s kind of a remedy I think, for the tendency to just give up or become despondent and it’s also, as you said, it started with you committing yourself in a spiritual way. The gift of commitment, the gift of taking a stand for something you believe in and because you’re taking a stand for something you believe in you’re saying, “Now I’m not going to live my based on how it feels in the moment but I’m going to live my life on a higher ideal.” G: There are some true, true principles behind that. You can be a Buddhist, you can be a Muslim or a Jew, whatever, you can take those principles and plug it into your life. One of the things I realize, and I see it all the time, is that person who feels as though they are the final answer, and that if they don’t have the answer there is no other way, that’s unfortunate because that’s not the case. S: That’s great and that’s a good reminder for everyone. Of course there are people who won’t embrace the concept, whether specifically to religion or to God or to Jesus Christ or to Buddha or anything, but even so there is a higher principle at play here of that sense that there is more than just you. G: One of the things I admire about you Steve is that you are able to take a real difficult curve ball like what I just threw at you and you really ended up understanding the principle and the concept behind that. S: Well, thank you, I am touched. We’ve covered a lot of important ground here and I want to emphasize for anyone listening to this call, go back and listen again because the lesson, the beliefs, the sense of possibility that have led to your success, George, have just been extraordinary. Let’s just do this. I want you to say a few words about The Network Marketing Magazine and I want you to tell our listeners about how they can get more information about you and your resources. G: Sure, about five and a half years ago it was put on my heart to be able to bring back a magazine that would support people. We really wanted to serve the “orphans” out there; those people that ended up having a dream, joining a company, the person that sponsored them leaves a day later and now they’re out there on their own. That was the purpose of the magazine. People can get it by going to www.TheNetworkMarketingMagazine.com It’s a great resource. We’ve learned there are a lot of people that simply don’t read so we’ve ended up having a lot of contributors record their article. It’s turned out to be a resource that is also an audio magazine. That’s really been interesting learning how people assimilate information. We ended up having over 225 contributors, leaders and experts in the field that write for us providing a wide variety of input. There are ways of being able to search for article by topic, like sales, or marketing, training, leadership, etc. So if somebody is having a problem with prospecting, for example, they can click on the keyword ‘prospecting’ and they will come up with probably 90 or 100 prospecting articles. Now, every one of them may not appeal to you because they are articles that are written by different people with different personalities and different styles and that’s what’s really powerful, because no matter where you’re at, you’ll be able to hone a skill through teachers and trainers that are congruent with your personality and style. It’s a great resource that can help you in growing your business. It’s funny, I was doing a talk at a company event. My wife was in the audience and she said, “You know what? I don’t know how you do it when you get up there to speak. I know you didn’t prepare.” And I said, “You know, after 69 issues with thousands of articles that have been running in our magazine I’ve gained some key knowledge that may not come out until I need it.” Someone recently asked what I would suggest for a brand new person. My suggestion was that they take the magazine and read one article a day. Preferably at night before you go to bed so you’re not using valuable prospecting or selling time, but plant those seeds and a year from now you’ll be surprised. Reading one article a day, even a lousy prospector can become a master prospector in the next 4-6 months. S: Yes, it’s a tremendous resource. You can get the information by reading or listening. And that’s good advice. I remember Joe Charbonneau, a great motivational speaker
from years ago who said, “You know, you can be the same person 10 years from now as you are today expect for the books you’ve read and the people you meet.” I encourage everyone on this call to go and subscribe to the magazine because you’ll find exactly what it is you need to learn. You just need to go out and get it. George, you’ve been delightful. Like was just said, it’s the books you read and the people you meet and I’m really honored to have met you. G: Thank you Steve. I admire you and the significant impact you have had on the people you’ve crossed paths with and I’m glad we ended up crossing paths in Dallas. Aim high! George Madiou Publisher and Co-founder www.TheNetworkMarketingMagazine.com


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