The man who wrote the book, literally, The Psychology of Winning has some strong ideas on what it’s going to take for each of us to succeed in the changing future of this business— starting right now! Denis, at the risk of making you sound older than you sometimes feel; The Psychology of Winning was done in 1986, correct? Actually, it was done in 1978. You must have the later edition. I went in and re-did it in 1986. Oops! Well, were there one or two big ideas that compelled you to write the book? Yes, there were, and they were that it doesn’t make much difference what happens to you, it is how you take it and what you make of it that matters. The big idea is:
Life truly is a perception in the eyes of the beholder; everyone is involved in a world that, basically, is between their own ears.
NULL It’s not so much the environment, unless you happen to live in an impoverished country where you have no idea of your ignorance. The rest of us, especially those in industrialized countries, are living within our own minds. The Psychology of Winning came about as a result of my studies of POW’s. That’s why it became P O W — but instead of prisoner of war it became Psychology Of Winning. You see, when you see the letters POW, you immediately go back to prisoners of war if you’re in an industrialized country. However, if you’re in a boy’s school in England, you think Prince of Wales. If you’re a young child opening a Christmas package and it happens to be a gun, you would go, “pow”, so it seems that life is a bumper sticker that only has meaning when you’ve had experience with it before. Otherwise, you have no idea what the symbols mean and what the words mean. That’s why I said, Prisoner of war or Psychology of Winning, it depends on the view of the beholder. Denis, your book has extraordinary legs and is still selling strongly today. What do you think is responsible for that? First of all, I think it was the second major audio album in the self-help arena with Earl Nightengale’s Lead the Field. When he first recorded The Strangest Secret, which is ‘we become what we think about most of the time’, that was the only recording of a spoken voice that won a Grammy and it went platinum. When he did Lead the Field — I remember he did Lead the field for Chevrolet, Lead the field for Standard Oil, Lead the field for Sears — he was able to brand an audio album and I happened to be the second person in line. But it’s a little different than Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Being second and having Earl Nightengale be the promoter and say that this young guy who nobody knows is good, and has good material, and to be used by Nightengale-Conant in a direct marketing way, certainly gave me a leg up. Lloyd Conant, of Nightengale-Conant, wrote letters on his robotype machines and used the American Express Gold card, the Daytimers, all of these different mailing lists. He used my album— because I was not yet known— as a front end list builder. So, I became a database builder for Nightengale-Conant and they mailed out hundreds of th ousands of brochures in the beginning of 1979 to corporations and executives in the higher income brackets and from that the album got legs. This produced for me, which was incredible, a $20,000 a month royalty for 20 years! So, I received $20,000 each and every month for 20 years as a result of this one album that became a book and because it was a combination, audio and book, it crossed over into the published market and I think that’s really what’s responsible. The other thing that I think is really responsible for its long standing success is that it’s simple. It said what winner’s do and what they don’t do. It didn’t put it into a formula, but it was easy to understand and easy to identify. I think it was because it had authentic, anecdotal stories that illustrated the points rather than just spouting theory. I used true anecdotal stories that people could identify with rather than just repeating something that somebody else might say. From a number of angles, Denis, it sounds like network marketing! Not only that, it really is network marketing. When you consider that it was direct, it never sold in any stores, but went direct to consumer, began to get ‘referral legs’ and what happened to me was that the phone started ringing and people were asking me to speak. But I never sent out a flyer or did an outgoing phone call on my behalf, because I was getting referred in this networking world. The points that you made, have they changed? They haven’t really changed, except that I have become much more aware of the need for the win-win emphasis rather than, ‘for every winner there must be a loser’. I never said that, but it was implied, that winners outdistance the competition. I think in the early work it looked like this album would help you out-think and out-fox and outlast the competition.
Now, with the emphasis on ‘your competitors are your affiliates’, your competitors are customers in many ways, you really have to be a win-win person.
I don’t think there needs to be a loser for every winner except in the gladiator sense, but not when there are teams involved. When teams are involved there have to be many winners and you have to think, ‘everybody wins when I win’. Denis, let’s talk about the psychology of winning in network marketing. What are two or three key points that create winners today? I’ve been involved in this industry for 30 years and I think the first point has to be that, by the very definition of relationship or network marketing, it really is a business of helping other people achieve their goals and through and with them you achieve yours. It’s definitely a build winners, train winners, edify winners, and reinforce winners business. And I do think the idea of training and boosting winners is one of the key points.
You make a decision to go into network marketing, because you are the kind of person that wants to teach, train, grow and reinforce other human beings to win their own ballgames.
To me it’s more important to do that than it is to say, “Wow, what a good vehicle to make a lot of money quick!” I look at shooting stars, they burn brightly and briefly. They make a lot of money quick and they’re selling the sizzle, but in truth, they are only recruiting people as fast as they can because they think it’s a numbers game.
It’s not a numbers game it’s a relationship game and that’s why I think the first point would be the dedication to build other winners.
The second would be to make sure that you are a person who is trustworthy. Nothing shouts so loudly in networking as the person who walks the talk and talks the walk; because really, if you’re in a relationship of any kind, and you look at network marketing like a marriage, certainly it goes from a romance to an engagement and then becomes a marriage. For that kind of relationship to work trust has to be absolute, both ways.
If you break the trust you break the relationship, so I think being a person of ethics and integrity would be the second key.
The third one, which tends to be so obvious that people seem to forget it, is as Bill Gates said, “In a networked world, we have just eliminated the geographic boundaries on our shopping”. I think that’s one of the most profound ideas of why this human train, a global human train and human system of moving goods and services through the relationships you have with people, is the absolute phenomena of the 21st century. I think it will drive the later part of the century’s economy almost totally and I think that the retail stores will function only to be the walk in place to pick up the goods you’ve already identified and purchased. Retail becomes warehouse and order pick-up. Denis,
you spoke about trust, you spoke about teams and all of that seems a part of the major point you made which is it’s all about relationships. That’s right. If you look at the Internet, it’s a giant communication vehicle. The trouble is that you don’t buy from the Internet; you buy from people who are doing business with one another via this electronic communication vehicle, so you move down from the Internet to the Intranet. The Intranet is the secret, because they are groups of people who are bonded together in their relationships, by a common interest in something that they want to do. It’s a goal, it’s a product, it’s a need; they want to be healthy, they want to be more fit, they want better romantic relationships, they want better.