Whether in your network marketing business or your personal life, what is the most important gift we can provide to our teammates, prospects, family, and friends, that truly lets them know that they are significant to us?
In both our personal and professional relationships nothing is more important to building trust and connection than being fully present. When we are fully present, 100 percent of our mind, body, and spirit are with the people we are with where they are now. There are no WOOs (windows of opportunity) lying in wait in the past. They only exist in the present. And they are the keys to an extraordinary future.
Yet has it ever been more challenging to be fully present?
We are so swept up in our busyness and our technology that genuine presence is too often choked out of our days. According to the Huffington Post, we now spend an average of nine and a half hours of our time awake each day on non-voice mobile digital devices and watching television.
In contrast, the average American father spends seven to eight hours a week in actual interaction with his children, according to the Pew Research Institute. Spending as much time as I do on airplanes and in airports,
I am struck by how rare it is to find people conversing, laughing, and enjoying one another these days. We’re all on our phones, watching movies on our entertainment consoles aboard the plane, or zoning out on our musical playlists.
I sometimes chuckle to myself when I see a couple who have gone out to a restaurant to spend quality time together on their cell phones, completely immersed in Facebook, checking scores on ESPN, or texting madly. We’re conditioning ourselves to not be present, missing out on the magnificent gift that only true presence provides.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “What you do screams so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”
When it comes to making someone feel like they matter, presence speaks louder than words. Presence sends an unmistakable message to others, telling them that they are important and valued.
That is your ultimate job in network marketing—to let others KNOW they are IMPORTANT because when people feel important they rise!
The message you deliver when you are fully present is genuine, too, because you simply can’t fake it.
Don’t you know instantly when others are really there or when their minds are in another area code? And it’s not enough to simply be physically present—true presence also requires focused attention and engagement.
All this is becoming increasingly rare.
The explosion of personal technology is creating a huge challenge to being present as we spend more time playing with apps than talking and connecting with one another.
When my daughters were both little girls, they taught me the greatest lesson I would ever learn about building people, teams, and relationships. We moved to Montana when Kelsey was eight and Jenna was almost three and settled in the little town of Hamilton to escape the rush and pressure of the big city.
It was an exciting time for me professionally because my speaking business was blooming and I had a huge consulting contract for a fast-growing network marketing company, helping them with their marketing, communication, and training. I was on the road at least twenty days a month and sometimes as much as twenty-four.
So, we moved to Hamilton so I would be a more present dad. On the days I was home instead of being caught in big-city traffic, I would be fully home. I’d be there to get my girls up and help them get ready for school. I’d be there after school to help them with their homework and take them to dance practice. We’d have family dinners together with all four of us. And I’d be there at night to tuck them in, tell them a story, cuddle with them, and let them know they were precious to us. That’s why we moved! But, have you ever known what to do, but not done what you know?
It’s almost hard to believe now because we are so accustomed to today’s technology, but in those days, there were no cell phones, no social media, no texting, and very little email. So, the main tool for communication was still the phone, the old-fashioned landline. My office was upstairs in our wonderful old Victorian home, next to the bedroom Kelsey and Jenna shared.
Because I was dealing with many time zones, I started my day very early, jumping on the phone for my consulting work or doing radio interviews for East Coast stations. I heard the girls wake up, but most days just gave them a quick good morning hug while Carole got them ready for school.
When they came home in the afternoon, I was still buzzing away in my office making call after call. They’d pop in and cuddle for a minute or two and then happily go off to do homework, dance, or play.
Those family dinners…they were 75 percenters. Carole, Kelsey, and Jenna would be together while I stayed upstairs on some conference calls or working through some challenges. I was so caught up in my work that the next thing I knew it was time to get them ready for bed. Every night my plan was to come to their room to spend time with them reading stories, tickling, and laughing before they went to sleep. Just the thought of those moments with my sweet girls made me grin.
But every night as I headed to their room to tuck them in, I walked right by my office. And there, directly in my line of sight was that darn telephone. I knew that in the short time I had spent downstairs getting a bite to eat by myself, I would have at least five new voicemails waiting for me because I heard the phone ringing.
So, while Kelsey and Jenna brushed their teeth and put on their pajamas, I detoured into my office—for just a few minutes—to knock off some of those nagging voicemails. I wouldn’t be long, and then I’d be back with my girls to be the dad I wanted to be.
Well, I’ll bet you can guess what happened. An hour later I’d finally hang up the phone. Carole had tucked the girls in and read them bedtime stories. She’d cuddled and loved them while I plowed through my calls.
I remember so many nights, walking over to their room, now dark and quiet, and tiptoeing to their bedside. Though they didn’t know it, I’d give each a kiss and stand there for a moment looking at the most beautiful little girls on the earth.
Then I’d slip out, silently promising myself that tomorrow would be different. Tomorrow I would be there and make sure they knew how much I loved them. Tomorrow I would be present.
But the next night that darn phone was still there. This pattern went on for days that rolled into weeks that turned into months. Finally, Kelsey and Jenna decided to teach their daddy a lesson he would never forget.
One night, just as I had settled into my chair ready to pick up the phone when I could have been tucking them in, I felt two shining lights in my office door. I truly felt their presence.
The energy was radiant.
When I turned to look, both girls ran to me. The next thing I knew Jenna had nosed her way up into my lap like a golden retriever positioning for a good ear scratch. And Kelsey had her arm around me, looking up with those incredibly sweet eyes of hers. I was surprised and delighted and couldn’t help but smile as I lapped up their affection. I asked, “What’s all this about?”
Kelsey, as the senior sister and therefore the official spokeswoman, took charge. With both girls looking right through me into my heart, she asked, “Daddy, before we go to sleep, we just wanted to ask you something.”
I replied, “Sure. You can ask me anything! What is it?”
In the next moment, they grabbed my heart and they shook it. They changed everything in my life. And they gave me a new compelling why that has transformed my life.
They looked at me with their innocent and loving eyes and asked:
“Daddy, we just wanted to know, do you love your phone more than you love us?”
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