Latent Millionaire-ism

By Merle Harton, Jr.

I was on the phone with a client. I happened to touch my forehead and my hand came back wet with sweat.

"Marc, look, you're a first-class consultant, the best I've ever dealt with. My God, my system's running better than I've ever seen it run in three years, and my network administrator is walking around bored most of the time—maybe I should just fire him—because he doesn't have any trouble-shooting to do to keep him busy—I think I will fire him, after all—but I've thought about this for a long time and I've decided to retain the Kudzu brothers for my system consulting needs."

"But, Bob, we still haven't resolved the network cabling problem you've got and the Kudzus haven't handled a system as large as yours before. Look, I know those guys. They're smart, but frankly out of their league with a fifty-node system like yours...."

"Marc, you're a nice guy. So let me be straight with you. I think you're good at what you do—brilliant, really—but this FAMWAY! crap is standing in your way. I'm just being honest with you. It seems that every time you're over here, you're tapping somebody to come to one of those damned FAMWAY! meetings and I have to listen to all the complaints and frankly I don't want to deal with it any more. Look, when you finally give up on that pyramid scheme, give me a call. Maybe then we can do business again. What's that? Okay. Listen, sorry, Marc, but I've got an appointment. Give me a call, okay? Thanks, Marc, I knew you'd understand. Good luck with that scheme. I hope it pans out for you. Good-bye."

That was the fifth client I had lost in two weeks. After hanging up, my hand went involuntarily to my wallet. Then I thought of Christine. How was I going to tell her that our income just got sliced in half? Really, this was my problem and I had to find the solution to it. I was responsible for my family's well-being and I was going to fulfill that responsibility. Besides, no matter what anyone else said about the FAMWAY! business, it works and I wanted it to work for me.

I reached for a copy of the month's So You're In FAMWAY! and leafed through the pages. The first half of the magazine spotlighted the big stars in the business. Joe and Jackie Zimmerman—Sapphires. Rob and Sammi Fredricks—Opals. And then there were galleries of Topaz levels, and Zircon levels, and Jade and Garnets and Amethyst levels, and more galleries with Aquamarine, Moonstone, Sardonyx couples and faces. The lower levels got increasing larger in number, and the pictures got increasingly smaller in size. Then there were the new distributors—no pictures, just names in alphabetical order. Hey, I could soon be in this magazine, too! The program works! So what if I never get rich fondling computer equipment and schlepping coaxial cable from one room to another. FAMWAY! would be my vehicle for obscene wealth. I will be nouveau riche. Disgustingly rich. People will ask me with sincere indignation: Have you no shame? And I will laugh, because when you are that rich, you can do anything you want, and at that level on the economic scale people seem so small, like ants on the ground, that their indignation is laughable, and I always laugh at the laughable.

But you do not get rich just waiting for it. If you just wait for it, then you could be waiting a long time. For then it becomes like a lottery—you might win, you might not. And then it becomes like people killed in freak accidents—it might happen to you, it might not. As I understand it, to get money, you have to do something, anything—dig a ditch, move papers around on a desk, hold out your hand, point a gun—anything at all. But to get rich, well, that takes the right approach, because not everything works.

Take, for example, the guy who sells everything he owns and sinks it all into a bank account with simple interest. He's a single guy, you know, and therefore has the freedom to do such things. He then goes down to a cryogenics lab to have himself frozen, the contract being that he is to be revived in a hundred years. He figures that in a hundred years his bank account will have grown into a fortune. So a hundred years go by and they revive him. He jumps off the table and shouts with glee, thinking about the fortune waiting for him in the bank. He runs out the door, heading for the bank. But running to the bank is taking more time than he anticipated, and he can't wait any longer, so he stops at a phone booth and makes a two-minute call to his bank to find out how much money he's got. "You've got a hundred million dollars in your account," says the bank's officer." "Hooray! I'm a multi-millionaire!" he cries. At that moment, the telephone operator breaks in and says: "Sir, your two minutes are up; if you wish to continue your call, please deposit fifty million dollars."

So, in order to make money, one has to do something. And I was going to do something. If it works for others, and with enough consistency to the pattern, then there exists a template for success; if I follow the specs of that template, then it should work for me, too.

Why did I want it to work? What was it that made the accumulation of an obscene quantity of money so necessary for me? Basically, I wanted both time and money, and I had neither. I had no time to spend with my family and no time to vacation, and no time to enjoy what was left of my life. It seems I never did. I did not have the time when I worked full time as a hospital data administrator and I had no time now, working for myself. Now, admittedly, I have money, and had money when I worked for someone else, but not enough to give me the luxury of time and not enough of the money to enjoy life during the brief time I had to spend it. It was time I wanted most of all and money could buy it for me, if I could get it without having to spend all my time getting it. Because by the time I got the money accumulated, I would have time, I suppose, but not really at an age when I could enjoy it. So the money was needed to buy time and to buy what I needed to enjoy that time. I wanted money and I wanted it now. Later would be too late.

So I went back out and tried the plan.

"Marc, this is what you've got to do." The voice was that of my sponsor, Paul. I had called him and we made plans to meet at the restaurant of the nearby Holiday Inn. We met at 11 o'clock. "The plan is simple," Paul said. "First, you have to be accountable for what you do; you have to be reliable and keep your word. If you tell someone you'll be there, you be there! Second, stay teachable. Be open to what the leaders in this business have to say; they've been where you and I are, so they know. Be ready to learn from their experiences. Along the same lines: read and study daily. Spend fifteen minutes a day on some positive writings. Listen to tapes. You gotta get on tape-of-the-day. Nobody who's made it in the business ever did it without tape-of-the-day. And you absolutely—I mean absolutely—have to attend the major functions and rallies, in addition to the open meetings. I'll tell you about these as they come up. Next, use your own products one hundred percent. Support your own business, and demonstrate your belief and commitment in it. Besides that, get three to five people to the open meetings every week."

"It's so incredibly simple. But do you really think it'll work for me?"

"That's the program. Of course it will work for you. It's a recipe for success. You've met guys who've made it in the business, and they just followed the plan. All you have to do is follow the plan. But I tell you, Marc, you also have to make certain changes. In yourself. Without those changes, you cannot succeed in this business. But first of all, we've got to get you on tape-of-the-day."

"Okay, so put me on tape-of-the-day."

"You do that. Just put it on your weekly order."

"All right, consider it done."

"Good. Next up is your list."

"My list?"

"How many names have you got on it right now?"

"Right now only about twenty."

"Double that."

"With what? With whom?"

"Stay with me now. Be teachable. Have you got everybody you know on the list? Remember, put them on the list; don't prejudge them; you never know who will be called into the business. Someone you think might not be interested might be your first Zircon. Look, I had you on my list. I could have said, 'Ah, Marc wouldn't be interested in this business, blah, blah, blah'—but I didn't, and you were interested, and you're in. So don't prejudge anyone. Just put them on the list, and pick up the phone and call them."

"But everybody I know has already made it to my list! These are the last twenty people I know. And even those I don't know very well."

"That's cool. So you need to get out and meet some new people."

"I'm not sure I'm up to inviting total strangers to an open meeting."

"You don't invite total strangers. First thing, they have to qualify for your time and interest. And before that, you have to know something about them, whether they're people you want to be in business with, whether you like them enough to share this wonderful business with them. Have you ever been in a room with lots of people and looked over and seen somebody who looks interesting, somebody you'd like to know? What do you do? Send them a telegram? No. You strike up a conversation. Is that hard to do? No, it's not. The point of the conversation is to see if this interesting-looking person is really interesting enough to get to know. That's all part of qualifying them. The next thing is to see if they're interested in looking at making some extra money. Of course they are. So you want to know if they're willing to part with a few minutes to look at what you've got, and whether they have the drive and gumption you're looking for in a leader. That's when you set them up for the qualifying interview. If they pass, they get to go to a business meeting, and ZOWIE—let the pros get their eyes all dreamy in the business meeting. Look, Marc, here's a tape by Arnold Vonderblatt, tape P-53A; it goes through the basics of the cold contact. It's one of a six-pack series on contacting. I recommend it. When you finish that, let me know and I'll lend you the other five in the series. That should help get you started on contacting. Call me if you need anything."

With that, he was up from the table and out the door, leaving me alone with the Vonderblatt tape.

"In the Family Way: Latent Millionaire-ism"
Copyright © 1994-2010 by Merle Harton, Jr.  All rights reserved