I was just looking at my book, FRIENDS: The Power and Potential of the Company You Keep.
My basic premise was that the people you choose to have in your life are a reflection of your
self-image, your hopes and dreams and aspirations--and how strong your belief is that you will achieve success in your life.
I look at this now because of my current involvement in building an organization to work with me in telling the world about Xocai, the healthy dark chocolate. The parent company, MXI Corp, which stands for Marketing Xocolat International Corporation, calls its form of direct sales "relationship marketing," and that's a much more accurate description than the old "network marketing" or "multilevel marketing." As in any successful sales venture, relationships are at the center of it all. And as the friends you choose can be a predictor of how your life will turn out, the business associates and partners you choose can predict how successful you will be in any particular venture.
It's all about discernment. They say that a love of dark chocolate comes to a more discerning palate, to someone who has evolved from simple to more sophisticated tastes. It's probably why children are not particularly fond of dark chocolate, their taste buds have not evolved yet.
Well, we have to be discerning in our choice of friends, too. And picking people to work with in this chocolate venture, for me, demands the same level of discernment. I have prided myself over the years in often having people say, "Wow, what fantastic friends you have!" And it's true.
A few chose to leave my circle during my 12 years of imprisonment, but the solid, good ones created a wonderful support cushion for me during that challenging time. And these are the
types of people I want to invite into my healthy dark chocolate business.
I talked to my old friend, the late Leo Buscaglia, as I was writing FRIENDS, and was smart enough to have a tape recorder running. One thing Leo said: "I think it's important that people use their chosen family not as a refuge, not as a place to hide, but as a place in which they can safely grow." And that's the kind of family of friends I want to be in business with. I'm off to a
great start with some terrific people on my Xocai team. Above me, my sponsor, Susannah Lippman, CEO of her own successful company, producing the best subliminal tapes and CDs
available, and marketing them at www.alphasonics.com--I dedicated FRIENDS to Susannah; her sponsor is Hope Kiah, who has the most respected web design company in Santa Fe, at www.santafe-webdesign.com. Upline from both of them is the famed naturopath, Dr. Shauna K. Young, the person who inspired Susannah to join the Xocai team when she talked about how she used this dark chocolate in her practice at the Assertive Wellness Center in Durango, Colorado--www.assertivewellness.com.
Then, as I started to build my own team, and its two "legs" in the binary marketing model,
I first chose Bonnie Weiss, a longtime friend of mine and Susannah's. Bonnie founded Musical Theatre Lovers United--www.mtlu.org, and is a musical theatre historian, who does her Curtain Up Broadway presentations for many organizations. For my other "leg," another unique friend with entertainment industry connections, Linda Seger, top script consultant
and author of nine books, including HOW TO MAKE A GOOD WRITER GREAT. www.lindaseger.com What do these women all have in common?--they all really love fine Belgian dark chocolate and the health benefits they get from Xocai products. And they are all accomplished and recognized success stories. And they are representative of the kind of people I want to attract into this business.
One of the trainers mentioned a key question during a recent Xocai training conference call.
"Would I want to attract people into my organization who do it exactly the way I'm doing it?"
In other words, are you satisfied enough with your performance that you would want to work with people who are performing at the same level? I would take it a step further--I want to attract people into my life and business who are doing it better than I am. People I can safely grow with and learn from. As just a small example of how much better my team members are at some things: Susannah runs a company much more efficiently than I can, and is much better at details. Hope stands head and shoulders above me in computer skills and has helped me a lot in this area. Bonnie is great at editing copy as a former PR person, and builds very strong networks of interesting and creative people, and Linda has mastered the art of discernment as well as being a fantastic editor in all areas of writing.
I talk in FRIENDS about the need we all have for a "supportive interpersonal environment," and this is vital not only in our personal friendships but in our business activities. As we moved
into this 21st Century, in an increasingly mechanized and computerized world, the danger of dehumanization dramatically increased. That's why personal people-to-people contact is so critical. The Internet has fostered this with so many sites devoted to building social networks.
The more you can provide human services in this kind of world, the more successful you will be. And is there anything more human than saying, "Do you like dark chocolate? Would you like to taste some that is amazingly healthy?"
You know who you are, those of you interested in joining with me in this venture adventure. So contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll send you some sample chocolate and answer any questions you might have.