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Latosha Martin
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Fear -- Take It On as a Project

Published on 8/1/2013
For additional information  Click Here

Hello, Fear

David Johnson quit the business last night.

He came home around 7:30 p.m., pulled his car into the garage, cut the engine, and sat in the dark and actually cried. He never thought it would be this hard.

It was a different story four months ago, when he and Allison signed-up. Her brother had shown them theNetwork Marketing business, and although they had both been somewhat skeptical at first, they finally came around.

Allison had been apprehensive about investing in a business of their own. "We don't have any extra money as it is," she told David. "How can we afford to operate a business?" Allison clearly was worried.

"That's the whole reason we do this business in the first place," David told her. "We do it so we will have extra money. We have to do something."

David was more concerned about the recruiting aspect of Networking-- how in the world would he find all the people he needed? "I don't know 
that many people," he thought, and besides, Allison's brother has already talked to everyone in the family.

But when David learned that he would be taught how to contact people and share the opportunity, he started getting excited.

"They'll show us everything we need to do," he told Allison, one night as they were sitting on the back porch. "I'm just as nervous about this as you are, honey, but I just think we ought to give it a try and see what happens.

"We both want so much more in life," he whispered. "Let's give this a try."

The next day they joined up and started to work. It was like nothing could stop them. David hadn't been this excited about his future since he left college-- it was like the whole world was spread out before him again, and all his dreams were coming true.

His upline showed the business to some of his friends at work, but none of them were interested. Then David made a few awkward phone calls to their doctor, dentist, and mechanic, but none of them were even interested in taking a look at it.

That's when one of David's upline took him out to the mall one night and showed him how to meet strangers and get names and numbers. He made it look so easy. David was impressed.

"Yes, I'm in the process of expanding a distribution business in this area," the guy would say confidently. "Why don't you put your name and number on the back of my card, and I'll give you a call when I have a chance. That is, as long as you're not opposed to taking a look at a way to make some extra money."

David thought the guy was some kind of a magician-- all he had to do was chat with people, and the next thing you know he had their names and phone numbers, and they were excitedly expecting his call. David wondered if he would ever have the guts to pull off something like that.

"It's simple," his upline told David as they left the mall. "I believe in this business, I believe in the products, and I truly believe that this opportunity will set people free from the rat race. What in the world would I be afraid of?"

David could think of a million things, but shrugged his shoulders instead and looked out the window. It had started to rain.

For the first time, David started getting scared.

Hello, Guilt

The fear only got worse.

Over the next couple of months, David tried talking to strangers, but every time he got around to bringing up the business or asking for a card, his heart would start pounding and his palms would sweat-- it was like he was having a mini-heart attack. Panic. He would freeze.

There was one time when he was in line at the bank, and the gentleman behind him struck up a conversation. They made small talk for awhile, and that's when David heard the little upline voice (as he liked to call it) in his head: "Contact this guy," the voice whispered. "He's a sharp guy, get his name and phone number. Show him the business, he might be interested. He could be a Diamond."


He had read all the you-are-a-winner books, and he knew all the go-for-it mantras by heart. But when it got right down to it, and he found himself on the Frontline of Network Marketing face-to-face with a possible contact, he froze.

David's heart started racing. He stared straight ahead. He was suddenly aware of everyone in the bank, of the fluttering fluorescent lights above him, of a child crying, of phones ringing.

"Don't be afraid," the voice pleaded. "There's nothing to be afraid of. Just talk to him. Ask him for a business card."

David wiped some sweat from his lip. He listened to his heart zoom. A door slammed somewhere, followed by some laughter. He thought for a moment someone might be laughing at him. He wondered if the guy behind him could hear his heart pounding.

David's booming heartbeat got louder and louder, drowning out the little upline voice, until it was all he could do not to run out of the bank.

Then all of a sudden it was his turn in line. The teller smiled at him, David half-turned and nodded to the man behind him, and then stepped up to the window.

As he left the bank and started walking to his car, he heard the upline voice again.

"It's not too late," the little voice said to him. "You could chat with the guy in the parking lot, get a business card from him, call him later this week, show him the business, sign him up-- the guy could really be a Networking star. One day you could tell the story about how you guys met right here in the bank. You could both be millionaires!"

David kept his head down and walked to his car.

"Don't be afraid," the voice whispered.

But David was afraid. In fact, he was terrified. Never before in his life had he been nervous striking up a conversation, but ever since he got into Network Marketing, it was as if he had a anxietly attack anytime he found himself in that situation.

He couldn't do it. He just couldn't do it.

He had read all the you-are-a-winner books, and he knew all the go-for-it mantras by heart. But when it got right down to it, and he found himself on the Frontline of Network Marketing face-to-face with a possible contact, he froze. It was like everything he had read or learned about Networking just vanished and he was left standing there, afraid to say a word.

As he drove back to work that afternoon from the bank, he began to think the worst: Here it was-- his and Allison's one chance to get financially free, to realize their dreams-- and he was going to blow it for them. As he drove along, the fear quickly dissolved into guilt; guilt that he was letting Allison down, letting his kids down, letting his upline down, letting himself down.

When he got back to work, he closed the door to his office, sat in his chair and just stared out the window. He wasn't scared anymore-- but he felt horrible.

The Cycle

That night, David listened to a tape and started getting excited about the business again. He spent some time reading one of his favorite motivational books, and in no time, he was fired-up.

There in the comfort of his own home, he realized how silly he had been at the bank. He knew logically that there was nothing to be afraid of when he talked to people about the business. He knew that his upline had once been scared too, or at least they said they had been.

David resolved to get serious about the business, and to begin fresh tomorrow. He vowed to himself to stay cool under pressure, to not be afraid, to do what needed to be done.

The following afternoon, when David was out at a bookstore on his lunchbreak, the same thing happened all over again. Fear got the best of him, and before the day was done, he was back to feeling incredibly guilty. Worthless. He felt like he didn't deserve success and would never have it-- never!

Over the next several weeks it was the same cycle: fear into guilt, guilt into renewed excitement, then more fear, more guilt-- you get the picture.

By the time David pulled his car into the garage last night, he was just tired of the rollercoaster ride he was putting himself through.

His only thought was: If I just quit the business, the fear will go away, the guilt will go away, and everything will go back to normal . . . but then he and Allison would be stuck in their dead-end jobs for the rest of their lives, too.


David leaned back in the seat and sobbed. He didn't care. He quit. Right there, right then-- he quit his dreams.

A Way Through

David's experience is not unique in the world of Network Marketing. In fact, it is probably more common than any of us like to admit.

For many, many people who "don't make it" in Networking (i.e. they quit), the reason has a lot to do with running from fear and guilt.

Network Marketing is not an easy business. It's simple, but it's not easy. Those who have made millions in the industry are the first to say: The process of building a successful, money-making organization can be the most challenging thing you will ever do.

You must persevere when you feel like quitting.

You must act when you are afraid.

You must press on when you don't feel like you can.

Like David, many people find that the fear of contacting others for their business is too intimidating to be overcome. They think about their business all the time, they take it all very seriously, and they do believe in the power of the opportunity, but when it comes to getting in front of people, making that phone call or getting a business card, they fall flat. They can't quite seem to break through the fear that immobilizes them.

Then the guilt sets in-- horrible guilt, because they know they're not doing what it takes to make the business work for them.

They quit to escape the fear and the guilt.

Sadly, many ex-Networkers then equate the business-- or even the industry as a whole-- with those negative emotions they themselves experienced because of their own inaction. They blame the business for their failure and bad feelings.

If, one day, someone asks them what they think about Network Marketing, are they going to say: "Well, I was too afraid to talk to people, and I felt guilty when I didn't, so I quit"? No, chances are they'll respond: "Network Marketing? Yeah, I tried that once. It doesn't work."

The answer to this dilemma that sabotages so many Networking businesses each day lies in finding a way through the fear and the guilt, instead of finding a way out-- finding a successful way to break through the fear instead of running from it.

The goal is to achieve success despite the fear, rather than failure because of it.

Hello, Pat

That's why we talked to Pat Pearson.

A psychotherapist, author, and internationally recognized motivational speaker based in Newport Coast, California, Pearson specializes in working with people in the direct selling and Network Marketing industry. She has spent years dealing with the emotional issues which Networkers face on a daily basis, and she has built a name for herself by helping people to overcome those challenges-- such as fear and guilt-- that can often wreck a business.

Pat, for many people who get involved in Network Marketing, the emotional challenges on the Frontline-- where they contact and introduce prospects to the business-- are often very intimidating.

Yes, they can be. I see it all the time. The key is to understand that fear and excitement are the same thing-- physiologically.


The key is to understand that fear and excitement are the same thing-- physiologically.

If you and I were given a check for $30 million, our heart rates would go up, our eyes would dilate, we would perspire more. We would have all the same physical responses we'd have if we opened our front door and found a rattlesnake there.

In that situation-- whether it's fear or excitement-- you are in a hyper-state of awareness. It's not just the same old dull Sunday afternoon. You're jazzed, and that jazz can be defined as either fear or excitement. The definition that you put on the event is the deciding factor in what that event becomes. It's not the event, but the interpretation of the event. Meeting someone on the elevator or in line at the bank can be the neatest, most fun thing you've done all day-- or it can be terrifying.

It depends on what you say to yourself, how you interpret that event. All of us are working with how we create fear and excitement.

Once you accept that you have control, and that you have choice in that situation, you can go about making sure that instead of getting scared, you feel excited.


Guilt is basically self-criticism-- pointing your finger at yourself and telling yourself negative stories about who and what you are.

Pat, I can already hear people saying: I'm genuinely afraid to talk to people about my business. It's not excitement-- I am scared.

Oh, I know they're afraid. I understand that fear is very real for them; but understand this-- they are afraid because of how they have consciously decided to interpret the event.

Again, it's the event plus interpretation that creates the feeling.

The event is meeting a new person who you want to talk to about your business. For whatever reason, you think they might be interested in what you're doing.

The interpretation is what you say to yourself about talking to this person. Some people say: I can't wait to give them the gift of telling them about our business, about our products, or whatever. I'm so excited about talking to them, I'm charged, I'm really looking forward to it.

The feeling is excitement, because they are predicting a positive outcome-- whether the prospect is interested in the business or not. What's positive is sharing the opportunity, having that experience of talking about it.

Others will say to themselves about the very same event: Oh my gosh, they're not going to want to hear about my business; I'm bothering them; I'm interrupting them; they're going to think I'm one of those pushy Network Marketing sales people; they're going to laugh at me or run out of the room.

The outcome of the second interpretation is fear, because you were describing to yourself-- through your self-talk-- a negative scenario. Anticipating a negative outcome will inevitably bring on your fears.

What's really important here is that moment of self-talk when you are interpreting an event.

Exactly. It's critical. I have people in Network Marketing from all around the world that call to consult about this very issue.

I've learned that fear is a form of self-sabotage. Fear often comes from that negative self-talk-- negative beliefs about yourself or your abilities-- and it can trip you up even as you're racing across the finish line. The key is to practice replacing that negative self-talk with positive self-talk.

This is important: Whatever you say to yourself, right before you don't do what you want to do (like talking to someone about your business), is what you need to change. You have to change that mental script.

How exactly is this done?

Well, obviously it's different for different people, but basically you should begin by asking yourself why you were attracted to the business. Remember, to someone else, you yourself were once a prospect; and it's likely that someone was afraid to talk to you.

Ask yourself exactly what you saw in the business for you and your family; what you like about the people you're working with; what you like about the products; what you consider to be the things your business can offer that a 9-to-5 job cannot. Consider those things instead of thinking that you're bothering someone.


If you stay in your business long enough and beat the fear-- take it on as a project and beat it-- you become a fuller human being. By and large, you just don't do that in corporate America.

I also have people write out a new mental script that they can practice saying to themselves in situations that once brought fear. It's like an affirmation-- they can write it down on a 3x5 card and put it by the telephone or keep in their pocket.

The goal is to use this new self-talk to move from fear and anxiety to excitement. You literally can recharge the energy you need to move into action. Move forward with positive energy, rather than negative energy, and that will produce a completely new feeling.

What about the folks out there who are racked with guilt because they haven't been working their business like they know they should, who are close to quitting because they're tired of feeling like they're disappointing someone. The solution they're getting from their upline is just "move on and get over it."

There are a lot of very enlightened people in Network Marketing who understand that it's just not that easy. There are deeper psychological issues here that just saying `Get over it' will solve.

Someone racked by guilt like that is sabotaging themselves unconsciously. The cumulative effect is that it lowers your self-esteem-- you feel like an idiot, you feel bad about yourself, you feel inadequate. You watch other people in your business moving on, reaching the upper levels and making big money while you're not making much of anything.

Guilt is basically self-criticism-- pointing your finger at yourself and telling yourself negative stories about who and what you are. That can lead to more and more self-talk, which produces fear.

At that point, you have to make a decision. Do you really want this? Do you really want what your business is offering?

If you do, and you are committed to seeing the process through, then you've got to take steps to forgive yourself-- which isn't always easy for some people-- and re-learn some positive, persuasive self-talk.

Like anything else, it will take practice. Be willing to practice talking to yourself differently. Learn to give yourself the room that you will need to grow in your business. And be patient.

So the big answer here is there is a way through, not just a way out?

Yes, yes. All this negative stuff is resolvable. It doesn't have to ruin your business. I would like to see people take it on as a personal growth challenge, rather than beating themselves up and just dropping out of the business.

It seems that if you make it in Network Marketing, you can do anything.

That's the most exciting thing about the industry, as I see it. If you stay in your business long enough and beat the fear-- take it on as a project and beat it-- you become a fuller human being. By and large, you just don't do that in corporate America.

In Network Marketing, not only do you have to learn tasks, but you have to learn process. You must master some psychological issues to be really successful, and that success will have positive effects on everything else in your life, and everything else.

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