How many people have you pre-judged today? Be honest with yourself. We are all guilty of this, probably every day in some form or another. We are constantly making judgments about the people we interact with – the waitress from lunch, the man beside you on the plane, perhaps a neighbor. In fact, most people form an instant impression about someone within the first 30 seconds of seeing or meeting them. These impressions aren’t based on fact, but instead on past experiences with other individuals we perceive to be similar to the people we are pre-judging. It seems harmless right? We are simply making some innocent assumptions about people we don’t know. Well the fact of the matter is, in our business pre-judging people can be detrimental to your business – and ultimately your success.
In fact, had the other Co-Founders and I been pre-judged almost 20 years ago, ACN might not be around today. See when we started ACN, we all had some previous personal successes – but even more personal failures. There was no good reason for our friends and family to think ACN was going to be successful; there was no good reason for people to want to help us build the company back in the beginning. There were no success stories for us to speak of, no track record, no history… nothing. Those handful of individuals who put their faith in us set aside their pre-judgments and followed us with the blind faith of a child.
We all learned early on not to judge a book by its cover; after all, you can’t possibly know whether it’s good or not until you’ve at least committed to reading a few pages of it. But of course we all still do it. In fact, I know people who pick out wine based on how “pretty” the label is. The label has absolutely no baring on how good or bad the wine is going to be; yet this is their sole system for determining what to purchase. Doesn’t seem like a very reliable system does it? The truth is, there is no system, no test that can predict what someone is capable of.
Think about SVP and COC Debbie Davis. She was a stay at home mom who never had a full time career or prior business success. She would probably be considered rather unlikely to succeed on paper, but today, and for ACN’s entire 20-year history, she has been at the top of ACN’s production charts, living a lifestyle beyond most people’s wildest dreams. Imagine if you had pre-judged Debbie. What about newly promoted RVP, 21-year-old Marc Isaac? Marc was a waiter who wasn’t even 20 years old when he learned about ACN. Think about how many people probably passed him over – not able to take someone seriously who was so young. Yet today he is a rising superstar in ACN. Imagine if you had pre-judged Marc. I bet that will make you think twice about not approaching your waiter with the ACN Opportunity!
There are countless stories like this in ACN. In fact, that is what makes ACN so great! It doesn’t matter where you came from or what your past is, anyone can be successful in ACN. It’s one of the few environments in the world where there is truly a level playing field – where your past doesn’t determine your present or more importantly, your future for that matter. Yet human nature creeps in and we fall victim to pre-judging.
The reality is that most people have never been given a chance to control their own future – so there is no way for us possibly to know how they would react in the event they were. See it doesn’t matter where you are coming from, it matters where you are going – and the sacrifices you are willing to make to get there. Many times you have to climb over your history to reach your destiny. In fact, I can guarantee you that nine times out of 10, that “hot shot” you met probably won’t live up to the hype. The most successful people often start out as the most unassuming.
So next time you pass over talking to your neighbor about ACN because they have a big, beautiful house and you blindly assumed they were financially set, remember that their house just might be facing foreclosure. You don’t know what people’s circumstances are until you have walked in their shoes – or at the very least, taken some time to get to know them. And if you are going to judge someone, let it be off your personal interactions with them alone…and absolutely nothing else.
My challenge for you is this: Challenge the assumptions you have of people, because as I once read, “Your assumptions are the windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile or the light won’t come in”. Don’t let the gunk on your windows stand in the way of light getting through to your business.
Until next time,