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The Great Pause

I was recently asked to write an article for an industry magazine. The ask was “What surprised you about how the Network Marketing community has responded to the Great Pause?" I want to add, for my audience here, a couple of paragraphs addressing what didn’t surprise me first. What didn’t surprise mewas how most of us got an immediate bounce in new customers and new team enrollments. The Great Pause, unfortunately, plays right into our products and Plan B income option. We're enjoying an uptick at the expense of others and we should not be celebrating that or thinking that the upswing is because we have done something wonderful. This is the perfect time for us to create our systems, and hone our attitudes and skills so we can maintain growth when some sort of normal creeps back in. What didn’t surprise me was how some of us used our products and opportunity to sort of rub some salt in the wounds of our network. Some of us displayed arrogance and insensitivity in how we marketed and promoted to those less fortunate than us. What didn’t surprise me was the FTC and watchdog group's response to the outliers irresponsible marketing. Good on them. And let me be clear, the bad actors are outliers …fringe players. They don't represent the majority of sales leaders or companies. What didn’t surprised me is how our profession has risen to the occasion to donate time, products, and money to those less fortunate. We are always some of the first to lead in service.

And, now for the article I was asked to write:

What has surprised me is how our “education and beliefs” follow our political affiliation. And it shouldn’t have surprised me. It just did. Confirmation Bias has reared its ugly head during this time. In simple terms, when we believe a certain way we tend to filter and interpret new information to confirm our existing bias. Objective research, balanced education, and critical thinking tend to go out the window. I’m surprised at how political conservatives have “tended” to dismiss facts and science in favor of personal freedoms and personal incomes. I’m surprised at how political liberalshave “tended” to ignore the economic facts and financial devastation in favor of physical safety. Income is not as important if you are dead, and personal safety is not as important if you are evicted, homeless, and unable to feed your family. COVID-19 has already proven to be one of the deadliest threats to our health, mortality, and livelihood in the history of our country. Deaths, in just 3 months, are 30x those of 911, 2x the American lives lost in the Vietnam War, and 12x the lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. These are facts in evidence, not opinions.

The only process that has slowed deaths is “The Great Pause” as the virus cannot spread unless we spread it.

The Great Pause has led to an unemployment percentage of 14.7%, which we have not seen since the Great Depression of 24.9%. Bankruptcies may exceed deaths. And yet, until it gets personal, we seem to be locked into our personal and political confirmation bias. The only thing thatmight rock that biaswould be a COVID death in our family or personal financial devastation. It’s easy to stay biased when the consequence are on someone else. We tend to change our tune immediately when the facts “are us.”

We’re locked in a catch-22. If we “go back to work” we spread the virus. If we stay home, we go broke.

I can’t think of a more important time in our country’s history where facts in evidence, objective analysis,and creative solutions are going to be required to move forward intelligently. We’re not 2 independent societies in this fight. We’re not 2 political parties competing to solve this catch-22 ... or if we are, we’ll certainly fail. Financial devastation may not be hitting home for you yet … but if it continues nationwide it will get to you. And you may be immune to the sudden and mysterious ways this virus can kill you … but if the spread continues, you are very likely to get it.

Our survival requires that we work together to solve the problem.

This is a “one team, one dream” problem. Success has to be more important than “being right.”We won’t solve this by which party wins future elections.The virus is not political. It’s smarter than that. Are we?
Over and Out,

Richard

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