The Greatest Networker in the World – Chapter 14: What’s Your Next Step?
What’s Your Next Step?
The sun had come very close to setting completely as we walked out and down the winding, tree-lined driveway away from the house.
It was a warm evening. The trees’ new leaves shimmered as their tops and branches rocked, dancing gently in the welcome breeze. We didn’t speak for a long time, the only sound being that of our sneakered footsteps on the blacktop drive.
I was again reflecting on all I had done, and seen, and heard in the last two days. Two days! It was weeks’ worth – no, more!
I looked over at them, walking hand-in-hand together. They were quite the couple: handsome, beautiful, powerful, successful, and yet so real . . . so wonderfully human – all I wanted to be. I suddenly felt an urge to be with my wife Kathy and the kids.
Boy I’d cheated them, I thought. I’d taken myself away, hidden from them as I’d been hiding from everything else. I let out a sigh and looked down at my feet as we were walking.
“He’s thinking,” Rachel commented.
“He does that,” her husband replied.
“Why is he looking down at his feet?” Rachel asked.
“Snakes,” her husband said. “He’s protecting us from the snakes.”
“New habits, my new friend,” said Rachel. “The moment you notice you’re thinking in old ways, adding to that other side of the scale, just run your movie. Pick a scene – any scene.”
“Ahhh . . . ” I sighed again, “Is it really that easy?”
“Yes, sir,” she said. “It just takes time. Remember how long the old ones took to pile up in there.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said.
“There’s another matter,” the Greatest Networker – the male one – added. “And that’s, to what are you committed?”
“My wife. My children. Myself. And I’m committed to being a success in this business,” I said, looking over at them.
“So, what’s your next step?” he asked.
“Gosh,” I said, sighing again, and this time allowing all the air to leave, leaving me completely empty. As I sucked in my next breath, I leaned my head back and closed my eyes. A flood of images came into the movie theater of my mind.
Scenes of me talking with people, enthusiastically, happily – people with whom I’d been reticent to speak, for some kind of fear or another. People like my boss, at work. Kathy’s dad – he was a tough cookie. Others, too . . . strangers, old friends, people I thought wouldn’t want to hear what I had to say about Network Marketing. I was talking with all of them now, easily, effortlessly, successfully – and they all loved me for it. Admired me. Respected and trusted me.
I opened my eyes to the growing darkness around me and more pictures flashed across my mind. They just came now. I didn’t have to do anything to encourage them.
I thought about making appointments with my wife and kids. Having my children coach me in how to have fun – with them, and with myself, as well. I saw us playing together, rolling down a hill covered with Fall leaves. At Disney World, on rides together, taking pictures with the Disney characters, Mickey Mouse, Goofy . . . I saw us splashing in the surf . . . making things together . . . playing in the snow . . . taking skiing lessons . . . chasing fireflies . . . laughing . . . hugging . . . holding hands . . . reading them stories . . . kissing them goodnight.
There were pictures of my making dates with Kathy for romantic Italian dinners and get-away weekends . . . seeing her in new outfits, bright and beautiful, looking gorgeous, people stopping and staring at her . . . how proud I felt . . . how lucky. She’s so wonderful . . . so loving . . . so strong . . . so powerful, too. I saw us in Europe together. I saw the big, deep-bright green emerald ring she’s always wanted on her finger. I saw us happier than we’ve ever been . . . having fun . . . closer . . . talking more together . . . sharing . . . more in love.
I saw myself back in Cambridge, laughing with the guys, playing with those new, clunky computers. Being a real pioneer. I wanted that – again . . . now, right now. I wanted that feeling of doing something few people had ever even dreamed of doing – and having it be a lark . . . a ball . . . a grand and glorious game of discovery and invention.
I saw myself dressed in new suits, Italian, English . . . with real buttonholes . . . made of the most sumptuous, sensual cloth. I looked fantastic! Bright ties, matching handkerchiefs . . . elegant . . . with a gold Rolex . . . shaking hands . . . seeing people out of the corner of my eye pointing at me, talking about me . . . how successful I was . . . what a great guy I was . . . how I deserved all my good fortune . . . how they wanted to be like me.
I pictured myself walking in the town of Nara, Japan, down the small, picture-postcard, cobble-stone street in front of Kazuko’s precious house. I felt the tranquility of her garden . . . the timelessness . . . the freedom and peace. I felt at home there – on the other side of the world. And I loved having her as my friend. I saw myself all over the world, in China, Russia . . . all kinds of places, talking with friends . . . being welcome . . . valued . . . honored.
I conjured up pictures of me speaking to groups of people about Network Marketing: sitting, speaking earnestly with them. Answering all their questions. I saw myself teaching people . . . reaching out to them . . . caring about them, for them . . . revealing their dreams . . . showing them ways to accomplish their goals they never, ever imagined were possible before. I saw myself as an inspiration for people . . . proof that they could do it, too . . .
“Look at me,” I saw myself tell them, “if I can do it, if I can succeed, so can you . . .
“Come on . . .
“Just change your beliefs . . .
“Just know that you make it all up, so you might as well make up living your dreams . . .
“Come on . . . Come with me.”
I stopped walking and looked around.
I was alone.
I looked back up the long drive, but there was no one in sight.
I smiled . . . and sighed. They knew, I thought.
I walked along the shadowed drive flitting between experiencing the special shapes and sounds of the country evening and the parade of pictures that marched through my mind.
I got to the parking area at the end of the driveway, which was awash with flood light. There was a large piece of paper placed beneath the windshield wipers of my car. I walked over, lifted it free and read the handwritten note.
You’re welcome to spend the night; your bed is ready. But we thought you might want to go home and be with your family. There’s a hot cup of tea in a travel mug on the seat of your car. It will help you stay awake and alert.
Come to the hotel next Thursday. I’m the guest speaker.
Call whenever you want.
You’re very special to us.
I looked up at the house. I placed my hands on my thighs and bowed slightly as I’d seen Kazuko do, and said out loud, “Thank you . . . both . . . all – more than I can ever say.” Yes, I thought, I do very much want to be with my family.
I got into my car and drove home.
Click here to read: Chapter 15: The Beginning