Last fall my wife Valerie and I found ourselves in a set of circumstances which few will encounter except in their darkest nightmares. We were floating down a gentle river in the wilds of Bella Coola, British Columbia during salmon spawning season. Les, our guide anchored the front of our small oar boat on a gravel bar.
He and I were fly fishing upstream when Valerie noticed a mother grizzly and her 3 two-year old cubs feeding on the opposite shore a considerable distance from us. I told Les and he immediately motioned for us to return to the boat.
By the time we both got back into the boat, all four grizzlies had made it across the river and down our side, nearly to the boat. They were close enough that Les, our guide, whispered for us to remain calm and quiet. He didn’t want to spook them by lifting the anchor and the oars were facing the wrong direction in about three feet of water. So we just sat there.
To put it simply, we were trapped with absolutely no exit strategy. At first, I couldn’t accept our plight. I was shell shocked by the size of those grizzlies and how close they were and I urged Les to pull anchor. He wouldn’t. Instead, he whispered that they were mostly interested in the salmon and that we just needed to stay calm and quiet. Bears can run 50 kilometers an hour through shallow water and we didn’t have a motor, gun, or access to bear spray. We had zero chance of escape.
It was the second time in 58 years that I was truly caught without an exit strategy and everything happened in dream-like slow motion. It reminded me of how trapped I felt when I joined Network Marketing.
At no time did any of the bears express aggression. For quite some time we watched as they caught salmon, ripped them apart and gobbled them up. They were curious about us and kept moving closer to our little boat, but were obviously more intent on fattening up on fish before their coming hibernation than munching on us.
Valerie clicked a tremendous number of photos and when Les saw that the grizzlies were full and that mother bear was now standing on her hind legs looking at us and sniffing the air, he slowly and silently lifted the anchor and turned the oars around. We drifted slowly away with the current, hearts in our mouths, eyes locked on the bears, and praying they wouldn’t come after us.
We’ve sent photos of the bears to family and friends and most were shocked that the photos were taken with a simple camera and no telephoto lens. The idea of being that close to four grizzlies is overwhelming to many who see the pictures.
What I took home from that marvelous encounter was a simple realization, but one that makes sense. In life, it’s impossible to fully understand our capabilities or our potential until we find ourselves in a position with absolutely no exist strategies. We can all make assumptions about how we might react without a safety net, but that’s all they are – assumptions.
I’ve met many wonderful people in my 22 year career in Network Marketing many of whom will never know if they could have achieved wealth. Most saw the huge upside potential and many thought they were giving our industry their best effort. When they quit, they were puzzled as to why they had failed to get to the big checks. They’ve had many excuses: poor upline, mediocre training, lousy management and bad luck. But we’ll never know for sure why they failed because they all built exit strategies into their networking careers and then quit before they had time to give it their all.
It’s frightening to feel trapped without options. That’s why so many folks “dabble” in Networking. They never give it a real shot because they never abandon their other options. Most of us who were, either by choice or necessity, forced to sink or swim, became wealthy. That’s why brilliant people from all professions are baffled about how they failed in MLM while high school drop-outs, cops and maids have earned millions.
What I’ve learned during my decades in this industry is that a maid with no other options is a better recruit than an executive with choices. If you want to find out what you’re really worth in our great industry, cut off all your exit strategies, make a five-year commitment to one company and then sacrifice a few bucks and invest in The Holy Grail Training. You may be shocked at your own courage once you have no exit strategy.
One thing is for certain, you’ll never know until you try.