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Every morning I awaken at 4:30 am. By 5:00 I’m reading a non-fiction book written by some author with excellent credentials. Usually it’s a complicated hardback and the information is fascinating.  By 7:30 I’ve absorbed concepts that a very limited number of people will hear about in a few years, if ever. That doesn’t make me smarter than others in North America, but it does make me well read.

 So I find myself at an intersection of interesting options. To follow path A is to content myself with the accumulation of knowledge for the sake of curiosity and personal wisdom. To follow path B, I must agree to sacrifice precious reading time on a regular basis in order to write a digital summary of my intellectual adventures so that others without the luxury of time freedom might gain from my accumulation of insights.

 After considerable reflection, I’ve chosen path B for two reasons. First I do enjoy writing. Second, I have to believe that a market for intelligent blogs does exit. By market, I’m not refrring to a group from which I might derive a diverse cluster of economic gains, but rather a diverse cluster of intelligent folks who actually appreciate knowledge for knowledge-sake.

You’ll be happy to learn that when I recently turned 60 I made the conscious decision to abandon my efforts to become general manager of the universe although in my youth, especially during my drinking days, I was fairly certain that I would one day achieve that goal.

I don’t want your money so you need not ever fear that by reading my blogs you will be added to a data base and one day asked to join me on a special prosperity cruise for “Yarnell’s Secret Inner Circle.”

 I am not interested in politics, have no new book to sell and could frankly care less about persuading others to believe what I opine. I intend to write for the pure joy of writing and if you like to read, I hope you’ll enjoy my blogs. I also hope that my research will be interesting enough to some readers that they will actually (OMG) buy the book that I’ve written about and read it.

 Of course that’s asking a lot in a world where we can zap bloodthirsty zombies 24/7 on a hand held mini computer more powerful than the ones that put us on the moon. Why exhaust our brains with the effort required to gather information through old fashion reading when we can become wizards in binary wars (not withstanding their sheer irrelevance or the fact that they lead to zero “real world” competencies)?

 I’ll tell you why. Because reading is fun, rewarding and a marvelous strategic advantage to those who prefer to excel in a very competitive global economy. And unlike the results of participation in the digital pandemic, reading real books does not lead to social isolation, diminished spontaneity, stimulus-driven ADHD or cyber emotional abuse, the latter of which is supposedly responsible for a massive increase in teen suicides.

A pandemic is defined as a widespread, fast moving epidemic that affects all people. Unless you have been living in a cave for the past decade, you’ve probably noticed that most people cannot walk down the street without using a hand held screen. At least half the population is tethered to a wireless feed drip of irrelevant minutiae every waking hour.

Therefore, in the next blog I will discuss the marvelous new book by Dr Mack Hicks, founding member of the American Board of Neuropsychology and lead research scientist for the National Institute of Mental Health. The title of his new book is appropriately called The Digital Pandemic: Re-establishing Face-to-face Contact in the Electronic Age.

 Until next week….happy tweeting. Oh, and one final thought – did you turn the stove off?


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Ant Farm Network Marketing

When I was a kid growing up in Missouri I sold Christmas Cards one year just to make enough quarters to buy an ant farm. The kid next door had one and I loved to sit and watch through the glass sides as a small army of industrious ants tunneled through the sand.

I never really thought about the ant perspective until I read a humorous dialogue in a marvelous book called Ant Farm by Simon Rich.

It’s not only a fascinating book crammed with short, humorous stories, but a very interesting collection of bizarre tales that metaphorically reflect the human condition. Buy the book and I promise you a day of absolute wet-your-pants laughter.

In the Ant Farm dialogue below, the author has imagined a conversation between the leader ant and his workers as they try to find a way out of their desperate situation.

What struck me were the similarities between the plight of the ants and the equally frustrating efforts of many Network Marketers who just keep doing the same things year after year and expecting different results. Here’s how Simon Rich imagines it.

“Ant Leader – All right team, listen up. As you know, we’ve built seven tunnels and we still haven’t found a way through the glass. I can tell you’re discouraged and I don’t blame you. Tunnel 7 was our most ambitious project to date and you all risked your lives to make it happen. But rest assured, we’ll be out of this hellish wasteland soon enough. I have a plan.

Ant Worker – What is it? What’s the plan?

Ant Leader – An eighth tunnel. Through the sand.

Ant Worker – I don’t know, sir…we’ve been digging tunnels ever since we got here. We always end up hitting glass. We lost ten on the first tunnel: Brian, Jack, Chris –

Ant Leader – I know their names.

Ant Worker – Why don’t’ we just give up? I mean seriously, what’s the point?

Ant Leader – The point? The point is we have no food or water. The point is we’re trapped in this crazy desert, and if we don’t find an exit soon we’re going to suffocate.

Ant Worker – What kind of God would put us here, just to torture us? Sand to the left…sand to the right…

Ant Leader – It’s a test, William. He’s testing us.

Ant Worker – You’re right. We can do this. We just have to work ten times harder than we’ve ever worked before! (Starts digging)

Ant Worker – You want to know something? I’ve got a good feeling about this one. A really good feeling.”

Many times I’ve wanted to point out the futility of some MLM companies, but that’s not my role as an industry author and mentor. Unfortunately, many people fail in our industry because they join companies with pay plans that are cash games, products that nobody needs, owners who are inexperienced and leaders with no loyalty.

Many great people fail because they are sucked into Ant Farm Networking.

If you wind up digging and digging over and over and continue to remain financially desperate…maybe it’s time to try some new digging strategies or sell the farm and join a new one that at least meets the basic criteria for a viable Network Marketing company.

…More on those basic criteria in a future blog.

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