Frank’s Secret

by: Frank L. VanderSloot
(From the July, 2009 issue of Leadership in Action magazine)

When we first started Melaleuca, we established a mission statement that would guide our activities and our focus throughout our future.

It is a simple mission statement. It was not designed in boardrooms with the help of high-priced consultants. Every word was not scrutinized, debated, and negotiated by corporate executives. We did not even have any corporate executives when it was developed, and we surely could not have afforded consultants at that time. But it was from our hearts. It is how we felt. It was what we wanted to do. And we were passionate about it.

And contrary to other mission statements that are often framed in a beautiful walnut frame and hung in a corporate hallway never to be read again, everyone in the company knows what our mission is. Every employee knows it; every Marketing Executive knows it. It has been very effective in guiding our activities and our focus, and it has been very rewarding to see our mission be fulfilled again and again.

“To Enhance the Lives of Those We Touch by Helping People Reach Their Goals.” It sounds simple enough, but it is unlike any other corporate mission statement. Many don’t realize that the magic of success is in helping others reach their goals, and not in trying to reach our own goals. But thousands who have joined Melaleuca have now gotten caught up in the idea and magic of helping others.

Helping someone reach their goals does not mean pushing or coercing or convincing. Helping does not mean badgering, nor does it mean doing it for them. We are in the business of teaching men and women to fish, not giving them fish.

The first secret of helping someone reach their goals is to find out what their goals are. Too often we want them to have the same goal we do, or want them to adopt our goal. But, of course, that never works. We must take time to find out what someone’s goal is and why it is important to them. If we can understand the “why” behind their goal we will hold the key to their motivation. And we will be able to be much more effective in helping them reach that goal.

I believe it is our nature to be out working to achieve our own goals, as opposed to someone else’s goals. Yet only those who master the art of helping others will be truly successful in this business. Our entire program is designed to reward those who help others.

When you think about that, it might be your immediate reaction to think, “Well, no wonder I haven’t been very successful … no one is helping me reach my goals.” Oops. If that is what you are thinking, you don’t get it! You have missed the whole concept. The idea is for you to help someone else to reach their goals.

You may be asking: “How can I help someone else reach their goals when I haven’t reached mine yet?” You still don’t get it. Put your goals aside for a moment and go help someone else reach his or her goals. Actually, the reward of helping someone else reach their goals can be greater than you reaching your own—that is, unless you are doing it to get a “thank you” or for them to appreciate you or be impressed by you. Those motivations are again your goals, not theirs. You must be able to simply take joy in someone else’s joy, and to feel great because of their accomplishment.

At Melaleuca, because of how our business model is structured, if you help someone else reach their goals you automatically reach yours at the same time. It’s almost magic—except it’s a lot better than magic!

The problem some people get into is that they try to push people to go to work. Again, that’s you trying to reach your goals. That type of activity is not only unproductive, it’s frustrating to both you and them.

A big part of the key is to find people with established goals. Many people have never established goals for themselves. Although we might find that sad and frustrating we really can’t help them reach goals they don’t have. But many people do have goals and are willing to work to achieve them. They are just looking for a way to get there—a vehicle to take them there. We have that vehicle. You have that vehicle.

I’ll bet over 95 percent of the adult population have never had someone come up to them and tell them, “Tell me what your goals are … I’d like to help you reach them.” That’s because everyone is so tied up trying to reach their own goals or they have given up and have decided to be satisfied with whatever life has given them.

We have a message to the world, and to you and to your neighbor: Remember the goals you had when you were younger. It is not too late! You can reach those goals. We have a way. If you will work, we will help you. We will do it together. We will not do it for you. You must do your part. Remember, our goal is to help you reach yours. We will help, but you must reach. We invite you to join us in our quest to help others reach their goals. We take great joy in this mission. It is what drives us forward.

In the end we have learned we all reach our goals together because we helped someone else reach theirs. It is a wonderful concept, and not only are tens of thousands of families prospering because of their involvement … it’s a very rewarding experience for all of us! We appreciate all those who have joined us in this worthwhile endeavor. We take delight in their achievements and success as they strive to help each other.