Some years ago, at a Team INA meeting, Clarke Broome  shared with me some thoughts and ideas about the use and value of tools. In particular, about tools for the Network Marketing business.  I was concerned about the cost of the tools and he clarified for me the true value of those tools.

“Tools are about leverage”  –Clarke Broome

The first person who thought that he could trade his product with folks from another town probably loaded up 50 pounds of stuff on his back and walked 20 miles. That same person, some years later, loaded up several hundred pounds on his wagon, hitched up his horses and while 20 miles was probably a reasonable distance, was able to trade a lot more stuff for the same effort.

Today, thousands of pounds of product are loaded into a container, hitched to a truck and that same person can travel several hundred miles in a day.

“Tools are about leverage”  –Clarke Broome

In Network Marketing, the leverage we are looking for is improving our minds and our personal abilities. All of the top folks in Network Marketing are constantly improving themselves each day by listening to audios, reading books, watching videos and attending educational events. These are the tools of the business.

Audios are my favorite. I can listen to them while I am driving. The technology is so interesting. In my Lexus, I have a Radio and a CD Player in the console. Even more interesting, the same unit also has an input Jack for an MP3 player and a USB port. I put lots of audios on a USB memory stick, place it into the slot and play my audios. That is so cool!

Over the years there have been complaints that organizations are simply ripping people off by selling them tools, especially when they sell them on a subscription basis. While that may be true in some cases, I do not believe that it is true in most cases.

Are the organizations profiting from the sale of tools?  I hope so! You know what happens to companies that don’t aim for a profit? That’s right, they go out of business and you no longer are able to offer their service or product. I don’t think tools should be the primary profit center for an organization but I do know that whenever you make something available, it needs to pay for itself and to do that, it must be profitable.

So do we need a subscription? Isn’t one audio and one book enough? I think Zig Ziglar put it best when talking about continuing to attend motivational events. Folks say that the motivation doesn’t last. Zig says “Neither does bathing, so I recommend taking a bath daily. No one would condemn bathing  because it has to be done on a regular basis.” Our minds need regular washing.

“Tools are about leverage”  –Clarke Broome

All of the top folks I know in the field continue their education for a lifetime. If you are not learning and growing, you are falling behind. If you ask them what they think about these tools, they will tell you that the tools made a huge difference in their success.  Even material that you disagree with can cause you to think more clearly about what you do believe and different personalities on the tools help you to better understand a wider range of personalities and styles.

Clarke & Diana Broome are financially secure. As Executive Diamond IBOs in Amway, they could certainly choose to stop helping folks build their businesses, quit reading books, quit listening to audios, and quit attending seminars.  Instead, they would be the first to let you know that they continue to learn more. This educational process is exactly what they needed to be where they are.

As part of their mentorship program, Clarke & Diana joined with an organization called Team INA to ensure that quality educational materials are available.  Team INA takes the time to ensure that the books they recommend, the functions folks attend and the info people listen to and watch are not only good quality but they are congruent with the messages and training that they want to pass along. If duplication is a key to Network Marketing, then ensuring that the training material is congruent with the organization’s values is vital.

But what about the cost of the tools? Personally, I have not found the cost of tools to be a problem. I make it a point to spend about 5% of my income on improving me and the Network Marketing tools are only part of that. The Good Book says “Wisdom is more precious than rubies. Though it cost all you have, get wisdom.” Hard to fault that!

Often, folks have a problem with the price of tools because they are focused on the cost of tools. Creating the physical CD with information on it is less than a buck and yet are sold for $5 or $10. But that’s the first fallacy. There is a lot more to creating an Audio or Video before it ever gets on the disc. A single minute on a Video can sometimes take hours to create… especially if you a piecing it together from many forms. Editing audios isn’t quite as costly but there is still the process of listening to lots of material to choose just the right things. And there may be other purposes for the funds such as supporting outlying areas for the organization or acquiring better equipment to provide even better training materials.

To the individual paying for the material, the question to ask isn’t “Is this worth $5 since it only cost the organization $1 to make it?” The question is “Is the information (wisdom) on the media worth the price I am paying?”. If it is, pay for it and apply the information. If it isn’t, don’t! But stop complaining. Robert Kiyosaki is clear about this: The difference between those who are wealthy and those who are not is the information and attitudes they have about how wealth is created. Oh, and the wealthy apply the information as well.

Clarke Broome says “Tools are about leverage”.  Leverage your mind to success, get the tools you need and apply them.