Leverage - and Why It Matters.
Early on in my business career - something clicked and registered with me, that I’m forever grateful to have recognized so early. It’s called...
It’s a powerful word, that has several different (but related) applications and/or definitions in our vocabulary.
In laymen’s terms, I understand it in the following way — and hopefully it will help you.
When you have an object that enables you to achieve an end goal faster, better, more efficiently, by multiplying the activity or action in a way not possible without it - then that’s leverage.
That object can be an actual lever (hence the word leverage), a skill, gift, investment, system, process, or an outside resource. When we understand how to implement that object to multiply our effort — that brings leverage into the formula.
This is one of the most common definitions, from a financial or investment perspective:
Definition via Dictionary.com:
"The use of a small initial investment, credit, or borrowed funds to gain a very high return in relation to one's investment, to control a much larger investment, or to reduce one's own liability for any loss."
What strikes me is the “small investment” to “gain a very high return”. So how does this apply to how we leverage our life with our work, or business? Instead of the word investment, use the words “one time effort” to “gain a continual return”. In other words, doing something once, and being paid for that effort over, and over, and over again.
The most obvious example of this is a singer. There are untold singers and musicians who perform live, and sing or play to an audience, and in exchange for their live performance, they earn income. But those who perform a song in a studio, and record it, and is paid thousands to millions of times for that one recorded song through a marketing and/or distribution system, and leverage their effort.
Another example is a writer who publishes a book, and earns repeatedly, for that effort as the book is marketed and sold through a system that multiples the author’s efforts. Compare this to selling the book on a one-by-one basis, by their own personal effort. That would be a grind.
Leverage was instilled and implemented in the days of the industrial revolution with automation. When we are able to deploy a network, army, system or automated process that duplicates our efforts by multiplying them - we see massive and dramatic results.
To have an investment, land, resources, a talent, craft, idea, invention, product or service is terrific — but unless we find a way to leverage it, to multiply the production or distribution effort, on a fairly massive scale — we are still 'eek’ing out living by trading time for dollars to make money. That’s the lifelong slugfest, for most. We end up working for someone else, becoming a part of their system, created to achieve their own dreams. As the saying goes,
For those who have an innate talent or gift in the entertainment or publishing industry - this leverage concept is readily accepted - although difficult for most to break into. It takes discovery, connections, time, money, and some luck to deploy a distribution formula that multiplies the effort. The rest of the world starts businesses and companies with great ideas, but again, not all businesses make it to a point where a leverage formula is implemented. We all know attorneys, contractors, physicians, engineers, dentists and thousands of other professionals that have to trade time for dollars in order to get paid. A few geniuses do find a way to leverage what they do, or create something from their knowledge, or profession, to create leverage.
The average person who either owns their own business, or is employed by another, has little opportunity to find or create leverage — but it’s readily available right under our nose. And today’s culture and society allows us to participate in this leverage formula easier than ever - due to the connectivity of the internet.
It’s all about networking, and growing a team of people who have a connection simply by wanting the same freedom and flexibility in their life. Sure, owning your own business is grand - but being self-employed doesn’t equal (or guarantee) freedom and flexibility - to do what you want to do, whenever you choose, and still get paid when you’re not working.
Leverage is the key — plain and simple.
That’s why “team” is so critical - and not just a finite team, but a team that continues to multiply, and in doing so, it duplicates your initial effort. This team-building approach is called networking, but not in the sense that we know it in the traditional business world. Professional networking is a great method to leverage your connections, yes. But networking for leverage and income involves connecting with others who love your product or service, who want to share it, and also take effort to connect others to the cause. It’s the ripple effect. One person who shares with others, who carry the process forward - in the distribution of a product or service.
All of this process takes place as independent agents, or contractors. Each in business for themselves, but also part of a larger eco-system, a company with a distribution formula in place to foster the growth of the network. This happens as we individuals do what we already do, quite naturally — share a good concept, idea, product, service, song, book or anything — with people we are connected to. As this process repeats itself, some are attracted to the network concept, so they engage with it, and help to multiply the efforts through their own connections, and personal or professional network.
It’s brilliant. And it works.
I knew years ago, when I discovered my love for photography, that it was a huge gamble to try and make it as a professional photographer - by utilizing leverage. That would mean I’d have to become famous for a great skill, and create a huge demand for my amazing prowess.
And let’s be honest.
There are only a few who make it to fame status - and I wasn’t confident that I was one of those few. My choice was to enjoy photography and create a sideline business from it - a business where I wasn’t dependent upon the income, in the event my photos bored everyone, but me. Yet, we still had to earn a living.
So we chose networking as a profession - in the form of network marketing. It’s a term defined by the scenario I described above.
This networking business concept has served us well with an amazing residual income for over 25 years. We simply connect others to what we do, if they are attracted to the concept, once we share it. Many don’t get it, or it’s not a fit for them, but some do - and those who do have been a part of helping us grow a network we (and they) earn from, 24/7/365, on a global basis.
It’s such a rewarding process. Because we meet and become friends with people that, otherwise, we would never have met — all over the world. And the teamwork factor is huge. Each person, doing a little, and passing it along. It generates massive multiplication.
It creates leverage.
Here’s why. Because many on the team are still working to share the message and carry it forward, even if we are not. That’s how we are paid over, and over, again, based on the one-time effort of sharing with, and connecting another person to the network and system.
We are freed up, and flexible — living and working outside the 8 to 5, Monday to Friday, box. Plus we don’t have the constraints of commuting, working in the same place, day-in-day-out, and taking time off only on vacation days or holidays.
For those who want to fund or cash flow what they really love doing (like I do) this is the most compelling option I’ve ever seen for people (like us) to implement leverage.
Other ways exist, as mentioned above - but this method delivers a method for just about anyone be able to create a flexible lifestyle with amazing freedom. And I still get to take pictures, and hope to become famous one day. You never know... one photo bought by tens of thousands could bring another option of leverage.
Thankfully, my livelihood doesn’t depend on it.
Until next time...