Ever since I was about 15 years old I've struggled with a mild case of athletes foot between primarily my pinky toe and the next one (whatever it's called) on my left foot.
It's nothing severe, just enough to be annoying.
Any of you that have dealt with skin issues know exactly how embarrassing and bloody itchy something like this can be.
Whatever the case, it was never a big enough issue to really prompt me to take massive action on and erradicate the sucker because up until that point nothing really seemd to be a permanent fix.
I tried creams, ointments, diets and about every natural remedy on the market to try to kick this thing to the curb with no avail.
I'm hoping one of you reading this can get inspired enough to provide me a solution that actually works,
...but more on that in a minute.
Before i get into the juicy details of what all went down (I mean, that's why you're here right?) allow me to give you a little insight into the relationship between me and "Company X". (I'll leave their true identity out of this)
I'm a musician, have been since I picked up my Dad's classical guitar some 15 years ago now.
Y'know, one of those twenty dollar garage sale finds with a warped neck, rusty nut (lol) and no matter what you do there always seems to be a string missing.
Yep. That's what I learned on.
Fast forward some years and I am introduced to a friend of a friend that is looking for music teachers because his studio is bursting at the seams and due to some time-management bottle necks (love ya man, but it's the truth.) he's in a predicament.
I think to myself "Cool. What could it hurt."
Ever since I was litte I've had a passion for music, it'd be pretty neat to pass that along to others to the best of my ability.
Now my wife and I had been in and around the home business arena for about 4 years at that point and over that time had our share of wild victories and low slumps like most of you do that are involved in some form of direct sales or MLM deal. And look, I get it.
What you don't know you just don't know.
You'll understand what I mean in a moment here.
We, like many of you were brought into the home business arena with absolutely no skills, no previous experience, no list and no CLUE how to start, cultivate and maintain and profitable home business.
We were told to make a list of our friends and family, show the plan and if we got three that got three that got three we'd start to see some pretty significant returns.
Now I'm not going to share how MLM saved our lives (if you want our full story click here), because that's not the purpose of this post, but we had come to a point in our lives where I was ready to try something new and start marketing my business like the professionals do - without the nagging, bugging and constant heartache of never seeing massive results.
I was tired of pounding the phone for 5-6 hours a day and working round the clock at times to make a weenie little 5% commission on 8 levels... so I started to venture into blogging, seo and online marketing.
Now I'm not here to get into a spitting match - because no one ever wins, and (although I'll never buy a product from this guy in my life) we're still on good terms, but I want you to take in and pay attention to what happened next and leave your feedback on how you think it should have been handled by leaving a comment below.
You can alway tell when you step foot into a network marketer's home becuase it's just a little different.
C'mon guys, you know exactly what I mean. :)
Dreams boards everywhere, pictures of team members with the founders on the fridge, little kiddos running around sportin' company branded clothing, garages full of company product, inspirational quotes everywhere and sticky notes.
TONS of sticky notes with numbers on them plastered across the computer desk.
I know cause we've been there too.
Let's just say that if this guy was trying to keep what did a secret or invoke any element of curiousity, he wouldn't be placing first in the class.
And I admire that.
More people gotta learn from that and actually get passionate about what's been placed on their hearts, what they dream about and actually go out and make it happen.
What sucks is, most people are trying to fly across the ocean to a tropical island of financial abundance in a worn down, rusted out VW rabbit.
Just doesn't make sense does it?
Over the next few months I was met every week with another chance to go to a meeting, or local weigh in, or join them for a leadership retreat a couple hours away, and even though I politely declined time and time again, it still didn't make it any less akward.
Again, I get it.
You're just doing what your upline's been telling you to do, I understand.
What took place next really threw me for a loop and still somewhat baffles me to this day.
After almost a year of relentless invitations to "change my life" (which was humorous to me because at that point I was making more in a week in my online business venture than my buddy was making in a month with his company) I was tired of coming up with ways to say "no thanks, you keep rocking it with your team bud." and it had gotten to the point of dreading ever returning a call or responding to a text message from him because I always knew what was coming next:
"Where were you on thursday? We missed you."
This was about the same time that I had made the decision to once and for end this diabolical athlete's foot dilemma.
I thought if maybe I could get ahold of this guy's sponsor or someone in the team locally that I could get some advice on what I should do and maybe I could have them put in a word for me that I was not interested in joining another biz-opp, but if the products could hellp my foot, then maybe I'd stick around and use it for a while.
Besides, with my internet experience I felt I knew my way around facebook pretty well, and after all isn't that what Facebook is for?
A way to connect?
Boy o boy.
Apparently it is not.
A couple days later, after sending out a few messages to my buddy's friends in the business inquiring about athlete's foot and products that could help cure it my wife of all people pulled me aside and remarked:
"Umm, have you looked at your facebook lately?"
Not sure what to expect next I said: "Uh, not really. What's up?"
Heading over to facebook on her account she clicks on my buddies profile and what I read next literally shocked me.
On his wall he had posted something to the effect of "Jacob DeBoer is not your friend. He is lying to you and is trying to con you into joining his business. Please warn your friends and families and do not hesitate to block him and prevent his from spreading his lies."
Scrolling down the thread I continued to reaad some of the vicious comments made regarding me, my wife and even our kids!
Complete strangers that we had never met in our entire lives saying nasty, horrid things about my family and morals because I... sent out a few facebook messages so I didn't have to buy from my buddy?
Are you kidding me?
Now, normally I don't even respond this kind of nonsense and petty thinking but when you rope my wife and kids into something - this papa bear is gonna defend his cubs.
My first thought is: get ahold of my buddy, figure out what the heck is going on and figure out how to get these people to stop sending my wife and I nasty facebook messages.
It's funny really - how someone can be "brave" enough to send you a lewd facebook comment, but then block you and cower away into the shadows so you're not able to actually converse with them like a professional, and ethical human being.
So, I log in to my account, delete 4 or 5 nasty messages that would make any normal person's blood boil and find out that my buddy has also blocked me.
Dude, I'm gonna see you tomorrow at music lessons.
Are you going to run and hide from what you and your friends just stirred up?
At this point, I'm not even mad.
I quickly decided to forgive him, his team, his upline and just call him. I decide "look, I don't know these people, let them thank what they think, let's just reconcile and figure out how to make things smoothe from here. And for the love of God, get these "business professionals" (used loosely) to stop sending my wife and I these childish messages over FACEBOOK of all things and then blocking us."
So I give him a call.
Guys, I wish I was making this up. lol.
I get him on the phone, apologize for speaking with people that he didn't approve of on facebook and wanted to figure how to get rid of the akwardness that had crept in to our friendship over that past few months.
What I was not ready for was a complete earful of reprimand for the next 12 minutes about how his sponsor of all people initiated this whole she-bang and that I am unethical, and if I ever try to contact anyone on the team again I will be in deep doo-doo. Uh... thanks. Glad you forgave me too.
Moral of the story, and here's where you get to chime in, what would you do in this situation?
How could it have been handled different?
Y'know time and time again I hear of shenanigans like this and it really disgusts me.
Think about the negative effect altercations like can have on a team, an individual, the company. I mean, GOSH... what if this happened to someone that totally flew off the handle and made it their personal goal to drive your brand right into the ground?
I don't get it. I really don't.
If you're so scared that your ENTIRE team is going to leave your downline and join some other venture... what does that say about your belief in your beloved company?
Look, the last time everyone was required to look, think, eat, sleep and breathe same was back in World War...
...well, you get the picture.
I think this is what ticks me off the most.
Didn't we all get into business for ourselves for the FREEDOM?
If you're trying to control your downline and orchestrate their every move, are you truly still providing freedom?
If someone can't make their own choices about their future and their dreams then I fear, that our industry as a whole needs to wake up.
Please understand, I love our industry.
I love it's people.
What I hate is mandates of what you can and cannot do with your own free will.
Think about this today.
Are you truly free?
Leave me your thoughts in the comments below, and as always, today, make it happen.
- Jacob Deboer
"Liberator of the Underdog in All of Us"