With the dawn of the internet, networking marketing has evolved in a significant way. If marketers refuse to embrace its power and are unable to innovate, they will be forgotten in no time. John Solleder sits down with one of the biggest names in the direct selling and self-development industry, Ron Holland, to share his vast expertise in coping with the trends of networking marketing. He talks about how the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill changed his career, allowing him to write best-selling books, tap into his intuition and unconscious mind, and develop the SSS concept and cashflow magic formula. Ron also emphasizes the importance of virtual materials in today’s marketing age, explaining how businesses must start focusing more on gravitating towards the human’s right brain side.
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Ron Holland “Thought Leader Extraordinaire”
It is my incredible delight to interview Mr. Ron Holland. He is a gentleman who has written 28 books about network marketing during the direct selling self-development industry for over 40 years. I will illustrate a couple of the titles that you may be familiar with going way back to 1977. Debt Free with Financial Kung Fu in 1981, Talk and Grow Rich, Million Dollar Pay Day, Turbo Success, The 22 Immutable Laws of MLM and the Millionaire Within just to name a few. Ron, I have done four books over fifteen years now so my hats off to you because it is a labor of love, to say the least.
1981 is when you first published Talk and Grow Rich which has certainly become a classic needless to say.
I’m very proud of that book.
How long have you been involved with MLM?
Talk and Grow Rich came out in 1981. As a result of that, direct selling companies, multilevel marketing companies, all sorts of people wanted me to come and talk to them and motivate them. I wasn’t expecting that. I went along and I polished up by little anecdotes and stories and it transpires I was a good motivator. I was passionate about selling and network marketing. I never gave up on anything and I would create files and people liked it. I have been involved in the peripheries of networking for many years because of my books and audios.
One thing I find incredible is you are able to come up with titles not just for books but for everything you have done in marketing. I love your titling. If I do another book, I’m asking you to do the title for me.
I’m a marketing man.
You certainly are my friend. Looking back at your own life, what was the first book that gave you that a-ha moment? You picked it up, you tripped over it or somebody gave it to you.
It’s so exciting. It was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. When I was twenty living in London, I had finished my apprenticeship as a carpenter and I hated the construction industry with a passion but my passion was motorcycles. When I was twenty, I set up my first little motorcycle shop. This guy came along, he looked at me and said, “You are twenty and you’ve got your own business, your own motorcycle shop. You must have read a book called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.” John, I didn’t like to tell him up until that point I have never read a book. I have never read anything. I said, “I haven’t read that,” but I didn’t tell him I have never read a book. He said, “I will go and get you a copy of it.”
A couple of hours later, he came back and he gave me this book Think and Grow Rich. I wasn’t used to reading but when I read it, I honestly thought it was an instruction manual. Every time I read something, I would carry out the instructions to the letter. It says, “Get a big sheet of paper and write on it, ‘Quitters never win and winners never quit.’” I did that, went back to the book and it says, “Now, put it above your bed where you see it every night.” I did that. The next thing it says is, “Write out a list of goals. Everything you want to accomplish.” I have never had goals in my life. I wrote out a list of things that I wanted to happen in my life. I picked the book up again and it said, “It’s no good just writing out a list of goals, you’ve got to read out loud that list of goals every night and every morning.”
I started reading out the list of goals over and over again. Picked up the book again and it said, “It’s no good just reading out the list of goals, you’ve got to emotionalize them, get excited and visualize them.” I just kept going through the book carrying out the instructions, page by page then it said, “What you’ve got to do is alter your vibration of thoughts.” It wasn’t his words but, in the brain, there are 100 billion cells and for most of us, they are in the off position. You’ve got to excite them and switched them over and lift yourself to another level.When you harness the unconscious mind, incredible things can happen. Click To Tweet
There was a whole chapter on this and he tells you in detail how to do it. I’m carrying out those instructions. I wrote the sequel to Think and Grow Rich, with my book, Talk and Grow Rich. I know because I have interviewed thousands of people in Think and Grow Rich and they read that bit about altering your vibration of thought. Instead of carrying out the instructions, they put the book down, went out and bought a box of donuts. I didn’t do that. I carried out the instructions and I just kept going through them over and over again.
The last point I want to point out, it said, “You need to form a mastermind group.” I didn’t have any money. I had two salesmen at the front of the shop and two mechanics at the back of the shop. I lined them up against the brick wall of the motorbike shop and I said, “As of now, you are going to be my mastermind group.” They started laughing. This was the funniest thing they had ever heard. When they finished laughing. They said, “Ron, what do you want us to do?” I said, “I don’t know. All I know is I want to turn this little motorbike shop into an empire.”
At that time, I didn’t know that when you harness the unconscious mind of other people, incredible things happen. I didn’t know that. I didn’t know what was going to happen. Quickly, they came back to me one by one going, “Ron, do you realize there’s a motorbike shop for sale in Hynam, in Wimbledon, in Hampton Court?” Like an idiot, I went out and bought them. I bought seven motorbike shops. Still, in my early twenties, I became the largest motorcycle dealer in London. I accidentally picked up two furniture shops and a 40-bedroom hotel. At the time, I never knew it was Think and Grow Rich and me carrying out the instruction that did it. I thought it was all down to me. Years later, looking back I thought, “That book changed my life and inspired me so much I wrote the sequel.”
It’s amazing to hear an entrepreneur’s application of those principles and what happens. That book is almost so subliminal. Its predecessor that Wattles wrote, The Science of Getting Rich. You go from a guy that at twenty didn’t read books to a guy who has written several bestsellers. You have written 28 books. How many of the 28 hit the bestseller’s list?
I can’t tell you they have all been. Not all of them were mainstream but a handful. I have done well maybe 3 or 4.
What would you say inspired you to do that?
That’s another interesting story because I was locked into Think and Grow Rich. At the beginning of the book he says, “I have hidden the secret of success on every single page.” I want to talk to people because so many people have read that book and they have never discovered the secret he has written on every page. I will tell it to you because it is profound. The secret that is on every page is that thoughts are incredibly powerful things. Each chapter, faith, visualized, mastermind group, they were all about turning thoughts into things. If people would just bear that in mind. Controlling your own thoughts and only think of what you have for the company, not everything that’s going on around you, that is a game-changer. Thoughts are things.
To answer your question on what inspired me, I was locked in to Think and Grow Rich but I saw an advert seven times. A full-page advert in a national press and said, “The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches, Joe Karbo.” I kept seeing it. This book is unbelievable. I was reluctant because I was following and applying Think and Grow Rich but after seeing it seven times, I bought it. When I bought it, it was a little paperback. I looked through it and it was about the mail order business. I never read it. I stuffed it under my bed.
A few months later, somebody came to me about the mail-order business and I thought, “I’ve got a book on that.” I’ve got it out from under my bed and I started reading it. Little paperback book, the first bit of it has to do with mind power. That was my first time I realized he thought about programming your mind. Much cleverer if you like and less esoteric than Napoleon Hill. The second half of the book was about the mail order business. He said, “If you want a product, the easiest thing to do is to write a book of your own about something you are passionate about.”
In my seven motorbike shops, furniture shops and hotel, I nearly went bankrupt. I lost all my money and I was ever so lucky to get my first mentor. With him on board, he helped me turn around the situation. From practically being bankrupt, we went on to make a fortune together. This was way before I was 30 years old. Now when I read Joe Karbo, “Write your own book.” I thought, “I have turned around all my shops. I have made a fortune. I’m going to write a book about getting out of debt and into money. About slashing overheads, increasing profit margins, cost-effective marketing.” There were no computers in those days. I wrote it out longhand and a girl who was working in one of my shops typed it up for me and we’ve got it printed. We put full-page adverts in the paper and it sold like hotcakes.
I went to the original guy selling Lazy Man’s Way to Riches. He’s a Canadian guy, Joe Karbo’s partner in London. I said, “Why don’t you sell this book to The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches?” He says, “Brilliant idea.” He loved the book and then later it took off. We’ve got a good rapport going and he introduced me to Joe Karbo back in America. I sold out my motorbike shops when I was 30 and went to America to write Talk and Grow Rich, I looked up Joe Karbo at Huntington Beach in California. Unfortunately, on the day I went there he was ill but his stepson, Jay Flanagan showed me around for the day so I still had a fantastic day. Shortly after, Joe Karbo died. Another guy impacted my life more than you know. Through my books, like Napoleon Hill and Joe Karbo, I try to impact people’s lives. I don’t pull any punches. I tell people as it is what they’ve got to do to attain such success.
I have read some of your books. I haven’t read them all. Haven’t had the chance to read them all. This one is called Wide ‘N Deep Multilevel Magic #5. This was written back in 1981. I texted you and said, “What was so amazing is how ahead of your time you are and when you were writing this.” I read this stuff and it sounds to me like somebody wrote it in the last few years. I would love for you to talk about SSS, Silence, Stillness and Solitude. Any of those words, any marketer could probably talk about for hours. Talk a little bit about that as a concept, if you will.Mind and power win every time. Click To Tweet
It is amazing you ask me that because I told you I nearly made bankrupt with my seven motorbike shops, two furniture shops and a 40-bedroom hotel. Probably before I was lucky enough to meet my first mentor. I did think I was going to go bankrupt and have a nervous breakdown. I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. I went out into the countryside, having walks and many times I would be in tears. I had all sorts of legal problems. Summons coming in, creditors putting on pressure and people threatening me. It was absolutely terrible. I went out into the country for days at a time and just sat there meditating. I didn’t know what I was doing but eventually, the pressure started to build. I’m pretty sure soon after that I’ve got myself in a better state and accidentally met this mentor.
He came into one of my furniture shops, not one of my motorbike shops and sold me a lot of furniture. We became friends. He said, “I know you’ve got seven motorbike shops and a 40-bedroom hotel.” He was a lot older than me. I must have been 26 or 27, something like that. He says, “I can sense you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders.” The truth is, the next day I was going to go bankrupt. I did a deal with him and he mentored me out of this situation.
He was into meditation and all of this good stuff. Interestingly enough, I don’t think he had ever read a single book on personal development or self-help. He was just an intuitive guy. He understood business inside-out and backward. Ever since those early days of getting in trouble, that silence, stillness and solitude even to this day have held me in good faith. Over those years, that book was sold in many different languages all over the world. It’s that one chapter that people write in and say, “Silence, stillness and solitude did it for me. It turned my life around.” People don’t realize I have been written up as a business guru and a mind power guru. I always say, “Mindpower wins every time over business acumen.” If you can get the mind strong enough, you will hear the ideas coming from the backs of your unconscious mind.
It’s amazing because you think of all the greats throughout time whether it’s Jesus, going way back. When you think about Gandhi and Martin Luther King, every one of them went into either a prayer closet or the equivalent.
When people say to me, “I can’t afford time out to meditate,” I say, “You can’t afford to. It’s an imperative and I cannot make that clearer.”
It’s so true because, in my later years, I have adopted that principle where sometimes I need to disconnect from technology 100%, which is hard to do as you and I both know. Sometimes to put the thing down especially nowadays because you are on WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, Instagram, this and that. No matter what time of day or night that you pick the thing up, there’s something on it that you want to look at, to just plug the thing into the wall. Leave it alone, keep the TV off, keep the laptop off and be quiet is cleansing. Many times, you come back and all of a sudden, whatever the problem was, you’ve got the solution. You were like, “I wasn’t even thinking about the problem. I was thinking about trying to quiet the mind.”
I rely heavily on my unconscious mind for solving my own problems and my client’s problems. I have clients from all over the world but I wouldn’t be able to do that without silence, stillness and solitude in my life. I take walks in the countryside. I live in the country and I get out there on my own clearing my mind. When I come back, “I have solved it.” You don’t know whose problem, mine or the clients’. I write it down. I’ve got little bits of paper everywhere. I capture those ideas when they come.
Let’s talk about technology a little bit. As the guy who wrote your first book in 1977, which is a while ago where the internet and cell phone didn’t exist and all this other stuff. My son, for example, this is the stuff he grew up with that you and I didn’t. How has that changed as far as the network marketing consciousness? If you want to talk about that a little bit, it would be of great value.
I want to touch on it a little bit. I’m noticing that the industry hasn’t embraced it anywhere near enough. I believe our industry and us leaders in the industry are passionate about it but I think we have made an enemy of it. I want to be talking to you about some ideas that I have that will enable us to embrace them much more. I’m sure we can all see through this COVID period people have been embracing more technology. More Zoom meetings, emails, telephone calls, as opposed to pounding the living rooms and hotel rooms of the world. We are beginning to embrace technology but I don’t think we have embraced it enough if we are going to tame the ground that I, as a thought leader and visionary, have for the industry. We could be doing so much better.
I was fascinated with your Cash Flow Magic formula. For our reader’s sake, how does it work?
You are going to be fascinated because as a young boy, intuitively at 10, 11 years old, I used to do paper routes, delivering milk, cleaning the silver for the woman down the road. I used to do odd jobs. At Christmas time I used to knock on the doors of my paper routes and my money is flowing in. Over and over again, I heard people say to me, “You are our paperboy. We are so pleased to meet you because every morning we hear you whistling and singing.”
The Cash Flow Magic formula is being in the zone and the vortex, doing all these paper routes, delivering milk and cleaning the silver. All these odd jobs that I used to do for money, that was not hard work, that was a labor of love. It was a joy. I was in the vortex and the flow. It was effortless and the money just came flooding in. You were talking about Cash Flow Magic that story is about me as a young kid making more money than I knew what to do with. It was absolutely incredible.
Years later I discovered Think and Grow Rich and this is a valuable lesson, to fly in life you’ve got to raise your level of vibration of thought. As a young kid, I had already done that. I cannot stress that enough. I was in the flow, in the vortex. I didn’t look at all that hard work I was doing as work. It was just having fun. As I deliver the newspapers, not only would I sing and whistle, every pathway that I walked on I would smell the roses. I did it intuitively.
I believe so many people if they were just to start smelling the roses, meditating and enjoying life, whether they are happy or not, whether they have anything to be joyful about or not, as Napoleon Hill puts it very articulately, “You’ve got to play a trick on your unconscious mind. Particularly, if you are in a bad place.” You’ve got to convince your unconscious mind that you are happy, joyful, money is flooding in, everything is perfect and that takes some doing. He tells you in detail how to do it. It’s fantastic.
One of the great minds that ever walked this planet was Galileo. There’s this thing called the Galileo moment that I have adapted in my own life. When would you say you had that Galileo moment when you realized everything that you said, where it hit you that you made that choice to be happy in your life and circumstance versus being somebody who is on the pity pot?
I want to be truthful about it. When I was a kid making all that money, I did all of that intuitively. It wasn’t an epiphany moment like, “To make a lot of money in doing these paper routes, I’ve got to be in that zone.” Now, when I’ve got my motorbike shops, I must have been in that intuitive mode. Somewhere along the line, I lost the thought and nearly went bankrupt. It was in my meditation that I thought, “I’ve got to do something differently. What has led me to slip out of the mode?” That was the first indication that you’ve got to control your mind and particularly that level of vibration before.
When I was 30, I migrated into America to Beverly Hills, went to Huntington Beach to meet Joe Karbo. He wasn’t there. I got Talk and Grow Rich published and I have had an unbelievable career ever since then. I have written 28 books and I’ve got clients all over the world. That doesn’t mean to say I haven’t had ups and downs in business because I have. Every time I go down, I have to give myself a real wake-up call and get myself back in the zone. I know loads of people who have had up and down careers because they slip out of the vortex. They slip out of the zone and they start vibrating like normal human beings. I know that to fly, exceed, succeed and excel, you’ve got to raise that level of vibration of thought.
Napoleon Hill takes you through all the levels and tells you ways to even reach genius. I don’t know if I have ever reached that level of thought but I certainly know how to fly at a very high level. I’ve got hit with throat cancer and I nearly died. It was only because I raised that level of vibration of thought and I fended off the illness with chemotherapy radiation. I didn’t let anything get me down. When the doctor said, “You’ve got cancer.” I said, “Fantastic. Now that you’ve told me that, I know how to deal with it. End of story. When can we start treatment?”
That was it. I never looked back. My friends can’t believe me and all through the radiation and chemo, there was only one meeting I missed with a client because I was ill. Every other meeting, even if I was having chemo, I would still take that call with the client. All over the world clients will say, “Aren’t you meant to be in the hospital?” I said, “I am in the hospital, so what? Let’s go.” It’s because I was vibrating at that level and you don’t think I would let cancer reduce that vibration of thought. No way, not ever.
It’s incredible. I knew that and as long as you shared that, I want to comment on it. Ron has the attitude of somebody who never gives up as a negative thought. He doesn’t let that stuff slow him down. The fact that he shared that, thank you for sharing it, Ron. I didn’t know if you wanted to share that or not.
It’s my pleasure.
You are an inspiration. I love your attitude.
I’m working on my 30-year plan to get me past 100. When I have done that, I will work out another plan.
That’s part of it too, that process of always the next thing. Let’s talk about something else. Young people are not flooding into network marketing the way that my generation did. I think back to the first company that I joined in 1983, 38 years or so, I have been in marketing on my end and doing this for a long time. Granted the CEO wasn’t that much older. The founder was 8 or 10 years older than I was. Having said that, when I would go to the meetings, there were a lot more 20, 40, 50-somethings in the room.
I do see some young people joining the industry. I see some of them that are knocking it out of the park. I have interviewed a few of them but I don’t believe it’s the same percentage of people. Why do you think that’s not happening the way it should be especially given all the circumstances of the pandemic, etc.? Not a lot of opportunity per se out there in the traditional business world. A lot of these people are well-educated.
They can take the iPhone and launch the space shuttle with it but they were living on mom and dad’s couch or a spare bedroom. A lot of them are good, young people and they are lost. How do we get them to understand what we do? That’s number one. Second, why do you think they are not joining? How could we fix that? How can we make that subtle little adjustment to start to get some of these younger folks in this industry? I’m going to be quiet and let you give us your words of wisdom.Every picture is worth a million words. Click To Tweet
That’s the $60,000 question but allowing for inflation, it’s now a $1 million question. It’s a cracking question. I’ve got some ideas I would like to share with you. Young people these days are caught up with their mobile phones, tablets, computers, internet marketing, social media, Twitter, Instagram and it goes on and on. I believe there has been a real shift and it’s a lot to do with language. Don’t forget, I am old school and I recognize that. For a lot of my life, I have friends in the IP arena and IT. I run an IT company even now.
We’ve got to find a way of using language that the young people understand and can relate to. I’m sure you realize that I am an expert for 40 years or so now on right and left brain thinking. It’s an interesting thing, John. When I came into the personal development industry, the main thing, all of the books and all of the talks was teaching people how to visualize this and visualize those. I want to explain why. Most of the people my age and even people in their 40 or 50 are predominantly left-brain thinkers. The left brain is the language center. For the last 2,000 years in the West and we are not talking of the East, teaching has been predominantly on left-brain activity with a teacher at the front of the room talking to the students, educating them. We have thousands and thousands of libraries all over the world filled with millions and millions of books. There’s not a picture in any of them.
For the last 2,000 years, teaching has been predominantly directed toward the left brain, words. Not all that long ago, I gave a kid a book and he flipped through it and said, “Ron, I couldn’t read that. There’s not a picture in there.” He gave it back to me. That was an absolute wake-up call. The last many years are now becoming predominantly right mind thinkers because everything they are doing is predominantly in pictures. They are watching games and YouTube. Everything they are doing is picture-oriented. They don’t even realize it. Certainly, teachers in the education system don’t realize it but they are becoming predominantly right-brained. Us old people in network marketing because we are left-brain thinkers and we are trying to talk to young people who are right-brain thinkers, it’s not working. There’s a tremendous mismatch. It’s like English and Chinese. We’ve got to find a way of connecting with these young people.
Young people, when they watch all these video games, their experiential storage is different from the experiential storage that I and you had as we were growing up as kids. I will give you a couple of examples. When I was a kid, 10 or 11, we used to have real motorbikes and cars. We used to race them around the field, round and round. Sometimes we fracture them when we come off them and we might even get seriously hurt. When I was a kid, we had real guns that when you shot them, you could kill a rabbit or a bird easily. Our parents were always saying, “Do not point that at another kid because you could take an eye out. You could even kill him if you are not careful.” If you think about it these days, the children are growing up with all these computer games. When they are playing a racing car game or motorbike game, the experiential knowledge they are getting put into their minds is different from the experiential storage that I have in my mind.
When they play a war game with guns or knives, they can kill 3, 30 or 300 people and at the end of the game, all they’ve got to do is reset it. The experiential storage they’ve got is different than mine playing with real guns or knives where you could do real damage. You might be thinking, “Why does that matter for us people in network marketing?” It matters a whole lot. When we are talking to them about having meetings, a business opportunity, the products, they were drawing on different experiential storage and they were trying to process that. It’s difficult for them to connect the dots. The other thing is because they were predominantly thinking in pictures and we were talking to them in words, they transmute those words into pictures quickly.
It’s because they are seeing what you are telling them in pictures, suddenly they are way ahead of you because they can see the complete picture and you haven’t even got there. It’s this thing of Attention Deficit Disorder in the school. Fast run, you’ve got a 50 or 60-year-old teacher talking about the Battle of Hastings in the UK or the Civil War in the United States. The kid has already seen all of those things plus 1,000 or 2,000 online videos of World War I, World War II, III or IV and other things that you and I haven’t even heard of. This teacher rambling away in words and this kid is so far ahead of them thinking in pictures. We’ve got to bear all of this in mind. We’ve got to understand that kids these days do not think like us at all. I cannot express that enough.
When a twenty-year-old kid gets his first apartment and buys some flat back furniture. It could be a bed, wardrobe, footrest or anything. He will unwrap it. He will get the instructions out. He will not read the instructions. He will look at the pictures of how it’s assembled and quicker than you or me to read instructions, he can quickly simulate the pictures and he will have that thing assembled in the blink of an eye while you and I are still reading the instructions. Relate that to you trying to tell him about network marketing. His thought process is different. I believe these kids are right. I do believe a picture is worth a million words. We are trying to explain everything in words and they are trying to transmute them into pictures. They do that automatically. They can’t help themselves.
Let’s stay on that subject. I know you have done something to mitigate this and that you have been involved for a while in developing a process called Quollify.com. Ron is a master at labeling things that are definitive one word. You were ahead of your time. To add to what you were saying, I look at my son, for example, he introduced me to memes a couple of years ago. I had no idea what a meme was and all of a sudden, he’s sending me these caricatures or comic strips. They were so good and definitive, when you looked at them, you said, “This is good stuff.” Ron, explain what Quollify.com is.
I’m only going to be brief because I’ve still got some things I want to talk about. The Quollify app that I’m developing is an incredible business matching app based on 30-second videos where you are saying who you are, what you are doing and who you are looking for. We will match you up with your counterpart in fractions of a second. It’s a modern-day version of LinkedIn where we create instantaneous matches. People in network marketing or coaches looking for people to talk to, this is going to be a game-changer because you need lots and lots of people to talk to.
Our job on the Quollify app is to give you lots of people. It’s ever so simple but I would love people to go onto Quollify.com and register their interest in the app. That’s all I want to say because I’m hoping we can talk to you another time and explain things. I want to continue the conversation, if I may, John, on what I think we can do as an industry to come up with an elegant solution to engage young people. Are you up for hearing a little bit more?
Let me say one thing on that. How important is that? When you are reading this, when I look, I have to reproduce myself in my organization with younger people that have more years ahead of them, whether that’s more years on the planet or of being productive. It’s because I’m starting to slow down, my choice. There are other things I want to do in my life besides conference calls every day. More birthdays probably behind and ahead, I look at it that way. I know a lot of the people reading this that are in my age group, your age group or even a little bit younger, it’s the same thing. You’ve got to reinvigorate your organization with younger people. This is an extremely relevant subject, Ron. You are on.
I need you to role play with me. Can I ask you for a moment to be Mr. Kodak of Kodak Film? You are Mr. Kodak and I’m talking to you. Mr. Kodak, we are going back way before the year 2000. I’m saying to you, “Mr. Kodak, I’m a thought leader and a visionary. I’m diplomatic. I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for what you have done in the industry. You employ thousands of people. You run a profitable company. People love Kodak cameras and films to print the films out on. We love you. Mr. Kodak, I’m being diplomatic when I say to you that you need to overcome your confirmation bias because you keep confirming to yourself that you are the biggest and the best in America. If somebody comes over from Japan with a digital camera, they won’t buy it because why should they? Kodak is the brand name in America. If you listen to your thought leader, you are in a position of strength. You’ve got energy, money and millions coming in.”
“You’ve got a team of brilliant people, engineers and camera manufacturers. Mr. Kodak, get ten of your best people and come to Japan. Buy every digital camera you can see, bring them back to the States, reverse engineer them, add the Kodak magic with your own engineers, make them better and better. Dominate the camera market in America. Please do that, Mr. Kodak before Fuji runs rampant all over the United States and steal their brilliant little digital cameras.”
“Mr. Kodak, I have told you, I’m not only a thought leader but I’m also a visionary. I don’t know the guy’s name but I believe, one day, a guy will come up with a mobile telephone that on it will have brilliant music. It will have the internet and it will have everything you want on there more than the phone. People will love it. Mr. Kodak, I’m telling you because I’m a visionary, in that mobile telephone will be a camera. It might not be as good as the Kodak camera but it will put a camera into billions of people’s hands. People will be taking millions and millions of photographs and they won’t be printing them all out on your Kodak paper. They will be emailing them to each other. When people receive thousands of pictures of the holiday snaps or the grandchildren, they won’t print out millions. They will print out 1 or 2. Please, Mr. Kodak, listen to me as your thought leader and a visionary.”
“Mr. Kodak, you didn’t listen to me. We are in 2012 and you’ve gone bankrupt. I’m sad because I was diplomatic with you and I shouldn’t have been. I should have jumped on you and made you follow my advice. Now, what’s happened? You are now one of the biggest bankruptcies in America, $500 million. It was so bad, you had to sell off most of your patents. It’s a disgrace and I feel sorry for you, Mr. Kodak. Let’s move on, Mr. Kodak, to 2020. You’ve got out of bankruptcy and the value of your company is $500 million. You have lost the name and the brand in America. Let’s look at Fuji, their valuation is $22 billion. I warned you, Mr. Kodak, diplomatically but you did not listen to me. Mr. Kodak, I want you to follow and be a sounding board for an industry that I’m passionate about. It’s the network marketing industry that I have been involved with for over 40 years.”
“I can tell you, Mr. Kodak, roughly speaking there are about 200 million people in that industry. I always rank direct selling with network marketing. In that industry, we pride ourselves on brilliant training. Let’s say, we have thought 200 million people in the industry. Don’t you think with brilliant training each person should be able to recruit in a year one person? If we did that, the next year we will have 400 million. With all those people keep recruiting with all the brilliant training we’ve got then next year we should have 800 million. With all the brilliant training, if we taught them how to recruit one person each within a year, in the fourth year we will have 1.6 billion people. The truth is, Mr. Kodak, in my industry we are not growing exponentially. We might be growing a little bit but to all intents and purposes, we are treading water.”
“We are not exploding exponentially. In our industry, I’m sorry to say, we are turning over about $200 million for a 65-year-old industry. What I can see, Mr. Kodak, when I’m talking in the network marketing industry, the internet is turning over $4 trillion a year in a twenty-year-old or so industry. Is there a solution, Mr. Kodak, based on your experience with being a brilliant brand name, industry leader and not listening to the thought leaders and the visionaries? I think there is. When I talk to people, particularly leaders, Mr. Kodak, for who I have a tremendous amount of respect, I always come up with elegant solutions. It’s not rocket science what we’ve got to do in this industry.”
It’s ever so simple. Somehow or the other, the leaders of the industry, particularly people my age who want to leave a legacy, not flying on the industry. We need to recruit young people, as John said better than me. Industry leaders need to get together people of 71 years old or so like me, there are a few but not many. Certainly, 60-year-olds, 50-year-olds and that kind of thing. Industry leaders come together and the first thing we’ve got to have a symposium, a conference or a Zoom call, call it what you want, is this discussion on confirmation bias. Never mind bringing the young people, let’s examine ourselves. What is this? We are patting ourselves on the shoulders about how well we have done over the last 65 years using last century’s technology. What are our biases and get all of the cards on the table?
Until we have had that open and frank discussion, we can’t talk intelligently and embrace those young people. It can’t happen. It won’t happen. Still, we thought on top of our own confirmation bias. “Mr. Kodak, in all the analysis I have done on the Kodak industry, which is substantial about why it went ugly and wrong. The word confirmation bias has never been mentioned once and it’s a disgrace. It’s all sorts of other things. I put that firmly on your shoulders, Mr. Kodak.”
Once the industry leaders come together and address the industry bias we can find an elegant way of getting a whole load of young people who we know are hungry for money and business opportunities. We know they know Instagram, YouTube and all these platforms inside out. We ought to be harnessing them as an industry. We need to be talking to them and saying, “We put our cards on the table. These are our confirmation biases. You love the internet, mobile phones and your digital rapport. We are used to having meetings in hotel rooms and meeting face-to-face. Your digital rapport is quite alien to us.”
“Explain it to us, talk us through in detail how these platforms work. How you can reach out to 100 or 1,000 people on one of the platforms. Unlike us, when we pay for a hotel room and have a no-show, it costs us money. When you reach out and have a no-show, you can do it the next night and it cost you nothing. It’s a lot of fun. You need to teach us all these methodologies in our language so we can understand you and you can then understand us. We want to embrace you and your technologies. We are not going to run our outdated mode of doing things, running your right brain in our left brain mode.” That is it in a nutshell. “I think I have covered an elegant solution, Mr. Kodak, to our industry that I am passionate about. I hope, Mr. Kodak, you can give some advice on that network marketing industry where you never took the advice from a thought leader and a visionary. Hopefully, you will say that they ought to.” That’s my rant over.If we get together and bring young people into thought leadership, business strategies can cope with the trends before it's too late. Click To Tweet
Ron, you’re right, whether it’s Kodak and there are so many other examples in many different industries. Dr. Jim Collins, who I’m sure you know Good to Great, Built to Last and etc. I spent some time with Dr. Collins several years ago. He did that comparison between great companies versus good companies. Some of those good companies have disappeared. They were gone. Their name might exist.
Sadly, Kodak was in a brilliant position to come to Japan, get the samples, do the research and spend millions making them even better but he couldn’t see it.
They didn’t do it. To that point about network marketing. I can only talk about myself here, Ron, getting to the age that I’m at. When I look at it and I say, “I have to replace myself organizationally,” in terms of leadership. If I want to be earning an income still from my business 10, 20 years down the road, I need younger people that are going to have all the reasons to do well like Jim Rohn used to talk about. That young guy starting a family, a young woman or a young couple. We need to replace them but we have to be attractive to them where they don’t look at it and say, “This is Chinese to me and I speak English. It doesn’t make sense.” That’s exactly what you laid out.
I passionately believe that if we get together as a team and bring those young people in, we can solve that before it’s too late. The same with Mr. Kodak going to Japan, getting some cameras and getting his mind around it. He could have more than solved it but he didn’t. I believe we can.
We will continue to have the conversation dialogue. We’ve got some great other people we are interviewing that have similar thought processes. We are going to put them together because part of doing this show is to talk about relevance. How do we continue to be a relevant industry? More importantly, to Ron’s point, how do we grow the industry? Ron, I want to thank you. Where do people get your books if they would like to get some copies?
Mostly on the internet. I’m hoping that we can start ramping that up. Now that I’m back in the saddle and I’ve gotten cancer behind me, I’m putting myself out there again. We will have publishers and all sorts. It has been an absolute pleasure being here with you, John. I look forward to seeing you soon.
It has been a privilege.
- Debt Free with Financial Kung Fu
- Talk and Grow Rich
- Million Dollar Pay Day
- Turbo Success
- The 22 Immutable Laws of MLM
- Millionaire Within
- Think and Grow Rich
- The Science of Getting Rich
- The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches
- Wide ‘N Deep Multilevel Magic #5
- Cash Flow Magic
- Good to Great
- Built to Last
About Ron Holland
Ron G Holland is a Tour de Force, King Millionaire Maker & 22 Times Bestselling author with 35+ years experience at the bleeding edge of…
> self help / personal development,
> personal & business mentoring,
> raising finance,
> creating new business opportunities & partnership deals.
> developing cost effective marketing programmes for small to medium sized businesses.
> creating wealth & growth strategies
> authoring & publishing.
TV, Radio and newspaper/magazine appearances.