Do you want to be fruitful in inspiring and guiding others? Serve to lead! John Solleder’s guest in this episode is Robert Arthur. Robert discusses with John how you need to put your ego aside when you serve. We should always be empathetic and loving. But that should be balanced with being firm and disciplined. We also have to be ready to fight for what we know is right and just. Join in the conversation and discover what books inspired Robert to become a true servant leader. Tune in, and serve to lead!
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Serve To Lead With Robert Arthur
It is a distinct opportunity to interview a long-term friend in the industry, Mr. Robert Arthur. Robert, how are you?
Excellent. Thank you, John. It’s good to be here.
How many years are you in the industry?
Going on 26 this 2021.
I know you got a tremendous run in the last number of years, so congratulations. It’s a great industry when it all works, isn’t it?
It is when it works right. It normally works rights when we work it.
I know you’ve been exposed now to a book, Leave Nothing to Chance and there are a few principles in there you really liked. Do you want to pick one and talk about why you liked it and what it means to you?
One of my favorite principles was Commit. Our risk is giving up too soon. It struck a chord with me. Time and time again, if you’re in this industry long enough, you realize we to embrace the law of the harvest, sowing, and reaping. For anything worthwhile in life, there’s always typically the crucial. It refines us into who we could be and what we can achieve with any business endeavor. One of my favorite quotes is “Until we commit, there’s a hesitancy to draw back and all men are unforeseen magic. The beauty of it all comes into place.” I’m paraphrasing it but that’s where the magic is. When we commit with our heart, spirit, time, and passion, that’s when we can build something that’s lasting and worthwhile.
I know you’ve been a student of self-development for as long as we know each other and maybe longer than that, certainly. If you can think back as a young Robert Arthur, what was the first book somebody handed you, you tripped over it, or you found it in the library or you were in school? Where was it and what was it?When we commit everything we have, that's when we can build something lasting and worthwhile. Click To Tweet
Jeff’s book, The Slight Edge. It introduced me to so many principles that we’re not taught. The principle of leverage and what we discover. Some of these basic universal laws and principles. Obviously, he has a deep passion for our profession of network marketing. The whole concept of leverage and residual income even multiple streams. That one little improvement, extra phone call, extra next step, or whatever it is that we take can make all the difference and open up all the doors. How those small little steps over time can move mountains and the earth.
Let’s say you have an opportunity. I hate to say people are stranded on a desert island, but if you think back when we were two kids to Gilligan’s Island, which some of our younger viewers never saw that show. You wind up for whatever reason on a beautiful deserted island, plenty of food, water, and sustenance. They say, “You’re living in on what you can bring, Robert. You can only bring three books with you. What are they?”
We all have mentors, role models in life. One of my mentors is Andy Andrews. He’s a faith-based leader, author, and speaker. At one point, he was a comedian. One of his books is called The Traveler’s Gift. It is based on the principle of this character who was given the opportunity to travel to different places in time. It’s more of a fantasy but it’s also based on real-life, timeless principles, even biblical principles. The point is, David Ponder, he’s taken to these iconic figures and times in our history as humans on this planet from A. Lincoln, Napoleon, to Columbus. The cool part is he gets to see them as the real people and why they played such pivotal roles because of their character because of the decisions they had to make. It’s not always easy decisions. The Traveler’s Gift to me would be a reminder of what the pursuit of excellence looks like and a reminder for me about always stranded on that island. I could see these beautiful examples of what it means to be the best version of the human, if you will, or our servant leader God made us to be. That would be one of the books, The Traveler’s Gift, by Andy Andrews.
In addition to your Bible, you get three books. That’s the first one by Andy Andrews. There’s going to be two more, I would think.
There are many I could list here. One of my faith-based mentors is Brian Klemmer. Brian passed away. He wrote a number of books and different workshops and programs. One of his books which I love, it’s called The Compassionate Samurai. What that book reminds me of when I read it is the antithesis. All of us have this energy of healing and giving. All of this had the energy of the warrior and aggressive individual who gets things done. It’s a balance of what it means to live a life more imbalance and to also be okay and give ourselves permission to be that individual who serves humbly other people and puts that ego aside.
We’re always mindful that ego edging God out. Let’s don’t go there. Let’s keep him there. Keep the reason why we are here. In place, we can be soft serving where we’re there, always asking, listening, empathetic, kind, full of grace and love. That’s always balanced by the firm, disciplined warrior who’s ready to fight for what we know is right and just. Every chapter in the book would remind me of the balance of life. Often, it’s a struggle, more of an ease, and the ebb flow of life as well. There are some timeless lessons in the book.
Is there a third one?
To be honest, I was looking through my library and if I had three books, including the good book, I would have to say, transparently, my third one would be more entertainment. It would be a light, outgoing, and grand adventure. I’m an avid fan of Clive Cussler. He’s always the hero and the heroine. He saves the planet. Again, I wanted to come to this interview and be transparent about it. My third book would be more entertaining and probably one of my Cussler books where he saves the planet.
We could use some of that now after the last crazy year, which is a perfect segue to my next question. You’ve been doing this a long time. We’re getting past, I think, to the pandemic but we’re still not completely past it. That being the case, let me give you a description. I’m interested in your answer on this. Let’s say there’s a father and son. You got a 60-year-old dad. You got a 25-year-old son. Dad has been in maybe senior level management with a company for a number of years. He’s done well and saved some money for retirement.Serve with humility and love. Click To Tweet
Everything is looking good up until the last little bit of time here. All of a sudden, the economy does what it’s done. Maybe now, he’s even returning to work on a full-time basis, but income’s not going to be the same. For the company he works for, sales and revenue are not going to be the same. Therefore, dad’s not going to make what dad was used to make. He’s getting up in here. He’s getting to the point of, “Want to put my feet up and hit some more golf balls or do whatever.” He says, “Those network marketing things, they’ve been around a long time. I’ve never really looked at one. I never needed to.”
His 25-year-old son, who is well-educated. He went to a good school and did all the work. The same situation. He started his career, had the wind sucked out of it because of the pandemic, and the kid is living at home. Dad is looking at him saying, “You’ve got an education. What are you going to do with your life?” He’s looking at his dad saying, “Dad, what are you going to do with the balance of your life?” They are both having a struggle. All of a sudden, the kid says the same thing dad says. He says, “Use those network marketing things. I’ve heard of them. We know Robert. Let’s go over to his office and pick his brain.” Those two guys walk in there this afternoon. Beautiful summer day. They say, “Robert, tell us why network marketing now as opposed to prior to the pandemic?” What would your answer be?
A part of my answer as I would recognize the fact that it takes some courage to back the status quo. I would say, “First of all, thanks for both of you for stepping up and asking. Is there something different that would be more fulfilling? Maybe even bring us more time together as a father and son. Is there something that will bring us a deeper sense of purpose?” What I shared with seems to be, “Robert, you’re jumping right into the deep part of it way too early.” I would get to know them first, connect with them as human beings, figure out some of the things that bring them joy and want to do more of in life. That would be one of my segues.
One of the questions I would ask the father is, “Are there some chapters of your book that you’ve been writing for 60 years that are unwritten? Maybe there’s a couple of things you shared with your son. By the way, I also want to applaud your son. It’s pretty, instantly apparent to me that your son trusts you and looks up to you. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be sitting here with you. It’s also pretty apparent to me that you, as a father, is a listener. You care about your son’s future. You’re willing to spend time with him. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be sitting here either.” I would ask the father, “If I wrote you a check for $1 million and you had to spend it with your family and loved ones that you’ve thought about doing that you’ve put off for decades now. What would you be doing?”
I train it all the time and ask the questions. It’s on my wall. It says, “Tell me more and be genuinely interested.” The other question I always ask, “When you’re doing that activity, how would that make you feel to do that activity with your son, wife, and grandkids and then listen, which also entails pausing.” I would be drawn to visiting what I call more of the legacy questions like, “What are some things you left undone?” You tie it into the adventure. Both the 60-year-old gentlemen and the 25-year-old son, one of the core human needs and desires, are tied to adventure and new experiences to grow.
I would ask them, “You two right now are going at a venture together. Money wasn’t an issue and there was time. What would that look like?” First of all, I’d spend a little time dreaming, visioning, and vision casting with them. I would also ask the father, “Let me ask you a question. Let’s say we live to a ripe old age or even 100. Forty years from now. That’s 40 more additional years and at the end of that time, what would you like your son’s kids, possibly your son’s kids’ kids to be saying about you? What does that sound like? What does that look like? What’s the legacy you want to leave?”
To the 25-year-old, I would switch gears for a moment and say, “What if you could put some of the old farts to shame and step into a place and be your own boss and create something that has your thumbprint. You’re 25 and you’re full of imagination, passion, and purpose. I say you’re lighting up as we talk about, they say with your dad. How does that feel to you? What do you really want to accomplish? What do you want to step into? What does that look like? How is that going to feel like?” When I say you could actually create a business that could make a lasting impact on some of your friends’ parents, and peers around you. Even possibly a global impact, what does that feel like? What does that look like? I would love to hear more about that. I’m sure your dad would too. That would be part of the conversation I would have with the father and son.
I love that you get some dreaming about the future and thinking about it together and separately, what their needs are at vastly different ages as well. It’s a perfect way for me to ask you this question. You’ve been doing this a long time. You’ve started a lot of people in the industry successfully. Some of them become really successful, some become modestly successful and some, as we both know, don’t work out for whatever reason. What do you do in terms of guidance? You help that 60-year-old dad or 25-year-old youngster get off to a flying start. They see some success, gain some personal confidence, and gain some confidence in your company in any organization and industry, whatever it is that they need to gain. What methodology have you used? What do you see that’s working now with all the experience that you have?
Two things. The method and the medium we communicate has changed. What really hasn’t changed is the basic core human needs and some of the inner dialogue that goes on. One of the first things I would do is, as I said about the father and son, I would have a discovery question. First of all, discover there is a disparity between the vision I have that they might have that they actually have. The analogy is that, I could be in a Lamborghini going 180 miles an hour in my business. I’ll be here, my new rep that I brought on board maybe they envision their businesses more of a Volkswagen or a beetle they remade. It barely gets down the road.
If I address them and say, “Here’s the 180 mile an hour business,” without even pausing long enough and figuring out what they desire. If you’re reading this blog, hopefully, you can grasp this. I’ve heard many top leaders. Even the ones that are making the gangster money, if you will, whatever you want to call it, especially the ones that are serving at this high level of contribution, which compels me is so much of the time they said, “When I started with this, I simply wanted to get my darn car note paid or wanted to pay my college loan on a monthly basis.” Many of the very top leaders, didn’t see the 180-mile Lamborghini at all.
They simply wanted $200, $300, or $400 a month. Fortunately, for many of them, they had a coach, mentor, or business partner who did take the time to connect with them, discover where they were at, and meet them where they were from an expectation level and a goal-setting level. Otherwise, I’m setting up guilt, remorse, anger, and all the negative, darker stuff where I could be instead of affirming, uplifting, and celebrating every little milestone that they hit. I know I’m getting a little more esoteric but I think it’s crucial that we meet people where they’re at.
Much of the time, you wouldn’t be on this if you didn’t have high ambitions and some great high goals. That’s great. So do I and John. We always have for many years. All I’m saying is, meet them where they are at, slow down long enough to listen and figure out where they are. Adjust our coaching, mentoring, and even the way we celebrate the milestones with them. The other thing that we always strive to impart to our newbies is remind them it’s about being ready, firing, and then aiming. Another way of saying it is, “Let’s decide we’re going to move forward, let’s do the do, and we’ll figure it out as we go.”
The analysis-paralysis is a real disease and so much of the time, it’s all tied to our imposter syndrome. The imposter syndrome is alive and well. I haven’t met this individual yet, even the ones that write the books, are on the stages and have the stories. Do they still have their imposter? Yes. Their imposture conversations could be 2 seconds or 5 seconds versus five days when they started. The other caveat for our newbies is to show them the mechanics. Obviously, we want to show them how do we connect. I love doing some of the rejection-free ways to invite them. Empower them. Give them the tools and the resources when they can start connecting and inviting using the tools and plugging in. We obviously go through the mechanics with individuals.
The mechanics won’t mount to a hill of beans unless they’re in an environment. Remember, environment is 1,000 times more powerful than willpower and grit. If we don’t help them set up a positive reinforcing environment of some type in some level, they’re going to be sabotaged by who knows who. It could be their closest relative in a week or the next dream killer down the road who’s their cousin who’s a wannabe success story. That’s the other part of this, help them set up that environment of support and plug into the community. We always teach mechanics, but the mindset is a huge part of it too.Create a business that makes a lasting impact. Click To Tweet
I love the answers to these questions. Sometimes, we want to sell them on our life. In your case and in my case, together, we’ve been doing this for many years. I’ve interviewed some guys that have been doing it for over 50 years. The way we see the business is like, “This is our profession. We’ve been doing it forever.” That new guy, whether it’s the 60-, 25-, 18-, or 70-year-old, they may sit in here and say, “I’ve never had a decent car. I bought a used car my whole life. I’d love to be able to make an extra $300 a month to have a decent car to drive. I’ve never really been on vacation. I’d love to spend a little time going to some local resort.”
It’s not even something that you or I would get excited about necessarily. To them, that’s where they’re at and meeting them where they’re at is so key on what you said. You meet them where they’re at so you don’t oversell it expectation, you sell them on what it is that they’re looking for. I know in my case, when I started, I was in college. I wanted to make beer money. I had no beer money ever. I was a poor kid. I was going to be at school and I was working part-time. Friday night would come and I’d have no money to ever go out with my friends. That’s when I started and here I am. This became a career from a simple idea like that. When you started, do you remember what the first thing was that you wanted?
When I started, my car had been a total dot. My girlfriend borrowed it. She went up to the ski resort and overheated the engine block. I was going to school, a broke student, and more months than money. I actually gave my sponsor a pair of skis and my bow and arrows. I was in a Ski Archery, Nordic Skiing and Archery, if you remember. I was competing with that internationally. I didn’t have the money. I had the work ethic and the drive. My sponsor saw that in me. I got to work and sold about $2,500 worth of initial product. Two and a half weeks without a dime to invest in the business simply because I had the gumption. What I really wanted back then is a way to fund adventure, to be honest. I wanted to see the world, see the planet, and experience all these beautiful people.
My dad was an Armchair Traveler. He had every National Geographic he could ever buy. We went on family vacations to the mountains in Colorado. I never saw life. It’s one little trip or whatever I saw. I saw my experiences here as I’m here to experience the planet and all these beautiful cultures and people. When I was introduced to network marketing, I said, “You mean I could do A and that would lead to B. I would attract C, D, E, F, G and these people? I would get a few bucks from them, which could be more. I see this guy on stage.” I know as much as he does and he’s earning this kind of money. You and I were together years ago. I saw this guy clean-shaven and a little ruffled. He got up there, he was real, and he was very passionate. He knows a few things, but again, I have as much work ethic as he does and I have the people skills. Initially, for me, I simply wanted to be able to live life on my terms and see more of this beautiful planet. That was my driver.
Over the course of time, many of us get the travel bug once we start making some money and realize in many cases, we have an international business. We’ll build a downline in a country you want to go to. What better way to see it and get paid to do it? Robert, you’ve always been a very goal-oriented person. I know you were an elite athlete younger in life and you’ve been an elite distributor. How do you set goals?
My version of goal setting is tied to daily activity. I’m not necessarily driven by the trips, competition, or seeing my name on the next top recruiter board. One of the things that drives me, which is tied to my goal setting is I love at the end of each day to feel I did something worthy. It’s part of the stuff I’m still working on of being worthy. My version of goal setting has enabled me to accomplish some significant milestones in life, business sport, even in my marriage. Fortunately, I had the grit to be consistent in my daily activity. I was on another call with another mentor. He asked the crowd on the webinar. He said, “What do you think is one of the most under-talked about, under-recognized skills in our industry of network marketing?”
We all were putting in the chat, different things, people’s skills, recruiting, and inviting. At the end of the chat, he said, “Here it is. It begins with a C. It’s consistency.” When we can consistently show up and consistently set these daily little milestones, then that’s what leads to the bigger goals and the bigger trips. Don’t get me wrong. Do I have my next rank in the wall on red ink? Yes. Every significant financial goal that I’ve hit in every company I’ve been in, has it been on the wall in red ink? Yes. I have the written goals but the heart of all my success, different milestones, as I mentioned, were consistently showing up on a daily basis, hitting, and being okay with doing the do to hit those little daily goals. That’s what leads to the massive, larger BHAG, the Big Hairy Audacious Goals.Be the leader God created you to be. Click To Tweet
I met Jim Collins a few years ago in Dallas. That was the first time I ever heard Big Hairy Audacious Goal. I have adopted that in my training classes. A BHAG is like, “You got to have that big hairy audacious goal.” Robert, you’ve been at this for many years. You’ve been extremely successful. I know you have a new venture and we never talk about companies and all of that. Good luck with that. Let me ask you this. Looking forward, where are you going now?
I am committed to becoming more effective and how I lead, inspire, guide and mentor others. The end result of that will be, I will create a stronger and unshakable legacy for my grandkids and people that know me through this chapter in a way. In doing that, my goal is to create a legacy that this man truly was a servant leader. He truly had a desire each and every day to uplift others around him. The monetary goals, the vision, the building, the next biggest million-dollar people team, if it happens, it happens. That’s inevitable when I decide to keep growing and developing my own self. That’s where I’m going.
Very well said. Thank you so much for being on the show, Robert. It’s been a pleasure. Continued great success and continued good health, obviously. I appreciate it. Great comments. Great leadership. When you listen to Robert, Robert is somebody who’s figured it out and created a lifestyle for himself. There are many people out there, that’s what you want to do. Pick your path, pick your company, pick your opportunity and go with it. My name is John Solleder. I’m the host of Leaving Nothing to Chance. You probably figured that out if you’re reading the blog. We’re on every Tuesday, 52 weeks a year, including Christmas. Our books are called Leave Nothing to Chance and also Moving Up: 2020, both Amazon bestsellers and they’re digital. They’re also available in Spanish if you have a Spanish team. We work with a lot of Spanish people in lots of different countries around the world. Robert, I want to thank you again. I’m going to give you the last word to sign us out.
People are praying for an answer for whatever your product or service. Whatever the solution you provide to people, know there’s a whole lot of people praying for that solution. Have the courage to step up and invite them to take a look. Be the leader that you were created to be. Thank you, John, for all you do. Thanks for your heart of service. Thanks, everybody, for reading and growing.
Thank you, Robert.