Long Haired Freaky People Need Not Apply

    June 30, 2003

One of my favorite songs is by a group known as the Five Man Electrical Band called “Signs”. One verse goes something like this:

>And the sign said, “Long-haired freaky people need not apply”

>So I tucked my hair up under my hat, and I went in to ask him why

>He said, “You look like a fine, upstanding young man, I think you’ll do”

>So I took off my hat and said, “Imagine that! Ha, me workin’ for you!”

This portion of the song hits home with me as I am a little different from most folks. I tend to underdress, understate, under-promise, and yet outperform most others. Anyone pre-qualifying me would laugh at the prospects of me being successful. Yet, I am.

Do you have a sign up that says “Long haired freaky people need not apply”? Do you discourage recruiting those who are different from you or do you try to make those you recruit conform to your way of life, your ideals, your standards? Do you pre-qualify your prospects to the degree that you discourage many from joining your organization?

I have seen network marketing organizations that recruit only people who have the same religious beliefs. Others I have seen will recruit only those with the same political beliefs. Often such pre-qualifying does not start out intentionally. The leaders happen to be so vocal in their stance on such matters that they unknowingly discourage those who are different from joining their organization.

After a while, the leaders of the organization start to notice that their organization tends to hang on to every word they say and it goes to their head. The next thing you know, they are giving presentations that seem more like political rallies than business meetings. The people who believe in them and their message think they are the best thing since sliced bread. Those who don’t go away feeling all network marketing companies are cults.

But that is an extreme example, let’s get back down to the everyday distributors with very small organizations. Do you discourage prospects from joining with you because you speak of politics and or religion when prospecting? Even some very devout Christians I know refuse to do business with businesses who advertise being a Christian company because they feel the company is exploiting Christianity for profit.

Regardless of your political or religious beliefs you should stay away from such taboo subjects while prospecting. You should also not let your personal opinions affect your recruiting efforts. Instead, you should remain open minded to the lifestyles of others and try to recruit people of all backgrounds and beliefs into your organization. You should make a point of being neutral and accepting.. I believe “tolerant” is the politically correct term.

If you feel strongly about your religion, your politics, or even about the way people should talk, dress, or act, you should keep those opinions to yourself and certainly not use them as pre-qualifiers for your recruits. That person you are talking to who has green and orange hair, nipple rings, and a barbed wire tattoo around their neck might just bring in 1,000 other people with multi-colored hair, nipple rings, and barbed wire tattoos. So… you might feel a little funny in your three piece suit standing in front of a huge organization of punk rockers… but who cares so long as the check clears? Besides, you if you lead properly, you might be a good influence on them.

Once these people are in your organization, you should then lead by example rather than by preaching your views. Leaders do not push people into action, they lead people into action. With pushing, the leader is standing behind his group forcing his group to jump into the pool.. With leading, the leader is the first to jump into the pool, then tells everyone the water is fine, and invites them in.

Brande and Chris Bradford are active participants in a home based business opportunity and are the publishers of GREAT HEIGHTS, a monthly newsletter focused on home based business issues. To subscribe to their newsletter, send a blank e-mail to: Great-Heights-Subscribe@yahoogroups.com or visit: http://www.brandebradford.com