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Uma Outka

Goodbye to a Leader

The month we were finishing this issue was May -- the month our industry received the sad news of John Kalench's passing. Most people in Network Marketing are more than familiar with him -- he inspired love and admiration in thousands of people all around the world. As a trainer, no one is more polished than he was; as a speaker, few as articulate. And as a Networker, few as professional, successful, and devoted to the industry.

John's commitment to Network Marketing as a way of business and to the industry as a whole was something that stood out about him -- something he was eager and proud to share with others. It was his belief that Networkers need to fall in love with Network Marketing itself, and not just their own chosen company and products. You may not realize just how unique the level of his commitment to this really was, but I can vouch for it.

In the years that I've been interviewing Networkers for Upline, the truth is that it's pretty common for people to say they have "total belief" in their own company, but seem to still hold some of the standard negative notions about the industry and "those other companies." Naturally, I edit out anything negative people say about other companies, as well as the excessively positive things they sometimes say about theirs, and truthfully, I've always attributed this to their strong commitment to and focus on their business of choice.

But what Kalench said about this was that no matter how strong your belief in your own company, if you aren't "in love" with Network Marketing, there is a weak link in your belief -- whether you realize it or not. He said, "Network Marketing is your opportunity, your company is your vehicle for making the most of it." This perspective demands more personal investment -- it also requires (and possibly inspires?) the position John always took of refraining from gossip and "trashing" other companies. It asserts that if Networkers bad-mouth any legitimate Network Marketing company in contrast to their own, they belittle the industry theirs depends on equally. We hate it when people outside the industry speak negatively about Network Marketing, but how much negativity do we put out from within?

In the spirit of this sentiment, whatever your opinion of its accuracy or its application to your own situation, let's honor John Kalench this month by each choosing to speak exclusively positively or not at all about people and companies connected to Network Marketing. Let's make the most of opportunities to promote positive opinions of Network Marketing the business -- even if it means not zeroing in on your company alone.

When we received the sad news, a number of the people already contributing to this issue wanted a way to honor him as well. In our tribute, you'll read John's personal Networking story, contributed by Rene Reid Yarnell, and memorable quotations from John's writings and trainings, as well as memories from friends. Anyone who's read Being the Best You Can Be in MLM knows about his ambitious goal of having a million friends, and in the event of his passing, his words resound more than ever:

I knew it was important for me to establish a goal -- a lifetime goal -- that would help me focus my energy and optimize this whole adventure. I thought and thought all night long. By the time the sun came up, I had it.

My lifetime goal is: Before I die, I want to have one million friends.

Every single day since that long and wonderful night, that's what I have striven for. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, as I focus on that goal, that every other thing in my entire life takes care of itself perfectly.

He wrote, "Before I knew Network Marketing existed, the goal that so powerfully and effortlessly drives my life today was . . . unimaginable. Network Marketing is what made it possible!" My guess is he'd want you to be thinking right now, what is possible for you? -- UO

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