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Author: _Donovan Baldwin

Copyright Donovan Baldwin

I had a hard time getting an idea for this article, but it's not my fault...it's my amygdala's fault.


Okay, don't run for the dictionary, here's the skinny.

We humans have a brain. In fact, we we actually have THREE BRAINS. Each one of these brains has a function, and has evolved to its present level over millenia. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your point of view, some of these brains have evolved to higher standards than others. Sometimes they are not quite sure who's in charge, and sometimes certain portions TAKE CHARGE, much to the chagrin of the poor human carrying them around in his or her head.

The first and oldest brain is generally referred to as the "reptilian brain". It's actually located at the brain stem and does look like the brain of an alligator. It is about FIVE HUNDRED MILLION YEARS old. It is concerned with basics. It wakes you up, puts you to sleep, keeps your heart beating...silly little things like that!

Standing on top of the reptilian brain so it can see what's going on is the midbrain.

This youngster is middle aged, about THREE HUNDRED MILLION YEARS old. It's tasks are a little more complicated than the brain stem's. It has to control your temperature, fiddle with your emotions. Oh yeah! That Fight-Or-Flight mechanism you hear about in fitness books and psychology...the AMYGDALA, which is a structure in the midbrain, takes care of that. If you are not familiar with Fight-Or-Flight, in a nutshell it is a system found in animals and humans where the body and brain, when faced with danger, shut down some nonessential activities, move blood around to where it's needed, ramp up some hormones, damp down some others in order for the Fight-Or-Flightee to survive. We'll come back to Fight-Or-Flight in a couple of minutes.

Up at the top, looking out at the world is the cortex. This upstart only began developing about ONE HUNDRED MILLION YEARS ago, but it moved in and took over...or so it thinks! It goes around writing books and composing music, painting paintings and creating scientific goodies while the reptilian brain and midbrain go about their mundane chores.

This usually works pretty well. The reptilian brain takes care of the asic chores, takes out trash, sweeps the steps, whatever. The Midbrain rearranges the furniture and selects the channel so to speak. The cortex can take care of the creative stuff since it isn't bothered by all those silly little problems. In fact, my cortex is having a all right now. But it wasn't when I sat down to write this article and my mind went blank. I had writer's block!

As I said, this setup USUALLY works pretty well, but, as we all know, life is not a smooth, straight road. Ever been driving down the road, cool, calm, collected. The perfect picture of a civilized human being...until somebody cuts in front of you, or blows their horn, or you spill your coffee in your lap.

Ever almost lose control of the car...or yourself...in a situation like that?

Mr. Cortex lost his cool, didn't he? Other portions of the brain took over. In fact, my wife was talking with her mother about this the other day. They were talking about that old Goofy cartoon where he was a nice polite husband and father until he got behind the wheel. Turned red, sprouted horns, cussed at people..you know, like the drivers we see every day.


Well, here's what happens.

Remember the Amygdala and the Fight-Or-Flight thing?

That reaction is hard-wired pretty good, and is REALLY effective. In fact, sometimes TOO EFFECTIVE. You see, that reptilian brain is pretty much unable to distinguish REAL THREATS from, say, potential discomforts.

Now, when a car jumps the curb and heads for us on the sidewalk, the amygdala does all kinds of important things. Among a long list of responses, it shuts down anything you don't really need for immediate survival...digestion, sex drive, and lo and behold...your thought processes!

The other day, I was sitting in the back yard, drinking a Miller Lite, listening to the birds, watching the neighbor's horses and goats, amusing Mr. Cortex and lulling Mr. Amygdala (I could hear him snoring). You know what happened? I got ideas for several articles to research and write, came up with some starting paragraphs, and wrote part of one article in my head.

Later, I came back inside, sat down at the computer aware of the fact that I had to leave la-la-land behind and face the cruel world of potential critics (including myself), the chance of failure, loss of income...and was totally blank.

I've done it, have you? Sat at my desk and came up with idea after idea, then the boss walked up or I went into a meeting and my mind went blank.

You see, I'm innocent, it was my amygdala's fault.

Okay, this was just a long way around to get to the real thing I wanted to talk about.

Let's talk about internet or network marketing, selling people stuff, being new at it...stuff like that. We've all had that situation where we went into a new job, and no matter how skilled or competent we had been in the past, we were at least a little nervous the first day or two...felt a little threatened, even. I bet you've had a little trouble being creative and getting over some of the first humps. I have.

So, there you are, the newest newbie network or internet marketer on the block. You're a little confused by all the information you've received (and haven't really absorbed), you're uncertain about what to do, you're beginning to have doubts, your brother-in-law told you that you were stupid for getting involved in this mess, and you have no idea where to start, and if you do have an idea of WHERE to start, you're not sure HOW to start. Your marketing brain is blank!!

Step one. Don't try to do everything at once. In fact, make a plan! Uh-oh. That's threatening. Well, read some of your materials and then go out in the backyard with me and have a beer. Oh, by the way. Why don't you bring a tape recorder along to get those ideas that Mr. Cortex tosses up while you're listening to the birds? That's what I do. I have a list of 10 articles I am going to write because I have a small tape recorder I stole from my wife, and when I get an idea, I talk to the hand...the one with the recorder in it. That's where the idea for this article came from. That and a book on Kaizen. That's another subject all by itself.

Okay, got a plan? Make a goal.

It doesn't have to be a big one, and don't make it threatening. Make it something you CAN achieve. You are NOT going to make one million dollars by next Tuesday. However, you CAN possibly make your first sale by the end of the month! Once you get that goal down (and it may need revising as you learn), get it down on paper and carry it with you. Take it out and read it. Tape it to the bathroom mirror. What you are doing is training Mr. Midbrain to start looking out for things that can help you achieve your goal, and he will pretty often deliver these observations to Mr. Cortex, who will start putting together ideas.

Start with baby steps.

You are not going to learn html and build your own super-duper web site over night. However, if the company you are with hosts a web site for you, you can put that on a business card and hand 'em out to evvvveeeerrrrryyyybbbbooooddddyyyy. Don't be shocked if that doesn't generate any sales. It's a step. You didn't run across the room the first time you tried to walk. You didn't get promoted at your last job until you had been there a while and had at least learned how to do the job you had! By the way, don't quit handing those cards out simply because you don't make sales right away. I was trying out a new card recently, and got my first sale from them after I had handed out over 250 of them. That sounds bad, but I would have been happy to have handed out 1,000! Why? Because they cost me about $50.00 per thousand. I get paid a $65.00 commission per sale. It doesn't end there. Over half of my customers buy from me for several months in a row, so there's a good chance my $50.00 worth of cards may generate $390 in revenue or more!

Don't stop!

Two points on this one. First, you will have blank days where you don't feel like working at your business. While you're making plans, figure out some things you can do when you are feeling non-creative. The other day, I was sick. I posted old articles I had written weeks ago to two forums, and did ten minutes of clicking on some traffic exchanges. Did it help my business? Maybe. Maybe not, but I did something. Writers actually do this. They will write something every day so that the creative juices keep flowing. Every once in a while, even during a dry spell, a good idea pops to the top.

Second, although I've heard of them, I have never personally met an overnight success in network marketing. The people I know who have been successful got there over time. They joked about how small their first checks were, and how long it took some of them to get that first one. It took me over four years from my first online commission of $25.00 to get to where I was actually making a six-figure income online. You WILL get discouraged, but don't let it beat you. If you are in a good program and you work at it diligently, you will almost certainly succeed.

Finally, take a break.

It's not just about all work and no play, although that is an important point. It's not just about getting back to basics, or spending time with the family...it's about creativity. When you are relaxing, you are lulling Mr. Midbrain and Mr. Neanderthal...sorry, reptilian brain to sleep, so that Mr. cortex can come out and play. Also, taking that time off allows you to encounter new people, encounter new experiences, and this can give you new material for future endeavors.

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The author is retired from the Army after 21 years of service. He has worked as an accountant, purchasing agent, optical lab manager, restaurant manager, instructor and long-haul, over-the-road truck driver. He has been a member of Mensa for several years, and has written and published poetry, essays, and articles on various subjects for the last 40 years. He has been an active internet marketer since 2000, and now makes his living online. To learn more about improving your marketing performance, please visit marketingsecrets.xtramoney4me.net. To read more articles by the author, please visit his blog at donovanbaldwin.blogspot.com/. To get your own money-making website and complete training program, please visit www.donovanbaldwin.com

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