Chapter Four:

Prosperity Principle #5:
Leverage Your Time, Money & Resources Via Mentoring, Networking & Community


This is your first step in the “Seven Steps to Breaking the Rich/Poor Barrier.  It's all about people, about leveraging your effectiveness through the power of networking.   As a networking starter you should visit our 3Circles website, where you’ll find links to many valuable resources. 


What is your dream?   What do you want for you and your family?  If you're at all spiritual you'll want to align your goals and ultimate plan with what you believe to be God's mission and purpose for you and your family.  Once you have a clear understanding, you'll want to identify specific goals and create a 3Circles Vision Team.  The larger the idea, the more important it is to create a Vision Team.  Use our website; our online conferences; our VOIP enabled web meeting and presentation rooms; and the power of email to seek and network with others as you build your Vision Team. You should especially be seeking other 3CCC members who have skills you lack.  When starting any business, most people realize they need a CPA, a lawyer and maybe some other professional help, such as a graphics designer for their logo or a webmaster.  But such a loose knit “Vision Team”, composed only of local business professionals is not what I mean by a 3Circles Vision Team


Forming a 3Circles Vision Team is about creating alliances and establishing commitments, whether local or long distance via the Internet, with people who can provide all the expertise and skills needed to complete the specific goals you’ve outlined for your business.  Do you need someone with Internet marketing expertise, or someone who can create a custom made website tied to a database?   Do you need help with real estate expertise?  Perhaps you’re an inventor and need unique resource people on your Vision Team, like a scientist or a materials expert.   Are you looking for a published author or ghostwriter who could help you write that book that’s been kicking around in your mind for years?   With a 3Circles Vision Team you surround yourself with people who believe in your ideas, who understand your vision, who can help complete each step that you’ve outlined to get you there.  With a really great idea you should be able to convince your team members to join for future remuneration, whether in the form of stock options, deferred payment for services rendered, or even Time Dollars (see Chapter 11 which covers Time Banks and Time Dollars).


The kind of networking I’m talking about is first and foremost proactive, never satisfied with the status quo.   If it doesn’t have a political and spiritual dimension, it’s not serious networking.   I’m going to say that again, if it’s serious networking, there are political and spiritual dimensions.  Of course, many people consider themselves to be neither political nor spiritual.  But such a position is basically dishonest. Life IS both political and spiritual and denying it will not change that fact. When I was much younger I used to deny the existence of God.  I truly believed I was an atheist.  But this denial did not change the fact of God’s existence nor did it change the fact that God was working to fulfill his purposes in my life. 


In January of 1984 while walking down a snowy country road near Creston, British Columbia, God showed me my whole life, like a fast-forward movie, and periodically, throughout the movie, God would pause it to say, “I was there”.  Up till this vision I never realized the extent to which God is involved in our lives, regardless of whether or not we are aware of God's love towards us.  Immediately after this fast-forward movie I was given a vision of satellites and computers being used to network and gather together believers all over the world.  From that moment I knew I had to study computers as a first step in fulfilling that vision.  Eventually this led to the creation of my Internet business, RAVEN-Villages Internet, located in rural West Virginia (odd name I know, but RAVEN is an acronym for Rural Appalachian Villages Electronic Network).


Just as religion is mankind reaching heavenward to understand how we came to be and where we’re going, politics is mankind reaching laterally to one another: whether for individual power and aggrandizement or for cooperation and service; either to one’s country as a model citizen or to one’s business interests.  We each bring our individual visions to the table and gather those who believe as we do, either pushing forward with the collective vision that emerges or, as happens from time to time, going it alone.  In my case, the vision God gave me and the changes required of his people were so profound it has taken decades just to understand it fully and develop a solid plan of action.  I think of it like some giant jigsaw puzzle, only there was no picture pasted onto the board when it was cut into pieces.  As time went by, the picture would appear on a few pieces and I could connect them.  At long last the image has fully rendered and the pieces are nearly all in place.


What I am pointing out here is this simple fact, that as soon as you want to grow your money, you’re involved in networking with people: customers who need your product or service; employees, friends and business associates who share your dream; and professionals who help sustain you with their services, whether they be lawyers, CPA’s, consultants, brokers, investors, chambers of commerce, or small business associations. 


But as important as it is to the health of your business, that you network with contacts, the main reason for business failure is a lack of consistent cash flow. A close second is the break down in dependent relationships necessary for sustaining your business.   I have learned these lessons the hard way, which is why I’m more careful about who I bring into my circle of influence. It's also why building intentionally planned communities makes so much sense.  With an intentional community, where you choose your neighbors and you choose how the community operates, you have direct knowledge as to the character, the commitment and the interests of the people who impact your life most directly.


As you can see, this book is not just about the “How” of increasing your networth, it’s also about the “Why”. It's about bringing prosperity to your family, money being but one aspect of prosperity.  I want you to be successful in every area of your life... not just successful at making money.  This whole-life approach is vital to transforming attitudes that, left unchanged, might rob you of your reward down the road.  And making money is not just about getting money, it is also about keeping it and passing it on as a permanent legacy, for which you will be remembered long after you leave this world.  


Besides the obvious importance of networking for contacts who can help you professionally, there is another very important reason to look for opportunities to network: the power of leveraging the work of others.   One of the first things Jesus did, when he launched his ministry at age 30, was to gather the twelve apostles and other disciples. Jesus understood how to leverage his knowledge and eventually his ministry, through the building and expansion of his community of believers!  


Jesus knew it was his purpose to die, so that he could reveal to mankind the power of forgiveness and love.  And he knew that after his death it would be the extreme dedication of those he gathered and taught that would keep his ministry alive. He knew their shared experience with the power of God's kingdom here on earth would continue to spur them on, spreading his message effectively throughout the known world and fulfilling his prophetic words, “You shall do even greater works than I”.   But this example is not just about the power of networking... it is about the power of leveraging your potential, both your knowledge and your hard work, through a community of spiritually enlivened and motivated people. Such a community would understand the necessity of working smart, not just hard, and thereby assist each of it's members in learning how to acquire and increase their various forms of wealth.


These facts concerning how Jesus used the power of mentoring, networking and community are well recorded in scripture. Paradoxically, very few Christians understand and apply them. I think the reason is obvious. It would require a level of non-conformity that is anethema to the entire organized church structure and those who blindly accept it's hypocrisy.


There is an age old saying that “The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts”.   And in the bible we read that one faithful person can put to flight a thousand foes, but two can send ten thousand running.  This too is leverage. I call this the "One Plus One Equals Ten Principle". This principle operates daily in the lives of couples truly committed to one another and to God.


The success of Mult-level or network marketing is due to this leveraging power. If one's team is also aware of the spiritual dimension of this leveraging power, there will be more focus and committment and therefore greater leverage within your team. However, ALL MLM’s have a built in flaw, even MLM's being run by spiritual people, and that flaw is the people themselves. If a few people in your downline are unwilling or unable, due to a lack of contacts, to bring in others who can leverage their time and money, then that group within the network marketing opportunity soon becomes discouraged and eventually gives up. Like a growing cancer, the lack of success within one segment of your downline, even if it's not part of your team, begins to infect others in your downline. It's like a dominoe effect and totally beyond your control. The major drawback of this process is that you have to continually rebuild your downline and during times of economic downturn you can see a sudden and catastrophic drop in your income. Don't get me wrong, Network Marketing is still a great idea, and the fact that it works for many is an irrefutable testimony to its effectiveness.  As John Paul Getty, a famous oil tycoon once said (I paraphrase from memory), “I’d rather have a hundred men making me a dollar each, then one man making me a hundred dollars”.  Why?  Because if he could increase his efficiencies of production for those 100 men by just 1% he doubled his production


Although it cannot be denied that network marketing has some serious flaws, the system alone cannot explain the large percentage of home-based businesses that fail, regardless of what form of marketing is used. The truth is, 95% of ALL small businesses fail within the first five years. The newer affiliate model (which has nothing to do with MLM) is widely used on the Internet and offers solutions to some of these MLM problems. In particular, affiliate programs remove the need for constant recruitment because it's a more stable marketing model. You're using leverage, but only down to 2 or 3 levels. This means the bulk of your income is based on the work you do, not on the work that others do. But you still get to leverage your work as you build wide instead of deep. For more insight into the underlying causes of that 95% small business failure rate and what can be done to reverse it, go to http://www.3circles.net/key/thekey.htm


Most people don’t know this, but MCI used the principle of leverage via network marketing to become a successful telecommunications giant.  MCI was up against the biggest company in the world at that time, AT&T. In the beginning of their stuggle one would be hard pressed to find even a single financial analyst who believed they would succeed.   Here again we have the Rich (AT&T) and the relatively Poor (MCI).   It was David and Goliath all over again.   It was the Lake versus a tiny farm pond.  All AT&T had to do was outspend them on marketing and MCI would slowly die.  Knowing this, MCI developed their “Family and Friends” program, paying customers monthly percentages on the long distance bills of any “Family and Friends” they signed up.  It was pure network marketing (without ever mentioning the phrase) and it allowed MCI to market to millions of people at a fraction of the cost of AT&T's traditional marketing programs.   Suddenly the little MCI pond had a million or more streams flowing into it and they became a lake, able to compete head to head with AT&T.


Now, with the advent of the Internet and other forms of mass communications Jesus’ prophetic words about us being able to do even greater works than he could, has an even deeper meaning. For instance, take the field of publishing.  Before 1994, if you wanted to publish a book, there was only one way to do so. You went to a commercial publisher who would spend hundreds of thousands, even millions, to print, advertise and distribute your book.   But now, with the advent of the Internet, email, search engines, and other online tools that are instantly available you can:


It is now possible for anyone with a few hundred dollars to do what previously required millions of dollars: publish and distribute any book worldwide


This is the leveraging power of the Internet.   This is the way you too can leverage your idea for a new product or service... or leverage someone else’s success.   As a former ISP (Internet Services Provider) I have the knowledge to help you leverage your time and money by teaching you how to use those online tools and services.  I have been down in the trenches learning from first hand experience what works, and what doesn’t.  And anyone who doesn’t realize that the Internet is a constantly changing beast that requires continuous research and study, doesn’t have a clue as to how to survive and thrive on the Internet!    Some forms of advertising that worked just a few years ago, no longer do… even though there is a continuous crop of “newbies” selling books that were created years ago, showcasing those very advertising methods that no longer work.   Search engines have also been evolving.  Meta tags used to be the way to get your web pages listed near the top of search engine queries.   But as search engines got overwhelmed, they had to refine their methods, had to find other ways to dig through the ever-increasing mountains of information.   If you don’t have the time to research and learn those new methods, you lose


None of the training I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a LOT of training manuals and videos, address all the issues I raise in this book. And not one of them points out the vital importance of community (either virtual or physical). Another extremely important but often missing ingredient is an effective mentoring model.  As anyone in the world of the rich understands, those who were not born rich usually learned from someone who mentored them through a training period.   A childhood friend of mine was such a person.  A friend of the family gave him access to a large amount of cash, with the stipulation that he follow his advice and invest according to his far superior experience.  Today he’s a multi-millionaire. 


When it comes to learning how to become rich, the mentoring model is far more effective than just going to seminars or attending classes at a business school.   Any investment opportunity or small business venture involves hundreds of decisions.   Now consider the multiplicity of permutations that ripple down through your business when you change just one of those decisions and you’ll begin to see why mentoring is so important to our “Spiritual Entrepreneur Training Program!   When you have questions and need answers, you need to know that your own personal Prosperity Consultant is only one email, one phone call or an online conference session away!


OK, let’s assume you now understand the importance of our Spiritual Entrepreneur Training Program and you sign up. You're looking forward to working with your own Prosperity Consultant. You realize that having a personal mentor, someone with the knowledge, skills and wisdom to help you avoid costly mistakes, is more important than the limited feedback provided by the usual training manuals and online courses.   You understand that once you have the knowledge and skills to begin, you'll need to network with others, so as to leverage your efforts. But there is one further step to achieving full success.  I’m talking about success in every area of your life, not just monetary success.


For those who enroll and complete our Spiritual Entrepreneur Program, a certificate will be issued, certifying you as a Prosperity Consultant. Prosperity Consultants get exclusive access to our Spiritual Entrepreneur training materials and will be able to enroll and train others, keeping a substantial percentage of the enrollment fee as well as gaining eligibility for related residual income streams .


But to be financially successful and then lose one’s family through divorce or to lose one's kids to drugs and other lifestyles of perversion is not total success.  You may win the battle but be in danger of losing the war! And what of those people who are financially successful while ignoring the Golden Rule? Clawing one's way to the top, is not my definition of a successful person.  Such people eventually reap what they have sowed, if not entirely in this life, certainly in the next.   I believe that if you're still reading this book, you're more than likely a person who values integrity.  So what is this missing secret that leads to "TOTAL LIFE SUCCESS" and why is it that not one financial success book has ever discussed it?


That missing secret is: COMMUNITYNot community as most people know community today. Not the traditional haphazard collection of individuals who rarely become friends with their neighbors. Nor is it the usual loose knit virtual world of online "communities" held together by a single topic of interest. I am talking about planned, intentionally built communities, both online and off, communities composed of spiritually centered individuals who all believe in God, practice the Golden Rule and understand the importance of learning and applying these "Twelve Princples of Prosperity"


I have started two communities, one before I was spiritually born-again, and one after.  I've also lived in or visited other intentional communities and communes, and I've been a consultant for two others. As a result, I was able to taste the power and beauty of such a life and it is awesome beyond words.  However, what I want to focus on is the establishment of a pre-cursor to such a real-world, intentionally built community, our online community 3Circles Church Communities a place where like-minded "Spiritual Entrepreneurs" agree to gather, mentor and support one another in their quest for a single common goal, "Total Life Success". Once you've signed up as a new member you'll be able to participate in regular online meetings and sign up for various projects (for a list of projects, CLICK HERE; if the new website is in place when you read this, that link may not work, so just go HERE and follow the links to our list of projects).


I hope you now understand the importance of this first step towards breaking the Rich/Poor barrier, how you must use self-discipline to leverage your time, money and resources via mentoring, networking and community.  In the next six chapters we’ll discuss the six remaining steps for breaking the Rich/Poor barrier.  You'll discover that Jesus didn't just tell us the rich would keep getting richer and the poor would find it nigh onto impossible to climb out of the pit of poverty. He also provided through his parables, for those with ears to hear and eyes to see, a clear path to prosperity. These are truly revolutionary teachings!