Chapter 9


Valerie Bates

Metaphors are excellent tools for gaining perspective. For that reason, my husband Mark Yarnell and I occasionally compare our business challenges to the Greek mythological King Sisyphus, endlessly rolling a heavy boulder up a steep hill. The image of pushing to the top helps give us a fresh perspective; it compels us to regroup and recommit to stay the course. Mark and I often remind ourselves that struggles are simply part of achieving anything significant. We think about our love of the challenge, the income potential, the special contribution we want to make worldwide, the difference we’re making in people’s lives right now, our responsibilities as leaders, and we’re reinvigorated. It doesn’t take long, just a matter of minutes, to refire on all cylinders by invoking the Sisyphus metaphor.

You can find cartoon video clips of Sisyphus on the Internet. Problem is, we’ve never actually seen Sisyphus topple the boulder over the hill so that it rolls down the other side under its own momentum in those clips. Yet in networking, by perfecting the professional habits described in this chapter, you can push your boulder over the top. It’s done every day in networking.

To generate the force necessary to budge the boulder (your business) from a stationary position into a rolling motion, you must exert all of your power and direct your focus consistently. Sometimes the boulder rolls backward just as you are making ...

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