Support Your People!

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Experiencing failure and pain is the price we pay for character.

Yes, my hands were frozen from frostbite. Just part of the learning experience. Was that a reason to quit? No, it wasn’t a reason to quit.

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This is coming across Willow Lake toward the finishing line. Oh, what another exciting moment. Look at my dogs, don’t they look happy? It was a happy moment for me. A brand-new newbie, who took on two races in Alaska, who had never raced a dog before. I finished two races and brought all of my dogs home; I took care of them, so they took care of me. I didn’t know beans about what I was doing. Except for the few hours that Mitch had in prepping me and getting me ready for this, I knew nothing. I just went for it. That’s how you become successful.

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This is the finishing line, and you can see Mitch standing there on the other side of me, Mary right behind me, and Jared is there taking a video that went all over the world—some of you might have seen it. There’s Josef giving me a big hug. The rewards. There’s Janae video recording, Matt hugging me. My team was there to support me. They flew all the way from Utah to be there at the finishing line to support me. How do you think that made me feel? Like I had value, like I had self-worth, like I meant something to them other than just their boss.

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That’s what you need to do to all of your people—make them feel that they’re something special. I can’t tell you in enough words how special my team made me feel when I came across that lake to the finish line, and they were there to greet me. I knew the sacrifices they made to fly up there on a commercial flight and drive 150 miles from Anchorage to be at that finishing line.

Yes, sometimes all it takes is just giving a little bit to change another person’s life and perspective. Give to the people in your organization, and they’ll be there for you.

The Timely High Five!

2017_Convention_Gary_Friday.095Now, you will have interruptions. So, I’m there; it was 17°F below that morning, and I was cold. I’d been on the trail for almost six days altogether, and I was tired. My bones were frozen, my bones were aching. My heart was doing things it shouldn’t do. I was having a challenge keeping my head straight. Just then Mary showed up with a phone in her hand and said, “Honey, could you talk to these members?”

“What?! I’ve got to get the booties on my dogs. I’ve got a race I’m running, and you want me to stop and talk to members? Of course, I will.” And I did. But I told her, “You hold the phone so I can keep putting booties on my dogs. Just walk with me and I will talk to them,” and I did.

Here’s another lesson. You’re never too busy to give to somebody, because you don’t know who’s on the other end. You don’t know what it will mean to them. Yes, it may be a sacrifice for you. This was very difficult in the situation I was in at that moment. I said to myself, “I’ve got a race to win; I don’t have time to talk to some members.” Yes, I do. And yes, I did! And I always will. You have time for your people!

Yes, it’s cold, 25°F below zero. This could have been a reason to give up, a very, very big reason to give up. That morning, coming out of the last check station, headed for the finishing line, the temperature hit 27°F below zero.

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As I was coming to the finishing line, about 3 or 4 miles out, a gentleman I didn’t even know was on the side of the trail. He just reached out and gave me a high five and said, “Gary, you can do it!” I don’t know who he was. Wow! My heart just about went up in my throat. That one little thing just changed everything for me.

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That’s what you need to do to your people. Give them a high five, make them know you believe in them. Support them in their challenges in life, in their opportunities of being in Young Living and building a business. This was so powerful to me. We don’t do it enough. But we can change that.

Take Time to Sharpen Your Saw

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To be successful, we need quiet time. We need to disconnect from the world. This is where I disconnected because I needed to get my mind straight. I needed to get my mind off all the problems and all the people telling me I was going to die, this wouldn’t work, that wouldn’t work, or this or that, until I was almost going crazy with it! I knew I had to get someplace where it was quiet, to think, and to sharpen my saw. And this was where that could happen.

There was a great feeling out there in the cold wilderness with the dogs. I developed such a relationship and companionship with them. I thought, “If we could do this with the people in our organizations, wow, what a powerful company we would be.” And if we took time to step back and reflect, be quiet, listen to the unspoken words, and sharpen our saw, how much more productive we could be, how much more help we could be to others.

Here I was getting ready to get back on the trail after a three-hour stop to feed and rest the dogs again.

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Planning is the compass for success. There were times when I didn’t plan well, so I understand and know the pitfalls of that. But to be a successful person at anything, we need to learn how to plan and plan efficiently.

So, I was miles and miles from nowhere, and I opened my sleigh. I said to myself, “if I don’t have the right things in there, I’m in big trouble. If I don’t have the right amount of food for my dogs, my dogs are in trouble. If they’re in trouble, I’m really in trouble. If I don’t have an axe, if I don’t have fire starter, if I don’t have a sleeping bag, if I don’t have snowshoes and a snowstorm moves in, what’s going to happen? I won’t be able to put them on and break trail for my dogs if I have to.”

Planning is the key for everything. Take time to plan how you’re going to build your business and how you’re going to be successful.

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When It’s Quiet, You Can Think!

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Arriving at the Deshka Landing check point Sunday evening, 6:30 p.m., February 5. As I came around the corner, there was Josef. Whoa, man, all of those problems, all of those bad thoughts just vanished. Josef was there, Mary, Janae, Matt, Lori, Mark, the film crew. What a rewarding feeling it was when I came into that check point, and they were all there to greet me.

2017_Convention_Gary_Friday.088 Then after three hours of downtime, it was hitch up and go again.

Putting booties on.

Here my carabiner was frozen solid. I had to beat on it to get it loose, so I could open it up and get my snow hooks hooked up.

Then running through the night again.

Now, here’s something that’s very, very interesting that I learned that I think will have tremendous value to everybody. We live in a world today where there is no quiet. Our minds are just full of data. We’re on data overload. We’re busy constantly. Our minds are taking in all kinds of information, but how do we process it?

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One of the valuable things I found out there on the trail in the cold and lonely quiet was the quiet. All I could hear was the crunching of the sleigh runners in the snow, the pitter patter of the dogs’ feet in the snow, occasionally a bark, and occasionally a howl—but I was just there for hour after hour after hour, hanging on, and hoping I didn’t have a rollover or get wrapped around a tree or go over a bank or slide into a river. All kinds of challenges. But I had time to think, because it was quiet. It was quiet. 

Take Care of Your People!

And this is what I told myself. I said, “Gary, you’re going to do this! You’re not quitting. Because if you die, you’ll still be an example to your boys that you don’t quit just because it gets difficult. You just don’t quit.” So when life knocks you down, roll over and look at the stars, okay?

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This is pulling into the Yentna checkpoint at 8:27 a.m., February 5. The temperature was 15°F below zero. And the wind. I don’t remember how strong the wind was, but it was over 10 miles an hour. That’s why I had that white jacket on, as a windbreaker.

2017_Convention_Gary_Friday.084Here I’m cooking, getting ready to feed my dogs again.

You take care of your dogs. You take care of your people. You take care of those who help you achieve success. This is not about us just as a person; this is about everybody around us. Out there on that trail, it was about me and my dogs. I had to take care of them first because if I didn’t, they weren’t going to take care of me. I rewarded them every day.

If you don’t take care of the people in your organization, then why should they take care of you? You show them how much you love them, so they can sleep at night, all right? And they will take care of you. So yes, let them know how much you care for them. Coddle them a little bit. It’s okay to show people you love them!

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