Embracing The Power of Uncertainty

imageI was just listening to an interview of Iyanla Vanzant by Jerry Clark while dropping our son at basketball practice, and had the impulse to write a post on the Power of Uncertainty.

Iyanla and Jerry were talking about how we’re all control freaks – we like to know how everything’s going to turn out before we do anything — and I realized that if we hold to this desire for control too tightly, we’ll never allow ourselves to create or experience anything new.

How’s this apply to business and life?

Imagine I had demanded that I knew how things would turn out with Rachelle before I dated her – we never would have been here today with 7 kids and 23 years of marriage, challenges, and rewarding adventures!

Or in business – if I had demanded that I knew whether a customer or potential business partner was going to say “yes” before I spoke with them – I never would have allowed the amazing relationships, discoveries, skill development, and business results that have unfolded in our lives.

And we’re still discovering and experiencing new things – in fact, that’s what makes life interesting.

Now I realize that a total feeling of not being in control could be frightening – so here are three things I’ve found particularly helpful in allowing and even embracing this power of uncertainty in my business and life that I believe will assist you, too:

1. Courage to embrace – regardless of your belief in a Higher Power or the Universe being for you, having the courage to embrace the uncertainty and adventure of life makes things a lot more interesting.  Iyanla spoke with Jerry about the difference between “choice” and “decision” – decision weighs facts and figures and is based on what you can see and know. Choice opens the door to possibility, even though you may not know what all those possibilities are or don’t know how everything’s going to turn out.  Choosing to embrace the uncertainty, challenges, and possibilities of life is one of those choices, and is a powerful strategy for allowing more into your life.

2. Trust – for those of us who do believe in God, a Higher Power, or even simply that the Universe is working for our good – trusting this power and process even though we can’t always see how things will work out ourselves is a key process that can open us to the uncertainty – and the possibilities – of life that we otherwise may shy away from, and allows us to go forward without fear.

3. Others’ stories – the third factor I’ve found richly empowering that essentially makes it easier to practice #1 and #2 above is to listen to, read, and continually enjoy the stories of others who’ve experienced the richness and worthwhileness of embracing uncertainty and stepping into possibility in their own lives.  In essence, you can build up an “internal library” of these stories that becomes a well from which to draw as you navigate your own moments of challenge, uncertainty, and new doors of possibility opening before you.

Now think back on your own life for a moment. What’s one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had? I bet at some point along the way, there was a door of possibility you were willing to walk through, without fully knowing or being “in control” of what was on the other side.

Have one of these examples you’re willing to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

May we all continue to have the courage and trust to embrace the uncertainties — and the possibilities — before us in the years ahead.

Here’s to creating a life you love!


P.S.  Want daily tips to energize and equip you in business and in life?  Catch live “Quantum Moments” with me on my Facebook page Mon – Saturday mornings at 9am Eastern time.  See you there!

5 Keys for Networking…and For Life

While driving home from a networking event the other night and reflecting on my experiences of the evening, I thought about the 5 key tips below.  I quickly jotted them down in my notebook before going to sleep, then filled them in over the next couple days as a reminder to myself…and to those of you on the path of life with me — here you go:

1)  Be Yourself — you fill a unique space in the universe. No one else can be you.  Your story and your journey add another unique hue to the rainbow of stories being created, and will have a unique impact on others’ lives.  Owning your own value and becoming comfortable with yourself is a great starting point for connecting with others, and in itself is a gift to those around you.

2)  Develop Yourself — continually invest in and develop yourself.  Always be learning, practicing, & developing new insights & skills as you master your craft & the arena you’ve chosen to play in.  This practice will build your self-confidence, effectiveness, and the tangible value you can contribute to others.

3)  Connect & Contribute Value — become a person of value — someone who’s interested in others and sincerely seeking to add value to their lives, even if simply by noticing & affirming them.

Asking this simple question, “What can I contribute to this person’s life (or business) today?” is powerful.  The answer may simply be a listening ear, a warm acknowledgement – a sense, as I heard Dave Blanchard mention recently, that “you matter” — or it could be something tangible such as a referral, a book or resource, or a practical tip or idea.

4)  Invite with Abandon — this one is key to network marketers, but also applies to anyone who’s looking to invite partners or followers to an event, experience, or cause.  There is a certain freedom to opening a door of possibility for people and then letting them decide whether they want to walk through.

5)  Be unattached & joyful — this one complements #4 — being “unattached” to how a person will respond enables you to be joyful & continue moving forward regardless of potential disappointments or unexpected negativity, and a joyful attitude is always uplifting and attractive.  In addition, people appreciate having their own freedom and autonomy honored, and that can actually draw them closer to you rather than pushing them away.

Finally, here’s a “Bonus” tip:

**Be Appreciative**

This tip alone will serve you both in life and business and especially in relating to people.  Being appreciative is something you can practice just like a golf swing.  Begin with your attitude and the words you say to yourself, and then extend this practice to the words and attitude you share with others.  Being appreciative will put you in a state that’s attractive and a joy to be around…and no matter what, you’ll feel better…which is what all of us are seeking daily, anyway — to feel good about ourselves and others.

So there you have it — five keys and a bonus one for networking and all of life.

Which one do you choose to focus on today?


France – Paris & Lyon – May 2011

I recently returned from visiting my business team in Paris & Lyon (for the first time!),
where I experienced the privilege and the power of a business based on developing people
and relationships. Below is a “montage” of the people and experience which I put together
for myself and my family, and for my partners and friends in Europe.

(For more on partnering together, visit An Invitation To Partner )


Creating Results — Is your “left” brain jumping to conclusions?

(March 2016 update:  the use of “left” brain and “right” brain in the discussion below is more conceptual than strictly anatomical, though for this discussion, they’re the best terms I have for describing what many people experience.)

imageNow just before we get started…this post is a little longer…but if you really grasp what’s here, it could totally change your results…and your life.

This post is particularly for those of you looking to create a level of results beyond what you’re experiencing now –- such as more income, better health, a new relationship, or something else that isn’t actually “visible” right now. In fact, I include an example from each of these areas  below.

So let’s begin.

Just like Gay Hendricks’ “Upper Limit Problem” in the last post,
this is a phenomenon that we can all get caught up in if we’re not
aware of it…

…but once we’re aware, this “spell” loses it’s power.

What spell is that?

It’s the spell of believing the conclusions that our “left” brain
constantly wants to make for us.

And here’s why it’s a trap –- because our “left” brain –- even though it’s very powerful when used appropriately — has a very limited databank from which to draw it’s conclusions.  Namely,
it tends to base it’s conclusions only on past experience…and what it can “see” right now.

So by definition, if you want to create a result in your life that
goes beyond anything you’ve ever created or experienced so far,
your “left” brain’s predictions and conclusions are not going to be
very useful or valid.

And here’s the catch –- that’s not going to stop your “left” brain
from drawing conclusions and feeding them to you very conclusively!

Now what does this all mean and why can this be so deadly?

Let’s say you’re building your own network marketing team and your goal this year…or the next 90 days…or even this month and this week…is beyond what you’ve ever created so far.

At first you may start out with enthusiasm, because you’ve got a
fresh goal and are taking fresh action.

But sooner or later your left brain starts jumping from “execute” mode — following the plan you’ve given it –- to “conclude” mode –- where it’s jumping to conclusions based on the limited data it has to go on so far –- your past or current experience.

Now just like the “upper limit problem” –- if you’re not aware, you can easily give in to these conclusions –- that you’re not going to make it because the first 5 people said “no”…and that “one” you were really hoping would sign up, didn’t…and even though you’ve got a whole week ahead of you and a big connection may be just around the corner, if you “listen” to your “left” brain’s premature conclusions, what will you do?

You’ll likely change your attitude, belief, and expectations…and do you think that affects your actions and interactions with people…and ultimately could affect whether you take action at all?

Ever hear of “self-fulfilling prophecy”?

Letting your “left” brain rule you rather than serve you is one way this can happen – and it can happen in any area of your life.

This is powerful in health especially when your “left” brain and the doctor’s “predictions” – i.e., diagnosis and prognosis – line up to give you what seems to be a very narrow bandwidth of possibilities for you to experience and explore.  And as your “left” brain looks around at the apparent “evidence” of other authorities and other people’s experiences who were also “ruled” by the premature conclusions of their “left” brain, it can cause you to shut down and not explore possibilities of wellness and healing that may at the moment seem out of reach.

How about in relationships?

Ever since childhood, I dreamed of having a wonderful partner in life. I remember after my first year of medical school, just before heading home for the summer, wondering whether or not I already knew the person I was going to marry.  Then my “left” brain started calculating.

If I didn’t know the person and had yet to meet them, how many years would it take to get to know them and then get married?

I started getting discouraged.

Ever feel that way about something important to you that you don’t yet “see” in your life?

Well, eventually I pushed my “left” brain aside and realized I just had to keep stepping forward –- I went home for the summer, and ended up meeting Rachelle, the woman who’s now become my wife of 17 years and partner on one amazing adventure after another, including bringing 6 wonderful kids into the world.
(March 2016 update: now almost 23 years & 7 kids!)

Was there a journey to be walked and some ups and downs along the way?


Has it been worth it?


And it just keeps getting better and better!

But if I had listened overmuch to my “left” brain’s attempt at analysis based on “present observations”, and to it’s “conclusions”, I could have made myself miserable unnecessarily — or worse, altered my course and the very actions that led to what I was looking for but couldn’t yet “see”.

How about other areas of your life?

The same patterns occur.

No matter what you’re doing, sooner or later your “left” brain likes to “take stock,” measure, and draw conclusions.

Now there’s nothing wrong with taking stock and measuring — it’s the drawing of conclusions based on these limited measurements that gets you.

So in short –- what are you to do?

First –- use your “left” brain for what it’s good at –- executing a plan.  One that you choose and give to your “left” brain to carry out.

Second –- be aware that your “left” brain is automatically going to try to draw conclusions and make predictions based on any data it has –- namely your past experiences and what you can see and measure at this moment.


Third –- don’t buy in to the conclusions your “left” brain makes.  You can thank it for “commenting” and then hold fast to your vision, your inner knowing, what you’re choosing to create that’s beyond what’s already there –- all of which come from places other than your analyzing and concluding “left” brain.

(Hint –- a big part involves your “right” brain and what it connects you to…but that’s a whole other discussion perhaps for another time.)

Now here’s a suggestion –- ponder this “left” brain tendency to “jump to conclusions” based on what you can “see”, and observe your own tendencies this week.

Then mark a time on your calendar to come back to this post in about 7 days, and leave your own insights and experiences in the comments below.

You’re already starting on a new path –- a new level of consciousness and awareness –- that could totally change your life.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Dr. Ben


Is Your “Identity” Holding You Back?

IDENTITY One of the things I often encounter when interviewing someone who wants to create income in a new arena (such as network marketing), is a fear of moving beyond their current identity and status. This fear, or dilemma if you will, is one that anyone can encounter who’s being called beyond where they are now, especially if they’ve spent years developing skills, a reputation, and achievement in a certain arena, or even if they’ve simply gotten comfortable with what’s already familiar and what they already know how to do.

So today regardless of your background – whether you’re an at-home mom or dad; a student, a teacher, or an employee; an author speaker, or coach; an athlete or artist; or a business owner or professional; or something else – here’s my question for you:

Are you being called – do you have a desire – to create and contribute beyond the current professional or personal identity and role that you’re in?

And if so, do you have the courage to step beyond where you are now?

Whether or not it actually manifests as you doing something different,PURPOSE there is a new level of freedom when you’re no longer attached to being seen, appreciated, or needed in a certain way. (Or conversely, no longer limiting yourself with such statements as “I’m just a…” or “I’m not…” These are statements of identity that unconsciously put a lid on how you see yourself, who you could become, and what you could do.)

I remember when being a home-birthing doctor gave me a special relationship within my particular church community – drawing to me relationships, respect, and people seeking advice – and it was a very rich and fulfilling experience. I even remember the wonderful feeling of being appreciated as the “hero” at some difficult births.

Yet there came a point when to expand our practice and serve more people, we began stepping into a partnership with midwives, moving more into a supportive role rather than being the “primary practitioner” at a birth.

At first I felt like something was missing, but I eventually reached an internal place where serving the outcome – a wonderful birth experience for the couple and family – and serving people – was more important than my actual role and recognition in the process.

That became an incredibly freeing transition, and opened up new doors of exploration, creativity, and contribution in life that have eventually led to where I am today.

Some may wonder – what about their degree and years of schooling, or what they’ve invested in their current career or role – and what I’ve discovered for myself is that rather than that being “wasted” or tossed aside – that’s all part of the “ingredient mix” that have gone into who I am today, and that I bring to the table with every interaction in life and business.

Much like a mom or dad who may walk away from years of schooling or professional achievement to be at home for a time, or someone who may choose to go to the mission field or develop another part of themselves and the gifts they can bring to the world – nothing’s ever wasted…it’s all still part of who you are…you’re just no longer letting any of what you’ve already done or achieved define or limit who you are and what you can do.

Two examples of professionals –- who also happen to be a mom, and a dad — that have continued to create beyond the identity and roles they had previously, are Dr. Valencia Ray, a fellow MD and ophthalmologist (“eye doctor”) — who now shows women and professionals how to see beyond their “blind spots”; and Tanveer Naseer, who has a rich technical, business, artistic, and leadership background that he integrates into the coaching and writing he brings forward today.

Another key example is Dr. Fern Kazlow, a holistic practitioner and business coach –- and also a home-schooling mom — who continues to bring forward her gifts in wider and wider arenas.

“Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to what is before…” (Philippians 3:13) — though given with a deeply spiritual context, this quote conveys a principle that has broad application to all areas of our human experience.

And realize, I’m not necessarily talking about doing something different than you’re doing now, but rather coming from a different place – a place of freedom from attachment to being seen in a certain role or identity – that may open up fresh perspective and possibilities — either within your current work and relationships — or it may indeed lead to new outward forms as well, just as it did for me.


So in closing, let me ask you again – is your identity holding you back, or is it something malleable that you can use as a springboard to greater and greater levels of exploration, development, and contribution?

If you’re willing to create beyond your current identity and step into the exciting “unknown,” it could become a deeply fulfilling – and freeing – journey.

So here’s to the freedom and exhilaration of creating beyond where you are now, and how you see yourself today.

Enjoy the journey!

Dr. Ben

P.S. Are you currently in transition or looking to expand your income or your impact beyond what you’re doing now?
Explore further at Work with Dr. Ben.


Why I chose Network Marketing

Have you ever questioned what you’re doing, or wondered what
you “should” be doing to make a living and make a difference?

The other day I was listening to one of the founders of the
company I’m partnered with talking about how when he grew up,
people would say, “Do what you love.”

Probably something you’ve heard before and thought about, too,
just like me. 

He said that phrase was confusing for him, though, because he
loved to play basketball and he loved to ski, but he wasn’t
sure how he could make money doing those things.

It was later on in life that he discovered that the key for
him was to find something to do that was in alignment with his
.  From there he could derive passion and purpose.

So as I reflect on my journey into network marketing – from
electrical engineering to medicine, and now to developing an
international business team from the comfort of our home in a
resort town in Michigan, I remember a vivid & key moment for
me about eight years ago.  I was standing in our first home at
the edge of our small kitchen facing the end of our living-room
couch, and found myself asking God to enlarge my heart for people.

I don’t remember what pre-ceded that moment, but I distinctly remember that moment.  Perhaps you’ve had moments like that which still stick in your memory today.

It was shortly after that that I was introduced to the business team that would transform both mine and my family’s life. 

And as I’m sitting here on the roof of Joe’s overlooking the harbor (that’s where I was when I recorded a quick message to myself with these tho’ts), one of the things that stands out to me is the answer to this question:

What are the values that have brought me here to network marketing?

And I realize that the core value that’s brought me here is the desire, and the purpose, and the passion to empower people.

That’s one of the things I love about network marketing – much like what was at the heart of what I did as a physician – the opportunity to work with people to improve their lives.

What drove me here was a desire for freedom and flexibility to be with my family, and what’s kept me here is the opportunity to work with people to change their lives – people whom I might otherwise never have known.

Oh, and my wife’s leaning over to say in my ear, “I love our life” as I’m listening to the soundtrack of Prince Caspian and typing this doesn’t hurt either…as well as the whole world of learning and growth that has opened up to us and our children through the doorway of entrepreneurship.

But it wasn’t always this way – there’s definitely been a journey and a process…and having a core vision and values – even ones that have developed, been tested, and become more clear along the way have been key.

So here’s a question for you – what are your core values?

What’s important to you?

And how can you connect what you’re doing daily to what’s important to you?

Look forward to hearing your own thoughts in the comments below, and in the meantime, here’s a video shared with me by my 13yo daughter – and choreographed by a very gifted young choreopgrapher in the Chicago area. Both the song and the dance communicate a simple yet radiant joy and spirit that I think you’ll appreciate as well. 


Dr. Ben

The Call