The Butterfly Effect

It has been said that, “A Butterfly flapping its wings in Peru can start a change in the weather that leads to a typhoon in China.”

The application of this idea is that a casual meeting with a new acquaintance at can have major long-term effects on your sales and your life.

At every turn in the road of your life, there will be a person standing there helping you or hurting you, guiding you or blocking you, giving you good or bad direction.

There seems to be a direct relationship between the number of people that you know, meet, bump into and interact with and the quality of your life. People who network on a regular basis with others, seem to be far more active and successful than people who go to work at the last minute, chat idly with coworkers, read the newspaper, make a couple sales calls and then go home and watch television.

Warren Buffett applied to Columbia University and was turned down. He turned to Princeton University and most of the courses that he wanted to take were already full. Finally, he settled on one course taught by a Professor Fisher on Value Investing.

Because he was young and impressionable, Warren Buffett absorbed Fisher’s ideas on how to choose stocks for the long term, went back to Omaha, and began investing for himself and others. The rest is history. Warren Buffett is now one of the richest men in the history of the world, still applying Fisher’s ideas to buying and holding good quality stocks.

How many times in your life has your direction changed because of your meeting and interacting with another person? Sometimes a single observation or bit of advice from someone with more experience at a particular area than you can change the course of your destiny.

When I was in my thirties, I was urged to run for political office. I put together a campaign committee of about twelve people, all of whom were enthusiastic supporters of my bid for office. I started to get carried away with the idea of being an elected politician and making a difference in the politics of my state.

Then I called an elected politician on whose campaign I had worked a couple of years before. I told him of my plans and asked him if he had any advice. I still remember his words: “Are you financially independent at this time?”

When I told him that I was a long way from financial independence, he told me that if I ran for office in my thirties, and was successful, I would never be financially independent. I would have a much lower income than I could earn in the private sector, and I would probably worry about money all my life.

That simple observation, “Are you already financially independent?” slammed the brakes on my political ambitions. I folded up my early campaign and went back to work as a business consultant, real estate developer and eventually, as a professional speaker.

The book, “The Secret” has been a best seller for the last couple of years. This book says that, “If you visualize and think positive thoughts, you will attract all good things into your life.”

Unfortunately, this idea is misleading. Of course, it is important that you think positive thoughts, about yourself and your possibilities, but it is simply not enough. In addition, you must take continuous action in the direction of your goals, overcoming resistance, adversity, difficulties and temporary failures until you win through.

In reality, success is not based on the Law of Attraction, but rather the Law of Probabilities. This law says that there is a probability that everything can happen, and that you can influence these probabilities by doing more of the things that are more likely to lead to your success.

In sales, the sales person who makes more appointments and sees more prospects is going to make more sales than the sales person who stays in the office and shuffles their business cards. In life, the professional who networks regularly with other professionals, especially in sales, is going to dramatically increase the probability that he or she will meet with the right person, at the right time, with the right insight or guidance, which will lead to a sale that might not have taken place.

The challenge is that you never know which person you meet is going to be the one that helps you the most. Therefore, by using the Law of Probabilities, you organize your life so that you network and meet with as many people as possible. This greatly increases the likelihood that you will meet the right person.

At every stage of your life, there will be someone standing there giving you insights and guidance that can set you off in a different direction. At the same time, you can be the person who gives the insights and guidance that helps others to do more of the right things that help them achieve their goals and improve their lives.

Networking is one of the most certain ways of meeting more and better people who can help you to achieve higher levels of success, faster than you would have ever been possible in the absence of their ideas and input.

Want to become an expert at networking?

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*What did you learn? Leave me a comment.

About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

  • This article shows us the fruits of the cause and effect principle. I have seen it in my own life, whenever I have made the effort to meet others and try different things, I make great advances, without even thinking about it. Thanks Brian.

  • vishesh sharma

    nice article sir,,but as u said that law of probability is more powerful then law of attraction so by meeting right people we can increase our probability of success but the question is that how to examine if the person is right or not.

    well,,thanks for the article.

  • Again, another motivating article. Thank you Brian for your empowering insight and actionable steps to success.

  • I agree, Brian. Most of the major turns in my life has been affected by certain people I have met along the way. Your article is a good reminder that we must continuously and consistently build relationships.

    Thanks for sharing your experience about joining politics. I think that having financially independent politicians will lessen the temptation for corruption.

  • banady

    Your words are wonderful for me to achieve more success in my life 🙂

  • Thanks Brian for that incredibly timely letter. I have been asked by several people in my community to run for political office, yet I hadn’t committed quite yet. I am not financially independent and what you said about that has helped me make my decision about this potentialiality. I sincerely thank you for your letter, and the research and experiences that you share with others has profound effects on the world. Thank you.

  • How was the trip to Poland? 😛

  • Great post. I think I”ll be ordering the power networking Mp3.

  • Brian,

    As you can see from my company, your references to the stage of life couldn’t be more true. Nice article.

    Eric Thiegs


  • Dear Brian,

    I would love to talk with you as your article is one of the best I have ever read. That may be because I so believe in what you have written because I am living it now because I had a dream and was encouuraged by two people. One of those people told me that I was the only person they knew that could pull it off. That started just before Christmas 2008 and now I am into June and I can feel the success rumbling towards me.

    The aquisition of the domain name, just accelerated the positive. I am busier and happier working after retirement at age 67 than ever. I am going to make some people very wealthy and hopefully myself but the pleasure of networking and pulling off the impossible, is the real reward. Please email me and let me know this got to you. I really enjoyed your article. Regards, Bob

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