The Man With No Hands

By Rosie Bank

Last week I met a man who changed my life. He has an extraordinary and capable body. He can do things with his body that I cannot imagine being able to do with my body. He has no hands. He was born with two shoulders, two upper arm bones, and two forearms that end halfway between his elbows and where the wrist and hand would be if he had them. The ends of his arms are powerful and versatile tools that, to the casual observer, may look like arms that are incomplete. However, there is nothing incomplete about this man.

He also has a loving spirit, a smile that melted my heart, and a winner’s attitude that made me want to spend as much time as I could with him. When he was born with no hands, his parents told him to get off his butt, the world was waiting for him to make a difference. When he was little he learned that he could take his toys apart and put them back together better without his prosthetic devices than with them. He has not worn them since he was a small child.

Although the context in which I write this article is as a motivational leader in network marketing, surely the gift this man offers extends way beyond our field. I have seen people like him afar, sitting in an audience while they tell their story. I love people like this because they show us what is possible. It wasn’t until I saw a man with no hands retrieve a message on his cell phone, prepare his infant daughter’s bottle, and buckle her into a front pouch to hike up a very strenuous hill did I have my own personal connection with and experience of someone as special as he.

What does his story have to do with the rest of us able-bodied sorts? For starters, this man considers himself blessed. He shared with me that overcoming obstacles has been so much the theme of his life that he feels that he can do anything. Did I mention that he is a successful business man, a coach to others, and in fantastic physical condition? It appears that this man does not know the word “can’t”.

This got me to thinking about people in general and my friends and colleagues in network marketing in particular. It is useful to consider this extraordinary man in the context of our industry because we are always talking about getting out of our comfort zones and overcoming obstacles. One of the main reasons why I got out of my own way back in 1999 when I signed my distributor application was precisely because of this component. We are a bunch of happy over-achievers who aspire to grow beyond our current level.  Network marketing is not for the average person who is without goals and dreams. We are a passionate bunch. Those of us who mean it when we say that we embrace a good challenge have found ourselves at home in this industry and on this field.

How about those obstacles that – unlike my friend’s handless arms – we fabricate? At the time of writing this we are heading into the holidays. There are gifts piling up in my office; these are packed, unopened boxes that I can trip over if I am not careful. Aren’t our limitations like this? If we package our limiting beliefs about ourselves, don’t they too sit in the middle of the room where we can stumble over them? Or worse, can they pile up and act as a barricade between us and our dreams?

My friend’s story of himself is not about his arms. It is not about what he cannot do. His story is about his love of his work, his excitement to coach and train others, and his joy that spills over for his baby daughter. How about us? Aren’t we sometimes about our insufficiencies? I have met people whose limitations are practically plastered on their foreheads so that anyone meeting them could not miss this self-identification.  We all have unique talents. Even those who swear by their inadequacies can do some things better than others. If only people like that could focus on their strengths, the world would be a better place.

I feel that my new friend has changed my life because he helped me put things into perspective. I am inspired, moved, and blown away. I will carry this message of what is possible to my team and throughout our community. This is what makes us who we are. This is why network marketing is not for everyone. Many people cross the starting line. Fewer stay to complete what they came here for. I understand that. I accept that. And finally, I am at peace with that.  And now that I know someone who, in my eyes, has defied the laws of physics and gravity and has done the seemingly impossible, I know that I am in the right place. I salute my new friend with my own hand and thank him for showing me what is possible.



Rosie Bank is the author of You, Inc. Own Your Business, Own Your Life through Network Marketing. She is a team leader and a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. For more information, please visit

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