From the Desert to the Rockies

mesa_rt08_dscn2703I love the desert and the deep brown earthy soil of the Arizona landscape — perhaps odd to those who long for a bit more green, which is particularly abundant in the Northwest. So landing in Phoenix started my heart thumping a bit more vigorously. And walking off the airplane and feeling the dry warmth of the sun was a welcome experience after landing.

There’s some great youthful energy that exists in Phoenix. The market is in such infancy, but it has the support of both exceptionally strong leaders from across the country, as well as some emerging leaders local to this region.

Upon landing, I went for a run, I think Michael did a workout, Stephen did yoga, and Regan’s not telling what he did (naptime?). Whenever I travel to sunny cities, I just tend to go outside. It’s like the walkways are calling me to go exercise.

So we expected the Mesa event to be a really strong meeting, with an enthusiastic Associate audience as well as a good number of guests. John Ryan again hosted this meeting, and it was supplemented with some great testimonials by Peter Wright, Ron Fauntz, and Kenny Rossi towards the end.

Before the event started, I got to catch up with friends Gale George, Saul (without a known last name!), and Diane Tucker (Mrs. America and Mrs. World), who traveled down from Tucson to attend the event.

During the evening, Michael Jr. continued with a new twist to his routine on the Road Tour by engaging the audience with an open invitation for questions through which he creates impromptu comedy. It actually started by accident in Sacramento and worked well to open the audience up that he continued this into Mesa; we’ll see how much further it goes.

The Phoenix area, especially smarting from the decline in housing prices along with the tightening of the credit markets, had a new burst of both energy and urgency in the air — not unlike what’s felt across the U.S. I ended up talking to a good number of people who were so thankful for the timing of Univera and their involvement.

In fact, one amazing couple (out of many that I met) — the wife a teacher and the husband an owner of a collision repair facility — expressed what a “Godsend” (their words) Univera has been. In down economic times evidently (and logically), people will more often collect their insurance premium and not get the vehicle fixed on more cosmetic-oriented repairs. They expressed with both excitement and optimism the freedom they’re finding in Univera, as well as the fun and energy that it brings to their life and other people.

One night quickly ended, and it seemed my head just hit the pillow before the morning sun arose and we were off to Denver.

Sometimes, there are cities or geographies that are either so gorgeous or relaxing that I get chills. It doesn’t happen often (Sydney is an example), but for me, going to Denver (and the Colorado area in general) is incredibly therapeutic — between the mountains and air, the place is simply magical.

Stephen, again in an effort to save time (MJ, Regan, and I didn’t know we were in a hurry), rushed to the rental counter offsite while we got the bags, which, by the way, I think Regan and I can pretty much confirm after having watched this process for three cities that it really doesn’t save much time in the process, though it usually results in a little live comedy.

Speaking of, traveling with Michael Jr. is starting to get really fun. The first few days were a little awkward at times. Nothing big, but you know you’re spending a lot of time with a new person that you don’t really know. And, he’s a comedian. So every time he says something, you automatically assume it’s a joke. So it takes a while to learn the temp of the group. We really settled in at Denver, and I think Regan (who I’m convinced secretly wishes he pursued a career in comedy as well) is having about as much fun as he ever has had on a road trip.

There are more leaders concentrated in Denver than any other city in North America, and many readers probably don’t realize that Broomfield, Colo., served as home to Univera nearly 10 years ago. As a result, there’s a solid concentration of quite a few Diamonds and several Blue Diamonds among many other Univera Associates, which is another reason I always love to visit; I love spending time with the leadership here.

I’ve got to give good credit to the organizers and leaders of this event; many were involved in all the behind-the-scenes logistics, and it was extremely well run.

And there’s something about leadership in each event that lends itself to either great energy upon entering a room, or to be gentle about it, “not great energy.” Tonight’s meeting simply had great energy, buzz, and excitement — before anyone even picked up a microphone.

I attribute so much of this to the mood, energy, and excitement of the leadership’s example that day; it’s something each of us noticed visibly this evening, so a lot of props go out to all those local leaders who contributed their part to bring a high energy level to the room.

denver_rt08_dscn2707John Rogers really did an exceptional job hosting the event from both a flow and content perspective; it also didn’t hurt that he has an FM-quality radio voice.

Often, we spend time talking with Associates and guests at the end of the evening at Road Tours in the past, but what we’re loving about this event is that while we’re still spending time saying hello to the new and old, there’s a lot of time being spent among guests and hosts. And a lot of new signups.

Tonight was an example in spades; over 230 attendees (felt like more) and well over 100 new guests were at the event. As always, it was fantastic to say hello to both old and new friends in the area, and I wish we’d had more time to spend with more people.

denver_rt08_dscn2720But the best conversations of the night didn’t occur between any of us and the Field.

They occurred between the inviting Associate, the guest, and if available, the local Diamond or Blue Diamond for that organization.

Thanks, Denver, for an outstanding event with such great energy.

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