Doctors, McDonalds, Airports, Associates, Oh My!

img_0528This morning I departed Orange County to head back to Seattle.

At the airport and in line at McDonalds (Egg McMuffin w/ only one piece of bread, extra egg—280 cal’s, not bad—but for that and a decaf $8.91—not good! Makes Essentials seem like a bargain) I chuckled, reflecting back on our Road Tour in the Fall where I somehow compiled over a half dozen pictures of myself and Univera Chief Scientific Officer Cherniske with a McDonalds in the background.

So as I’m in line thinking about this, totally at random, I see ahead of me in line is our sister company’s Chief Scientific Officer—Dr. Qi Jia! So we laughed sheepishly a bit about the both of us getting caught eating fast food, albeit selecting a reasonably healthy food offering, and then proceeded to chat a bit about business. He’s both a brilliant scientist and great colleague. In fact, we’re launching a couple amazing new products this year that include some amazing new Unigen ingredients. You’ll get to see and hear about it firsthand at Convention in June. So Qi was off to San Francisco, and I was headed home. But before we parted ways I offered to take a picture of the two of us at the McDonalds and he refused by laughing “No no, Rich, I know if you take a picture of us at McDonalds you’ll put it on your blog!!!”

Well, Qi, I don’t HAVE to get a picture to put it on the blog. It just makes it a bit more interesting. J

img_0530During my travel here I spent time at the Natural Products Expo as well as with some of our field associates attending a few meetings. The Expo is an annual trade show for our industry, it’s THE health and natural products event of the year—mostly oriented around B2B. Attending this event makes me remember how wellness/nutrition industry is—I really do feel great about being in this sector right now, the energy at the event was explosive. But beyond that, it’s becoming so exceptionally clear that there MUST be a monumental paradigm AND practice shift with healthcare in North America. And we’re going to be a major part of it.

During the event I attended a speaking session by acclaimed author and speaker Dr. Andrew Weil. He shared what he thought were the two most impactful things you could do for your health, based on all his years of research and experience.


Don’t eat manufactured or processed foods. Dr. Weil referenced several of Michael Pollan’s books, which are exceptional, that really talk to the importance of eating “real” food.

2. Breathe. There’s a breathing exercise that he picked up, I think from some Eastern medicine though I missed a bit of the history of the story, that he said he felt was transformational to a persons well being. The regimen is simple. Breathe in through your nose four seconds. Hold it for seven seconds. Open mouth (keep tongue loose, like a dog does when his mouth is open) and exhale for eight seconds. Do this four times. Not any more. And do it at least twice a day. After six to eight weeks it’s supposed to be magic.

3. Activity. Unequivocally, those that have the best health and wellness, especially in the later years, are those who have maintained or engaged in an active lifestyle. You’ve gotta be active.

He didn’t go into a fourth best practice, but I am quite certain it would have involve something like Univera’s transformational Xtra product.


The Natrual Products Expo event was great, booming excitement. Just another reaffirmation: right time, right place.

Apart from the Expo, I spent time on Thursday at a Univera opportunity meeting—over 150 were in attendance, and the event had leadership participation from a whole variety of Univera associates, including Bev (Tom had a conflicting meeting), Khai, Danny, Tiffany, R-Dawg (Richard Ross), Dianne McCourtney, and many others. It was a great event, lots of excitement, growth, and new people. At the event people were fired up about these amazing Univera products. And excited about the opportunity.


Later that evening over Korean food I enjoyed the excitement and energy of some of California’s enthusiastic leadership, like Danny, Tommy, Tiffany, Khai, Shari, and others. A lot of fun and excitement, a very gracious group of people whose efforts and contributions I appreciate tremendously.

As I continue to study our industry and see its constant evolution, a few things come to mind.

Let’s always remember that first and foremost we’re a product company that focused on delivering breakthrough cellular renewal products that help the body reduce damage and increase repair more exceptionally than any other Company in this industry—and we’ve got the science to prove it.

In this industry there are some who try to emphasize business opportunity as the first and single most important (or borderline “only”) criteria for their company’s existence. This is a mistake. Building any business on JUST the business opportunity is pretty darned close to the definition of a pyramid.

Beyond that, it’s not sustainable. Why? Because it belies the importance of having an actual product or service that meets an unmet consumer need, which is the purpose of any for-profit business. Any sustainable business MUST start by delivering some type of unmet consumer need.

If anyone tells you different, they’re simply mistaken and poorly versed in business strategy and sustainability. And I’m putting it politely. New Yorkers would phrase it a bit differently.

Beyond that, they’re basically selling you a “chain letter” style business, where ultimately the masses at the end of the chain letter get burned.

So, firstly, the products are the difference.

But beyond that, once we firmly establish the incredible value and life-changing impact of these products (even in this economy, well over half the people who enroll in Univera do so purely as customers), we’d also be remiss not to clearly and in a compelling way articulate the business opportunity that exists behind or in conjunction with the products. Either so someone can earn enough to get the products for free, or so they can make a little extra money. Or a lotta extra money. And in this economy the financial opportunity component is vital, if not life saving for many, but it MUST be built on something real. And that “something real” is comprised of Univera products that truly change people’s lives.

At the Silver and above reception one of the attendees asked me what I expected from the California group. A great question, and I’m thrilled it was asked—it’s not often that I get a question like that, but it shows me that individual really is focused on unity, cohesion and the mission.

My answer was a simple one: grow

And I didn’t just mean Business Volume. Yeah, do that. Do LOTS of that.

But beyond that, grow as people. As a team. Grow the culture.

What’s the culture?

Help others, including crossteam and outside of your payline. Do the right thing—whether someone is looking or not. Never compromise your integrity to make a few extra bucks—it’ll come back to you in other ways, and even if it didn’t you’ll never feel complete. Offer respect and a listening spirit to your peers and team. Realize it’s a team victory. Conduct open meetings where everyone is welcome and can participate. Leave ego aside. Settle into the amazing things that can be done when we all work together with purposeful intent. Stay committed, don’t wander and meander with other shiny objects. Have fun, and celebrate your success at ALL levels. Give back to the community.

In other words, practice Servant Leadership.

Have fun.

Stay focused.

And continue California Dreamin’.

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4 Replies to “Doctors, McDonalds, Airports, Associates, Oh My!”

  1. Just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate your blog. I’m a new customer, soon-to-be-associate, and in particular appreciated this post. I agree that it is all about the product when it comes to Univera. That is what will make or break my decision.

    It is most helpful for me to “get to know” the leadership of Univera via a blog. This too makes a huge difference to me. As I will be putting my future partially in the hand’s of Univera’s leadership, it is good to establish trust and integrity ahead of time. My husband is a physician, so we don’t make a commitment to a company lightly. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

    Blessings, Olivia Brown

  2. Hi Olivia,

    Welcome! And thanks for your comments, I am glad that you’re part of the team and thrilled that you took the time to read my blog. Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you in person soon. Please make sure you stop me next time we’re at the same meeting to say hello.



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