R Angel

R Angel helping Zoe and Royce read their new book
R Angel helping Zoe and Royce read their new book

Today’s a really great day, and not just because of our birth mothers (though I’m particularly appreciative of my mom and my wife) but also because of all the other great literal or metaphorical mothers out across the world–there are some of you who have done as much as any other mother, but for kids otherwise not your own.

And late this morning we had brunch with just one of those people.

Her name is “R”, at least that’s what she tells us everybody calls her. And somehow around the house we started describing her as “our Angel”, so I suppose her official name given by the Raz clan is “R Angel.”

How we met is an odd occurrence.

In the Northwest we got a nasty winter blast back in December, it really pounded on us. I think we might’ve gotten up to 15 inches in one day, on top of other accumulation days before. Many establishments were closed but I threw chains on each wheel on the Landcruiser and we were off and running around town having fun and running a few errands (really, it was an excuse for me to get to drive around in crazy weather w/ chains–Erica and the girls just humored me).

It was about 6:30pm, dreary dark with snow continuing to pound down. At this point any semblance of a sidewalk has been buried in a massive snowbank. The streets themselves are packed with fresh snow underscored by ice, cars are slipping and sliding everywhere. People with SUV’s (without chains) are having a difficult time driving.

And as I’m driving up to Pacific Avenue I see in the faint distance what looks to be a woman hunched over, wearing all dark clothes, with a walker making a slow attempt to cross a very busy street. Slowly, ohhhh so slowly, she’s making her way across with cars sliding everywhere, with her walker she’s somehow trying to dredge through over mounds of snow, and she’s crossing in the middle of a four laned street (NOT at an intersection or crosswalk).

As I’m driving closer, I’m still squinting and can’t believe what I’m seeing–then the words that came out of my mouth were something like…

“HOLY SNAP! THAT LADY IS GOING TO GET HERSELF KILLED!”

So I stopped in the street blocking two lanes of traffic and went out and helped her across. I was half in shock and half in humor what with the oddity of the situation and all. She was probably about 80-years old, slowly got across with me, said to me gently “Thank you dear, you’re a sweetheart–isn’t this amazing weather, and so beautiful!” and then went on her way.

But as I was walking away I couldn’t leave, it was like something kept nagging at me. So I turned back and asked her “How’d you even get here?”

“The bus” she replied while still walking, ever so slowly, to the shopping center while stumbling and and finagling around with snow, her bags, the walker, and a hunched back.

“Well, how are you getting home?” I asked back.

“The bus”, as she smiled.

So I walked over and said, “My friend, buses aren’t even running anymore; we’ll take you home. You can’t try to get home on your own.”

The point of how we met is something I’ll reference back to.

So over the past four months we’ve gotten to know R, what started as a quirky introduction led to her being a bit of an adopted Grandmother (which is great because we don’t have any relatives nearby).

Today for Mother’s Day we took “R Angel” out to brunch; Royce and Zoe made pictures and crafts for her, and we talked. When we arrived she was dressed so nicely, and she spoke softly with her Audrey Hepburn-like voice that waved and waned, and it was clear that though her body might not have been keeping up her mind had carried well. 

And over our food she spent a lot of time talking with, and reading to, the girls. And as we asked she told us stories about her husband, to whom she’s been married 52 years and is living his final days in a nursing home near her house. And, even though he no longer remembers her name, I learned something through how she talked about him with such great love and compassion.

And when it came time to talk about her kids, we learned that all three of their children has already passed away through a series of tragedies which threw a knot into my throat–yet in this sadness, I also learned a lesson from her, as she also told us with such sincerity about how blessed and fortunate she was.

And, finally, when we dropped her off today, I realized that when we stopped to help her back in the wild winter months I thought we were doing her a favor. And, as is always the case with Mother’s, she was the one that ultimately did us a favor. Through the gift of her relationship, showing compassion, and giving us light into a positive perspective–which is something that, at times, only Mom’s can do. 

Happy Mother’s Day, to all those of you who have done so much in so many different ways to make an impact on our lives. 

 

Royce, Erica, and Zoe on Mother's Day
Royce, Erica, and Zoe on Mother's Day

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Energy (UPDATED WITH PICTURES!)

Raz, Regina, and Anita

Starting this weekend I’m going to do a multi-part series of posts over the next week on Servant Leadership, specifically as it relates to some of the lessons I learned from my trips to Kolkata, India. Originally, I was going to start the series today, but today, after our most recent Univera Celebration Cruise I’ve gotta write about ENERGY.

Team California (and special award winners on last night!)
Team California (and special award winners on last night!)

 

The magic of Xtra is, ultimately, energy. 300 billion cells. Renewal. Alpha-Ketoglutarate. Kreb cycle. All that stuff, it works to give people a breakthrough botanical product–not a juice–that gives people natural and high output energy (among other things). 

Last night, as I was preparing some final remarks for the last night of the Cruise celebratory sendoff, it dawned on me that the magical benefit of Univera products is also the magic of our business and associates: energy

 

Platinum Special Event
Platinum Special Event

We’re just returning from the Univera Cruise where we had all the top performers over the past year, spanning numerous ranks, spend five days and four nights in the Bahamas. I think it was this trip that I really started to understand how much I love the people in this Company. It might be a bit like with kids, where I go through each stage of their life and I say “Now THIS is the best stage, I love them so much and wish they could just stay right here.”

Our Little Boat
Our Little Boat

Yet, invariably, the next stage gets better. This weeks trip was, in some ways, like that.

Except this included a bunch of new people that I’d never before met. I met individuals and teams from every part of North America who, in their own unique way, make a community what it is. Filled with diversity and uniqueness–people of all colors and ages, with all sorts of different backgrounds and work experiences; some who were familiar with Relationship Marketing prior to Univera, and many many others who at one point in their past said “I would NEVER do Relationship Marketing!”, until they found our products. And the model. And also the people–which are fundamentally what comprise the culture.

Mr. Fun and Personality, CEO Regan Miles (GREAT guy!)
Mr. Fun and Personality, CEO Regan Miles (GREAT guy!)

I heard the most magnificent stories this week, and watching the attendees interact and exchange and collaborate and share with fun, laughter, and enjoyment–as well as straight out deep dives into business opportunities and ways to advance to the next level, was simply satisfying. The week was devoid of the things that break down leadership groups like ego, arrogance, and exclusivity. Instead, it was filled with the bounty of leadership behaviors like inclusivity, excitement, coachability, appreciation, and mutual concern, and regard for each other. There are many stories I could share from the event, unfortunately time doesn’t allow and I’ve precious few pictures on my iPhone (though check back in a few days, I’ll upload a few other pics I get from peers or the office). 

Some highlights:

The two workshop sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, Stephen was simply exceptional (I realize he is always good, but this was a top 10 moment). And the 90-minutes of field leader led presentations (thanks Diamonds/Blue

Camping out at the workshops
Camping out at the workshops

 Diamond) was about the best training session that I’ve seen. It was insightful, authentic, fun, and applicable. I heard so many great comments from those who say through the presentations. Each was good, but the one that stands out was the roundtable discussion between Kenny Rossi and Angelyn Toth. They actually have a nearly identical color code, yet they’re in many ways so different. But that’s part of what makes this group so good, they’re each exceptional individuals who represent some of the top business performance by their teams during the past year. 

Okay, what else?

Mr. Animal and Mr. Rossi, rapping
Mr. Animal and Mr. Rossi, rapping

Karaoke. This was probably the most fun portion of the trip, where we laughed together–including some laughing at me–during my first-ever Karaoke debut, as well as that of Dave Nash. Meredith, I’m quite certain, would win the most talented award for Karaoke. She was almost annoyingly good. 🙂 If they had kept it open, I could’ve stayed and hung in the Karaoke lounge for many hours more. 

I loved hearing Glenn and Kenny sing/rap a Ricky Martin song. It was truly memorable. And just a little bit bad. Lots of energy, you can’t say they don’t give 100% to everything they do. Even singing. And unfortunately my rendition of Hey Jude wasn’t as good as the original below but I think the energy on stage with all the associates was better. 

At our first stop I was supposed to take the Platinums snorkeling, but weather didn’t allow it. Twenty minutes later Julie Darby helped me come up with an alternative game plan which worked out great, including a picture perfect lunch on the beach overlooking crystal blue seas and conch fritters along with great company–which then was followed by a really cool trip to some local Bahamian gardens (featuring a lot of medicinal plants). It really didn’t matter what we did because just getting to know the people was the enjoyment. The setting just made it better. 

Also this week I received my honorary Canadian citizenship bestowed by a team from up North, and I’ll always remember the first night out on the deck of the ship wee into the night looking at the stars with Richard, Yogita, and a few others from their team, where we talked about everything from business to life to spirituality and religion at a level of openness and authenticity that I’ve not felt in a long time. It was a revealing moment of getting to know people as just that.

Last night closing comments
Last night closing comments

As I write I feel so blessed and appreciative of all the Univera team who worked so hard to earn this trip, for showing your spirit and enthusiasm and friendship this past week, and also those who invested many hours to prepare and organize the event (thanks Corporate team).

We’ve got the magic.

In the products.

As well in our business.

And it all starts with energy.

 

The Univera Cruise Winners, such a fantastic group!
The Univera Cruise Winners, such a fantastic group!
   

 

 

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One Last Look…

I know what you’re thinking…

“Hey, Raz has yet another one of those Susan Boyle/Paul Potts videos for us.”

Well, actually I do but not for today.

Though as I’m on it, there’s another really great video with a super touching story about an American guy who has a special relationship with his mom and just seems like the sweetest man. But that’s for another posting, I can’t do three of those blog entries in a row.

So today? One last look…at the Road Tour. Thanks to everybody that made this such a success.

And a few “behind the scenes” looks at the Road Tour.

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Rockin’ Reno

 

Reno Event, Al and Glenn

What happens when you pull together 500 people who…

Have high energy? 

Great leadership? 

Are excited about a new paradigm to feeling great? 

And ready to take hold of their own financial future? 

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUV-QV_jp0w

Well, when you combine all of those things in the dynamic city of Reno, and a huge portion of those 500 are guests leaning forward in their seats during the presentations, you’ve got an event that absolutely rocked this past Tuesday night. 

I can’t say enough great things about the event.

And, with our Road Tour every city was really good–many were great and even exceptional. But, Reno was off the charts. Just totally off the charts. Of course Stephen and Regan were fantastic, but so were all of the hosts and participants and people and guests and…

So much of the success of an event is decided before anyone first sets foot in the door. And, what I mean by that is it’s often pre-determined by the leaders in the room and their spirit and excitement coming into the activity that helps drive to a successful event.

That, coupled with bringing lots of qualified people to hear some great news. 

This past week, that’s exactly what happened as we wrapped up the Road Tour in Reno–there’s no hyperbole there when I saw it’s the best event we’ve had in a long time. It was absolutely electric by the end of the night.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0G5U84Iq0M

And hangin’ with the Reno leaders was a hoot as well. 

Stay tuned for a Road Tour highlights video, for now enjoy this stuff from the Rockin’ Reno team. 

I don’t have any good stories from the event–only great ones, and the leadership there is fantastic. There is no way I can give credit to all the names of people who made such an impact. 

Congrats, team, on such a great event. And, thanks for making the final stop among the best events we’ve ever held.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all season. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Austenver

This entry started as what would be a combination of two events, Austin and Denver. Thus the name, Austenver. Then, I started looking at all the great pictures and people from Austin, and I just couldn’t bring myself to pull the two events together. 

As I type we’re en route to Denver, placing bets of whether we’ll land or not. Already, the Frontier flight first thing this AM was cancelled to Denver, and many United flights leaving Denver were cancelled, yet as I write we’re flying in gorgeously sunny skies—hopefully beating this last winter storm that’s apparently on its way (side note: when I landed this was published, so obviously we have made it to Denver and we will see you this afternoon). 

So the three of us are doing our thing in flight, Stephen pounding away on his keyboard (though not quite as loudly as me), Regan sits ahead of us CEO style in first class (bumped, not a purchased ticket) watching 30 Rock, and I’m bloggin’ away.

Arriving into Austin was welcome warmth, spectacular sun and temperature. It’s the best weather so far. And, while weather is really an exceptionally boring and mindless topic, when you live in 40-50 degrees and rainy for much of the year (though I actually love it) the topic of sunny skies and arid warmth becomes just a tad more interesting.

Austin is such a hoppin’ city, and for a Friday night our turnout was fantastic—probably close to 200. Significantly more people than we had last time in Austin, and the energy and excitement was a lot better as well. Not that last time our Austin trip wasn’t great, it was good. But this was really exceptional with the quality of people and just the…Energy.

I’d rather have energy, excitement, and conviction any day of the week over someone with just talent and talk that lacks passion. In Austin we had people that are both talented and excited. The best of both. 

When I reference specific people that I meet on the Road Tour I always hesitate a bit, because there’s always more people that I can’t blog about that I met who are equally interesting. But I try to tie in one story or experience.

At this event I met a guy with a great story, his name is Mario (his brother Tommy attended the event as well), and is signed up under Colleen who was also attending. Mario’s story is a great one, he grew up in the Lyford, Texas area. Which, many of you know, is home to Hilltop Gardens—the Historical Home of Aloe. There’s more to this great story, it’s just evolving and someday I’ll write more about it, but the short of it that Mario has gone on to become exceptionally successful, and as I understand it is an inventor (even featured in magazines like Popular Mechanics) and has also done some feature work in TV. The amazing thing is not that he’s totally bought into Univera—the products and the business. It’s that he has a stronger tie to Hilltop Gardens than most anybody I know.

See, when Mario was growing up, his parents worked in agriculture and in the fields. And, some of the work they did was planting and harvesting aloe.

But the magic is, they didn’t just work any farms. One of the farms his parents worked in the fields was the Hilltop Gardens farm itself, before Bill had actually purchased it (owned by a different family, with a different name—but the oldest aloe vera farm in the U.S.).

So the evolution of this story is an amazing one, and among many other stories of success that will grow over the years this will also be another interesting one. 

 

 

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.