Make Memories

make-memories

In the summer of ’86 there was a great Wall Street Journal (hereinafter WSJ) article written about a Frozen Custard Stand in Lafayette, Indiana.

I was 13 at the time.

What was I doing reading the WSJ? Well, Friday night WSJ review nights, of course. Some of you know that every week we’d have “article review” where me, my sisters, and my dad would sit around the dining room table (you all did this too, right?) and review our inbox reading for the week (you had one of these also, yeah?) and talk about what we learned.

No, I am not making this up.

The intended purpose was, I assume, about developing cognitive reasoning skills as well as practicing retention, and of course I wouldn’t forget the riveting family fun involved. Well, for real, it ACTUALLY was fun (we didn’t know better 🙂 ) and it enabled us to spend time together. Well, the short of the story was that later in the summer of ’86 we all decided to take a road trip to Lafayette to hit the custard place that we all read about. We were on our way out West, if I recall, but in any event we opted for a two-hour detour just to get a taste of this stuff. We never went there again. I don’t even think we ever really talked about it again.

Fast forward 23-years…

So this week I’m on the road, starting in Dallas (my birthplace), the next day Knoxville, the next day Indy for the day (meeting w/ old friends and also a pretty cool networking meeting that’s fodder for another blog entry) and I’m leaving Indy in a way-too-small rental car making my way up to Merrillville, which isn’t all too far from Chicago.

As I’m driving I basically remember this article (yes, this is bizarre I know–but it’s just how my mind works) from ’86 in the WSJ and that I’ll be driving near Lafayette off I-65. An iPhone Safari search and 30 seconds later and I’ve got the address of the Original Frozen Custard stand  in Lafayette.

So I go. And as I’m there a flood of memories return, from the WSJ review nights (I can still recall talking about the owners of the Custard Stand, and how they reinvented their former business from the 30’s to develop this world-renowned frozen custard because…well, who cares at this point why…) to the trip I took with my family to how good it was when I first tasted it when I was 13.

Prudence should’ve stopped me at the serving of Pumpkin Pie (they don’t allow samples or mixing at all–it’s like Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, kinda), but then I needed to try Mint Chip (not that great) and then some sundae of sorts (pretty good as well, but the Pumpkin was the best), yet I was so enveloped in the moment and all the memories of the past that I just had to have a few samples–and, no, I didn’t eat all of them. But even after sitting outside at this place, literally by myself with nobody else around, amidst a gorgeous afternoon with the crisp smell of Fall in the air, I didn’t want to leave. Because, to leave, meant I would also leave the nostalgia.

The lesson I was reminded of?

Make memories.

And, depending on what you’re doing, who knows if the memories will resurface 23 days, 23 months, or in my case, 23 years later.

make-memories-1

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 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 significant 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.

Risky Hires: Wall Street Journal Circa 1997

Wall Street Journal

I saved this article for 12 years, and who knows how much longer I’ll hang onto it. But I remember my dad giving this to me, or rather snail mailing it to me (I was probably just starting my job at Lilly). We all had inboxes growing up, from a very young age.

In fact, at birth we were all assigned a designation for inboxes. I was R3. It has to do with birth order. My Dad was R1. Mom R2. You get it? A little odd, even quirky…Perhaps. But fun. In a quirky way, of course. But it set us forth on a lifelong course of reading and study, in some ways.

Anyways, my Dad sent me (again, R3 for those who aren’t quite yet following along) this great article over a decade ago. I loved it, because it represented redemption.

And second chances.

Which represent stories that I love, because no matter who you are, what you’ve accomplished, or who you know the fact remains that we’ve all needed a second chance here or there. As you’ve heard me say before, it’s one of the amazing things that I love about the Direct Selling industry, but there are many other applications to this throughout life as well.

So, here it is: A story of second chances. From many years ago. From a Company that took a really unconventional approach, and won big. Not just in results, but in the redemption it provided to people who were without, for a period of time, any hope at all.

When Ruth Tinney started looking for a job last December, she didn’t have much of a résumé: The 30-year-old mother of two had no recent employment at all and had been on the welfare rolls for about three years.
Nonetheless, Microboard Processing Inc., an electronics assembler in Seymour, Conn., offered Ms. Tinney a two-week employment trial. Now she has a regular assembly-line job at MPI, and she recently got her first raise.
Close to 30 percent of MPI’s new hires could be considered high-risk employees, from former welfare recipients with little job experience to felons and former drug addicts, says Marilyn A. Burke, the company’s production manager. Chief Executive Craig T. Hoekenga says MPI makes sure that at least 10 percent of its new hires every year are in these categories.

Click here to read the full story.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all season. What is the most significant data 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 heartiness, 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.

Genius: The Modern View

Why do we love the “underdog” story? Susan Boyle. “Mine that Bird” (Derby this weekend). Slumdog Millionaire (brilliant fictional drama).

To some degree, I think it’s because it represents more of “us.” Where we think we are, and what we hope to someday do or be. 

But the reality is that we’re less than an underdog than we give ourselves credit for. The following New York Times article is a good reminder that hard work, a commitment to excellence and focus, and patient determination count for a tremendous portion of our successful outcome and result. 

And there really are a lot of examples of this. A few that come to my mind off the cuff are Eric Clapton, whose music I really like, who acknowledges that if you go into a few bars chances are you’ll find someone as good or better on the guitar than him. Or take the common bit of wisdom passed onto University President’s which says “Be nice to your A-students because they’ll come back and teach; be nice to your C-students, because they’ll make all the money that funds your endowment.” And just today fact my dad sent onto me a list of “NFL Busts”, stories of guys with great talent–superhuman talent–who never went anywhere in the NFL (which was especially interesting to me because one of the guys I played against in high school was featured on the list and the guy was a rock star).

So sometimes the “talent myth” is too often decided by perception or some false quantitative measurement. No question, you need some talent. But, beyond that, there are other factors that seem to matter more. 

 

OP-ED COLUMNIST for the NEW YORK TIMES

Genius: The Modern View

Published: April 30, 2009

Some people live in romantic ages. They tend to believe that genius is the product of a divine spark. They believe that there have been, throughout the ages, certain paragons of greatness — Dante, Mozart, Einstein — whose talents far exceeded normal comprehension, who had an other-worldly access to transcendent truth, and who are best approached with reverential awe.

We, of course, live in a scientific age, and modern research pierces hocus-pocus. In the view that is now dominant, even Mozart’s early abilities were not the product of some innate spiritual gift. His early compositions were nothing special. They were pastiches of other people’s work. Mozart was a good musician at an early age, but he would not stand out among today’s top child-performers.

What Mozart had, we now believe, was the same thing Tiger Woods had — the ability to focus for long periods of time and a father intent on improving his skills. Mozart played a lot of piano at a very young age, so he got his 10,000 hours of practice in early and then he built from there.

The latest research suggests a more prosaic, democratic, even puritanical view of the world. The key factor separating geniuses from the merely accomplished is not a divine spark. It’s not I.Q., a generally bad predictor of success, even in realms like chess. Instead, it’s deliberate practice. Top performers spend more hours (many more hours) rigorously practicing their craft.

The recent research has been conducted by people like K. Anders Ericsson, the late Benjamin Bloom and others. It’s been summarized in two enjoyable new books: “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle; and “Talent Is Overrated” by Geoff Colvin.

If you wanted to picture how a typical genius might develop, you’d take a girl who possessed a slightly above average verbal ability. It wouldn’t have to be a big talent, just enough so that she might gain some sense of distinction. Then you would want her to meet, say, a novelist, who coincidentally shared some similar biographical traits. Maybe the writer was from the same town, had the same ethnic background, or, shared the same birthday — anything to create a sense of affinity.

This contact would give the girl a vision of her future self. It would, Coyle emphasizes, give her a glimpse of an enchanted circle she might someday join. It would also help if one of her parents died when she was 12, infusing her with a profound sense of insecurity and fueling a desperate need for success.

Armed with this ambition, she would read novels and literary biographies without end. This would give her a core knowledge of her field. She’d be able to chunk Victorian novelists into one group, Magical Realists in another group and Renaissance poets into another. This ability to place information into patterns, or chunks, vastly improves memory skills. She’d be able to see new writing in deeper ways and quickly perceive its inner workings.

Then she would practice writing. Her practice would be slow, painstaking and error-focused. According to Colvin, Ben Franklin would take essays from The Spectator magazine and translate them into verse. Then he’d translate his verse back into prose and examine, sentence by sentence, where his essay was inferior to The Spectator’s original.

Coyle describes a tennis academy in Russia where they enact rallies without a ball. The aim is to focus meticulously on technique. (Try to slow down your golf swing so it takes 90 seconds to finish. See how many errors you detect.)

By practicing in this way, performers delay the automatizing process. The mind wants to turn deliberate, newly learned skills into unconscious, automatically performed skills. But the mind is sloppy and will settle for good enough. By practicing slowly, by breaking skills down into tiny parts and repeating, the strenuous student forces the brain to internalize a better pattern of performance.

Then our young writer would find a mentor who would provide a constant stream of feedback, viewing her performance from the outside, correcting the smallest errors, pushing her to take on tougher challenges. By now she is redoing problems — how do I get characters into a room — dozens and dozens of times. She is ingraining habits of thought she can call upon in order to understand or solve future problems.

The primary trait she possesses is not some mysterious genius. It’s the ability to develop a deliberate, strenuous and boring practice routine.

Coyle and Colvin describe dozens of experiments fleshing out this process. This research takes some of the magic out of great achievement. But it underlines a fact that is often neglected. Public discussion is smitten by genetics and what we’re “hard-wired” to do. And it’s true that genes place a leash on our capacities. But the brain is also phenomenally plastic. We construct ourselves through behavior. As Coyle observes, it’s not who you are, it’s what you do.

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 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 significant 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.

And to Paul Potts, too

Paul Potts

So with all the fanfare with Susan Boyle and her amazing performance on “Britain’s Got Talent”, and my many many views of her performance in the last few days (to the point that my wife is teasing me), I’ve become captured with a few other great stories ofnormal people doing exceptional things that have been featured on a few reality shows. I don’t watch much TV, but some of these highlights on YouTube are just too fantastic not to share.

The ones below I saw about a year back, a similar story to Susan’s. I think there’s a reason that we’re all so intrigued by these exceptional shorts–in total these videos have been viewed on YouTube tens of millions of times, there’s a buzz about it.

Why are these so popular?

For me, I’m drawn by seeing someone’s inspiration. Sheer determination. And ultimate. success. Seeing someone’s “Renewal.” It’s the archetypical underdog story of a longshot, someone left behind or forgotten and dismissed or simply underestimated, that has “it” deep within them, sticks with it, and wins big.

I’d love to hear other opinions on what has made these clips of Paul and Susan SUCH a sensation–comment away! 🙂

So, here it is…Paul Potts, from over a year ago on Britain’s Got Talent. The first video is his audition. The second video is a deeper look at the Paul Potts story.

And once again, take a look at the crowd–the smirks and laughter–before his performance, and how he absolutely transforms the audience during the event.

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And here’s the other clip that gives a bit more of the story after it unfolded.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. 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 soundness, its doubtless significant 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.

Thank You, Susan Boyle

 

Susan Boyle

Sometimes there are certain moments that words don’t describe well.

Which is why I won’t try to share much about today’s posting and I’ll let this seven minute video taken from “Britain’s Got Talent” give you chills from seeing someone’s dream realized. I wish I could embed the video itself, but that feature has been disabled by YouTube for this particular video–so you’ll have to go to the link at the bottom of this posting.

When watching this, some of you will get chills.

Some will laugh, or smile.

And others will cry.

All of you will be moved.

The experience of watching this is among the most powerful I’ve felt in months. Look at the change in the audience, from the beginning, where they were laughing and mocking this lovely woman who simply has a dream–to being an audience that’s simply…inspired.

So many lessons in this seven minutes. About perceptions. Judgment. Perseverance. Potential. And dreams.

I’ve watched her performance four times in a row, and I can’t stop the overpowering sense of emotions and insight I get from watching what is probably seven of the most magical moments on television that have happened in a long while.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Here’s the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY&NR=1

And, by the way, if you’re up for a little extra sentiment and contemplation, read the lyrics to the song she sang from Les Miserable “I Dreamed a Dream” below.

There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
And they turn your dream to shame

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came

And still I dream he’ll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doc. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all period. 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 heartiness, 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.

Dogged Pursuit

 

Can we agree on a few simple premises? 

1. There’s a huge need for secondary or replacement primary income right now? More than ever in the past three decades, perhaps longer? Everybody is faced with the prospect of layoffs, 401k matches missing, salary reductions, and on. Not to say that everyone is going through it–but everybody to some degree is faced with the prospect. Heck, I just read that even Sesame Street is laying off 20% of it’s workforce–including some of the letters of the alphabet, such as Q, K, Z, K, and the semicolon! (the latter is pulled from a funny piece of online satire, but the former is apparently true and not so funny). 

2. That there’s nothing wrong with pushing a hotdog cart (though I wouldn’t recommend eating one everyday). People do what they need to do. No judgment here. 

3. That an opportunity in Univera makes vastly more sense in terms of a) lower initial investment, b) time factor of money, c) income potential, d) capitalizing on a growing marketplace, e) feeling better physically, and f) intersecting what you do with what you love–or in other words, finding purpose in work? 

Check this recent article from the Wall Street Journal, and tell me it doesn’t motivate you to go and find that extra person to give them a shot at what they might never have known but for your contributions and enthusiasm…The best advice probably comes at the very end of the story, where Mr. Mottola says “I’m creating my own stimulus plan…I’m not waiting for the President.”

Dogged Pursuit: Professionals Find New Livelihood Selling Frankfurters
BANDERA, Texas — In hard times, some small-town Americans are turning to a new livelihood with relish.

Among them are Andrea and Ben Guajardo. They began selling hot dogs from a pushcart on Main Street in November.

Ms. Guajardo is a grant administrator for a health-care system. Her husband, Ben, is a pipeline operator. Theirs is the first hot-dog stand in Bandera, pop. 957, that anybody here can remember.

Click here to read the full story.

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 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.

The Phoenix VLOG

Mae and Larry

This is one of my first-ever predominantly video-blogs (vlogs), but it’ll tell the better story comprised of a few different clips from a great evening. Thanks to all the Phoenix leadership, including Barry and Connie Lucas, Kenny and Esmerelda Rossi, Ron Faunce, Dr. Jack Burns, and many many others who participated and helped. Thanks to all the first-timers who showed up to check out Univera, the products and the business.

In short, this was my favorite trip to Phoenix so far–I loved the time at the event, meeting all the new people (probably 70% guests), and the great socialization with the leaders post event at Los Alevios! So, enough writing–onto the VLOG…

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all day. What is the most significant data 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 great 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.

Rocky Mountain High

Growing up we did the annual trip our West, generally Colorado. We’d start in Columbus, Ohio, and  24-hours later we’d arrive into the Denver area. Lots of memories evolve from those trips, including a few funny prospective blog stories, but one of the things I remember most about the journey was the dialogue and the music. I’d spend a lot of time talking to my dad on the way, and we always had this set structure of music that included Karen Carpenter, Paul Williams (such a fantastic songwriter), and, of course, John Denver. So this song will be forever my placeholder for “here.” 

Once you get to this great state you start to understand the “Rocky Mountain High” that Denver wrote about years ago. I always love coming here, flying into what’s almost always sunshine and fresh air. This weekend we had lots of fresh air, and a bit of sunshine (ironically, literally as I write, it’s 70 and sunny back in Oly and 26 and overcast and snowing here in Denver–ha!). 

From Austin, despite what many forecasters were predicting as a wild weekend, the flight was on time and bump-free and Stephen made it on time to his Doc’s event, which I know was sprinkled with good humor as well as some Cheesesteak stories–remember, Stephen, I get to speak last at all of these events. 🙂 

During the event, on Saturday afternoon, it was really well run. Eddy Wittry was the guy behind the scenes facilitating everything, and he did a great job, but so many other leaders were involved in the event and particularly presentation, including Anjila Stimack, Dave Walther, Chris Pilgrim, Harris Williams, and John Rogers among others.

And lots of help from many people, including Judy Gillum, Gerry and Michelle Bergeson (great set up guys), and I could go on and on and on with all the people that contributed–thanks to everybody.

There’s lots of great video footage from this trip as well as Austin (post-Tour we’ll do a highlights video) but the following clip is among my most favorite.

 

Remember Regan, this was just one guy’s opinion. I’m sure the next person you asked would have said…me. 🙂 

After a great event, we took the local leaders out to dinner (Dr. Greene and Judy, enjoyed our time together at dinner) and had a great time–thanks, guys, for the gift of some local Colorado wine that looks great. 

Then, the finale…Boogie Machine at Cool Rivers. This is Jerry and Michelle’s band. www.boogiemachine.com

These guys really rocked the house, we met a bunch of other associates out at the event and danced the night away listening to 70’s music. The evening was among the most fun we’ve had on the Road Tour, and both the people as well as the music were responsible for that. 

Which is a great plug for Convention ’09. These same people, and MANY MANY more will be at our event June 26-29, and this SAME BAND will be opening for us on Thursday night–the start of our 10-year celebration. So in addition to great speakers (Bill Lee, Paul Zane Pilzer, Suzanne Peterson, Neil Offen, and others), training and business growth (average Gold who attended Conventions in the past earned DOUBLE the commissions that following year of those at the same rank who did not go), this event promises to be a lot of fun.

Perhaps, even more than the Denver group was this weekend. 

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all season. 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 soundness, 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.

Nashville (creative heading, huh)

Bliss and John

My creativity brain cells are, I believe, starting to diminish. But the excitement on the road for Univera isn’t!

Sometimes when I write these entries about the Road Tour I feel like it might read as a bit of over-enthusiasm for these events, but really, if they weren’t good events I either wouldn’t write about them or I’d pick some obscure topic to focus on semi-related to the event. 

So Nashville was lots ‘o energy. And I am trying to stay away talking about any of the Corporate presentations, because it’s really not the point of the Road Tour and it’s boring to read about in a blog–instead, the point is to try to get this message and the opportunity–product, business, or both–in front of people who need it the most. 

However, Stephen was fantastic at this event. It was probably the best that I have heard him, he pulled out all stops. 

Energy in the room was fantastic, we had people there from Indianapolis, Knoxville, Georgia–even someone from California was there. And about 70% were first time attendees, another really amazing percentage. 

We spent a lot of time socializing and getting to know those in the area. It really was an exceptional event, we will be back.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all when. What is the most significant data 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.

Memories and Mo(mentum)

Atlantic City

I’ve got lots of New Jersey memories.

My parents moved out there when I was in College, a big move for them. My younger sisters were all raised there. My parents home in New Jersey served as an escape after we lived downtown during 9/11, a place where we ended up staying for quite some time. My first daughter, was born in Morristown, New Jersey. I remember many nights at the hospital there. In fact, many of my great business experiences happened there as well–where my start-up company did a LOT of business for pharma clients in “pharma corridor.”

So it was fun to go back to a land that I really love a lot, and served as the venue for some of the powerful and transformational memories in my life, for our latest Univera event. You can see a few of the fun clips, from an airport departure to some of the associates on the East Coast, below.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDJsXVOL9qM

The room was absolutely packed. Overflowing. Biggest event we’ve had in NJ, and it was preceded by a great dinner with some of the local leaders–which I only participated in for a few minutes due to another conflict, but Regan and Stephen had a great time and it was a warm up for the evening. I’m guessing 250 people. And for a MONDAY NIGHT!

Now, I’ve got to admit–and Stephen and Regan would say this as well–but midway through the event we were a little curious as to why it seemed a little stale. Just a little flat. Or maybe more than a little. Kinda flat.

Was it the evening? Monday night? The room? Mic? The presentations?

And I asked Al, he reminded me…It was all the guests. It’s not that they were flat, it’s just that 70% of the room was there for their first time, so many guests. And they were just checking things out, wondering what’s this deal all about? Who are these guys? What do these products do? How does this business work?

So, it just took a while. But they continued to warm up, the enthusiasm brewed throughout the event–particularly after Mike jumped on stage and raised it up a few decibels (he’s the guy in the video). The guy was great, just a nice catalyst to spark the room.

And there’s a saying in this industry: “You can’t say the wrong thing to the right person, or the right thing to the wrong person.” I think there’s some serious truth to that, not absolutely–but often.

Blue Diamonds Al Keranen and John Rogers were there–both did an excellent job. A guy named…gulp…Animal did a really great job hosting the meeting. Yeah, I said Animal. His real name is Glenn, but his nickname…It doesn’t matter. You have to know him, and his upteam Diamond Kenny Rossi who gives nicknames to just about everybody. Also, Diamond Dave Skultety was there…Plus a LOT of great new Univera leaders–Silvers and Golds in particular, great youth and diversity.

The energy was there, it really ratcheted up after the meeting. And just kept going. Post-meeting it must’ve been buzzing for a good hour, at least, with the general group. Then we hung out with the leaders for probably another hour or two after that–was a lot of fun, great people. strong energy. This is an area that is completely coming on the map.

Talent. Excitement. Commitment.

Thanks New Jersey, for adding to the great memories.

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Bon Jour Montreal

Univera/Matol Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Univera/Matol Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

We arrived in Montreal on Wednesday night, with a bit of a prolonged adventure what with our RGL and NGL experience which I already addressed in another blog post.

Thursday was a day of meetings regarding the Univera/Matol integration, with lots of leadership from Bijan and Jonathan. I can’t mention all the names of the great Univera Matol people, but each are very talented and make an incredible addition to our team. img_0658

Friday was the big celebration, the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the acquisition of a new partner. It’s a great addition to our Company strategically and structurally, we have gained some great teammates, much excitement, as well as resources that will help us along our path to success.

img_0655There were dignitaries at the event, as well as ECONET and Univera Exec’s, along with Bill Lee himself who gave a humorous yet heartfelt ceremonial speech tying in a cute story about arranged marriages and how he, within one day, felt completely comfortable with this arrangement given the quality of the people, the resources, and the products.

Over 150 people were in attendance at this event, many of whom were Univera associates. And, as good as the party and celebration was, a certain section became all the more lively as a few of the Exec’s took over the duty of serving drinks and tending bar.

The highlight for me? The people.

The people in Matol, now Univera, who are dedicated and committed toimg_0659excellence and supporting our plans while also helping to significantly grow the business. The Matol field leaders, who have, in their words, waited years for an opportunity like this–and they feel strongly at home. And the Univera corporate and field team, many of whom were able to participate (Dave Nash, though, was unable to attend due to a birth of their son!!! Congrats Dave, we missed you!) over the days festivities.

img_0668And if all that weren’t enough, the Univera/Matol office has a really cool Flavia coffeemaker where you can get as many single shots as you want.

Today was a “Super Saturday” field event led by MANY of our AMAZING Canadian leaders–whose names I can’t all write down but special thanks to Andre, Anne, Louis, Sylvie, Gille, and so many many others for making this a great success. I know there are people I’m not listing, please know we appreciate everything you did and do to make these events so fantastic.

Over 300 people at this event, an INCREDIBLE turnout particularly considering that two days before there were about 500 people that went to a Halifax event (therefore most of those didn’t travel to Montreal). Special speakers included Bill Lee, our owner, Stuart Ochiltree CEO of ECONET, and Robert Bolduc CEO of Matol, and Univera exec’s and field leaders. img_0675

Most important were the many Univera associates leading and participating in the event, and I believe for well over HALF the audience this was their very first Univera event. And a good 100 people raised their hands and were already committed to going to our June Convention this year.

A really great day. Energy. Excitement. Business success. Product testimonials. Purpose. Heart. A real blast, for all of us.

Thanks, Montreal, for such a great stay–we hope to come back again soon.

And as I blog this I am riding in the car en route to Portland, Maine.

Stephen’s driving, while wholly testing the limits of this little Pontiac while other passengers in this care are testing the use of the word “wholly” in another spelling and context. But, we are nearing our destination and apart from all the “watch out for bears and moose” signs that are giving a bit of angina I think we will arrive in tact.

Albeit two hours later than we should have. There is much dispute around exactly WHY we took a route that was two hours longer. Some believe it is because of faulty GPS, others believe it due to malfunctioning teamwork, and yet others think it’s because of bad direction. It seems it’s impossible to get true clarity on this, but for now we’ve agreed to sleep on it and readdress in the morning.

This ride is actually quite restful. And Regan is particularly quiet, there’s no heckling or jokestering from the back seat, I expect because he is wearing headphones and using his iPhone–perhaps to watch another South Park. Had I known this was such a solitude inducer for our journeys I would have personally purchased a set of headphones for him over a year ago. 🙂

As Regan watches South Park, Stephen’s doing these really loud nasal breathing exercises (I am afraid he is going to hyperventilate on this so an intercession might be necessary–please support me on this), and I’m pounding away on the keyboard at about an 80 decibel on my second battery which is almost kaput, stopping every few minutes to share a new thing I’ve learned on the news wires (by the way, did you know that drinking very hot tea increases your risk of throat cancer? Let it cool a bit first).

We each have our quirks. Stephen and Regan, more than most. 🙂 Truly, we’ve had a great time together.

So it’s officially day one, and we’re off to Portland to meet some of the Univera leaders for a great dinner at J’s Oyster House downtown, followed by the Portland event tomorrow afternoon.

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Happy 4th Birthday Buddy

img_34831The reason I write in my blog is to connect with people. Not just from one segment of life, but from many.

And as part of the thread of stories I try to share experiences and observations in leadership, volunteerism, wellness, as well as some stories that are simply personal experiences that fall in none of those particular categories and, might, at times, be more personal.

Today’s entry is one of those. So if the personal aspect is too much, please skip this one today.

I write tonight sitting 3,000 miles away from Erica and my girls, celebrating in spirit the birthday of our son Levi. Who, five years ago today, was born and also died several hours later due to prematurity and a systemic infection that could not be avoided or treated.

Levi, my little friend, I’m not sure if Heaven is wired with Web 2.0, social networking, and blogs along with 802.11N Wifi. Maybe up there you’re on Web 10.0 and we’re just catching up. I’m not sure if you’re yet able to read, if you’re learning to read, perhaps someone is reading to you, or whether you’re even still a youth or not. Somehow, though, I think you will get this message in some way.

Raz Fam celebrating Levi's 2nd Birthday
Raz Fam celebrating Levi's 2nd Birth.

Today I just wanted to acknowledge my appreciation and love for you–especially because I’m on business travel and away from the rest of your family on this special day. I wish you were here so we could celebrate, even if remotely. And if you were here tonight I would call you on a Skype video, sing Happy Birthday to you, tell you how proud I am of you…I’d tell you how I’d take you out for cake and ice cream when I got back home, and we would do the things that dads and sons do–things like wrestle and horseplay on my return visit. We’d probably even break something valuable in the living room. 🙂 But it would be okay, because you would be with me–and I would be with you. And mom would look at us and smile with a look of “You boys…” and Royce and Zoe would be cackling and laughing in the background, all while trying to wrestle with us as well. Levi, we would have had a lot of fun–and I miss you.

Yet, as strange as this may sound, I am certain that God’s got all of those fun activities figured out for you–and more–right where you are.

It is rare that I can look at our family and see only four people; it generally feels like you are missing, and while some of the days that pass make missing you–and what I never got to know of you–easier, never will it be forgotten or a substitute for what a life with you in our family every day could have been like.

So, today’s posting is a simple one.

It’s just an open letter to you wishing you a Happy Fourth Birthday. To let you know that we all miss you so much, and I know we would be so proud of you on this day, yet we also have a sincere contentment that everything works out according to a plan.

It’s just that today, and at this very moment, I really don’t like the way this plan has worked out–even though I know it is for the best.

Happy Birthday my little friend, we miss you so much and I will see you someday soon.

-Dad

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No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all period. 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 significant 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.

WSJ Article

A few weeks ago I was reading the following article, and I thought it was so great I’m linking it on my blog. You gotta love the attitude of the wounded Navy Seal in rehab, and the appropriate sign he posts, leaving simply zero doubt about his success and the perspective, and no tolerance for others who doubt around him. The perspective about his injuries, as well as his soon-to-be victorious healing, is beyond noble–if we could all represent just a fraction of his brave then our lives, and this world, would be significantly different.

Let’s Be Worthy of Their Sacrifice

This holiday season, home in Texas and surrounded by close friends and family, I often found myself thinking about virtual strangers.

I met them this fall when I spoke at the Naval Special Warfare Foundation (NSWF) dinner. The NSWF supports naval commandoes with scholarships and assistance for families of Navy Seals killed or wounded in combat or training.

During my White House years, I came to know of the heroic actions of the Seals and other special operators in the global war on terror. These men willingly follow evil into dark and perilous places. They volunteered to be on the front edge of the conflict whose outcome will shape this century.

Click here to read the entire Wall Street Journal opinion piece.

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 data 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 soundness, its doubtless significant 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.

533,000

unemploymentI doubt anybody missed this announcement, but I’ll include a link below to the front page story of the Wall Street Journal–also easiliy found on the website or cover of any other paper or news site today. The month of November represented the shedding of over 533,000 jobs–the highest monthly total we’ve seen in the past 34 years. And I think we all know the reality is that it’s not going to turn around anytime soon. And while people are clearly concerned about unnecessary expenses, one of the things that I think people will need to think more about is their health. If you’re worried about providing for yourself and your family, you also have to be thinking about the physical health you’re in. And I’m not trying to suggest that it’s just about taking AgelessXtra, or Aloe Gold, and RegeniCARE that will lead to better health. Clearly, there are all sorts of things we can do such as exercising, eating well, and eating less that will give us an edge. But I’m also certain that our products contribute towards the achievement of peak potential, and as a result should stay on the family budget way longer than some other perceived “must have” expenses. But beyond this, North Americans are going to have to get aggressive about seeking employment AND mitigating risk. There is little time to think about what to do, to wallow in frustration or disillusionment, or stay in a state of paralysis.

Which is where our Univera business opportunity will be a focal point for so many now and in the future–for some it’ll be enough income that they can easily pay for the product, for others it’ll be a a car payment and health insurance or possibly a mortgage, for some it’ll serve to fund vacations/trips/lifestyle that they thought would forever be out of reach, and yet for others still it’ll simply put food on the table for them and their families.

By finding a job this will mean exploring avenues or pursuits they haven’t considered before (including Relationship Marketing) as well as finding secondary or supplemental sources of income. Which is where our business opportunity comes into play–in stronger force and opportunity over the next year than what we’ve seen over the past three years combined.

U.S. Sheds Over Half Million Jobs
WASHINGTON — The U.S. recession deepened last month as U.S. companies shed jobs at the fastest rate since the early 1970s, pushing the unemployment rate to its highest level in 15 years.

The figures suggest the year-old recession will approach or even exceed the 1981-1982 downturn in severity and support expectations that Federal Reserve officials will soon lower interest rates to levels not seen in a half century.

Nonfarm payrolls, which are calculated by a survey of establishments, plunged a larger-than-expected 533,000 in November, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday, the 11th-straight decline and largest since December 1974.

Click here to read the full article.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. 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 soundness, 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.

What CEOs (leaders) can learn from Paul Newman

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I just returned from the Gold/Platinum Xpand your Business seminar up at Alderbrook this past weekend where my wife and I attended the concluding dinner and had a fantastic time with all those present.

While reading various emails this afternoon, I ran across a Wall Street Journal article sent to me a few weeks ago, which I’m posting below. In the spirit of the weekend of learning and leadership, and of our quest for each of us to build upon our talents and contributions as leaders, I wanted to share the article below about — of all people — Paul Newman.

It’s entitled “What CEOs Can Learn…” but I think we can all agree that it would easily extend beyond CEOs — though in these times, it’s particularly poignant for those at the top.

What CEOs Can Learn From Paul Newman

History will certainly remember Paul Newman as an icon of modern cinema. But he was far more than just an actor. Paul was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word who embodied the American ideals of extraordinary integrity, a tireless work ethic, a commitment to family, and a deep sense of responsibility to the people who made his success possible.

Paul used to joke that he had to keep making movies to support all of his philanthropic projects — and that wasn’t too far from the truth. To millions he’s perhaps better known as the face of Newman’s Own food products than he is for his superb performances in “The Hustler,” “Cool Hand Luke,” “The Verdict” and scores of other films.

Click here to read the full article.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all day. 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 significant 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.

Seven years ago today…

raz-nyc-apartment
It’s taken me five days to finish this post that I started on 9/11.

I remember so vividly the crisp fall morning, awakening early to what literally started as a most idyllic day–and quickly morphed into something quite different–from the freshness of having just learned that Erica was pregnant two days before, to enjoying a cup of morning coffee while overlooking the morning sun and blue skies as well as the Manhattan skyline from our apartment a few blocks South of the WTC (pictured above).

And I remember the walk into the office, arriving first to the office at 8am–abnormally early by Manhattan start-up company standards–while feeling a strength of excitement to my event-filled day with Exec’s from planned meetings throughout the day.

And then I got the call from my friend commuting into the City, whose frantic plight was among the earliest acknowledgments that something was terribly wrong.

And the day, as everybody knows, turned horrific from that moment on. Each of us has a story of where we were, the people we knew affected, and the resulting impact from this day many years ago.

And for six years I awakened on this memorial day with an almost methodical remembrance of the anniversary of this days events, with a customary moment of silence during each of the major attacks, along with numerous phone calls to those with whom I shared the day from years back.

Perhaps this year it was a culmination of being on the West Coast, where I expect there exists some direct relationship to distance and discussion, though perhaps it was also the factor of time that had passed as well as a harried and busy calendar for the day.

Yet on 9/11 I felt like something was missing from the day, an intangible that I couldn’t–and still can’t–quite express.

Now today, five days later, when I read a touching 9/11 remembrance article from the Wall Street Journal that my dad emailed onto me, copied and pasted below, it struck the chord that I seemed to miss from this past Thursday.

Wall Street Journal
September 13, 2009

‘They Are All Better Than Me’
By AMY FINNERTY

The taxi driver did not want to take me to Brooklyn. Stephen, a very tired-looking man from Ghana, muttered under his breath when I got into his cab on West 11th Street in Greenwich Village and asked for Montague Street — just over the bridge.

He was just starting his night shift. The ride downtown was one of those passive-aggressive, stop-and-start affairs that cabbies use to punish inconvenient fares. But the driver’s mood softened when we reached the site of the World Trade Center.

On the eve of the seventh anniversary of 9/11, the lights — two soaring, vertical columns of blue-grey mist representing the Twin Towers — were projected heavenward, as they are each year. We had just passed the stretch between the Village and Tribeca when the two of us were caught off guard south of Chambers Street. We were directly under the light beams, at the base of operations, as it were, near the construction site that is still a mess. The annual civic display was both less romantic and more impressive up close. Bugs swarmed in the electrical glow of Big Machinery. The wattage was alarming.

We lingered in the phosphorescence, stuck in traffic, mesmerized by the shockingly muscular beams. He stopped the car. This, we agreed, was a big deal, and must have cost the city a lot.

“Where were you when it happened?” I asked, glad that he was no longer mad at me for dragging him to Brooklyn. “Don’t ask me, please,” he responded. “I’m getting tears in my eyes.” The New Yorker in me suspected this intimacy might be a bit of theatrical tip-seeking. But I soon felt terrible for thinking so.

“The night before it happened, I dropped a fare right here at a hotel under the Twin Towers. I don’t know what happened to them.” Back then, Stephen had just recently left his day job . . . at the Twin Towers. “I worked for a freight forwarding company,” he said, and I thought that the very African way he pronounced “freight forwarding” made it sound as vital and noble as it actually is.

“Two people I knew died,” he continued. “I had recently quit working there in the day, because of my kids, to work nights driving a taxi, to make sure my kids were OK, to get them off to school. We had problems with babysitters.” He seemed energized when I asked what he thought about Osama Bin Laden. “Those people!! So wicked! So smart! So Samaarrrt!”

Moments later, he handed me a color photo as he turned on to the Brooklyn Bridge. A lineup of dark-faced, pastel-clad kids, several girls and a boy, all gorgeous, strapping and smiling broadly. “The oldest girl is so pretty,” I said, stupidly. “That’s my wife,” he confided. “She died two years ago of throat and neck cancer. I can’t believe it’s two years.” I asked him for a pen.

“You’re doing an incredible job of raising these happy kids,” I told him, wanting to write down his words and make him feel better. “What do your kids do?”

“See that one in the green shirt?” He asked the question without turning around. “Master’s in psychology.” He slowed down in the bridge traffic. “The one on the end? She’s the oldest, a teacher.” There was a boy in his second year at college, and yet another accomplished girl. “They’re all better than me” he boasted. “Psychologist . . . cab driver!” I told him he was wrong — he gets credit for raising them. “Teacher . . . cab driver!” he boomed. “They are better!” Tears welled in his eyes as he added that he missed his wife terribly.

We arrived at my home. Stephen politely accepted my tip and I got out of the cab. Then he headed back over the river toward the lights that had, at least momentarily, bridged the differences between us.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all when. 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.

One of the Greatest Things…

2500768232_1d7e6cc015About the Direct Selling industry is the ability to offer opportunity and development to those who might never experience the chance otherwise.

Growing up in the Raz family wasn’t likely a totally normal experience; I think we were a family of restless overachievers yet at the same time each of us were and are, in my opinion, fairly normalized people.

family-christmasFor example, at the Raz household for Christmas, one of the annual gifts was ALWAYS ALWAYS a Day-Timer calendar for each person (seven in total) — this is pre ’95, which was the introduction of the Palmpilot which quickly replaced the Day Timer in our family of early adopters, so late 80’s and early 90’s it was Day-Timers all the way around. Even though, in the picture above, the decor actually looks a little late 70’s or early 80’s (so we kept it going about a decade longer). And, odd as it might seem, all of us were quite excited for our annual supply of Day Timers — my younger sisters included, despite the fact that friends of ours were singing Christmas Caroles, dreaming about Santa (which never really existed in our house past the age of four), and opening up gifts of Tony Hawk Skateboards and Atari game systems we somehow settled into a sense of satisfactory existence with the practical and probably peculiar annual family gift. Okay, so some of the kids (see tears below) weren’t always enthusiastic about the Day Timers…but those also weren’t the only gifts mom and dad gave us.

sad-gift750px-atari_game_consoleSo fast forward a few years, though throughout all these years we received the annual supply of Day Timers, when I was in high school and most of my buddies were out mowing yards for summer jobs and drinking kool aid in the evenings, I yearned for something else — a job or activity that might put to good use my unlimited supply for Day Timers and penchant for calendaring and scheduling and deal-making, a desire to just do something unique…Different. I was seeking adventure, financial opportunity without limits, teamwork, personal development. I wanted to be stretched. I wanted to wear a shirt and tie to work even though I was in high school (though, based on the picture below, I am now cringing at several things about the wardrobe — including the tie clip and too short tie among other things!).

raz-selling-cutcoAnd, alas, I found the opportunity in October of ’91. I was 17, Senior in High School, and saw a sign that said “Part Time Jobs: $9/hour”. So I called, went to the meeting and learned it was for Vector Marketing — a job selling Cutco! And, it was the most influential job of my life. It taught me about leadership, people, personalities, listening, tenacity and perseverance…

product_giftAs I write about it a flood of memories come back to me, because it wasn’t just a three month gig for me. It actually put me through College where I worked as a Sales Rep for a year, an Assistant Manager for a year, and then led my own office as a Branch Manager when I was 20, and moved up to Sandusky, Ohio (by myself) to do it as my college job.

The point isn’t really what I did or didn’t do with Vector, it was that it served as the PERFECT vehicle to fulfill some of my needs — which weren’t just income (I could have cut lawns too, in fact I did the years before — I just got bored with it more quickly than my buddies) but also personal development, a sense of satisfaction in what I did, a purposeful mission coupled with self development.

What made me think of all this today?

The Wall Street Journal.

eco_journalismYes, I know, many think it’s all just boring financial blah blah in the Great Grey Lady (WSJ), but it really is a wealth of recycled papers wrapped full of compassionate and compelling stories of human interest and human spirit, in addition to a bunch of boring financial blah blah.

And today the WSJ ran a great article on a young man who is a Vector Marketing (Cutco) sales representative that reminded me of what makes this Direct Selling industry, and also Univera, so outstanding.

We have the opportunity of not just financial success, but also personal development. To develop the skills of time management. Perseverance. Teamwork. Enthusiasm and optimism. Where else can you learn such life-changing and beneficial skills than in this environment?

What I loved about Vector, in looking back, was specifically the personal development and how I was stretched, molded, and developed by the experiences and the people. Sure, I made quite a bit of money, but I could have done that anywhere. Truly, knowing what I know now, I would have done the whole Vector/Cutco thing for FREE just for the experience. It affected and changed me that profoundly. And, so too I think it is with Univera (but you don’t have to do it for free!).

Beyond just the benefits, what I also love is that there’s no filter in our industry. There’s no “ivory tower” or pedigree that’s required to engage or be considered for the role. No matter your situation, your background, your skills, your history, this is the land of alternative opportunity. Just a spirit of willingness and zeal is all that’s required, and sometimes not even in large doses – -for some it’s simply the willingness to “try it out”, though like with anything try should be accompanied with some type of sustained commitment to yield the best benefit.

Our industry is unlike that at any other business environment. For example, when I worked at Johnson and Johnson they required a huge number of hurdles to get in the door and to become hired was a fairly Herculean task. Consequently there’s also a bit of a “mold” that they look for as parameters. If you walked the halls of J&J, I’ll bet I could pretty simply categorize people according to background, MBA, sales/marketing expertise, and the like. Certainly, there’s good reason for this in that environment, but the beauty of the direct selling model is that there is no bias. There is no filter, and there are no prerequisites. Nor is there prior judgment. It’s an open door. It’s so…American…and Canadian…

Are you a doctor? Great, come join us. Dropped out of high school? Fantastic, we’ll see you at Diamond Club in Hawaii. Love a challenge but hate your current job? Start today! What, don’t have a job? Beautiful, we’ve got one for you! Love your job but need a secondary income? Order the 100340 and get your gifting pack, 10, 30, or 60 gifts, and let’s get gifting.

Really, it’s a beautifully unique and compelling model.

I’m not trying to overly simplify this, but rather point out what struck me today as a few of the amazing aspects of our business. Specifically, that anybody can join and do this. And, importantly, that it provides something more than just income. It provides a rich set of experiences with personal and physical transformation, self development, teamwork, patience, and developing skills to work with other people that will help to transform your life — and those of others.

It’s the amazing thing about this industy, and it’s the luster of Univera.

And the WSJ article that prompted all these thoughts is accessible via the link below.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121788532632911239.html

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