USANA Honored by Forbes for Third Consecutive Year
USANA Honored by Forbes for Third Consecutive Year
A number of years ago I took a road trip up the California coast. I’d heard and read about Coastal Redwood trees and I’d seen numerous pictures of them. I’d seen a picture of a tree so big in diameter you could drive a car through it – and in fact, redwoods can have a diameter of up to 22 feet and can weigh over a million and a half pounds. All the facts I’d heard and the pictures I’d seen couldn’t prepare me for the majesty, the power, and the sheer immensity of my first experience in a redwood forest. I remember pulling to the side of the road and even though it was snowing gently, I got out of the car and just stood in silence – trying my best to absorb the magnificence of the sight. I felt I was standing on sacred ground.
Redwoods are the tallest plant species on earth – the very tallest tree measuring 367 feet. Lets put that into perspective. Imagine a 35-story skyscraper or a football field tipped up on one end and you’ll begin to get an inkling of the awe one feels when standing in a redwood forest. Redwoods are not only the tallest living things on the earth – they are also the oldest. The average life expectancy of a redwood tree is six centuries, although a count of growth rings on one particular specimen revealed the tree was 2,200 years old! Fossils indicate that redwoods have been around for about twenty million years. Redwoods are older than the Rocky Mountains!
The reason redwoods grow to be this tall and live for centuries is still somewhat a mystery but as I researched this phenomenon, I believe I found some clues…
Interestingly, the root systems of redwoods are very shallow. The roots grow no deeper than about ten feet and yet they support a tree that is the height of a football field. It seems impossible but in reality, the roots of the redwood tree graft and interlock with the systems of the trees surrounding it, creating a vast interlocking root platform. This prevents the toppling of even the tallest and most massive trees when soil layers become fully saturated and soggy during prolonged flooding.
The redwoods’ ability to out-compete other trees through rapid growth has been a key to their survival. Redwoods literally race for the sun – growing up to two feet a year in order the get the light they need to survive.
Another successful strategy is their dependence on fire. Redwoods actually need fire to survive. The bark on the redwoods is very thick – up to twelve inches and contains tannins, chemical that resist burning. As fire sweeps through a redwood forest, it burns other plants and debris, enriching the soil. This provides nutrients for the redwood seeds that by the way, are the size of a tomato seed. Because fire has been so suppressed on public lands for so many years now, few of the seeds have been able to sprout. So, the trees have adapted.
I love the fact that baby redwoods actually sprout from the roots of the parent tree. This is a very common sight in a redwood forest. The baby tree gets its nutrients from the parent tree until it’s root system has spread and intertwined with the root systems of the trees surrounding it.
One more interesting fact, redwoods have their own unique self-watering system. On most mornings the coastal fog condenses on the redwood’s flat, waxy needles. As water builds up, it drips from the needles onto the soil beneath the tree. Amazingly, the root system I explained earlier soaks up the water as it falls.
Redwoods reach their incredible height because they grow very close to each other. Let me repeat that…the only reason redwoods reach their incredible height is because they grow in a redwood forest. Redwoods are always surrounded by other redwoods! Because the 100 plus inches of annual rainfall leaves the soil with few nutrients, the trees rely on each other for their vital nutrients. Only redwoods have the strength to support other redwoods.
Well, can you begin to count all the parallels I can draw from redwoods that relate to building powerful teams in USANA? Let me share a few:
Finally, and perhaps the most important…you never see a redwood standing in an apple orchard. I’ve surrounded myself with giants – people who have mentored me and who have helped support me on this amazing journey. And like a redwood forest, I believe USANA will be around for generations to come.
Your success in USANA will be based largely on your beliefs. You must believe in this industry, you must believe USANA is the vehicle that can get you where you want to go, and perhaps most important, you must believe in yourself. There are many reasons why I love relationship marketing. If you don’t already have an unshakeable belief in our industry, I hope you’ll lean on my belief until yours is well established.
For economies to thrive, manufacturers must find a way to get their products into the hands and homes of consumers. Did you realize that up to 90% of every dollar brought in by certain products is paid out in marketing and distribution! Getting consumers to purchase a particular product is a tricky and expensive proposition. Today’s consumers are overloaded with information. It has been estimated that we are exposed to over three thousand messages per day with at least 600 of those messages being some form of advertising. A simple trip to a department store or supermarket can be exhausting. My kids call it “TMI.” We’re bombarded with too much information! I personally refuse to clip any of the hundreds of coupons in my Sunday newspaper and prefer to shop in small boutiques or my corner grocery mart where there’s minimum sensory overload.
All this promotion and advertising has turned us into a skeptical bunch, hasn’t it? I recently read the results of an international survey done by Roper Search Worldwide Inc. The survey found that only 38% of people internationally believe businesses provide accurate information about their products and services. The vast majority of people surveyed believed benefits were exaggerated.
So, if consumers are skeptical (and they are) and annoyed (they are) with sales tactics and traditional invasive advertising, what is a manufacturer to do? How is it possible to get products and services to end consumers without alienating those consumers?
This is the part I love. Ask any market researcher to tell you the most powerful form of persuasion. It is word-of-mouth advertising or relationship marketing. We listen to and act on suggestions from people we know, people we like and people we trust. Think about it. We’re even more likely to act on advice from strangers than we are from ad campaigns. Do you ask your waiter for his recommendation when you’re ordering your dinner at a nice restaurant? I know I do. If you overhear someone recommending a great movie are you more likely to see it? I am. And when I shop my local Barnes and Noble bookstore I always look for the titles recommended by the staff. And I buy them! I don’t know these people, but I act on their word-of-mouth recommendations.
Relationship Marketing is a people-friendly occupation that is an honest legitimate way to distribute products and services for a profit. Successful relationship marketers make a lot of money – and they should. They are providing a valuable and necessary service by sharing their experience and passion with people who act on that information by becoming end consumers.
I was recently asked by the editors of “Networking Times” to write an article for their magazine about love and whether or not love is a factor in building a network marketing business. Well, I’ve written and submitted my article…but you’re getting it first. I believe it sheds some light on the type of people our industry attracts.
What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Everything. But all the passionate arguments I could render could not illustrate the love that is so abundant in our industry better than sharing a brief story.
Each year my company rewards its top distributors by sending us to a magical location for a few days of pampering, celebration and total relaxation. In late November 2000, our destination was the Grand Wailea on the island of Maui. This happens to be among my favorite havens in the entire world and I was eagerly anticipating a few days with some of my dearest friends – the Diamond Directors in USANA.
Shortly after arriving I called home in San Diego to check on my daughter. Sharlie was twenty-one but in spite of the fact that she is very much an adult, I worry about her. Sharlie was born with Cystic Fibrosis and battles this disease with every single breath she takes. She has rallied back from the brink of death numerous times in her young life and is currently on the double-lung transplant list.
A chilling, breathless message awaited me as my answering machine clicked on.
“Mom, if this is you…I’m in trouble. Something happened. I can’t breathe. They’re taking me to the hospital.”
I was so shaken I couldn’t function. I knew I had to get home as soon as possible but I was too emotional to know how to make that happen. My USANA family rescued me. They calmed me, helped me repack, changed my flight schedules, transported me to the airport and stayed by my side until I boarded the plane.
I arrived at my daughter’s bedside early the next morning. She was still sleeping and didn’t realize I had come back home. When Sharlie opened her eyes, I placed a fragrant lei (my arrival gift from the Grand Wailea) around her neck and said,
“Sorry I wasn’t here for you yesterday, honey. I had to run to Hawaii to pick up this beautiful lei for you.” As weak as Shar was, she smiled and gave me a tender hug.
The love of these special individuals carried me through a difficult time, but let me share the rest of the story as it has been told to me.
The morning after I left the island of Maui all the Diamond Directors and management team got together for breakfast. Prior to starting their activities for the day, they gathered in a circle to pray for my daughter and me. Then they took up a collection so they could purchase something meaningful for Sharlie.
Within days a stunning bouquet was delivered to Sharlie’s hospital room followed by an heirloom holiday quilt that warmed her heart as much as her body during those long days leading up to Christmas. She received beautiful cards, letters and gifts from each of these dear friends and they have continued to be her “adoptive” parents over the years.
I’ve always known our industry attracts people who want to make a difference – people who are of “one mind.” However, I’ve been privileged to learn through personal experience an even more important truth. We attract people who are of “one heart.”
Have a wonderful (love-filled!) day.
Read the article here (requires registration).
The first time I heard it (about eleven years ago now) I thought the guy was kidding. Since then, I’ve heard a version of it many times over – enough to realize that most of us in the relationship marketing industry need a reality check from time to time.
The conversation went something like this: “I really need to make it in this business but I don’t want to talk to anyone until I’m making some serious money.”
The first time I heard this line of reasoning, I countered with, “that’s sounds a lot like explaining to your boss that as soon as he gives you a raise, you’ll go to work!”
Over the years I’ve heard some truly amazing unrealistic expectations. A few of my favorites for your reading enjoyment:
“I need to be making a thousand a week by Christmas.” (a brand new distributor and Christmas is three months away)
“Do I have to take vitamins to be in USANA?”
“Could you build both of my legs now and then when I’m finished with school I’ll start talking to some people?”
“How long after I sponsor my two people will I go Gold?”
And my personal favorite:
“I need to make a lot of money but I don’t want to have to talk to people.”
Let’s get real. Let’s get honest about our industry. Relationship marketing can be extremely lucrative and personally rewarding. When you attend the annual USANA international convention it is obvious there are millions of dollars to be made – and seemingly average, ordinary people make up the ever-expanding Million Dollar Club. The potential is there for you…as long as you understand and are realistic about what is required between signing your name to the USANA application and being called on stage to receive your Million Dollar Club pin.
So what is it going to take to eventually wear that Million Dollar Club pin on your lapel? I want to have some fun with this…so here’s my “get real” check list:
You must be on the USANA products if you want to build a USANA business. If you can’t swallow tablets, figure out another way to take them.
If you are not on autoship, chances are slim that you’re headed for Diamond Directorship.
Your sponsor is not going to build your business for you – even if your sponsor is me.
Not every person you sponsor will stay focused or even active in the business – even the ones who tell you they’re going to leave you in their dust.
You will not build a USANA empire by working an hour and a half each week.
Being a steady preferred customer is preferable to being a distributor who doesn’t like to talk to people.
Your friends and family members might not be overjoyed with your new endeavor.
It takes more than a minimal investment of time and effort to reap maximum revenues.
Your business will grow in about the same proportion you do. I’m referring, of course, to mental rather than physical growth!
The fact is, there are tremendous rewards to be reaped in this business. It takes persistence, passion and patience. If you will apply these three principles and remember to “keep it real” the rewards will be yours.
I had a most interesting experience recently that relates perfectly to what I want to share with you…story-telling.
Jack Fletcher is a gracious elderly widower – 76 years old – who has been completely blind for 46 years. He lost his sight in a horrendous accident shortly after he moved to San Diego when he was 30 years old. A mutual friend told me about Mr. Fletcher and mentioned that although he is quite self-sufficient, he occasionally needs help – someone to take him shopping, read him his mail, help him run his errands, etc. Those of you who know me will recognize my response, “Why not?”
I called Jack a few days ago and explained that I lived near him and would be happy to lend a hand whenever he needed me. Sure enough, he called and asked if I could come to his home and take him grocery shopping. My daughter Sharlie and I arrived at 10:00 in the morning as scheduled. I thought we’d pick him up, take him shopping, and be back home within thirty minutes or so. Fortunately for us, that didn’t happen.
Jack asked to take a seat and then said, “Would it be alright if we just got to know each other a bit?” He then asked us each some questions about ourselves and somehow wove our conversation into several of the most fascinating stories I’ve ever heard.
Jack is a pro at building relationships – and he did it by asking questions and telling stories. We heard a story from his childhood, several amazing World War II stories, the story of his fateful accident and the enchanting, inspiring story about how he met his sweetheart in the Orientation School for the Blind.
We were enthralled as Jack recounted his love affair with Dee Dee (who was partially sighted) and how he hired an $85,000.00 vehicle and a driver to whisk them away to Reno for their marriage ceremony. He could hardly hold back his laughter when he explained that the vehicle was a Greyhound Bus and that the driver came at no additional charge!
Frankly, I thought our visit to Jack Fletcher would be an opportunity to be of service to someone in need. By the time we left his home, however, there was no doubt about who the beneficiaries of that visit really were!
What does this have to do with becoming a master marketer? Everything! I’ve built my entire business by sharing my own story. I have one – and so do you. Write it down and don’t leave out the difficult details. People you approach want to know you’re authentic – a real person with real trials and real triumphs. I honestly believe in the majority of cases, people don’t join me in USANA because we have such great products or even because they prefer our binary compensation plan. I believe people join me in USANA because on some level, we’ve “connected.”
Now, don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting you dump your life history on someone the first time you visit. Obviously, you need to create some curiosity about what our company offers and then determine their interest level. But by your second conversation I suggest you get into some serious storytelling. Personally, I edit my story depending on the person I’m talking to. Let me give you just one example:
I’m in the process of visiting with a young father who wants to spend more time with his children. They are two and four years old and he hardly knows them because he is working 70 hours a week for an unappreciative employer.
Because I want to connect with him, I’ve shared the part of my story that includes my two sons, Dax and Zachary, who are both young fathers themselves. I explained how much it meant to me as their mother to see them spend time at home with their children – my grandchildren. I told him about the many different options they had when it came to choosing their careers and how I encouraged them to give relationship marketing five years so they could be home with their wives and children while building a residual income that I believe will pay them for the rest of their lives.
I then told him about my brother Mike, who was eventually able to be at home with his wife and six children because of his USANA business. I shared the story about Mike taking his five-year-old Anna to kindergarten and agreeing to stay on as the teacher’s helper for the day. One of the little girls in the class came up to him, took his hand and while looking up at him said, “Whose mommy are you?” True story!
You get the idea. Stories make you real. Stories make you much more than someone wanting to recruit someone else. Stories are the threads of a beautiful tapestry we weave with one another. Tell your story and watch your business grow.
May you all live “happily ever after…”
Belief comes with time and experience. There is a way, however, to accelerate the process. The more quickly your belief grows, and the stronger your belief is, the more successful you will be in building a dynamic USANA organization.
If you find your belief waning, the following assignments will help move your belief in the right direction:
Belief in the Network Marketing Industry:
Belief in USANA Health Sciences:
Belief in Self: