Kids in the house

Not only is it Ken McDonald’s last day and retirement party, it’s also “Take our daughters and sons to work day.”

In this spirit, I offer my daughter’s essay on her day at Quixtar:

I went to work with my Mom today for “Take our daughters and sons to work day.”

We had a party for my Mom’s boss, who is retiring.  I helped carry some pictures down to where the party was going to be.  The party was in a tent.  The tent smelled bad.  In the tent we ate food and cake.

My Mom had a conference call very early today.  It was early because there were people from China and Japan on the call where it was already tonight.

I saw my two friends in the building who work here — Squirt Gun Nick and Theresa.  I know what you’re going to ask me — who do I call him Squirt Gun Nick?  Because we have squirt gun fights once in a while!

We were in the car 25 minutes to get to Quixtar, my Mom’s work.  But it was still fun.


Four expectations for Quixtar employees that help lead to success

Ken McDonald, who retires from Quixtar this week, established a set of expectations for employees that are really pretty simple and reminiscent of the golden rule.

  • First, is every day, do something to help IBOs build their businesses.  After all, helping IBOs create success is what Quixtar is all about.
  • The second is to every day do something to help your teammates.
  • The third is to do your best.
  • The fourth is to have fun, because as Ken says, you can never have too much fun!

What’s really different about Quixtar is that we’re able to take our work seriously without taking ourselves too seriously.  And that’s made Quixtar an unusually desirable place to work.

Ken helped create that, and we’ll keep it going after he leaves.   One person can make a big difference at a company, but more importantly, one person can leave a legacy that others continue when he or she is gone.


GR Press Story about Ken McDonald’s Retirement

Here’s the story in the Friday, April 22 edition of The Grand Rapids Press announcing Ken McDonald’s retirement.


Welcome to two KickStart! winners — a "success tie" inside Quixtar

Today Quixtar welcomed two IBO couples who tied as winners in the KickStart! promotion.

They come from opposite ends of the Quixtar world — one couple is from Rockford, Michigan, just north of here, the other from sunny St. Vincents.

They are here today touring, meeting, and celebrating their success in their businesses powered by Quixtar.

Beautiful weather greeted them, with temps expected to be around 80 today.  Bright sunshine and lots of cheering and clapping to welcome them to our West Michigan headquarters.

Since KickStart! has been extended through the end of August, there's plenty of time to participate and perhaps have your own day at Quixtar! 


I fight authority, authority always wins: Mellencamp in Grand Rapids

John Mellencamp came into Grand Rapids yesterday for a one-evening show at the Van Andel Arena.  Excellent show with a wide range of fans, from an alarming number of toddlers to senior citizens and everything in between.  Including a man seated near us we referred to as “big fat dancing and swearing man.”   (Close your eyes and picture him in his khaki shorts and belly-baring t-shirt….then make him bigger and louder.)

I’ve been a Mellencamp fan since he released the “Johnny Cougar” album and this is the third time I’ve seen him live.  I’ve always liked the honesty of his songs and the fact that even his ballads are set to a beat that’s hard to resist (it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it — Dick, I’d give it a 9.)

Here are my top 10 favorite Mellencamp songs, in no particular order:

  • Authority
  • Wild Night
  • Jack & Diane
  • Pink Houses
  • Paper in fire
  • Small town
  • Rain on the Scarecrow
  • Lonely ‘ol Night
  • Key West Intermezzo
  • Check it out

The concert closer was Cherry Bomb, which didn’t make my top 10.

The concert format was cool, with “opening act” Donovan actually joining John midway through the show and performing while John took a break.  Donovan bears a striking (and unsettling) resemblance to Camilla Parker Bowles.

Anyway, back to life Inside Quixtar.  Beautiful weather this week, with morning temps in the 30s but afternoons warm and sunny and near 70.  Unseasonably warm and dry, but those who have weathered Michigan winters know that we’re likely to get another cold snap and maybe even see more snow fly before we’re safely and firmly into spring.

Things are quieter here since New Platinum Seminar ended on Wednesday evening (see my earlier post about this event and how it’s designed to celebrate IBO success.)  Quixtar will host three New Platinum seminars this year.  If you’re an IBO, visit for slideshows, stories, and soon, video recapping this week’s event.


A homecoming parade and hero’s welcome rolled into one: NPS Inside Quixtar

Today hundreds of new Platinums descended upon Quixtar for an event unlike any other — the New Platinum Seminar.

Imagine busloads of people arriving at Quixtar's headquarters with one purpose — to celebrate their success.  What awaits them is a hero's welcome, with hundreds of Quixtar employees clapping, shouting, waving signs and carrying balloons.  It's like the homecoming parade for the victorious team, as we celebrate achievement, hard work, and above all, the success these new platinums have achieved in their businesses powered by Quixtar.

And they get a chance to meet their behind-the-scenes support team back here at Quixtar and learn more about the company, products, and other ways to help them achieve greater success.

For us, it's a chance to literally shake hands with our customers.  Many of us don't have customer-facing jobs or have limited or periodic contact with IBOs. So this is our opportunity to thank them for what they do, to find out how we can help them, to connect with the people who are the face of Quixtar in cities and towns all over the U.S. and Canada.

It's an uplifting experience for all of us, but a little exhausting for them and for us.  I always feel after a Platinum Seminar that I haven't yelled, clapped and cheered so loud since the last time I saw Springsteen.  Still, it's an event unlike any other and helps set a new group of leaders off on the next journey in thier businesses powered by Quixtar.  


More success Inside Quixtar….KickStart! winners visit

We had another reason to celebrate Inside Quixtar last week…another pair of KickStart! winners visited Quixtar headquarters and we all got to celebrate their success in this promotion.

If you've visited to check out this promotion, you know that the winners get to visit Quixtar headquarters and ride in an Alticor jet to get here.  This month's honorees, however, were from Cadillac, Michigan, which is about a 90 minute drive and a pretty fast plane trip (the winner described it as getting up to cruising altitude and coming back down!)

That doesn't matter, though.  What matters is the achievement that got them here, their success in their business powered by Quixtar, and the fact that the Quixtar team was out loud and proud to welcome them.

All those vacationing for spring break are due back this morning, which means our parking hiatus is over. Just like the kids going back to school today go into crunch mode to finish out the school year, there will be a renewed  energy here as everyone's back and back to business.




Buck Wilder and how to train an elephant….or, why you sometimes only you are responsible for your own success or failure

I have to admit, when I first heard the name "Buck Wilder" I thought of the Seinfeld episode where George Constanza came up with his stage name should he pursue a career in adult films. 

So I was shocked when my daughter said that Buck had visited her school as part of Reading Month and that we could go hear Buck speak at a "family night."

I'm glad we went.

Buck is the pen name for writer Tim Smith, who has created the Buck Wilder character for a series of books that teach kids about the outdoors.   What's interesting about Buck…er, Tim, is his personal story.  He didn't begin writing until he was 51, when he decided to take his lifelong experience fishing, hunting, and enjoying the outdoors and share it with a younger generation of kids who spend less time doing those things.  The result is very charming and enthusiastically illustrated books that help kids understand camping, fishing, boating and other outdoor pursuits.

But back to Tim.  He told the story of his childhood, where everyone around him told him he wasn't too bright and couldn't do certain things.

Now…for those who read earlier and see I didn't complete the post, here's the rest of the story…..

Anyway, he told a story about how they train elephants in India.  They take an adolescent elephant and attach a short chain to its neck and pound a giant stake in the ground.  The elephant learns that as much as he tries, he can't get away.  Eventually, they can replace the stake with a twig, and as long as the elephant sees the chain attached to something on the ground, he won't even try to move.

He used this as a parallel to his own life and his own conditioning, and encouraged the kids not to let anyone else put limits on them.  Smith broke away from the limits others had put on him and became a successful author — but not before 11 publishers told him his book would never sell.

My husband has a saying about the word can't…..when he hears it he says "can't died in a cornfield."  I have no idea what this means.  He doesn't either, but that's what he heard as a kid when he said he couldn't do something. 

We can be conditioned either way….to believe in ourselves or to have others put limits on us.  But where we began doesn't need to be where we end up.  That's up to each of us.

So Inside Quixtar there may be budding athletes, closet musicians, an administrative assistant writing romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.  Who are any of us to say they "can't"?