The "hows" are more important than the "whats"

We're now knee deep in the season of college and high school commencements and lots of talk about bright futures ahead for new grads.

Here at Inside Quixtar Success, I talk a lot about potential and about each person measuring their own success their own way, making their own investments of time and energy, celebrating little milestones along the way.

What's interesting is that a growing number of commencement addresses are not just focusing on the what of the future, but the how.

"Hows" like being responsible to your community and the world around you.  Like seeking to build people up rather than tear them down.  Like being true to yourself.  Like keeping your moral compass as a guide rather than reacting to what's happening around you.  Like knowing what really matters and managing your life around that rather than letting life manage you.

My neighbor is home from college and working two jobs for the summer — she's grateful because last summer she couldn't find a job and strung together babysitting jobs and dog-walking gigs.  She's pretty exhausted from serving drinks during the day and working at the mall at night.  She wonders if this is what life post-graduating will be like — living between stints at work.

People used to say that you either lived to work or worked to live.  The ideal is somewhere in between, where you find work you love and that you're well rewarded for performing.  That makes work feel less like "work."   I've always believed that any job had the potential to feed your soul if you approach it the right way — with joy.  Not every day at work will be joyful, just like not every day on vacation is fun.  

The "how" is what matters whether you're serving drinks or shoveling asphalt. 


Blogging abroad

I'm out of the office in Amsterdam and will blog as time and Internet access permits. 

Arrived this morning and spent the afternoon (meetings start tomorrow) at the Rijkmuseum and windowshopping along the Leidsplein. 

This is my first visit to the Netherlands.  A few points to note about Amsterdam.  Dogs seem to be welcome anywhere — in shops, markets, outdoor cafes.  Bikes rule — and I learned quickly that the very wide brick "sidewalk" was actually the bike path.   

Weather here today was cloudy with a few sprinkles and temps around 50.  Inside Quixtar (or rather, back in West Michigan) there's a frost and freeze warning.


The fight over seat 10

Went to a West Michigan Whitecaps game last night.  We get mini-season tickets so we go to see our hometown team play six games a year. 

The park is fun, the food pretty good, and there's always something going on to entertain the kids.  And there's always a diverse group of people, from newborns to octogenarians around to watch.

Last night when we got to the park and our seats, we found one was inhabited.  I informed the inhabitant that we had seats 10 through 13 and asked if she could scoot over.  She sneered and moved maybe an inch over.

We then engaged in a land grab for that seat throughout the rest of the evening.  When she got up, I'd reclaim our seat.  If I moved to take a child to the bathroom or to get something to eat or drink, I'd find she'd hedged closer to seat 11.

My spouse offered several times to get an usher, but I suggested he not bother, because I didn't think any sort of intervention would get this person to budge.

I began fervently hoping that I wouldn't be spending every game next to this person.

I did manage to get some headway when my five-year-old insisted on sitting on my lap.  I'd normally trade spots with my spouse rather than impose the wriggling and giggling on a stranger, but this time I used her fidgeting to my advantage. 

I found the incident rather amusing, and didn't let it spoil a good night out at the ballpark.  My neighbor in seat nine seemed to claim eminent domain over my seat and seemed to fume every time she looked in my direction.

Life's too short to get upset over stupid stuff.  If everything becomes a battle, then life will feel like a war.  I believe in saving my strength and energy for stuff that really matters.  And a seat at a ballgame doesn't even make the list!




No doubt you've read elsewhere that Quixtar has a new boss — Jim Payne was named Quixtar's managing director to replace Ken McDonald, who took an early retirement a few weeks ago.

Jim will be moving over to Quixtar and we'll all be seeing a lot more of him.

Will things change around here?  Of course they will.  You can't slot a new MD in like an interchangeable part and expect everything to remain the same.  Jim's a different person than Ken and has a different style, personality, and yet the same unwavering commitment to helping people be successful through a business of their own.  Now in Jim's case, he's been supporting success on a global basis through Amway affiliates in other markets.  But the foundation of this business is the same even though the business is branded differently in different parts of the world — it's all about helping people achieve their goals through their own businesses.

Every leader imparts his or her own personality into the team they lead, and no doubt Jim will do the same.  So instead of celebrating "International Talk Like a Pirate Day" we might be doing something more in line with Jim's tastes and preferences.  Once we know more about what those are!



Domo origato

I'm spending the morning with a colleague from Amway Japan, so we can share ideas about what were doing and learn from one another.

It's one of the beauties of working for Alticor….we have literally dozens of different business entities around the world through Amway, Access Business Group, and here in the U.S. and Canada the resources of Quixtar.

So if we're struggling with something, another affiliate may already have a solution they can share.  Or we may be doing someone else can adopt to support their IBOs.

Whether you sit here in West Michigan supporting Quixtar IBOs or over in Tokyo supporting Amway IBOs, we all are working to do the same thing — help IBOs anywhere be successful.

PS to those kidding KIA about his technological abilities — I, too, just got a camera phone.  And I'd like to start sharing through my blog some of the sights here at Quixtar.  But every time I take a photo and store it….I can't find it again!  Stay tuned, because once I crack the manual I should be able to figure it out.