We're starting to build a house, a prospect I find equally exciting and daunting.. Yet I was put at ease by the builder we chose — who came highly recommended by a colleague and has proven to be as good, capable, honest, fair, and reliable as she'd suggested.
In fact, he's so trustworthy, I took his recommendation for a mortgage officer — and haven't been disappointed there either.
Personal referrals mean a lot. They are a way to help a friend or peer with a challenge based on your personal experience. And when you give a recommendation — particularly for something that's an investment like a house — you put your relationship on the line. If the person you refer has a good experience, it's validation of your advice. If things don't go so well, then you've become part of a bad experience.
I heartily recommend Netflix to anyone who will listen. I'm a believer in the Nutrilite brand and in particular, Double X and Nutrilite concentrated fruits and vegetables. I don't go a day without Artistry Skin Refinishing Lotion and with each passing year, I become more of a fan of the Time Defiance line. I have a devotion to Diet Coke that borders on obsession. The new Edy's ice cream dibs are pure genius.
You might expect a Quixtar employee to endorse its exclusive product brands like Nutrilite and Artistry. And we do make and market great products. But I don't use all the products in the lines. In some cases, I prefer other brands.
There's not anything that's for everybody. The business opportunity supported by Quixtar isn't for everyone. But it's available for anyone to try and see if it's for them. And if it isn't, it's backed by a money-back guarantee.
Every time we launch a new Trim Advantage Protein Bar flavor I give it a try. I finally figured out that I really don't like protein bars — until they manage to make one that tastes just like a Snickers bar or a Pay Day. I've been told ours are better than the competition, but I can't recommend them because I just don't like them.
But just don't get me started on Skin Refinishing Lotion!
I picked up my copy of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" at about 6 p.m. Saturday evening. That was after a failed attempt to secure a copy at 6 a.m. at a local Meijer store.
About 6.9 million copies of the book were sold in its first 24 hours of release.
People were standing in line and staying up all night to find out who the half-blood prince is and who dies in the sixth installment of the series.
It's thrilling to think about kids waiting in line to get a book like they'd line up for a video game or the Star Wars premiere.
Speaking of thrilling, there's lots of excitement this week at Quixtar, as we welcome hundreds of new Platinum IBOs here for the New Platinum Conference. It's a jam-packed two days of tours, meetings, briefings on products and overviews of all that's available to support a business powered by Quixtar.
I have to say, the fairly large Dominican Republic contingent had to be the noisiest and most fired-up in the group. They hardly walked 10 feet without high-fives, cheers, and photo opps.
Platinum Conference is important for them, because it marks a new phase in their businesses. For us, it's an opportunity to meet the people who are out there every single day growing their businesses — the IBOs we support through everything we do. Our former managing director liked to say it was an opportunity to "say hello to your paycheck." It's a great reminder of why we do what we do — and why it matters to so many working to achieve their goals through a business of their own!
This week Quixtar welomed yet another winner of its ongoing KickStart! promotion — but the winner got more of a trip than expected!
Each month Quixtar awards a prize of a trip to its West Michigan headquarters on board a company jet to a winner drawn at random from those who qualify to participate. This week's winner arrived just fine from Trinidad, but couldn't depart as scheduled due to Hurricane Emily. So a two-day trip turned into five (or at least I'm assuming she left on Friday as they hoped!)
So the winner got an even more up-close-and-personal look at Quixtar than expected. For more details on KickStart! and a video diary of each winner's visit, check out Quixtar.com.
Inside Quixtar this week was hot, humid and uncomfortable (not literally, because Inside Quixtar's wall we're a climate-controlled sixty-something degrees.) It's very dry here and we could stand a few days' worth of rain (it's the time of year where the grass is dry and crunchy under your feet if you aren't watering or endowed with in-ground sprinkler systems.) In fact it's so uncomfortable that I elected not to go to a first anniversary celebration for Quixtar Partner Store BluSphere on the deck of a nearby restaurant because frankly, temps of 95 degrees and a "misery index" over 100 isn't my idea of fun. BluSphere offers lots of cool clothes, accessories. and room decor for teens and tweens. You can check it out at blusphere.com.
But before you skip off to a partner store, check out the new NAO — Never Accept Ordinary — line of trend cosmetics at Quixtar.com. NAO spokesperson Jeannie Mai was visiting Quixtar last week to put the finishing touches on the launch. I've tried some of the cosmetics and love the shadow and trace mineral pigments, which can be used around the eyes, cheeks or anywhere else you want to draw some attention.
And it even stays put in this heat. What more could you ask for?
There was a day when news of Bruce Springsteen playing in town would have seen me parked in a lawn chair outside of a TicketMaster waiting for tickets to go on sale. I did, afterall, serenade my children to sleep by singing "Thunder Road" and "Growin' Up" and today am proud that they both know all the words to "Saint in the City" and "Does this bus stop at 82nd Street?" (Although they're puzzled about why they shouldn't trust men with canes and wonder what they can eat to grow wings on their feet!)
I first saw Springsteen in 1981 and again in 1984 during the somewhat disappointing "Born in the USA" tour (disappointing only in that he'd become a really big deal then and there were tons of people only there to hear "Born in the USA" and "Dancing in the Dark.")
Springsteen hits Grand Rapids August 3 as part of his "Devils & Dust" tour. It's a huge deal for a market that's seen more and more top acts come to town since the opening of the Van Andel arena in 1997. I'm waiting for the day when they don't run pictures of big acts on the front page of the paper.
We talked with long-time Springsteen fans about coming to town for the show and they were lukewarm. They view "Devils & Dust" to the new millenium what "Tom Joad" was to the last millenium — Springsteen returning to a darker, more acoustic place. In other words, give them the E-Street band and circa 70s and 80s Springsteen and they'll happily plunk down $100 to see the show. Which led to a discussion about why he ventures down different artistic paths.
Because success gives you the freedom to do things you might never have been able to do before. To stretch and grow in new directions. To take a creative chance that others might not "get" or follow.
Which is why I'm listening to "Devils & Dust" and deciding whether the concert is worth attending. Springsteen is young enough not to be on the list of artists I need to see or see again before they die (last year I saw BB King for that reason and why I took in the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reunion tour in 2002.)
And why John Irving's latest is my beach read — because he ventured in new directions but has come back to what he does best (create engaging and unforgettable characters.)
Inside Quixtar this week it's quiet, with lots of team members out on vacation or extending the holiday weekend. Weather is warm but the heat and humidity has finally broken and it feels more comfortable.