Topping 1,000

Last night at 9:07 p.m., Monica Craig posted the 1,000th comment to Inside Quixtar! 

Whether a first-time visitor or someone like Tex, who's a regular here and frequently posts, thanks for being part of the conversation about this business. 

I'm taking a couple of days off so you won't see any posts for a bit. I've been asked by my family to leave the laptop and take some time to enjoy the summer, and even as I type this I'm getting a little grief from my nine-year-old. So it's time to sign off.

But our blog editor Katie will be keeping an eye on things and will be posting comments.



Conversation Starter: What kind of tech tools are useful?

As everyone knows, there's a new tech tool launched every day.  I wouldn't be surprised if there are people in lawn chairs camping out in front of Apple stores to be among the first to get an iPhone.  I'm not someone who needs to have the latest geegaw or gadget, but this one has captured my attention — it just looks amazing and I'm enchanted by the commercials.  But do I need one to be more productive, more connected, more successful?  No.  But you'll have to pry my Blackberry out of my dying grip.

But back to  today's conversation starter….what kind of tech tools are useful to IBOs versus being just cool?

I think an iPhone is way cool, but I don't need one.  As we think through how to support IBOs interacting with their customers, lots of tech ideas come up.  In fact, if you were at Quixtar Connections, you heard Steve Van Andel talk about us offering support through mobile devices.  Amway Japan and other Asian markets use these quite a bit.    

Would it be useful to do a health evaluation with a customer through a mobile phone?  Or do you prefer to have your laptop in a customer's home when you walk through which Artistry daily system is right for her?  Is technology there for you to support how you interact with a customer or is it something you use with a customer?  Or are you a high-touch person who wants to have experiential contact with a customer, doing demos and letting them try before they buy? 

Let me know how you see technology supporting you and your business.  


Conversation Starter: Who would be your spokesperson for Amway?

On Monday USA TODAY had a page two Life section feature about a Tupperware party Brooke Shields hosted for some of her celebrity friends — fellow moms like Desperate Housewives' Marcia Cross.


Brooke Shields had a Tupperware party for her actress gal pals and they all oohed and aahed over plastic food storage products.  The event was a fundraiser for Boys and Girls Clubs and the debut of Shields' role as a spokesperson for Tupperware's "Chain of Confidence" program.

Which led me to think about who would be a good spokesperson for the new and improved Amway.

It isn't an unusual concept for the brand…Amway over the years has had affiliations with different celebrities.  Those with a long association with the brand might remember our sponsorship of the Paul Harvey show — but that's so '60s. The Amway name was emblazoned on an Indy Race Car driven by the late Scott Brayton in the '80s and early '90s.  Artistry had models Ingrid Vandenbosch (now Mrs. Jeff Gordon) and Kim Tyo.  Nutrilite now is associated with Asafa Powell and Liu Xiang.  

But knowing what you know about where we're headed, who would you hire to be the face and voice of this business?   



Reach and frequency

I wanted to address some comments about frequency of posts and engagement in comments by some of us in the Opportunity Zone.  There have been some pokes at me and others for not being as "present" as some think we should be.

First, my engagement in blogging is a bit like moonlighting — while it's important, my "day job" and responsibilities come first.  And some days there is just more day to be dealt with than others.  I do work hard to make sure I process comments on a timely basis — barring travel or technical difficulties.  In fact, even when I don't have time to post I do make sure I'm processing comments so the conversation can go on without me.

But you aren't going to see posts "just to post."  I tend to post here when there's something I want to share, something I want to say, or something I want feedback about.  At Ada-tudes you see even fewer posts because we typically share there when there's something specific we want to talk about with IBOs and others. 

So please excuse us for not being here as much as we'd like.  Keep in mind we have a lot to deliver for your businesses through our First Circle transformation — from new and exciting products to new publications and support to a dramatically improved Web experience for IBOs and Customers alike.  There's a lot to discuss, deliberate, debate, and decide — and the discussions are a huge part because we're rethinking most of what we do and need to look at it from all perspectives.  And we'll continue to solicit your perspectives to add to the mix.  But it all takes time, and sometimes keeps me away from the Zone more than I'd like.

But even if I may not be talking, rest assured that I'm listening!     


You write the ad

In a comment this weekend Bridgett suggested that IBOs in advertising be given the opportunity to develop the campaign to relaunch Amway in this market.

Given the trend toward consumer generated advertising (from consumers voting online for various ad treatments for Home Depot to assembling your own ad for a Chevy Tahoe), it might not just be IBOs in marketing but any IBO who has the right idea for a campaign.

At CurrentTV you can create your own ads for the companies and products featured on that site.  You can currently submit ads for XM radio and Toyota's Prius, among other companies and products.

But since an advertising campaign is a ways down the road, let's start with something simple:  What would you write as the tagline for this business? 

This fall Quixtar business opportunity communications will bear a new theme and tagline…but before I share what that is, I'd like to hear what you'd write if you had the pen.

Would you focus on the idea of business ownership?  Of being in business for yourself but not by yourself?  Would you talk about short-term money or long-term opportunity?  What would you say? 



Blazing a new trail

Dozens of Quixtar and Access Business Group employees began their Saturday by helping groom new walking trails at Quixtar's Spaulding headquarters.  They spread bark, built birdhouses and helped create a new path for employees who not only want to help improve their health but also enjoy the beautiful woods and meadows around Spaulding.  And they even got to take a peek, thanks to a telescope set up by an employee, at baby redtail hawks in a nest high in the trees.

Another team was doing the same down the street at Alticor.

The trails are being developed as part of Alticor's Optimal You program, which encourages employees to set goals to strengthen their hearts, bodies, and minds.  The heart part is by making a commitment to help others in our community,  the body part is to improve health and fitness and the mind part is to engage in some type of learning each year.

There already are a number of bird houses around spaulding that are home to eastern bluebirds and chickadees.  The houses are monitored by employees who check on nesting activity and track bird populations.  

Here Tom Boehr and Ken Davis cut the ribbon to open the trail — or rather, open the trail for employees to spread bark!


 Quixtar and Access employees spreading piles of bark on the new trails.


 India helps make a house for our feathered neighbors at Spaulding.


What's the old saying….many hands make small work?  There were enough volunteers that it didn't take long to spread the bark and complete the birdhouses, meaning employees willing to give a few hours of their time had plenty of Saturday left to do other things!  As for my family's contribution, we couldn't get the full-size rakes into my car so we used kiddie rakes instead and made birdhouses.  








Team Nutrilite…not just for the pros

Today marks the debut of the Team Nutrilite blog in the Opportunity Zone.

While designed to provide updates on Asafa Powell and the other Team Nutrilite athletes and Nutrilite-sponsored events, it'll also be a great place for tips and ideas for the rest of us who are trying to improve our health and lifestyle through better nutrition and fitness.

Melissa Charles of the Nutrilite marketing team will be at the helm of this one but don't be surprised if you don't hear from members of Team Nutrilite themselves!


Not your father’s Amway

OK, so the headlines have been about "returning" or "going back" to the Amway brand in North America.   But the real story is about how we're moving forward.  And not just moving forward but moving fast.  And about how we're creating an Amway that may not be a whole lot like the one your father remembers back in Albany, or Albuquerque, or Augusta.

We've blogged in the Opportunity Zone about changes to our North American business and our focus on improving IBO profitability at all levels through innovation in product, compensation, training, and other areas.  You've heard some and you'll hear a lot more over the summer leading up to the launch this fall of new products, new support and new ways for IBOs to earn more. We're taking the best of Quixtar and combining it with the global strength and reach of Amway and through the transformation will create a business unlike any other. 

We want people thinking about what the future of this business is about rather than focusing on what it's called.  This isn't about what people think when they hear that name today  – it's what the business will become through innovation and transformation. 

In other words, we ask that you erase your perceptions of what Amway was in North America and keep your mind wide open about what it can be in the future.  What you'll see, hear, and experience will be nothing like "your father's Amway," to borrow another company's marketing line.

I've asked you here before for feedback on everything from what kind of products we offer to what we should include in Achieve magazine.  Tell me how you want others to be able to describe our business in two years, based on what you've heard about what's on the way….Do you want others to say we've got the most innovative products? The most competitive compensation plan?  The most profitable IBOs?  What's your vision?


It’s about a transformation

Reposting as the original post had serious formatting issues!

As you’ve read here and at Ada-tudes, we’re going through a transformation of our business.  This means rethinking our approach to products, training, brands, and how we operate.

It’s making unprecedented investments in our business totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising, brand building, compensation, product development and other business improvements.  We’ll be sharing more in the coming months about what this means, how we’ll do it, and what IBOs can expect in the future.

It’s about change, and it’s ultimately about our growth and success.  And yes, we’re launching a new Amway to give our IBOs the most powerful global brand to help them build their businesses.

But now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk transformation.  Below is a communication sent to North American Diamonds and above yesterday.

And like Jim says, stay tuned!


To qualified Diamonds and above, LOA heads, and business managers

Brand new day

Quixtar committed to helping IBOs grow through transformation of North American business

We are ready to transform the Quixtar business, and we need your help.

Starting today, we are putting more ideas, more innovation, and more money into our North American business than ever before.

We are doing it to make your businesses bigger than ever before, and to make the business more attractive to prospects and consumers than ever before.

This transformation will make the business more dynamic, competitive, and financially rewarding than it has ever been.

Starting September 1 – and going forward from now on – you will see from us:

1.     The infusion of more than $60 million in new bonuses and incentives ensures that we will continue to offer the best compensation in the industry.

2.     A rush of better and more competitive products to generate consumer demand.

3.     The introduction of revolutionary new products that tap into consumer trends.

4.     The increased ability to coordinate with international markets.

5.     Unprecedented investments in marketing, promotion, and media advertising.

6.     An additional investment in excess of $200 million in support of the North American business.

We are going to work together to do more to support our business owners than ever before. Everything you and your teams have learned from Quixtar since 1999 will now be joined with the immense success and name awareness of Amway around the world. The combination will be incredibly powerful for those people who are looking to build a business of their own.

Amway is already a $5 billion company in other markets. When the transformation process is complete, we will launch the new Amway in North America and (as many of you have heard) transition to the Amway name.

The convergence of Amway with Quixtar’s $1 billion business will give us real momentum. And during the interim, we will continue to enhance and support the current business model.

At the same time, the new Amway will be gathering force over the horizon. When we launch that name into the North American market, we will have created the best business opportunity any of us have ever seen.

We will stay in direct and regular contact with you through every step of the transformation. We will give you the information you need to persuade and excite your teams. And we will seek your advice and input every step of the way.

We are looking forward to transforming this business – together.

Please stay tuned to the Opportunity Zone blogs ( for further details and updates, and please contact us with questions or concerns.


Jim Payne

Executive Vice President and Managing Director

Quixtar Inc.


Summer’s here, I’m for that

There's a really odd little James Taylor song I always think of this time of year, called "Summer's Here."   It starts out "Summer's here, I'm for that, I got my rubber sandals, got my straw hat….."

This was a perfect weekend not just to host Connections for thousands of IBOs but to get summer started.  School's out and we had a beautiful weekend with lots of sunshine and temps in the upper 70s and low 80s.  Our local Farmer's Market opened this weekend and you were able to catch the last of the Michigan asparagus and the first of the strawberries (there's nothing like farm-picked strawberries that go from the fields to your kitchen in a matter of hours.) They were unbelievably sweet.  I even got some surprisingly good greenhouse tomatoes and had  them with a bit of feta cheese, sea salt and fresh ground pepper and a few leaves from the basil plant on my patio.  Not the same as Grandpa's backyard, but close.

There's lots going on at Quixtar but we try to remind ourselves not to let summer pass us by.  Summer's too short not to take time to enjoy it.  So step outside, feel the sun on your face, and enjoy it while it's here.  The buses will be rolling back to school before we know it!