BLOG ARCHIVE FOR: November, 2007


Just another brick in the…

One of the most popular YouTube videos this fall is a lecture given by Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon.  Pausch has terminal pancreatic cancer,  and the irony was that he was delivering his "last lecture," part of a series in which Carnegie profs delivered the talk that they give if it were the very last lecture they were to deliver. In other words, the most precious insights they could share with students.  Pausch recently reprised this speech on Oprah, and as of yesterday, was still alive and lecturing.  He's been told he has months to live.

Pausch's  message wasn't about dying, but about living.  It was originally delivered to his students and meant for his three young children, but there are wonderful lessons for all of us (and millions have viewed his message on the Internet since it was delivered earlier this year.)  Randy's message is funny, poignant, and very relevant.  I'll bet it becomes a best-selling book and Hallmark or Lifetime movie within the next year.

But before you click through and view the lecture, grab the tissues  – you'll either be laughing so hard you break into tears or just tearing up as you hear Pausch talk about his life and life's lessons. 

Listen to it yourself, but consider some of these insights.  He asks his audience to consider whether they want to be a "Tigger" or an "Eeyore."  A Tigger, as anyone familiar with Winnie the Pooh knows, is enthusiastic, energetic, and fun. His exuberance can be a bit exasperating, but he has boundless energy and drive.   An Eeyore, on the other hand, always sees the glass as half empty and expects the worst in everything and everyone. An Eeyore is never disappointed because he never expects much to start with, but he also never gains much, either.

Pausch also reminds us that brick walls — the failures or events that may put our dreams at risk — are there for a reason.  They are there to show us how badly we want something and how much harder we're willing to work to get it.   Pausch advises everyone to show gratitude for those who help us along the way.  And finally, to stop complaining and whining and just work harder. 

Pausch's comments are so relevant to those working to build Quixtar businesses.  As I think about the people gathered at Achiever's this week, they're all Tiggers — they're energetic, they've worked hard, they're hopeful and optimistic — and they've kept moving forward despite obstacles.  Anyone who's achieved anything in this business will glady tell of their successes, but just as quickly share their failures or moments that they questioned their dreams or thought of giving up. Because achieving something is even sweeter after overcoming obstacles or experiencing spectacular failures. 

For an IBO, a brick wall might be a prospect who blows off a meeting to discuss the opportunity.  It might be a customer who isn't convinced Artistry essentials is better than what she's using today.  A brick wall might be a personal situation that distracts an IBO from her dream of building a business that will eventually allow her to leave her job.   Or just another  brick in the wall (apologies to Pink Floyd) might be the friend or family member who tries to dissuade you from pursuing your business.

Almost every day, all of us have something happen that could derail us from our goals.  Sometimes it's not a brick wall but a brick tossed in your path that may slow you down or trip you up a bit.  And if there's a whole wall, well, that just means you need to find another way around to reach your goal.  Because unlike Randy Pausch, most of us have the gift of time to try again.  And that's something to be grateful for.


Live, from New York’s Rockefeller Plaza, it’s Steve Lieberman!

That's right…Quixtar's Managing Director Steve Lieberman will be coming to a TV screen near you Monday, December 3, in recognition of a Quixtar gift to the NBC Today Show Holiday Toy Drive.

For three years Quixtar has provided product for the annual toy drive sponsored by the Today show and supported by Quixtar and other Direct Selling Association (DSA)  members.

Quixtar, on behalf of its IBOs, has provided more than $500,000 in NAO never accept ordinary cosmetics and accessories — perfect for the teenage girls often forgotten during toy drives.  Nearly 50 DSA member companies donated more than $7 million in product and cash to this year's drive.

Steve will appear during a live Rockefeller Plaza segment during the 9 a.m. Eastern Time block with one of the Today Show hosts (Matt Lauer, Meredith Viera, Ann Curry or Al Roker). 

This gift is part of Quixtar's commitment to helping children worldwide through the One by One Campaign for Children.  Since the campaign's inception in 2003, Quixtar and Amway employees and IBOs worldwide have given more than $39 million and volunteered more than 600,000 hours to children's charities.

Tune in and see Steve live on Monday!  And, if you want a sneak preview of what Rockefeller Plaza will look like decked in its holiday finery, tune in to the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on NBC.   Here's a picture from NBC's website of what the plaza looked like in 2004.


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Meet Patrick and Kristy, your guides to Achievers 2007!

Ever wonder what it would be like to visit Achievers for the first time? 

You'll get the opportunity to experience Achievers from the perspective of first-time attendees at True IBO Stories over the next two weeks. 

Meet Patrick and Kristy Palkovic from Plum, Pennsylvania, your guides to Session I of Achievers.  Patrick and Kristy are posting their experiences at True IBO Stories to help us capture the sights, sounds, experiences, and even mishaps for those who are making plans and building their businesses to join us at Achievers 2008.    

Other IBOs will be posting during additional sessions of Achievers, but Kristy and Patrick are the first to try their hand at blogging from Achievers.

Watch True IBO Stories every day for more about what Patrick and Kristy are doing, seeing, and learning at Achievers in Hollywood, Florida.



And they’re off!

While many people are heading home after a long Thanksgiving weekend, members of the Quixtar team and thousands of IBOs are heading south to Hollywood, Florida, for our annual Achievers incentive trip.

In fact, some Quixtar team members have been in Hollywood since before Thanksgiving, getting the expo and events ready for more than 5,000 IBOs who will attend Achievers over four sessions.  But most staff are traveling today to kick off the first session.

Once at Achievers IBOs will see and hear about the latest products, training, and programs to help IBOs be successful.  At the business meeting attendees will hear about the advertising and pr programs launching in 2008 to support IBO businesses.  Expo will feature Nutrilite, Artistry, and Ribbon and all the support Quixtar provides to help IBOs market these products.

If you're attending Achievers, be sure to stop by and say hello to some of your Opportunity Zone bloggers. Real Quixstar Blog's Robin Luymes, Team Nutrilite Blog's Melissa Charles,  One by One Blog's Leyla Kayi, and Nick Katsarelas, the editor of True IBO Stories Blog, will be there. Robin and I will both be blogging from Achievers to give you a sense of all that's there to celebrate IBO achievements.

So watch the Opportunity Zone for more about Achievers! 


Standing tall

I admit to two major flaws in perception.  First, I think I'm much taller than I am.  If asked how tall something or someone is, I'm likely to respond that it's about as tall as I am.  On a good day I'm about 5' 3 1/2 without shoes.  I tend to think most people are my size, which my colleague over at Real Quixtar Blog always tells me is not the case.  That he, for example, is much taller than 5' 3". The people I think are taller than me tend to be about a foot taller — 6' 3", for example.

The second flaw is thinking I'm much younger than I am.  In my mind's eye, I'm in my 20s.  So when I think about doing, seeing, or experiencing things, I don't tend to think I'm too old for anything.  But apparently my spouse thinks I am.  A week or so ago I noticed a band I'm fond of was playing in town.  They Might Be Giants are a quirky Brooklyn duo and both named John.  Their songs are witty, clever, and catchy, but for most, an acquired taste.  They also have a couple of wildly successful children's albums.  You've probably heard their theme songs to Malcolm in the Middle ("you're not the boss of me!") or to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  Now, I had no intention of going to a bar on a Tuesday night to hear this band.  It was a school night. And I had a late meeting that would go into dinner.  But I did mention it, and got a rather shocking response from my spouse — basically that if I went, I would be the oldest person in the place.  That I'd be ancient in that crowd!  Which then made me want to go, even though I really had no intention of doing so.  Because I'm not ancient — at least not yet, and hopefully not for a long time! 

I know I'm not as tall as I think I am, although I'm taller than I was in my 30s (for some strange reason I sprung up an inch in my 40s.)  And with each passing year I realize I'm not as young as I once was (often when I try to do something that I used to be able to do and find my body doesn't quite cooperate.) But there's hope and optimism in thinking that you can still do more, be something different, or accomplish something you've never done before. 



New look and feel for

Visit starting today and you'll see a sleek new look and feel for the web site…including a login page that showcases the spectacular products available to customers and to support IBO businesses.

The consumer view has been redesigned  to make it easy for consumers to shop and find the products they want.  And, of course, it offers information about starting a Quixtar business for those who want to move beyond being customers to being in business for themselves.

The IBO Home Page offers quick and easy access to all the products and brands with just one click.  And check out the new Resource Center for IBOs, a one-stop portal for all kinds of business support information, like downloads in several languages.  There's lots to use and explore!

Here are a few of the changes you'll see:
  1. The log-in is now in the upper right hand corner of the site. Click the text link and you will be brought to the log-in page.
  2. We've enhanced search, making it easier to find what you need. The search function box is below the log-in on the upper right hand of the screen and is now more robust, delivering your items faster. 
  3. To check out at any time, simply click on the cart link also at the upper right hand of the site. The link will dynamically indicate how many items you have in your cart at any time.
  4. Find Products can now be found under Shop by Category and Shop by Brands.
  5. Build & Manage My Business has been changed to Manage My Business.
  6. Place & Track Orders has been integrated into the Manage My Business.
  7. Quixtar & the Opportunity is now called Start a Business on visitor view and as a link at the bottom of the page in IBO view called Quixtar Opportunity.

Let us know what you think about these changes to your web site.  We're working on more updates and enhancements and welcome your feedback.

And for more on how it all happened, visit Code Review.


Communications Commotion

I've written here before about the sheer volume of communications we produce here at Quixtar.  But we may be nearing an all-time high in terms of the messages we're sending across different communication vehicles.

Take e-mail, for example.  Some IBOs may be receiving dozens of e-mail from us every month, about everything from new products launching to programs being unveiled to transactional updates or special offers.  Many of the e-mail we produce get translated into other languages as well — French for our Canadian friends, Spanish for those expressing that preference and possibly even Korean and Mandarin Chinese.

Right now we have more than 900 active communications jobs, ranging from a couple of lines of copy for a Web site update to a 100+ page catalog.  And everything in between.  I had someone request that we do a new e-mail communication to capture all of the other messages that were sent the previous month so IBOs wouldn't "miss anything" — but to me, that would just add to the redundancy and noise.

The only way to cut down on the communications clutter and commotion is to make sure we're communicating what people want and need to hear from Quixtar.

So, here's this week's question about how we can better support IBO businesses…..what are the most important communications you receive from the company, and what's just part of the clutter and noise?



Darkness on the edge of town

Or city, or township or unincorporated area.

That’s right, it’s daylight savings time for many parts of the country.

We set our clocks back an hour yesterday and in return, have one hour earlier of sunlight to help us make our way to work or school in the morning.  But the downside of that glorious morning light is that sunset this evening will be at a very early 5:31 p.m.

Now here in Quixtar Communications, it really doesn’t matter what’s happening outside.  We sit in the center of our building, far from any windows.  We have translucent skylights about 50 feet above us, but they provide few clues as to what’s going on outside.  Unless you venture to another department or down to the cafeteria, you really don’t know what the weather is or whether there is any weather to speak of.

I don’t mind Michigan winters except for the lack of light.  When it’s dark, I want to be home and tucked away for the night.  But since “dark” is now 5:30 p.m., that’s unlikely to happen any time soon.


The definition of insanity

You've heard this one, right?  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Which is the response


Transformation by the day (or at least month)

We’ve just unveiled a new Transformation Launch Calendar at to show you what’s ahead to support your Quixtar businesses.

Last week I told you about the new “Transform Your Future” section of that gives you quick and easy access to new programs, services, and products that will help you transform your business.

Now, we’ve launched an online calendar that lets you peek ahead a few months to what’s about to launch.  There you’ll see that we’re launching enhancements to and the new Success From Home this month and that we’re launching Slimmetry, a new weight loss supplement, in December.  Want to know when and where all the advertising will appear for Simply Nutrilite and Artistry essentials?  You’ll also see that we’re launching two new Quixtar University courses — The Artistry Selling System and Selling Ribbon — in December.

To find the calendar, visit the Transform Your Future section of and click on “Transformation Launch Calendar.”