(Hmmm… I have a hard enough time finding relevant Canadian song titles for these posts and I burn TWO in ONE!!!!)
There are two big things happening North of the 49th this week: one being a look back and the other representing hope for the future!
First off, Remembrance Day is tomorrow. At 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month, many of us will pause for a moment of silence — a time during which we're to reflect upon the sacrifices made by the men and women who fought for a world in which they believed.
Unfortunately, fewer and fewer of these veterans are around to share their stories. My grandfather served in the navy on the HMCS Buctouche, a Flower-class corvette in the Royal Canadian Navy. He survived the war, but passed away when I was five. My wife's grandfather (air force) also passed away fairly recently — another link to that past severed. And it's a refrain that's heard far too often. Too few of these Canadian veterans remain, their stories are in danger of being lost, and it's up to us — the second, third, and fourth generations removed from that time to keep the flame of their memories not only lit, but burning brightly..
Each year I wear a poppy on my lapel. Regardless of my personal opinion on guns, I respect the sacrifices these men and women made — and continue to make in such far-flung reaches, like Afghanistan. Regardless of one's opinion of war, the members of our armed forces deserve our support and respect. I try to instill that respect in my own children (14 and seven respectively) and I believe I'm doing a good job. But I can see elsewhere that the respect is fading.
It sounds stupid, I know, but one of the things that bothers me most is when people shout out during the playing of our national anthem. In my other life I cover hockey, which has brought me to many an arena over the years. Too often, as the final strains of the anthem approach, some moron uses the pause to shout "Go [Insert team name here] Go!"
Now, I can appreciate how rare it is that, for one who was educated with an inner tube and a banana, those few remaining neural connections and synapses all come together. I appreciate the effort it takes to drag those knuckles skyward to bring them to one's mouth. But there's a time and a place for everything. Our anthem deserves respect — especially at this time of year.
The worst example I ever saw was a couple of years back here in London. We were honoured by the presence of a few veterans — many of whom looked like they would not be around for many more ceremonies of this type. As they stood rigid, once again raising themselves to their youthful glory, saluting the flag, some bottom-feeder from the crowd chose to shout out a "Go Knights Go" during the anthem. I, and the other members of press row, immediately felt sick — and even the majority of the crowd appeared to understand the inappropriateness of this action, as they booed his below. But a moment — a special moment when we were in the presence of those who know true sacrifice — to pay our respects was cheapened by one who doesn't understand respect.
Maybe it's our video game culture. War, both in real-life and on-screen, can be fought by remote control. It's easy to be removed from the humanity of war when you can't see the person whose life you're ending. In World War I, those in the trenches could see their targets across the mud-and-blood-drenched fields. Now, remotes are guided by soldiers watching from thousands of miles away.
We owe it to our veterans — and to each other — to keep those memories alive, as those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. Please take a moment of your time at 11 a.m. tomorrow to reflect upon where you are, who you are, and how that was shaped by those who came before you. And please pass that message to your children. The fight to keep those memories alive is one we must not lose.
NOW, on a happier note, we're gearing up for the Pathways to Success Product Expo in Calgary, AB! We're flying out of London waaayyyyy too early on Thursday to start getting ready for the thousands of you we're expecting to come through the Stampede Roundup Centre.
All hands are on deck now as we've literally hit a little bump in the road (I'll fill you in later… trust me), but we're looking forward to a great show. Come one, come all! IBOs, prospects, customers, visitors, people wandering the streets… head on over! And if you can't make it, I'll be live blogging the event, posting photos and audio, and basically doing everything I can to get you as close to the action as you can get, without actually being there!
But make sure you be there, OK? I'll talk to you on Thursday to tell you about the "bump" and fill you in on set-up!
Hey all! A hectic day back here at the Canadian HQ, with many of us still working on the adrenaline left over from the weekend's events. We recently sent out an e-mail to our Canadian IBOs and asked them what the Pathways to Success meant to them — and boy, have you answered.
I'm in the midst of compiling over 25 pages of responses — so far! And I thought I'd give my tired eyeballs a rest and share some of these thoughts with you. And feel free to share your thoughts on what Pathways to Success means to you in the comments below!
“Pathways To Success is the best event of the year for new IBOs and current customers. Seeing, touching, smelling, tasting, trying — and all under one roof!”
« Je me suis présentée aujourd’hui à l’exposition des produits à Montréal. J’ai adoré. Les gens professionnels qui nous présentaient les produits, les échantillons que nous allons essayer à la maison et la rencontre des dames qui font le service à clientèle m’ont fait réaliser que je suis avec le bon groupe de personnes. Mille Mercis d’avoir organiser cette rencontre sur Le Chemin de la Réussite à Montréal!!! »
“We had a chance to go to the Edmonton event. WOW! You sure put on a very professional show. It was informative in all aspects, business building and product knowledge. We are very excited about going back to the AMWAY name too. Keep up the good work.”
“Pathways to Success to me is an opportunity to make the pathway to my dreams a reality. It gives me an opportunity to learn product education and how to market certain products more effectively. It also gives me a chance to better understand the culture of the company giving me more confidence in what I do! Thank you for making a difference in my life.”
« Le chemin de la réussite est une route pleine de pépites d’or à exploiter, il suffit de suivre la route et de demander aux leaders d’Amway Global et notre ligne de parrainage, comment exploiter une mine d’or sans fin, et aux effets ‘vert’ durables. Merci celui de Montréal était un succès, merci à votre équipe. »
« Etant une PCI depuis les dernieres annes, la possiblite d’aller a un endroit pour avoir la visibilite de tous les produits exclusifs et autres que cette merveilleuse entreprise nous offre est formidable. Je viens tout juste de venir de l’expo a Montreal, QC et j’ai adore la vision que la compagnie nous a offert sans oublier les echantillons offerts, wow. J’ai dit a mon conjoint a notre retour “realises-tu que nous sommes associes avec une superbe compagnie ?”. Ce n’est qu’a nous tous, PCI d’en profiter, de mettre notre coeur et de faire les actions necessaires. Merci a Amway Global de nous offrir cette grande vision. Des PCI fiers de faire partie de l’equipe Amway.”
“It is a chance that I get to see my business come live. It brings excitement, information and a great time spend with family, friends and business associates. It is also a chance to see that “Amway Global” lives by what they teach with great product, friendly people and smiling faces to answer any questions you may have. Because Pathway to Success really means my pathway to success for business and in life.”
And I just had to get this one in… I mean, if you're going to take the time to write out a poem, it's the least I can do. It's safe to say Haiku is a great way to get on this blog!
“What does Pathways to Success event mean to me: P Products, products, products displayed for my customers and myself to see, feel, touch and try A Assistance with new products from experts on site T Taking advantage of the corporation displays and educational/informative talks H Health products to sample and learn about W Wonderful atmosphere, dynamic and vibrant A Artful layout of floor space Y Young at heart S Success driven and success transpiring everywhere our eyes wander”
Keep sending in those thoughts! Remember, you can always send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And it's over. Months of planning, weeks of build-up, hours of set-up, and a whole lot of laughs — done in just two days. But it was a blast.
We had thousands of IBOs, Customers, and visitors pass through the entrance and a good time was had by all. And coming back to my hometown was successful in a number of ways:
We introduced a few to the pleasures of smoked meat sandwiches and steamies (although a certain someone still has an unnatural aversion to cole slaw, which prevented her from getting the full experience;
The Amway Global Canadian family grew by two, as Nicole and Cindy both became grandmothers on Friday and Saturday respectively. A heartfelt congratualtions to both;
We single-handedly boosted the dairy industry in Quebec. I've never seen so much milk and cream disappear — 51 litres of milk and 36 litres of cream, gone. If you're looking for a solid stock to buy, take a look at Alberta's dairy operations come mid-November;
We raised thousands of dollars for Easter Seals Canada through the generosity of those who attended the event. All Pathways expos are free, but we collect donations at the door. You opened your hearts and your wallets and your caring will truly make a difference for those dealing with disabilities; and
Thousands of new and old IBOs, faithful customers, and a whole host of people new to Amway Global cleared us out of our samples and information — which bodes well for future sales, because after all, once you try Amway Global Exclusive merchandise, there's a good chance you'll become a regular customer.
So we've packed up, headed back to the hotel, and are gearing up for the flight home. And in about three weeks we'll be doing it again, taking the Pathways to Success expo to Calgary, AB.
Calgary — you have a lot to live up to. I think I can speak for all of us at Amway Global's Canadian operations in expressing our thanks to the people of Montreal. From the staff at Place Bonaventure, to the support staff who helped us set up the gig — especially Stronco and Sharon, to everyone who made us feel welcome, let me say you have no idea how much we appreciate what you all did this weekend.
Personally, going to these events is extremely rewarding. As the writer in Canada, I'm often behind the scenes and I don't hear much from the people out in the field — unless there's something wrong, then we all hear. But when we come to these events, we see the fruits of our labours, we hear how appreciated our efforts are, and we feel like we're making a difference. As much as these events serve to generate excitement and help motivate IBOs and Customers, they doubly provide us with that same motivation to do the best we can to make this the business opportunity of choice for all Canadians.
Before I go, I want to remind you that we've got another major event just around the corner. Next week the HomeSense Skate Canada International event will be taking place in our nation's capital. We've got a team of Amway Global staffers ready to invade ScotiaBank centre, handing out information, and manning (or womanning in this case) a booth on the arena concourse. Combine that with arena rink-board advertising and the regular rotation of our Artistry essentials commercial and thousands more Canadians will be exposed to the Amway Global brand in general, and Artistry in particular. I'll be getting missives from Ottawa and I'll share them with you right here, North of the 49th.
Five minutes to the end of showtime, so I took the opportunity to ask some of our Diamonds to sum up their experience — and explain why others should attend events like this in the future — all in short, bite-sized MP3 files.
Things have been a little hectic here (yet another milk run — literally! The Kahve's flying out of the cyber cafe). But, as promised, I'm posting Alain Leveille's "Pathways to Growth" stage presentation as an MP3 file (about 4 Megs worth's of Alain-ey thrills and excitement).
In just a little less than an hour, he'll be back giving this a second run-through, but for those of you looking for a sneak peek — or listen — here you go!
Just past noon and the crowd continues to swell. A steady stream of traffic, from IBOs, to Customers and guests, to people just walking in off the street are all finding their ways along the Pathways to Success here in Montreal. Everyone seems to be having a good time and we've still got a few more hours to go!
Which means you've still got a few hours to hop on a metro, drive down, or do whatever it takes to be a part of all the action.
As I type, Sales Guru Alain Leveille (MC Al for the weekend) is taking the stage. I'm going to try to post his presentation later as a downloadable MP3 so you can also HEAR what's happening!
And here are some more photos from today's event so far… with more to come!
***Alas, Flickr says I've exceeded my account limit, so I may have to jump through a couple of hoops to bring you any more photos. I'll do my best.
We're winding down the show here at Place Bonaventure in Montreal and things have gone above and beyond our expectations. Despite having done five of these, each one seems to get better and bring more surprises.
So regardless of how busy Friday has been, for those of you coming tomorrow take heed of what BTO said… "You ain't seen nothin' yet…"
Of course, that could also go for the photos from this event. I'll work on that tonight. Promise.
Tomorrow I'll bring you a couple of interviews live from the conference floor, photos (or at least links to them), and we may even have some guest appearances on the blog. Check back often — the show starts at 10 a.m!
And we're off. Just over an hour ago we opened the doors and hundreds of smiling faces took their first paces along the Pathways to Success in Montreal.
Samples are being sampled, XS is being guzzled, and there are Artistry makeovers a-plenty… Of course, you could find out yourself first-hand if you happen to be in the Montreal area.
I promised you earlier a look at what the final result looks like, so here you go: but we're having some photo challenges here, apparently. I'll figure out an alternative if I can't get this up and running.
And one more for the road:
As you can see, we're still working some bugs out (and the ol' hamster powering the computer seems to be a little slow today, but hopefully we'll work it out!
Hey everyone! It's T-minus six-and-a-half hours and counting and we're well underway with the set-up for tonight's Pathways to Success Product Expo (Day One). A crew of 30 of us made the trek from London to Montreal last night and started with the ol' set-up. In fact, Internet just got done a little while ago, so I thought I'd test it out and give you a peek of what it looks like before all the bells are rung and whistles are blown.
Here's a shot to show you what the area looks like, before everything's unpacked and set-up:
And here's a shot of us doing what we do best — eat! (no photos of the late-night La Belle Province steamie run… I wouldn't want to subject you to that carnage…):
We're off and running. I'll update you later with a few shots of the showroom floor after everything's done, and then I'll be posting regularly throughout the expo today and tomorrow. If you can make it down, you've just got to get here (and I'm not just saying that because Montreal's the greatest city in the world to visit) and experience Pathways first-hand.
And to help convince any of you on the fence, Pathways veterans from Toronto (x2), Vancouver, Edmonton, and Winnipeg feel free to jump in on the comments and share your memories/experiences of Pathways events past!