Saturday, May 3, 2014

My Youngevity Story

As a Heritage Makers consultant for nearly a decade I became pretty good at telling a story- and the one I'm about to share is long one (really long); but to me, it's worth sharing and recording.  As an HM consultant I LOVED my "job", and was consistent with sales and sponsoring. I strived to be a good leader and worked hard to build a team of like-minded individuals who were also passionate about helping others. 

My "WHY" with Heritage Makers was always to Make A Difference- and I believed I was doing that through giving women an opportunity to be part of a great company helping them to earn an income and gain confidence through leadership, helping families connect and heal relationships through the Heritage enriching power of story, and also solve photo problems and help so many others record their stories. As I think back on my amazing journey with Heritage Makers- I feel blessed and honored to have experienced the journey. I never knew something was "missing" until given the opportunity to really GROW! 

Eight months ago (August 2013) Heritage Makers was officially acquired by Youngevity and become one of their brands.  Youngevity is a wellness company, with a focus on Dr. Joel Wallach's message of health. Youngevity has partnered with many brands over their 17 years as a large publicly traded company; included Ancient Legacy (essential oils), Youngevity Mineral Make-up, Go Foods, Beyond Organic, and Soul Purpose (bath and body scrubs). I wasn't sure what my "place" with Youngevity would be and I was anxious and excited for the future. From the first time I had heard about the possibilities with Youngevity, I was comfortable and confident that those who were at the head of company were people of integrity that I trusted. Of course, there were some tense conversations and misunderstandings during the transition period and also areas of confusion- BUT, my gut, heart, and head, always told me I was in the right place at the right time. I was prayerful in my decision to move forward with Youngevity- and once given the guidance that my family needed this company and to move forward as if on a crusade, I never doubted. 

This is the new Youngevity display we have at the Clothing Outlet-
it used to be strictly Heritage Makers and now we can appeal to a much larger audience! 

When the merger was announced at our HM Reunion in August there was a  variety of reactions from my team and others I had worked with for years.  In being completely transparent with this story, I will say that during this time we lost several leaders in our company who were disappointed and angry with the direction of Heritage Makers. Some felt like it was a sell-out (which it actually was- Heritage Makers sold to YGY to grow both the 90 For Life mission and the HM brand), some just didn't want to sell health/wellness products (they of course had the option to focus on solely HM and still make commission- in fact, all previous renewing sales had been "grand-fathered" in at a higher rate of commission which was AWESOME), and some felt like they had been cheated out of their business because it wasn't what they signed up for. I can't argue against their perceptions of the company- I just knew what worked for ME. For me, the Heritage Makers brand which I had poured so much energy, time, and effort into- was safe. With Youngevity we had a home that was protected and cared for, one that was respected and loved. A company that had an executive team of leaders who listened and learned and KNEW what we needed to grow.  Another key ingredient in place, was that the founder- Dr. Wallach, had committed his life to sharing with others his knowledge of health and wellness. He is a man who has fought not only for his company, but for the health of our nation! *BTW: Kirk had worked for a Network Marketing company for a few years when we lived in Utah and tried all sorts of products- non of which really worked, so we kind of thought maybe these products would be the same. However, after a few weeks of using the products we noticed a positive difference in the way we were feeling. 

One of the big perks of merging with Youngevity, was the fact that Kirk was now able to be a large part of the business. He was always supportive of HM, but it was difficult to talk about scrapbooks on the golf course and to his friends. With the new business model it was easier for him to jump into the business and start to build. Within two months he advanced to the rank of Director and was the first man to hit that rank in HM- of course, he was building through the Youngevity products- but we hadn't fully transitioned over so it was still considered an HM rank! 

At the August convention a new incentive was announced (and I'm never one to shy away from earning incentives) that the Top HMer's would have the opportunity to attend the Youngevity Cancun dream vacation in November. I went to work immediately and together with Angela Rydalch we earned a week in Cancun. It was an awesome vacation being able to enjoy the beach, all inclusive restaurants, and days in the sun; but the best part was the networking and learning from our new Youngevity family! Everybody was so kind and willing to share their stories. I was embraced and welcomed by leaders in Youngevity. I knew that they cared about my success and wanted to help me grow my business. There seemed to be no jealousy among top leaders and I only felt love and respect. Hours were spent between the six HM girls that were there and top leaders and corporate staff as they helped us to understand the new compensation plan, possibilities for growth, and opening our eyes to a broader vision of the future. 
How blessed we are to have Tom and Denise Chenault as our upline leaders and mentors.
 Not only are they smart and funny, but they know how to love like crazy.
After coming home from Cancun I was FIRED UP! I started hosting weekly opportunity meetings and talking to everybody I knew…. but then, something that I didn't see coming happened: I was rejected. A few people told me "No", and that I was wrong for doing network marketing, that Dr. Wallach is cRaZy, and that nobody really makes money in this industry. Even though I knew that I was in the right place, I was feeling discouraged. Christmas was fast approaching by this time and as any mother of three school age children, I was busy.  My business naturally slowed down a little bit in December, but by January I was again ready to hit the ground running. 

In February I went on another incentive trip- this one was earned strictly through Heritage Makers, and was one of the best trips of my life. It was an eight day cruise to St. Maarteens, St. Kitts, Peurto Rico, and Haiti. Spending a week vacationing with like-minded individuals was truly a memorable event.  During the cruise a few business meetings were held and several corporate Youngevity team members spoke. I again knew that this company was the right fit for me and my family. And Kirk, of course has found a great fit as he builds a career in this industry. The relationships and friends that he has made while on this journey together has been priceless. Watching him excel as a distributor and sharing his passion as he invite people to join him makes my heart happy. 
Hanging out on the cruise ship playing "Sardines/Shmee with some of my favorites. 

This last weekend we attended Youngevity's yearly convention. This was to be a turning point for many HMer's…. they were curious to see if Heritage Makers was really part of the company, and if the brand was important. WOW- Heritage Makers was shown such an incredible amount of love!!!! We received the largest time slot for break out sessions, front row seating, huge amounts of recognition, and during closing banquet Best of Heritage Awards were presented. 
Just spending time with MariLu Henner and Dr. Joel Wallach... no big deal :) 

With Bill Andreoli YGY President, Michelle Wallach YGY COO, Fashion Designer Marisa Kenson, Creative Memories Co-founder and now HM Consultant Rhonda Anderson, and Patti Gardner YGY VP of sales. What an honor for me to associate with people of this caliber! 

So, if you're curious about what I think about being part of the Youngevity family- there's my story. I'm 90 for Life- FOR LIFE! 

Receiving rank advancements awards and new GOLD JACKETS as new VPMD

Monday, April 7, 2014

Instant Replay

I'm not much of a baseball enthusiast and rarely follow the game on a local or national level. But this week Kirk and I began talking about a new policy in the MLB: the Instant Replay Expansion that went into effect for the 2014 season. Basically it's the ability for managers to have at least one chance per game to review a play and have a call changed (if the manager reviews a play and gets the call revoked- they have the opportunity to have another play reviewed- thus giving them up to 2 replay reviews per game). "The new system will give managers valuable recourse in potentially game-changing situations."  In one of the first games of the season a manager storms out of the dug-out ready to challenge the umpire, he throws his hat to the ground, stomps his feet, and raises his voice. Just as he's nearing the umpire he looks up towards the review box and notices that a technician on his team is giving him the "DON"T CHALLENGE this play" signal. He immediately knows that he is wrong and the call was fairly given. Sheepishly he walks back to the dug-out- probably a little embarrassed, but also grateful that he was stopped before he created a bigger scene and wasted his "Instant Replay". It's always a bit humbling being told you are wrong and knowing that it can be proved. 

Something that stands out to me with this new policy is the ability to be proven WRONG or RIGHT. It's an ability we don't always have on this earth life. We may feel that we are Right and others are WRONG- but do we really know for sure? As we were driving home late last night with our three children in the backseat- they began bickering with each other for their "fair share" of space on the seat. Mostly they were tired and ready for their own beds, but none of them were willing to make concessions or give up any of THEIR real estate they had staked claim to (I will admit that with growing children, three kids on one bench seat does seem a bit tight at times). I shared with them the new MLB policy and asked them to look at their individual reactions to the situation through the eyes of "instant replay". It was immediate that they were able to see things that they may have done which could prove them wrong. 

I believe that when death takes me, that I will have the opportunity to watch the instant replay of my life. The good, the bad, the ugly. Some parts I am eager to watch on the "Big Screen" and will be proud of many decisions that I have made. I also expect that there will parts of my life that I will cringe as I watch them unfold. As I pondered these thoughts, it occurred to me that I don't have to wait until death and endure possible "cringe-worthy" reactions to my own actions!  Through my relationship with God, I can watch an instant replay of my actions on a daily basis. I can then choose which parts are RIGHT, thus emphasizing those areas; and which parts are WRONG, thus working to eliminate and correct those areas.  Because of the atonement of Jesus Christ I can ask forgiveness and repent of my wrongdoings. 

As a parent I regularly ponder my responsibility to teach, to inspire, and to provide guidance, direction and example. And while I ponder my children ask the penetrating question: WHY? Like most parents I know we give guidance and direction because we have also experienced the same situations our children are now facing. It wasn't very long ago that I was the age of my daughter (ok, so it doesn't SEEM like that long ago), and was facing the dilemmas of being a student at Madison Jr. High just as she is now. The pressures of school work, combined with responsibilities at home and church, only to be buried under the intense awareness of social acceptance and friendships- often make growing up seem impossible. My Avery is handling herself with all the grace and confidence of any 13 year old girl! I can see myself in her on a daily basis- it's not only an "Instant Replay" but I often can see the outcome before it happens. It is during these times that I try to help her to be cautious of her actions and reactions as they will become part of her movie of life. She is a bright, and talented child (more so than I ever was)- and I see her being an influence for good for many. 

I think our children ask "WHY" for the same reason that I often ask my Heavenly Father "WHY". It's because I want assurance that what I am doing is right. Maybe like the manager that is rushing towards the umpire to challenge a call, we may glance up in the direction of somebody who knows FOR SURE the answer before we proceed.  If I will remember this, and remember to search, ponder, and pray before I make a fool of myself my "movie" will have more acts of love, kindness, and service, than it will of embarrassment, negativity, and foolish behavior. 


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Upper Valley Idol 2014

For the past 10 years Rexburg has hosted Upper Valley Idol. It's been a great event for the community and hundreds of local performers have competed for the title of UVI.  Avery has wanted to tryout for several years but there have always been conflicts with the dates. This year, about a week before the first audition she decided she would participate!

The day of the auditions was the first day that Kirk and I were leaving on our cruise so she went to the audition with my parents and some of her friends..... we didn't really know what the next few weeks would bring or we may have prepared sooner! Over 100 people (ages 12-18) came to the first audition. Avery was thrilled to make it into the first round as one of 22 people.

  She began immediately working with Elizabeth Bossard (BOSS) to get her song ready. The first week of the show she sang Orange Color Sky. She did an amazing job and we were so proud of her. The competition was tough, and like most competitions you just never know what's going to happen.  We were hoping that she would make it to the next round, but also fearful that she would.... Mitchell had a karate competition in Utah the next weekend and we had already planned the trip. Plus, she didn't have another song ready :). I guess the judges and the audience (25% of the judging was done by audience voting through donations) loved her as much as we did- and she was one of 14 chosen to continue to the next week.

Week One: Avery Performing Orange Color Sky:

The next week was full of song choices, school, end of the trimester, gymnastics, and everything else that we can fit in. She choose a song that she was already familiar with because she knew practice time was limited. Kirk and I left for Utah with Mitchell on Friday morning and left her in the very capable and supportive arms of my parents (Chris and Barbara Mann are pretty incredible parents/grandparents- who not only brought flowers and gifts to each performance, but stayed up making posters and writing notes of encouragement). Wyatt also wanted to stay home and support Avery- I've rarely seen a brother who is so fiercely loyal to a sister; listen to the video and you can hear him cheering and hollering for Avery.  The second week she sang "Who Says" (Selena Gomez)- and looked so darling on stage. She hasn't really had any experience performing on stage- she once did a talent show for the ward Christmas party, and this was only her second time; but she was a natural.

Week Two: Avery Performing "Who Says"

At this point in the competition, we knew only six would be advancing into the finals. I was on the phone with my mom as they were announcing the winners and it was fun to be a part of it even though I wasn't there. We were so excited for her, and she could hardly get to sleep that night.
The Final Six

For the next week she had to choose two different songs. It took several days to decide what to sing and it wasn't until Tuesday and Wednesday that she started to learn them. She has also been on the Jr. High dance team and had dance recitals and final performances that week. Needless to say, she was exhausted and stretched. Each day she would go to Elizabeth's house to practice. Boss has been a fixture in the community with music for decades and we are so blessed to have her as part of our lives- FYI: I've known Boss since I was young, and over the past decade have become best friends with her daughter Angela. After singing Avery would run to dance or gymnastics, go to Young Women's activities, work on homework, and eventually get to bed. We kept reminding ourselves to help her prepare earlier for things like this so we aren't so ragged by the end of the week.
Avery and Boss

On the day of the Finals she woke up a little sick and was stressed about performing. She was the youngest one in the group (by about three years), and was getting anxious. But, in typical Avery style she stepped up to the plate and did an amazing job. The judges were so kind to her and gave her great encouragement and suggestions to improve her performances. As a mother I couldn't believe the talent that this child of mine possesses.  I suppose all moms have a difficult time expressing how their hearts skip a beat when they watch their children shine, but it was a feeling of pride and joy.

Week Three (FINALS) First Song: Mean- Taylor Swift:
 Last Song of the Competition: Gimme Gimme from Thoroughly Modern Millie

Avery didn't win but she says she wants to  do Upper Valley Idol again. I gave Avery the same advice I was given by my dad in 8th grade the first time before I went before a panel of judges: "Win or Lose, Don't let your self-worth be determined by a panel of judges."