Thursday, April 30, 2009

I have books!

Today I received three books recommended by my USANA team:

NutriSearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements - Lyle MacWilliam
Comparative Guide to Children's Nutritionals - Lyle MacWilliam
Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill

This is why I purchased them:
The first two will help me understand the USANA products when compared to others.
The third will help me grow in whatever career path I have - in this case, being a distributor for these products.

I've pored through the two nutritional books and found that yes, my teammates are telling the truth: USANA nutritionals are top-rated.  At first, I thought, "Sure, anyone can give a star rating or claim something's #1."  The science and research in nutrition is explained.  The ingredients of 1500 adult and 160 children's nutritional supplements are analyzed, piece by piece, in a way only a scientist would do.   For example, vitamin A is good, beta carotene is a better option.  Having large amounts of both is not good.  Iron is not a good thing in most supplements - unless you specifically need it, too much can be toxic over time.  

USANA's products rank #1 or so close to #1 as to be a tie with a few other excellent products - none of which are on a megamart shelf or even known by the average person.  Their balance and quantity of ingredients are impressive.  USP and pharmaceutical quality are critical.  I didn't know before researching USANA that a lot of supplements don't even have to have what they claim on the label - it's not regulated.  And most are inconsistent... the batch may average out the same, but one pill to the next could vary wildly.  USP guidelines mean that the pills actually dissolve when they're supposed to, so you're not wasting vitamoney.  I'm convinced that if you go with an off-the-shelf brand, that's exactly what you're doing - wasting vitamoney.

So much information to review, so little time.  I'll keep posting tidbits now and then.
Until then, visit if you'd like to see product or business information.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

First few days on USANA products

My products arrived Tuesday afternoon, and I dug right in.  I took my night time dose of the HealthPak and read everything that came in the three boxes.  It takes a little time to down six pills, one of which is a huge calcium+magnesium pill called Active Calcium.  Huge to me, anyway... I have trouble with pills in general.  I tasted it and yes, the calcium is tasteless so it can be crushed and mixed into oatmeal or something.  The others benefit from drinking with acidic / citrus juice or Nutrimeal to mask their vitaminy flavor.  I've got a technique, and now I think I can deal.

I've managed to keep about 50% with my original gung-ho goal of going with USANA products whenever possible.  This is mainly due to lunch invites this week.  I managed to get two days in a row with a Nutrimeal breakfast, and noticed an immediate result: less hunger.  Here's how those two days went:

Day 1:
Shake at 8:30am.  
Coworker brought in Krispy Kreme donuts and I resisted.  Didn't even open the box.
1 cup of coffee at 10am
Lunch (chinese buffet, aim-for-lighter choices) at noon 
I wasn't hungry but ate anyway.  Normally I'm starving by 11-12.
Rev3 energy drink around 2pm
Looked in donut box.  3 of my favorites.  "If only I was hungry... wait a minute, that's the point."
Rest of the day, just water.

Day 2: 
Shake at 8:30am
1 cup of coffee at 10am
Lunch (office pizza party, ice cream) at noon 
I wasn't hungry but ate anyway
'Sugar coma' energy drain noted around 12:30pm - attributed to ice cream and pizza dough
Considered coffee, but caffeine and 100-200 cal of sugar would make it worse.
Rev3 energy drink at 1:15, energy restored to normal around 1:30-1:45.
A Red Bull would have given me jitters, this didn't.
1 cup of coffee around 3pm mostly for craving.  Energy was fine.
Energy drink and coffee mixed, a bit hyper; won't combine the two again.

  • Both days I felt better than I had earlier in the week, and I have no doubt the Nutrimeal's 15g of protein and 8g of fiber helped to fill me up and regulate my blood sugar.  

  • Friday, just the vitamin pills.  We had bagels and I couldn't resist those.

  • Today had a bagel for breakfast, and Nutrimeal for lunch.  Again, Nutrimeal lasted much longer.

I can compare Nutrimeal to a Slim-Fast shake and say Nutrimeal is far more effective at curing hunger and cravings; when properly blended or shaken, its texture smooths out considerably.  Rev3 has a nonoffensive berry-citrus taste that actually becomes appealing after a couple of ounces; compare to some energy drinks which are Liquid Death Flavor.  

I have to say I'm impressed.  It's hard to make something so healthy taste good.  USANA's done a great job, and kept their ingredients aligned with the principles of quality and health, avoiding artificial and chemical ingredients wherever they can.

The best part about the last four days has to come from the HealthPak; several times over the past few months I noticed extremely low energy and strength.  I decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and it was time to do something about it.  I did, and I'm glad I did.  It's only been four days, but I can feel a difference in the areas that were screaming for help.  

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How NOT to promote a product or business: Option 1

Twitter.  It's great.  Millions of people just waiting for you to post about your new product, and come flocking to you when you solve their problems.

Join Twitter.  Five minutes later, post your website and ask your zero followers to look at it.  Wait.  Publicly send a Hi Howyadoin' to a celebrity.  Mention your website, maybe the celebrity will feature it on their TV show.  You'll make millions.


OK, if you're done laughing, here's the reality of it.

Nobody on Twitter cares about anyone else, least of all you, unless they know who you are and like you.  If you walk into a packed movie theater 20 minutes before the show, and announce that you're selling anything other than discount popcorn, the best result is that everyone ignores you.  The analogy fits because you're unknown to 300+ people who are gathered for a different purpose.  

Twist the analogy:

Oprah Winfrey walks into the theater and has a book in her hands while she waits.  She doesn't even have to say anything, and 5 people will go buy the book.  She has celebrity status, credibility.  If she were to wave the book in the air and say, "buy my new book," 20 more would go buy it.  100 would think she's blatantly marketing and 175 would never even notice her simply because they still only care about the friends they're with.


Treat Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace like they were originally intended: Friends, family, coworkers with a common interest.  This is not your public, cold-market, marketing vehicle.  This is where among your normal conversation you may discuss your product of value to an individual or small group; if others overhear, they may join in but only if they're interested.  Even if you were to mention your love of chocolate 15 times in a day, people would get irritated.  Keep product mentions to a minimum, and if more than a couple (1%) of your followers speak up against you, assume the 99% that didn't, are offended - and back off.

Friday, April 17, 2009

World domination in 10 easy steps

While I wait for my new toys to arrive, I'm impatient and want to look at all the online tools they gave me.  I have to say,  in the 12 years since I attempted this the first time, they've come a long way.  I much prefer the online approach, because I find it uncomfortable to approach people I don't already know.  That includes the supportive upline - sponsors, etc., who are directly benefitting from my own success.  

The online tools are diverse:

  • A downline manager that's pretty robust - I can track the sales activity of thousands of people sponsored by me and others below them.  

  • A website hosted on their servers, with a template - nay, a hundred templates to choose from, variables and even raw HTML capability.  This means I don't have a lot of technical limitation on creating the presentation.  The new site is at  You'll see that not only can you find information about the products and business side, but sign up and buy the products without depending on me to act quickly and get your name spelled right.

  • What appears to be hundreds of downloadable sales tools, brochures, and guides on setting up my new business for fastest success.  Not just "get out there and sell" but even including a step by step process on which to build a real business.  I can see how the company's grown so well over the past decade.

  • Training on the products, USANA's history and foundations, the business and compensation model.  A reading list to help develop the business instinct.  (Yes, Carnegie and Covey are included)

  • Motivational stuff like reward programs and evidence of others' success.  

Interesting... I'm noticing that I'm more motivated now, even so far as to blog about this, than almost anything in the recent past.  I'll probably ignore the reasons why until they smack me upside the head, but for now I'm rolling with it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The journey begins... again.

"Hi, everybody!"
"Hi, Dr. Nick!"

Ok, so you're familiar with the Simpsons' Dr. Nick, so you know all about over-hyped promises from someone with no expertise.  Thus begins my journey, with my self-described expertise.

I have no medical degree.  I'm a software engineer, working for the past 10+ years on various medical information systems.  This doesn't qualify me as an expert.  But I'm not Dr. Nick.  I won't launch blindly into recommending a solution for someone without carefully considering the impact.  I've seen that, and the results are always bad.  Besides, I can't lie to save my life; I always get caught.

What I do have inside my noggin is several years interest in improving my own health, while also losing to many, many temptations along the way.  Like McDonald's, chicken fingers and Chinese buffet.  mmmmm, crab rangoon.... sorry, did I space out again?

So, my first leg of the journey begins around 1997, when in reality I was looking to make a living at home without dealing with stupid people at an office.  The stupid people were two or three bosses that insisted I actually produce and not just sit back and collect a check.  So, I'm off to a great start here, at age 23 and not a lick of responsibility in the world.  Except for an attempt to keep my family fed, which somehow I always did.

During that first leg, I found an ad for a work at home business - and thinking there's little risk, I called and arranged a meeting with a couple of guys.  I could always walk out, right?  Well, these guys had a great system to show me from a company named USANA, a nutritional supplement manufacturer just a few years old.  I sign up, buy some stuff, find 4 friends and family and rinse, repeat, profit.  Ok, that's what I got out of it -- remember, sit back and let the world coddle me.  So I join the team and start using the products for myself, then tell some family members what a great idea it would be for them to help me out by joining the business... just humor me guys, help me get a bonus.  Yeah, that didn't work out so well.  I think I got one to sign up that way.  

I found out the hard way that you have to really believe in the products before you can convince someone to make a long term investment; this isn't Tupperware where the benefits are visible in 30 seconds.  For the average person, nutrition benefits take weeks, months, even years to fully manifest.  For me, I noticed increased energy within about two weeks.  Hair loss (yes, at 23 - due to extreme stress) eliminated within 3-4 weeks.  My cholesterol was still through the roof, but I loved those Big Macs.  So, after a few years of using the products off and on whenever I could afford them, I realize I have no sales skills and dropped my associate membership somewhere around 2000.  Over the next few years I watched the company grow (stock multiplied by 10, membership by many times that).  And then comes my most recent motivation.

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I remember when I was taking the USANA Essentials alone that I had far more energy, was in a better mood, and didn't feel sick all the time.  Lately I've been under so much stress that my physical health has suffered and I'm paying more in medical copays and prescriptions than I was for the Essentials.  There HAS to be a better way!  My job performance suffers when stress peaks, because I'm so tired or otherwise affected by health issues.  

So, as of a couple days ago I am officially a new USANA "distributor associate" which means I consume the products, resell them and bring others on board to do the same.  My first order consists of a HealthPak 100, chocolate Nutrimeal (think of a Slim-Fast made by Rolls Royce), a 12-pack of Rev3 energy drink (seriously, I have got to see if they can even make a decent energy drink with the nutritional emphasis of their other products), and some kids' vitamins for my nephew.  I also got some of the Sense skin care system's Gentle Daily Cleanser because I've never found anything as effective in the last 10 years.  My order should arrive April 21.  Come to think of it, I didn't order enough and will want to try some new things in a few weeks.

As I start using the products, I'll post my opinions and experiences for the world to see.  Yes, I'm biased because I want my resale business to succeed, but if I don't believe in these products, there's no way I can convince others anyway.  I fully anticipate that I'll have some form of positive, tangible results, and you'll just have to deal with my anecdotal evidence.  If I don't bring you over to my dark side, then so be it.  Most of the reason I got into this was that I wanted the products for myself anyway.  Worst case, if I sign up as a distributor for all of 20 bucks extra, I get discounted pricing.  

There's my long intro to a long journey.  Questions and relevant comments are welcome.  I say relevant because I'm not really into the whole spam thing, so I hope you won't try and post just to promote a competing product without saying something meaningful.