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Jun 16, 2010

Calvin Becerra: Achieving Success Again and Again

If you didn't catch Calvin's story, starting where his Black Diamond documentary left off, then be sure to jump over to the post Calvin Becerra: A-ha Moments and Achieving Success Again and Again.

Next up in Calvin's series of videos highlighting his own “a-ha” moments and best business building tips:

You can also view Calvin's videos and more on the MonaVie YouTube channel.

Jun 7, 2010

Calvin Becerra: A-ha Moments and Achieving Success Again and Again

Calvin Becerra is the youngest Black Diamond in MonaVie history and his rise to such a rank is a true test of determination and willingness to hit the ground running, spending every waking moment when not working a tradition 9-5 job building his prospect list and enrolling new distributors.

“You have to be willing to work,” said Calvin. “Many are not willing to do that.”

Work was what took him to the rank of Black Diamond in a mere eight months after enrolling in MonaVie. However, just because you hit Black Diamond, doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing thereafter. In Calvin’s case, Black Diamond was a starting point and launch pad for many lessons learned – lessons he has gladly agreed to share with us through a series of videos highlighting his own “a-ha” moments and best business building tips.

[caption id="attachment_1326" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Calvin on stage during 2009 Anaheim Regional"]Monavie-Anaheim-Regional-09-3633[/caption]

But first, let’s get back to Calvin’s story and lesson number one, which starts where his last Black Diamond documentary left off…

Lesson #1: Do not take your foot off the gas pedal and expect your business to build itself, especially if you did not build that business with a strong foundation.

Calvin learned this the hard way. Shortly after hitting Black Diamond he said he decided to take a step back and enjoy the fruits of his eight month labor.

“Where I went wrong is I took my foot off the gas and coasted for 5-6 months and it takes that long for people to lose faith in you,” said Calvin. “If you’re not doing anything then your people won’t do anything – your people are always watching you.”

Calvin said he stopped doing tasting parties, he stopped enrolling and he stopped leading.

He also experienced his first “jumpers” or those who left MonaVie for seemingly greener pastures and admits to having his own doubt and wondered if he should do the same. Luckily he took good friend and fellow Black Diamond Todd Hartog’s advice and put “principles before profit.”

Eventually his volume dropped to that of an Emerald (15,000 points) from Black Diamond (150,000 points), which to many a loss far less significant would have meant throwing in the towel but to Calvin, it meant an opportunity to rebuild and to do it on far more solid ground. But first, he sought the advice of other MonaVie leaders, gleaning as much information as he could get his hands on.

And then he went back to work, making himself a student of networking, and rebuilding his organization from the ground up, this time with some key principles in tact.

He became a prolific enroller, sponsoring 50-60 new distributors in the next year. Also, instead of being the sole leader within his organization, he encouraged his people to organize and sustain their own groups and tasting parties and to ultimately take charge of their own businesses.

Which was Lesson #2: When building a network, key principles must be locked in from the ground level and leaders forged or success is fleeting.

“What I realized right away is that relationships had to be molded and while I had achieved success my people were still just finding their way and if I didn’t build that community within my team and forge those relationships their businesses and subsequently my business would fall apart like in the past,” said Calvin.

Since then, Calvin considers the importance of empowering people right up there with enrolling.

He also decided to get himself grounded. He found just that when he met his fiancé Shannon, and as a new father he appreciates the strength and support of a strong partner who keeps him focused.

[caption id="attachment_1327" align="alignright" width="199" caption="Calvin and Shannon on Black Diamond Destination in Bora Bora, Tahiti"]calvin_shannon_3154[/caption]

He also got behind the MonaVie brand, not just the products, this time around.

The MonaVie brand is about more than products,” said Calvin. “It’s about success and strength.”

Finally, he launched himself into the social media platforms, learning as much as he could and using the content generated on MonaVie’s Media Center, BlogMV, Twitter and Facebook pages to fill his own Facebook and Twitter accounts. He used the social media platforms to first, build relationships, which eventually lead to prospects and new enrollees, including most of his leaders in his international business.

“If you are not using these tools, you are missing out,” said Calvin.

And his goal moving forward is to share his lessons learned, as well as, reignite the US market and recreate the excitement felt at the beginning of the MonaVie birth with the help of Senior Vice President Jeff Graham.

Oh, and to secure his Black Diamond status and beyond month after month.

“I had to rebuild over 135,000 points and I did it and that means anyone can bounce back from less – you just have to be willing to go back to work,” said Calvin. “I am proof that success can be achieved over and over again.”

To view Calvin’s first installment in a series of “Tips and A-Ha Moments”, visit the MonaVie YouTube channel. Feel free to comments, questions and video responses

Dec 1, 2009

5 Tips Every MonaVie Distributor Needs to Know About the New FTC Guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently came out with revised guidelines in regards to endorsements and testimonials effective Dec 1, 2009 (yes that’s today!).  This post is in no means a scare tactic, nor does MonaVie intend to silence its distributors, but this is to inform and to help explain the new FTC guidelines in which all of us must operate. MonaVie wants to make sure all of its distributors are aware of these changes and requires all of its distributors to comply with the new guidelines.   So here are the “5 Tips Every MonaVie Distributor Needs to Know about the New FTC Guidelines:”

1. MonaVie distributors who provide testimonials online AND offline must be truthful AND be subject to typical results.

If you are a distributor and want to share your story or testimonial anywhere, first ask yourself if the results can be typical? Thus testimonials about MonaVie products or money making opportunities must conform to MonaVie approved statements.

While distributors may not think of themselves as “advertisers” nor their individual stories as “endorsements” the new guidelines seem to explain otherwise.  An endorsement is any advertising message (written, verbal demonstrations or depictions of the name, signature likeness or other personal characteristics of an individual or the name or seal of an organization) that would imply is the opinion, experience, belief or finding of a party other than the sponsoring advertiser.

The advertiser must have adequate substantiation for any experience described by the endorser, i.e- typical results. Gone are the days of simply posting “results may vary”.

Ex. “MonaVie Pulse restored my eyesight.” - While that maybe an honest opinion, it is not a typical result, and therefore, any such opinion posted online or said offline would be in violation of the current guidelines, unless there is valid research to support the claim.

Ex. “I made $25,000, in one month with MonaVie, and you can too.” While this statement may be true…the result is not “typical”.  Such statements would be in violation of the current guidelines. Whenever discussing earnings, you should refer to the Income Disclosure Statement and provide the link or the actual document.

2. Distributors must disclose their relationship or identify themselves as a MonaVie independent distributor when making comments in regards to MonaVie or MonaVie products on blogs, websites, message boards, social networking sites (ex. Facebook, Twitter, etc.), etc.

We require all distributors to identify themselves as independent distributors on their blogs and social networking pages. Remember, social networking is about being transparent and authentic. If you are responding to a health article online and are going to say something about MonaVie or simply replying to a friend on Facebook about a new MonaVie product, you should disclose that you are an independent distributor. Posting the disclosure simply on your blog or social networking page is not enough; you must also do so when posting comments.  If you provide an endorsement or testimonial on your blog site that does not comply with these new guidelines, we suggest you take that information down. If you have video testimonials embed into your blog that do not comply with these guidelines, we suggest you take those down.

Within the new guidelines, the FTC has provided several examples of how the new guidelines could be applied. There are very few examples of how it might apply for MonaVie distributors, however here is one example of how distributors who post on message boards or social networking sites should disclose a relationship.

“Example 8: An online message board designated for discussions of new music download technology is frequented by MP3 player enthusiasts. They exchange information about new products, utilities, and the functionality of numerous playback devices. Unbeknownst to the message board community, an employee of a leading playback device manufacturer has been posting messages on the discussion board promoting the manufacturer’s product.

Knowledge of this poster’s employment likely would affect the weight or credibility of her endorsement. Therefore, the poster should clearly and conspicuously disclose her relationship to the manufacturer to members and readers of the message board.”

3. MonaVie AND the distributors can be held liable for failure to comply.

According to the new guidelines “Endorsements must reflect the honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experience of the endorser.  Endorsements may not imply, suggest, or express any representation that may be deceptive. Endorsers and Advertisers are liable for any false or deceptive statements or for failing to conspicuously disclose required information.”

When one becomes a distributor for MonaVie, you are not just representing yourself, but also MonaVie. As such, under the new guidelines both can be held liable for possible violations. While many of our distributors have compelling stories or testimonials of benefits MonaVie products may have provided for them,  as a distributor, these testimonials can be regarded as endorsements and are thus subject to the new guidelines.

If you are not a distributor, then you are free to post about your experiences.

4. The FTC Does NOT Have a Soft Spot for “Health” Companies

There has been some chatter regarding the enforcement of the new guidelines and how the FTC will police the millions of blogs and comments on the Internet. There is some vagueness as how will these new regulations apply specifically to MonaVie and its distributors, and the regulations themselves state they “do not purport to cover every possible use of endorsements in advertising.”

Richard Cleland, FTC assistant director, division of advertising practices, in a recent interview with Fast Company (http://bit.ly/yjcS) commented on enforcement of the new guidelines (emphasis added):

"I realize there are hundreds of thousands of bloggers out there. Enforcement on a case-by-case basis--that's not even a realistic approach. There are other types of enforcement, surfing the Internet, finding companies that are making significant health claims about products, identifying where problems exist. We'd alert Web sites to potential problems and then invite them to contact us about questions of compliance. I don't think it's a matter of the enforcement side being weak but the most cost-effective tool in our arsenal. In this case, we're going to rely more on voluntary compliance than prosecution. That's the most likely source that we'll be able to use to identify a problem, and if we do see a problem at a ground level and then ask the right questions, we'll figure out why there's a problem pretty quickly and go from there." Also, Cleland adds, "Competitors are very quick to turn people in. I've never suffered from a shortage of competitive complaints."

In researching to obtain clarity on this subject, Cleland repeatedly cited “acai berry” sites as making outrageous claims, and even hinted such sites might not receive a warning.

In addition, do not assume just because the FTC may not have the resources to monitor every single blog or social networking site that our competition is not monitoring what you are saying. MonaVie has seen phenomenal success and growth, and there will be many who will want to see us fail. While it is safe to say that the FTC will likely target sites with many followers/subscribers, as opposed to a small personal blog, it is still best to err on the side of caution because you are a part of highly successful and growing company.

5. Ignorance is NOT Bliss

MonaVie will be monitoring the new regulations and will inform distributors as necessary, but we highly suggest distributors take a chance to read the new regulations themselves and help share this advice with other distributors.

The new guidelines can be viewed here:

http://www.ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf

For any other questions about these guidelines contact the compliance team at compliance@monavie.com.

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