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Mar 25, 2010

MonaVie meets Milano

As the Social Media Promotions Manager for MonaVie, I get the privilege of working with Shante and the rest of our Marketing team and have been following you all on BlogMV, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and it truly is exciting. One of the projects I helped spearhead was MonaVie’s involvement with Alyssa Milano’s UNICEF Haiti Tweet Challenge that I discovered on of all places…Twitter!

Alyssa had been involved in the Haiti Relief efforts from the beginning and partnering with UNICEF and using the power of social media and Twitter, the challenge was afoot! The idea for MonaVie to take on this challenge was pitched to our executives, and they all loved it! Within a half an hour, emails were flying back and forth to make this a reality at the Anaheim Regional, and MonaVie responded by not only matching the amount, but doubling it! I was lucky enough to be able to communicate our efforts to Alyssa and she was very grateful and many of you saw her tweet “@monavie” to her 740,000 followers numerous times as other companies donated as well. She was also grateful when we sent her a case of (M)mun!

Last week, I was able to go to Hollywood and attend a taping of her new pilot show, “Romantically Challenged” and able to meet her in person. The taping of the show was in the same studio as Seinfeld and is directed by Jim Burrows, who also directed Cheers, Friends, Frazier and Two and a Half Men. We were able to get “VIP” seating and sit with Alyssa’s family and friends (one of whom I later found out was the Co-founder and Chairman of Twitter!). For those who have never seen a taping of a TV show before, it truly is an experience as it usually takes over 4 hours to just shoot a 22-minute comedy (and yes my face was hurting from smiling so much!). The show was very funny, and it was their 6th and final taping as the show will await its final fate from ABC (we’ll be sure to pass along details if/when the show airs!).

After the show, we were escorted onto the set where the cast and crew were having a party and we were extremely fortunate to be able to meet Alyssa and others from the cast and take a few pictures as time was short. Alyssa was very friendly and accommodating and was kind enough to tape a little video message as well.

For me, this experience highlights two things: 1) the amazing MonaVie culture and 2) the power of social media. While I was fortunate to be able to pitch the idea, I was amazed at the reaction of our wonderful leaders and their vision to run with it, inspire others to donate and to set the bar high to double the amount. The generosity of MonaVie distributors and its employees was also on display as many of you answered the call, which is why MonaVie and the MORE Project are so successful today.

In regards to social media, I think a point that often gets lost in all the excitement of these new communication platforms, is that it’s a tremendous channel to simply listen. Many have a perception of Twitter or Facebook that it’s a waste of time, or they don’t know what to say. Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s OK to not say anything; in fact, I encourage you to not say anything until you’re comfortable or find a way to add value to the conversation. There are opportunities to reach out to others if we are willing to listen, to learn and to then interact. This opportunity is evidence of just that. What’s even better was actually meeting Alyssa face-to-face to make this experience even more memorable for me, and now hopefully for you too.

Here's more behind the scenes from my day:

Michael Jensen
Social Media Promotions Manager, MonaVie

Mar 22, 2010

Devin Thorpe: VIP Brazil Expedition Day 5

Well, today wraps up the MORE Project Expedition to Brazil.  It has been both an exhausting and an exhilarating week.

For days, we kept a schedule with only about 4 hours of sleep per night.  We saw some of the most remarkable sites in the world, including the Amazon rainforest, the Amazon River, the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, but the most moving thing we saw was the reaction of children to a little love and respect.

The Black Diamonds completed a service project that involved real heavy lifting, moving dirt and debris in preparation for the construction of another home for the less fortunate in the favelas.

The trip ended today with the Regional in Sao Paulo.  What great energy!  The four hour event featured Dallin articulating the vision for MonaVie, including tips on building the business without treating people like nails—“don’t pound people into this business!”

Everyone had high praise for Mauricio’s leadership in Brazil.  As the GM, he has successfully laid a foundation for success in one of the world’s largest direct selling markets.

Personally, I had fun.  After studying Portuguese for the last six months, I delivered an 8 minute presentation on the Preferred Customer Program – in Portuguese.  I don’t think anyone focused much on my message, but they seemed pleased that I would take the time to learn enough Portuguese to be able to give my talk in their language.

As I wrap up my reporting, I want to thank Katy, Valerie and Andrea for the great job they did in organizing this week.  It was a non-stop adventure!

Finally, I want to thank MonaVie’s great distributors, not just the Black Diamonds, for their support of the MORE Project.  By teaching them to read and write, to do math and to see the world through an international lens, we enable them to become highly productive members of society who have options beyond drugs and prostitution.  While we won’t end poverty in our lifetimes, we will end poverty for our kids for the rest of their lives.  Together, we make a difference.

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Devin Thorpe

Chief Financial Officer, MonaVie

Mar 20, 2010

Devin Thorpe: VIP Brazil Expedition Day 4

Today I left the MORE Project with Dallin one day ahead of the rest of the group to head for Sao Paulo in preparation for the Regional event here tomorrow.

It was a shame to leave the MORE Project early, but we left a great group of close friends to stay there in service. Karree, who stayed, reported that they were working very hard doing manual labor at the new professional school, which is slated to open soon.

Meanwhile, Dallin was taking a group of four Brazilian leaders to Sao Paulo on the MonaVie Jet. It was exciting for me to go along for the ride.

Most of us will live and die without ever getting a chance to ride on a private jet. The world’s most successful corporations routinely fly their chief executives around on such planes because they are more efficient—meaning that despite the cost of the planes, they save more money than they cost. MonaVie is no different, but by taking distributors along for the ride the impact goes from efficiency to synergy as the jet becomes a part of the compensation plan.

Our four leaders, Marcelo Serakides, Luis Soares, Francisco Nunes, and Bruno Grilo work synergistically across lines to build the Brazilian market. Weekly volume has nearly tripled in the last six months as these great leaders have built their personal success. If four guys ever deserved a quick flight on the MonaVie jet, these four did!

You can find photos of the day below:

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Devin Thorpe

Chief Financial Officer, MonaVie

Mar 19, 2010

Devin Thorpe: VIP Brazil Expedition Day 3

For me, today was the pinnacle of the MORE Project Expedition. We visited the Villa Iparanga favela, the Believers Project school, the Nehemiah House built by funding from MonaVie Management and the Larsen Lodge, where we are staying tonight. These are all key parts of the MORE Project.

In the Villa Iparanga, we saw firsthand the challenges we face and the impact we are having. Amidst abject poverty—the stuff of television commercials—we found the Nehemiah House funded by the MonaVie Corporate Management, including General Managers who met here one year ago. The home is now occupied by a woman who was trained by the MORE Project to read and write and who, upon completing this training at age 50, obtained her first permanent job as a city sanitation worker—a position she holds proudly and that blesses her family.

We visited the school at the Believers Project, which must be the happiest place on earth. Disney’s parks do not hold a candle to this place. It is an absolute sanctuary. The kids are safe here. Some have now been attending the school for four years. Their entire lives have already been changed. They are not only learning to read and write and do math, but are learning foreign languages, a global perspective and self confidence. They will not only graduate from school, they will graduate from the favelas and become great contributors to making Brazil an even more wonderful country.

Tonight, we are staying in the Larsen Family Lodge, which was funded by Dallin and Karree and is used to house those visiting the MORE Project as volunteers. It is a wonderful, safe and Spartan lodge that truly makes it easier for the volunteers to come and serve. A modest and informal dedication ceremony took place tonight. Dallin and Karree were both emotional in describing their vision for the use of the property to bless the lives of both the volunteers and those they volunteer to serve.

[Due to technology issues, I’m afraid more photos and video will have to wait at least 24 hours.]

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Devin Thorpe

Chief Financial Officer, MonaVie

Mar 18, 2010

Devin Thorpe: VIP Brazil Expedition Day 2

Words can hardly express the feelings that we all shared today here in Brazil.

We started the day very early—5:00 AM to see the acai market in full swing. It is winding down by sunup so we have to get out there early to experience it. While the rest of the world sleeps, acai harvesters are hard at work getting their products down the Amazon River to the market place in Belem. What a sight to behold.

After a quick breakfast break, we were headed up river in a small boat to visit a village on an island in the river. There, we visited a school chosen by the MORE Project and delivered much needed school supplies and visited briefly with the beautiful children there. I was impressed by how well mannered the children were; my wife is a school teacher in the U.S. and I can assure you that kids aren’t so well behaved in her school! Clearly, we were all more touched by these darling children than they were by us. I am grateful that we had a chance to visit them.

Then, strolling through the jungle, we saw a local man harvest Brazil nuts from their almost impermiable shell. Amazing! Then, the same 67-year-old zipped up an acai palm just to show off. Tim Marks gave it a try, too. He wasn’t bleeding too badly after his attempt, but enough to keep anyone else from making a serious attempt to duplicate the heroics of the local.
Following our excursion up river, we went to see a plant where acai is processed for MonaVie. We were very impressed by what we saw. The operations are genuinely first rate and just what you’d hope to see in a food processing plant anywhere in the world. The operation was genuinely, religiously clean and operates to world-class standards.

As with yesterday’s post, you can find some photos of the day below.

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Devin Thorpe

Chief Financial Officer, MonaVie

Mar 17, 2010

Devin Thorpe: VIP Brazil Expedition Day 1

May I confess that I found the first day of the MORE Project Expedition just a little depressing? As the leaders gathered from all around the world to come help the MORE Project, it became perfectly clear to me that they have not come on vacation, but rather on a mission. I didn’t come emotionally prepared. I came to work, not to serve. I faced the stark reality today that my heart was not in the right place as I was surrounded by people who live to serve.

I was amazed at their grace under pressure. Several missed a flight today due to slow baggage handling, and you’d think that they’d won an extra few hours in Disney World, not an airport. All smiles. All happy. I am convinced that this is the product of having your heart in the right place. If you are here to serve, a missed connection doesn’t matter.

The MonaVie field leaders are absolutely first rate human beings. They are role models for all of us. I will be posting more in the coming days about what we see and learn, but tonight, I’m putting my heart in the right place and I’m ready to join the MonaVie team in serving the people of Brazil this week.

Below are some photos of these outstanding leaders!

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Devin Thorpe

Chief Financial Officer, MonaVie

Mar 12, 2010

Wanna Sample EMV Lite?

You’re all way too smart for me because you guessed which product would be offered to sample at the Indianapolis Regional. Good work! And guess what, for you extra smart-ness (don’t tell me that’s not a word), we’re going to give you an opportunity to sample the product and participate in the last phase of development, even if you will not be attending the regional.

Here's Jeff Graham, VP of Product Development to tell you more:

That’s right, we’re selecting 20 fans from our official MonaVie Facebook page to receive a sample can of EMV Lite, along with the Lite’n Up drop card Jeff Graham is holding in the video, and a survey because we want your input before we go into final production. And if you want another chance to be chosen, pop over to MonaVie’s Twitter page because we’re choosing another 20 followers to receive a sample as well.

Does it get better than this? Don’t answer that. Let’s just revel in the fact that you get to try product before it’s launched.

Here’s what you need to do, just follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter Saturday, March 13 during the live coverage of the Indianapolis Regional. Comment on any of the status updates during the Saturday event on Facebook, Tweet @monavie, reTweet something we’ve Tweeted, or comment here on BlogMV. Just let me know you’re sharing it. The more comments and Tweets, the merrier!

We’ll randomly choose our 20 people from Facebook and 20 from Twitter on Monday.

Now I’m off to Indianapolis!

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

Mar 8, 2010

A Year of Miracles: Lily Anderson UPDATE

Dallin and Karree visited Lily Anderson yesterday at St. Jude's hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. She received a stem cell transplant on March 1st and has been quite sick these last few days. Lily's mother, Jennifer, wrote the following:

Shante, just wanted to share with you a picture of Dallin and Karree visiting us in Memphis today. Lily has not smiled like this in a long time. Thank you MonaVie for such incredible people. True blessings in our  lives. Love you, Jennifer AndersonDallinKarreeLily

Accompanying Dallin and Karree were Presidential Black Diamonds Holly and Corbin Roush. The following are excerpts from an email written to their leaders:

My heart is so full today...It seems like every time I am around Dallin, Karree and the Leadership of MonaVie, it is life changing for me in some way.  Below you will see a picture of Corbin and I with Lily Anderson...she is an amazing, strong little 8 year old girl. Dallin, Karree, and the Kalb's have fallen in love with this little girl and her family.

This weekend Karree received a text from Lily's mom.  Lily had a bone marrow transplant 6 days ago at St Jude's hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.  Lily is so sick from the transplant.  The first 10 days after the transplant are the worst.

Dallin and Karree asked if we and the Kalb's minded jetting over to Memphis to visit Lily before returning home from Minneapolis. Can you imagine?  Who does that?  How unselfish the Larsen's and Kalb's are?  The CEO and his wife of a billion dollar company. A couple who have traveled the world literally the last 14 days, unpacked thier suitcase Thursday and repacked Friday to head to Minneapolis. Completely jet lagged and physically and emotionally exhausted.  But still had enough energy and compassion in them to say we needed to go see Lily who is so ill from her treatments. They needed to look into her mom's eyes and Lily's eyes and tell them that they cared and they loved them. Can you imagine how Jennifer felt when all of us walked through that door to spend a couple hours with her and her child? I have to tell you it was one of the most emotional days of my life...

The leadership of this company truly leads by example.  I am so thankful and proud to be a part of something that stands up for what they believe in.  A Founder who will put others before himself.  We need to pray for the Larsen's daily.  They are running hard to help each of us.

Most of all pray for Lily and her family.  Pray for Lily to be healed.  Pray for others who are sick and are going through hard times. Know that you are in their lives for a reason and never take if for granted. I can tell you through these trials MonaVie can be such a huge support system. Lily has thousands praying for her. Let's all work on being better listeners and givers. Lets make the rest of 2010 about others. Let's reach out and touch as many people as we can. I can tell you the MonaVie family has been a huge support for so many people. I am so thankful for all of you.

Holly and Corbin Roush, Presidential Black Diamonds

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For more details on Lily’s progress, visit www.carepages.com and type LilyAnderson into the search for her page. You may have to sign up for an account.

We'll continue to post updates as we receive them. And as a reminder you can send cards and gifts to Lily at the following address:

Lily Anderson

535 Alabama Ave.

Memphis, TN 38105

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

Mar 5, 2010

Social Media and Privacy

Excellent question posted yesterday by Alex Giftos that I would like to address:

Hopefully I’m asking a question that many want to know but just aren’t asking.

I have a Facebook account (which most people are using for fun and not business), and I also have a Twitter account.

One of the things that I hear from people I ask to join is that they are concerned about privacy issues. They don’t want their name and all their personal information available to anyone who wants to search for it (you can find your Facebook account on a Google search).

Since joining Twitter at the request of @TheMonavieTeam before our St. Louis Winter Leadership, I have gotten many people following my Twitter account. Many of these people I do not know or have never heard of. When I check their profiles, I see that they are either involved in a competitive MLM or think that they have a training system that is the World’s greatest. (of course, they are wrong. There can’t be two #1 training systems out there….said in jest….said in jest). Sometimes they market a completely unrelated product, and I realize that I’m being added to a list.

How do you protect yourself and your privacy from people who want to take advantage of social media to either steal an identity or just spam you to sell their wares?

First of all, kudos Alex, on the awesome question. I think there are many wondering the same thing. I’ve certainly answered the question at trainings before.

If you are new to Twitter you may see a number of individuals start to follow you that you don’t know. Don’t be alarmed. Individuals and organizations often find other individuals and organizations by doing a search using key words. If you happen to mention one of these key words they will most likely start following you and never do anything more than that, which makes them relatively harmless.

For example, and this may sound more risqué than it is, back in my beginning Twitter days I happened to mention something about the acai berry lotion by Victoria’s Secret on my personal account. Soon enough, Victoria’s Secret was following me along with a few other questionable organizations/individuals. Again though, it was harmless and I never had anyone contact me or solicit any product. Another example is our social media manager mentioned bacon in one of his personal Twitter updates and Denny’s popped up in his followers soon after. Random right?

If you wish to take a few precautions or have been spammed beyond what you think is common here are a few things you can do:

  1. Block that individual or organization from following you or visiting your page– this is under the Actions drop down menu on Twitter and links are posted on your Facebook page as well. The person you are blocking will not be notified.  They can still visit your Twitter or Facebook page by going directly to your URL but your Tweets will not show up in their Twitter feed, and your Facebook status updates will not show in their news feed. You can also report anyone who you feel is spamming or being a cyber bully or for any other reason you feel warrants reporting. Links are provided with every comment. Both Twitter and Facebook discourage spamming and give you many options to report this activity.
  2. Create lists – both in Twitter and Facebook, you can create lists of people and then designate when you update your status or add photos or video with whom you want to share the new content.
  3. Privacy settings – there are privacy settings for nearly every social media platform and while it would be quite lengthy to walk you through each platform here, know that they are easy to find and navigate if you do a simple search. You can privatize your Tweets, making them available only to those you designate; much the same way you can privatize a blog.

Finally, not everyone wants to be as out there as say, a chief blogger for a global company. I realize my personal Facebook page and other social media sites are available to anyone who can Google my first and last name. This is a decision I made before I went live with MonaVie’s social media platforms. I knew I would be found and was open to contact and to date, I haven’t had any negative experiences.

However, if you don’t want your world open to the world, including photos and content about your kids, family, or anything you would consider off limit to the general population, I suggest you set up a second profile/account (ie under a nickname) that you share with only those close to you.

As for spammers and competitors, it’s a managed risk. As MonaVie gains popularity and our communities grow, spammers and competitors will also gravitate towards these communities. Consider it a natural by-product of success. Also, this is another reason we have the Policies and Procedures and adhere strictly to the FTC guidelines. Those with competing interests are watching and will report bad behavior while others (and I’ve found this is definitely a minority group) just wish to antagonize. In the words of my father, “It is what it is…”

While the advantages of social media are awesome, you must realize that nearly everything you put on the Internet can be viewed. Even that credit card information is not safe from the most savvy of hackers. So, be cautious, be professional, be aware and be informed.

If you have suggestions that you wish to share, please do. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

Mar 4, 2010

Are you LinkedIn? 6 Ways to Connect Using LinkedIn

So what is LinkedIn?

For working professionals, the preferred social networking site in the world is LinkedIn, essentially the online Roledex…on MonaVie. At first glance you may think of it as a website that simply stores contacts and their info…and you’d be right-ish. But LinkedIn can be so much more and is really all about networking and making connections, which is really how network marketing works. The site boasts more than 40 million users in more than 150 countries and connects professional colleagues (past and present) with similar interests and industries.

So just how do you connect? Here’s 6 ways:

  1. Participate. To play the game, you gotta be in the game. I'm pretty sure at least one of my high school coaches told me that. Create your profile and be as complete as you can as others will most judge whether they want to connect with you based on your profile. This includes uploading a professional picture.Linkedin
  2. Start getting “LinkedIn!” Once you have filled in your profile and work history you are ready to start connecting with others. The easiest place to start is to look at your past and previous relationships, perhaps your address book, etc., and when you do find people you know, invite them to join. Once you have filled out your profile, LInkedIn will then start to suggest people you should connect with based on your information (much like Facebook suggestions). You can also search for individuals or also search through companies to find employees you can connect with.
  3. Join groups or start your own. Once you’ve gotten your feet wet with connecting with the people that you already know, you can start to look for new connections. A great way to do so is to join a group that interests you or to join groups your friends/colleagues have joined.  These groups can be searched by industry, alumni, corporate, networking, etc.  When joining these groups, you will be able to select if you want to be notified of activity from a group and also select if you want to allow others to message you from the group.  You can also create your own group as well very easily, and can be geotargeted to a location or even a language. The owner of the group can limit access by approving each member or open it up to everyone who wants to join. Owners of groups can view member email addresses, but it should be noted this should not be abused.
  4. Recommend colleagues. Is there someone you’ve really enjoyed working with/for within your network? LinkedIn allows users to provide recommendations for those you know or have worked with in a professional capacity. This is a great way to connect with others you have appreciated in the past and many will reciprocate with a recommendation of you.  This is the beauty of connecting on LinkedIn as it further enhances your profile and will strengthen your connections. *Think Attitude of Gratitude Challenge!
  5. Show your expertise! If you have a skill, interest, or just a question you would like answered, LinkedIn allows its users to connect in various ways. One is through its Answers section, where users can pose questions and members can answer. The key to this is first growing your network to include as many people as possible. Asking the question is easy and can be customized and targeted to specific members within your network, by topic and by location/postal code or country. Questions/Answers are archived, so there is a lot of information for users to take advantage of. If you are going to get into discussion about MonaVie, be sure you identify yourself as a MonaVie distributor. 

As you can see from my profile, I'm about as new as the next person so I'll be joining you in building my connections through LinkedIn.

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

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