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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 15, 2010

Life on the Road with Dallin: Brazil

DallinKarreeLily

Dear MonaVie Family,

The Sunday before last, Karree and I, along with Charlie and Debbie Kalb and Corbin and Holly Roush flew from Minnesota to Memphis to see Lily. What a beautiful few hours we had with Lily, her mom Jennifer and her grandmother. We were there to hopefully brighten up Lily and in the end, she brightened all of us. Lily, you are an angel and Karree and I want you to know how much we love you and how often we are praying for you.

Today, Karree and I are flying to Brazil to visit the kids in The MORE Project and to shower them with love and hope.  Seeing Lily last week and seeing the children of The MORE Project this week!  Wow, what a life.  We love MonaVie. We love you.  We love rolling up our sleeves with all of you to make a difference in the lives of people who want something MORE out of life. Let’s live lives of significance, always reaching out to provide hope and love to a world, desperate for both.

Sending our love,

Dallin and Karree

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

HollyCorbinLily

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

Feb 26, 2010

Life on the Road with Dallin: From Tokyo

Hi MonaVie,

Karree and I are on the 50th floor of the Ritz Carlton in downtown Tokyo, getting ready to speak to 10,000 members of MonaVie and guests this coming Saturday in celebration of MonaVie’s 1st Year Celebration in Japan.  Wish you were here with us.  Life is amazing.  We want you to see the world through MonaVie and come to places like Japan and experience Cherry Blossom season.  Spectacular!

Okay, stay focused on your dreams.  Remember, it’s a year of miracles.  Have faith and remember that faith ALWAYS precedes the miracles in our lives.  It’s a decade of Diamonds.  You can do this!  I believe in you and I believe and expect to see miracles take place this year.  Keep believing and keep pouring the purple juice!

From Tokyo,

Dallin and Karree

Feb 23, 2010

Using Social Media Channels Efficiently?

Based on some of the discussions we’ve seen on our Facebook pages, as well as conversations had during events, many responses revolved around not having time to be active on Facebook and on Twitter, (or other social media channels).  And I hear you on that one! Who has time for a lot of things other than working, working out, family, friends, colleagues and trying to eat and sleep every once in awhile? But what if there was one tool that you could use that allows you to post and track your Facebook feeds AND your Twitter account(s) as well as others like MySpace or Linked In? What if you don’t have to login to multiple websites? There are some excellent tools that do just this, and are available for free.

I heart free.

So…if you want to keep up-to-date on Facebook, and also keep track of what myself and others are “tweeting” on Twitter, this is a very simple way to see it all in one place using social media management tools.

Most of these applications are typically web-based (Seesmic and Hootsuite) that you will simply need to sign up, provide your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. login and password and you are ready to roll. Tweetdeck is the exception as it is a desktop application that needs to be downloaded , provide login details and users will simply need to open the application. So not hard to do considering the pay off!

Many have mobile applications that can be downloaded (for free) depending on what kind of phone you have (Tweetdeck and Hootsuite have iPhone apps, while Seesmic has Android and Blackberry apps). All have URL shorteners as well that will compress URL addresses into a compact link allowing users to maximize the number of characters on Twitter. With that being said…here are a few I would recommend:

Tweetdeck – www.tweetdeck.com One of the most popular and easiest to use is Tweetdeck. You can keep track of multiple social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Linked In, as well as multiple Twitter accounts. You could even do a search of someone you want to follow and you will then see posts of everything they tweet. The website has a very intuitive list of features to answer any question you may have. You are able to comment, tweet, retweet, follow, favorite, view and share pics and videos, upload pics, etc. iPhone application is available. I personally like Tweetdeck’s layout best, although it does not have the ability to schedule tweets nor the statistics that Hootsuite offers.

Hootsuitewww.hootsuite.com Hootsuite has come on the scene very quickly and offers a few variations that Tweetdeck does not.  With Hootsuite, you can schedule tweets or even Facebook postings well in advance. So if you live on the West Coast and wanted to schedule a posting for friends or followers on the East Coast (or anywhere in the world), you can create a post and schedule it to post at a designated time. Or, if you have an informative tweet that bears repeating, you can also schedule your tweet hours or days in advance. (Remember to not abuse this function, spamming or repeated salesy tweets are not good etiquette!) Hootsuite also has statistics available that enable users to see how many people clicked on their link, which is useful to see just how effective you are as a tweeter.

Seesmicwww.seesmic.com -- Seesmic is also a very popular choice and has some features that the other browsers do not. The main difference is that Seesmic is available for desktop like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, but they also feature a web based version (Windows).  Seesmic also just came out with Seesmic Look, an application that can be downloaded and is targeted at users who may not be on Twitter, who just want to see what their favorite brand, celebrity, etc., has to say, but in a format that is more entertaining, and users need not have a Twitter account to use the application.

So why are these tools valuable?

Hopefully I have been able to explain the reasons why this could be a time saver, but also a great way to track and interact with your friends, followers, MonaVie and anything/anyone else.  For those of you who are not on Twitter or hesitant to dive in, this is an extremely easy way to learn and just listen to what is being said on Twitter. Plus, you can post and view your Facebook feed as well!  In fact your homework for this week is to download one of these applications and take it for a test drive. I look forward to hearing how your assignment goes!

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

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