Category Archives: Entrepreneur

Need some hands on education

Its been a while, and article recently published online titled America desperately needs to redefine ‘college and career ready’ has motivated me to return, because it’s topic close to my heart.  If you are at college, or have kids planning to attend college you might be a little concerned, but later in the blog I discuss my own success story, which will provide some comfort and show a new career path too.

One of the key messages in the article, doesn’t read well at all:

For every 100 kids who start college, just 25 get degrees and attractive jobs. Some 45 drop out, and another 30 graduate but end up under- or unemployed, reaching the end of the college rainbow only to find a pot of rejection letters and debt.

Twenty-five percent of kids are not fulfilling their dream; then perhaps we have built the wrong education system.

I remember my own education, I was somewhat of a late bloomer – I sucked at English and Mathematics (and I was in the top classes at school), so I sucked at a high level and that hurt.  I liked technical drawing, physics and metalwork, but I was not academically wired and so I left school at 16 years old.  One of the reasons I was given permission to leave school was that I was apprenticed in to a top engineering firm and it appeared I was on a path for a mechanical engineering career. Do you remember that math thing, this is where it hurt most; and I was soon lost. Looking back, I have more than 30 years experience in the Chemical Industry, so something did change:

  • 1975 Left school, joined engineering company
  • 1978 Started at college, studying Physical Sciences
  • 1982 Associates degree in Chemistry
  • 1984 Final year at college, degree in Chemistry
  • 1988 Left college to join, International Scientific Research Facility outside London
  • 1996 Left the Research Center, multiple patents and joined chemicals consulting firm in London
  • 1998 Transferred from London to Houston, USA
  • 2017 I still working for a chemicals consulting firm in Houston; manage a team of consultants

There are more career milestones than described above, however I was fortunate to land a job in my chosen discipline, but it wasn’t easy.  I left school with no chemistry training and so for the first few years I had to study hard, studied basic and high level chemistry at the same time.  Had a few setbacks too. During that time I had to correct years of math blindness and although I was smart enough, I wasn’t brilliant, however through hard work – I passed.

In 1987, I was interviewed twice to join a prestigious research center – the first time I was rejected.  The second time, I was hired into the  perfect team and 18 months later I was asking them, why they hired me.  It was my Team Leader’s answer that shocked me; and it changed my life completely.

I was hired by my perfect team and 18 months later I was asking them, why they hired me.  It was my Team Leader’s answer that shocked me; and it changed my life completely

He said, “we have many smart people working here and they are very good at what they do, but what they don’t ask creative questions.  They think they know their stuff, but you keep showing them what they don’t know, enough so that it scares them and they are motivated to find the answers”. By now, you can tell I am not the smartest tool in the box, but I am one of the sharpest – all though my career I have applied one simple skill – ask questions, and then ask why or why not.

This was an important career lesson for me – first success will come if you are focused, determined and somewhat adaptable.  I believe success is possible for everyone, but requires a different paths.  This last point is critical, and today I  can help anyone be successful once we have defined their path.  Years later, its all about finding the opportunity, and preparing to jump – even without a parachute.  It’s okay, you will land safely…

In closing, how has these lessons impacted my other chosen industry,  network marketing, where the path to success is through duplication. Firstly, I believe anyone can succeed in this industry, particularly those with no academic background, the young and old, male and female, any color, any language, the list goes on.   However, duplication must be a simple route, so that anyone can follow it – I have noticed that if those around me are not duplicating then my path is either too complicated or worse, there is no path. If there is no path in your business or life, I would be happy to discuss…

 

 

In 7 days…

In 7 days, it is our 1st year anniversary with Ariix. Many things have happened in this first year, some planned, some not planned.  Here are some of our most news worthy events:

  • May 1st – Yvonne and Kevin joined Ariix and launched with Yvonne.exploreariix.com
  • June – Both of us attended the Ariix Drive convention and met with Ariix President Mark Wilson and CEO Fred Cooper
  • June – started working with the Ariix Income System and later Ariix+
  • July – Yvonne completed Team Lead, XII and Gold status
  • August – Launched the www.yvonnesmith.net website
  • November – Launched Jouvé and the www.joinouve.us website
  • November – Yvonne and Kevin attended Go Pro Recruitment Mastery 2015 in Las Vegas, NV
  • December – Joined the 3X team
  • January – Kevin weighed under 200lbs, losing more than 20 pounds in the month – we started spreading the word with www.men3Xfatloss.com
  • February – Yvonne attended “be the brand live” in Houston, TX
  • March – Kevin jumped 988 feet from the top of the Stratosphere, Las Vegas, NV with Ariix President Mark Wilson
  • April – Yvonne met with CEO Fred Cooper and Ian Chandler in Dallas, TX

What will the next 12 months bring us?  Who can tell, we have a number of goals to meet in the next few months – one for certain is that we will still be with Ariix, look out for our video blog series “90 days of Ariix” starting May 1st, 2016

 

 

Sorry, I got it wrong, but I know a man who can help you….

To burn one pound of fat you must burn about 3,500 calories – most diets suggest an intake of about 1,500 per day and so, I think they are suggesting an exercise program of about 5,000 calories.  Have you ever, been on the treadmill, exercise bike, elliptical or any machine at the gym that comes close to burning that about in a reasonable time frame.  Even the hardest working laborer is pushed to consume at that rate.  The 5,000 calorie daily burn is obviously too high, but spread over week manageable, say 500 to 1,000 calories over intake.

At the weekend, I watch infomercials; and there are numerous slots given to exercise guru’s who encourage you to exercise to lose weight, that is their product.  They provide you either with a machine, or an exercise routine that is convenient (5, 10, 30 minutes a day).  Remember that to lose weight you must burn more than you consume, so at 2,000 intake if you burn 2,500, then you burn (consume) 500 calories of fat (~ 0.2 lbs) and if we do that all week, we have lost our pound.

CONGRATULATIONS

Watch the infomercials again, they add into the offer a bonus, in order to encourage you to buy, they are trying to persuade you that by adding value you will perceive their product better – it will probably be their bonus diet plan – a 100 page book.  They have to, because their original claim is somewhat flawed – you will lose most of the weight through the diet.  When the fat is gone, then you can tone it up.

Let’s do the math again, this time we follow the diet 1,500 and we don’t do the exercise, we just do our normal work routine or if we are a desk jockey, we get off out back-sides and walk for 30 minutes, maybe an hour, nothing too strenuous.  In my experience, my normal day is around 5,000 steps, my perfect day is over 10,000 steps and my weekend can be as much as 20,000 steps.  We probably could lose the same 0.2 pounds per day, by keeping to a 70,000 steps per week regime. 

However, if we push the body through exercise, the brain is probably going to recommend we eat more, somehow the body prefers to store fat for when we really need it.  Here in the US (and practically everywhere else) food is readily available, so storage is not a problem really.  And guess what, most of us would agree to eat more – which is why we are over-weight. So I stopped watching exercise infomercials, controlled my calories somewhat, but I didn’t lose weight or gain weight.  I was again wrong, sorry.

Evidence is now available that excessive exercise might cause the a weight loss plateau. Much like consuming alcohol, sugar (including natural fruit sugar) and carbohydrates.

I thought I would be better off swapping out all my food for everything diet, or low-fat, no carbohydrate, quit alcohol, blah, blah, you know what I mean.  Or buying pre-prepared weight-loss food products that are delivered to you door.  I even tried the protein shake route to losing weight, which is a very common product to sell by network marketing. Okay, sorry I have tried that, or variations of it and it didn’t work.  So, at this point I was ready to try something different.

I have told this story before.  I met a guy in Vegas; he isn’t a nutritionist or an exercise guru.  He was just a normal guy, who cared about his health and people.  His living was determined by being a people person.  He liked helping people, so they liked him – funny how that works.  I was there on business, so was he and we got talking.  He told me about his secret and what I learned next has changed my life, you see I had heard some of the messages a thousand times, but never really understood them, totally.  I had always gone half way – reminds me of the coke machine story, but that for another time.  He told me, how he and some of his closest friends got together and lost weight:

  1. Detox the body, completely – its sick and inflamed
  2. Don’t exercise to lose fat, exercise to build and tone muscle
  3. Get a good nights sleep
  4. Keep hydrated
  5. And the last secret, well he asked me not to tell anyone, but it was the key to success and to show you to his secret room

So the day after Christmas (12/26/2015). I went to his secret room online and I started doing exactly what he said.  Again, he wasn’t an expert nutritionist, but what he told me made sense.  In fact the more that I listened, the more I realized that he has studied this carefully, like an expert.  I was then 223 pounds and 33% fat.  30 days later, and I am 199 pounds and close to under 30% fat – so its working.  I haven’t exercised, just followed his 10 page document to the letter.  I don’t exactly remember the day I crossed from 199 to 200 pounds it was so long ago, but I will remember the day I went back.  You can find his secret room(s) by contacting me or clicking the appropriate button below:

3xmEN3XWOMEN

Seriously, if you need to to lose 20 to 40 lbs then what have you go to lose, click it!!

Let’s ponder first and not party yet…

Yesterday I was introduced to Tai Lopez​; never heard of him before, but he seems a very normal kind of person, but clearly successful. Yvonne Wagoner Smith​ said to me later in the day that he is probably someone I would like; and it’s possibly true  I like successful normal people – I actually consider myself in that category – who want others to achieve more too. I the world of good cop and bad cop; I am probably the bad one.  When coaching, I used a term NICE (nothing inside of me cares enough) and I am certainly that, when I am driven to win.  It’s important to understand that means, I do care, I really care about people, but I don’t want to hear the excuses – yes, you are down, now get up and back to work, you can do this.

Anyway, I was listening a video of Tai’s and he gave a couple of quotes that I liked and want to share with my you.

The first was from Tony Robbins and the second from Arnold Schwarzenegger

When we fail we ponder, when we succeed we party

When I am in the gym there are people lifting weights and then texting on their phone, those people are never going to build muscle.  When I am in the gym, I am there to lift weights (period).

Both are very insightful, because they start us on the path to being successful.  Schwarzenegger’s quote is simple, focus only on what you need to do; and do it to the best of your ability, don’t juggle too much or you will fail. To often, entrepreneurs create their own distractions because they want (or need to) to make money, rather than focusing on building their business.  They end up diluting their brand, or worse creating no brand. At Ariix, we have six brands, Yvonne and I are working on building a business with one or two brands that complement each other; we work mostly with people aligned with those brands, and that is our recommendation to others.  Robbin’s tell us that growth comes from solving problems, gaining knowledge (K), especially personal growth.  Again, building our wealth through our businesses has not always been easy, but we have kept focused on overcoming the hurdles that we encounter.  Sometimes, that means taking a step backwards.  It’s surprising how we will have several conversations about the same problem, because we thought we fixed it, but it wasn’t and it stops us moving on. Yes, we ponder before we party.

I am reminded that we will be spending another evening with Tony Robbins in December 2016

and you can too; just click the button below to learn more

 

Let’s celebrate now!!

I have often wondered how often people celebrate and why; and it probably isn’t enough.  When we were younger, our teachers and  parents conditioned us with heaps of  praise and recognition.  Then we grew up; and started work, the amount of praise we received steadily reduced, and reduced until it became uncomfortable.  Most people probably don’t celebrate much now, and yet emotionally, we yearn for our childhood praises.

My good friend, Tony Robbins once said that we  “need to learn to celebrate like our team has just won the Superbowl“.  I am certain – living in Houston, where they have never played in the final game of the season – we all know how crazy that moment would be. Our energy and adrenaline would be at extreme levels. So, if we know we can get there, why can’t we at other times?  Good health requires us to celebrate, because stress is a serious killer.  If you want to see the affect of stress in your life, then look in the mirror.  It has probably sitting there as fat, or high cholesterol.

So, yesterday, January 15th was my birthday and I decided to celebrated it.  I am now, 50-something; and we went to see the Houston Rockets play Lebron James’ Cavaliers.  If you watched the game, it was not a celebration of Rocket basketball – on my Facebook account I celebrated that Lebron James attended my birthday party.  He actually took over the entertainment.  Houston, win or lose, I was the winner.

So it got me thinking, how or what I have celebrated in the past, what events I remember that have built me.  Here is a random list of some of the things I remember that were worth celebrating, in no particular order:

  1. Getting married to Yvonne
  2. Graduating with a degree (Chemistry)
  3. Climbing to the top of Austria
  4. First day at work and paycheck (RHP) and again at BP, Phillip Townsend and IHS
  5. Successes of Kaitlyn, Ashly and Lei Lani
  6. Every time I finish a writing a book
  7. Recruiting a new member into our business
  8. The peace provided by my mother’s brother
  9. St. Louis Rams winning the Superbowl XXXIV
  10. England soccer World Cup 1966
  11. Passing my driving test (UK and USA) and buying my first car (Ford Escort)
  12. First trip abroad (Switzerland); first trip abroad on my own (Austria)
  13. Buying my first apartment (Staines) and then first house (Houston)
  14. First day living in the USA

  15. Lasik surgery

The list continues, some of the above deserve celebration, others reflection.  I hope you take a moment to think about your last celebration and perhaps you will tell me about it

Let’s make your next customer experience; a WOW one!!

I have heard it a thousand times, it’s customers that matter most.  Customers are our life-blood.  Our company is built on an excellent customer experience.  I wish I could stop thinking about who said what, when and why.  It would have been better if the speakers had added a simple word “some”. Some customers are our life-blood. Our company is built on excellent experience for some customers. It’s some customers that matter most.

And then some throw marketing at you like, 99% of our customers are satisfied – which is impressive.  Wait, I have worked with customer satisfaction teams; it’s not true.  It’s statistical game – a customer is someone who buys your product or service.  Non-satisfied customers, probably don’t buy your products and services and probably aren’t included in the data.  Ask if they have ever had someone cancel service or return a product!!!  Were they not dissatisfied with something.

Okay, so why has this hit a nerve with me – a recent run of bad customer experiences. It reminds me that while I believe you can’t please everyone, you should try to please some – I am not an advocate of the use customer satisfaction for marketing, but I am for asking for feedback – it should drive improvement.  I am also, a loyal customer – ask Sprint!!  So let me share three recent experiences, you can decide if I purchased or move on.

  1. Back in 2008, I switched my house and car insurance to company X.  This year, they doubled my auto-premium, I paid it.  However, I decided that I wanted to keep them honest, so I called around.  Of course, competitors wanted my business gave a better quote.  So I called company X back and told them the situation.  My customer experience; they agreed I had been a loyal customer and asked me if I would like them to re-quote.  Seriously, the representative should be fired – work to keep a loyal customer
  2. Related to above, we called another company and asked for a quote.  This should be easy, take what we have today, see what the number is, check that you can’t offer something better.  My customer experience: the representative asked lots of questions, the answer to which is very easy to obtain.  In fact, its all in the previous policy.  The representative failed to make it easy for me – work harder to win a new customer
  3. Recently, I subscribed to a new service.  I am very pleased with it and based on information provided during enrolling it’s going to get better, or should have.  My customer experience: I am still waiting for the extras; and its become frustrating – won a new customer, then deliver against the expectations you set

The last one, is tough – growing businesses often think they have to claim the earth to win your business, they don’t.  Network marketing is the worst for this – people will tell you stuff to get you to sign up, buy product, knowing they won’t or can’t deliver.  Remember, the “you must sign up now, or you will miss the opportunity of a life-time“.  I must admit, I have not and won’t ever use that phrase ever – I am wired with a high integrity – I have made mistakes in the past and its has cost me dearly; and so I don’t plan to repeat them.  Another, “I am looking for 2-3 motivated people to join my team (today) this month“. Again, its not true, they will never turn you away, worse they may not even plan to work with you.  Let’s be honest, there is a phrase, fake it, ’til you make it.  What it really means is “I am in training; and I will make mistakes, please work with me anyway”.

So how can we WOW you?  The answer is, it’s tough, but we promise if you become a customer or a member of our team – we will make sure that you are delivered the products you ordered, we will help you find the best deals.  We will go to work for you, as much as with you (I should add, we tend not to give up, you might, but we won’t).  You won’t be wow’d on day one, but we promise you, we will WOW you eventually.

Happy New Year from the Infinity Health Zone

So 2015, is finally over; Yvonne and I have seen an amazing amount of change this year.  Some of it planned; some not so.  We have faced big challenges that we didn’t expect; some which will continue into the next year.  However, this year has been a better year than the previous.

Today is about looking forward; we are excited that Yvonne will be traveling more in 2016.  We have been presented with two or three great opportunities, that we promise we share with you all.  We plan to make new friends, new partnerships.  We set new goals in Vegas at the Go Pro Recruitment Mastery and we are excited to see how they will be accomplished.

Finally, we hope that your health and wealth are improving like ours.  As one of our personal goals we have chosen to help you, if you will help us.  Keep watching, and you will be surprised where we pop-up in 2016

Happy New Year from

Yvonne and Kevin

Stop exercising and lose fat fast

This could be the most important blog I write in 2015; and on the eve of 2016.  Please read to the end, you will be thankful if you do.

Spring 1998, I moved to the US; I would say the first thing that I did was put on weight.  I know I was smaller when I arrived, because my waist size was under 34 inches – the pain of throwing out those pants has not gone.  Also, I was given as a leaving present an England soccer shirt, it was a LARGE (which in UK sizes, probably is an US MEDIUM), but it doesn’t fit me now.  I figured the size increase was due to a change of lifestyle and an acceptable result.  I was no longer eating Indian food (mostly vegetables).  In my first year, single and eating at the bar was normal; I could watch TV sports and have a beer or two.  Gradually, my weight crept up; 190 – 200 lbs was normal, well until I broke that barrier and decided to do something about it.

KevinThen, I owned a business with an injection of stress, late night working, bad eating habits, networking drinks and appetizers and slowly the normal became 220 – 225 lbs, but then I am 15 years older.  At 30%, that’s a whopping 67 lbs of fat.  So, back in 2014 I decided to get a gym membership and to hire personal trainer, by the end of the year I was fitter, but not lighter, little change in the waist size either it was still in the 40-42 inch range – I refuse to buy 44 inch pants.  No disrespect to the trainer, they did a good job; it was me that hadn’t completely changed. It wasn’t getting me the results I wanted and so I stopped.  You see, for a  while I thought the best way to lose weight was to quit drinking beer and to count calories and exercise.  If I burned more calories, than I consumed then I would lose weight.  I had not completely cut out the beer and clearly it didn’t work.

In June 2015, I was invited to a presentation by Tim Sales in Las Vegas.  To cut the story short, he said “the best way for men to lose weight is to NOT exercise”.  Mind-blowing; and hard to believe, it was completely the opposite to my educated, scientific thinking.  Before you stop exercising, and start losing weight, Tim actually said a lot more and had got my attention; it was the paradigm shift I was looking for and it has allowed me to actually lose weight.  You see; if I had thought about it, and acted upon it – the main reason for my weight increase was the American diet that I started back in 1998.  Let me try to explain, in the late nineties fast food restaurants in the UK were not something I would entertain, but here in the US they are normal.  Restaurant eating here is normal too.  I am not saying I am a fast food, convenience junkie, but it illustrates the difference between the two cultures and my probable weight gain.

3X CertificateTim asked me to listen to some video’s he had made and each one explained why I had but on weight; it all made perfect sense.  And then he challenged me to change to a cleaner diet; and BOOM I started to lose weight.  I have already lost 8 lbs, in less than a week.  Once certified, Tim asked Yvonne and I to share the video with friends, there is one for men and the another for women, because he is determined to help people.  Tim said, he had found that men and women lose weight differently; so it makes sense.  You are welcome to watch the video; as you watch you will see the paradigm shift too and will want to share….

3xmEN3XWOMEN

Joy, an unexpected business lesson (video)

A Christmas tradition for Yvonne and myself is a trip to the movie theater in the afternoon.  This year, Kaitlyn joined us and we saw JOY.  I have to confess it wasn’t the movie I anticipated, but for an entrepreneur it is worth learning from.

Let’s start with the basics, so you have some idea of the plot, Jennifer Lawrence plays  Joy (Mangano).  I have to confess, I didn’t know Joy Mangano prior to this movie; and certainly QVC and HSN are not my first choice of TV channels.  Joy was an airline employee, who had an inventive mind and was definitely determined to succeed.  She also, was able to spot opportunity and work it to her advantage.  So what did I take away, without spoiling the movie:

  1. The best presenter of your product, service or yourself is you.  If someone can do it better than you. then make sure they know everything they need to know.  You may only get one chance.
  2. Build bridges, never break them, the people you know, trust maybe the best people to help you.  The people who you think have the most experience are not necessarily the best to help you.
  3. Decisions have consequences, sometimes you have to go faster than you are comfortable with, be ready for what could happen.
  4. Learn every lesson only once

I left the movie thinking one thing; and it’s probably the most important – Joy was very loyal, some of her decisions were not correct, but to her they were the right ones.  She was determined; and she learned to toughen up.  She stuck with people that she trusted, for example Jackie (Dascha Polanco’s character) and her ex-husband (Edgar Ramirez). 

I reflected on my own business experience and considered the true value of having Yvonne to lean on.  I am truly blessed, Kevin

Tim Sales calls, you go to work

This week we recieved an email from our sponsor “exciting news, Tim Sales is launching a new opportunity”.

It doesn’t take long for us to commit; and today, Christmas Day we watched several of Tim’s videos. Not hard work, but very worthwhile.

Tomorrow we start working…