Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Reliv Walk Raises $50k to Feed Hungry Children

Last Saturday, August 14th, over 2,000 Reliv Distributors from around the world swarmed downtown St Louis for the annual Reliv Kalogris Foundation Walk for the Mission. The weather was cooperative, cooling off all the way down to the high 80s for the 8am event. Founded in 1995 in honor of Reliv co-founder Dr. Theodore Kalogris, the foundation provides nutrition and community support to over 42,000 needy children every day. In a world where a child dies of malnutrition and starvation every 4 seconds, Reliv International Distributors consider the support of the foundation to be one of their primary responsibilities. Over $50,000(US) was raised, 100% of which goes to support the foundation's mission as the company absorbs all administrative and overhead costs.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Produce Just Ain't What it Used to Be

For about the last 10 years it has been known in scientific circles that our plant-based foods contain declining nutrient levels. There are many reasons for this: chemical fertilizers designed to speed growth, genetic manipulation for the purpose of making fruits and vegetables more "attractive", picking produce before it is ripe to ensure that it looks ripe when it arrives in the supermarket, etc. For example, everyone's favorite veggie, broccoli, contains 63% less calcium today than it did in 1950. So even if you make a serious effort to eat your fruits and veggies, chances are you are still not meeting your basic nutritional requirements. What's a person to do?

One thing you might consider is buying organic. Avoiding the use of synthetic fertilizers has several effects that can boost the nutritional content of food crops. But the cost and availability of organic produce makes this impractical for many people. Here are nine simple ways to maximize the nutritive value of your fruits and vegetables from the nice folks at Prevention Magazine.

And remember! Even with fewer nutrients than in the past, fresh fruits and vegetables remain a far better food choice than the processed "food-like substances" that form the core of the Standard American Diet (SAD).

Friday, August 6, 2010

"So, what is it that you do?"

The "elevator speech". That well rehearsed 30-second response to "So, what is it that you do?" We've heard hundreds of them - most of them appallingly bad. We've sought advice from books, webinars, coaches and trainers. We've practiced in front of the mirror with a timer. We've cringed as people recited with a straight face "I make people rich every day!". Its hard to love the elevator speech.

But even if you work in a one-story building with no elevator, having an effective response when someone actually asks what you do is a critical sales skill. So how do you develop an answer that doesn't sound like the keynote speaker at a plaid sports coat convention? Here are a few suggestions from the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE).

  1. Think of the elevator pitch as a basic introduction to your product or service. Just hit the high points of its benefits - the things a happy customer would care about.
  2. Don't sound like a late-night TV commercial. Be conversational. If you sound like you've memorized a script, people will tune you out. Avoid industry jargon and technical terms.
  3. Be personal and personable. Introduce yourself, not your company. Avoid "we" statements and stick to "I" statements.
  4. If your pitch generates some interest, know in advance what the next step is, and how to move on to it. Usually its NOT piling on more details.
  5. Save your business cards for people who actually want them. Most of them end up in the trash on the way out of the room.
If this seems like a lot to cram into 30 - seconds, you're right. But an engaging, effective elevator speech is a key part of your prospecting toolkit. So treat it that way. The worst thing you can do is "wing it". For some really useful suggestions and tools, check out the Pitch Wizard at

Thursday, August 5, 2010

CDC Calls Obesity "A Major Public Health Threat"

Ten years ago the Federal government set a national goal of reducing the rate of obesity in the US to 15%. Not a single state has met that goal; in fact, we are rapidly heading in the opposite direction. Instead of declining the rate has doubled and the rate of increase is accelerating. Obesity is strongly linked to numerous chronic and life threatening diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

But as this NPR report explains, this issue is far more complex than just people eating too much.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Missouri Voters Reject Federal Health Insurance Mandate

By a margin of 3::1 voters in Missouri yesterday approved Proposition C, which changes state law to bar any government entity from fining a person for failing to buy health insurance - a key provision of the "healthcare reform" bill passed by Congress and signed by president Obama in March. Since the mandate does not take effect until 2014, there will be no immediate impact from the MO vote. If implemented, the measure is certain to be challenged in court. Regardless, the outcome of the MO vote is one more indication of the growing unpopularity of the reform bill and the margin by which the measure was approved has to elevate the importance of the issue to the November mid-term elections.

Irrespective of your position on healthcare reform, the whole issue is bringing into focus the erosion of States' rights and the steady usurpation of powers not granted by the US Constitution to the Federal government. As of now 11 States are suing in Federal courts to overturn the entire bill on that basis alone. Its been 148 years since we fought a brutal war over the States' Rights issue. Apparently it wasn't as settled as we assumed.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Study Quantifies Statin Drug Risks

Back in April I alerted readers to the FDA's approval for AstraZeneca to begin marketing its best selling statin drug Crestor to an estimated 6.5 million Americans who have no cholesterol problems and no sign of heart problems (as a "preventive" measure). But a new study published in the British Medical Journal this past May may put the brakes on AstraZeneca's ambitious plans to move as many as 1 in 2 Americans onto statins over the next decade. For perhaps the first time, the researchers have quantified the level of harm posed by the cholesterol-lowering drugs. If you don't have the inclination to read the actual study, here is a good summary of the results from the Daily Mail newspaper.