Leading with Integrity... Always

Posted on September 24, 2015 by Mary Patterson

I have a list of blog topics on my list to catch up with and post, but sometimes the best blogs come when someone gives you that nudge you need to write about something. I fear this may be long, but I hope to make some kind of point in the end. 

The point of leading with Integrity... Always.

There were many things that lead me to stepping out on my own in fitness and nutrition to launch Gaia Fit. I had spent almost 10 years experiencing and witnessing the best and the worst of the fitness and nutrition industry. I worked very closely along side some of the most talented professionals in the field and also witnessed some of the scariest and dishonest practices. I learned to be skeptical of everything BUT to also be open to everything. Never judge. Never assume. Do proper research. Learn. Listen. 

I also made many of my own mistakes along the way and find myself in a place circling back and reconnecting and communicating with people in a different way, a better way - honest, direct, but kind and non assuming. Not afraid to speak from the heart. 

I was asked last night in class what I thought of another popular nutrition program. I answered honestly. It is a clean, well balanced program. It will have you learning portions and eating better. AND as with all programs, if you stick with the food portion of the program, it will work. Most weight loss programs are like that. If you stick with it and follow it, it will work and you will lose weight. It is what you do when your done that is key. I wanted my point to be, if you need something new to try, go for it BUT just as I recommend to you, make a commitment for a lifestyle change not an X amount of days change and I would support you following the food portion of the program, but I personally wouldn't use the product portion of it.

This is my favorite part.

It took me a lot to say that and state my opinion about the product. Something, I usually bite my tongue on. I don't recommend specific products (eh hem Shaklee) because I get a commission off of them (but of course that is an amazing bonus). I recommend them because I have researched the quality, used, tested, tasted, researched more, compared, gathered testimonies. If you find something you think is better, I will cross compare and work with you on making the decision. Always. If there wasn't a way to sell Gaia Fit's recommended Shaklee, I would still recommend and use it myself. That is how I know it is a good thing. Wait, not just good, bleepin' awesome and amazing!

Piggy backing on last night's conversation, I had an honest email interaction with a fellow colleague who I admire and value what they do. Let's just say my opinion regretfully may have changed. (But I will work to heal and work on that myself because I know that comes from within me.) Respectfully, looping them into a follow-up I was having with one of their clients out of came back at me in a very negative assuming way. If you know me well, I was looping them in because I did not want to override them, but either include them or leave the follow up as is as done. The fact that I overuse the phrase "no-pressure" should say something.

This lead me to think about how my unfortunate became a fortunate -- when I let go of pre-judgement.

I use to think unfortunately, but I am proud to say now fortunately yes, the products I recommend are under the network marketing business model. I avoided the business side for a long time because I already had a sour experience with a company claiming to be natural that wasn't and then soon after I left went bankrupt. Thank goodness, I educated myself and got out of there. I was avoiding any network marketer for a long time after that casting much judgement about the business model in my head. So maybe I partly understand; however, I censored my words and was never assuming about it and actually always followed up with research on the product. You never know what hidden gems are out there!

  • But when you find products so pure, powerful and life changing for someone's longevity and health, how could you not recommend it?
  • When you find a way you can create healthier lives and lifestyles for the rest of your life (when you don't want to be working hour by hour many hours a week) with nothing but the best and most pure, how could you not recommend it?
  • When you lead with integrity and honesty and always listen and do proper research, how could you not want to recommend it?
  • When you do more than sell and extend a hand to coach and educate others on a healthy lifestyle or business, how could you not want to recommend it?

Network marketing is a pretty darn powerful business model that can change your life; however, yes, people can be taken advantage of and mislead and sold a bill of goods of product and empty business promises IF they don't do the proper research and ask the right questions. HOWEVER, I recall this happening in good old fitness and nutrition centers that were a "standard" business model. 

You don't have to be the person people run from, if you lead with honesty and integrity. And if you are not interested, kindly say no. Don't be afraid of learning and having an honest conversation. If the person on the opposite end is doing it right, they will listen and it will be an empowering conversation and beginning of relationship for the two of you where you can mutual agree to disagree and/or learn from each other. 

I focus on education. Come listen and learn. I will give you the tools and offer you the support. That is the one cool thing with network marketing. You get the coach along with the product. You can't get that from the shelf. I have called many big nutrition companies and asked the right questions and because they knew they didn't have the right answers, they never replied. AND I have also asked these same questions of other direct marketers, when the answers come back blank that tells me something as well. The good companies will call back and provide the information. 

My point...

Don't judge a book by it's cover! Hmmm, not sure if that is my point. 

My point...

is not listing all the amazing things about Shaklee (but of course I would be happy to do so for you - just give me a call ;-)

My point...

Be careful of casting judgment on something you have not researched. Don't be scared to ask questions. Make the decision that is going to be best for YOUR health. 

AND

I recommend Shaklee because I believe in purity, potency, and performance and I am always happy to have a conversation around that topic and educate myself more all the time. It is a must in health and fitness and every field you pursue as a profession. 

Posted in network marketing, nutrition, Shaklee


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