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I Left My Heart…
Ben, Steve, Gayle and I went to San Francisco on October 16 for the SendOutCards Leadership Retreat. The weather was beautiful the whole time we were there, not what I had imagined for San Francisco. I was expecting a lot of fog but the sun shone on us every day and the temps were in the mid 70’s. (We could even hear the fireworks from Giants Stadium the night they won the National League Pennant.)
Ben and I arrived at The Palace Hotel in downtown San Francisco and of course, we had to find someplace to eat (it was 3pm our time). We headed on a walk and found a few places to eat and lots of stores. It was interesting to see expensive stores like Coach next to a store that was all boarded up with a homeless person laying in front of it on their sleeping bag. The mixture of people seen were suit and ties, obviously from the financial institutions, to the people pushing their shopping carts, filled with their life.
Over 120,000 people were in town for the Salesforce.com convention. They were easily spotted with their aqua blue and red lanyards, name tags, and backpacks. I picked up the schedule for Thursday and as impressed with not only the line-up of speakers but the number of workshops that were going on throughout the day. There were hundreds of them scheduled at venues all over the downtown area.
Thursday evening we met up with the 100 or so SendOutCards leaders at an opening reception. It is always so good to see these smiling, familiar faces, and I dare not mention any names for fear I will forget someone.
Friday morning we joined together in the meeting room and were told we would be visiting Alcatraz that day as part of our activities. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that, but I was more concerned how Ben would feel. We headed out to walk what we thought was a mile or so to the pier to get on the ferry. After the first big hill I was wondering how far this was really going to be. Hill #2 was even more steep and I knew then that I should have taken the trolley. One more large hill and then we were able to go DOWN. It was quite steep and not the easiest to navigate. AAAAWWWWW….finally we get to flat ground and we can see the water. Another 15 minutes of walking and we reached the pier. We waited about an hour for our group to board the ferry to go over to “The Rock”.
As our group began the tour, we put on the headsets and started to listen. What I will remember the most is the very real sounds from the recording and how somber all the faces were of the people around me. Ben lasted about 15 minutes before he had to get out of there and find some fresh air. I walked through the majority of the tour but was not able to finish it either. I had seen and heard enough. It was quite emotional to see the inside of the prison up close. We headed back to get in line for the ferry to take us back to the mainland, and behind me I could hear Kody and Ben talking. Kody was asking Ben different things and listening to Ben’s responses brought back to me how far he has come and how much this company the people in it have changed him.
We took the trolley back (smart move!) and the afternoon’s activities included being divided up into groups as CEOs for the day. Each group was given a real issue that our leadership team has been faced with. We met in our groups for 50 minutes and then had to say how we would resolve the issue. That was TOUGH! I admire our leadership team in SendOutCards. They are faced with making decisions that affect thousands of people, and they always have our best interest at heart, which sometimes makes the decision process even more difficult. I think everyone left there that afternoon with a better
understanding of why some decisions are made, and with a higher degree of appreciation and admiration for our leaders. They don’t have an easy job! Give them a break!
Friday night Gayle’s brother and his wife took Steve, Gayle and I to Giradelli Square for dinner. I did not know that the famous chocolate maker’s headquarters was in San Fran. We had a lovely evening visiting with them, buying chocolate to bring home, and seeing some of the city, such as Fisherman’s Wharf, famous restaurants, and the view from Lombardi Street.
Saturday morning Kody gave us an update on what we have to look forward to, including the Social Sendcere site that will make facebook posts and write blogs for each of us. What a COOL IDEA! For those of us who are not FB savvy, or who don’t have time to write posts on our business pages like we should, this is an extremely helpful tool, and for a small fraction of the price of other such services. Kody is always finding ways for us to share SOC in unique and trending ways. Kody’s focus on the future of SOC and finding ways to help us ALL build successful businesses brought out many emotions for me; appreciation, admiration, amazement at his foresight for what we need to be doing in the future; surprise and excitement for the new tools we have at our fingertips. My thoughts were whirling like the leaves falling from the trees in my back yard, as I tried to take in all that is coming in the future for SendOutCards and myself.
Once again we were divided into teams, and were given an iphone, a lunchbox and a set of instructions. It was a scavenger hunt and The Amazing Race all rolled into one. We followed the directions on the iphone and tried to complete as many tasks as possible, including taking photos and videos, selling a piece of “artwork” to a “world famous dealer”, and building a tower out of a marshmallow, pieces of spaghetti, and some string. Two hours and two blisters later, we headed back to the hotel and watched how creative and fun some of the other teams were in completing their tasks. We did not win the prize, but we did learn a lot about working with people you had just met, finding out who had what strengths and using them for the benefit of the team. We asked complete strangers for help and were not deterred when we were refused, and we were elated when they readily agreed to take part in a strange request!
Matt Baros, director of IT at SOC gave us an update on SOC 2.0 and how to use our android phones to send a card, as well as some hints as to what’s to come in 2015. Then a gentleman from the new social Sendcere site explained to us how this would work, using a fun game with prizes. We left there with lots of exciting ideas as to how using this service would help explode our businesses.
Saturday night we got dressed up and met in the hotel for a delicious dinner and a chance to share with each other all that we had seen and heard.
The time went way too fast. It always does when we are spending time with many of our very favorite people in all the world. SendOutCards is not just another network marketing company. SendOutCards is our passion. It has changed our lives in more ways than we can explain in this article. And this I know for sure:
We ARE a BDABB company.
We ARE on track to become a household name.
We ARE changing lives one card, one gift and one opportunity at a time.
Our leaders ARE making excellent decisions based on the knowledge and the experience they have in network marketing, and we TRUST THEM 110%.
Let me share with you sometime, what the power of sending ONE CARD can have. I promise you, you can’t make this stuff up! J
Gayle Zientek and I just returned on Saturday from an amazing week with Kody and Jodi Bateman, Steve Schulz, Vanessa Hunter and Emerald Moon at SendOutCards corporate offices. We spent time eating great food, telling family stories, and making strong friendships. This was the trip of a lifetime for us and we are excited for what SendOutCards has planned for us in the future. Be watching Facebook for updates!