Note from the Founders:
Your Parents Were Dumb (And You’re Still Paying for It)
Don’t worry – you’re not alone. My parents were dumb too. And I just recently recognized it.
You see, I’ve always had the utmost respect and gratitude for my parents. And for good reason. Much of what I have today is a direct result of what they’ve given me over the years. I’m so thankful for everything they’ve provided. Or almost everything…
Because with the good comes the bad…
The worst type of advice is the advice you take to heart, implement into your life, and never realize to be anything but great advice when the fact of the matter is that if you never would have implement the advice in the first place you’d be much better of in just about every area of your life.
This is similar to someone being told that Snackwells cookies are “healthy” so they decide to crush a box every day, only to get fatter & fatter without realizing they’re doing anything wrong.
Doing something you think is right when it’s really wrong is, for the most part, the worst thing ever. It’s much, much better to just eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, realize you’ve sinned horribly, and then repent adequately. At least in this case you don’t just keep digging yourself a deeper grave!
So How Does This Relate to Your Parents?
Let’s look at a couple pieces of “sound advice” most parents give their kids.
#1 – “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”
#2 – “The key to success is improving your weaknesses.”
The funny thing is that I believed #1 most of my life, and during this entire time, I considered myself a leader! And a good manager! And someone who was destined to be a great entrepreneur!!! The reality is that #1 is the mindset of failure. It’s the mindset of people who put X into life and only expect X, or less than X, in return.
To be great – as a parent, a manager, a teacher, or an entrepreneur – you have to believe that one of the most important things in life is helping other people become great and achieve great things. You must believe and fulfill the principal that the sum of the parts of a team is greater than the whole. You must understand that just about every person on earth is much better than you in at least one skill that’s important in your life and business.
And if you believe these things, you realize that #1 is an incredibly counter-productive piece of advice. #1 is disabling, growth-prohibiting, and downright depressing. It’s dumb.
And #2. Oh man…this advice might be even dumber. I was told just about all of my upbringing to improve my weaknesses and focus on making them better. Take a step back and ask yourself how this makes sense. If all you do is focus on bettering your weaknesses, you’ll simply end-up with a bunch of average weaknesses (at best). That’s pretty dumb, especially when such a plan requires so much work and effort.
Instead, doesn’t it make more sense to focus on our strengths, or more specifically our one and only Unique Ability, and then team-up with a bunch of other people (“Partners”) to do the rest? And these Partners’ strengths could be your weaknesses, therefore providing the perfect complementary team. A team of all strengths. Not an average team, but rather, a dominant team. How could this team be anything but successful?
#1 and #2 are dumb pieces of advice. I believe just the opposite, which means I believe in the unfathomable and unlimited Power of Partnerships.
The Power of Partnerships
All of the above was really just a segue into our belief at HUMAN that powerful, strategic partnerships are as important as anything else in business. In fact, in the 21st century, the success of a business is often a reflection of its partnerships. This is especially true for a business like ours that has so many moving parts (as many businesses do in today’s world).
Rather than try to build a completely vertically integrated company (which is almost impossible to do so today, hence the reason this model is almost extinct), a business should focus on creating a vast partner network where each partner occupies a silo of expertise, and when combined, the entire network is the epitome of the Leveraged Expertise Principal.
In other words, the business is maximally efficient and without any weak links. Not only do partnerships make both parties lives easier, they make them a whole lot more fun.
The HUMAN Location Discovery & Acquisition System
While the power of partnerships is illustrated throughout all areas of our business, it may be most apparent in our Location Discovery & Acquisition System (LDA). This is our system for acquiring locations where our operators can place machines. Over the years, we’ve consistently improved this process and are thus able to acquire much better locations for our operator partners today then we could five years ago.
Sure, some of this is the result of us consistently improving our systems and marketing tactics, but the biggest reason, especially over the last twelve months, has been our newly acquired partnerships. Thanks to a network of very strong national partners, we’re no longer scouring the land for the best locations all by ourselves. Sure we can still do this, but why? We now have phenomenal external teams promoting us openly, and all of these external teams have established relationships with locations with which we want to place machines. When combined with our own internal marketing efforts, this provides a 1-2 LDA punch that ensures we’ll always be able to find the best available locations across the country. What’s more important for our business? Not much…if anything!
Speed of Trust
Anyone who has ever tried to create, sell, or promote anything understands one of the biggest hurdles you encounter is building trust between you and a customer. It is not so much the act of building trust that is difficult, as long as you are genuine and trustworthy people will slowly begin to trust you, the difficulty is that BUILDING TRUST IS SLOW and when you are starting from the ground up it may take months or years to build enough trust to do business. Modern humans are skeptical of new ideas or people,
and it’s a big deal for someone to lower their guard towards a stranger. Even though you may interact with someone on a daily basis, if you are the only person that knows them it will take a long time to trust them. Social proof is more valuable than ever, and that can only come from another persons recommendation or endorsement.
Although trust is slow to build, but it can be transferred INSTANTLY.
Think about the people you trust the most, your parents, your spouse, a mentor, reputable corporations, etc. All these people and entities have taken years to build your trust, and if they introduce you to someone or something, the trust you have in them will instantly transfer to the new entity. This is very powerful. A company like Apple has spent years building your trust by offering quality, innovative products. When a product is endorsed by Apple, the trust you have in Apple will transfer to the new product because of Apple’s solid reputation as a value provider.
When your goal is to make health foods, drinks, and information universally available, it is important to think of the fastest ways to build the trust necessary to grow exponentially. When you combine providing honest, reliable service with resounding endorsements from quality partnerships across country and the world…it is unbeatable!
When we recommend you check out a product or a service, it is because we really believe in it, and we think it will help you out in business or in life. The founders of HUMAN follow Eben Pagan, and highly recommend you check out his free videos and PDFs.
If you’re interested in creating wealth for you and your family while learning why most people fail with money, just click on the link below. You’ll get a high-value, PDF report and video for free:
We partner with organizations who have a mission that we can provide a service too. Luckily for us, there are a TON of quality organizations out there dedicated to health and fighting obesity.
Partnering with these organizations just makes sense. As we build these relationships, our partners are becoming integral in LDA.
How does this work?
A company like SPARK is interested in providing the best, most advanced, physical education and wellness related curriculum and services to schools. By partnering with HUMAN, we offer them access to the most technologically advanced healthy vending machines ever created – run by a network of passionate, health conscious entrepreneurs – and in exchange they help us gain placements in schools across the country.
It is the ultimate WIN – WIN scenario.
In 2011 our goal is to double the number of strategic partnerships helping us gain placement in schools, municipalities, gyms, office building, etc. Every partnership we gain helps our current operators find locations, as well as every future Humanist about to get started.
Healthy Vending “Operators of The Month”
Shelly and Brian Gearhart
Fresh off a new install, the Gearhart’s are the January operators of the month! The Gearhart’s have 20 fresh vending machines and in the last week, Shelly launched machines in a new school, and spent three days there helping out and dialing in her machines. She sent us a rundown of how it went. There are some great tips in here for current and future operators!
Vending Tips From Shelly
Great install and fabulous location!
I had the opportunity to spend three days of lunch shifts with these kiddos and learned so much!
1) Kids are not afraid to be healthier!!
2) School size can be very deceiving!
3) There is no problem that can’t be remedied if you think fast!
a. They complained that the machine itself is slower resulting in long waits and lines…sooo, I stood through all lunch waves until they were able to master the machine! Little kids carry lots of money!!
b. One problem I never thought of…the kids thought the dollar coins were so cool….but they started putting dollars in the machine just to change them out for the coins depleting my supply…clever little suckers.
c. Support staff/aides were on edge and nervous about the transition…by staying there, not only did I learn about what products they like but the staff is appreciative and in full support of the new machine. I left them confident that the students can manage on their own.
Overall, not many issues and parents of children are thankful and appreciative thus far. One Mom called in because her son is diabetic and thankful that there are healthier option for her child…that’s what its all about!
3 day total for vends…293
This is what we are talking about! Great job! We had a chance to interview Shelly and ask her some more questions about life as a HUMAN operator.
1. What was the main driving factor and motivation behind you deciding to launch your own HUMAN healthy vending machine business?
Shelly: As a busy stay at home mom of four kids, I was looking to find the perfect job! But , it had to offer flexibility for our chaotic schedules. Last winter we were snowed in a hotel for 5 days with the only snack options available from their vending machine. We will just say that the options were NOT things I ordinarily feed my kids. I was so struck by this that, I Googled healthy vending and 20 machines later I am hooked!
2.What do you like the BEST about being a HUMAN Operator?
Shelly: The best thing for me personally, is doing something that is for me. As a mom we tend to take care of ourselves last. This was something I can do AND take care of my family. Honestly it is basically what I was already doing for my family, I’m just doing it for others via a vending machine. Except, I am bringing in some extra funds! It really hit home this past week while at an install for a school…the kids were so excited for the change! They are so much more aware of the benefit of healthy eating, and some have to because of diabetes! It is nice to feel like HUMAN will make a difference one snack at a time…
3. What is the best piece of advice you can give to operators who are just starting out, and/or future HUMAN Operators?
Shelly: KNOW YOUR LOCATION!! I willingly spent three days of lunch periods with my new location and learned so much about the machine, what they like and don’t like, and made MANY great friends along the way!
KNOW YOUR PRODUCT!! Some people will be naturally curious about this changeover so educate yourself about carbs, sugar and be ready to explain why a natural soda is different from a coke!
DON’T BE AFRAID OF YOUR MACHINE!! As with any new piece of electronics, there will be a learning curve. I was actually afraid of the machine the first month. Afraid I would break it or mess up the settings. It was a fast learning process and it is so rewarding to have mastered the electronics behind the magic!
TALK TO PEOPLE!! If you go into a location with your head down and an “I want to get in and out as fast I can” attitude….you will miss out on great opportunities to expand your business. Samples go a long way too. If you have an inside person at a location who is your go to guy for help there…offer them some samples along the way. It always pays off!
4. What are the top 3 best-selling healthy snacks & drinks at your machines? What are your personal favorites?
Shelly: That depends on the type of location…but overall:
Snacks: I would have to say Back to Nature products, Pirate’s booty, and Welch’s Fruit snacks.
Drinks: The Switch, good old water and Gatorade.
I love most all, but my favorites include multigrain Stacy’s Pita chips, Clif Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Bar and Peanut Butter Pretzel Supreme Protein bar….okay the Lenny and Larry’s Muscle Brownie needs to be on that list too!
5. What does it mean to you to “Crush It” and how do you exemplify “Crushing It” in your every day life.
Shelly: To me “Crush It” is about doing EVERYTHING possible to make it work at a location…it means that nothing is a problem, but an opportunity. You have to be a problem solver. Turn any hurdle into a learning experience. If a bag of chips gets stuck and causes an elevator malfunction…look at the row and figure out why it got stuck and you will be sure to adjust your other rows and machines. Being positive is the only way to crush it! Surround yourself with positive people and you will crush it! I have to say this past week I crushed it! In three days my new location had 293 vends! I assure you, if I had not spent those three days with my school, I would not have been able to make the adjustments necessary in the plan-o-gram!
Thanks Shelly for the great tips and answers!