We had an amazing weekend!!! I can’t believe it’s already been a year since the last Greensboro convention in 2014. Time flies and so much has happened since MAIC 2014. Let’s recount what happened this weekend. 🙂
On Wednesday, August 5, 2015, we all assembled in front of the Walmart at our meetup point at 4 a.m. Yes, you read that correctly. 4 a.m. Last year, we met up prior to 5 a.m. before the bus would depart. This year, we wanted to meet up earlier so that we could leave earlier and avoid any line-ups at the border and get to Greensboro faster.
All of our teammates were amazing and actually showed up by 4 to 4:30 a.m. ish. Some of us were even there before 4 a.m. What troopers. Some of us had a few hours of sleep but most of us didn’t sleep at all (guess where I fit in?). Unfortunately, even though all of our bus mates were all there on time, our bus didn’t arrive until a little after 5 a.m. and we were not the first out of the 11 buses to leave. Oh, well.
Yay! Time to get on the bus and it was time to sleep. Unfortunately, even though I didn’t get any sleep the night before, I found it hard at first to fall asleep. I did end up sleeping a little bit though.
Custom border crossing was smooth considering we did have to wait up to on hour on the bus before we passed through the gates.
We had several pit stops along the way including McDonalds for lunch where some of us did the “40 McNugget Challenge”. Chicken McNuggets are SO cheap in the states! Only $5 for 20 nuggets. It’s ridiculous! Clarissa and I shared 20 nuggets in addition to our own sandwiches. She also got the dipped cone!
Unlike last year, our bus didn’t break down this year (yay!). (There was another bus that did though — Victor’s.) So even though we weren’t the first to leave Scarborough, our bus driver was very efficient and opted to skip the last pit stop so that we could get to Greensboro and check in earlier. We got there at 8 p.m.! We were the first bus to arrive. 😀
Clarissa and Catherine were my roommates this year. It was so cozy because we fit perfectly into the one king sized bed. We also had a handicapped room which made it extra spacious (with a large bathroom).
After we checked in, we went to the nearby Wendy’s to grab some cheap and quick dinner before we rested for the night. I had the apple and chicken salad with pomegranate dressing. It was actually really good; the chicken chunks were soft and pretty flavourful. Catherine ordered the Baconator Fries which was so cheesy and so delicious! Yum! (They need to bring this to Canada.)
We tried to get as much rest as we could that night before we had to wake up at 5:30 a.m. the next day. 🙂
Day 1 of MAIC Convention: We lined up early to get seats with the rest of the other teams in the world. I was excited. It was really hot and humid that morning and it became almost unbearable as the sun reached the top of the sky and we were in line. When the doors opened at 9 a.m., we ran in. Security wasn’t that strict and we were actually allowed to run (lol, no ladies holding up signs that said “no running” in English and Chinese).
We got some pretty good seats that first day. I also noticed that they hired some police escorts to stand in the aisles to make sure there was no foul play involved. First day was amazing. 🙂
We also stayed for the Mandarin coring. Our team worked together and those who knew Mandarin translated for those who didn’t understand it. The speakers’ tonality and posture were so strong though that you really feel their success and knowledge even if you don’t understand the language.
When we left, it was pouring rain outside. It was a flash flood and so bad that the ground was literally like a river. Everyone’s shoes were soaked through and many suits and blazers were wet. Since it was so bad, when we got back to the hotel, we ordered pizza to be delivered to our room for dinner — it didn’t make sense to go outside. Over 30 rooms ordered pizza that night and it took over an hour for our mushroom and pepperoni pizza to be delivered. Too bad they don’t have a free pizza policy when they go over the 45-minute delivery period like in Canada.
Day 2 of Convention: Second day didn’t start as well as the first day because we were held up in the morning and couldn’t arrive in time to line up until almost 7 a.m. By this point, the Flushing team had already infiltrated our usual line-up area and we resorted to the other entrance. This turned out to be a bad idea and by the time we actually got inside the coliseum, there were no more seats in the “bowl”. We sat upstairs instead. Not the best view, but still tolerable. However, we knew that for the third and last day, we had to wake up even earlier to get the better seats again.
We got our tickets on the second day! I love taking these pictures. We’re taking charge for our future and I’m so proud of these two first-timers for doing so! ^_^
At night, we were going to have a small meeting after meeting within our rooms so my roomies and I walked over to Popeye’s for some yummy Southern fried chicken before the meeting at 8 p.m. We all agreed that there was something about American Popeye’s that made it even more delicious than usual. It was so cheap too! I got a 2 piece dinner that included two pieces of chicken, a biscuit, one side, and added just $1 for a blackberry cream pie. Yum!
We had a relatively quick meeting in the parking lot and a few people shared some rather personal stories. Let’s work harder for our families! 🙂
Last day; Day 3 of Convention: This was the best day. The segments that we listened to on this day were incredible. Not only were the technology advancements from Marc Ashley incredible, but the new products in the DNA segment was so emotional (I know Clarissa’s heart melted and grew during this segment). We had our very own Andrew Chee and Benson Li grace the stage and talk about their journey and the importance of tickets. (I think next time, we’ll be seeing either Victor, Ronny, or Marielle up there!) Everyone was so proud to have our leaders up there. Yay, Canada’s youngest entrepreneurs! Also, Fat Joe and Rohan Marley (Marley Coffee) spoke. Day 3 of recognition also was amazing. Last but not least was that final closing segment from JR.
I know JR has always been amazing but there was something about this convention closing segment that really did it for me. He was talking about the Why and how it drives us and pushes us to do whatever we want to do. Without a strong Why, none of what we set out to accomplish can come true. During his segment, I suddenly realized that I never had a true Why. My Why, when explaining to others, has always been a very surface level and canned reason as to why I’m doing this business. It’s not a lie, but it’s not the absolute Why. They say that your true Why should be so powerful and strong that when you share it, it will make you cry. My original Why definitely didn’t make me cry.
During his segment, I figured it out. I knew what my true Why was. I couldn’t believe that I had been in this business for one year and a half and never even knew what my true Why was. It was a huge revelation for me and perhaps a magic moment? I also knew that we would be having a coring that night and I couldn’t wait to share this with my team!
JR also talked about how knowing our Why will align with the company’s Why. It was so moving and powerful. I took many notes and pictures of the slides here. 🙂
Very last but not least, JR did a stunt that many thought would be impossible. This 60-year-old man actually got up on a tightrope (he had a harness) and balanced himself and walked across it while pushing forward a wheelbarrow full of bricks (mind you, these bricks were soft fake ones). It was absolutely incredible. This stunt comes from a true story where a man walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope and survived. It’s inspiring, moving, and exciting. JR actually did it! He’s such an old man age-wise but he’s so strong and youthful in his mindset and goals. The Advisory Council actually urged him not to do this stunt, but he still did it. Everyone was cheering him on as he walked across the tightrope slowly against the backdrop of Niagara Falls. It was incredible. There was a little slip, but he got right back up and continued his journey. Wow. The crowd went wild. I’ve never seen a crowd or audience so together and bonded. Everyone was up on their feet and cheering JR on and celebrated so wildly when he reached safety on the other side.
Very finally, we saw the highlight video of MAIC 2015. This was the best thing to watch after three days of awesomeness. We saw many of our teammates in the video this time. Yay! Good work guys! 🙂
We exited the coliseum and headed back to the hotel where we changed and got a ride to The Pavilion for dinner. See review here. Then we got back to the hotel again and had our team coring in Raahim’s room.
This was incredible. Too bad we didn’t get a picture of this but we crammed all 40 or so of us from the bus into this one small tiny hotel room. Just like last year, we went around the room for everyone to share a little bit about the last three days. When it came to my turn, I already knew that I was going to share my Why. I already knew that I was going to tear up. This was the first time that I’ve been so open about my past (sounds so dreary), but it was because I finally felt comfortable enough to share this with everyone. It was good to get the words out and to share a little bit of my story with everyone. Like Ronny likes to say, there was a lot of onion-cutting that went on in that room — waterworks.
The last night was spent packing and organizing our stuff so that we could check out and leave the next morning. We had some good chats in the room so I didn’t end up sleeping until 4:30 a.m. lol. Then we got up at 6 a.m. so that the roomies and I could visit the nearby church for mass.
It was my first time attending a mass (other than that time going to one at Clarissa’s wedding). The three of us took a cab (conveniently requested by the hotel) and 7-10 minutes to drive to Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church. It was a decently sized church. It was a very good experience and peaceful. I’m really glad that Clarissa invited me. 🙂
By the time mass ended at 7:45 a.m., it was perfect time for the cab to come get us and go back to the hotel. We took all our belongings and checked out of the hotel.
Our last stop before we headed home on our 16-hour bus ride was to the MA Headquarters. Just like last year, we took a lot of pictures here. Fortunately, it was a beautiful sunny day this year (it was drizzling last year). It was fun and now that our team is bigger, there are so many pictures to take because you can have so many combinations of people in there. Ha!
We left after that, about 9:30 a.m., and set off to Toronto.
Again, we had frequent pit stops for washroom breaks. For dinner, some of us ate at Steak ‘n Shake for burgers and fries. It was my first time to this burger franchise. Their combos are so cheap! Only $4 for a burger and fries and you could add 29 cents to season the fries. It was yummy!
We were also the first ones to touch down back in Toronto (our bus driver was amazing!). Ronny said that this was the first time in his MA career that the Greensboro bus arrived back in Toronto before midnight. We got there at 11:40 p.m. Yay! 🙂
What a great trip this was. This was seriously the best convention I’ve been to so far. I don’t know what it was about this convention, whether it was because I found my true Why or seeing JR up on that tightrope or the team that we now have, but this was seriously a memorable and spectacular convention and five days with the team. I really can’t wait to see how much more we’ll grow by Miami 2016. It’s going to be amazing! 🙂 Thanks for a wonderful time, everyone!