How To Know You're In Utah Valley

Let's say you're driving through Utah on I-15. Your friend is driving and you fell asleep a ways back but just woke up. How would you know if you were in Utah Valley?

If it's day-time you might recognize the majestic profile of Mount Timpanogos.

But let's say it's dark. And there are no highway signs. But there are plenty of billboards.

Sighting this billboard just south of the Point of the Mountain (Utah / Salt Lake County line) I would instantly know I was home.

A few more miles south I'd be reassured of my location from yet another Maakoa billboard. (Looks like Maakoa is trying to steal Omniture's green thunder.)

If you happen to be heading north and getting close to Salt Lake County, Maakoa's got you covered there too.

And while Maakoa has the most billboards, there are other players too. Here's one for FuzeUtah (it says "Make MLM $$$ .... Keep Your Friends" - nice).

There's also a Go-yin billboard (sorry, no photo).

Yes, the place I call home and have lived most of my life, is the nutritional supplement MLM (Multi-Level Marketing - think Amway) capitol of the world. We've got NuSkin (the grand-daddy), NEWAYS, Tahitian Noni, Xango, and the above mentioned Go-Yin and Maakoa.

I'm not a fan of these products, but I guess some people are happy with them. Growing up I knew a few too many natural medicine / herb people that were total nut-jobs so this turned me off to the whole idea. Perhaps I've thrown the baby out with the bath water (what a bizarre idiom), but we're all shaped by our experiences.

I worked at Nature's Sunshine in high school. I ran a machine that cleaned off the capsules after they'd been filled with bee pollen, ginseng, licorice root, etc. One day I was cleaning capsules filled with cayenne pepper when the dust collected in the sweat line at the cuff of my vinyl gloves. I didn't notice until it started to sting - like acid. I had a burn around each wrist for days. That was fun.

My neighbor told me he tried some Noni juice and it gave him a bad case of the runs.

And I'm definitely not comfortable with the MLM sales method. But then I'm not comfortable selling anything, so I don't need to go into "dream circles", "diamond level", etc. The few times I've done charity fund-raisers it was difficult. Frankly, I don't like selling stuff at all. People have attempted to recruit me a few times, but my reticence to sell was usually the biggest decider in the "no" column (there were other factors too).

I mean no disrespect to the people who work for these companies or sell these products. I know several people who do. It's just not for me. And it's undeniable that there are a lot of nutritional supplement MLM companies in Utah Valley. That's all I'm saying.


Mike J said...

When we lived in Orem we were constantly getting hit up for the latest get rich quick MLM pitch. We had to be down right belligerent to people before they would leave us alone. And that was just my inlaws. In the 19 years since we moved away from Utah I haven't been hit up with a MLM pitch once. There's hope!!!

Watcher said...

The whole MLM thing is fascinating to a transplant/outsider. When you move here as an outsider from out-of-state, you already know something about the whole church thing, so that’s not really a surprise. But the high level of MLM activity and involvement was both surprising and head-scratching. For lack of a better way to say it, it seems like here in UT many otherwise-very-reasonable people who probably would have little or nothing to do with MLM were you to come across them in other states are way involved in it.

As an outsider, one always wonders whether the MLM pitch leverages some aspects of church-related social structure- whether just the human network, or perhaps even some of the positive, “can-do” messaging themes, but that’s just conjecture. It’s a mystery to us.

Josh said...

A good friend got into Noni a few years ago. I declined several invitations,free samples,etc. Then one day my three month old son got a bad case of pink-eye. The friend came over and wanted to put Noni juice in my infants eye. We're not as close as we once were.

Jube said...

Josh, that is hilarious.

South Jordan is close to Utah County, and they have MonaVie, yet another another MLM super-drink. Curiously, an out-of-state acquaintance approached me about MonaVie, not a fellow Utahan.

goat said...

I think disrespecting the people who work for disrespectful companies doing disrespectful things is allowed.

There's danger in being too tolerant of bad ideas. At least, that's what Ray Bradbury would say.