Tag Archives: LIFE

“A Month of Italy” book set to debut in July

Rediscover the Art of Vacation

Have you ever felt overworked, overstressed, maxed out, and out of focus?

Have you ever needed a break from it all, and by that, I mean something more than a frenzied weekend or busy plastic vacation?

Have you ever had enough of your cell phone, emails, social networks, texts, and the like?

Have you ever felt like you were out of balance and needed some serious restoration?

Have you ever considered the fact that you could take a career break – a sabbatical – to allow you to clear your head and restore your focus?

Have you ever dreamed of traveling through the back roads of Italy and seeing the famous Tuscan countryside?

Have you ever wanted to sample Italy’s cuisine, sunsets, culture, art, architecture, and history?

Are you entertained by humorous narrative and adventure stories?

For anyone who can answer “yes” to even one of these questions, I am happy to announce that my latest book, A Month of Italy: Rediscovering the Art of Vacation, is set to debut this July. For just a little taste, here is the dust jacket inscription:

What can possibly be said about Italy that hasn’t been already? Primarily, that youcan enjoy it too! Refreshingly relate-able in a genre previously populated by wealthy expats and Hollywood stars, this book chronicles an ordinary family taking an extraordinary trip, and most importantly, paves the way for you to take one of your own! With hilarious wit and fast-paced narrative, Brady thrills with honest commentary on what a “trip of a lifetime” actually feels like, and most endearingly, he succeeds in convincing you that not only should you take a similar one, but that you will!  Within a few pages you’ll be visualizing panoramic Tuscan vistas and breaking open the piggy bank, laughing as you turn the pages and dreaming of your own escape.  This story is one of going slow in order to go fast; it’s about rediscovering and brining back into favor a lost art, namely, the art of vacation, and it is, or rather should be, a story about you.

Here are some of the early reviews:

“I was intrigued from the first sentence clear through the book! It teaches so many life and leadership lessons—about family, relationships, learning, improving, and becoming better. I’ll read it again and again, and I’ll read it on the plane on every vacation I ever go on.” – Oliver DeMille, NY Times best selling author of A Thomas Jefferson Education, Freedom Shift, and 1913

“A beautiful story and pivotal idea for a book!” – Richard Bliss Brookeauthor of Mach II, The Art of Vision and Self Motivation and The Four Year Career

“With humor, Brady guides you through heart-warming history, incredible beauty, the most gracious people, and of course, the world’s most delicious food and wine! After reading his entertaining work, you will be charting your own course to Italy.”  –Sharon LechterCo-author of Outwitting the Devil, Three Feet From Gold and Rich Dad Poor Dad

 “Extremely engaging and delightful – a well told story!” – Chris Gross, CEO Gabriel Media Group, Inc., cofounder of Networking Times.

“This is a book every traveler should read and bring along in order to experience the best of Italy.” – Dr. Gaetano (Guy) Sottile, President and Founder, Italy for Christ, Inc.

“Witty, funny, and at points downright hilarious, but mixed with profound truths shared in a way that makes one pause and ponder.” – Orrin Woodward: Winner of the 2011 IAB Top Leadership Award

“A spell-binding lesson in learning how to live again, with real purpose. You can’t stop turning the pages . . . .” – Art Jonak, founder MastermindEvent.com

“I have never read a book that teaches so much while being this fun at the same time.” – Tim Marks, best-selling author of “Voyage of a Viking”

“This is the best work Chris Brady has written to date. If this is a vacation handbook, it has redefined the vacation experience.” – Venkat Varada, Silicon Valley Executive

“Vacationing truly is a lost art, and Brady poignantly and beautifully illustrates why it is so vital for driven leaders. A timeless treatise on ‘sharpening the saw,’ A Month of Italy is a book I will sip and savor, ponder and reflect on time and time again. Not only are Chris’s insights powerful and refreshing, but his vivid and witty writing is simply a pleasure to read. Reading this book is a charming vacation itself, and it will inspire you to vacation deliberately, effectively, and joyfully.” – Stephen Palmer, New York Times best-selling author of “Uncommon Sense: A Common Citizen’s Guide to Rebuilding America”

“In our hectic lives we are rarely 100% present in any situation. Chris Brady shows that with proper play time, our work time is so much more effective. He has freed my spirit!” – Jason Ashley, country singer/songwriter (Texas Songwriter of the Year 2008)

“Italy is unique. Moreover, it is a country where the traveler can en- joy the most various experiences. Chris Brady’s book has the ability, astonishing even for an Italian, to convey to the reader that variety, that richness of feelings, sights, perfumes, tastes . . . and people.” – Senator Lucio Malan, Senior Secretary of the Presidency of the Italian Senate

In early July, look for it in bookstores and online stores everywhere, and of course,here. I sincerely hope you enjoy it!

Chris Brady

You’re Not Special

Someone sent me the transcript from a commencement speech.  The title and beginning featured a slightly shocking pattern interrupt. In other words, they caught me by surprise. I found myself so intrigued I read further, and eventually realized that, unlike 99% of everything else I ever receive, I could not stop reading this. I have included it below in its entirety for your enjoyment and pondering. I love how it concludes, and think there are many, many fine points made along the way. Oh, if we could only think and behave thus!

Here it is!

Here’s a new one in the annals of commencement speakers. A teacher at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts gave his address to the Class of 2012 and blasted the students, telling them over and over, “You’re not special.”

_______________________________________________________
(Dennis R.J. Geppert/AP)

David McCullough Jr., an English teacher at the school, delivered his rather unusual speech:

Dr. Wong, Dr. Keough, Mrs. Novogroski, Ms. Curran, members of the board of education, family and friends of the graduates, ladies and gentlemen of the Wellesley High School class of 2012, for the privilege of speaking to you this afternoon, I am honored and grateful. Thank you.

So here we are… commencement… life’s great forward-looking ceremony. (And don’t say, “What about weddings?” Weddings are one-sided and insufficiently effective. Weddings are bride-centric pageantry. Other than conceding to a list of unreasonable demands, the groom just stands there. No stately, hey-everybody-look-at-me procession. No being given away. No identity-changing pronouncement. And can you imagine a television show dedicated to watching guys try on tuxedos? Their fathers sitting there misty-eyed with joy and disbelief, their brothers lurking in the corner muttering with envy. Left to men, weddings would be, after limits-testing procrastination, spontaneous, almost inadvertent… during halftime… on the way to the refrigerator. And then there’s the frequency of failure: Statistics tell us half of you will get divorced. A winning percentage like that’ll get you last place in the American League East. The Baltimore Orioles do better than weddings.)

But this ceremony… commencement… a commencement works every time. From this day forward… truly… in sickness and in health, through financial fiascos, through midlife crises and passably attractive sales reps at trade shows in Cincinnati, through diminishing tolerance for annoyingness, through every difference, irreconcilable and otherwise, you will stay forever graduated from high school, you and your diploma as one, ‘til death do you part.

No, commencement is life’s great ceremonial beginning, with its own attendant and highly appropriate symbolism. Fitting, for example, for this auspicious rite of passage, is where we find ourselves this afternoon, the venue. Normally, I avoid clichés like the plague, wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole, but here we are on a literal level playing field. That matters. That says something. And your ceremonial costume… shapeless, uniform, one-size-fits-all. Whether male or female, tall or short, scholar or slacker, spray-tanned prom queen or intergalactic X-Box assassin, each of you is dressed, you’ll notice, exactly the same. And your diploma… but for your name, exactly the same.

All of this is as it should be, because none of you is special.

You are not special. You are not exceptional.

Contrary to what your soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you… you’re nothing special.

Yes, you’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped. Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again. You’ve been nudged, cajoled, wheedled and implored. You’ve been feted and fawned over and called sweetie pie. Yes, you have. And, certainly, we’ve been to your games, your plays, your recitals, your science fairs. Absolutely, smiles ignite when you walk into a room, and hundreds gasp with delight at your every tweet. Why, maybe you’ve even had your picture in the Townsman! And now you’ve conquered high school… and, indisputably, here we all have gathered for you, the pride and joy of this fine community, the first to emerge from that magnificent new building…

But do not get the idea you’re anything special. Because you’re not.

The empirical evidence is everywhere, numbers even an English teacher can’t ignore. Newton, Natick, Nee… I am allowed to say Needham, yes? …that has to be two thousand high school graduates right there, give or take, and that’s just the neighborhood Ns. Across the country no fewer than 3.2 million seniors are graduating about now from more than 37,000 high schools. That’s 37,000 valedictorians… 37,000 class presidents… 92,000 harmonizing altos… 340,000 swaggering jocks… 2,185,967 pairs of Uggs. But why limit ourselves to high school? After all, you’re leaving it. So think about this: even if you’re one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you. Imagine standing somewhere over there on Washington Street on Marathon Monday and watching sixty-eight hundred yous go running by. And consider for a moment the bigger picture: your planet, I’ll remind you, is not the center of its solar system, your solar system is not the center of its galaxy, your galaxy is not the center of the universe. In fact, astrophysicists assure us the universe has no center; therefore, you cannot be it. Neither can Donald Trump… which someone should tell him… although that hair is quite a phenomenon.

“But, Dave,” you cry, “Walt Whitman tells me I’m my own version of perfection! Epictetus tells me I have the spark of Zeus!” And I don’t disagree. So that makes 6.8 billion examples of perfection, 6.8 billion sparks of Zeus. You see, if everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless. In our unspoken but not so subtle Darwinian competition with one another — which springs, I think, from our fear of our own insignificance, a subset of our dread of mortality — we have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement. We have come to see them as the point — and we’re happy to compromise standards, or ignore reality, if we suspect that’s the quickest way, or only way, to have something to put on the mantelpiece, something to pose with, crow about, something with which to leverage ourselves into a better spot on the social totem pole. No longer is it how you play the game, no longer is it even whether you win or lose, or learn or grow, or enjoy yourself doing it… Now it’s “So what does this get me?”

As a consequence, we cheapen worthy endeavors, and building a Guatemalan medical clinic becomes more about the application to Bowdoin than the well-being of Guatemalans. It’s an epidemic — and in its way, not even dear old Wellesley High is immune… one of the best of the 37,000 nationwide, Wellesley High School… where good is no longer good enough, where a B is the new C, and the midlevel curriculum is called Advanced College Placement. And I hope you caught me when I said “one of the best.” I said “one of the best” so we can feel better about ourselves, so we can bask in a little easy distinction, however vague and unverifiable, and count ourselves among the elite, whoever they might be, and enjoy a perceived leg up on the perceived competition. But the phrase defies logic. By definition there can be only one best. You’re it or you’re not.

If you’ve learned anything in your years here I hope it’s that education should be for, rather than material advantage, the exhilaration of learning. You’ve learned, too, I hope, as Sophocles assured us, that wisdom is the chief element of happiness. (Second is ice cream… just an fyi) I also hope you’ve learned enough to recognize how little you know… how little you know now… at the moment… for today is just the beginning. It’s where you go from here that matters.

As you commence, then, and before you scatter to the winds, I urge you to do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance. Don’t bother with work you don’t believe in any more than you would a spouse you’re not crazy about, lest you too find yourself on the wrong side of a Baltimore Orioles comparison. Resist the easy comforts of complacency, the specious glitter of materialism, the narcotic paralysis of self-satisfaction. Be worthy of your advantages. And read… read all the time… read as a matter of principle, as a matter of self-respect. Read as a nourishing staple of life. Develop and protect a moral sensibility and demonstrate the character to apply it. Dream big. Work hard. Think for yourself. Love everything you love, everyone you love, with all your might. And do so, please, with a sense of urgency, for every tick of the clock subtracts from fewer and fewer; and as surely as there are commencements there are cessations, and you’ll be in no condition to enjoy the ceremony attendant to that eventuality no matter how delightful the afternoon.

The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer. You’ll note the founding fathers took pains to secure your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness–quite an active verb, “pursuit”–which leaves, I should think, little time for lying around watching parrots rollerskate on YouTube. The first President Roosevelt, the old rough rider, advocated the strenuous life. Mr. Thoreau wanted to drive life into a corner, to live deep and suck out all the marrow. The poet Mary Oliver tells us to row, row into the swirl and roil. Locally, someone… I forget who… from time to time encourages young scholars to carpe the heck out of the diem. The point is the same: get busy, have at it. Don’t wait for inspiration or passion to find you. Get up, get out, explore, find it yourself, and grab hold with both hands. (Now, before you dash off and get your YOLO tattoo, let me point out the illogic of that trendy little expression–because you can and should live not merely once, but every day of your life. Rather than You Only Live Once, it should be You Live Only Once… but because YLOO doesn’t have the same ring, we shrug and decide it doesn’t matter.)

None of this day-seizing, though, this YLOOing, should be interpreted as license for self-indulgence. Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying byproduct. It’s what happens when you’re thinking about more important things. Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. Go to Paris to be in Paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly. Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion–and those who will follow them. And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special.

Because everyone is.

Congratulations. Good luck. Make for yourselves, please, for your sake and for ours, extraordinary lives.

 

Mental Fitness Challenge (MFC): Challenge Yourself!

What is the Mental Fitness Challenge?

I was in the middle of my run yesterday and fighting to stay at it. If you’ve worked out much at all, you know what I’m talking about. You hit that point where your heart is beating, your sweat is flowing, your lungs are working, your legs are throbbing, and you just want to quit. It’s as if a little voice in your head says, “Go ahead, wimp out, slow down, stop, no one will know. What difference does it make, anyway? Just a few less steps here or there aren’t going to make THAT big of a difference in your health!” And on it goes.
To me, physical exercise is one of the best analogies for living life well. To be fit physically requires discipline, mental toughness, commitment, and persistence – in short, all the things that are required for living an excellent life, as well. Being healthy requires the ability to challenge yourself. And so does being successful in any category in life. And really, it’s at that sticking point, when you want to quit, when that little voice tries to talk you into wimping out, that your mental toughness must kick in and rescue you. As Orrin Woodward likes to repeat the famous phrase, “When the going gets tough the tough get going!”

This is what the Mental Fitness Challenge is designed to do to your whole life. Not just in the area of physical fitness, to which it most certainly applies, but also to every aspect of your life. The principles of successful living are the same no matter which category we care to consider.

How good are you at challenging yourself?

Perhaps the Mental Fitness Challenge is just what you need to give yourself the staying power to once-and-for-all develop healthy, happy, successful principles for life.

As Orrin Woodward says, “We don’t promise easy, but we DO promise worth it!”

Enjoy! And don’t forget to Challenge yourself!!!

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

The Mental Fitness Challenge

Living the Life You've Always Wanted

The Mental Fitness Challenge: We’ve all heard about physical fitness programs since time immemorial. Nearly everyone has a product or program designed to help people get and maintain their fitness. Some of these are quite excellent. However, our physical condition is subservient to our mental condition. In other words, in life, to get and stay physically fit, one must ultimately become mentally fit. This applies in all the categories in which we live out our lives, such as finances, relationships, and the like. If we are not thinking correctly in these areas, aka “mentally fit,” then we will not have any real sustainable fitness in those areas.

Enter the Mental Fitness Challenge. Designed around the 13 resolutions put forth in Orrin Woodward’s best selling book, RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, the Mental Fitness Program helps people live the life they’ve always wanted to live. This is accomplished the way adults learn and grow – not through expensive conferences in tropical locations, or danger simulations and artificial adventures, or even high-priced concert/seminars with public figures – but rather through small, incremental, daily steps implemented according to timeless principles, as explained in Orrin’s book.  After all, it’s the formation of new habits that brings lasting change, and this begins with exercising the mind and becoming mentally fit.

Just as a physical diet requires the elimination of bad foods and the increasing of the consumption of nutritious foods, so too does a mental fitness diet. With the Mental Fitness Challenge, participants are encouraged to begin bringing in small, daily doses of mentally nutritious information.  At the same time, participants are encouraged to eliminate much of the bad information, or “junk food for the mind” that is often so thoughtlessly allow in.

Additionally, when learning something new, it is helpful to set goals, track progress, and receive encouragement from others.  All this and more is structured into the process of the Mental Fitness Challenge. To begin, participants will be able to take a Self Assessment Test, in which they will establish a baseline for their life in each of the 13 resolutions. Also, if desired, 360 degree feedback can also be obtained through the same test, in which others can take the test on the participant’s behalf and have their opinion anonymously displayed.

There are many other features of the Mental Fitness Challenge, including audio, reading, and video training. More details can be found here.

The Mental Fitness Challenge: Challenge yourself to live the life you’ve always wanted!

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

P.S. If you’ve already begun taking the Mental Fitness Challenge, give us your impressions here! We’d love to hear from you!

Life Compensation Plan

When the LIFE company was established, one of the primary goals of its founders was to accomplish something in the area of compensation that hadn’t been done before. The heart behind this was to offer financial rewards that would truly be based upon performance.  But there was more.  It was also desired to put a heavy emphasis on revenue sharing with the field – this is “corporate speak” for not letting the company keep most of the profits.  While many (but certainly not all!) pay plans appear to be at least somewhat fair in terms of how the money is split amongst participants in the field, what often is NOT fair is how much money finds it way back to the corporation. The result is a subtle but real conflict of interest between the company and its field operators.  Therefore, right off the bat, LIFE designed its financial plan in such a way that most of its profits flow to the people who are actually doing the work to make the revenue happen in the first place. Right out of the gate, the percentage of gross revenue paid back to the field in commissions was structured to be in the (estimated) 65+% range.  This, as far as we know, is an industry high. Then, after just two months in business, LIFE announced its One Time Cash Award program, which put even more money into the field. It is still too soon to know the exact figures (as some of the qualification periods for these rewards don’t end until the end of 2012), but we believe this will put the percentage at something approaching 70%.

How can this be done? How can a group of founders establish a company on such lean terms? The answer comes from the strong belief that the best leadership for this type of company can be provided by those who are actually doing what they are teaching and expecting others to do.  THIS, as far as we know, has never been done before: corporate founders who deliberately establish the financial incentives in such a way as to keep themselves in the game, out in the trenches, and thereby providing the means by which most of the profits flow to the field.

And now there’s more.  On April 27th, at the Spring Leadership Convention in Columbus, Ohio, LIFE will announce  an additional incentive program representing even more new money being put into the compensation program. This will be a reward package that will be attractive to new participants and attainable early in their experience with the business – in other words, something they can qualify for in the near-term, not “someday.”

All of this, in the LIFE compensation plan, is in addition to LIFE’s groundbreaking position between the four industries of Personal Development, Home-based Businesses, Life coaching, and Community building, and takes advantage of LIFE’s high-value position in the market of personal development materials, wherein its products are among the lowest priced in the marketplace (in some cases hundreds of percent cheaper than its competition).  And, don’t forget, all of LIFE’s products are backed with a 30 day money back guarantee.

When LIFE founder Orrin Woodward says, “We don’t promise easy, but we do promise worth it!” the LIFE founders have done their best to structure a compensation plan and reward system that shows his statement to be much more than mere rhetoric.

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

LIFE Off to a Fast Start

On November 1, 2011, the LIFE business was launched into a niche between four major trends.  Those trends are 1) Home-based Businesses, 2) Life Coaching, 3) Personal Development, and 4) Community. In an article posted yesterday, LIFE founder Orrin Woodward delineated the ways in which the LIFE business is fulfilling the objectives that were set for it.  You see, there are good and bad parts to each of those four trends when considered by themselves.  What the founders of LIFE wanted to do was to take the best of each and combine them together, leaving the worst of each behind.  So far, this model has proven to be a good one, and the results speak for themselves.  Consider the following points taken from Orrin’s article:

5. The LIFE Business Compensation Plan is rewarding people at unprecedented levels. With 95% of the people receiving a check monthly, LIFE is fair, equitable, and affordable to even the most strained of pocketbooks. LIFE is about receiving an opportunity, not a handout. One must work to win at anything, but the goal of the LIFE founders was to ensure that real work receives real rewards quickly.

6. LIFE is rapidly closing in on 4,000 customers! That’s 4,000 people choosing to purchase LIFE materials with no thought of further compensation. The LIFE founders studied the industry and refused to move forward unless they had a product that was in demand at the retail price in the marketplace. With almost a 1,000 new customers a month, I think the task was accomplished.

There is something right about a company that offers a legitimate opportunity for financial advancement.  There is something right about a company that has a low cost of entry, pays strictly upon performance, and allows people to pursue their dreams together.  And the list goes on.  People are coming to grips with the fact that LIFE is something new, that it truly is a “fix” for the disadvantageous parts of each of the four trends listed above, and that it is a real chance for them to experience success in multiple areas of their lives.

However: LIFE is not for those who want a guaranteed existence, an easy paycheck, or a special deal.  It is also not for those who assume they already know everything, have no need for personal growth and improvement, and think they are just fine the way they are.  LIFE is for those who have a burning desire inside to achieve, to advance, to contribute, to become their best, and to make a difference.  As Orrin Woodward says, “We don’t promise easy.  But we DO promise ‘worth it!'” In just its first five months, LIFE has already proven that to be true!

LIFE’s Financial Information

There is nothing quite like financial pressure. It has the ability to impact nearly every moment of our days. Some people are so terrorized by their money problems they develop health challenges or see relationships strained or destroyed. It’s sad, but especially in an economy like this one, it’s not that uncommon.

Financial education and intelligence can help. One of the biggest shocks to most people is that “more money” is not always the answer. In fact, I have seen people who have terrible financial situations come into some money and simply make an even bigger mess than before.  More money didn’t help them at all, but instead became a megaphone to demonstrate how bad they were at handling money in the first place.

This is where the LIFE materials come in.  Sure, there is a business aspect to LIFE wherein people can own and operate their own business and make “more,” but this “more” won’t help unless better money management is also learned.  The highly popular “Maximize Your Finances” pack is the flagship of the products aimed at increasing financial literacy and understanding. It contains a book and four CDs that go straight to the heart of financial problems and how to eliminate them. Another helpful product, which takes a look at finances from a loftier perch, is the “Today’s Economy and Your Money” pack, featuring four CDs that cover everything from inflation to national deficits.  These materials are the result of years of experience by several business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, and authors (Orrin Woodward, Claude Hamilton, Tim Marks, and George S. Clayson, to name a few). More important than the credentials of the speakers/writers are the results this information has produced in the lives of people. Just last week I was in conversation with a man who told me he and his wife had gotten completely out of debt by following the budget guidelines from the “Maximize Your Finances” pack. While no one can make any promises, it seems pretty obvious that better information, when properly applied, leads to better results.

I am not belittling the hardship of a job loss, injury, or other type of financial calamity. But we are all forced to face our circumstances as they are. We can’t do anything about the past, but we CAN do something about the future. Armed with better information, paired with discipline and grit, it is possible to win financially, and in many cases, it begins with the right information.

Completing the First Month of LIFE

LIFE Business First MonthI remember thinking that people who got involved in home-based, word-of-mouth businesses were dupes.  They were using the false promises of a fake business to fill an empty void of underachievement in their lives.  They weren’t in a “real” business, I thought, they were merely deluding themselves.

Then, because of the personal credibility of an old acquaintance, Orrin Woodward, I eventually got involved myself.  I was full of hopes and aspirations, sure that I had been wrong before about my predispositions about the industry. But over time I discovered that many of my negative ideas had been correct.  There were certainly some great aspects to the networking profession, but there were also many, many things that needed to be fixed.

On November 1st of 2011 the LIFE business launched, in large part to address those “things” Orrin Woodward and I (and many others, including Tim Marks, Claude Hamilton, Bill Lewis, George Guzzardo, and Dan Hawkins) felt deep in our hearts had to be changed.  In short, we wanted to address the concerns we had about the industry by launching a company that would seek as its highest ideal the fulfillment of the potential inherent in the concept, without any of the baggage of meagre pay plans, corporate “breakages,” and an outrageous “effort to reward” ratio.

Today, December 20, 2011, the first round of monthly bonus payments went out to LIFE members across North America, just in time for the holidays.  Thousands and thousands of people are making money and finding themselves profitable in their first month in business.  I guess this means that it’s not a “real” business, after all, because that could almost never happen in a conventional setting, with overhead and employees and rent and fixtures and the like.  But it is a “real” chance, and we are delighted to have the first month under our belts.  We congratulate those of you who have already joined us on this journey and commend your efforts so far.  This first month and the payment of bonuses to members represents the completion of one little circle on the way to the overall dream.  And it is just the beginning!

The Goal of LIFE: Making a Difference in a Different Way

LIFE Entrepreneur

It's My LIFE!

When Orrin Woodward first introduced me to the world of word-of-mouth marketing almost two decades ago, I was skeptical, to say the least. In my very uninformed opinion at the time, I had the impression that networking wasn’t a “real” business, that people who were involved were never going to be successful,  that someone was ripping someone else off, and that it was a place to go for those who couldn’t “make it” anywhere else. With this predisposition and negative bias, it seems nearly impossible that Orrin got me involved.  First of all, the fact that he won me over speaks to the esteem with which I held (and still do) Orrin and the belief I had in his ability to follow through on his commitments. It also proves the power of information to change a mind. I was determined not to get involved, but the pull of the truth was too strong.  As I investigated I found out just how much I didn’t know about the possibilities.  What I discovered was that people were making money, there was a way to help others with the types of programs being offered, and they were indeed legitimate.

But that was the good side.

What I also discovered over the years was that although I had been largely wrong in my original negative opinions, unfortunately, I had also been correct. There are networks out there that aren’t legitimate, there are organizations that exist merely to fleece its participants, and sadly there are groups of people being deluded into thinking they’re going to make it financially in a situation in which the game is stacked against them. It was these ugly truths that drove Orrin to say to me one day nearly 14 years ago, “We’ll fix anything like that we come up against! No matter what it takes or costs!”

To this Orrin Woodward has been true. Our story (along with many other leaders of very strong character and caliber such as Tim Marks, Bill Lewis, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton, Dan Hawkins, and thousands of others), has been one of overcoming obstacles on the route to making this concept what it can and should be. Don’t get me wrong – there are a lot of great companies and great groups out there. But this industry still has a portion that can best be analogized to the “Wild West” where guns are slinging and bullets are flying and only the quickest on the draw survive.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Our goal in launching LIFE was to establish a Whole New Industry by finding the space between trends.  Namely, we would combine the categories of 1) Community Building, 2) Personal Development, 3) Life Coaching, and 4) Networking into a unique blend never before attempted.  We would do so by keeping the good and leaving out the bad inherent in each of these four areas. The overall goal would be to offer a business better than we could have dreamed of so many years ago when we were just starting out.

This would mean that such a business would have to eliminate many of the problems common with the standard fare in each of these four categories.  Our goal would be to maximize the number of people prospering and the difference made in people’s lives.  Instead of trying to make a fortune we’d focus on trying to make a difference.  There would be no private perks or hidden benefits, no tilting of the scales or breakages back to the company. In fact, as we had always done, the founders were responsible for every bit of travel and lodging expense for our board meetings and would receive not a nickel of consideration for their service. These types of expenses would never be covered by money taken from the field, but would be paid for out of the pocket of the board member himself as an investment back into his own business. We had seen too much of the opposite in other scenarios where people make a living serving on boards and committees (where compensations for such “services” could run into six figures annually) instead of earning their lifestyle fighting alongside the leaders in the field.  We also wanted a pay plan that went beyond fair, with as much compensation as possible returned to the field to inspire future growth and reward the performers responsible for making it all happen. And we wanted to build it all around a product that couldn’t be commoditized by copycat parasite marketers with no concern for customer quality or longevity. Also, we wanted to come in as a low cost supplier, undercutting what appears to be a trend among personal development companies to charge higher and higher prices as their popularity grows.  Concerned with lasting change, we wanted a subscription program that would provide little bites over time, not enormous, expensive, “drinking through a fire hose” type programs designed to bring in a bunch of up-front money no matter the effectiveness of the training.  We are convinced that small, correct steps, taken consistently over time, are much more affordable and effective for transforming lives.

Orrin Woodward was right when he told me so many years ago that there was a lot of opportunity in personal business ownership.  He was also right when he told me we would need to fix some things. He has been true to his word every step of the way. And with the launching of LIFE, it’s time to make a difference in a whole different way!

 

LIFE Changing Information

LIFE Business Information

LIFE-changing information

I was only a few years out of grad school and a year into my marriage when I got into business with co-worker Orrin Woodward. From the very beginning of our entrepreneurial adventure together Orrin was enthusiastic about getting personal improvement information into my hands. He began with the book Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David Schwartz and followed that up with a constant barrage of audio recordings and additional books.  I couldn’t have known it at the time, but this was the beginning of my real education; a self-directed learning hunger that would carry me for the next two decades. In fact, nearly everything I’ve been blessed to accomplish in that time is in some way due to the learning and growth engendered by the habit of ongoing learning inspired by those first exposures to personal development information.  Thank you Orrin!

The LIFE business is now one month old. It exists to bring the exact kind of information that was so critical in my own formation into the hands of others. It follows a program whereby busy adults in the modern world can learn and grow and change in the most low-drag, friction-free manner. While much of what exists out there in the training world involves expensive conferences, a “drinking through a fire hose” approach, and a massive strain on budgets (and usually culminates in the employee heading back to work with a thick binder under her arm that, at best, will end up in the credenza of her desk), the LIFE learning programs operate on the principle of “a little-at-a-time,” thereby respecting the busy schedules and distracted lives most of us lead. Additionally, though, we also know that for true change to take place (and to last), it must be reinforced over time.  Baby steps of improvement taken consistently over time are the secret to massive advancement in station – not expensive one-time deluges.

LIFE is in the business of producing life-changing information, and we know it works because it first worked for us!

Revolutionize your life! Take the leadership challenge! Plug into a positive source of information and be prepared to be amazed at the changes you see in yourself and your results in LIFE.

Welcome to the LIFE you’ve always wanted!