Tag Archives: Orrin Woodward

Life Leadership Scam and the Leadership Train

Is Life Leadership a Scam?

Have you ever seen the movie Revenge of the Nerds? It’s an oldie but a goodie. Actually, I can’t really say that, as I haven’t seen it since I was a wee teen.  However, the premise, that the nerds outsmart their good-looking, athletic, popular, jock counterparts has really come to fruition in our times.

For instance, have you ever realized that those geeky bespectacled kids you used to push around at the bus stop are the ones responsible for terms like “iOS8” and  “PDF” being part of our normal vernacular? Or that we are all now living under the tyranny of baud rates and hyper text markup language? It’s as if they all got together and decided to get revenge on those of us who are too impatient and too, well, un-geeky to care about ones and zeros.  WE JUST WANT OUR STUPID PHONES TO WORK!!!!

Ah hem.  Anyway, there seems to be no end to what the nerds will come up with next.  Take the latest round of web address suffixes.  As if getting used to .com and .net and .org and .gov and .edu wasn’t enough, some hyper-smart geek got the notion that if those “web properties” (there they go again!) were so valuable, why not create like, I don’t know, 1700 more!  And just like that, we’ve got a whole bunch of new cyber real estate to pay for.  Suffixes such as .hello, .tattoo, and .plumbing may even make a little bit of sense.  But one is left wondering just how far this will go?  How many new suffixes could possibly be introduced over time? The answer? A limitless amount!

Some of the more troublesome ones, however, are the curious ones such as .scam and .sucks. Wow. Really? Are there that many people and entities out there being paraded through the mud?  With just a few key strokes and a handy-dandy search engine, one can quickly confirm that yes, Martha, nearly everything is being called a scam online these days.  From the 9-11 attacks to Mother Teresa, and everything in between (and let’s face it, there’s a lot betwixt those two terms), it seems some mole in an hole somewhere is getting his nerdish satisfaction from hurling the term “scam” or “sucks” at it.  So much so, in fact, that one of the many minions in the nerdosphere has seen fit to create a whole suffix just for such purposes.

What a wonderful modern world in which we live!

So, when one asks if Life Leadership is a scam, I guess it should be no surprise!  If they’re questioning Mother Teresa . . . .

Is Network Marketing a Scam?

And, further, if anything and everything gets hit with the scam label, why not an entire profession that’s been around for 150 years? Sure!

So what are the answers to these intellectual questions of infinite profundity?  Glad you asked.  NY Times best selling author and Guinness World Record Holder Orrin Woodward has just released a new book that addresses both of these questions in a most interesting way.  Written as a novella with interesting characters and real life questions about the profession in general and Life Leadership in specific, the book is so much fun that I read it in one sitting! (Others are reporting the same). I believe that the questions as to the validity of the networking industry and Life Leadership‘s key position within it are answered eloquently and thoroughly. Of course, I am also biased, as I’ve enjoyed my time in the industry now for over two decades, and can’t imagine life without the opportunity to Have Fun, Make Money, and Make a Difference (all three in one place).

Is Orrin Woodward a ScaM?

Oh man, will the tough questions never stop?

Sidestepping the obvious rebuttal that a person (reference Mother Teresa above) cannot actually be defined as a “scam,” one has to wonder what drives such slander? Is there possibly such a thing in the nerd world as digital assassins? Could there possibly be those who benefit from tearing down a competitor online from the cowardly comfort of anonymity? Could it be that there are actually paid positions to do so? Let’s face it, if the nerds are capable of capitalizing on a .scam suffix, one is left to conclude that anything could be possible!

But I digress.

What I really want to do is introduce you to Orrin Woodward‘s excellent new book, which I technically already did, but forgot to give you the cool photo of its cover, or the interesting video trailer in which Orrin introduces it.

Enjoy!

(And you nerds? Well, just to let you know, I loaded all this media onto this blog post all by myself! So there.)

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

The-Leadership-Train-Cover

Financial Fitness from Life Leadership

Are You Ready to Get Financially Fit?

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

The information presented on this blog and in any of its videos is for general educational purposes only, and provides information the authors believe to be accurate on the subject matter covered.  It is presented here with the understanding that neither the authors nor the publisher are providing advice for any particular portfolio or for any individual’s particular situation, or rendering investment advice or other professional services such as legal or accounting advice.  If expert advice in areas that include investment, legal, and accounting are needed, please seek a competent professional’s services.

This publication may make reference to performance data collected over various periods of time.  Remember that past results do not guarantee future performance.  Performance data, as well as laws and regulations, change over time, which could affect the applicability of the information presented on this blog and its videos.  Any data presented herein is used merely to illustrate the underlying principles.

This blog and its videos are not to serve as the basis for any financial decision or as a recommendation of any specific investment.

No warranty is made with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, and both the authors and the publisher specifically disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this blog and its videos.

Orrin Woodward Forbes – Facts

Forbes Magazine Article – Orrin Woodward

“All the papers that matter live off their advertisements, and the advertisers exercise an indirect censorship over news.” ― George Orwell, Why I Write

Forbes Magazine has been a respected source for business news for decades. As a widely respected publication, it has produced consistently excellent articles on business, investing, and leadership, and I have been a reader since my college years. However, even the best sometimes get it wrong. For instance, the 2008 article featuring Orrin Woodward and Network Marketing is an inexplicable outlier from the publication’s usual journalistic standards. There is so much wrong with the piece I almost didn’t know where to begin. If you’ve ever had the opportunity of being on the inside of a news story, and felt the befuddlement of comparing your experience to what was actually reported, you’ll know how I feel. The following is my briefest attempt to clean up the startling inconsistencies and omissions.

Orrin Woodward Forbes Facts

  • At the time of the article, Orrin Woodward was in a major legal dispute with Amway/Quixtar. Somehow, this important fact was not mentioned.
  • At the same time, Amway was funding a major advertising campaign in Forbes (no links online, but see 2008 Forbes Magazine for Amway ads).
  • Some of Amway’s principals were supporters of Steve Forbes and his political aspirations. (Click here)
  • Forbes figures have been in public support of Amway (Rich Karlsgaad, Forbes Editor in Chief, appears in an Amway promotional video three different times (Click here))
  • Newer, small companies such as Orrin’s at the time (approximately $42 million in gross annual revenue) typically do not merit attention from Forbes, which generally reports on the world’s largest and most influential firms.
  • At roughly the same time as this article appeared, Newsweek wrote a similarly negative piece on MonaVie founder and President, Dallin Larsen, even though Larsen was a year away from winning the Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award (Click here). Orrin Woodward had just partnered with MonaVie, and Amway/Quixtar had promptly launched litigation against MonaVie.
  • Amway also had a major advertising campaign in Newsweek(Click here)
  • Neither of these publications ever featured Orrin or Dallin before the legal dispute, nor have there been any after its settlement.
  • Although the Forbes journalist admitted she had never heard of John Maxwell (#1 world renowned leadership expert (Click here)), Pastor Bill Hybels (the pastor of the largest church in her city (Click here)), and had no experience with Network Marketing (Click here), she wrote an article on leadership practices, Christian teachings, and Network Marketing.
  • Of all the people the journalist interviewed for the article (Orrin gave her complete access to everyone in his organization), the only person she quoted from her many interviews (other than Orrin himself and one guy standing in line to attend a meeting), was the negative husband of a woman in Orrin’s team that had never attended a single event, nor participated in any way. In contrast, not one of the many positive people interviewed were even mentioned.
  • When Orrin invited the journalist to his company’s international convention, offering her full back-stage access to everything and everyone, she politely declined because she had purchased tickets to attend a Willie Nelson concert instead.
  • The journalist referred to Network Marketing as “pyramid selling schemes,” proceeded to give a very incorrect description of how they supposedly function, and then wrote, “sounds like a chain letter, doesn’t it?”, even though networking companies operate legally in all 50 states every business day.  AND Forbes itself has done many positive (or at least professionally balanced) articles on the industry, as recently as last month (Click here).
  • The journalist stated that as a result of Orrin Woodward’s split with Amway, his “tools” business sales “plummeted.” This wasn’t the case. She had been given the actual sales data showing that sales increased after Orrin’s departure from Amway/Quixtar.
  • The journalist also stated that Orrin’s exit from Amway/Quixtar “left Woodward with motivational tools but no product to motivate people to sell.”  This is also false. Orrin’s leadership material was on the NY Times bestseller list (another fact not mentioned in the article (Click here) ). Companies were buying it to train their employees, professional athletes were reading it and talking about it in major publications (Click here), and churches were listing it in their annual suggested reading lists (Click here).  Orrin’s informational products did not need to be associated with any networking company’s products in order to be valued in the marketplace. In fact, this is exactly what a Michigan judge concluded when he ruled to allow Orrin’s company to continue to function even though it had severed  its association with Amway/Quixtar.

Orrin Woodward Since the Forbes Article

  • Since departing from Amway/Quixtar, and after a brief time of partnering with MonaVie, Orrin Woodward and several of his partners launched a company called Life Leadership to provide personal and leadership development materials to individuals and organizations.
  • Life Leadership products have consistently won industry awards for design and quality (Click here, and here, and here).
  • Life Leadership has attracted customers in widely varying industries and applications that don’t have anything to do with Network Marketing (Click here).
  • Orrin Woodward’s works continue to win awards and recognition (Click here, and here and here and here).
  • In 2011, Orrin Woodward was awarded the Kettering University Entrepreneurial Achievement Award
  • In 2014, Orrin Woodward was named to the Inc. Magazine Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts list (Click here).
  • Also in 2014, Orrin Woodward set an official Guinness World Record with the most book signings of his latest best selling new book, And Justice for All: The Quest for Concord. (Click here)

3 Lessons for Developing a World Class Organization

Life Leadership

Orrin Woodward Sets New Guinness Record

Life Leadership and Orrin Woodward

I don’t know if you’re like me, but as a kid growing up I was mesmerized with The Guinness Book of World Records. The whole concept of setting a “World Record” was fascinating, and so were those women with the really long nails or that guy who was eleven foot tall. I remember laughing at all the obscure records and categories, and wondered who would be crazy enough to do most of those things.

GuinnessThen a friend of mine (who shall, for the time being, remain anonymous. Let’s just call him some guy (spelled Sum Gui)) suggested that for a promotional idea for the release of Orrin Woodward‘s new book, And Justice for All: The Quest for Concord, that he (Orrin, not Sum Gui) should break the record for the number of books signed in one sitting. As soon as he made the recommendation, all my childhood memories of looking through friends’ Guinness books came flooding back to me. My initial reaction was, “Is that stuff real?” But then, having lived a few years here and there, I realized that, of course, it was real, and quickly deduced that there must be a real company somewhere that kept track of these things and made sure they were “official.”

Realizing that Sum Gui had come up with a really good idea, we quickly found out that the previous record was held by a guy (different guy from Sum Gui) named Sammy Lee from China, who signed 4,649 books in January of 2013. We also learned that, yes, in fact, Guinness had a process for all this, and you could get the services of their “adjudicator” to bless the proceedings and declare them official (assuming that you did, in fact, set a new record).

All it would take was thousands of people, a book to sign, and a signer willing to subject himself to the grueling marathon of signing book after book for hours on end.

Orrin Woodward would be perfect!

All we’d have to do is make sure he felt sufficiently challenged, and then, as everyone who knows him knows, there would be no way he would quit until victorious. So we promptly told him about our idea, that it would be a fun way to launch his new book, and that we were quite sure he could never do it (this works in basketball, too, if you ever happen to play against him. Just trash talk him a bit and you’re toast). So voila! We had ourselves an “Official Guinness Record Attempt!”

And would you believe it? Orrin broke the record without taking even one of his allotted five minute breaks, and he did it in less than half the time of the previous record holder! But that wasn’t the end. Orrin continued on until he had not only broken the record, but shattered it! The final official count was 6,786 books!

Congratulations Orrin Woodward, Obstacles Press, and Life Leadership! What a great, fun victory! And thanks to everyone who participated and now has a coffee table book like no other!

Now, if I could only think of some kind of record to break . . . maybe I’ll start growing my nails . . . .

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

Italypic

LIFE Leadership Scam

carpetIs Life Leadership a Scam?

I posted the following article on our Life Leadership Forums page, and it received so much traffic I thought it appropriate to also post it here as well.  The purpose is to help people understand the difference between knee-jerk reaction to information that is not credible, and what is actually available as a viable business.

I remember when I was first exposed to this profession, I was quite certain that it was, in fact, a scam.  Or, at the very least, that it was a haven for the misinformed, mindless lemmings to pacify themselves that they were going to be rich someday, when in actuality they would never accomplish anything.  I was quite certain of my opinions, too.  Confident in my ignorance, was I.

However, there was also a time in my life when I was quite certain that girls had “Cooties,” a belief that was happily dispelled for me when I met a certain girl named Kendall in 7th grade.  The point is that there is no crime in having incorrect beliefs and conclusions about things, but it is not okay, and heck, may even look a little silly, if we never gain new information and move beyond those false conclusions.

Introduction

All meaningful companies have a history born of an attempt to right a wrong, serve some great purpose, and hopefully help its stakeholders (shareholders, employees, and customers) prosper.  This usually arises out of a situation in which those who launch the company fight for something they believe in (such as Sam Walton trying to help poorer Americans with his “Low Prices Every Day,” Twitter being a way people could communicate what they were doing and thereby feel a little “less lonely,” and Steve Jobs making technology usable and cool, to name a few examples).

In the case of the LIFE business, we felt that a significant opportunity existed in the space between four major trends (a. Home-based businesses, b. Community building, c. Life coaching, and d. Personal development), out of which participants could not only offer an extremely important service to customers (personal growth, self betterment, and living the life they’d always wanted) but could also operate a profitable, personally owned business while doing so.

Opportunity Between Trends

In our opinion, there were things about each of these industries that needed improving, and therein lay our opportunity.  Our goal was to establish a business in the space between these four trends, making a new combination that took the best of each trend while casting away the not-so-good portions.  Here is what we thought we could improve:

1.     Home-based businesses: the dominant force for this over the years had been “networking” or multi-level-marketing (MLM).  But the pay plans had not usually been lucrative enough to make participants in the field much money, and the cost of operation could creep to high levels by overpriced training systems, which brought little results.

2.     Community building: is really more of a sociological phenomenon than an industry or trend.  Still, the mania of connecting socially through electronic means of communication (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) indicates the deep human need for real relationships.  Someone needed to come along and provide a “high-touch” to go along with the “high-tech.”

3.     Life coaching: the very concept of obtaining a coach to point out one’s strengths and offer constructive inputs for improvement is sound.  However, much of the infantile life coaching industry (if it can yet be called that) is filled with people who are giving advice but have no results in life themselves from which to give it.

4.     Personal Development: This has sometimes been called leadership development, self-help, or a rash of other terms, but the overall approach is to share life enhancing principles and techniques to people who are committed to betterment and achievement.  There are some great individuals and companies who have provided excellent content for years, but much of what is out there is extremely overpriced, and unfortunately, some is just plain worthless.

Enter the Antagonists 

Opposed to our revolutionizing the industry is, of course, anyone who wants things to stay as they are in any of the above four trends.  As the saying goes, “When you set out to change the world, you’d better beware of those who already run it!” This includes entrenched competitors and those who work for them or prosper by their position, who are, as is only natural, threatened by what we are attempting to achieve.  What results is the most natural situation in which two different sides are battling it out in the marketplace for proof that their way of doing things is best.  As is so wonderful in the capitalistic system (as Orrin Woodward has written about often) the customer gets to decide.  We respect our competitors of all stripes and sizes and look forward to the challenge they provide on the playing field of free enterprise!

What LIFE Offers to Customers

In this spirit, here is what we at LIFE Leadership are offering the customer:

1.     World-class products with proven worth in the marketplace.  In other words, our information, principles, and techniques really do help people improve their lives. (click here)   As we like to say, our product is “Life changing information.”

2.     A 30 day money back guarantee for any LIFE product if the customer is not completely satisfied (click here)

3.     High value, low cost pricing that is extremely competitive and usually below everyone reputable we know of in the marketplace

4.     Award winning content providers from the fields of leadership, financial management, relationship building, and team building (contributors include NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today best selling authors, US patent holders, decorated public speakers, internationally recognized consultants, etc.) (click here)

What LIFE Leadership Offers to Members

And here is what LIFE Leadership offers those who join and become “members,” thereby making themselves eligible for compensation for moving LIFE Leadership products to customers and building groups of others who do the same:

1.     An extremely aggressive compensation plan that pays approximately 70% of total “point value” revenue back out to the members in the field.  We know of no other pay plan that even comes close. (see attached “Comp Plan” PDF below)

2.     Glamorous paid trips (see the same PDF below) to exotic locations for early achievement in the pay plan.  People can qualify for these trips within just a little past their first year of participation.  We know of no other opportunity providing this type of incentive this early in one’s time in the business.

3.     An optional world-class marketing system including mobile apps, a web based back office, branded emails, personal home pages, voice messaging system, and an audio training Internet radio.

4.     Some of the most affordable, most effective training available in the form of live events, audios, videos, downloads, streamed events, books, and ebooks.

5.     An electronic office that tracks all the member’s business activities, automatic deposit of earned bonuses on a monthly basis, and One Time Cash Awards for new levels of achievement.

The Reaction of the Antagonists

In the meantime, those who want to protect the status quo, for whatever motivation, behave by throwing stones, misappropriating the truth, mounting smear campaigns, and nearly anything else you can think of in the book of unfair play.  Not to worry, however, because we are not bothered by it.  We understand competition, preach it everywhere we go, and know that name calling, bashing, spreading false negatives, and the like are nothing more than what’s expected in war (as the marketplace certainly is)!  We would wish it to be gentlemanly and accurate, but know that in this world that would never be the case.  Heck, even Mother Teresa was violently criticized throughout her life!

LIFE Leadership’s Vision

Our vision is to build Life Leadership to the point where it is the world’s number one provider of leadership services and personal development.  On top of that, we want the Life Members who are responsible for moving our products into the world to be the most thrilled and best-compensated entrepreneurs in our entire industry.  In fact, we intend to redefine the impression people have of our profession altogether, one jubilant customer at a time!  We may not be perfect (and as long as I’m involved, certainly never will be!) but are striving mightily for higher levels of excellence every day.

It’s time to spread the word and help people live the lives they’ve always wanted!

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  Someone really should give you a big fat hug. Or a sloppy dog-slobber kind of kiss, or at least a candy bar, because candy bars are cool.

Have a great day!

Chris Brady

LIFE Leadership Creative Director and CEO

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LIFE Leadership in 2014

LIFE Leadership Matters

The LIFE Leadership company has just completed its second full calendar year, and again, we are very pleased with our growth and expanding impact. We have again experienced double digit growth (the exact numbers will be reported soon by the office) and reached into new markets. As always, our focus is not merely on helping people succeed, but in helping them matter. It is no secret that my favorite quote is one attributed to the famous preacher and evangelist D.L. Moody, “Our greatest fear should not be that we won’t succeed, but that we will succeed at something that doesn’t matter.”  Every time I read that sentence I am refocused and recommitted to making sure that everything we do helps people transcend success and focus much more importantly upon significance.

Life Leadership Dreams Big but Focuses Small

In one way, this could really just be a bunch of words. But for those of us who labor behind the scenes, this desire to matter, to truly make a difference, is a driving factor in our work. Someone once asked me when I was going to stop working so hard. I am always surprised at this type of inquiry, as what I do doesn’t seem like work. In fact, when you love what you do, and when you see every day that what you do really matters in the lives of people, you can’t help but work! In fact, your work becomes the most fun fun there is! For me, the point isn’t to get more time off, but to get more of my time to be on, on the mark, that is. Meaning, I want more and more of my time to count, and in the most meaningful ways. When I take time off, it’s only so my time on is even better! (That was the point I was attempting to make in my book, A Month of Italy).

Overall, the way we apply all this high-sounding talk at LIFE Leadership is to dream big, and then focus small.  What that means to me is to keep an enormous, overriding vision of where we can help people go, followed by a strenuous mastery of the details required to make it happen.

My friends and co-founders in this endeavor, Orrin Woodward, Tim Marks, Claude Hamilton, Bill Lewis, George Guzzardo, Dan Hawkins, and Rob Hallstrand are all aligned in common purpose to continue to make LIFE Leadership something that truly helps people lead more meaningful lives.

Life Leadership will continue to improve!

As a result of this tireless labor of love that we are all engaged in, we have several very exciting new things happening in 2014! Among these are international expansion, new product rollouts, a massively increased compensation package, increased One Time Cash Awards, improved data management and “dashboard” designs for field leaders, simplified back office operations, smart phone apps, voice communication systems, and much more!

So hang on tight for an even more exciting year than our first two!

I truly hope you like all that we deliver this year, and that our materials and events enable you to live the life you’ve always wanted!

Remember: It’s not as important to succeed as it is to matter, and you’ll likely accomplish the former by shooting for the latter!

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

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LIFE Leadership is in the Information Business

LIFE Leadership Makes a Difference

People approach me all the time with “great” ideas about products we at the LIFE Leadership company “ought” to carry in our portfolio. These ideas range from the good to the downright wacky. However, none of them need be analyzed on their own merits because none of them fit the key criteria for being offered by LIFE Leadership.

Why?

Because they are not information products.

You see, as Orrin Woodward says, LIFE Leadership is about information, plain and simple. We lead people to truth through a large community of people dedicating to selling life-changing information. This information has saved marriages, improved familial relationships, brought hope, fixed finances, and a host of other meaningful accomplishments in the lives of people.

This is the first most important reason we at the LIFE Leadership company are in the information only business: to make a difference.  None of us is interested in hawking products, foisting commodities into the marketplace, etc.  We are simply not interested in leveraging our personal reputations for products that aren’t primary in improving lives in a deeply meaningful and lasting way. Period.

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LIFE Leadership Can’t Be Commoditized

Almost any product quickly becomes commoditized. What do I mean by this? Simply that any widget, physical product, conventional item, will soon be copied by the competition and improved to the point where what was once at the head of the class is quickly sent to the mid-pack. However, when producing and representing such products to the marketplace, those who well them are forced to push them even though they have slipped from their leadership position and may no longer be the best. Instead, what was once a leader becomes a mere commodity.

This doesn’t happen with the information LIFE Leadership provides and sells.  This is because our content creators cannot be commoditized. There will never be another Orrin Woodward, and we have the only one. Further, not only is his teaching style (and all the other content-creators in our bullpen) unique, it is also improving. As Orrin (and our other leaders) continue to grow, learn, and improve, their teaching gets better and better, remaining the whole time, however, as unique and special as ever. In essence, it can’t be commoditized. So while LIFE Leadership is committed to developing information products that truly change lives in positive and lasting ways, it also by default does so in a way that can’t be commoditized. This means that all the LIFE Members out there who sell our information products never have to worry about representing something that has become commoditized and has fallen from its position of uniqueness in the marketplace.

LIFE Leadership Leads in value while maximizing a pay plan

Finally, the third key reason LIFE Leadership is firmly ensconced in the life changing information product category, is because information products have an enormous margin between the selling price and the cost of manufacture.  In essence, information can be “produced” into a format such as CD, DVD, video stream, live web broadcast, download, or whatever, in a very economical fashion, with very little “cost of goods sold.”  This means that we can both offer our products for a very low price in the marketplace (which we strive mightily to do and are very proud of our low pricing strategy), AND put a nice margin of money into the pay plan to reward the LIFE Members in the field who are selling our products (which includes ourselves, by the way).  In this way, LIFE Leadership currently pays out a little over 70% of gross PV (point value) revenue back into the field – meaning we run the cost of production, administration, customer service, legal representation, overhead, etc. all under 30%.  This payout plan is an industry leader and is extremely attractive to people looking to make some money in a business of their own.  Also, at any level of involvement as a LIFE Member, the sale of any product produces an immediate 25% sales margin that goes directly to the person who did the selling as profit.

For these three reasons, LIFE Leadership is proud to being in the information business.   And I hope this particular information has been helpful!!

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

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What I Hate About Networking (And What We at the LIFE Business Sought to Fix)

LIFE

LIFE

The Impetus Behind the Life Business

There is something really right about a business that allows people to get started for a relatively small amount of money, work at their own pace, be their own boss, experience the responsibilities of business ownership in an actual business endeavor without huge downside risks, have the potential for high upsides, and get the tax advantages that come with business enterprise. These attributes (and others) are what originally attracted me to the profession of networking. However, as I experienced more and more of what goes on in certain parts of this industry, I quickly realized there were several things I hated about it!

I was not alone. Along with my friends Orrin Woodward, Tim Marks, Bill Lewis, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton, and Dan Hawkins, we founded the LIFE company in an attempt to build a business to not only be the model of what could be in this profession, but what should be, as well. In other words, we launched LIFE to fix what we didn’t like about the industry while preserving the parts we felt were right about it.

What the Life Business is Doing 

Below is a list of my beefs with the industry, and what we are doing at LIFE to make it right.

1. No True Customer Focus – Our fix: at LIFE, we not only have a customer focus but a customer requirement. If a LIFE member does not develop at least 50PV in monthly customer flow after a brief apprenticeship period, he or she will not be paid any bonus on group volume. Also, we have the 3 for FREE customer acquisition program, in which any LIFE member, and even any customer, who gets three customers subscribing to the same or higher value package gets his/her products the next month for free! Also we have sales competitions with bonuses for the top finishers, as well as special bonus incentives on sales of particular products. We are also about to announce a sales bonus chart designed to give the smallest participants in the LIFE business a huge sales margin on products sold to help them begin earning more money sooner!

2. Gaudy Lifestyle Representations and Outrageous Income Claims – Our fix: in our business presentations we give only basic scenario-based income representations (as in, “if  you build a business that looks like this, the way the pay plan works, it would result in X amount of pay for that month”), with the largest scenario depicting approximately $9,000 per month in income. (See our Compensation Plan brochure for this). We don’t show cheesy lifestyle pictures or videos, bikini-clad girls on yachts, or shiny bling to try and attract people to a false expectation. Our presentation focuses upon things such as obtaining more free time, better financial security, more focus upon family, travel, church and charity, etc. (We don’t go as far as talking about more time with in-laws, however!) Also, being a new company, we’ve just now completed our first full calendar year in business (year 2012), and therefore can now release an Income Disclosure Statement to inform prospective participants and properly manage their expectations (look for this in the coming weeks).

3. The Host Company Keeps Too Much of the Money – and as a result, the people in the field get to fight over the scraps. Our fix: our pay plan is currently putting approximately 70% of gross product volume (PV) into the field in the various forms of compensation. The company was not just founded by people who had come from the field, but from people who have determined to stay in the field.

4. High Sign Up Costs: We have heard of companies charging hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to join. Our fix: keep it low! Our recommended sign up cost, including sample products (three CDs, a hard cover book, a sticker, access to the LIFE business management website, and two tickets to a LIFE Live event) is just $89.99, in which the products are optional. Our goal is to keep it “less than the cost of a tank of gas!”

5. Poor Guarantees: some are confusing, very limited, or difficult to enact. Our fix: simple and straight forward, a 30 day no-questions-asked money back guarantee for all our products, including the sign up cost.

6. Trips for Top Performers: While there is nothing wrong with this, we wanted to do something a little different. Our fix: we put two very exciting trips into the compensation program for people with relatively early progress up the performance bonus chart. One is at the 6,000 pv per month level, the other is at the 15,000 pv per month level. Also, these are not business trips in disguise, but legitimate vacations. The recipient selects the trip of his/her choice from the list of available options, and takes the trip when he or she chooses. (See Incentive Trips for more information).

7. High Priced Products – our experience is that many networking companies charge super high prices for their products and then give some of this back to the field and claim that this is their “profit margin,” when in fact, the products are so overpriced no one could ever sell them for that price to begin with. Our fix: keep the prices low! For the type of informational products that LIFE specializes in producing, our competition is almost always 20 to 200% higher. For instance, our CDs sell for just $10, while most on the market in each of our “8F” categories (Faith, family, fitness, finances, friendship, freedom, following, and fun) can be found for sale from $12 to $67! Also, in our subscription packages that include books, we almost always sell the book in that month’s subscription for ten to twenty five percent below list price, as it is just rolled into a standard subscription price that doesn’t fluctuate based upon that months’ book price.

8. Inferior Products – what does this mean? It means that specific products that can easily be commoditized (produced by someone else at a cheaper price or better value, over time) stay in the company’s portfolio long after they are no longer competitive in the marketplace. This leaves those in the field leveraging their personal reputation to sell a product that is no longer the best on the market. Our fix: Informational products such as those LIFE produces cannot become commoditized because they are unique – meaning, by specific authors and speakers whose communication styles, delivery, humor, entertainment value, etc. are not duplicate-able. While the information can perhaps be mimicked by another, the brand cannot be copied.

9. Products that Don’t Matter: The other part about representing commodity products is that they really have no ability to make someone’s life better. Why spend your valuable time and energy working at something that doesn’t do any good? As my friend Tim Marks said, “I don’t want to waste my life selling tube socks and lawn chairs!” My favorite quote is attributed to D.L. Moody: “Our greatest fear should not be that we won’t succeed, but that we’ll succeed at something that doesn’t matter.” As for me, although it’s possible to make money selling commodities, I want what I do to count in the lives of people (and  yes, I understand that we all need commodities to survive, but you get what I’m saying).  I want to make a positive difference in the world.  So our fix: sharing information such as LIFE produces has helped people get out of debt, repair broken relationships, grow personally, break addictions, grow spiritually, and, as the tag line says, “live the life they’ve always wanted.”  To me, THAT’s something that matters.

But the Life Business Isn’t Perfect

Now don’t get me wrong. We don’t have the LIFE business perfected yet, as that would be impossible. But we are working daily to make it better and better, in an attempt to deliver exactly what people want and expect in an informational product company, and for a potential business enterprise for many. Also, while we believe that our products are for everybody, we DON’T think the business building aspect of LIFE is for everybody. It is only for those who are prepared to work hard, who are looking for something more in life than they can currently accomplish, who enjoy working with and helping other people, and who have a long-term vision and can stay the course.

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

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The LIFE Business – A Good Year!

My friend and often co-author Orrin Woodward recently posted a nice summary of the first year of the Life Business on his blog. It has been a very busy year, but one full of victories and breakthroughs. We launched our dream company with a dedication to the business owners in the field. Our vision is to accomplish something that has never been done in this profession, and our first year in business shows overwhelmingly that we are on our way.

A hearty thank you to all the founders of the Life Business and all the first year’s participants. May 2013 be an even better demonstration of your faithfulness and hard work, and may you make a difference in the lives of many!

Here are a few of the highlights from Orrin Woodward‘s blog:

1. The LIFE business surpassed 100% increase in subscriptions of the LIFE and LLR Series in under one year of business.
2. The LIFE business launched the Mental Fitness Challenge and sold thousands of 90-day challenges throughout North America.
3. The LIFE business paid out over $1,800,000 in end-of-year bonuses and free trips its first year.
4. The LIFE business paid out over 70% bonuses on its product volume points in its first year in business.
5. Rob Hallstrand, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of TEAM and a LIFE founder, coordinated operations for both companies, and combined sales blew past $50,000,000 (with LIFE leading the charge) from the Flint, Michigan based office. Chris Brady and I have had many great years since forming our first leadership training company in 1999, but nothing feels as good as having the best sales and profits ever this past fiscal year.
6. Team training produced its best operating margins ever (of which 100% of profits flow back to field trainers), as Mr. Hallstrand continued his dramatic turnaround of Team operations. In fact, employee cost-per-profit-dollar has decreased over six times in his three years as COO, leading to increased bonuses for field trainers and office staff—a truly stunning performance.
7. Customers composed nearly 20% of total LIFE business subscriptions in its first year. Considering new members have six months to learn how to develop customers, this number will only grow as members complete training. What other community building business hits 20% customer subscriptions in its first year?
8. The LIFE business launched the Edge Series for youth and has added thousands of satisfied families in LIFE’s first year.

Sincerely,

Chris Brady