Tag Archives: Team

Bring Your Story to Life

The message of this video is that you are the author of your story, you are the protagonist in the movie of your life, and you can still write yourself into a masterpiece! Switch to “narrator mode,” and make it magnificent!

Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

Life Leadership Reviews

The Top 10 Reasons Not to Join Life Leadership

One thing I learned a long time ago was that we should never take ourselves too seriously.  I love the Life Leadership business, and I love building it.  I also enjoy working with the many fine people who make up Life Leadership around the world.  In a busy season, with lots going on, it’s good to remember to enjoy the journey, too.

As usual, when Orrin Woodward and I get together, no matter how busy we are or how many issues are pressing, we always seem to have some good old fashioned fun.  At a recent Policy Council meeting in Florida, we took a little time to shoot a fairly spontaneous video.  This was (obviously) a one take wonder.  It was inspired by some research I had read in a book by Adam Grant discussing the idea of “front running one’s weaknesses.”  I won’t play spoiler here, and will instead let the video speak for itself, but these really are legitimate reasons someone should consider before getting involved selling our products.  We think what we do is great, but of course, it’s not for everyone!

I hope you enjoy it.  I think it embodies our slogan of Have Fun, Make Money, and Make a Difference!  Thanks for watching.

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

 

Life Leadership: Don’t Scam Yourself

“Sometimes You Need Outside Eyes”

Lead Yourself Through Life: Perspective

This talk was obviously part of a longer piece of teaching, but I think it stands by itself as a great reminder that we often are too close to a problem to find its answer.  When faced with a conundrum that appears to have you beat, try the following:

1. Attempt to gain a new perspective. Take a look at the situation through a different lens, or, as in the case with my 9 year old son, through someone else’s eyes.

2. Take a break.  As I said in my book, A Month of Italy, sometimes you need to get away in order to get a way.  This means that often, as soon as we break with our normal routine and take some time out, our brains, allowed the freedom to work on the problem in the background, will eventually pop out an answer.  So sometimes, paradoxically, the best way to solve a problem is to do nothing about it for a while!

3. Seek new combinations.  The late Steve Jobs once said that all innovation is really just creative combination.  So ask yourself what new things you can mix together that have never been tried. Often the solution is not a stand alone thing, but rather a blending of a couple of your best ideas.

Live Your life with eyes wide open

Mark Twain once called himself a “prodigious noticer.”  I love that phrase. It encourages us to make active observation a normal practice. When you look, really see.  When you listen, really hear. Try to take in your surroundings in a fresh way, opening your senses to things you might be missing.  And above all, live your life with eyes wide open.

So don’t scam yourself out of a rich and abundant life by seeing only what you are used to seeing. Remember these simple techniques and see and feel anew the world around you.  Not only might it help you unlock answers to nagging problems, but it will for sure lead to the living of a richer and more fulfilling life.

Rock on!

Chris Brady

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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

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Originality: What Do You Have?

In 1923 a member of the board of directors for Lloyd’s Bank in London asked a literary expert at a party: “You may know of one of our employees who is, I understand, a poet. Mr. Eliot.”

To which the reply was given: “Indeed I do. He is a very remarkable poet.”

“I am glad to hear it. He is also most proficient in banking. Indeed, I don’t mind telling you that, if he goes on in his present way, he will one day be a senior bank manager!”

Thankfully for fans of literature the world over, T.S. Eliot didn’t settle merely for what he could become, but instead pressed forward to what he should become.

We have discussed the elements of meaning and scandal as they relate to leaving a legacy. These two opposite poles should be ever present in our minds as we live out our lives. We should strive to matter as much as we possibly can, and guard ourselves against the inevitable temptations that would come along and cheapen our accomplishments. But leaving a legacy is much more complex and multi-faceted than all of that. There are other elements that must be part of the mix. Primary among these is originality. There are many things we can do, but probably only one that we were born to do.

Your Personal Brand

It happened to you and it’s uniquely yours. No one else has your story. No one else has your particular mixture of experience and ability. Not only did God make you unique in all your parts, but also the life he lets you live is just as uniquely yours. Nobody else experiences the world in exactly the same way as you. These concepts are important to understand, because they form the basis of your personal brand.

What is a personal brand?

A personal brand is whatever you do or bring to the world that is entirely and uniquely yours. Perhaps surprisingly, the more you stick to what is uniquely yours and the more authentic you are in what you do, the more interesting it is to others and the more marketable it is.

Allow me to give an example.

My wife Terri Brady is a very interesting person with a compelling personal brand. Beyond all the foundational things that attracted me to her back in our college days (her love of the Lord, her values and her upbringing, her beauty, her courage, her playfulness, her native intelligence, her musical gifts, and above all, her undeniable wisdom in choosing me!), she has lived an incredibly interesting and inspiring life. Her list of brand experiences include prolonged infertility, surviving a life threatening brain tumor, engineering degree and work experience, home schooling four children, a consistent record of physical fitness, mastery of multiple musical instruments, dedication to serving in the name of Christ, leading and mentoring many other women, high level entrepreneurship and business ownership, fabulous public speaking to audiences around the world, a very popular blog, not to mention being married to a rascal like me!

In addition to these unique experiences, many of which were beyond her control, the way in which she carried herself through them is even more impressive. The trials came without complaint, and the victories came without conceit. If you wrap all these things together you’ve got one incredible woman with a lot to share. All of these pieces together comprise Terri’s personal brand. They make her interesting. They give weight to what she teaches. They give power to what she says.

Now, what would happen if Terri tried to teach people about scuba diving? Or produce a product focused on fashion? It wouldn’t work. It’s simply not her. It doesn’t fit her brand, and people would sense it subconsciously, rejecting it as false or insincere.

The purpose of this example (beyond a shameless ploy to get points with my wife) is to demonstrate that who we are at the core, in the most authentic version of ourselves, is what we should focus on bringing to the world. When you do precisely that, you will be the most fulfilled. It’s when you are doing exactly what you were built to do with the specific gifts God gave you that you feel the most alive. Any time you stray away from this reality you feel less yourself, less alive, less real. Further, though, it is when you strike this authentic chord that the world takes notice. People only want the best you have to offer, nothing less.

The Margaritaville Concept

Jimmy Buffett is an overwhelmingly successful musician and entertainer. He has attracted a following of fanatical fans who dress up in crazy costumes and follow him around on concert tours. He has sold millions and millions of dollars worth of music and books. He has a string of successful restaurants and a clothing line. He even has a channel on satellite radio! Over the course of more than four decades,

Jimmy Buffett has assembled a massive entertainment empire. And really, when it gets right down to it, he did it all with just one song.

If you listen to Buffett’s early music, you will notice that it doesn’t really match his brand. Most of the songs are serious, the topics are ordinary, and it’s obvious that in those early days he hadn’t really struck the chord of his true authentic gift, of his personal brand that would someday delight millions. Brent Webster, a musician friend from Buffett’s very early days, said about how badly Buffett wanted to break into the music scene: “The impression was, he was trying too hard. His exuberance preceded him.”

Twenty-six record companies rejected Buffett. Capitol Records executive Joe Allison said of Buffett in those days, “He pitched some stuff to me, but it wasn’t anything I could ever use. His stuff is so off the wall it’s hard to think of somebody else doing it. He didn’t write like everybody else, he was really different.”

As soon as Buffett released the song Margaritaville (originally to be titled Wastin’ Away Again in Margaritaville, but changed by Buffett at the last minute), he had found his authentic swing – an escapism genre that whisked people away from their cold, boring lives and put them in the warm tropical sun. According to Steve Eng, “Jimmy’s deepening commitment to Caribbean imagery was at once separating him from mere country-rock and from new-hippie folkpop. By the mid-Seventies, Jimmy was setting, not following, a musical trend.” The song Margaritaville would win the 1977 BMI pop award, the 1978 country award, and the “Three Million Air Award” for that number of radio plays that year. All of this was pretty impressive, but it was only the beginning. The most important part was that Buffett had not only struck upon his true, original gift, but he quickly recognized it. Ever since, with each and every album, song, book, restaurant, and clothing line, Buffett has exploited this very original personal brand.

The image we get here is of an ambitious young musician working hard to make it, searching for his particular and unique personal brand, and then gradually combining all the elements of his life interests into his music. Eng wrote, “Jimmy claims that the Florida Keys theme of his albums wasn’t planned, it just evolved naturally.” It may have evolved, but once it did, and he discovered this original niche, he built upon it relentlessly.

Imagine going to a Jimmy Buffett concert. You take in the enthusiastic crowd; you sing along with some of the songs, you feel relaxed and happy as you too escape to the islands for a few fun figurative moments. But what would happen if Buffett finished up his concert and failed to play the song Margaritaville? You would not only feel disappointed, you’d feel cheated. Buffett has to perform that song at every concert because it is the classic embodiment of his personal brand, and Buffett, being the consummate entertainer and crowd pleaser, knows this better than anyone.

This principle applies everywhere. How disappointed would people be if Stephen King came out with a marriage book? Or if Dave Barry released a serious novel? Or if Michael Jordan left basketball to play, I don’t know, let’s say baseball? These people, and every successful person in every walk of life, have succeeded by finding their true authentic gift and then giving it over and over again with gusto.

Which brings us back to you.

What is (or could be) your unique brand?

What are your particular foundational gifts?

What are your unique experiences?

How have you grown as a result, and what can you give out of it?

What innate talents has God given you that are yours?

What makes you feel the most alive?

What makes you feel the most fulfilled?

What things do you do that seem to bring the most accolades from people?

What could be your Margaritaville?

The key is to know yourself, to know what you have. You may not be able to answer these questions just yet, and as was true for the entertainers we have considered in this chapter, it might take years for you to discover. But I guarantee that if you answer these questions and package all of this together, you will be at least heading in the right direction. Knowing that you should be looking to discover this idea about yourself is a great starting point.

Whether this means you will write books, blog, create music, speak on stages, preach, start a company, paint, organize something, play sports, become a surgeon, lead a charity, invent a new technology, or whatever, if you line things up to be a product of who you are and what you uniquely can contribute, you will succeed. You may not be a musician, but you’ve got your own, original figurative song to sing. You may not do what you do in the public eye, but you still have a personal brand to be discovered and built upon. I truly believe that everyone has his own Margaritaville waiting to be discovered. By this, I mean that you will find meaning and fulfillment in contributing something that only you can contribute.

Don’t live anyone else’s life for even a minute. Live yours. It’s unique. Find your Margaritaville and then sing it with all you’ve got until you can’t sing anymore. Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, said, “. . . what this spun-out, overhyped world is absolutely famished for is a little genuine personality.”

I promise, there will be fans cheering for your authentic output. There will always be a market for your original best.

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

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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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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