Don’t Miss Your Chance

As many of you know in my past life I was part of something called Drum and Bugle corps from the age of eleven until seventeen years old, 1981 through 1987.   It is hard to explain to people the intensity, excellence and physicality that is required to be a member of the top corps.   Ironically, as I was preparing to write this article I discovered that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has put together a TV show airing October 5th on Fuse channel that will go behind the scenes to show what I was just referring to.   Drum corps originally started from a military background (read more ) and because of that there is a very strong loyalty and commitment to the overall team.   The demands are very extreme.   You practice endlessly together;  sweating, hurting, blistering, starving, laughing, yelling, getting screamed at, sleeping, eating from 8:00 am until 11:00 pm everyday and then you wake up and do it again for the entire summer….. you do everything together with your teammates and they become your family.

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I was a snare drummer, which of course is the best instrument to play. 😉 see above picture, don’t they just look cool.   Ok it might have had something to do with all  the pent up anger I had when I was a younger and I could beat on a drum instead of a person.   Either way I was drawn to it when one of my friends simply invited me to come out with him and see what it was all about.   I had never played an instrument before nor had even tried to play anything.   As soon as I picked up the sticks I was hooked.   My first year was in a smaller corps called a feeder corps.   That means they grow and develop your skills so you can then move up into the big leagues.   Very similar to the way baseball develops their young talent. The next year I joined the bigger corps which was called “The Saginaires.”

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It’s hard for even me to tell but I believe this is a picture of my first year at age twelve in the big corps. I made the snare line that year because for the entire off season I did nothing but go to school and then come home and practice, and practice, and practice, and practice, and practice, and practice.   Ok  are you getting my point? Ask my mother how much I practiced and how many pieces of furniture I destroyed by drumming on them.   Some would have called it obsessed, but I saw it as a chance to go after something that I liked and if I was going to do it, why not be the best at it.   I started to become a really good drummer and a lot of my instructors had high hopes for me.   One of my early instructors was critical in building this belief in me.   His name is Rich Hogan and he was a master at teaching basics and developing discipline.   He would tell me over and over again that I could be one of the best EVER!   You have to understand how powerful that was for a young kid who hated life and really had no one telling him he could be great at anything, ( outside of mom and grandma ).   He immersed me in the drum corps world and grew my passion.

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He is the forth guy from the right in the light colored cap. I have never been able to thank him for the part he has played in my success.   Maybe from this article we will be able to connect.

Years went by and the drum corps changed its name to Northern  Aurora but they weren’t making the next jump to the next level. I wanted to play in a top corps and I left Northern Aurora to join the BlueCoats.   I didn’t handle this situation correctly at all and I am sure I spoiled relationships, but when you hate the world you don’t think about how others think and feel.   If any of them come across this article I hope they accept my apology.  The Bluecoats were an up and coming corps and sure enough at the end of the year we finished in the top twenty-five.  In the drum corps world that is a major accomplishment.  The corps was gaining lots of momentum and attracting the top players from around the Midwest.  The next goal was to make it to the top twelve in the world.  This would be equal to making the playoffs in the NFL.  I talked my friend Cedric and his brother Eric, who I had practiced with for years and become best friends, into coming down to Canton, Michigan and joining the Bluecoats.  As the season progressed it became obvious that we were going to make the top twelve and our drum line was doing even better.  We were gaining the attention of the top five drum lines and had beaten some of the upper corps drum lines.  We had something magical going that year, and I was about to make one of the worst decisions in my life.  Half way into the season they would give you a two week break to go home.  This next part is to give you insight into my thought process not to make excuses, there is no excuse for what I was about to do.  I was completely broke, I mean I had no money at all!  I would mooch off of my friend Ced. The center or lead snare drummer and me started to not get along, and I didn’t know how to handle conflict.  All I knew was fight or flight.  I had a very serious girlfriend at home that I was missing and all of these things combined together got me to the point that I should just stay home and abandon my corps.

AND I DID!

  I still to this day can’t believe this happened and I can’t believe that someone didn’t tell me I was being stupid and help me solve these issues.  The corps members tried, the director tried, everyone was trying to get a hold of me to talk me off of the ledge but I wouldn’t talk to any of them.  Needless to say I destroyed a lot of relationships and hurt my teammates.  To that point in my life I had quit everything that I had ever started so it wasn’t that difficult to do,  but years later it would become one of the few things that I have ever regretted doing.

Years later I would get involved in Life.  I learned how to truly succeed at something, eliminate the layers of garbage in my personality and my view of myself, help others understand these things and truly be blessed with an amazing lifestyle.   It also helped me become financially free so I started attending the drum corps finals every year.   I had never talked to any of my old teammates but eventually I reconnected with Cedric and Eric.   We started going to finals together and we new that one day Bluecoats were going to  win Drum Corps International.   I was looking forward to that day but also dreading it.   I knew when they won I would not be able to enjoy the victory as much as my friends would because of what I had done.

2016 Indianapolis, Indiana.   Cedric and Eric  and I once again go to watch finals and the Bluecoats won their first championship.   It was an amazing show and they deserved it beating out some of the best shows I have ever seen.   As they announced the winner Cedric, Eric and another ex-teammate Elliot went crazy.  I was going crazy also but the terrible feeling from 34 years ago was still there.   I couldn’t even bring myself to go where the alumni were hanging out and celebrate with them.

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Lessons learned.  Be very careful who you are asking  advice from OR,  who you aren’t asking for advice from.   Success knowledge is all around us we just don’t see it because we are looking through a pair of dirty glasses and can’t see it.   Realize that there are people that can give you advice and see things that you cannot see yet. It never ceases to amaze me on how confident humans are in their own ignorance.   I was convinced that I was making the right decision that day and I could not have been more wrong.   Do not let this happen to you.   Humble yourself, look for answers, be hungry.   As Einstein said “The significant problems we face in life can’t be solved at the same level of thinking that created them”.
Search and find answers so you can “Live the Life you always wanted” not the life you think you are stuck with.

God Bless

Bill Lewis

Life Leadership a pyramid?

This is one of the best and QUICKEST illustrations of why Life Leadership is a great business model to pursue and why it is not a pyramid.

Not only is it not a pyramid but if you did your own research you would discover that it is one of the best ways to build your own business.

Please click on the link to read and see the rest of the article.  Orrin Woodward Blog.

 

God Bless

Bill Lewis

 

Coming out of the Fog

As many of you know, on March 5, 2014 my wife of almost 12 years passed away, from liver failure.  I cannot describe the amount of love and support that my family has received.  This has been, by far, the most traumatic event to ever happen in my life.  Only because of my faith, family and friends have we been able to make it through this difficult time.  My heart goes to anyone that has had to endure times like these without the support that I have been blessed with.  There are so many people to thank that I cannot possibly list them all.  Jackies family: Joe and Linda, Marc and Odette,  Brian and Sarah,  Josh and Eve, Matt and Bridgette, Trevin and Abby,  Anna and of course, Jackie’s parents, Chuck and Char.  Thank you for always making me and my family feel like we have always been a family.  I know I don’t tell you enough, but I absolutely love being a part of your crazy family.  My family with a special shout out to my mom and my cousin/brother Tim Grant.  If I called them and said I needed them they would drop whatever they were doing and immediately be there for me.   I also had a group of teammates that were willing to do anything we needed.  The Brady’s, Morgans, Spiewaks, Birtles, Marks, Allswedes.   Each one of the families provided something that we needed and I can never repay you for it.   I also had a group that went

Andria Mitchell – has been our babysitter for almost 12 years.  She has had her own life issues to deal with but basically took over as being a mom to my kids while I was in the fog.  I could not have survived without her effort and support.

Trevin and Abby Thorn – yes they are family but they have done so much more I can’t list it.  Trevin, thanks for letting your wife also be a surrogate mom to my kids and Abby thanks for helping our family survive.

Kevin Hargis – one of my best friends but we lost touch for almost 10 years but he didn’t hesitate to pick right back up from where we were before.  So many times he would just hangout with me and help distract my brain.

Keisha O’Mara and Cameron Hummel- both have gone through a similar situation and their thoughts and insights helped me at some of my lowest moments.  They have been a strength emotionally because I knew they understood what I was feeling.

Kevin and Sharrah Hacket – Jackie’s best friend I would say.  Sharrah was in the Bahamas when this happened, and before I knew it she had moved into my house to help support us.  Both of your friendships have meant so much to me, but what Sharrah did for Jackie I can’t quantify.  I always knew when Jackie was talking to Sharrah because that’s when she looked the most happy.  Kevin for letting his wife leave with no time frame on when to come home.

Mark and Anna Huber – besides being the reason I was introduced to Life Leadership which is where I meet Jackie.  They also moved into the house and helped me with everything including all of the funeral arrangements.  As quoted in a movie, “I’ am forever your man!”

Mike and Vi Gowen – our kids became close friends years ago and we have been doing things together ever since.  Mike and Jackie had a special brother sister connection and she could tell him things no one else would dare.  They have been more then friends over the years; they have become a part of our family.

Orrin and Laurie woodward – What can I say about a couple that are the reason that I have the life I have.  All of my F’s are great because of Gods grace and this couple.  I will never be able to  fully show my thanks for your dedication and belief.

To all the people I missed and all the people that have sent cards, books, notes, and flowers, your support has been overwhelming.  You  are the true definition of what a community is suppose to be.  I love you and will do everything I can to help you feel the same support. Life leadership truly is doing something special.  Don’t you ever surrender to the naysayers because they will never experience a true community of people.

I decided to start back with this blog because my two oldest boys just completed something that is the essence of what my beautiful wife stood for.  Perserverence, Determination, Strength, Never quit, Be the best you can be – I miss her so much words cannot describe.  I would do anything for one more day together to hold her and tell her how great she is.   Jacob and Eli, your mom would be so proud of your accomplishment and I hope you adopt her strength.  I love you forever Jack ( my nickname that Chris Brady came up with) and a huge piece of my heart has been ripped out and will never be replaced.  Can’t wait to meet you again in glory.  Here’s your two boys finishing their commitment to you and receiving their black belts.

 

Is Life Leadership a Pyramid Scheme?

Orrin Woodward has written a great article about Life leadership.  The thought that most people have about pyramids is the person at the top or the person who started first makes the most money.  I love getting that question because I have a couple that is under me, that signed up in the business after me, and they have made more money then me, almost the entire time we have been in business together.  That kills that argument.  If you want to win at something you talk to the people that have won not to the people that tried to win.

Bill Lewis

Is LIFE Leadership a Pyramid Scheme?

Figures Don’t Lie But Liars Sure Can Figure.

Corporate Pyramid

Corporate Pyramid

Every reputable network marketing organization separates itself from pyramid schemes and scams by ensuring significant sales to outside customers of its products. Impressively, LIFE Leadership has over 40% of its monthly subscriptions going to customers who are not even part of the compensation plan. This is a testament to just how good the leadership materials are from LIFE.

Sadly, some people have drawn the conclusion that network marketing is like a lottery where only a few draw the winning ticket and everyone else loses. In truth, I was one of those people until I took the time to study the numbers myself. Here is my story of how I went from a community building skeptic to building one of the largest leadership communities in North America.

I graduated from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) as a manufacturing systems engineer. I became an engineer because I have been fascinated by numbers, statistics, and proportions since I was a kid collecting baseball and football cards. In fact, one summer my brother and I developed an entire board game for baseball based upon player stats and using probabilities that I wasn’t supposed to learn until half-way through engineering school. In any event, numbers, data and the proper reading of the scoreboard has been an essential part of Laurie’s and my success over the years.

For instance, one of the first conundrums I was faced with when I first studied community building was the statistic bantered around against the profession such as the following: “Only 1 out of 100 people actually makes 50k or more per year.” At first hearing, this sounds terrible. You mean to tell me that if I get started I only have a 1 out of 100 chance of making it? But these two statements are not saying the same thing, even though on the surface they may appear to do so.

Let me explain.

The first statement (“only 1 out of 100 people make 50 k or more”) is a snapshot of the profession based upon the fact that for anyone to reach the top of the chart (15,000 points), he must build customers, members, and help them do enough volume for him to hit this level. Typically, by the time a person hits the top of the chart (whether he does it in 3 months or 3 years) he has around 100 active members. Hence, the 1 out of 100 number. In other words, even if 100% of the people made it, they would still make it by bringing in around 100 other active members and the 1% who made it at any particular time would still be true.

However, this doesn’t mean the other 100 people cannot also bring in customers and members who enjoy the life-changing products and do the exact same thing as the person who brought them in. And, when they do, the will have built a team (on average) of 100 people so the 1 out of 100 number remains.

Now to my point.

Given that the nature of community building involves building a community (how’s that for obvious?) and that a leader’s goal is to build 100 active people into his community who service customers and members, then the “1 out of 100” number tells us nothing of the success or failure of the business. Rather, it simply reports on the size of community necessary to earn a certain income, as in my example above when I threw out the hypothetical 50k.

Indeed, the model is hard-wired, or designed for a leader to service a community of 100 people in order to reach 15,000 points and thereby achieve the Leader level in LIFE Leadership to make anywhere from 20k to upwards of 50k (with the CAB program included – see the IDS and Comp Plan brochure attached at the bottom of this post). Therefore, the real question a new person should be asking is not the 1 out of 100 snapshot, which merely reports that a Leader must build 100 people communities, but rather, how fast can one build 100 people communities?

Let’s consider an example from my automotive process engineering days.

Thousands of sub-assemblies that usually consist of hundreds of parts each are required to build one car. These all come together in a complex process called a final assembly line, in which workers and machines install them, usually on a moving platform or hanger, as the work-in-process car moves down the line.  At any given moment in time, if a snapshot of the assembly line were taken, the line would have hundreds of unfinished cars frozen in mid-process. From this snapshot, no one in his right mind would argue that only 1 out of 100 cars is ever completed, or that “the chances” of that assembly line making a car would be a mere “1 out of 100!”   This would be absurd reasoning since the other cars are still “in process” and will be completed shortly, if the assembly line is given a chance to continue producing cars, as it is designed to do.

In effect, the nature of the assembly line guarantees that only one car will finish per every 100 (in the example above) on the line because this is the way the process was designed. It is hard-wired or hard-built to do it in just this way.

It is important to understand that community building is a personal development process similar to the assembly line that builds an automobile. 

The difference between a successful and unsuccessful automotive assembly line is not the 1 out of 100, but rather the rate at which autos move from beginning to completion. If one assembly line moves through the process in one hour while another takes one year, with all other variables being the same, which would you choose? They both have a snapshot of 1 complete car per 100 in-process, but one is moving the process along much more efficiently. Engineers cannot improve the 1 out of 100 on an existing line, but they can improve the throughput by increasing the speed at which the automobiles advance through the process.

In the same way, this is exactly what a leader does in his community building organization. He cannot improve the 1 out of 100, because that structure is as locked into the design of the pay plan as is the assembly line process for cars, but he can improve the effectiveness of the systematic process to help people achieve top levels faster.

Since everything rises and falls on leadership, LIFE Leadership focuses on helping leaders serve 100 people communities to be rewarded accordingly. The objective is to speed up the leadership growth process by providing world-class events to attend, audios and books to study, and personal mentoring from which to grow.

In most conventional businesses, it takes years and years for a person to achieve an income above 50k, after expenses. With the new CAB compensation and simple Next Step Program, LIFE Leadership is empowering those who work hard and consistently to achieve these levels in shorter and shorter amounts of time. True, not everyone is willing to work that hard, nor will they go that fast, but the leadership of LIFE is committed to creating a process wherein someone can if they are willing to do what it takes. The question for you is: are you ready, willing, and able?

I am thankful for my engineering background because it helped me sort through the data to understand what was relevant and what was not. Sadly, many people miss the big picture because they think of community building as a lottery with “odds” rather than a process with results similar to an automobile assembly line. But for those who will enter into the process and stay long enough to complete their leadership journey, their success can become just as predictable as a finished car rolling off the end of an assembly line.

I have said many times, LIFE Leadership does not promise “easy,” only “worth it.” As the Chairman of the Board and one of the principal owners of LIFE, I wish you all the success you are willing earn!

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

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Forgiveness

Have you ever struggled with forgiveness?  If you are a human then you have struggled with it.  The main reason most of us struggle with it is because we are thinking of it in the wrong context.  My goal is to try to give you a different way of looking at forgiveness.  One of the worst outcomes of being unforgiving  is the effect it has on the person who is unwilling to forgive.    Forgiveness is an act of the will and if you understand it, you will be able to free yourself from the negative emotions of being unforgiving.  If you are of the Christian faith then it is as simple as Colossians 3:13, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  Well, since forgiving like the Lord is impossible let’s at least try our best.

Unforgiveness is like carrying a burlap bag on your back, and every time you don’t forgive someone you add a rock to your bag.  You can imagine over time how difficult it would be to move and how tiring life would become if you continued to carry all of those rocks.  When you forgive it is like taking one of the rocks out of the bag.   You can then move through life lighter, quicker, easier.  It is very refreshing to be around someone who isn’t weighed down by feelings or the guilt of being unforgiving.  As a human you cannot be totally in charge of forgiveness.  If you haven’t experienced the ultimate in forgiveness, then as a sinful human it is difficult to continuously forgive other sinful people, because we are seeing the world through a messed up lens.  Once you understand what Jesus has done for us then you at least have an absolute standard to compare to.

What forgiveness is not

1. Forgiveness is not a natural response but rather super natural.  If you don’t have the example of what God has done for us, then you won’t have the strength to forgive everyone who does something wrong to you.  It is very hard to say “I can’t forgive them” when we violate God’s laws everyday.  Not only does He forgive us but He sent His only Son to die for us.

2.  Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation.  Forgiveness is a one way street and reconciliation is a two-way street.  Forgiveness is a choice by you and reconciliation is something you work on with the other person.  Reconciliation is a change in the offenders behavior.

3.  Forgiveness is not a feeling.  Forgiving is a choice.  We can forgive even if we don’t feel like it because ultimately they are a sinful person and SO ARE WE.  Do you expect humans to be perfect or know better?  If we do, then why don’t you do it.

4.  Forgiveness is not excusing the wrong or letting the guilty get away with it. If someone wrongs you it’s not that they are getting  away with it because you forgave them.  Every day parents forgive their children, but they also let them know that what happened is not okay.

5.  Forgiveness is not letting the guilty off the hook.  WE are selfish so we naturally only look at what the offense has done to us.  We don’t see how it affected them or other people involved.  The other angle is we are moving the guilt from our hook to Gods hook.

6.  Forgiveness is not being a doormat or a weak martyr.  Actually, being able to forgive is strength not weakness.  There is a saying that you can tell the size of the person by the size of the things that make them upset.  I don’t think of God as being weak or feeble, which is what He would be if forgiveness were weakness.

7. Forgiveness has nothing to do with fairness.  My kids say it everyday,” That’s not fair!” and I respond everyday,”That’s right and life never will be.”  I am not sure where this concept came from but most of us know that life will never be fair.  It’s not fair that God had to send His Son to earth to die for us.

I hope you see how without God as the absolute example, that the subject of forgiveness would be hard.  What would be the standard?  What your neighbor thinks?  What your cousin thinks?   No, everyone would have a different standard and then any of the excuses  listed would be valid.  Most of the time someone didn’t even mean to offend us, yet we carry the offense around with us.  “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” – Joyce Meyer.  Drop the stones in your bag and experience the freedom of forgiveness.

Bill Lewis

 

Setting the Bar

I wasn’t sure what to title this article, but “Setting the Bar” seemed the simplest.  I also thought “Set a Bar” and then I started thinking, “For Goodness Sake Please Set Any Bar!” would be good.   In other words, as I was thinking about the title, my blood pressure started to rise because it seems that the “new thing to do” is to set no bar at all.   Say this next statement in your best Billy Madison voice.  That way everyone will be happy.   That is stupidity on steroids!  I know what you’re thinking.   Tell us how you really feel.   Let me try to explain what I mean.

Some of the new age thought process is, let’s not keep score because we want everybody to feel like a winner.  That’s genius…..not!  There was a movie that starred Bill Crystal in which he played a grandfather.  One day he goes to his grandsons baseball game.  The grandson was pitching and proceeded to throw three strikes but the kid in the batters box stayed where he was standing.  He stayed standing there because in these baseball games you get to swing until you get a hit.  I sure am glad real life is like that.  You’re single, asking a girl out on a date and you just stand there and keep asking because she has to say yes.  Every sales call you go on, you don’t have to worry because you know they eventually will have to tell you yes.   In the NBA you get to keep shooting free throws until you make both of them ( Shaq would have loved that).  In school you get to keep taking the test until you get an A.  The bar isn’t set to make people feel bad;  it is set to let you know how you are doing!  If you don’t have a real standard to compare yourself to, then everyone gets worse because everyone is faked out into thinking that they are doing okay.

Some people say that people who set the bar are doing it wrong or not making it fair.  Even if that is the case, then the issue is the people who are setting the bar, not the bar itself.  This is the problem with today’s society.  We try to fix things by the easiest way possible.  We don’t try to fix the real issue.  We just want the quickest, simplest way of fixing it, even if  we are attacking the wrong thing.  If my children try something and are horrible at it they can either decide to work hard, study, and practice to get better or they can decide that it’s just not for them.  We have fallen into the trap that everything is supposed to feel good.  If you feel good about everything then you won’t get better at anything.  Some sort of pain is always required to get better.  Without that emotion there is no drive to push yourself.  “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”  Most of my success comes from the fact that I always felt inadequate and felt like people were better than me.  When I finally decided that it was time to do something, I used that pain to drive me to get better at my craft.  We must have bars to jump over or we will all lose in the end.  That is what I love about Life Leadership.  It doesn’t matter where you came from, what color your skin is, how tall, how big, or who your daddy was.  The bar is the same for everyone and everyone can develop themselves to jump over the bar.

Bill Lewis

Everything begins with your thoughts

This video was sent to me and although I don’t agree with everything he says I do agree with the theme of what he is saying.  I am not against school or education.  I am for people chasing their dreams.

 

 

 

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words;

Be careful of your words, for your words become your deeds;

Be careful of your deeds, for your deeds become your habits;

Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character;

Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

 

Everything we are and everything we do begins with the thoughts that go into our head.  The statement goes “From the neck down we are all worth minimum wage and from the neck up we have a multimillion dollar business.  Which one do you feed the most?”  The sad part is not only are we feeding the minimum wage part more, but we don’t protect what goes into the multimillion dollar part.  If we had a 458 Italia Ferrari, we would do everything we could to protect it.  We would valet park it so it wouldn’t get dinged, costing us extra money.  We would park farther away from others cars causing us extra work, to protect it. We would have it detailed regularly, costing us more money, to protect it.  We would do many extra things to make sure it was protected but we almost let anything go into the vehicle, the brain, that has the capability of getting us that Ferrari, and we don’t think twice about it.  Everyday we are receiving messages into our brain and the majority of them are taking us farther away from success then closer to it.  The first thing we have to do is start protecting the million dollar machine.  Stop watching stupid television shows, stop listening to negative radio programs, stop listening to co-workers that are no farther ahead then you, even stop listening to the majority of your relatives (that one should be easy 🙂  If someone or something does not have the results you want then why let there door ding your beautiful vehicle.  I’m not saying 100% isolate yourself.  That would be just as silly as people who buy Ferraris and never drive them.  Just be careful where you park.

The next step is, when you have a Ferrari, you don’t use regular gas or oil.  You use the best.  Funny story:  The first really nice car I bought was a four door Maserati.  After the sale I asked the guy where I should take it to get the oil changed.  He looked at me funny, kind of chuckled and said you HAVE to bring it here.  I immediately understood why, and also immediately felt like a fool.  So since you have a million dollar vehicle strapped to your neck, you should probably follow the same process.  Don’t have it serviced where someone else will mess it up.  Take it to professionals that have the same type of vehicle.  Find the best way to read, listen, and associate with the best and most successful minds.  The scary part is, our vehicles have already been filled with junk for many years, and so we not only have to fill it with good stuff but we have to fill it with enough good stuff to overcome all the years of neglect.  This is the part that I see get people off track.  They may have more garbage to shovel out before the good stuff starts to take affect, but they are not patient enough to let that process happen.  There is also a consistency component here.  If you start the process and then stop and then start the process and then stop and then start the process and then stop……. you lose the compounding affect; the same compounding affect that we allowed with negative information.

The last step is to be focused.  When I take my car in for a regular service they don’t take the entire vehicle apart and then put it back together again.  That’s how I used to attack my improvement.  I would try to work on everything instead of just a few things.  By working on everything I was really working on nothing.  Once I started working on a few things, being very focused, I started to see results.  What are the top three things that are limiting you right now?  Not smiling, sarcasm, yelling, white lies, negative, doubt, no goals, waking up, eating addiction, being rude, a budget.  Whatever it is, just pick a few and then get laser focused on eliminating it or replacing it with something positive.  Allow yourself the time to become great.

Bill Lewis

Lessons from Basketball

2013 basketballMy mentor Orrin Woodward was home for the summer and he sent me a text asking if I wanted to play basketball.  As some of you who follow my blog know,  I had given up playing because I can’t stand to be bad at something and when I am bad I will want to practice a lot and, aint nobody got time for that!   Needless to say, if your mentor wants to play basketball then basketball it is.  Now I used to play a lo,t but as I said I had stopped playing but it sounded like a good workout if nothing else.  My thoughts were,  I will die on the court if we play one on one or even two on two, so I tried to find four other guys who would be willing to come and torture themselves for a few days before Orrin heads back to Florida.  Through building their Life Leadership Business’s we happen to have a lot of people who are free from their jobs that could play.  FYI:  I highly recommend getting yourself free so you can really enjoy life and all the beautiful days of summer in Michigan.  I rounded up Steve Morgan, Kirk Birtles, Holger Spiewak, and Aron Radosa.  Now Orrin,Steve,Kirk and myself used to play but Aron and Holger have not played much, so we decided to have the Policy Council,  me, Orrin, and Holger, who are also the three oldest players on the court, versus the Band of Brothers, Steve, Kirk, and Aron.  For people who don’t get sarcasm that would be a friendly jab at our competitors :).  We were older but we also had a little bit of a height advantage,  with me obviously bringing down our average height. IMG_1182          IMG_1183 So the stage was set for what might be some of the ugliest basketball you could watch, but you never know what’s going to happen when a group of people who love to win and hate to lose play each other.  The first game was on Thursday morning and it was supposed to be just a fun pick up game.  The PC team came out well and won all three games.  We would then go sit with Orrin for a while to get some good nuggets to help build our business.  That was the main reason we were there anyways.  If you ever have a chance to hang out with someone who has more success then you,  it’s a good idea to take advantage of that.  We did get our good nuggets but we didn’t know what was about to happen.  We asked the guys if they wanted to switch up teams for our Thursday contest but they said,”No way!”  That was when I knew this might become a war.  Sure enough on Thursday the BoB came out in force.  They had come up with a great PDCA and won two of the three games that day.  Well, as you know the PC does not like losing either, and we had two days to come up with our next PDCA.  The funny part about this, we had a very important business meeting Tuesday, after this last defeat, and as soon as I walked in the room Orrin said, “You know what we need to do…..” My response was, “That is exactly what I was thinking and what if we did…..”  Neither one of us was talking about this huge business roll out that we were about to explain.  The next match we won two straight and the match after that they won two consecutive games.  It was interesting that the team that lost would make the PDCA’s and then go on to win the next round.  The stage was set, the PC had a three to two series lead and we could close the door or the BoB would force a seventh day match.  The BoB came out on fire, intense, and determined.  They won the first game 11-2.  We couldn’t wait until the day after to make a PDCA, so we made some adjustments right on the spot.   Our main adjustment was our focus and intensity and that allowed us to win the next game 11-2.  That last game was the best of all the games we played.  The BoB pulled out into an early lead but the PC ( old guys ) came back to within one point of victory.  At that moment Kirk’s calf muscle totally gave out, and he couldn’t even walk.  Needless to say we had to stop the match and wait until next summer.         See Orrin Woodward’s blog for more detail on what happened in the matches. This may have been one of the funnest sporting events I have been involved in.  So many lessons and so much fun is to be had when you associate with champions.  Let me give you a few of the key things I noticed and how you can apply them to life.   1.  PDCA -It was awesome to see this process unfold and how effective it can be.  We all have done it before even if it was unconsciously, but we need to learn how to force it into our business thoughts.  I think that is the main issue with PDCA, not that people don’t know how but they don’t take the time to stop and think.  We are so programmed to be in motion instead of effective motion.  Abraham Lincoln said he would spend more time sharpening the axe and then get to work so he would be more effective.   2.  How winners respond – Neither team ever came across like they just stunk, they couldn’t win, or be mad at the other team.  They were upset at the loss, but they didn’t take it personal.  They just thought through what they needed to do to adjust.  So many people don’t move forward because they compare their loss to someone else who just PDCA’d and had a victory.  Are you whining or winning?  Winners may feel down but they don’t stay down.  The saying is you can’t drown in one foot of water unless you stay face down in it.  3.  Importance of associating with champions – I have had a good amount of success, success training, and get to associate with some top notch winners, but being part of these matches has made me feel better and want to go win in other areas also.  If it can make me feel that way, what can it do for you?  Any time you have a chance to associate with someone who is farther in life then you, don’t just say yes; be the first one there and the last one to leave.  Orrin said it best today, “Most success nuggets are caught not taught.”  That means you will always learn something when you are associating with winners.  4. The score board never lies – If we lost a match it didn’t matter how well we thought we played.  The score said we lost and that means we need to adjust something.  In sports we are forced to recognize the score board, but in life it is easy to not pay attention to it.  Figure out a way to measure what you want to improve and then fight to make those improvements.   I want to end by saying thank you to Orrin and how blessed I am to be associated with all the winners that I had a chance to experience this with.  You all will go down as some of the best leaders in the history of business.  Life Leadership is going to impact society. Bill Lewis

 

A Recent Lesson on Credibility

As most of you who follow my blog know, I just did a post on credibility. Fortunately for all of us there are always critics, haters, or simply people who have nothing else to do with their life except watch other people’s lives.  With all that said they also play a very important role in the process of success because without them there wouldn’t be a……..check and balance is a good term, I think.  Ok that was sarcasm but in actuality we all need people in our lives that will point out our flaws and mistakes (some will do it in a positive way, others will do it in a negative way).  Without them we would never have the chance to prove our credibility. Well it has come to my attention that “a group” has identified that I hadn’t paid my property tax on the house that I bought from Orrin.  Why someone would be trying to find that information I am not quite sure, but yes it is true.  Let me say this so this doesn’t get twisted.  I FORGOT TO PAY MY PROPERTY TAX.  Haven’t we all forgotten to do something or messed something up?  So here IS what happened.

– Moved into the house at the end of the 2011

– Tax bills come in twice a year, so about 6 months later I received the first one

– Threw it in my bill drawer because it wasn’t due yet

– Missed the deadline but mailed in the check anyway

– A while later the check came back and said I was past the deadline

– Either I missed it or it didn’t say it but once you miss the deadline you have to mail it to a different address

– I mailed it to the same address again ( stupid of me, yes, never claimed to be the sharpest knife in the drawer )

– By this time it was well into 2012 maybe even 2013

– Mailed another check in but stopped payment on it because the new 2013 taxes came in and it had a different address then the previous one ( which I now know as the “late payment” address )

– Was made aware that people were “very excited” to see that I am human and made a mistake 🙂

– Went to the office and finally figured everything out and stroked 2 checks to pay for all of the taxes. Done

Now unfortunately for some of you out there we were not trying to avoid paying them. We are not struggling financially and neither Orrin or Chris “bailed us out” …..sorry.  As a matter of fact because of the smart financial principles that The Life Leadership has taught us I was able to write the $28,000 checks and take care of it.  So yes it is correct. Even Policy Council members make mistakes. However we don’t try to hide from them when confronted. Instead we do own up to them and we do try our best to make things right.  I just wonder if the people who are throwing stones do the same.  I am guessing not, otherwise they would be too busy with something else instead of worrying about me paying my property taxes.  I grew up with so many people who hated on other people or blamed other people and it always fueled me to become better and continue to prove them wrong.  The sad part about this case is some of them are people I use to call friends and as far as I know I never personally did anything to them except be nice and edify them.   As I have said in many of my talks…..HUMAN.  I have always tried to live my life around the fact that people are messed up and are going to make mistakes.  I just did and so does everyone else.  As my article says it’s not about IF or WHEN you make a mistake, it’s what you do about it after you make it.  What are you doing about the mistakes you have made?  I guess I should probably hand over my taxes to my accountant because I am sure she is perfect haha.

Thank you to the people who allowed me to show our teammates a live example of what you do when you mess up. I’m pretty sure mistakes will happen again because……HUMAN!

Bill Lewis

p.s.  Just so they don’t say I am trying to hide from something.  I also bought a $20,000rental property in downtown Flint 14 years ago.  I paid of the property and rented it for a while.  Eventually, we could not get anyone to rent the property.  I even called the city to try and give them the house but they said they had so many they couldn’t use the ones they had.  The city was doing a house clean up where they tear down old house.  I stopped paying the taxes and the city claimed the house and tore it down.

Life Leadership