Category Archives: Following


I know this subject is talked to death but it is the most important one in developing any successful relationship.  Spousal, children and business partner relationships are all forged on the anvil of trust.  If the anvil is weak then the relationships will be forged in weakness and eventually fall apart.  If the anvil is strong then the relationship will be equally strong.   Think about when someone asks you, “Do you trust that person?”  That’s a strong question because it also speaks to your ability to evaluate people.  So, what we are going to dig into is a few ways that you could be losing trust?

Becoming trusted also requires reciprocity, awillingness on both sides to enter into dialouge and conversation.  It takes time, because while trust may sometimes be forged in moments of great drama, it is more likely to be formed by many small, moment-to-moment encounters.

Kouzes and Posner in

I believe the quote you just read is implying that most people think about trust from this perception.  When a big event happens and we display our trustworthyness that that is it but there is also the day to day events where you could be losing your friends trust.  Worst yet you could be losing trust with yourself.

Is your behavior predictable or erratic?

I would guess that most people wouldn’t expect this question to determine your trustworthyness but let’s take a look.  Think about the person you know that is always erratic in how they respond, how they feel, or how they act.  It becomes hard to know how they will behave so that makes us uneasy.  Consistency of action and reaction is what makes people feel secure with us.  Let me give you a personal example.  I was erratic with my mood. I would let situations control my reactions.  Someone would call me while I was eating and I would answer the phone and I sounded like that person just spit on my sandwich. “Helloooooooo!”  I am sure my tone sounded like, “What are you calling me for.  Don’t you know I am eating.”  I am sure it sounded like that because that was what I was thinking.  The next time they called me I would be like, “Hello :):):):):):):)”  sounding like, “I have been waiting for you to call.”  Now, after a few times of this teeter-totter that person just stopped calling.  Whether your in business, speaking to your spouse, or  talking to your kids no one feels comfortable with erratic responses.  What areas of your life are inconsistent?  The more inconsistent we are the weaker our bond will be with people.

Do you communicate clearly or carelessly?

What we are talking about here is do you make promises and then don’t keep them.  Do you do what you say you are going to do no matter what?  This one is interesting because the people that violate it the most don’t do so intentionally, however,wether they realize it or not, they are still causing the foundation of trust to crumble.  You see, when you tell people you are going to do something, be somewhere at a certain time, have something done, etc… in your mind you might have good intentions but to the other person it was a promise.  If a promise isn’t kept then the other person starts to lose trust with you in that situation.  If it happens enough times you might start to erode their overall trust.  The key here is under-promise and over deliver.  The next step is to start determining why you do this: Are you trying to feel involved, are you a people pleaser, do you over extend yourself, not plan enough, don’t have the skill to do what is being asked of you.  Whatever the reason is we need to identify and fix it before we damage relationships.

Are we forthright and candid or are we deceptive and dishonest?

Basically are you intentionally lying or are you telling the truth.  It’s shocking how easy it is to get to the point that lying seems easier then telling the truth but in the long run it creates more havoc.  I have seen people get to the point that they lie so much they believe their own lie.  This one will obviously destroy relationships.  We need to figure out why we do it.  Are we afraid of what the other person will think? Are we afraid of what we will have to face? Have we convinced ourselves that it is easier to lie then change the thing we are lying about?  Whatever it is I can guarantee you that the statement,”The truth shall set you free” is correct.  If it wasn’t the statement wouldn’t exist.

I have been very blessed to be able to associate with people like, Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, who have shown me what it is like to totally trust someone.  Not only what they say and do but their motives as well.  I hope you are blessed to find someone who can help you establish a firm foundation of trust.

God Bless

Bill Lewis 

The Mental Fitness Challenge

I wanted to wait at least a week until I blogged about the new mental fitness challenge that   the chairman, Orrin Woodward, and the rest of the policy counsel recently released.  The MFC, as we call it, is the latest improvement that has been made to    To say that this has created some excitement would be an understatement.  The results of the launch have been amazing, click on this link to get some of the statistics.

The challenge is a process of helping us to improve ourselves from the mental side of things.  Orrin has studied the lives of three historical, great, Americans, and each one of them had resolutions that they worked on implementing into their life.  Orrin and Chris Brady decided that they should put together a system that helps people systematically walk themselves through that same successful process.

The challenge is great because it provides one of the most important item of success.  It tells you were you are at.  As the saying goes if you don’t where you are starting, it’s going to be really hard to get your destination.   You could be heading down a path that you don’t need to be heading down, just because you lacked the information of what path you are already on.  The test gives you a pretty accurate assessment of the things you need to improve on and the correct paths to get you there.

The other benefit of the test is it helps you focus.  You can walk outside and enjoy the sunlight but you can also take that same sunlight and shine it through a magnifying glass and light things on fire.  The same is true with our personnel growth.  We can just enjoy the fact that we are alive or we can light ourselves on fire.  We tend to naturally work on the things that we are strong at and avoid the things we are weak at.  After you take the challenge you will have a clear understanding of the areas you need to grow in and therefore keep you focused on the next thing you need to do to become better.

The challenge then gives you another very important step.  It gives you a way to improve in those areas.  Many test or self assessment items I have seen before just tell you whats wrong or do not have a very detailed way to help you improve.  This challenge is a very regimented systematic way to help you grow.  You have accountability partners and reminders on what you are supposed to be doing.  Most humans will experience a moment of motivation but when the feeling goes away we start to slip backwards.  The challenge is set up to keep you from slipping backwards and continuing to move forward.

Overall I know if people attack this mental fitness challenge and use it the way it was intended there is no way that they will not grow and become better.  This is not just my opinion I have seen this process done by the two people who put it together.  Orrin WoodwardChris Brady exemplify what this challenge is all about and are a living examples of what you can do when you focus your efforts.  Hope you enjoy the mental fitness challenge video.

God Bless

Bill Lewis

Visualize the Change you Want

Reading Orrin Woodward’s latest book Resolved gave me a new insight into visualization and a different angle on how to use it to effectively change.  We have all heard of the power of visualization.  In Orrin’s book he goes deep into the power of not just visualization but connecting your ant ( conscience ) and your elephant ( sub – conscience ).  If you can figure out how to harness this power you can really accomplish anything.

Author Vince Poscente in The Ant and The Elephant, describes the difference between the conscious and the sub-conscious mind, teaching that the conscious mind in one second of thinking stimulates 2,000 neurons, while the sub-conscious mind in a second imaging stimulates four billion neurons.  That’s 4,000,000,000 neurons to 2,000 neurons ; literally two million times more neurons are stimulated in the sub-conscious than the conscious mind in a second of mental activity.  This is why you will hear every performer at the top of their game talking about using visualization as a powerful weapon to their success.  In “Resolved” Orrin gives 2 examples of this, olympic athletes and Will Smith, and how they used the power of it.

Most of us think about this elephant and mental picturing only from one angle.  That angle is to picture what we want.  Weather that is a material reward, helping some cause, paying off debt or eliminating a job.  I never thought about using this tool to change myself.  To change my attitude, how I react, what I say, or even how I think.  I was trying to do those things but I was using the ant method instead of the elephant method.  I would write down 3 things that I wanted to work on and change about myself.  I would put them on my mirror in my bathroom and my steering wheel so I could see them and read them regularly.  This process did work and it still works but now I have realized that using elephant method is a much more effective way of making the changes that I want to make.

I have tried my new technique and was shocked at how fast the change happened.  What I do now is write down what I want to change but I write down to visualize the change.  This is what I mean.  My first list of items I wanted to change was  smile, book a follow-up meeting, and don’t get defensive when I got questioned about my business.  Now what I would do is write a note to remind myself to visualize me smiling, visualize me booking the follow-up meeting and visualize how I would respond if someone did question me about my business.  Doing this is using the four billion instead of the two thousand and obviously would cause change quicker.

I have recently tried this on a new list of items I am working on and I have seen the change almost immediately! I didn’t believe it so I told my wife and she tried it on something she was working on.  She had the exact same result! Now this doesn’t mean that it is permanently programmed into our brain but the change happened that much faster.  Now we just have to continue doing the visualization to make the movie that we play, in our sub conscious mind,  a permanent movie. Hope this help

God Bless

Know Where You’re Going ?

I have always been a person that was active and liked to work out.  My family  also,  seems to have, a high metabolism.  So I love any kind of mental or fitness challenge.  I know some you are thinking, ” You lucky dog!”  (Referring to the metabolism part).  But not so fast my friend.  All of that changed when I turned 40.  It has been an ongoing challenge to fight the fat.  Being busy and running the roads a lot did not help my cause.  I would tend to eat lots bad foods and I wasn’t getting the exercise  that I used to get.

The exercise part was kind of easy to fix, just make the time.  I absolutely hate running on a treadmill! I hate it! Running in place, staring at a wall……Aghhhhh!  But I hated looking at my stomach in the mirror more.  First lesson grasshopper.    When the pain of staying the same is great then the pain of change, you will change.  I still hate the treadmill so I had to figure out a different strategy.  I found out I could do sprints at an incline and burn even more calories.  YES!  I can do sprints, not so monotonous and quicker.  I added the sprints in and started to see some results.

I still wasn’t getting to where I wanted to go fast enough, so I decided to add something else to help speed up the process.  I did something called the Lemonade Cleanse.  This is like ramming your head through a brick wall, but if there is a fire and its the only way out, you will do it.  I need to get to my point so I will discuss the lemonade another time.  The point is it helps you lose weight fast.

My real issue was once I lost the weight how do I keep myself from getting back into that position again. (Flabby belly, if you forgot).  This is where the worst smart phone app of all time comes into play.  See,  I never had any idea of how many calories I was eating, if they were good or bad calories, fat grams, protein or carbs.  All of his is important information if your working out to lose weight and gain muscle.  I was violating the first law of success.  If you don’t know where you’re at you can’t move forward.  So me and my wife downloaded an app called, My Fitness Pal.  It tracks all of the information I listed above and gives you daily goals to hit.  It is very easy to use.  I started tracking my foods and couldn’t believe how many calories I was eating in a day.  I was totally deceived.  I thought I would be way under my daily allotted calories and I was way over. If you go out to eat at a restaurant,  that day is shot!

This brings us to the leadership part of this blog.  If there is any area in your LIFE  that you want to improve, you first must know where you’re at and have a way to track where you want to go.  Sometimes this is hard to do and sometimes it’s easy but if you don’t know where you are at on a daily basis you will for sure not get to where you want to go.

God Bless


Productive Paranoia

I found a very interesting topic in Jim Collins latest book called Productive Paranoia.  Every great company that he followed embraced this concept to a certain degree.  I watched the importance of this first hand.   My mentor’s Orrin Woodward  and       Chris Brady are always pre pared for what could happen.  The interesting twist was this paranoia did not make them procrastinators. It did not make them sacred to make decisions, or have “analysis paralysis”.   It just made them very aware that hard times could come and they should prepare for the worst but not let it affect their end goal or mission.  Most people, especially the choleric or high D personalities think this means not making decisions or having a “sky is falling mentality”.  That just shows how much they need to grow.  Some times shot first and then ask questions can be the end of your company, relationships or finances.  To succeed through difficult times requires some pre thought and planning for,  WHAT IF.

One example of this is a team of people, lead by Breashear,  that were climbing Mount Everest to do an IMAX video.  They were at Camp 111 some  24, 500 feet up the mountain.  As they looked down, 3,000 feet below them, there was a group of 50 climbers heading their  way.  He had spent an entire year planning every aspect of this trip and his investors had spent millions of dollars to make this trip successful.  Their goal was to get the best film shots of the journey to the summit and to bring everyone, safely, back down the mountain.  As he was getting ready for the day’s journey and saw those 50 people coming up the mountain.  His productive paranoia started to kick in.

Productive paranoia number one – build cash reserves or buffers in case something goes wrong.                                                              He knew that he had this one licked.  He had prepared for this climb a year before the actual climb.  He had enough gear and reserves, oxygen canisters,  to make it through almost anything or any delay.  He felt comfortable with the first stage of paranoia.

Productive paranoia number two – bound risk = death line risk, asymmetric risk, and uncontrollable risk.                                           This is the one that really mad him nervous because all three risk were evident.  What if a storm comes up and gives those 50 climbers time catch up with him, what if all those climbers are at the summit at the same time,  what if they need to get down the mountain fast but these inexperienced climbers are in their way, what if the weight of all these climbers pulls out the anchors,  what if he cant get the shots he wants because there are so many climbers on the mountain – he met with his team and after thinking through they decided to climb down to base camp and ascend after the mountain had cleared.  Key point – they could do that because Breashear brought enough reserves in case something went wrong.  He was productively paranoid.

Productive paranoia number three –  Zoom out then Zoom in and remain aware to changing conditions and respond effectively. This was the process he went through.  Zoom out – the mountain has changed and is different then what he expected  ( unusual amount of climbers )  Zoom in – new plan.  We have enough reserves and funding to wait it out and still get the shots we want.

There are many examples of companies that survived because they  had a productive paranoia through process.  Southwest Airlines also went though this process and when 911 happened they were the only airline to turn a profit because they had planned for the worst.

Do you have enough money set aside in case something breaks in the house?

Do I have a budget so I can make sure the money I need to run my business is there?

Am I teaching my kids to say no to drugs before some one else ask them to try them?

The goal I am about to run for, do I have another plan in case something changes on the journey?

What if our house doesn’t go up in value?

What if the stock market takes another big drop?

What if gas prices go up another dollar?

We can apply this same thought process, not to slow us down or get stuck in the mud, but just to be ready in case something does happen. This is how the great companies not only have survived but thrived during changes in the economy, changes in regulations or new competition.

God Bless

Big time winners! LIFE / TEAM Convention

We have returned from Colombus, the site of the Life winter major convention.  I want to take some time and recognize the accomplishments of 2 great leaders.  The Spiewaks and the Hatchers.  The Spiewaks and their team completed the sweep of all the top guns.  The Hatchers and their team completed an amazing 23 month round table run.  Both leaders have many strengths that their team can learn from.

Holger and I used to work for the same manufacturing company.  Holger, who is originally from Germany, showed up at work with a 1970 something car that was as big as a boat.  After taking my trip to Europe,  I can see why he had such a fascination with big cars.  They don’t exist in Europe nor would they fit!  Even though that car was a little out of place (say this line like Thurston Howell from Gilligan’s Island) for corporate america darling,  Holger didn’t care and he was always willing to walk to the beat of his own drum.  Little did I know how much that trait would benifit him later on when I approached him with some crazy business idea.  Holger signed up with the Team and immediately he was 100% in and doing what it takes to make the business work.  At the time the only meetings were two and half hours from his house.  He never questioned it or complained about it.  He said “if this is what it takes to become great, then I will pay that price”.  I was just getting started myself so I didn’t realize that this kind of commitment was not normal.  I thought  everyone would be like that.    Holger’s loyalty to the TEAM and his team is legendary and is one of the key ingredients that makes his group of leaders such a dominate force.  Congrats to one of my best friends and a phenomenal leader.



Roy and I met in the normal process of building a community of leaders.  One of our team members contacted him and we went to show him the idea.  The lady that contacted them was worried because  they had tried everything and they probably wont be interested.  To me that meant the exact opposite.  They just hadn’t found the right tool.Yet!  As soon as I left their house I knew I had a potential rock star.  They came out of the gates running.  The next meeting we had lined up they already had someone there to see the business plan.  They came out of the gates running and continued running even when things weren’t going to plan.  The Hatchers are fanatical about game planning and understanding where they are at and what they need to do next.  They know everything about every spot in their business and therefore it is easy to P.D.C.A. with them.  They have great attitudes and are always willing to be counseled on the areas that they need to grow in.  Roy has been through many trials and tribulations and could easily use all of them as excuses to why he shouldn’t be a success.  He has chosen to use them as reasons why he should be successful.  This couple is doing what it takes to be a PC couple. Congrats on your first big victory.

I found a quote that is the opposite of both of these leaders.

Excuses are the nails which build the house of failure.  Don Wilder

What kind of house are you building?




The Most Forgotten Element of Success

I have only been able to read a little information on this topic.  The reason why is, it seems most people don’t talk about it or at least they don’t package their writing around this subject.  There are 2 books that will help you, the Bible and a book by Deborah Norville.   The topic is respect.

The test had been announced in advance, which meant the students had the chance to study and come well prepared.  Test papers were handed out, and the college exam commenced.  The room was silent except for the scratching of pencils and the occasional tapping of a pencil as students tried to figure out an answer. Until the last question.  One by one, as students reached the end of the test, they read the final question with consternation.  Some grunted in disgust.  One student exclaimed, “Your kidding, right?”  Another asked,” Does the last question count toward our grade?” It had to be a joke.  “Yes it does,” replied the teacher, somewhat tersely.  When all the papers had been handed in, the professor finally explained.  The last question was,    ” What is the first name of the man who cleans our school?”  Virtually every student had been stumped.


The teacher’s point was as you go through life you will meet many people and all of them are important.  We go through life so hurried and in a rush that we fail to recognize people or even give them a nod, a glance, or dare I say a smile.  Every subtle acknowledgment of another human being puts a little deposit in their soul.  You have walked past someone at the gym or a store and if they give you  a head nod or a “hey,” for some reason it makes you feel better.  Every once in a while we go out to eat at these “fu-fu” restaurants.  The ones that have a water person, bread person, and then the waiter.  If we say hi to the water guy he almost doesn’t know what to say.    He will stutter a little…..”Hi”   back to us.                Dr Goldstein says,” You have to have a good self-image of yourself and if you don’t you disrespect yourself and others around you.”  So that means we need to work on ourselves the most and it will grow our respect for others automatically.


Some people are great with people they don’t interact with regularly but they aren’t so good with the people that they see on a regular basis.  I think this paragraph from Deborah Norville sums up how we should think about the people in our lives.

Respect requires empathy, the capacity to anticipate and understand the feelings of others.  It requires consideration.  It is letting the Golden Rule shape the way we interact.  It’s being mindful to see a situation from others perspective.  When respect is given it communicates to the recipient of the respect that he is valued and important.

If you go through your day and are so busy thinking about how someone treated you, what they said to you, what you thought they should have said to you, or they should have let you go first.  Then by default you are violating the point from Deborah’s paragraph.  If you are only thinking about yourself, it is impossible to anticipate or understand how someone else feels.  If you don’t understand that all humans are naturally selfish and sinful creatures, then you will have a hard time having empathy when some one does something stupid.

I have to admit that this is a pet peeve of mine.  Not that it makes it more important it just really annoys me when I see someone not even hold a door for the next person. Or cut their way in front of other people.  Every plane ride I take someone from 4 rows back tries to push their way to the front past all the other people standing in front of them.  AAAGGGGHHHHHH!  Those are the moments when my Saginaw side comes out and I just want to clock ’em in the head. But I believe that would violate everything I just wrote about 🙂

Let’s at least agree to try everyday to do the simple respectful things.  Hold doors, smile, say hi (they wont bite), let someone go in front of you,  shake hands,  pick up what that person dropped, help them lift that heavy bag, give your seat up for a woman, serve someone.  It’s not that hard.  I know we can do it.  Lets change the respect of our society one person at a time.

God Bless


Are You Attacking Goliath or Running Around Him In Circles?

I’m sure everyone has heard the story of David and Goliath.  I Samuel 17 tells the story of a small shepherd boy who defied a giant and TOOK HIM DOWN.  The Philistine army and the Israelites were facing each other ready for battle.  They were positioned in a valley and had their backs to the steep slopes behind them.  The Philistine army had the advantage because they had a big whopper of a guy named Goliath who was over 9 feet tall.  The giant would come out everyday and taunt the Israeli army to come and fight.  This went on for 40 days.  Neither side would attack because it would put them at a disadvantage based on where the armies were positioned.  One day David comes to the battle field to check on his brothers.  He sees what this giant is doing and is outraged.  David  decides to go out and kill the giant with a slingshot and a bag of rocks.  David was not qualified to fight anyone, let alone a giant.  He was a teenager and not trained as a soldier but he had the most powerful weapon on his side,  FAITH.  He took his stones and slingshot, ran to the battle field and slew the giant Goliath.

The point I want to make is this.   Are you attacking the goliath’s in your life or are you cowering on the sidelines.  I am experienced on both sides.  It is not easy to face the goliath’s that we have in our lives but it is necessary for growth.  In leadership and life you are getting ripe or you are going rotten.  The second you stop facing goliath’s and growing from the experience you are beginning to rot.  It is even more of a tragedy if you have a mentor that can help you defeat goliath but you still choose to run circles.  My mentors Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady have helped me immensely with conquering and with calling me out when I am running circles.  Do you give your mentor that freedom?


Lets look at a couple of key teaching points about this process.  The first one is, David killed the giant with a stone.  Not a bazooka, M-1 tank, or a cannon.  A simple little stone that was lying on the ground.  I have found that conquering personnel goliath’s is very similar.  It may seem like you need a bunch a fancy things and be trained in special ops techniques but it doesn’t.  It is a bunch of small process and thought changes that lead to the big victory over your goliath.  So don’t be afraid that you have to make some radical changes that you wont be able to maintain or implement.


The second point is did you notice that the story said David immediately questioned what was going on and then he ran into battle.  Does this sound like someone who was worried about what others thought about him.  NO, I am assuming that it didn’t even cross his mind. One of the biggest factors in people not attacking their goliath’s is, they don’t want to look bad.  Well let me help you clear something up.  If you are using a mentor by definition they are going to be helping you identify weak ares and come up with a plan to fix them.  They are not there to judge you they are there to help you see the areas you can’t see.  They are also going to give you a different way of thinking about your situation.


The last one is simply that David had total faith that he would destroy Goliath.  When you start the mentoring process you need to have total faith that you will overcome your goliaths.  Once you conquer one goliath you start to feel like you can take down any of them.  This process is not fun or easy but it is necessary.  I wish you the best of luck in attacking your goliaths and becoming one of the rare people in this world.  The person who won’t run from Goliath but will face it head on.

God Bless

The Mereness of Leadership

What makes a leader a leader?  The question has been asked over and over again for years and years.  There are many answers to that question and many books have been written about, what is a leader.  I have had the privilege of being associated with some great leaders.  I have seen them on stage in the public and I have seen them behind closed doors.            Orrin Woodward,   Chris Brady,   Tim Marks, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton and Dan Hawkins are all different in personality and how they lead but they all have some similar traits.

I just finished a book that referenced Jim Collins book ” Good to Great ” and he discuss Jim’s level 5 leaders.   In Les Csorbas book he refers to these top leaders as having developed a mereness.  They develop this mereness in 3 ways.

1. they have developed a core understanding of their humanity

2. when they understand there depraved nature

3. when they grasp that the purpose of leadership is not leadership itself

This first one could be taken in so many directions that you could write a whole book on it and many people have.  I would classify this as knowing the basics about how humans act and interact.  If you don’t have this basic understanding then it will be difficult to help move someone forward because you will be trying to move them by force instead of by influence.  Lets take the very basic of human nature, personalities.  When you are leading people in any way this is a basic must know.  It’s also a must that you know your own personality so you know why you do the things you do.  You must be able to identify if someone is choleric, melancholy, phlegmatic or sanguine.  The other popular classification is the D.I.S.C. system.  Each of these personalities interpret and process things very different from each other and if you don’t know why you will be taking your self down the path of ignorance instead of understanding.  Other deeper subjects would be how humans process thoughts based on their own pre-suppositions and being able to think about that as you’re trying to help you team.

The second point would be tied to faith.  When you understand that humans will do amazing and special things because they are fallen and sinful creatures.  We hear and see things that people do and we think to ourselves,” I would never do that.”  Some things we may be correct on but other things we would shock ourselves if we were in that person shoes.  I am not saying that the sinful things we see people do is ok but I am saying that you have to know where the root cause of the behavior comes from.  My 2-year-old son is using scratching as his revenge tactic.  If I don’t understand human nature I could say, “Well he was born a scratcher.”   We say of course that’s not it and we start to guide him out of doing it.  If an adult has a bad attitude we just say,” whats wrong with them.”  If you understand fallen nature you know whats wrong with them and you are now empowered to help them overcome that.   You can’t truly guide someone unless you can see from their footprints.

The third item is an interesting debate.  The best leaders start out not trying to be the leader.  Meaning they aren’t mentally thinking, “I am the leader.”  They are leading by example.  When your starting out and you’re trying to be the leader you usually end up being a manager because you’re trying to force your leadership.  As your role changes you may have to recognize that you are a leader and therefore there are things you can’t do and things you must do but you’re not doing them just so you can say, I am the leader.  You are doing them because you now have more responsibilities than rights.

Leading requires a lot of sacrifice and growth but it has some amazing rewards.  I wish you the best of luck in  your leadership and I hope this short article will give you some insight into some of the top leaders that I have been associated with, with the  Life business.

Team Orrin Woodward – Life Risk, ups and downs

Hey gang.  I know I haven’t written a new article but why when Orrin keeps putting out great ones.  This is a great article to evaluate the up side –  down side of  the team biz.  My decision was a little easier then Orrin Woodward’s or Chris Brady’s because I didn’t have a great career going i was just getting by.  Hope you enjoy and I will posting new very soon.  Bill Lewis


When I worked at Delphi division of GM, I completed half the classes for a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Although I received good grades and enjoyed the classes, I stopped pursuing my MBA in order to build my own business.

Many thought I was crazy to quit my MBA, but I just had a feeling that it was time for me to build my own business rather than continue to learn about business. In truth, I was ready to implement some of the principles that I had learned along with continuing my education in “the school of hard knocks”. :)

One of the best principles that I learned through my MBA program was to study business by asking two questions when studying any business:

1. What is the downside risk?
2. What is the upside reward?Team Orrin Woodward picture

Simply put, if the downside risk was too great, then don’t do it, because it could capsize the entire ship. However, if the a person could handle the worst case downside risk, and the upside reward was big enough, then perhaps it was a business venture worth committing to.

It was these two questions asked and answered that led me out of school and into my own business venture. What is ironic today, as I look back on Laurie and my business ventures is the level of risk taken in our former business model compared to the risk today for someone joining LIFE. Remember, Laurie and I were dead broke even as an engineer and an accountant. In fact, we were beyond broke, having consumer debt amounting to over $30,000 when we started our networking careers!

With monthly expenditures to buy 100 points of volume in my old networking company requiring Laurie and I to spend $300 dollars or more, we barely endured. This was quite a blow to an already stretched budget. Along with the product purchases, the investment in CDs, books, and seminars (all of which I loved) totaled another $200 plus dollars per month. In other words, on top of a stretched budget, Laurie and I had to budget for another $500 dollars per month minimum! The downside investment nearly killed us for the first several years. Thankfully, Laurie and I are both long-term thinkers and kept the vision in front of us. However, many of the people we started with us did not have the same endurance, dropping out along the journey to success.

What kept Laurie and I focused was the upside reward, we figured we could make an extra $25,000 after expenses in a couple of years. It’s laughable now how much work we did in a model whose highest rewards topped out at 25% volume discount on total group volumes of $20-30k per month. I know, I know, this is sounding like one of those stories: we walked uphill both ways to school through heavy snow. :)   Even so, these are the facts we were dealing with.

I am not knocking networking. In fact, I am thankful that someone had created any opportunity for us to apply our sweat equity towards freedom. We had to make many changes, both personally and professionally to get the business rolling, but eventually, we made it happen. To this day, many people around the world utilize the TEAM system of building, called team approach to grow their businesses. I take this as a compliment for our years of effort in improving the upside reward compared to the downside risk for our entire industry.

Today with the LIFE business, the downside risk versus the upside reward is nothing short of revolutionary. A person can sign up for the LIFE and LLR subscriptions, and generate 100 points for $100.  This, in my opinion, is much better than some networking companies, where you buy commodity products at inflated prices, especially if a person can buy comparable products at Walmart and Target for significantly less. In LIFE, a person can purchase the lowest cost leadership materials on the market from the only company that has two leaders on the Top 30 Leadership Guru list.

How can we offer our material at the best price and yet have a compensation plan that pays 50% on just the first type of bonus? The simple answer is the founders desire to influence the world is greater than the desire to pad their pocketbooks. Imagine if we took world-class leadership materials and provided it at the lowest prices. Then, imagine taking 70% of all the revenue points generated and flowing it back to the people who helped LIFE launch the leadership revolution. Remember, in LIFE, your pay raise becomes effective as soon as you do. :)

So what is the downside risk in this model? Hmm, let me think. . . The downside risk is that you might not enjoy the leadership training from two best selling leadership authors and business partners. If at any time you do not see the value in the leadership materials, you have a 30 day “no questions asked” return policy. Certainly within 30 days, you could discover whether the leadership materials is helping you or not, right?

The downside risk is negligible. But what about the upside reward? With a compensation plan that pays out 70% revenue points to anyone who achieves a minimum of 150 points of business, the networking game is changed forever. For example, Laurie and I personally started a new leg on November 4th. It has already achieved the 20% bracket and is easily going to hit the 25% bracket later this week. It took me two years to hit the 25% bracket in my first company!

Why the huge difference? Because we have a digital age business, a compensation plan that rewards people at the low end, and founders who desire the wealth to flow to people who build the network, not found the company.  Another factor is the demand for quality leadership materials at an affordable price point. LIFE has already signed up hundreds of customers doing tens of thousands of points, making volume accumulation easier than ever before in my networking experience.

I have taken my share of criticism for not going along with the herd in networking. I have refused repeatedly to sell out my character for conveniences. This has cost me money, time, and relationships over the years, since, in my opinion, some of my former heroes chose to sell out rather than fight for what is right.  Anytime someone desires to change the rules of the future, he will be attacked by the protectors of the past. I have received, and will continue receiving personal attacks for changing the rules. However, although they can attack my reputation, they cannot touch my character. Better they criticize me than I be them. The only people calling LIFE a scam are fearful competitors. :) Make no mistake, I will never surrender my principles for peace. I believe it’s better to create the new, rather than criticize the old.

If you have ever tried networking and didn’t make it work, then welcome to the club. Millions of Americans and Canadians have tried networking and failed in their attempt. This doesn’t make you a failure unless you blamed someone else. LIFE has changed the risk versus reward ratio to such an extent that many are achieving success who previously only struggled.

For example, my yacht captain, Bill Howard, is already at the 40% bracket and just a sliver away from the 45% bracket. We were quickly calculating his bonus for this month at around $800. Remember, Captain Bill has been in networking since 2005 and has averaged $50 or less per month with his highest one month check around $250!  Like I said, LIFE is a game-changer.

Alright, it’s time for me to get back to work. I have promises to keep. It’s time to reach one million people with leadership truth in the 8F’s of LIFE.  A rising tide lifts all the ships on the water. Don’t you think it’s time to get your ship on the water? Sincerely, Orrin Woodward