Category Archives: Freedom

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.

 

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

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

 

Talent, Luck or Work Ethic

Year after year we see people on television, read about them in magazines or hear others talking about a person that has become incredibly successful.  Within one minute of someone saying the successful persons name, someone else will say, “Man they are lucky.”  or they might add, “I wish I had the talent to do that.”  At some very deep level they are correct in their statement but mostly they are incorrect.  Success has very little to do with talent or luck.  To the casual observer of success they would say that I don’t know what I am talking about.  To anyone who has ever really tasted success before, they would say that I am hitting the nail on the head.

 

I grew up in Saginaw, Michigan.  Not much else to say about that except its nickname is Sag-nasty.  That should give you a good idea of what the mindset of the community was.  You could go to almost any basketball court in the summer and find a group of five guys that could beat every high school basketball team in Saginaw.  If talent and luck are the key factors, then how is this possible?  Was every kid on street courts unlucky or did they create their own circumstances by not putting in the work.  In this case it could have been school work that kept them off the team but any way you look at it, it comes down to work ethic.  Sometimes, I wish this wasn’t true because it would make for a very valuable excuse.  Fortunately, there have been many books written on the subject that debunk the talent myth.

The first step to moving toward success is to realize that the idea that you have to have talent to be great at something is a myth.  We naturally move towards something if we show a little bit of talent but we also will quickly pull away if someone is better or we experience a few setbacks.  In the books Talent is Overrated and Outliers,  both authors prove that this is exactly what we are talking about, a myth.  The first example is called the Hamburg Crucible.  We see the Beatles as being this overnight sensation that were so gifted and talented.  Well, that’s not exactly the story.  The Beatles were just like every other band; they were struggling.  Until they were invited to come and play in Hamburg.  They performed in Hamburg on five different occasions between 1960 and 1962.  They performed live, for 270 nights, around eight hours a day,  in less than a year and a half.  By the time of their first success in 1964 they had performed over 1,200 live performances.  This is more then most bands will do in their entire career.  The long hours of playing forced them to learn new ways of playing and gave them time to experiment with different genres of music.  All of this compiled into one of the greatest lucktalent stories in history.  Of course, I am kidding.  It was sheer work ethic that created this amazing band.  The second example comes from a Hungarian couple that lived in the Ukraine.  Laslzo and Klara had three daughters and for some reason decided to try and turn them into chess champions.  Neither of the couple had any talent in playing chess but they decided they could learn and work.  The three daughters were homeschooled and the schooling consisted largely of chess instruction.  The family accumulated over ten thousand chess books.  The three girls competed for their country and two of the girls were named grand masters.  That is a pretty amazing feat for someone that showed no chess playing ability at all.

The other critical factor that these two books spoke of was deliberate practice.  Deliberate practice is different then work ethic because it is focused.  It means focusing on getting better at a specific skill instead of just practicing.  They would measure how well they were progressing and when they felt good about the skill they would move to the next skill they needed to master.  My mentor Orrin Woodward calls this P.D.C.A. or plan, do, check and adjust.  I am a golfer and amateur golfers are famous for just going to hit some balls.  Well, practicing the bad habits you already have can actually make you worse.  It has to be something specific that you can measure and see if you are improving.  Talent is Overrated did a study of 250 music students.  All of them had around the same skill level.  They watched them for some years to see what made the top notch students the best.  There were only 2 things that made a difference.  Work ethic and deliberate practice.

 

If we can stop saying we are not talented enough or lucky enough and just go outwork everyone, then we will one day be able to taste the sweet victory of success.

Bill Lewis

Detroit – democracy or republic?

Yesterday,  I was getting some physical therapy done on my neck.  Yes it was from golfing, I believe, and yes I understand I am getting older.  As I was laying on the table getting my heat treatment the radio station was talking about Detroit’s emergency financial manager.  If you haven’t heard about it, good, most of us have enough negative things to deal with already.  What’s going on is the govener of the State of Michigan, Rick Snyder, has declared an emergency manager to come in and try to save Detroit City from going bankrupt.  They have hired, Kevyn Orr, attorney and turnaround specialist that helped save Chrysler.  One of the reasons this is attracting so much attention is because it is the biggest city to come under state oversight.  Detroit also has the potential to become the largest bankruptcy ever filed!  What caught my attention was the comments that citizens of Detroit and outsiders were making about the situation.

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Before I state my comments on this, understand I do not claim to know the law, what is constitutional, to know all the specifics, but I do know how to build a successful business and I understand human nature.  Those are the two angles that I am coming from as I comment.

The first thing they were discussing was how outraged everyone is that someone was doing this.  Now,  the man is there to save the city not hurt the city.  He is also doing the job that the elected officials are obviously incapable of doing.  Detroit has been on a steady decline and is on the verge of going totally bankrupt!  The definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  A guaranteed way to fail is to NOT allow new ideas or new perspectives on problems.  There are to many people that are only worried about their reputation and not about getting results.  It shocks me how many politicians are voted into office that have never run a successful company.  Here is the difference.  A business owner knows he must make correct decisions and if incorrect he must adjust quickly.  He also must spend the money wisely because he has a limited amount and his success is on the line.  A politician that doesn’t have business experience is in a dangerous position.  He or she is spending money that they did nothing to earn and they really will not be held responsible for what happens.  This is called a third party purchase or OPM, other peoples money.  If you were just given some money and there were no consequences to what you did with it, you would spend on what you want, right?  If you knew that your job was depended on the people that voted you in, you would naturally cater to them even if it’s not the right decision long term.

The second thing that caught my attention was a caller that said,”This is undemocratic” “We are a democracy and we should all have a say in this situation.”  I about fell of the table when I heard that.  I think I started talking back to the radio.  Obviously, they couldn’t hear me but the other patients laying on tables probably thought I was nuts 🙂  We are not a democracy and we don’t want to be one.  Do we want to have a voice, yes, but we do not want a democratic voice.  Wikipedia defines democracy as,”Every one in the population has an equal voice.”  Let me give you an example to bring this home.  When you are trying to determine where to invest your money do you take a democratic poll from your family?  Little five year old Johnny,”Where do you think we should invest our money?” “What about you uncle Bob?” You have been bankrupt twice.  Let me give you another one.  What if the neighborhood took a vote on what houses they were going to tear down to help the neighborhood look better.  They voted and yours was the one they decided to knock down.  Democracy doesn’t sound so good now.  We say that is absurd!  It is just as absurd to have the population have an EQUAL voice in matters they have no clue what they are talking about.  If the citizens of Detroit think they can fix the problem they are delusional.  Most people can’t even manage their own house but now they want to have an equal voice in running a major city.  We always use democracy when we aren’t getting what WE want.  What we really need is the ability to put people in positions that they have knowledge on what to do and also have the ability to remove them if they aren’t doing the job.

What we ultimately want is a working republic.  We want the ability to vote people in that know what they are doing.  Not someone that has a great smile and lots of money to run ads.  We also need an easy way to get them out if they are not performing.  My mentor Orrin Woodward co-authored a new book with Oliver DeMille called “LeaderShift.”  They give a detailed plan on how to do what I am  talking about.  There is a story that shortly after our country was officially formed, Benjamin Franklin emerged from a building and a lady asked,”What kind of government do we have, a democracy?”  Franklin answered with,” A Republic, if you can keep it.”  What he meant was if we ever get to the point that the citizens are uneducated and revert to mob rule (democracy).  It will be over.  Buy “LeaderShift” and you will be amazed at the solution.

Bill Lewis

 

The Life Business – Freedom Day

The Life Business has done it again!  BreAnne and Kevin Hafner are free!

Last week, myself and my wife had the privilege and honor to attend BreAnne’s last day of work.  There were around 50 people that made it out to, Chelsea Retirement Community,  to watch Bre walk out of that facility for the last time.  It was a chilly day but the excitement of watching someone get there time back was to enticing to miss.  The group had freedom signs, Life signs, and cameras as they gathered around the door that Bre would be walking out of.  At  3:05 she emerged from the building and the crowd erupted with applause.  Her husband Kevin was one of the first to great her as she made her way towards all her teammates.  Her support team was also there to help celebrate. The Hatchers, Tingley, Coon, Ewing, Powers all played a part in making this freedom day happen.  One of the memorable parts of the day was as Bre and Kevin were getting into the car, to drive away for the last time.  Someone pointed up.  As we looked up there was a huge picture frame window on the second floor that had about 25 faces smashed against the glass watching the event unfold.  Many of those faces were people that told Bre that this day would never happen or that she was crazy for thinking that SHE could accomplish something so great.  What they don’t know is that BreAnne and Kevin have guts! They are fighters and are willing to pay the price for freedom.  They also don’t know that Bre is backed by one of the greatest people development systems of all time.  You see when I first meet Bre I didn’t even know that I met her.  She was one of the shyest most quite people that I have met in 15 years of building The LIfe Business.  Now Kevin & Bre are turing themselves into world class leaders. Free from a job at 29 years old!   People of integrity expected to be believed and when they are not, they let time prove them right.

 

Everyone has it in them to earn their freedom.  The question is are you going to cultivate it?   Are you going to stay plugged into the entire process, like Bre & Kevin did?  Are you going to NOT be swayed by the opinions of others, who don’t have the results you want anyways?  Are you going to allow your teammates to help you?   Will you continue to take the next step even when you don’t feel like it?  When you get knocked down will you get back up?  Will you read, listen and associate?  Everyone can do that and we can’t wait to celebrate your day,  with YOU.

Go earn your freedom.

Bill Lewis

 

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The Life Business by Orrin Woodward

Had to repost this article.  Orrin does a great job of giving you insight into The Life Business.  I know what he is saying is true because I have witnessed most of this journey.  If it wasn’t for Orrin and Laurie and what they have done, my family would not be able to live the life we always wanted.  I cannot thank them enough for what they have done except to continue to pay it forward.

Bill lewis

The Story of the LIFE Business

Posted by Orrin Woodward on March 17, 2013

LIFE Business Story

The LIFE Business is an ongoing story. Each person who joins the LIFE community chooses which part, whether large or small, he or she will play. What happens when a world-renowned best-selling author is introduced to LIFE and begins studying the history of this movement? The short answer is a compelling story of hopes, dreams, struggles, failures, perseverance, and finally victory. Thankfully, he has decided to write up the story of LIFE. In my opinion, it is great timing because never before has a LeaderShift been more needed than now. Indeed, this is exactly what the LIFE community intends to do – create a leadershift! Here is a portion of the introduction in his upcoming book about LIFE. What part will you play in the story?

Sincerely

Orrin Woodward

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LIFE Business Major Convention

 

LIFE Business Introduction

The fate of free enterprise is very much in doubt. By the first decade of the 21st Century, critics of free enterprise and modern democratic freedom had convinced many people that free enterprise is an outdated system, one that cares more about corporate profits than economic opportunity for everyone.

This problem was the result of a split between two approaches to free enterprise, the traditional type of freedom based on the cooperation of idealists and realists to share profits so everyone has the chance to succeed financially, versus a more cutthroat corporatist emphasis on what we might call “Skeptical Pragmatism,” or doing whatever is deemed most profitable regardless of who it hurts, and keeping most of the profits for a few elites.

In the midst of this growing divide, it was perhaps inevitable that new companies would arise to challenge the shift toward corporatism, and to once again champion traditional free enterprise. It is against this backdrop that the story of the LIFE business began.

It is a story set in a business world created by the likes of Jack Welch, Sam Walton, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. I will state my almost preposterous thesis here and now, as controversial as it may seem: Had history developed just slightly differently, the other names on this list would be those who created and expanded network marketing.

Indeed, network marketing should have been as big as WalMart. It would have been, except too many people at the top asked themselves, “Why would we only take a 10% profit when we could take 30%?”

The story of the LIFE business is the exact opposite. The top leaders asked, “Why would we take 30% of the profit when we could earn 10% and pass the rest to others in the business?”

Why would anyone do this? Did they miss the memo? Did they skip the unofficial lessons of many prestigious business schools?

Did they misunderstand capitalism? Or were they just less experienced, ambitious or visionary than their competitors on Wall Street?

This is the story of a company that dared to do it differently, to apply Sam Walton-like thinking to network marketing. Moreover, instead of soap, health drinks or other typical network marketing products, this is the story of a company that chose to build its central product line around the most American of exports—leadership.

This is not a story of perfect men or women, or a feel-good tale of continual success without major difficulties. Far from it. This is a story of men and women, ordinary individuals who faced extraordinary challenges with hard work, resilience, and, above all, persistence.

It is a story of people who believed in an idea, and who refused to let it go—even when it almost cost them everything. It is a story of a few men and women who would not bend to the “normal” business trends that created elitism and corporatism in the modern economy. Some may say it is a story of courage, while others might argue that more “sophisticated” businessmen wouldn’t have so stubbornly held to their ideals and risked it all.

But whatever else it is, this is a story about families, friendships, and principles. In a way, it would more naturally fit into the storylines of past centuries, where leaders were expected to stand up, stand out, take on the establishment and blaze new trails based on firmly-held beliefs. In our modern world of political correctness, group therapy, management by committee, and the drive to “fit in” and pursue popularity at all costs, the concept of standing up against the system because “it’s the right thing to do” may seem amusingly archaic to some people.

Yet that is exactly how LIFE came about. This is the story of a leader, indeed of a team of leaders, who set out to build a widespread community of leaders. And while such a story may feel anachronistic in the 21st Century, it may just be the type of story that will redeem this generation.

Could it be that the “success bias” of our modern world is desperately in need of what Stephen Covey called “the character ethic?” Do we live in a world where the most important leadership principle is a desperately-needed acknowledgement that character counts? If so, the story of the LIFE business is a story for our times.

It is a story unfinished, however. The more time I spent interviewing the main characters, researching and studying the events, documents and details of this story, the more I felt that writing this story was like writing about Sam Walton in the 1960s, before WalMart was a worldwide phenomenon. While the future of LIFE remains to be seen, the unique beginning of this business is a story worth telling in its own right. To paraphrase Santayana, the future remains in the future, and the best we can do is learn (hopefully) from the past.

Whatever your business or career, your level of education or status in society, the story of the LIFE business is a case study of what can happen when an ancient set of leadership principles (based on idealism, frugality, hard work and integrity) are applied in a modern business environment dominated by pragmatism. Every modern leader struggles with this very challenge, and this story is therefore deeply relevant for today’s leaders in every sector and field.

Orrin Woodward – The Life Business

The LIfe Business – Chris Brady

Well this article is just to good to not post.  It is so good I wanted to repost the entire article.  Chris does a fantastic job of explaining what the Life business is and the mindset behind how it is set up.  Chris is more then qualified to explain this because he is the mastermind behind many of the ideas.  Chris is extremely talented but his most impressive talent is to think through decisions and come with a solution that is based on, what is the right thing to do.    I hope this gives you a better understanding of why Life is different.

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

LIFE

LIFE

The Impetus Behind the Life Business

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

I was not alone. Along with my friends Orrin WoodwardTim MarksBill Lewis,George GuzzardoClaude Hamilton, and Dan Hawkins, we founded the LIFEcompany in an attempt to build a business to not only be the model of what couldbe in this profession, but what should be, as well. In other words, we launchedLIFE to fix what we didn’t like about the industry while preserving the parts we felt were right about it.

What the Life Business is Doing 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUT THE LIFE BUSINESS ISN’T PERFECT

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

Thanks for reading!

Chris Brady

Happ-i-ness

At one point in my life, my definition of happiness would have been the person that had everything they want.  On television and in movies they always looked happy.  Most media outlets  portrayed them as being happy and everyone else seemed to agree with my opinion.  Now I am much older, more traveled, been exposed to many different people and have accomplished a lot of my original material goals.  I have changed my original opinion.

The magazine Psychology Today sent a survey to 52,000 people asking them to respond and tell them how they believed they would find happiness.  Most of the respondents said they dreamed of winning the lottery and it would fulfill their happiness.  Lets take a look at one story of a lottery winner.  A Pennsylvania resident won eight million dollars.  Within a year his wife left him, winning alimony and child support that would cost him one million dollars; his landlady sued him for 30% of the winnings and won in court; his brother and sister in-law were indicted and imprisoned for trying to hire someone to kill him.  I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sound much like happiness.  The truth about the lottery is most of the winners end up bankrupt financially and end up bankrupt in their happiness account.

I know someone reading this is saying, “I would still like to have everything I want and find out for myself”.  I understand, I use to feel the same way when I read or heard “dumb” 🙂 people say the things I am saying.  Needless to say, that doesn’t change the facts.  Don’t get me wrong, money will eliminate some of life’s annoyances but money does not fill the void where happiness lies.  We all know a person or have heard about celebrities that have everything that life could offer but are so miserable that they end up destroying themselves.  Did you know that the number one profession for suicide is psychologist?  Why? Because they have seen and heard the depravity of the human heart.

You see happiness has the same middle-english root happ, which is also found in the word happening.  In other words, happiness depends on what happens.  We are happy if certain things happen to use; if they do not then our happiness vanishes like mist.  Isn’t it ironic that the middle letter in happiness is I.  Our state of happiness revolves around I, me, and my.

  •  Whats going to happen to me?
  • Whats going to happen to my family?
  • What is wrong with my kids?
  • What if I don’t succeed?
  • I wish my spouse would understand me!
This means that we are the greatest obstacle blocking the way to happiness.  When we are most focused on ourselves and what we want, that is when we are the most un-happy.  As soon as you focus your attention to others; what they want, what they need, that is when the amazing feeling comes over you.  A feeling called happiness.  A business guru once said,” You help enough people get what they want and by default you will get what you want.”  That does not only apply to business but to every area of life.  I have experienced this so many times in my life that I can not recount them all.  I am having a bad day, I don’t feel good, something is aching but as soon as I get focused on serving, I quickly forget about the things that are troubling me.  The really crazy part of it is the more I serve others the greater blessings I receive back.  As the old Hindu proverb states: “Help thy brothers boat across, and lo! thy own has reached the shore.”
The ultimate answer to the issue is when you know you cannot do anything without Gods help and put your total faith in Him.  Therefore,  if you are having a problem with marriage, kids, finances, relationships, figure out who and how to serve and you will experience the feeling of happiness.
God Bless

 

The Mental Fitness Challenge

I wanted to wait at least a week until I blogged about the new mental fitness challenge that   the -team.biz 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 the-life-business.com.    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