Tag Archives: 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

The Life Business: First Year Results – Life Leadership

In November of 2012, Life Leadership  completed its first year of operation. I wanted to wait a few months to post because I knew additional feedback would come in. To say we got off to a good start would be an understatement. We had a fantastic first year! Just like anything else in life, there were many challenges and changes along the path of the first year, but we have an amazing group of founders that are leading the charge. What’s unique about the LIFE business is the founders are also the leaders in the field. They are actually teaching what they know from first-hand experience.

 

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First Year Results:

1. The LIFE business surpassed a 100% increase in subscriptions of the LIFE and LLR Series in under one year of business.

2. The LIFE business launched the Mental Fitness Challenge and sold thousands of 90-day challenges throughout North America.

3. The LIFE business paid out over $1,800,000 in end-of-year bonuses and free trips its first year.

4. The LIFE business paid out over 70% bonuses on its product volume points in its first year of business.

5. Rob Hallstrand, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of TEAM and a LIFE founder, coordinated operations for both companies, and combined sales blew past $50,000,000 (with LIFE leading the charge) from the Flint, Michigan, based office.

6. Team training produced its best operating margins ever (of which 100% of profits flowed back to field trainers) as Mr. Hallstrand continued his dramatic turnaround of Team operations. In fact, employee cost-per-profit-dollar has decreased over six times in his three years as COO, leading to increased bonuses for field trainers and office staff—a truly stunning performance.

7. Customers composed nearly 20% of total LIFE business subscriptions in the first year. Considering new members have six months to learn how to develop customers, this number will only grow as members complete training. What other community building business hits 20% customer subscriptions in its first year?

8. The LIFE business launched the Edge Series for youth and has added thousands of satisfied families in LIFE’s first year.

9. The AGO Series donates 100% of its profits to charities.

10. We added the 3 for Free Program to help develop a strong customer base.

11. The One-Time Cash Awards were increased.

 

The Life Business / Life Leadership: What Is It?

All people will be called upon to lead at some point (and usually at several points) in their lives. The only question is: Will they be ready?

The life business launched with the purpose of providing world-class leadership materials to business executives, entrepreneurs, corporate climbers, pastors, church leaders, administrators, community service leaders, public servants, teachers, parents, and all those who will find themselves in the position to lead. When it gets right down to it, leadership is for everyone. Nobody will be able to make it through life without needing to draw upon the toolbox of leadership skills. Sadly, many people lack these tools and therefore get to live with the consequences of being ill-equipped. These consequences include missed opportunities, unfulfilled career aspirations, financial woes, and broken relationships.

LIFE is for those who earnestly seek a better life, are interested in the strenuous process of personal growth, are driven to succeed in significant ways, and are committed to a life of excellence for a higher purpose.

Our Point of View: You can live the life you’ve always wanted. We believe it requires correct information applied with discipline, consistency, and purpose over time and the support and encouragement of a community of people aligned in a common purpose.

Our Purpose: LIFE seeks to provide the information, encouragement, opportunity, and community necessary to individuals who are hungry to live a life that counts!

We don’t know what we don’t know, and we’ve forgotten some of what we did know. But we know what we didn’t used to know, and we’ll help you learn it, too!

 The Life Business / Life Leadership: What Are Others Saying?

To me, the best way to learn about something is to talk to the people that are involved. Please click the link I have attached below to hear personal testimonies from people who have used the LIFE materials.

The Life Business testimonials : Life Leadership

Bill Lewis

 

Dreams and Goals: Are You Moving Toward Them or Away?

Goals: That one simple word holds so much power. Yet very few people really use it, truly understand it, or harness the power of it. It is amazing how my life transformed after I was exposed to the power of goals. When I joined the LIFE business, my eyes were opened to how goals could help me pursue my dreams. If dreams are the destination, then goals are the path to get you to your dreams. If you only have a dream, it may take you a very long time to get to your dream, or worse, you may never get there at all. Goals are what keep you focused, moving forward, and out of the ditches of lost dreams. Let’s take a look at what The Magic of Thinking Big teaches about goals:

A goal is an objective, a purpose. A goal is more than a dream; it’s a dream being acted upon. A goal is more than a hazy “Oh, I wish I could.” A goal is a clear “This is what I’m working toward.” Nothing happens, no forward steps are taken until a goal is established. Without goals individuals just wander through life. They stumble along, never knowing where they are going, so they never get anywhere.

Let’s start with the big picture first and then work backwards. How do you picture your future? What does your family look like? How do you act ? What does your relationship with your spouse look like? How is your faith? What business do you own? What kind of house are you living in? Do you have multiple houses? What kind of cars do you drive? What do you look like physically? Are you funding any charities? When you do this part, you should write it out and keep the paper somewhere visible. This will serve as your overall life template.

This is the time to really try and stretch your dreams. One of my mentors Chris Brady says, “Most people way overestimate what they can do in one year and drastically underestimate what they can accomplish in ten years.” Another way of putting it is that you should almost laugh at what you put down because it seems so improbable at this moment in time. Won’t it be fun to go back to this list and discover that you accomplished everything on it? You will think to yourself, “I should have dreamed bigger!” Once you have the dreams written out, you can start to set goals to help accomplish the tasks. You may not even know what goals to write down yet, but that may lead to your first goal: find a mentor that can guide you to these dreams. One thing I have learned about successful people is that they are dying to help others accomplish their goals. The people who will give you the hardest time about achieving your dreams are the ones that have achieved the fewest themselves. Any successful person you talk to will give you all the advice he can because he has already achieved that goal himself.

For the next step, you need to realize that your brain wont just say, “It’s a great day; we are going to accomplish something.”  No, your brain will immediately begin to tell you all the reasons why you can’t make these dreams and goals happen.  Here are six success stealers that you must figure out a way to eliminate:

  1. Self-depreciation: I can’t do it. I’m not good with people. I don’t have enough money. I don’t have enough time. I’m not that kind of person.
  2. Security-itis: Things aren’t that bad. Our relationship is okay. I really don’t need that house. I don’t want to risk my security.
  3. Competition: That field is already overcrowded.
  4. Family pressure: I should listen to what family members think is safe for me.
  5. Family responsibility: I should have done this a couple of years ago, but now I have too much family responsibility.
  6. Dream stealers: These are the people that haven’t accomplished their dreams and want you to be safe instead of pursuing yours.

 So how do you set goals? You just established the big picture of what you want. You know what the end destination looks like. Now you have to start mapping out how you are going to get there. There will be road blocks, accidents, and flat tires along the way, but that doesn’t change the end destination; it just changes how you are going to get there. You can’t set a ridiculous goal that you know you won’t put in the work to accomplish, but you also don’t want it to be so small that it requires no effort.

With all that said, I would venture to say that most people are not in the habit of setting goals, so start with this: In whatever area you are looking at, determine what you could for sure do. Examples: Read a page a day, listen to one CD per day, eat 100 fewer calories per day, run for five minutes every day, etc. Once you have that established, add a little bit to it: Read two pages per day, listen to two CDs each day, eat 150 fewer calories per day, run for eight minutes every day, etc. Another factor that affects your goals is how fast you want to accomplish them.  Bestselling author and leader Tim Marks says you need to know: “What and by when?”

This is what The Magic of Thinking Big says about why goals are so important:

 Successful people have their eyes focused on a goal and this provides energy. The point is this: energy increases, multiplies, when you set a desired goal and resolve to work toward that goal.…The most amazing thing about a deeply entrenched goal is that it keeps you on course to reach your target. This isn’t double talk. What happens is this. When you surrender to your goal, the goal works itself into your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind is always in balance. Your conscious mind is not, unless it is in tune with what your subconscious mind is thinking. Without full cooperation from the subconscious mind, a person is hesitant, confused, indecisive.

WOW!  I know I have felt hesitant, confused, and indecisive a bunch of times, and it was because I wasn’t sure what I was chasing after. The overall concept is that it is much better to have some goal than to have no goal at all. If you have a goal, at least you are moving toward something, and that is much better than moving toward nothing. My mentor Orrin Woodward often says,” If you don’t set a goal, you will hit it with amazing accuracy.”

Bill Lewis

 

Are You a COI or a COA Person?

I just found some material that ties into a previous post that I did on layers.  Are you a center of influence person, or are you a center of attention person? Don’t answer too quickly; wait until I explain and then think through your answer. In the previous post on layers, I spoke about people’s fears and how they start to build up protective layers because of those fears. Then they build up layers on top of those layers to keep anyone from even getting close to those fears. These layers determine the way people respond and act under different circumstances. This new information provides a great example of how to identify if you have built up layers and maybe don’t know it. It also helps show you how you will think when you minimize the number of fears you have, which in turn, will eliminate layers.

A center of influence person is aware that every thought, emotion, word, and behavior he expresses has an effect. If you are a center of influence person, you understand that you set the tone for your relationships. You take responsibility for how you interact with others and how they treat you. You cannot control what other people think or how they behave,  yet your beliefs and behavior serve to teach others how they should treat you. If you are in a difficult situation with someone, you ask yourself, “What effect did my communication have on that person and that situation?” As a center of influence person, you see others in terms of their needs, not yours. And you acknowledge the way you feel and recognize that you are the cause.

As a  center of attention person, you emanate fear and see other people according to what they have done to you or what they should be doing for you. Emotionally, you believe others should change to meet your needs and wants—that others should fit your ideas and beliefs in order for you to feel complete. The world must conform to your expectations. When it does conform to your expectations, you say that things are going well. When it doesn’t, you are unhappy. When your well-being comes from outside of you, there is always a fear that you won’t get what you need or want. You see the world as having caused you to feel hurt or angry.

If you are a center of influence person, then you operate with very few layers. If you are a center of attention person, then you still have many layers that need to be worked on and removed. It is easy to look at specific situations in our lives and say, “I get along great with people” or “I do think of others.” We think of people we like or situations that are in our favor, and we can easily convince ourselves that we don’t have many layers. But the way to analyze this is to think of people we don’t get along with, people that have different opinions than ours, and situations that are not in our favor. Does your opinion of those people change, or do you try to understand why they think the way they do? Do you blame the situation for why you didn’t do what you were supposed to do? Another way to analyze this is to look at your long-term relationships. Do you keep many, or do you lose most of them? People with few layers keep many long-term relationships because their happiness and self-assurance are not affected by other people. They can easily be around people that have different opinions and beliefs because they are secure with themselves and who they are. They don’t feel the need to defend themselves, so in turn, they don’t violate the relationship.

So how do we remove the layers we have? There are four steps that help accomplish this goal.  1) Start reading  self-development books and gain an understanding of human nature. 2) Work at something and build your self-esteem. 3) Find a mentor that can help you identify your layers or blind spots. 4) After interactions with others, analyze why you reacted the way that you did. The purpose of these four steps is not to learn some new technique, but rather to give you a different perspective. People skills alone will not change you from a center of attention person to a center of influence person. Somewhere in you, there is a layer ( pre-supposition) that is affecting how you behave, and the goal is to root it out. Only gaining a new perspective and being secure with who you are will allow you to be confident in your interactions with others.   

Bill Lewis

 

 

 

The Great Cover-Up

I want to cover a topic that my pastor preached on this last Sunday.  He was obviously talking to the church, but his point applies to anyone that is trying to build a community of people.  His sermon was entitled “The Great Cover-Up” in reference to how we handle things when we do something wrong, make a mistake, or commit a sin.  Do we run and hide, or do we stand up and face the situation with courage?  Unfortunately, almost everyone in our society has taken the lesser road.  So what we need to do is understand how this trend got started, why we haven’t fixed it, and how we can fix it.  If we could get this right, we could massively change our entire culture.

First we need to understand why this is such a powerful force in our lives.  It all started in the Garden of Eden.  After God made man and woman, He gave them a perfect sanctuary in which to live.  The only rule was that they couldn’t eat from the tree of knowledge.  As you know, Eve cracked under the pressure. :) And of course, Adam followed instead of leading.  (My wife and I always joke about who was really at fault.)  But after they ate the forbidden fruit, what happened?

Genesis 3: 7-8   “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.  They heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 

Now think for a minute how silly it is for them to be hiding from God.  They knew Him on an intimate level that we can’t possibly  understand, so I would assume that they knew He is omniscient and omnipresent.  Yet even with that knowledge, their instinct was to hide like a five-year-old only child who just wrote on the wall (not that that ever happens).  So if Adam would hide from God, for sure, mankind is going to hide from other humans!  It is in our makeup, our DNA.  That doesn’t make it right or an acceptable strategy, but we need to know that it will be our first inclination.  

Now that we know where those original feelings come from, we need to understand why our culture has made uncovering mistakes such a negative proposition. This one is easy, and most of you already know the answer.  We have been raised in a society where being wrong is viewed negatively.  We get marked down—not marked up; we get told what we did wrong—not what we did right; we hear news about people that are doing wrong—not about the people who are doing right. Humans are naturally drawn toward the negative. You are looked at as being weak if you admit you have issues instead of being seen as courageous for facing them.  All of this has produced a culture of fear—fear of facing the issues that every one of us has.

Another factor that has affected our ability to fix issues is trust.  We don’t trust the person we are talking to because he hasn’t gone through the same process, so we are not sure if our conversations are going to be private or if he may tell someone else. We may not be sure if others have the aptitude to help us.  And sometimes we just feel like others will judge us.  This last one is interesting.  We all know someone like this: the holier-than-thou person.  This person comes across like he just has it all together and never sins, and if he ever does, it is certainly not as big as your sins.  It is very hard to help people if you give off that perception.  If God is the standard, then all of us are filthy compared to His holiness.

Isaiah 64:6   For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds  are like filthy rags.

So what do we do to start repairing this cover-up mentality?  First, we need to follow what Scripture tells us to do.

James 5:16      Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another that you may be healed.

This would imply that we are supposed to be part of the process.  If we are part of the process, then we need to create a culture of facing sin—not covering it up.  Following are some actions we can take:

  • Let people know that all of us are sinners saved by grace
  • Let others know some of the areas in which we have struggled
  • Edify the people who are willing to face sin instead of running from it
  • Keep all conversations private
  • Be trustworthy with minor issues, so others know they can trust us with the big ones
  • Attack the thought process—not the person
  • Let people know that nothing they say will affect your opinion of them

This list is easy for me to write up because my mentors have done all of these things for me.  Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward have modeled these behaviors for me.  We must first go through this process if we are going to become really effective in helping our fellow man.  We must understand what it is like to reveal our sins to someone else before we can help others to admit their sins to us.  It is vitally important as a community that we stop hiding behind the bushes acting like we don’t have any problems.  We all have them, and none of them are worse than others because anything we do right is still like a filthy rag.  Let’s become a group in which resolving issues is more courageous than covering up issues.

God Bless

Bill Lewis

 

 

 

Success Requires Others

One key point to remember when trying to succeed is that success always takes a team of people. The notion that someone is self-made is ridiculous. It took two other people just to get you on the planet. I can’t think of anything else on the planet that is less self-made than humans are. So, if we always need others to help us succeed, then we should probably think about how we treat other people. Now, I understand that people are people and are always doing special things. :) I am not saying that people won’t continue to bug us sometimes, but we need to have grace when dealing with humans because all of us are messt up. (I know that’s not a word, but it is appropriate here. Thanks for the grace.) The Magic of Thinking Big gives us four leadership principles to help in this area:

  1. Trade minds with the people you want to influence.
  2. Think: What is the human way to handle this?
  3. Think progress, believe in progress, and push for progress.
  4. Take time out to confer with yourself.

Let me give you an example of number one on the list. A lady was hired to be the assistant buyer for a low- to medium-priced department store. All of the things she purchased were great, but they were not selling well. Eventually, she was let go from her position. The reason was because she was purchasing items that she liked. She was raised in a well-off family that was used to purchasing high-quality items that naturally cost more. She was thinking everyone would love what she loved, but she never tried to mentally switch places with someone that had a tight budget. It is very important in business to always try to think from the other person’s point of view. How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People talks about the importance of moving to the other side of the table with someone—in other words, seeing the world  from that person’s perspective or walking a mile in his shoes. The question to ask oneself is: How can I help that person based on where he is, what he sees, what he likes, what he doesn’t like, and what he dreams about and not what I think he should see, like, not like, or dream about?

Now if you are mentoring someone, you have to have the ability to see from the other person’s point of view and understand his position but also be able to see where he can be, rather than just where he is.

The human way to handle things actually seems like it is not natural to humans at all.  I have seen people try to be the dictator and the letter-of-the-law person. The dictator sounds like this: “You will do it this way, or else!” That kind of attitude is really good for destroying relationships. Now, of course, most of us don’t approach it that way. We  say things like, “Well, I am a so and so, and I think I know what I am talking about” or “Why would you listen to that person?” We have all kinds of creative ways of saying, “I am the dictator” without actually saying those words.

The other big violator is the letter-of-the-law person. I saw this one tragically implemented one time. Our business team produced a CD that talked about the husband being responsible for the family finances. The letter-of-the-law people told all the males that they should be writing the checks and doing all of the budgeting. WOW! I have never seen so many couples’ monthly budgets get destroyed so quickly! The wife was the organized one, and the sanguine males started torturing themselves trying to do the budgets. The human way is to look from their shoes and implement the principle, not the details. The male could still be responsible for the month’s budget without having to do the technical work. Study anyone that has successful long-term relationships, and they have handled things in a human way instead of the dictator or letter-of-the-law way.

The third item of always seeking improvement can cover many areas, but let me try to boil it down to a few simple steps. First, be harder on yourself than you are on your team members. If you strive for excellence yourself, your team will always follow suit. Second,  try to make all your goals revolve around helping others hit their goals. If you plan it that way, then by default, you are focusing on others but still striving for progress.

The last step from The Magic of Thinking Big is to confer with yourself. The number one job of the leader is to think. I believe it was Henry Ford who said, “The hardest work in life is thinking; that is why so few people engage in it.” If the leader is not mentally ahead of the followers, then that means he is mentally with the followers and, by default, cannot be leading. Leaders must have quiet moments in which they give themselves time to think through issues, game plan, and set goals. This should be a weekly habit, but then leaders also need some bigger (or longer) thought-processing moments. Bestselling author Chris Brady wrote a great book talking about that very subject called A Month of Italy.

God Bless

Bill Lewis

How Do You Handle Setbacks?

As many of you that read my blog know, I have a lot of contact with people that are on the journey of success. This gives me a great window to view how people react to failures. What has become very evident is that the way a person views his failures will ultimately determine his overall success. I have seen it both ways. I have seen the person who gets knocked down again and again but continues to get back up and fight for his victory. And I have also seen the person who doesn’t get knocked down but gives in to failure anyway because it looks like he is going to get knocked down. If you can take a hard look at how you view failures and get back up every time, then success is yours. As I talk about this, do not take this as me looking down on people who have failed. I know that the majority of people have never been taught the principles of success. I failed for 28 years of my life until I was exposed to the LIFE business and my mentor Orrin Woodward. That is why we need to talk about it, so we can learn to view it through the correct lens.

If a study was done of homeless people, I can assure you that we could find a person that endured the same circumstances and succeeded. Some had their spouse leave them, some lost their jobs, others made bad investments, and some fell into addictions. (The interesting part of my life is that I have personally seen all of these within my own family.) Instead of adjusting a behavior, making sacrifices, or fighting back, they just gave up. The successful person makes the necessary adjustments and moves forward. Hopefully, you have seen the movie Cinderella Man. It is one of the best examples of what I just explained. A down-and-out boxer goes through the Depression and loses everything. While many people around him gave up, he continued to fight for his family and eventually became the heavy-weight champion of the world.

When you take a shot, how do you react? Do you fall down in self misery, do you get back up but are scared to take another shot, or do you do what success requires? Get back up and move forward with even more conviction. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean you just bounce back up like a weeble-wobble and don’t feel the effects of the blow. I mean you gather yourself, look at what just happened, figure out what adjustments need to be made, and then move forward again. The FAA is in charge of studying airline crashes to determine what adjustments need to happen within the airline industry. Imagine if they reacted like most of us do when crashes occur. “Sorry, we just don’t know what to do. We are giving up.” Air travel would be non-existent because the safety of flying would have never improved. I know someone is reading this and saying, “Well, of course, they have to do that; it’s important.” What I would say to you is: “Aren’t your life and the lives of your family members more important?”

So what do we do? When we hit the TAR (things are rough), we need to be ready mentally. First, remember that just like with a plane crash, you can salvage something from every crash that will help you improve. Determine what caused the failure, put in a system to fix it, and move forward. Your plan might not be the total answer, but it will move you forward enough to determine the next piece of the puzzle. Albert Hubbard says, “A failure is a man who has blundered but is not able to cash in on the experience.” Second, be persistent. Most people don’t ever get to the lesson they need to learn because they are not persistent or willing to fail enough to get to the heart of the issue. Remember what the famous poet Rocky Balboa said: “It’s not how hard you can hit; it’s how hard can you GET HIT, get back up, and keep moving forward.” Third, recognize that you get what you picture. When you get knocked down and all you see is the negative, then that is what you will get from that lesson. If you take a second, give your head a shake, and continue to look at victory, then that is what you will get.

 Bill Lewis

 

 

Be Encouraging by Removing Your Layers

IT is quit amazing that one of the smallest parts of the body, the tongue, can have such a powerful impact on us and others.  The number of Proverbs and statements about the tongue are vast.

  • Death and life are in the power of the tongue  (Prov. 18:21)
  •  A soothing tongue is the tree of life  (Prov. 12:25)
  • The tongue is mightier then the sword ( ok I know its,pen, but the pen just writes what the tongue would have said )

Even though the tongue physically speaks the words it is the heart that creates the words before they are spoken.  Luke 6 :45  “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.   Since it is the heart that produces the words we use and the way we use them then we really need to solve the heart issues to become a true encourager to others.  You see what happens is we are living our life and words are spoken to us and about us.  Those words have a great effect on our view of ourselves.  We will start to build up protective layers around the fear in our heart that we are trying to protect.  As we speak, our words are affected by those layers.  When we build up enough layers we begin to speak from the layers instead off from our core self.  This can lead to creating blind spots.  These blind spots are areas that we don’t even recognize as causing issues in our life.

Let me give you a personal example of how layers affect your life.  My mom and dad were divorced when I was eight years old.  Not having a father figure produced some protective layers that I did not recognize until my 40′s.  Not having a father or any other male role model created a fear of  acceptance in me.  Now to protect that fear, I built up a layer of toughness and anger.  I was always noticing people that I thought were looking at me funny, reacting because of what I did ( lets use driving on the highway  :) or talking about me.  All of these were rooted in my fear of male acceptance.  I know this is true because one of my friends had the same issue and we were always looking for a fight.  One of my other friends didn’t have this fear ( layers )  and always thought me and my other friend were crazy.  By the way, he did have a great relationship with his father.  I think the layers we create are manifested based on our personality traits.  Choleric, melancholy, phlegmatic, sanguine.  The choleric’s layers become aggressive or angry; the melancholy becomes sarcastic or introverted; the phlegmatic becomes stubborn or recluse;  the sanguine becomes goofy or unaware of whats going on around them.  These are just some of the layers I have witnessed but there can be many more.  As these layers develop we start to hear everything filtered through those layers and speak from those layers.  Both situations will make it more difficult to build great relationships with people.  You have all experienced these conversations.  You say something to someone and there reply back to you has nothing to do with what you just said.  Now you have layers also and so you reply back with something that has nothing to do with what that person says.   Example, I was getting physical therapy and had to lay there and witness a half hour conversation about NOTHING! I thought I was going to go nuts.  Started off with ” My husband took me to that new restaurant” “Did you hear there is a food poison break out”  “My son was sick two weeks ago” “I think I’m going to train for a race.” “I just don’t like working out” both ladies were going back and forth and never acknowledged once what the other person said.  That was when I started praying that God would seal their lips shut.  God didn’t answer that prayer so I was forced to endure.  You see the problem with speaking from layers is that it means we aren’t really hearing the other person we are trying to achieve a desire of our own.

A desire may be defined as something wanted that cannot  be obtained without the cooperation of another person.  It is an objective for which a person can assume no responsibility, because it is beyond their control.  Reaching a desire must never become the motivating purpose behind behavior, because then a person is assuming responsibility for something he cannot fullfill on his own.  Encouragement by Dr. Larry Crabb and Dr. Dan alexander

 

Think about it for a minute.  The person that is best to talk to is probably the person in your life that has the fewest fears that they are trying to protect.  The less fears they have the less layers they have.   They can hear what you are saying, without filtering it through layers, and when they speak they are speaking from their core, not their layers.  When people speak from their layers their words seem like they are coated with the film of the desire they are trying to fulfill.  Some speak trying to make you feel worse about yourself so they can feel better, some speak in a way that they are fishing for compliments,  others speak in tones that imply to leave them alone, some speak in a way to try to convince you they know what they are talking about.  The list goes on and on but when you hit that person that doesn’t have layers it is like a breath of fresh air.  So how do we fix this.

The real key to fixing this is to eliminate the fears.  Once you eliminate the fear the layers go with it.  A lot of people try to fix these layers with technique or skill.  They will read books on how to improve their people skills but the core fear is still there and so their protective layers just change to a different type of protective layer.  Reading and self analysis can work but very few people are skilled enough to identify their own fears and layers.  The best way to identify and change them is by mentoring with someone who can help you see what you cant see.  I have been very blessed to have two mentors  (Orrin woodward – Life founder and Chris Brady – Life founder) that have helped me eliminate some of mine.  Once you have done this process you are now able to help others identify their fears, grow, and become better.  I wish you the best of luck on this very important subject.

God Bless

Bill Lewis

 

Trust

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 

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