TEAM History & LIFE Future
Posted by Orrin Woodward on October 8, 2011
Today, I would like to share a little of the TEAM’s history as background for our future in LIFE. The TEAM, a leadership community, formed in early 1999 as a group committed to building teams offline and driving traffic online for volume discounts. At a time when the rest of our partnered company’s North American English speaking businesses was dropping backwards at close to 50%, the TEAM grew from 200 people attending events to over 10,000 in just over five years. How did this happen? Through leadership development, systematic thinking, and plenty of hard work of the TEAM leaders.
However, all was not well within the business partnership. By 2004, it became clear that the business model was (in my opinion) destined to mediocrity thanks to the higher priced products and low compensation rewards for the effort extended. Even so, being a leader and not a habitual quitter, I joined the distributor board hoping to drive change from within the company through sharing my ideas to improve. With a three year term on the board, I felt confident that this would be accomplished for the benefit of all parties. I believe in win-win and know that when distributors win, the company will win.
In the fall of 2007, after numerous attempts at change with little to no results, the TEAM associated board leaders felt it fruitless to continue in what they perceived was a broken business model. Sadly, the company had written new rules into their contract that forbid people the right to freely leave the company if not satisfied. In other words, you were free to build a business, but not free to leave it with your personal friends for two years! Regretfully for all parties, the final meeting did not resolve the issues, resulting in multiple legal disputes in an effort to prove their respective positions.
Even after several years of legal harangues, both sides remained immovable on their principles and positions. The TEAM refusing to believe people could be called business owners without the freedom to choose what company to work with and the company refusing to surrender their contractual concerns even after the TEAM leaders fulfilled their six months of inactivity. With tens of millions of dollars and nearly three years wastefully spent on both sides, ultimately a confidential settlement was reached ending the madness for all involved. The financial pain hurt everyone, but especially the TEAM leaders who had just reached financial independence. Their sacrifice was above and beyond the normal call of duty, with many leaders losing 2/3 of their monthly incomes, some even more. Only people who truly believed in the mission of TEAM would subject themselves to this level of stress and sacrifice.
In the meantime, after sitting out the required (and disputed) non-compete period, the leaders of TEAM joined MonaVie. Thanks to the encouragement and support of Dallin Larsen, we had found a home to restore our communities. The PC leaders never gave up the dream to build our own business, but were thankful and grateful beyond words for the help and business acumen offered by the 2010 Ernst & Young entrepreneur of the year – Dallin Larsen. The TEAM quickly became one of the top organizations within MonaVie breaking multiple Black Diamonds and above within the first year. I personally reached Presidential Black Diamond and have re-qualified at that level every year since. In fact, today, the TEAM leaders, those who stayed the course, are making more money and reaching more people than at anytime previous time in our decade plus history. Like I have said repeatedly, those who stay will be champions.
Through brainstorming with Dallin Larsen and Henry Marsh, wanting to find a way to build our destined business and still have a win-win business relationship, LIFE was conceptualized and founded. This allows TEAM to reach its million people while still rewarding MonaVie for their support during the trying times. The 8F’s – Faith, Family, Fitness, Finances, Friends, Freedom, Fun, and Following allow the TEAM community to reach people with truth in the eight areas and provide exclusive world-class MonaVie products when truth is needed in the Fitness category. Like I have said many times: I love win-win.
The launch of life on November 1st, 2011 is fast approaching. I have no bitterness or resentment towards the people or events in the past. I wish everyone well regardless of whether they stayed with TEAM or not. I don’t claim to understand God’s plans for others’ lives, but I am responsible for my choices and actions before God. I personally am thankful for the invaluable lessons I was taught about missionaries (purpose-driven living) and mercenaries (profit-driven living). I believe that without this insight, the TEAM would not be in a position to reach 1 million people. Following the principles of servant-based leadership, Chris Brady, Tim Marks, and myself (along with many other TEAM leaders) do not regret the tens of millions of dollars personally spent to keep the vision of TEAM alive. Rather, we look at it as an investment in the future that we resolved to build together, dedicating our futures, finances, and sacred honor in order to fulfill the vision.
To use an analogy, the TEAM has ran a marathon since 2007, toiling in the dark with little to encourage us to finish the race. However, against all odds and expectations, the TEAM leaders continued to place one foot in front of the other. It wasn’t even the dream that kept us going in the darkest of nights as much as the un-communicated belief that this was our destiny. Focusing on that still small voice inside of us, and thanks to God’s grace, we somehow eventually saw light at the end of the long dark tunnel.
Just as in the modern day Olympics, where marathoners run 25 plus miles outside of the stadium, but finish the last mile within it; the team ran its 25 miles in darkness to reach the stadium. No matter how thankless the first 25 miles were, running without much fan support or any financial reward, we reached the stadium and are beginning the four laps under the big lights and the crowd’s applause.
The TEAM, in other words, endured its 25 miles of pain for the opportunity to run its four victory laps inside the stadium. For those who suffered the pain over the last several years, I salute you. For those joining LIFE for its four victory laps, I welcome you. All that I humbly ask of the new members is for you to thank the leaders who persistently put one foot in front of the other on the faith in things unseen. For without them, the TEAM would not have reached our date with destiny. LIFE TEAM launches on November 1, 2011, what part did you play in the TEAM’s history? Better yet, what part will you plan in LIFE’s future? Sincerely, Orrin Woodward