Orrin Woodward on LIFE & Leadership

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    Guinness World Record Holder for largest book signing ever, Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of And Justice For All along with RESOLVED & coauthor of LeaderShift and Launching a Leadership Revolution. His books have sold over one million copies in the financial, leadership and liberty fields. RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

    Orrin made the Top 20 Inc. Magazine Leadership list & has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE. He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.

    This blog is an Alltop selection and ranked in HR's Top 100 Blogs for Management & Leadership.

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LIFE Leadership Reviews – MonaVie & Amway

Posted by Orrin Woodward on February 27, 2015

I am writing, updating and reviewing the FAQ section for LIFE Leadership. Perhaps the most interesting and inspiring answer for me was the one on Amway, Quixtar, MonaVie and LIFE Leadership. For in it, I was able to share how proud I am of the pioneers of LIFE Leadership. I have attached the answer below. Compensated Community is the future of business and LIFE Leadership is in the sweet spot of the growing trend.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward – Chairman of the Board: LIFE Leadership

The years 2007 through 2010 were some of the most challenging and yet some of the most rewarding of my life. Indeed, nothing shook my core leadership principles more than events during this timeframe. For one thing, I learned that most of American businesses are not practicing the principles of free markets, and bold entrepreneurship. Instead large corporations used their power with government and the press to block new entrepreneurs from climbing the mountain they had staked out. For another thing, knowing that leaders right injustices, I attempted to right something I believed were wrong by addressing the cartel system head on. Not surprisingly, this has led to increasing attacks on my character since, invariably, when the elites (or their anonymous hit men) cannot defend the message, they attack the messenger. Since I have nothing to hide, I will share my story so people can make an educated decision on who I am, what I stand for, and what the purpose of LIFE Leadership is.

First, I want everyone to know that I love free enterprise and reward for services rendered to customer concept. Unfortunately, however, much of Big Business today is not structured this way. Instead, Big Business has created a culture that rewards cartel credentialists who create value for the powers-brokers by obeying orders rather than corporate creators who create value for consumers by innovating. True innovation, in effect, is not rewarded in the cartels because credentialists promote other credentialist and drive out creators.  Anyone remember how Sam Walton was driven out of Franklin Five and Dime because he had too many ideas and didn’t follow the company line? How about Steve Jobs when he was kicked out of his own company the first time? Dismally, Big Businesses has partnered with Big Governments and Big Banks to create Crony Capitalism – a system of cartels designed to profit the elites at the masses expense.

Ironically, I would have never discovered the Elites Matrices of Control playbook (Financial Matrix, Feudal Matrix, and Physical Matrix) had I not experienced the matrix of control for myself. Evidently, God reveals His deepest truths when people are in the deepest of waters. With that introduction, here is the FAQ summary of the events that led to developing the Financial Matrix book and the notoriety I have received because of it. 🙂

What was the 2007-2010 legal dispute between some of the LIFE leaders, Quixtar and MonaVie about?

I get asked this question periodically even though the dispute ended in 2010. Still, I believe the highlights from the issue can help a person understand the principles LIFE Leadership is founded upon. Before discussing the details, however, I think it’s important to share that I have no hard feelings for anyone who worked with Quixtar or currently works with Amway. As a matter of fact, I still have friends that work within the company. I believe life is too short to carry grudges and what is past is past. Further, I have heard from several sources that Amway has softened its litigation policy against leaders who want to leave the company. For this, I am thankful. Finally, I learned a ton during my time with Quixtar and have many memorable experiences. In consequence, I have taken the good, flushed the bad, and move ahead with no animosity.

Before LIFE Leadership was launched, Laurie and I, along with some of the other top leaders, worked with a company called Quixtar to build our community (business asset). Quixtar was a North American internet based multi-level business started by the owners of Amway, but set up as a separate company from it’s parent. This was an important feature to me because I had joined Amway in 1993 when I learned they were developing an Interactive Distribution model to combine high-tech and high-touch. Regretfully, however, by 1998, I realized this was more hype than substance and had not come to fruition. Since I had no interest in building a traditional Amway business, we planned on starting a new venture.

LIFE Leadership Winter Convention

LIFE Leadership 2015 Winter Convention

Nevertheless, after hearing Ken McDonald (Quixtar’s first managing-director) share his vision for a new online model, we changed our minds. Since it was a separate from Amway (but backed by the founders funds) and would leverage the fast-growing internet, we were intrigued. As a result, in 1999, we chose not renew our Amway distributorship and joined Quixtar instead as an IBO (Independent Business Owner).

The online model fit our young and hungry team perfectly. In fact, from 1999 through 2007, Laurie and I led the fastest growing organization within the whole company. We grew from several hundred to over ten thousand people attending events and our sales increased from a couple hundred thousand dollars to over one hundred million dollars! In addition, many other teams sought our training and started growing resulting in nearly another hundred million dollars in volume. Our training organization, in other words, was responsible for nearly $200 million of Quixtar’s total sales.

Unfortunately, the rest of Quixtar was not doing well, mainly because the older, more mature organizations seemed unable to adjust to building an online business. I saw the loss of confidence and numbers firsthand because I was asked to speak (hundreds of times) to Quixtar groups across North America. Dismally, instead of growing into the 100 billion dollar company predicted by Ken McDonald and other top leaders, Quixtar leveled off around a billion dollars even with our team’s meteoric growth. In fact, many of the top leaders lost half their numbers or more as they struggled to marry high-touch communities with the high-tech online environment. Nonetheless, I didn’t realize the precarious nature of the Quixtar business until Ken McDonald abruptly announced his retirement in 2005 despite flying to see me just weeks earlier to discuss future strategies. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement (Ken and I worked well together), but I also respected Quixtar’s right to choose its leadership team.

Curiously, however, Quixtar’s new managing-director was also an Amway vice-president. Although I thought this was strange, I was assured on numerous occasions that the two were still separate corporations and the change in management was merely to help Quixtar increase its sales. As a result, the 2007 announcement that Quixtar was closing its doors and that all its Independent Business Owners (IBOs) would be transitioned into Amway shocked me. This was unacceptable for several reasons. For one thing, I was not in Amway (having purposefully not renewed when Quixtar launched), nor did I want to be in Amway. For another, I had told tens of thousands of people that they were independent business owners affiliated with Quixtar just as the IBO moniker implied. True, Quixtar was owned by the founders of Amway, but they were allegedly separate companies with separate field organizations. Indeed, I must have repeated this message of separate companies a thousand times because that is what Ken McDonald and the rest of the Quixtar’s management team had told all of us. In sum, I had been misled, and thus had inadvertently misled others.

For me, the whole conflict was a moral issue. On one hand, I knew Quixtar (like any company) had the power to break its commitments to its customers, but it didn’t have the power to avoid the subsequent fallout. On the other hand, how could I represent a company to others that I believed had misrepresented itself to me? Indeed, leadership is character in motion and without trust, it’s impossible for any leader to get in motion. Nevertheless, quitting my independent business was not as simple as it sounded since Amway had stated its intention to litigate against any leader attempting to leave the Amway/Quixtar (indeed, hundreds were sued before and after me). Not surprisingly, the legal risk intimidated many other leaders into submission, but it only emboldened our leadership team. For if we stayed with Amway because we feared litigation, then we would be imprisoned into Amway’s Legal Matrix and not truly independent anyway. How, in a word, could we ever recommend others to join us as independent business owners when we knew in our hearts that this was no longer true?

Although the easiest thing to do would have been to rejoin Amway, announce my retirement, and slowly watch my groups dissolve, this was morally unconscionable. I also doubted Amway’s antiquated business model could work in the internet savvy North American market regardless of how many millions Amway spent on television advertisements (Amway no longer discloses North American sales volume but it is rumored to have dropped precipitously). How could Laurie and I in good conscience give up our purpose and principles for profit while our community suffered? And yet, I also knew that I would be sued by Amway (a multi-billion dollar international company) if I didn’t agree to their plan. Financially, this was a lose-lose scenario. Neither option, in other words, was without massive risk and challenges, but leaders are paid to make decisions and it was time to make a decision.

Thankfully, I had great leaders like Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Claude Hamilton, George Guzzardo and Bill Lewis (interestingly, I barely knew my good friend and LIFE co-Founder Dan Hawkins at the time), who all believed we should choose character over convenience. Accordingly, I called a meeting to announce my immediate resignation and intention to sit out Quixtar’s six month non-compete period. My plan was to form a new company and build our businesses entirely separate from either Quixtar or Amway. Disastrously, however, instead of accepting my resignation, Amway announced it was “firing” me (how a company can fire an independent business owner is still inexplicable to me). They proceeded to call each of the leaders in our community to demand they choose either Quixtar (soon to be Amway) or staying with me. Of course, the field leaders had no idea what Quixtar was talking about since I had not announced to anyone (except a handful of my top leaders) any plans to start another business.

Amway’s management team had no idea the hornet nests they had knocked over. People in our organization were already upset at the name change and now Amway/Quixtar compounded its errors by  “firing” myself and Chris. Indeed, through writing over-the-top blog posts (since removed) on their official sites, manufacturing negative news through their billion dollar contacts (Forbes and various newspapers), and issuing business ultimatum emails to our leaders, Amway/Quixtar evidently sought to besmirching our character. However, as legendary coach John Wooden once said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

Not surprisingly, Quixtar paid for its hubris. Truth, without a doubt, is a pesky thing. Because our organization knew the truth, over 50,000 people resigned rather than switch to Amway. Of course, Amway (true to their promise) initiated multi-million dollar court and arbitration proceedings against me and others. The financial stakes were high since we had already lost our business incomes and now we risked bankruptcy. Apparently, the plan seemed to be to sue people into submission.

Consequently, starting our own company at that time was ruled out. For it would be foolhardy to outlay the money to create a new company when a multi-billion dollar company was doing everything in its power to drain us financially. I didn’t feel that falling on my own sword and hurting the many people who followed me out of Quixtar was the proper strategy. Rather, I needed a plan for survival until Amway realized we would not surrender our principles no matter what the consequences. Accordingly, I sought a join another company so I could earn money to help support our growing legal mess (tens of millions of dollars). Of course, I ensured, upfront, that once the legal battles were over, we would be free to start our own business if we still desired to.

Fortunately, in 2008, I met the founder of MonaVie, Dallin Larsen (several years after we started LIFE, Dallin retired from MonaVie in 2014 and his company combined with Jeunesse Global), who was leading one of the fastest growing companies in Network Marketing at the time. In fact, his success at MonaVie led to him receiving the prestigious 2009 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. While he, of course, benefited from partnering with our large organization (millions of dollars per month in volume), he also had taken a huge risk. I am thankful he took that risk. For I do not know whether we would have survived without partnering with MonaVie to defend ourselves against Amway. As expected, Amway subsequently sued MonaVie (I commend their persistence) and countless more millions were spent battling the behemoth. Not surprisingly, MonaVie received the same negative treatment online and in the press that Chris and I received. Talk about strange coincidences. 🙂 Fortunately, Dallin Larsen, despite several years of legal harassment, didn’t flinch and he followed through on everything he had committed to. 

Finally, in 2010, a global settlement was reached. After much pain and pressure (the battle had left no one unscathed) the war was over. I believe Amway finally realized the IBOs who resigned were not coming back and we had enough funding to continue the legal battles indefinitely. As a result, the biggest leadership challenge we had ever faced was finally over. Our community was FREE! This was our team’s finest moment. I have never been prouder of any group of leaders for they had survived nearly three years (2007 through 2010) without surrendering. Some even choosing to declare bankruptcy rather than give in to Amway’s legal demands.

Woodwards Introducing New ELC Hamiltons

Introducing New Executive LC Claude & Lana Hamilton

In closing, many times during the war I had told the leaders that those who stayed would be champions. It is inspiring to see how many achievers stayed with us to finish the million person mission. These men and women are the one’s who dreamed, the one’s who dared, and the one’s who sacrificed to make LIFE Leadership a reality. Although I have read thousands of books on businesses, I have never found a more inspiring example of a group of common people willing to face uncommon giants. Perhaps the best description of the LIFE Leadership pioneers is the plaque at the Overpass Museum in Carney, Nebraska, “The cowards never started. The weak died on the way. Only the strong survived.” If a person is ready to face his personal Goliath, I know of no stronger community to help him do so than LIFE Leadership.

100 Responses to “LIFE Leadership Reviews – MonaVie & Amway”

  1. CJ Calvert said

    Orrin, thank you for this post. Although I was only a witness on the sidelines during this period of time, I am in absolutely awe of the unity you have fostered amongst your leaders. That is the greatest testament to your courage and conviction, that your top guys would stick with you through the war. I am honoured to know you and the other PC’s and to be A part of LIFE.

  2. Chad Waters said

    Hi Orrin

    I believe I speak on behalf of most Life members and thanks all the leaders who went through these battles to give us the amazing opportunity before us today!
    Thanks for yours and all leaders servant leadership and moving on to show who they really are just like Claude & Lana Hamilton did!

    Thanks again!
    God bless!
    Chad

  3. Kyle Combes said

    Awesome article, so proud to stand with leaders like you all. Choosing character over convenience. Thank you for your sacrifice.

  4. Neal D Ruffner said

    Amen! Thanks for sharing Orrin, what a great summery and reference to point people towards if they ask. Thanks for your leadership.

  5. Clint Fix said

    Orrin, thank your for posting this and shedding further light on the crazy events of 2007-2010. I knew from the beginning that you and the rest of the P.C. were destined to do something incredible when you were free to choose the direction of the company, control all 3 C’s, and lead without shackles. Some didn’t see it, but I’m sure glad I held on through the transitions! LIFE Leadership is my dream business and there are no other leaders that I would rather be following than you and the other life coaches.

    I thank you and the many other leaders that made huge personal sacrifices so we could have the business we have today. It wasn’t easy, but it sure was worth it!

    Onward to MILLIONS!

  6. Dale said

    Orin,

    Lori and I are honored to have you at the helm along with the other leaders. We know things are only going up from here..Keep up the great work to help get the people of this country back on the right track…

    • Matt Mielke said

      I agree Dale. Michelle and I started our journey with the LIFE Leadership team when this all came to a head. “Everything rises and falls on leadership,” is what we read and heard from a the leadership. Michelle and I looked around in our medical professions for the caliber of leadership we were seeing in LIFE Leadership and we couldn’t find it. None that were as tested and consistent. There were great people, don’t get me wrong, but none quite like the LIFE Leadership team. We joined and never looked back. Today, we look forward to decades of growth and success in all areas of life for my family, and for the families that we have a privilege to join in this great journey.

      May God bless LIFE Leadership to 1 million and then the real fun will start… time to leave a mark in history that generations in the future will talk about how this group impacted the world for good.

    • Matt Mielke said

      Three events today have collided in my head and heart and I need to share!

      First, “We cannot expect God to prosper anything which intrudes itself into His place, and detracts from his honour…(We must) make God the great object of our trust…” is a quote by Philip Bennett Power that I read this morning in the book “Trusting God Even When Life Hurts” by Jerry Bridges (available through LIFE Leadership).
      Second, this morning I read the story in 1Kings 5:3-5 of the preparations of King Solomon for building the temple to honor God.
      Third, I read this fantastic post by Orrin Woodward!

      Now, my revelations: In the story, King Solomon is responding to a message from his ally, King Hiram (King of Tyre). King Solomon notes that “…because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under his feet. But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster. I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God, as the LORD told my father David…”

      During the season of litigation, it was challenging to move ahead when we were “waging war” on all sides. (Matt and I weren’t personally involved in the litigation yet we had our own personal critics and on-line assassins to contend with!) Today, I see God’s providence allowing the legal battles to strengthen the leadership mettle of thousands in the LIFE Leadership community, and, in His sovereign timing, removing the obstacles (enemies/adversaries) to allow LIFE Leadership to catapult ahead in bringing principle-centered leadership to the masses. I believe God has timed all of these events perfectly! I believe Orrin and the other LIFE founders have resolved to continue their quest to bring life-changing truth/leadership principles to the world (and I believe this will bring glory to God and advance His kingdom here on earth and in heaven!).

      Crazy how this is all wrapped in a systems-based business of building communities, helping regular people like Matt and I get out of debt and create an offensive residual income! Thank you Orrin Woodward for leading courageously! Matt and I are committed to continue to build the “temple” with you!

  7. Justin Langer said

    Orrin, this post clears up a lot of questions I have had about the past of the leadership team. I was unsure of what to think as noone truly knew what to tell me. I’m thankful for you and the rest of the leaders that faught the battle. I also thank God for his grace and blessing to stick around and trust that what you all have put together is full of character. Thank you Orrin and thank you to the rest of the founders for all you have gone through and all you have put on the line to help everyone have a chance at a better life. May God bless you all!

  8. Justin Stevens said

    Absolutely awesome! Thank you for sharing and bring the great leader you are! God bless

  9. Jim Wilson said

    Thanks, Orrin,
    I’m so thankful I came along and for your steadfastness.
    Jim Wilson

  10. kristy bermejo said

    Bravo Orrin!! We knew long ago the sacrifices you (everyone) were making!! I am so thankful that a leader stepped up and didn’t let the other company win!! It won’t be easy but it will be worth it!! And you are so right. Thank you for your servant nature and always thinking of us!!

  11. Micah Kramer said

    Orrin, Thank you for posting this.

    When Jeff Darling personally introduced me to you at the Milwaukee major leadership function in April 2011, I knew that very moment my life had changed forever. Having no previous networking experience, I lost a lot of friends and family over the scam blogs, articles and all the hatred spewed online about you, Chris and the rest of the founders of the organization, but none of it held true to my experience. You and Jeff’s courage stiffened my spine to take a stand and believe that “leaders make decisions and then they make them right.” The life change I’ve experienced because of my choice to associate with the Life Leadership Community is overwhelming…

    I’m forever grateful for the price that you all paid…so that I can run the last four laps with Jeff / Tammy, Felmar/Sandra, Curtis / Debbie and you and Laurie for my family. It brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart to follow such men and women of courage and principle. I praise the Lord daily for this blessing.

    I know that this is the only vehicle on earth that can get me out of the Financial Matrix and I can’t wait to celebrate that with you and all the courageous leaders in the Life Leadership Community.

    May God Continue to bless our journey.

    Micah Kramer
    Braveheart

  12. JB Thompson said

    Thank you Orrin! A great post!

  13. Elizabeth Sieracki said

    What an amazing story. Of course, we have all probably heard bits and pieces of this, but this blog entry puts it all together. I have even more respect for the men and woman of character who stood up and pursued their dreams ultimately creating LIFE leadership of all of us. Thank you for fighting the good fight. We love you!!

  14. Luis Ortiz said

    Orrin,

    I continue to be inspired by the true definition of leadership that you and the rest of the LIFE Leadership founders have modeled for us. as we close this chapter for good, I am excited to turn the page and move forward to achieving our goal of 1 million lives changed. It’s time to start Living the LIFE we’ve always wanted. God bless!

  15. Great article Orrin! To think our friendship and partnership was formed in the middle of all of this. Even when you were under attack you continued to reach down and mentor a hungry student. I was able to watch you and and other leaders handle these times with great character and mission. I am so proud to be part of this leadership team, a team that stood on principle to do what was right not convenient. Thank you and the other founders for leading the way and giving me a platform to perform and earn my way into the LIFE Leadership founding circle to help take this to 1 million.

  16. Melanie Shiell said

    This is the exact reason I choose to be part of such an amazing organization, an organization that always chooses character over convenience. After working as a civil servant for too long, LIFE Leadership has been a wonderful breath of fresh air. Here’s to a million…

  17. Mark Paul said

    Thanks Orrin, for clearly covering the history that forged the leaders into the men and women of steel and velvet that they have become. A true testimony of leadership and an inspiring insight for those seeking to understand what this company is all about. Lead on!
    Mark Paul

  18. Marcia said

    How insightful! Thanks for sharing, Orrin!

  19. Steven Limanni said

    Thank you Orrin for the history of LIFE Leadership, from then to now. I have been with the Johnson/Smith organization through all of this and do remember the day that Denny gathered our group and told us what his plans were and that we were free to make our own decision. I had a group that stayed but the majority, followed those who have been our guiding light. We ask that you and your team continue down the path of doing what is right. There are times when I want to be the shepherd but when it comes to following your direction, I have no problem being a sheep, as I know that overtime I will be leading a flock. We thank you again for all that you do and look forward to assisting you in achieving the 1,000,000+ mark of PBO’s. Regards, Steven

    • Orrin Woodward said

      The good news is that every great leader must start as a great leader, but no one has to be a sheep. Instead, they are merely, shepherds in training! 🙂 thanks, Orrin

      • Stephen Harrett said

        Mr. Woodward,[I don’t feel worthy to call you Orrin],

        I am incredibly impressed that you would post this article/letter because of all the controversy that surrounded these businesses at this time. My ex-wife and I were involved with the business when it was TEAM and Quixtar was still the product maker. Many people we spoke with were confused by the relationship with Amway and Quixtar, which in turn made the business a scheme/scam and made it hard to bring in new people.
        Thank you for your integrity. Today I live in Amarillo, TX where change is difficult for these folks, and bringing a new business into town is challenging, especially when I am here getting things started on my own, with the nearest seminar, mentor or leader being 800 miles away in Dallas, or my friend Kyle Dixon, in WI [1200 miles]. I’m not going to stop talking about it though. “Seek first the kingdom of Heaven, and all things will be given to you” is what I’m living by, and I feel that God is consistently putting Dan and this opportunity in my thoughts so that must mean He wants to bless it regardless of my financial situation. Every week, at church, I see needs that could be met through the things taught on the cd’s, as well as needs in the community; more successful marriages, better leaders, better parents and financial stability.
        God bless you sir, I look forward to meeting you and actually getting to shake your hand without waiting in a huge line…some day.

  20. Greg said

    Orrin,
    Thank you so much for sharing the full story with us. And thank you for staying true to your character. LIFE Leadership is the best thing out there to turn this country back in the right direction. You, along with your leadership team, truly are blessings in the lives of everyone you touch. Thanks again for all you do!

  21. Lou Vega said

    I feel as though I can juggernaut my way through a brick wall after reading this article. Super proud of the company I’m associated with. Thanks Orrin and other leaders for fighting for us.

  22. Glen Ewald said

    Thank you so much Orrin for this post, Like many have said, we have all heard bits and pieces of the struggles, but this puts it all together. Like many of us that have new business partners, we get the questions after internet searches are done about legal issues and such, and now we have a resource to point to.

    We all appreciate the sacrifices that the founders and others have gone through to have a high integrity opportunity before us. God Bless you and the rest of the leaders of LIFE.

    The Rising (Patriot Revolution)

  23. Brian Powers said

    Orrin,
    I so admire your courage step forward and share the truth. We are so grateful that you and all the leadership from Life Leadership will forever stand by their biblical principles and make good choices.
    God Bless you my friend!!
    BP

  24. Tim Jarvinen said

    Orrin,

    This historical resource will hopefully “save” the masses who, with good intent, do consumer research only to be taken advantage of in the process (kind of ironic) and led to lies written by nameless faceless people. I respect your transparency and your ability to non emotionally capture the high points so eloquently.
    Best regards,

    Tim Jarvinen

  25. Chris Schill said

    Orrin!!

    Thank you so much for the article.

    When we were first introduced to your team, I honestly was only interested in making some additional money. But the longer we associated with unbelievable leaders like you and Laurie, we realized and bought into the vision of the difference we could collectively make in this world. This wasn’t about money, this was about a cause and answering God’s call in our lives!

    We can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done and from always leading from the front. I know we only know bits and pieces of the mental, emotional, and financial strain that it put on you all, but we are eternally grateful for you all.

    Kristen and I have been so blessed with the association of this group and can’t imagine our lives without it. We look forward to blessing MANY more with the truth and hope that LIFE Leadership is providing people daily.

    On to millions….
    Chris

  26. Sarah Medearis said

    Orrin, thank you so much for providing this clear explanation. I’ve been asked about this multiple times, but since I didn’t have an answer, I’ve come across as trying to hide the answer. This is one more way I’ve come to deeply respect your transparency, integrity, and morality. I clearly see why thousands of leaders-in-training followed you through hell… it was worth it. 🙂
    Sarah Medearis

  27. Carol Miller said

    Thanks for this post Orrin! Even though we didn’t always know what was going on through that time, and it was a scary time in our business, we always knew deep down that you and Laurie and Chris & Terri Brady, and the rest of the leaders were who we wanted to follow, no matter which direction you decided to go. I thank you, Orrin, from the bottom of my heart and I know I can speak for Chris as well, for your perseverance. The respect and the love that we had for you & Laurie and the rest of the LifeCoach’s has only magnified immeasurably since that trial. Thank you for being a hero. I thank Laurie for being a heroine. I thank the other LifeCoach’s that sacrificed for all of us during that time. May God continue to richly bless you and your families! On to a 1 Million and beyond!!

  28. Lynn Mossner said

    Thank you Orrin, Laurie, and all the Life Leadership founders. John & I stayed with you because of your leadership and your vision for making a difference. We believed you wouldn’t quit, and you didn’t. You stayed the course, remained true to the principles you talk about from stage, & fought the fight bravely & with integrity. May God’s grace remain with Life Leadership.

  29. Zach Frey said

    Orrin,
    I so appreciate your transparency in this post. I just sat down with Flora and read it to her so that she would know what you and the many leaders did for all of us. Although I was not old enough to be an IBO at the time, I remember watching my parents follow you into battle with no idea of what to expect. They didn’t even hardly know you personally yet, but they told us over and over that the character and integrity that they saw in you and Chris and Tim trumped any money or popularity. It’s still amazing to me that the legacy that we can now have was truly tested by fire. We are proud to be a part of the mission that God’s started through you of reaching millions of people with truth. Thank you.

  30. Thanks Orrin for sharing this History of the Community. I cant wait til the movie comes out!!!!! I recently had to share with a new person our communities history and their question was “Do you believe all this is true about the community?” My response was “we lived it”. There is nothing better than locking arms with the leaders in this community and fighting the good fight! One of my favorite movies is ‘Young Guns’ It tells the story of Billy The Kid and his gang of rascals. In the movie there is a point where Billy realizes that him and his friends, the ‘Regulators’, had gotten off track from their purpose of seeking justice for their mentors death. They were on the offense and moving forward seeking justice but lost focus and started playing defense. Their friends started getting picked off one by one. In the movie, Billy has an ‘Ah-Ha’ moment and remembers the purpose of why they got started in the first place and gets ticked off! My favorite part of the movie is when Billy tells a story about three china men who hear the world is coming to end. The first man says I will go to the mission and pray, the second says I am going to buy some whiskey and find some woman, the third man says “well I shall finish the game!”

    Let’s finish the game!

    God Bless
    Kirk and Nicole

  31. Jim Wilson said

    One more comment. When our leaders talk about facing our Goliath, they are not talking theory. When things came apart, two things are worth remembering. First, the Amway families at that time were in the top 5 or 10 wealthiest in the world, but the heirs had never defended the plan in a living room. So, I don’t think they really understood the gravity of what they were doing. We can all be thankful that our founders have spent tens of thousands of hours in living rooms. Second, our leaders walked away from 7 figure incomes into 7 figure litigation. Talk about facing Goliath! Thanks once again to all of you. I also want to thank Dallin Larsin for standing with us.
    Jim Wilson

  32. Peggi Kern said

    Thank you, Orrin and all of the LIFE Leaders! Thank you to Marc and Kristine Militello, who had formed such a strong relationship with the LIFE Leaders that our family had the Militello’s strong and amazing leadership to emulate. You have changed our family’s lives and we are forever grateful for that period of time. It has made us who we are! I’m so proud of this community and excited to be part of the march to one million!

  33. Jim Wilson said

    Oh! and, thanks for the “history lessons.”
    Jim

  34. April Sellen said

    Thanks for the post, Orrin. Many of us on Team Eagle didn’t know the history behind LIFE Leadership and could only say that it was 20 years of hard work in the making for the great company we have before us. I believed you to be a great leader, and after reading this post, it only solidified my belief. Thank you and the PC for standing strong amidst strife. The one million will be forever thankful.

  35. robert nava said

    Thanks for posting this Orrin,
    This was very insightful and glad you are a True Leader that leads from the front. This is history in the making “Guys” and the Nava’s are BLESSED to be apart of this Leadership Movement and Revolution to a million people.

  36. Mallory Gonzales said

    Thank you Orrin & Laurie and all the leaders that stood with you during that time. It was heartbreaking to watch my parent’s Quixtar community dissolve after they had worked so hard for 7 years. Now it is such a blessing to know we have the kind of men and women at the helm of this entire organization who don’t give up and are willing to lay it all on the line to do what is right.

  37. Huey Barnett said

    Orrin, thank you for sharing the details. Sabra & I were so excited when we were presented with the opportunity to join your organization on July 1, 2007. We were so excited and felt like we were at the right place, at the right time, and our dreams were once again achievable. Although we had no idea of the challenge that was coming only four weeks later, we remained confident that we had made the right decision. We had indeed. Being affiliated with you & Laurie and LIFE Leadership has been one of the biggest blessings we have had. We have never been affiliated with people of such vision, character, humility and transparency as we have found in LIFE. Additionally, LIFE is not only a business that is unique in many ways, it is a business of significance validated by the many life changing stories we have heard and seen. Orrin, I thank God that we made the right decision on July 1, 2007 and we’re so excited about following you into a bright future. God bless.

  38. Chris Miller said

    AMEN!!!!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP.. It was tough but well worth it.

  39. Leo Bouchard said

    Thank you Orrin, your books and insight have helped me grow as a person and some day hopefully half as good a leader as you and the rest of the co-founders.

  40. Cassie Birtles said

    Orrin,
    What an Epic story of strength and courage! Thank you God for this journey and for the Leaders staying the course!!
    Cassie Birtles

  41. Neera Puri said

    Thank you Orrin for addressing this in such detail.

  42. Thank you Orrin for writing this. I have a few details I’ve picked up over the years, and this certainly fills in the gaps. And thank you for demonstrating to us TRUE LEADERSHIP!

  43. God Bless You Orrin and LIFE Co-Founders for staying true to your heart and to your communities. Inspired by your Leadership, our son recently cut off all ties to a lucrative opportunity because the potential partner was not of the same moral fabric. LIFE has metamorphosed my family. Our kids have become, entrepreneurial leaders, ministers in training, parents to children who will grow up in faith. My throat tightens when I think of the impact you have made to three generations of the Catellier family. If a million people receive the same impact, we will live in a better world. May God’s blessing continue to shine on the Leaders at LIFE!I am proud to be a member of your Community.

  44. Great article!! Carol and I are honored and proud to be part of your team Orrin!!

  45. Hilary Dorr said

    Thanks for this article Orrin. I know I have always wondered what happened and I know this will answer a lot of questions that people have. It will be nice to be able to refer back to it as well. Thank you!

  46. Kelli Sager said

    Orrin , thanks so much for taking the time to explain this in more detail ! We were around when this happened , but never really knew why it happened. All we knew was we trusted your and the rest of th PCs leadership , and you would never steer us wrong ! Thank you for fighting this battle for us !

  47. WOW! amazing story. Thank you for that.

  48. Jammie Fisher said

    Thanks so much Orrin. We may have never slayed any goliaths in our adult life has it not been for us getting connected to this wonderful group of leaders. I would’ve spent my day’s purposely busy good to avoid the pain of not knowing how to achieve great. Now we want to join this leadership and become professional Goliath slayers. It is invigorating and we are so appreciative of you and Laurie, the Leurquins, Hawkins and Guzzardos.

    God bless!

  49. Marc said

    Thank you Orrin and Team for your courage and character. I had just joined Manase’s group before the “transition” period. I was impressed with Team’s resolve facing the giant. When I heard the news, I called Manase and asked which way he was going. The resolve in his voice when he said he was standing with you was all I needed. I’m so glad I did.

  50. WOW! Thank you so much for sharing this post Orrin. I was one of those that were part of a different organization in Quixtar and watched your leadership from a distance during the whole Quixtar/Amway charade. I may have only been 21 yrs old at the time but I could see the fire from miles away and I just wanted out. But God had a different plan. I am so thankful our small little group decided to leave when we did and follow you so we could eventually lock arms with George and Jill. God is so amazing in how He works! Thank you for your courage to stand on principles and carry the torch through the fire for all of us (with the other leaders). My life has never been the same since being a part of this community!

  51. Steve Sager said

    People of integrity expect to be believed, and when they are not- they let time prove them right.

    Orrin, both you and Laurie have truly made a difference in 1000s of lives by “putting in all your chips” at the table of servant leadership.

    Thanks for having the “tuff skin” by taking the hits from negative people, and online fabricated websites; that tried their best to discredit you and many others- who decided to take a stand for what is right.

    Steven Sager

  52. Orrin,

    We were part of Amway prior to the Quixtar launch, then Quixtar and joined with you and your leaders prior to the fracas of 2007. Our Mona Vie leaders aligned themselves with all of you while we were all still with Quixtar, in 2006. When you left Quixtar, we left. When you joined Mona Vie, we joined.

    But then, as the lawsuits dragged, our Mona Vie leaders left you and your leaders, and we stayed. It was George & Jill who gave the initial invitation, and Chris who followed up on it with personal contact and offers of help. We stayed with Mona Vie (technically under our leaders there), and we stayed with you. We were pitifully few, and you and your leaders gave us a home, a team, a family, a place and a purpose. We knew we were where we were “for such a time as this,” and you and your leaders had “the words of life” our hearts needed to hear.

    I know our story isn’t unique. I’ve heard others like it. And they all end like this:

    All I have seen from the LIFE leaders is courage, conviction, passion, and honor. I have never found integrity or character gaps. When things are not right, they are made right. I cannot think of better reasons to follow any men and women. They have been tested in the furnaces of affliction and not found been wanting. There are none better!

  53. Maura Galliani said

    I’m in total awe, and to say I’m honored to be in this community is an understatement. Talk about leading by example! I too can’t wait for the movie — what a great modern-day David and Goliath story!! 🙂

  54. Abe Eadeh said

    Thank you a million times over! I thanked you 8 years ago in person for your courage and vision, and I’m still thankful for all that you do! I may not be where I would like to be, but I know I will get it done way under 45 years, thanks to Life Leadership!

  55. Anthony Nieto said

    Wow! What a message of leadership, character, growth, and maturity put into a short story. I got in during MonaVie days and no idea about any of that. The whole reason I got started was because I was told about Team and that was the amazing community tied to MonaVie. I knew something was different here and I see why now. Amazing testimony of what to look forward to with LIFE Leadership’s future. Thank you Orrin and all the leaders for being men and women of character that we can follow anywhere. THOSE THAT STAY WILL BE CHAMPIONS!!

  56. Karl Brinkhoff said

    Thanks Orrin. I think a lot of us need to hear this from you. I try to explain to my new people about the history but is sometimes a challenge when it was a mystery to me as well. I could only speak with certainty 2009- forward. On to a million!

  57. Dear Orrin and Laurie,

    It is a pleasure to witness true integrity in this modern world of false leadership that can be easily swayed by fear. I am proud to witness the “What happens next?” question and the strength of resolve it not be swayed from life’s purpose. Thank you for the example of true leadership today. Happy to be part of this new Chapter in LIFE Leadership.

  58. Sherry Powers said

    Orrin & Laurie, Thank you for your amazing leadership. We are proud to follow you and all of the Policy Council.

  59. Brenda Hatcher said

    Through the fire one becomes refined… Thank you for leading by example!

  60. Bill R. Quarles said

    Orrin,

    Thank you for sharing and thank you for standing on the principle of character and integrity .Ruthy and I are blessed and proud to be a part of this team!!!!

  61. April Wrage said

    Thank you and all the LIFE Founders for taking the road less traveled. Thank you for paying the price for us all! So glad you did!

  62. Ginny S said

    Orrin,
    Thank you so much for your leadership, sacrifices & staying strong so we all can now be apart of LIFE!!

  63. Lena said

    Thanks you for this blog Orrin. It answers a lot of questions people have. I’m so thankful for the leaders who stood strong and didn’t give up. Life leadership will change the world one person at a time.
    God bless, Lena

  64. Orrin,
    Thank you to tell the story of “the war”. Our community in Haiti and myself have been part of this great adventure since the first casualties to the armistice. We are proud and blessed to follow your leadership and to break free from the direct selling matrix on our way to a one million compensated community.

  65. Rick Tillmann said

    Orrin,
    LIFE Leadership being my first exposure to a community building business, I was immediately blown away by the level of honor and respect that the group of top leaders had for you. My first sense was they were like a group of warriors willing to fight any battle you lead them through. I have never experienced anything so powerful in my life as this level of devotion and commitment to the pursuit of something greater. Reading of the history of the evolution of LIFE makes it crystal clear why so many would follow you into this epic battle for the very survival of this country. Thank you for your strength of courage and character.

  66. Keith Wrage said

    Thank you Orrin and the rest of the founders for your leadership! It’s given my wife and I and thousands of people on the way to millions the opportunity of a lifetime in Life Leadership! Unbelievable that Amway tried so hard to keep you in their matrix. So much for them touting freedom as one of their values. Actions are louder than words! Thanks for doing the right things!

  67. gracias Sr.Orren por su esfuerzo dedicacion humildad Sabiduria paciencia y sobre todo su entrega a su propocito para el que fue llamado a este mundo …Mil gracias ….1 de Josue del 1 al 9 … Mil gracias

    • Zach Frey said

      Translation:
      Thank you Mr. Orrin for your efforts, dedication, humility, wisdom, patience–and more than anything–your submission to the purpose that you were called to in this world. Many thanks…Joshua 1:1-9…Many thanks

  68. Elaine Mallios said

    I remember Dean saying he was going to see you. I remember feeling like – this is right and good. We knew your character and we were in – whether anyone else was or not. We were in the dark, but we knew it was right. The best CD was Claude Hamilton – I think it was “Keep Your Helmet On” that said – as you walked into the federal building, no one knew that they had walked passed a man in his finest hour. I commend you and the founders of LIFE. Great courage and sacrifice was displayed. We are very proud.

  69. Lynda Varada said

    Orrin,
    Our first experience with this organization was in the midst of the war. We flew in under the radar and got to watch a modern telling of Nehemiah, leaders building and fighting alternately. To this day, I have never witnessed such courage in motion as leader after leader was all in. Those were tough, lean years for us but I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m so proud to be a part of this community, leading on principle. Thanks to you we have a way out of the financial matrix forever!!!

  70. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Everything that needs to be said has been said in all the posts above. I for one can confidently say what you see is what you get with Orrin, Chris, Tim and all the LC’s. A person that needs to be mentioned here along with this story is Rob Hallstrand. God has handpicked men and women and sorted through the many through the battle prone years, the present and the journey into the future. I cant say history is in the making because it is but when you read something like this… histroy has already been made.
    Hebrews 12:1,2
    Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    –thank you
    –venkat

    • Leah Stadel said

      This is the exact scripture that came to mind for me, too, Venkat.

      Every turning requires great courage. Thank you Orrin and Chris for leading that turn. What a blessing was in store!.

  71. Orrin, thank you for your forthright answers regarding your business history. Your candor is refreshing, yet not surprising. I am proud to have you and my son, Eli Bowman, as mentors. The Illinois conference was life-changing. My husband and I are making big plans that will result in wonderful changes for us and ultimately for others. Also, you’re much taller than your voice. 🙂

  72. Heather Coleman said

    Thank you for sharing, Orrin. I feel humble but so privileged to be part of Life-leadership. I am sure other Australians feel the same way. Thank you.

  73. Amy Grimm said

    Thank you, Orrin, for this post. It’s good to hear this from you. It is also interesting to hear after being exposed to it from people I would show the plan to and then having my Team Eagle partners sharing from their perspective. Having joined in on the tail end of the transition, the main thing I knew was that I had joined a group with the best of integrity and character and courage. And that was intentionally continuing to improve. With purpose. Thank you, and all the Life Leaders, so much for being that example to the rest of us.

  74. Rita Haas said

    Thank you Orrin & Laurie for having a true north to point to in times of confusion. You made right decisions based on truth. Obiedience brings blessings.

  75. Tom and Ronda Taylor said

    Thank you Orrin , Laurie, and the many other leaders in the LIFE business. Your character and integrity stand tall as a model for others to follow. We are so proud to be a part of this organization and excited about what our future holds. Your vision and mission offer hope and solutions to those in need for change. “Change your thinking and change your world” God Bless, Tom and Ronda

  76. Heidi said

    We will chime in on the “Thank You’s” as well. Thank you to you and Laurie for being exactly who you say you are and for always looking out for others before yourselves. When others around us were crumbling, you guys led and lived what you teach. Priceless.

  77. Patrick Clowater said

    Thank you Orrin for this amazing article. We too lived through this trying time under Claude and Lana Hamiltons leadership and friendship. We chose to stay and follow our friends. Although we were too insignificant to be sued personally, we knew our friends and top leaders were going through the biggest challenge of their business lives. Thank you all for staying the course and doing what was right, not what would have been comfortable.

  78. Adam M Rossman said

    Orrin,

    Your character is inspiring! That you would go through so much personal sacrafice – when you could have walked away from it all and lived an amazing life, according to the world’s perspective – just amazing. I believe your life is better because of the sacrafices you made, I believe our world is better, and I know that my life is greater because of the sacrafices that you have made.

    This article shows the power of COMMUNITY, and we are excited to expand this community to millions of people. Our purpose is to restore the family dynamic in our world, and we know that God has called us to do this through Life Leadership.

    Thanks!
    Adam M Rossman

  79. Lori Hanson said

    Thank you Mr. Woodward!! This has certainly been helpful to clear up some of my unasked questions I’ve had. However, based on what I have been experiencing through LIFE Leadership, I would expect nothing less than straight up integrity from you and your, correction, our team. I am honored to be “locked arms” with you. Thank you again. God bless you, and may He continue His perfect work in you until His return.

  80. Scott said

    WOW! What an incredible story. I am truly blessed to be part of this organization. Thank you Orrin and all the leaders for your sacrifices.

  81. Leibish said

    Absolutely awesome! Thank you for sharing and thanks for your leadership
    Leibish

  82. Judy Entrekin said

    Orrin,

    Thank you for the post, but more importantly, thank you and the other leaders for leading from the front with character and integrity. Jerry and I have been around since 2001 and are very proud and blessed to be a part of Life Leadership. We have been blessed by each of the leaders and we look forward to having a more personal relationship with all of you in the future.

    God Bless,
    Judy Entrekin

  83. Michael Stithem said

    Amazing beginning to a amazing future. Nebraska is going to be a big part of this future legacy of Life Leadership

  84. Tina Abernathy said

    There’s no Testimony without a test! Thank you for sharing this testimony with the world…

    “Thank you” does not convey what I feel in reading this testimony/history. You fought on the front lines and endured what most of us will never know, yet we know God had a plan, we believe we were a very small infinitesimal part of it for a reason so Onward and Forward to 1 million and beyond!

    TA

  85. Orrin,
    It was a crazy thing the night I was wrestling with the Lord about my future, for my family, and he told me to follow this Woodward and Brady guys. He said I needed to learn some things about leadership… And I think he knew how much I’d learn just by following your examples alone.
    At the time, you were still with MonaVie, so this became foggy in my head, especially since I had tried this years before, and was not successful.
    It was clear to me it was the right choice, and I knew nothing of the history, the plan for future, life leadership…. Nothing. I knew this was a great leadership organization, and that iron sharpening iron would reveal my true purpose.
    Thank you for your commitment, your dedication, delaying gratification, and much much more Orrin Woodward. life leadership or team or Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward are a scam?? I laugh at the thougt! You better go bark up another tree if you looking to poke holes in this armor. Big thanks to Manase and Lisa Fotu as well!
    On to a million!

  86. Ken and Joan Hendon said

    My stomach tightened as I relived this crazy time. We joined a wonderful organization (Jerry and Polly Harteis) in 1977. We spread our business to a dozen countries and enjoyed a super lifestyle. Quixtar seemed an upgrade; but eventually Amway wove their claim of ownership of my business and all the business of my friends into our contract.
    Our protests led amway to treat us as second distributors and when they shut down out UK business, we resigned.
    In our sixties with no other income and my health failing, this was a tough decision. But, boy, it was a GOOD one.
    our faith in you, Orrin and Laurie has paid off. Your integrity has lighted the way toward a life to be proud of.
    Thank you.

  87. Amazing story! Thanks for capturing all this historic detail. Tonya & I are proud to have been part of the Team from the early days and to have witnessed first-hand the journey that has lead us (and so many others) to where we are today: Life Leadership.

    Love that ending quote: “The cowards never started. The weak died on the way. Only the strong survived.”

    Even though we’re not where we want to be yet, we are better than we ever used to be. And it’s an absolute honor to know, in our hearts, how strong we (as a collective community) really are.

    To a million and beyond. . .

    Mike

  88. Phillip Skye & Helen Martin said

    Thank you, Orrin, for your Vision, Passion and Persistence. I appreciate all the miles you have walked, the battles you have fought, and the scars you bear, to make Life Leadership “THE” Opportunity of the 21st Century.
    The product alone, has changed our lives, and brought greater Happiness, Fulfillment and Peace to our marriage, and our Childrens’ lives. I could go on and on about our products, and I do, all the time.
    I also am asked about the legal history of the company, and it’s battle with the others, and now I have the definitive answer to silence the critics, the cynics and naysayers (not that I usually “donate” time to do so).
    We are so appreciative of the opportunity to help others, to create financial wealth for other families, and to take our place as Leaders.
    We are going Life Coach, and with our amazing Leaders in Kaizen, Claude and Lana, Wayne and Raylene, Ricky & Lindsay, Chad Waters, Scott Staley, and so many others….this is a done deal.
    Thank you for all that you have done, Orrin, and may you continue to be Blessed, with the love of the Many.

    Yours in Fidelity and Brotherhood,

    Phillip W. Skye

  89. Lori said

    Wow. I remember. All of it. Just as you said. It was impactful to see you, the leadership, the field and the office fight through that. God had a plan the whole time. Thanks for remaining steadfast in your character. “The future is bright!” So bright! 🙂

  90. John Mossner said

    Years later, we want to say again….Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for standing for truth, even to your detriment, for our mutual benefit. Our spines stiffen because of your leadership. Gladly following you!

  91. Justin Saroyan said

    Well said Orrin, well said. Thank you for quantifying this segment of our journey in such a powerful and diplomatic manner. Onward!

  92. Angela Hunstiger said

    Wow. Reading this I am so proud to stand beside the leaders of this company and so grateful a couple of our friends couldn’t stop talking about the vision of this team and these “Orrin and & Chris” guys. 🙂 I remember saying to him as we got involved at a confusing time of transitions (June of 2011), “I don’t know where these guys are headed, but I know I want to follow them!” and I mean it still today. Thank You! A million times, Thank You!! and the other leaders, for your courage and character. On to a million!

  93. Orrin,

    When Peggi and I first joined this organization back in 2005 we had no idea of the events to come that would shape our lives for ever. Shortly after we got started we were able to connect with an amazing group of people and a couple who become some of our closest friends and mentors, Marc & Kristine Militello. That relationship built over the next couple of years so that when we were faced with a, what I believe, life changing decision there was no hesitation – we had joined a community and we would follow our leaders. To some that we knew it seemed naive, especially since we had no idea where we were going. Some how we knew, we knew this was where God was leading us and that our purpose would be revealed as we moved forward.

    I look back now and thank God we had the courage to follow this leadership. I have had many questions about those years as well and although we were not on the front lines like you, the Brady’s and several others we were part of the battle. I am proud to tell what small part we were involved in and to have had a front row seat, well maybe a few rows back, to see the incredible display of character, courage and compassion you all showed. I love telling how a small group of people stood in the gap for a larger group that couldn’t. I know I will probably never know to the full extent to which you all paid for our freedom but know that you’ll never have to look to see if the Kern’s are still running to change lives. This will be our part to play in the legacy of Life Leadership.

    Thank you.

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