Orrin Woodward Leadership

Inc Magazine Top 20 Leader Orrin Woodward shares his leadership secrets.

  • Orrin Woodward

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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 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 Leadership. 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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Archive for the ‘Finances’ Category

Financial bondage is a form of slavery.

LIFE Leadership Financial Fitness Pack

Posted by Orrin Woodward on June 27, 2013

Financial Fitness Pack

LIFE Leadership is proud to present its new Financial Fitness Pack. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to meet tens of thousands of people and one of the biggest challenges facing North Americans today is the lack of financial intelligence. Increasingly, people are placed into the bondage of compound interest, late bills, and financial stress. Thankfully, there is a way out of the financial morasse through applying the proper principles over time. In other words, applying financial wisdom to one’s life.

The Financial Fitness Pack teaches a proper perspective on money along with the offense and defense of finances. Indeed, a person can make money, but without a proper money mindset, it will not last. Likewise, frugality alone will not create wealth without understanding the offense of finances. In my twenty plus years of LIFE Coaching, I have never seen all the components of financial success collected into one pack like this. In fact, I believe the Financial Fitness book is the best book on finances period!

The fact that LIFE Leadership can offer the financial book, the workbook, and eight audios for under $100 is a testament to the desire of its founders to truly make a difference. For it is practically impossible for a person to leave a legacy when debt is strangling him or her. The Financial Fitness pack offers a path to financial freedom for those with the willingness to learn and the diligence to apply.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

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Posted in Finances, LIFE Leadership | 21 Comments »

John Law: Paper Money & Inflation

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 24, 2013

John Law has been called a knave, fool, and an evil genius. Probably all are true in some sense, but probably most accurately, he is another person who sought utopia in something for nothing (SFN). Printing money is not the same as producing goods. Somehow, however, the lure of SFN, continues tempting governments to print paper and call it real value by government fiat. Simply stated, this results in a devaluing of all the money in the system, making every productive citizen a loser by the government’s unconscionable actions. Nonetheless, inflationary policies, like printing fiat money along with the newer methods involving digits on the computer screen, continue to bilk billions from hard-working Americans.

Most Americans know little about the underlying principles of inflation, but intuitively, they wonder why they work harder every year and yet seem to get further behind. In an effort to educate North America on the evils of inflation, I will share a portion of an article from Adam Hamilton. This article wonderfully explains one of the best documented cases of inflation on record – John Law and France in the 18th century. To truly create a LeaderShift, we must learn what the State is doing to our money, economy, and freedoms. LIFE Leadership is monthly providing CDs, books, and seminars to educate North Americans on their history, liberties, and the need for leadership.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Leadership

There are many fabulous examples of this phenomenon throughout history, including Germany after the First World War.  One of the most entertaining ones surrounds the British rogue John Law in the early 1700s.  John Law was forced to flee England in order to avoid prosecution for some alleged crimes.  He traveled around Europe and eventually settled in France, where his powerful personality, incredible mind, and command presence ultimately brought him to the attention of the King of France.

Law convinced the King and the French monetary authorities that in order to have a perpetual business boom, all they needed to do was print enough fiat currency so that business was assured of having access to the capital it needed.  Law stated that a stable gold-backed currency, which by its very nature stops meddlesome government bureaucrats from living beyond their means, was too archaic and far inferior to his new fiat currency theme.  He assured the French ruling class that because the government would print money when more was needed and buy it back when there was a surplus of money, that there would not be inflation and business would have the optimum amount of capital to thrive.  Unfortunately, the French powers that be bought into Law’s inflationist plan and executed the necessary monetary policy to make it happen.

Initially, Law’s plan seemed to be working brilliantly.  In the 1720s, France experienced an incredible boom as vast amounts of new fiat capital flowed into the existing markets.  Prosperity seemed to be everywhere, and the French stock market was exploding.  Soon, ordinary folks were quitting their jobs to hang out on the street where securities were traded and they became day traders.  Charles Mackay reports in his 1841 magnum opus “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” that one deformed hunch-backed man made large amounts of money renting out his slumped back as a mobile writing table for the frenzied stock jobbers buying and selling French equities on the street!  The wild stories that came out of this particular mania are endlessly fascinating!

John Law became the most famous and loved man in France, accruing enormous wealth for himself.

He then convinced the French government to join him in forming a company to develop the fabled wealth of the Mississippi River, of which the French controlled the gateway with their colony of New Orleans.  The Mississippi company was floated and everyone in France wanted to own shares of this hot new IPO.  They were convinced that they would be able to retire in a year or two because of the legendary wealth that the Mississippi company would generate.  Like hungry sharks boiling around a wounded whale, the people of France started a bidding war that propelled the Mississippi company stock and other French equities to dazzling heights.

Of course, since France was printing inherently worthless fiat money with both hands, the prices of everything in France were rising dramatically.  Gresham’s Law, the timeless axiom that bad money drives good money out of circulation, came into full effect.  Gold coins were hoarded and smuggled out of France, and paper fiat currency was spent as rapidly as it was received.  Eventually the gold hemorrhage became so bad that the French government, on John Law’s advice, outlawed gold.

In the meantime, like all exponential parabolic manias, the French bubble soon collapsed.  The aftermath of the disastrous inflationary policy of creating money out of nothing was brutal, and the Mississippi Scheme is one of the most widely studied speculative manias and bubbles in all of history.  The country of France and the French people bore the consequences of this monetary inflationary nightmare for decades, and some would argue France has never regained the prominence it had before the greatest inflationist of all time, John Law, took the reigns.

The man whom kings used to wait to consult was widely known as the “eldest son of Satan” in France after the bitter fruit of rampant fiat monetary expansion became apparent.  Provocatively, reading accounts of the Mississippi Mania in France and its sister South Sea Bubble in England, which arose at the same time, is eerie in that the parallels with the US NASDAQ tech bubble of early last year are startling and profound.  The lessons of history are never learned by governments and they continually repeat these same mistakes.

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty | 31 Comments »

Claude Hamilton: Financial Commonsense

Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 17, 2012

Claude Hamilton shares some commonsense principles of finances. Claude has become one of the top leaders within the LIFE Business because he is mentally hungry to learn and grow. With the LIFE Business Compensation Plan, people gain earn while they learn. 2012 was a great year and I hope everyone is setting their resolutions for 2013 to make it the best year of their life! Here is Claude’s video.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in All News, Finances | Tagged: | 26 Comments »

Ludwig Von Mises Predicts Credit Crisis

Posted by Orrin Woodward on June 18, 2012

Updated: After finishing Too Big to Fail by Andrew Sorkin, I had to update this post!

If the 1989 breakup of the Soviet Bloc countries didn’t humble all the Keynesian economists, then the 2007 credit-crisis finished the process. The Keynesian economists were confronted, yet again, with the difference between economic law and the fallacies bandied about in their numerous textbooks.

First, the Keynesians, with the communist bloc in near starvation, learned that communism didn’t work – something Mises had pointed out eighty years previous. Mises irrefutable theoretical answers – he proved that without a free market there was no price system; therefore, no economic calculations were possible – are now confirmed with hard data from the numerous failed communistic nations. China, shockingly, has more economic freedom than the United States today! This is what happens when America continues to dabble in Keynesianism (socialism light) and China, in an effort to improve results, rejected hard-line communism in favor of free-enterprise concepts. The world truly has been turned upside down. :)

Second, the Keynesians learned the banking system is a “house of cards,” surviving on a “confidence game,” where only the insiders know how highly leveraged the banks truly are. Without the $1.1 trillion bailout (TARP) from the USA government, the banking system would have “dominoed to destruction” – Bear-Stearns to Lehman Brothers, to Merrill Lynch, to AIG, to Morgan Stanley, even Goldman-Sachs was on the precipice before TARP.  Andrew Sorkin’s book Too Big To Fail provides the reader with a front row seat and play-by-play descriptions of the events during the 2007-08 credit-crisis.

Third, and a preview of coming attractions, the Keynesians will learn that even all-powerful governments must obey economic law. They will witness a government “domino to destruction,” similar to banking systems near collapse; however, the governments have no one to backstop their violations of economic law and the collapse will be on a much greater scale. In other words, the government bailouts only delayed, rather than killed, the day of reckoning. The highly-linked leveraged debt dominos between countries are set up in precarious fashion. It will only take one country (Greece anyone?) to renege on its payments causing the next weakest country to follow suit, leading eventually to a world-wide economic collapse of the highly leveraged governments. 

For the overly taxed citizens, “Humpy-Dumpty’s” fall will upset the markets and livelihoods in the short term. But, over time, it will free citizen leaders to create market-place solutions, rather than submit to the unworkable Statist-Keynesian global mindset. Essentially, history will teach the Keynesian that their measures were the problem, not the solution as advertised. Only a few voices, mainly Ludwig Von Mises with a nod to Friedrich Von Hayek, predicted the cycle of inflationary spending in the early twentieth century! Truth, in other words, was right under the global powers noses over 100 years ago, but it was denigrated because it went against their desire for FREE money and increased Statist’s control. I wrote about this in my book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE on how the whole credit-crisis is symptomatic of a bigger issue: the character-crisis.

Remember, when the Big Banks and Big Government first proposed taking over our nations money system, it was to eliminate the credit cycles; however, truth be told, it didn’t eliminate cycles, but only delayed them, making the waves bigger and the destruction greater when they finally crash upon the economy. Thankfully for the modern power-pundits, the masses remain ignorant of the Federal Reserve’s dismal track record. Unaware of the danger, the people’s lethargy is the power-brokers’ best security, allowing the inflationary money scam to consistently rob the producers for the benefit of the exploiters.

Indeed, it must be asked: why doesn’t anyone stand for truth in today’s modern age? I believe a huge part of it is that few people believe in truth anymore, and of the few who do, few are willing to do the heavy mental work involved to learn it. The goal of the Mental Fitness Challenge is to awaken people to the need for personal development and developing a foundation in which to learn, apply, and change oneself. Here is a fantastic article on Mises by Mark Spitznagel.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

By MARK SPITZNAGEL

Ludwig von Mises was snubbed by economists world-wide as he warned of a credit crisis in the 1920s. We ignore the great Austrian at our peril today.

Mises’s ideas on business cycles were spelled out in his 1912 tome “Theorie des Geldes und der Umlaufsmittel” (“The Theory of Money and Credit”). Not surprisingly few people noticed, as it was published only in German and wasn’t exactly a beach read at that.


Taking his cue from David Hume and David Ricardo, Mises explained how the banking system was endowed with the singular ability to expand credit and with it the money supply, and how this was magnified by government intervention. Left alone, interest rates would adjust such that only the amount of credit would be used as is voluntarily supplied and demanded. But when credit is force-fed beyond that (call it a credit gavage), grotesque things start to happen.

Government-imposed expansion of bank credit distorts our “time preferences,” or our desire for saving versus consumption. Government-imposed interest rates artificially below rates demanded by savers leads to increased borrowing and capital investment beyond what savers will provide. This causes temporarily higher employment, wages and consumption.

Keynesian economics picture

Ordinarily, any random spikes in credit would be quickly absorbed by the system—the pricing errors corrected, the half-baked investments liquidated, like a supple tree yielding to the wind and then returning. But when the government holds rates artificially low in order to feed ever higher capital investment in otherwise unsound, unsustainable businesses, it creates the conditions for a crash. Everyone looks smart for a while, but eventually the whole monstrosity collapses under its own weight through a credit contraction or, worse, a banking collapse.

The system is dramatically susceptible to errors, both on the policy side and on the entrepreneurial side. Government expansion of credit takes a system otherwise capable of adjustment and resilience and transforms it into one with tremendous cyclical volatility.

“Theorie des Geldes” did not become the playbook for policy makers. The 1920s were marked by the brave new era of the Federal Reserve system promoting inflationary credit expansion and with it permanent prosperity. The nerve of this Doubting-Thomas, perma-bear, crazy Kraut! Sadly, poor Ludwig was very nearly alone in warning of the collapse to come from this credit expansion. In mid-1929, he stubbornly turned down a lucrative job offer from the Viennese bank Kreditanstalt, much to the annoyance of his fiancée, proclaiming “A great crash is coming, and I don’t want my name in any way connected with it.”

We all know what happened next. Pretty much right out of Mises’s script, overleveraged banks (including Kreditanstalt) collapsed, businesses collapsed, employment collapsed. The brittle tree snapped. Following Mises’s logic, was this a failure of capitalism, or a failure of hubris?

Mises’s solution follows logically from his warnings. You can’t fix what’s broken by breaking it yet again. Stop the credit gavage. Stop inflating. Don’t encourage consumption, but rather encourage saving and the repayment of debt. Let all the lame businesses fail—no bailouts. (You see where I’m going with this.) The distortions must be removed or else the precipice from which the system will inevitably fall will simply grow higher and higher.

Mises started getting some much-deserved respect once “Theorie des Geldes” was finally published in English in 1934. It is unfortunate that it required such a disaster for people to take heed of what was the one predictive, scholarly explanation of what was happening.

But then, just Mises’s bad luck, along came John Maynard Keynes’s tome “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money” in 1936. Keynes was dapper, fresh and sophisticated. He even wrote in English! And the guy had chutzpah, fearlessly fighting the battle against unemployment by running the currency printing press and draining the government’s coffers.

He was the anti-Mises. So what if Keynes had lost his shirt in the stock-market crash. His book was peppered with fancy math (even Greek letters) and that meant rigor, modernity. To add insult to injury, Mises wasn’t even refuted by Keynes and his ilk. He was ignored.

Fast forward 70-some years, during which we saw Keynesianism’s repeated disappointments, the end of the gold standard, persistent inflation with intermittent inflationary recessions and banking crises, culminating in Alan Greenspan’s “Great Moderation” and a subsequent catastrophic collapse in housing and banking. Where do we find ourselves? At a point of profound insight gained through economic logic, trial and error, and objective empiricism? Or right back where we started?

With interest rates at zero, monetary engines humming as never before, and a self-proclaimed Keynesian government, we are back again embracing the brave new era of government-sponsored prosperity and debt. And, more than ever, the system is piling uncertainties on top of uncertainties, turning an otherwise resilient economy into a brittle one.

How curious it is that the guy who wrote the script depicting our never ending story of government-induced credit expansion, inflation and collapse has remained so persistently forgotten. Must we sit through yet another performance of this tragic tale?

Mr. Spitznagel is the founder and chief investment officer of the hedge fund Universa Investments LP, based in Santa Monica, Calif.

 

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty | 116 Comments »

Welfare Plus Warfare Equals Unfair

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 16, 2012

Welfare Plus Warfare Equals Unfair pictureAmerica’s leadership deficit may be the only thing bigger than Washington’s budget deficit. Since FDR took over the presidential helm back in 1932, every president has supported either the Welfare State or the Warfare State. In truth, most have supported both! Consequently, the GNP to national debt ratio has surged embarrassingly close to banana republic levels. It seems America is determined to follow the course of the Roman Empire; eschewing the need for external enemies, America is collapsing as Rome did from within, riding the waves of poorly planned and executed internal policies.

On one hand, the Welfare State feeds, clothes, and houses people, which seems like a noble gesture until one understands learned helplessness. Why should men and women marry when the government will provide for mother and child without the father’s involvement. Fathers are freed from the responsibilities of raising a family that are essential in transforming males into men. This isn’t hypothetical as the percentage of children being born to unwed mothers has skyrocketed since the government began providing “help.” Communities across America ought to plead with government to stop helping them into learned helplessness and allow them to help the real charity cases locally.

On the other hand, the Warfare State recruits, trains, and supplies a military, which seems like a proper role of government until one understands the empire building methods of our current governments. Governments should protect their citizens from foreign invasion, but our current military adventures – military bases in nearly 150 countries – no longer seem like protection, but rather empire building. I am thankful for America’s military, and my dad served as a Green Beret; however, we cannot afford to allow our government to volunteer America’s military as the world’s police force for free, especially when we are beyond broke!

Each country must provide for its own military protection, ending our “allies” learned helplessness served up by America’s government at the taxpayers’ expense. Is there any country that is threatening to invade America currently? In contrast, how many countries is America threatening to invade? Like the old saying goes, if the only tool you have is a hammer, then everyone looks like a nail. The Soviet Union – the bogeyman needed for a cold war – is no more, but America’s defense spending is alive and well. Despite trillions in deficits, our leaders feel the need to play empire at our country’s expense. Is there any sanity left in Washington, DC? Perhaps our current “leaders” ought to read George Washington’s thoughts on the principle of “entangling alliances.”

When one group provides for another that it is fully capable of providing for itself, both groups end up ruined – the first through increased spending and decreased productivity and the second through increased passivity and decreased productivity. This is the perfect lose/lose scenario, one in which our government specializes. :) How long must we ignore common sense and the lessons of history? Simply put, the government’s welfare and warfare strategies are unfair and unsustainable. Wake up, America, before it’s too late!

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development | 13 Comments »

Chris Brady: LIFE Videos

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 10, 2012

In this excellent video, Chris Brady, my good friend and co-founder of LIFE, speaks on the importance of a person’s view of money. How a person views money determines the actions he takes toward it. Brady has mastered the principles of money management and financial success. Everyone learns from experience; however, it is much quicker to learn from others’ experience. Each reader has a choice; he can learn from his own financial mistakes, or he can learn from leaders who have experience in that area. Chris Brady has wisdom and experience when it comes to making and keeping money. Enjoy the video and develop the proper money view.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Finances | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

LIFE Island: Family & Friends

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 6, 2012

In 1998, I got this crazy dream. I had had many dreams that others thought were crazy at the time, but I had always believed they were fairly reasonable. Yet even I knew this particular dream was crazy! However, an important point about life is that if you’re not willing to dream crazy dreams, then crazy dreams will never come true for you.

Anyway, as an engineer at Delphi, a division of General Motors, I placed pictures on my cubicle wall of an in-house movie theater, houses on the lakes, properties with forests, and yachts, to name just a few. Each of the pictures was courageously pinned on the wall. I say courageously because when new engineers joined the Delphi division, they were given a tour of the facility. Without fail, one of the last stops was my cubicle to show them the crazy pictures I had on the wall. Sure they laughed at me while the tour guide explained again why engineers don’t live like this. I didn’t like it, but it only steeled my resolve. I figured that it was better for them to laugh at me while I kept my dreams than for them to stop laughing because I had surrendered my dreams.

As I reflect back, every single picture pinned on that wall came true. In fact, many of the PC members have accomplished the pictures today. Ok, there is one picture that still hasn’t been accomplished. It’s not that it hasn’t come true; it’s still just a work-in-progress. :) Some of you may have already guessed what that dream is: LIFE Island. I remember hesitating when I placed the island picture on the wall; I didn’t take placing a picture lightly because I knew it was a commitment made to myself to follow through, and this island picture was a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or BHAG (as Jim Collins calls it). Many times, I stared at that island dreaming of the day when a fleet of yachts would travel from Florida (yes, I had a Florida property on the wall) to the island.

There are two types of people reading this article. The first group will think I am crazy to dream a BHAG of this magnitude, believing there’s no way the LIFE community can achieve that. The ones in the second group, in contrast, will study the picture and feed their elephant minds. This group understands Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s proclamation, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” This article won’t teach a person how to build a LIFE business; instead, it is an expression of fourteen years of longing for an island to enjoy with my family and friends.

Can anyone else imagine the evening picnics at the beach park, cookouts, volleyball, horseshoes, and late-night conversation around the firepit all while enjoying the beautiful views and listening to the ocean surf behind us? Community and fellowship are essential for the picture I have envisioned. I can see the fleet of PC yachts making its way into the LIFE Island harbor. Laurie and I greet people as they disembark from their private yachts and ready themselves for several months of R&R on the island. As you step off your yacht, you realize that every plan, every challenge, every year was worth the effort required to achieve this victory.

The aroma of freshly grilled steaks, chicken, and fish permeates the air as you mingle among friends. Freshly squeezed fruit juices tease your taste buds as you recalibrate yourself to the island tempo. Imagine Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Claude Hamilton, George Guzzardo, Bill Lewis, Dan Hawkins, and their lovely brides looking you in the eyes and welcoming you to the dream-come-true LIFE Island. Later, many will walk the island trails for the first time—speechless as they realize that the dream they have yearned for, the dream they have worked for, the dream they have struggled for has finally come true.

I know; I know—I must be crazy. I have been hearing the same thing for years now. However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about BHAGs, it’s that if it doesn’t take your breath away, then it’s not a BHAG at all. This dream has always (and still does) taken my breath away! Today, by posting this picture, I am officially launching the quest for LIFE Island. Consider this blog as my new office wall. Go ahead and look at the picture. Now that you have seen it, here is my question: Which group do you belong to? One group will laugh now but live with the pain of sacrificed dreams later; the other group will sacrifice now but live with friends on an island of dreams later.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Walker Cay picture

Posted in Faith, Family, Finances, Freedom/Liberty, Life Training, Orrin Woodward | Tagged: , | 62 Comments »

Lindsay Lohan – Vanity of Fame, Fortune, & Power

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 5, 2012

It was another typical morning; I wrapped up my Bible studies and sat down to briefly (all the news in five minutes or less) review today’s current events. However, today’s news really got me thinking. Yahoo had posted a video of child-star to troubled-teen to drugged-up-diva Lindsay Lohan. Watch the video and then let’s talk.


I don’t know her background. I don’t know her movies. But I couldn’t help but feel her pain. How many people must go through the same storyline before the world wakes up? All that glitters is not gold! Solomon said it most succinctly when he proclaimed, “All is vanity.” Do not be fooled by the world’s definitions of success; fame, fortune, and power do not satisfy. Examine the lives of Marilyn Monroe (fame), J. Paul Getty (fortune), and L.B. Johnson (power); they each had what others crave, yet they died alone, unhappy, and practically friendless. I could go on; anyone ever hear of Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, or Whitney Houston?

History is full of the vanity of fame, fortune, and power, and yet each year millions more chase the illusion. In my personal life, I have experienced my share of each of these “false gods” and I can speak from first-hand experience that all is vanity. Does this mean we shouldn’t strive for excellence, or that we should settle for mediocrity? Of course, it doesn’t. However, it does mean we should begin with the end in mind, and fame, fortune, and power are terrible ends with which to start.

Each of these “false gods” turns a person inward, making him focus more on himself, his needs, and his desires – a sure recipe for unhappiness. The saddest day in a star’s life is when he has accomplished everything he aimed for only to discover it is all vanity. The endless displays, divorces, and drugs are all attempts to mask the emptiness of the accomplishments. For most superstars, the results were not worth the investment; for in order to achieve the prize, the stars had to sacrifice themselves.

Fortunately, there is a path out of the dilemma. Jesus Christ stated the two greatest commandments were to:

1. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
2. Love others as yourself.

In truth, a person finds his life when he loses it in a worthy cause. What, in other words, are you willing to sacrifice your life for? Every single day, you pay for the twenty-four hours provided to you by sacrificing another day of your life. In your life, has the investment been truly worth the sacrifice? If not, why do you continue in that direction?

The greatest return on investment is when a person fulfills God’s plan for his life. Serving God and others is the only path to true fulfillment. In RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, I share the principles that helped me stop chasing an illusion and start living my destiny.

In this Easter season, Lindsay Lohan’s video reminded me how thankful I am that God saved a ruined sinner like me through the finished work of Jesus Christ. I pray that someone close to Lindsay Lohan can share the same message of grace, hope, and mercy with her.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Faith, Family, Finances, Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development | 23 Comments »

Chris Brady, Tim Marks, and LIFE: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 4, 2012

As I sat at my desk this Easter season morning, my eyes spanned across the beautiful St. Lucie Bay while I reflected on the life I have been blessed to live. Here are just a few of my thankful thoughts:

1. I am married to an amazing Christian wife Laurie Woodward who has consistently loved me through years of growth and change. Add on the fact that she has mothered four super teenagers, and I cannot imagine a better family life scenario.

2. I am in business with my best friends – Chris Brady, Tim Marks, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton, Bill Lewis, Dan Hawkins, and Rob Hallstrand – who are not only great encouragers, but also wise and highly skilled businessmen. For instance, Tim Marks’s wisdom is packed full in his new book Voyage of a Viking being released this month, and it will be a blessing to so many who are in the process of changing their scripts.

3. The LIFE community is prospering at a faster rate than at any time in my 18 years of community building. Our community numbers at seminars across North America have increased over 5,000 people since the November 1, 2011 launch, just missing 20,000 people in attendance at the March seminars. That’s nearly double the numbers from one year ago! The community has grown over a 1,000 people at events each month since the launch of LIFE.

4. I have watched many business partners experience some tough financial challenges because they stood on principles. Thankfully, they endured, got back up, dusted themselves off, and ran again to freedom. Many, in fact, are making more money today than at any previous time in business. Everybody gets knocked down in life, but like I have said for years, “Those who stay will be champions.”

5. The LIFE Business Compensation Plan is rewarding people at unprecedented levels. With 95 percent of the people receiving a check monthly, LIFE is fair, equitable, and affordable to even the most strained of pocketbooks. LIFE is about receiving an opportunity, not a handout. One must work to win at anything, but the goal of the LIFE founders was to ensure that real work receives real rewards quickly.

6. LIFE is rapidly closing in on 4,000 customers! That’s 4,000 people choosing to purchase LIFE materials with no thought of further compensation. The LIFE founders studied the industry and refused to move forward unless they had a product that was in-demand at the retail price in the marketplace. With almost a 1,000 new customers a month, I think the task was accomplished.

7. LIFE, because the value proposition for customers is correct, has grown its member base accordingly. For example, if a customer loves the product and loves the community he is associating with, it’s only natural that, at a future date, he may choose to become a member of the compensated community. The added benefits of being a member (world-class compensation and business training) make this move a no-brainer for any person looking for financial rewards.

8. At the Major coming up in Columbus, LIFE is going to unveil Phase II, including the personalized websites for online customer and member signups, details to challenge your mental fitness, and improved community bonding with our leadership materials. Leadership is the application of proper knowledge. LIFE provides the knowledge, and the community provides the environment for application.

Ok, enough of my ruminations. What are you thinking about this morning? I cannot wait to share more details at the Columbus Major. I will see you there as we celebrate the achievers and implement Phase II of our vision to reach one million people.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Family, Finances, Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development | Tagged: , , , | 13 Comments »

Liberty and Power

Posted by Orrin Woodward on March 23, 2012

That Government is best which governs least – Henry David Thoreau

I woke up this morning with a thought. What is the best way to delineate the coercive powers of State interventions from the free influences of communities within Society? I believe this article does the job the best. After reading this article, one can quickly see why the founders bound the federal governments hands all through the Constitution. Sadly, for freedom at least, the federal government has broken its bounds and reigns as the supreme sovereign across the land.

Were the Anti-Federalist Were Right?

If historians were honest, they would have to admit the Anti-Federalists, men like Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock, more accurately predicted America’s future than the writers of the Federalist Papers (Madison, Hamilton, and Jay) did. The growth of consolidation and power by the federal government at the expense of the sovereign states is inarguable. As so often happens in history, however, the losing side is forgotten despite the truthfulness of its cause. Power politics simply coerces people through “might is right” maneuvers. Influence, on the other hand, requires truth and reason to persuade others of the causes rightness and justice. Anyone can use power, but it takes leaders to influence.

State versus Society?

The State (monopoly of force) advances through power, while Society (free communities) advances through influence. Which social structure do you think ensures a person’s property and liberty better? It’s vital to follow the thought wars of each generation. For example, in the 16th and 17th centuries, a person who wasn’t educated on religious issues of the day was lost. Regretfully, because thoughts lead to actions, much blood was spilt before freedom of religion and conscience was adopted in the West.

Ideas have Consequences

Similarly, in the 18th and 19th centuries, political structures dominated the thought currents. With the Glorious, American, and French Revolutions leading the way, governmental structures aimed at providing freedom for the people were the prevalent philosophical currents of the day. Monarchies, republics, and democracies, jockeyed against one another in the battle of ideas. Liberty and power pivoted on the outcomes of these interminable wars.

Today, however, the war of ideas has changed fields. Regardless of what governmental structure a country has, the key question concerns the country’s economic perspective. Economic structures can produce liberty or despotism in a monarchy, republic, or a democracy. Governmental organization, in other words, is less vital to liberty than a proper comprehension of economics. In fact, I believe, without exaggeration, that the separation between liberty and power is tied directly to the economic understandings of the next generation of State leaders. Spiritual liberty with civil rights is still despotism if the people are not economically free.

Austrian School of Economics

The Austrian School of economics, in my opinion, is the best systematized culmination of economic truths gained over the last several millennia. When it comes to economics, the American founders can legitimately proclaim they “didn’t know what they didn’t know.” We, on the other hand, do not have the same excuse thanks to Mises, Rothbard, et al. Indeed, any politician who remains ignorant of the Austrian School of Economics has allied himself against liberty in its perpetual war against power.

Cain & Abel

The conflict between liberty and power is as old as Cain and Abel. Which side do you align with? Choose wisely for society’s sake. A limited State with a free economic system is the soil where the liberty tree blossoms. We cannot afford to remain ignorant of these historical truths. Read the article and start your education process for life and liberty.

Sincerely, Orrin Woodward

One of the most important thinkers on the nature of the state was Franz Oppenheimer, who distinguished between the economic means and the political means, and defined the state as the organization of the political means. As Hans-Hermann Hoppe explains:

Franz Oppenheimer is a left-anarchist German sociologist. In The State he distinguishes between the economic (peaceful and productive) and the political (coercive and parasitic) means of wealth acquisition, and explains the state as instrument of domination and exploitation.

As Oppenheimer wrote in his classic work The State:

I mean by [the “State”] that summation of privileges and dominating positions which are brought into being by extra economic power. And in contrast to this, I mean by Society, the totality of concepts of all purely natural relations and institutions between man and man …. [from the Introduction]
There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery, one’s own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others. … I propose … to call one’s own labor and the equivalent exchange of one’s own labor for the labor of others “the economic means” for the satisfaction of needs, while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the “political means.” … The state is an organization of the political means. [Ch. 1]

Rothbard was also heavily influenced by Oppenheimer, writing in The Ethics of Liberty:

If the state, then, is a vast engine of institutionalized crime and aggression, the “organization of the political means” to wealth, then this means that the State is a criminal organization.
He goes on:

But, above all, the crucial monopoly is the State’s control of the use of violence: of the police and armed services, and of the courts—the locus of ultimate decision-making power in disputes over crimes and contracts. Control of the police and the army is particularly important in enforcing and assuring all of the State’s other powers, including the all-important power to extract its revenue by coercion.

For there is one crucially important power inherent in the nature of the State apparatus. All other persons and groups in society (except for acknowledged and sporadic criminals such as thieves and bank robbers) obtain their income voluntarily: either by selling goods and services to the consuming public, or by voluntary gift (e.g., membership in a club or association, bequest, or inheritance). Only the State obtains its revenue by coercion, by threatening dire penalties should the income not be forthcoming. That coercion is known as “taxation,” although in less regularized epochs it was often known as “tribute.” Taxation is theft, purely and simply even though it is theft on a grand and colossal scale which no acknowledged criminals could hope to match. It is a compulsory seizure of the property of the State’s inhabitants, or subjects.

If, then, taxation is compulsory, and is therefore indistinguishable from theft, it follows that the State, which subsists on taxation, is a vast criminal organization far more formidable and successful than any “private” Mafia in history. Furthermore, it should be considered criminal not only according to the theory of crime and property rights as set forth in this book, but even according to the common apprehension of mankind, which always considers theft to be a crime. As we have seen above, the nineteenth-century German sociologist Franz Oppenheimer put the matter succinctly when he pointed out that there are two and only two ways of attaining wealth in society:

(a) by production and voluntary exchange with others—the method of the free market; and

(b)by violent expropriation of the wealth produced by others. The latter is the method of violence and theft. The former benefits all parties involved; the latter parasitically benefits the looting group or class at the expense of the looted.

Oppenheimer trenchantly termed the former method of obtaining wealth, “the economic means,” and the latter “the political means.” Oppenheimer then went on brilliantly to define the State as “the organization of the political means.”

As Hoppe noted, Albert Jay Nock was also “influenced by Franz Oppenheimer. In Our Enemy, The State he explains the anti-social, predatory nature of the state, and draws a sharp distinction between government as voluntarily acknowledged authority and the State. Nock in turn influenced Frank Chodorov, who would influence young Murray Rothbard.” Nock, thus, likewise drawing on Oppenheimer, wrote:

The State, then, whether primitive, feudal or merchant, is the organization of the political means.
and:

The positive testimony of history is that the State invariably had its origin in conquest and confiscation. No primitive State known to history originated in any other manner. On the negative side, it has been proved beyond peradventure that no primitive State could possibly have had any other origin. Moreover, the sole invariable characteristic of the State is the economic exploitation of one class by another. In this sense, every State known to history is a class-State. Oppenheimer defines the State, in respect of its origin, as an institution “forced on a defeated group by a conquering group, with a view only to systematizing the domination of the conquered by the conquerors, and safeguarding itself against insurrection from within and attack from without. This domination had no other final purpose than the economic exploitation of the conquered group by the victorious group.”

Mises also focuses on the state’s use of violence as a defining feature:

The total complex of the rules according to which those at the helm employ compulsion and coercion is called law. Yet the characteristic feature of the state is not these rules, as such, but the application or threat of violence. [Omnipotent Government]

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