Orrin Woodward on LIFE & Leadership

Inc Magazine Top 20 Leader shares his personal, professional, and financial secrets.

  • Orrin Woodward

    Former 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 Whistleblower Truth

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 Big businesses do not practice the principles of free markets, and bold entrepreneurship. Instead large corporations use their power with government and the press to block new entrepreneurs from climbing the mountain they have staked out. For another thing, most alleged leaders know this and do nothing. However, one of the core principles of leadership is to right known wrong. Since I saw the injustices first hand, I attempted to do something 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. However, 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. 🙂


Orrin Woodward

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.

21 Responses to “LIFE Whistleblower Truth”

  1. Rich Dudek said

    I love you and this cause Orrin! Thank you for your courage and for relighting the path back towards freedom!
    God Bless!

  2. Thank you so much for being you and doing what is right. My prayers go out to you that you continue to lead this great Company! May God’s blessings be upon your life.

  3. Dennis Best said

    While learning about Orrin, I kept thinking, could this guy really be for real? But I’ve come to know that he is exactly who he claims to be, and is an awe-inspiring example of the kind of person we should all strive to be. Not only that, he has the tools to help us get there! Thank you for not backing down, Orrin! And I appreciate the explanation in YOUR words of what went down with Amway. God bless you!

  4. Abbas Hassan said

    Orrin your a force to be reckoned with 😉 I love your leadership teachings on responsible vs victim and moral and etches, both are hard to find before your been collecting some battlescars from life and mlm in general 😉 I also love your 5 laws of decline in mlm leadership because this set up a line for novice leaders to know where they are and not to take the chicken exit and all the fast cars solutions their are doomed to encounter in the MLM business for those who stay in it over 5 years and some more years..

    Thanx for you an your wife, actually i got more knowledge about mlm and myself by hear teaching about you and your startup and the couple struggles you can and will get in the start..

    Welcome back to NOrWAY soon i hope


  5. Rick Tillmann said

    Orrin, as I reread this post, two things come to mind – integrity and high moral compass. Just imagine one million people leading themselves, their families and their organizations with that same compass…

  6. Elaine Mallios said

    Thank you so much for your new book “the Financial Matrix”. It is truthful, easy to read, and very profound. Great job!

  7. Amy Myers said

    Orrin, I so appreciate your candor and character. Even though I did not experience the struggle you did I did go through those years myself and felt the disappointment and betrayal by the company that had opened my eyes to the idea of free enterprise and personal business ownership. My personal mentors and friends, Tony & Pat, resigned their 30+ yr business as well because of the same struggle of conscience. I was angry and saddened to see the loss but so incredibly proud of them. When they exposed me to LIFE I knew it was going to be great and everything that I had thought the old business was suppose to be. I’m so proud to be serving along side them and the entire LIFE Leadership team. Thank you for never giving up on your dream and never settling for mediocrity.

  8. Victor said

    Wow, what a story! Now I know where all the negative hype about Monavie was coming from. Keep up the spirit, Sir.

  9. Armand Frantz said

    I want to Integrate lifeleadership’familly doing a buseness has been my preocupation..

  10. Thanks for sharing your story, Orrin. I heard you speak at the 2015 MLM Mastermind Event and really enjoyed it. I wish you continued success, happiness and prosperity.


  11. Charlotte Feldman said

    One of the main reasons I joined LIFE Leadership was the quality of integrity in the people involved.

    I am saddened to find out very recently that several leaders I held in high regard have lost their integrity or rather sold it for the almighty dollar.

    I know that this betrayal will not cause LIFE Leadership to give up the integrity that has brought it to its present state of success. Do not grieve for those who missed the mark. You have many more of us who are right on target and with you.

    For many of us “slow movers,” the information that we have gained from the material is helping us to be more productive in all areas of our lives. Don’t dismiss the “slow movers.” Often they beat the hares in the race.

    • Orrin Woodward said


      I appreciate your support and encouragement.

      One of the beautiful things about Free Enterprise is the free choice to pursue your dreams in whatever fashion you find most fitting. Certainly, I was disappointed personally when a few longterm friends and business partners decided to move in a different direction; however, I also believe too strongly in the principles of liberty to do anything less than stop the bus and let them go. Accordingly, LIFE Leadership announced that anyone who wanted exit the bus is free to leave. Thankfully, only 5% of our organization chose to do so.

      I wish everyone who started a new journey as much success as they deserve and now feel its time to close the door and start driving ahead. I have learned in life that winners focus on dreams and the rest focus on drama. As the leader of LIFE, I choose to lead our members towards their dreams. Fortunately, even with this unforeseen stop, LIFE has grown over 20% in the last three months (in other words, we are bigger now than we were before we stopped the bus) and we will be celebrating two new PC members at the majors.

      In closing, Laurie and I will cherish the memories we had with former teammates and focus on creating many more wonderful memories with our current members. We have nothing but thankfulness in our hearts for the abundance of blessings God has provided to the Woodward family in friends, finances, freedom, etc. 2016 is going to be a great year as we expand around the world. LIFE Leadership has a Financial Fitness plan to help people, regardless of race, creed, color, or age, become debt-free. Moreover, for those willing to work hard, we will help them journey onward to financial freedom. 🙂

      One final thought, Laurie and I were also labeled “slow movers” for 5 1/2 years but we believe these were our most important years as we learned, grew, and developed into the leaders God intended us to be. 🙂 Here is to a blessed 2016 for all!

      Sincerely, Orrin

      • Charlotte Feldman said

        Thank you for taking time to respond to my message. May G-d bless you and Laurie and as we say
        in Judaism, “Be strong, be strong, and let us strengthen each other.”

  12. Deborah Poteet-Johnson said

    Hello, Orrin–I just re-read this blog post of yours, and I was struck with the fact that the years which were the most troublesome for you, as far as your former business was concerned, were the very same years that were the most stressful in my own life as a physician practicing healthcare for teens and young adults within the traditional healthcare point-of-service, insurance-payment model. Right before that 2008 Presidential election, the “playing field” of reimbursements to healthcare providers changed, as “healthcare reform” was being heavily debated in the Presidential candidates’ forums, and no one knew what to expect. Many of us lost great sums of money during that time, and I, along with others, had to declare bankruptcy for business losses. I NEVER thought I’d face that problem as a physician, much less one who had a unique private practice with virtually no competition in the community. Someday I’d love to talk with you and Laurie about the “Healthcare Matrix” and how tangled up far too many people become within it! No wonder that I saw the true benefits of LIFE Leadership even before the ones who presented it to me had finished showing the whole plan to me! I knew it could definitely bring health back to America, and it was a way that I could help myself as well as many others beyond what I can offer as a physician. Sadly, the ones who introduced me to LIFE Leadership were some of the ones who decided to move elsewhere with the former Life Coaches, but I’ve stayed behind because I KNOW LIFE Leadership will work, and will work exceptionally well, for any who come in contact with it and who will build the teams of leaders as the system teaches. My current “problem” right now is that I’ve done such a good job of allowing myself to be changed for the better via LIFE Leadership’s materials that my current medical practice is growing by leaps and bounds! I have to decide when and how I can cut back on it so that I can build a new LIFE Leadership business with a new Team! But that’s a good “problem” to have, isn’t it??! God bless you, Laurie, and the LIFE Leadership Founders for stepping outside of the box in bringing us a truly useful, meaningful company so that we can have a entrepreneurial revolution in our nations!

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Deborah, I look forward to chatting and hearing more on the Health Matrix. Feel free to send an email by clicking the email button in the right hand column. It’s shocking to me how much corruption is permitted in each area of society. Congratulations on your personal and professional success by applying the LIFE Leadership materials. There are so many wonderful testimonies that must be captured to inspire others to continue pressing towards the mark! 🙂 God Bless, Orrin

  13. Dan Hawkins exposed me to the TEAM MonaVie opportunity in Dec 2009. After weeks of cynical dirt-digging via Google, I discovered enough evidence to support all of the above statements. I held my spot (with aide from a benefactor in Jan 2010) and have not ever experienced more sincere community than that afforded by the character of leaders like own upline: Tom & Sharon McBride, Mark & Lori Maas, Eric & Jen Bloomdahl, Renee Ottinger, Dan & Lisa Hawkins, and George & Jill Guzzardo. Naturally, I knew enough (and earned exactly what I was worth) to be thrilled to join Life Leadership 11/1/11. Today I consider partnering with Tom McBride the single-wisest decision of my adult life. If you read Financial Matrix & listen to Rob Robson’s audio: The Life Leadership Opportunity & Dan & Lisa’s audio: You CAN Escape the matrix and don’t feel a tug at your heartstrings that this opportunity is what you are looking for, that’s awesome! Still, be prudent enough to grab hold of every part of Financial Fitness and Total Access as a customer. Every person can and should apply Truth principles. I promise you won’t regret it.

  14. K Andreah Briarmoon said

    Orrin, I so appreciate you sharing details of this amazing transformation (and escape ! 🙂 I admire your integrity and tenacity. 80 percent of Amway’s sales were the “personal/professional/financial development materials of books/cd’s/attendance”; but no one made commission from these! Thus, it is positively brilliant that “personal/professional/financial development materials of books/cd’s/attendance” IS our product upon which commission, bonuses, etc are paid. The most innovative being actual commission paid (partial reimbursement) on subscription attendance tickets (cash at the door was a ghetto way of saying you hadn’t made yourself an insider yet, and were foolishly yet not getting the commission). I love how you strive to make the non-commission business-cost self-employment aspects as minimum as the law will allow. Brilliant to utilize the system of pre-paid, direct-delivery subscription pipeline duplication for minimum-time/effort to member and customer! *IDEAS* Level 1: MEMBER; annual dues $19.95, sign-on discount of $500 Fin Pk for only $109.99, hold spot plus 10 percent discount on own purchases. Level 2: BUSINESS OWNER; Marketing System $50/mn for business/tracking portion of web and 4 training cds/mn, with right to sign new members and customers. Level Three: COMMISSION QUALIFIED; minimum one customer at 50/mn subscription to receive commission on everything beyond your monthly Marketing System fee, and to be eligible for all contests. IDEAS for monthly subscription additions:; “13 Resolutions Series” with monthly chapter, cd, and worksheet”, “Mental Fitness Challenge Series” with monthly chapter, cd, and worksheet”, “8-F’s Series” with monthly book, cd, and worksheet, “TEAM Training Series” with book or workbook, cd pk, and monthly powerplay and 180 worksheet plus 15 plan brochures. Certificate and recognition for completion of each series. I LOVE YOU GUYS!! This is my L.I.F.E. mentor group for LIFE, leaving a legacy … THANK you for being full-throttle crazy, cool, brilliant, and awesome! Andreah

  15. Rose Clearmont said

    My late husband and I were in both as well. I am very grateful for the courage and determination that all of you had to stand up to them!! We walked away in 96 when diabetes found me. I’ve been struggling with my sugars for almost 30 years! Health problems cause financial issues even if you have good insurance. It is worse once you get laid off and cobra is over $750 per month for each of you!! I’m currently recovering from several bouts of pneumonia. I am still on oxygen most of the time. I was in a rehab facility for 3 months.
    I was at Seminar on August 12, 2017 in Madison, WI. I’ve been out of the facility for almost 3 weeks.
    I’m thankful for the encouragement you folks give! 😄
    Rose Clearmont, Howard organization

  16. Timothy Johnson said

    So, where does the LIFE business stand now? How do I get more information?

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